The Methodology of Satan
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’” 4And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! 5″For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings” (Gen. 3:1-7).
1. When we speak, we speak out of what is in our hearts.
1. Matt. 12:34 is where Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
2. The first spoken words recorded in the Bible are those of God as he brought the universe into existence, gave it order, and illumined it with the presence of His holy glory. God said, “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3).
1. With these words we see what fills God’s heart: light. We see the nature of God revealed in beauty and in clarity. We see His essence which is purity.
1. 1 John 1:5, “And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”
2. John 8:12, “Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
2. There is no darkness in God. There is no lie, no fault, no impurity. This is why He first spoke by saying, “Let there be light.”
1. Note that God did not first say, “Let there be space and time” or “Let there be creation”, or “Let there be the heavens.” Instead, He first said “Let there be light.”
2. We need the light of His word and truth. We need His truth.
3. Have you ever blindfolded yourself and walked around? I have.
1. Once when I was young, I did volunteer work for the blind. One of the exercises we did in order to understand how the blind had to live was to blindfold ourselves, use canes, and trying to navigate around the block and across the street using a crosswalk. Of course, we had a sighted person with us. In my blindness, I almost stepped in front of a car. I could not see the danger because I was in darkness.
4. If we walk without the light of God, we will stumble and fall. If we cannot see where we are, or where we should go, then we will be lost.
5. If God’s word is not lighting your paths in thought, word, deed, worship, prayer, etc, then you are without hope. This is why the Bible says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). God’s word is light and truth. We absolutely must have it, study it, put it in our hearts, and live it.
3. The first recorded words in the Bible from Satan are words that are a challenge and contradiction to God’s word.
1. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’” 4And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! 5″For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings” (Gen. 3:1-7).
2. The enemy has a method of bringing us away from trust in God’s word.
1. First, he gets you to doubt God’s word:
1. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1).
2. SATAN APPEALED TO HER PHYSICAL NEEDS – her appetite. She listened to Him. Her first mistake.
2. Second, he then contradicts God’s word:
1. And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! (Gen. 3:4).
2. SATAN APPEALED TO HER PERSONAL GAIN in that he was trying to convince her that she could have it all: what her eyes desired and life without death.
3. Third, He reinterprets God’s word.
1. “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5).
2. Within this last comment of Satan, we see the heart of Satan: He wants to be like God and he uses the tempting deceptions of self-will, self-sovereignty, and self-rule to replace God’s will, God’s sovereignty, and God’s rule with his lies.
3. Notice: In those lies is an appeal to the person to be like God, to be independent of God.
4. SATAN USES AN APPEAL TO PERSONAL POWER AND/OR GLORY.
3. So, the first thing that Satan does is go against God’s word. Why?
1. Because the Word of God is true. It reveals wisdom, goodness, faithfulness, and God Himself. It also exposes the darkness and the evil of Satan’s methods. The Devil doesn’t want that.
2. The devil wants to bring confusion, misery, and death.
1. Illustration: China, a man surnamed Long, claimed people could leave behind the woes and cares of the world if they stood naked by a road with their identification papers on the ground and killed the first person who came along to check the papers. On June 29, 1998, Wu, his wife Long Zaihua, his ‘Cousin Wu Qiugou and the cousin’s two sons went to a roadside at dawn, took off their clothes and put their papers on the ground. They grabbed the first farmer who approached, forced him to look at the papers and then stoned him, to death. But such foolishness and murder only brought them the judgment of the law.
They believed a lie and suffered the consequences.
2. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
3. The devil uses anything he can to get people to disobey God and bring destruction
4. Some of the “reinterpreted” words of Satan can be found in the health and wealth gospel
1. Charles Capps (positive confession preacher), “God said, let us make man in our image after our likeness. The word “likeness” in the original Hebrew means “an exact duplication in kind.”… Adam wasn’t exact duplication of gods kind!” (Christianity in crisis page 379, #9.)
1. “Notice that when Jesus said, ‘I have finished the work’ [John 17:4], we know that he had not finished the work.” [ibid p. 382, #38]
2. Kenneth Copeland: “God spoke at him into existence in authority with words (Genesis 1:26, 28 [Let us make man in our image]). These words struck Adam’s body in the face. His body and God were exactly the same size.” (Ibid, p. 379, # 12)
3. Kenneth Hagan: “originally, God made the earth and the fullness thereof, giving Adam dominion over all the works of his hands. In other words, Adam is the god of this world.” (ibid, 379, #13)
4. Benny Hinn:”Adam was a super being when God created him. I don’t know whether people know this, but he was the first Superman that really ever lived. First of all, the Scriptures declare clearly that he had dominion over the fowls of the air, the fish of the sea-which means he used to fly.” (ibid, 380, #16)
1. “I’m going to be led by the Holy Ghost today. Is that all right with you?… god it came from heaven, became a man, made man into little gods, went back to heaven as a man. He faces a father as a man. I faced doubles as the son of God.” (ibid, 382, #43)
2. “When you were born again the word was made flesh in you. And you became flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. Don’t tell me you have Jesus. You are everything he was everything he is and ever shall be… it [the new man] says, ‘I am as he is.’ That’s what it says. As he is so are we in this world. Jesus said, ‘go in my name, Bell in my stead.’ Don’t say, ‘I have,’ say, ‘I am, I am, I am, I am, I am.'” (ibid, 382-383, #44)
5. Satan attacks us in our areas of weakness.
1. He attacked Jesus after Jesus had fasted 40 days and had become hungry and was in need. Then Satan came in the hour of Jesus’ weakness and tempted Him
1. Satan even tempted Jesus by using God’s own word, the same thing he did to Eve in the garden.
2. Notice how Satan’s methods are predictable.
Temptation Genesis – Eve Matthew – Jesus
Appeal to Physical Appetite
You may eat of the tree (Gen. 3:1)
You may eat by changing stones to bread (Matt. 4:3)
Appeal to Personal Gain
You will not die (Gen. 3:4).
You will not hurt your foot (Matt. 4:6).
Appeal to Power and Glory
You will be like God (Gen. 3:5).
You will have all the world’s Kingdoms (Matt. 4:8-9)
6. How do you resist the devil? You rely on God’s word.
1. The Bible is full of things to say about resisting and having victory over the enemy. But, even Jesus, who is God in flesh, resisted the devil by relying on God’s word.
1. When Satan said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread,”
2. Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
3. When Satan said, “If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, Lest You strike Your foot against a stone.’”
4. Jesus said, “It is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
5. When Satan said, “All these kingdoms and thrones things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
6. Jesus said “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
7. Jesus could have changed Satan into a heap of stinking cow fertilizer with a command, but instead He quoted God’s word. Jesus relied on God’s word in His defense against the enemy. And… you must too.
7. Therefore, your best defense against the temptations of the devil is to rely on God’s word.
1. Satan fled after Jesus quoted God’s word.
2. The enemy has no power over God’s word. But you being a Christian have the power and authority to use God’s word and you must use it and know it.
1. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God…” (John 1:12).
3. You have the power to use God’s word because if you are a Christian then you have been saved by the sacrifice of Christ and made right before God by faith in Him.
1. “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world,” (1 John 4:4).
2. “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Rom. 8:37).
4. We have no need to fear the enemy because Jesus has defeated him.
5. You must study God’s word, listen to it be preached, and believe it.
6. You must believe it and you must trust it to be powerful and true in your life, in your good times, and in your difficult ones.
7. Resist the devil and he will flee from you, (James 4:7).