Have you ever heard of a church called "the Devil's Congregation"? Have you ever seen a sign labeling a building "Satan's Synagogue"? Have you ever heard a radio program called The Devil's Endeavor? Of course not! The god of this present evil world who holds sway over the darkened minds of poor deceived mankind is not so ignorant as to label his churches with their true names. But does the devil have a religion? Does he have churches? And if he does not call them by his name, how can you tell where they are? What would the doctrines of these churches be — what does the devil believe — or at least what does he try to palm off on others for them to believe? Does the Bible have anything to say about the devil's religion?
What the Bible Says
The only real source of truth to which we can go to find the answers to these questions is God's own Word (John 17:17). Many people today consider belief in a devil as ignorant and mythological. They consider Satan to be a mere concept held by primitive people to explain away the presence of evil in the world. But then these same people also believe God is a mere concept — a myth to explain away the presence of the creation and good. If you would like to understand more fully, and prove to yourself beyond any shadow of doubt that there is both a real God and a real devil, then write immediately for the booklets Does God Exist? and Did God Create a Devil? Both are completely free of charge or obligation, and we will be glad to send them to you. Surprisingly enough, there is a great deal of information concerning Satan the devil, his religion, his way of thinking, his way of doing — and also the sure prophecy of God of what will become of his efforts. And there is more information concerning this very real devil in the last book of the Bible than there is in the first.
Jesus Describes True Church
Just before Jesus Christ was crucified, He said, referring to Satan the devil: "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me" (John 14:30). Jesus went on to explain to His disciples that if the world persecuted Him (which it certainly had), it would persecute them also (John 15:19-21). He explained to His disciples that they and all those after them would be rejected by the churches of this world: "Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service" (John 16:2). Jesus explained to His followers that they would be a little flock, disparaged and despised by the majority of the peoples of the world, downtrodden and persecuted right up until the time of His return as King of kings and Lord of lords. But He also encouraged them by letting them know that they were not to fear this persecution because it was God's will to give these persecuted few His Kingdom. "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
Christ Gave Prophetic Warning About False Churches
When His disciples asked Him concerning future events and what would happen between their time and the coming of the end of the world, Jesus' first and continued warning was about individuals who would come claiming to be His representatives, using His name, but deceiving the world and actually being the servants of Satan the devil. "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name [using the name of Christ, calling themselves Christian], saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many" (Matt. 24:4-5). And again He repeated His warning concerning false prophets saying, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" (Matt. 24:11). Jesus Christ continued His warning, showing that because of this great false religious system which would claim His name but really belong to Satan the devil; that because of this deception the whole world will be thrown into such chaotic confusion and war that "except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved" (Matt. 24:22). Jesus Christ predicted what all of us in today's world fear : cosmocide, the suicide of the entire human race! Not satisfied with having pointed out two times that the cause of this chaotic tribulation was the great religious deception, Jesus Christ again firmly stated: "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not" (Matt. 24:24-26). Yes, Jesus Christ's warning to His disciples of all times was that His Church — the Church of God — would always be a little flock, a despised congregation, a persecuted church — not the generally accepted organizations of the masses which merely appropriated His name, calling themselves Christian.
Satan the devil, originally called Lucifer, was given charge of this earth along with a number of other angels (Jude 6) — but he was not satisfied with the earth as his domain. He rebelled against God's way of doing things and tried to take over the throne of God in heaven by violence — but did not succeed! "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven [notice that it is Satan's idea to get to heaven], I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.... I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High" (Isa. 14:12-14). This being, who had been charged by God with the care of the earth, sinned against his Creator. "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee" (Ezek. 28:15). By this act of rebellion against the Kingdom of God, Satan the devil became the "father" of all those who are guilty of sin — he was the original sinner (John 8:44). Jesus Christ gives a personal, eyewitness account of this particular time of Satan's rebellion when He tells us: "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18). You will notice that by biblical definition it was Satan who "fell." Despite the fact that Satan had rebelled against God's Kingdom, His government and authority, he nevertheless still held the office of responsibility over this earth given to him by God in the first place. In the temptation on the mount, Jesus Christ qualified to take over this rule from Satan the devil. By His victory over death He is able to take over the rulership of this world at any time. But there is a plan being worked out here below, and as yet the God of heaven has not intervened to strip Satan's authority from him — Satan is still the god of this world: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (II Cor. 4:4). Satan does not appear to this world in the clothing that he has deceived this world into thinking he would appear in — he does not appear with a pitchfork and horns and an evil look on his face.
