There are six primary tricks that Satan employs to corrupt man
The first is control and coercion. That is, Satan will do everything possible to take control of your heart. What does “coercion” mean? It means using threatening and forceful tactics to make you obey it, making you think of the consequences if you do not obey. You are afraid and dare not defy it, so you then submit to it.
The second is cheating and trickery. What does “cheating and trickery” entail? Satan makes up some stories and lies, tricking you into believing them. It never tells you that man was created by God, but neither does it say directly that you were not made by God. It does not use the word “God” at all, but instead uses something else as a substitute, using this thing to deceive you so that you basically have no idea of the existence of God. Of course, this “trickery” includes many aspects, not just this one.
The third is forceful indoctrination. With what are people forcefully indoctrinated? Is forceful indoctrination done by man’s own choice? Is it done with man’s consent? (No.) Even if you do not consent, there is nothing you can do about it. In your unawareness, Satan indoctrinates you, instilling you with its thinking, its rules of life and its essence.
The fourth is intimidation and beguilement. That is, Satan employs various tricks to cause you to accept it, follow it and work in its service. It will do anything to achieve its goals. It sometimes bestows small favors on you, all the while luring you into committing sin. If you do not follow it, it will make you suffer and punish you, and use various ways to attack and ensnare you.
The fifth is deception and paralysis. “Deception and paralysis” is when Satan spins some sweet-sounding words and ideas that align with people’s notions, to make it seem as though it is being considerate of people’s fleshly situation, of their lives and futures, when actually its only goal is to fool you. It then paralyzes you so that you do not know what is right and what is wrong, so that you are unwittingly tricked and thereby come under its control.
The sixth is the destruction of body and mind. What part of man does Satan destroy? (Man’s mind and entire being.) Satan destroys your mind, making you powerless to resist, meaning that, little by little, your heart turns toward Satan in spite of yourself. It instills these things in you every day, every day using these ideas and cultures to influence and groom you, undermining your will little by little, so that eventually you no longer desire to be a good person, so that you no longer wish to stand up for what you call “righteousness.” Unknowingly, you no longer have the willpower to swim against the current, but instead flow along with it. “Destruction” means Satan tormenting people so much that they become shadows of themselves, no longer human. This is when Satan strikes, seizing and devouring them.
Each one of these tricks that Satan employs to corrupt man renders man powerless to resist; any one of them can be deadly to man. In other words, anything Satan does and any tricks it employs can cause you to degenerate, can bring you under Satan’s control and can mire you in a quagmire of evil and sin. Such are the tricks Satan employs to corrupt man.
We can say Satan is evil, but in order to confirm this, we must still look at what the consequences of Satan’s corruption of man are and which dispositions and essences it brings to man. You all know something about this, so speak up. What are the consequences of Satan’s corruption of people? Which corrupt dispositions do they express and reveal? (Arrogance and haughtiness, selfishness and despicableness, crookedness and deceitfulness, insidiousness and malice and a total lack of humanity.) On the whole, we can say they have no humanity. Now, let other brothers and sisters speak. (Once man has been corrupted by Satan, they are most typically arrogant and self-righteous, self-important and self-conceited, greedy and selfish. I feel that these are the most serious issues.) (After people have been corrupted by Satan, they stop at nothing to gain material items and wealth. And they even become hostile to God, resist God, disobey God, and they lose the conscience and reason that man should possess.) What you have said is all basically the same, albeit with some minor differences; some of you have simply included more minor details. To summarize, the things that stand out most about corrupt humanity are arrogance, deceitfulness, malice, and selfishness. However, you have all overlooked the same thing. People have no conscience, they have lost their reason and have no humanity—but there is another highly important thing that you have not mentioned, which is “betrayal.” The ultimate consequence of these dispositions that exist in any man once they have been corrupted by Satan is their betrayal of God. No matter what God says to people or what work He does on them, they do not heed what they know to be the truth. That is, they no longer acknowledge God and they betray Him; this is the consequence of Satan’s corruption of man. It is the same for all the corrupt dispositions of man. Among the ways that Satan uses to corrupt man—the knowledge people learn, the science they know, their understanding of superstitions and traditional cultures, as well as social trends—is there any that man can use to tell what is righteous and what is unrighteous? Is there anything that can help man to know what is holy and what is evil? Are there any standards by which to measure these things? (No.) There are no standards and no basis that can help man. Even though people may know the word “holy,” there is no one who actually knows what holy is. So can these things that Satan brings to man help them know the truth? Can they help man live with more humanity? Can they help man live in such a way that they are able to worship God more? (No.) It is obvious that they cannot help man worship God or understand the truth, nor can they help man know what holiness and evil are. Conversely, man becomes more and more degenerate, straying further and further from God. This is the reason why we say Satan is evil. Having dissected so much of Satan’s evil substance, have you seen any element of holiness in Satan, either in its substance or in your understanding of its essence? (No.) That much is for certain. So have you seen any aspect of Satan’s essence that shares any similarity with God? (No.) Does any expression of Satan share any similarity with God? (No.) So now I want to ask you: Using your own words, what exactly is the holiness of God? First of all, what are the words “the holiness of God” said in connection with? Are they said in connection with the essence of God? Or are they said in connection with some aspect of His disposition? (They are said in connection with the essence of God.) We must clearly identify a foothold with which to access our desired topic. These words are said in connection with the essence of God. First of all, we have used Satan’s evil as a foil to the essence of God, so have you seen any of Satan’s essence in God? What about any of mankind’s essence? (No, we haven’t. God is not arrogant, not selfish and does not betray, and from this we see the holy essence of God revealed.) Is there anything else to add? (God has no trace of the corrupt disposition of Satan. What Satan has is entirely negative, while what God has is nothing but positive. We can see that God has always been at our side, watching over us and protecting us, from the time when we were very small, all throughout our lives and until the present day, and especially when we have been confused and lost our way. There is no deceit in God, no cheating. He speaks clearly and plainly, and this too is the true essence of God.) Very good! (We can see none of the corrupt disposition of Satan in God, no duplicity, no boasting, no empty promises and no deceit. God is the only One that man can believe in. God is faithful and sincere. From the work of God, we can see that God tells people to be honest, gives them wisdom, makes them able to tell good from evil and have discernment of various people, events and things. In this we can see God’s holiness.) Have you finished? Are you satisfied with what you have said? How much understanding of God is really in your hearts? And how much do you comprehend the holiness of God? I know that each and every one of you has in your heart some level of perceptive understanding, because every individual can feel God’s work on them and, in varying degrees, they obtain many things from God: Grace and blessings, enlightenment and illumination and God’s judgment and chastisement, and because of these things, man gains some simple understanding of the essence of God.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh