10.28 Knowing the Wiles of the Devil


Chapter 10: Victory in Conflict

from War On the Saints
by Jesse Penn-Lewis

Scriptures Referenced in This Section:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Eph. 6:11

The Apostle said that the believer was to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, and that he was to put on the whole armour for doing this. ( Eph. 6:11; top ) How can a man stand against a wile, if he does not know what the wile is? There is a difference between temptation and wiles; between the principles, and working of Satan and his emissaries, and their wiles; i.e., they themselves are tempters. Temptation is not a wile. A wile is the way they scheme to tempt. Paul did not say that the believer must stand against "temptations" or lies, or mention any other specific characteristic of evil spirits; but he must be "able to stand" against their wiles. The spiritual man is to be on guard lest he is caught by their wiles. If they can be detected, then their objective can be frustrated and destroyed. The spiritual man needs the fullest concentration, and sagacity of mind for reading quickly his spirit sense, and detecting the active operations of the foe; he also requires alertness in using the message his spirit conveys to him. A spiritual believer ought to be able to read the sense of his spirit, with the same instinctive adroitness, as a person recognizes the physical sense of cold, when he feels a draught, and immediately uses his mental intelligence for actively protecting himself from it. So the spiritual man needs to use his spirit sense in locating and dislodging the foe by prayer.

Again, an "objective" and a "wile" are quite distinct. The wile is a means used by the foe to gain an objective. The evil spirits must use "wiles" to carry out their objective. Their objective is possession, but their "wiles" will be counterfeits. They are liars, but how can they succeed in getting their lies into the mind of a man? They do not need wiles to make themselves liars, but they need the wile to get the lie accepted by the believer.

The wiles of the devil and his emissaries are countless, and fitted to the believer. If he is to be moved by suffering from any course of action detrimental to their interests, they will play upon his sympathies by the suffering they cause to one near and dear to him; or if he shrinks from suffering in himself, they will work upon this to make him change his course. To those who are naturally sympathetic, they will use the counterfeit of love; those who can be attracted by intellectual things will be drawn from the spiritual sphere by being driven to over study, or be given mental attractions of many kinds. Whilst others, who are over sensitive and conscientious, may be constantly charged with blame for apparently continuous failure. The lying spirits lash the person for what they themselves do, but if the believer understands how to refuse all blame from them, he can use their very doings as a weapon against them.

[10.27] The Wiles of the Devil
[10.29] The Armour for the Conflict
10: Victory in Conflict - Table of Contents
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