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The Devil's Lies

Bible Study with Larry Wilson
WUAS Internet Bible Studies

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Publish Date: January, 2003
Last Updated: October 11, 2017
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Here is an oxymoron to think about: The devil is an unbelievable liar! The devil is so good at lying that many of God’s glorious angels did not detect his deceit nor understand his manipulative schemes. The devil is a genius and among created beings he has no equal in the universe. When people in positions of trust and respect promote his lies as truth, they especially honor Lucifer. Because Satan’s subtle lies gained the stature of truth in some of the seven churches of Revelation, they are the subject for this month’s study.

Lucifer was the first liar and with his lies he deceived one-third of Heaven’s angels. (Revelation 12:4) This was an incredible accomplishment! The dullest angel is brighter than the smartest human being and yet, Lucifer was able to deceive a minimum of 200 million angels* while living in God’s house!

The Bible also says that Lucifer convinced angels to wage war against Almighty God! (Revelation 12:7-9) It would take a very convincing liar to persuade intelligent angels to rebel against Almighty God! If you think this was an amazing accomplishment, the Bible indicates the devil will again convince created beings – mere mortals this time – to wage war against Jesus at the Second Coming. (Revelation 17:14) So, do not be fooled. The devil’s lies can be so subtle that they are almost impossible to detect.

(* I conclude the devil deceived "a minimum of 200 hundred million angels" because the Bible indicates his demons number 200 million. See Revelation 9:16.)

The Knowledge of Good and Evil

We can be sure that God’s heart was very sad the day He forced His angelic children out of His house. God cast Lucifer and his followers from Heaven because the King of the universe does not tolerate liars or defiance. Surprisingly, God did not destroy Lucifer and his followers when they sinned. Instead, God allowed them to live even though He foreknew Lucifer would ultimately ruin Earth with sin. Because God allowed the devil and his angels to live, the universe has knowledge that only God previously knew.

This knowledge is the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9; 3:5) The price of this knowledge has been very costly to God and to man, but God allowed Lucifer and his angels to live so that evil might completely mature. God took advantage of sin’s presence to show the entire universe what sin was all about. Evil can masquerade as "truth" or something "good and exciting" for a while, but over time, sin’s ugly facts and horrible consequences will appear. It just takes time. Because God did not destroy the devil and his angels, the knowledge of good and evil will prevent the rise of sin from rising a second time.

Of course, "D-Day" is coming. (Destruction Day) God will annihilate the devil and his angelic followers (now called demons) at the end of the millennium with fire and brimstone from heaven. (Revelation 20:9-10) This coming event will make God very sad, for He loved Lucifer and all the angels that followed him from the beginning. The devil deceived Eve with a lie (Genesis 3:4) and through Eve, Adam and Eve lost their beautiful home in the Garden of Eden. No wonder Jesus called the devil the "father of lies." (John 8:44)

Because of sin, God will annihilate billions of defiant people in the fire and brimstone that falls at the end of the 1,000 years. (Revelation 20:9,14,15) Wow! What a profound outcome and it all began with a single lie. When we survey the history of sin and the annihilation of angels and human beings at the end of the age, the question that haunts many people is this, "Is it fair for God to destroy people who sincerely believed the devil’s lies?"

This question demands a profound response: God will not annihilate anyone for sincerely believing a lie; however, God will annihilate everyone who defiantly refuses to accept the truth. God determines our love for Him by observing our response to truth. – (1 John 5:3) When Lucifer first began to stray away from the law of love, we can be sure that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father tenderly confronted Lucifer about his wayward actions. Ultimately, the Father plainly told Lucifer that he was in error. The Holy Spirit did everything short of violating Lucifer’s will in an effort to overcome Lucifer’s stubbornness. Jesus did everything He could to renew Lucifer’s affection, but Lucifer refused to submit to the plainest statements of the Father because the truth exposed his selfish ambition to usurp Christ’s authority. (Isaiah 14:13) This is how Lucifer became God’s adversary. (The Greek word for devil is diabolos which means accuser or adversary.) Lucifer, the highest of created beings, that glorious covering cherub who stood next to God’s throne, committed the unpardonable sin by rejecting the Holy Spirit. So Lucifer became Christ’s adversary – the first anti-Christ. Everyone who defies the Holy Spirit and the Word of God eventually becomes a devil (diabolos).
(1 John 2:18-21)

