SATAN’S “DEVICES”

The Apostle Paul warned the early Christians to beware of “Satan’s devices”:

 

2 Corinthians 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

 

Sad to say, most of today’s Christians (especially in the Western world) are unaware of the numerous “devices” that the devil has contrived and employed to keep the lost from getting saved and to keep the saved (born again child of God) from serving God “according to the truth” [Galatians 2:14].

 

          WEBSTER’S 1828 DICTIONARY

 

            DEVICE, n. L.

 

       1. That which is formed by design, or invented; scheme; artificial contrivance; stratagem; project; sometimes in a good sense; more generally in a bad sense, as artifices are usually employed for                    bad purposes.

 

      In a good sense:

 

      His device is against Babylon, to destroy it. Jeremiah 51.

 

      In a bad sense:

 

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty. Job 5.

 

    They imagined a mischievous device. Psalm 212.

 

          'ARTIFICE, n. L. artificium, from ars, art, and facio, to make.

 

       1. Stratagem; an artful or ingenious device, in a good or bad sense. In a bad sense, it corresponds with trick, or fraud.

 

After searching the Scriptures {total - 26 Verses} for the meaning of the word “device” (or “devices”) I believe that Noah Webster’s definition is correct and will suffice for our purposes.

 

There are a great many of Satan’s “devices” in use today. All Cults; False Religions; False Prophets; False Teachers; and Heretics employ “devices” (schemes; artificial contrivances; and artifices) which are specifically designed to bewilder, baffle, confuse, and confound people in order to:

 

1.  Distract from and obscure the truth of God’s words

2.  Cast doubt on God’s words

3.  Complicate the simplicity that is in Christ

4.  Mislead, and draw people away from God and from His holy word

5.  Convince and persuade people to accept fraudulent artifices (i.e. LIES) as “truth 

6.  Sway people to follow men instead of God

 

In order to convince people to accept Satan’s perverse devices all Cults and False Religions (and all False Prophets; False Teachers; and Heretics) use special “KEYS” to explain away the Holy Scriptures. {For this reason, in today’s apostasy (i.e. turning away from the truth - 2Timothy 4:3-4), all genuine Bible believers must be extremely cautious of the numerous so-called “Bible Commentators”.}

 

The Apostle Paul (in his Epistles) left us a general description of some of the “devices” that Christians should beware of and it behooves us to learn about these things and to look for them in all of the commandments, ordinances, and teachings of men (secular or religious).

 

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

 

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

 

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 

Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

 

1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

 

According to the Apostle Paul Christians are to BEWARE of:

 

PHILOSOPHY (i.e. ALL Philosophies - including Psychiatry & Psychology); the TRADITION of men and the RUDIMENTS of the world (i.e. the elements & essentials of a culture); FABLES (i.e. imaginary tales); DOCTRINES of devils & men (i.e. ALL FALSE DOCTRINE contrary to the Holy Scriptures); and SCIENCE – FALSELY SO CALLED (i.e. Humanistic: Biological Evolution; Geological Origins & Cosmology, etc.).

 

In addition to all of the above, we must also be extremely careful of FALSE Prophets, FALSE Teachers, and FALSE brethren who may be “wolves” in sheep’s’ clothing:

 

Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the
church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

 

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

 

Bible believing Christians should have very little difficulty discerning the obvious errors and false doctrines contained within the world’s Philosophies and Religions and also within the numerous so-called “Christian” CULTS (those outside of mainstream Christianity), but it is much more difficult to discern error and false doctrine within mainstream (i.e. “Fundamentalist” & “Evangelical”) Christian circles, which is one of the reasons why the Lord has commanded us to STUDY “the word of truth”:

 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

The following is a list of some of the many so-called “Christian” CULTS that have arisen following the establishment of the Reformation and the peculiar connection that America has to the majority of them. In addition, I will also list some of the False Teachings, False Doctrines, or Heresies that have been embraced by some people within the “Fundamentalist” and “Evangelical” movements. To save time and space I will not list the world’s major Philosophies and Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism,  Mohammedanism, etc.) that are clearly contrary to the Holy Scriptures, since all genuine Bible believing Christians reject all of them.

 

The following is a list of some of the major Cults founded since approximately 1600 A.D.

 

   DATE               LOCATION             CULT NAME                                          FOUNDER

 

1600-1800            EUROPE                UNITARIANISM                            Humanistic University System

 

1700-1900               U.S.A.                 UNITARIANISM                            Humanistic University System

 

1823 – 1831            U.S.A.                   MORMONISM                                     Joseph Smith

                                                                                                                           Brigham Young

 

1832                       U.S.A.                   CAMPBELLISM                                Alexander Campbell

 

1844-1846               U.S.A.              SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM               William Miller & Hiram Edson

                                                                                                                             Ellen G. White        

 

1864-1875               U.S.A.               CHRISTIAN SCIENCE                             Phineas T. Quimby

                                                                                                           Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy

 

1879                        U.S.A.              JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES                                   Charles Taze Russell

 

1894                         U.S.A.                        UNITY                                            Phineas T. Quimby

                                                                                                                    Charles & Myrtle Fillmore

 

