Thursday, 14 July 2016

Discerning Deception

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4 v 3:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears."

Matthew 24 v 4: "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you."

Timothy and Jesus were referring to this period of time called "The End Times" also known as "The day of the Lord" or "that time".  When that time shall come there will be tribulation.  Jesus knows that when we enter this time frame, Satan will be desperate to keep holding on by deceiving some that he is the good guy.

One of the signs of the end times, is when there is a falling away from the truth concerning Jesus and congregations would rather believe pastors who appeal to them because they never challenge the sin in their lives.  The meteoric rise of Interfaith, which blends idol worshipping false teachings with Christianity, shows the depth of deception growing in the church.

People prefer their own fleshly lusts to be pandered to and cannot endure the truth. They go looking for philosophy or a lifestyle that leads them away into darkness and uncertainty.  They think they are being enlightened but Jesus said, If the truth that is in you is darkness, how deep is that darkness?

On the one hand we see great moves of God in dark countries like China and India and South Korea, while just over the border in North Korea, 70,000 Christians are in the most horrible prisons, where their cells are like dog kennels which are too small for them to stand or lie down.  The propaganda of hard Communism is blared through loudspeakers day and night to try turn them away from Jesus.  We need to keep this rebellious, aggressive country in our prayers.

To correctly discern deception we need to have heart knowledge of our Bibles.  Do you know that some versions of the Bible are referred to as "New Age"?  The best English translation of the Bible is the King James version, which is available in modern English.  
Some versions have substituted in many places the name Jesus Christ for "he", so that when the Antichrist comes to declare himself God, he can deceive people with those verses.  Many millions will believe him and follow him to Hell.

To walk on the right side we need to be ruthless seekers after truth and to be well acquainted with what constitutes spiritual error.  God has given us freedom from oppression and told us to leave behind the first oracles of the gospel and go on to perfection. Hebrews 6.  He says the milk of the Word is for babes and strong meat is for mature believers.  As long as we conform to the guidelines of truth, we can prophesy a fresh Word from Him.  Some say because it's ex scriptura it's not from God!

Others teach that the gifts of the Holy Spirit petered out when Peter died and now that we have the written Bible we don't need tongues, prophecy, miracles, healing, discerning of spirits etc.  Actually, we need those gifts more today than ever before.  They are our sure way of sorting truth from error.  We must have the oil of the Holy Spirit in our lamps to keep them burning when Jesus comes, so we don't get left behind.

It is time to put away the false religious security we cling to and throw ourselves at the merciful feet of Jesus Christ. Follow Him into eternal life and the riches of His Kingdom.  Do not be deceived and follow the crowd, but find the strait (disciplined) and narrow (moral) path that leads to life.  

Jesus walked that path before us and we need to follow in His footsteps knowing that all who live Godly lives in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But the joy of salvation and victory over the flesh is pure heaven.

Prayer: Father God, You sent Jesus to overcome all the deception of the devil to show us how to defeat him for ourselves. Help us Lord, to learn this lesson well and apply it to every part of our lives.   Then we will be able to help those who are deceived and in error to know the truth that leads to life. In Jesus' name. Amen.