How Satan Attacks the Character of God
August 4, 2022 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3–5 NIV84).

Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), and his primary lies are about God. Satan understands that when people know the truth about God, his power over them is broken and trust in God is restored. Thus, Satan works very hard to introduce lies about God into our minds, beliefs, worldview, doctrines, educational systems, and churches.

The more lies about God we believe, the more difficult it is to know and trust Him. God is the Creator of all reality. His character is love, and His methods are truth, love, and freedom. In Jesus, the fullness of God dwelt in human form (Colossians 2:9). We can know the truth about God’s character because it was revealed in the life of Jesus. If we have seen Jesus, then we have seen the Father.

But even the disciples didn’t fully understand this:

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves” (John 14:8–11 NIV84).

One of Jesus’ purposes in coming was to reveal the Father to us. In His prayer right before His crucifixion, Jesus said:

“I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. … I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world” (John 17:4, 6 NIV84, emphasis mine).

Satan hates the truth about God, and he hates it when the truth about God is revealed. Thus, he works to obscure the truth about God, to infect it with lies, to pervert it with distortions, to corrupt it with aspects of his own character so that people eventually replace the truth about God with a counterfeit in the image of Satan.

There are many ways Satan attacks the character of God; here are a few:

  • By replacing the truth that God’s laws are design protocols upon which the Creator built reality to operate with the lie that God’s laws function no differently than the rules sinful humans make up. Once believed, this lie causes God to be viewed as:
    • The source of pain, suffering, and death as punishment for sin
      • This lie manifests when people cry out, “What sin did I commit that God gave my child cancer?” Or, “What sin did I commit that my husband cheated on me?” Or, Job’s friends arguing that the calamity that befell Job was because God was punishing him for some sin.
    • The one from whom we need protection
      • This lie manifests in teachings that say payments need to be made to a punishing god, to do something to that god so that god will not hurt us.
    • Different in character than that of Jesus—that Jesus is merciful and loving while the Father is severe and punishing
  • By undermining the divinity of Christ:
    • If Jesus isn’t fully God, then His death reveals that God is willing to sacrifice others to protect Himself, which makes God to be selfish rather that love.
    • If Jesus isn’t fully God, then God is something other than love because love does not exist or function in a singularity; functional, active love requires an other. If there were a time when Jesus did not exist, then God was something other than love at that time.
  • By undermining the divinity of the Holy Spirit:
    • If the Holy Spirit is not fully divine with His own identity and individuality, then God is something other than love, as love fully operates only with an other and with a minimum of three.
      • Two individuals can exist in a dyad of narcissistic reinforcement in which they both adore and worship each other, being gratified and sustained by the attention. But when a third enters and takes the attention of one, anger and hostility emerge. Only when genuine self-sacrifice for the beneficence of the other is manifest does agape love exist.
    • Denying the existence of the Holy Spirit undermines the character of God and reinforces the notion of a self-centered god with a hierarchy style of government.
  • By suggesting God operates upon authoritarian hierarchy—with one being ruling over another:
    • This is Satan’s method and government (Isaiah 14). But because Jesus is fully God, we see, as described in Philippians chapter two, that He did not think equality with God as something to be grasped but humbled Himself for the uplifting of others. There is no hierarchy among the Godhead; they are all eternal and equal in power and authority.
  • By teaching that there is no God and that humans evolved randomly on our own:
    • This undermines not only God but also the nature and purpose of humanity.
    • It undercuts our individuality and the sanctity of life.
  • By teaching that God uses evolution to create:
    • Evolution teaches that organisms adapt and advance through eliminating weaker competition for resources. Thus, this lie teaches that God uses pain, suffering, and death to create.
    • God is the source of life, spoken into existence by His Word; according to the Bible, Satan and sin are the actual sources and causes of death.

We are in a war for our hearts and minds, and the central issue in the war is the knowledge of God. Don’t listen to the lies. Focus on Jesus, the Word, the Truth of God lived out for us to see, and be won back to love and trust in our incredible Creator, whose laws are the protocols of love built right into reality. Life, health, and happiness are only possible by living in harmony with God and His designs for life—so don’t believe the lies; embrace and live out the truth!

 

 

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, international speaker, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (DLFAPA), Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (DFAPA), and Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association (FSPA). He is President and Founder of Come and Reason Ministries and has served as President of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.