In these last days, the devil is doing his best to deceive us. How can we avoid his deceptions? Here are 3 ways you can stay in the light.

In these last days, the dev­il is do­ing his best to de­ceive us. How can we avoid his de­cep­tions? Here are 3 ways you can stay in the light:

  1. Love the truth
  2. Know how to prop­erly test the spir­its
  3. Be hu­mble

1. Love the truth

Je­sus said something pro­found:

Je­sus saith un­to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh un­to the Fath­er, but by me (John 14:6).

We see here that the truth is not only what is true or in ac­cord­ance with fact or real­ity, but an ac­tu­al per­son. If we say we love Je­sus, then we love all truth and in lov­ing truth, we love Je­sus be­cause he is the truth. A per­son who shies away from the whole truth of a mat­ter be­cause it makes him or her feel bad is a per­son that will be de­ceived.

There are only lies and truth. If you move away from one you get the oth­er. Take Satan for ex­ample: a per­son who re­jec­ted God to the point that he be­came the ex­act op­pos­ite of God. He in turn was named the “fath­er of lies.”

Ye are of your fath­er the dev­il, and the lusts of your fath­er ye will do. He was a mur­der­er from the be­gin­ning, and abode not in the truth, be­cause there is no truth in him. When he speak­eth a lie, he speak­eth of his own: for he is a li­ar, and the fath­er of it (John 8:44).

So again, if we stay connected to Jesus Christ we can avoid deception. The more you hang around truth, the more you can detect lies pretty easily.

In second Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans chapter 2 verses 8-10, God has a strict warn­ing or proph­ecy for those who don’t love the truth:

8 And then shall that Wicked be re­vealed, whom the Lord shall con­sume with the spir­it of his mouth, and shall des­troy with the bright­ness of his com­ing: 9 Even him, whose com­ing is after the work­ing of Satan with all power and signs and ly­ing won­ders, 10 And with all de­ceiv­able­ness of un­right­eous­ness in them that per­ish; be­cause they re­ceived not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong de­lu­sion, that they should be­lieve a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who be­lieved not the truth, but had pleas­ure in un­right­eous­ness. (2 Thes 2:8-10)

We see here that souls can be saved, but be­cause they don’t love the truth, God will give them over to a strong de­lu­sion. God has a prob­lem with people who don’t love truth and while he ex­tends grace and mercy, there will be a time where there will be no more grace and room for re­pent­ance. So, to avoid de­cep­tion and a strong de­lu­sion brought on by God him­self, we must al­ways love the truth, no mat­ter if it hurts.

Truth and Trust

We need to un­der­stand that just be­cause the truth is of­ten very ugly and hurt­ful, Je­sus has a solu­tion for every situ­ation. There­fore, trust in Je­sus Christ is es­sen­tial when relating to him be­cause without trust we wouldn’t be able to handle the relationship.

Know­ing that Je­sus has a rem­edy for the darkest rev­el­a­tions in this life keeps us calm and se­cure.

We must tell the truth

If Satan is a li­ar, do you think we can avoid de­cep­tion by telling lies ourselves? The an­swer is: No. The bible says that all li­ars will have their part in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8). A li­ar ends up des­troyed be­cause he/she didn’t be­lieve God re­quires hon­esty. We mustn’t tell lies. We must al­ways seek to be hon­est for the goal in this life is to be con­formed to the im­age of Christ Jesus who we know is al­ways hon­est.

2. Know how to prop­erly test the spir­its

Everything that seems to be true is not. Everything that feels good may not be from God. How we think God should be­have may not be the reality.

The bible says that in these last days, know­ledge would in­crease (Daniel 12:4). New things are be­ing re­vealed every day. Some are from God and some are not. There are doc­trines Christians held for cen­tur­ies that they’re now abandon­ing for con­tem­por­ary world­views.

There are “mani­fest­a­tions” that claim to be from the Holy Spir­it but are not. There are people who teach a lot of truth, but also mix in some lies. In or­der to avoid de­cep­tion, we need to know how to test the spir­its. What are “the spir­its?” These spir­its are the people, the vis­ions, the dreams, the doc­trines and the voices that we hear. These spir­its are de­liv­er­ing mes­sages and we need to know how to de­cipher between what is true and what is not.

The wrong way to test the spir­its

We get the com­mand to test the spir­its in 1 John 4:1-6. For some groups, they have used this scrip­ture as a for­mula to test all spir­its. Let’s read the scrip­ture and see what it says:

Be­loved, be­lieve not every spir­it, but try the spir­its wheth­er they are of God: be­cause many false proph­ets are gone out in­to the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spir­it of God: Every spir­it that con­fes­seth that Je­sus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spir­it that con­fes­seth not that Je­sus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spir­it of an­ti­christ, where­of ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little chil­dren, and have over­come them: be­cause great­er is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: there­fore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spir­it of truth, and the spir­it of er­ror (1 John 4:1-6).

