Satan’s Tool Box: Understanding Deception

We are told over and over throughout the scriptures to be careful that no one misleads or deceives us. One of the greatest ways the enemy gains access or permission is through deception.  


Let us start with the warning Jesus gives us in Matthew 24 where Jesus is talking about the end times. His disciples pulled him aside privately and asked Jesus what some of the signs of His second coming would be. It’s extremely noteworthy for us to pay attention to the fact that the  very first thing Jesus says Matthew 24:4-5 is “See that no one leads you astray for many will come in my name saying I am the Christ and they will lead many astray.”  

 Various translations use words such as “fool, trick, deceive” in places of “leading one astray.”  The word “many” is verse 5 actually is a much stronger word meaning “the majority”. So here we have Jesus warning us against great deception in the end days.  

 Some of verses regarding deception include:  

Jeremiah 9:6 “Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me,” declares the Lord. 

Romans 16:18 “For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech, they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” 

2 Thessalonians 2:11: “For this reason, God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false…” 

Colossians 2:4 “not to let anyone deceive us with persuasive arguments.” 

Proverbs 26:19: “So is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, “Was I not joking?” 

The word “deceive” and variations are used over 65 times in the Bible not including lying or lie.  

  Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ”  NIV 


 So what Paul is saying is that Satan is going to use the exact same toolbox that he used to deceive Eve to deceive us if we are not aware of it so in order for us to understand how Satan wants to deceive us; we need to go back and investigate how he deceived Eve. 


Deception is something we need to start becoming aware of because any belief or thought or behavior that doesn’t align with God Word shows us that somewhere along the line we were deceived —and this has caused many of us to miss out on God’s best. For if we are judging things, people, and circumstances through the lens of our pain, background, etc….we can see how easily our hearts become misaligned and deceived.  


Jeremiah 17:3 Message Translation says it best “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human; I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be. 


Let us go back to the Garden of Eden in Genesis and examine how Satan deceived Eve.  


Genesis 1:29 And God said “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed to you, it shall be for meat.  Every herb bearing seed, every tree on the earth yielding fruit, and all the fruit of a tree yielding seeds” 


Then let’s jump to Genesis 2:15-17 “and the Lord God took  the man and put him in the garden – the word garden in Hebrew means enclosure-  of Eden to dress it and to keep it and the Lord God commanded the man, saying of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat but of thSie tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely died.– So every tree but of the tree—there is only one – in the midst of the garden – don’t eat from this one.  They were given every tree but one tree.  I’m stressing this point because with such abundance, how did the enemy get Eve’s attention on the only tree that was off limits?  


He was able to do that by manipulating the language to change the meaning of the words that God used.   I’m going to repeat myself here because this is a vital point ‘He manipulated the language to change the meaning of words. ‘ God said of every tree in the garden you may eat but then we see in Genesis 3:1 “that the serpent was more subtle than any best of the field which the Lord God had made and he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden” 


So Satan added the word “not” and took out the word “freely”.  Why is Satan changing the language?  Because he understands that words are not just a communication tool. They are the window through which you see the world. So, when you change what you say; it changes what you see. That’s why we must be very, very intentional to follow God’s principles. What He calls things is actually what they are. Not what man renames things.  An example is “God calls sex with another person while you are married “adultery” and He calls it a sin.  Man calls it an affair.  God calls homosexuality an abomination; man calls it “gay”.   Now, I’m not saying that if you struggle with any of these issues that God doesn’t love you or that we aren’t called to love those struggling with these sins.  My point is that we need to determine right now to call things what God calls them or we are deceived.  


Satan changed what God said and when you change what God said you are in a very dangerous place, right? 


