Back when I was a high school football coach, each week during the season we meet together as a coaching staff and go over our scouting report on that week’s opponent. This way we can best prepare our team to handle the types of things they are likely to encounter on the field. Let’s consider this “A Christian Scouting Report On The Enemy.” If we go over the tendencies of an opponent for a football game–which in the grand scheme of things–is really quite inconsequential–or we study to prepare ourselves for a new job, then how much more should we prepare for the eternal life and death battle with the enemy of men’s souls?

The Schemes Of Satan

The great Bible teacher Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse once wrote:

The nation was horrified when it learned that Japan had sent ambassadors of peace to talk peace while the aircraft carriers were moving into place for the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The enemy had tricked us with a very old strategy. He had made us think that his intentions were good when they were really bad, and he had hidden his presence from us in order that he might more effectively strike at us. There is an ancient proverb which says, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” The same trick [used by Japan] that deceived [America in World War II] had been used often in ancient times.

The origin of that trick is not the work of men, though. The Bible gives us a very clear picture of the enemy of souls at that same kind of work. Paul says, speaking of Satan, we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Cor. 2:11). [And] certainly there is no need for ignorance concerning the devices of the Devil, for they are set forth plainly in the Word of God, and they are also visible all around us (Illustrating Great Themes Of Scripture, pp. 80,81).

Satan, who is a ruthless and completely malignant being, is very real–as we will see. The Devil is a multidimensional spirit creature who truly abhors you with such a passion, that I simply have no words to adequately convey the depths of his hatred. And you need to know that he is a self-deluded–fallen creation of God–who is relentlessly ruthless with absolutely no ethical or moral capabilities, and with no ability whatever to love anyone but himself.

In the simplest terms, only the Lord is more powerful than the Devil, and Satan–the treacherous enemy of men’s souls–does not play by any set of rules! And we must always beware for he is the ultimate deceiver. Jesus tells us – He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him (John 8:44). And further, it is written – Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light ( 2 Corinthians 11:14). Dr. Herbert Lockyer is quite correct when he writes about Satan:

This ancient name means the “Adversary” or the “Opposing Spirit.” Satan is described as the adversary of Israel…[the name] is often changed in the New Testament to the Greek Diabolos, or Devil, but which is more accurately translated “Accuser” or the “Slanderer.” Both in experience and in the teaching of Jesus, Satan is revealed as the great and bitter adversary of God, of Christ, and of believers…Satan is the one cruel adversary we dare not agree with in the way (Luke 12:58), seeing he is adverse to all that Christ represents” (All The Teachings Of Jesus, p.261, emphasis added).

And only God can set limits on what this vicious creature can do. You and I are simply no match whatever for Satan on our own. He can only be defeated by the power of God, and that’s why it is so important to be continually being filled with the [Holy] Spirit [of God] (Ephesians 5:18, literal Greek). The truth is, my fellow Christians, that while every true believer in Christ has all of God the Holy Spirit–it is painfully obvious from the impotency of the Lord’s Church in our lifetime–that the Holy Spirit does not have all of us.

Love Through A Mother’s Eyes

We must face facts, if more of us were filled with the Spirit, and this really means to be “possessed” by God the Holy Spirit, then the Body of Christ couldn’t be so compromised and powerless in the face of the rampant evil destroying this once great nation. And one area in which Satan has had a great deal of effect in this pagan nation is in the relationship between men and women, which itself dates all the way back to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Space allows me to briefly cover one very important area that has been powerfully impacting the Christian Church in America, particularly from about the late 1950’s on.

As we think of Satan’s schemes we need to realize that the Devil’s primary strategy has always been to “divide and conquer,” and this confusion of the divine plan for the roles of men and women is a prime example. Because now we have women being ordained to a non-biblical role as pastor within the American Church. I am aware that this is not an issue with more conservative Christians, but it is becoming a major issue in the Church–and even within the Southern Baptist Convention–which is growing more liberal by the minute.

