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Phone: (888) 602-3456
We would be wise to examine Satan’s deception of our mother Eve in the garden. That old serpent remains in the world today, doing what he has done from the beginning. He goes about to deceive and destroy the souls of men. The Savior has told us, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (Jn 8:44). Satan is the father of lies. There is only one truth, one gospel, and all else are Satan’s lies. What should we learn from this account? What is God teaching us?
Satan is very subtil (v 1), like a coiled up snake in hiding, lying in wait to strike a deadly bite. His deadly poison is venomous lies that corrupt the minds of men. That word subtil means cunning, crafty, sneaky or wily. The devil doesn’t come out in the open with blatant falsities. He’s very covert and sly. Paul warned God’s saints at Ephesus of false teaching, which is “by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14). Sleight is a switcheroo. A magician uses sleight of hand to trick the simple minded. Children are the most susceptible to such illusions. Paul exhorts us, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Eph 4:14-15).
Satan uses sleight to carry souls away from Christ. He comes in the Name of Christ, pretending to be of Christ, but then makes a switcheroo with false doctrine. He would have you be tossed to and fro. He would corrupt you from the fullness of Christ. Paul feared for the saints at Corinth, “lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor 11:3). That word ‘simplicity’ means singleness. Christ is All! In Him dwells all the the fullness of God, and you are complete in Him (Col 2:9-10). God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life (1 Jn 5:11-12). Christ alone is all we need! This singular message is the glorious gospel of God. But Satan would have you carried away from the sincerity of Christ, by corrupting your mind with the lies of man-centered, free-will, works religion.
HOW DOES SATAN DECEIVE MEN?
How did Satan seduce and trick Eve to distrust the goodness, truth and sincerity of God’s word?
1.) He concealed his true identity and intention. Satan is not a red devil with horns and a pitchfork. Satan comes to deceive as an angel of light. He came to Eve with the word of God on his lips. Satan always coils up in a shroud of religion. He works through false religion. His deceitful ministers transform themselves into the messengers of Christ (1 Cor 11:13-15). They come as ministers of righteousness. They come with a pretense of godliness, morality and sincerity. By good words and fair speeches, they deceive the hearts of the simple (Rom 16:18). The most dangerous and subtil are those false teachers that preach 99% grace, but mix in 1% works. By cunning and sleight, they attribute salvation to man in some small degree. And they zealously praise and thank God as they utterly deny Him by their doctrine.
2.) Satan’s lies are powerful and fatal. Men by nature have no ability to resist him. They are taken captive at his will (2 Tim 2:26). Under his control and influence, religious men would persecute and murder God’s people, and think they’re doing God a service (Jn 16:2). The natural man is in bondage to Satan, like Israel’s bondage to Pharaoh in Egypt. Lost men love hard labor under a taskmaster. They adore the whip of the law. They use it often on one another. They cannot believe the gospel of God’s sovereign grace, because Satan has them bound in shackles of self-righteous pride. Pride is main reason men will not come to Christ, bow to Christ, trust in Christ, and rejoice in Christ. They’d rather be tormented by guilt, then receive an all-sufficient LORD. They’d rather strive to earn and perish, then trust a sovereign Christ. Just as Satan deceived Eve, saying, “Eat this and you’ll be like God,” the natural man swallows the lie that he can somehow make himself better, or more savable.
3.) Satan speaks with vague ambiguity about God’s word. He allows for more than one interpretation of the truth. He told Eve, “Ye shall not surely die.” He was saying, “Surely that’s not what God meant. That’s just your skewed interpretation.” Satan uses the same tactic today. O how often have I heard people protest to the truth, saying, “That’s not what that means!”God’s word is not ambiguous. His word is truth. He says what He means and means what He says. His word is as plain as day. The problem with man by nature is that he’s blinded by sin and Satan, by unbelief and pride. None are so blind as those that will not see. The Lord Jesus told the religious Jews, “Ye are of your father the devil… And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not” (Jn 8:44-45). Satan’s influence over the natural man to deceive him is the result of a willingness to be deceived. The natural man is the spawn of Satan. Every man is a liar; a natural son of the father of lies.
4.) Satan appeals to the carnal senses of men. When Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat” (v 6).False religion just feels right, looks attractive, and sounds good to the natural man. It’s all about self-improvement. It makes him feel good about himself. The whole world loves and accepts it. What could go wrong? Like a sultry whore she entices him. “Surely, this is the right way,” the fool supposes, not knowing it will end with his everlasting ruin. “Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death” (Proverbs 7:1-27).