This article, updated by Herbert W Armstrong for the Good News, was written by Mr. Armstrong during a trip to the Far East in July 1977
Many would say, "Don't tell me Satan could be using me! The devil can't use me — I'm in GOD'S CHURCH! But maybe we need to understand more about HOW Satan works to DECEIVE — and a deceived person DOESN'T KNOW he is deceived — else he wouldn't be, would he? LET'S MAKE SURE!
Many would say, "Don't tell me Satan could be using me! The devil can't use me — I'm in GOD'S CHURCH! But maybe we need to understand more about HOW Satan works to DECEIVE — and a deceived person DOESN'T KNOW he is deceived — else he wouldn't be, would he? LET'S MAKE SURE! TRULY, it's time we begin to sing — and even shout — "GLORY! HALLELUJAH! PRAISE OUR GREAT AND WONDERFUL ALMIGHTY GOD!" For each day we are just ONE DAY CLOSER to GLORY in the Kingdom of God with PEACE, joy and happiness over all the earth! The 6,000-year DAY OF MAN is just about over! In OUR TIME — this VERY LIVING GENERATION — KING of kings JESUS CHRIST will rule over ALL NATIONS! THINK OF IT! No more nerve-wracking tensions, uneasy trials to endure. No more suffering, anguish and pain. No more crime, violence, war and fear of war. No more fears and worries! None of these things actually brought on, whether we realize it or not, BY A VERY REAL SATAN THE DEVIL! But, even now, with all the troubles and evils on every side about us, remember GOD IS ON HIS THRONE IN HEAVEN — and Christ sitting beside Him, interceding for us. GOD'S POWER is TOTAL — COMPLETE — far greater than Satan's! And, in the meantime — possibly just a very few more years — of all these troubles — His ear is OPEN to our cry, and Christ is interceding for us. But now, while in these days that remain, we are going to have to live in a time of TROUBLE. WHY? What is the CAUSE?
Does Satan work only in children of disobedience?
We need to realize this TRUTH! Too many in God's Church DON'T! In Ephesians 2:2 is a very crucial statement. It is one of the most important in the Bible! It says Satan is "... THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR. THE SPIRIT THAT NOW WORKETH IN THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE." Many of God's people will read right over the fact that Satan is the PRINCE of the POWER of the air — not really UNDERSTANDING it, and since Satan is now working IN the "children of disobedience," we suppose that EXCLUDES US — so we need have no concern about it! Please let me MAKE THIS CLEAR! I could never have understood that until I began broadcasting over the air. In the hotel room where I am writing right now are MANY VOICES, MANY SOUNDS, some music, that I DON'T HEAR. Therefore I am unaware of them. But bring in five or six radio sets and turn on the TV. Just tune to the right wavelengths and suddenly I and any in this room will hear these SOUNDS — voices speaking, sounds of music. I don't hear them NOW because my ears are not tuned to their particular wavelength. SATAN BROADCASTS! He broadcasts worldwide — as far as there is air. What he is broadcasting is IN THIS SAME ROOM NOW! I don't HEAR it — I don't SEE what he is pushing out OVER THE AIR, as PRINCE of the POWER of the air — but my spirit with my mind IS TUNED to his wavelength. But even though I AM automatically tuned in on his wavelength (as every human is), I'M NOT LISTENING! Because I'm keeping MY MIND CONCENTRATED ON WHAT I AM WRITING AND ON GOD'S MESSAGE IN GOD'S WORD, IN THE BIBLES that lie (two different translations) here beside me on the table. You can tune in on either radio or TV. The SOUNDS come in. THEY WERE ALREADY IN THE ROOM — IN THE AIR — but now you're tuned in on their wavelengths with your radio or TV set; the sounds and pictures became audible and visible. But I can concentrate my mind on SOMETHING ELSE — like THE BIBLE — and focus my mind on THAT, become oblivious to what's coming in on radio and TV. So also I can ignore Satan's impulses. Once you are converted and become a begotten CHILD OF GOD — once you become a member of GOD'S CHURCH, THAT DOES NOT DISCONNECT YOUR BRAIN AND SPIRIT FROM SATAN'S WAVELENGTH. YOU ARE STILL TUNED IN — if you are willing to yield and LISTEN to Satan. Let me prove that. Let me quote so many scriptures to PROVE IT you will have to BELIEVE IT!