1908                        U.S.A.              MORAL RE-ARMAMENT                     Frank Daniel Buchman

 

1931-1934               U.S.A.                   ARMSTRONGISM             Herbert W. & Garner Ted Armstrong

 

1932                        U.S.A.                RELIGIOUS SCIENCE                             Ernest Holmes          

 

{The Cult names that are underlined are the larger and more successful Cults that have a fairly large following; and the names in bold are the cult leaders who were largely responsible for their founding.}

 

In addition there were a few other cults that were somewhat popular at one time and may still have a small following:  SWEDENBORGIANISM {1792 – Emmanuel Swedenborg: Sweden}; BRITISH ISRAELISM {1794 – Richard Brothers: England & Howard B. Rand: U.S.A. }; and CHRISTADELPHIANISM {1844 – John Thomas: Born in England moved to the U.S.A.}.

 

Did you notice that of the thirteen (13) Cults identifying themselves with Christianity that nine (9) of them originated in the U.S.A.; and three (3) others either moved to the U.S.A. or were embraced by people in the U.S.A.? Or to put it another way – ALL of the larger and more successful CULTS (that are still going strong today) began in the U.S.A.! {69% of the major Cults originated in the U.S.A.; and if you add the three others that either moved here or were embraced by some people in the U.S.A. - over 90% of the major (“Christian”) Cults have enjoyed a following in the U.S.A., and many of them still do today! “Freedom of religion” and religious “tolerance” is a twoedged sword and has a price!}

 

Of all of the major Cults either spawned by or embraced by Americans (Unitarianism; Mormonism; Campbellism; Seventh Day Adventism (S.D.A.); Christian Science; and Jehovah’s Witnesses) the most influential in the lives of ordinary Americans has been Christ-less Humanistic Unitarianism, although it is probably the least known of the five Cults.

 

While Mormonism, Campbellism; S.D.A., Christian Science, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a great deal of influence and control over their adherents, their impact on Americans (and the U.S.A. as a country) has been minimal. On the other hand, Christ-less Humanistic Unitarianism infiltrated the major “Christian” Universities (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Union Theological, etc.) and gradually took control of the faculties and administrations of these “Christian centers of learning” and through subterfuge and deceit changed their Final Authority from the Scriptures to Humanistic reasoning.

This change in focus (from God to man) produced Christ-less Humanistic “pastors”, who in turn produced Christ-less Humanistic congregations (dead orthodox churches), which in turn produced Christ-less Humanistic leaders throughout the whole of society (in all fields of endeavor - government, education, business, etc.).

 

This gradual leavening of “Christendom” in New England led to the Unitarian Horace Mann (1796-1859) to convince the Massachusetts Legislature to embrace the Humanistic Prussian (German) Militaristic model school system in the State of Massachusetts with the institution of the very first “compulsory attendance” (read - compulsory government schooling) laws in the U.S.A. (1852), which spread quickly throughout Humanist New England and then to other parts of the country – but not in the South (not until after the war between the States, i.e. the “Civil” War).

 

This Humanistic influence led to the radical abolitionist movement in New England and other parts of the Northern U.S.A., which eventually precipitated the War Between the States (i.e. the Civil War); which precipitated the eventual loss of the individual State’s - “States Rights”, and the strengthening of the Federal Government to the point where (today) all of our rights as individual Americans (especially those of us who are Christians) are now in Jeopardy!  

 

Now can you see why I say that of all of Satan’s “devices”, HUMANISM is the foremost and perhaps the most influential of all? I believe that HUMANISM (with all of its attendant “ISM’S”) has become the “unofficial” Religion of the U.S.A. and the rest of the Western world.                      

 

WHAT IS IT about the U.S.A. (and the 1800’s) that attracted so many False Prophets & Teachers; and so much False Doctrine? Is this the inevitable result of Liberty; Tolerance; and “Freedom of Religion”? 

 

So-far, I have only mentioned those Cults that are obviously outside of “mainstream” Christianity – there still remains the FALSE DOCTRINES & FALSE TEACHERS {the HERESIES & HERETICS} that appear to be “mainstream” (i.e. profess to believe the so-called “Fundamentals of the faith”), but upon close examination either ADD to the finished work of Christ upon the Cross or twist & wrest the Holy Scriptures in order to make disciples after themselves and exercise authority over God’s children.

 

There is so much corruption within the so-called “Fundamentalist” and “Evangelical” movements today that it is practically impossible to find a church that will simply stand for and upon the Holy word of God; or that will contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints; or that will preach and teach the Holy words of God – in season and out of season! It’s no wonder that there is so much confusion, chaos, and anarchy within the body of Christ today – most Christians have NO FINAL AUTHORITY in their lives and so every man did that which was right in his own eyes” [Judges 21:25]

 

Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

 

Without a “KING” in the Israelites’ lives they did as they pleased. Without a “FINAL AUTHORITY” in the lives of Christians today they have no guide to show them “the way, the truth, and the life” [John 14:6] and so its – every man (and woman) for him or her self: “but every man did that which was right in his own eyes” as Christians embrace “every wind of doctrine” that comes their way and seek out False Prophets; False Teachers; and Hereticks to “lead” them in the way.

