Deception is meant to fool you into thinking it is really true. One of the only ways I know of that we go into knowing we will be deceived is with a magician. Even today people who are called “mentalists” or “psychics” or “mediums” sometimes people really think there is truth to it all. A couple tricks and all of the sudden it is true. As skeptical as our nation is, we sure are good at thinking things are true when they aren’t.
Take “fake news” for example. How often have you read a title of a news article, and based solely on the title, you came to a conclusion about the story. Deception is real. It is all around us. It is meant to fool us. The reality of deception, though, is not in the trickery or the click-bait hype that marketers what you to fall for. The true reality is that the most believable deceivers are those who passionately believe what they are saying is, in fact, true!
You see this in “name it and claim it” theology, “easy-believism”, and “prosperity gospel”. Those spreading deception do not feel they are the deceivers. They feel YOU are being deceived and they are saving you from your self! So how do you spot deception? How do you know if you are being deceived? How do you know if you are the one deceiving others?
First of all, take a step back. It is not about how you feel. Gravity has nothing to do with your feelings. It is true truth. Here on this planet, gravity is real even if you do not believe in it. Physical truths are easier to understand than spiritual ones, however there is a very real way to determine what is true and what is not.
First you must decide if you believe in God. Scientists and journalists who set out to disprove God, in a real attempt, always end up believing in God. It is much harder to believe in chance and accident than grand design. Take a quick look at your hand or a rose and you will start to understand what the Grand Design is. Scientists have tried endlessly to create artificial intelligence. No man has even come close to replicating what God has done with the intricacies of a tiny ant all the way up to the intricacies of our universe.
If you believe there is a God, then the next step is to understand what God’s plan is. You can find this in the Bible. Many religious people groups have tried to discredit the Bible. They have even come up with their own doctrine. They will claim the Bible has been distorted and changed. Again, if you do the research, you will find that the Bible is the most accurate book of any book on the planet through history.
If you believe in God, and you believe that the Bible is God’s word, then you can easily figure out if you are being deceived or are deceiving others. Believe me when I say, I never want to deceive others. It is something my entire career is dedicated to. I work in an industry that is steeped in deception and lies. My goal has always been to shed light on the truth. Even when I find out I was wrong, I am quick to admit my wrong and share the corrected truth.
How can you check for sure? How can you know with absolute certainty that you are not being deceived? How can you be sure you are not deceiving others? Check it against what the Bible says. ALL OF IT. Do you know how easy it is to make the Bible say what you want it to? Many pastors and people sadly do this all the time. They take verses out of context to spread their message.
This is why expository preaching is so important. Find a pastor that teaches the whole Bible. One who takes the book chapter by chapter. They will not be able to skip over hard verses and they will not be able to make a verse mean what they want it to say. How many times have you heard someone say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” I even know a very popular American pastor who used that verse in his weight-loss program.
Go ahead and look up the context of that verse. Philippians 4:13. Read the whole chapter surrounding that verse. Paul, the author of this book, was talking about God’s provision. He was talking about his ability to be CONTENT with Christ in any situation. But how often do we use that verse as a “name it and claim it” theology.
As an author this horrifies me! To take someone’s writing completely out of context is not helpful. It only harms the complete message. The first and best thing you can do to guard yourself against deception is to check it out. Go ahead and look things up. Bring your bible to church. READ IT! OFTEN! Don’t just go to the books you like. Read the WHOLE THING!
Satan has had over 6,000 years to perfect the art of deception. He understand this is war. His goal is not to get droves and droves of people who are already dead to stay dead! No! His goal is to get droves and droves of people who are seeking answers, seeking truth, seeking Christ, to be deceived.
Let’s look at a few verses:
2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV
1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.
3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (ESV)
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
How do you know if you are one of the deceived or one who is deceiving others?
I encourage you to do a fruit audit. There is a simple 22 question fruit test that will help you figure it out. This is between you and God. There is no judgment here. My hope is that this allows you to really check to see if you are growing in Christ or just think you are.
Answer the following questions and look up the associated verses to determine if you are a follower of Jesus or just a really big fan. You can be someone who knows your Bible, feels emotional about Jesus, honestly feels they are 100% saved, but actually not be. Why do I know this? Because I was one of them. Please check out my testimony to understand why this subject is so very important to me. https://holyjustlove.com/testimony-jen/
Audit #1: Is your character in keeping with the Fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23
Audit #2: Do you Walk by the Spirit? Galatians 5:16-26
Audit #3: Do you Actively “Make Disciples”? Matthew 28:19
Audit #4: Do you Love God with all that you are? Matthew 22:37-38
Audit #5: Do You Crave the Word of God? 1 Peter 2:2-3. Romans 7:22, John 8:47, Matthew 5:6
Audit #6: Do You Keep His Commands? Exodus 20
Audit #7: Is God’s Law Written on Your Heart? Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 8:6-13
Audit #8: Do You Grow in Wisdom or just Knowledge? James 1:15
Audit #9: Do You Love Others? 1 John 4:7-12
Audit #10: Do You Love your Enemy? Matthew 5:43-48, 1 Corinthians 4:12
Audit #11: Do You Have a Love Affair with the World? 1 John 2:15-17, John 15:19
Audit #12: Are you politically correct when it comes to Jesus and your friends, family and coworkers? Matthew 10:32-33, 2 Corinthians 5:20
Audit #13: Do you Have Chronic Sin? 1 John 3:6-10
Audit #14: Do You Get Disciplined by God? Hebrews 12:3-11
Audit #15: Do You Get Tested by God? James 1:2-3, 1 Peter 4:12-14
Audit #16: Are you instantly convicted when you sin? John 16:7-11
Audit #17: Do you get persecuted for your faith? 2 Timothy 3:12, John 15:18, 1 Peter 4:12-14, 1 Peter 3:14, Matthew 5:10
Audit #18: Are you hated by some people because of your faith? 1 John 3:13, Luke 6:22,
Audit #19: Do You See a Changed Life? Ezekiel 36:25-26
Audit #20: Is Your Spiritual Life Different from Last Year? Are you growing? Colossians 1:9-10, 2 Peter 3:18
Audit #21: Do You Find Assurance or Conviction When You Read the Entire Book of 1 John?
Audit #22: Christian: Would a stranger or even a close friend or family member who is not a follower of Christ convict you of being a follower? 1 John 5:19, Colossians 4:5-6, 1 Corinthians 1:21-23
I hope today you find yourself blessed with assurance or convicted to truly give your entire life to Christ!
Christ is coming soon! Don’t you want to be on the winning side of it all?
If you would like prayer or a free bible, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be honored to help you get one step closer to Jesus today!