The POWER of the AIR
First, however, notice that word POWER of the air. Once, when we lived in a suburb west of Chicago, a tornado ripped through a town about a mile west of us. I saw it! It was a fearful sight! That was too close for comfort. I went to see the havoc and wreckage in its wake after it had passed on by. It was TERRIBLE! Several had been killed. A large, heavy church or schoolhouse bell, weighing at least two or three tons, was ripped off and that heavy mass of iron carried almost three blocks by the POWER of that wind before gravity pulled it to the ground! I'm writing in Tokyo. We landed here at dusk last night after a 13-hour flight THROUGH THE AIR. We flew at 39,000 and 41,000 feet, at a speed up to 600 miles an hour. Slicing through the AIR at that rate of speed, there is SO MUCH POWER in the air that our plane's wings have to be swept backward instead of straight out or the force of that air-POWER would pull them off. Still it's the POWER of the air that held up our plane and kept it floating along smoothly slicing through air at that same elevation above sea and ground for 13 hours. Some people are AFRAID TO FLY. I met a man yesterday who is afraid to fly. Such people do not understand the POWER of the air and how an airplane is designed to utilize that air-POWER to hold it up in the air at the prescribed elevation and speed steadily and smoothly for HOURS. Let me tell you that the PRINCE of the POWER of the air is a POWERFUL BEING! He is the MOST POWERFUL type of being God has ever created — short of GOD HIMSELF. THANK GOD, God is even MORE POWERFUL! And HE is our protection, our refuge, our ever present HELP.
HOW Satan works today
I have written so much about the spirit that is in every human that I surely need say but little about it here. The spirit in man is merely spirit essence — not a spirit person or ghost — and it cannot see, hear or think. The BRAIN sees through the physical eye. The human spirit acts as a computer, retaining as MEMORY all the facts and knowledge the eyes have seen and ears heard during your lifetime, and it gives instant recall of that knowledge to the brain. With this instant recall the brain THINKS. Thus this human spirit imparts to the physical BRAIN the power of INTELLECT. Animals have no such spirit, so animals do not THINK as does man or have INTELLECT. God made man to need ANOTHER Spirit to join with this human spirit — the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD. That Spirit imparts the power of SPIRITUAL intellect — of spiritual comprehension and understanding — which the greatest men on earth — without that Holy Spirit — cannot know! When GOD wanted to cause King Cyrus of Persia to send certain Jews under Zerubbabel as governor, and Joshua the high priest, and the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah back to Jerusalem to build the second Temple, "... the Eternal stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation..." (Ezra 1:1). He got his message through to Cyrus' mind via Cyrus' human spirit. That is likewise how Satan broadcasts. YOUR human spirit is automatically IN TUNE WITH SATAN'S wavelength. He does not broadcast in words or pictures — neither audibly or in video — but in ATTITUDES of SELF-centeredness, of vanity, lust and greed, of jealousy and envy, of competition, strife and violence, of hate, resentment, bitterness, of rebellion and resentment against authority. We call it HUMAN NATURE but it is actually Satan nature. God's WAY — His Spirit, His law — is just the opposite — the way of LOVE, of outgoing concern for the GOOD of others. Now the converted Christian with the HOLY Spirit of God can constantly read God's Word, pray often — keep his mind in a prayerful attitude — learn GOD'S WAY and therefore reject Satan's impulses of SELF-centeredness. That's WHY we need CONSTANT PRAYER and BIBLE STUDY and church attendance to keep so CLOSE to God that Satan's broadcasting does not sway us — but we ignore or reject it. Satan CANNOT FORCE US AGAINST OUR WILLS if we do not voluntarily submit.