 

Since the Apostle Paul cautioned Christians in his day to: “watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” [Acts 20:31] I will now list some of Satan’s “devices” that can be found within the so-called “Fundamentalist” and “Evangelical” movements – knowing ahead of time that it is impossible to list all of the error, false doctrine and heresy that exists within many of the churches that identify themselves as such. A list of Satan’s “devices” employed by some of these churches is presented in, what I believe to be, their order of importance. I may be wrong as to their order of importance; and I may miss some of Satan’s “devices”, but Bible believing Christians must become aware of these “devices” or else they will fall for some of them.

 

·   HUMANISM {Cultural Influence}

    1. “Christian” Schooling & Education {based on the “Socratic Method” of instruction}
    2. “Christian” skepticism and unbelief concerning God’s preservation of the Scriptures
    3. “Christian” Psychiatry & Psychology {includes “Christian” Counseling, Clinics, etc.}
    4. “Christian” Feminism  {an unbalanced emphasis on women’s “rights” over men}
    5. “Christian” Carnal “Entertainment” {within & without the churches}

 

·   IMPERIAL PASTORS {Individual pastors as virtual “Dictators}

1.       The elevation of a pastor” as the “HEAD” of the “local church” – replacing Christ

2.       An emphasis on “Pastoral Authority” rather than the Final Authority of God’s Holy word

3.       The elevation of a pastor” as the “Interpreter” of Scripture - replacing the Holy Spirit

4.       The elevation of a pastor” as the only “anointed one” - above his Christian brethren

 

·   PENTACOSTALISM {Past & Present – Originated in the U.S.A.}

    1. The emphasis on the person of the Holy Spirit instead of the Lord Jesus Christ
    2. The emphasis on the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit instead of the Holy word of God
    3. The emphasis on signs, wonders, miracles and healing instead of on faith in Christ
    4. The emphasis on “covetousness” (i.e. prosperity preaching) and earthly riches

 

·   ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT {“Emerging Church Movement” (ECM) or “Seeker” Churches, etc.}

    1. An emphasis on the words of men rather than the Holy words of God
    2. An emphasis on “Good Works” rather than the true Gospel and faith in Christ
    3. An emphasis on government and “Social Solutions” regarding spiritual issues
    4. An emphasis on government intervention regarding societal problems and ills

 

Peculiar to the United States:

 

·   CHRISTIAN PATRIOT MOVEMENT {Christians trying to establish a physical Kingdom of God on earth}

1.       An emphasis on government & governing - rather than the preaching of the Gospel & the teaching of God’s Holy words

2.       An emphasis on establishing a “Christian” government based on the U.S. Constitution

3.       An emphasis on Israel in the Old Testament as a “model” for the U.S. government

4.       An emphasis on Old Testament Laws and Ordinances for Christian conduct

5.       The twisting and wresting of Scripture to justify lawlessness 

 

The following “devices” are in no order of importance:

·   HYPER DISPENSATIONALISM: Unbalanced emphasis on “dividing” the Holy Scriptures

·    HYPER CALVINISM: Unbalanced emphasis on man’s depravity {TULIP} & his inability to even believe

·   LORDSHIP SALVATION: Unbalanced emphasis on continuous fruit in a believer as proof of Salvation

·   END TIMES MINISTRIES: Unbalanced emphasis on Prophecy & neglect of the “whole counsel of God”

·   EASY BELIEVISM: Unbalanced emphasis on getting personal “decisions” without the genuine Gospel 

·    CHRISTIAN “ZIONISM”: Unbalanced emphasis on support for the nation of Israel as proof of salvation

·    RADICAL FEMINISM: Unbalanced emphasis on women’s rights & the corresponding destructive effect it has had on the husband and wife relationship and on the family in general.

 

If we Christians fail to study the word of truth, and if we neglect to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, we will eventually fall for one (or more) of Satan’s “devices” - since most of his “devices” are perverse distortions of some Biblical precept or principal. [Psalms 33:4; 119:11; Romans 8:1-4, 14; Galatians 5:16-25]

You probably have noticed that I have not mentioned any of the Apostate Mainline Protestant Churches; or the Eastern Orthodox Church; or the largest Cult of them all – the Roman Catholic Church (nor have I cited the many “devices” employed by them). When you stop and consider all of Satan’s “devices” that are presently in the world, it boggles the heart and the mind that Almighty God has chosen to reveal His Truth to ordinary Bible believers and has hidden it from the wise; the prudent; the scribes; and the disputers of this world.

 

1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

 

1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

 

The PURPOSE of Satan’s “devices” is to ensnare people so that he can devour them. In speaking about the requirements for a bishop/elder/pastor Paul said:

 

1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

 

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

 

1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

 

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: {an example - Job?}
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

 

THE BOOK has the answers to all of mankind’s “problems”; the problem with people (including most Christians) is they don’t know WHERE to look, or WHAT kind of questions to ask!  WHERE would any of us be without God’s Holy, infallible, perfect, inspired, and preserved word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

 

Psalms 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?