Volume. XXII, No. 45
Sunday, 04 May 2008

Knowing and Guarding Against the Wiles of the Devil


Rampaging furiously against the churches of Christ, the “philosophy and vain deceit”, “the tradition of men”, “the rudiments of the world” (Colossians 2:8), “enticing words of man\'s wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:4), and “the wisdom of this world” (1 Corinthians 3:19) have been flooding our churches with the aim of destroying the foundation of our faith throughout all these past years. Especially in recent decades, the devil has been hurling his fiery darts of doubt and deception to confound, lure and deceive God\'s people into undermining Scripture as the final and only authority in the matters of faith and practice. You say, ‘It is not as bad as you think brother. I believe most of our fundamental Bible believing churches still firmly uphold the Bible as the supreme authority in the church’. That is true. No born again Christian and Bible believing church will deny that the Bible is the supreme authority in the matters of faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16). Nevertheless, the Word of God should not only be the supreme authority but the ONLY authority in a Christian life in the matter of faith and practice and this is also what our reformed fathers stood for (Sola Scriptura). What do you expect a preacher to preach to God\'s people on Sunday? From the Bible and only from the Bible! Where can you derive a set of complete and all sufficient principles of counselling for all age groups and for all generations? From the Bible and only from the Bible!


Is not the Word of God inerrant, infallible and absolutely all sufficient to give us directions, guidelines and principles (Psalm 119:105) in any and every area of our ministry and life for every generation and for every age group (1 Timothy 5:1,2; Psalm 19:7,8)? Is not the Word of God the most and only reliable source of wisdom for all Christians in every generation (Proverbs 8)? The answer is an emphatic YES! However, Satan would have you think otherwise by saying, "Yea, hath God said” (Genesis 3:1b)? Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44) and the master deceiver who disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) has been working ceaselessly to pollute the minds of God\'s people and churches through the generations with his “profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20) or the wisdom and philosophies of this world (1 Corinthians 3:19)! There is an urgent and critical need for Christians in our generation to know and guard against the wiles of the devils in order to defend from them effectively. If not, then Christians of today will be defeated miserably! The question is how? How can we know and guard against the wiles of the devils in this present evil world? We must re-examine what happened in the Garden of Eden where the devil tempted our first parents by employing different strategies to deceive and to confound them to doubt and disobey God\'s commandments. The patterns and strategies that he employed are still being used by the devil today. What are they? The first strategy is to sow the seed of doubt.


Knowing the Devil\'s Strategies

Sowing the Seed of Doubt

In Genesis 3:1, the devil said to Eve, "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Satan set out to deceive Eve cunningly, that was his initial strategy. The serpent knew well that God had commanded Adam not to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16,17). He also knew that Adam must have reiterated the same to Eve and would not disobey God easily, so he went for Eve by sowing the seed of doubt in God\'s Word (Genesis 3:1) or His commandments and prohibitions, precepts, laws and statutes.


It is true that most Christians know very well that God would not be pleased with His people practicing witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23; 2 Chronicles 33:6), black magic, voodoos or openly mingling around with the dark side (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) and understand that it is utterly abominable to worship Satan (Mark 4:10) and idols (Deuteronomy 7:25; 1 Kings 11:7). Yet, how many Christians have been confounded by Satan to doubt God\'s intention, its validity and implications? Satan knew that it is enough to prompt Christians to begin to doubt God\'s intention that come with God\'s commandments and precepts. It is because once a Christian begins to doubt God\'s intention for giving His commandments, it’s validity and implications of His commandments, the devil can move on to employ his second strategy or step to mislead us further from the truth. That is, he would pretend to be our friend by way of infiltration. The purpose of infiltration is to cause us to think that he is our friend and is on our side and that God is not.


