Truth is hard to come by nowadays, even with the advent of modern technology. Yes, we can do a quick search and find an answer to the most obscure questions, but how do we know if what we are reading or hearing is true? Someone can claim to be an expert on a specific topic or in a certain field, but in reality their knowledge is no more profound or educated than our neighbor. We simply have to trust their word; after all, their “credentials” appear legitimate.
Then there’s bias. As humans, we’re all inclined to think, act and believe based on past experiences, current circumstances and personal inclinations. From our favorite foods and sports teams to politics to religion. Some even pride themselves on having an opinion about anything and everything. We all do it, but it’s how and why we share our opinions, as well as process those of others, that causes problems.
Just think about witnesses to a crime or something as simple as relaying a memory. What one person notices, the other completely ignores or overlooks. When Mom’s favorite vase gets broken, it’s unlikely the two siblings involved will relay the same information as to what happened. If a group of men go fishing and claim they nearly caught a bass the size of a small dog, that same bass may grow to be the size of a horse by the time of the fourth retelling.
Despite what people say, the ultimate source of misinformation—lies—is not the media, the other side of the political aisle or even oppressive regimes; it comes from one far greater and far more evil: Satan.
Also known as the enemy and the devil, Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). He lies about himself (2 Corinthians 11:14). He lies about what is good and what is evil. He lies about you, others and most importantly, He lies about God. Throughout history, people have uttered and believed all sorts of lies about God, and Satan has been the source of them all.
At one time, Satan was an angel of light. However, like all of us, he had a free will and abused it. Like us, he was given the choice to receive God’s love or forsake it. He chose the latter. He let his pride determine his steps and tried to make himself a god (emphasis on the little “g”). He knew he was created by the one and only God and therefore could never come close to equality with God (see Deuteronomy 32:39), but he tried anyway (see Isaiah 14:12-15). He not only tried (and continues to try), he wants to ensure he deceives as many people as possible into believing it is true.
Satan wants one thing, and that is to be worshiped. He will stop at nothing to make it happen. He lies about who he is and his intentions, and he most certainly lies about the One who actually is the one and only God.
Yes, Satan is evil and deceptive, but he is not stupid. The Bible warns about his craftiness for a reason, likening him to a prowling lion in search of someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). As 2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us, he “disguises himself as an angel of light” because he knows it is the only way to deceive as many people as possible. For if he can convince people he is good and has their best interest at heart, they are far more likely to listen to and follow him than they would if he revealed his true, hateful character.
Satan wants one thing, and that is to be worshiped. He will stop at nothing to make it happen.
He also uses our innermost desires against us. As one who has been sinning since the beginning of Creation (1 John 3:8), Satan intimately knows every evil act, every display of disobedience to God. He knows how sin can feel good in the moment, so he convinces people it is okay or worth the punishment. He even goes as far to say there will be no punishment or consequences.
He does this knowing how weak we humans are by ourselves and how quick we are to go with whatever makes us feel good in the moment (2 Corinthians 4:4). Though we may like to think we are strong (whether it be physically, emotionally or psychologically), we are no match to Satan. None of us, no matter how smart, wise or cognizant we may be, are able to stand against Satan and his attempts to steal our souls. Yet, like the courageous men and women who came before us and refused to join themselves to Satan, we have One far greater on our side (1 John 4:4). Known as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, God Almighty has already defeated Satan. He did it on the Cross (Colossians 2:14-15, Hebrews 2:14).
Actually, the defeat goes back farther than that, to moments after Satan convinced the first humans, Adam and Eve, to forsake all God had told them and follow him instead. Though Adam and Eve fell for Satan’s lie and willingly chose Satan over God, God showed His mercy. As He condemned Satan and told Adam and Eve of the consequences for their sin, He also gave a promise.
“‘I (God) will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and
her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel’” (Genesis 3:15).
Because God is all-knowing and all-powerful, He knows the heart of every person ever born (Psalm 139:1-4, Hebrews 4:13). Therefore, He knew Adam and Eve would not be the last to misuse their free will and go against Him. This sin nature (inbred inclination to disobey God) would be passed on through the generations and all would endure the natural ramifications (jealousy, anger, hate, disease, death, etc.). Yet, God provided another way, The Way. Out of love, He would provide a Savior. This Savior, though entirely perfect and sinless, would offer every person a restored relationship with God and utterly crush Satan (John 12:31).