Appears as Angel of Light
Just as Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24, Satan claims his converts are spiritual Jews — Christians. But Christ in a whole series of personal letters to His Church in all of its eras warns about these congregations: "... and I know the blasphemy
"For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness."
of them which say they are Jews [claim to be spiritual Jews, or Christians], and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 2:9). And again, "... the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie" (Rev. 3:9). Satan looks like a light-bringer to the deceived eyes of a deceived world. His ministers look like and sound like what deceived people think the ministers of Christ should look and sound like — that's the very meaning of the word deception! "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers [Satan the devil does have ministers] also be transformed [apparently changed from what they really are] as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works [even though these ministers preach that there are no works, they are going to be judged by the Creator according to their works]" (II Cor. 11:13-15).
Whole World Deceived
Satan has done his job well. "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" (Rev. 12:9). This great false deceiver has sent out his messengers with soft and oily words to soothe the troubled people on earth into thinking that they can do what they want to and still escape God's punishment of sin — death. Jesus Christ warned about this: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.... Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matt. 7:13, 15). In order to deceive the whole world, Satan has used every means available to him. There are many areas on this earth where deceived and ignorant human beings openly worship the devil. Other hundreds of millions ignorantly worship pieces of rock and wood-big-bellied Buddhas in the Oriental East and dead men's bones in deepest Africa! These great numbers of the peoples of the earth are easy for Satan to keep in subjection because of such long-standing ignorance and the fact that Jesus Christ and His gospel have not been preached to them. His name has not even so much as been mentioned to many millions of these unfortunate human beings. But in the areas of the world where the name of Christ has been mentioned, where even the Word of God, the Bible, is circulated, and where from time to time people even read that Bible, Satan is very hard pressed and has to be very subtle and clever — he has to use the name of Christ, even use the Bible, but still deceive people. Since Satan feels that he has been unjustly judged by God, he wants the people of this world to feel that they are unjustly judged by God. So he has his ministers tell them that they do not need to obey God; that the harsh, cruel God of the Old Testament has now been superseded by the new, loving and kind God of the New Testament. Yet God's Word says: "While they [Satan's ministers] promise them [their converts] liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage" (II Peter 2:19). Satan deceives mankind into thinking that they can continue to do as they please and get away with it.
The devil believes in God! "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2:19). Isn't that amazing — the devil himself is not even as deceived as some of those whom he has blinded into thinking that there is no God — poor foolish atheists who like to ponder their evolutionary descent from prehistoric warm ocean slime. We can plainly see from this scripture that believing in God is not enough. Satan himself believes in God. Using the name of Christ is not enough either, because Jesus Himself prophesied that many would use His name, but that these many would be false prophets — servants of the devil! Using the name of Jesus Christ is a very dangerous thing — you must be sure that you are using it the way Christ would use it Himself (Col. 3:17). One historic record God preserves for us is almost humorous if it did not carry the sober realization that the name of Jesus Christ can only be used with extreme caution and according to the will of God. "Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know [no evil spirit is ignorant of the fact that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God], and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded" (Acts 19:13-16). The devil has many doctrines (I Tim. 4:1-4), but his chief doctrine is that of rebellion — disobedience to the laws of God — because he is a rebel. His is a system of confusion, and he has caused this so-called Christian world to be so confused that there are over 400 different interpretations of what Christianity is. This cannot be God's Christianity! Read our free
Satan knows that he now has just a short time. He is hard at work laying the groundwork for the greatest deceptions that mankind has ever seen.
