Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

    by Jeannette Haley

      About 25 years ago while in prayer, I saw a “picture” of the world. I knew it was the world, even though it was impossible to see any continents or seas because the entire globe was wrapped up like a ball of twine. That “twine” represented lies.  It was simple, yet it had a profound effect on my worldview. With the passing of the years, this revelation has come to mind often as attacks against the truth escalate from every quarter.

       According to Isaiah 24:7, this “twine” is a covering. “And he [Jesus] will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.” We gain further insight into this covering in Isaiah 30:1, which states, “WOE to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin”. These verses bring us face-to-face with the shocking reality that every nation—every man, woman and child—are under an evil covering of lies. Where did all these lies originate? If you answered, “From the father of lies, the devil, in the Garden of Eden,” you would be correct.

       Genesis 3 clearly reveals how the stage was set for Satan to be established as “the god of this world” through three powerful ploys that have served him well ever since that fateful day. The first was to throw doubt on God and His Word. Consider the subtlety of this question, “Yea, hath God said, “Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” The subtlety lies in the intent, or spirit, behind the question. Satan’s scheme was to undermine what Eve believed by casting doubt on the character of God, insinuating that God was withholding something good from them. Once this small insidious seed of doubt was planted in Eve’s innocent mind, causing confusion for her, the door was open for him to inject the poison of an outright lie, which is his second ploy. “Ye shall not surely die.” This was quickly followed by Satan’s explanation of why God had “lied” to them. “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” This promise of “godhood” was Satan’s third tactic.

       To summarize, the first of Satan’s three-pronged attack was to cast doubt on God (the way, the truth and the life) with the aim of shaking Eve’s faith. Once confidence, trust and faith in God are weakened, the aftereffect of a shocking, outright lie can be perceived as truth and believed. The third and final assault in the form of a promise to intellectual understanding, elevated personhood, power, and spirituality without God was more than she could fight. After all, Eve was inexperienced, unprepared and unprotected. Her husband, who had been given the responsibility to protect the garden and his wife, opted to ignore his responsibility in favor of becoming a “god” himself. Thus, the lie that entered into Paradise and into the hearts of our first parents spread over the face of the entire world.

       Why have these three tactics been so successful through the ages? The answer can be summed up by 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” We see Satan using these same ploys in his temptation of the second Adam, Jesus Christ. “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” Matthew 4:3. This mocking temptation was aimed at the very deity, the I AM of Christ, and the lust of the flesh. It is as if Satan was saying, “Are you really God? If so, then prove it. I know you are hungry, I know you want bread, so why not turn these stones into bread?” Jesus answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4. One down, two to go.

       Undaunted, Satan took Him “up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 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.” As with Eve, Satan was putting his own spin on the truth, tempting Jesus with the sin of the pride of life. Humanity seems to be particularly vulnerable to twisted truths, especially when it appeals to the pride of life, but not so our Lord. “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (See Matthew 4:5-7). Truth is a two-edged sword that never misses its intended target. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” John 8:32. Two down, one to go.

       With a determination that would make Obama and the Congressional progressive socialists proud, the devil took Jesus up “into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” Matthew 4:8, 9. Ahhh! The temptation to gain “the whole world”—the temptation of all temptations through the lust of the eyes. Herein lay the promise to be the one-world ruler of “all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.”  This temptation, to be “as a god”—with knowledge and power—was too much for Eve, and she sold her soul. But, wait! Before you condemn her (and Adam, who was “with her” and whom through whom “all die”), consider what whole governments, kingdoms, and nations sell their souls for. Consider what corrupt American politicians have recently sold their souls for—and weep. Then consider Jesus who overcame the wicked one, and the deceiver of all mankind, when He replied, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” Matthew 4:10. Hallelujah! Three strikes and Satan was out. If Jesus had given in to just one of Satan’s lying temptations, we would all be hopelessly lost, and remain dead in our sins.