God does not condemn any person for sincerely believing a lie because God knows that our knowledge is limited to our education and experience. God winks at our ignorance. (Acts 17:30) Notice what Paul wrote about his own ignorance: "Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 1:13,14; italics mine)

Every person on Earth is either deceived or ignorant in one way or another because no person knows the whole truth about everything! God knows the opportunities we have had to hear His truth and He judges us on the basis of what we know or could have known. (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Romans 2:14-16; James 4:17) Occasionally, God puts a testing truth in our path to see if we really love Him. (Exodus 16:4; Romans 16:25-27; 2 Corinthians 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:4; Revelation 2:10; 3:10) The results of the test reveal to God and a watching universe how much we love Him.

Testing Truths

 

Consider how testing truths will be used to judge the living. During the Great Tribulation, Jesus will present four great truths to the world’s inhabitants. (Revelation 14:6-12; 18:1-5) The 144,000 will powerfully proclaim these four truths through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Revelation 11:6) Signs and wonders will confirm the veracity of these four truths just as the gospel of Jesus was confirmed with signs and wonders during the days of the apostles. (Acts 2:43; 6:8; 14:3) This coming presentation of truth will separate the sheep from the goats.

Those who love God will accept His four truths at the peril of their lives and be sealed like the 144,000. (Revelation 7:1-4) Others who do not love God and His truth will reject the truth and, like Lucifer and his angels, commit the unpardonable sin. Ultimately, the wicked will accept the mark of the beast because human means of survival will be impossible without possessing the mark. The people who are alive during the Great Tribulation will determine their own eternal destiny. God does not have to pass judgment on them. Their response to His four truths during the Great Tribulation will reveal their love or hatred for truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

Lies Replace First Love

Some so-called "teachings of Jesus" that we hear today are the lies of Satan. To make matters worse, these lies are promoted by highly respected people. If you think my statement is an exaggeration, consider the seven messages Jesus sent to the seven churches just 65 years after He ascended to Heaven. The churches of Asia Minor were teaching and accepting doctrines that were plainly contrary to His teaching. Even though the church at Ephesus had detected and rejected the infiltration of Gnosticism, Ephesus had lost its first love.

Jesus knew it was only a matter of time until that church would fall away from truth (become corrupt) because the affections of the heart are constantly changing. We are either loving God more each day or loving God less. God has two everlasting commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" (Matthew 22:37-39) Any doctrine that alters this covenant or lessens its claim is a lie!

Jesus, Is That Really You?

When I study the messages sent to the seven churches, Jesus seems more like the God of the Old Testament than the Jesus we hear about today. There is a good reason for this. Jesus is the God of the Old Testament! I find that 90% of the references about God in the Old Testament actually refer to Jesus and the remaining 10% refer to the Holy Spirit and the Father. In other words, Jesus created Adam and Eve and He evicted them from the Garden of Eden after they sinned. Jesus sent the flood in Noah’s day and He destroyed the antediluvians.

Jesus talked with Abraham and He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire. Jesus passed over Egypt and He killed the first born – both men and beasts. Jesus spoke to Moses at the burning bush and He descended on Mount Sinai in a powerful display of glory when He spoke the Ten Commandments. Jesus spoke to the prophets of old and He came to Earth to demonstrate the eternal principle of love.

Heaven’s highest law is the law of love. Because God exalts the principle of love above every principle, the Bible declares that God is love. God’s love is pure. Everything He does is for the benefit of His creation. There is no self-serving in God’s heart of love. Calvary proves that the Father would not violate the law of love.

Man’s redemption required the death of a perfect substitute, so the Father gave up Jesus because He loved us. (John 3:16) Calvary proves that Jesus loved man more than He loved His own life. (John 15:13) What marvelous love! Now that we have reviewed God’s love and Satan’s lies, consider the message Jesus sent to the church at Pergamum. I have inserted some words into the text [marked by brackets] to expand certain statements that Jesus gave:

Pergamum

"To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the [deadly] sharp, double-edged sword [that comes from His mouth]. I know where you live – where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city – where Satan lives. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the [lies] teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the [lies] teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them [the clergy] with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." (Revelation 2:12-17)

When Jesus spoke these words, Pergamum was the cultural and religious center of Asia. Pergamum was an old, highly respected city. At one time, Pergamum had been the Roman capital of Asia. Worship of the Roman emperors began at Pergamum. The city had many pagan temples and Eastern Mysticism was very popular in Pergamum.

