Jerry C. Brewer
The first introduction to man’s adversary in the Bible is in his question to Eve. “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Gen 3:1). In his first appearance to mankind, Satan came in the role of a preacher, or religious adviser. It was probably a surprise to find this evil one in such a perfect place as the Garden of Eden, discussing God’s commandment. But, to the discerning, his presence there comes as no surprise. You see, Satan is found in churches, even in our day. In fact, he has his own churches and ministers. He does not confine his work to the Church of Satan, but is active in the denominations about us as well. Paul said it was no marvel that false teachers worked among the Corinthians.
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 the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
Satan’s ministers are pious and lovely in many respects. They project an air of righteousness, kindness, compassion and love, but they serve the wrong master. Yes, indeed, Satan’s ministers occupy pulpits in our city and across the land today. They can be found in the persons of Billy and Franklin Graham, Kenneth Copeland, John Hagee, and thousands of others like them. They are in every denomination because denominations belong to Satan. Jesus did not establish them, and denominational preachers serve Satan—not Christ.
Satan perverted the scripture in his temptation of Eve. When she said God had commanded them to refrain from eating of the forbidden fruit, “lest ye die” (Gen. 3:3), he replied, “Ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:4). When he tempted Jesus, he perverted Psalms 91:11-12 and was corrected by Jesus (Matt. 4:6-7). You see, Satan is a liar and the father of liars (John 8:44). He will use any ruse or device to trick people into avoiding obedience to God. His single purpose is the eternal destruction of man and he incessantly seeks whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8).
Satan’s Opposition to Baptism
Like him whom they serve, Satan’s modern day ministers are notorious for perverting scripture, and handle well the tools of their master. One example—and an important one—is their almost unanimous opposition to baptism for the remission of sins. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16) and Peter told the Pentecostians, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). From Acts 2, through the end of that book, there is not a single case of conversion that leaves out baptism into Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Yet, Satan’s ministers, prominent among whom are Baptist preachers, will fight tooth and nail to negate the Lord’s command and, like Satan, pervert the scriptures. Jesus said belief, plus baptism, equals salvation, but Baptist preachers teach that one is first saved, then should be baptized. In reality, Baptist opposition to baptism for the remission of sins is Satan’s opposition, so it should be no surprise that they oppose the very act from which they take their name. Liars and their father have no scruples.
There are only two great kingdoms in the world—Christ’s and Satan’s. All persons on earth are either in the kingdom of Satan, serving him through sin, or in the kingdom of Christ, serving him through righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18). The greatest tool Satan possesses to damn men’s souls is denominationalism. He knows denominations arose from the wisdom of men and that they are opposed to the church which Jesus built. Knowing this, he uses deceit to convince denominational members that they are part of the church of Christ.
Satan also knows that the Lord accepts no one without gospel obedience, which includes faith (Heb. 11:6; John 8:24), repentance (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), confession (Matt. 10:32; Rom 10:10), and baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:28; 1 Pet. 3:21). These things are the sum of primary obedience to the gospel and all are necessary for salvation. Satan’s ministers have no problem with any of them except baptism. The reason? He knows that baptism is the culminating act that puts one into Christ, and, thus, into Christ’s kingdom. So long as his ministers oppose baptism for the remission of sins, Satan knows that he will not lose a single soul to Christ who believe them. Neither faith, repentance nor confession removes one from Satan’s kingdom and puts one into Christ’s. So far as faith is concerned, Satan believes in Jesus Christ. James said, “the devils also believe and tremble” (Jas. 2:19), but the devils are not in Christ’s kingdom. Demons also confessed Jesus Christ as God’s Son (Matt. 8:28-29), but demons are not in the kingdom of Christ. Nor does repentance—a change of will followed by a change of life (2 Cor. 7:10; Matt. 21:28-29). A person may change his manner of living and do good works, but that does not make him a subject in Christ’s kingdom. One such person was Cornelius, “…a devout man who feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:2). But Cornelius was in Satan’s kingdom and was told to, “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved” (Acts 11:13-14). Despite his exemplary life, Cornelius was lost. But when Cornelius obeyed the word of the Lord, spoken by Peter, he was baptized into Christ, had the guilt of his sins washed in the blood of Christ, and left Satan’s kingdom (Acts 2:41, 47).
Satan’s Questions From Ulterior Motives
When I recall a Baptist preacher’s question to me several years ago, I am reminded of Satan’s question to Eve—“Yea, hath God said?” The Baptist preacher asked me what Peter meant when he wrote, “The like figure whereunto baptism doth now also save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God)…” (1 Pet. 3:21). I knew he did not believe that divine statement and told him that it meant what it said, that “baptism doth also now save us.” Then he began to argue against baptism for salvation. Like his master, Satan, his question was asked for an ulterior motive. It was asked not to find truth, but to twist and pervert the scriptures, as the Baptist preacher’s master, Satan, asked a question to Eve for the purpose of discrediting God’s commandment.
Questioning the truth is a ploy of Satan and his denominational henchmen. They may ask questions in a pious manner, but their motive is to oppose God’s will and cast doubts in the minds of those they question. Satan did that to Eve and to Jesus. He told Jesus, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matt. 4:3). Satan well knew that Jesus is the Son of God, but expressed doubt (“If thou be the Son of God”) in order to trick the Lord into demonstrating His deity. The same ploy was employed by false teachers in the synagogue who asked Jesus, “Is it lawful to heal a man on the Sabbath day” (Matt. 12:10).
Luke says they sought to find a way to accuse Jesus of wrong doing (Luke 6:6-11). There are no greater servants of Satan than pious, morally upright, kind, gentle, loving, merciful preachers and members of denominations who oppose the plain commands of God. They will far outnumber those who will be cast into hell for atheism. (Matt. 7:21-23). Do not be duped by Satan’s ministers who come to you piously intoning, “Yea, hath God said…?”