Insight into the devil’s schemes

I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming. 2 Corinthians 2:11

In my last blog post I raised the question “Where have all the demons gone?” It was generated by the noticeable contrast between the pervasive demands for deliverance in Jesus’ ministry versus the diminishment of such ministry in the church today, particularly in the West.  Albeit it is a perception, but demons are not as in-your-face today as they were two thousand years ago.

First let me say, I don’t believe demons have not gone anywhere.  The devil and his horde of demons are alive on planet earth and as wicked as ever.  Since Jesus’ plan of redemption for human kind has not changed, neither has the devil’s plan for our captivity and utter destruction.  Jesus told us that the devil comes “only to steal and kill and destroy,” but to counter that He came so that we “might have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV) 

While on earth, Jesus gave us critical insight into the devil’s strategy:  “He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  (John 8:44 NLT)

The devil’s modus operendi therefore is deception.  Again and again in the Bible we are warned that we must not be ignorant of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11)  We are told plainly in the book of Revelation that when “that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan” was cast down to earth his goal was to “lead the whole world astray.” (Revelation 12:9)  If that is not the epitome of deceptive intent what is?

Based on these facts about the devil’s strategies provides understanding as to why his tactics are different today than they were in Jesus’ day.  Warfare has changed significantly over the centuries to where now it is often difficult, if not impossible, to identify the enemy.  Spiritual warfare today is the same way.  Battling demonic powers is not unlike trying to defend against suicide bombers and double agents.  It is guerrilla warfare at best and subterfuge is the order of the day.

Here therefore are my answers, in reverse order, to the five questions I posed in my last blog.  Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. 

5. Western society has been deceived into thinking that we are too civilized, sophisticated and scientifically advanced to accept or acknowledge that demons are real.  And if they are real, they are categorized as paranormal and confined to the fringes of society like a wild animal on display in a zoo.  The truth is that a belief in a demon’s non-existence or peaceful coexistence is a dangerous deception.

4.  Demonic activity is more noticeable and blatant in some third world cultures because the worship of demonic deities is more rampant.  Idol worship and occult practices invite overt demonic activity.  And the need in these cultures is great.  Lack of resources in the third world produces a desperateness for answers that far exceeds what any human ingenuity can provide.  That coupled with a populace that has a heightened sensitivity to spiritual entities and powers makes for conditions akin to New Testament times.  And so we continue to see and hear of dramatic deliverance testimonies in those cultures just like those when Jesus walked the earth. 

3.  The devil has changed his tactics through morphing his demons into even more sinister and subtle forms.  The development of mass media has provided him a means of infiltrating every life and home with all manner of temptation, filth, and bondage.  Our enemy is moving surreptitiously in our midst like a suicide bomber in the form of our computer, television and cell phone.  More than ever we need to be the gatekeepers in terms of the demonic temptations these devices bring into our lives.

2.  Like any ruler set on world domination, the devil is always strategically deploying his major forces to areas where the stakes are the highest.  Biblical end times scenarios all point to the Middle East, Israel and the nations that surround it.  We are living in days where developing stories of crisis proliferate daily from that region.  Any student of the Bible knows that the devil and his hordes of demons are behind it. 

The collapse of the communism beginning in 1989 is a case in point.  When the death grip of demonic communist oppression was finally broken, people in over 20 nations experienced freedom for the first time in nearly half a century. 

At that time, being watchful in prayer, I began to wonder where the devil might be redeploying his troops.  It didn’t take long to figure it out.  In August 1990 Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Kuwait triggering the first Gulf War.  Satan’s brigades were obviously flooding into the Middle East.  And the past twenty years have been adequate confirmation of that. His oppression of people is now centered in the Islamic nations of that region of the world. 

The devil does not loosen his grip in one region of the world unless he has a sinister plan to redirect his armies of demons to gain a stronghold in an even more strategic area.

This raises the question, what is the devil up to right now with all the political unrest and cries for freedom sweeping across the nations of North Africa and the Middle East?  Is he dismantling his demonic strongholds and allowing the overthrow of totalitarian tyrants in these Islamic nations in favor of democratic freedoms?  I doubt it. I suspect that the devil is really fortifying his position by deploying demonic double agents who will infiltrate new governmental initiatives, eventually sabotage them and ultimately link the dispossessed nations into a super alliance of evil.

It’s sanctified conjecture, but the truth is the devil is marshaling his forces and it is only a matter of time before we see where they will surface.  And you can bet it will result in a combination of oppression and war.

1. Personally I believe there are a finite number of demons who were cast out of heaven and remain so today. (Revelation 12:9)  I would agree with those who assert that the devil has no creative power and spirit beings do not reproduce.  Whether the world’s exploding population has now outnumbered Satan’s demons is a moot point.  It all is debatable and not that important an issue to establish one way or the other. 

The important thing to know is that Jesus has not left His followers and His church defenseless in the face of such evil deception.  He sent us the Spirit of truth, to take up residence in our lives, and lead us through demonic mine fields of deception into all truth. That same Holy Spirit empowers us with weapons of warfare to tear down every enemy stronghold. (2 Corinthians 10:4) 

We are equipped with Word of God which is the sword of the Spirit along with a full suit of spiritual armor to ward off the devil’s fiery darts of deception and accusation.  (Ephesians 6:10-18)  And if that were not enough, Jesus has given us His authority and back-up power to use His mighty name in order to subjugate every demon spirit who would seek to attack us. (Philippians 2:10) 

But the crowning defeat of the devil and his scheming minions is by the shed blood of Jesus.  We are told in the book of Revelation that the devil’s ultimate defeat is “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11 KJV)

Your thoughts and critiques are encouraged.

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