Pergamum was a big city and had a large class of educated and wealthy people. In His message to the church at Pergamum, Jesus twice said that Satan had his throne in Pergamum because as a city, Pergamum was the undisputed queen of false religion. Pergamum was the ivory tower of false religion for Asia and it hated the true followers of Jesus. Jesus observed this hatred when He mentioned the death of faithful Antipas. The hatred of Christians explains in part, why some Christians in Pergamum were willing to make so many compromises with the devil.

The Christian church at Pergamum had members who saw nothing wrong with sexual immorality or eating food sacrificed to idols. These members were Gentile converts who brought their pagan ways into Christianity. Jesus referred to Balaam in His message to Pergamum because Balaam was an Old Testament prophet who agreed to put a curse on Israel for a sum of money.

However, when Balaam spoke curses, Jesus put blessings in his mouth instead. Finally, the distraught prophet revealed to King Balak (the enemy who hired Balaam) that Israel could be defeated if enticed into sexual immorality. After learning this, King Balak gathered up several "truck-loads" of prostitutes and sent them into Israel.

The Israelites fell into temptation. As a result, God became furious with His people and withdrew His protection. (See Numbers 22-25) The point is that the devil again brought "a truck-load of sexually immoral" people into the church at Pergamum to rob the church of its connection with Christ. The devil knows that once the connection is broken, the church will have no power. (1 Corinthians 5:11)

You may recall how the apostles had imposed four specific rules upon Gentile converts at the first general conference of the Christian Church in A.D. 49. At that meeting the apostle James said, "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood." (Acts 15:19,20)

When Jesus spoke to the church at Pergamum, He affirmed this Spirit-led decision by threatening to destroy the sexually immoral unless they repented. The words of Jesus leave no wiggle room. Jesus forbade sexual immorality and eating food offered to idols.

Eating food polluted by idols was a superstitious ritual which was supposed to give the consumer the powers of the god to whom the food was first offered. The devil merged this pagan practice with the words of Jesus to create a distortion of His words. When Jesus was on Earth He said, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." (John 6:54-58)

Jesus made these remarks within the context of eating the Passover feast. The lamb (the flesh) eaten at the feast represented Jesus, the wine represented His blood, and the bread represented His broken body. (Luke 22:19) Some members of the Pergamum church, who had pagan backgrounds, ate food offered to idols. The devil used these people and their pagan background, distorting the words of Jesus to justify eating food offered to idols. Very clever.

Jesus also mentioned that some Christians in Pergamum had accepted the teachings of Nicholas. This should not come as a surprise because Pergamum was a center for Gnostic training. The gnostics treated Scripture as though it were "spiritual" or allegorical. In other words, the gnostics put a layer of fuzz between the Word of God and its obvious meaning so that ordinary people could not be confident about the meaning of God’s Word (that is, what is right and what is wrong). This has been (and continues to be) one of the devil’s best tools for leading Christians astray.

How many times have you heard it said, "The Bible does not mean what it says?" Or even worse, how many times have your heard a Bible passage quoted out of context? When lay people begin to believe the lie that "ordinary people cannot understand God’s Word," the devil has gained control of the church.

There is no substitute for "a plain thus saith the Lord." Jesus was furious with the clergy in Pergamum because they had accepted the lies of Nicholas. Leaders who had the respect and trust of the laymen were leading them astray. Jesus said, "Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them [the clergy] with the sword of my mouth."

 

In His closing remarks, Jesus offered a special reward to those who would overcome the devil’s deceptions. Jesus said, "To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." The hidden message for those who have ears to hear is that Jesus will give overcomers Heaven’s manna to eat. Currently, the food of angels is not available to us (hidden).

Unlike ordinary food offered to meaningless idols, this manna will give God’s children all of the vitality that He wants them to have. The white stone Jesus promises will be a precious stone that will have the inscription of a secret God-given name on it. This secret name will serve as a password enabling the overcomer to enter into God’s throne room.

