Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 14, 1957

The Devil's Devices

Paul Brock, Dyersburg, Tennessee

The Bible begins with the story of creation and tells us of the last work, that of the creation of man. To this man he gave a mate and placed them in the garden to tend and keep, in bliss and happiness.

Genesis 3:1-6 tells of the subtlety of the serpent, his method in tempting Eve. He showed his skill coupled with cowardice in coming to the weaker sex. He reminds her that God has placed around her certain restrictions. . . . . Yea hath God said, YE SHALL NOT EAT OF EVERY TREE OF THE GARDEN?" After Eve tells him that God has said that they would die if they did eat of the fruit of one tree in the midst of the garden, he (the devil) removes the fear. "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall NOT surely die." (Verse 4.) "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also unto husband with her: and he did eat." (Verse 6.)

The evil one may bring forth different temptations to the individual but his method will always be the same. Notice his device, (1) WE ARE REMINDED THAT GOD HAS PLACED AROUND US CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS. (2) THE FEAR IS REMOVED. (3) ALL TEMPTATIONS ARE OF THE LUST OF THE FLESH, LUST OF THE EYE, THE PRIDE AND VAIN GLORY OF LIFE. When John gives us timely advice concerning the world, he at the same time warns us of the way we are tempted. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world." (I John 2:15-16.) Since the Holy Spirit has warned us of the devices of Satan, we understand why Paul said, .. . "We are not ignorant of his devices." (II Cor. 2:11.)

Although he is the most deceptive creature, the slanderer of God and man, the accuser of the righteous, the one who hinders men from salvation, he does prefer good company. Job 1:15 tells us that when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord that Satan also was among them. Being then not ignorant of his devices, let us use the knowledge to overcome temptation.

Perhaps one of the most cowardly practices of the Devil is the attempt to use the word of God to serve his purpose. He knows that some are so easily deceived if the Scripture is quoted they will readily accept his way regardless of how much that scripture is perverted. NOTICE: When Satan tempted Christ the second time he misquoted Psalms 91:11-12. Compare Matthew 4:5-6. Satan perverted the word of God by leaving out the phrase, "To keep thee in all thy ways." When one takes from the word of God or adds to the same he perverts that word and is aiding Satan in his destructive workof sending the souls of men and women to eternal destruction.

HIS EVIL DONE UNDER THE PRETENSE OF GOOD — "And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." (II Cor. 14:11.) The Bible speaks of Satan as a "Roaring Lion" seeking whom he may devour. When we are warned by the sacred Book that false prophets will come in sheep's clothing but inwardly be ravening wolves, we can know assuredly that it is the work of Satan being done under the pretense of good.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO ? — It would be entirely out of order for one to think that the answer to that question should be found any place except in the book that tells of his devices.

WATCH AND BEWARE OF HIM — "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (I Peter 5:8.)

WE SHOULD RESIST HIM — "Submit yourselves therefore to God. RESIST the DEVIL, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7.)

MAKE ALL PREPARATION AGAINST HIM — Christians ought to be concerned greatly about this warfare against Satan and his hosts. The best indication that we are in earnest about it is that we put on the garments to war against him. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Eph. 6:11.) All should be Christians and aid in the struggle. For if we are not for Christ we are against him. (Matt. 12:30.) Be a Christian and a Christian only by faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and obedience to his will. God help us to be Christians indeed, fight the good fight of faith, that we may lay hold on Eternal Life.