Calvary Road Baptist Church


Ephesians 6.11


Let me state at the outset that I believe the Devil exists. I accept without reservation the Biblical record concerning the existence of that creature known as Satan. I believe he was created by God and was a high and holy being that fell into sin and led one-third the host of heaven in rebellion against God.[1] He then orchestrated the temptation of Eve and the subsequent fall of Adam into sin. He is shown in the Bible to be a supernatural being who exists as pure spirit and without a physical body, that he is far more powerful and intelligent than any human being, and that he is the most wicked being in existence. He is God’s and mankind’s greatest enemy, and he does always oppose the plan and purpose of Almighty God. While there can be no doubt the Bible shows the Devil to have power to work miracles and to actually possess human beings, my personal conviction is that such capabilities are not where he is presently most dangerous.[2] I am persuaded the Devil is presently most dangerous when he works subtly, and under the cloak of man’s ignorance and inattention to spiritual activity.

Let me also remark that, as a created being, Satan is confined as to locality. Only God is omnipresent. God’s creatures, and all beings other than God are created by God, are limited to being in one place at a time. Thus, while Satan can only be in one place at a time, it must be remembered that his minions, the demons, who I believe to be the angels who followed him in rebelling against God, are vast in number and serve to increase the Devil’s destructive influence. From the book of Job, we can establish that in his dealings with human beings Satan is restricted to what God allows him to do. Satan has no ability to do anything to anyone of our race except as God permits. Yet, we have learned from Job’s experiences that God does permit Satan to attack and afflict men as part of the divine plan that ultimately brings glory to God.[3] As for Satan’s involvement in our affairs, allow me to mention two more things to bring greater clarity: First, being in one place at a time, Satan’s work is mostly accomplished for him by demons that do his bidding. First Timothy 4.1, where the Apostle Paul makes mention of “seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils,” thus showing Satan’s reliance upon these foul beings who do his bidding to solicit sinful behavior by men and to advance wrong beliefs held by men.

As well, keep in mind that Satan and his minions are perfectly aware of the spiritual distinctions that exist among men, with some men being the children of God and others being “the children of wrath.”[4] Of course, the people labeled children of wrath by the Apostle are those Jesus declared to be “of your father, the devil.”[5] This, of course, would be unsaved people. This means that those here this evening who are not Christians, who are not born of God’s Spirit and do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior, and who have a vastly different relationship with the Devil than we who are Christians. They are like him, spiritually. They are aligned with him in opposing the plan and purpose of God. They are in his camp. In addition, they consort with him in the rebellion against God’s will and God’s authority to deny God the glory that He is due. They may not even be aware of how perfectly in league with Satan they are, since it is pointed out by the Apostle Paul that their relationship is the result of their nature, their sinful nature, their lost nature. It is not the result of any personal choices they have made, but is simply the way they are as a direct result of being born a sinner. Of course, this does not in any way reduce or mitigate their guilt, but it does explain their guilt.

Setting aside any consideration of the ability Satan has to possess and otherwise afflict the unsaved, my intent this evening is to bring to the attention of you who are believers the most typical way Satan and his minions attack and afflict you in his opposition to the plan, purpose, and people of God. Please turn at this time to Ephesians 6.11, where we read “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

If you are familiar with the context in which our text is set, you might remember that Paul is writing from Roman incarceration awaiting his appeal to Caesar to the church in Ephesus. In the letter, we are escorted to the heights of spiritual truth, while also warned of the realities of the daily spiritual conflict that every Christian who is being used of God must contend with. Though we will not read it at this time, Ephesians chapter six is where the Apostle Paul compares the graces God gives the believer for engaging in spiritual combat to the armor worn by the centurions who had custody of Paul in his imprisonment. It is when he warns his readers to put on the whole armor of God, but before he describes the armor of God, that he issues his warning: “. . . that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

If you do not stand against the wiles of the Devil, you will succumb to the wiles of the Devil. Therefore, it would be good for you to have some understanding of the wiles of the Devil, since both our church and your own mind, are the battlegrounds where spiritual conflict takes place. As for this word “wiles.” It translates a Greek word found on twice in the New Testament, both times here in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, the other verse being Ephesians 4.14, where the word is translated “lie in wait.” The Greek word is meqodeiaV, from which our English word method comes directly. Therefore, we know there exists “the wiles of the devil,” from Ephesians 6.11. From Ephesians 4.14, we know he “lies in wait to deceive.” The Devil employs a scheme, and method, Ephesians 6.11, and that method is employed to deceive us, Ephesians 4.14.[6]

The question we need to ask is what is Satan’s method? What does he invariably use to deceive Christians, in an effort to bring about our downfall, in his energetic assault to discourage us, and in his constant striving to defile us? His methods are only, and have ever been, two. You may think that employing only two methods greatly limits our adversary, and you would be right in so thinking were he not so brilliant. However, let me remind you that it is with clever and ingenious combinations and groupings of zeros and ones that every computer is made to work, and on which every computer software program that has ever been written is ultimately based.

Therefore, when you consider the cleverness and ingenuity displayed in the extraordinarily complex computer programs being written by Jeff Philips and others like him, on a software foundation that ultimately depends upon zeros and ones, consider what a brilliant and malevolent being like Satan can accomplish against us by variations and combinations of the two methods he makes use of.

What are the two methods by the Devil, by our adversary Satan?




