The Gospel According to Satan...the urgent need for discernment in the body of Christ <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Satan doesn't want to fight the church; he wants to join it!He will always scheme in the amphitheater of the crucial, never in the arena of the trivial. His number one priority is to attack truth, promote error, subterfuge the gospel, and try to discredit the divine work of God among His creatures. His first deception in the garden was not only to add to God's word, but also to wrest God's word through subtle and clever trickery. "Hath not God said " was his ploy with our first parents-Eve was deceived and Adam sinned (Gen. 3:1-16; Roms. 5:12-18). He first plants doubt, then deceives, he distorts truth, advances disobedience and fosters distrust against the person of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. He loiters as the "accuser of the brethren night and day before the throne of God (Rev. 12:1-12) and revels in the disobedience of God's people.Satan's gospel wants to mix our works with Jesus' grace (Gal. 5:1-4); our righteousness with the perfect righteousness of Christ (Is. 64:6). It demands no repentance from sin; misrepresents the character and nature of God; elevates man and self-esteem as its core value; denies the efficacy of the cross, the sinless life of Christ, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His eternal Sonship, His virgin birth, and His claim to being the only way, the truth and the life for salvation. His strategery is simple:to find his way into the church through error masquerading as truth and then to subtlety and seductively corrupt the gospel of Jesus Christ and His followers with the leaven of "the doctrine of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1-4). All the while blinding the unregenerate to their lost condition through the goodness and moral rightness of philanthropic giving, humanitarian selflessness, political efficacy, family values, ascetic religious flagellation, personal self-worth, and altruistic acts of kindness to ones fellowman. He'll even use biblical language or quote Scritpure (cp, Luke 4:1-12) if it furthers his sardonic deception. He usually does not come in the full horror of his hellish nature; but approaches with the greatest of alacrity and in subtle ways. He is the father of lies from the beginning and there is no truth in him; all that he represents is a perverted imitation-a counterfeit of the genuine. He is, as the Apostle Paul says, "an angel of light" (2 Cor. 12:1-5). He will gradually replace the call for true repentance (to turn from sin and turn to God, forsaking all our idols for His glory) with self-love; his addition to the canon of the Word with a "third great commandment." He will not demand a cross, but will only speak of a better way to successful living. His "gospel" focuses on man and his needs (your best life now); not with God and His glory (to glorify Him and worship Him forever). Obey your thirst; satisfy your lust; drink the cup of unbridled passion to the dregs; greed is good; do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt someone else; surrender to unguarded pleasure and strengthen unbroken pride. That is his devilish creed.The Pope of Relgious PostmodernismHe is the Pope of the postmodern church. He is the author of the Pomo-Study bible. He'll convince you there is no absolute truth-for truth is whatever I want it to be. Truth must remain fluid; liquid; changing with every new generation and adapting its claims in every culture. Every man today writes his own scripture, creates his own creed, and determines his own orthodoxy. He wants to reduce Jesus Christ to the status of being only one of many lords and saviors in the multi-cultural, moral pluralistic arena of Marcus Aurelius's Pantheon of gods. In the gospel according to Satan the audience, not the truth, is always sovereign - appealing to people's sense of belonging and becoming. "Don't bore them with theology or confuse them doctrine-for doctrine only divides" he'll say; "but a compassionate faith unites and places as its primary goal, a culture of civility." Don't measure what others are claiming by the standard of God's Word; for if you are too biblically dogmatic in your conclusions they will think you are unloving to judge a good faith attempt by someone else. It calls Islam a peaceful religion, abortion alternative family planning, gay marriage the new family, and planetary environmental concerns the new redemption. This compassionate faith empathizes with felt needs and never calls anything sin-but unhealthy choices. His gospel demands no cross, requires no faith, affirms no absolutes, believes in no judgment or wrath, and carries no sword. His god has only one attribute-love yourself first, if you're going to love others well. This god is watching us from a distance, promises inner peace, self-fulfillment, and planetary oneness.He reassures us we're all human; we all make mistakes. God simply tolerates and understands all our unhealthy