And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
The Greek word translated "snare" (Strongs g3803) in 2nd Timothy means a trap, a trick or stratagem, a snare. Besides catching us through unforgiveness or provoking us to sin we could say, the devil sets strategic traps and his goal is to trip us up. In our spiritual war he has set, what I like to call, demonic improvised evil devices (IEDs). They are not played out just in Church but rather all throughout the seven spheres of society. His goal is to trick, deceive, entrap, wound and destroy as many people as he can using lies, deceptions, twisted facts, slander, accusation and manipulation.
These demonic stratagems are not just one dimensional? They are multidimensional. The seven spheres of society are where Satan's strategies can have the widest impact especially when he can get a demonic idea codified through a law. But the first dimension we must be prepared to engage is internal. This is where the first battle begins. This is why our mindset and moral compass are so important.
Apostolic Warfare Wisdom
Paul, the apostle, wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 saying, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."
In my book "Structures & Strategies" I share the real meanings of the words translated "war" and "warfare." These words actually refer to the strategic function of the apostolic gift. God made the apostle for strategic thought. Verse 5 reveals that the battle ground is actually in our minds. Therefore, foundational apostolic teaching is extremely important for every believer (see Hebrews 6 Foundations) because it impacts what we think. What we think is really important because Proverbs 23:7 reveals that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
Our thinking determines our worldview. Our worldview impacts others.
Don't Be Ignorant of the Enemies Devices
I've highlighted the word thought in 2 Corinthians 10:5 because it's the same word translated devices in 2 Corinthians 2:11 which says, "lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices."
Strongs Concordance says the word translated devices, means a perception, or (by implication) the intellect, or a device, mind, or thought. So Satan's devices are set in the minds of men and women.
His devices are like the IED's (improvised explosive devices) used by Islamic terrorists today. What are the Islamic terrorist's goal? Ultimately it is to use fear and the threat of violence to intimidate and manipulate a people to comply with their wishes and their worldview. They want control and their primary tool is fear, ideally unbridled fear.
Satan's End-time Strategy is to Deceive through Doctrines of Demons
A doctrine present a system of thoughts and ideas. A belief system can be built such that it can become a stronghold. A stronghold of thought can be changed from good to evil or from evil to good. Hence, Satan's propensity to use lies and deception to entrap the unwise. Paul the apostle warns in 1 Timothy 4:1-2, " Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron..."
Doctrines of demons are part of Satan's end time strategy to kill, steal and destroy. Sadly, many who call themselves Christians, Evangelicals, Catholics, or you name the denomination have been seduced and fooled by a doctrine of demons such that they advocate for actions that are clearly contrary to God’s word. For example, the ordination of homosexuals or ministers who bless abortion centers which murder the unborn.
The only antidote for this poisoned belief system is a vaccine regimen of truth drawn from God's word. This truth should be self-administered and when necessary you can consult a teacher of God's word just like you might consult a doctor if you got sick. I think of the apostolic gift and the teaching gift almost like mine (mind) detectors which are used to look for enemy IEDs. Come to think of it, sometimes we call certain ministers doctors too don't we? Why? Because they earned a "Doctorate of Theology." They specialize in doctrine.
The Greek word translated doctrine means instruction, doctrine, learning or teaching. That should help us understand why Satan has targeted the Education mountain. Why in America many college campuses, secular and religious, have become the bully pulpit for his ministers and false prophets.
Strong’s says the word translated "demon" literally means devil god. It's an evil spirit, a messenger or a minister of the devil. Strong's also says, the word translated devil (gk 1228), diablos, refers to Satan, which means false accuser, devil and slanderer. It's also a metaphor for the prince of demons the author of evil.
The modus operandi of the devil is marked by false accusations, slander and he writes and creates evil stratagems. Demons deceive! Deceiving spirits refer to spirits that pose as an impostor and who misleads or seduces.
So, it should come as no surprise that the "author of evil" would develop doctrines or systems of teaching to impact the thoughts of men and women. Why? Because our beliefs impact what we say. In my article "Are Your Words Empowering Angels or the Demonic" I describe why our words are so very important because even a Christian through ignorance or by being deceived can empower the demonic by what we say and do.
Wisdom Regarding Deception
The best lies, and deceit include copious amounts of truth. If we liken our morals to a compass, you'd understand how the magnetism of the earth can impact a compass. It's called deviation. Years ago, I was a pilot and I learned a general rule. For every 60 miles I travel a one-degree navigation error causes me to miss my destination by one mile. So, in a 600 mile journey I'd miss the mark by 10 miles.
It only takes a little deception to put you really off course. The further and longer you go without making a course correction the more you'll miss your intended destination.
Our Moral Compass is to be Corrected by Truth
The magnetism and attraction of earthly pleasures introduces deviation to our moral compass. The Word of God is the tool we should consult for True North. It’s what we use to re-calibrate our moral compass which we use to determine the direction for our lives.
Recognize Satan will pull out all the stops to deceive. He's an expert at using manipulation, fear, guilt, lust, greed and emotions to manipulate. Always remember, the best lies, the best deceit include lots of truth.
Copious amounts of truth make it more difficult to spot the lie in a belief system. Satan and his demons utilize this tactic frequently to trick, ensnare and seduce even those who consider themselves Christian. Here are seven keys to protect yourself from deceit and the snare of the enemy.
Keys to Avoid Being Fooled by a Doctrine of a Demon
- Know God's word! Read it daily and study it regularly. 2 Timothy 2:15
- No matter what the issue or the emotions experienced apply the filter of God's word, the Truth. John 8:31-32 - ... and you shall know the truth and the truth will make you free. Remember, Satan is a murder and the father of lies. John 8:39-44.
- People are fallible. Trust in God first and foremost. Psalm 118:8 - It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in man.
- There are two sides to each story. Proverbs 18:17 - The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.
- Be a spiritual man or woman who judges words and actions. 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
- Use fruit and character to discern who and what's behind the issue and discover false prophets. It's a great indicator of motive. See Matthew 7:15-20 & the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit shared in Galatians 5:16-25
- The works of Satan and his demonic hordes are lies, lying signs, deceit, murder, stealing, destruction and lawlessness. John 8:31-44, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-9 and John 10:10.