Q: My co-worker belongs to the Church of Satan. On the outside she looks like a normal person, but when I talk with her it is like she is looking into my soul. It is eerie. She denies that Satan is a deceiver and liar. How can she be so mistaken? -- S.D.

A: Deception is everything opposite the truth. People will stand in roaring ovations for the illusionists, escape artists, and magicians. Much of it, in the form of entertainment, tricks the mind, causing us to think we are seeing something real when truthfully it is fraudulent. Prisons and jails are filled with con artists -- and sad to say, so are many churches. We must have discerning spirits -- to determine right from wrong -- and God will give us the power to know truth if we submit wholly to Him.

Some deceivers around us are more obviously in league with Satan than others. Scriptures tell us that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. Even when Satan appears to be on the side of good, he is only using it as a mask to deceive us. His real intentions are always evil. "Therefore it is no great thing if (Satan's) ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness" (2 Corinthians 11:15).

Never underestimate Satan's power, and never underestimate his ability to deceive us and make us think he isn't to be feared. In fact, he even deceives some people into thinking he doesn't exist. He is not as powerful as God -- but he still is a powerful spiritual force who works against God in every way he can. This is why the Bible commands us to put on the full armor of God so that we can withstand his power (Ephesians 6:13).

The most important truth about the devil, however, is that in the end he is a defeated foe!

This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.

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