Evangelist, Chouteau Hills Church of Christ
Satan is man’s greatest enemy, and he has numerous tricks he uses against us. The apostle Paul often warned against the wiles of the devil. He admonished Christians not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. Paul knew what it was like to be deceived into doing wrong things, thinking they were right. He had severely persecuted Christians because Satan had convinced him that it was the right thing to do. Jesus said in John 8:44 that when Satan speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. We, today, need to be aware of Satan’s deception as well.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan deceived Eve. He made the forbidden fruit appear desirable to her. He appealed to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life to tempt her to disobey God. Paul warned Christians in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Satan knows how to make subtle changes in God’s word to deceive people into following error. God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the fruit, they would surely die, but Satan said they would not surely die.
Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 11:13 against false apostles, who are deceitful workers. They claim to be apostles, but they are not. Paul goes on to say that even Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. It is amazing how the devil and his workers can deceive people and get them to believe what they say. Jesus warns in Mark 13:22, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” We must compare what people teach with what the Bible says.
Peter also warns us about the tricks of Satan. In I Peter 5:8 he says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” We need to heed God’s warnings that the devil is deceitful and often comes around as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He camouflages the danger so that we are unaware of it. Hebrews 3:13 warns us against being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Through his deception, Satan can make sin look extremely desirable and yet seem so harmless. But don’t let Satan fool you; sin is never harmless.
We must not ignore the many warnings in the Bible about false prophets. 2 Peter 2:2 says that many will follow their destructive ways. The true word of God, the gospel, is God’s power to save believers (Romans 1:16). Jesus said in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Nothing else can free us of our sins.
Our souls are purified only when we obey the truth (I Peter 1:22). We cannot be purified by obeying lies. So we should do like the Bereans. Acts 17:11 tells us that they searched the scriptures daily to make sure that what they were taught was the truth. We often assume that whatever the preacher says is right; but that is very dangerous!
It is important to be on constant guard. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” As Solomon warned in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
God’s word can guide us safely through life. It is the armor that protects us from Satan and his workers. Remember that when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He overcame each temptation with “It is written.” Don’t be misled by deception. It is one of Satan’s many tricks. He has had lots of practice at deceiving people, and he is very good at it. Make sure that what you believe is what the Bible actually teaches. If you follow God’s word, it will lead you all the way to heaven!