Delusions: A Device of Satan
Dr. Joe Temple

Review

Open your Bibles, please, to Paul's second Corinthian letter, chapter 11, and we will read from the first verse:

II Corinthians 11:

1Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.
2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
5For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
6But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.
7Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
8I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.
9And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
10As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.
11Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.
12But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

We will stop our reading there and call attention particularly to what we find in the third verse:

II Corinthians 11:

3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

We have been thinking for quite some time now concerning the Devil, his origin, his destiny, and his work. We have been suggesting to you some of the wiles of the Devil, some of the devices of the Devil, that he uses to bring about our downfall. We do not expect in these messages to bring to you anything particularly new. But as the Apostle Peter said, we trust we will be able to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance, that we all may be on guard and realize that the Devil, who is using every device that he knows so well to use, does want to see us fail.

Beguiled By Satan

We have talked to you about doubt. We have talked to you about discouragement. Now we want to talk to you about delusions, the deception of the Devil. That is what verse 3 is talking about:

II Corinthians 11:

3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The Apostle Paul was a true pastor. He not only recognized that it was his responsibility to bring men to a saving knowledge of Christ, but he realized as well that it was his responsibility to keep them pure for Christ. He gave the illustration, the figure of speech that we have in the first two verses of this chapter. He said, “I have betrothed you to Christ as a chaste virgin, and I want to keep you a virgin until the marriage supper of the Lamb. I want to keep you pure. I want to keep you clean for Christ.

Then he said, “It is a big job, because I am very much concerned. I am very much concerned that the Devil, by any manner or means, might beguile you through his subtleties, as he beguiled Eve, that he might beguile you (delude you, deceive you) so that you will waver from your simple-hearted devotion to Christ.” That is the meaning of the word simplicity .

It is a difficult thing for us to stay devoted to Christ. It is a difficult thing for us to stay simply devoted to Him. The reason it is so very difficult is that the Devil beguiles us.

Thoroughly Deceived

Turn with me in your Bibles, please, to the first epistle of Timothy, chapter 2, verse 13. We do not use this word beguile very much. I would like for us to see it in its exact meaning, so that we will be able to understand exactly what we are talking about when we speak of the manner in which the Devil beguiles the saints of God. The Apostle is speaking concerning the things that the Devil did in relation to Eve. I want us to notice exactly what he has to say about what happened to Eve in relation to original sin:

I Timothy 2:

13For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity [love]and holiness with sobriety.

Notice the 14th verse, which speaks of the original introduction of sin into the universe:

I Timothy 2:

14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived…

Look at that second word deceived . It is the same word that is translated “beguiled” in II Corinthians, chapter 11. You may say, “Well, what about the first word deceive there in relation to Adam?” It is not the same word. The word that is translated “deceived” in relation to Adam is a word that speaks of a voluntary deception. This is one time the old Devil was fooled. He hoped to deceive Adam, but he didn't. Adam was willing to be deceived so he might step down to the low place to which Eve had fallen because of her sin.

So we see that the woman's being deceived is an entirely different word, and it meant that she was deceived thoroughly and completely, through and through. That is also the meaning of the word translated “beguiled.” The Devil is a past-master of the art of deception, and he deludes and deceives the children of God so that we might waver from our simple-hearted devotion to Christ.

Reasons We Are Deceived

There are two basic reasons the Devil succeeds so well in the matter of deception. I believe that if we are able to notice these two reasons, we might be better on our guard because I think the devil has deceived us even about these two reasons.

A Deceitful Heart

Turn in your Bibles, please, to the book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament. Notice with me in chapter 17 a statement that will help us to understand why the Devil finds it so very, very easy to deceive us. One simple statement we will look at without taking the time to look at the verses that come before or that follow after. Jeremiah 17, verse 9, says:

Jeremiah 17:

9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Let me say those words for you again, as they are exceedingly important:

Jeremiah 17:

9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

This passage of Scripture tells us something that many of us do not realize, and many more of us do not like to admit. It is that your heart or my heart is deceitful. You cannot depend upon it.

I do not know how many times people have said to me, “I follow my heart in everything I do. If my heart tells me that it is all right, I feel pretty good about it.” That is where the Devil gets in his biggest blow. Your heart is deceitful, and because your heart is deceitful, the Devil can use it to deceive and delude you.

