Part 8 – The Way of Victory over the Deceiver, Tempter and Accuser
There is only one Devil, meaning; the one who ‘sets at variance,’ ‘the slanderer,’ or as Satan ‘the malignant accuser.’ He works in believer’s ‘mind,’ seeking to ensnare them. These wicked spirits try to gain deceitful mastery over the minds of believers.
Now we will consider how to be victorious ‘in mind’ over the powers of darkness, then in helping others. Victory over the Deceiver, Tempter and Accuser is possible only by the Power of the Cross-work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet we do have a part in overcoming “the wiles [trickeries] of the Devil.”
Some conditions for safety from deception of Evil spirits are as follows;
- First, we must have knowledge that they do exist
- We must realize that they can deceive the most honest believers such a Peter (cf. Gal 2:11-16)
- We must understand the conditions and ground necessary for the working of lying spirits, so as to give them no place and no opportunity of working (cf. Eph. 4:27 (KJV). This series is to offer that understanding.
- We must have an intelligent knowledge of God and how He works and so as to cooperate with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Key in that knowledge of God is to know how He has worked on our behalf and know that we are empowered by the Cross-work of Christ in which we as to our Old Man ‘died with Him’ (Rom. 6:3-4, 6-7) so that “Sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3b) would no longer have power over our lives.
Formerly “Sin” had power over us; 3 Among whom also we all had our
conversation [manner of living] in times past in the lusts [desires] of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:3 (KJV)
We all have felt certain sinful impulses that proceed from “the body of this flesh” directly as some form of sexual sin and temptation to other sinful acts that proceed from the mind that seeks to compel us in a myriad of other sinful ways, such as; lying, stealing, gossiping, etc. All acts of sinning are by a choice of the soul’s mind and will. When we see or hear of a Christians doing these things, we know that if they are a genuine believer they are still “yet carnal [fleshly]” Christians (cf. 1Cor 3:3).
We can thank God who gave His Son at the Cross to die not only ‘for us’ but also to die ‘as us.’ It is by our co-death with Christ’s Physical “body” (cf. Rom. 7:4) that we were liberated from the Power of “Sin in the flesh” so that we might live in righteousness unto God. This occurred with our ‘dry baptism’ into Christ.
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized [set or fixed positionally] into Jesus Christ were baptized into his DEATH? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into DEATH: [so] that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of [His] life. Romans 6:3-4 (KJV)
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become DEAD to the law by the [crucified physical] body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:4 (KJV)
Knowing these Biblical facts of Paul’s gospel … we are empowered to actually deny the ‘fleshly temptations,’ to overcome the “desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Eph. 2:3 above), by choosing to live righteously. This all works because we died with Christ and were risen with Christ to “newness of life” (v4 above) in the very moment we first believed.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin [from Sin’s power]. Romans 6:7 (KJV)
13b … if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body [of flesh], ye shall live [Gk. zao, enjoy the new life]. Romans 8:13 (KJV)
Thus, it is left to us to not only ‘know’ these facts as the truth of our liberation from Sin, but also to ‘apply’ these truths, applying them in our daily lives as we contend with the Devil’s ‘temptations.’
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
Yet, often unknowingly for many Christians, we are already fully equipped to handle the devilish wickedness that comes at us in the form of lying deceit, temptations, and accusations, as seen below in Eph. 6:10-18.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:10-18 (KJV)
Victory over the Devil as the ‘tempter,’ with all his temptations that are at us personally, directly, or indirectly, are to be recognized and rejected by the intelligized believer. We must remember that not all temptations are recognizable as ‘temptations,’ nor are they always visibly obvious, often being half hidden. The believer usually thinks he will be as conscious of the approach of the Devil’s temptations, as he would be of a person coming into the room. Most of the children of God are only aware of the Devil’s obvious workings such as we see in the degradation of our societal culture today by the corruption of marriages, male/female roles and relationships, the family, rule of law, respect of others, and the long accepted societal norms of years gone by.
Because their knowledge of the Devil’s character and methods of working is so limited, many of the children of God only recognize “temptation” when the nature of the thing presented is visibly evil, according to their limited knowledge of evil. They do not recognize the Tempter and his temptations when it comes under the guise of what appears to be natural, or physical, or lawful, and from someone who appears to be apparently ‘good.’
Then there is the work of the ‘Satan as the Accuser.’ The difference between the ‘accusation’ of the enemy and his ‘temptations.’ The latter is an effort on his part to compel one to sin or draw us into sin, while the ‘accusation’ is a charge of transgression or sin sent into the believer’s ‘mind.’
- Temptation is the Devil’s effort to cause the believer to transgress what he knows to be good by God’s standard or principle for righteous living in this age of “the dispensation of the grace of God.”
- Accusation is to place the believer in the guilty position of having transgressed God’s righteous standard… even when he has not sinned.
The Devil’s evil spirits want the believer to be wrong and do wrong that they might then ‘accuse him
and torment him mentally for being wrong. Satan’s accusation is the ‘counterfeit’ of God’s genuine ‘conviction’ in the heart of the believer – counterfeiting the true conviction of “the Spirit of God.” Know that no sin of the believer under grace is held against the believer today, under pure “grace of God” Our sins are not imputed to us today, read Paul’s Romans 4:5-8.
