Exposing Satan’s Master Plan
2 Corinthians 2:11 “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” Corinth was a large city in Greece steeped in idolatry. It had numerous temples to gods and goddesses and had lots of demonic spiritual activity. One of the unique parts was that of the ‘temple prostitute.’ Women in the temples of the goddesses that shaved their heads and that’s how you could recognize them. These women were being converted to Christ and became a problem in the church in Corinth. So when they stood up to pray or prophecy it brought confusion in the church because there was a temple there that had a priest that sat over a hole in the ground that had vapors and fumes coming out of it. He would breathe them and become incoherent and then act like he was speaking in another language and a prostitute would come up and ‘interpret’ what the man would say.
When you understand that setting and the women then coming into the church with no covering and standing and speaking in tongues and prophesying in the church it made them wonder if they were really saved or just invading the church. The question is ‘how do we know they are real.’ So Paul told them, if a woman stands to pray or prophesy, let her have her head covered if she has no hair as a covering so the church could know they belonged to the Lord and weren’t temple prostitutes just invading the church. There has been many misunderstandings because of the problems that Paul deal with a Corinth, including that of a woman speaking in church in which they were told to ask their husbands at home if they had any questions. Why? It makes you wonder what was going on and meant because how could someone sit under preaching and not learn anything? Again what was the culture there that made Paul’s admonition necessary and to which it applied. In the Synagogues then and even many today, the men and women sit separately, the men on one side and the women on the other side. What happened was that when one would be preaching and a woman didn’t understand something she would be trying to call to her husband or get up and go over to talk to him an ask a question and Paul was trying to help them keep order in the church. So the message was to stay seated and listen and then if you have a question, wait till you go home to ask your husband and learn there. Paul was not forbidding women to speak in church, as to prophesy or give a doctrine or testimony for even Paul mentioned those things. In 1 Corinthians 11:5 Paul speaks of women prophesying in the church. “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.” Philip had several daughters that were prophetesses. So it is obvious that they could prophesy in the early church. But some have made a doctrine that said women couldn’t speak or teach in the church. What they aren’t to do is to talk to one another or their husbands in the church and disturb others and keep them from hearing and learning so that there was order. The point is that to understanding what was written many times it is necessary to understand the history and culture of the times and who it was addressed too.
How many times has a minister taken 2Corinthains 2:11 for a text and then made a sermon on the devices of Satan? But when you consider of what Paul was writing in context then you get a deeper meaning. In 1Cortinthains 5:1 Paul address the problem of sexual immorality in the congregation. We can say that probably any church has some sexual immorality in it. But Paul tells us what the specific sin was in this case. 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.”
Paul couldn’t believe that they knew and people in the community knew it was going on and yet they had not dealt with it. Then Paul gives them a warning in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” A little sin in the congregation affect more than just the person sinning, just as a little leaven leavens the whole loaf of bread. (V.9-11) “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” If there is a person in the church that is committing these sins the others are to go to that person and rebuke them and let them know that they will have no fellowship with them as long as they do such for they are bringing a reproach against the Lord and the church. It is this type of thing that causes sinners to think that all ‘Christians’ are hypocrites because they say they go to such and this or that church and live in sin.
1 Corinthians 5:4-5 “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” This is Paul’s instruction to deal with this person. Ask God to remove the hedge of protection so the enemy will come against him and cause him to repent. It is sad but true that most people will not repent when things are going well, but only in times of trouble. It is in such times that most come to Christ to begin with. Those with no problems in their life normally don’t come to Christ because they think they don’t need him.
Later Paul wrote a second letter to the church of Corinth and deals with the young man that was dealt with in the first letter. He said the man had been judged and experienced great sorry and was to be taken in less he be overtaken with sorrow. 2 Corinthians 2:7-10 “So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;” Then Paul told them that they had to forgive the man so that they could be forgiven. That is a spiritual principle for all of us. (V.11) “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” If you put this verse into the context of the passage Paul is writing about you find that he is not really dealing with forgiving those who have sinned, but for those who have repented and asked for forgiveness and are sorry for their sin. Matthew 6:15 “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” This is the principle.
Think now. Lest Satan should get an advantage over us for we are not ignorant of his devices. In the setting and context of which Paul was speaking, unforgiveness was the device that Satan was about to use against the church if they did not forgive this young man and receive him in the love of Christ. That would have caused even more confusion in the church. Of all things that Satan can use against you. That is the most effective weapon Satan can use against you on a personal, private level. It has to be unforgiveness.