choices. Holiness is too offensive; but happiness is satisfying. Commitment, vows, covenants are so pedestrian; live for what completes you and makes you happy--for unless you're happy, how can you help others? And that is why in his gospel sin is called sickness, disobedience is called disease, and adultery is nothing more than addiction. If you trapped by sensuality, you don't need repentance, but sexaholic therapy to understand your inner child longing for appreciation and intimacy. Any issue is not your fault: you're only an unfortunate byproduct of your parents. Your mother didn't hug you enough or your father was too soft. You're a victim and need claim no responsibility for your actions.Deception... His Main TacticThis Satanic gospel focuses not on the depravity of man, but is consumed with strengthening my own inherent goodness. The focus is on my pain; my woundedness; my hurts; my longings; my dreams. It convinces us we're promise keepers, when in reality we're nothing but promise breakers. It promotes a cultural of tolerance, and denies the exclusivity of sola fide. My good works can win me enough brownie points with the Almighty to earn me eternal life, and worship is simply a state of mind. The measure of your character is not Christ-likeness, but the depth of your socail-alliances on key cultural issues, the shape of your body, or the size of your bank account.Can you see that deception is among the chief characteristics of Satan's gospelPaul warns that in the end times the antichrist will come "in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved" (2 Thess. 2:9-10).Even when confronting the false teachers of his time, Paul does not invite them to a seminar, a retreat, or an afterglow meeting to pamper their false presumptions. "But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze upon him, and said, 'You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?'" (Acts 13:7-10).As John MacArthur so poignantly says, " Paul unmasks four characteristics of false teachers. They are: 1. deceitful, 2. children of the devil, 3. enemies of righteousness, and 4. perverters of the gospel." Nothing was more of a great concern for Paul than churches being plagued with error. (Acts 20:28-30.)How do we recognize this gospel according to Satan and the emissaries that promote its message? There are always three marks of the false teacher in the Word of God:The first one is greed.They propagate a gospel only for what financial rewards they can bleed from the unsuspecting masses. "We are not like many who peddle the Word of God for profit" Paul says. (2 Cor. 2:17, emphasis added). Peddle, GK kapaleuo, means to make retail of something, to sell as inexpensive merchandise, to pawn. In Isaiah 1:22 in the LXX it is used for those who mix water with wine in order to cheat the buyer. Those who peddle the Word of God for profit are selling a cheap substitute gospel in order to huckster an inferior product while claiming it is the genuine article for financial gain. Seeking profit at the expense of people's souls is true spiritual treason.The second is sensuality.In addition to being motivated by bulging pockets the false prophet is marked by a life of immorality. This is what marked the lifestyle of those at Philippi and <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Corinth. Temple prostitution, religious belief speckled with adulterous behavior and what Jeremiah Burroughs calls, "the sinfulness of sin." This is the seared conscience given over to the full extent of one's depravity. Peter describes these teachers as "following their sensuality"; "and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority." (2 Peter 2:2,10)The third is heresy.
Corrupting messengers propagating false doctrine which does not agree with the sound doctrine of Scripture, yet is represented as truth. It is truth mixed with error-a different gospel-which is no gospel at all.William Hendrickson in his excellent commentary on Galatians poignantly says,
"Even if we or a holy angel must be the object of God's righteous curse, were any of us to preach a gospel contrary to the one we humans previously preached to you, then all the more divine wrath must be poured out on those self-appointed nobodies who are now making themselves guilty of this crime."
When Jesus Christ redeemed us from our sins and the wrath to come (Titus 3:1-8, Colossians 1:12-14) here is how thoroughly He has made us new creations in Him.
Jesus Christ has brought us from:Error to truthDarkness to lightDeath to lifeSin to righteousnessWrath to peaceAlienation to reconciliationEnemies to brethrenJudgment to mercyDisobedience to discipleshipUncleanness to repentanceLust of the flesh to walking in the SpiritFutility of the mind to the mind of ChristThe old man to the new manFrom fools to wiseFrom works to grace
Further Study:Read Galatians 1:6-9
General Outline1. The Desertion from the God of the true Gospel (v.6)2. The Distortion of the true Gospel (v.7)3. The Defection from Christ Himself (v.6)4. The Devotion to Destruction (v.8-9)