Now notice some scriptures showing us HOW to prevent Satan from WORKING IN US by his broadcasting. Speaking of those to whom the Gospel was hid from their minds, Paul wrote: "In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath BLINDED the mind 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 Corinthians 4:4). Read that again. Notice, Satan blinded them by injecting into their minds through their human spirit the very OPPOSITE attitude of SELF-centeredness. We were not BORN with human nature. Such spiritual traits as SELF-CENTEREDNESS are not transmitted by heredity. But we ACQUIRE this human nature just as the children of God, when converted, ACQUIRE the DIVINE NATURE — "partakers of the divine nature" (II Peter 1:4). To the Corinthians, Paul feared lest they would be deceived by the still-living Satan, just as was Mother Eve: "But I fear," Paul wrote, "lest... as the serpent beguiled [deceived] Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted... (II Corinthians 11:3). Satan is still working IN Church members — just as in the Corinthians who were Church members! Paul writes to those in GOD'S CHURCH, at Ephesus: "Finally; my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the POWER of HIS might... For we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood [other PEOPLE], but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness [WICKED SPIRITS] in high places" (Ephesians 6:10-12). And in verse 11 Paul wrote, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye [Christians] may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
Rely on Christ
I have sensed that some of God's ministers felt that THEY were SO STRONG that they were BEYOND BEING DECEIVED BY HIM OR THAT SATAN could actually WORK IN THEM as I have described above. Brethren, I am Christ's chosen apostle, and I know Satan is a thousand times stronger than I. I have to rely on CHRIST, Who is MORE POWERFUL than Satan. Those ministers WENT OUT from us. Satan DID deceive them and WORK IN THEM! But LISTEN CAREFULLY! A DECEIVED man does not KNOW he is deceived. He THINKS he is RIGHT. If he KNEW he was deceived, he would not be, would he? Satan is MORE POWERFUL, and, in addition, MORE CUNNING, MORE CLEVER, MORE SUBTILE, THAN ALL OUR MINISTERS PUT TOGETHER! I say to you ministers! You may feel you have grown so great in the ministry that you are greater than I and so strong you can overpower Satan. THAT'S PRECISELY WHAT SATAN WANTS YOU TO THINK! No, you ministers — directly or indirectly my CHILDREN in the Lord — better teach your flocks what I am teaching them here — what CHRIST teaches them. For some — and that few is too many in this WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD — have been tending to try to see HOW CLOSE they can get to Satan's way — apparently desiring HIS WAY of worldly interests, rather than God's — and STILL MAKE IT INTO THE KINGDOM! That's the best way I know to make it into the LAKE OF FIRE and take many of your congregation — over whom Christ and I have set you — along with you! If Satan's way were better, God would tell us to live that way! Brethren, I say to you, THIS CHURCH HAS GOT TO HAVE A CLEANING UP! THIS CHURCH HAS GOT TO GET BACK ON THE OLD PATHS OF GOD'S TRUTH, from which in some ways it has tended in recent years to stray. There is too much desire to be worldly — to be secular — to be like the churches of SATAN! I have never compromised with GOD'S TRUTH and I never will, and if any minister does, I want members of his flock, who are directly or indirectly MY CHILDREN IN THE LORD, to write me PRIVATELY AND PERSONALLY with the facts, and I promise I will 1) PROTECT YOU and keep your information PRIVATE, SO far as YOUR NAME is concerned, and 2) I WILL ACT ON IT! I say, as Elijah did, "... If the ETERNAL BE God, FOLLOW HIM, but if [Satan], then follow him" (I Kings 18:21). But quit halting BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS!
A little leaven
I know that God's ministry and our brethren AS A WHOLE are faithfully preaching and believing GOD'S TRUTH and back of me in it 100 percent. But I receive warnings of a FEW that could increase until the WHOLE CHURCH would go the devil's way, if it is not HALTED IN ITS TRACKS RIGHT NOW! That's PLAIN SPEAKING, but I speak in the name and with the POWER of the living CHRIST, and HE is back of it 100 percent. Many NEED to REPENT, that God's Church may be CLEAN! Christ said a little leaven will leaven the whole lump! One rotten lemon in a crate will rot those next to it, and they in turn until the whole crate is rotten. THAT MUST NOT HAPPEN TO GOD'S CHURCH! God called me, taught me, committed His GREAT COMMISSION to me. He raised up this WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD — today's era of God's Church — through me. He started The Good News and The Plain Truth through me. He started the BROADCASTING and telecasting through me. He started AMBASSADOR COLLEGE through me. He used me to TEACH THE STUDENTS, WHO WERE TO BECOME GOD'S MINISTERS, HIS TRUTH. That TRUTH included TITHING, HEALING and many things some of the younger ministers seem to want to GET AWAY FROM today! I am going to call for GOD'S CHURCH TO GET BACK TO THE ORIGINAL CHANGELESS TRUTHS — for TRUTH is the SAME, yesterday, today and forever! Some ministers, whom I have not taught directly — who have come along since I was able to continue personally teaching the Bible courses in college — have been tending to want to WATER DOWN God's precious TRUTH — to see how close to SATAN'S WAYS they can get and STILL make it into God's Kingdom. Let me tell you with power — the POWER OF THE LIVING CHRIST — you CAN'T DO THAT: You'll make it into the LAKE OF FIRE INSTEAD! I receive letters from thousands and thousands of you brethren assuring me that you are back of me 100 percent. And there is every evidence that is at least 98 percent of the brethren! If you are — and I KNOW you are — now is the time to STAND UP AND BE COUNTED. Write and TELL ME FRANKLY the condition in your local Church! Mark your letter PERSONAL and PRIVATE and it will reach me, and I will protect your confidence. But I WILL ACT — for the living Christ, the HEAD of this Church, has shown me, His APOSTLE, that the time has come for a CLEANING UP!
