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How Satan Operates in Churches

December 12th, 2004

(As Taken from First John)



“These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you”

(1 John 2:26)

In some theological circles, Satan is denied. But, the New Testament is explicit when it comes to warning Christians of a real threat coming from Satan, “the devil” (1 John 5:19). The fact is, even among God’s people there are those like: “Jezebel” and “Alexander the coppersmith.” These seem to have forgotten the adage, “Do all the good you can, and no harm at all,” if not the Golden Rule itself.


1. This Biblical information is not welcomed by the Devil, for in it, he, “Satan, the devil,” is exposed (Revelation 12:9,17). Not only does the truth of God’s word hurt the devil it also hinders his activity. Such information from the word can counter deception (1 John 2:26).
2. 1 John 3:4-15 indicates that Christians, by sinning, open the threshold for no good–even within the congregation of the Lord’s people. While all men are sinners (Romans 3:23), and that includes the baptized (see 1 John 1:8; 2:1), there is a particular sinfulness which rears its head within the congregation itself.

a. The devil operates through sin (1 John 3:8).
b. Sin sometimes occurs in the church, among brethren (1 John 3:10).
c. Such undesirable brethren are compared to Cain (1 John 3:12).
d. Hateful brethren are murderers, without eternal life (1 John 3:15).
e. Love is the answer (1 John 3:11).

Satan longs for human harbors. Some preaching and teaching is intervention, and some is prevention. May this data serve to identify and isolate the works of darkness within the growing congregation .

-Robert M. Housby

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