10 of the Oldest Tricks in the Book February 3, 2023


Satan is a deceiver – he always has been and always will be (John 8:44). Some things never change! The enemy often dresses his lies in new clothes, but beneath the surface, they are the same deadly deceptions that Eve faced in the Garden.

Read Genesis 3 again. Do not look at it as a lens on Eve but instead see it as a mirror of yourself. Is it possible that the Devil is passing his lies off to you? Every sin at its core is a lie because it promises what it can never deliver. Only God’s truth can cut through deception and bring clarity. 

2 Corinthians 2:11 says, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” To prepare for his attacks we must not ignorant! But how can we know the enemy’s tactics? God recorded them in black and white for us! The Word of God is both the manual for navigating the enemy’s traps and the sword that is to be used against the wicked one. 

As I have meditated on his “devices” it has become increasingly obvious to me that the Satanic strategy has not changed. These are some of the oldest tricks in the world…

  1. Fascination. He comes as a subtle serpent. Beautiful. The Deceiver’s approach is not usually with evil, but with good that has been perverted.
  2. Isolation. Satan came to Eve when she was all alone. Where was Adam? Wolves always attack when the sheep is away from the flock. We all need authority and accountability.
  3. Imagination. How quickly we forget all that we do have to concentrate on what we don’t have! This is why “strange flesh” is so appealing: it doesn’t have to be beautiful, it only has to be different. Satan is a master at making us think that somehow we are missing out.
  4. Question. “Yea, hath God said?” Questions in themselves are not wrong, but our questions should be brought to God – not brought against God. When we begin to question the goodness of the Lord, sin is creeping in.
  5. Suggestion. Oh, the power of suggestion! “You will know good and evil…” Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Eve already knew good. In fact, everything she knew was good! She lived in a perfect place. The only thing Satan and sin could add to her knowledge was evil. Beware when the Tempter suggests that there is something to be gained through your disobedience.
  6. Attraction. It was “pleasant to the eyes.” There truly is pleasure in sin for a season…but the seasons get shorter and shorter. And every season has another season following hard on its heels. 
  7. Ambition. “A tree to be desired to make one wise.” The most powerful and deadly appeal is to our pride. Guard against anything that does not keep the glory of God in view.
  8. Invitation. No one wants to sin alone; sin, like misery, loves company! And so, Eve shared with Adam and Adam joined the rebellion. We all have. Beware! Even good people can become mouthpieces for the tempter.
  9. Deception. Cover it up! Make a fig leaf apron! Find a tree and hide! Everything reproduces after its own kind, and Satan’s deception became a pattern of deception in fallen man. Remember that the only reason you have to hide something is that you are ashamed of it. If you’re ashamed of it, that probably means God is not pleased with it. We may hide from everyone but Him. He sees it all. 
  10. Accusation. The Tempter quickly becomes the Accuser. The very one who entices us then turns around and condemns us! And we follow the lie. “It is someone else’s fault.” Surely someone else is to blame. Adam blamed Eve (and God!). Eve blamed the serpent. Everyone is looking for someone to blame.

There is one thing older than Satan’s lies and sin’s power. It is the eternal Word of our God. These are the oldest tricks in the book – but we have the Book! As we spend time in the Word we are given wisdom to discern what is right and wrong and the strength to choose the right. You do not have to believe the lie and live in deception! “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

It is not a conversation with the Tempter that you need to have. None of us can outwit or outtalk Satan. Instead, have a conversation with the God of truth. Confess your sin. Claim His wisdom. Commit to living in truth today.

Someday soon the lies will all stop. But God’s truth, and those who follow it, will live forever.

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  1. Caleb on February 6, 2023 at 12:59 PM

    Thank you for sharing those 10 tricks. Though our eyes are on Jesus it’s good to beware of the Devil’s tactics. God bless!

  2. Daphne Wilburn on February 11, 2023 at 4:37 AM

    Bro. Pauley, I hate this flesh. I’ll be glad to get a new body. Oh to live without these 10 things. That alone will be Heaven. It’s like no matter how you determine in your heart that your going to live for God and be a sold out Christian, there’s old Satan.
    You never “outgrow” him.
    I always said the mind is his breeding ground through the eye gate and the hearing hate.
    Daily trying to have theind of Christ.

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