One sent forth
In the Church, the highest rank is that of apostle — which, literally, means "one sent forth." Yet God put his TRUTHS and doctrines in His Church through them and their writings, and they were, in an executive way, IN CHARGE. The same is true today! And today He has sent His apostle for our day from place to place all over the world, proclaiming the now VERY SOON-coming KINGDOM OF GOD to those of the very generation during which God's KINGDOM will be set up. An apostle is ONE SENT FORTH! I am sent — with YOU BACK OF ME — and I know that 98 percent or more of you ARE 100 percent behind me (because you are behind Christ) backing me with your prayers and intercession to God through Christ as well as with tithes and special offerings. But back to my subject. I know that MY human spirit is tuned automatically — and I CAN'T TUNE IT OUT — to Satan's wavelength. And I know also that ALL OF YOURS ARE TOO. It takes constant VIGILANCE to keep our minds on CHRIST, on HIS WORK, on THE THINGS OF GOD — to avoid LISTENING to Satan's broadcasting of attitudes of selfishness, of taking interest in material WORLDLY THINGS, of swaying us to REASON humanly that we can get a little closer to interest in worldly and material things — a little more like the professing "Christian" churches of this world — and still get into God's Kingdom!
Resist Satan's broadcasts
If we allow ourselves to LET DOWN just a little — in our prayer, Bible study or Church attendance and tithing, we begin to let our minds become interested in the things or ways of this world — TV or movies, perhaps — some have been seen gambling in casinos. Then we wonder why we find ourselves irritable, mentally on the defensive, suspecting others — getting conceptions of competition or division or sides in the Church — suspicious of the motives of others, controversial, cynical, and we do not realize WHAT IS CAUSING ALL THAT! I'LL TELL YOU WHAT CAUSED IT — SATAN WAS BROADCASTING IT, AND BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT VIGILANT IN PRAYER AND KEEPING CLOSE TO GOD AND HAVING GOD FILL YOUR MIND AND HEART WITH THE WARMTH OF HIS LOVE, these negative attitudes of Satan were taking hold of you! That's why GOD WARNS US, through Peter, "Be sober, BE VIGILANT, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). Just think of that sentence, LITERALLY. If you were alone and a savage, roaring lion came running at you, you'd be FRIGHTENED to death, to use a common expression. God meant for us to realize that we SHOULD BE JUST AS FRIGHTENED AT THE knowledge Satan is seeking to DESTROY this Church and all of us in it. Peter continues, "Whom [Satan] resist stedfast in the faith..." (verse 9). Through James, Christ teaches us: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. RESIST THE DEVIL, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you..." (James 4:7-8). He meant for us to TAKE HEED! Yes, it IS possible — maybe Satan is using YOU and you DON'T KNOW IT! This Church needs to get CLOSER TO GOD — back to the original TRUTHS He put in His Church through His apostle. We need to CONFESS our sins and He will be faithful and just to FORGIVE us our sins, and to CLEANSE US from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). I want to close this article by telling you once again How MUCH I LOVE YOU, for your faithfulness, your loyalty and your love to me. I know God IS blessing you — perhaps in ways you do not fully see or realize. I send you all my love. And I hope to see many of you at the coming Feast of Tabernacles. For the first time in over 11 years I will have a WIFE at my side — except when I am in the pulpit — and she sends all HER LOVE to you all along with me.