Jerry C. Brewer
There are only two spiritual kingdoms in the world—Christ’s and Satan’s—and a great war rages between those two kingdoms for the souls of men. The servants of Jesus Christ call men to faith in Him, repentance of their sins, confession of Him, and baptism for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). That is the only way to enter the kingdom of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:47). When one does those things he is delivered from the power of darkness (Satan’s kingdom) and translated into Christ’s (Col. 1:13).
Satan isn’t concerned about one who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God because even “the devils also believe and tremble” (Jas. 2:19). Neither is Satan concerned if one wants to confess that belief. The demons who possessed the Gergesenes confessed Him: “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God”? (Matt. 8:29). Nor is Satan concerned if a person is religious and lives a good moral life. Cornelius was described as, “a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:2). But despite this, Cornelius was lost (Acts 10:4-6; 11:13-14).
Belief in Christ as the Son of God (John 8:24), repentance of one’s sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30-31), and confession of Him as the Son of God (Acts 8:37), are all necessary requisites of baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). But one can do all of those requisites without leaving Satan’s kingdom and entering Christ’s because neither faith, repentance, nor confession crosses that line between the two kingdoms. It is only in baptism that one leaves Satan’s kingdom and enters into Christ (Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:27). That is why Satan works so hard to prevent sinners from being baptized, and that is where Satan’s best servants do his work.
There is only one way to heaven (John 14:6) but many ways to hell and Paul lists a number of ways one can travel that broad way that Jesus described in Matthew 7:13-14:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
Those who practice such things are great servants of Satan, but they are not his best servants. It is not likely that a fornicator, an idolater, a sodomite, thief, a covetous person, a drunkard, a reviler, or an extortioner is concerned if one wants to be baptized for the remission of sins. Who then are Satan’s best servants? They are the preachers and practitioners of denominational religions. They are the pretenders to Christianity who sweetly woo the unsuspecting and Biblically ignorant individual who inquires of them about becoming a Christian. Paul also described denominational preachers and practitioners:
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 also be transformed as ministers of righteousness; whose ends shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
Like the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians—the denominational industry of Jesus’ day—who hated one another, but ignored their differences and formed an alliance against the Lord (Matt. 22:15-33), Satan’s servants in denominations today band together to oppose the Lord’s command to be baptized for the remission of sins. These modern religionists are ministers of Satan, doing his work of sending souls to hell, and, because they are transformed into “ministers of righteousness” multitudes of sincere, misguided people fall prey to their lies. Let me relate a classic example of this.
I knew a woman who was one of the sweetest, kindest, most morally upright persons I have ever known. She was a very strong and devout Pentecostal who married a Baptist preacher’s son and led him into her religion. She was the unchallenged spiritual leader of her family and her doctrine was accepted without question by her children and grandchildren.
This woman died in 1967 and her mantle descended upon her third child—a daughter. This daughter was like her mother in all of her kind, sweet ways. She was morally upright, loving, tender, and devoutly Pentecostal, believing she was “touched” by the Holy Spirit, and raised a son who became an Assembly of God preacher. Consequently, her brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren—except one niece and one great-nephew—continued to look to her for spiritual guidance, never questioning her Pentecostal doctrine.
Her niece became a Christian in 1966. Many years later, her great-nephew became a Christian. Knowing that his parents were lost souls in his aunt’s religion, he attempted to persuade his father to be baptized into Christ as his father suffered from a terminal illness. He asked me to call his father and talk with him about being baptized, which I did. But he did not believe he had to be baptized. His wife had “talked to the family” and “the family” (the aunt) had told him he did not need to be baptized since he had been “saved” in a denomination. The aunt, who was one of Satan’s very best servants, had done her master’s evil work. He never entered into Christ.
A morally upright person who wants to be a Christian and do what is right to go to heaven has no problem rejecting the advice of those whom Paul described in First Corinthians 6:9-10, but can easily fall prey to the servants of Satan described in Second Corinthians 11:13-15. A little lie mixed with a truth is far more dangerous to the soul than outright falsehood. Satan added one small lie to God’s prohibition to Adam and Eve. God told them, “…of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17) God had said, “thou shalt surely die” but Satan inserted a single three letter word, saying, “Ye shall not surely die” and ruined the human race (Gen. 3:4).
Satan’s best servants are not hedonists, atheists, idolaters, sodomites, drunkards, thieves, murderers, pornographers, or wiccans. His best servants are the morally upright, sincere preachers and practitioners of denominational religion in every town in every country in the world who rail against baptism for the remission of sins. Satan’s best servants are morally upright people who tell you that salvation comes by praying a “sinners’ prayer” or by “faith only” and that baptism “is not necessary for salvation.” Like the two women we described, they may be as sincere as Saul of Tarsus who served God in good conscience while persecuting Christians (Acts 23:1), and sincerely thought he should oppose Christ (Acts 26:9), but they are servants of Satan—his very best.