Synonyms for deceive in the Old Testament include lie, beguiled, delude, or to seduce. The meanings of deceive in the New Testament are nearly the same; however, it includes ‘to lead away from the truth’. Truth from the Greek aletheia simply means reality. Thus the war between good vs. evil can also be expressed as truth vs. the lie.
The truth is succinctly defined in the Bible as the deity of Christ, the incarnate Son of God.
“Jesus said to him (Thomas), ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him… ‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31-32
The Bible reveals that lies and deception were used by the serpent to lead Eve away from the truth. Deception will be found at an increasing rate as the end of this age approaches, along with blasphemy and hypocrisy.
The ‘serpent’ who deceived Eve is clearly identified in the final book of the Bible.
“So the great dragon was cast out (of heaven), that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world…” Revelation 12:9
Jesus described the devil as the father of lies, i.e. ‘there is no truth in him’. Thus Satan’s overarching lie is the denial of Christ as the Son of God. Such denial is to reject God’s plan of redemption for man.
Jesus warned of the approaching war on the truth.
“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Matthew 24:11
The Apostle John also warned about deceit and the basis of it.
“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either…These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.” I John 2:21-22, 26
Sadly; however, many will believe the lie. The Apostle Paul also addressed the issue of deceit, or the rejection of Jesus as the Son of God.
“The coming of the lawless one (antichrist) is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and 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, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth…” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
In the final book of the Bible it is clearly stated that those who receive the mark of the beast (antichrist) will also believe the lie.
“Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse…” Revelation 19:20-21
In the above scripture passage the One who kills those that received the mark of the beast is Christ Himself. The irony is that Christ is the object of Satan’s deception which centered on the lie that Jesus wasn’t deity. Yet Christ will emerge the victor by defeating not only the one who devised the lie, but also those that believed it.
“…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil.” I John 3:8
During one’s lifetime, all must address the issue of who Jesus is. That issue is at the heart of the battle of good vs. evil and truth vs. the lie. It will become increasingly difficult to cling to the truth as Satan will exert his total, but restricted, power to perpetuate the lie. The Bible is explicitly clear on the person of Christ as the Son of God, and as the future Judge, King, and Lawgiver over the whole earth.
Christians will be required to take a stand.