According to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul, deception is the overriding characteristic of the days before the Lord returns to put down His enemies and set up His kingdom.
A blatant lie is obvious, easily recognized and rejected. However, deception is not so obvious. It sounds good. It feels good. It looks good. And it manipulates and destroys. Deception is subtle and needs to be uncovered and rooted out.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan ever so subtly deceived Eve (2 Tim 2:14). As he did with Eve, the adversary of our soul (1 Peter 5:8):
1. questions God’s Word (Gen 3:1)
2. denies God’s Word (Gen 3:4)
Note: The “fresh” words used in recent Bible translations like Eugene Patterson’s The Message and The Contemporary English Version (CEV) euphemistically dilute the Word of God, thereby denying the clear, simple, and sometimes hard truths of God.
Note: The Word of God is a Person (John 1:1-4, John 1:14). The Word of God has a Name – Jesus Christ, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, Faithful and True, the Lord God Omnipotent, the Lamb of God (Rev 19:6-16). To deny the deity of Jesus Christ, as the Mormon church, Jehovah’ Witnesses, and all cults do, is to deny the Word of God.
3. substitutes his own gospel (Gen 3:5)
Note: The polytheistic teaching of Mormonism says men will become gods. The pantheism of the New Age says that God is in everyone/everything and everyone/everything is God. Both are false gospels.
The results in the lives of men of Satan’s tactics of deception in the Garden were and are:
1. lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes (Gen 3:6, 1 John 2:15-17)
2. spiritual death – the Light went out (Gen 3:7a, 1 John 1:5, Gen 1:26-27)
3. religion – the works of man to cover his own sin (Gen 3:7b vs Gen 3:21, Gal 2:16)
4. running and hiding from the LORD God (Gen 3:8-10, Is 17:12-13)
5. pride and self-righteousness (Gen 3:11-13, Is 64:6, Prov 6:16-19)
Ever since, that cunning Destroyer (2 Cor 11:13-15) has been busy, busy, busy about his work of deception. When Jesus Christ’s disciples asked what will be the signs of His coming and the end of the world (Matt 24:3), He gave a lengthy answer (Matt 24:4 – 25:46). He spoke immediately and repeatedly of deception (Matt 24:4, Matt 24:5, Matt 24:11, Matt 24:23-26).
Inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 2:15-17), the Apostle Paul also warned us of seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1) and “feel good fables” (2 Tim 4:2-4) during the times we have been appointed to live.
Deception is at work in the Church today. As the roaring lion sees that he is running out of time, deception will intensify, swelling like a wave with each passing day before Jesus snatches the faithful Church off the earth and meets her in the clouds. It will be like tsunami after tsunami thereafter in the days of the counterfeit christ.
With the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matt 12:33-37 and Luke 12:42-48 ringing in our ears, what are we to do?
• Watch! Do not fall asleep! (Matt 24:37-44, Matt 25:1-13)
• Immerse yourself in the Truth (John 17:17). Don’t be naïve or lazy lest you unwittingly ingest and become a transmitter of deception.
• Hate deception but not the deceived (2 Cor 4:3-5). Share the Truth with love and humility; be both loving and faithful to the Word of God. One without the other is error.