"Then Cometh The Devil"
Paul C. Keller
In explaining the parable of the sower, Jesus said: "The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved." (Luke 8:11-12) The devil's one great purpose is to hinder the truth, and thus keep men from obeying God and being saved. He works to destroy souls. We should know the character of his work that we may resist his influence and defeat him. Let us not be "ignorant of his devices." (2 Cor. 2: I 1) The word of God is able to save men's souls. (James 1:21) The word of God is truth, and by it men are sanctified (John 17:17). Being disciples of the Lord is dependent on continuing in His word. (John 8:31) This being true, if the devil can manage to take the word from the heart, he has accomplished his purpose to destroy man. Hence, he ever works to this end.
Human beings frequently serve as agents of the devil, and through them he is able to deceive men. The Jewish leaders of Jesus' day (religious men) served as agents of the devil as they constantly tried to keep men from accepting the word of Jesus. Of them Jesus said: "Ye are of your father the devil." (John 8:44) Elymas; the sorcerer, served the devil when he sought to turn the Roman deputy from the Faith. (Acts 13:6-11) He sought to "pervert the right ways of the Lord." False teachers among the Galatians worked as agents of Satan. (Galatians 1:6-9; 3:1) Hymenaeus and Philetus served him when they managed to "overthrow the faith of some." (2 Timothy 2:17, 18) Women, as well as men, have been so used by the devil. At Thyatira, Jezebel taught and seduced servants of the Lord to do evil. (Rev. 2:20)
Neither the devil-nor his agents-appear under their true colors. They present themselves as benefactors-not destroyers. Often they are pretended paragons of piety "and their mouth speaketh great swelling words." (Jude 16) Satan presents himself as "an angel of light," and his servants sometimes feign themselves as "ministers of righteousness." (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) This deceit enables them to "take away the word" from the heart of the unsuspecting.
Let us remember that whatever God's word has said on any subject is right and true. God has said what He means and He meant what He said. Whatever the word of God teaches concerning faith, repentance, baptism, the Lord's supper, the church-its name, work, government, terms of entrance, or worship-heaven, hell, or any other subject, should be accepted without question. Allow nothing to cause you to doubt that God means what He says in His word. Do not be misled into thinking that something else will do just as well-or better-than that which God has said. And look with suspicion on one who would seek to create doubts in your mind that the Bible means what it says-or who infers that the Bible is not a complete guide for man.
God's word is truth. (John 17:17) It is a complete guide. . Timothy 3:16, 17) Men dare not tamper with it.. (1 Pete 4:11; Galatians 1:8, 9) Allow no person or thing to cause you to reject the Lord's word from your heart. To do so will cost you your soul. (John 12:48)
Truth Magazine, XVIII:18, p. 2