Over the course of the last two days, we have taken a peek into the toolkit of our adversary the devil and examined four of the many devices he uses against us in his efforts to cause man to stumble and turn away from God. First, we discussed Satan's use of our own DESIRES. Second, we looked at the devil's use of EVIL COMPANY. Yesterday, the third device we examined from the devil's toolkit was VANITY followed by a fourth tool, IGNORANCE. Now, just as some tools are made to work well with other tools, the devil uses ignorance very effectively with the fifth and final tool I'd like us to consider today.
A lie is a false statement deliberately presented as being true. That we all know. But do we realize that a lie is also something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression? It's true, and Satan knows this better than any mortal man because "he is a liar and the father of [lies]" according to Jesus (John 8:44). "There is no truth in him." The devil lied to Eve in Genesis 3. God had told man in Genesis 2:16,17: "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you should not eat, for in that day you eat of it you shall surely die." In Genesis 3:4, the devil delivers a false statement saying, "You will not surely die." Satan essentially repeated God's warning and added one small word--the word not. In a similar fashion, the devil lied by twisting God's word when tempting Jesus. "Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: "He shall give His angels charge over you," and, "In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone"'" (Matt. 4:5,6). Satan misused and twisted scripture in an effort to tempt Christ. Today, there are many false teachers and purveyors of false doctrines who also misuse and twist God's word to their own ends. Although they may appear to use scripture to back up their teachings, they are lying because they do not teach the whole truth of God's word; they deceive and give the wrong impression, and therefore they lie. Whatever their motives, these false teachers--who are nothing more than the devil's lying instruments on this earth--are "untaught and unstable people" who "twist to their own destruction" God's infallible word (II Pet. 3:16). Of all of our enemy's tools, his lies are among the most insidious.
Friends, I repeat: it is important that we realize the tools employed by the devil as he seeks to lure us away from the path of righteousness. If we are ignorant of his devices, he will take advantage of us (II Cor. 2:11). Our adversary has many devices at his disposal, but the ones we considered in our time together today and in days past are among the most effective. Again, those tools we considered are:
As a memory aid to help use remember these five devices, notice that the first letter of each spells the word DEVIL. By knowing some of the contents of the devil's toolkit, we can better equip ourselves to "stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11).
From the days of my youth, I remember watching cartoons where occasionally one character would use a saw to cut the floor out from under another. Such is humorous in cartoons, but do we realize that Satan is trying to do the same to us on a daily basis using these devices and so many more? Do not be deceived "because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (I Pet. 5:8). Yes friends, the devil is out to get us, and he will try with all his might to cut the floor out from under us. Only by standing on a firm foundation of faith and knowledge of God and His word will we be safe from his devices. "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).