How Does The Great Deceiver Work?
Living in the most exciting time in the history of the Earth and the great deceiver knowing it is his last hour, it behooves us to know his tactics that we are not deceived. Some of the subtlest lies being perpetrated are, “There is no devil.” And, “In our sophisticated society people are not possessed by devils; that is a New Testament thing.”
We live in the day of the great division: Those who are humble followers of Christ and those otherwise. Satan, unfortunately, is having massive success with “those otherwise,” who are not so wise as to the subtleness of Satan! Satan will do anything to turn us away from Christ or to keep us from coming to Him.
As an example, it is hard to find a humble, Christ-centered scientist! Almost all the major scientists in America believe the Bible is a myth. Satan takes advantage of the egocentric-natural-man, to generate pride and keep us from being humble, and especially to turn us from being Christ centered. In America, we worship the mind of man and science more than we do God.
Generally, we live in a self-centered society. To come out of Babylon we need to go from “I” centered to “eye” see the needs of others and love to serve where I can as Christ did perfectly.
For non-Christians, they follow Christ when they follow their conscience, doing good. All are born with the Spirit of Christ, and all have the opportunity to follow that Light. (John 1:9) It is a personal choice and a national choice. The personal choice brings about salvation for the individual; the national choice brings about Zion, the pure in heart with no poor among them and motivated in all that they do by the pure love of Christ, the ideal society, which is coming and we can be part of it. (See Chapter 19 of my book)
The Lord warns us that the two main tools Satan has, as the “great deceiver,” are disobedience to the commandments and false traditions. (D&C 93:39) The greatest of all the commandments are:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)
And as Matthew records, on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt. 22:37-39)
Satan is Subtle
As David Bercot shows in his excellent book, Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up, the persons who have influenced the teachings of modern Christianity more than Christ are St. Augustine and Luther. Luther is the main man who introduced “Saved by grace,” and that “works” will not save us. He shows that the early Christians believed otherwise.
The interesting thing is that this doctrine is correct, if only a telestial or terrestrial degree of glory is desired. (1 Corinthians 15:40-42; D&C 76) But if exaltation is desired and being perfect like our Heavenly Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48), then attention needs to be paid to the ordinances in the fullness of the gospel and in living all the commandments with the first two being the most important. He said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” (John 14:2) Which do we want? Chapter 18 of my book is devoted to “Are we saved by grace or by works?”
Then there are those who believe that the first law of heaven is obedience. If we read John Chapter 14 carefully, we find: “If you love me, keep my commandments,” and “Whosoever keepeth my commandments, he it is that loveth me.” In other words, Love implies Obedience, and Obedience implies Love. We may logically say then, “Obedience bathed in love is equivalent to love bathed in obedience.”
The Lord’s Definition of Obedience
Using our traditional definition of obedience, if we say, “Mary is a loving person.” That has a very different feel than saying, “Mary is an obedient person.” This is because the Lord’s definition of obedience is much higher than ours. The typical definition of obedience among many Christians is, “I’ve got to obey or else!” In light of John 14 we see this definition is one of the false traditions that has crept in.
Using the Lord’s definition of obedience, we obey because we want to please Him and we have discovered the commandments are opportunities for exaltation and are the path to the greatest happiness in this life and to a fullness of joy in the life to come. So Love is Obedience is The First Law of Heaven. [Excuse the double verb usage for emphasis.] Chapter 4 of my book covers this in detail. I don’t know of a more important topic than to understand and live the law of love; in that process we come to know God, which is eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God. “God is love.”(John 17:3; D&C 14:7; 1 John 4:16)
How to not be deceived
The Lord gives a great promise:
And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (JS Matthew 37)
Here we have the sure promise of how to not be deceived. This promise is pure gold. Christ is the Word (John 1:1), and that which comes from Him is the word. We treasure the Word when we hearken to His voice, “feasting upon the word of Christ” (2 Nephi 31:20), and put all of His Words into practice so that we are built upon the rock of Christ (Matt. 7:24; Helaman 5:12). We bind Satan in so doing (1 Nephi 22:26) and are assured of protection in this life (1 Nephi 22:17) and exaltation in the life to come, and “Ye shall have eternal life,” (2 Nephi 31:20) and “be perfected in Christ.” (Moroni 10:32-33)
How can we know a tradition is true?
Because of Satan’s tactics, I have learned to examine every tradition in the light of truth. Fortunately, the Lord gives the “divine law of witnesses:” “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (1 Corinthians 13:1) If I can find two or more witnesses from God’s word regarding a matter, then it is settled for me, and most importantly, the Spirit will bear witness of the truth. “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:6)
How to Conquer Satan
The Lord counsels:
Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work. (Doctrine and Covenants 10:5)
Coming to Christ makes all the difference
In the midst of the storms, how blessed we are to have Christ in our lives with his enormous promise:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Do we have a loving God? His love is infinite for each of us. As we come unto Him, He will teach us how to love like He loves. (Moroni 7:48)
Awesome is He,
In the last days, He has promised that He will gather, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, “even as many as hearken to my voice and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer.” (D&C 29:1-2) We have in this enormous promise both assurances of not being deceived and of being protected from the evils of the day.
As we look carefully, we see that everything He does is motivated by perfect love. So should we be, as we ‘les met en pratique‘ ALL the commandments and test every tradition with His Word. I love the French phrase, ‘les met en pratique,’ which literally translated means to put all the commandments into practice, to internalize them in our lives so they are part of our being. Can you imagine a society who internalized the law of love? That by itself would be so enormous. It is exciting to know that is coming.
David W. Allan