The great controversy between Christ and Satan is soon to close, and the wicked one redoubles his efforts to defeat the work of Christ in man’s behalf. To hold people in darkness and impenitence till the Saviour’s mediation is ended is the object he seeks to accomplish. When indifference prevails in the church, Satan is not concerned. But when souls inquire, “What must I do to be saved?” he is on the ground to match his power against Christ and to counteract the influence of the Holy Spirit.
On one occasion, when the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan came also among them, not to bow before the Eternal King, but to further his malicious designs against the righteous. See Job 1:6. He is in attendance when men assemble for worship, working with diligence to control the minds of the worshipers. As he sees the messenger of God searching the Scriptures, he takes note of the subject to be presented. Then he employs his cunning and shrewdness so that the message may not reach those whom he is deceiving on that very point. The one who most needs the warning will be urged into some business transaction or will by some other means be prevented from hearing the word.
Satan sees the Lord’s servants burdened because of the darkness that enshrouds the people. He hears their prayers for divine grace and power to break the spell of indifference and indolence. Then with renewed zeal he tempts men to the indulgence of appetite or self-gratification, and thus benumbs their sensibilities so that they fail to hear the very things they most need to learn.
Satan knows that all who neglect prayer and the Scriptures will be overcome by his attacks. Therefore he invents every possible device to engross the mind. His right-hand helpers are always active when God is at work. They will present the most earnest, self-denying servants of Christ as deceived or deceivers. It is their work to misrepresent the motives of every noble deed, to circulate insinuations, and arouse suspicion in the minds of the inexperienced. But it may be readily seen whose children they are, whose example they follow, and whose work they do. “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16; also see Revelation 12:10.