Opposing Satan, The Counterfeit Word -- By: Dan Lioy

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 18:1 (Sep 2014)
Article: Opposing Satan, The Counterfeit Word
Author: Dan Lioy


Opposing Satan, The Counterfeit Word

Dan Lioy1

Abstract

A primary goal of this journal article is to explore how Satan (especially through his minions) strives to undermine the will of the Saviour (particularly through his followers). A correspondent aim is to deliberate how to oppose the devil’s attacks. One major finding is that Lucifer uses spurious forms of verbal communication to tempt, deceive, and accuse people, including believers. Also, Satan’s decision to operate in this way is a deliberate perversion of how God used his powerful, creative decree to bring the entire universe into existence and sustain it in all its manifold wonder. A case study analysis of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (cf. Matt 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-11) indicates that he relied on the Word of God to thwart the devil’s attacks. Similarly, an examination of Ephesians 6:10-20 (the premier Pauline passage dealing with the subject of spiritual warfare) shows that Jesus’ followers should make full use of scripture to parry the attacks made by Satan, the counterfeit word.

1. Introduction

In 2 Corinthians, Paul defended his ministry by making explicit statements about himself and his detractors. While the apostle Paul

never specifically identified these antagonists, a portrait of them can be created from the epistle. For instance, the spiritual frauds came from outside Corinth and needed letters of recommendation (3:1). One possibility is that they were from Judea. Paul complained about the pretenders invading his sphere of ministry (10:13-16). Above all, he was alarmed that they preached a false gospel—one that may have de-emphasized the Messiah’s role in the salvation of believers (11:4). The deceivers apparently also claimed their spiritual authority exceeded that of Paul (v. 5).

There is an insidious issue connected with the preceding observations. Specifically, in Paul’s day, the devil’s minions portrayed themselves as Jesus’ ambassadors (v. 13), heralds of truth (v. 14), and ministers promoting ‘righteousness’. Even more fiendish is the reality that Lucifer actively and persistently disguised himself as God’s premier spiritual emissary, when in reality the evil one was the Messiah’s archenemy. Though Paul took note of the devil’s antago...

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