Topic: Wednesday Evening Bible Study
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We are continuing our study of The Authority of the Believer.
We must understand how limited the ability of the devil is to touch the lives of believers and how important deception is in his arsenal. To grasp this we must look at what Jesus accomplished in His death, burial and resurrection.
The death and resurrection of Jesus represents the most decisive point in history.
When Jesus conquered death and walked out of the tomb, something fundamental changed about Satan’s authority in the earth. Although he was not yet completely bound, he has been stripped of all legitimate authority and power.
Colossians 2:9-15 NKJV For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; (10) and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (11) In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, (12) buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (13) And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, (14) having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (15) Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
In Paul’s time, when a victorious Roman General returned from battle, he reentered Rome with a parade. He and all his troops marched through the streets of the city leading their prisoners – the conquered soldiers of the enemy army – in chains. At the center of the processional walked the king of the defeated country – shackled, beaten, his head shaven, utterly humiliated and completely stripped of power.
Colossians 2:15 NASB When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
For at least 5000 years Satan had enjoyed a legal right to exercise dominion in the earth – because Adam had turned it over to him in the Fall.
1 Corinthians 15:45 NKJV And so it is written, “THE FIRST MAN ADAM BECAME A LIVING BEING.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
Now, the “last Adam” – God in the flesh, Jesus Christ has legally stripped Satan of that authority and restored it to mankind, reducing Satan to the status of an outlaw in the process.
Since Jesus stripped him of all his legal authority, the only weapon Satan has left to use against the child of God is the only one he had to begin with back in the Garden of Eden – deception.
In other words, because Jesus restored dominion to redeemed man, Satan can’t make you sick, rob your finances, destroy your marriage, steal your kids or ruin your life – at least not without first deceiving you in some way.
Deception is not just one of the ways that the enemy can bring the effects of the curse into your life it is the only way.
If Satan cannot deceive you, he cannot defeat you.
The simple truth is, if you are not getting victory over the curse in some area of your life, the root of the problem probably is deception in that area.
We all harbor hidden assumptions and beliefs that don’t line up with the truth of God’s Word. And that is precisely what deception is – believing something contrary to God’s revealed truth.
By its very nature deception is something we are unaware of in our lives. Think about it. Once you discover you have been deceived about something, you are not deceived anymore!
Because we live in a sin-cursed world, we will experience contrary circumstances, symptoms of lack or sickness or negativity from time to time. But if we are not experiencing increasing freedom from the curse, then there must be an area of deception somewhere in your life.
John 8:31-32 NKJV Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. (32) And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
We know that the choices between life and death and blessing and cursing belong to us. God does not make those choices for us.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NKJV I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; (20) that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
God will not impose his good will on you even if it would be in your best interest nor will he allow Satan to impose his will on you for evil.
Satan cannot afflict you long-term with the destructive effects of the curse unless you allow it by choosing, with your own free will, something that opens you to those efforts.
Think about it for a moment. Satan is not called the father of destruction; he’s called the father of lies.
John 8:44 NKJV You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
If Satan had the power to destroy you, he would have already done it.
Hebrews 2:14-15 NKJV Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (15) and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Ephesians 6:11 NKJV Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Notice this verse did not say that you are standing against sickness, or poverty or some other crisis. No you are standing against the wiles of the devil. Wiles in the concordance means “trickery”.
Ephesians 6:11 AMPC Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
The Armor is not necessarily given to us to protect us from negative circumstances; it’s designed to enable you to stand against the root cause of all of Satan’s attacks, which is deception.
Revelation 20:1-3 NKJV Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; (3) and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
The Word does not say that he will no longer cause famines and sickness, anger, hatred or wars and killings. Rather, the root cause of all those things will cease. He will deceive no more.
To deceive someone is to convince him that something is true and valid when it is actually untrue and invalid.
No one intentionally chooses destruction or the curse. The only way that the devil can defeat someone is by getting him or her to believe something that is untrue and invalid.
In other words, Satan can’t bring evil into your life unless you, in effect, choose it. And you won’t choose it unless he can deceive you into believing a lie.
The basis of his deception initially is to convince you the Bible is not true. The only strategy that he has is to get you to believe the Word is not true.
