Don't Think That You Can't Be Deceived!
Are you thinking about marriage, yet you feel uneasy about your future spouse?
Are you about to make a move in a certain direction, and you are feeling something is wrong?
Are you with a group of people around whom you feel very disturbed in your spirit and don't know why?
Has God told you to do something that even your wife or relatives are against you doing it?
Whatever the case may be, don't ignore your feelings. What you are sensing may very well be God warning you of a drastic mistake that you are about to take! No matter who likes it, obey God! It could cost you your life if you don't!
The Scriptures tell us that the Devil deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9).
How does he do it?
· 2 Timothy 3:13 warns us of "evil men and seducers," waxing "worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived,"
· speaking "great swelling words of vanity," (2 Peter 2:18) alluring "through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error."
· 2 John 7 testifies - "For many deceivers are entered into the world..."
· Before coming to Christ, Titus 3:3 verifies that we were "sometimes...deceived."
· 1 John 1:8 confirms that we were deceived because we refused to admit that we were sinners.
· We erred, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God (Matthew 22:29).
· But now, supposedly knowing the Scriptures and the power of God, and knowing that there is definitely a "spirit of truth" and a "spirit of error" in the world today(1 John 4:6), can we, as true children of God be deceived? What do the Scriptures say about this?
Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly warns us, as His precious children, concerning deception!
· Matthew 24:4-5 says - "...Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name...and shall deceive many."
· 1 Corinthians 6:9 says - "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived..."
· 1 Corinthians 15:33 says - "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."
· Galatians 6:7 says - "Be not deceived...for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
· 1 Timothy 4:1 says - "...in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils."
· James 1:16 says - "Do not err, my beloved brethren."
· James 5:19 says - "Brethren, if any one of you do err from the truth..."
· 2 Peter 3:17 says - "Ye therefore, beloved...beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked..."
· 1 John 2:26 says - "These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you."
· 1 John 3:7 adds - "Little children, let no man deceive you..."
We must not forget that these Scriptures are not addressed to sinners, but to "brethren," "beloved," and "little children." Why? Because each and every servant of the Lord stands one hair's breadth from erring from the faith.
Knowing this should alert us to stay awake in the midst of great deception! It should compel and propel us forward to a greater walk with God - a greater prayer life and Bible study - knowing how desperately we need Him and His resources in this day and hour!
There were three men of God in the Bible who were deceived - Isaac, Joshua, and the man of God from Judah.
Knowing that "whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning" (Romans 15:4), and that "all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition"(1 Corinthians 10:11), we can read their accounts and greatly benefit from their mistakes.
Genesis 27 relates the deception of Isaac by his own son Jacob. Genesis 27:1 says - "...Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see..." He sent out his son Esau to hunt for venison to make him "savoury meat, such as I love" (Genesis 27:3-4). In the meantime, Rebekah, his wife, connived with Jacob to steal Esau's blessing using deception. Throughout the account, we see Isaac questioning his younger son to verify his identity -
"...who art thou, my son?"(Genesis 27:18)
"...How is it, that thou hast found it so quickly, my son...?"(Genesis 27:20)
"...Come near...that I may feel thee...whether thou be my very son Esau or not"(Genesis 27:21).
"...The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau"(Genesis 27:22).
"...Art thou my very son Esau...?"(Genesis 27:24)
In spite of Jacob's persuasive arguments, something just didn't seem right!
"...My father..."(Genesis 27:18)-
"...I am Esau thy firstborn: I have done according as thou badest me..."(Genesis 27:19).
"...Because the Lord thy God brought it to me"(Genesis 27:20).
"...I am"(Genesis 27:24).
Not one time did Isaac stop to pray and ask God for wisdom. Instead, he gave in to the circumstances about him and administered the blessing to Jacob.
Perhaps his argument was - Surely, I must be wrong. After all, I am old and my eyes are dim.
I must be mistaken. My own son Jacob would never think to do such a thing as to deceive his own father?!
How many times have we had questions arise in our hearts concerning a particular person, preacher, situation, etc. only to shirk it off? Then, later on down the road, we realized that these questions were actually the Holy Spirit warning us.
