The Deceiver

    One of the main devices of the Devil is deception. "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (II Corinthians 2:11).  I have written this brief outline to help the reader be aware of some of the ways the enemy tries to deceive us.

1. He deceives us into thinking that since this is the way that we have always done it we must continue to do it this way.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ"  (Colossians 2:8).

"Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye"  (Mark 7:13).

2. He deceives us with special revelation.
"Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind"  (Colossians 2:18).

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:    Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed"  (Galatians 1:6-8).

3. He deceives us into thinking that God is withholding good from us.
"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 3:4-5).
4. He deceives us into thinking that sin is nothing more than a natural desire.
"And when the woman 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, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat"  (Genesis 3:6).
5. He deceives us into thinking that there is no way out but to disobey the Word of God.
"And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;    Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering"  (I Samuel 13:11-12).
6. He deceives us into thinking that the laws of God are outdated  (such as keeping the Sabbath).
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone"  (Matthew 23:23).

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil"  (Matthew 5:17).

7. He deceives us into thinking that the keeping of the law is optional.
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.    Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation"  (Malachi 3:8-9).

"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus"  (Revelation 14:12).

8. He deceives us into thinking the law only refers to an outward act.
"But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire"  (Matthew 5:22).

"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart"  (Matthew 5:28).

9. He deceives us into thinking that it won't matter if we just put our big toe across the line.
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all"  (James 2:10).
10. He deceives us into thinking that we can rely upon our natural abilities to judge a situation.
"And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,    They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;    And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.    And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us"  (Joshua 9:3-6).

"And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD"  (Joshua 9:14).

11. He deceives us into thinking that we can get away with it this time.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding"  (Proverbs 9:10).  The fear of the LORD is knowing that there is always a consequence for doing wrong.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap"  (Galatians 6:7).

12. He deceives us into thinking that no one will ever find out.
"And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:    When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it"  (Joshua 7:20-21).  The first consequence was that Joshua lost thirty six men in battle and the rest fled from the men of Ai.  Second consequence was that Achan, his sons, his daughters, and all his possessions were destroyed.
13. He deceives us into thinking that the sin is so small that it won't matter.
"Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes"  (Song of Solomon 2:15).
14. He deceives us into thinking that natural knowledge is equal to spiritual knowledge.
"And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.    And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it"  (I Chronicles 21:1-2).  David felt that he needed to know how many people there were and raise the money from that number.
15.  He deceives us into thinking that we can openly expose ourselves to evil without becoming contaminated.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.    For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret"  (Ephesians 5:11-12).

"Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27).

16. He deceives us into thinking that since we are saved, we have the freedom to do anything we want without consequence.
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,    Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.    And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.    All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any"  (I Corinthians 6:9-12).
17. He deceives us into thinking that "authority" is equal to being right.
"He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him"  (I Kings 13:18).  The young prophet was instructed by God not to stay and eat but to return immediately.  The old prophet however deceived him into staying.  The result was that the young prophet was killed by a lion.
18. He deceives us into thinking that a vow which we have made is more important than doing what is right.
"But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.    Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.    And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger.    And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.    And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison"  (Matthew 14:6-10).
19. He deceives us into thinking that he has more power than God.
"They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms"  (Isaiah 14:16).

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (I John 4:4).

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).
20. He deceives us into thinking that somehow God goofed when He made us.
"And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?" (Exodus 4:11).

"Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.   Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.   For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations" (Psalm 100:3-5).

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