DECEIVERS AND DECEPTION
Jesus earnestly warned His disciples about deceivers and deception.
Satan, our adversary, is a master of deception. It’s his only weapon against believers now because Jesus defeated him at the cross. He comes at us from many different angles – using accusation, condemnation and unwittingly deceived people to lure us into believing his lies.
Sometimes deceivers are blatantly obvious; Satan’s counterfeits are planted to confuse and trap us. When Jesus was on trial before Pilate, Pilate tried to get Jesus released by offering to free a political activist and murderer named Jesus Barabbas. Just imagine that! Bar-abbas means “son of the father”. The people had to choose between Jesus Bar-abbas – Jesus, son of the father, or Jesus Christ – Son of the Father. Guess who they chose – Jesus Barabbas, a violent criminal – and condemned Jesus Christ to death.
None of us is immune to the devil’s deception. It may come in the form of people who claim great titles and anointing, according to Matthew 23:8-12 or who allow themselves to be put on a pedestal and hero-worshipped. Jesus warned against giving allegiance to people instead of to God alone, and swallowing everything so-called “teachers” say. There is only one true Teacher and His name is Jesus.
Deception also comes through the opinion of the majority. Because crowds follow certain “spiritual giants” does not necessarily mean that they are right. We have an exposure to the media which has popularised many powerful ministries, especially on television, some making outrageous claims for themselves and their ministries.
Jesus said something even more startling. “Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather” (Matthew 24:28). Great crowds of people often unwittingly gather around ministries that actually bring death, not life, because they are based on deception by majoring on the spectacular.
When we are urged to “come to our meeting if you want to be healed or receive your blessing”, beware. No-one has a monopoly on God. Jesus said that the kingdom is not “over here” or “over there” because it is “within you” and “among you” (Luke 20, 21).
What is the anti-dote to deception? The truth. Where do we find the truth? We are blessed to have been given a fool-proof book, the Bible, and a divine interpreter, the Holy Spirit. “Stay alert, stay alive” says the road safety slogan. We can well heed the warning and stay alert, stay alive spiritually by being vigilant against deception. By prayerfully examining what people say and do in the light of the Word of God, we can guard ourselves against the dangers of deception.
Jesus said, “Check the fruit”. Be a fruit inspector, be an alert reader of the Word and you will guard your soul against terrible loss.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (copyright 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!