We need to take heed and pursue in prayer the investigation going on in our hearts. As the saying says - "When in Doubt, Don't!" Everything may look right, feel right, smell right, taste right, and still not be God!!!
Don't settle for goat's meat when you're used to venison - no matter how well it's prepared! (Genesis 27:3-4). Be sure that the hands which are moving your circumstances match up with the voice that is leading you (Genesis 27:22).
Joshua 9:3-15 speaks of Joshua's deception by the Gibeonites. The Word of God says of these neighboring people - "They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors…” (Joshua 9:4).
At first, they presented convincing evidence to prove their case - "...and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy"(Joshua 9:4-5).
They also came with persuasive words - "...We be come from a far country...We are thy servants...because of the name of the Lord thy God: for we have heard the fame of Him..." (Joshua 9:6, 8-9).
They certainly had an accurate historical account - "...thy servants are come because of the name of the Lord thy God: for we have heard the fame of Him, and all that He did in Egypt. And all that He did to the kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og, king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth"(Joshua 9:9-10).
In spite of all this, doubts were still arising in the hearts of the men of Israel and Joshua - "...Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you?...And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?"(Joshua 9:7-8)
Yet, the greatest mistake that this man of God made was that he "asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord"(Joshua 9:14). The Scriptures admonish us to ask for wisdom - "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God..." (James 1:5). With such a promise available to claim, it's our own fault if we are deceived!
3. The Man Of God From Judah
Lastly, in 1 Kings 13:1-32, the Scriptures relate the account of the deception of the man from Judah who had a word from the Lord for Jeroboam, the idolatrous king. This man was truly a man of God, wholly devoted to His service.
He was bold in denouncing the sin of idolatry - "And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee"(1 Kings 13:2).
God confirmed his ministry with signs and wonders - "And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the Lord hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out...The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Entreat now the face of the Lord thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored again. And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before"(1 Kings 13:3, 5-6).
This man of God had an order from God Almighty to "...Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest"(1 Kings 13:9). Even though King Jeroboam offered him an earthly reward, yet he would not deviate from God's command to him.
However, even though the King couldn't get him to sway from God's directive, someone eventually did, for verse 19 says - "So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water."
Who did it? Who managed to deceive him into disobeying the Lord? "An old prophet of Bethel" who had a persuasive argument got him to change his mind - "...I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him" (1 Kings 13:18).
The devil is slick! When he sees that we cannot be deceived through one avenue, he'll try another. He will even use someone whom we consider to be stronger in the Lord than ourselves.
How important it is that we keep our eyes focused on Jesus at all times! Man may be used of God, but it must only be to confirm what the Lord has already directed or ordered for us. If God should choose to speak to us through another, it most certainly will line up with His Word and be confirmed by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).
Believe it or not, this holy man, who was so mightily used by God, was killed by a lion as a direct result of his disobedience. Because he obeyed the voice of the lying prophet and not the voice of the Lord, he was killed on his journey home (1 Kings 13:24).
We, too, will meet with the devouring lion - Satan, the Destroyer - if we heed the voice of man over the voice of God.
How important it is that we obey the Lord and do what He says no matter who opposes us - including our own spouse and family! God does not take disobedience lightly as we have seen from this example. And He is no respecter of persons! What He allows for one, He will allow for all!
How frightful it is to read of such accounts of deception, knowing that we, too, are susceptible to the same! We simply cannot ignore the warnings that God is giving us. We cannot afford to shut off the voice of the Lord Who is alarming us of danger and destruction ahead.
More than ever we need to earnestly cry unto the Lord for "the hearing ear" and "the seeing eye" to hear as He hears and to see as He sees for surely these are the days of Great Deception! (Proverbs 20:12)
May we all be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's nudging and never, ever ignore, disregard, argue against, or scorn it.
We must realize one thing - God loves us too much to let us be deceived. He will do everything in His power to stop us, but the final choice is ours as to what we do with His leadings.
Whatever you do, don't ignore Him today! It will absolutely ruin your life if you do!
May God Bless His Word.