Satan's Modus Operandi PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John E. Russell Sr   

TEXT: 2 Corinthians 2:10-11

To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11, KJV

INTRO:

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
Ephesians 6:11, NASB

The Apostle Paul also speaks concerning the modus operandi or schemes ("wiles" in the KJV) in Ephesians 6:11. The Greek word is is methodeia, which means the evil methods Satan uses to attack believers.

Satan has no opening or influence in Christian's lives as long as we are under God's authority. Rebellion is as witchcraft:

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
 1 Samuel 15:22-23, KJV

Rebellion or disobedience will take us from under God's protection and open our lives for Satanic influence or invasion.

Satan is a fallen angel--a real spirit being. Some of the biblical names and titles of Satan are:

  1. Satan, which means, "Adversary."
  2. Devil, "Accuser," "Slanderer."
  3. Dragon, "Serpent," "Sea Monster." (The Greek root word means "to see".)
  4. Serpent, emphasizing his crookedness and deceitfulness.
  5. Beelzebub or Beelzebul, from Syriac, "Lord of Dung," or "Lord of the House."
  6. Belial or Beliar, "Worthlessness" with the connotation of extreme wickedness and destruction.
  7. Lucifer, "Light-Bearer," meaning the morning star of Venus (the Planet).
  8. The Evil One.
  9. The Tempter.
  10. The God of This World.
  11. The Prince of the Power of the Air.
  12. The Ruler of This World.
    Thiessen, rev. ed., 142-143

Satan's strategy is threefold: 

  1. Inspect.
  2. Influence
  3. Invade.

We cannot control his inspection, but we can stop him from influencing us or invading us.

Jesus said,

Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
John 14:30, KJV

Satan had inspected Jesus and found no sin with which to accuse him.

Job's story was a little different:

 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings {according to} the number of them all; for Job said, "Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it." The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? "Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. "But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.
Now on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you." While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you." While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you." While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you."
 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD."
Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.
 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD. The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it." The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause." Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. "However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face."
So the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life."
Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes.
 Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!" But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job 1:1-2:10, NASB

Job was justified by faith. Here is his confession of faith in God:

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Job 19:25-27l, KJV

But Job also had fear:

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
Job 3:25, KJV

We do not have to fear Satan because Jesus defeated him 2000 years ago. God will take this fear away:

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Romans 8:15, KJV
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7, KJV

Job knew that God was purifying his faith:

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Job 23:10-12, KJV

Notice that Satan said that God had a hedge around Job and God did not deny it. The hedge was around 

  1. Job himself. 
  2. Job's family. 
  3. Job's material possessions. 
  4. Job's business.

Most people seem to view Job's experience in a negaive light. However, Job's trial and suffering probably lasted no longer than a year: less than 1% of his life! Then God healed Job, gave him ten more children (his first ten still existed, because we are never-dying spirits). Job lived 140 years and enjoyed 4 generations of his family. God also doubled his original possessions. He went from being wealthy to vbeing very wealthy:

The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years.
Job 42:12-17, NIV  

Just as Satan inspected Jesus and Job, he has inspected each of us. He knows our weaknesses. His threefold nature and activity are that of tempter, accuser and deceiver:


1. Tempter

For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. 
1 Thessalonians 3:5, KJV 

And he [Jesus] was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
Mark 1:13, KJV
 
Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
1 Corinthians 7:5, KJV
A) The First Adam:
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast 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? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 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. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
 Genesis 3:1-6, KJV
In order to cause Eve to fall, Satan approached her with a three-step temptation:
  1. Doubt God's Word.    "Hath God Said?"
  2. Deny God's Word.     "Ye shall not surely die...."
  3. Disobey God's Word. "She ... and he did eat."
B) The Last Adam (Jesus):
Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he 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. Then the devil taketh 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. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him 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. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Matthew 4:1-11, KJV
Jesus did not doubt when Satan said "If thou be the Son of God." Jesus answered with the Word of God. All of us will be tempted. Stop it in the thought life.


II. Accuser

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Revelation 12:10, KJV

When we experience guilt, how do we know if Satan is accusing us or if the Holy Spirit convicting us?

A) Holy Spirit Conviction:
  1. Is specific.
  2. Cleanses.
  3. Confession brings assurance and peace.
B) Satan's Condemnation:
    1. Brings up the past.
    2. Steals, kills, destroys:
    3. Confession [in unbelief] brings guilt.
    4. Inspires false humility.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10, KJV
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21, KJV
 
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Romans 3:21-26, KJV
 
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11, KJV


3. Deceiver

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14, KJV
 
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.
Revelation 12:9, KJV
 
A) Pride produces deception which produces a fall:

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverb 16:18, KJV
 
B) Jesus warned us:

And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
Luke 21:8, KJV
 
C) How do you tell a genuine ministry? It exalts Christ :

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 12:3, KJV
 
Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
Colossians 2:17-19, KJV
 
D) The end of the deceiver and those deceived:

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:10-15, KJV
 
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Revelation 21:8, KJV

Conclusion:

  1. Confess and forsake every known sin.
  2. Remain pure. 
  3. Walk in the Spirit.
  4. Stay in the Word.
  5. Refuse to accept an offense.
  6. Forgive those who sin against us.

To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11, KJV

This Power Article is adapted from Dr. David Alsobrook's copyrighted sermon, "Know Your Enemy" and reproduced with his permission. 
 
© John E. Russell 2003, 2013, 2015 
In Essentials: Unity; In non-essentials: Liberty; In all things: Charity—Peter Meiderlin 1626.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 February 2015 20:24