All the best lies include a modicum of truth. It’s what makes them so believable, so alluring, so tempting to believe. A half-truth, they say, is more effective that a whole lie.
Not a day goes by that we don’t hear the accusation of “fake news” from one side of the political spectrum or the other. I think it might eventually come to define this decade.
But fake news is nothing new. In Genesis 3:1-6, we find the very first time a woman saw a meme on Facebook and reposted it without fact checking first. Well, not quite, but we do find that Eve, the first woman, fell for the first recording of “fake news” in the Bible.
Genesis 3:4-5 [ESV] But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Eve did not take the time to chat with Adam about it or wait for God to come back to the garden the next day to question Him about it. Nope, she fell for Satan’s lie, because it sounded so good, and ate the fruit.
Her eyes were opened all right. But what she saw was her own nakedness. What she felt was not godliness but shame. And she definitely did die. Not exactly what she was promised by the serpent.
Centuries later, Satan tried the same tactic on Jesus Christ, with entirely different results.
Matthew 4:5-10 [ESV] Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, "'He will command his angels concerning you,' and "'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'"
Whether Satan quoted scripture or made an offer that seemed too good to be true, Jesus was not fooled, because He knew the word of God. He knew the truth. He knew God’s plan.
Make no mistake, dear sisters, Satan will use the same tactics on you that he has been using on mankind since the Garden of Eden. We need the same tools that Jesus used – a solid understanding of God’s plan and a thorough knowledge of the Bible – to combat Satan’s lies and half-truths in our own lives.
Satan will tell you that God cannot or will not forgive you for that repeated sin. The Bible says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 [ESV]
Satan will tell you that you cannot endure, God’s word bids us remember: I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 [ESV]
Satan will say that God has (or will) abandon you because of your guilt. But God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Satan will tell you that you are destined for nothingness – nothing but dirt and oblivion. The Bible repeatedly tells us that we will be kings and priests in His Kingdom. [Revelation 1:6; 5:10]
Satan is a bold faced liar. He is also a subtle snake. He’ll use whatever works best against you. But in the face of the truth of God’s word, all of Satan’s fake news, half-truths and bold lies crumble.
There are a variety of Websites we can use to fact check anything we find posted on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram or any other social media, anything we read in the paper or see on the news. Or we can read about a story from a variety of sources to get a better, more rounded sense of what is really going on. We cannot afford, as Christians, to be inadvertently aligned with a lie – there is just too much at risk – namely not only our own reputations, but those of God and Christ as well. [Rev. 14:4-5]
But, more importantly, sweet sisters, remember that fake news has been around since Lucifer spun a yarn that convinced one third of the angels to follow him into rebellion. He is going to try this tactic on you, just as he did with Eve and with Jesus.
So don’t be taken in by Satan’s lies about your life, about your future, about who you are in Christ. Fact check it with the Bible. It is our number one resource for fighting the father of fake news. [John 8:44]
Believe God, because He cannot lie. [Titus 1:2] He will never give you fake news.
I’d love to hear your comments and questions. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.