A time came when it appeared Satan had defeated this Savior (see Matthew 27:50, 59-60), but he would only bruise His heel. Even death could not hold this Savior, for He would rise again three days later (Matt. 27:64), forever defeating death and paying the penalty for the sins of all those who accept His precious sacrifice on their behalf (1 Peter 2:24). This Savior was God Himself, Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us (Matt. 1:23). The second Person of the Trinity, Jesus is equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He was with Them when creating the universe and is with Them now, but He had the special role of serving as the needed sacrifice for sins. Only a perfect being could pay the penalty for mankind’s sins, and as One of the perfect Triune God, Jesus willfully accepted this role (Matt. 20:28, Galatians 3:13).
It sounds like a story too good to be true, and in human terms, it is. For why would God send His only Son, One who knows no sin, to die for those who disobey and ignore Him? What would motivate God to willfully take on the sins of the world, and their subsequent punishment, to give every sinful human a chance to abandon a life destined to death and accept one of eternal life?
It is the greatest, most profound example of grace, mercy and love, and one does not need to fully comprehend it to believe it.
Such a grand and merciful sacrifice seems so beyond our understanding, but that does not make it any less true. In fact, its truth is so absolute, it cannot be affected by mankind’s inability to understand or explain it. It is the greatest, most profound example of grace, mercy and love, and one does not need to fully comprehend it to believe it. Rather, all we must do is accept it as best as we can, and God will handle the rest (John 3:16, Romans 6:23).
Even Satan knows the truth. Why else would he try so hard to prevent people from believing it?
If it were not true, all he would have to do is give us time to reason it out for ourselves and conclude its absurdity. Yet, he has spent thousands of years and deployed countless of his demons in an attempt to tell the same lie he convinced Adam and Eve to believe in the Garden: “Did God really say” (Genesis 3:1)?
If Satan can get us to fall for such a lie, he knows he can convince us of every other lie he conceives.
Did God really say if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)?
Did God really say those who are not for Him are against Him (Matthew 12:30)?
Did God really say those who believe in Him are not condemned but those who do not believe in Him are already condemned because they do not believe in Him (John 3:18)?
Did God really say we will all give account to Him (Romans 14:12)?
When we start doubting and even disbelieving these fundamental truths, Satan knows he has you. If these are not true, then neither are the countless other “truths” God proclaims. And if none of what God says is true, then I can determine what is true and what is not, what is good and what is not.
These are the lies Satan wants you to believe, not because they hold any speck of truth, but because he knows such thinking will lead you permanently separated from God, just like him (Isaiah 59:1-2). He knows if he convinces you to willfully live contrary to everything God says is good, you will be miserable, desperate and empty (1 John 2:15-17). You may have what you want and be accountable to no one, but your soul will be infested with fatal evil, just like his. He knows that if you are not for God, you are against Him, just like him (Matt. 12:30, Luke 16:13). And that is what he wants.
He doesn’t want you to be happy, he wants you separated from the only One who can bring you joy. He doesn’t care about you, he only cares about himself and whether you choose him over God. He cannot promise wisdom, security or peace; he can only promise a life devoid of them all.
Satan desires one thing, and that is to be a god. He couldn't care less about you or a relationship with you. God, on the other hand, promises to love and care for those who love Him (Romans 8:37-39). He desires a relationship with you. That is why He sent His Son to die for you and pay the penalty due for your sins. That is why Jesus willfully died on the Cross, though He knew no sin. That is why the Holy Spirit enters your heart upon your proclamation of God as Lord and helps you every second of every day. It is all because of love (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:4-5).
Don’t believe the lies Satan continues to spew about you, and certainly do not believe His lies about God. They are empty and will only lead to death if believed. His intent is to kill and destroy, God’s is to give life and give it abundantly (John 10:10).
Satan is the father of lies, the ultimate deceiver. God is the Father of grace and mercy, the ultimate Savior.
Satan may try to wrap a pretty bow around his lies, convincing you they are okay or even worse, better than what God promises to those who believe in Him, but it is only to mask the putrid evil he has in store for you. Satan is the father of lies, the ultimate deceiver. God is the Father of grace and mercy, the ultimate Savior.
One wants your soul forever entrenched in torment, the other your soul forever in peace with Him. Both doors are open to you, which one will you choose?
English Standard Version Bible. (2001). Crossway Bibles.