Unforgiveness stops God’s harvest in your life, it will stop your prayers from being answered. Unforgiveness is so powerful that if you are walking in unforgiveness, Satan is not obligated to listen to your rebuke. Mark 11:25 “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Don’t even bother to give a gift to the Lord if you have unforgiveness in your heart because if you do, God won’t receive it. Unforgiveness stops God’s harvest in your life. Second, it stops your prayers from being answered. We know that God desires to answer our prayers that we might have joy. John 16:24 “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” But these verses show us a problem and hindrance to our having joy.
Isaiah 1:15-16 “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;” Micah 3:4-5 “Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.” Habakkuk 1:2-3 “O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.” Strife, contention and violence are all signs of unforgiveness.
Matthew 18:15-17 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.” So many try to bind, rebuke and curse the devil and he just ignores them. He pays them no attention because they are in unforgiveness. Just as God is not obligated to hear the prayer of one with unforgiveness, neither is Satan obligated to hear our warfare. Isaiah 59:2-3 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.” The description there is of one with bitterness and unforgiveness in their heart in speaking evil of others that caused this separation from God. If God doesn’t hear our prayer because of sin, then what makes you think Satan will listen to you? You will become like sounding brass and a tinkling symbol. 1 Corinthians 13:1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Your words will be nothing but noise if you have not love. Unforgiveness is the major device of Satan where he gets an advantage over us. Unforgiveness is usually not toward God, but toward men and ministries. In the ministry you constantly deal with relationships and people. When God wants to bless you or me He will always do it by sending a person into our lives. Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” God is the one blessing but does it through men. If you pray about a life mate, then God will send you the right person at the right time to marry. If you need a miracle of finances God will send someone into your life to help you in one-way or another. When God wants to bless you, in whatever way it may be, He usually sends a person into your life through which the blessing comes unless it is a miracle you need that only He can provide, as healing of a disease. On the flip side of the coin – when Satan wants to destroy someone, he will send a person into their life.
This is about exposing Satan’s master plan. That is the main way Satan attacks someone to destroy them, through another person. When Abraham and Sarah had the promise of a son, both Abimelech and Pharaoh, when they saw Sarah, wanted her to be their wife. These were men that could have anyone they wanted and they wanted Sarah. She had to have been very beautiful. They would have interfered with the plan of God had not the Lord spoke to them and warned them not to touch Sarah. Then when Satan wanted to destroy Joseph, he sent Potifer’s wife, who couldn’t get him to sin, so she falsely accused him and got him thrown into prison. Yet in it, because of His faithfulness to God, we see the promise of Romans 8:28. When the Israelites were coming out of Egypt on the way to the Promised Land, Korah and his household rose up against Moses along with 250 princes who started a rebellion in the wilderness to stop God’s purposes. Satan used this man’s bad attitude to attack Moses but God stopped his plans. Look at Samson. He is doing God’s will in destroying the Philistines, but when Satan wanted to disrupt his vision and calling, he sent a woman named Delilah. She did more damage to him that 1000 Philistines that he had slew with nothing but the jawbone of an ass.
David was doing great, had defeated all his enemies up to this point, including Goliath. But when Satan wanted to stop David and destroy his future and the promise of God for a kingdom for his seed and that the Messiah to come through his seed, he brought Bathsheba which cost David his sons. It wasn’t the adultery that cost him his sons but the murder of Uriah to cover up his adultery. Then there was Solomon, who in the beginning had a heart for God and spent 7 years building the most fantastic temple for God, but the Bible tells us that when he was old, strange women turned his heart away from God. So when Satan wants to destroy you or I, it is almost always through a person he will send into your life. So it is necessary that you discern the relationships you get involved with and discern the people you hang around with. Satan will send someone to fill a void in your life. Someone that appears to meet an emotion need that you have. Someone that understands your situation better than anyone else. This happens in marriages all the time. One is having an emotional problem in their marriage, and so the devil sends someone to start telling them, “Boy if I had a husband or wife like you, I sure would take good care of you and not treat you like your spouse does. Oh, I sure do know and understand what you’re going through and I sure want to help you.” And the next thing you know, they get into a relationship and their marriage is really ruined. The kids are caught in the middle and it is a complete mess, because Satan’s strategy is to use others to divide and conquer.
When Satan attempts to bring someone into your life, there are three arenas of operation. First he does it to stop your spiritual walk with God. People with either deposit into your life or pull you down and subtract from your life. I think it is possible and most likely that there is one woman assigned to try and bring down every man of God at some point in his ministry. But it’s not just men or women of God. There is someone that is assigned to come into every marriage in a negative way to destroy it. There is someone sent to pull your children away from God and maybe more than one.