It is important that the believer know when the charge of transgression is made, whether it is genuine Divine
‘conviction’ or a Satanic ‘accusation.’ Satan’s devices are myriad.
- The Devil may accuse a man when he is genuinely guilty.
- The Devil may accuse a man when he is NOT guilty and cause him to thin and believe that he is guilty.
- The devil may pass on his accusations as if it were genuine ‘conviction,’ causing the man to think that his failure comes from his own nature, when he is not guilty at all.
The ‘double play’ is when the Devil first tempts the believer into actually sinning, and then accuses him of his guilt. This is all designed to disable the believer who then is often self-condemned and then dares not share his faith. Of course, knowing the truth of “the gospel of the grace of God” for today is the real answer for believers today. We must know our sure and secure standing with God and His unconditional forgiveness of all our sins. When we see and appreciate this, then the love of the Lord constrains our hearts such that we want to walk in righteousness with Him in faith.
So, Evil spirits are able to infuse a sense of guilt into the minds of believers who are not intelligized in the Pauline Scriptures as to their true spiritual identity “in Christ.” Sin itself springs from the evil nature of “sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3b), which in fact has been disempowered by the Cross-work of Christ (Rom. 6:7). The idea of sinning is not forced upon the believer from without, apart from the believer being tempted and deceived ‘in mind’ to choose wrongly.
How can the believer tell if Evil spirits are behind his sense that he has somehow sinned? If the believer is right with God, standing upon Romans 6:6-7 truth, with no known deliberate yielding to sin, then any accusation of sin may be dealt with as ‘lying deceit’ of Satanic Evil spirits. The believer must never accept an accusation or a charge against him that is supernaturally made, unless he is fully convinced by intelligent knowledge and understanding that he has done so. If he accepts the charge when he is innocent, he will suffer much as if he really had transgressed. He must refuse any compulsory drive to “confession” of sin toward others, which may be the force of the enemy to accept his ‘lying accusations.’ The believer should maintain neutrality to any accusation until he is sure of its source, as of God or of Satan. If the man then knows he is guilty he can simply profess that Cross-work of Christ has already paid for this sin and all sin – being thankful to the Lord. He should refuse to be beaten by the Devil as the Devil is not the judge of God’s children, nor is he ever God’s messenger to make to make any sort of charge against the believer. For it is God our Father who is ever at work in us.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 (KJV)
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he [the Lord] which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
The Holy Spirit alone is commissioned by the Father to convict of sin.
Malicious Evil spirits try to make the believer feel guilty by their nagging accusations to make him believe, act, and appear guilty. The steps in the working of evil spirits in their accusations and false charges are these, when the believer accepts their accusations.
- The believer then thinks and believes he is guilty.
- Evil spirits cause him to ‘feel guilty.’
- They cause him then to manifest this delusion, so he ‘appears guilty.’
- Thus, they cause him to be guilty through his believing these lies. It matters not whether he is guilty or not in the first instance.
All who have learned the devices of the enemy (Read ‘War on the Saints’ by Jessie Penn Lewis), and the way of overcoming, are deeply concerned that others should be set free and brought into the place of victory “over all the power of the enemy” (Matt. 10:1). It is by the degree of our understanding Christ’s Cross-work for us that “the Spirit of God” will energize him to exercise victory over the ‘spirit of evil.’ We will be able to help others only to the degree of victory we have had in our personal conflict. We must settle down to face the sphere of spiritual life into which we have emerged.
The believer must learn to walk in personal victory over the Devil at every point, if he is to have the fullest victory over “the powers of darkness” in order to serve and help others. For this, he needs to;
- Know the Lord Jesus Christ in all aspects of His Cross, name, character, and His word through Paul to us, in order to draw upon His power by living in truth, in union with Christ.
4 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. 2 Cor. 4:4 (KJV)
- The believer must also learn of the Adversary, the Devil in his various workings as described in his names, character, as seen in the Biblical record. We need to be able to discern the Devil, and his wicked spirits, knowing how the Devil works in attacking us, and in others, and/or discern his working in and through “world rulers” of darkness in the governments on earth.
Having attained victory over the Deceitful one by Knowing and Trusting “the word of truth” we are called to help others to victory in the same way. When a believer does not know and or doesn’t endeavor to know the Scriptures “rightly divided” they “oppose themselves.”
Paul below says we who live in the world need to “instruct those” people who “oppose themselves,” “teaching them” so that “they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil.” There are many who “are taken captive by him at his [the Devil’s] will” through ignorance of the liberating truths of “the gospel of the grace of God.”
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, [those] who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 (KJV)
Anyone remaining ignorant can easily be taken in mind and kept blinded by the workings of Deceitful one.
(Portions of this Study are adapted from “War on the Saints,” by Jessie Penn Lewis and “Earth’s Earliest Ages” by G. H. Pember.)
As folow-up to this series I sugest that readers listen to this YouTube Video: "Wescott and Horts Occult Connections" - Dr. Phil Stringer