THE DEVIL'S DEVICES
What you need to know about ....
by Lloyd W. Cary
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty
thrpugh God to the pulling dwon of strong holds"(2 Corinthians
Good News, Bad News
The good news is: God exists! The bad news is: so does Satan
The very mention of the name brings a multiplicity of
thoughts to people's minds. The average person either views Satan
with superstitious fear, or considers him a mere "doctrinal
trinket." To many, the devil is little more than a superstition
or "joke" - nothing more than a red Halloween costume with horns
and a tail. The inference is that if we can laugh about him, we
have nothing to fear from him. Some flat out do not want to hear
anything about him. Millions roared with laughter when comedian
Flip Wilson, as Geraldine, quipped in a high-pitched
voice, "The devil made me do it!" Many have little or no regard
for his existence, and have little or no conception of his
ability to influence or control their lives or those around them.
And fewer still have any systematic method for dealing with him.
Does the Devil Exist - You Bet!
Who, what is the Devil? Does he exist? If so, what is he up
to? How does he operate today? Scripture tells us, "For the
weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to
the pulling down of strong holds" (2 Corinthians 1©:4). What are
our weapons, and how do we pull down his strongholds? How can we
combat and overcome an enemy we cannot even see?
Even among professing Christians, there is a wide variety of
beliefs. Some Christians are frightened to death of the Devil.
They blame him for every bad thing that happens to them. Some
treat him as if he were the "evil brother" of God, and every bit
as powerful. They superstitiously do not want to make him angry
any more than they desire to get God angry with them. At least
one professing Christian denomination scoffs at the very
existence of the Devil. Another denomination believes in God the
Father and Christ the Son, but they do not believe that there is
such a being as Satan. They prefer to believe all Biblical
references to Satan are merely euphemisms for the evil in
vices. continued on page 12
human nature. Amazing!
The existence of Satan is attested to in seven Old Testament
books and by every New Testament writer. Jesus Christ
acknowledged and taught the existence of Satan repeatedly
(Matthew 4:10; 13:39; Luke 10:18; 11:18). When tempted in the
wilderness, Christ was combating a very real spiritual entity,
not just His own human nature!
The Apostle Peter warned, "Be sober, be vigilant; because
your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). At one point, Christ
informed Peter, "...behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that
he may sift you as wheat" (Luke 22:31).
Before we can successfully fight against the Devil, we must
be aware of what his schemes and devices are (2 Corinthians
We would have very little accurate knowledge about Satan the
Devil if it were not for God's Word, the Bible. The Bible reveals
much about him.
The Bible Reveals Many Things About the Devil
For example, he is old, but not eternal like God. He is a
created being, as we see in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. He was
present in the Garden of Eden, and was the very one who tempted
* He is intelligent, but he is not all knowing like God. For
example, if Satan had known the ending as well as the beginning,
as God does; he would have never allowed Christ to die on the
stake. In doing so, Satan himself orchestrated the very plot that
condemned him to defeat!
* He is powerful, but he is not as powerful as God. In Job 1:12
we learn how Satan brought death, destruction, and despair into
Job's life. God sometimes uses Satan to develop character in His
called-out ones. Satan displayed power over armies (vv.15,17). He
displays a power over the weather (v.19). He displayed a power
over illnesses (2:7). Yet, he could do none of it without God's
permission (Job 2:6).
His Names and Titles
The Bible clearly identifies Satan the Devil through many
names and titles. Names and titles reveal character, function,
and devices. He is called:
1. The adversary (1 Peter 5:8)
2. The enemy (Matthew 13:39)
3. Abaddon (Destroyer) (Revelation 9:11)
4. Apollyon (Destroyer) (Revelation 9:11)
5. Destroyer (1 Corinthians 10:10)
6. Beelzebub (god of fies) (Matthew 12:24)
7. Belial (wickedness) (2 Corinthians 6:15)
8. The tempter (Matthew 4:3)
9. The wicked one (1 John 2:13)
10. A liar (John 6:44)
11. The father of all lies (John 8:44)
12. Accuser of our brethren (Revelation 12:10)
13. A murderer (John 8:44)
14. The serpent (Revelation 20:2)
15. That old serpent (Revelation 12:9)
16. Angel of the bottomless pit (Revelation 9:11)
17. Evil spirit (Acts 19:15)
18. Unclean spirit (Luke 11:24)
19. Spirit working in the children of disobedience (Ephesians
20. The great red dragon (Revelation 12:3)
21. A roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8)
22. Ruler of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12)
23. The power of darkness (Colossians 1:13)
He is called the prince:
24. ... of this world (John 14:30)
25. ... of demons (Matthew 9:34)
26. ... of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2)
27. ... the "god" of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)
His Many names and titles indicate he is a MASTER of DECEPTION!