Many young ladies in the church are courted by men who do not believe in God, or they are courted by men who are of another religion, as Catholicism. Why do you think there are so many mixed religious marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics? They are used to stop the believer from growing and maturing in their walk with God and from going on with God. The attack against you could come before you marry, to cause you to marry the wrong person that will hinder your walk with God, it could come in the middle of your marriage, or after many years, but it will come. Your child who loves God is going to school and has been doing well, and then all of a sudden you notice that they have changed. Satan has brought someone into their live to destroy them by one means or another. Whether boy or girl, Satan sends the opposite sex to entangle and destroy them. One of the most used attacks is to send a boy to get the girl pregnant after which he leaves her. Proverbs 6:26 “For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” Or the enemy sends someone to give them drugs or any of a number of things to draw them away from God.
Women are very emotional oriented and a young man can come and start kissing and caressing her and tell her he loves her and an emotional bond is created. He then brings all this baggage into their marriage, but she thinks that after their married, she can win him to Christ, but it rarely ever happens. Instead their life is miserable. So you have to be careful and guard your relationships. You have to watch who you allow to get to close with you because the enemy will use them to hurt you in some way. You have to have discerning of the Spirit and look at the fruit of individuals to determine their motives. Satan will bring someone to turn your little angel into a fallen angel. Who you associate with is one of the most important decisions you will make in your daily life. All people will either be a blessing and lift you up or subtract and take from you. Satan’s greatest tool is people. Without people Satan is very limited to what he can do. Without a person, demons have no voice, no hands and no feet to do their dirty deeds. Without people Satan has no way to fulfill his earthly plans. How does Satan accuse the brethren? By someone gossiping and slandering and telling stories on you. Satan uses the man with a gun to kill. Look at Paul! It was men who accused him falsely, who stoned him and beat him and did all the other things against him. All the perils that came against him were mostly through people.
You say, but our battle is not with people, but with principalities, powers and rulers of darkness. How do they work? Through personalities! Demons work through people so your problem is not the person, but the spirit behind the person. The spirit that inhabits the person or that is cooperating with the person. It is a spiritual warfare, but when Satan wants to destroy you, he will always send someone into your life to do his dirty work.
The second arena of operation is that Satan works to stop your vision. He stops your vision by giving you another vision. Anyone with two visions has double vision and is in division. Your vision involves your motivation and your destiny. Without a vision, you will perish (Proverbs 29:18). You have to be careful with whom you allow to be close to you or even bring into your ministry. Sometimes people will come in and ‘join’ your ministry to help you, but in reality they just want to use you to launch their own ministry and so after awhile when they have some of the people liking and supporting them, they will try to split the church and take some with them to start their own. That is an example of a novice and a hireling. Anyone who tries to split up a church or steal your people is not a true servant of the Lord.
Another thing we must understand is that you don’t and can’t have true friendship without developing relationship. Relationships create bonds and you have to be careful with whom you allow into your life. Also to distract you from your vision and stop it, the enemy will bring discouragement. Pastors will come to the place where they feel they aren’t accomplishing anything and so should just quit the ministry and move on to try something else. When you are discouraged, that is not the time to make a serious decision or change your course in life. When you’re discouraged your decision will be based on your emotion or how you feel at that time and not necessarily based on the will of God. You are motivated by your vision and so it is the master plan of Satan to bring the wrong kind of person into your life to stop your spiritual work, to get you involved in carnal things and it is a plan of Satan to bring someone into your life to stop your vision. Satan will always do this by trying to give you another vision. So never make a decision when you are discouraged, tired and frustrated. Satan will confuse your mind and cause you to make the wrong decision.
The third arena Satan will work in is to stop your momentum by wearing you down. When you are doing well, the church is growing, Satan will try to weary your flesh. Luke 18:1 says; “men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” I think men are quicker to faint or give up if they are not getting the desired results than women. Women generally are much better at taking pain than men are. In 2 Samuel 3:39, David said; “I am this day weak, though anointed king.” So anointing doesn’t exempt you from being weak or from fainting. So when Jesus ministered, He went aside for a while to be alone so He could be refreshed. In Luke 18 Jesus makes it clear that the enemy will use fainting to get you to tired to pray. When you are exhausted you don’t feel like worshipping, praying or reading your Bible. Fainting is an attack many times against the physical part of the body, but the greatest attack comes through mental stress. Mental stress has a greater impact on the physical body than even working 12 or 14 hours a day physically and will tire you faster. So these are the three areas where Satan will try to wear you down – physical weariness, spiritual weariness or mental weariness.
Physical weariness is like Elijah on the mountain after he challenges the prophets of Baal and runs for 18 miles to the city of Jezreel and there hears that Jezebel says she is going to kill him. So he leaves there and goes to Mount Horeb some 120 miles away and sits under a juniper tree and wants to die. No wander! He was so worn out from such activity and traveling.
