Tony Evans - The Enemy of Truth
The abandonment of truth is wreaking havoc in our world as people abandon the truth in order to pursue a lie that feels like the truth. But truth has an enemy. Truth has an enemy. We're told this in John chapter 8. Jesus says in verse 43, "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my Word. 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. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me".
The Bible says in Hebrews chapter 6, verse 18, by two unchangeable things it is impossible for God to lie. Jesus says about Satan there is no truth in him. In Isaiah chapter 14, verses 12 to 14, it talks about the lies of Satan. It talks about the fact that his one goal is to build a kingdom that rivals God. It says, "I will be like the most high". He wanted independence. He didn't want to have to answer to a higher authority. When God created man he created Adam, and he created Adam and gave him the well-known instruction in Genesis 2, verse 16: "But the Lord commanded the man, saying, 'From any tree of the garden you may freely eat, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not eat it, for the day that you eat from it you will surely die.'" And it's a Google tree that has good information in it, bad information in it.
In chapter 3, Satan shows up. He's already there, but he shows up and he begins his process of deception, starting with Adam and Eve, and at the root of his deception was his opening question in chapter 3, verse 1: "Hath God said"? Satan brings a thought to Eve's mind, a question mark, and now she begins to question 'cause the thought is now rotating in her head. Please notice the thought did not come from her. The thought came from the devil but was introduced to her. He introduces his thought until it becomes her thought. Satan's strategy is to take his thinking and make it your thinking. When he takes his thinking and makes it your thinking, it says she saw that the tree was good for food. It was a delight to the eyes, and it could make one wise. So she eats of the fruit, Adam eats of the fruit, and they lose fellowship with God because they're removed from the garden. When this happens, their whole world collapsed.
So you had collapse and ultimately physical collapse because you're going to die. And like in a football game, when Adam stepped offside, the whole team of the human race was penalized. You see, when a player jumps offside, it's not just the player that's penalized. The whole team has to go back. Because we are in Adam, and in Adam all die. He wants to break our fellowship with God through the process of deception. That's his goal, knowing that God will separate and that he's got you now. He's got you, he's got me, and he's had us. All of us at various levels can testify at points in our lives whether mentally or physically or spiritually he got you.
Now, Satan has a problem. He's got a challenge. He's not omnipresent, so he has helpers called demons. These rogue angels called demons assist Satan's goal of deception. He has assigned a demon to you who has studied you, but what he wants to do is introduce to you something that will be consistent with what he knows you're apt to respond to. These demons then create doctrines. He says there are deceitful spirits and demons that teach doctrine, but notice it says he uses men who are seared in their conscience.
So you got Satan talking to demons and demons talking to people, and the demons, the people that the demons talk to talk to other people to teach them, to teach them. A doctrine is a teaching. He has a course. Satan has a course. The demons are trained. They find people that they can train who can speak into your life lies. They have been educated and trained as deceivers. He says, and they deceive in a number of ways. He says they deceive by denying you things that God says is okay. You know what Satan did in the garden? He got Eve to focus on the one tree she couldn't have instead of all them other trees she could. God said, "From every tree of the garden you may freely eat". But he got them focused on this tree in the middle that you can't eat. You can't, you can't, you can't, you can't, you can't.
How many people do you know who've run away from Christianity because of all the negatives of what you can't do? So they give doctrines, and they give it about things that are very legitimate. If you are enduring your Christian life more than you're enjoying it, you're listening to demons. If you are enduring your Christian life more than you are enjoying it, that means Satan has got you duped and tricked and looking at the wrong thing. He got you looking at one thing and not the breadth of things. 1 Timothy 6:17 says that if God gives it to you to enjoy, you should enjoy it. So Satan wants to steer you and me away from the truth so that he can control the agenda of our lives. Now, he wants to draw you from the truth so that you don't have access to God. That's his goal. And why does he want to get you away from the truth?
Let me tell you something that you need to know about you and me and us. Psalm 139, verse 16, "Your eyes have seen my unformed substance". That's God creating life in the womb, by the way. "And in your book were all written the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was not one of them". Number one, that verse cancels out abortion, okay? "You were aware of me when I was in the womb". And what was in the womb? Me. That's personhood, okay?
That's another subject for another day. But notice what else he said about you, about me. There's a book. There's a book with all your ordained days. Let me tell you what that means. God has written out his program and purpose for your life. It's written in a book. You've got your own book with your own name on it, and that book with your name is designed to fulfill the ordained purpose of God for your life. That's your book. It's not my book. I got my book. You got your book. So what Satan wants to do is remove you from the truth so that you don't fulfill your book, so that the purposed plan of God for your book is not realized because you and I wandered from the truth. We discarded the truth partially or fully and were duped by the deception of Satan.
Revelation chapter 12, verse 7, "There was a war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon". So there's spiritual warfare among angels. It's called the angelic conflict. "The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives" here's our word, "the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth", that's where he does his business, "and his angels were thrown down with him". Those are the demons. "And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying", now watch this, "now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come", watch this, "for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before God day and night".
Satan is called the accuser. This is a legal term. You must picture this as a courtroom. The Bible is full of court scenes, full of court scenes. You find lawsuits. You find justice. You find judges. You got legal activity taking place in heaven, which is why we have it on earth. This is a courtroom. The prosecuting attorney is Satan. He is bringing judgment against every believer when we sin. When we sin he has evidence against us because we have disobeyed God, giving him material he can use in court. Why does he go to court? He goes to court for the same reason a prosecuting attorney goes to court: to condemn us. And the purpose of condemning us is to legitimize righteous judgment against us for our betrayal of God by believing his lie, which has led us into sin.
