Friday, May 6, 2011

The Nature and Tactics of Satan





The Nature and Tactics of Satan
"...the whole world is under the sway of the evil one." 1 John 5:19
"Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness..." 2 Cor.11:14-15
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world...." 1 John 4:1
Whether we realize it or not, Christians are engaged in a spiritual war!
Satan's forces will attack us!
We need to be alert, discerning and READY to resist! 
Characteristics of Satan
 1. Created by God, and not equal to God. (Prov 16:4)
 2. Defies God and despises truth. (John 8:44)
 3. Was given limited power. (Job 1:8-12)
4. Commands a hierarchy of demons. (Eph. 6:10-12)
 5. Masquerades as "an angel of light." (2 Cor. 11:14-15)
 6. Came to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)
 7. Lost access to faithful, redeemed Christians. (John 10:2-15, Gal. 2:20, 1 John 4:4)
8. Rules the masses outside God’s protection. (Eph. 2:1-3)
9. Tries to hide the actual truth about our God. (2 Cor. 4:3-4)
 10.  Twists Scriptures to fit his purposes. (Gen. 3:1-5)
11. Offers counterfeit promises he can't fulfill. (Gen. 3:4-5)
12. Always seeks an "opportune time" to tempt us. (Luke 4:13)

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
“ not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place [lest you give a foothold] to the devil." Ephesians 4:26-27
"Therefore submit to God.' Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands [REPENT], you sinners; and purify your hearts.... Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." James 4:7:10
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." 1 Revelation 12:11

Enemy Tactics


How to resist


Know your vulnerable areas

Lies & half-truths
Know Truth well enough to discern error
Understand his schemes
Stand firm in Christ

Count on God’s promises

Protect your inheritance
Hide in Jesus
Satan's army of demons examine YOU to discover YOUR weaknesses,  
so they can custom design YOUR temptations -- those that fits YOUR wants.

Three kinds of temptation

food, sex, ads, comforts… 
books, movies, clothes...
pressure to conform
praise, power, pride, re-imagining God and His Word
1 John 2:15-17
"lust of the flesh"
"lust of the eyes"
"pride of life"
Genesis 3:6
"good for food"
"delight to the eyes"
"make one wise"
Ephesians 2:3
"desires of the flesh"
"desires... of the mind"
"according to...the spirit...of disobedience"
Resist with the Word of God 
Rom.  12:1  "...present your bodies” to God  Rom.  12:2  "do not be conformed to this world…." 
Rom. 12:3   Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought…
How they are enhanced by the consensus process

The dialectic process has raised the pressure on Christians to compromise and yield to tempting visions of unbiblical unity. Refined for our times, this tactic was first demonstrated in the Garden of Eden. Look at the dialogue in Genesis 3:1-5 and ponder the familiar process, then read the notes below:
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?" [1]
And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’[2]
Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."[3]
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"
So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."[4]
"And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"
Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."[5]
And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." [5]

1. This question illustrates the "critical thinking" strategy used to change the "fixed beliefs" and values of children everywhere. It begins by challenging or questioning current beliefs, raising doubts about the validity of truth.
2  Eve is slightly confused (cognitive dissonance) and changes God's command slightly. Already, her position or convictions based on truth is becoming shaky.
3. Satan presents a counterfeit promise -- a half-truth that sounds believable -- to Eve if only she would rebel against God and eat the forbidden fruit. The reward for choosing to actually experience evil (in contrast to accepting God's command to avoid it) is to see both good and evil from Satan's twisted perspective rather than from God's holy perspective. 
4. Adam feels shame, but not genuine guilt. He cannot see sin from God's perspective.
5. No longer able to see good and evil from God's perspective, neither Adam nor Eve repent. Instead, they rationalize their sin and blame others.

Evil is back by popular demand. And while, Satan, masquerading as 'an angel of light,' can only oppress Christians to the extent God allows, he has all the rest of humanity to trap and train as counterfeit "ministers of righteousness."[36]
 Their main work is to turn people away from God, to distort their understanding of His Word, to draw them toward a "new" way of thinking, and to open their eyes to feel-good thrills of the occult. Most of these "ministers" fit one of the following levels of service:
1. Pagan priests, shamans, spiritists, and New Age teachers -- people who actively seek to harness occult powers and lead others into the occult.

2. Followers and supporters -- those who promote the new spirituality and participate in its rituals.

3. The deceived masses -- those who flow with the social changes and deny the realities of God.

4. So-called Christians without a personal relationship with Christ -- those who bear Christ's name but distort His truths and follow contrary ways. They serve Satan by presenting a false view of Christ outside the church and by confusing or misleading Christians inside the church.[37]
Of course, God is always greater! See Unequal Contenders in the Spiritual War. But if His children mock His standards and go their own way, they will face consequences of their rebellion. And His loving disciplines are not likely to be comfortable. See Hebrews 12.

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