The great struggle between Christ and Satan, which has been waged for several millennia, is nearing its end. The prophecies of the Bible indicate that we are on the threshold of Christ's return, and the great deceiver is intensifying his efforts to thwart Christ's work on behalf of humanity. His goal is to keep people's minds in spiritual darkness and impenitence until the Savior's mediation is finished. This page is dedicated to those who wish to understand the wiles of Satan and how to avoid his schemes.

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When Satan's activity encounters no obstacles, when indifference prevails in the church and in the world, the deceiver is at ease because he runs no risk of losing those he has deceived with his sophistries. However, when attention is drawn to eternal matters and people begin to ask, "What must I do to be saved?", he springs into action to oppose Christ's power and render the work of the Holy Spirit ineffective.

Scripture says that on one occasion, when the angels presented themselves before the Lord, Satan was among them (Job 1:6), not to bow before the King of heaven, but to insinuate his malicious accusations against the righteous. Driven by the same purpose, he is present when people gather to worship God. Though invisible, he works with extreme diligence to influence the minds of the worshippers. Like a cunning and corrupt politician, he plans his strategies in advance. He uses all his cunning and skill to direct circumstances so that those he is seducing do not receive God's message and are prompted to focus on other things.

When Satan sees sincere Christians suffering because of the spiritual darkness that envelops the world and asking God for grace and strength to break the spell of indifference and apathy, he intensifies his efforts to tempt people to seek to fulfill their own desires or give in to some other form of pleasure that makes them insensitive to the needs of the world.

Nevertheless, we should not be discouraged. The Lord watches over those who love Him sincerely and arranges for invisible angels to be ready to neutralize the evil influence.

Satan knows very well that all whom he can induce to neglect prayer and the study of the Scriptures will be overcome by his attacks; therefore, he devises every possible means to keep minds occupied. There has always been a category of people who, while professing to be Christian, instead of deepening their knowledge of the truth, make their religion consist of finding some character flaw or error in the beliefs of those whose opinions they do not share. They are Satan's right hand. The accusers of the brethren are not few, and they are always active when God is at work and His servants give Him the homage due to Him. They cast a false light on the words and actions of those who love and obey the truth, and they portray the most zealous and selfless servants of Christ as deluded and deceivers. Their work consists of misinterpreting the motives of every noble and sincere act, insinuating and arousing suspicion in the minds of the inexperienced. By all means, they do everything possible to make what is pure and right appear false and dangerous.

No one, however, should be deceived. "You will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16). It is easy to recognize whose children they are, whose example they follow, and whose collaborators they are. Their behavior resembles that of Satan, the great slanderer, "the accuser of our brothers" (Revelation 12:10).

To seduce people, the great deceiver has many agents ready to spread every conceivable kind of error. He prepares heresies suited to the tastes and tendencies of those he intends to ruin. His tactic is to introduce insincere, unconverted people into the church who will sow doubt and unbelief and hinder all those who care about the progress of God's work and want to advance with it. Many, who do not have true faith in God and His Word, adhere to some principles of truth, pass as Christians, and thus manage to introduce their errors as if they were biblical doctrines.

The idea that what men believe is of little importance is one of Satan's most effective deceptions. He knows that the truth sanctifies the soul of those who accept it with love; therefore, he constantly works to replace it with false theories, fables, or another gospel. From the beginning, God's servants have had to contend with false teachers who were not only vicious men but also propagators of falsehoods, fatal to the soul. Elijah, Jeremiah, Paul, firmly and fearlessly opposed those who led men away from the Word of God. The liberalism that considers a right religious faith to be of little importance found no favor with these holy defenders of the truth.

The vague and fanciful interpretations of the Bible and the numerous contradictory theories about religious faith found in the Christian world are the work of the great adversary and are intended to confuse minds so that they can no longer discern the truth. The discord and division that separate Christian churches are largely due to the tendency to twist the Scriptures to support a favored theory. Instead of carefully studying the Word of God to humbly draw knowledge of His will, many seek only to discover something strange or original in it.

