Just What Are the Wiles of the Devil?

David L. Williams
Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Isa. 7:14-16 π Lk. 2:41-51 π Lk. 2:52 π Rev 19:7

OK, before we get to the devil’s wiles, we need to clarify something that seems to be a mystery to most. God speaks to us in many types of voices, several of them inaudible, but the most common one is the “still small voice.” In this writing, we are going to deal only with the still small voice. But we must note that evil spirits “speak” in still small voices, too. Still small voices are not really voices at all, but are thought transmissions from the spirit world to us. When they come to us, we automatically translate them into our own words. This is similar to when we are in a conversation and while the other is talking, our next point comes to mind. We don’t have to think out the words we will say when it is our turn to speak. The words just flow out automatically. Likewise with the still small voice thoughts. If you understand this concept, you can understand the real wiles of the devil.

We also need to know that the devil is only slowly revealed in the Bible, and each era must gain its own revelation about him. For example, the religious leaders in Jesus’ day knew far more about demons than the Old Testament showed. Even so, what they learned surely met with Scriptural intent. Likewise, we can glean from both the Word and what we have since seen and find present revelation that meets Scriptural intent. We must know this if we are to avoid the Last Days deception Jesus told us was coming. Note that those religious leaders believed they were the very voice of God, going happily along assuming all was right between them and God. The deception of today may be just that, very deceptive, as our leaders also happily believe they are the very voice of God. So we must decide if any of us speaks the full truth, or if there is unseen leaven within our teaching today.

A look at Christianity today reveals a world of faults. We could go through that list, but we only need to see how man relates with man, and we will see that there is a root problem. I’m going to show this root and that it is in each of us, without exception. And yes, we will later show this is shown in the Bible, but missed by many. In this, you may be tempted to think I am going against Paul's telling us to leave our past behind us, but we will be talking here in a different context.

We tend to think that as adults, we have outgrown our childhood problems, leaving them behind. It is my intention here to prove otherwise, and that we have merely developed an act to hide the truth of how we feel about ourselves inside. This act covers childhood ways of selfishness and shame. We learn to polish this act until we believe the personality we present to the world is the real us. But in truth, it is a false personality, formed by our finding ways to avoid shame. These roots are very powerful, and unknown to us, rule us in life from within. We all learned early to make our decisions on our emotional feelings, rather than wisdom.

We must realize that those traumatic times in our childhood were then our whole known world at stake. They were then of absolute importance. We may now think that was just “kid stuff,” but they were the roots that set our life direction. Most of us may want to call the results of childhood troubles “strongholds.” But we need to know what a stronghold really is, for until we face this truth, we will be bogged down in a bondage we don’t even know we are in.

None of us was exempt from traumatic times in our childhood when we didn’t get our own way and believed it was because we were not loved. And after our tantrum was over and we were alone with our thoughts, we were open to the still small voices of evil spirits. When we heard them, we thought they were our own thoughts, since we had no wisdom yet to consider otherwise. We did not know that when each child is born, a bevy of demons is assigned to each child with the purpose of giving us a direction in life. They will try to add two traits to the already selfish child. Two very important evil traits.

These two traits actually contradict each other, but a child will not notice that, so each will be firmly established during traumatic moments. First, the demons want to establish feelings of rejection in us, causing us to feel shameful. This causes self rejection, self hatred, and bitterness. Then they want to install a defense against these feelings, usually in the form of blame shifting. This is easy for a child to do, and we have all seen children caught in the act of shifting blame. Remember when as a kid we spilled the milk and we said, “the milk spilled,” (as if it could on its own,) instead of admitting we were the one who spilled the milk? That is blame shifting. When kids learn it doesn’t work openly, they begin to internalize the blame shift, making a way to not feel so bad, and this is with the still small voices of demons helping establish this trait. They know that in time, this will become an automatic self justifier in us. We will eventually blind ourselves to our own faults while not even knowing we are doing so. Not one of us failed to get this evil spirit lesson.

