The serpent said to the woman, "You will not die, but God knows the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3: 4-5)
In Satan's epic enticement of the first created divine persons, it is very noticeable that the serpent had to name drop the Creator who is GOD to further its sinister objectives. Satan knew so well that it cannot make reference to itself because its countenance is extremely opposite to the countenance of GOD. Satan is an ugly monster while GOD is a perfectly supreme divine Person. Besides, as the ancient serpent it is under the dominion of the first created divine persons by virtue of the authority vested upon the divine couple by the Creator who is GOD. Satan had to use the name of GOD for its proposal to have a high market value or make its enticement a lot more compelling and credible. Such method fraught with treachery and deceit is the diabolic art of deception perfected peerlessly by the "father of lies" who is Satan. Clothe evil with good for it to have a sting. Such is Satan's perpetual axiom and dictum. Whatever method of provocation Satan employs, the elements of treachery and deceit are always present. They are the necessary evil without which there is no sting. Deception as the serpent's craft was an effective diabolic tool as it was able to lure the first created divine persons on its side and on its playing field. The divine couple bit the gambit of death and, in an instant, became human.
Before the Son of Man started His teaching ministry, He gave Satan the golden opportunity to employ its diabolic verbal tactics and strategies upon Him one-on-one in the desert. Satan burst into the scene after the forty days and forty nights fasting and hurled challenges thrice in succession. The challenges that came out directly from the jaws of Satan follow, verbatim:
First challenge: "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to turn into bread!"(Luke 4:3)
Second challenge: "I will give you all this power and the glory of these kingdoms; the power has been given to me and I give it to whomever I wish. Prostate yourself in homage before me, and it shall be all yours." (Luke 4:6-8)
Third challenge: If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for Scripture has it, "He will bid his angels watch over you", and again: "With their hands they will support you, that you may never stumble on a stone." (Luke 4:9-11)
By the way, it must be realized that Satan is not a person. It is a beast. As such, it has no character or personality. All it possesses is an animalistic, satanic or diabolic mindset, that is, it established certain beliefs in its satanic mind. The primary belief that predominates in its intelligent and provocative mind is that it is somebody or a divinity in equal footing with or superior to the Son of Man. Its superior genius intoxicated itself into believing that it is capable of challenging GOD as it pleases and win. Satan believes in itself it is superior that is why it is adamantly asking for the homage of the Son of Man. It is the arrogant hypocrite par excellence ahead only by a hairline to certain human persons scattered in this wild world.
The purpose of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST in giving Satan the liberty to tempt Him is simply to highlight that He is not human. No human person can fast for forty days and forty nights and then dispose off the challenge of a hideous beast that is Satan. The other objective is to show that the only method of temptation that Satan employs is deception and nothing else. It thrives on deception. It even deceives itself that it is superior to or in equal footing with GOD. It does not even respect itself! It is unbridled egoism and callousness. No wonder it was transformed by GOD to a beast. Satan should have turned the bread to stone first before hurling the challenge to the Son of Man to do it. Satan does not have such transforming power though. It was just trying to lure the Son of Man to commit the mistake of calling its bluff the way it did with Adam and Eve who submitted to its deceptive provocation that made them human.
Satan projected itself as empowered to dispose of the magnificence of this world as it pleases. Obviously, Satan was lying to its fangs. It was another deceptive maneuver. It did not sell with the Son of Man. Its power is such that it is able to fool the human person time and time again. After its enticement of the most loved creatures created divine, Satan was cursed by GOD Almighty that it will "crawl on its belly" and "eat dust all the days of its life". Hence, Satan has no power at all. It is all a mirage! It is an illusion that most human persons believe otherwise.
Take note too that Satan reads the Holy Bible but distorts its message and makes it unholy to serve its selfish motives and interests for self-aggrandizement. Satan even used the Sacred Scriptures as among its diabolic tools to carry out its treacherous or deceptive methodology and applied it unsuccessfully though upon the Rabbi who is GOD. The malignant proliferation or mushrooming of different Christian religions and sects bolster the fact that the Sacred Scriptures is an effective tool for marketing the distorted and self-serving interests of the various and diverse terrestrial Christian churches. A lot of them, if not all of them, have adopted one way or the other the satanic methodology of Bible use. Remember, they are all run by human beings and not angels. Human beings are clones of Satan by virtue of the dastardly deed of Adam and Eve that each human person harbors in its being. Baptism did not transform the human to divine. It remains patently human whatever kind of human baptism it receives. It cannot escape employing a diabolic methodology in the guise of good for its terrestrial survival. Evil must be clothed with good for it to have a sting! A face lift could make the beast personable. It can pass off as a case of mistaken identity if mishandled.