We see here that if a spir­it con­fesses that Je­sus Christ came in the flesh, it is of God, but if it doesn’t, then it is not of God. I’ve heard people ask teach­ers wheth­er or not Je­sus came in the flesh to de­term­ine if they were true or false.

It has been also taught that if you think you’re hear­ing the voice of God, you should test it by ask­ing it if Je­sus came in the flesh. If the voice con­fesses that Je­sus came in the flesh, then that spir­it is a good spir­it—one from God.

A prob­lem­at­ic for­mula

The prob­lem with this test is an evil spir­it can lie. I’m sure that some evil spir­its won’t con­fess that Je­sus came in the flesh, but oth­ers will. I be­lieve this for­mula which, based off scrip­ture, was in­spired by the dev­il him­self.

You see, the evil spir­it can trick a per­son in­to be­liev­ing that the for­mula is work­ing by con­fess­ing that Je­sus didn’t come in the flesh, and at that point, the per­son would dis­miss the evil spir­it. But at oth­er times it would con­fess that Je­sus did come in the flesh and the per­son would be­lieve the evil spir­it and po­ten­tially be led astray.

The reas­on why I can say this is be­cause the bible nev­er says that their is some creed that pro­hib­its demons from ly­ing about Je­sus or any­thing else for that mat­ter.

A test for the gnostics

If you un­der­stand 1 John chapter 4 in the con­text of the time, you know that the writer was com­bat­ing gnosti­cism. Gnostics were people who were teach­ing that Je­sus didn’t come in the flesh; and they were adam­ant about it. So the best way to know if they were deal­ing such people was to ask them this ques­tion.

However, what about people who do be­lieve Je­sus came in the flesh but teach oth­er her­es­ies? This for­mula will not work on them, nor the demons they’re in­spired by. This is the weak­est for­mula for er­ror de­tec­tion that I ever heard of in my en­tire life; and for a short time I used to ac­tu­ally be­lieve it.

So if you use this for­mula, don’t aban­don it, just don’t rely on it solely. It only works on gnostic spir­its and the sim­il­ar.

The right way to test the spir­its

The best way, along with 1 John 4, is to see if what is be­ing com­mu­nic­ated by a par­tic­u­lar spir­it aligns with the bible. Search the scrip­tures, is it in there? I searched the scrip­tures to find un­con­trol­lable laughter, gold dust fall­ing from the church ceil­ing, and mys­ter­i­ous gems ap­pear­ing from nowhere all in the name of God to be ab­sent from scrip­ture. With that said, I don’t ac­cept these phe­nomen­ons as godly mani­fest­a­tions but rather something sinister.

I’ve done the same thing for teach­ings such as: “men have no sin nature”, or, “men can’t lose their sal­va­tion,” or “keep­ing the laws of Moses will save you.” When a per­son hon­estly searches the scrip­tures and aligns what is be­ing taught with them, the truth will be re­vealed. It’s just that simple.

Us­ing the gift of dis­cern­ment of spir­its

An­oth­er way to test the spir­its is to op­er­ate in the gift of dis­cern­ment of spir­its. This is a gift from the Holy Spir­it and it just gives you an un­der­stand­ing of what you’re deal­ing with. If you don’t have it, talk to someone who does. When you have it, you’ll just know when you’re deal­ing with something from God or not. However, I wouldn’t rely solely on an unc­tion if you can help it, but the scrip­tures as well. The gift, the bible and con­firm­a­tions from God all work to­geth­er to help you de­term­ine whether you’re dealing with truth or error.

3. Hu­mil­ity

Pride will pre­vent a man or wo­man from ad­mit­ting when they’re wrong and ac­cept­ing the truth—we all know this. Pride makes you be­lieve that you can’t be wrong about cer­tain things in life. Gods don’t make mis­takes and this is the es­sence of pride—a god­like think­ing about one’s self. There­fore pride keeps a per­son in de­cep­tion.

We must guard against pride. We must un­der­stand that we are only hu­man and we are deceived on oc­ca­sion. Somethings we just didn’t know and we were lied to early on. Once something that is con­trary to our world­view is presen­ted to us, it’s our job to judge it ac­cord­ing to the gift of the dis­cern­ment of spir­its, and the bible with con­firm­a­tions from the Holy Spir­it.

There is no ex­cuse for any man to walk in dark­ness when one of the Holy Spir­it’s work is to guide men in­to all truth (John 16:13). God doesn’t want any­one de­ceived and so if they are, it’s be­cause they’re not ready to handle truth, or they’re too proud or God has giv­en them over to a strong de­lu­sion.

We can nev­er be people un­will­ing to be corrected just be­cause something is con­trary to our views. If we want to avoid de­cep­tion we must al­ways be open to the truth, no mat­ter if it hurts, and trust that Je­sus has a rem­edy for the situ­ation. We can­not think we know it all or that we could nev­er be wrong in an area—when we do, we’re open to de­cep­tion.

At the end of the day it comes back to lov­ing the truth more than our cir­cum­stances, bi­ases and per­son­al feel­ings. Then and only then can we avoid de­cep­tion and walk in the light.

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