Seven Ways Satan Can Influence You
Satan doesn't tap you on the shoulder and ask, "Pardon me,
may I have twenty minutes to destroy your life?" But that's
exactly what he attempts to do! How? By means of deception - he
has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9). He does this:
1. Through false doctrines and prophets.
2. Through your feelings and uncontrolled emotions.
3. Through uncontrolled, hot temper.
4. Through your thought life.
5. Through false witness and accusations.
6. Through a root of bitterness.
7. Through compromise and lack of faith.
If I Were the Devil. . .
Let's play a little game. Let's pretend that you are Satan
the Devil, with all his miraculous powers and deceptions. If it
were your goal to corrupt and destroy a people or a nation and to
cause them to miss out on the Kingdom of God, how would you go
about it - what would you do? For the sake of playing "devil's
advocate," here are some of the things I would do. Perhaps you
can add to the list.
1. If I were the devil, I would try to convince mankind that I do
not even exist! I could then work my wiles invisibly, totally
undetected - never having to be concerned that anyone would
2. Failing that, I would appear good, beneficent, helpful, and
all knowing - a friend, to disarm.
3. I would do everything I could to lead you and your loved ones
into sin, to cause you to forsake the Lord, His church, and the
4. I would fill you with pride by telling you that you are
"Number One," and a very important person. I'd promote jealousy,
envy, and pride. I would try to control you by making you utterly
selfish, and blind you to the needs of anyone else. I would
distract you with desires and keep your mind away from God and
His work. I would make service to God optional and distasteful.
5. I would make light of things that are right, and seduce you
with things that are wrong. I would tell you how important it is
to please men (actually me) and that God's ways are always
boring, outdated, and a struggle.
6. I would make heroes out of sinners. I'd saturate your mind
with the thought that sin really isn't so bad, but "fun." I would
provide an excuse for every sin. "It's not your fault!" It's your
heredity, your environment, your peers. I would try to convince
you that you had no choices.
7. I would degrade and make fun of Jesus Christ and His church.
I'd always try to make the church look foolish and hypocritical.
I'd scoff at people who want to do right by labeling them naive,
"dangerous," and mentally unbalanced.
8. I would delight in and inspire religious confusion
by raising up counterfeit religions, preachers, and bogus
churches that look like the real thing. I'd convince people that
God's grace is so great, they can substitute man-made beliefs and
practices for the Biblical ones (1 Corinthians 14:33; 2
Corinthians 11:13-15; James 3:16).
9. By contrast, I would hold up the worst possible examples of
professing "Christians" to bring shame and disgrace upon the true
church of God.
10. I would corrupt the church from within by disguising myself
as a "sheep in wolf's clothing" (Jude 4; Acts 20:29-30).
11. I would have the Bible memorized - because I know you haven't
- and quote it with a twist, as I did with Christ in Matthew 5.
12. 1 would attack your thought life and use up all your spare
time by filling every moment with trivia - novels, movies,
interruptive phone calls, politics, and distractions - so you
would not have the time nor inclination to think on the really
important things in life.
13. I would invoke you to participate in the seven things God
hates in Proverbs 6:16-19.
14. 1 would attack peace at every opportunity, and cause offenses
at every turn. I'd plant it in your heart to "get even," to be
slow to forgive anyone.
I would implement "political correctness" to make sure people
15. I would especially sow discord among the brethren. I'd
encourage gossip and slander. I would cause offenses, make you
judgmental, suspicious, and paranoid. I would cause your family
and friends to pull you in the wrong direction. My strategy is
"divide and conquer." It works!
16. I would tempt you through curiosity, ego, envy, vanity,
jealously, lust, and greed. I would make sin "fun," look good,
taste good, and feel good. (It has worked beautifully thus far,
so why change tactics when it works so well?