Let’s take a moment to understand how our brains work.  We hear all the time in the business world, in political arenas, in marriages, anytime there is a disagreement or conflict:  You hear people asserting that they are telling you the truth.  It’s common place to hear people say “They know the truth because they witnessed the truth about a particular subject” but the problem is that what we see is simply our perception and often not “reality” or “truth”.  While most people assert that their perception is reality; neuroscience has now proven that “reality” is constructed by your brain.  Here is what that means and why it matters:  


Let’s me explain:  Neuroscientist Patrick Cavanaugh, tells us “that it’s important to understand we’re not seeing reality.  We are seeing a story that is being created for us by our brain. Most of the time, the story our brains generate matches the real, physical world – but not always.  Our brains unconsciously bend our perception of reality to meet our desires or expectations. And they fill in the gaps using our past experiences.” ( 


Words powerfully shape our attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions.  Here is a dictionary definition of perception “The way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.” This sounds identical to Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinketh, so is he;  The word “thinketh or think” in this verse means to assess, understand or evaluate.  So neuroscience has now proven that what we think truth is simply our perception and that perceptions are as unique as each individual person is.  


We know from God’s Word that life and death are in the tongue – meaning that our words have creative power which would make sense as we were created in God’s Image and God creates through spoken word.  (Proverbs 18:21”Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”)   


Words powerfully shape our attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions. Let’s look at how perception and reality are different by looking at the definition now of “reality.” 


The dictionary defines reality as “the world or state of things as they actually exist…existence that is absolute, objective and not subject to human decisions or conventions.”  


Clearly we see that perception and reality have very different meanings. Perception occurs entirely in the mind in which mental gymnastics can turn any belief into reality. Whereas reality operates completely outside of the mind and can’t be manipulated.   


 John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 


John 16:13 – Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 


John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 


Therefor as a Christian, truth is calling things as God calls them; hence reality. Perception is not reality, but, admittedly, perception can become a person’s reality (there is a difference) because perception has a potent influence on how we look at reality. 

Think of it this way. Perception acts as a lens through which we view reality. Our perceptions influence how we focus on, process, remember, interpret, understand, synthesize, decide about, and act on reality. In doing so, our tendency is to assume that how we perceive reality is an accurate representation of what reality truly is. But it’s not. The problem is that the lens through which we perceive is often warped in the first place by our genetic predispositions, past experiences, prior knowledge, emotions, preconceived notions, self-interest, and cognitive distortions. 

Perception is not reality, but, perception has a potent influence on how we look at reality. 

Daniel Kahneman, the noted psychologist who received the 2002 Nobel Prize winner identifying what he termed cognitive biases (there are 100s) that are systematic ways in which humans create subjective social reality that deviates from objective reality. 

We experience reality through senses that limit how we process reality. Additionally, if we are reading the word of God without the Holy Spirit, we are reading it without the author present and seeing God’s word through the lens of their own our interpretation instead of his truth… 


We have determined that the enemy uses deception regularly; that deception would increase in the last days; and that our minds actually don’t interpret what we see correctly.  This is why Scripture talks about the one of the major sources of deception being self-deception.  

1 John 1: 8  “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 

There are three elements of deception. The first is the fundamental distrust of God and His leadership, authority, and Word. But God’s Word is truth  (John 17:17) and He Himself is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). 

The second element of deception is rebellion. Just like Jonah, you know what to do; you simply won’t do it. The Bible says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17) 

The third element of deception is the rejection of God’s love. All cults and most denominations are loveless. They are harsh, dominating, mean-spirited, and critical of everyone except their own. But the Bible says, Romans 13:10 “Love does no harm to a neighbor” ,and 1 John 4:8 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”  

I’m sure we all wish at times  the enemy would announce himself with a blaring trumpet. It certainly would be easier to avoid his traps…but this isn’t how Scripture depicts the enemy…. 

I’m sure we all wish at times  the enemy would announce himself with a blaring trumpet. It certainly would be easier to avoid his traps…but this isn’t how Scripture depicts the enemy…. 

However, this isn’t how Scripture depicts him. He prowls. He deceives. He waits and he watches for an opportune time. He also isn’t a rush to carry out his schemes.  

How many times have you fallen for a lie because it had just enough truth woven into it to believe it.  I know I certainly have.  

Our enemy is not creative. 

If we examine Scripture, we see he’s using the same tactics he used hundreds of years ago on believers today. Sometimes he changes the angle, but the heart of the deception is the same. And do you know what’s even better news? We have a Helper who strengthens us and enables us to discern the truth. 

If you are interested in any professional services and walking through inner healing with Dr. Baldwin, call anytime for a free consultation @409-0934-6196

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