The deceiver is a subject that we don’t normally like to talk or write about and when you see the above title you will no doubt shudder. Why write about the deceiver, the devil, our arch enemy? That’s not a nice and pleasant subject you will say. And I agree. You are quite correct, the devil is not nice, never has been nice and never will be nice. That’s also the reason why I wrote his name in the title with a small letter instead of a capital letter, for he doesn’t deserve a capital letter. Sometimes he pretends to be nice but that’s his deceitful character for he is the deceiver and liar from the beginning. We shudder when we think of him. And for that reason it certainly is an awful subject to write about. Most likely that is also the reason why we don’t read much about this topic. Yet we ignore the devil at our peril.
We need to remember that we are in a constant, spiritual battle and as in any battle it is imperative to know your opponent. That is necessary in a game of chess, a battle of wits, but it is even more important in the battle with the evil one. Let’s never underestimate the power of the evil one and may we all remain watchful. Our main weapon in fighting the evil one is to become fully aware of his ugly existence.
The devil’s craftiness should never be underestimated. For we are wrestling with the spirits in the air; it’s a spiritual battle. If we don’t recognise his strategic craftiness and if we are not aware of what he is up to and what tricks he has up his sleeve then we will suffer the awful and serious consequences.
The devil works in many ways. He has already won the battle around abortion making it sound as if killing an unborn, innocent and defenceless creature is doing people a favour. He is also very active in getting his way with euthanasia.
Unfortunately, this is not where it stops. He is coming more and more out in the open and even has the audacity to blatantly demand that he openly be recognised as a god. He can be two faced; on the one hand one of his tricks is to persuade people that he does not exist but on the other hand he is becoming blatantly open. He does not have to attack or blind the mind of the unbelievers because they are already helping him in his evil plans. He needs to concentrate on the people of God who, if they know their Bible, are very well aware that he is there and very active as we know from Ephesians 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”.
Walmart in Canada and America is marketing a range of satanic products; around 440 items of a satanic nature which include the Satanic bible as well as statues of the devil and pornographic material of Christ’s crucifixion. Some of these products are too shocking and too blasphemous to mention or describe on paper.
Unfortunately, Satan has many followers in this world also in high places and places of influence. In America there is a powerful Satanic church. These followers of Satan dress up in black on Good Friday and re-enact the crucifixion, making a mockery of it in a most evil and wicked way as they march through the streets. The first Satanic church was founded in 1997 in San Francisco, California. “The Satanic Bible” is stated as required reading prior to joining the First Satanic church. 
And if we think this movement only exists in America then we are mistaken. There is also a Satanic church in Cairns, Queensland. Many of the satanic symbols display the figure 666. They are also involved in satanic witchcraft. As an illustration of how wicked they are I quote just two of the nine Satanic Statements: “Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence” and “Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had as he has kept it in business all these years”. The purpose of a satanist’s life is to live fully without inhibition or unnecessary feelings of guilt. They claim that they neither need nor want any deity but themselves.
The deceiver even has the audacity to make sure that we don’t forget that he exists by having monuments of himself erected in several places in the world. As an illustration of how brazen Satan’s inroad is in public life and how much progress he continues to make, I will tell you about a statue in Madrid, the capital of Spain. There is a public monument to the devil himself in one of the public gardens, and believe it or not, the height of this statue is exactly 666 meters above sea level. Coincidence? We know better.
At Christmas 2017 and 2018 the Satanic movement had the audacity to decorate the Christmas tree in a park in California with demonic goats and other Satanic imagery. Shamelessly they tried to ruin the yearly event “Christmas in the Park”. The local authorities responded to complaints from the public that it was their right of freedom of speech. Another example was that the Satanic movement was offended with a message of “Psalm 24” along one of the major highways in California. So they applied for permission to erect two large signs with the words “The Art of Satan”. Permission was quickly granted and soon something similar happened in the American State Indiana. 
In the State of Arkansas a monument of the Ten Commandments was erected on Government property. The Satanists objected and demanded that it be removed or a statue of the devil placed beside it. Very recently the Satanic Temple has become the first Satanic organisation to achieve tax-exempt religious status in the US. Satanism is becoming more and more visible. A half-goat, half man statue was originally commissioned to protest a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma. Another monument of the Ten Commandments was deliberately destroyed less than 24 hours after it was erected. A similar incident occurred in Arkansas according to National Public Radio (NPR). “The same man responsible for its destruction also destroyed the Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma”. 
They have destroyed the sanctity of life, of marriage and family and have also used the beautiful symbol of the rainbow in a corrupt manner and used it for their own wicked aims. And the list goes on. There are many more examples of brazen attacks of Satanism.
His doom is sure
As Reformed people we can usually smell a heresy a mile away. I hope we are all awake enough to also hear the clanging of Satan’s chains. I also sincerely hope that in this noisy world we will all be able to recognise the roaring of this ferocious lion.  As the Apostle Paul warns: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall”. 
About six weeks ago, on 31st October, we remembered Reformation Day again and we sang the beautiful hymn 53 “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”.  We not only remembered the great deeds of our covenant God but at the same time we were also reminded of how the devil was again defeated. This hymn also has the words: “his doom is sure”.
Centuries have gone by, but this ancient hymn has not lost its lustre. Why? Because Christ, the everlasting King, is the centre of this hymn. And He is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever. May that be our comfort! For “Satan’s doom is sure; one little word shall fell him”, climaxing with the words “God’s truth abideth still; His Kingdom is forever”.
Should we then fear the deceiver, the devil, the accuser of the brethren? No, but let us be careful “lest anyone fall short of the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15) But more importantly because we have “the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus it is He; Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same, and He must win the battle”.
 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion (1Peter 5:8)
 1 Corinthians 10:12
 Martin Luther 1529