How would Satan and his Angels deceive sincere Christians?
"Better the devil you know, then the devil you don't."-unknown
1. We want deceived Christians who don't understand the connection between works and witnessing! Lets provide some reason for laity to believe they are chosen, special ones. Good works are not important. Bingo, no witnessing by vast majority of people who SAY they are Christian! These people are peculiar, not because of being zealous of good works, but because they are following man's rules in the name of God. I'm so smart!
2. We want blindly obedient Christians! Make it seem as if sincerity is proof of righteousness. If the Spirit really moves in someone (causing them to do something out of the ordinary), it can be quenched by other members who are sober and respected.
3. We want ignorant Christians! Limit reading of "outside" Christian material so that knowledge of God's work in the current generation (Acts 13:36) is limited. This can be done under a claim that "we don't need other books" which is really just a guise of fear and self-righteousness.
4. We want fearful Christians! Generate superstition by preaching that the gospel is mostly a mystery. Be careful -God is usually mad AND He is an austere master(Luke 19:21)! Focus on the mystery, and that the mind cannot be used to understand the gospel.
5. We want sad, sober Christians! Teach them to ignore Psalms 144:9 and tell them that instruments of music are "not necessary". It's ok to have music at gospel meetings, so that the "worldly" who don't know the hymns, can be drawn in. Certainly church is NOT the place to be jolly.
6. We want discouraged, weakened Christians! Direct ANY expressed thankfulness towards the form of religion or the ministers of it, and not to God. Point to the church building, salary, etc. as PROOF that other ministers are wolves in sheep's clothing; meanwhile, we will enjoy feasting on their inner strength, integrity, and courage. Yummy!
7. We want separated, divided Christians! Discourage interaction with others, especially other Christians. This can be done under the guise of keeping pure, but it is really teaching fear and self-righteousness. Ingenious! Besides, God has a PLAN. Just make it seem like this "plan" is to follow a form of religion. We should be able to hide the truth that His plan is to give His Spirit and live within. In this way, we can teach that unity is sameness, not cooperativeness. We are limiting the effectiveness of Spiritual Gifts!!
8. We want judgmental Christians! Psychologists know that the quickest way to "turn someone off" is to judge them. Fortunately, this is an inborn trait of sinful man. Lets limit preaching of Jesus' admonition not to judge. In fact, lets encourage laity to judge according to membership in our "way" and not according to works (as Jesus said). It helps to encourage broad claims based on limited examples of individual mistakes by other preachers. This also helps to teach that God's forgiveness is limited and that He expects perfection according to a law.
9. We want confused Christians! Let's change the idea of good vs. evil into good vs. godly. We can limit God's Spirit and their capacity to trust others, by suggesting that people who name the name of Christ may be insincere (or may be trying to deceive). Restrict teaching of I Cor 12:3 or I John 4:2,3 which would significantly open their minds.
10. Finally, help them ignore the fact that one of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, was neglecting the needs of the poor and needy (Ezek 16:49). Help them forget that Jesus did not end the old testament practice of fasting and that true fasting is to help others (Isa 58:6,7). Better yet, let them never know. This will keep their church small and weak.
Click here to return.