How many times I have counseled with people on the basis of the Word of God concerning certain things that the Word of God speaks very plainly about, and they are able to see it. They understand it, and they agree, before the consultation is over, that that is exactly what the Word of God says. Then, by and by, I see them, and they are doing the same thing they asked for counsel about—the very thing that it was pointed out in the Word of God was wrong. I talk with them about it and say, “Didn't we agree that the Word forbade that? Didn't we agree that the Word of God speaks out against that?” “Yes, I know, but I have prayed about it, and I feel all right in my heart about it. I just did what my heart told me to do.”

I believe that, and I think they are sincere in saying that. But, Beloved, the heart is deceitful. The sooner we realize and recognize that it is, the sooner we will be able to understand that the Devil gets in his biggest blow when we are foolish enough to say that we are going to do what our heart tells us to do.

Remember that delusion and deceit become an easy weapon in the hands of the Devil when we fail to recognize the deceitfulness of our hearts. Desperately wicked is our heart, capable of anything in the world. Remember that. Don't let the Devil lie to you about it. Don't let the Devil lie to you and say that you are too good to do a certain thing. You are not too good to do it. Don't let the Devil lie to you and say, “Well, so and so would not do that. He has a good heart.” His heart may be good, but it is deceitful. The sooner we realize it, the better off we will be.

The Devil - A Deceiver

The other basic thing that I want you to realize is presented to us in chapter 12 of the book of Revelation. This chapter tells the story of the final casting down of Satan. It has not yet happened. It will be some time before it does happen, but it is going to happen. Notice what is said in verse 9:

Revelation 12:

9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The word Devil means “accuser.” The word Satan means “adversary.” The Devil accuses. The Devil opposes. But we are told in this passage of Scripture that his chief business is deceiving. He deceives the whole earth. Let us recognize that a deceiving Devil with a deceptive heart can have a holiday in any one of our lives. There is not anything that he cannot do if we are not aware of these two facts—that our hearts are deceptive, and that the Devil is a deceiver.

Satan Transforms Himself

I want you to keep in mind, as we turn back to II Corinthians, chapter 11, that the Devil can deceive you and me about himself as much as he can about any other one thing. You will remember what we read in verse 14:

II Corinthians 11:

14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

The Devil will even deceive you about himself, and make you think that he is most attractive. Just as certainly as he took the form of a serpent to deceive Eve and beguile her from her simple-hearted devotion to God, the Devil can take the form of your best friend and deceive you into thinking that you ought to be doing the thing that your best friend tells you to do.

The Devil has no principles. The Devil has no scruples. He does not mind at all posing as somebody or something that he is not. Let us remember that when the Devil comes to deceive, he is not coming honestly. He is not going to come openly and aboveboard. He is going to transform himself into an angel of light and make you think that he is something he is not.

Procedure Of Deceit

Since we recognize the facts that our hearts are deceitful and that it is the business of the Devil to deceive, I want you to recognize with me some things that are related to the procedure of deceit. Once again, it is not an act. It is a procedure. It is a process. The Devil plays upon certain things in relation to your personality as a harpist plays upon the strings of a harp. It is not a blanket deception. He will come at you one way this time and another way another time, but he never does make an attempt to deceive unless there is something that will respond to that deceit.

Deceitful Desires

I would like for you to turn with me to the 4th chapter of Paul's letter to the Ephesians and recognize one of the things that is related to this procedure of deceiving us on the part of the Devil. The Apostle is making an appeal to Christians to recognize this very thing that we are talking about, and to put off the things that are related to the old life so that the Devil will not be able to get his foot in the door, so to speak:

Ephesians 4:

22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man [that is, the old manner of life], which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

Look at the last phrase: “According to the deceitful lusts.” It is not that the lusts themselves are deceitful. Let us remember that because the word lust simply means “desire.” That is all it means. We have associated the word lust in our thinking with that which is evil. When we find the word lust in the Bible, we automatically think of it as something evil. It is not necessarily something evil. It is simply desire.

A literal rendering of this verse is: “Put off concerning the former conversation the old man which is corrupt according to the lusts which are excited by deceit.”

The lusts themselves are not deceitful, but those lusts can be excited by the deceitfulness of the Devil into activity that will keep you from being wholly devoted to Christ.