We must see here that we all developed self justification as a way to not put blame on ourselves, which would make us feel shameful. Back then when we felt accused of something, we learned to bring up our accuser’s faults. This had two elements. One was to take the eyes off ourselves, and the other was to show that they are no better than I. While neither is real justification, it somehow satisfied us. In time, we learned to do this internally, rather than letting the uncomfortable argument go further. And we grew up, never knowing that this was not true justification for our wrongs. Later in life, we might resort to openly using this method again, if we come under enough stress. But even so, we will not see it has become an automatic self-justifier.

We soon found that letting our true feelings be seen only brought more shame, perhaps by ridicule teasing. We also feared that others were near guessing we hated ourselves, and may even see through the lies of our blame shifting. This caused us to hold it in, and we learned to act like nothing others said really bothered us. But inside, we let our bitterness simmer.

Now that shame, blame shifting, and our act were well established, we proceeded to the next step. This also came from conflict with authorities and peers that sent us off to brood by ourselves. There, we were open again to the still small voices of demons with the purpose to get us to make vows, such as, “Someday I’ll show them who was right!” Or, “When I grow up, no one will tell me what to do.” And others. Note there is vengeance in these vows, and the power of these vows is far more than we might expect. They have set up in us a subtle competitive nature that we must find ways to look good in comparison to others. We must never let another see our faults.

Those vows set the direction of life, and remain alive and well within us even as adults. We just don’t notice it, as we have so polished our act and self justification, that we forget the roots of our personality development. In truth, our personality is a false one, designed to never let anyone else know the real us that is hidden inside. Vows made by children become hidden agendas in adults, hidden even from ourselves. This took place even in the best of homes, where love and approval reigned.

The vows put a subconscious pressure in us to fulfill them, and this goes on through life, unnoticed. But when we later, again subconsciously, realize our vows are not succeeding, it can bring on anxiety and/or depression. Depression often is caused by unmet expectations, and these expectations lurk in us silently telling us that something is wrong, giving us an unexplainable uneasy feeling. After time in this state, we can experience depression or panic attacks that keep us from first seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Thus, the devil succeeds in his goals of robbing, killing, and destroying.

We must remember, all children are selfish and want to find a way to get the most of what they can. So even the sweetest child has merely found a way to get as much as possible, but not because they are truly sweet. It is merely part of the act. The gamut can run from sweet to utter defiance, and defiance says, “If I can’t get my way, I’m not going to let you be happy about it!” The whole scale is made of choices to get the most self satisfaction as possible. Choices of ways to manipulate to get our own way.

So you may see that manipulation is a way to subtly rule people, fulfilling our childhood vows without knowing it. (Manipulating others is witchcraft, even if you don’t know you are doing it.) This can be accomplished in several ways, such as self-pity pouting, anger, or even subtly making another feel guilty for not bending to your way. In time, this is polished to the point that as little as a lifting of an eyebrow or a slight voice inflection can warn another to give in. (There are some exceptions to the above, though not a better exception, as some choose to be so shy they avoid relationships in order to not have their shame on display.)

When we enter marriage, we find ourselves at odds with each other over many things. This is when our defenses of hidden shame show up most. We argue over things, rather than truth, in order to avoid exposing the truths inside. We feel that when another disagrees with us, that they are rejecting us, and that is the real unspoken point of the argument. It becomes what we call, “irreconcilable differences,” so often heard about in divorce cases. If the marriage is to survive in spite of this, then each learns not to touch on the other’s shame, for the other would then retaliate in kind. So they discipline themselves to not go near that point, and this compromise can even begin to look like real love. But it is merely an armed truce that avoids the truth. An act.

Demons have unique specialties, and they work to put their evil traits in each of us in childhood. Some of those traits are: deceit, envy, strife, scorn, panic, impulsiveness, greed, pride, control, anger, hate, self-pity, bitterness, vengeance, fear, covetousness, theft, manipulation, obsession, depression, suicide, argumentativeness, murder, defiance, lust, laziness, gluttony, oppression, filth, addictiveness, infirmity, negativity, darkness, and etc. We each get several of these traits, and we only learn to hide them as best we can. But the traits remain in us even after we think we have done away with them. They wait for opportune stressful times to rise up again.