If he can get you to back down from the Word of God because you have gotten weary of the deception and eventually quit, he has won the battle.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
The good news is that he has no new tricks up his sleeves, therefore everything we need to know about how to stand against his schemes is already written in God’s Word.
The Power of the Second Word
Deuteronomy 30:19 NKJV (19) I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
The overall quality of our lives is based solely on the decisions that we make in the course of our lives.
The truth is that whatever the quality of our lives is at this current moment is a result of the decisions that we made yesterday.
God is always endeavoring to move in our lives to help us to make the right decisions that will allow His blessing and His life to be our life experience.
Contrary to that, the enemy of our souls is also trying to move in our lives to shape our decision making process in order to thwart the plan of God from coming to pass in our lives.
No one in their right mind is going to make a conscious decision for death in any of its forms and desire to experience that in their lives.
The only strategy that he has to do this in our lives is to deceive us in some way to believe something other than the truth of God’s Word and make choices for death based on this wrong belief.
The challenge for us as believers is to make sure that we are consciously aware of Satan’s desires and protect ourselves from deception so that it does not affect our decisions and we are able to enjoy the quality of life Jesus came to bring us.
If he can keep you in that deception then he can keep you in whatever bondage you may be in.
Hosea 4:6 NKJV (6) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…
John 8:32 NKJV (32) And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
If the enemy wants to shape the decisions that someone makes that is not a believer, then all he has to do is keep them away from the truth either from a Christian or in Church.
But how does he work in the life of a believer that is hearing the Word of God? How does he endeavor to affect the decisions that a believer is making who is consistently exposed to the truth of the Word of God?
The only way that he can have any influence through deception on the decisions of someone who is hearing the Word of God is to bring you a second word in a way that is deceptive or subtle enough to get you to believe the second word over the first Word from God.
Once a person has heard the Word, the only thing he can do is bring an alternative word that he convinces you to buy in to.
Genesis 3:1-6 NKJV (1) Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (2) And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; (3) but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” (4) Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. (5) For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (6) So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
God had already brought the first Word to Adam and Eve:
Genesis 2:16-17 NKJV (16) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; (17) but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Satan manages to bring a second word that is subtle and cunning to produce the deception to Adam and Eve.
There are some earmarks that will be consistent with the second word when the enemy brings it to you:
- It always begins with a question.
Genesis 3:1 NKJV “…Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
To the extent that you truly know what God has said, you are vulnerable to the question marks that the second word will bring to you.
Eve misquoted what God said because it was a little fuzzy in Eve’s mind as she really was not sure what God had said (reflection on Adam).
- There will always be a direct contradiction in the second word.
Genesis 3:4 NKJV (4) Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
Along with the contradiction often times will be accompanied by a direct shot at the character of God.
Genesis 3:5 NKJV (5) For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
- Always appeals to the flesh.
Genesis 3:6 NKJV (6) So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
The second word will often take the responsibility off of you for your actions and this appeals to the flesh (God could have allowed that situation to teach you something…).
1 Kings 13:1-24 NKJV
The second word will always cost you in life.
The enemy is referred to as being like the roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
When the young prophet gave heed to the second word, it opened the door to the devouring ability of the lion on the road.
The Word of God was questioned by the King and then by the Old Prophet. The Word of God was then contradicted by the Old Prophet when he said that the angel had appeared unto him to tell him the young man should some to his house and eat, but he was lying.
He was tired and hungry and thirsty and therefore the invitation appealed to his flesh.
Most likely Satan is not going to come to you through a serpent. You are probably too smart for that and would not give in to that.
But we do see something different here in that the enemy may use someone that you allow to speak into your life to bring you the second word.
What is the defense against the second word?
- Know beyond any shadow of doubt what the written Word of God has said for yourself. You must be grounded in the Word of God.
- Where the will of God is concerned that is not directly addressed by the written Word of God, you are to follow after the inward witness of God’s spirit in your heart.
Colossians 3:15 AMP (15) And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
- God never deals in second words. He always has the best idea the first time. You will know the voice of your Shepherd. (John 10)
- God always comes to you with a conviction and a knowing in your heart.