- 1 Discussion
- 2 Weapon One... Destroy God
- 3 Weapon Two... Destroy Spirituality and Religion
- 4 Weapon Three...Offer Alternatives
- 5 Weapon Four...Make Man a God
- 6 Weapon Five...Oppose all Spiritual Efforts of Man
- 7 Weapon Six... Lay Heavy Condemnation and Guilt on God's People
- 8 Weapon Seven...Offer Temporal Substitutes for Eternal Rewards
- 9 Eighth Weapon...Shoot To Kill
Weapon One... Destroy God
"Now the serpent (satan) was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:1-5
There are two tactics that satan uses in his attempts to destroy God in the hearts and minds of people. First, implant doubt as to the existence of God. If that doesn't work, implant doubts as to God's integrity.
False science and humanistic philosophy have been used on spiritually ignorant minds to convince them that God does not exist. Those who buy into these deceptions are well-pleasing to satan's purpose.
But for those who believe that God does exist, satan will try to portray Him as a liar in order to discredit His integrity. After all, who would want to worship and serve a God who cannot be trusted and who really doesn't care about our interests and welfare?
Satan told Adam and Eve that God had lied to them…that God cannot be trusted. This is a tactic he continues today by also suggesting that the Bible, God's word, cannot be trusted either.
And then there are the preachers…some confusing, some hypocritical, some evil… each of which offers support for satan's case. Destroy the message, destroy the messengers…destroy the God who is behind them. To the spiritually ignorant this has been an effective weapon in satan's arsenal.
Weapon Two... Destroy Spirituality and Religion
Confusion and doubt about spiritual matters and organized religion is another of satan's powerful weapons against the soul. It is one of his greatest ambitions. To this end satan has been steadfast and faithful throughout the history of human life on earth.
"In whom the god of this world (satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:4
"When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one(satan), and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side." Matthew 13:19
There is true religion and there is false religion. But there is religion…and it is the urgent need of every person to find and distinguish what true religion is for ourselves. But satan has other plans…he is well aware and terrified at the promise of God…"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Religion has always been the greatest stumbling block in man's search for God. Many people are born into their religion…that is, born into the religion of their parents and culture. From childhood they are taught a certain belief…and as adults they don't bother to question any of them.
But what if the religion of their parents is wrong… would God overlook it? Rather than studying the different religions and their teachings …to separate between truth and error…many people are satisfied to accept what other's teach. Others simply criticize all religious teaching as false and irrelevant without personal study. Satan loves every minute of it.
Weapon Three...Offer Alternatives
Destroy the message. Destroy the messengers. Destroy the God behind them. Then bring in your guy with alternative solutions.
That would be an effective plan if you can get away with it. Tragically, satan has been doing just that from the beginning of time with great success.
"…Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (truth). Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." 2 Corinthians 11:14-15
"…the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders…" 2 Thes 2:9
"…full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" Acts 13:10
Time and space do not permit a review of the many alternatives offered by satan to replace God and true religion. It seems that every generation is presented with even more reasons and logic why "spirituality" is but a secondary concern at best...that man is the captain of his own ship.
Man's arrogant and proud "intelligence" is a great opportunity for satan's input. The "enlightened" era has now arrived…the '90's are here at last…and man has finally reached the level of pure knowledge and truth…so says the spin masters. And satan loves it. He is a great teacher of deception to those who profess enlightenment.
The Bible, however, warns of satan's ability to deceive…
"But I am frightened, fearing that in some way you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to our Lord, just as Eve was deceived by Satan in the Garden of Eden." 2 Corinthians 11:3
Weapon Four...Make Man a God
Destroy the message. Destroy the messengers. Destroy the God behind them. Then replace God with little gods…
"For I was envious of the prosperity of the proud and wicked. Yes, all through life their road is smooth! They grow sleek and fat. They aren't always in trouble and plagued with problems like everyone else, so their pride sparkles like a jeweled necklace, and their clothing is woven of cruelty! These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! They scoff at God and threaten his people. How proudly they speak! They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut through the earth. And so God's people are dismayed and confused and drink it all in. "Does God realize what is going on?" they ask. Look at these men of arrogance; they never have to lift a finger-- theirs is a life of ease; and all the time their riches multiply. Psalms 73:3-12
Wealth, power, knowledge, scientific achievement are some of those things man has now come to rely upon rather than a simple faith in God. The tragedy, however, is that man in his arrogant pride doesn't have a clue of how to solve his own problems. We still suffer the pains and dilemmas of life that include crime, war, starvation, homelessness, divorce, abortion, drugs and alcohol, sexual disease, pornography, child abuse…just to mention a few. And things are getting worse, not better. Something is tragically wrong.
The gods of education, science and politics are failing. The sign says it all… "What this world needs is someone who knows what this world needs". And the devil loves every minute of it.
"Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall. Better poor and humble than proud and rich. God blesses those who obey him; happy the man who puts his trust in the Lord." Proverbs 16:18-19
"Pride ends in destruction; humility ends in honor." Proverbs 18:12
"Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished." Proverbs 16:5
"All the glory of mankind will bow low; the pride of men will lie in the dust, and the Lord alone will be exalted." Isaiah 2:17
"…lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." 1 Timothy 3:6
"God ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves." Psalms 66:7
"If anyone respects and fears God, he will hate evil. For wisdom hates pride, arrogance, corruption, and deceit of every kind." Proverbs 8:13
Weapon Five...Oppose all Spiritual Efforts of Man
Destroy the message. Destroy the messengers. Destroy the God behind them. Then oppose any attempt of man to search and teach spiritual truth.
"And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him." Zecariah 3:1
"Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us." 1 Thes 2:18
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them" Job 1:6
Make no mistake about it…satan doesn't like it when people start getting a little bit spiritual. That's not in his plan. Religious….OK. But spiritual…no way.
Spiritual people are a threat to satan's kingdom and plan. Spiritual people have been given spiritual power and wisdom that religious people, or non-believers, do not have. True spiritual people are in allegiance with God and are warriors for His cause.
Spiritual people are satan's enemies. They possess spiritual armor and weapons that can disrupt and defeat the attacks of satan. It is no wonder that satan will do everything he can to oppose them and their efforts.
Weapon Six... Lay Heavy Condemnation and Guilt on God's People
Destroy the message. Destroy the messengers. Destroy the God behind them. Then make the people of God feel guilty for not doing more…
"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure." 2 Corinthians 12:7
Weapon Seven...Offer Temporal Substitutes for Eternal Rewards
Destroy the message. Destroy the messengers. Destroy the God behind them. Then show them what they can have in this world…
"Again, the devil taketh him(Jesus) up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Matthew 4:8-9
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:16-17
The devil can make it all sound so good…and he's prepared to make you an offer that you can't refuse. He offered Jesus the entire world if Jesus would change allegiance from God to the devil. Jesus turned the offer down but few people would if the offer was put to them in the right way.
The devil doesn't walk up to a person and tap them on the shoulder with a blunt proposal and demand. Satan is much more subtle than that. He takes us to the mountain of opportunity where money, power, fame and prestige await. He shows us the potential...and it all looks so good to a little guy from back home.
But there is always a price that isn't so evident…fall down and worship the benefactor…and the devil tries to keep that a secret by deception. His "spin masters" and public relation people are out front of him with a marketing strategy to convince people that "satan doesn't really exist… but if he does…he's not such a bad guy".
The demand to worship the devil is no small request. Satan will pay any price for the soul of one human being...but the cost is…that the soul will forever be surrendered to satan's control now and for eternity. To emphasize this point and to reveal the value of the human soul, God declared…
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26
Satan is prepared to pay the price. A few million bucks here, a night in the spotlight there…all in trade for a soul. But all that satan can bargain with are illegal suggestions, distorted values and temporal dreams. No one has ever come out on the best end in dealing with the devil.
Satan distorts the true values and meaning of life…suggesting that the temporary things of this life are the only important things in life. He tries to limit and obscure our vision from the eternal to the temporal. But the only things that satan can bargain with are those temporary things which we will eventually lay down beside our grave. He has no eternal rewards to offer. When life is offer…the pay back to satan begins.
The devil has marketed the whims and fancies of this mortal life as the supreme product that no one can do without…but the Bible confirms our short mortal existence on earth this way…
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." 1 Corinthians 15:19
The good life at best…is just a few years of the good life. Eternity is forever. It's all a matter of how you look at it…and the devil wants us to look real good…but not too intelligently, or realistically.
Eighth Weapon...Shoot To Kill
Destroy the message. Destroy the messengers. Destroy the God behind them. Then shoot to kill…
Lest we think that satan's only role is to offer nice and wonderful things…let us be reminded that satan is an adversary who will do whatever is necessary to destroy the soul of every human being. Satan not only has some pretty toys for us to play with, he also has some "fiery darts" to throw at us as well. If he can't get you one way…he'll try another.
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" Ephesians 6:11-18
Ever have some rough times in your life? You can thank the devil. Are you familiar with trials and afflictions…pain and suffering? Then give the devil the credit he is due. His bow is arched, his darts are aimed…and those things that are important and precious to you are his targets. Health, happiness, family, success...just to mention a few...are the prime targets of his war against you.
Sound like a paradox? Think about it. If satan can't destroy you with gifts, he'll do it with arrows. Satan will either build you up or tear you down…whatever it takes to win your soul. Some people take the high road of wealth, power and fame…others take the low road of pain and suffering.
The 4-D program of satan is in full operation. The fiery darts of disease, death, darkness and division are part of human life. They stab at our mind, our body, our heart and our soul in an effort to destroy all that is of value to us.
Satan is an enemy who bears both gifts and arrows. He'll smile and offer the prize in one hand…and stab you in the back with the other.
But the good news is ... God has the power to defeat satan and we are assured victory of this terrible enemy as we surrender our lives to God's control. More on this in another lesson.
For a more in-depth study of this topic we recommend the free study on audio cassette tape by Bible scholar and teacher, Kenneth W. Howard.