In Claremont, New Hampshire where I minister locally, the largest “Evangelical” church would be First Baptist Church–a fairly strong church–for right now at least. But the American Baptist Denomination they are with is rotting away from the inside as they continue to elect officials to positions of leadership who openly deny the Cardinal doctrines of the Christian Faith. In particular the inerrancy of Scripture; and every denomination who has done so has ended up apostate!

These heretics have in turn ordained more and more pastors who are also denying the historic Truth from their pulpits every Sunday. I know, I was with that denomination until I personally investigated this travesty; and that back in 1993 – I know it’s even worse now. This parasitic cancer of liberal theology is so rapidly eating away at and destroying the Church in America; just think for a moment what a long-term cancer patient ends up looking like. This putrid blight on historic Christianity will not go away unless we have it surgically removed by confronting it. And one of it’s chief tenets is the ordination of women to the pulpit–which helps it metastasize–just like deadly cancer cells. If we are to be more effective in reaching others for Christ, and particularly the younger people in this nation, then we will need to be equipped to bring balance to this crucial issue.

And this is one of the enemy’s attacks on our Lord’s Church, which we need to put into our scouting report, the liberal psycho-theology of man’s basic “goodness” – as seen through the eyes of a loving mother. As you well know–especially when we think of the unconditional love of a Mom–it is all but impossible for a mother to listen to someone criticize her children. You will immediately be met with: “Hey, that’s my child! I can say something bad about my family, but God help them if somebody else does.” This is that beautiful, and natural, mothering instinct that God has planted in the woman. However, it does not translate well to the pulpit.

Consider this from Dr. J. Gresham Machen in his classic book Christianity And Liberalism, “Modern liberalism has lost all sense of the gulf that separates the creature from the Creator… According to the Bible, man is a sinner under the just condemnation of God; according to modern liberalism, there really is no such thing as sin” – [for many mom’s it’s tough for them to see faults in their own children. Dr. Machen continues] – “At the very root of the modern liberal movement is the loss of the consciousness of sin (p.64, emphasis added)…Modern preachers are trying to bring men into the Church without requiring them to relinquish their pride; they are [instead] trying to help men avoid the conviction of sin (p.68, emphasis added).”

Just as many of today’s parents–while meaning well–are, in fact, crippling their own children by being enablers, instead of lovingly disciplining their kids so they can learn the value and reward that only comes from hard work in accomplishing a goal. Beloved, this is arguably the worst type of child abuse in America; and it is rampant within this nation of narcissistic nihilism.

Correct, Rebuke And Encourage

Let’s turn in our Bibles to 2 Timothy, chapter 4, beginning with verse 2. You need to know that we have too many churches in our country that have already apostatized and ordained women as their pastors–in defiance of God’s Word–and/or are already dying from the terminal disease of liberal theology. It is beyond epidemic proportions while this very real apostasy grows and grows. 2 Timothy 4 and verse 2 – Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke – now this command makes no sense if everyone is simply “entitled to his own opinion; and we shouldn’t judge.” There would then be no reason to correct – and sometimes rebuke – and no reason to try and change someone’s mind about a Biblical doctrine – if it doesn’t really matter what people believe.

However, a Christian leader mustcorrect, rebuke and encourage – [but how should we do this] – with great patience and careful instruction. [And now we’ll see together – “in black and white” – from the Bible itself – why we are to do this – verse 3] – For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires – [let me give you a modern translation – “instead, to assert their independence,” to “do their own thing”] – they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Do you understand what the Lord was telling us here; they will heap up a majority of teachers who will simply teach them exactly what they already want to be taught! Enter serpentine men like Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Brian McLaren, and T.D. Jakes; enter spiritually wanton women like Gloria Copeland, Jan Crouch, Joyce Meyer and Paula White. Say what you want about me, but I’ll not be found among their number. And Scripture tells us the result of this willful rejection of God’s ways–in favor of their own ways (can you say – pride?) is found here in verse 4 – They will turn their ears away from the Truth and turn aside to myths. The word is muthos in the Greek, and it’s the word used to describe “mythology”; O and there is an alarming abundance of myths currently poisoning the Evangelical Christian camp today!

