Guarding Against False Teachings and Defending the Truth
Recognizing the Ploys of the Devil
The Bible says: “The devil…was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (Jn 8:44).
In ancient times, Satan used the serpent to deceive Eve, deliberately twisting and changing God’s words. God told Adam, “…of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:17). But the serpent said, “You will not surely die” (Gen 3:4) and added, “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:5). Satan, on the one hand, changed God’s words, and on the other, deliberately sowed discord between man and God. This caused Eve to lose faith in the words of God and led her to fall into temptation. This is the ploy Satan usually uses to deceive people.
During the last days of the apostolic church, the devil seized the opportunity to sow tares among the wheat through false teachers and false apostles, who preached heresies and adulterated the word of God. For example, they taught that Gentile believers had to be circumcised and keep the law, forbade marriage and commanded people to abstain from certain foods. They also preached many other heretical teachings that appeared to be true but were not (cf. Acts 15:1; 1 Tim 4:1–3; 2 Tim 2:18). Paul encouraged the elders at Ephesus, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock… [for] savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:28–30).
[To be continued…]