Think about it. Every overcomer can enter into God’s presence to hear truth-full answers to his questions. Contrast this privilege with the gnostic’s pursuit of knowledge that leads to darkness and separation from God. The secret password will open doors of light and truth. I cannot think of anything better than having the privilege going before the Father to ask Him a few questions. Can you?

Take the quiz: Questions and answers from this article:

(click question for the answer)

1. Why did Lucifer deceive one-third of the angels in Heaven?
Lucifer came to love himself more than God. He wanted the affection that belonged to God. To achieve his goals, he began lying.

2. What was Lucifer’s best tool for leading angels into rebellion against God?
Lucifer’s best tool among the angels was deceit because suspicion or scheming did not exist in Heaven until sin arose.

3. Does God condemn a person for believing a lie?
God does not condemn any person for believing a lie. Yes, there are harmful consequences for believing lies, but God does not condemn a person for believing something that is untrue.

4. What does our response to truth tell God?
God does condemn every person who refuses to accept truth. Our response to truth reveals whether we love God or whether we don’t.

5. What sins made Jesus angry at the church a Pergamum?
Sexual immorality and the pagan practice of offering food to idols in Pergamum offended Jesus.

6. How does the hidden manna compare to food offered to idols?
The promise eating the hidden manna (the food of angels – Psalms 78:25) in Heaven contrasts the foolish practice of offering food to idols in hopes of eating that food and becoming as powerful as the pagan deity.

7. How does the secret name written on a white stone compare to the secrets of the Gnostics?
The Gnostics believed higher knowledge was the ultimate achievement of life. (See the devil’s lie in Genesis 3:5) Jesus offers a password to every overcomer so that he or she can enter into the presence of an Omniscient God.

8. What did Jesus mean in this verse: Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.
Jesus told the Jews that He was the bread of life (a reference to manna which fell from Heaven). He indicated He was represented by the Passover Lamb which was slain at the feast. He told them He had come to give up His life for the world and those who believed in Him and obeying His teachings were observing Passover. (John 6)

9. Why did Jesus say the devil had his throne in Peragmum?
Because Pergamum was the religious headquarters of Asia, Jesus said the devil had his throne there.

10. Can you see through some of the devil’s lies that are widely accepted today?
What lies of the devil are you aware of? What do you suspicion could be some of the devil’s lies?
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Larry W. Wilson

Larry Wilson, founder of WUAS, became a “born again” Christian in 1972. His interest in the gospel has led him on a 40+ year quest to learn more about what God has revealed to Earth’s final generation. The results of his research have been shared all over the world in books, television & radio broadcasts, media interviews, and seminars that are publicly available on all different types of media (see our Christian Bookstore).

What is Wake Up America Seminars (WUAS)?
Wake Up America Seminars, Inc. is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization with a focus on the study of End-Time Prophecy. WUAS is not a church, nor does it endorse any denomination. Our focus is singular: We are dedicated to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and His imminent return. We are delighted that people of all faiths are diligently using the Bible study materials produced by WUAS. All study materials are based solely on the Bible alone.

Larry W. Wilson

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7 comments

  • SuziQ September 7, 2018 at 9:00 PM

    You have written "Because of sin, God will annihilate billions of defiant people" ….what do you mean "annihilate"? I have not seen this word used in the Bible.

    • Marty Purvis September 10, 2018 at 9:31 AM

      The dictionary definition of annihilate is "to cause to cease to exist : to do away with entirely so that nothing remains." So, at a specific point in time, God will wipe out billions of defiant people.

  • Larry W. Wilson
    Larry W. Wilson September 10, 2018 at 11:52 AM

    SuziQ: Please consider the following Bible verses:

    Malachi 4:1-3 "Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty. "Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things," says the LORD Almighty.

    2 Peter 3:11-12 "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat."

    Revelation 20:7-9 "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth–Gog and Magog–to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them."

    Matthew 10:28 [Jesus said], "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

    Revelation 21:1 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, . . "

    There are several more texts in the Bible indicating the utter annihilation of defiant sinners, but these will suffice. The good news is this: After this planet is purified by fire and sin and sinners are no more, Jesus will create a new heaven and a new Earth!

