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| Are You Being Duped?|
Chapter 14 Part 2: You have been duped if you think you cannot be tricked by the devil
This is part two to last week’s summary of “Are You Being Duped?” chapter 14. Author Kent Philpott reminds his readers of the devils ways and how anyone can be tricked by Satan. Genesis 3:1 reads “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord had made.”
This scripture is a perfect description of what the devil is about. According to the Encarta Dictionary to be crafty is “using or involving cunning or trickery to deceive other people”, the word craft is to make something with skill. In other words Satan’s craft is deception and he’s extremely skilled at it.
Satan either entered the serpent, or appeared as one so that he can influence Adam and Eve to eat from the tree. Before the devil approaches Adam and Eve, we can see how he takes form of another creature before enticing them to eat from the tree. God had told both Adam and Eve “You may freely eat of any tree of the garden; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die’ (Genesis 2:16-17)”.
The devil asked Eve in Genesis 3:1 “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” This verse shows how the devil manipulates. Now, Eve knew that for she said “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die’ (Gen.3:3). As Philpott expresses the issue began when she mentioned touching the tree because God had never mentioned touching the tree at all.
The devil’s main objective is to be equal in power. Phipott writes that the devil “wanted to be like God, and his rebellion against God’s authority, was the reason for his expulsion from heaven.” This too is our nature, although we are created in his image, we are not capable of having his power; yet and still we try to show complete dominance in all we do. What we must do is humble ourselves and under that God is the highest authority, refusing to do so is to be disillusioned or simply put mistaken.
Eve was mistaken when the devil said “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4-5) Eve was influenced to be like God after hearing this of course, instead of being centered in God, she became self-centered and influenced Adam to do so as well.
Philpott mentions Eve’s three motives which are: food, beauty and knowledge/power. He relates food to the lust of flesh, beauty to lust of eyes and knowledge/power to pride of life. There is nothing wrong with these motives if we apply them to our spirituality.
The hunger for God’s word is better than actual food or anything material. Now, to show God’s beauty is to live according to his word. Once we live this way we are able to see the beauty of everything because he places it before us. And to seek knowledge and power that God gives us, rather than seeking our own is more appropriate.
Where Adam and Eve went wrong is that they applied these motives to themselves and of this world. They had decided to eat from the tree because they were hungry for God’s status rather than guidance. Adam and Eve didn’t want to see the beauty of God; they wanted to see the beauty of being God. And with the thoughts of being God they wanted to obtain his knowledge and power instead of seeking his knowledge and power.
1 John 2:16-17 warns us not to love the world, “For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eye and the boasting of what he has and does—come not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires passes away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
Philpott writes that, “The serpent created a psychological or spiritual vaccum for those first humans and manipulated them into thinking that satisfaction could be found in their immediate environment. Upon eating the apple, they realized that they were naked and sewed leaves on themselves as read in Genesis 3:7. This response was both physical and spiritual, once they were aware of good and evil they hid themselves from each other and God.
Philpott points out how God “knowing of their transgression, sought out the fallen couple, not to condemn them but to restore them.” Because they hid instead of “confessing and repenting” as Philpott states “they were expelled from the garden and cast away from God’s presence.” Being away from God’s presence caused spiritual death as well as physical as God promised.
This is essentially the devil’s goal, to lead as many individuals away from God as possible. Satan specializes in deception; he does so in a subtle or “slick” manner which can’t be detected. The devil is also alluring with the beautiful images he paints with sin along with the ability to give knowledge and even can appear godly. Paul warned of false prophets in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 when he wrote “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
This is why we have so many religions that either rejects the gospel. The devil will make it seem as if you are following the right path. It is even the case amongst the different Christian denominations. There are many nominal-Christian leaders misusing the word for self gain. Phipott writes how our greed, lust, fears, unhappiness can lead us into opposing God rather than praising. Satan is even capable of performing what some may call “miracles”.
There are many lies that oppose Christ as the true Son of God; one of the lies is the conception, or birth of Christ. Some say Christ was conceived out of wed lock and the story is made up. Some believe the bible is totally fictional, and it was created to subdue us as individuals. Some simply think as Christ as a hoax.
Paul writes “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. (2 Cor. 4:3-4). Satan’s job is to distort the truth in an attempt to imitate the power of God, he feels empowered when he tricks others into praising anything else but God. Philpott writes the “ultimate blinding is hiding or distorting the truth of who Jesus is and what he did.” Imagine a world filled with dedicated Christians living a God centered life, there would be peace and happiness. That will never be the case because the devil thrives off of chaos, pain and selfishness; this is how he exerts the limited power he has (deception). In conclusion, If you believe that you cannot be tricked by the devil, then you are being duped.
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