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 Vol. 5, No. 1 

January 2003


~ Page 8 ~

The Deceiver of the Whole World

By James E. Farley

[West Virginia Christian, Volume 8, No. 8, August 2001]

Revelation 12:9 speaks of our adversary, the devil, "...Satan, which deceiveth the whole world..." This is the devil's real power -- actually, his only real power today. He is a liar and the father of it! (John 8:44). He makes evil things look good, and good things look evil; he puts darkness for light and light for darkness, bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20). He has always done this through his "ministers" (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), and there are "many deceivers" working for their master (Titus 2:10; 2 John 7). Paul warned Timothy that "...evil men and seducers (impostors -- ASV) shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13). John said, "...many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1) and commands that we "believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God..." Jesus wants us to "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." The Lord says we can "...know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:15-20).

There is an old illustration that helps us to better see the work of Satan. It is said that some boys in a small town decided to play a prank on the owner of the local hardware store. They knew of a window in the back of the store that was usually left unlocked, so they entered the store one night and worked diligently changing all the price tags. The next morning people were very surprised to find a lawnmower selling for $6.95 and a pad lock selling for $255.95. There was a can of house paint for $78.00 and a stepladder for $8.50. A pocketknife had a price tag on it for $195.00, and a chainsaw was selling for $15.50. It would be an understatement to say that there was some confusion in the store that morning! The store had to be closed and an inventory taken so that the right value could be placed on the proper items.

Well, that is what Satan has done in this old world. He has "changed all the price tags around" so that what God calls good and right, Satan has people convinced is bad and foolish. What God calls evil -- and even an abomination -- Satan calls "an alternate life style." What God calls murder, Satan calls "choice." And, when faithful followers of God go throughout the world attempting to instill the value system of God upon the hearts of people, many cry out, "These that have turned the world upside down and come hither also" (Acts 17:6). Actually, what we are attempting to do is to turn an already upside down world right side up, but, from their warped vantage point, the world sees the opposite. It has always been so.

You see, Christians have meekly and humbly submitted their will to God's divine will (James 1:21; Romans 10:3; 1 Peter 5:6-7). We realize that his ways and his thoughts are much higher and much better than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). The world has not done this, and they, therefore, do not understand us. They will often "speak evil" of us (1 Peter 4:3-5). We who have left the ways of the world to follow the true and living God (1 Thessalonians 1:9) -- we who have "escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" must not allow ourselves to become "again entangled therein, and overcome..." (2 Peter 2:20-22). We must not depart from God and "be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:12-13). We must not just hear the Word without doing what the Word demands, for, in so doing, we are "deceiving our own selves" (James 1:22). We must not be conformed to the ways of this wicked world, but, rather, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2).

Satan is real, and he is, indeed, the great deceiver! We must be not "ignorant of his devices." If we are, he will certainly gain the advantage of us! Beware!Image

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