To support erroneous doctrines or unchristian habits, some resort to biblical passages taken out of context, or perhaps even quote half a verse to confirm their thesis, while the rest of the chosen passage would give a completely different meaning. With the serpent's cunning, they hide behind fragmentary statements that seem to confirm their carnal desires. Thus, many deliberately pervert the Word of God. Others, endowed with a vivid imagination, use the figures and symbols of the Bible and interpret them according to their own fancy, with no regard for the fact that Scripture interprets itself, and thus present their wanderings as biblical teachings.

Whoever undertakes the study of the Holy Scriptures without a spirit of prayer, without humility, and without the desire to learn will misinterpret the true meaning of the clearest and simplest passages, as well as the more difficult ones. The religious authorities of Rome select portions of the Bible that best serve their purposes, interpret them according to their own views, and present them to the people, denying them the privilege of studying the Bible and understanding its sacred truths for themselves. The Bible should be given to the people as it is. Rather than receiving a teaching of the Scriptures so poorly interpreted, it would be better for them to have no biblical instruction at all.

The Bible was intended to be a guide for anyone who desires to know the will of their Creator. God gave men the sure word of prophecy: angels and even Christ Himself came to make known to Daniel and John the things that were to come shortly. Important matters concerning our salvation were not left shrouded in mystery, nor presented in a way to create perplexity or mislead the honest seeker of truth. Through the prophet Habakkuk, the Lord said: "Write the vision... that he may run who reads it" (Habakkuk 2:2). The Word of God is clear to all who study it with a spirit of prayer. Every truly honest person will come to the knowledge of the truth. "Light is sown for the righteous" (Psalm 97:11). No church can progress in holiness if its members do not fervently seek the truth as one seeks hidden treasure.

Men are blinded by the cry of "liberalism," and do not see the snares of their adversary who works diligently to achieve his ends. When he succeeds in replacing the Bible with human speculations, the law of God is set aside and the churches, while claiming to be free, find themselves under the bondage of sin.

For many, scientific research has become a curse. God has allowed a wave of light to flood the world through discoveries in the fields of science and the arts; but even the highest minds, if not guided by the Word of God in their research, end up getting lost in their attempts to establish the relationships between science and revelation. Human knowledge, whether of material or spiritual things, is partial and imperfect; therefore, many are incapable of reconciling their scientific notions with biblical statements. Many accept mere theories and speculations as scientific facts and believe that the Word of God must be proven based on the teachings of "what is falsely called knowledge" (1 Timothy 6:20). And because the Creator and His works transcend their understanding and they cannot explain them with the laws of nature, the biblical account is considered unreliable. Those who doubt the authenticity of the narratives of the Old and New Testaments often take one step further: they end up doubting the very existence of God and attributing infinite power to nature. Having abandoned the anchor, they end up on the reef of unbelief.

This is how many, seduced by the devil, depart from the faith. Men have wanted to be wiser than their Creator; human philosophy has attempted to fathom and explain mysteries that will never be revealed throughout the eternal ages. If men would limit themselves to studying and understanding what God has made known about Himself and His plans, they would have such a vision of the glory, majesty, and power of the Most High that, aware of their own smallness, they would be content with what has been revealed for them and their children.

One of Satan's masterstrokes of deception is to induce men to investigate and speculate about things that God has not made known to us. This is how Lucifer lost his place in heaven. Dissatisfied because God had not revealed to him all the secrets of His plans, he totally despised what had been revealed to him about his work in the exalted position assigned to him. By stirring the same discontent among the angels under his command, he caused their fall.

Now he seeks to instill the same spirit in men and to lead them to disdain God's precise orders. Those who are unwilling to accept the clear biblical truths continually seek baseless arguments to oppose them. They are Satan's best collaborators. Replacing the Bible with human speculations causes God's law to be questioned, and the churches, while claiming to observe God's word, find themselves under the dominion of the great deceiver.

Doctrines that do not require self-denial and humility are not related to the Word of God, yet they are embraced with great fervor. These churches consider themselves too self-sufficient to study the Scriptures with a contrite heart and fervent prayer for divine guidance; thus, they have no shield against deception, and Satan is ready to satisfy their desires by presenting his deceptions in place of the truth. All those who neglect God's Word out of convenience and to avoid conflict with apostate churches will end up accepting heresy in place of truth.

Among the most effective means of the great deceiver are the deceptive teachings that ride on human traditions and the lying wonders of spiritism. The latter teaches the possibility of contacting the souls of the dead. The Bible very clearly teaches that this is not possible: Ecclesiastes 9:5-6,10 "For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hatred and their envy have already perished, and they have no more forever any share in all that is done under the sun." "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going." If men studied the Book of God with fervent prayers to understand it well, they would not find themselves immersed in the darkness of spiritism, and thus they would not accept the false doctrines that overwhelm human religions. But since they reject the truth, they end up remaining in the snare of deception, both they and those who listen to them.

A dangerous doctrine is one that denies the divinity of Christ, claiming that He did not exist before coming into this world. This theory is favorably received by a wide category of people who profess to believe in the Bible; yet it explicitly contradicts the clearest statements of our Savior regarding His relationship with the Father, His divine nature, and His preexistence. It cannot be upheld without arbitrarily misrepresenting the Holy Scriptures. Such a doctrine not only lowers the human concept of the work of redemption but also undermines faith in the Bible as the revelation of God. This latter fact makes it even more dangerous and more difficult to refute because if men reject the testimony of the inspired Scriptures concerning the deity of Christ, it is futile to discuss the matter with them; no argument, however conclusive it may be, could convince them. "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

None of those who accept this error can have the right concept of the nature and mission of Christ and the great plan of God for the redemption of man.

Another subtle and harmful error is the widespread belief that Satan does not exist as a personal being, and the idea that the Holy Scriptures use his name only to symbolize the evil thoughts and desires of men. This idea destroys the biblical account of creation. If Satan does not exist, the account of the temptation and original sin of Adam and Eve becomes a fable, and the promise of a redeemer a vain hope. The doctrine that denies the divinity of Christ is at the root of the despair felt by those who see themselves at the mercy of blind chance, without security and without a future.*

The widely spread teaching in the Christian world, according to which the second coming of Christ actually occurs at the death of each person, is a doctrine that diverts the minds of men from His personal coming on the clouds of heaven, as Christ has promised.

Worldly wisdom claims that prayer is not essential. Men of science teach that there is no answering of our prayers, as this would be a violation of the law, a miracle, and miracles do not exist. The universe, they assert, is governed by immutable laws, and God can do nothing contrary to them. Thus, they represent God as being bound by His own law, as if the exercise of such divine laws excluded God's freedom. Did not Christ and the apostles perform miracles? The same compassionate Savior still lives and is as ready to listen to the prayer of faith as He was when He visibly walked among men. The natural world collaborates with the supernatural world. It is part of God's plan to grant us, in response to the prayer of faith, what we would not receive if we did not ask.

Countless are the doctrines foreign to Christianity and the fanciful ideas that are introduced into the churches of Christendom. It is impossible to assess the disastrous consequences that result from the removal of a single "milestone" established by the Word of God. Few are those who, in doing so, are content to reject a single truth: most of them continue to remove one principle of truth after another, and thus end up falling into unbelief. The errors of popular theology have led more than one soul, which would otherwise have believed in the Scriptures, into skepticism. Unable to accept doctrines that offend their sense of justice, mercy, and goodness, and which are nonetheless presented as teachings of the Bible, many refuse to accept the Bible as the Word of God.

This is the goal Satan seeks to achieve. Nothing is more dear to him than to destroy trust in God and His Word. He is at the head of a great army of doubters and works with all his might to draw souls into his ranks. There is a vast category of people who harbor a certain distrust of the Word of God and turn away from it because, like its Author, it rebukes and condemns sin. Those who do not intend to obey its requirements want to overthrow its authority. They read the Bible or listen to its teachings from the sacred pulpit only to criticize the Scriptures or the sermon. Quite a few become unbelievers merely to justify and excuse their neglect of duty. Others adopt skeptical principles out of laziness or pride. Too fond of their comfort to distinguish themselves by doing something commendable that requires effort or sacrifice, they seek to gain an easy reputation for superior wisdom by criticizing the Bible.

