Summary: Handling the deceptive things in life by leaning on Jesus.
Dealing with Deception
“I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”
When you are tempted to sin, do you feel like you’re being lead to a trap? Do you feel like it is not a coincidence that certain factors work together to tempt you, as if there’s underlying forces acting against you? Well there is! And that force is Satan, and his objective in the world is to deceive and ultimately destroy us. The entire book of Revelation illuminates the efforts of Satan to deceive the world. So let today learn from Scriptures about deception and how to deal with it.
1. The source of deception
a. The Devil. Satan is the author of all deception. In Genesis 3, he used the serpent to deceive Eve. The apostle John reminds us that the last days will be characterized by deception:
i. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 1 John 2:18-19
ii. The apostle Paul also confirms the source of deceit when he says, “And you he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” Ephesians 2:2
iii. Satan as the author of deception seeks to seduce, snare, and subdue every human being. Scripture tells us that Satan seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. He seeks to:
1. Steal your joy in Christ
2. Kill your heaven bound spirit
3. Destroy your chances of being with the Heavenly Father
b. The Devil’s Disciples and Demons. Now please note that there are both human beings who willingly align themselves with Satan and his demons who were the angels that aligned themselves with Satan. In either case, John describes these deceivers who go into the world not acknowledging Christ as having come in the flesh. He calls these people antichrists, disciples of the devil. Paul’s letter to Timothy describes the deception of demons clearly.
i. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1
ii. Why do Satan and his demons deceive? Let us look at Matthew 8:28-29 for an answer to this question.
1. “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”
iii. Because they know their fate and that fate is the pit of eternal torment. And we know this because the demons ask Jesus “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” So they are saying, why do you bother us now, we know that we are doomed but it is not that time yet. It is an interesting note about demons: that they have gone against God and no where in the Bible do we read that they have a chance at repentance. Their fate is sealed and all they want to do now is take down as many of human kind as they possible can. And the best weapon they have is deception. And we fall prey to this because of the next source of deception.
c. The Depravity of the Human Heart. The devil uses the world and the flesh to carry out his seductive activity:
i. Scripture tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that we possess a wicked heart, a wicked heart that the devil tries to use for the purpose of taking down the world.