Self-discipline is ruling over yourself, and in a sense, this is what we learn to do by our act. But when we become born again, we only polish our act all the more, again by self-discipline. Though our sermons tell us we are now free from the Law, just think this through. For when we use self-discipline, we are putting the Law on ourselves. Right? So God must have known of another solution to this problem that is so contradictory. We are shown this way when Jesus came of age at the Temple, and then went off to gain wisdom and stature. (More on this later.) It helps if we see that wisdom and love are two words for the same thing. Jesus became love, and no longer needed to obey the Commandments, for love fulfills the Law without having to obey it. But if we remain captive to our inner traits, our love cannot be pure enough to fulfill the Law. We will get to how to purify ourselves later, but here is a good place to show that the foregoing is in the Bible for us to see, if we will.

In the Garden in Genesis, we see that one moment, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed and in the next moment, they found themselves naked and ashamed. There are proper and improper shames, just as there is proper and improper pride. Proper shame is feeling conviction for a deed that can be repented of. Improper shame is feeling guilt and hiding it behind excuses so we won’t look so shameful. It is usually by lying or blame shifting. For example, it all started with Eve blaming the serpent, and Adam blaming God for bringing him the woman, both half-lies, and blame shifting.

Looking further at their improper shame, note that everything God had created in them was still there, but something had been added....corruption. No longer pure, but defiled. Let’s explore what was added to them. We know that God’s Holy Spirit is Love, and that we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. But have we considered that Adam and Eve were filled with the devil’s spirit in the Garden? Let’s look at it this way. Love loves to be openly expressed, while shame hates to be exposed. The results in the Garden make it look like they were filled with shame, as they began hiding truth. In other words, the name of the devil’s spirit is, “shame.” Shame is the opposite of love. We might normally think that “hate” would be the opposite, but hate is merely a symptom of shame.

The devil wants his spirit in us, but he doesn’t want us to know it. And our self defenses help him keep it hidden. When Adam and Eve agreed with the devil, it was permission for his spirit to enter them. This is one part of the “old man” in us that Paul spoke of. (I won’t go into the other part here.) So when we as children agree with the still small voices of evil spirits, we likewise give them permission to enter us where they will secretly take over the “kingdom” within us. This is not the visible manifestation of demons as we see in the demoniac with a legion of demons in him. This is the more subtle means of the devil owning territory in our soul without our knowing it.

We have been taught that the Holy Spirit and evil spirits cannot occupy the same space in us. But the Bible does not say this. Instead, we have evidence otherwise. Paul talked of the ongoing battle we have with our old man within us. This, after we are already saved. Further, just whom was Jesus talking to when He said to Peter, “Satan, get thee behind me?” And when some of His disciples wanted to call fire down on a town that refused them entrance, Jesus told them they did not know what spirit they were of.

Now let’s consider some Bible heroes and see if they can give us evidence of something in them that they were unaware of. Joseph was hated and ridiculed by his brothers, and were especially put off by his dreams of someday ruling over them. They sold him off as a slave in Egypt where he rose to be equal to Pharaoh. We get caught up in the wonderful story of his family reunion and miss an important point. He saw the famine coming, and caused the people to raise extra food so they could make it through the famine. When it came, he sold the grain they had raised back to them. When they ran out of money, he traded their grain for their property. When their property was gone, he caused them to sell themselves to become his slaves. Was there any good reason Joseph took their property and freedom from them? Is it likely that when Joseph earlier told his dreams from God and was ridiculed, that he made vows to, “someday show them who is right?” We know that we reap what we sow, and in time a different type Pharaoh came to power, and the Israelites were made to be his slaves.

