Are you deceived, misled, deluded and or beguiled?
I feel seriously concerned and often times grieved as I see the deterioration in the way many practice Christianity before my eyes. It will be easy to say “well, most are professors and not true Christians.” Or “what do you expect from pretenders to Christianity!” Or that some may question: “who are you to question others’ Christianity?” and say “you are judging and God said we should not judge!” and all such like excuses that people give when they don’t want to do the right thing.
But I fear that may lure me into slumber (as it has done many).
“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.” (Matthew 25:5),
and make me forget one of my core duties as a disciple of Jesus Christ, that is, reminding others of the truth of Scripture:
“…put the brethren in remembrance of these things…” (1Timothy 4:6).
Therefore, I must remain not only awake, but be sober and watch:
“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”(1Thessalonians 5:6)
Yes, I want to remain awake. Part of my being awake includes that I realise that while there are numerous professors of Christianity, there are also numerous genuine Christians amongst whom there many who are ignorant of the basics of their faith.
To both parties I have a duty of care:
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24–26).
All disciples of Jesus Christ must be “…rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Therefore, in this post we shall discuss the crucial topic of “The Deceived.”
It is my prayer that ALL that read this article will be challenged or and provoked enough that they will undergo a thorough self-examination as to their relationship with God and His Christ as true Christians are admonished to do:
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5),
and that, that will lead to profitable and God-glorifying action.
In this writing everything shall be only as TAUGHT by the Word of God, the Holy Bible.
Clarification of some terms
Clarification is necessary so that there will be true communication and no misunderstanding. It might seem obvious that it is important you understand the words and terms that you use, but in real life situations it is not always the case for many people. Many people still throw words about without understanding them. In the process they many times help to support and spread error and false teachings.
- That error will stop at you.
- That no error will go from you to another person any more.
- That you will not knowingly help “apostate Christianity” in any way from now on.
You asked “How?”
Start with these simply steps – this assumes that you are a born-again Bible-believing follower of Jesus Christ:
The first port of call is your opinion of the bible, how you regard the bible
- Please, examine your belief about the Holy Bible now:
- Do you believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant, infallible word of God, the supreme authority in everything and in all things for the disciple of Jesus Christ? (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
- Or Do you believe some portions and not others?
- Or Do you say you believe the bible but hold the teachings and revelations of your church, your church leader above it
- Or Do you have a surrogate god that you hold above the word of God, whether you give such a one the name of a prophet, pastor, spiritual father or mother, super apostle, archbishop of bishops, voice of God for today, culture and tradition or whatever other titles catches your fancy?
Remember: If your relationship with the Holy Bible, the written Word of God is wrong, you cannot have a right relationship with the God of the holy bible. This is simply because you have not and are not believing His word and will not be living according to His commandments (John 14:21; Hebrews 1:1-4, 11:6; 1John 2:3). This is the first major issue that you must settle. Then:
- Determine that you want to know the truth so that you can practice it, not just to acquire head knowledge to boast about
- Check the bases and basics of your belief – the basic assumptions of your faith, do they agree with the bible?
- Before you repeat another doctrine or knowledge to another person, pray, check with the Word of God the truth of it.
- Determine not to repeat to another person, what you have not thoroughly checked out with the Word of God yourself.
- Henceforth when you hear preachers or read any literature, prayerfully check with the word of God before you jump to any conclusions.
- Do you have personally, new revelations and leadings of “the Holy Spirit”, dreams, visions etc.?
- Check, do they agree or disagree with scripture, with previous faithful saints of God.
- I will personally caution you against any novel revelations no matter how they came, that flies against the previously established teachings of the previous saints of God that are based on sound biblical foundations.
- This is how a large number of cults had developed!
Now back to our topic of “the deceived”
What is it to deceive?
To deceive is “to cause someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid”; to deliberately give a false impression. To deceive implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness. Hence, the deceived person is one who has completely accepted a false idea, information or belief as true. And deceit is “the act or practice of deceiving” Deceitful is “having a tendency or disposition to deceive or be dishonest” Everything to do with deceive and deceit is usually deliberate and that is what makes it dangerous: the deceiver and the deceitful usually deliberate and act purposefully with the intention to deceive.
Further, synonyms of deceive which include: mislead, delude and beguile mean to lead astray or frustrate usually by underhandedness.
