By Dusty Owens
In Genesis 3:4 we read, “And the serpent said to the woman, ‘Ye shall not surely die.'” The serpent was the devil and the woman was Eve. The devil had just reversed what God had told Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:16-17 “. . .for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Adam and Eve gave in to the reasoning of Satan and died as God said they would!
From the beginning Satan has been an adversary of man and, therefore, of God. The word “adversary” I means “opponent” or “enemy.” It was often used in a legal sense to mean “an accuser.” The Greek word diabolos, from which we get “devil,” means “accuser” or “slanderer.” Satan does everything in his power to bring people under his influence and away from a proper relationship with God. Peter warned, “Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
Satan is devious and cunning. He has many tricks in his bag and can even present himself in such a way as to fool even the elect. Paul, like Peter, warned Christians “that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor. 2:11). Later, Paul pointed out that Satan will use men as his agents to teach false doctrines. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light” (11:13-15). Don’t expect Satan to work on you in some mysterious way; he will always use human agency!
Satan will try to reverse the moral principles of Jesus’ teaching. Witness the lowering of the moral standards in the past 20 years. Those things that used to be considered shameful are now practiced openly as “alternate lifestyles.” The devil has convinced many to “live it up, you only go around once” and “I’m doing my thing my way.” Read Romans 1:18-32 and Galatians 5:19-24.
Satan has also convinced religious people that it is not necessary to do everything Jesus commanded that infant church to do. Men through the centuries have taken the liberty to change the nature and the frequency of the Lord’s Supper, the process of rebirth, the worship service, the mission of the church, the mode and purpose of baptism, and we could go on.
God has stated His will quite clearly in the gospel of His Son. We have no authority to tamper with it, to change it, or to reverse anything that God has revealed for us to obey (Gal. 1: 8-9; 2 Jn. 9-11). Remember what Satan did to Eve in the Garden of Eden?
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 24, p. 751
December 20, 1984