The Wiles of the Enemy
The Wiles of the Enemy follow this link to download or print this resource
We are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices 2 Cor.2:11
When Jesus was led out into the Wilderness this was a time of testing and teaching for us to see how the wiles of Satan show up to deceive and detract us from the Truth. Being an “Angel of Light” his way of temptation is along the lines of the miraculous. Why should Christ be limited to the natural means of obtaining bread when he had the power to obtain it through the super-natural? If in his hunger he would have listened to the logic he would have withdrawn himself from dependence upon His Father but instead, he replied: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4. There are Christians that are seeking something deeper in their walk and the super-natural has great appeal for excitement with an overworked nervous system and are deceived
into thinking it is the power of the Spirit and sensing the presence of the Lord. Signs and wonders in the last days appeal to many.
2nd Temptation: Satan takes Christ up into the Holy City and sets Him on a pinnacle of the temple. Matt 4:5. Satan tests with wanting Christ to show his great faith and prove your miraculous power as Messiah. The plot is to destroy him in going against the laws of nature and gravity to prove that God can keep you from harm. Jesus simply uses the Word and answers “Thou shall not put the Lord thy God to the proof: (Deut. 6:16) Here again, Satan is wanting an experience to prove something of the miraculous. Do something foolish and don’t be subjected to the laws of nature.
The temptation is to break the laws of nature by ignoring them. God gave us these laws as a means of protection. We have many risk-takers in the body of Christ that want thrills and can be careless about the body that was purchased on the Cross as a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. I Cor 3:16,17. An important point to consider is that it is wrong in God’s sight to persecute ONESELF as it others or to neglect care of ONESELF as to neglect the care of others. This is showing disrespect to his creation.
3rd Temptation: He offered Jesus all that he could see and will give all their power and greatness if you will worship me. Was this attempt at playing God as Satan has a subtle way of impersonating God in some of the offers to us. What a sneaky attempt to get Jesus to avoid going to the Cross which was the only way Jesus could be the victor and obtain his purpose for coming into the world.
In his deception to impersonate God, he will establish his own religion and set his idea of a standard of morality. He has his own values and to show the supernatural rather than to have faith in Christ atoning sacrifice for salvation is via the Cross and not the miraculous; catching many well-meaning people off balance.
Another of his wiles is to suppress the personality that has been given to us. Don’t allow the pressures from other people’s opinions rob you of your uniqueness. Your personality was NOT destroyed at the Cross with the old sin nature. There is an “I” that is mentioned in Galatians 2:20 that refers to the self-centeredness in a personality which the Cross removes. Some believe they must become totally passive to letting go of their will in making choices. The thinking is “whatever God wants”. Well, we find that God wants people of conviction, strong in spirit, knowing good from evil, and standing against whatever grieves the Lord. Passivity can also be attached to letting your mind go into neutral, which is very dangerous. An empty mind is an open door for the enemy to slide in, take up residency, and slowly destroy an active mind needed to bring every thought captive and operate within the mind of Christ, which is never passive. GOD NEVER DEMANDS THE LETTING GO OF THE WILL, BUT THE SURRENDER OF SIN IN THE FORM OF SELF-WILL. The letting go of the will weakens the person and makes it more difficult for God to get his co-operation. If the mind is brought into passivity, the Holy Spirit is hindered in giving help to the Christian warrior, and evil spirits are able to gain upon their soul.
The mind must be under the control of the person as well as the will and if not controlled by our person, it will be available to evil spirits. God does not control it. We get deceived into believing that God must control the mind. However, his Word says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” makes many think they give their mind over to Jesus; rather than that we learn of his thinking to guide us in our thinking and decision making. There is a big difference.
In Colossians 2:15 we see our position in Christ over all the powers of darkness. We see that they are: DISARMED BY CHRIST, EXPOSED BY CHRIST, MADE CAPTIVE BY CHRIST. THIS IS THE BASIS FOR ALL DEALINGS WITH EVIL SUPER-NATURAL POWER. Unless we claim Calvary’s victory over these supernatural powers, as we abide in Christ they will still be able to attack us and harm us unless we maintain our positions as “DEAD WITH CHRIST and raised in union with Him” these evil spirits will still deceive us. 1 John 3:8 assures us that the Son of God was made known so that he might destroy the works of the devil.” In these difficult days, the powers and principalities of Ephesians 6 are becoming bolder and bolder as they have taken up residency within so many people who have turned away from God to serve self. They have been in rebellion since in their youth and we find the church losing ground as Satan is openly challenging the Church of God to a conflict for which he knows the Body of Christ is able but not ready to fight.
The ignorance of God’s people is due to their lack of training and willingness to engage in warfare against these super-natural powers. This means we cannot be cowards turning and running from the conflicts that arise. To be an overcomer we have to be able to operate under the authority of Christ. He must be accepted as Lord and we surrender fully so that we can stand in His authority against those that rise up against us. The Church has a lack of general understanding regarding “the old man” or “Flesh” and this flesh must be kept in the place of death and be freed from the bondage of the evil nature, which is the material that Satan uses to attack the child of God. SIN is not just an oops, I messed up, but it must be viewed in relationship to Calvary. Everything else is false. Wrong conceptions become a source of weakness as it weakens our spiritual stamina by paralyzing a real grip upon divine things and opens the way for Satan to attack.
We have been given the victory, authority, instructions to wage war to overcome and give God the glory due Him. Are we ready to implement this privilege or are we spiritual cowards wanting the easy path for self? A simple saying, Eternity is a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, time to be wrong!!
(Find other resources in teaching handouts under the Bible Study Resources heading)