To mislead is “to lead in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief often by deliberate deceit” It implies a leading astray. The mislead person is one who has been led astray.
To delude is “to mislead the mind or judgment” It implies deceiving so thoroughly as to obscure the truth The deluded person is one who is deceived so thoroughly that the truth becomes obscure to him. He just can’t see or understand the truth.
To beguile is “to lead by deception” Hoodwink. It stresses the use of charm and persuasion in deceiving. Guile is deceitful cunning, duplicity. The beguiled person is one who has been deceived by charm and persuasion.
Wading through all the terminologies, the end of the matter is that:
The deceived person is one who has completely accepted a false idea, information or belief as true and goes ahead to act accordingly.
- Such a person may profess something with his mouth or by his association, but ultimately will not be willing to and will be unable to live up to the standard of the word of God.
- Rather than diligently seeking to improve and grow through the means God has provided for such progress, he will instead, rationalize and excuse away his own failings.
- Ultimately, the deceived person does, enjoys and encourages others to do and get involved in attitudes and activities that are plainly contrary to Scripture.
- And such a person will still continue to claim a healthy relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and continue to claim to have revelations galore!
- That is the essence or core of deception.
Please, Do NOT say, “this is impossible.”
Pause. Think a little. Look around you.
Continue reading. You will realize there are people like this everywhere today.
You will come to see that many are deceived but do not know it. Many have become very successive in self-deception: they have deceived themselves for so long that it is near impossible for them to believe they are deceived. Rather they believe others around them are the ones deceived. Hence it is very difficult for the self-deceived to detect or acknowledge the deception.
Before you exclude yourself with a wave of the hand, do self-examination. Yes, now is the time for self-appraisal. But remember according to the scriptures, yes, according to the Scriptures not according to your standards:
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; But the Lord weigheth the spirits. (Proverbs 16:2).
Perhaps you are wondering what that may mean. Wonder no more. That Scripture is letting us know that: Self-criticism is not seen amongst human beings as we are blind to our own flaws and do not see ourselves as others see us.
All the ways i.e. everything a person does is right in his own eyes. Otherwise, why will he do it anyway? Self-harm is only found among the unbalanced, those with some screw loose or missing upstairs so says the popular jingo!
But the Lord weigheth the spirits. God weights or searches out the motives, the condition of the person’s heart and decides accordingly. God alone is able to and sets the standard for what takes place.
The Scriptures give examples of classes of people that their ways are clean in their own eyes. Some of such people include:
1. The fool (Pro 12:15). He even says in his heart that there is no God (Ps 14:1). Deceit and evil works are his domain and he mocks at sin giving it ever attractive labels (Pro 14:19, 14:8-9).
2. The openly wicked (Ps 10:3-4, 13). This one gives fine sounding names to sinful acts, says bad things about others making them out to be worse than himself. In the process he excuses or justifies his own wicked behaviour. He not only will not seek God, but he thinks God will never call him to account.
3. The sluggard. “The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason” (Pro 26:16). He will readily use the weather and circumstances as excuse not to do something useful. He desires things but will not venture at anything. Even when doing things for others he is virtually unreliable and as good as useless. Rather than do something or help, he would rather hinder or become part of the problem. Loves to sleep and otherwise lay about wasting much time on frivolities (Pro 6:6, 9, 10:26, 13:4, 20:4).
4. The outwardly religious. He observes religious rituals and ceremonies, gives alms generously, attends worship and religious meetings and openly professes religion. He has a general interest in supposedly good things, has big titles and is the talk of the town. But when God weighs him, he amounts to nothing (Pro 30:12; Luke 18:11-12).
5. The worldly Christian professor (2Tim 3:5). He professes to be a Christian but his heart is far from God. Deep in worldly pleasure and amusements, private and hidden indulgences, company and conversation. Though he carries the bible, he forsakes the Holy Scripture and its teachings. He still claims to be a Christian but behaves exactly like the non-Christian.
- 6. The backslider. He feels secure in his state (Pro 14:14a). There is a deep decline in his Christian behaviour and activities: there is no prayer life and sin has gradually taken control of him. He now rationalizes everything the way the ungodly does. His conversation is no more spiritual, not reading the bible and his heart has become hardened by sin (Job 15:4; Hos. 8:12; Heb. 3:13).
And the self-deception goes on and on. All these claim to be “rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing according to their own mind”, yet they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev 3:17).
