This is our third week in Ephesians 6:11. We've covered put on and whole armor and now we get to talk about the wiles of the devil. The word wiles there is the Greek word:

G3180 μεθοδεία methodeia meth-od-i'-ah From a compound of G3326 and G3593 [compare “method”]; traveling over, that is, travesty, (trickery): - wile, lie in wait.

In English it's the word method. It also means travesty, trickery, or to lie in wait. In Latin its modus operandi, or on CSI they say, "What's the perps MO."

So let's talk about what the MO of the devil. 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." The roaring lion is the one that is the largest most impressive specimen that stands on one side of a clearing and roars. The prey that he's looking to devour sees that massive creature and hears that awesomely terrifying roar, turns in the opposite direction and runs away. Gives up all sense of sensibility and ends up running right into the arms of the younger, stronger, more fierce lions waiting on the other side of the clearing. They quickly finish off the prey and the roaring lion just meanders over and takes his fill.

The thing you have to realize about the roaring lion is this is the old lion. He's lived a long life, he doesn't have as much energy as he used to, some of his teeth have fallen out and in order to actually finish off the prey would be quite the struggle for this lion. He could still do it, he could still finish off the prey, but it would be a lot of work for him. The devil works like this, he roars and sits back to watch the misdirection as his prey runs right into the arms of failure. 

We can see this MO at work in Genesis 3. "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, has God said, "Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” This is where Eve tells the serpent that they can't eat the fruit or even touch it or they will die. Where do you think she got that information from? Go back and look, when God gave that command she hadn't been created yet. Only Adam had. 

As a kid I remember hearing this story and I used to think, "Where's Adam? If Adam had only been there when this interaction happened that would be different!”  I would imagine Adam grabbing the serpent by the neck choking it, a huge wrestling match between the first man and this huge serpent.  Eventually Adam would get the upper hand, he and his wife would have enjoyed smoked serpent for dinner, and they would have serpent jerky from the leftovers for the next few months.

If you're looking up the scriptures I mention as we go along, which you should be because that's our MO here on the Berean Manifesto. Then look down at 3:6 near the end of the scripture.  “...she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

The “with” in the phrase “husband with her” doesn't mean in the general sense.  As in he was with her in the garden, but in reality he was on the other side of the garden oblivious to this interaction and she had to carry the fruit to him.  No, this is the word:

H5973 עִם ‛im eem From H6004; adverb or preposition, with (that is, in conjunction with), in varied applications; specifically equally with; often with prepositional prefix (and then usually unrepresented in English): - accompanying, against, and, as (X long as), before, beside, by (reason of), for all, from (among, between), in, like, more than, of, (un-) to, with (-al).

It means with, but it means it in the specific sense like the word beside.  Adam was right there beside her, this was his chance to speak up and set the record straight, but he didn't.  Adam just stood there watching the interaction, watching as things, very quickly, went south.

When the roaring lion roars, everyone has to deal with that threat in their own mind, in their own life, on their own terms. My wife and I can see the same threat coming, but we're both going to react to it in our own way. Here Eve doesn't actually know exactly what God said and Adam isn't going to fess up to his lie and course correct the situation.  Yes it's a lie. He may have thought he was doing Eve a favor by not telling her the whole truth by setting stricter standards than what God had said. But, it was a lie.

At this point all the devil has to do is salt the truth. He sees that they see him and that they are not going to confront him with the truth and so the serpent says, “Ye shall not surely die: For God knows that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, you will be as gods, knowing good and evil.”  Because the enemies victim doesn't know the truth the enemy didn't have to directly lie, it could simply mislead concerning the truth.

That's part of the MO of the devil, partial truth. He was a liar from the very beginning. The devil knows very well how to salt the truth. Eve believes if she touches the fruit she will die. She believes a lie because she was lied to. All the devil has to do is say, “You will not surely die.”  He only has to tell the truth, or at least enough of the truth to be attractive.

That's how the devil works, he plays on partial truth, he plays on fear, he plays on your inability to fess up. How do we prepare ourselves to stand up against those wiles? We put on the whole armor of God. We choose what camp, what type of soil we want to be in and we put on the armor so we can stand up against the method of the devil. The Modus Operandi of the devil.

In the coming weeks, we're going to look more into the pieces of the armor, what they are and dig into those. You go ahead and read down into those.

Until next time...

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