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How The Devil Works

Posted by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 5:30 PM
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The devil works in many different ways. There are so many fallacies that people think about the devil. The real way to know the devil is to search what the Bible has to say.
II Corinthians 2:11- Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Some people think the devil tempts with evil. That's only a half truth. The devil also tempts us with good, distracts us with duty, blinds us with obligation, and side-lines us with opportunities.
I John 2:16- For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 
There are 3 things in the world that are the basis for every sin committed. John lists them as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The devil uses these, but also some other things.
If we look at the 2 places in the Bible where the devil personally tempts someone, we will learn a lot about him and his ways.
First, let's look at the temptation of Eve.
Genesis 3:1- Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
The first device Satan uses is to question God's word. Why are there so many different Bible versions out there? It's to get us to question God's word. They don't all say the same thing! So, what is God's word? Who would want you to question that?
Genesis 3:4-5- And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Next, the devil contradicts God's word. Not only does he contradict God's word, he also contradicts God's consequences. He makes you think that sin will cost you less than God said. 
Genesis 3:6- And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Here are the 3 basic sins with Eve.
1) The lust of the flesh- the tree was good for food
2) The lust of the eyes- it was pleasant to the eyes
3) The pride of life- a tree to be desired to make one wise
Let us see how Eve's response to this temptation ensured that she would sin.
Genesis 3:2-3- And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
First off, she misquotes God. She left out the word "freely" and added the words "neither shall ye touch it". Once she did that, the devil knew he could manipulate her. All he had to do was get her to try to justify it, which she does in verse 6.
And notice that it wasn't the devil who tempted Adam. It was Eve! When a person sins they want someone else to sin with them. Usually they'll try to get an accomplice, or at least a fall guy!
Next, we'll look at the temptation of Christ.
Matthew 4:1-2- Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
The devil comes to you when you're weak. He doesn't attack you when you're serving the Lord and everything is going great! He attacks you when you've had a bad day, or you had a fight with someone, or when you're not feeling all that well.
Matthew 4:3- And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
He uses your weakness against you. He tries to make sense of sinning.
Matthew 4:5-6- Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
This one is where a lot of people mess up! The devil can quote scripture. He can be as eloquent as any preacher. He can be as religious as any prophet. He uses the scripture out of context to get people to believe that the sin he wants them to commit is okay by God's standards.
Matthew 4:8-9- Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
He'll offer you something that the Lord has promised you, but at the wrong time or the wrong place. God told Christ that he would rule the kingdoms of the world. It's prophesied in the old testament! But, it wasn't time for Christ to rule.
1) The lust of the flesh- command these stones to be made bread
2) The lust of the eyes- sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world
3) The pride of life- He shall give his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up
How was it that Christ could resist, but Eve couldn't?
Matthew 4:4- But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:7- Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Matthew 4:10- Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 
Christ could over come Satan's attacks because he had the Word of God memorized. He knew the context of each verse. He studied the Word to know God's will!
II Timothy 2:15- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Christ answered with Scripture. He added nothing, and He left out nothing. There was no room for Him to try to justify the sin.
The devil will offer you many things that are good- a spouse, a position, an opportunity- but they could keep you from fulfilling God's will for your life if it isn't God's time, place, or choice!
The devil tells you that you can't serve God because you'll be neglecting your family- but God wants you to put him first and tell lost souls about him!
Paul knew that the devil could not only use seemingly good things, but also seemingly good people. The devil didn't tempt Adam; Eve did. Was Eve purposefully trying to condemn Adam? I don't think so. I think she was just so blinded by the things of the world (fruit from the tree) that the devil was able to use her. The devil can use anyone, even a Christian, if that person only wants what the world has to offer. See the post on Job's wife.
II Corinthians 11:3-4-But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Be very careful of those who profess to be Christian. There are plenty of people out there that are nothing but distractions from the devil.
Galatians 3:1- O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
What devices is the devil using against you? Are you ignorant of his devices? Or are serving Christ the way He wants you to? Are you putting the armour of God so you can stand? Or have you given up and given in by sacrificing peace with God for peace with something or someone else?

"Whatever weakens your reason, whatever impairs the tenderness of your conscience, whatever obscures your sense of God, whatever increases the authority of your body over your mind, whatever takes away from your relish for spiritual things, that to you is sin, no matter how innocent it is in itself." -Susanna Wesley to her son, John.

Sometimes the devil doesn't tempt us with evil; sometimes he allures us with good, distracts us with obligations, confuses us with compromise, or hinders us with business to keep us from that which is best- service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Remember, the devil always offers his best, before Christ will offer His will for your life.

JCPenny's Musings

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by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 5:30 PM
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