Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Modus Operandi of Satan

There are other ways Satan acts against man; this article looks at the ancient modus operandi of Satan.


John 10:10 - The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

What does Satan come to do? To steal, kill and destroy. How does he do it? In other words, what is his modus operandi? This is how I look it:

1. To steal (the truths from the people) by contradiction with an outright lie/half-truth.

2. To kill by making one curious to try. You have heard it – Curiosity kills the cat. Interestingly, the thing that Satan uses to make one curious, is usually a truth or subtly distorted truth.

3. To destroy by promise of grandiose, appealing to pride and power.

In relation to The Fall, this is clearly seen in Gen 3:4-5 -

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "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).

1. To steal (the truths) by contradiction with an outright lie/half-truth.
God said in Gen 2:17, “You will surely die” but Satan said, “You will not surely die”. Eve’s trust in God got shaken because of Satan’s lie.

2. To kill by making one curious to try.
Satan said, “……your eyes will be opened”. Eve probably thought in her heart, “Wow, what does he mean by my eyes will be opened. Was God hiding something? Let’s find out.” Of course, we know from Gen 3:7, “your eyes will be opened”, was a truth because verse 7 recorded that both Adam and Eve were opened and they saw that they were naked and felt ashamed (Earlier, In Gen 2:25, it was recorded that the man and his wife were both naked but they felt no shame).

3. To destroy by promise of grandiose, appealing to pride and power.
Satan said, “and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Eve probably thought, “What can be better? Let’s eat it, man! What are we waiting for?”

{added: 18/08/2010 NB: In the New Testament it was said that it was Eve who was deceived by the Serpent; nevertheless, Adam was accountable to God, and was considered to have sinned along with Eve when he listened to Eve to take of the fruit from the tree of knowledge and evil.}

In relation to The 3 Temptations of Jesus (the second/last Adam) (Mat 4:1-11) –

After 40 days and 40 nights of fasting, Jesus was hungry, and Satan came up to Him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." (v3). "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" (v6). "All this [the world with all its splendor] I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me." (v9).

The first Adam, fell when tempted by Satan but not the second/last Adam, Jesus; but the same modus operandi was used:

1. To steal (the truths) by contradiction with an outright lie/half-truth.Although these were not the exact words Satan used, I believe this was what Satan was implying to Jesus, “You did not eat for 40 days and 40 nights, you must eat to live, turn these stones into bread for food so that you will live.” "Eat (physically) and you will live" is only a half-truth. Jesus held on to the truth which was in Deu 8:3 and said it, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

2. To kill by making one curious to try.
Satan used a subtly distorted truth taken from Psalm 91:11&12 in an attempt to make Jesus curious enough to test God. If it were the first Adam, he probably might have thought, “Yah man, it would be interesting to see if God would send his angels to scoop me up before I hit the ground.” Jesus knew better and answered back with another truth, Deu 6:16, “It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

3. To destroy by promise of grandiose, appealing to pride and power.
Satan was saying, “I will give you the world!” But Jesus basically said, “World or no world, I will not disobey my God” when He said, “For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”(Deu 6:13).

In relation to The Triple Sins of King David (2 Sam 11 – 2 Sam 12) –

King David, said to be the man after God’s heart, broke 3 commandments at one go (one after another). What are they? Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, thou shall not commit adultery and finally thou shall not murder. The events recorded in the book of 2 Samuel chapter 11 and 12 do not have any mention of Satan. I am suggesting to you that Satan was at work (in fact Satan {and his team} is always at work). I believe the same modus operandi was at work:

1. To steal (the truths) by contradiction with an outright lie/half-truth.
In 2 Sam 11:2, we read that, from the roof of his palace, King David saw a very beautiful woman taking her bath. The King was subsequently told, the woman, Bathsheba, was the wife of Uriah, a soldier of the King, a loyal Hittite soldier (v3). The truth is that the Ten Commandment stated that one should not covet another’s wife. Playing the devil’s advocate, I would say at that point in time, Satan might have said to David, “But you are the King, what. A King can desire what he wants.” So, because David did not resist the temptation, he broke one commandment – thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

2. To kill by making one curious to try.
Satan probably went on further and said something like, “See, even God was on your side – He gave Saul’s house to you, including his wives, didn’t he? So, what’s the problem? [In 2 Sam 12:8, Samuel spoke about the Saul’s house and his wives being given to King David by the Lord].” David sent for Bathsheba and committed the 2nd sin – thou shall not commit adultery.

3. To destroy by promise of grandiose, appealing to pride and power.
“Oops, Bathsheba got pregnant, what am I going to do?” maybe this thought crossed David’s mind. I imagine this would probably be what Satan said, “Good, now you have a son, isn’t that great, the King now has a son. You just need to get rid of Uriah and take Bathsheba as your wife and live happily ever after. Tell you what, you are the King, just set Uriah up to die at the battlefront, that should be easy for you. In fact, it is ok to let your general, Joab know so that people will know, as the King, you can do what you want, and whoever stands in the way will be destroyed. No sweat , no one would dare speak out against you.” David set Uriah up, and Uriah was killed as planned by David – David committed murder, the 3rd sin. We read in 2 Sam 11:26-27, David then took Bathsheba as his wife and she bore him a son, but the Lord was not pleased with what David did.

Anthony Chia – Lord, help me to be quick to recognize the ancient modus operandi of Satan in situations of my life.

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