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Light in the Darkness


Chapter 2

Light in the Darkness, book by David W. Dyer

A "Grain Of Wheat" Ministries publication

Written by David W. Dyer



Chapter 2: HOW THE DEVIL WORKS (Current Chapter)



Chapter 5: THE SOUL-LIFE





One of the primary ways the devil works is by inserting thoughts into our minds in a way which we do not perceive them. Many of such thoughts are accepted by us as our own thoughts. Therefore, we receive them as “truth.” Some of them we have been receiving and accepting for a long time, even from our childhood.

Therefore, they find a place in our thinking as if they were normal. The devil and his evil spirits do this very subtly, in a way that most do not know that it is happening. They can even make these thoughts “sound like us,” so we take them to be our own thoughts.

Satan’s work in human beings begins when they are born. He uses other people to influence their lives, causing them to do and say things which seem to “affirm” the lies he is constantly telling them. For example, many children are physically or verbally abused by others (young or old) who are under the devil’s control to install in their minds certain patterns of thinking. These patterns then govern how they understand the world around them and other people.

These “truths,” which are actually lies, then become a basis for their living. They influence how these people interact with others and how they react in various situations. These thought patterns, which we have accepted as fact, govern our behavior in a great many situations.

They may cause us to act and react to others and our environment in ways which are unnatural, unhealthy, and wrong. Yet, since we have long accepted these thought patterns as being true, we are blind to how much our own actions, reactions, and words are not in harmony with truth.

You see, human beings are being “groomed” by the devil and his invisible hosts. They are being prepared, each one in an individual way, depending upon their vulnerabilities, personality etc., to become his tools in the future.

He and his hoards are working on them throughout their lives to establish a certain series of thoughts in their minds which, when triggered, can impel them to say certain things and act in pre-determined ways.

Perhaps we may take as an example a child who is sexually abused when they were young. This experience (or these experiences) create in the mind of such a child a certain set of thoughts about others, about intimacy, about vulnerability, and many other things. This person may have a lot of interior pain, confusion, and anger concerning the subject of emotional or physical intimacy.

Therefore, in later life, when such a person finds themself in situations which involve intimacy, actions, words, and reactions come out of them towards others, which may be completely unrelated to their present context.

They may become fearful when there is nothing to fear. They may become angry when no one has harmed them. They may, like a wild animal which is cornered, lash out to wound the person who is seeking intimacy with them in order to escape the situation which is causing them discomfort. Some may even enter into a kind of emotionally inert state, a kind of cold, unresponsive passivity.

These kinds of reactions can be something which they learned as a child trying to endure the abuse they suffered. Perhaps they have learned to think about something else, pretend they were somewhere else, or imagine that nothing was happening to them, in an effort to make it through the experience.

Those who are interacting with such a person may have a hard time understanding such reactions. Imagine, for example, a husband who marries a woman who has been abused in her childhood.

When the time comes for intimacy he expects from her a normal, womanly reaction.

Instead he might find anger. Or perhaps his wife withdraws emotionally, becomes “frigid,” unresponsive to his affection, and distant.

Such a relationship will be very hard to maintain. It is very common for a husband who finds himself in a marriage with a wife who cannot respond to him normally to become frustrated and angry. This leads to marital disharmony.

There can be arguments and fights. Each one might blame the other. Perhaps the wife cannot even understand her own lack of responses. It is very common then for the situation to devolve into adultery. A frustrated husband can very easily blame his wife and seek satisfaction somewhere else.

Unfortunately, such a situation can also result in the husband abusing his own daughters to try to satisfy his own desires. In this way, the devil succeeds in passing the abuse from one generation to another.

Another example might be a young man who is often beaten by his father. When the father comes home from work frustrated and angry, he uses his son as a punching bag to relieve his frustrations. This young man then develops a fear of other men. He has trouble in later life having close relationships with men due to his early trauma. Satan has succeeded in establishing certain “truths” about others and life in general in the mind of this person.

So we see that the devil begins working in the minds of everyone beginning at childhood.

But he doesn’t stop there. All through our development, and even later in life, he works to arrange our thinking according to his patterns.

He influences our parents (especially unbelieving ones) to instill values and ideas in us. (Obviously, godly parents can be used by God to pass on to their children His righteousness, but we are speaking about the work of the evil one here.)

I know of people whose parents encouraged them to smoke pot and practice sex outside of marriage. I have heard of men whose fathers taught them to have sex with as many women as possible, insisting that this was the right thing to do.

Others have their parents teach them, by words or example, to lie, cheat, take advantage of others, drink alcohol excessively, tell dirty jokes, gossip and many, many other worldly values which come from the prince of this world. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior happens in “Christian” homes also.

