Isa. 14:12-15 π Ezek. 28:17 π Mt. 25:41 π Lk. 9:23 π Lk. 10:18 π Jn. 1:1 π Jn. 1:14 π Jn. 5:39 π Jn. 8:31-32 π Jn. 10:27-29 π Acts 17:11 π Acts 20:27 π Rom. 16:17-18 π 1 Cor. 2:8 π 1 Cor. 8:1 π Gal. 3:1-3 π Gal. 5:4 π Eph. 6:17 π Phlp. 3:6 π Col. 1:20 π Col. 2:16-19 π 1 Ths. 5:19 π 2 Ths. 2:3 π 2 Tim. 2:15 π 2 Tim. 2:16-18 π 2 Tim. 4:3-4 π Heb. 4:12 π Heb. 5:13-14 π Jas. 2:2-4 π 2 Pet. 1:5-8 π 2 Pet. 1:20 π 2 Pet. 2:1-2 π 2 Pet. 3:16 π 3 Jn. 9 π Rev. 3:20
answer – apologeomai –  π a pleading – apologia –  π master – despotes –  π translation – hermeneia –  π translate – hermeneuo –  π Hermes, Mercury – Hermes – 
You, the devil, have been removed from Heaven  and severely defeated at the Cross,  and you aren’t happy. You know it’s impossible to dethrone the Creator but you have to show how you’re at least in His class, so you intend to cause as much grief as you can with His creation, perhaps even preventing that eternity in the lake of fire you’ve been promised.  After all, if you can take a significant number of humans with you, maybe the Creator will change His mind?  Either way, you have only one shot at this. What scheme(s) would you concoct to successfully cause the maximum amount of grief?
Some will consider pride to be the devil’s ultimate scheme and it certainly is a sin that cripples all of humanity and which remains a subtle snare for many, even most Christians, for their entire lifetime. The “big-I problem” is certainly a big problem in the “church” and it does lie at the root of every other sin because it was likely to be Lucifer’s original sin.  But to say pride is the description of Satan’s ultimate scheme(s) to cause the maximum amount of grief for believers comes up way short. Such a devil is already defeated for the genuine believer because he or she routinely takes their pride to the cross to die!
What we need to examine is something equally pervasive but even more insidious, a deeper strategy that even more subtly undermines the work of Christ on the cross in the lives of people who would try to follow Him. Let us consider “church” attendance.
If I were the devil, I’d change people’s mind about what “church” really is so that even if someone did go to “church” hoping to find Jesus, they would likely never actually spiritually grow up to be like Him.  I wouldn’t particularly care which “saint” or “church” superstar anyone tried to emulate so long as they weren’t actually interacting with and becoming like Christ Jesus, certainly not stirring up many to do so.  I’d make it so that the hypocrites and the spiritually dead (especially the wealthier ones) were the most catered to  and I’d try to keep the feedings that Jesus gives (after all, He did say He would come in and eat with anyone who opened the door for Him  ) to a minimum or at least to minimum effect. Thus, the spiritually hungry and sick do get fed but since they almost never learn to get up from their sick bed, take up their cross and actually go wherever the Lord might lead them,  the critical care patients and the dead remain. And then I’d stir up teachers to shame and guilt anyone who didn’t go to “church” so that their followers might also come under the spirit-numbing influence of these multiple deceptions.
If I were the devil, I’d get people to exchange rituals and religion for a real relationship with the Father  – and dogmas and doctrines for the real spiritual truth that sets Christ’s disciples free.  After this exchange was successful, which should be done in as few generations after the crucifixion as possible and at a time when most people are more involved in living life and only a few in writing about their own experiences and ideas, I’d stir up government persecution to destroy Christianity, the Scriptures and all Christian writings in the hopes that this might conceal my work as well. Then, I would support someone like Constantine, an excellent compromiser, to encourage government tolerance of my new “Christian” religion while I, of course, stir up the new religious leaders to be most intolerant of anyone who tried to restore the original faith or to return to their first love. I would continue to develop and evolve this strategy for as long as it was successful – even for millennia. 
Now, let us consider how we study the Bible.
If I were the devil, of course, I’d want people to take verses out of context and never learn to cross reference the subject matter of the verse to see what other authors from the Bible said about the same subject.  I’d want monks to burn ancient documents in fires just to stay warm or remove trash. I’d also want King James to force his translators to insert “certain of the old words” into a verse so that deceived practitioners will perhaps build a whole pattern of, say, pulpit preaching on one single verse (that gets changed back to the original meaning some 380 years later when the New King James version is published) or to insert the word “church” where “assembly” or “congregation” would be much more accurate and appropriate  so that my scheme about “church” attendance is aided along for centuries. I would never want, if possible, the people to be careful to find out for themselves God’s intention(s) in any verse, but I would certainly want to change practices that have great impact on those who hear someone say that “this” is “that” when it isn’t necessarily so.