We don't have time today, but you can see it worked out in Zechariah chapter 3 the first seven verses. Joshua was the high priest, and he's in court. He's in court, and Satan is the accuser bringing accusation against Joshua the high priest, and it says in that passage that his clothes had to be changed because he was dirty. So Satan had accusation against him. The accusation was true, which gave him prosecutorial rights. He did this against Job. He accused Job before God. So Satan is there in order to bring condemnation legitimately for sins we have committed or is in our propensity.
Now, he is the accuser of the brethren, and since angels don't need sleep, it says day and night. So this is a 24-hour courtroom scene. So now come out of the spiritual realm for a moment and think about court. You're in court now, 'cause this is legal. His goal in court is to bring judgment, condemnation, or keep God from intervening in your prayers, intervening in your circumstances, intervening in your challenges. So that's the scene. Verse 11, "And they overcame him". And they overcame him. Satan is the accuser, but he can be overcome concerning his accusations. Satan can be beaten in court. The Bible says about Jesus Christ in John chapter 2, verse 2 that if any man says he doesn't sin, in those first couple of verses he says, he's a liar 'cause we all sin. But it says but we have an advocate.
Remember we're in court. The Greek word advocate means lawyer. An advocate is a lawyer. We say that today, talk about a lawyer being an advocate. It's a legal term, 'cause we're in God's court now, okay? Satan does not now beat you with power, he beats you with legislation. He takes you to court. He says, "I'm going to sue you because look at the infraction you committed". But we have an advocate. We got a defense attorney. And I like it, it says we have an advocate with the Father, and I like knowing that my advocate is the judge's son. So I got a little family thing working for me. Jesus Christ the righteous, they overcame him. The word overcome, which is a favorite word of John, yakol, this is how it's pronounced. That word overcome is used of both a state and a standing. A state meaning a legal position in a practical ramification.
So legally, we are overcomers. It's like saying legally I am married, legally you are married if you're married, okay? That's a legal status. But we also know you can be legally married and personally miserable. So just 'cause you have a legal status don't mean that you have a positive standing, 'cause you could be legal status but in perpetual conflict. When the defense attorney enters the room, he has the right to overcome the lawsuit that has been against you that's breaking you with fellowship God, with God so that your book is not lived out in completion. But he can be beaten in court, and in this courtroom there are three things that beat him in conclusion. He says in verse 11 they overcame him because of the blood of the lamb. The blood of Jesus Christ, that is his sacrificial death on the cross, is not a 2.000-year-old event only.
We believe in a cross, not a crucifix. A crucifix is a cross with somebody still on it. Our Savior is no longer on the cross. The cross is a historical event with practical, contemporary relevance. The constitution was written many years ago. It's relevant today. You claim, "I know my rights". You claim what was written then for what it can do now. The cross took place then, but it can get some stuff done now. When you appeal to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, there's no better time to do that than communion. When you appeal to his cross, which paid the penalty for your sin, what you are saying to the accuser, "That accusation has already been covered. That accusation, real as it is, has already right now been paid for". You are appealing to something back then for its relevancy today.
The second thing that will win you in the courtroom, he says, is the word of their testimony. The word testimony is a legal term. In court you testify. It is a legal term, meaning that you are giving judicial witness not based on what you see, follow me here, but based on what God says. So you literally bring to the courtroom. See, some of us need to learn to have a Bible study with the devil. See, if you're only having Bible studies with Christians, you ain't using it. Remember when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, and he had a Bible study with the devil? He told the devil, "It is written, it is written, it is written".
Now, you can't have a Bible study if you don't know what's in the Bible. See, what you have to understand is Satan is allergic to Scripture. He has an allergy. You hit him with the Word, he goes... He's allergic to Scripture because he cannot handle God's Word. He can handle your word, and he loves to hear you say I think and I feel, 'cause that word has absolutely no authority in his court. But when you bring his Word, the Word of thy testimony; that is, you give testimony. When the 12 spies went in, what happened? Twelve spies, ten came back and said, "We can't beat them". Caleb came back and said, "Yeah, but God told us to go in there 'cause we could beat them".
See, majority not always right. What God says must be more important than what you see. They said, "There are giants in the land". Caleb said, "But what did God say? I see, but what did he say"? Because that's evidence in this courtroom, it is the word of your testimony, and that testimony is the testimony of God's truth. Finally he says they did not love their life even when faced with death. That means that they were fully committed, fully surrendered. They were not casual Christians, part-time saints. Jesus has a huge fan club. He's looking for some followers. He got a fan club, and every Sunday folk gather in the stadiums 'cause they want to see Jesus on Sunday. But all the fans are in the stands.
Jesus is looking for somebody getting on the field. They did not love their life even to death. It meant they were fully surrendered, fully committed. They weren't part-time Christians. They were all in. We all fall short, we all fail, but we have an advocate, a lawyer, and he knows how to handle a courtroom. When you appeal to the blood, when there is the word of your testimony and you give the judicial witness to God's truth; when you are all in, case dismissed, case dismissed. I am not suggesting that there won't be battles with the devil. I am not suggesting that Satan's not going to come after you if you become a person of the truth. I am not suggesting that you won't get bloodied, thrown down, thrown against the ring, punched, flipped, grabbed, and abused. I am not suggesting that. What I am suggesting is victory has already been predetermined and that you will come out more than a conqueror in Jesus Christ who loved you and gave himself for you.
A lie is an enemy of the truth, and Satan is the father of lies. He originated lies, and he has children, since he's the father, who perpetuate his lies. Because if he can deceive us and draw us from the truth as God declares it to be, he can draw us away from God into error, into failure, and into spiritual defeat. You can only overcome lies with the truth. So on every subject find out what God has to say, because with the truth you wind up being set free, with a lie you wind up being in bondage. Satan can't handle the truth, so give him and his children God's perspective so you can live free.