Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
The word of God [the Bible; Jn.1:1] is clear that Satan is the primary external threat to God’s creation, and to God’s people:
1. Gen.3:1-6; he lies;
2. II Cor.11:3-4, 13-15; he comes off as a righteous servant of God with a false gospel;
3. Eph.6:10-12; he tricks us into leaving the protection of the Lord;
4. I Pet.5:8; he uses whatever means he can to separate us from the care of the Lord to devour our testimony and Christian joy.
Satan’s deceitful ways are no match for the word of God. That is why our Lord answered when tempted by Satan in the wilderness; Matt.4:4 “ Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Matt.4:7. “Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God, and him only shalt thou worship.” Satan left our Lord when he realized he was no match for the word of God. We must never forget that Satan is no match for us when we know and rightly apply the word of God in fellowship with God, Jm.4:7.
Satan cannot take our salvation from us once we are saved because we are forever sealed by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, Eph.1:13-14; I Pet.1:3-5. The relationship seal God puts around us the moment we received Jesus Christ as our Savior cannot be broken from either inside or outside; neither by sin, circumstances or Satan no matter how many misinformed believers say it can. But he can deceive us in different ways to the extreme that we can lose the joy of being saved, and our sense of being a child of the royal family of God; Matt.24:24; II Tim.3:13; I Jn.1:8.
If Satan can get into our thoughts he can make our Christian life sheer misery and this is why we are commanded as believers in Christ to cast down, that is, suppress all foolish imaginations [things opposed to biblical revelation] and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of the word of God, II Cor.10:5. We are aware that Satan cannot possess a believer, I Jn.4:4; but he can influence a believer’s thinking by way of false teaching, Acts 20:29-3; I Tim.4:1. Again this is why every believer needs to be in a strong Bible teaching local church where the primary focus, every week and in every service, is on Bible exposition; not entertainment; not excessive music, and not activities. Paul instructed the council of Ephesian pastors in Acts 20:28 to… “Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves [pastors], and to all the flock… …over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood.” He told them this because Paul knew false teachers and bad influences would be vying for the minds and hearts of God’s people. Paul called these false teachers wolves that will not spare the flock of God, 20:29-30
Satan can deceive us into disliking our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ by misrepresenting God. He has no integrity and he has no shame. He will twist and spin an act of the righteousness and holiness of God as being a cold hearted mean act. He will make the human good men do make God look to be inept and uncaring. And because he has nothing to lose he will do all he can to discredit why God judges men as He does.
So the key to recognizing Satan’s tactics is in knowing the truth of God’s word. When a false teaching is being espoused in society or a passage from the Bible is being misapplied or misrepresented in a religious setting you will spot it immediately just as Jesus did when Satan tempted Him in Matt.4. The Bible is very clear that Christians can detect error and resist the temptations and wiles [deceitful tactics] of Satan, “Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Jm.4:7. “Whom resist steadfast in the faith [resist by means of the word of God you have taken the time to learn], knowing that the same afflictions [of being tested by Satan] are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” I Pet.5:9.
Satan always attempts to make God out to be the cause for our suffering and misery. This then becomes a gateway for Satan to offer, to those hurting, his alternative to happiness. This alternative is what our Lord called the “broad path that leads to destruction”.
One of the greatest ploys Satan uses is turning family members against one another. He tried to turn Jesus Christ against the Father in Matt. 4 and he will try it with our families also. The temptation Satan uses to turn people from their devotion to Jesus Christ is getting them to keep silent concerning their love for Christ in front of family members. None of us want to risk losing favor and affection with our loved ones. Adam is a prime example of this weakness in mankind as he showed more affection for Eve than he did for God. Satan revels in his own narcissistic stew when a child of God does this. I am sure Satan goes off to heaven to accuse us of loving one another more than God. In the grand scheme of things Satan is seen as a powerful enemy, and he is, but can you see how childish and self-centered he is. He tattles on us like a spoiled brat to God on behalf of our occasional weak faith, as if God doesn’t know our weaknesses already. But be sure, our faith, even at its weakest, is stronger than his ever was.