Num. 16:26-32 π Mt. 6:6 π Mt. 13:19-23 π Lk. 5:39 π Jn. 8:44 π Rom. 5:18 π 1 Cor. 3:11 π 2 Tim. 2:19; 2nd π Heb. 8:10-11 π Jas. 1:21 π Jas. 1:21-22
In a passage we will look at in more depth later, Jesus describes the devil as
...a murderer from the beginning, [who] does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. ( Jn. 8:44; top )
This is Satan’s weapon against us: deception. He wields this weapon in order that he might ultimately render us dead - physically or spiritually whenever God and/or our own actions give him authority and power over us. As a believer matures beyond the temptation to commit the obvious sins of the flesh (adultery, murder, theft, lust, deceit, etc.), the devil relies more and more upon the work that his assistants have been doing for centuries, even millennia, to render the believer ineffective, inoperative and ultimately dead.
How is this possible? Would God allow Satan to destroy us, physically and spiritually? Paul wrote,
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” ( 2 Tim. 2:19 NIV; top)
The New King James Version uses the phrase “depart from iniquity” for the New International Version’s “turn away from wickedness.” The idea is the same as when the Israelites were told to quickly depart, get away from, the tents of Korah and his rebellious followers before the earth opened and swallowed them up. (see Num. 16:26-32; top )
As descendants of Adam we are born destined for judgment. ( Rom. 5:18 ) If Satan can deceive us in such a way that we do not actually depart from some iniquity, we have effectively removed ourselves from the protections of God’s grace in Christ Jesus. We will see this in more depth as we pursue this line of revelation about Satan’s schemes throughout the New Testament. Let us note with all seriousness, though, that our turning away from iniquity is linked to God’s solid, firm foundation - of which there is no foundation other than Christ. (see 1 Cor. 3:11; top ) This is not peripheral or optional - it is absolutely essential that if we would remain His, we must depart from all iniquity.
James also wrote:
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. ( Jas. 1:21-22 - emphasis added; top)
Many people listen to hours upon hours of Bible teaching each year and do not do all they have learned. This is a snare but it is not the focus of these verses. The focus is upon the implanted word. Teachings merely listened to are not necessarily implanted. (see Mt. 13:19-23; top ) Where is the word implanted and why is this significant?
The writer of Hebrews tells us:
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the
LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. ( Heb. 8:10-11; top )
God, who dwells by His Spirit in the secret place deep within our hearts where no other human may enter ( Mt. 6:6 ), writes His laws - implants His word - on the very structure of our hearts. It is as we obey this inward work of God - quickly departing from all iniquity ( 2 Tim. 2:19 ) and laying aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness ( Jas. 1:21; top ) - that we are then free to do the implanted word and persevere in the process of the saving of our souls.
But Satan, the deceiver and counterfeiter, is not idle here. He too will attempt to get us to write false definitions (misbeliefs) into our internal dictionary. “Church” “pastors,” “priests” and institutions are many times unwitting tools in this regard as they indoctrinate their crowds to not even dare to question how that particular sect practices its version of “Christianity.” This enables the devil to write deceptive and covert definitions of concepts like “church” and “leadership” or any other personally-tailored deceptions into a young believer’s heart long before the new convert has sufficient ability to discern the truth of that concept. And, should any future challenge arise, the convert will not easily relinquish that false definition because he has come to believe that lie or incomplete, inadequate definition to be what God is doing in his life. (see Lk. 5:39; top ) These misbeliefs are an opening into that convert’s defenses against the demonic and are an area which the demonic may later use to nullify and even eliminate any real work of God in that believer.
We ought not be surprised - this is simply the devil’s usual strategy. Look at our culture, our educational system, television and any other source of information and values which the devil can taint and distort. The more he can implant his deceptive definitions and concepts into people’s hearts - especially in young children - the more God will have to overcome to draw that person to Himself, the more that person will have to overcome to truly follow after and serve God in spirit and in truth, and the more places of entry the devil and the demonic will have into that person’s soul and life at a later time. When the demonic has any level of control over the information disseminated by the leadership of a “church,” it is a win-win situation for them - unless and until the people of Christ turn in repentance to the Lord and change the direction of their “worship.” The deceptions of the devil and the demonic are much more geared toward and effective against the people of Christ than most realize.
In sharing these insights about the deceptions of the demonic with various believers, many strange “theological” objections have been raised - objections that completely shield the one raising the objection from entering into the light and liberty of being able to recognize and be free from the schemes of the demonic. Let us first peel away some of the layers of deception the rulers of darkness have shrouded around the whole of their deceptive schemes.
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