All of Satan's deceptions are manifestly aimed in the one direction. As he originally misled mother Eve by telling her that death would not be inflicted as the wages of sin, he has persistently stuck to that text since. When death did result and he could not totally deny it, he next tried to persuade the world that the dead are not dead, but more alive than ever when they seem to die. And to prove his lie he instituted witchcraft, which God prohibited and forbade any who at all acknowledged him to have anything to do with.—Exod. 22:18; Gal. 5:20.
Next Satan tried to blaspheme God and oppose the gospel of Christ, the gospel of the ransom and the resurrection, and to cause men to hate God, by representing that the wages of sin is lasting life in torment. His constant course has been to represent the wages of sin as being anything else than what God has declared—death.
And to-day what policy is he pursuing, to deceive? We answer, he is still pursuing those same lines of deception, and opening up new lines to specially deceive any who begin to get the eyes of their understandings opened. Instead of Witchcraft he now has Spiritism, and through mediums instead of through witches he gives pretended communications from the dead, who, God declares, know not anything, whose very thoughts have perished, and who have no hope of life except through Christ and the resurrection. He still has many who hold firmly to his God dishonoring doctrine that the wages of sin is not death, but lasting life in torment. He has recently put forward devices and sundry theories, of which Christian Science is a fair sample. This teaches that death and sickness, instead of being realities, and the wages of sin, are merely imaginations. And he is now introducing among so-called "intellectual people" certain doctrines long held in India, called Karman, which also oppose God's sentence against sin—death.
But while all these have their influence, and all serve to enslave and blind, the great Adversary has a special form for presenting this same lie, "Ye shall not surely die," to the more advanced of God's children—to whom specially we now write. To these he seductively declares: God is too loving to carry out such a threat; eventually every creature will have everlasting life. Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know sin will only make you the wiser and that eventually you shall all be as gods. Just what he said to deceive mother Eve.—Gen. 3:4-5.
Realizing the importance of this subject to all who would hold fast the confidence of their rejoicing firm to the end, and who would not be moved away from the faith once delivered unto the saints, to another gospel, we have devoted a very large space in this number to the consideration of these devices and snares. Put on the whole armor of faith provided in God's Word, that you may be able to stand—and having done all this, stand on the defensive, resisting in Christ's name, and with the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith, all the wiles of the devil.