“But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Tim. 3:13)
When Satan tempted Eve, he deceived her by twisting God’s Word. “You shall surely not die“, he said. “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4,5). Ah, but they did die in the day that they ate the forbidden fruit because by their sin they died spiritually. Satan is a deceiver and everyone that deceives is of the devil. Their tongues are their powerful instrument. “There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue” (Psalm 5:9). It’s as the Psalmist said, they flatter with the tongue, and it’s for the reason Jude said they flatter people, “for the sake of gaining an advantage” (Jude 1:16). The devil and his workers have an agenda. Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Their aim is destruction and so they cannot present themselves honestly. To accomplish their ends they cannot allow their true inent to be known. They can’t openly present themselves as ravenous wolves because people would instantly run away. False teachers are always about the work of their father who is the father of lies. Jesus said to such people, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). In a false teacher, deception is at the core of his being and everything he does is suspect. False teachers aren’t just wrong, they are purposely deceptive.
What can a person or a church do? Eve could have resisted Satan by being obedient to what God said. The Psalmist is surrounded by evil doers who cannot be trusted in no way, shape, form or word. Their tongue has become an instrument only to achieve their ungodly goals. The Psalmist relies on God. By God’s “lovingkindness I will enter Your house, At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You” (Psalm 5:7). God’s people must draw near to God and remember the words of Jesus, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” The Word instantly refutes and disarms the Satan. False teachers abound but the person that knows the Word of God will not fall. There are many wolves who seek to eat and devour the flock of God. And so Paul warned of this to the Ephesian Elders, saying, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). Amen.