Satan's method of deception was the same gambit that the recidivist and hostile Jews employed upon the Rabbi when they presented before Him the woman from Magdala caught in the act of adultery. The narrative follows:
The Scribes and the Pharisees led a woman forward who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand there in front of everyone. "Teacher", they said to him, "This woman has been caught in the act of adultery. In the law, Moses ordered such women to be stoned. What do you have to say about the case?" (They were posing this question to trap him, so that they could have something to accuse him off.) Jesus bent down and started tracing the ground with his finger. When they persisted in their questioning, he straightened up and said to them, "Let the man among you who have no sin be the first to cast a stone at her." A second time he bent down and wrote on the ground. Then the audience drifted away one by one, beginning with the elders. (John 8: 3-9)
Such preceding Biblical narrative from the gospel of John about the adulteress divulged the devilish entrapment tactics and operations employed in syndicated fashion by the extremist Scribes and Pharisees upon the Rabbi that fizzled out just by the stroke of a finger. The glaring entry from the aforementioned gospel anecdote was the initial response of the Son of Man to the meaty question of the Scribes and the Pharisees in their conspiracy in treachery assault towards the Messiah. The Rabbi's initial reaction to the question was not an immediate verbal response but a gesture. It was the holy gesture of "tracing the ground with his finger" after He bent down. It was a Master stroke that the self-righteous and spiteful Scribes and Pharisees were unable to decipher in haste that was why they persisted with their leading and incriminating question. John the evangelist did not say that what the Rabbi wrote on the ground was legible and granted that it were then the learned high-profile experts of the Jewish Sanhedrin would not have persisted with their questioning if the answer was written on the ground. The Rabbi was imparting to those around Him through His holy gesture their origin as human beings whether learned or not, rich or poor, elegantly or shabbily dressed, bejeweled or toothless. He was pointing out to them through the eloquence of His finger that all of them originated from the ground and to the ground they shall return. Surprisingly, the proud and learned lot of the Jewish Sanhedrin failed to grasp in earnest the meaning of His digital stroke on the ground that they persisted with their mousetrap of a question to the Messiah. So, the Son of Man straightened up and verbalized His holy gesture to them, "Let the man among you who has no sin be the first to cast a stone at her." Only then did the audience beginning with the Elders realize the wisdom behind the holy gesture of tracing the ground with a finger. They all banished from His sight except the adulteress. The satanic dragnet operations of the impious and self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees were nipped in the bud. They were red-faced and stunned with what hit them. The Rabbi did not violate the Law of Moses. He was amenable to it provided that those who will do the execution are sinless. But can there be a human being who is sinless? After coming to terms with their sensibilities, the proud and mighty Scribes and Pharisees suddenly knew the answer and dispersed themselves quietly and probably scratching their heads and looking at each other shamefully. Their collective conspiracy efforts were rammed in their throats by a mere stroke of a finger. Their deceptive provocation boomeranged on their lavishly adorned faces.
Satan's crafty deception is being utilized left and right in this terrestrial world. The cunning and ambitious politicians adopted it by spewing brickbats and mud pies on each other's faces. It is their cup of tea every hour on the hour. The shrewd and opportunist lawyer applies it often that the meaning of liar and lawyer are already one and interchangeable. One can no longer be distinguished from the other even its pronunciation. The Roman Catholic priest, bishop or cardinal who keeps a mistress in secret masterfully explains with honor and dignity its revered celibacy and then mercilessly ostracizes the ones caught with their pants down with excommunication. In the Philippines, some members of the clergy politicize their divine office by making use of the pulpit and vocalize pastoral letters lambasting politicians and perceived grafters in government. However, when donations in cash or in kind trickle in from the targeted crooks, they look the other way or suddenly hibernate in their air-conditioned retreat dwelling places as if nothing ever happened.
Deception as a method of enticement is not just Satan's exclusive domain. So many human persons have mastered and employed it as a science and an art. We meet a lot of them every day and partake of their act too one way or the other. Hence, there is no need to zero in on Satan on this matter. The human person just has to face and talk to itself in front of the mirror and see how far it has savored its covenant with Satan and how far it has deceived itself. The version is varied and diverse just as human persons are but the method is one and the same: the deathly deed of deception!