Pretending to be Your Friend

After successfully sowing the seed of doubt, Satan pretended to be a friend of Eve by making Eve believe that he was telling the truth and not God (Genesis 3:4). He started to make suggestion, or counsel outside of God\'s commandments (Genesis 3:5) concerning how one can be more effective, practical and up-to-date in life or to be \'as wise as God\', or even \'wiser than God\'. Once man imagines that he could be as wise as God, it opened the door for him to rebel against God to believe that he could even be wiser than God by throwing His commandments in the gutter. It all started with the so-called friendly council of Mr. Worldly Wiseman that goes, ‘don\'t you want to be as wise as God?’ However, the fact of the matter is that none of God\'s creatures could ever be as wise as God, including Satan himself. How foolish it is for a man to assume that he could be \'as wise as\' or \'wiser than God’. How did the devil manage to succeed in tempting Eve in the first place? It was because Eve entertained the devil as a friend. What Eve should have and could have done was to chide the serpent never to appear before her again and/or leave the place immediately rather than entertaining a false friend! She should not have carried on her conversation with that deceitful serpent, but she did! The consequence was deadly and disastrous and she was sold to the devil\'s lie!


Brainwashing You with Worldly Philosophy

Dear friends, do not be deceived to think that the world offers a better set of practical philosophy and principles of counselling in the form of godless psychology and humanism. The devil has been trying to infiltrate and propagate his philosophy into every facet of our life and culture in the form of secular psychology and humanism. In fact, humanistic ideas and secular psychology have already infiltrated literally every country in the world and are being adopted as the core education and practice in the political, educational and business world. We are not surprised to see politicians promoting secular psychology and humanistic ideas. We should also not be surprised to see businessmen practicing secular psychology and humanistic values in their marketing and business strategies or to see schools, colleges and universities adopting and teaching secular psychology and humanism to their students and in the training of teachers. However, we should be alarmed to learn that God\'s churches are also caught up in secular psychology and humanistic doctrines in their approach to counselling, preaching, teaching and parenting. Why? Simply because many Christians have been brained washed by the secular philosophies that are contrary to the Biblical teachings. As Christians, we are not to embrace these secular philosophies and teachings but to guard against the wiles of the devil.


Guard Against the Wiles of the Devil

Why Can\'t Christians Embrace in Worldly Philosophy?

Why can\'t we embrace worldly philosophy? It is because secular psychologists and humanists believe that man is born morally neutral and not sinful, which is totally unbiblical. They also believe that man\'s behaviour is the product of his environment and that original sin is not the root problem at all because they do not believe in the historical Adam or the fall of man. Thus, thieves, murderers, rapists or sexual perverts and rebels are victims of the ‘bad’ influences that they are exposed to from young. In other words, the root problem of waywardness and criminal behaviour is the negative social environment, past bad experiences, traditional values that emphasize too much on do\'s and dont\'s or even authoritative parents. The humanists believe that man is no different from animals (i.e. evolved from monkeys) so if laboratory mice can be effectively conditioned or reconditioned by giving or depriving rewards, then so can humans. We should not be surprised that the secular psychologists and humanists came up with such a godless, evolutionary and unbiblical conclusion: a godless and man-centred and secular approach in solving man’s problems in life – man’s sinful nature. They would not admit that the root problem of all crimes, rebelliousness and waywardness is man’s fallen nature or the total depravity of man.


How about psychology? Sigmund Freud, the Father of Modern Psychology or founder of psychoanalysis and John Dewey, the Father of Modern Progressive Education (opposing the traditional educational approach), were both not only God-haters and blasphemers, but they plainly and proudly asserted that their goal in publishing their revolutionary philosophy and educational ideas was to destroy Christianity once for all and all traditional biblical values in the Western Civilization! What good teaching and philosophies could possibly come out of them and their disciples? The writer agrees with most conservative Christian scholars and educationists that their teachings and philosophical ideas which they have been propagating for decades through their writings and their followers have done much more harm than good in America and around the world today. Therefore, God’s people must not accept philosophical ideas and practices based on a pragmatic approach but rather than a biblical and God-centred approach. Take for example, parenting in the United States, Europe and many parts of the world today. The secular Psychologists and Humanists believe that parents should allow their children to explore both good and evil in order for them to learn how to ‘discern between the two’. The public schools in US have been making it compulsory for school children as young as lower primary (ie. Grade 1-3) to explore: death, suicide, voodoos, witchcrafts, occults, homosexuality and other perverted and questionable practices. Why? Because the progressive Educationists do not believe in man’s original sin! The progressive educationist approach also reduces or minimizes parents’ role at home as authoritative figures because they do not believe that parents should be telling the children what to do or correcting and disciplining them when necessary. It is almost a taboo to say \'nos\' or ‘don’ts’ to their own children at home, let alone discipline them.

