(James Smith, “The Great Deceiver!” 1861) Play Audio! Download
“That old serpent called the devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world.” Revelation 12:9
Our ENEMY. He is “that old serpent,” full of subtlety, craft, and cunning. He is powerful, far beyond what most give him credit for, and brings the experience of six thousand years to bear upon his victims. None escape his notice.
He is full of bitter hatred of believers because they love the Savior and desire to honor Him. His malice is deep and dreadful, which prompts him in every way to seek to injure them. He hates them because . . .
they have escaped out of his hand,
oppose his kingdom and government;
hate sin, pray and strive for holiness.
He is a terrible foe, for he never wearies, and though foiled a thousand times, he will renew the attack! If he knows that he cannot devour us, he will do all he can to worry us; and though we may be off our guard, he is never off his.
His WORK. “He deceives the whole world.” by misrepresenting objects…
represents sin as harmless, painless, pleasant, and much to be desired;
holiness as repulsive, injurious, gloomy, and undignified;
man to himself as innocent, dignified, and deserving God’s blessing;
himself as man’s friend, pitying, and wishing to elevate him, and make him happy;
God as severe, cruel, revengeful, and almost implacable;
the law as harsh, severe, and unnecessarily strict,
and the gospel as degrading to man, and very little better than the law.
He represents the Savior as a stern law-giver, an unbending judge, and one very difficult to please.
Then by prejudices, errors, or superstition, he:
blinds the mind,
conceals the true nature of the gospel,
and hides the Savior from man’s view.
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God!”
He makes use of all kinds of error and all sorts of false teachers to . . .
hinder God’s work,
eclipse the glory of the gospel,
and destroy the souls of men.
If he can lull the soul into false security, his end is answered, and the doom is sealed!
Were we not so ignorant of his devices, forget his unwearied activity, deep-rooted malice, and fixed determination by all means to ruin souls–we would not trifle with him as we do.
The Extent of His SUCCESS. “He deceives the whole world!” We were all under his dominion once. But for the mercy of God, would have surely perished in our sins!
As Peter says: “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour! Stand firm against him, and be strong in the faith.”
It should lead us to walk carefully, for the old serpent is almost sure to be lurking in our path!
Because it should lead us to examine diligently, lest we should be deceived.
It should lead us to pray fervently. Have we not need to cry mightily to God, that he would:
keep us by His power,
shield us by His presence, and
preserve us by His grace unto His kingdom and glory.
Therefore It should lead us to watch daily, for we are always in danger! If we sleep, Satan does not! If we are off our guard, he is ready to take advantage, in order to injure us.
O for wisdom to resist Satan, and overcome him!
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