Religious deception is widespread, but basically unrecognized. When a person is deceived he is misled by false appearance or statement. Such a person thinks things are one way when in reality they are a different way. This sort of thing will abound in the last days, especially religiously. The end days are filled with terrible events. Among the things which characterize the perilous days at the end of this age (2 Tim. 3:1-5) is general deception from evil people:
Religious Deception In The Church So-Called Is Rampant!Evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Tim 3:13)
CLICK To Learn Why Some Get Religiously Deceived
The first thing Jesus mentioned when He answered the disciples' questions about the sign of His coming and the end of the age was to watch out for religious deception:
Jesus WARNED Christians
About Religious Deception!Jesus answered: Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. (Mat 24:4, 5)
The Lord also mentioned the success that false prophets will have with their religious deception. False prophets today range from the small no-name to the very large mega TV ministry! This should cause all Christians to stay on their spiritual guard, for many will be deceived:
False Prophets Are A MAJOR
Cause Of Religious DeceptionMany false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (Mat 24:11)
The Lord went on to give specifics about how the false Christs and false prophets will deceive people:
Prophets and False ChristsFor false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect - if that were possible. (Mat 24:24)Did you notice that signs and miracles can be performed by deceivers? Furthermore, they seem designed to deceive the elect, if that were possible! Some people think it is not possible for the elect to get deceived, but we learn from others Scriptures that it definitely is:
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect - if that were possible. (Mark 13:22)Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. (2 Tim 2:17,18)Paul clearly believed the elect could be deceived, for he mentioned two false teachers by name and stated that their message destroyed the faith of some Christians. He also revealed his concern for the Corinthian Christians, thinking they may become deceived as Eve was.
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. (2 Cor 11:3,4)
Read This: DECEIVED By a Personal Prophecy
Another type of deceiver also exists. This type is a smooth talker just like the people on TV and radio, who speak so well:
Religious Deceivers Can Also Be Smooth
Talkers, Who Use FlatteryFor such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Rom 16:18)
False teachers can also present doctrinal arguments that sound good:
Religious Deception Through
Fine-sounding Biblical ArgumentsMy purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. (Col 2:2-4)
There also exists the following type of deceiver:
Another Type Of Religious DeceiverMany deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. (2 John 1:7)The are many antichrists type people, but one antichrist of Revelation. During the days of his reign and the possible rfid chip 666 deception, sin and martyrdom will be rampant!
Certainly, one of the ways in which the devil is deceiving many is through the Jehovah's Witnesses. Besides their many false predictions about the end of the world that people need to be aware of, is another message. Please note the following warning:
Religious Deception Through Jehovah's WitnessesAnd he said, Take heed that ye be not led astray: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am he; and, The time is at hand: go ye not after them. (Luke 21:8, ASV)The founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell, wrote a six volume set called Studies in the Scriptures in which his doctrinal distortions are placed in print. His second volume in this set is entitled, The Time is at Hand, the exact words Jesus said deceivers would declare!
Please also beware of other religious deception through Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, Muslims and Catholics. NOTE: The devil has been deceiving millions through visions for hundreds of years! That holds true in Mormonism, Catholicism and Seven Day Adventism. Fatima is a prime example. In fact, a Catholic who was questioning the rosary told my wife and I, she had a personal vision of Mary, which confirmed to her she should continue praying it. That means she would continue sinning in that way be doing so (Mt. 6:7,8)! Visions can be very moving, but DANGEROUSLY deceitful!
Religious Deception Through Visions
Aliens, UFOs, crop circles and mutilated cattle have all been of interest to many around the globe for at least 50 years. Millions of people believe aliens are real and come from another planet! Could it be that the messages they deliver are also religiously deceptive? The answer is a definite YES! Why should anyone think, if aliens are real, and not demons like some believe, they have to be moral or factual? If they do exist, couldn't they be wrong or lying? Absolutely. Furthermore, since their communications sometimes conflict with scripture, they are definitely wrong and therefore a source of religious deception! Don't believe the UFO religion.
Religious Deception Through Aliens
A Warning Regarding Jesus' ReturnConcerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (2 Th 2:1-3)With all the constant talk about a Pre-tribulation Rapture, which some say can happen at any moment, Paul gave us the details so we would not be deceived. Notice from the above what two events he stated would first occur.
Some find it hard to believe that the Antichrist and false prophet could perform miracles, but they certainly will:
Satanic Miracles Will DeceiveThe coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Th 2:9,10)In fact, even demons can perform miracles:
Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. (Rev 13:14)
But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (Rev 19:20)They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. (Rev 16:14)
Since demons can perform miracles, we should NOT assume they can't deceive us when we PRAY to God! Shockingly they can! For example, some have made the mistake to pray about the Book of Mormon for a burning in the bosom confirmation! That has resulted in satanic deception just as it has with some sincere LDS members being deceived about the Miracle of the Sea Gulls in the days of Brigham Young when crickets were devouring their crops and sea gulls came after prayer to God [Truth Restored, by Gordon B. Hinckley, The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints, 1979, pp. 106,107.]!