Not only do parents and families have influence over the minds of developing children, but friends and society do also. Using many techniques such as ridicule, exclusion from some group or other, the circle of friends and acquaintances of each person influences them to conform to the patterns of thought and behavior that the others have.

For example, groups of children are notoriously cruel to others who do not conform. Each

group of our acquaintances, be they from our work, leisure activities, family, or friends, exert a certain pressure to adapt to their standards. Satan uses everyone in his kingdom to influence those around them to conform to their ways of thinking.

Throughout our lives we are constantly bombarded with influences which impact our thinking and therefore our actions. Satan’s goal is to program every human mind to accept his “values,” attitudes, and opinions. Although the details of behavior which is considered acceptable in different societies may vary, the devil’s goal is to be sure that they are not in line with God’s righteousness.

In today’s world, for example, we are constantly pressured to accept a series of attitudes toward certain modern behaviors. We are bombarded by the media and every other available means to accept homosexuality, sex changes, abortion and other such behaviors which are not in harmony with God’s law. Anyone who does not conform is severely criticized, ridiculed, and ostracized, just as in grade school.

The devil, being the prince of this world, has great success in conforming the great majority to his kind of thinking. Thus society becomes programmed to his “values” and he has an easy time leading it.

But the values of society cannot be our standard. Only God’s holiness is the true basis for what is right and good and what is wrong.

Human societies can be, and have been throughout history, seduced by the devil and his fallen angels to accept and practice many different kinds of atrocities. Many ancient societies burned their own children as sacrifices to their gods. Does this make it right?

Others made human sacrifices and then ate the victims. They practiced cannibalism. Their societies accepted this behavior as being okay. But just because Satan can convince the majority of people in some group or other that something is right doesn’t make it right in the eyes of God.


The result of all of Satan’s work throughout the life of each individual is that they are programmed. Although everyone is not the same as each other, each one has received a lifelong dose of programming which has been arranged by the evil one and which is in harmony with him.

One result of this is that Satan then has a lot of influence in the life of these programmed individuals. Depending on the work he has been able to accomplish in each person, he can impel that person to do and say things which he wants them to do.

Working through already established thought patterns which the “victim” has accepted as normal throughout their life, the devil can insert thoughts into their minds. These thoughts cause a person to then react, saying or doing something to others.

For example, let us suppose that the devil has carved out a suspicious nature in someone. This person is then always suspecting others of having ulterior motives. Let us then imagine an office environment with a group of people working together.

One of them – the suspicious one – receives a thought: “That person over there is trying to take your job.” As a result, the suspicious person begins to say and do things against that other person to try to protect their position from an imaginary threat. To fortify this lie, the devil can even push others in the office to say or do things which seem to “confirm” what he has told the suspicious one.

Then the suspicious one begins to persecute the “offender.” He or she does everything to make life miserable for them. He or she speaks to others in the office to try to influence them against that person.

The more the victim tries to do well at their work in spite of this persecution, the more convinced the suspicious one becomes that they are after their job. Eventually, the victim may become so miserable at work that they quit. They’ve lost their job. Their family suffers. And the devil is rejoicing!

Any evil work, anything which makes humans miserable, anything which promotes suffering or unrighteous behavior on the part of the creatures which were created in the image of God, makes Satan happy.

Another example could be a couple, a husband and a wife. Perhaps the husband has had some problem crop up at work or with the car. His intense thinking about the subject leads him to be silent and perhaps appear unhappy.

Let us imagine that the devil has worked over the years to establish some deep insecurities in the wife’s mind. So, while she is seeing her husband uncommunicative and silent, the devil suggests to the her: “Look, he doesn’t love you anymore. He has found someone else. See how closed up he is to you? He’s probably thinking about some other woman right now!”

This could then lead to the wife accuse the husband of infidelity. She herself could begin to act as if she were being betrayed and rejected, leading to the husband being hurt emotionally.

Perhaps she actually accuses him of this imaginary infidelity. Such a thing could balloon out of all proportion and become an obstacle to marital harmony. If left unchecked it could even lead to divorce.

These are just some very small examples of the millions or even billions of ways which humans are influenced every day by the “speaking” of the evil one. He has worked to establish his “pathways” in their thinking and so he is able to influence them constantly to act and speak according to his impulses. He has ingrained in the minds of humans ways in which they view others and the world around them.

These “pathways” are open doors to him through which he and his minions can use these people for their purposes whenever they choose. We read in 2 Timothy 2:26 that people are in: “...the snare of the devil where they were taken captive by him whenever he wished”.

When we talk about the evil spirits inserting thoughts into the minds of people, we are not referring to what many call “hearing voices.” These inserted thoughts are not audible. They probably do not even appear to be something entering into the mind from outside.

Since the victim has had these same thoughts throughout their lifetime, they easily accept them as their own. Although people “hearing voices” – even audible ones – does happen, this is not our subject here. Perhaps we may touch on this later on.