17. I would use your emotions against you. God says:
"fear not," "have faith," etc. I would incite fear, doubt,
distrust, lust, and instill a negative mindset in you. Like any
good salesman, I would know that once I have you emotionally
drawn in, you're "hooked."
18. 1 would detest Scripture because it exposes me! I would
question God and His Word. I would raise such seemingly academic
inquiries as, "Does God exist." "Yea, has God said?" "Is the
Bible His Word?" "Should we go by the Old Testament only?" "By
the New Testament only?" "Are we using the right calendar?" and a
Pharisaical list of do's and don'ts. I would have an area of
deception for everyone. Why? So I could conquer and divide
19. I would look ahead and try to obfuscate God's plan in
advance. I would seek to "change times and laws" and substitute
rank pagan holidays for God's holydays, which reveal God's plan
for man (Daniel 7:25).
20. I would offer you many substitutes for God: evolution,
naturalism, German rationalism, situation ethics, politics,
humanism, and so forth.
I would encourage men to "intellectualize" away their faith. Pick
one - any one - except the right one!
21. I would especially offer alternatives to God's laws:
psychology, philosophy, false "science," political correctness,
and - I love this one - a perverted "grace" theology (1 Timothy
22. I would know from James 4:7 that Christians can resist me -
if they will - so I would try to weaken their will by constant
negative bombardment through every sensory channel possible, such
as TV, music, entertainment, and a godless educational system.
23. I would try to mold mankind into my image and character,
knowing this would eventually cause them to destroy themselves.
24. I would deceive you by making you think my ideas were your
ideas. I would float many "idea babies" and pet theories,
knowing that your vanity would cause some of you to embrace them
over the plain truth of the Bible.
25. I would strive to disrupt and destroy the family, the
foundation of any nation, through work and leisure. I would
encourage the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the
pride of life (1 John 2:16). I would encourage over-extending
credit, and manipulate the economy to ensure mothers would be
away from home. I would stir up rebellion in children through
peer pressure, recreational drugs, and "alternate lifestyles."
26. I would give you "the easy life" so you would feel foolish
enough to voluntarily remove your spiritual armor piece by piece
(Ephesians 6:10 17). Then, when you are unprepared - BAM - I
would have my way with you!
27. I would instill disrespect for government of all kinds,
knowing that this attitude will bleed into the churches!
(Ecclesiastes 10:20; 1 Peter 2:1314,17; 2 Peter 2:10).
28. I would reveal human weakness and errors at every
opportunity! (Proverbs 10:12; 16:27-28; 17:9; and 1 Peter 4:8).
29. I would instill distrust and inspire abuse of all law!
(Exodus 16:28; Ezekiel 5:6; 20:13,16; Jude 4).
30. Lastly, I would try to possess and control you totally.
I'm sure that with a little thought, you can add to the
Knowing these things, what do we do? How can we defend
ourselves against the Devil's devices? We're glad you asked!
1. Be super strong in the "basics," the doctrines of Christ
(Hebrews 6:1-2). We need to prove what we think we know! Study.
Pray. Meditate upon the Word of God.
2. Review what you know, and do what you know! Study with the
intent to teach. If you cannot teach someone else what you know.
you probably do not know it well enough yourself! Mark your
3. Put on the whole armor of God and use it circumspectly
(Ephesians 6:11)! "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence
to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these
things, ye shall never fall" (2 Peter 1:10).
James 4:7 exhorts us, "Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you." This shows it is
not wrong to rebuke the Devil! If we do not, we may be taken
captive by the Devil at his will (2 Timothy 2:26).
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the
darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high
places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye
may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to
stand" [or "overcome"].
Remember, the people Satan wants most are those who belong
to God! He is out to get Y-O-U and me! For a fuller understanding
of the Devil, be sure to send for our free booklets, "The Devil,
You Say?" and "What You should Know About Demon Possession."
How does Satan work today? The same way he has worked for
the past 6,000 years!
We hear a lot of talk today about "change." This raises up
an interesting question. If I were the Devil, what would I
change? The answer, not surprisingly, is nothing!
If I were the Devil, I guess I would leave things pretty
much the way they are!
Entered on this Website June 2008
From "The International News" (summer 2008) - a publication of
The Church of God International, Tyler, Texas, USA.