War - Know Your Enemy

Robert Tyson
Matt started a new 5-week series, "WAR." It is a study about knowing your enemy. The origin of Satan, who he is, and what makes it so difficult not to be deceived by him. Matt jumps right in on this war. The supernatural realm that exists today is the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness. When I became a Christian, I was ignorant about spiritual warfare as I was trying to figure out how to study the bible, who I was, and what I was supposed to do. There was so much to learn about God, and I did not spend time reading about Satan. I wanted to know God! I knew that Satan was my enemy, but I did not put any time into studying him. Spiritual warfare was not preached about very much as most of the preaching was about sin. What was I doing wrong?! I felt like Wiley Coyote on the Roadrunner cartoon, just waiting on the next rock to fall on me. I was completely unaware of his schemes and did not even recognize that I was in a spiritual war. This, in fact, helped him in his deception. This is a bad combination for a Christian and/or for anyone. It will be a tough go for you if you don't know who he is, how he is working in this world, or even how he is functioning in this age. You will be tossed to and fro with every wind on doctrine by the sleight of men and their cunning and craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Ephesians 4:14).
Most Christians believe that Satan is not real and that he is just a symbol of evil. The same group believes that God is real, which makes a great combination for a successful deception by Satan as he wants to be like God. Satan is religious and wants to be worshipped like God. Is satan a talking serpent, a red dude with horns and a pitchfork, an evil image with horns, a goat head with wings, or a 7 headed dragon-like in Revelation? Matt was spot on when he said that we would not be deceived if any of these came up to us. We would know that something was up. The red dude with horns is probably the most common image of Satan. These descriptions help in the deception by Satan. To be perfectly honest, it has been a long time since I looked at who Satan is and where he came from.
Matt took us to Ezekiel 28:12-17: "Satan was the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty." I never think of satan with any of these descriptions! Who would? Satan was in the garden of Eden; he was a created being, an anointed cherub who was placed there. He was on the holy mountain of God. He was blameless from the day he was created until unrighteousness was found in him. Again, I have probably read right through these scriptures because it was about Satan. I wanted to find out about God. Find out how He was faithful to His word and how he always kept His word, not reading about how good Satan used to be. I wonder how many other people have done this? Satan uses this deception to help blind Christians. Genesis 3:1 says, "the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made."
Satan is a deceiver, the father of lies, the father of pride and jealousy. He is very good at misusing scripture to deceive us. He changes the words to make us question God. Satan even tempted Jesus with scripture. Isaiah 14:13 tells us that he wants to ascend to heaven and raise his throne above the stars of God, and he wants to sit on the mount of assembly, and he wants to be like the Most High. Make no mistake about it; Satan's motivation is about power. There is only one true God, but there are many gods in this realm that we live in. Our God is love, but there is not any love in Satan. Satan is all about pride. Pride is selfishness, destructive, and concentrates on getting selfish desires.
John 10:10 says that the thief comes to steal and to kill and to destroy. He will do whatever it takes to destroy you. Some Christians mope around and say that they are just hanging on until they get to heaven. This aids in the deception of Satan. But Jesus came that they may have life and they may have it more abundantly. This is a sharp contrast to Satan's steal, kill,  and destroy. Jesus came to give, not get!
1 Peter 5:8 says that Satan is our adversary! He is a roaring lion walking about, seeking whom he may destroy. Funny how Jesus is the Lion of Judea and satan is a roaring lion. Part of satan's deception of being like God. Know this for sure—Satan and his powers are working in this realm. They are real, and he is your adversary.
Watching football will give you a better understanding of schemes. There is a misdirection to get everyone looking at where the ball is and not looking at where it is going until it is too late. Satan is the master of deception. 2 Corinthians 11:12-14 tells us there are false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ and that Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Today, Satan is using the strategy of shining all of the lights at once to confuse prophecy with the mystery of Christ. Satan has gotten into churches, Bible studies, and doctrine to confuse God's word so many people will be led astray and will not be able to find the Gospel of Christ (2nd Corinthians 4:3-4.) Rightly dividing the word of God will help you see through the deception and help you find the way.
I am so thankful that Matt is leading this study on Satan and his schemes. My hope and prayer for all of you is that you use the study to prepare yourself for combat so that you can overcome the schemes of satan. The best way to defeat your enemy, adversary, and deceiver is to know your enemy and his schemes. I wish I had known about them some 30 years ago.

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