Keep ever in mind what our Lord Jesus Christ declared about the Devil. In John 8.44, Jesus said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” How did the Devil commit murder? By lying to Eve. God told Adam that he would die if he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, the serpent told Eve, “Ye shall not surely die.” That was a lie. Eve succumbed to the serpent’s temptation, gave to her husband who also ate, and the human race died. Spiritual murder committed by telling a lie. Satan traffics in untruths. He did so in the Garden of Eden, and he did so when tempting Jesus in the wilderness. Satan lies at all times, though he is clever enough to tell ninety-nine truths in order to lull someone into believing a single lie. Therefore, Christians should always be sticklers for truth, for accuracy, for specificity, and for doctrine.

This provides for us the proper response to Satan’s lies. When Satan or his demons tries to subvert you, attempts to influence you, works on your thoughts or supplies you with disinformation that comes at you from other people, be mindful of how the lies, the deceit, the disinformation is used. First Timothy 4.1-2:


1      Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2      Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.


What do we know, just from this passage? We know that hypocrites tell lies, for the express purpose of subverting professing Christians so they will depart from the faith. Spirit beings and demons are behind it all, but the most typical direct tools that are employed are hypocrites, people who are not what they seem to be, who tell lies. Therefore, when someone says something to you that hurts, that discourages, that disables, that frustrates, that confuses, that discredits, you should immediately consider the possibility that you are being attacked, because Christians are not supposed to give place to the devil, but are to “minister grace unto the hearers,” Ephesians 4.27 and 29. If the proper response to Satan’s lies is the truth, what do we resort to for the truth? The Word of God . . . always! Did not Jesus pray to the Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth,” John 17.17? Therefore, to keep things very simple tonight, you need to be a man of the Book, a woman of the Book, a believer of the Book, in order to arm yourself against the wiles of the Devil. Did not Jesus react to the Devil’s lies in the wilderness with the Word? He did. To summarize, then. Satan always employs lies, factual errors, distortions, exaggerations, and such things as that. Our safety lies in our use of scripture, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” to expose his lies and thwart his purposes.[7]




We are aware that Lucifer’s own fall, which resulted in him becoming that foul being known to us as Satan, was the consequence of his own pride. Isaiah 14.12-15:


12     How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13     For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14     I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15     Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.


Consider how Satan’s lies appealed to Eve’s pride. After his initial lie to Eve, when he spoke against God by saying, “Ye shall not surely die,” in Genesis 3.4, he then enticed her to give in to pride by saying, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil,” in Genesis 3.5.

It was pride that led to Satan’s downfall, and it was pride that led to Eve’s downfall. Why should it surprise us, then, to take note of Satan’s temptation of the Lord Jesus Christ by appealing to Him to yield to the pride of worldly glory, which would have fed his own proud desire to be worshiped? Matthew 4.8-10:


8      Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

9      And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

10     Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.


My friends, even when Satan does not strike against you using lies, he will tempt you to succumb to that which he has been most susceptible to in his own experience, which is pride. Is not your insistence on personal autonomy based on and rooted in pride? “Nobody tells me what to do!” “Who does he think he is to try and order me around?” “How dare he rebuke me in that way!” This is why real Christianity is such an affront to the proud, while evangelical Christianity is so appealing. A proud look is an abomination to God, Proverbs 6.17. Yet is it not pride that refuses to submit to divinely ordained authority? Is it not pride that stiffens the neck and arches the back? Do you find yourself involved in contention, fussing, and arguing? Proverbs 13.10 declares to us “Only by pride cometh contention.” Thus, the friction and the tension, the bitterness that is so common these days, simply cannot exist in the absence of pride. Do you not see the methodology of Satan in all this? How can you deny it?

The way to oppose lies is with truth. How, then, would the Christian oppose the temptation to be proud? How should the believer react when he finds himself overcome with pride? Obviously, the Word of God is central to effectively addressing this problem of pride. However, granting that, we would seek to find in the Word of God the proper way to address pride. James 4.6-10 provides a great deal of insight for those with the eyes to see:


6      But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7      Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8      Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9      Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10     Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.


What do we observe in this passage? Several things: First, there is a direct link between resisting the Devil and humility. Next, there is a direct connection between humility and drawing near to God and being cleansed in your Christian walk. Finally, pride is about lifting yourself up, while humility is trusting God to lift you up, showing humility to be an exercise of Christian faith. First Peter 5.5-8 also shows the connection between humility and successfully resisting the Devil:


5      Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

6      Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

7      Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

8      Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.


Do you find yourself in arguments? You have a pride problem. Do you object to someone rebuking you? You have a pride problem. Do you feel you are not appreciated and your obvious capabilities are not properly recognized? You have a pride problem.

How about truth? Do you accept as true the kind of comments that God wants no Christian making? Alternatively, can you deal with the clutter of disinformation that comes with life, because no matter what anyone says to you you embrace the truth of God’s Word?

Paul wrote it this way, in Romans 3.4: “yea, let God be true, but every man a liar.” No matter what anyone says or does, being mindful that Satan is a liar, you need to be committed to God’s truth.

Therefore, the way to deal with Satan’s assaults on your life and his attempts to disrupt and destroy is very simple: The truth of God’s Word will be your comfort and your guide, and humility instead of pride will be your posture. Truth and humility will thwart Satan’s lies and temptations to react proudly every time.

[1] Revelation 12.4

[2] 2 Thessalonians 2.9

[3] Job 1.10, 12; 2.6

[4] Ephesians 2.3

[5] John 8.41 and 44

[6] Fritz Rienecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), pages 532 and 541.

[7] Ephesians 6.17

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