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Deception (Part 04) - Satan the Great Deceiver (Part A)

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VII. Satan the Great Deceiver

1. Satan is the ultimate deceiver (Rev 12:9; Rev 20:10; Rev 20:3, 8).

A. If we understand how Satan deceives, we have the blueprint to use to identify other deceivers.
B. Deception is a chief tactic used by Satan and his followers to cause us to sin (1Ti 2:14).
i. Satan is subtle (Gen 3:1).
a. Subtle adj. - 1. Of thin consistency, tenuous; not dense, rarefied; hence, penetrating, pervasive or elusive by reason of tenuity (now chiefly of odours). 5. Of immaterial things: Not easily grasped, understood, or perceived; intricate, abstruse. 10. Of persons or animals: Crafty, cunning; treacherously or wickedly cunning, insidiously sly, wily. 1535 Coverdale Gen. iii. 1 The serpent was sotyller then all the beastes of the felde.
b. Subtle men devise wicked schemes that are hard to detect by the unsuspecting (2Sa 13:3-5).
ii. Satan has many wiles which he employs to deceive (Eph 6:11).
a. Wile n. - 1. A crafty, cunning, or deceitful trick; a sly, insidious, or underhand artifice; a stratagem, ruse. Formerly sometimes in somewhat wider sense: A piece of deception, a deceit, a delusion.
b. We must not be ignorant of his devices (2Co 2:11).
c. Device n. - 1. The action of devising, contriving, or planning; the faculty of devising, inventive faculty; invention, ingenuity.
d. Notice that the words wiles and devices are both in the plural, which means that Satan has many different tactics that he uses to deceive us.
e. We will look at the many methods of deception later in this study.

C. Satan's most infamous and disastrous deception happened in the garden of Eden.

i. Satan beguiled Eve with his subtlety (Gen 3:13; 2Co 11:3).
a. Beguile v. - 1. trans. To entangle or over-reach with guile; to delude, deceive, cheat.
b. Subtlety n. - 1. Of persons, the mind, its faculties or operations: Acuteness, sagacity, penetration: in modern use chiefly with implication of delicate or keen perception of fine distinctions or nice points. 3. Craftiness, cunning, esp. of a treacherous kind; guile, treachery. 4. An ingenious contrivance; a crafty or cunning device; an artifice; freq. in unfavourable sense, a wily stratagem or trick, something craftily invented.
c. In other words, Satan deceived and cheated Eve through an ingenious and carefully crafted trick.
d. Eve was deceived (1Ti 2:14).
e. Let's see how Satan accomplished the deception.

ii. Satan beguiled Eve using the following tactics:
a. He took the form of a serpent, the most subtle of all beasts, to entice her (Gen 3:1).

b. He began the deception by questioning God's commandment, asking in other words, "did God say that you couldn't eat of every tree in the garden?" (Gen 3:1).
(i) Satan was the first Bible skeptic and critic.
(ii) This type of questioning has the effect of making the other person begin to question what God said.
(iii) Rather than rebuking the skeptic, Eve plays into his hand by answering him.
(iv) Either because of ignorance, confusion, forgetfulness, or being flustered by a talking snake, Eve attempts to paraphrase God's commandment, but ends up adding to it and watering it down.
(v) She said that God said that they were not allowed to touch the fruit (Gen 3:3), which was an addition to the commandment that was incorrect since they were commanded to dress and keep the trees of the garden which would have required touching them (Gen 2:15).
(vi) Eve also quotes God as saying "lest ye die" (Gen 3:3).
(vii) Lest - 1. Used as a negative particle of intention or purpose, introducing a clause expressive of something to be prevented or guarded against;
(viii) It is true that not eating the fruit of the tree would prevent and guard against them dying, but Eve's paraphrase did not express the full truth of "in the day that eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen 2:17).
(ix) Eve was the first Bible reviser.
(x) Eve is now in a very vulnerable position.
(xi) She doesn't have a clear understanding of the word of God and therefore will not be able to discern truth from error regarding God's commandment.

c. Satan then moves from questioning the word of God to outright contradicting it, saying "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen 3:4).

d. Next, without giving Eve any time to respond, Satan accuses God of having ulterior motives for giving the commandment, telling her that God was trying to prevent them from becoming as gods, knowing good and evil (Gen 3:5).
(i) This would be tempting to a sinless woman who had limited knowledge and who didn't know evil.
(ii) This piques her curiosity.

e. Satan's work is nearly complete. He has planted the seeds of deception and now Eve runs with it (Gen 3:6).
(i) She stops thinking about God's straight-forward commandment and starts reasoning within herself .
1. The tree was good for food (lust of the flesh) (Gen 3:6 c/w 1Jo 2:16).
2. It was pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes) (Gen 3:6 c/w 1Jo 2:16).
3. It was desired to make one wise (pride of life) (Gen 3:6 c/w 1Jo 2:16).
(ii) She has been deceived (1Ti 2:14).
1. Deceived ppl. - Deluded, imposed upon, misled, mistaken, etc.: see the verb.
2. Deceive v. - 1. trans. To ensnare; to take unawares by craft or guile; to overcome, overreach, or get the better of by trickery; to beguile or betray into mischief or sin; to mislead.
3. She went from knowing that God said not to eat of the tree to now being tricked into thinking that it was advantageous for her to do so.
(iii) She took the fruit and ate it (Gen 3:6).
(iv) Though Eve was deceived, she was still guilty of sin (1Ti 2:14 c/w 1Jo 3:4).

f. Eve is now spiritually dead while she liveth.
(i) She was drawn away of her own lust and enticed (Jam 1:14).
(ii) Her lust conceived and brought forth sin which brought forth death (Jam 1:15 c/w Gen 2:17).

D. When Satan isn't permitted to destroy God's people directly, he will beguile them into sinning so that God will judge them for it.
i. Satan did this in the garden of Eden as we just learned about.
ii. Satan also did this to Israel through the false prophet Balaam.
a. Balak the king of Moab hired Balaam to curse Israel, but God would not permit it (Num 22:1-6, 12).
b. Balaam instead beguiled Israel with his wiles into committing fornication and idolatry for which God judged them (Num 25:18 c/w Num 25:1-9 c/w Num 31:16 c/w Rev 2:14).
c. Wile n. - 1. A crafty, cunning, or deceitful trick; a sly, insidious, or underhand artifice; a stratagem, ruse. Formerly sometimes in somewhat wider sense: A piece of deception, a deceit, a delusion.
d. What Satan cannot accomplish through persecution he will attempt to cause through deception into sin which invites God's judgment on His people.
E. Prior to the coming of Christ, Satan had all the nations of the world outside of Israel deceived (Rev 20:3).
F. Near the end of time, Satan will again deceive the nations (Rev 20:8).