II Cor. 11:13-15  “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Have we forgotten who the enemy is? Do we expect Satan to knock on our door with a red suit, pointed ears & tail and a pitchfork and say, “Hi, I’m Satan, the loser that God kicked out of heaven, and I’m here to destroy your life, family & influence in this world!” No, actually that only happens at Halloween, and those are not “the real thing.” The real one, theologians believe was the most beautiful of all God’s created messengers, whose “heart was lifted up because of his WISDOM, his RICHES & his BEAUTY (Ez.28:2,5,17). He was “perfect in all his ways UNTIL iniquity was found in him.” He “sinned … therefore he was cast as profane out of the mountain of God” Dear friend, can I introduce you to the two primary Old Testament passages that expose to us the history of Lucifer (Is. 14 & Ez. 28 [the prince of Tyrus]), whom again, most theologians agree was the third archangel of God. Perhaps even the most beautiful of the three (along with Michael – the warring angel & Gabriel – the announcing angel). He was IN the Garden of Eden, clothed with the most brilliant of coverings (v.13) thus called ‘the anointed cherub,’ and his musical ability “thy ‘pipes & tabrets’ prepared in him the day he was created.” Lucifer was probably “the master musician” of heaven BEFORE HIS FALL (this is why he still wants to use music – without a doubt one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind, as a destructive, divisive force within the church). Can I challenge you to study Eze. 28 in light of getting a clear picture of this beautiful, yet masterfully deceptive created being also known as Satan?

“Every precious stone was his covering” and his ‘view’ of this perhaps aided in his downfall – there in the presence of God, the Source of All Light, he saw that light radiate through his covering and thought he had light in himself … but he did not. Take the most beautiful stones in the world, place them in a room of TOTAL darkness and the stones will not reflect anything and thus no beauty to behold. It is the LIGHT that brings out the reflective beauty. Lucifer went from being a Principal of the Light to becoming the Prince of Darkness in one foul swoop! Satan was deceived by his beauty, his riches and his wisdom … now he uses these same tactics to bring a downfall in our lives. “Self deceit” began with Lucifer.

Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, in his masterful book, “Your Adversary, the Devil” does an excellent job of exposing the master deceiver and his plan for taking men down! I don’t want to send anyone on a long, extensive investigation into our enemy … because I know of cases where people have probed the mysteries of supernatural powers only to find themselves entangled and attacked in the demonic world of Satan, but we must not, as Paul warned us in II Cor.2:11 be “ignorant of his devices.” We must instead be sober & vigilant … knowing he is out to deceive, to disillusion, to divide, to devour, to defile & to destroy TRUE CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE in this world (I Pet.5:8).

I suggest the best way to identify the counterfeit is to become more knowledgeable of the real thing. Just as Federal agents learn to detect counterfeit money, by handling millions of dollars that are REAL … you can best acquire a discerning heart to avoid the deceiver by deepening your understanding of TRUTH. As Paul said, “I would have you to be wise unto that which is good and simple concerning evil.” (Rom.16:19) Have you forgotten that Satan knows the scriptures? Have you forgotten that he tried to trick JESUS with the twisting of the scriptures? And have you forgotten that Jesus, as our Example, overcame his temptation by ACCURATELY using the Word of God to refute him?

We haven’t even gotten into the original text yet! Here is my point … Satan using the scriptures to pervert & deceive is not a new trick … it is one of the oldest and most well used “lures” in his tackle box! Why trade it off now? He doesn’t need a new lure, the old one is still catching the big fish like it always has! Is this a follow-up to the post a few days ago on “The Bible?” You betcha! How does “even Satan himself” get “transformed into an angel of light?” Simple, he introduces deception through whatever tools he can find. What? Do you mean even through the scriptures? Yep … it’s not a new trick. What has the church fought against for thousands of years … perversion (twisting) of God’s purified Word.

Don’t take my word for it … be a Berean Christian … search the scriptures! Be discerning. Look at what John Gill, a noted British theologian, had to say about this specific passage (vs. 14) over 250 years ago:

“… now Satan, the enemy of mankind, sometimes appears in the form of one of these; as he did to Eve in the garden, and to Christ in the wilderness; and by such appearances he often imposes on mankind; PRETENDS THE GREATEST FRIENDSHIP, WHEN HE DESIGNS NOTHING BUT RUIN; and UNDER A NOTION OF GOOD, either honest, or pleasant, or profitable, DRAWS ON INTO THE COMMISSION OF THE GREATEST EVILS; and, under a show of truth, INTRODUCES THE MOST NOTORIOUS FALSEHOODS AND ERRORS; and, under a pretence of religion, all sorts of idolatry, superstition, and impiety; IT IS IN THIS WAY HE HAS SUCCEEDED IN HIS ENTERPRISES AND TEMPTATIONS; these are his wiles, stratagems, and CUNNING DEVICES.”

Dear friends, “study to show yourself approved unto God … rightly dividing the Word (logos) of Truth.”

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