If I were the devil, I’d get teachers to add subtle distortions to the practice of reading and studying the Bible to get their followers to rely on their own intellect rather than upon God’s Spirit of truth who alone leads all followers of Christ into all truth. Take the word “hermeneutics.” The word derives from the Greek/Roman god Hermes, the messenger god.  In the New Testament, Jesus, whose Spirit is the Spirit of truth, is alone said to be the Word of God  and it is unclear why His followers would need a method derived from the mythology of false gods to follow Him but it would certainly be effective for some of the work I’d want to do as knowledge still puffs up those who pursue and possess it.  There is no class of people more zealous to oppress and persecute others than those who are filled with arrogant belief that they alone possess all the right answers.  Or take the word “apologetics.” This word, “defense” or “answer,” literally “from the Word,” is at least found in the New Testament  but I’d convince people that “the Word of God” referred, not to Jesus Christ and His Spirit of truth as the piercing and dividing sword of the Spirit,  but to any isolated Bible verse as taught by a favorite teacher according to some denominational sect’s doctrines and dogmas or even just according to someone’s private interpretations.  I wouldn’t care what conclusion a Bible student arrived at so long as it was not the rightly divided word of truth nestled within the whole counsel of God. 
If I were the devil, I’d get people to be so focused on what some teacher says is true that they’d never find out for themselves what the Spirit of truth says any particular Bible verse really means.  Thus people would worship and follow a second hand “God,” the one talked about by their favorite teacher, where they would get to pick and choose which of God’s attributes they like (and they can switch teachers if they don’t like what any particular guy or gal says)  and they themselves remain spiritually blind and immature, unskilled in the word of righteousness and virtually unable to discern both good and evil. 
Consider Satan’s overall strategy.
If I were the devil, I wouldn’t try to come up with one grand super-lie that would take down everyone at one time. I’d use the strategy of death by a thousand cuts. I’d come up with a bjillion small, subtle lies so that when a follower of Christ believed one, it would be a small, subtle quenching of the work of the Spirit of truth in their lives.  Over time, the cumulative work of all those lies would have great likelihood of causing that one to fall from grace,  step out of the protective hand of God  and become a proud practitioner of the apostasy, the great falling away from the faith that happens before the return of Christ. 
Such a devil as this would be very hard to defeat because anyone who would speak against his schemes will be considered a lunatic and labeled a schismatic and heretic for daring “to speak against God’s precious church” and will be attacked by those who are loyal to their own favorite “church” which is very right in their own eyes because they do not serve and obey the King Jesus Christ. 
Let he who has ears hear.
Because I am not the devil and the above was written, not from imagination but from the Bible and from experience, I will provide references to the verses from which these ideas are drawn in the hopes that you will be a noble Berean and search the Scriptures to see that these things are so ( Acts 17:11; top ) and then follow the Lord wherever He might lead you.1. Lk. 10:18 - return to text
- Why “Church”? - Neil Girrard Only a few are able to spiritually grasp the truth that the “church” is Satan’s ace card in his war against God’s plan to have a family, let alone ponder why he chose this particular strategy.
- The Spirit of Religion or the Spirit of Truth? The Devil’s Counter-Offensive - Neil Girrard - ( in Adobe/pdf format ) How can you address a complex issue with simplicity?
- From the Word – Neil Girrard - ( in Adobe/pdf format ) Apologetics is a good thing, right?
- Lawlessness That Abounds Bible Bullet: Matthew 24:12 - Neil Girrard The simple mistranslation of one Greek word may be responsible for much misunderstanding of our responsibilities before God.
- Eternal Security? - Neil Girrard Some people completely dismiss outright the idea of “losing one’s salvation” by claiming that we must not, and even cannot, add to the finished work of Christ on the cross – but is this the truth?
- From “Once Upon a Time...” to “Happily Ever After”? - Neil Girrard A discussion of the “once saved, always saved” theory.
- Denying the Master - Neil Girrard Based on Jude’s and Peter’s prophecies, many people expect the end time apostates to be those who simply deny Christ’s transcendency and deity – but this is a complete misunderstanding of what the apostles said.
I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!