Turn with me, please, to the epistle of James, chapter 1, for a concrete illustration of this thing I am talking about. Remember that the Devil takes very normal desires—desires that God planted within you—and presents such deception in relation to them that they are excited into doing the thing that is wrong. We are not going to take the time to talk about all the desires in our lives which the Devil can twist and turn. Notice verse 13:

James 1:

13Let no man say when he is tempted [that is, tempted to sin], I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14[Notice] But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

When he is drawn away of his own desire—.

James 1:

15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Get the picture clear in your minds. Here is a desire within your bosom that God planted there—desire that could be used to a good end, that could be used to the accomplishment of a great deal. But the Devil comes up and deceitfully appeals to that lust within you. That lust responds to the deceit of the Devil because you do not recognize it for what it is. Deception occurs, and the result is SIN. And sin, when it is completed, brings forth death. The Devil deceives in appealing deceitfully to very normal lusts and desires that are within our own hearts.

I want you to realize now, because it is so important to realize it, lest you are going to become warped, that the desires are perfectly legitimate. Sin is found in what the Devil does with those desires when he presents a deceptive approach.

Deceitfulness of Riches

Turn in your Bibles, please, to the 13th chapter of the gospel according to Matthew, where we see another way in which the Devil is able to deceive believers into getting away from Christ, away from that simple-hearted devotion that they ought to render to the Lord Jesus Christ. In this chapter is the parable of the sower sowing the seed, illustrating the response of the heart to the Word of God when it is planted there. Notice in verse 18:

Matthew 13:

18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; [not notice carefully] and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

“The deceitfulness of riches.” There is nothing wrong with riches, nothing at all. But when the Devil uses riches to deceive you and me, so that we are taken away from our simple-hearted devotion to Christ, he has won a great victory.

Keep in mind that the word riches here is not talking about your second million. It is not necessarily talking about your first million. It is talking about an ordinary, everyday sense of gain. You can be just as interested in riches and show as a rich man can. Remember that.

The Devil deceives so many people into thinking that they have to take care of material things before they can be loyal to Christ, before they can go on with Christ. I have seen this over and over again. People start out so beautifully for the Lord. Their devotion to Christ is most inspiring, and the Lord Jesus Christ is supreme in their lives. It is thrilling to see them. Then by and by you begin to see a little difference, and pretty soon you see that devotion wavering, and you recognize that their simple-hearted devotion to Christ is changing to disinterest. It grieves the heart of anybody who hates to see Satan get the victory. The reason is the riches of the world.

The Will To Be Rich

There is a better explanation than I could possibly give. It is found in chapter 6 of Paul's first Letter to Timothy, verse 6, when he says:

I Timothy 6:

6But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9But they [notice this verse carefully] that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10For 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.

If I did not know of any other passage of Scripture in all the Bible that is true, I would know this one is, because I have seen it over and over and over again. “They that will to be rich”—that is the meaning of the verse. They that set their minds on riches are deceived. They are deceived, deluded, and beguiled to turn away from their simple-hearted devotion to Christ.

Deceitfulness Of Sin

Turn with me to the book of Hebrews, chapter 3, verse 13, and notice another warning which God gives that should enable us to realize how apt the Devil is in deceiving us—the deceitfulness of these things that bring about our downfall.

Hebrews 3:

13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

“…lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” What does that mean? It does not mean that sin itself is deceitful. It does not mean that, but it means that sin does a very deceitful thing to you. That is the meaning of the translation of the verse. Sin does a very deceitful thing to you. What is this deceitful thing that sin does? It hardens. It hardens you to the place that you do not even feel bad about doing it any more. And the simple-hearted devotion to Christ that once you knew is all gone.

Take for example the man who takes his first drink of liquor. Sin is so deceptive. It does not seem to bother him at all, and he can take it, or he can leave it alone. But before long, sin has so hardened him that he is helpless in its grasp.

We do not need to talk about something as bad as social drinking. We can talk about this little thing of lying. Most people think about it as a little thing—being economical with the truth, not being as truthful as a person ought to be. Lying is a deceitful thing. You might tell a lie one time because you are in a tight spot, but it is so deceitful. Before long, unless you confess that lie for what it is before the Lord, it has deceived you into thinking that you are not even lying any more, and you can lie, as we say, with a straight face. You will lie when it is easier to tell the truth. You will lie when there is no real need to lie. That is the deceitfulness of sin.

