Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
When Jesus spoke of the Last Days He emphasized to beware of deception and to take heed that no man deceives us Matthew 24:4, Mark 13:5; Luke 21:8. The time period known as the Last Days is characterized by the Holy Spirit as a time of increased deception 2 Timothy 3:1, 13; 1 Timothy 4:1. Deception means there will be people believing lies and accepting what is false as true.
We can see deception in politics, business, education, culture, and in the Church. We can see deception going on in all levels of society from many famous and not so famous well-meaning people. Every unsaved person is described as deceived (Titus 3:3) and every saved person is subject to deception in the areas they lack God’s Word, light, and truth. The good news is there are safeguards to deception and we have the ability to discern it and be protected from it. Here are some safeguards to deception:
- ADMIT THE POSSIBILITY OF DECEPTION
1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
This is the openness we need to open our heart to the light from God and His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to make the adjustments we need to make in our lives.
- BE LOYAL TO THE TRUTH ABOVE ALL OTHER LOYALTIES
2 Corinthians 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
To be loyal means to give unswerving allegiance and the feeling of personal devotion to someone or something.
To be faithful to one’s obligation or commitment to support, protect, and defend.
To be steadfast or constant in devotion, affection, and allegiance.
This keeps us from compromise.
- BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR TIME IN THE WORD AND PRAYER
2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
His Word and Spirit will give light, understanding, and discernment.
- BE A SUBMITTED AND FUNCTIONING MEMBER OF A LOCAL CHURCH
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Regular assembling with the Body of Christ in a Local Church setting puts us in contact with an objective voice speaking truth to our lives and relationships that can help us be more objective in our judgment and perceptions.
- LIVE BY THE LAW OF LOVE
1 John 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
Walking in love is walking in the light; a step out of love is a step into darkness. Satan the deceiver is chained to darkness.
- KEEP OBEYING THE GREAT COMMISSION
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Staying Christ centered in our doctrine and obedience to the Commission keeps us focused on the things that matter.