Satan likes to be mistaken for God.
For religious people, for people who not only believe in the devil, but believe in God and maybe believe in the true God, Satan has another approach. He likes to be mistaken for God.
Tertullian once said: “Diabolos est Dei simia.” And that translates into “The devil is God’s monkey.” What Tertullian meant was that the devil likes nothing better than to ape God.
Operates in his own children and the children of God
Now, in the operation of Satan we simply need to understand that he operates in two categories; he operates in his own children and he operates on the children of God. And those are the two spheres in which Satan functions.
The Devil snatches away the Word
Now you will notice back at verse 5 that the wayside is described there as trodden down. A path that is pressed down, that is rock hard. The seed falls, it just sits there and the birds take it. And that’s emblematic of the Word of God being spread on hard soil that does not receive it and the devil comes and takes it away. The devil is in the business of preventing. And the first area is he snatches away the Word. He snatches away the Word.
Satan controlling preaching
Dr. Pentecost has a very helpful statement. This is what he says, and I quote:
“Satan, of course, would rather not have to do the work of taking away the seed that has been sown. He would rather so control the one who is doing the preaching that something other than the good seed of the Word of God is proclaimed.”
Where Satan is most active
You want to know where Satan is most active, it’s within the framework of religion, and in our case the framework of the Christian religion. “No marvel…don’t be surprised…for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light, therefore it’s no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.” Satan does the work of perverting by putting his own demon-influence and demon-possessed people in pulpits, propagating false doctrine.
Satan’s core con – his 1st big lie
Have you ever analyzed what the core of Satan’s false doctrine is? Let me just give it to you in a nutshell. As one guy said – If you can get this in your head you’ve got it in a nutshell. But just one thought…what is the basic false doctrine that Satan propagates? Number one, is he…he always denies the authority of Scripture…always.
You see, if you can destroy the authority of this book there isn’t any authority anywhere…and then nothing matters…nothing. Everything becomes arbitrary. He began in the very beginning, in Genesis 3, when he said to Eve – “Hath God…what?…said?” Did God say that? How do you know God said it? Casting aspersions on the truth of God. Now that’s typical.
Satan denies the second coming
Another thing that Satan always denies along with the authority of Scripture, the deity of Christ, and salvation by grace through faith is he always denies the second coming. Because the second coming is connected with judgment.
And you’ll find that usually false teachers have the most messed up eschatology conceivable. Because they’ve got to get rid of ultimate judgment. In II Peter 3 it tells us that the false teachers are saying, scoffingly in verse 4, “where is the promise of His coming, for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” Peter says – Are you willingly ignorant of the flood or is that an oversight? All things haven’t continued as they were.
Satan says you can get away with rebellion
I always remember reading the story of Hemmingway. It was in a…an article written in Playboy magazine, which was quoted in Eternity magazine, where I read it. (laughter) It stated the fact that…it was right after Hemmingway’s death…and it was regarding the fact that in his heyday, it was said, that he had proven that you could sin and get away with it. He had destroyed biblical morality by doing exactly as he pleased and having the world on a string. It said he had won wars and tumbled women and done this and had drunk as much as he want…on and on it went, giving him every bit of credit for having just obliterated the biblical morality. And then 10 years later, to the very day, he took a gun, put it to the side of his head and blew his brains out.
Satan says you can get away with rebellion. Don’t you believe it. That’s one of his false doctrines. You can sin all you want, everything will be all right.
Tempts us to Idolatry
Another thing that Satan is propagated historically is that idolatry is the thing to do. It’s wonderful to have a god. He’d love everybody to have a god, as long as it’s the wrong one. He doesn’t want everybody to be an atheist, he just as soon have everybody a religionist, worshiping the god who isn’t there.
That’s why the Bible tells us that the gods of the nations are demons.
Satan promotes angel worship
Satan even promotes angel worship. Read Colossians chapter 2, verses 18 to 23, he would like people to worship angels.
The spirit that works in the sons of disobedience.” He wants to trap men, as it says in verse 3, in the lusts of the flesh so that they fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind and are by nature the objects of God’s wrath. Satan wants to get men trapped in a damning life style from which they cannot extricate themselves. Not just propagating theory, but dragging them into practice that…that becomes binding.
The satanic army
“Sixth angel sounded, I heard the voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God.” It’s the sixth trumpet. “Saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet. Loose the four angels who are bound in the river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed and prepared for an hour, a day and a month and a year to slay a third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand (two hundred million) and I heard the number of them and I saw the horses in the vision…and so forth.” It describes them. “By these three was the third part of men killed, the fire, the smoke and the brimstone which issued out of their mouths.”
Here is a Satanic army, it’s a demon-inspired army that literally destroys one third of the earth. God gives Satan the power to take life.
Michael Yousif also proposed that Satan also offers everything of God’s as a counterfeit. It often comes in the form of instant gratification and ends in misery.