7 Ways Satan Will Attempt To Deceive You
Here are 7 ways that Satan will try to deceive you and me. I know that there are others but here are 7 that I know of.
Did God Really Say?
The Enemy is very shrewd and will try to get you to doubt the Word of God just like he did Eve in the Garden of Eden. Notice that “the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’’ (Gen 3:1). See how he is? God never said you cannot eat of any tree in the garden…only the one tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan wants you to doubt the Word of God so you’ll lose the joy of your salvation, you’ll doubt God and His Word so much you won’t feel like witnessing about Christ because you’re less than 100% sure yourself and you start believing what other people say more than what God says like the Bible was written by men and not by the Spirit of God which moved these men to write what they wrote (1 Pet 1:21). I had a young man leave the church when he went off to college and he was brow-beaten by his classmates and the liberal college professors that said the Bible was written by men and you can only believe what the textbooks say but then I asked him, “Weren’t these books written by men? And aren’t they revised year after year but the Bible has remained unchanged for over 2,000 years?” No wonder the Bible says that he has deceived the whole world (Rev 12:9)!
Mixing Truth with Lies
Did you know that Satan has his own ministers and they’re likely filling the pulpit of many churches today? That’s what Paul meant when he wrote that “it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:15) so it’s “no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14). Paul told Timothy “the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Tim 4:3-4). Friends; that time has come! The most dangerous truth is truth that has a lie mixed in with it and like a few drops of poison in a bottle of spring water, it might look good because you can’t see the poison in it but it’s deadly as can be. A half-truth is a whole lie.
Dreams, Visions and New Truth
I have had people contact me who claimed they had a vision from God about some new truth. Others said that they had a dream or God spoke to them in an audible voice. The only problem with these things is like saying to God, “Nice job on the Bible God but it’s not quite enough…I need more revelation outside of the Word of God.” Human truth is subjective and subject to error. God’s truth is sufficient for us today and for all time and its objective truth and has no need of change. I am not saying God might not speak to us in a dream or some new truth might come to us but truth is found only in the Bible and the Bible alone. If we dream something but it’s contrary to what the Bible teaches, then the true source of that dream is Satan or his demons. That’s why Jude wrote that he “found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). He is saying that is was delivered once…and there’s no need for new shipments by human origins.
In Paul’s day there were others who were trying to deliver something new; a new gospel but any other gospel is not actually a gospel at all as Paul wrote “there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:7-8). It isn’t necessarily what the false teachers say; it’s sometimes what they don’t say that’s dangerous. They might be missing critical components of the gospel like Jesus is the only name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12), repentance (Mark 1:15), the cross, the resurrection, the necessity for Jesus’ shed blood (Rom 10:9-13), the need for a Savior due to our sinfulness (Rom 6:23), the sinfulness of mankind (Rom 3:10-12, 23), the wrath of God (John 3:18, 36b), and the requirement of being born again (John 3:3, 7). Be aware that “such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ” (2 Cor 11:13) which is why some “are turning to a different gospel” (Gal 1:6).
Sin’s no Big Deal
Of course for those who have repented and put their trust in God they have had their sins forgiven but sin is still a big deal for believers. I had a man who came into our church and hated the fact that we still called ourselves sinners but that’s not what I say, that’s what the Bible teaches for John wrote “ If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8) and “ If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10) but if we have need to confess our sins that means that we must still have sins but the good news is that God will forgive them all and cleanse us from them (1 John 1:9). I have a friend who uses vulgar language, customarily gets drunk, and watches pornographic movies so I finally told him that I can’t come around to see him anymore. He says he was baptized at age eight but still lives a sinful life and think’s it’s no big deal but “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:6) and “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (1 John 3:8).
I Don’t Exist
Believe it or not, recent surveys of Americans show that only two in ten believe the Bible is God’s Word and should be taken literally and today twice as many Americans believe in heaven as they do hell. In a recent book “The Millennials: Connecting to America's Largest Generation” by Dr. Thom Rainer and his son Jess Rainer the foundational beliefs in God, the Bible, heaven, hell, Satan, and many other truths are no longer held by a majority of younger Americans. Many believe in God but not many believe in an actual being called Satan and if a great number of Christians now believe that Satan doesn’t exist, they won’t take him seriously even though the Bible describes “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8). You don’t fear whom you don’t believe in and if Satan thinks that all we believe is that he’s a guy in a red suit with horns and a pointed, pitched fork, then he won’t seem like a threat at all. The fact is he is real and he is the deceiver and he is deceiving millions today.
Everyone is a Child of God
I hear a lot of misconceptions about the nature of God. One such misconception is that we are all the children of God but this is contrary to what Jesus says and what the Bible teaches. The Jews believed that they were going to be in the kingdom because they were the children of Abraham but Jesus told them “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires” (John 8:44a). Paul classified those of us who were once not saved as “dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Eph 2:1-2) and were once in “darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Eph 5:8) and “at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath” (Eph 2:3) but now “we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him” (Rom 5:9)! Cleary, not all are children of God; only those who have repented and trusted in Christ.
The enemy wants you to doubt God’s Word because then you’ll doubt God Himself, he will cleverly mix truth with error rendering the truth powerless, he will deceive people into believing that they are speaking for God and that God has sent them visions or dreams or that He’s spoke to them some new truth, he will offer another gospel that takes the teeth out of the power of God’s Word, he will leave out fundamental principles that make the gospel what it really is, and he will make people think that he doesn’t really exist and so they won’t take him seriously. The best tool to keep from being deceived is to stay in daily prayer, study the Bible every day, and to stay in a Bible-believing church where the whole Word of the whole counsel of God is taught. If not, they you are a prime candidate of his to deceive you.
Article by Pastor Jack Wellman
1. Rainer, Thomas S. and Jess Rainer. The Millennials: Connecting to America's Largest Generation. Nashville; B & H Publishing Group, 2011. Print.