The Bible repeatedly warns believers to be aware of those who seek to deceive us spiritually. In Matthew 7:15, Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” (NKJV) In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, the Apostle Paul said, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness.” So, while Satan has legions of demons in the world luring us away from the truth, he also has ministers of deception preaching in churches and teaching in seminaries. More often than not, these deceivers even appear to be very religious, winsome, sincere, and devoted to God.
In 1 Timothy 4:1-2, the Apostle Paul said, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.” This departure from the faith is called apostasy—the deliberate rejection of the truth of God’s Word and the full acceptance of Satan’s lie–a position from which there is no return. Apostates abandon their faith in Jesus Christ because worldly attractions win their attention, and voices other than The Savior’s convince them that the broad path leads to salvation.
These warnings were not written for unbelievers, but for those who have professed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior to remind us how easy it is to fall for the less-convicting, easy-believism lies of the evil one. His goal is to deflect us from the daily disciplines of discipleship to prevent progress toward spiritual maturity. So, the deceitful spirits attract us with some unique religious fad and offer a different gospel message (or a new messenger). One level of deception leads to another until we are completely captured in Satan’s web of deceit. This, if left unchecked, leads to apostasy.
Think of the many leaders falsely claiming the “Christian” name, who daily deceive thousands with their lofty and logical messages, void of anything essential to the true Gospel. Their clever sophistry, winsome demeanor, and cultural relevance attract those who have yet to gain the spiritual discernment to know when they are being deceived. These false teachers use the Bible and Jesus’ name to validate their human-centric messages; but their goal is to lead their audiences away from the truth toward a lesser gospel.
In Ephesians 6:12, the Apostle Paul described this as “the darkness of this age.” Having rejected the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and suppressed the truth about God from their hearers, they became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man (Romans 1:21-23). Like Nimrod, they formed their own concept of God and designed their own way to make themselves acceptable to Him.
How can a strong, unsuspecting Christian allow Satan to deceive their heart so deeply that they abandon their faith?
- Refuse to learn the truth.
- Avoid reading The Word.
- Stay away from church.
- Reject the whole truth.
- Justify your sinful habits.
If you weren’t aware of the danger before, you are now: spiritual deception is around every corner. How serious are you about protecting yourself and your family from deception? It can’t wait. If you don’t take it seriously right now, then it’s too late. Know the Truth of God’s Word or fall victim to the king of lies.
Our only protection against spiritual deception is constant prayer and a commitment to the truth of God’s Holy Word. Heed His warnings. It is possible to resist the deceiver and to live real in this age of deception.