The Devil and His Schemes
Day 3 – The Devil and His Schemes
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand
against the schemes of the devil.
In the National Public Opinion Survey done by the Barna Research Group, three out of every four teenagers have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity. Among the most common of those endeavors are using an Ouija board, reading books about witchcraft or Wicca, playing games involving sorcery or witchcraft, having a “professional” do a palm reading, or having their fortune told. Conversely, during the past year fewer than three out of every ten churched teenagers had received any teaching from their church about elements of the supernatural.
People are playing around with witchcraft and in a sense dabbling, or worse, dining with the devil and his demons. And worst of all, churches and Christian leaders are failing to teach about this.
Satan was a superstar angel, part of God’s original Creation, and his name was Lucifer or “the brilliant star” (Isa. 14:12–15). God kicked him out of heaven because of his pride and his desire to highjack God’s throne! He wanted glory, and God has said, “I will not share my glory” (Isaiah 42:8,11).
There are many speculations as to the details connected with the origin of Satan, but what he is doing and where he is going are certainly very clear. He’s seeking to rob God of all his glory on earth, and his death is certain, but yet he works to kill, steal, and destroy the work of God (John 10:10). Since he is a created celestial being and not eternal (as God is), he is limited in his knowledge and activity. He is unlike God, in that he’s not omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), or omnipresent (everywhere at once)! He deploys his demons to assist him in his schemes. In the next section, I will outline three popular strategies that the devil uses in his war against God and Christians.
Scheme 1 – Deception: In the beginning we see how Satan deceives Adam and Eve into rebelling against God, and thus fall into temptation and are kicked out of the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:4-5) In John’s Gospel, Jesus calls Satan a murder and the father of lies (John 8:44). In 2 Corinthians 11:14, Paul says that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Falling into believing fake news about God, our world, or our friends is deception. The enemy wants you to believe and spread his lies. He will trick you into buying the lies that his way of life is better. Yet Jesus warned us that the devil’s plan is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
Scheme 2 – Division: Every church faction and division are fueled by demonic activity. You can bet that division is demonic and unity is Godly. It was Jesus prayer in John 17:20-23. Jesus prays for unity among future generations of Christians: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
The phrase “so that” was so that the world may believe. Unity is godly, division is demonic. This is why the Apostle Paul teaches major themes of unity and peace, and repeats these themes in his letter to the church in Ephesus.
Scheme 3 – Discouragement: Discouragement comes usually as a result of falling into the first scheme of deception. The Devil as a liar and will whisper lies about your identity, saying things like, “you’re not God’s child, you are worthless, unforgivable, unlovable, unworthy.” These are voices of condemnation, not conviction. The Bible says for the believer there is therefore now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. This is why it’s so important as Christians that we “encourage one another and build one another up,” as commanded I Thessalonians 5:11.