Satan the devil is not opposed to quoting Scripture — he even had the gall to quote Scripture to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Author of Scripture: "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone" (Matt. 4:5-6; Luke 4:9-11). Satan is eager to quote Scripture — but he twists and turns it so that it is applied in the wrong way. Let's notice the first example in the Bible of how Satan twists the Word of God. This will be a good example to show how Satan's ministers, those who copy him, also twist the Scriptures today. "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman [Eve], Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Gen. 3:1.) Notice how he begins by asking a clever and subtle question, stressing the negative side, trying to put God in a bad light or make it appear that God is evil if He has done what Satan suggests that He probably did. "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said [this is God's word quoted from Genesis 2:17], Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die" (Gen. 3:2-3). Eve knew what God had said. God had very plainly said that if she ate of the fruit of this tree she would die — a very simple statement which God makes all the way through His Bible, explaining that if a man commits sin, death is the automatic penalty (Rom. 6:23). Also — when God says death, He means death, not eternal life in hell-fire. "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die." In effect Satan was saying: "I know that God said Thou shalt surely die' — but He didn't really mean that you would die. What God meant when He said Thou shalt surely die' was 'Thou shalt not surely die!' To this day Satan's ministers preach this same doctrine of error. The only way that Satan is able to deceive people is to make them believe that God does not mean what He says. Satan substitutes for the doctrine of God the lust and desires of mankind. He offers to mankind what the carnal mind wants, instead of what God knows mankind needs. Then, in order to give it a "godly and Christian" flavor, he quotes a few scriptures out of context — explains that God doesn't mean what He says after all. The pitiful thing about it is that so far mankind has gullibly swallowed the doctrines of Satan the devil. Mankind, since Eve, has been hoodwinked into believing the devil, despite the fact that the devil says exactly the opposite of what God says. It has been this way from the beginning. God said: "Thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). Satan said: "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:4). Which do you choose to believe?
Satan Performs Miracles Also
Since the devil has counterfeited as many of the things of God as he can in order to deceive mankind into thinking his way is God's way, he has also used miracles. Satan has appropriated the name of Christ. He appropriated the titles of the servants of God and called his chief leader an apostle — but God labels this individual as a false apostle. Since Jesus Christ performed miracles and since He prophesied that certain signs (miracles) would follow His believers (Mark 16:15-18), Satan the devil has also counterfeited miracles! This need be no surprise to the true Christian. Jesus Christ forewarned through His Bible in many places that this would take place. Satan has worked this way before, and Jesus forewarned: "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matt. 24:24). The only ones who will not be deceived by the great miracles that Satan the devil will perform through the agency of his church will be those whom God is calling out of this world now — the "very elect."
The apostle Paul talks about the individual whom Satan the devil is going to use in this end time to deceive the whole world: "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that are perishing [correct Greek rendering]" (II Thess. 2:9-10). Satan knows that he now has just a short time (Rev. 12:12). Therefore he is hard at work, even at this moment as you read this article, laying the groundwork for the greatest deceptions that mankind has ever seen; laying the groundwork for the greatest miracles he has ever performed in order to deceive mankind. Let's read that verse again in the Moffatt translation: "... One whose arrival is due to Satan's activity, with the full power, the miracles and portents, of falsehood, and with the full deceitfulness of evil for those who are doomed to perish, since they refuse to love the Truth that would save them" (II Thess. 2:9-10). There are going to come, through Satan's agency and his churches, miracles and wonders that would cause anyone to believe — except the very elect (Matt. 24:24). Such outstanding miracles will be performed through his agents that the whole world will reel and gasp in open-mouthed
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4:1).
wonder — and they will be real miracles! The term "lying wonder" does not refer to the fact that the wonder itself is a lie. The miracle is real enough, but the miracle causes those who see it to believe a lie — that is, the miracle causes those who see it to believe that the agent Satan the devil uses is the agent of God.
Are Miracles Proof of God?
Almighty God specifically warns us about one particularly outstanding miracle that this false prophet urged forward by Satan will perform. "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles" (Rev. 13:13-14). This is the false prophet — the ultimate leader of Satan's religious movement who will even defy the living God at His return. What would you do if you were standing in a crowd of men and women and you saw a fellow human being dressed in ecclesiastical vestments — looking as if he were a servant of God — calling down fire from heaven, consuming somebody standing next to you who denied that this miracle-maker was a servant of God? What would you do? What would you believe? How are you going to know what is the counterfeit and what is the truth? Would you be deceived? We just read in the verse above that all who dwell on the earth are going to be deceived by these miracles. Or will you remember this article that you have read in The Plain Truth, and other articles that you have read in this magazine, warning you of these very things to come? Jesus Christ not only prophesied through John in the book of Revelation that this will come to pass, but He also left a record of just such a thing having happened in the past.
