Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Devil's Many Faces

Satan is the master of disguise.

John 8:44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does.

He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him.

When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Ever since the Garden of Eden the devil has been presenting himself in a favorable light. He has a great amount of skill in concealing his true identity and he spends a lot of his time trying to trick us.

When the serpent started talking to Eve he didn't say anything outrageous he just twisted the truth a little bit. It is probably safe to assume that he knew the truth but he didn't want Adam and Eve to believe in the truth.

The devil seemed to be very wise and he seemed to have an accurate assessment of the relationship between God and the first man and woman. Satan sounded like he knew what he was talking about when he questioned God's motivation for the limits that he gave to Adam.

Sometimes Satan gives us inaccurate information based on what he believes to be true. Satan thought he could outwit God, he thought that he knew Job better than God did, the problem is that Satan had deceived himself, he was so sure that he knew how Job would react. His conversation with God about Job was based on what he thought he knew about Job. Satan was so sure that God was wrong but Job proved that Satan was wrong.

Satan’s character is deceitful and devious, he hates the truth, he always sugar coats the reality of sin. He hides the consequences of sin like an advertisement for a beer commercial that shows you how cool and fun their product is without showing you where it will take you. He presents a false truth or he gives us inaccurate information that is based on his own false beliefs. Satan has several techniques and disguises that he likes to use to cover up his true character.

Check out some of the disguises that Satan uses:

The Serpent

Genesis 3:1-5  The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, "Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?"  "Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden," the woman replied.  "It's only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, 'You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.'"  "You won't die!" the serpent replied to the woman.  "God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil."
Adam and Eve have never met a talking animal in the Garden of Eden but on that day when the snake came up and began a conversation with Eve they were not the least bit concerned. It didn't seem to raise any warning flags and make them question the snake and his motives instead they accept the snakes teaching and question God's motives.

The serpents strategy was to question truth and question God's goodness to us. He appealed to our pride and our desire to get everything we can out of life. Satan told them that the limits that God gave them could be rejected and then they could decide for themselves what is right and wrong.

An Angel of Light

2 Corinthians 11:14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Satan wasn't created as an evil being, the Bible tells us that God only made good things. He must have started his existence as an angel of light, a pure and holy angel, but he chose to do his will instead of God's. So when Satan hides his true character from us it is easy for him to look just like a good angel.

As an angel of light Satan deceives us with a false views of spiritual things, he gets us to believe in religion, he promotes his lies by getting as close to the truth as he can without actually being true. He knows how to look good, it is essential, if he chose to show his true character to us then we would reject him right away and he would be defeated. This should make us realize that everything that looks good isn't necessarily good.

A Roaring Lion

1 Peter 5:7-9  Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
As a roaring lion, Satan bear down on us to destroy us by violent opposition, persecution, and death. He is not a passive enemy rather he is violently opposed to every effort that we make to do good, he resists all of our efforts to obey God.

Accusation is a favorite ploy of Satan against God's people, Satan’s accusations are not beneficial, he wants to mimic the work of the Holy Spirit but the difference is the Holy Spirit wants to convict us of sin in order to move us to repentance and forgiveness but Satan's accusations are meant for harm and to tear us down.
Ephesians 2:2  You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil--the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
If you are a child of God and you are living to please him then you are living life in the middle of a battle ground. You need to be familiar with your enemy and, you need to know what he looks like and what his strategy is.

Satan is the commander in chief, he is the prince of this world, he has demons and godless people that are willing to follow his commands. Thankfully his power and reign are only temporary and someday we will live in paradise without his evil influence.

Thank you Lord for giving us victory in our battle with Satan.