IF IT LOOKS SO GOOD, HOW CAN IT BE DECEPTION? PT.1
As we get closer and closer to the end times the Bible states that false teachers/false doctrine will more and more enter the church. Many well-intended, God-fearing Christians will unknowingly be taken in by the teachings of these deceiving individuals because as Christians we long to learn more about Jesus. The Bible warns about deception repeatedly:
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. Matthew 24: 3-5 ( see also v. 11).
23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible* even the elect.
* the phrase “if possible” means “yes, it is possible” in its root meaning.
THE NATURE OF DECEPTION
“Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any creature of the field which God had made” (Genesis 3:1) (Amplified version).
“But also (in those days) there arose false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among yourselves, who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines…”(2 Peter2:1).
How often do we hear the refrain – if it looks so good, how can it be deception? Are we expecting deception to be obvious? Why then would the Bible describe it as “more subtle and crafty, stealthily” gaining entrance as by a side door? Barnes Commentary states in the analysis of 2 Peter 2:1:
The Greek words used in the preceding verses mean properly “to lead in along with others.” . . . Those who preach error rarely do it openly.”
The subtleness of the enemy translates to nine points of truth presented with one point of error stealthily included. It only takes one drop of arsenic to poison a glass of water. The arsenic will be invisible to the untrained eye.
WE SHOULD EXPECT DECEPTION TO “LOOK GOOD”!!
Every false teacher, will be a charismatic, dynamic speaker: well-liked, extremely popular, and entertaining to listen to. Let’s carefully examine what the Bible says about things that look “good.” A few startling examples:
Genesis 13:10 – What did God describe as looking “like the Garden of the Lord”? Sodom! (where exceedingly great sinners lived, Genesis13:13)
Ezekiel 28:12- Who did God say was “the full measure and pattern of exactness – full of wisdom and perfect in beauty?” Satan!
Matthew 23:12 – Who “looked beautiful on the outside”? The Pharisees, who “inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything impure.”
2 Corinthians 11: 14,15 – Who will come as an “angel of light” and as “ministers of righteousness”? Satan and his servants.
It requires diligence to discern when Satan comes as an “angel of light”, bringing what looks like the “light” of new revelation on a holy subject: when he comes, not as a devil, but as (2Corinthians11: 3-4) “another Jesus”; not with out-and-out heresy, but with “another Gospel” so very close to the true one, almost all true but not all true as the Bible requires. Have we not realized that false gospels are not completely new gospels, rather they are true gospels with a few “minor” changes?
Let’s remember that the first deception came before the Fall, before sin corrupted her mind with the twisted knowledge of what good and evil were. Exactly because of the purity of her being, this deception had to come in a very good disguise – so it came as a holy desire for her to be closer to the God she loved. Such a holy desire – but, in order for it to be fulfilled she had to disobey His one small warning: just take one bite of what looked good to her. Here was the first appearance of the “angel of light”, bringing new light in a holy way. And she did eat…and Adam did likewise. And they lost everything.
What we may not realize is that discernment was a major victim in the Garden of Eden. From then on all discernment of what was good was skewed forever. Now we think we have at least as much wisdom as God. Now we think His Word is out-of-date and old-fashioned just like He is. Hence, we try adjusting it to please ourselves.
In the Garden of Eden, wasn’t one of the things the Lord was saying was that He had already given the man and woman ALL they needed? They did not need more than all the trees and fruits He had already provided for them. Today, isn’t He trying to tell us the same thing? He has given us salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit – there is no “more” described in the Bible. Then why is the cry across the land for “more, Lord, more”? Biblically, what “more” is there? Do we not already have all we need?
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Search posts by publish date on right column: July 2, 2019