       Satan’s great ability through lies to cast doubt on God’s character and His Word, to make God out to be the liar, and to promise a “better existence” for people is the power behind the vail over the nations. The power of the “mystery of iniquity” is Satan’s ability to deceive through lies, which is the unseen hand directing the course of the nations of the world. The Apostle Paul’s words as recorded in 2 Corinthians 4:1-4 are timeless for his age, the succeeding ages, and especially applicable for the end of the age in which we live. He wrote, “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” I might add, the “hidden things of dishonesty,” “craftiness,” and “handling the word of God deceitfully,” is not isolated to certain offices of government, or certain denominations, but to the church at large. I say this in light of Paul’s warning in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, which the people of God must take heed to. He warned, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” The “falling away” refers to apostasy, which brings us back to the whole world wrapped in lies and propaganda. However, consider this: all liars “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” Revelation 21:8.

       The sad fact is, not everyone is concerned about whether or not the framework of their perspective and worldview is embedded in lies. Furthermore, not everyone gives serious consideration as to whether or not the foundation of his or her belief system is solid truth. People who have no love for the truth, and this holds true from the “greatest” to the “least” in any nation, culture or church, will be sent a strong delusion from God Himself so that they will believe a lie. What is the result of this strong delusion? The answer is damnation.  (See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). Either receive a love for the truth, or lose your own soul.

       If this seems harsh in your estimation, it is because you are without God’s perspective, and ignorant of the seriousness of what is involved concerning lies. First, it is impossible for God to lie. (See Hebrews 6:18). Therefore, whenever a person disbelieves the record that God has given us (His Word), that person is calling God a liar. If we say that we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar, and His word is not in us, (1 John 1:8). Isn’t this what Satan tempts us to do—call God a liar? After all, if we can convince ourselves that God doesn’t really mean what He says, then we can rebel, twist and rewrite Scripture to mean something it does not say, and follow the broad path of the lust of the flesh, the pride of life, and the lust of the eyes. We can probably even find a local church within five minutes that offers a “different gospel, Jesus and spirit” to suit our arrogant, politically correct sensibilities, and plenty of entertainment to satisfy the flesh. Such heretical churches abound today. Religion is not a substitute to true holiness, godliness, and obedience. No religion or doctrine can save you. Faith in your faith cannot save you, nor can faith in your doctrines save you. No amount of tradition can save you, neither can humanism, or social justice save you. Positive confession, which is just another mind-science occult practice, cannot save you. Joining a church cannot save you. Neither can you purchase your salvation. There is only one way to be saved, and that is through the cross of Christ. “Ye must be born again” John 3:7b.

       If we truly love Jesus, we will love the truth. Remember what Jesus said to Thomas: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me” John 14:6. You cannot separate Jesus from truth, but the fact is many people try to do exactly that when they claim to love Jesus, yet embrace theologies, doctrines, philosophies, and lifestyles that deny who Jesus is, and what He taught. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” John 17:17. It is clear that sanctification is impossible without the truth of the Word of God, yet today in the post-modern, emergent churches we see the exact opposite as the Word of God is “bent” to “fit” around people’s emotions and experiences, thus stripping the pure Word of God of its power to convict, draw, quicken, cleanse and redeem men’s souls. (To do in-depth research of the far-reaching and dangerous heresies that are infiltrating Christendom today, log on to

       Who opposed Jesus the most when He was on this earth? Was it the Roman government? Was it the common people? Was it the Samaritans? You already know the answer—it was the Pharisees, and the Scribes. In his discourse with the Pharisees in John 8, imagine their shock when Jesus said to them, “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. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” John 8:44-47. Do you “hear” (receive) God’s words? Do you apply them to your heart and life? On the other hand, have you been deceived into believing the “convenient” lies of the devil? You may think you belong to yourself, but you belong either to God, or to the devil. Which is it?

       In Revelation 12:9 we read “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” How shall we stand against such a foe? The next verse gives the answer, “And they [the saints] overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Remember, one day soon “They that see thee [Satan] shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? Isaiah 14:16, 17.

       Finally, as we celebrate the resurrection of our soon-coming Lord, let us take comfort in the words of the Apostle Paul, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

       Come quickly, Lord Jesus!