As a lad, David also experienced sibling ridicule, and was even left out of the meeting where Samuel was to choose which of Jesse’s sons would be the future king. Once crowned as king, he soon let something within rule him. He quit going forth to war with his men, as kings were supposed to do. He took advantage of his position and committed adultery with the wife of one of his mighty warriors, a man more righteous than David. After murdering him, David repented, but just how much of this repentance was valid? We next find David again staying home from war, and letting others do the dirty work for him. When the men had the battle nearly won, they called on him to come to the warfront so he could take the glory for the victory. He went. And God never used David again, except to install Solomon as the next king. And even that had to be arranged by Bathsheeba.

In better times, David had asked God to show any iniquity within him. God arranged the circumstances to show that iniquity, but David did not choose to see the truths. Speaking of Solomon, the Bible shows us that David preferred his other son, the evil Absalom over him. Can you imagine the hurt this would bring? And what he was hearing as he brooded over this? So even with the gift of wisdom, Solomon chose to do many foolish things in his reign, including making the Israelies part time slaves to do his bidding. What could make even the wisest man choose to do things this way?

Each of those had childhood experiences that made them feel insignificant. If you look closely, you will see that in each case, they were striving as adults to be seen as significant, without knowing it. They were fulfilling their childhood vows. It has ever been so since the Garden, and it is the same with each of us to this day.

If you still take exception that one can do evil over a lifetime without knowing it, then perhaps you will take Jesus’ word for it. We can look at the Bible story of His crucifixion and easily see the evil of those causing it. But note Jesus’ words as He was being crucified: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

So we have shown that indeed, this subject is in the Bible for any who want to see it. Those chosen to be the Bride of Christ will see it, and allow God to show them things that most will not want to know. This is where the Narrow Gate comes in. Few will find it, but hordes will take the broad way to destruction. But here, we must understand what that destruction is, for it does not mean going to hell. It means that many of our earthly deeds we were so proud of will be burned as wood, hay, and stubble. The reason this is not understood is because many do not even know the full meaning of the word, “Salvation.” That word is used in three tenses in the New Testament. In their context, they meant, saved, being saved, and, will be saved. We’ll cover them, but out of order for clarification.

“Saved” means, on the way to Heaven. (No works required.) “Will be saved” means, arriving in Heaven and receiving rewards. It is the middle one that needs more explanation. It is what we do between “saved” and “will be saved,” while here on earth. (Works required.) It is our deeds and how much we will allow God to cleanse us that brings the rewards. The problem is, that with something in us that gives hidden motives for doing deeds, that what we do is not with a pure heart. It is mostly our act, obeying the Law, but having a hint of leaven in it. It is the spots and wrinkles that the Bible tells us about. And note, the Bible says the Bride will purify herself, not that God will do it for her. ( Rev 19:7; top ) Not that God is not in the equation, though. He is the One who will send the Holy Spirit to show all truths. He does not directly tell us, but expects us to discover truths from the life circumstances He arranges for us.

When we come to the place when we ask God to expose any iniquity in us, He takes it seriously. Just like with Job, He will send the devil to put a limited trial on us that will show us our hidden inner traits. Most think trials are merely attacks from the devil that we are supposed to pray away. Error! God arranges stressful situations similar to our childhood ones so our evil traits can rise up to be seen by ourselves. The trials will be hard, but we can make it through them if we don’t give up. The first trial will likely be fairly easy, so we can see how the battle is won. Then they get increasingly harder, but even so, once we have succeeded in defeating one giant in our inner kingdom, we will want to go all the way. But know that the last giant we have to face in ourselves will be so precious to us that we are very likely to turn and run away. It will be the very act we have chosen to present to the world that has given us our present status. There will be great fear of letting that one go, for we will not know how to get along without it. The truth is, that when we get rid of that giant, we become like Jesus, needing no act, no hidden motives.

Each trial will be unique to what you need to see the roots. People around you will begin to treat you as you were treated as a child. You will be trapped in helplessness and be powerless to change the situation, just as you felt when your childhood authorities ruled over you. You will have “Job’s friends” telling you how wrong you are. You will be surprised at people whom you once admired, even brethren in the faith, and how they turn on you in the trial.

