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See To It That No One Deceives You

n the Messiah's final week before his crucifixion, Jesus met with four of his disciples on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Jesus was questioned about events in store for the Jews and the people of Jerusalem. Jesus spoke as a prophet warning of future times of great trouble including the destruction of the Temple. He also addressed the future kingdom of God and the times signaling “the end of the age.” We can read the account in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13.

In the long sweep of history since Jesus spoke these things to Peter, James, John and Andrew, we who believe know that Jesus accurately foretold every detail from the destruction of the great temple in Jerusalem to the present day. Jesus, while providing details of things to come included a repeated admonition to his followers cautioning that they should be diligent not be deceived.

Deception in the areas of Truth and error is always afoot. We have an adversary (some character called the devil) who is sowing seeds of deception continually. This web of deception is not a new thing but a part of life where each soul is vulnerable. Remember that the Bible makes it clear that before we believed, we all were “children of wrath!” Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Since the first days of the ek-les-si'a, the called-out church, believers have been continually plagued by false teachers, false doctrines, false gospels and false messiahs. “1Corinthians 2:12: *The natural man does not receive the things which God has declared for our good.” God's revelation provides the basis for truth. Jesus said, If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciple and you will know the Truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32. (Some translations say "the person without the Spirit.)

The problem today is that we are not mindful of what Jesus said in the foregoing text given in John's gospel. We listen to others who we suppose are informed, persuasive or otherwise believable and adjust our understanding to that particular view point.

Deception looms large today. The consequence of being deceived is monumental. Lies perpetrated by the enemy ought to  be regarded with alarm and also of action. There are many who profit by deception. This is the very foundation of fraud and tyranny. We have just concluded an American political struggle leading to an election in which factions were lined up in array against one another. Each side portrayed itself as noble and honest, having a position of moral superiority, the oponent becomes the party of evil. We have clearly reached the place that was spoken of by the profit Isaiah 2700 years ago. Isa. 5:20: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isa. 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Isa. 5:22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Isa. 5:23 Which justify the wicked for eward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

Where is the discernment needed to separate truth from disinformation? There is a dangerous and troubling inability of people to comprehend the times. What is going on, especially when it is being manipulated by those lurking “behind the curtain? We can not trust the message we hear to be clear and reliable, whether it is spoken behind the pulpit by a religious authority or being declared by any one of several propaganda voices of the legacy media.

Each day we witness immorality and vanity as the lifestyle of the rich and famous and of those who govern this world. Corruption becomes the way of success for the majority of men and women we elect to govern the people with honor and dedication. Trust is betrayed when we discover that those we entrusted to be loyal and honorable quickly turn to their own lust for power and enrichment. Who do we listen to? To whom do we seek counsel? Who can we trust? Meanwhile we have forsaken the “wellspring of Living Water” and “the Way of Truth.” Evidence of the evil day accrues. These are the times that were foretold. We see the gains of power and wealth by a few and oppression of the rest. Deception has become the order of the day. It is accelerating at high speed.

Here is what Jesus instructed his disciples:
John 14:16: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, (Greek **“par-ak'-lay-tos = An intercessor, consoler: - advocate, comforter.) that he may abide with you for ever - - 17: Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 15:26: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”

Also in John's gospel we find this matter of truth explained further:
John 8:31-31: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

The “
Spirit of Truth” is a particular aspect or function of the Holy Spirit. It gives each who are called to believe a clear witness of whether any message carries with it deception (or distortion) departing from the truth, or whether it be attended by the inner witness of God. “The Amen of God” that bears witness to our Spirit the things that are true and are “of God.”

We see today that the great deception is beginning to come together. Most of the world is blind or uninformed about the nature of the great re-set that will see world-wide changes in nations, governments, economics, and religion. God himself will enhance the oncoming deception and this is the scriptural proof text for that: 2 Thessalonians 2:8 -And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming;even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 2Th 2:10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:2:12 - That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

This is a difficult but defining passage. Does God cause people to be deceived? Apparently yes, in so far as he gives them over to their ungodly choices and unbelief. You will notice that in the “Lord's Prayer or Our Father” Jesus addresses this matter in one of the clauses. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, 'the evil.' I was once asked by a pastor friend, what I thought that phrase “lead us not into temptation” meant. I was not sure then but now I see that it refers directly to 2 Thessalonians 2:12.

January 03, 2021