    Best regards

  • Janef September 24, 2018 at 10:33 AM

    If someone reads this and can offer insight I need help to understand a certain statement.

    Under the heading,
    The Knowledge of Good and Evil, at the end of the second paragraph, the following is stated

    "Because God did not destroy the devil and his angels, the knowledge of good AND EVIL will prevent the rise of sin from rising a second time."

    I do not understand this statement;
    specifically:
    "…will prevent the rise of sin from rising a second time."
    I am unable to understand how the first part of the statement relates to the second part.
    I thank you in the precious name of Jesus.

  • Larry W. Wilson
    Larry W. Wilson September 24, 2018 at 2:06 PM

    Hello Janef:

    Thanks for your question! Please consider this:

    Prior to the existence of sin in Heaven, the angels did not have "the knowledge of good and evil" because there was no evil for them to study or understand! The same was true for Adam and Eve. This is why the tree in the Garden of Eden was called "the knowledge of good and evil." God said to Adam,

    Gen 2:17 "But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

    After sin took place, the knowledge of evil began to unfold in a thousand ways. The unfallen angels have been able to observe the ways and behavior of sin for thousands of years! They now understand the blight that sin brings to angels and human beings because they now have knowledge that did not previously exist.

    Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden because they sinned and sin caused them to have a sinful nature:

    Gen 3:22 And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

    Gen 3:23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

    The sentence that you question has a little background to it. Please consider this:

    If God had destroyed the devil and his angels on the day they sinned, what would the remaining angels have thought? Since the remaining angels did not have any knowledge of evil at that time, they would have served God out of fear and loathing. They would have concluded, based on what they had seen, that if anyone dares to disagree with God as did Lucifer, God will quickly destroy him.

    But God wanted the angels to have a far different conclusion. He wanted them to see that He only destroys sinners because of the ruin they bring into His universe. Therefore, by allowing the devil and his angels to live for a few thousand years, everyone has been able to see the fruits and consequences of sin.

    At the cross, the knowledge of good and evil was completed. The properties of sin have been made known and there is good news: Even though God foreknew the sorrow, death, suffering and hatred that sin would produce, He allowed it to exist for a season — until the universe gained knowledge, until the universe clearly understood the properties of sin. God has done this before destroying anyone!

    Looking forward into eternity, Jesus will not be dying again for sin. Therefore, the Father's highest concern is one of preventing another rise of sin. Given that all of His children have free will and the power of choice, this is not a simple task. So, according to infinite wisdom and endless love, the Father has allowed the drama with sin to proceed for a few thousand years.

    I've written more on this fascinating topic. Please take a look at this chapters from my book, "The Lamb's Book of Life."

    https://www.wake-up.org/book-of-life-who-is-jesus/a-short-overview-of-the-book-of-life.html

    https://www.wake-up.org/book-of-life-who-is-jesus/the-origin-of-sin.html

    I hope this helps!

  • Janef October 30, 2018 at 2:06 AM

    The Lord knows how surprised and deeply grateful I am for your response.
    I was surprised to "accidentally" find this article again but upon initial reading I recognized
    that same statement
    before realizing where I was!

    In the vastness of this thing we call "the internet" I am often severely overwhelmed and forgetful of all the links I have searched and how to recover "a good one."

    I realized this was that same article and eagerly checked for a response.

    I thank you whole heartedly for the links and your book reference.

    I shall begin my studies.

    Thank You Jesus for allowing me to find this article and thank You that the first password I tried -worked
    so I could thank my brother!

    Peace, Love, Mercy, Wisdom and Strength be unto you in Jesus' precious Name.

  • Larry W. Wilson
    Larry W. Wilson October 30, 2018 at 11:59 AM

    Hello Janef:

    Thank you for your kind words. I am delighted that you have found our website helpful.

    If you want to bookmark some pages on our website, please consider these:

    For a list of videos:

    https://www.wake-up.org/video-series-list

    For a list of books and articles:

    https://www.wake-up.org/find-articles-by-topic/

    To download 200+ Bible studies in one pdf file for easy cut-and-paste or for searching(Wake Up Reports from 2000-2018) go here:

    https://www.wake-up.org/media/2000-2018-Wake-Up-Report-Articles.pdf

    We continue to add to these pages, so keep checking for updates!

    Prayers and best wishes always

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