David faced the same thing when King Saul was going around Judea chasing and trying to kill him. It wore him down. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost and power, and in fact it says He had the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34). Yet he had to go aside and rest his physical body. We all need to make time to be with our family, away from everything to relax and be refreshed and be renewed. Spiritual weariness comes from times like when Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness. At least the times of spiritual weariness and tempting are but for a season and God makes a way out for us. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Mental weariness is what Job faced after enduring so many things only to have his wife tell him to ‘curse God and die’ (Job 2:9). His three friends tell him he has sinned while he is sitting their will boils all over his body. Everyone attacks him instead of someone coming to stand with him. They were accusing him of hypocrisy, of having secret sin, of having done something to loose God’s favor. The only way to overcome mental depression is to get into the presence of God. Sometimes it takes weeping in God’s presence to refresh you. When you weep before God, He turns toward you. You won’t get victory by going somewhere, watching TV, or some fleshly thing, but only by getting in His presence and allowing the brokenness of God to come and bring His peace and release.
So when Satan wants to come against you, he will try to stop your spiritual walk, try to stop your vision by causing division, and try to stop your momentum by causing weariness in your flesh. How does he do all this? He usually uses people, a person. Much depression comes from circumstances, especially family problems. A lot of depression is not some chemical imbalance in their body, but situations that weigh them down. Much of the cares you have to deal with are either family or people in your church. Dealing with people is the core of the ministry, but there are times when you need to be alone. There are children of the kingdom and children of the devil, wheat and tares. When God wants to bless you, he sends a person to be a blessing. When Satan wants to hinder or destroy you he will try to plant someone in your way that will become a hindrance by stooping your walk with God by causing you to sin or by causing your vision to be divided by confusing the vision or slowing down your momentum by wearing you out with mental weariness.
In the early church it talks about some of the problems they faced in the first couple chapters of Revelation. Revelation 2:13 “I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.” The emperor had made a temple to himself and was going there to be worshipped as God in that city. Revelation 2:15 “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.” Here was a problem started by a man name Nicolas, one of the elders of the early church that had a gorgeous wife of whom he was very jealous. To prove he was not jealous of her, he allowed men to have sexual relations with her, which led to sexual immorality in the church. False doctrines had to be constantly dealt with in the early church. It was a false doctrine, but one started by an individual, just as with the church of ThyatirainRevelation 2:20. She was seducing the men in the church. Most of the problems of the early church was not so much Satan working on the outside because persecution brought blessing and growth, but his working from within the church. Persecution always causes the church to come together, to seek God and to grow. So mostly Satan uses immorality and sin within the camp to stop the church from growing and being blessed by God. This is Satan’s Master Plan. It is that there is someone, a person, assigned by Satan to destroy you, your church and your family. There is at least one person assigned to each of these. No it is no good to go to an extreme and be suspicious of everyone, but to follow the spirit and watch the fruit of those in the church.
The second part of Satan’s Maser Plan is the battle about truth. The real spiritual battle has to do with what is truth and what is not truth. The first temptation in the garden was, ‘hath God said.” Even in the temptation of Jesus, Satan quoted scripture and said, “It is written…” But Satan added to the Word of God when he quoted it. Scripture says, “Thy Word is truth.” Also, “ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” That doesn’t mean to just know it in your head, mentally, but to experience it. You shall experience the truth and it shall make your free. In the last days the biggest battle is going to be against deception. Deception is a battle against truth. The Greek word used for deceive means to give a false impression by statement, appearance or influence. The term ‘deceitful lusts’ are lusts that are excited through deceit. Another word is Dolos, which is translated as bait or a snare. The snare is set for you through deception. You have to remember that a half-truth is equal to no truth. A half-truth is a lie. Every false church in the world has enough truth to pull people in but enough deception to destroy them. Deception is the greatest tool of the enemy because in Matthew 24 when Jesus was talking about the last days, He warned about deception and false prophets and preachers and Paul spoke of those who would come as angels of light but were workers of darkness. Matthew 24:11 “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” 24 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
People deceive by using the Bible to justify their problems. Someone who wants to drink alcohol with tell you how Jesus turned water into wine and that Paul said take a little wine for your stomach sake. They don’t study the Greek words and what is meant in context. They don’t know that the word for wine was ‘pure blood of the vine’ or unfermented grape juice. Homosexuals get on TV justify it by saying that David loved Jonathan as his own soul (1 Samuel 18:1-2). But it was about them making covenant, one that Hebrew men made and it had nothing to do with sex. They ignore the whole of scripture and use one verse out of place or meaning to justify their sin. They say there is no real hell, because hell is a metaphor. Others say what can be wrong with having more than one wife, look at Abraham, or David and Solomon. They ignore the new covenant. A seducing spirit comes to men and seduces them away from the truth and this is the great problem or attack against the church in these last days.
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