Deception is the practice of misleading someone. Satan used this practice from the beginning, in the Garden of Eden. He continues with it to this very day. The act of deception is to be as close to the truth as you can possible be, and by that closeness, take people away from truth.
In previous ages, the Believer suffered physically for their faith, many were tortured and even put to death. It was not easy to confess truth and publicly believe truth, there was a terrible high price to pay. God gave the Christian believer grace to overcome.
Today, as Believers, we have something worse than physical suffering - it is religious deception.
The end-time was marked by Christ as being an age of deception. In Matthew 24, Jesus instructed his disciples concerning the end, that many will come anointed and would deceive many. And the deception would be so close, that would deceive the very elect of God... if possible! Talk about close!
Thank God it is not possible, because when satan comes (2 Thess 2:10) with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, because people will not have a love of the truth, it is also promised that some are chosen to believe truth. That alone, will keep you from being deceived in this great age of deception.
2 Thess 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
If you have been chosen from the beginning to believe the truth, you will not be deceived. The fact that you receive the truth and reject error is the evidence you were predestinated to salvation and sanctification of the spirit and belief in the truth. You will run from error as fast as you can run, spiritually speaking.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE RIGHT?
When I was a little boy, raised in a denomination church, believing I was going to heaven. When I started school, I found out there were other churches and other denominations that my friends went to and they believed they were going to heaven too. I was confused! I remember asking my mother, from a sincere little heart, "mamma, how do we know we are right?"
That is a question we all have to answer. It is something I still desire more than anything, my mother is gone on, but I ask the Lord Jesus, "I want to be right in all I preach and all I do?
I believe the answer is found in His Words. John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." That truth, must be found in a heart that desires it, not merely by education or belonging to a certain church, or hearing a certain minister, regardless of what his name is and the office he holds.
The Bible holds the mystery, thank God for men of God that preach and teach it, however UNLESS you hear it with spiritual ears and have something in the heart that can receive it. The mystery of the Word remains a mystery. The reality of "mamma, how do I know I am right?" Has to be received by the Spirit in your own heart, not by someone else's spirit.
WHAT IS OUR GREATEST FEAR?
What is the most troublesome thing we face today. In the midst of almost complete insanity, in politics, world leaders, education, and almost all fields of life we see men's hearts failing for fear of these things that are happening every day. What should be our biggest fear?
Scripturally, it is religious deception. Jesus marked the end-time by it - "Many will come in my name, anointed and will deceive many (Matt 24:5)." He said the same thing in Marks Gospel - "false prophets (preachers,) anointed ones would arise and show signs and wonders to seduce you, even the elect of God, if it were possible. Take heed, because I have foretold you these things."
Deception would be closely associated to the real.
The apostle Paul warned the Corinthian church; 2 Cor 11:13-15 "...deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
THE GREAT FALLING AWAY FROM TRUTH, NOT FROM CHURCH
The same apostle spoke of the coming of the anti-christ, and what would happen before He was revealed; 2 Thess 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" This would not be a falling away from religion, because the scripture goes on to say, that this will be a religious man, even worshipped as God. This would be a falling away from truth, by religious deceivers.
The anti-christ will come, "...with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved (2 Thess 2:10).
What is our hope in times like this? The rapture! The rapture and resurrection will take place before all these things are fully implemented. Don't miss it!
William Branham said of this age; "Matthew 24, it was the most deceiving age of all ages. All the ages of deceit, from the garden of Eden, all the way down, there's never been an age so deceptive as this age. "False prophets will rise and show signs and wonders, if possible to deceive the very Elected." Now, just a cold, formal, starchy churches, and so forth, of man-made theology, that wouldn't; the Elect would never pay no attention to that. But it's up there ALMOST LIKE THE REAL THING. Just leaving out one Word is all you have to do. Promised of the age; very great time! Christians, everywhere, take heed to the hour we're living! Mark down, and read, and listen close."
A DECEIVED WORLD
Why are so many people deceived today? "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess 2:11-12)" It is simply because people want to be deceived.
Isn't it strange that people would want to be deceived? I think not, it worked in the beginning when Eve found in the serpent, one that would make her feel better about herself, by encouraging her to do what she wanted to do. Even if it meant disobeyed God's commandment.
How did he deceive her? By being on her side in the question. He told her what she wanted to hear, she then excepted it, as truth. What was the end of that deception? Death!
Today, according to Bible prophecy and the words of our LORD, the multitudes will be deceived, thinking they are right. But the end of it all will come at Armageddon.
There is safety in truth. Truth is God's enduring Word; "...the truth of the LORD endureth for ever (Ps 117:2)." Truth will always remain the same; "The lip of truth shall be established for ever (Prov 12:19)."
Truth can make you feel bad, if it goes against a lie you are believing. But it must be desired more than a deception that will make you feel good all the time. "Desire truth in the inward parts (Ps 51:6)."
Truth has come to this idolatrous generation; few will except it and be free. John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth , and the truth shall make you free."
Pastor Bill Ivy - Living Word Tabernacle, Campbell Missouri USA
The following is the sermon preached on this Subject at LWT, Sunday 2-13-2022. Titled: "What is the Great Following Away?"