PART 3 TO DISCERN
Chapter 11 Satan’s method of attack – to steal and to counterfeit
It is impossible to talk about guarding what we have received without talking about discerning that which differs. Light by nature exposes darkness, and the mere exercise of focusing on truth causes us to recognize lies and error. The more attention we give to the details of the truth, the more clearly we see contradictions and counterfeits.Our enemy knows that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. So, his primary focus of attack is this message.
In Matthew 13, the Lord gave a number of parables focusing on the development of the Kingdom in this age. The first, the “Parable of the Sower” lays the foundation and is the key to interpreting the others. In this parable. Jesus mentioned 4 types of soil, which represented hearts with different conditions in terms of readiness to receive the Word of the Kingdom. In the first case, the word of was sown on the wayside
Matt 13:4, 19 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up…. when any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.
This seed didn’t penetrate, and wasn’t understood by those who heard it. Jesus said that in this case, Satan and his angels come to steal that which was sown. Receiving the word is a matter of spiritual warfare. Whenever the word of the Kingdom is being shared, God is working in its release. But Satan is there as well.
The next parable was the parable of the wheat the tares. Jesus also gave an interpretation of this parable to His disciples:
Matthew 13-38-39 He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil….
Jesus said that by sowing good seed (the Word) the sons of the kingdom were produced from the believers who received it. This is the wheat. When men slept, the enemy (Satan) would also be sowing seed, producing the children of his own kingdom. These are tares. The wheat and the tares seem to be indistinguishable distinguishable from one another (in outward appearance) until the end at the time of the harvest. This is an amazing insight into the nature of the enemy’s work: to produce a counterfeit harvest of people who he can bring into God’s judgement with him in the end. Jesus said the tares are “the things that offend” and “them that do iniquity.” When He comes to judge, these things will be gathered and burned:
Matthew 13:41-42 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
This is a sobering word. It must be remembered that Jesus said the field is the world, not the church. The tares and the wheat should have nothing to do with each other. However, history shows that Satan loves to try to bring them together. In a church setting, false believers can become a real stumbling block to the true. As we saw in the first parable, Satan steals the good seed of God’s word. But here we see that Satan has his own “seed.” The tares are the produce of all of the deceptive things Satan has sown into the world. The fact that the tares can look just like the wheat means that at least some of the seed that was sown must be a close counterfeit of the gospel.
Over the course of 2000 years, Satan has been sowing his word wherever Gods word is not believed. In other words, the Gospel comes to a person, and in some cases they don’t grasp and believe it. Then the enemy comes quickly and steals it, replacing it with something close, which they do believe! In many cases they are convinced that what they received is the gospel. Paul warned about this. He told the church at Corinth that there were false apostles, who were actually Satan’s agents, posing as minsters of righteousness. He was concerned that they would be led away from the simplicity of the Gospel and embrace “another Gospel”, “another Jesus” and “another spirit”:
2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Paul also warned of “Another Gospel” in Galatians:
Gal_1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
In the letters to the Churches there are many warnings of competing false gospels. In some cases, it’s a dramatic deviation. In other cases, such as what troubled the Galatians, there is a more a subtle perversion.