The objective here is not to fight back, even though they may be wrong. Better is to watch and see your own reactions, what you would like to do to your attackers. While this is going on, you may get dreams, words of knowledge, and/or visions of yourself as a child under the same pressures. In any event, the Holy Spirit will bring up memories of those times and you will again see your childhood decisions on how you dealt with the trauma, and when you made vows. You will see your bitterness, and how it made self-pity and anger a hidden part of your life. It will amaze you to see the truth from an adult standpoint of the choices you made. And how those long ago decisions pointed your way of life without you knowing it was happening. You will see your own way of manipulating others to get your way that you had been unaware of.

You must not do your repentance and renouncing of vows too soon in this, as usually there are many details God wants you to see. But when the time is right, when you have exposed the roots, you can go to a trusted other human and tell them what you found in yourself. Or in some cases, God may choose the very person you have wronged. There must not be the slightest justification in this confession, or there will be no deliverance. Yes, this is shameful, but remember that Jesus exposed His “shame” on the cross, showing us the way. This confession before both a human and God is taking the power of shame away. The responsible demon has no hold on you any longer, and must go. You will no longer have to apply self-discipline in that area of your life, for new wisdom will allow a free choice to do right aside from the Law. You have captured Kingdom territory in your soul, ironing out a wrinkle, removing a spot.

This goes way beyond generally admitting you are a sinner. It is getting down to the nitty-gritty details of how we believed lies from demons, and how they guided us through life to do the devil’s will. One by one through trial after trial, the giants living in your soul will be exposed and have to leave, for they cannot stand Light. This is “The Way.” You will no longer have to forgive others by following Jesus’ commandment, but you will see that the other does not know what is in them, as you once did not see about yourself. You will realize you had been no better than they, so how can you now hold anything against them? This is true renewal of the mind.

But just what is this, “Way?” God did not have the Bible written to look rosy, so we should not read it with rose-colored glasses. He was not afraid to show truths, truths that we may have painted over to look like something it wasn’t. If as the Bible tells us, Jesus went through all we are to go through, then He also had a childhood like ours. He experienced authority discipline and sibling rivalry. He knew many believed He was a bastard. He heard the still small voices of demons, too. We need to know that in Isa. 7:14-16; top , it shows that the coming Messiah would have to learn to refuse evil and choose good. We can see a particular instance in the Word that shows that even He had to grow to overcome what had been a problem in His youth. Be sure to note here that sins of youth are not counted against us, so we can still say that Jesus was sinless.

In Luke 2:41-51 , we find Jesus at the Temple for several days without the permission of His parents. When found, His mother scolds Him for being inconsiderate. He answered her in a rude way without apology, justifying Himself by saying He must be about His Father’s business. He had broken a Commandment by not honoring His parents. Note He did not stand further on His excuse, but went home with them. This shows He truly was not yet ready to be about His Father’s business. Luke 2:52; top and following backs this up, showing Him growing in wisdom and stature, to righteous authority. He had to overcome the things of His youth in those hidden years. He had found the way, and had become, “The Way.”

Later, in Jesus’ temptations from the devil, it ended with Jesus saying the devil had found nothing in Him. This is the Way that the Bride of Christ must also find, so She can also say that the devil can find nothing in Her.

So yes, we all must experience laws put on us as children, and also The Law as children in the Lord. We must have it so we can know right from wrong, and act accordingly to overcome the powers that dwell within us. But if we believe in redemption, we must understand just what that means. It means going back to the original design, needing no law, but using wisdom to make decisions instead. God told us to be like Him. He needs no Law to rule over Him, so we should grow up to be like Him and need no laws, either. We have been shown The Way, but we are also told that few will find it.

Now, a fair warning about what you have read herein. Many people have read my writings on this subject. In nearly every case, they agree with it However, they see it as true for others they know, but not themselves. Again, this is our self defense mechanism kicking in to thwart the Light from coming into ourselves. This is about you, not others.

I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!

God bless you.

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