There are many things that the human mind, not illuminated by divine wisdom, cannot comprehend; thus they take advantage of this to indulge in criticism. There are also those who consider it a virtue to side with unbelief, skepticism, and atheism. Under a guise of candor, these people are driven by pride and a sense of superiority. Many delight in finding something in Scripture that can embarrass other minds. They criticize from an erroneous point of view, simply for the love of discussion; and they do not realize that in doing so, they end up entangling themselves in the deceiver's net. Having openly expressed sentiments of unbelief, they feel somewhat compelled to maintain their position, and thus they join with the wicked and shut themselves out of heaven.

God has placed in His Word sufficient evidence of its divine character. The great truths concerning our redemption are clearly presented, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, which is promised to all who sincerely seek it, everyone can understand them for themselves. God has given men a solid foundation upon which to base their faith.

The limited minds of men cannot fully comprehend the plans and purposes of the Infinite Being. We can never, by our mere searching, plumb the depths of God; therefore, we should not try to lift the veil that conceals God's majesty with a presumptuous hand. The apostle Paul exclaims: "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!" (Romans 11:33).

What we can understand of His dealings with us and His motives is immense love and great mercy combined with infinite power. Our heavenly Father arranges all things with wisdom and justice, and we, instead of being discontented or distrustful, should bow to Him in reverent submission. He will then reveal many of His purposes to us, as far as it is useful for us to know them; for the rest, we must trust in His omnipotent hand and His love.

Although God has provided sufficient evidence for faith, He will never remove all excuses for unbelief. All who seek hooks to hang their doubts upon will find them. And those who refuse to accept the Word of God and to obey it until every objection has been removed and there is no longer any possibility of doubt will never come to the light.

Lack of trust in God is the natural result of an unregenerate heart that is in a state of enmity with the Creator. Faith, on the other hand, is inspired by the Holy Spirit and flourishes only if it is cultivated. No one can be strong in faith without a determined effort. Unbelief strengthens when encouraged. If men, instead of relying on the evidence given by God to strengthen their faith, allow themselves to discuss and quibble, they will find that their doubts will become more and more entrenched.

Those who doubt God's promises and do not trust in His grace dishonor Him; their influence, instead of drawing others to Christ, drives them away from Him. They are like barren trees that spread their dark foliage, preventing the rays of the sun from warming other plants, which consequently decline and die in the chilling shadow. The entire life work of these people will be a testimony against them. The seed of doubt and skepticism they sow will inevitably yield its harvest.

For those who honestly desire to rid themselves of doubt, there is only one thing to do: refrain from discussing and quibbling over what they do not understand, and adhere to the light that already shines upon them; then they will receive more. Let them fulfill every duty that is clear to their mind: they will soon understand and perform those about which they are currently in doubt.

Satan can present a counterfeit so similar to the truth that it deceives those who want to be seduced and who desire to avoid the renunciation and sacrifice required by the truth. However, he is unable to hold in his power a single soul who honestly desires and at any cost seeks to know the truth. Christ is the truth and "the true light that gives light to everyone" (John 1:9). The Spirit of truth has come into the world to guide men into all truth. Jesus authoritatively said: "Seek and you will find" (Matthew 7:7). "Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God" (John 7:17).

Every temptation, every contrary influence, whether open or secret, can be victoriously repelled through faith in God, "not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6). "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their prayers... Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?" (1 Peter 3:12-13).

Satan is aware that even the weakest soul that abides in Christ is invincible; therefore, if he were to attack openly, he would be confronted and defeated. Hence, he seeks to draw these faithful away from Christ to destroy all who venture onto his ground. Our safety lies solely in humble trust in God and obedience to His commandments. No person is safe for even a single day or a single hour without prayer. We should especially call upon God to receive the wisdom that enables us to understand His Word. In it, the wiles of the Tempter are revealed, and the means to successfully resist him are indicated. Satan is an expert in quoting Scripture and interprets it in his own way to make us fall. Studying the Bible with a humble heart, never losing sight of our dependence on God, constitutes our only safety.