Teen Tree Of Life – Satan’s Subtle Strategies – Part 1


Week ending in: 06/07/2020

TEEN TREE          OF LIFE

SATAN’S SUBTLE STRATEGIES

Part 1

June 7, 2020

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

Do you that we’re involved in a spiritual war against a well-organized and powerful enemy? Well we are and it’s something you should take very seriously. The Bible contains the many names which this enemy is known by. He’s most commonly known as Satan or the devil but he’s also called: the Day-Star; The Son Of The Morning; The Anointed Cherub; The Messiah’s special angel; The Tempter; The Ruler Of Demons; Beelzebul; The Evil One; The Enemy; The Liar; Father Of Lies; First Murderer; The Ruler Of This World; The God Of This Age; The Angel Of Light; Belial; The Authority of The Atmosphere; The Adversary; The Roaring Lion; The Angel Of The Abyss; Apollyon And Abaddon; The Dragon; The Old Serpent; The Deceiver Of The World; and The Accuser Of God’s People.

 

No matter what you call him, the most important thing you need to know about Satan is that God has provided each of us with His Armor to use to fight (resist) him and his army: Finally, be strong [empowered] in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (New American Standard Bible  EPH 6:10-12) The devil has many methods by which he seeks to attack people so, we must be strong in the Lord in order to stand firm against his attacks. The Message Bible translates God’s Command of EPH 6:10-12 in this very cool way: God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

 

We’ve studied The Angelic Conflict before, but as a reminder, it’s the result of prehistoric creatures (angels) being in opposition to God. It began with the fall of Satan with all angelic creatures having to decide to be with God or with Satan. Satan decided he wanted to be like God, and he convinced one third of all of the angels to go along with him. These fallen angels are also known as demons.

 

The Angelic Conflict refers to the two trials of Satan and the angels that followed him. One trial took place in prehistoric times when Satan committed the first sin in the universe – arrogance (see the Teen Trees: 12/30/18 to 1/20/19). The first trial is taught in ISA 14:12-17 (The Message Bible): “What a comedown this, O Babylon! Daystar! Son of Dawn [Satan]! Flat on your face in the underworld mud, you, famous for flattening nations! You said to yourself, ‘I’ll climb to heaven. I’ll set my throne over the stars of God. I’ll run the assembly of angels that meets on sacred Mount Zaphon. I’ll climb to the top of the clouds. I’ll take over as King of the Universe!’ But you didn’t make it, did you? Instead of climbing up, you came down—Down with the underground dead, down to the abyss of the Pit. People will stare and muse: ‘Can this be the one Who terrorized earth and its kingdoms, turned earth to a moonscape, Wasted its cities, shut up his prisoners to a living death?’”

 

Satan’s second trial will occur during human history: “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…” (MAT 25:41) And now you know why God created hell! But what you may not know is that God, in His Justice, has allowed Satan to appeal and we, as Christians, are witnesses for God as the Prosecutor.  But only mature believers have the capacity to be presented as witnesses. Job is the perfect example of a mature believer! (See Teen Trees – February 3 to March 10, 2019)

 

Being presented as witnesses for God is called Evidence Testing. In human history, our thoughts, motives, decisions, and actions are entered as evidence, exhibits, precedents, and arguments in Satan’s appeal trial.  Every believer who reaches Spiritual Maturity is a witness for the Prosecution against Satan.  The testing is evidence that man chooses God over Satan – no matter what.

 

There is a whole segment of our society that has given itself over to following after Satan. They practice overt worship of Satan and the demonic. They practice evil ceremonies, cast “spells,” recite incantations, and some even practice blood sacrifice. Yet even though these people are in a real sense given over to Satan, his greatest victory is not with them, but with those who have fallen for his subtle strategies.

 

Satan and the demons find out our weaknesses so they can attack our most vulnerable position. Have you ever thought of how much our society is given over to materialism and self-indulgence?? It’s mind-boggling. C. S. Lewis, the Christian theologian and author, wrote: “The safest road to Hell is the gradual one. This is the road taken by quiet people, responsible citizens, religious people, our neighbors and even people participating in the Christian church.” Satan’s subtle strategies are what is most dangerous to Christians, and in falling for them, we become ineffective in our Christian Walk. We need to be aware of his schemes in order to prepare for the attacks, so that we can hold our position against them.

 

Satan’s subtle strategies can be divided into two broad categories: strategies against the unsaved and strategies against the saved. We’ll begin with the strategies against the unsaved. The first thing we must remember is that Satan is the “ruler of this world.” This is taught in JOH 12:30-33 (The Message Bible): Jesus said, “The voice didn’t come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.” He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death.

 

The apostle Paul refers to Satan as  the “prince of the power of the air” in EPH 2:2 (New International Version): As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. Look at what he calls him in 2COR 4:4 (New International Version): The god of this age [Satan] has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

 

You can see by reading these verses that Satan has power in this world, and though it is limited by God, he will definitely use it. The devil’s grand strategy is to blind the eyes of the unsaved so that they cannot see the truth. All of his other strategies descend from this one strategy. Satan will do this, not only with those people who are aware of him, but also with those who are ignorant of him.

 

There are actual schemes which Satan uses with which to make people become aware of his existence. The first is Direct Awareness. With some people, it’s to Satan’s advantage to reveal himself to them. So what he does is mix truth and lies so that these individuals are blind as to who he fully is, or the limits of his power. They come to believe that the devil is more powerful than he actually is. Devil worshipers, in whatever form (along with those trying to practice witchcraft, spells, incantations, etc.) understand properly that Satan has power. Even if they don’t call the source of the power Satan, they recognize it as coming from some supreme evil source. Their desire is to tap into that power for their own purposes. Many of them see Satan as just the opposite of God and equal in power. WRONG!! Others may understand that he is not equal in power, but they actually believe that the devil will one day take over God. DUHHHHHHHHHHH!! Still others believe that he will rule his own kingdom in hell for eternity. In every case they aren’t aware of the full truth which is that Satan is a created being. He will spend eternity in Hell where he will be a prisoner, not its ruler. This is taught in REV 20:10: And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

 

Look at what God The Father says about Satan in EZE 28:15-18 (The Message Bible): “You had everything going for you.  You were in Eden, God’s garden. You were dressed in splendor, your robe studded with jewels: Carnelian, peridot, and moonstone, beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald, all in settings of engraved gold. A robe was prepared for you the same day you were created. You were the anointed cherub. I placed you on the mountain of God. You strolled in magnificence among the stones of fire. From the day of your creation you were sheer perfection . . . and then imperfection—evil!—was detected in you. In much buying and selling you turned violent, you sinned! I threw you, disgraced, off the mountain of God. I threw you out—you, the anointed angel-cherub. No more strolling among the gems of fire for you! Your beauty went to your head. You corrupted wisdom by using it to get worldly fame. I threw you to the ground, sent you sprawling before an audience of kings and let them gloat over your demise. By sin after sin after sin, by your corrupt ways of doing business, you defiled your holy places of worship. So I set a fire around and within you. It burned you up. I reduced you to ashes. All anyone sees now when they look for you is ashes, a pitiful mound of ashes. All who once knew you now throw up their hands: ‘This can’t have happened! This has happened!’” 

{to be continued}