Sinhala Translation > රැවටිම හදුනාගැනිම මෙතරම් අපහසු ඇයි
Hi Beloved, I hope this post finds you in good health walking in joy and peace even as you spend this time at home.
Lately I have been studying a lot of about deception and personally I too am shocked at how hard it is to detect deception because of certain first-hand experiences. At times it gets so confusing that you wonder, Lord, how can this be. I have also come into contact with people who were previously under certain ministries that have turned out to be deceptive and they are wondering now, how on earth did we get caught to this.
Beloved, if deception were easy to detect it will not be deception. Many of us have this image of satan as a dark creature with 2 horns and a tail. However, scripture says lucifer was a beautiful angel before his fall. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:14 ‘satan masquerades as an angel of light.’ Satan does not come to deceive as a dark creature. He comes as an angel of light. He comes looking like the truth. He comes speaking the truth. He comes acting, behaving and showing off like the truth.
Warnings from scripture
In Matthew 7:15, Jesus warns us by saying ‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.’
The best deceivers in this world are those who operate according to the truth. To the world they look like sheep. The world however does not see the true person they are inside. Even if you discern and tell people about these wolves, they will never ever believe you. Deceivers are excellent manipulators and influencers. Deceivers are excellent at making convincing speeches. Deceivers are great actors of righteousness. Deceivers are clever at drawing sympathy towards themselves by playing the victim. That is how good deception works. To the human eye they will seem like the truth, but the deception will be injected into you little by little like poison over a period of time. For years they seem like truth, until one day you wake up and realise the poison of deception that has gone into your system.
When Jesus spoke about His Second Coming in all 4 Gospels and in the Book of Revelation, He repeatedly warns us to watch out for deception. Even the Apostles warn us about deception (Colossians 2:8, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 1 John 3:7, 1 John 4:1, 2 Corinthians 11:3, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Ephesians 5:6, 2 Peter 2:1-3).
Given the number of times we are being warned about deception, I believe it is something to be taken very highly seriously.
However, given how difficult it is; how do we detect deception. Well first and foremost we need the discernment of Holy Spirit. Without it we will be lost. That is what we need the most above all.
In this post I just present to you 3 basic principles which I hope will help us all to detect and protect from deception. Even as Holy Spirit gives us discernment, these principles will help open our eyes to the truth and protect us from being deceived. What are these 3 principles?
1) Deception works perfectly when a person’s charisma captivates us.
The word Charisma is defined as ‘compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.’ When we get caught up with a person’s charm, attractiveness, outward show of holiness and humility, manner of speech and behaviour, we become easy targets for deception. It is good to have mentors but if you go too far with the spiritual father, spiritual mother, godly person, mighty servant of God hero-worship, you will become blind to the person’s true character. Even if a person has been in the ministry for decades, it is still wise to be watchful. Length of years in ministry does not guarantee quality of character and spiritual maturity.
When we become captivated by the charisma of a human rather than focusing our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith, Christ Jesus, we become easy prey for deception. Deception works well when people are entranced by the charisma of a person. Hence never attend any church or any meeting on account of an individual person. Attendance must be purely based on seeking of God for spiritual growth after evaluating and establishing if preaching of sound doctrine and good character has been exhibited by the person.
2) Deception works perfectly when signs, wonders and miracles are performed.
God used the Apostles with signs, wonders and miracles. He will also use us with signs, wonders and miracles. However, when it comes to the last days before the 2nd Coming of the Lord, we are told to be careful of signs, wonders and miracles. Why?
Matthew 24:24, 2 Thessalonians 2:9, Revelation 13:13 all say the same thing. The antichrist, his false prophet and all the other false prophets who will come before them will perform signs, wonders and miracles to deceive many. They are the ones who will be prominently performing signs, wonders and miracles in the last days. Why is that?
Signs, wonders and miracles and strange manifestations, serve as the perfect distraction to keep people’s eyes off the drops of poison they are being fed by the deceiver. Everyone is so enraptured by the signs, wonders, miracles and manifestations that they will believe anything and everything the deceiver says.
So, the question to ask yourself? Are you a person who gets caught up with signs, wonders, miracles and manifestations? Better watch yourself.
3) It is all about the money.
1 Timothy 6:10 says ‘the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.’ Deception loves money. Deception is very profitable. Deception seeks out the rich. Deception seeks the wealthy possessions of men and not the salvation of their souls. Deception loves to talk about money. Deception will always emphasize the importance of money. Deception loves to show off its money. Deception always wants more money. Deception will always pick out scriptures that mention money or even twist and turn other scriptures in a way that makes money sound as the divine will of God. Deception will perfectly manipulate and influence people with convincing spiritual words to give money for their cause. Deception is clever at making money and making it quickly at the expense of poor unsuspecting souls.
Interestingly, Christ and His apostles hardly spoke about earthly wealth and riches. They were 99% of the time heaven focused. Deception does the total opposite of that.
These are 3 main principles that I can give to you from scripture. Maybe by the guidance of Holy Spirit you may have more. Most of us have been deceived simply because we got caught up with the charisma of the person.
Beloved, I believe in miracles. I believe in the continuation of the gifts of Holy Spirit. I want the Lord to use me with signs, wonders and miracles. However, what I want foremost, is to lead people to Christ and shepherd them into a life of self-denial, carrying the cross, bearing good fruit and manifesting the character of Christ. If He chooses to use me with the gifts of His Spirit, let it be only for His glory and the blessing of His people.
I have learnt from the Word of God that a true ministry is one that brings people into a life of self-denial, carrying the cross, bearing good fruit and manifesting the character of Christ. That is going to be the main and prime focus of everything we do in our evangelism missions.
May the Lord keep us all safe in His sheep fold until He comes again or calls us home.