In the “normal” everyday situation we are presently examining, the evil spirits take the greatest care to make their thoughts seem like the thoughts of the very person into whose minds they are putting them. They don’t want anyone to know that another being from outside of the person is the source of these ideas and opinions. They want it to appear to the victim that they themselves are doing the thinking and reasoning.

Therefore, almost no one realizes that their thinking is being influenced by another entity.

The “victims” are completely unconscious that they are being used and guided by something outside of themselves. They don’t know that they are just pawns in someone else’s game.

They are walking in darkness. In fact, it is very important to the evil spirits that their influence not become apparent to their “host” person. So they continue to work secretly disguising their insertions into the mind of their victims as coming from the victim themselves.


I am not saying here that every wrong thought of every individual is from evil spirits. I am also not insisting that human beings do not have their own thoughts and reasonings, independently from evil spirits. Of course every person thinks and reasons themselves. God has given everyone the ability to think as an independent person.

What the evil spirits do is try to find weak spots where they can insert their thoughts. They work hard to exploit personality traits, fragilities, vulnerabilities, sinful tendencies, or any other possible weak place where they can insert their thoughts and so begin to establish a kind of beachhead in the minds of the individuals.

However, most people are not controlled by the devil in everything they do, but are influenced by him to varying degrees in different areas of their lives.

People, all people, are affected by the evil spirits in this way. But some are influenced to a greater degree and some to a lesser degree. Furthermore, the ways in which people are influenced varies greatly. Not everyone is the same and so the work of the powers of darkness in them therefore varies also.

These influenced people are not “possessed” by the devil. They are simply vulnerable to his influences in some areas of their lives and thoughts. The solution to this is not “to have a demon cast out.” Instead, it is to have their mind renewed by Jesus Christ through the operation of the Holy Spirit. This is something which we will be investigating as we go on.

Of course, there are some people who are possessed by an evil spirit. Such a thing does exist. However, the solution is different. These spirits can be cast out by those who are in the name of Jesus. However, this is not our subject here and we will not dwell on it at this time.

It should not be our impression that all evil in man is the result of the work of evil spirits. It definitely is not! When man fell, he fell into sin. Sin became part of his nature. Therefore, our personal thoughts can also be, and often are, sinful. We do not need the devil to generate them. We read that man’s thoughts “...were only evil continually” (Gen 6:5).

This explains why the evil spirits find such fertile ground in us. We were already born fallen. It is our nature.

I am not insisting that every man has only evil within him. Some vestiges of good seem to remain from God’s original creation. Men can and do accomplish some very admirable things. Even so, they cannot escape completely the inherent evil within them. This is something which frequently goes on in recesses of the human mind, but is often hidden from others.

Since we cannot see into others’ minds and read their thoughts, we might suppose some people to be good. But just imagine if we were able to read and even hear their thoughts! No one would ever get close to anyone else again!

If we could know what they thought about us, about others, and even about themselves, we would be appalled and repelled. Most of this is, of course, kept secret from others. Who would want everyone to know their inner thoughts? They would find them repugnant, and avoid us at all costs.

Imagine for example, what a man thinks when he looks at a beautiful woman. Would he want everyone to know his thoughts? How about a woman who sees another woman who is more beautiful, rich, popular, and successful than herself? Would she want the world around here to hear what she’s thinking? These are just a few examples of people’s thoughts that are often very ugly, something we would not want anyone else to know.

I am not insisting that all of man’s thoughts are evil. But the evil is there all the same. People exert a lot of energy to hide it. They put on a good front. Many dress up nicely. They try to control their actions and words. They do everything they can to try to have others think well of them. They may not even be very aware themselves of the depth of the evil that lurks in them.

But every once in a while, when the pressure is on, or when strong temptation comes their way, it pops out. Yet even that which “pops out” is just the tip of the iceberg. The mind of man is corrupt right to the core.

So here we have the problem of mankind. We have an inherent tendency to sin. This tendency is augmented by the actions and words of a host of evil spirits which work constantly to push every man and woman further and further into darkness and sin.

Unfortunately, it seems that many, perhaps most people, are not troubled by this. They arrive at a place where they accept their condition. Perhaps they even embrace it. They think that this is the way they are and they have no desire or will to change.

Possibly some make excuses for their sinful tendencies saying something like: “Well, everybody else does it. Everyone is just like me.” Others may be uncomfortable with their sin but try to hide this tendency or pretend it isn’t there.

Still others see their condition and are looking for a way out. There may also be many who do not even really understand or admit their true condition.

End of Chapter 2

Read other chapters online:


Chapter 2: HOW THE DEVIL WORKS (Current Chapter)



Chapter 5: THE SOUL-LIFE




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