SATANIC TRAPS AND DECEPTIONS
There is a spiritual force of evil in the world that is bent on taking the church down and Satan is behind it all. They have specific strategies and tools that they use to try to defeat the church. We know that the Bible says that we “wrestle not against flesh and blood” so we know that people are not the source of our opposition, even though Satan does use people as instruments of perversion. We know that those forces of evil that we fight against are the “principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Eph. 6:12). So just because flesh and blood comes against the church with accusations and verbal or physical attacks, these people are controlled by a spiritual force that we cannot perceive with our physical senses.
“And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” 2 Timothy 2:26
We can understand that Satan, our enemy uses “snares” to come against us. Deceptions make us go astray or to be deceived, err, seduced, wander away, be out of the way or walk opposite to the verity. A snare is a trap, a trick or strategy that causes us to become captive or a prisoner. If every trap was obvious, we would never be caught. So these traps must be hidden or covered so that we do not see them clearly. I believe that Satan’s primary weapon is the deception of thoughts and imaginations that are placed in our minds.
The greatest deceiver of all time is Satan the Devil. We must be aware of his tactics, avoid his schemes, and not fall victim to his deceptive practices, sexual atrocities like fornication, homosexuality and gay marriages [Romans 1:26-27]; selfish vanity to pride, dangerous occultism, seeking to turn people away from the truth and from the way of life that will bring true happiness and joy of the Lord.
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” Revelation 12:9
Satan wants people to believe that he is a righteous spirit being who has nothing but our best interest and the interest of all human beings on earth; but his chief desire is to trap into sin and his ultimate goal is to promote ungodly welfare and prosperity.
The real Satan is more clever than most people imagine and God has given him extensive powers in order to deceive people, and the deceived includes even the most learned and intellectual people of this world. In truth, God the Father and Christ Jesus has allowed Satan to practice his deception on this gullible and unguarded world, and Satan has been highly successful in his task.
We have the spiritual ability either to give in to Satan’s sways or resist the devil after submitting to God and he will flee from us [James 4:7; also I Peter 2:13-17].
At the same time, the Godhead has also issued orders to all whom they have called to understand the truth and to resist this negative element in human existence manifested by Satan and his angels.
Actually, Satan and his evil angels have been created by God for an ultimate good purpose. And for us there is hope. Believe it or not, the Godhead has created Satan and his evil powers to be a negative force to help us who are God’s own children to learn discipline and to be able to distinguish proper instructions concerning good and evil that the Father and Christ have given us to obey.
Truly, he wants you to succeed and be prosperous if you will only do things his way. Satan, the devil, deceives the whole world in every nation! God is however calling us out of this world’s deception, through Jesus Christ the Savior of the world!
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” 2 Cor. 11:13–15
Yes, Satan has many strategies, schemes, and devices to deceive us and often use false prophets and teachers also. Many deceived Christians unknowingly worship Satan as an “angel of light” while others look to him through occultism, seeking answers from soothsayers, mystics, séances, tarot cards, channeling and astrology. Satan also has many other more subtle schemes.
“…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” 2 Cor. 2:11
“For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Cor. 2:11 NIV
Forgiveness for a repentant sinner is very important if we will not be ensnared by the devil; that is why Jesus himself after saying we must have God’s kind of faith and mountain moving faith emphatically stated that we must forgive so that God in heaven can forgive us.
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” John 17:17
We must distinguish between truth and error by knowing the word of God which is the truth! Satan can even deceive religious people who are not standing on the truth. He uses counterfeit ministers who appear genuine, but are actually fraudulent deceivers.
“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-Christ” 2 John 1:7
We have already seen that Satan is the chief initiator of all deception. However, as I said before, Satan uses people to get his messages out. Satan is a spiritual being that controls and manipulates natural people. So we have people, even in churches today that stand up and teach things that are lies. Satan is highly opposed to letting people believe that God came into the world in the flesh, in the form of a man named Jesus of Nazareth.
SOME OF SATAN’S METHODS OF DECEPTION
Satan does most of his dirty work through manipulation and that is how many people become the most deceived. In order to control our societies on a “law and order” platform, Satan cleverly introduces his religions, philosophies, traditions of men, values and beliefs, vain deceits and customs into our environments.