Deceiving Prayer Answers!
Demons can do various things, but perhaps the most shocking work that demons are in is concocting doctrines or teachings that will adversely affect some Christians even to the point of departing from Christianity:
Doctrines from Demons Will Cause
Some Christians to DefectThe Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (1 Tim 4:1)
Believe it or not, it is even possible to be self-deceived! Read the following and learn how this can occur:
We Can Be Self-Deceived!Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. (James 1:26)
If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Gal 6:3)
Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. (1 Cor 3:18)
The first time we read of the devil, he is about his work as a deceiver. (He succeeded in his religious deception with Eve when he first taught Gen. 3:4, which will soon be discussed further):
The Devil Has Been Deceiving Since EdenBut I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Cor 11:3)
And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (1 Tim 2:14)
Amazingly, the chief way the devil is noted in the following passages is by his ability to deceive people:
The Devil Is A Very
Successful DECEIVERHe threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. (Rev 20:3)(Note the devil's final destiny will be unending torment along with all people who die in an unsaved condition! This reflects how important salvation is.)
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Rev 20:10)
Besides all of the various methods that the devil has to deceive people, we should be aware that sin in itself is deceptive.
Sin Is DeceptiveFor sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. (Rom 7:11)Sin can put Christians to their spiritual death and should be avoided even to the point of shedding blood:
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. (Heb 3:12-14)In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Heb 12:4)(Note: Christians are in a struggle against sin. Sin is still the issue for Christians.)
Shocking but true, we must not even let our own heart lead us, for it too is deceptive. We must exalt the Scriptures to the primary position as to what is true and what is false, even above our own feelings and thoughts:
Even The Heart Of Man
Can Be DeceptiveThe heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jer 17:9)
One of the best ways to describe unsaved people is the following verse:
The Unsaved Are Religiously Deceived!At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. (Titus 3:3)Note: all unsaved people are deceived. This is why they don't come to Jesus for salvation. (Only a deceived person would not come to the Lord for salvation.)
The devil's original lie is found at Gen 3:4:
The Devil's Original Religious Deception
About Sin's Consequences"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.The devil lied about sin bringing forth spiritual death. This is the same message spread today by the various popular eternal security teachers such as Charles Stanley, Chuck Swindoll, John MacArthur, Charles Ryrie, Dave Hunt, etc. They deny that sin in the life of a believer can result in spiritual death. The following Scriptures from the real grace teacher, Paul, declares the opposite as we learn sin can stop a Christian from inheriting the kingdom of God and reaping eternal life.For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person - such a man is an idolater - has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Eph 5:5) Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. (Eph 5:6) Therefore do not be partners with them. (Eph 5:7)A common deception for thousands of years has been eternal security. In spite of the clear Scriptures just cited, some still choose to believe in that doctrinal myth. Also, notice the clarity of the following.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:9-11, NASB)
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (Gal 6:7) The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Gal 6:8) Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9)
Sin Can Result in Spiritual DeathBut each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. (James 1:14-16)Other Scriptures which also prove the above are:For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, (Rom 8:13)
If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it. (Ezek 33:18) And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so. (Ezek 33:18,19)
The seriousness of being a liar like the devil, who is called the father of lies (Jn. 8:44), is shown in the following:
Do Not Be A LiarBut the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Rev 21:8)So liars will go to the lake of fire. The following similarly shows that they will be excluded from New Jerusalem:Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Rev 21:27)
With all of this religious deception running rampant, it is vitally important not to be deceived. Please note the follow two Scriptures:
HOW NOT TO BE RELIGIOUSLY DECEIVEDDear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)Christians are not to be gullible! We are to test everything, including pictures of Jesus, so we won't become a victim of religious deception. If we do test everyone and everything we will be much safer. This means that all visions, dreams, prophecies, teachings, testimonies, experiences, feelings, etc. are to be compared to the message of the Bible. See 2 Tim. 3:16,17. If they don't parallel its message then they cannot be from the same source that produced it, that is, God. Even Nostradamus prophecies were sometimes accurate and he was a demon possessed sorcerer. Deut 13:1-5 also states that false prophets can sometimes be accurate with their predictions!
Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Th 5:21)If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you. (Deu 13:1-5)To hold on to the good, as mentioned in 1 Thess. 5:21, means to hold on to what is true, as shown in the Scriptures. Reject everything else for your own spiritual protection. Remember, what is at stake is the salvation of your soul. Guard yourself against deception in the church. Any religious message which doesn't align itself to scripture is deadly poison, that is, religious deception.
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