When Jesus talked about the Last Days, He told us to be aware of deception. Like a dark cloud upon the horizon, in the Last Days, deception will be on the increase. The Good News is that we have the ability to discern it and be protected from it. Deception is that which gives a false impression whether by appearance, statement, or influence. It causes a person to accept what is false as true or rejecting what is true as false (believing a lie instead of God’s truth). It is being wrong thinking you are right. There are of course many things identified as deceivers in the Word of God:
- Satan Revelation 12:9;
- Sin Romans 7:11;
- Self James 1:22-25;
- Seducers 2 Timothy 3:13 (false teachers and false teaching);
- Spirit of antichrist 1 John 2:18-23; 4:1-3; 2 John 7)
The number one remedy to all deception is the Word of God. The Word of God is the only all the time accurate discerner of deception, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).”
The Apostle John said in his first epistle to try the spirits or the inspiration behind every so called inspired utterance. In 1 John 4:1-6 to “try every spirit,” means to test, examine, discern, scrutinize, or prove. Don’t believe every inspired speaker or person professing to be inspired by the Spirit as being from God. All thoughts, beliefs, opinions, philosophies, and doctrines originate from only one of two sources: the spirit of truth or the spirit of error. The one basic source for testing is the Word of God. All lies from demons or men in thought, beliefs, theories, or doctrines (teachings) in some way:
- WEAKEN the absolute authority of Scripture.
- DISTORT (twist) the teachings of Scripture.
- ADD to the teachings of Scripture the thoughts, ideas, wisdom, philosophies, and traditions of men.
- PUT ASIDE the teachings of Scripture entirely.
The Word is not only for testing teachings from preachers and teachers but also philosophies, theories, concepts, beliefs, business practices, and political thought. Colossians 2:8 gives us a warning in these areas, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Only Jesus (The Word) is to have pre-eminence in all things. He is before all, above all, and over every creation. Colossians 1:16 tells us, ”For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers,: all things were created by Him, and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” We are to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom (Colossians 3:16) which helps us test every deceptive thing.