So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. Still Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. (Ex 7:10-13)
Those who know me, or have read my blog for a while, will know that I don't like to make a big deal about the devil. I'd much rather talk about Jesus! If you have Jesus, then you don't need to fear or worry about the devil, his power or his activities. He who is in us is greater than he that is in the world! I have little time for those who see demons and their activities everywhere. God is infinately more powerful than Satan, and there are many more angels than demons. If you are under authority, going for God, and full of faith, then any demon who knows what's good for him is going to give you a wide berth!
However the Scriptures do say that we should not be uninformed about the enemy's schemes. By being aware of our enemy's M.O., we are more likely to spot his ploys, and less likely to be taken in by them. These opening chapters of the book of Exodus, give us some valuable insights into our enemy's tactics.
As I said before, Satan is powerless to stop the power of God, so he has to resort to other tactics. If he cannot discourage us (bricks without straw) then he will try to discredit us! The quickest way to stop a man of God is for him to fall into moral compromise! However it is not just our character that Satan would try to discredit, he also seeks to cast doubt upon our charismata (Spiritual gifts).
By producing his counterfeit snakes, Pharaoh had an excuse not to believe in the authenticity of the snake that Aaron had produced. Many people miss out on the miraculous moves of God, because all they see are "Pharaoh's Snakes". They point to the harm that false prophecy has caused, and deduce that this can't possibly be a gift from God that is active in the church today. Or with the so called "Toronto" blessing, they point at all the clucking and baa-ing and other strange phenomenon, and deduce that this could not possibly be a move of God. And so, just as the enemy intended, they miss out on the genuine life-changing powerful encounter with the Spirit of God.
The good news is that we don't need to go on a "witch hunt" for false signs. Aaron did not run around the palace stamping on the false snakes. His own snake did the job for him. We don't need to get drawn into a debate or battle over false signs, we just need to stir up the genuine gifts that are within us, and let them speak for themselves. When the light comes the darkness has to retreat.