One of the most important things you can know about the devil is that he is a liar.
Jesus tells us that in John 8:44.
He is speaking to a group of people who were rejecting him and he is explaining what is at the root of their hostility towards him.
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.”
Which would have been shocking to them because they thought their father was the great godly man Abraham, but Jesus says no, the way you are acting proves your father is really the devil.
And then he explains what the devil is like.
“He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
We will come back to the part about being a murderer but for now just focus your attention on what it says about his relationship to the truth.
First, Jesus says he has nothing to do with the truth.
Second, he says there is no truth in him.
Third, he lies.
Fourth, he says that when he lies it is normal for him, because it is his character.
Fifth, Jesus says that he not only lies, he is a liar.
And finally, he tells us that he is actually where lies come from.
Which means that if we are going to understand the way our enemy works we can start by appreciation his absolute opposition to the truth.
He’s not neutral towards the truth.
And we see this opposition to the truth from the very beginning. You know the very first words we hear the devil speaking?
Has God actually said?
Now look, I am pointing all this out to you because there are many people who think of spiritual warfare in spooky terms. The main images that come into their minds when they think about Satan’s attacks on the church are of people being possessed or chairs lifting off the ground or all kinds of other scary things happening. But fundamentally, what you need to understand about spiritual warfare is that the devil’s war on God’s people is a war on truth. In Revelation 12:9, he’s described as the “deceiver of the whole world” because that’s what he does, he attempts to deceive people about God, his good and power in particular, about Jesus, His supremacy and deity, about the gospel, it’s sufficiency and exclusivity, about sin, its danger and its consequences, and about Scripture, its meaning and its application to our lives. And I think knowing this, is actually very practical, because if you know the devil is a liar who is constantly attacking the truth, well, how do you live with a liar and not be fooled, you have to know the truth inside and out. This is part of what the church is all about. The church is the ground and pillar of the truth. And it is why truth is a non-negotiable, we have to be so serious about knowing it, otherwise we are putting ourselves right in the line of Satan’s fire because first and foremost, Satan is a liar.