What does the Bible say? The Bible not only tells us that the parents should bring up their children in the LORD (Ephesians 6:1-4; Deuteronomy 6:6-9), the Bible also tells us that parents are to train up the children in the way they SHOULD go (Proverbs 22:6) not in the way they WANT to go. The Bible tell us that parents are to be the authoritative figures in the home (Proverbs 1:8, 6:20-23, 15:5, 22:6, 23:22; Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 4:8,10; 1 Samuel 2:22-25, 3:13; 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15) to those who are under their care and children should also respect them as their authority (Matthew 15:4, Proverbs 6:20-23, 15:5, 23:22; Ephesians 6:1). Why? It is because parents are representatives of God on earth and in the family. Yes, parents should be friends to their children so that they can trust them enough to pour out their hearts in their sharing, but the friendship should be one of such between God and Abraham. In a sense, Jesus is a Friend of every born again Christian because He understands our weaknesses and frailties, but it does not mean that Jesus is not an authoritative figure in the church or in the lives of God’s people. Dear Parents, raise and teach your children to obey you in the LORD because you are actually training them to obey God now and in the future! If we lose our authority in the home as parents, there is a danger that our children are not likely to obey God in the future.


How Should We Guard Against the Wiles of the Devils?

First, we need to be grounded in our understanding of the Word of God and the principles of truths found in the Bible. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil… Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:11,16-17). For the devil has already instigated a great deal of confusion in Christendom and he is still assaulting Christians from every side!


Second, we must not synchronize secular psychology and humanistic philosophy with Biblical truths to create a set of \'new and improved version\' of biblical guidelines and principles because the Truths found in the Word of God need not be improved upon or supplemented because it is inerrant, infallible and totally sufficient for every generation! Did not Paul warn us in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness”? How much of a deadly poison is required to kill a person? Just a bit. Proverbs 6:27 says, "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" Though the context of the above verse tells us to stay away from adulterous affairs, it is also to keep us from mingling God\'s truth with Satan\'s lie. Does not 1 Timothy 3:16 explicitly say, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”?



We need to understand that Bible is not only the superior authority but our only authority with regard to our faith and practice for it is all sufficient! May we all have God\'s wisdom to know and guard against the wiles of the devil!



Preacher David Weng



More Lively Hope




Mobile phone of Pr David Weng is 0431511971.

Warm Greetings from Ps Ki (Chiangmai)

Accommodation required for Sis Rebekah Neumann. If you can help please call 0400 527 136 or 8532 1793

Hospitality Roster: Anyone or family wishing to have fellowship lunch or dinner with Pr David Weng & family, please see Dn David Yeo or add your names on the roster.

Cambodia Missions: Bro Surish Dharmalingam & family have shifted to Stung Treng (NE Cambodia).

Please note: Next Lord’s Day Fellowship lunch is communal.

Invitation from Sis Judy Creamer, USA: Anyone wishing to go to Atlanta, Georgia, is invited to visit her.


Looking Ahead

22nd Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on 25 May. Speaker: Rev Patrick Tan


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Bro Joseph Selvanayagam (USA/Canada); Ziegelmann family (Adl); Sis Lee Lan Chong (Melb); Family Bible campers (Melb).

Church activities: BBK & Bible Study Classes, Joy, Maranatha, Sparks4Christ’s Bible Study, & YAF Group Activities.

God’s daily blessings & provisions.

2nd Anniversary Thanksgiving today: Evangel B-P Church, Petaling Jaya.


Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Hans Ziegelmann; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena, Sylvia White & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction.

Cambodia Missions - Rev & Mrs David Koo (Sihanoukville); Bro Surish Dharmalingam (Stung Treng); Pastors & believers in villages.

Laos Missions - Believers in Laos.

India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

Kuching Missions - Teo family.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim.

Journey Mercies - Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bro Joseph Selvanayagam; Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong; Sis Myung Ki (Adl).

Job - Bros Cong Pham & Daniel Volvricht

Sabbatical Leave: God’s guidance & protection for Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Chiangmai).

Ministry of Pr David & Sis Susan Weng in Hope B-P Church.

Provision of a Pastor for our Church.

Session members - wisdom as they take care of our Church.

Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041