Satan’s Secret Weapon

If I tempted you; you would know it. If I accused you; you would know it. If I deceived you; you wouldn’t know it. If you did know it, you would no longer be deceived. How does one know when they are being deceived? Only when they know the truth! Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn. 8:31,32).

The religious establishment was seeking to kill Jesus when he said those words (see 8:40). They were claiming God to be their Father when Jesus said, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (Jn. 8:44). Augustine commented on this passage in the fourth century:

You are his [Satan’s] children because of your desires, not because you are born of him. What are his desires? “He was a murderer from the beginning.” This explains why “your will is to do your father’s desires.” “You seek to kill me, a man who tells you the truth.” The devil, too, harbored ill will toward the human race and killed it. For the devil, in his envy of the human race, assumed the guise of a serpent and spoke to the woman, and from the woman he instilled his poison into the man. They died [spiritually] by listening to the devil, who they would not have listened to had they but listened to the Lord. . . The devil is called a murderer not as armed with a sword or steel. He came to humanity, sowed his evil suggestions and killed him.

Adam and Eve died spiritually because Eve was deceived and they both believed a lie. Suppose I was sick and devious enough to write something about God and His children that was not true, and you believed it. Would that have some negative consequence in your life? Of course it would. What if you believed a lot of lies? Would that change the course of your life?

When we put on the armor of God, the first thing we do is gird our lions with truth (Eph. 6:14). When Jesus was about to leave this planet he prayed, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of this world, even as I am not of this world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:15-17).

Dr. Neil

For Spanish, see http://www.ficmm.org/blog