"Fire from God"
In the opening chapter in the book of Job, Satan was talking to God. God brought up the subject of Job. He asked Satan if he didn't think that Job was quite a righteous man, and Satan answered God by saying that he was not righteous for nothing, that God had blessed him with everything. So God allowed Satan to take everything away from Job — but let's notice exactly what happened. As Satan began to destroy all of the things that Job possessed, he allowed one servant to escape from each devastation that he wrought. That servant would "Come and report to Job the horrible things that had happened. Now when one of these servants saw a great ball of fire coming down out of heaven and consuming Job's sheep, he automatically assumed that only God could cause such a great miracle, and so he reported to Job: "The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee" (Job 1:16). Satan is the "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2). He is still in the office of control over this world and its affairs insofar as God allows him to exercise that control. You will remember when Moses was calling the children of Israel out of Egypt, under the direct supervision of God, that the Egyptian sorcerers, the servants of the devil of that day, were able to perform great miracles by the power that Satan gave them. Miracles alone are not a proof of the presence and authority of God! Deuteronomy 13 very plainly explains this to any who would have a question: "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder [prophesies something to come to pass, or performs some great miracle], and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them ; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him" (Deut. 13:1-4). Isaiah backs this up by saying: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). God warns through His Bible from Genesis to Revelation that there have been, that there are and that there are going to be lying, false, miracle-performing prophets deceiving mankind. But God gives you and me the key of how to know who serves God and who does not.
Whom to Believe?
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4:1). God's plain warning to you is not to be gullible. Don't assume somebody is right because he has a pious face, because he has a soft and smooth voice, or because he dresses differently from you. Don't assume somebody is God's messenger even if he brings fire out of heaven. Don't assume somebody is God's messenger — and not Satan the devil's tool — because he says, "The Bible says...." Satan the devil and all his henchmen have been quoting the Bible since time immemorial. They have been and still are quoting it out of context and adding on Satan's favorite expression that God does not really mean what He says — and then adding their own interpretation,
The devil has many doctrines, but his chief doctrine is that of rebellion — disobedience to the laws of God — because he is a rebel.
their own tradition, the commandments of men that they have received from Satan. "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is coming [correct Greek rendering] in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh is not of God" (I John 4:2-3). This is the one doctrine that Satan will not proclaim. This is the one doctrine that Satan the devil will not allow any of his ministers to preach. This is the one doctrine that The World Tomorrow program and The Plain Truth magazine dogmatically and absolutely preach. This is the doctrine: that Jesus Christ — the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8) — is presently living His life, by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, in — the fleshly bodies and minds of the called-out individuals that He has added to the collective Body of Christ — the Church of God. This doctrine proves that Jesus Christ, living in those who are true Christians, will live exactly as He lived when He was in the flesh 1900 years ago — keeping the same laws, observing the same days, living the same life apart from the world around Him. This doctrine is denied by those false prophets, the instruments of Satan the devil, those who belong to the devil's religion. To understand this doctrine, read our free booklet Why Were You Born? This booklet explains thoroughly the purpose being worked out here below, the reason for human existence, the true doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Find Out-Check Up
Don't just read this article and forget about it. Apply and obey the injunction that Jesus Christ gives to you through His servant John to "try the spirits" (I John 4:1). Find out, check up! Do as the Bereans did in Paul's day when he was explaining to them the truths of the gospel of God (Acts 17:11) — receive this understanding with all readiness of mind but check every last scripture and find out if it's according to God's Word — and do the same thing with any other religious instruction you receive. You know that this confused world standing on the brink of nuclear cosmocide cannot be God's world. It is a world turned over to Satan the devil — but Almighty God is returning soon to restore order, to set up His Kingdom, to bring peace and happiness and safety and truth to this Satan-deceived world. Elijah, the servant of God, faced a similar situation in the world of his day: "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word" (I Kings 18:21). What answer will you give?