TELLING GOD’S VOICE FROM SATAN’S COUNTERFEIT – 1
Impersonators make good money entertaining and impressing audiences with their ability to look and/or sound like someone famous. They can make good money cashing in on someone else’s fame and good name. Satan does the same thing. He pretends to be God speaking to man – but not just for entertainment and amusement. The results are deadly if we listen to the wrong voice.
In World War II the Japanese found ways to broadcast on American airwaves to soldiers, giving commands and orders to deceive and defeat our troops. Soldiers had to make sure they were taking orders from the right source. As God’s soldiers in a deadly war with Satan, we must make sure that we are hearing from Him and not our enemy. Sometimes that isn’t so easy. How can we know if it is really God who is speaking to us or another voice which is counterfeiting and confusing us?
There are actually three counterfeit ‘voices’ that can confuse or mislead us. The first is the voice of the flesh. As Paul says in Romans 8:5-8, the flesh is, in essence, the part of us that tends to sin. It is in opposition to the Spirit in us and leads us to disobedience of God (James 1:13-14). The desires of the flesh can be strong, especially if they have been given free reign in the past.
By knowing what God’s Word says and by listening to the convicting voice of the Spirit within, we can learn to recognize this voice for the self-centered temptation it is.
A second ‘voice’ is the voice of the world. The world system, with its values and goals, can have a strong appeal to our sin nature (flesh). John warns us not to the system around us that is not based on love of God and His Word (I John 2:15-17). Its ‘voice’ comes to us through what we see, hear and read in our daily lives. It can come through others, the media, or our own envy of those who seem better off than we are. Inputs from the world around us can be very persuasive, effecting how we think and therefore behave. They can sound very appealing, so we need to carefully study God’s will as revealed in the Bible and be sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings and warnings. When the voice of the world lines up with the voice of the flesh, the temptation can be very strong.
The most dangerous voice, however, because it is most subtle, is the voice of Satan. Ananias obviously listened to Satan’s voice instead of God’s when saying he was donating all he received for the sale of his land when it was, in fact, only part of the amount (Acts 5:3).
Satan does communicate with man. He did so with Jesus when He was tempted after forty days in the wilderness (Matthew 4). Paul says Satan sows deception in the hearts of people (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Jesus says that everything Satan says is a lie, for that is his nature. “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies” John 8:44.
The Bible doesn’t give details about just how Satan does this, but we do know he can put thoughts into a person’s mind. “But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” Mark 8:33.
In addition, Satan can take thoughts out of a mind. “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road” Matthew 13:19.
As with Adam and Eve, Satan’s communication with man is always deceitful and destructive. He can make suggestions about how we may meet a legitimate need on our own without waiting for God’s provision. He can put thoughts of guilt and failure into our minds. He can provide excuses to justify a sinful course we are taking. He can undermine God’s goodness and the Bible’s authority.
Satan is willing to speak as much as a man is willing to listen. He uses various forms of the occult to communicate with man, such as tarot cards, Ouija boards, séances, and other means. He can and will speak directly to a person much as the Holy Spirit does. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Because Satan is the most dangerous of the counterfeit voices we hear, we will focus on him for this message.
Satan is a counterfeiter. He tries to counterfeit all God does for His people. Judas heard Satan’s voice and betrayed Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16). Peter heard Satan’s voice and did not believe the voice of Jesus (Mark 8:31-33). A leper was healed by Jesus and told not to tell anyone who did it but he heard Satan’s voice and disobeyed (Mark 1:40-45).
While we know Satan is limited to one place at a time, we must recognize that he does his work thorough demons. It is highly unlikely that Satan will ever speak to us directly, but by assigning certain demons to harass and impact us the result is the same. Thus when we say that ‘Satan speaks to us’ we are really recognizing that all demonic forces work together for Satan.
David’s thought to take a census of the people was demon-inspired (1 Chronicles 21:1ff; 2 Samuel 24:1ff). Saul’s jealousy and anger at David was as well (1 Samuel 16:14-23). Ananias and Sapphira’s greed was demon stimulated as well (Acts 5:3). When God didn’t speak to Saul, he went to a medium to connect with a supernatural power (1 Samuel 28:4-7). For this reason John warns, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Therefore it is essential to make sure you can tell Satan’s voice from God’s voice. We’ll look at how to do that in the next blogs.
By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer © Copyright 2019 Christian Training Organization. https://www.christiantrainingonline.org/