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The Great Controversy TODAY
Plans of the Enemy
The great controversy between the Prince of life and the prince of darkness has been going forward, strengthening with each successive generation. Severe indeed has been the conflict waged between right and wrong, between truth and error, between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Satan's enmity against the human race is kindled because, through Christ, they are the objects of God's love and mercy. He desires to thwart the divine plan for man's redemption to cast dishonor upon God, by defacing and defiling His handiwork. He would cause grief in heaven and fill the earth with woe and desolation. Satan's agents are constantly working under his direction to establish his authority and build up his kingdom in opposition to the government of God. To this end they seek to deceive Christ's followers and allure them from their allegiance. Satan summons all his forces and throws his whole power into the combat.
Why is it that he meets with no greater resistance? Why are the soldiers of Christ so sleepy and indifferent? Satan is well aware that the weakest soul who abides in Christ is more than a match for the hosts of darkness, and that, should he reveal himself openly, he would be met and resisted. He is too cunning to come openly, boldly. with his temptations, for then the drowsy energies of the Christian would arouse, and he would rely upon the strong and mighty Deliverer. Those who do not accept the Word of God just as it reads, will be snared in his trap.
There is great ignorance concerning his power and malice, and the vast extent of his warfare against Christ and His church. They do not know that their enemy is a mighty general who controls the minds of evil angels, and that with well-matured plans and skillful movements he is warring against Christ to prevent the salvation of souls. They overlook the evidences of his continual activity and success; they neglect the many warnings of his subtlety; they seem to ignore his very existence. While men are ignorant of his devices, this vigilant foe is intruding his presence, perplexing, deceiving. seducing. everywhere ruining the souls and bodies of men, women, and children, breaking up families, sowing hatred, emulation, strife, sedition, murder. And the Christian world seems to regard these things as though God had appointed them and they must exist.
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood. hut against principalities, against powers. against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places." Eph. 6:12.
From the days of Adam to our own time, our great enemy has been exercising his power to oppress and destroy. He is now preparing for his last campaign against the church.
The last great delusion is soon to open before us. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.
The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible, for its plain utterances reveal his deceptions. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain "Thus saith the Lord" in its support. None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word. it is because there is no light in them." lsa. 8:20.
When the testing time shall come, those who have made God's word their rule of life will be revealed. In summer there is no noticeable difference between evergreens and other trees; but when the blasts of winter come, the evergreens remain unchanged. while other trees are stripped of their foliage. So the false hearted may not now be distinguished from the real Christian, but the time will come when the difference will be apparent.
Satan assailed Christ with his fiercest and most subtle temptations, but he was repulsed in every conflict. Those battles were fought in our behalf; those victories make it possible for us to conquer. Christ will give strength to all who seek it. No man without his own consent can be overcome by Satan. The tempter has no power to control the will or to force the soul to sin.
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Created: 8/1/01 Updated: 1/14/04