OceanSide church of Christ
|Previous||Return to Sermons||Next|
TACTICS OF THE ENEMY
Victor M. Eskew
A. One of the reasons our country has a military is because we have enemies.
1. Our enemies would love to conquer or destroy us.
2. To accomplish their purposes, they have many tactics they use against us.
3. Our military is trained to understand the tactics of the enemy.
4. If they do not understand them, difficulties and possible defeat will come (i.e., “The Patriot,” and the use of guerrilla warfare against the British).
B. The church of our Lord is a “holy nation” (I Pet. 2:9).
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1. As citizens of this kingdom, we have been instructed to be soldiers (II Tim. 2:3).
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2. We must be soldiers because we have an enemy.
a. The leader of the enemy force is Satan (I Pet. 5:8).
b. He does not fight alone. He musters evil forces to fight against us (Eph. 6:12).
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
3. Our enemy uses numerous tactics against us to conquer and destroy us. We must not be ignorant of his methods and techniques (II Cor. 2:11).
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
4. Our lesson this morning is entitled: “Tactics of the Enemy.” Let’s look at some of the methods Satan uses to destroy us.
A. The very nature of Satan is a lie (John 8:44).
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do: he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
B. What do liars do? They lie.
C. Satan lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:4).
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.
D. Satan still lies today.
1. This sin will not hurt you.
2. A loving God will not condemn you to a devil’s hell.
3. This particular doctrine is not against the truth.
4. There is no need for you to fulfill this specific Christian duty.
5. Every human being has a right to please himself from time to time.
6. As an intelligent human being, you have the ability to direct your life without the assistance of God.
7. You have plenty of time to do the will of God.
A. Temptation is not sin.
1. If it is, then our Lord sinned because he was tempted (Matt. 4:1).
2. Temptation is the method Satan uses to conceive sin.
B. Temptation is dangerous to man because it involves man’s desires. In other words, man wants, longs for, and craves the things that Satan will dangle before him.
1. James 1:13-15
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then lust when it hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
a. Eve saw that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a tree to be desired to make one wise (Gen. 3:6).
b. David desired the beautiful Bathsheba (II Sam. 11:2-3).
c. Gehazi desired the silver and garments of the Assyrian commander named Naaman (II Kings 5:22).
d. Judas desired the thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:14-16).
e. Ananias and Sapphira desired recognition not deserved (Acts 5:1-11).
f. The man at Corinth desired his father’s wife (I Cor. 5:1).
A. Satan knows that Christians are supposed to be a people with a mission. Service to God and service to others sums up that mission.
B. One of his tactics, therefore, is diversion. He does all that he can to divert us from what we should be doing.
C. There are three things that he used to divert our attention from our mission.
1. Pleasure (Luke 8:14)
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
2. Pain (Job 1:11)
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
a. The pressing things are what we feel are indispensable, required, and unavoidable things of life (work, family, school, social events, and “me” time).
b. Matthew 6:33
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
IV. TWISTING OF SCRIPTURE
A. Satan knows the Bible is the book God has revealed for both the salvation of man and for man to use as his guide book in this life.
B. Thus, he will seek to twist and pervert the Scriptures. In so doing, man will believe a lie (II Pet. 3:16).
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.
C. Example: In Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, Satan used Scripture in an attempt to get Jesus to yield to him.
1. He took Him to the city of Jerusalem and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple (Matt. 4:5).
2. In the next verse, Satan tempts him using Scripture.
And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
a. In this text, Satan quotes Psalm 91:11-12.
b. Jesus did not fall for Satan’s tactic. He notes that the passage the devil used is modified by Deuteronomy 6:16.
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
D. Modern example
1. Many people reject baptism’s being necessary for salvation.
a. They say it is a work of righteousness.
1) Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…
2) They go to Jesus’ baptism to “prove” baptism is a work of righteousness (Matt. 3:15).
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
2. This is a twisting of Scripture that should not be done.
a. First, the Bible plainly teaches that baptism is necessary to salvation (Mark 16:16).
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
b. Second, in Acts 10:34-35, Peter tells us that those who work righteous-ness are accepted of God.
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him.
c. The truth is that the Bible speaks of two different kinds of “works of righteousness.”
1) There are works that man devises that he believes will save him.
2) There are the commands of God that are referred to as righteousness (Ps. 119:172).
My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
d. When an individual is baptized, he is involving himself in a work of right-eousness that is clearly a command of God (Acts 10:48a).
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
A. Satan will allow us to believe the commands of God. He will let us the convinced that we must do them.
B. He will also try to convince us that we do not need to do them right now.
1. I don’t need to obey the gospel right now.
2. I don’t need to be faithful right now.
3. I don’t need to bring my children to church right now.
4. I don’t need to be a leader right now.
C. All of this is interesting because Satan does not
1. Have the power of life and death; God does (Luke 12:20).
2. Control all things by the word of His power; God does (Heb. 1:3).
D. The reality is that we are not guaranteed time in the future. Now is really all of the time that is certain (II Cor. 6:2).
…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
A. Satan is a very powerful enemy. He is also a very sly enemy. He will use whatever it takes to destroy us.
4. Twisting of the Scripture
B. The child of God, therefore must do several things.
1. Be sober, be vigilant… (I Pet. 5:8).
2. …for we are not ignorant of his devices (II Cor. 2:11).
3. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11);
4. Whom resist steadfast in the faith… (I Pet. 5:9).
C. Where are you in your battle against the evil one?