The Deceiver In Chief
“How you are fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations. For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation. On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High” Isaiah 14:12-14).
Sleight of hand – a cleverly executed trick or deception.
Sleight of hand is used by magicians in their performances. They divert our attention from what they are actually doing to perform their trick. Satan does the same thing to divert our attention from what’s important to our soul. He is a master at this and will cause many, if not most, to end up in Hell.
The Lord told Adam and Eve that they were not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Lord told them that “in the day you eat thereof you shall surely die.” Spiritual death would come, not from the fruit itself, but from Adam and Eve not obeying the Word of God. From this, we see that disobedience to the Word of God, which is sin, always results in death. They were allowed to eat of all the other trees in the Garden including The Tree of Life which contained fruit that could renew their bodies and allow them to live forever. Satan came to Eve and said the following regarding God’s command not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Lord’s warning that eating of it would bring death:
“And the serpent (Satan speaking the serpent) said unto the woman, you shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4).
Satan lies to Eve denying the Word of God. Satan is a liar and he, by this, seeks to plant doubt in her mind regarding the Word God spoke to them. Satan does the same thing today and has been successful at causing millions to doubt the Word of God which can only lead to death. Satan then says regarding eating of the forbidden tree:
“For God does knows that in the day that you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).
So now we have Satan not only planting doubt in Eve’s mind regarding the validity of God’s Word, but telling Eve that by eating the fruit of that tree she will become like God. Pride was the sin of Satan as we saw from our introductory verse, and pride is the sin that will keep many from coming to the Lord in repentance and faith.
Satan, using these two lies, is doing the very same thing today and has deceived millions down through the years. It is Satan’s sleight of hand – a cleverly executed trick or deception. He knows that if he can cause people to doubt God’s Word, then it is a short step to cause them to believe that they do not need God and are in fact like God and able to go their own way. Again, this has resulted in millions not finding salvation and losing their souls.
Due to Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden, Satan had the legal right to hold humanity in captivity due to sin entering the world. Their sin resulted in all those that came after them to have a fallen, our sin, nature. The Lord defeated Satan at the cross paying the debt owed to God for our sins and we can be free from Satan’s sleight of hand. We do this by coming to the Lord in repentance and faith in His great work at Calvary.
However, Satan, even though he was defeated at the cross, did not change his strategy because it has worked for him down through the years. Doubt God’s Word and become gods yourself is his constant lie. Just look around and see the results his wares have wrought. Most doubt the Word of God evidenced by the few that actually read it, and believe it. And many have become their own gods going about their lives doing what seems best to them. Jesus addressed this in the following verse”
“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14).
What Satan has done by his sleight of hand is to divert attention from the Tree of Life which represents Christ and the life He offers to all by His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins, to the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil which represents us going our own way in disobedience to the Lord which always ends in death.
For those of us who have eaten of the Tree of Life having placed our faith in Christ and His great sacrifice at the cross for salvation; Satan comes with his sleight of hand regarding our progressive sanctification (how we live for the Lord on a daily basis). He points us to Law and works as the way to have victory over the sin in our lives. This is partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and will not bring us victory. He has convinced many that once we are saved we can avoid sin in our lives by whatever it is we decide to do in our own strength to bring victory. Whether it’s fasting, prayer, reading the Bible, or any other Christian discipline, we will be blessed by doing these but they will not bring us victory. The following verse says it succinctly and best:
“For therein (through the cross) is the righteousness of God (right with God) from faith to faith (God provides and men receive). The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17 ESB notes).
We must partake of the “Tree of Life” daily to have victory in our lives and to walk pleasing to the Lord. Our salvation is completely of the Lord from first to last. Satan wants us in bondage either by being lost and without God in this world, or being miserably saved by trying to live a life pleasing to the Lord by our own efforts. Paul said this to the Galatians who were considering the latter:
“Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free (we are free by our faith in Christ and Him Crucified), and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (coming up with our own to walk out this Christian Life through law or works” (Galatians 5:1).
Satan is a liar and has sought to have all those in the world from the time of Adam and Eve on down doubt God’s Word and go their own way – “You shall not surely die” and “you shall be as gods.” His tactics do not change because many, or most, have bought into his lies. The Bible says “That the whole world is under the power of the evil one (Satan).” But through the grace of God, we can be free from the bondage of the sin nature and free from Satan’s sleight of hand. I’ll close with the following Words of Jesus:
“If the Son, therefore, shall make you free (by the cross), you shall be free indeed (free to live in the liberty the cross provides)” ( John 8:36).
God Loves You!
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Here I Am, Lord – Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com 2022