Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
We are living in a time that, like times past; sees God’s people easily swayed from the faith. This is to be concluded in a manner of ways: laziness of people, the weak methods of the church and possibly denotes of the end times. As we look to this as a short study we find the Holy Scriptures has much to say about this. I can speak to this fact, as someone spending much of my life in a position of ministry; that there is a spirit in this world that creates a form of Godliness with a true absence of the truth.
The Bible will keep you from being deceived
One of the main reasons why we have so many that are tossed to and fro, is they have no foundation in the scriptures.
2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Paul encouraged Timothy to hold fast to the truth of the scriptures AND to the person who taught them.
1 John 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
This world is so quick to use the scriptures to manipulate those who are not grounded in the truth. A spiritual movement that has water down the doctrines of the truth and made it more about a feeling than doctrine.
Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Two Sides to Every Story
It is important to recognize that in this fact of deception there are two main players, the one who seeks to deceive; and the one who allows themselves to be deceived. (note: allows)
Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Let no man deceive you… we are to educate, study and train ourselves in a way that makes it hard to be deceived.
— In my history I have a background in the automotive industry. So much to the point to be classified as an “expert” in automotive matters. My knowledge is as such that it would be very difficult to deceive me. When I go to purchase a car it is humorous (if not frustrating) how someone who barely understands the terms he is using as a car salesman, is able to pass himself off as the authority… This is because people have not taken the time to become educated in the simplest car related things, and therefore can be deceived or manipulated based on assumption vs facts.
How much more in spiritual things is it for good people to listen to someone who claims to be a Christian, and be deceived; simply because they have not equipped themselves in the simplest of basic doctrines.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Make Merchandise of You
2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
This verse has so much meaning today… “make merchandise of you”. If you look closely at this deception, money is involved. Christian book stores stand on no principles other that how much they can make. Every Bible version under the sun, pictures and bookmarks with cute little sayings on them, bible covers, cups, hats, t-shirts. Even those “Christian” concerts to politicians who seek the Christian vote all take worldly things and slay a Christian label on it and deceive people DAILY.
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Deception often comes in a familiar way
The most destructive means whereby a deception comes is when the deceiver uses your own story against to lead you in a different way.
2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
This is so much a matter that people would be willing to walk away from the Church of the Living God. They are seduced by those who would use their vulnerability to show a seaming contradiction or shown something pulled out of context or wrongfully divided to sow division in their lives.
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
You Knew… Better
Those who lie in wait to deceive are looking to sow contention and division to God’s people. Paul conveys his disappointment that people where so soon removed from the truth… (note: not the absence of truth)
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Philippians 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
2 Timothy 4:3 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;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
The internet can be a useful and productive way to learn many things however, it’s not God’s favored way to learn. The word of God through the Holy Spirit and stirred through the preaching of God’s Word in a local Church; is God’s preferred way. In fact we live in a time where knowledge no longer requires study. As such we have people who are not exercising the muscle that God created to have critical thinking skills, the brain. As such we have knowledge WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING. Having an answer to a question does not mean you have understanding of the matter. Resulting with so many that have a form of Godliness… but deny the power… why; there was no effort needed to have an answer and no discernment that the supplied answer is right or wrong.
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Fundamentally we are dealing with modern day Christians who are NOT founded in the word of God, just familiar with it. As a result we have Christians who can be easily swayed from the truth. Churches have moved to one Sunday at a time mindset of teaching and preaching knowing that they may only get one shot, because the parishioner may or may not come to the next service; or may come weeks later.
2 Peter 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;