Friday, August 24, 2012
Counterfeit Trinity: Satan the Deceiver
In his vain attempt to be God, Satan is the master deceiver who tries to copy God in all that he does. Just as God is a Triune Being: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, so does Satan mimic this pattern in the three persons of Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet.
Satan was originally created by God as Lucifer, the most beautiful and wise anointed angel who covered God’s throne, singing praises to Him, until he fell due to his sin of pride (Ezekiel 28). The beauty and wisdom of Lucifer, which means “the shining one” in Hebrew, are reflected in his names of an angel of light (2 Corinthians11:4) and as the son of the morning (Isaiah 14:12; a direct counterfeit to Jesus Who is the true Morning Star (Revelation 22:16).
Lucifer thought that he could overshadow God and become Him, resulting in his fall from God’s Heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15). In his rebellion against God, Lucifer convinced one third of the angels (Revelation 12:4) to follow him into his fallen state, becoming demons. Because he was the first to sin (Ezekiel 28:11-19), he is known as the man of sin (II Thessalonians 2:3), the Evil One (John 17:15; 1 John 5:9), and the Wicked One (Matthew 13:19).
After Lucifer fell from Heaven, God changed his name to Satan (Job 1:6-9; Matthew 4:10), which means “adversary,” (I Peter 5:8) or “enemy” (Matthew 13:39). Because he destroys all in his path, he is described as a murderer (John 8:44), the thief who kills and destroys (John 10:10), and a roaring lion wanting to devour us (I Peter 5:8). Although Jesus is the noble Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), Satan is the dark reflection of this power used for evil instead of good.
Other names for Satan revealing his destructive power are the destroyer (Abaddon in Hebrew or Apollyon in Greek; Revelation 9:11); Belial (II Corinthians 6:15) meaning "worthless" or "hopeless ruin," and Son of Perdition (John 17:12; II Thessalonians 2:3) meaning one who causes total physical or spiritual ruin, loss and destruction.
Believers may fall into sin because of enemy attacks from Satan, the world, and the flesh. Satan and his demons may attack the faithful directly, as they did Job (Job 1:12). God’s people may stray when worldly rewards, such as riches and power, attract us more than God’s promises (1 John 2:15). And finally, the worst enemy may be the flesh (Galatians 5:16) – that enemy within that drives believers away from God because they choose to fulfill their own lusts (Romans 13:14) rather than to keep His commandments.
Satan entices believers to sin using three lures: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). The first recorded use of this strategy resulted in Adam and Eve disobeying God and being expelled from the Garden of Eden. Satan, disguised as the serpent, convinced Eve that the forbidden fruit would be delicious to eat, appealing to her flesh; that it was beautiful, appealing to her eyes, and that it would make her as wise as God, appealing to her pride (Genesis 3:6).
David succumbed to the same trap – his eyes wandered to the beautiful Bathsheba bathing, and he indulged his flesh by committing sexual immorality with her. To compound the wrongdoing, his pride allowed him to put his own desires and ambitions over the life of an innocent man, and he schemed to trick Bathsheba’s husband Uriah and ultimately had him killed in battle (2 Samuel 11).
As we can see from these examples, Satan is the tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5) and the father of all lies (John 8:44). His deceit knows no bounds, for he is even the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), parading our sins before God so as to deny our holiness through the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17,22).
Because Satan is the master deceiver, another of his favorite strategies is to change, add to, or subtract from God’s Word, as Eve and the serpent did when he beguiled her to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17 versus Genesis 3:1-4)..
This is also the ploy used by all the cults: for example, changing Christ’s identity into one who is neither fully God nor fully man (Hebrews 4:14-15); adding the need for baptism or other works to salvation by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9); or belittling the redemptive power of the shed blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:12). No wonder Scripture sternly warns us not to adulterate God’s Word in any way! (Revelation 22:18-19)
Satan is the archenemy believers must face in the Church Age, but once we are Raptured (1 Corinthians 15:52), those left behind will also have to contend with the Antichrist and the False Prophet, as we shall see next week!
© 2012 Laurie Collett
(February 5, 2012):