But I warn you in the Spirit, that those who turn their ears away from the Truth are the children of the Devil and there is no truth in him. And if a person persists long enough in putting his own ways above God’s ways – professing Christian or not – for those who are self-seeking and who reject the Truth and follow evil, there will be [God’s] wrath and anger – Romans 2:8. If that’s the path you are on, you had best beware – For it was the Lord Himself Who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that He might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses – Joshua 11:20.

My liberal counterparts say: “Well, that was the God of the Old Testament, it’s different now, Jesus is all about love and acceptance.” Remember 2 Timothy 4:4 – They will turn their ears away from the Truth and turn aside to myths; and this is one of their favorite myths. Permit me to quote the Master on this subject as recorded by one of His own disciples – Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9) – Who is the God of the Old Testament. Now here’s a little something from the New Testament mind you – For this reason – [because they willingly turn their ears away from the Truth] – God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie – [as they turn aside to myths] – 2 Thessalonians 2:9. If you don’t know Christ–or if you profess to be a Christian–but persist in doing things you know are wrong, I’d ponder this subject real hard.

Using The Master’s Sword

Now we leave this aspect of our topic and take a quick look at the “Temptations of Jesus” to see what else we can learn about Satan for A Christian Scouting Report On The Enemy, we go to Luke chapter 4 beginning at verse 1. Let me also point out that our world today is not really so different than the times faced by men like E.M. Bounds and D.L. Moody in the mid to late 1800’s where ignorant and godless thugs roamed the streets with guns attempting to bully people. And following in their footsteps I will not compromise the Gospel; evil must be met face to face with the power of God and confronted head on with the Truth of His eternal inerrant Word–the Bible.

You are about to see Christ our Lord do just that:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’’” The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’’” The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’’” Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’’” When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

We aren’t going verse by verse, I just want to highlight a couple of things here that we need to know about how to battle Satan in our perilous times. First, the Devil is an actual personal being. Why do I bring up what should be obvious? Because more and more preachers today do not believe that Satan is a person, and teach that this passage only “represents” a concept of good vs. evil. And where does this idea come from? Hmm, could it be–Satan himself. The late founder of the Church of Satan – “the black pope” (I’m sure his mom was quite proud) Anton Levey, denied everything supernatural and was actually an atheist. However, I’m reasonably sure that he’s changed his mind now–but it’s too late.

You may know this, but much of Satanism actually denies the existence of this spirit creature the Bible calls Satan. However, it is obvious to all but those who will be ever seeing but never perceiving – (Matthew 13:14) – that the Devil is a personal being. In his fine little booklet What In The World Is Satan Doing? Dan Vander Lugt, Biblical counselor at Radio Bible Class points out:

The Bible is so full of references to the devil that it is impossible to hold to the Christian faith without accepting the reality of Satan. His existence is taught in seven Old Testament books: Genesis, 1 Chronicles, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah. And it is [clearly] affirmed by every New Testament writer. Jesus clearly believed in the personal existence of Satan (Mt. 4:1-11; 13:39; Lk 10:18; 11:18)“ – [as we see from the text here]. “In fact, in 25 of the 29 passages that refer to Satan in the Gospels, Christ is speaking (p.6, emphasis aded)

So we can add to our Christian Scouting Report that our enemy is real, he is very powerful, and he is dangerous. Further, the Bible calls Satan the god of this age and tells us that he has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the Image of God – 2 Corinthians 4:4. However–and this is very important–Scripture also tells that he is not actually a god, as the Bible teaches that in all the universe there is only one God by nature. Shema Yisrael Adonai Eleanu Adonai EchadHear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). And we can further note on our Scouting Report that there will never be any more gods – You are My witnesses, declares the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I AM He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me – Isaiah 43:10.

Preparing A Strong Defense

Ok, let’s go over a little of what we can learn about how to defend ourselves against our mortal foe Satan here in Luke 4 from our Lord and Master–Jesus of Nazareth. Verse 1 – Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit – [as I earlier, we must be “filled” – be possessed – by God the Holy Spirit. The b part of verse 2 gives us a clue as to how we can become filled with the Spirit.] He ate nothing during those days – Jesus was fasting; humbling Himself. We also know from the Bible that Jesus spent a lot of His time studying the Scriptures, and He was known to spend hours alone in prayer communing with the Father.