Many have convinced themselves that they are alright and need nothing more. They are self-satisfied and self-sufficient! They talk about what is common and lovable because everyone is in on it, doing it, making it and enjoying it. They say that it is working and to the benefit of many people! But the holy bible describes such roads that have been worn smooth by frequent travellers who never return like this:
“wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” (Mat 7:13).
However, there is another way, the other way. But there is so much complaint and striving about the other way: it winds about, it’s too narrow and rough; people hardly go there; nothing there has or seems to have changed; it is ancient and has remained same since the beginning of time; no innovation; just rules and rules and laws; very unpredictable with so many directions and turns; very restrictive and boring; rigid; not enjoyable and such other names and description that the rebellious can label it.
But the Scripture calls this way the “strait gate”. And goes further to say:
“Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Mat 7:13-14).
This is the way for the genuine believer in Jesus Christ.
Now that you have read or and heard the foregoing, Read slowly and thoughtfully, the items numbered (i.-xviii.) below. Be truthful to yourself and do this with the determination that you will not be afraid of the truth. Rather, you want to discover and diligently obey the truth, so that, if there be any veil of deception, the power of resurrection will tear it asunder in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Check: are you deceived in any area? Please be sincere with yourself before God and while you still have the opportunity to make it right with God during this period of grace.
Remember, we are to judge ourselves (1Corinthians 11:31) and examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith (2Corinthians 13:5).
Is any of the following part of your lifestyle or consistent with your habit?
- The person that has turned aside to serve other gods and yet attends church is deceived (Deuteronomy 11:16).
- The person that trusts in vanity is deceived (Job 15:31).
- The person who prays & fasts, gives money to the church while living in disobedience to the Word of God is deceived (Isaiah 58).
- The person who follows false prophets with signs and wonders is deceived (Matthew 24:24).
- The person who follows leaders and others that claim to be Jesus Christ or equal to Him is deceived (Luke 21:8).
- The person who evaluates his wisdom by the standard of age instead of by the wisdom of God is deceived (1Corinthians 3:18).
- The person who thinks he can continue to sin and then escape from the consequences of sin and enter the kingdom of God is deceived (1Corinthians 6:9; Romans 1:31).
- The one who keeps bad company with evil communication and thinks he can remain untainted is deceived (1Corinthians 15:33).
- The person who thinks himself to be something when he is nothing is deceived (Galatians 6:3).
- The person who thinks God can be mocked is deceived (Galatians 6:7).
- The person who thinks he can sow a thing and reap something else is deceived (Galatians 6:7).
- The person who continues in the same things for which the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience and thinks he will be spared is deceived (Ephesians 5:6).
- The person who says Jesus Christ has already come the second time is deceived (2Thessalonians 2:3).
- The person who is evil and seducer is a deceiver and is being deceived (2Timothy 3:13).
- The person who hears the Word of God but does not apply it to his life is deceived (James 1:22).
- The person who does not bridled his tongue is deceived (James 1:26).
- The person who says he has no sin deceives himself (1John 1:8).
- The person who does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is deceived and a deceiver (2John 7).
Remember: that the above list (i.-xviii.) is not exhaustive. This is given to prime your mind and just to show some of the ways people are deceived or deceiving others. A little thinking and you will be able to add more to the list.
The problem of the deceived and the deceiver is that both are:
- alienated from God,
- do not and cannot know God,
- remain in bondage to sin and its consequences, and
- are heading for destruction if they do not change.
This is a dangerous state to be. But God has also provided a way out of this dangerous situation.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32).
Don’t go away now.
I believe God has brought you here for a purpose. Having read thus far, I also believe you may be seeking the truth with the intension of having the relationship that God demands of you with Him.
Therefore, I implore you to think carefully about what you have read and heard now. If perchance you have discovered that have been deceived or been deceiving and you want to change, and indeed I implore you to change now.
Deliverance and freedom are possible, but only take place when you know Jesus Christ and accept Him as your Saviour and your Lord. You may find that deliverance here (make here clickable to salvation message)
May be you are saying:
- “But I’ve already done that. I’m born-again because a prayed a sinner’s prayer somewhere”
- Or “I’m a worker and hold a high post in my church.”
True as in truly? That’s OK. But please check this out for now. (make check this out clickable to “the mistakes about conversion”