Satan is using outright pagan symbols and patterns, sign and ceremonies in the religious world today in order to deceive the world into thinking that in using them they are righteous and holy and that they are God-fearing and righteous people. We must be very careful of human reasoning and carefully make sure that it lines up with the Word of God … “There is a way which seem right unto a man… but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). Believe me, most people will be shocked beyond belief when they realize the actual tactics and devices invented by Satan to confuse this world into believing that they are serving God.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walk about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith” I Peter 5:8, 9
We must be very discerning to know that anti-Christ that we thought will come has come with many lying wonders and deceptions to make belief that Christ is involved in their wicked deceptions and lying wonders but they will stand and prevail if the truth is believed and embraced.
“The coming [of the lawless one, the anti-Christ] is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of [pretended] miracles and signs and delusive marvels–[all of them] lying wonders– And by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved.” 2 Thess. 2:9-11
DECEPTION 1: FALSE DOCTRINE
Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” John 8:32
Godly doctrine or teachings known as The Truth are revealed in the Bible, but we must also practice the truth. Jesus said in the previous verse, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (v. 31). Some seek false teachers to preach what they want to hear, rather than the truth of the Bible. We must be willing to be guided and be corrected by the Word of God and not turn aside to fables, pagan worship or tradition of men
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” 2 Tim. 4:2–4
Time has come that we must not be like the Pharisees and the Sadducees who rather choose customs and traditions in the place of true religion. It was said of them that they
… “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” Mark 7:9
“And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many” Mat. 24:4–5
Jesus states that “false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Will you be deceived? Or are you using the name of Jesus to deceive many and keeping them captive [2 Tim. 2:26]. We must be on guard and be very discerning else deception will set in
DECEPTION 2: LUST
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempt he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bring forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bring forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren” James 1:13-16
Human nature is filled with vanity, jealousy, covetousness, greed, and lust. Satan can take advantage of these evil tendencies and weakness in all of us. He sends temptation or beguile us through the media—movies, television, magazines and the Internet—and through carnal and covetous individuals. When we walk in the spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh to sin [Gal. 5:16]. We cannot be a partaker of the divine nature if we are reveling in corruption that is in this world through lust [1 Peter 2:4]
The Apostle Paul warned married couples not to deprive one another from sexual relations. Otherwise, Satan could take advantage of our carnal nature in our moment of weakness. Those who might lack self-control will be sexual tempted “so let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” 1 Cor. 7:2
“Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” 1 Cor. 7:5
We need to understand that lust, greed and covetousness are sin. The tenth commandment states:
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” Exodus 20:17
Instead of coveting, be thankful for all the blessings God has given you and acquire godly contentment. Covetousness is a form of idolatry. We can desire a person, position or possession so strongly that it becomes an idol to us. Remember this admonition:
“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” Col. 3:5
We need to pray, as Jesus taught us, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” Mat. 6:13
DECEPTION 3: PRIDE, VANITY AND ARROGANCE
Selfishness and conceit are part and parcel of our human nature. We like to feel important or count ourselves to be more than who we are. That desire can lead to deception. The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy concerning the ordination of a bishop, or an overseer. He wrote that such a candidate should be
“…not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” 1 Tim. 3:6–7
Do not let pride and vanity guide your thinking and behavior else you will begin to walk contrary to the ordinances of God after being ensnared by the devil. Self-centeredness and vanity can only be countered by humility to turn around and do what is right in the sight of God. The Apostle James wrote: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” James 4:10
King Herod allowed himself to be worshipped as a god! He cultivated vanity and arrogance. And what happened to him?
“So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!’ Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died. But the word of God grew and multiplied” Acts 12:21–24
Another king, who had to learn lessons the hard way, was King Nebuchadnezzar. When he neglected to take the Prophet Daniel’s advice to repent, God took Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom away from him. And King Nebuchadnezzar lived like an animal for seven years, until he learned his lesson. [Daniel 4]. We must always give God the glory for what He has done. “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31).
THERE ARE MANY MORE DECEPTIONS LIKE LYING, FALSE DREAMS, VISIONS AND MIRACLES; BITTERNESS, AND LACK OF FAITH ETC, THAT TIME AND SPACE WILL NOT PERMIT US TO EXAMINE