There was certainly an abundance of deceit in the recent political season; however, deceit is definitely not limited to the political arena.
Deceit runs rampant throughout the world and can be found even at the end of the future millennial kingdom.
As would be expected it all began in the early chapters of Genesis.
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made…” Genesis 3:1
Various translations use several other adjectives for ‘cunning’ including ‘subtle, crafty, and sly.’
Then the cunning beast enticed Eve to disregard God’s instructions relating to partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
When confronted with her actions, she replied:
“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:13
Other verbs for ‘deceived’ include ‘beguiled, deluded, and seduced.’
Eve’s disobedience had universal effects. She was tricked into doing something that, while appealing to the senses, was directly contrary to her Creator’s instructions.
And so it began, the war between good and evil had come to earth.
The writers of the New Testament related church age deceit to Eve’s actions. Paul warned against falling for false doctrine.
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:3
The deception is the false doctrine that salvation requires something more than the vicarious death of Christ. The early church had to deal with such heresy extensively. Mankind is totally impotent to offer any assistance in the miracle of salvation. Man can only respond to the call after the Spirit of God initially stirs his heart.
Jesus warned in no uncertain terms that deceit would not only be present throughout the church age, but would in fact increase as week 70 approached.
“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many…For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.” Matthew 24:11, 24
The Greek for ‘deceive’ is similar to the Hebrew. It means to be led astray, to be seduced, ensnared, lured, to err from the truth.
Jesus Himself issued the warning to be on the alert against false teaching, as did Paul.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy…” 1 Timothy 4:1
Those who depart were never true members of the kingdom to begin with. And Paul reveals that deceiving spirits and demons are one in the same.
In his second letter to the church at Thessalonica Paul stressed again the great apostasy that will be experienced during the climax of the church age.
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3
Paul is explaining that the church will be purged prior to the revelation of the anti-Christ.
And then Paul confirms that those who fall away were never part of the true church.
“The coming of the lawless one…with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie…” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11
The church needs to be aware of such within their pews regularly, and relentlessly preach the simplicity found in Christ.
The lawless one is a puppet of the devil himself along with his accomplice, the false prophet; both will find their destiny in the lake of fire after attempting war with the returning Christ.
“Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet…These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Revelation 19:20
At that time the devil himself will be locked in the bottomless pit to be released one last time after the millennium attempting to deceive the nations.
Much more about deceit in coming weeks.
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