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How will a person know if they are deceived?
If the only things they hear, or read, or see agrees with their deception; if the only influence on their thinking, reasoning, or opinion supports their belief system, how will they discover the deception?
If the only information permitted reinforces the misconception, how will they know that what they believing is a lie?
Following the death of Joshua, the elders of Israel continued to lead the nation in serving the Lord.
They remembered the teaching of Moses.
They had seen the mighty hand of God bring them victory over enemies who were greater and stronger than them.
They beheld the amazing miracles God performed on their behalf.
The next generation after the elders had not heard the teaching of Moses.
Whether their parents did not pass on the family faith or the Levites and priests failed to accurately teach and preach the Word, that generation of the children of Israel did not know the Word of the Lord.
They did not see the mighty working of God.
The spiritual leaders failed to nurture and cultivate the living presence of God.
Jehovah became a mythical being.
In their spiritual blindness and lack of knowledge of the Word of the Lord, they began to develop their own truth. “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
The results were disastrous!
“Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed” (Judges 2:11-15 NKJV).
One of the great tragedies being played out during the days of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry is recorded in Matthew 23:13.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (NKJV).
The Scribes and Pharisees had the Word of God at their fingertips.
They lived and breathed the Holy Scripture. Many of them could quote the entire Old Testament. However, they did not have it in their heart and spirit.
They did not allow the Word of God to judge their motives and their thinking or measure the accuracy of their moral behavior.
They rewrote the Word of God in a myriad of commentaries and sacred writings, giving their own interpretation and distorting the Scriptures to justify their desires and behaviors.
Jesus confronted them with the truth.
They had closed the Kingdom of God to the people, yet, they were not going into the Kingdom either. The truth of the Scribes and Pharisees misled the men and women of that generation into believing deception was truth.
When the living Word of God walked into their presence and taught them truth, the Scribes and Pharisees called Him a liar and a deceiver.
The Apostle Paul described the extreme danger facing believers in the City of Rome.
Truth was being suppressed; even the miraculous ways in which God had revealed Himself in creation and nature were being distorted so that generation would believe the lie.
The wisdom of natural man and humanistic philosophy were exalted above the truth of God’s Word. Refusing to retain God in their education, philosophy and knowledge truth was being rewritten denying the very existence of God and moral values were determined by individual feelings and desires.
This led to reprobate minds, moral depravity and the acceptance of homosexuality.
The Apostle Paul wrote about an even greater danger coming in the last days.
He said it will be a time when men and women will love themselves more than they love God. Mankind will be lawless and undisciplined.
2 Vital Steps to Avoid Deception
They will want pastors and preachers who tell them what they want to hear.
They will get angry when the truth is proclaimed.
They will harden their heart and choose to believe the lie because they do not receive the love of the truth.
God’s Word never fails. It is ever consistently the certain truth. “Forever, O Lord, you Word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you established the earth and it abides” (Psalm 119:89-90 NKJV). “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:16-18 NKJV).
Because God’s Word is the one certain measurement that has no variation, it alone is the plumb line for measuring the accuracy of truth.
When my truth is out of alignment with the Word of the Living God, who is wrong?
It is our responsibility to bring every thought captive and into obedience to Jesus Christ. Our reasoning, opinions, philosophy, ideology and thought patterns must be measured against the infallible inerrant Word of God.
When your belief system is out of alignment with His truth, you must come into obedience to Him. No human being is given the privilege of having their own brand of the truth. “No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,” the Apostle Peter wrote.
There is only one truth. That is God’s Holy Word!
Where does one turn when the truth of God is being suppressed and the lie is being declared truth?
What does one do when the messengers of God’s Word are rewriting the truth to fit culture and to please the desires of the flesh?
1. You must fall in love with the Truth.
If you do not love to read the Bible every day; if you do not look forward to spending time digging in the Word; then you need to set aside some meals and spend extra time praying and waiting on God.
Ask Him to melt your hardened heart and give you a love for the Truth.
Continue setting aside days for fasting and prayer until your heart does melt and you do fall in love with the Word of God.
While you are spending time in the Word, humble yourself to God and allow His Word to judge the thoughts, motives and passions of your heart.
It is not just falling in love with reading the truth of God’s Word. It is also allowing the principles, precepts and commands of God to truly judge your heart.
2. You must love the correction of God’s Word adjusting your life as much as you love reading God’s Word.
The church of the twenty-first century is in great danger.
Major Christian periodicals are using full page advertising that encourage pastors to host seminars for training their congregations in the belief God used evolution to create the world and mankind. Evolution was born in the heart and mind of atheists.
The late Richard Dawkins, the most visible and well-known atheist in the world, rejoiced when believers renounce biblical creation and embrace evolution.
He is quoted as saying, “My personal feeling is that understanding evolution led me to atheism.”
Why is the church mixing the truth of God’s Word with an atheistic concept? Why are we distorting the minds of young people and their parents by replacing truth with a lie?
We have a generation of young people who are not certain if it is a sin to be homosexual or a lesbian because the lines are being blurred between truth and deception.
Christian universities are now teaching gender dysphoria as a disability in their psychology classes.
Christian leaders and Christian periodicals are encouraging the churches to accept those who have this “disability” and to celebrate their diversity.
God calls it an abomination.
There are many Christian leaders and Pentecost and Evangelical congregations encouraging and performing same-sex weddings.
It is not an acceptable behavior and it is not a disability.
God did not and does not create a man or woman with that perception or desire. It is an abomination and a sinful behavior and those who practice such behavior will not enter the Kingdom of God.
The only hope for this generation is for Holy Spirit anointed preachers and teachers to fall on their face before the living God.
Wait on Him until He has infused your life with His holy power and a love and a passion to preach and to teach the uncompromised Word of God.
Take a bold stand against all distortion, all biblical rewrite, and all cultural pressure for tolerance and political correctness.
We must have men and women bold as lions in the pulpits, university classrooms and Bible classes who will teach the uncompromising Word of God with power and authority that can only come from Heaven by the Holy Spirit.
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