The Signs of the Times


September 18, 1893

The Weapon Against Satan's Delusions


Satan is continually seeking to influence human minds by his subtle arts. His is a master mind, given of God, but prostituted with all its noble capabilities to oppose and to make of no effect the counsels of the Most High. He had an advanced experience in his connection with the God of heaven, and he wields his knowledge of the attributes of God in such a way as to misinterpret the divine character. Satan was an apostate, and all who follow in the way of apostasy will work in the same lines of evil. There was a time when Satan was in harmony with God, and it was his joy to execute the divine commands. His heart was filled with love and joy in serving his Creator, until he began to think that his wisdom was not derived from God, but was inherent in himself, and that he was as worthy as was God to receive honor and power. When he found that he could not be as God, he was filled with rebellion, and would not submit his will to the will of God. ST September 18, 1893, par. 1

When men apostatize from the truth, many will raise the question, What is the reason this has happened? And when they can find no reason for apostasy, they will be inclined to believe that the apostates have never had a genuine experience in the truth and cause of God, that they were wholly insincere in their professions; but this is not safe reasoning. What was it caused Satan to rebel? Was there any just reason that could be assigned for his sin? The place where sin originated has been pointed out, but the reason for sin cannot be found; for there is no reason for its existence. It is written of Satan, “Thou wast perfect in all thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” All who apostatize are destitute of any real excuse. Their apostasy will be manifested in rebellion and self-exaltation, as it was seen in the first apostate. Of him it is written, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” ST September 18, 1893, par. 2

The Lord himself gave to Satan his glory and wisdom, and made him the covering cherub, good, noble, and exceeding lovely. But beauty, wisdom, and glory were bestowed upon God's creature as a gift of love. For like reasons the Lord has bestowed upon human agencies talents of intellect, qualities of mind and character, that they may be able to fill positions of trust, and glorify their Creator and Redeemer. But, like Satan, men become lifted up in self because of their beauty and wisdom, and pervert their talents, and corrupt their characters, and use their God-given gifts for the glory of self rather than for the glory of God and the good of others. The whole world has been corrupted by the false principles Satan has led men to follow. ST September 18, 1893, par. 3

Satan works with his arts of infatuation, and weaves a spell about the human mind. The power of spiritual witchcraft steels the heart so that it is not susceptible to heavenly influences, which would counteract the power of the deceptive infatuation. Satan is the root of all deception, the origin of all falsehood, and it was through his witchcraft that the enchanters and sorcerers were bold to withstand Moses, imitating the miracles he wrought. It is Satan who presents the world before the mind in an attractive light, who makes the glories of empires pass before the vision as he did before Christ, promising, “All this will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” ST September 18, 1893, par. 4

Satan came to Christ in the wilderness of temptation and presented before him in a magnificent panoramic view the splendors of the kingdoms of the earth, and promised all their power to Christ if he would but assent to the superiority of the prince of evil. Satan pretended to doubt the divinity and mission of Christ, and asked of him a sign of his authority and power. He had said, “If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread;” “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” But at his audacious request that Christ should bow down and worship him, divinity flashed through humanity, and Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Satan had the evidence he desired in his summary dismissal, and, under the rebuke of Him who was equal with God, he fled from the field of conflict, a conquered foe. ST September 18, 1893, par. 5

Jesus endured the temptations of Satan in our behalf, that in his name we might come off more than conquerors. But we can overcome only by believing in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. We must know what is written in order that we may not be defeated by the sophistry and enchantments of Satan. The wily foe will work upon our minds in such a way that he will lead us to follow in the way he has gone, and cause us to dream of greatness, worldly honor, and distinction. If we have been ensnared by his enchanting power, let us in the name of Jesus rebuke his power, and break with Satan without delay. Whatever may be the character of the draught you have taken, in whatever way Satan may have led you to exalt self at the expense of Jesus, through the power of divine grace escape from the delusion, away with the infatuation. We inquire, “Who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth?” ST September 18, 1893, par. 6

Those who cry unto God for deliverance from the terrible spell that Satan would weave about them, will set a high estimate upon the Scriptures. Our only safety is in receiving the whole Bible, not taking merely detached portions, but believing the whole truth. Your feet are upon sliding sand if you depreciate one word that is written. The Bible is a divine communication, and is as verily a message to the soul as though a voice from heaven were heard speaking to us. With what awe and reverence and humiliation should we come to the searching of the Scriptures, that we may learn of eternal realities. When the spell of Satan is broken, and the Bible becomes to us the living word of God, we shall be safe in following our convictions of duty; for if we watch unto prayer, they will be inspired by the Spirit of God. Let everyone study the Bible, knowing that the word of God is as enduring as the eternal throne. If you come to the study of the Scriptures in humility, with earnest prayer for guidance, angels of God will open to you its living realities; and if you cherish the precepts of truth, they will be to you as a wall of fire against the temptations, delusions, and enchantments of Satan. ST September 18, 1893, par. 7

It is the wisdom of God that makes men great. The utterances of men are to be judged, because they are the fruit of human ability, and work either good or evil according to the source from which men draw their inspiration; but the word of God is able to save your souls, to make you wise unto salvation. The Psalmist says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Then let us hide the word of God in our hearts, that we may “be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” “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.” ST September 18, 1893, par. 8