“The Wiles of the Devil” series (post #3)
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Timothy 2:14, N.K.J.V.)
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3, N.I.V.)
Deception. It is one of Satan’s most effective wiles. As a matter of fact, he’s so good at it that Revelation 12:9 says that he “deceives the whole world.” Think about that. The whole world covers a lot of territory and a lot of people.
So maybe we should go a little easier on Eve. There she was, minding her own business in the garden of Eden, when suddenly she found herself in a one-on-one encounter with the master deceiver. She got no warning. She got no time to prepare for the deception. She was just thrust into a spiritual confrontation that she didn’t ask for or want. Would you have fared any better than she did? Would I?
Satan’s primary way of deceiving is lying. It isn’t surprising then that he lied to Eve. He said of her eating the forbidden fruit:
…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. (Genesis 3:4-5, N.K.J.V.)
How much of a liar is Satan? Just ask Jesus. He once said of Satan:
…He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of liars. (John 8:44, N.I.V.)
“No truth in him.” “When he lies, he speaks his native language.” “He is a liar and the father of liars.” Jesus couldn’t have been any more complete and emphatic in His description of Satan as a liar. And which one of Satan’s wiles walks hand in hand with lying? Deception.
Tonya was almost three months pregnant with our first child when she began having some physical problems, problems that seemed to indicate that a miscarriage was imminent. Naturally we prayed and asked God to heal whatever was wrong and allow her to keep the baby, but the more we prayed the more the problems intensified. It was an awful time.
One day during all of that I was driving down the road and praying while I was driving. Suddenly in the midst of that prayer I heard a voice in my head. The voice said, “Russell, your baby is alright.” As any Christian would, I took that voice to be the voice of the indwelling Holy Spirit. I’d heard the Spirit’s inner voice before and as far as I could tell this was the same voice. Needless to say, I certainly wanted the voice to be the Spirit’s.
And so what happened? A few days later Tonya miscarried. So much for, “Russell, your baby is alright.” Like Eve, I’d been lied to and deceived. I hesitated about using that story in this post because, for obvious reasons, I don’t like reliving that time of our life. But I’m including it because I want you to understand that I know firsthand what being deceived by the devil feels like. Even if he wasn’t personally with me in the car that day, one of his demons sure was, and he told that demon just what lie to tell me to deceive me about what was happening with our baby.
I’m happy to report, though, that there is coming a day upon this earth when all of Satan’s deceptions will cease. After the Rapture of the church, after the seven-year tribulation period, and after Christ’s Second Coming, Jesus will institute His 1,000 year reign upon this earth. Numerous Bible passages from both the Old Testament and the New Testament speak of that reign, but the one that is the most relevant to our subject is found in Revelation 20:1-3. Those verses describe what is going to happen to Satan at the beginning of Christ’s reign, and if you read the passage closely you’ll see what it has to do with Satan’s deceptions. That’s why I’m offering it as the close to this post:
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these thing he must be released for a little while. (N.K.J.V.)