Saturday, September 08, 2007

the deception of Satan

In Genesis 3:1, we can see how Satan attacks. It says
there that the serpent was the craftiest of all the animals.
Satan entered that serpent (just like the demons entered
the pigs when Jesus cast them out of the man of Gadara).
And Satan spoke to Eve through the serpent and asked
her "Has God indeed said - You shall not eat of every tree
of the garden?" When Eve said that this was indeed what
God had said, Satan countered God's Word and said,
"You shall not die". Notice how Satan comes. First of all,
he questions God's Word. That is how he comes to us
too. "Has God really said that we are not to do that?", he
asks, "What's wrong in doing this? These Biblical
commands are old-fashioned. They were written for that
time and that culture in which Paul lived. They are not
meant to be literally obeyed by us in the 20th century",
etc., etc.,

We find young and old people asking such questions
constantly, little realizing that they are becoming
mouthpieces of Satan. Even when their conscience tells
them that something is wrong, they still use their reason
and question what God has forbidden. When something is
commanded or forbidden by God in His Word, we can be
sure that God has a very good reason for doing so. But
Satan always makes us question whether God really
meant it like that etc., And what is Satan's ultimate aim in
making us question God's Word? Exactly the same as
was his aim in Eve's case - to take us away from the
Lord, and to compel God to reject us and cast us out,
even as He cast Adam and Eve out of His presence.

Jesus once said that Satan was a thief. Satan does not
steal money, for he knows that money has no eternal
value. He steals only what has eternal value - primarily the
souls of men. Jesus said further that after Satan steals,
he kills and destroys what he has stolen (John 10:10). In
contrast, Jesus went on to say, that He Himself had come
to give us abundant life. Isn't it amazing that in a world of
5,500 million people, more than 99% of the people prefer
to believe Satan's lies and to obey him rather than believe
in Jesus Christ and obey the Word of God. There we can
see what a tremendous work Satan has done in
convincing people that it is not a serious matter to
disobey God's Word.

When people take their first drink of alcohol, or smoke
their first cigarette, or begin to take drugs like heroin and
cocaine, do you think Satan warns them that these will
destroy their bodies and minds on earth and finally send
their souls to Hell for eternity? No. He doesn't tell them
the truth - for that would be unpleasant to hear. He tells
them that they will get a kick out of trying it, and that they
can have some enjoyment out of it. That is what Satan
told Eve too. And that is how he is deceiving millions of
young people around the world today. Even if it is a matter
of immorality or stealing other people's things, Satan
says, "What's wrong with that? Don't be guided by
outmoded 19th-century ideas" etc., Be careful of these
thoughts that Satan puts into your mind. His ultimate
purpose is to destroy you. We see in verse 6 that as soon
as Eve saw that the tree was good for food, her body was
drawn to it. That forbidden fruit has many 20th century
counterparts. Many things that God has forbidden, we will
find our bodies being drawn to. The Word of God goes on
to say that Eve found the tree to be a delight to her eyes
too. Our eyes will find many things very pleasing that God
has forbidden us to even look at.

It says further that Eve found the fruit appealing to her
mind as well. She saw the fruit as something that could
make her wise. Our minds too are attracted to many
things that God has forbidden. Be careful when your body
and mind are drawn to something that your conscience
tells you is wrong. I am sure that at that moment Eve's
conscience told her clearly that what she was going to do
was wrong. She knew very well that God had told her not
to eat that fruit. But what did she do? Because her body
and her mind both wanted the fruit, she convinced herself
that there was nothing wrong in eating it. So she killed her
conscience and took the fruit and ate it. What did Satan
accomplish by making Eve sin? Many years earlier, he
himself had fallen from God's presence. Once he had
become evil, he was determined to make others evil too. It
is the same with the human race now. When a person
does something evil, he is not happy in being alone in the
evil he has done. He wants to get others to do the same
evil too.

In Proverbs 1:10, it says: "Don't go along with someone
who leads you to do evil". Satan became evil and he
wanted to drag Eve down with him too. And when Eve had
partaken of that poisonous spirit, she wanted to drag her
husband down. So she took another fruit and gave it to her
husband. That is how evil has multiplied in the world
through all the centuries. One man becomes evil and he
drags others down with him. That is why we need to be
alert always. Satan comes to us at times like a roaring
lion. If he always came as a roaring lion, we would
recognise him easily. But he doesn't always come like
that. He sometimes comes as a sweet "angel of light" (2
Cor.11:14). It is then that we have to be really careful.
Consider the time when Jesus told his disciples that He
was going to suffer and die on the cross, Peter said "No ,
Lord, don't let that happen to You". But Jesus
immediately turned around and told Peter "Get behind me
Satan". He recognized that the suggestion to avoid the
way of suffering was the voice of Satan, even though it
came through Peter. Jesus knew that He had to go to the
cross, because that was the only way man's sins could
be forgiven. Peter did not know that. Peter was well-
meaning, but he didn't realize at that moment that Satan
was speaking through him to try and stop Jesus from
going to the cross. Yes, Satan can come to us even
through a close friend and suggest something that sounds
compassionate and good humanly speaking. So we must
be alert at all times. The one thing we must all covet is a
sensitive conscience - something that speaks to us loudly
even when we do a small wrong.


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