We aren’t going to go into the subject of fasting here, but we will another day. For now though, to protect yourself on defense, set apart time each day to get alone with your Heavenly Father. Talk to Him, He loves you, and read the Scriptures–His Word. As Tozer would say: pray with an open Bible; remind the Lord of His promises. You know the old hymn – “standing on the promises of God My Savior.” And keep on asking God each day to fill you with His Spirit until He does. Trust me, you’ll know it as He answers.

Let’s look a bit deeper into defending yourself, your family, and your church against the Devil’s schemes. There is an old saying – “the best defense is a good offense.” Well troops, this is the approach that Christ Jesus uses here. In verse 3 Satan begins his attack by trying to get our Lord to focus on His material needs, as if the Father would let His Son starve. Just as God faithfully does with all of us, He supplied Jesus with what He needed. The Lord will always give you what you need, and by the way, we should be thankful that He doesn’t always give us what we want.

But in verse 4 – Jesus takes up our one offensive weapon – the Sword of the Spirit; and now the Master mounts a counter-attack. Jesus answered, “It is written: – [using the absolute truth of the Scriptures] – “Man does not live on bread alone.” Matthew records the full quote – Man does not live on bread alone – [but on what?] – but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God. Now let me help you to think this through. Jesus is the Truth – so everything He teaches is true. Now the Lord says – Man does not – [simply] – live on bread alone – [but the more important spiritual food that man lives on is] – every Word that comes from the mouth of God.

So what Jesus has also just told us then is that we must have every Word from God in Holy Scripture. As Christians we know the Truth and should be counter-attacking Satan’s lies about the Bible. Precariously pernicous lies that he spreads through the manure of humanism, the cancer of liberal theology, the ecumenical seeker sensitive purpose driven Emergent Church, the kingdom of the cults, and the apostate Church of Rome–which the Devil’s prized possession. As the Body of Christ–His Church–we must trust Jesus. If man is to live on every word from the mouth of God, then the Lord would make sure that we have every Word that has come from the mouth of God. This is God’s beloved Son, hear Him – I tell you the truth, until Heaven and earth disappear – [and the last time I checked this hasn’t happened yet] – not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law – [the Word of God] – until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18).

Pray As You Read The Bible And Then Do What It Says

Men and women, do you see how this works? We will begin winning more of these battles when we finally go back to the good old-fashioned way that Christians made such a powerful impact on society. We must begin to faithfully readstudy – and believe what God has revealed to us in the Bible. And that’s how to resist the devil, and he will flee from you just as he does in verse 13 here in Luke 4. However, that Scripture in James that I just quoted is preceded by an even more important command that people just gloss over. Here is that entire verse – Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil – [by faith in God’s Word] – and he will flee from you (James 4:8).

Unless Satan’s forces see that you have done your spiritual training and that you are in good spiritual “shape” – that you are steadfast in your commitment to Jesus, and that you fully trust in His Word–no matter what–then don’t fool yourself as they certainly won’t be fleeing from you. I’ll tell you what these enemy forces–entrenched in our nation for years–this spiritual Vietnam will do. They will batter you into a spiritual pulp – that’s what they will do–if you do not do your best to present yourselves to God as one approved, a workman who does need t be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth – [the “Sword of the Spirit” – the Bible] – 2 Timothy 2:15. The Lord’s Church needs to begin counter-attacking the enemy’s troops and Satan knows full well who we are, so he’s not about to loosen his grip on our communities without a fight.

And there is another lie that has slithered its way into Evangelical Christianity–somehow too many Christians feel as if they can just go about their lives today without a care in this spiritual war because the Lord fights our battles for us. This came about because a vast amonut of Christians today really don’t know enough about the Old Testament. For instance, yes you will read that the Lord has driven out before you great and powerful nations…because the Lord your God fights for you – Joshua 23:9-10. But you can be sure that Joshua and his Generals weren’t sitting around watching some “Forty Days Of Purpose” video while all this was happening. Those who are familiar with Old Testament history know that while God causes the battle to be won–He does so through human instruments of His choice.

