We are living in times of great deception!!  Christians CAN be deceived–it happens every day!!  Can any of you really say it has never happened to you–even about small things?  You may say ‘oh, it wasn’t anything important’, but I say: If you can be deceived even about LITTLE things, what makes you think you can’t be deceived about big things too?  The bigger the deception, the greater the ‘Satanic annointing’ that goes with it!!

I believe there are two important ways we can reduce the chances of being deceived–but I want to put them at the end of this post.

Many ‘rules’ have been put in place, as to how we should behave, that are not entirely scriptural.  Each one, by itself, may not seem important, but once woven together they have created a strong web for funneling believers into deception.

Here I’m talking about little strands like:

  • ‘don’t discuss religion or politics’
  • ‘we must be politically correct’
  • ‘everyone is entitled to their own opinion’

When the Antichrist fully comes into power, you can bet that these ‘rules’ will not be kept by Him or his followers!  In the meantime, however, they have served to keep believers in line because we want to ‘be good’ and ‘do the right thing’ and not offend anyone, etc.

But look what has come out of this–great deception and spiritual confusion.  If we had continued to ‘compare notes’ and discuss doctrine, spiritual fads, etc. we could have stripped these deceptions of their power.  Instead of realizing that we are a BODY that needs all of the parts to operate, we have each become little islands, little independent bodies.

Lets take an outrageous example: Let’s suppose, for a week, you could divide yourself into five parts that would have no communication with one another.  One part would have your eyes–only your vision, the second part would have your ears–only your hearing, the third part would have only your sense of smell, the fourth part would have only your sense of taste, the fifth part would have only your sense of touch.

Next, we’re going to send you on a fabulous, all expense paid trip to Italy.  You’re going to see the sights, savor the food, and live with gusto!  At the end of the week you will return home and recombine the five parts you were divided into.

What a vacation you would have!  The first part would take in all the wonderful sights, but would not experience any of the sounds or smells, or taste the wonderful food.  The second part would hear many unfamiliar sounds, but would not see what they were, or where it was.  The third part would smell many wonderful things, but never taste them. The fourth part would taste many wonderful things, but have no idea how they smelled or what they were, etc.

When you came home and reassembled yourself, you would carry the memories with you.  But would any of those memories make sense?  You might think you had a series of strange experiences–if your brain never realized that the things experienced were meant to be correlated together.  And even if your brain DID finally realize that the information needed to be correlated, how well could it do the job afterwards?

To fully appreciate and understand what you were experiencing, everything had to be correlated together WHILE it was happening.  And so it is for the BODY of Christ.  We are experiencing spiritual events, and the closest any of us is going to come to understanding what is happening is when we all work together.  SOME day we will each have a spiritual body and we will be able to understand and experience the spiritual realm completely–for now, we must work together, connected in HIM (Jesus) who is our head.  (Obviously, without the head, nothing makes sense.)

How much easier it is for us to be led into deception if we don’t communicate and compare notes with one another.

Now, if all the ‘eyes’ get together, they are going to agree about their experiences . . . and if all the ‘ears’ get together, they are going to say that they are all hearing the same thing.  But if we don’t get the ‘eyes’ to compare notes with the ‘ears’, then we really haven’t accomplished much.

When the eyes and the ears get together, we’re going to break one of those little rules: we are going to talk about religion.  And some of the eyes and the ears are going to disagree.  If, however, they understand this is a necessary part of the process of ‘walking in the spirit’, they will work together to throw aside deception and hold onto what is true.  But, if they don’t understand the need to work together, they are likely to rise up in competition, jealousy, and pride.

To work together, we are also going to have to cast off the other two ‘rules’–sometimes what we say is not ‘politically correct’ and that’s just the way it goes.  The truth is not obligated to mold itself to men’s ideas of what is polite and proper.  Also–we are going to have to at least understand that the truth is not of private interpretation.

Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and beliefs–but that does not mean that all beliefs are equally valid or correct!!

Any one of us is entitled to settle, even for the most outrageous deception, if we so choose–but we must call that for what it is.  If a person chooses to believe things that do not line up with scripture, they are not merely a Christian with a different opinion–they are a Christian (if they are) who is being deluded!!

This little ‘rule’ is the one that the most Christians seem to have the most trouble with.

God created ONE truth and in that truth there are no divisions.  Everytime there is a group of people that go astray on a point, a denomination forms.  If we were all in perfect understanding of the truth, there would be no denominations–let that sink in!

WE neither create nor determine truth.  GOD has created truth.  It exists!  There IS absolute truth.  It is embodied in His Word.  Anything that contradicts His word is not truth.

The reason I’m talking about this is that truth is foundational.  Truth is not relative, it is not personal, it is not defined by men.  It matters.  Too many people push the topic aside.

Truth is the opposite of deception!  How do we take care not to be deceived, if we don’t take the time to understand that truth is created, determined, and defined by GOD?  We must line ourselves up with HIS truth, else we are deceived already and find ourselves open to every deceiving spirit and false doctrine that comes our way.

All that being said, here are what I believe to be 2 important ways we can reduce our chances of being deceived–well maybe three! We have to realize we CAN be deceived first! After realizing that, we can work to see that it doesn’t happen.

1. ‘Compare notes’ with other Christians
2.  Take it to God in prayer.

Isn’t it enough, just to pray–yes, no, and maybe.  We are a body, and God desires that each of us should have the opportunity to be used by Him.

God often speaks to us through others.  We each have spiritual blind spots.  Sometimes we even refuse to let God speak to our hearts about certain things, when we pray.  It can be much easier to tune out the ‘still small voice’ than the voice of the flesh and blood Christian who sits across the table from us.

Choose wisely who you listen to.  The person who seems the most spiritual, and is always excitedly talking about spiritual things may not be the person who is the most grounded in God’s Word.  Let the person’s life, testimony, and maturity of faith be deciding factors.  Pray God will lead you to ‘safe’, wise, and mature Christians.

You know that guy who always ‘rains on your parade’ . . . the one who points out that something is an urban myth or a hoax, when you try to share the latest frightening news with him?  He might be the guy.

People with discernment can be rather somber and untrusting.  They may not be much fun to be around when you are hyped up from a revival you went to where signs were abounding.  But, they may just be the person who has the spiritual gift of discernment.  Be sure to include them.  (The lesson there is–be a little more cautious about ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ until you’ve talked to them first!  You can save yourself a lot of embarrassment that way!)

I’m not saying you always have to reach a group consensus about everything.  I’m saying–slow down!  Remember that you need to be careful what–and whom–you trust and believe.  Don’t bypass the safeguards that God has put in place for you.  Get grounded in God’s Word, and spend time with others who are.

The idea of ‘new revelation’ is exciting, but also dangerous. God gives us new revelation THROUGH His Word!

Connect with mature believers and don’t be prideful–listen to them!  Be willing to admit you’re wrong.  And, above all, remain humble and submitted to God.  Pray that He will teach you to have discernment, that He will lead and guide you and show you if what you are seeing/hearing is true or not.