You see, all that the Devil wants is for you to take the first step. That is all. No, he does not come to you and tell you that he would like to make a liar out of you. He would not do that. But he gets you to lie that first time, and because it is unconfessed and remains what it is, you are reaping the harvest.

Harvest Of The Flesh

I would like for you to notice now the warnings which God gives about this very thing because God has told us that what I am saying to you is true. You cannot play with the deceptive suggestions of the Devil without paying for it! Turn with me to Galatians, chapter 6, verse 7:

Galatians 6:

7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

God is saying in this passage of Scripture, “Don't let the Devil deceive you! He will tell you that you can live for the flesh and still remain spiritual. He will tell you that, but you can't. If you sow to the flesh, you are going to reap the harvest that the flesh produces, and that is a corrupted spiritual life.” That is what He is saying here.

Paul said to these Galatian believers, “I am concerned about you. I am concerned that the Devil will deceive you and corrupt you from a simple-hearted devotion to Christ.”

Anyone who is burdened for souls, and anyone who has the growth of Christians as his responsibility, is greatly concerned about this very thing. He longs for people to realize that you cannot sow in the flesh without reaping the harvest of corruption that is promised.

Paul said in this very letter that if you walk in the Spirit, you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Beloved, if you walk in the flesh, you are going to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, and you are going to be corrupted from your simple-hearted devotion to Christ. It is impossible for you to think the flesh and live the flesh all the time and remain spiritual.

There is a certain amount of contact that we have to have with the flesh. There is a certain amount of contact that we have to have with ordinary, everyday living. But, Beloved, if you purpose to make your life along that pattern, you cannot be spiritual, no matter what the Devil makes you think.

Evil Associations Corrupt

Turn with me to I Corinthians, chapter 15, verse 33, and recognize another warning that God gives because God knows how the Devil would deceive us, and how the Devil would cause us to be wrong about these things!

I Corinthians 15:

33Be not deceived:…

God is saying now, “Don't let the Devil deceive you.”

I Corinthians 15:

33…evil communications corrupt good manners.

“Evil communications corrupt good manners”—literally, that is, evil companionship corrupts the best intentioned people. Evil companionship corrupts the best moral people there are.

The Devil will deceive you and will tell you, “Now, you don't want to be a fanatic. You don't want to go off and live in a monastery. You don't want to be so different that nobody will have anything to do with you. What you need to be is buddy-buddy with everybody that you see.”

The Devil will even slip up to you and say, “You know, you are supposed to win souls, and you cannot win souls if you do not associate. You cannot win souls if you do not make friends among the unsaved.” That is a lie of the Devil. God is warning you now. He is saying, “Do not let the Devil deceive you. Remember what I am saying to you. Evil communications corrupt the best of you.”

I want to say to all of our hearts—especially to you young people—you had better take heed to what God says. The associations that you make can swerve you from your simple-hearted devotion to Christ. You are just asking for trouble if you select your friends from among that group of people who are not interested in spiritual things.

A young lady is certainly a deceived young lady if she will keep company with a young man who has no interest in the things of God. The Devil will say, “Oh, you need to win him to Christ.” You don't. It is not your business to win him to Christ by associating with him. God will deal with him. Do not let the Devil deceive you.

A young man is certainly a foolish young man if he plans to associate with a young lady who has no interest in the things of God. He is just making trouble for himself. Somebody once said that if a young man, a Christian, marries a young woman who is not a Christian, he is in direct disobedience to the revealed will of God. He can expect to have a lot of trouble with his father-in-law. He will. If it is not his father-in-law, it will be the Devil.

You cannot associate with that which is evil and not be corrupted. You are not big enough. Maybe, if God had said that there are a few people who can, but He did not. He said, “Don't do it! It is dangerous! You will be corrupted!”

I do not care how many examples you can give me about how somebody was won to the Lord because some sweet, nice girl went with some sorry boy. If that happened, it is just purely and simply the grace of God, nothing else. You ought to thank God from the bottom of your heart that you got out of it before you got burned because God's Word says, “Evil communications corrupt good manners.”

Guard Against Deception

What can we do about it? How can we be on our guard against the Devil and his deceptions? What is the remedy? For every one of these devices that we have noticed—discouragement, doubt, delusion—there is a remedy which God has provided.

If the Devil is out to deceive us, then we need to be on our guard to discern what is true and what is a lie, to be able to discern what is right and what is wrong, what is better and what is best.

Let's go back to the very beginning—the foundation. Turn with me to I Corinthians, chapter 2, and notice in verses 14 and 15 the simple, basic statement with which we must begin:

I Corinthians 2:

14But 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.
15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

I Corinthians 3:

1And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as [ordinary] men?

Three classes of people are mentioned in these verses: the natural man, the spiritual man, and the carnal man. You may say, “Why don't you say the natural, the carnal, and the spiritual man?” Because that is not the order.

A natural man is an unsaved man. A carnal man is the man who is saved, but is walking like an unsaved man. A spiritual man is a man who is controlled by the Holy Spirit. “Well,” you say, “that is what I mean. Why don't you say natural, carnal, and spiritual? You are unsaved, then you get saved, you walk a defeated Christian life for a while, and then eventually you become spiritual.”

That is not the order. The very moment you are born again, you become a spiritual man. You become indwelt by the Holy Spirit. You do not wait for a while to become spiritual. You are spiritual the very moment you are born again because the Holy Spirit takes control of your life. If you continue to walk yielded to the Holy Spirit, you are spiritual, but the very moment you cease to walk in the Spirit, you become carnal. You become fleshly.

Control Of The Spirit Necessary For Victory

The thing that we must learn in our fight against the deception of the Devil is that we are no match for the deception unless we are walking in the Spirit. This is what he says in verse 15: “He that is spiritual judgeth all things”—that is, discerns all things. He knows when it is a lie, and he knows when it is the truth. He knows when the Devil is deceiving him, and he knows whether or not to respond.

Now hear me: the Devil cannot deceive spiritual people. He deceives only those who are walking in the flesh. If you are walking in the Spirit, the Devil cannot deceive you. He deceives those who are not spiritual.

Knowledge Of The Word Necessary

Turn with me to chapter 4 of the Ephesian Letter and recognize another thing that makes it hard for the Devil to deceive us—another thing that makes it difficult for the Devil to deceive the saints of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is presented to us as sitting at the right hand of God and bestowing gifted men upon the church. In Ephesians 4:13 and 14, He presents gifts—that is, abstract gifts—but in this chapter He presents gifted men. In the 11th verse Paul says:

Ephesians 4:

11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers [that is one office];
12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Now notice:

Ephesians 4:

14That 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;
15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

What does this passage of Scripture say? It says that God is giving to the Church men who are able to teach the Word so that the saints of God may be built up in the faith, that they may carry on the work of the ministry, so that Christians everywhere may grow up into mature men. Mature men in the Word of God cannot be deceived by the Devil. When you have given the Word of God the place in your life that you should give it, the Devil finds it exceedingly difficult to deceive you. It is men who are not well grounded in the Word of God who are deceived by the Devil.

This is the reason you find so many hairbrained schemes today being propagated by sincere people. They do not know the Word of God, and the Devil has deceived them into thinking that the thing they are doing is what God would have them do.

Discernment Based On The Word

Turn with me, please, to the book of Hebrews, chapter 5, and will you notice verse 13:

Hebrews 5:

13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The Devil finds it exceedingly difficult to deceive a Christian who has had experience in discerning good and evil on the basis of the Word of God.

There is only one way that you are going to get that experience, and that is by putting everything to the test of God's Word. When the Devil comes along with a suggestion, remember you will not always know that it is the Devil, so when a suggestion is made, that suggestion should always be put to the test of God's Word. If it won't stand the test of God's Word, reject it! It is from the Devil, no matter how good it sounds!

The Devil is the archdeceiver of mankind. The Apostle Paul said concerning the Corinthian believers, “I am concerned. I am concerned that the Devil might deceive you and corrupt you from your simple-hearted devotion to Christ, just as he did Eve.” That is my sincere concern for every child of God—that the devotion that you have for the Lord Jesus Christ may not be lost through the deception of the Devil. Let us guard against it, now that we have been warned.


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