That’s why God the Holy Spirit exhorts us to fight the good fight of Faith – 1 Timothy 6:12. And to earnestly contend for the Faith in Jude 3 (KJV) – where “earnestly contend” translates the Greek epagonizomai – meaning to “struggle with as a combatant” – which was used to describe wrestling matches in the ancient Greek Olympics. Look at it this way, if the Lord had chosen to do battle with Satan all on His Own and there was nothing for you and I–as His precious people to do–then He would have raptured us home long ago. While we do not worked to be saved, we must fight the good fight of Faith – no matter what it may cost us to show our gratitude to Jesus for saving us. As it is written – Through love and faithfulness sin is stoned for (Proverbs 16:6).

The Sad State Of The Enemy

And so it is troops here is our Christian Scouting Report On The Enemy. Satan is a self-deluded; deceitful; heartless; ruthless, and malignant spirit being who corrupted himself through his own pride. The Devil is bent on rebellion and on destroying everything in God’s creation. He hates God–and especially our Lord’s crowning achievement of mankind – but our Lord and Master Jesus of Nazareth–has already defeated Satan. The Bible says – And having disarmed the powers and authorities – [of the Devil; Jesus] – made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by the cross – Colossians 2:15. Satan is always on the attack, so in the Scriptures – God’s “playbook,” so to speak, for the Christian life–the Bible warns us to be self-controlled – [but you have to do this] – and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour – 2 Peter 5:8-9.

This is an effort the Christian himself must make with the Lord’s help. That’s why I find it amazing that people can say to me in effect: “It’s ok to encourage someone to use logic when they witness to people, but all they need really need to do is to just have faith in God.” Well whoever said they didn’t? As I do, whenever I teach, I have been doing nothing but appealing to the Bible–thereby showing you my faith in God’s Word–and to also establish the authority for what is taught. Not only that, but I even take the time to show you–sometimes in excruciating detail–exactly where in the Bible these passages are. And upon the top of this rock solid foundation I the build, I give you logical reasons to trust by faith what the Scriptures say, and it is in this way I help you to understand how to apply what God has said in the Bible.

Be Willing To Get Into The Battle

How can I possibly demonstrate my commitment to preaching Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit any better than that? As one of the Lord’s pastor/teachers I am to do everything I can do to prepare you to defeat our enemy. However, I cannot live your life for you. Just as I used to tell the football team that Jesus had entrusted to my care, the Coaching Staff is committed to giving you everything you need. We’ll show you how to develop the skills necessary to become champions and we’ll be there every step of the way. But the one thing we can’t do for you is to put in the effort that it takes to become successful; for that no one can do for you–that you must want on your own.

And so it is to have an abundant life in Christ. It was Jesus Who said – This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples (John 15:8). You know men and women, there really are basically only two types of people – the “wish-I-were’s” and the “want-to-be’s.” Those who wish they could be something, and those who want to do something. Those who wish they could be something, often think about that thing as they talk about it; they might even do that thing on occasion, and for them that’s good enough. But that person who really wants to be that something doesn’t just talk about it that thing a lot.

No, those who really want to be something put in the effort required to become that thing–no matter what others think–and no matter what it costs them. And if our Master Teacher Christ Jesus of Nazareth–God Himself in human flesh–fasted and prayed and studied the Scriptures because He wanted to please the Father and to defeat Satan, His bitter enemy, then my fellow Christian, so must you and I. What say you; are you going to be known for eternity as a “want to be,” or a “wish I were”?

Now that we have A Christian Scouting Report On Our Enemy, let us join hands as we walk into this fearsome battle for our Lord’s glory, knowing all the while our great God and Savior has already informed us – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

And as we charge into battle…may His warriors shout to the King of kings and the Lord of lords – “to the end!”