The Sign of Deception
One of the signs Jesus said to be looking for as an indicator the end was approaching is deception. In fact, he warns of deception first thing, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many (Matthew 24:4-5). Deception is one of the signs that takes place just before the tribulation period begins during a prelude time we call the “beginning of sorrows.”
Deception is the most powerful tool of Satan, the enemy of our souls. It’s always been around and you can find it throughout the Bible. I’ve seen families, ministries, and lives torn apart and ruined through Satan’s spiritual force of deception. It’s amazing how blinded people can become to these lies to the extent that they willingly sacrifice the most important things of life in order to follow deceptive trails that lead to utter destruction. If they recover from the mess, they end up facing stabbing pain for the remainder of their lives as they constantly face the destruction their deceptive acts caused. It is a powerful weapon of the enemy. The first instance was in the Garden of Eden and it hasn’t stopped since.
Although Jesus was speaking to Jews and his message about the sign of deception indicating the end was mostly for them, the weapon of deception is also wielded against the church, and often from within. The church needs to be aware that as we approach the end, deception will increase.
It wasn’t long after the birth of the church that Satan recognized the power the church had. He used deception in an early attempt to destroy it through Ananias and Sapphira. Fortunately, the early leaders recognized it and stopped it, but, sadly, Satan has made lots of inroads in the church with his powerful weapon of deception. He deceives believers into imploding the church from within and Proverbs 6:19 states that this is one of the things God hates.
I don’t want to start naming names and slamming ministries, but I do have a concern for a growing movement within the global church body that alarms me. Keep in mind, just because thousands of people attend a particular church doesn’t mean it’s without deception and that it’s purely following the will of God, nor will I say that all who attend are deceived. My concern is that these groups are laying aside important beliefs and doctrines in order to be more sensitive and accepting to more groups, and that creates risk that opens the door to deception.
To me, any church or any person who doesn’t hold and proclaim the most fundamental doctrines needs to be avoided. The fundamental doctrines that any Christian should have, believe, and hold true no matter what are that Christ was born of a virgin, that he suffered and died on the cross in your place to take away your sin through his blood so that you could have everlasting life in him. You have to believe this and confess that Jesus died for your sins and you have to accept that salvation comes only through him and by only accepting him as Lord and Savior. Follow the Roman Road for more on this. Let me state once again, there is no other way to heaven except through Jesus. He said it himself here, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6)”
Deception is a powerful tool of Satan and he is wielding it expertly at the church and from within the church with the ultimate goal of destruction. It’s sad to say, but those who are deceived are very difficult to reach. Deception is a powerful spiritual force that veils the soul from the truth of God. Proverbs 14:25 states, “A true witness delivers souls, but a deceitful witness speaks lies.” We need to be about active evangelism and active discipleship, prayer, and a committed study of God’s word. By doing all that, we’ll be able to ward off the power of deception.
Satan is unleashing a horde of false prophets equipped to pander their false doctrine that is empowered by deception, and people are flocking to it in droves. These are not necessarily the obvious false prophets in white gowns giving out fake flowers, but these false prophets look like business men and women. We’ll spend some time with false prophets next blog as we look at the signs of the end and the “beginning of sorrows.”