In an article entitled “the Religious Origin of Fake News and Alternative Facts,” a finding is presented that suggests that Fundamentalists and Charismatic Christians are more susceptible to deception than others, indicating that it’s because of yet another factor called “truthiness.” Truthiness is defined as being a gut reaction to facts: if it feels right and it fits into my perspective, then it’s the truth.
AS believers, we need to understand that
1. Just because a person is born again does not make them “deception proof.”
2. Just because a person is faithfully religious does not make him or her “born again.”
The Lord would not have warned His disciples to “take heed and be not deceived” if there was no danger that they could be deceived. It does not matter how many things you are or were deceived about.
For example, For 25 years, I was deceived about speaking in tongues, . Yet the Holy Spirit did not release me from the deception until He was ready to do so. He simply stepped in when He chose the time to be right and started unravelling things. What I remain cautious about is this. Just because I am undeceived NOW, does not mean that it is impossible for me to be deceived again. For me to think otherwise would be both pride and arrogance and I do not want God to resist me.
So what is deception?
Deception has to do with thoughts in the mind. Simply put, we believe a lie or a half truth. The worst of it is the assumptions. if you start off with even one little wrong assumption, everything else falls like dominos.
In my pastoral counseling work, I am observing how a person can start out with truth and how the enemy can use the truth they have received and lead them into a lie. What happens is that the enemy takes advantage of our misconception of truth. He uses the weaknesses of our personalities to lead us into believing what suits us best.
This realization is humbling me quite a bit. I believe that once we are given truth, we have to seek God in prayer to help us not to misunderstand truth for our conception of truth may cause us to walk in error.
So my question is “how do we make ourselves fool-proofed to deception?”
I think we can all start the process of in-deception by examining our spiritual experiences. We need to consider how we got deceived, what was it about us that caused us to be open to the deception, and how did we come out of it?
In order to be undeceived, one has to WAKE UP!
Waking up is connected to all aspects of your being, spirit, soul and body. Here is what Jessie Penn Lewis in “War On the Saints” had to say over 100 years ago about waking up:
The deceived believe, laid claim to positions to which he had no right, for with the entrance of truth he discovers he was neither so advanced, nor so spiritual, nor so infallible as he had thought. He built his faith about his own spiritual condition on assumption, and left no room for a doubt, that is, true doubt, such as doubting a statement that afterwards turns out to be a lie, but in due season doubt finds an entry to his mind, and brings his house of infallibility to the ground.
He knows now that what he thought was an “advanced” experience, was only a beginning, and that he is only on the fringe of knowledge. This is the operation of truth. In the place of ignorance is given true knowledge; in the place of deception, truth. Ignorance, falsehood and passivity; upon these three the enemy silently builds his castles, and unobtrusively guards and uses them. But truth pulls his strongholds to the ground.
By the entry of truth, the man must be brought to the place where he acknowledges his condition frankly, as follows:–
(1)I believe that it is POSSIBLE for a Christian to be deceived and possessed by evil spirits.
(2)It Is possible for ME to be deceived;
(3)I AM deceived by an evil spirit;
(4)WHY am l deceived?
Then comes the facing of the fact that (1) “ground does exist; and (2) the seeking for knowledge as to what the ground is.
In order to discover the ground, the believer must first, in a general sense, get a fair conception of what ground is;note 8 for he is liable to be deceived in (1) putting down to “possession” what belongs to something else, and (2) placing to something else what belongs to possession. He may confuse ordinary conflict, i.e., the perpetual battle in spirit against the powers of darkness,note 9 with conflict which comes from possession. And when the deception and possession are of long-standing, the spirits of evil may get the believer himself to defend their work in him, and through him fight tenaciously to guard the cause of his deception from being brought into light, and exposed as their work.
They thus get the believer himself, in effect, to take their side, and fight for them to keep their hold, even after he has found out his condition, and honestly desires deliverance; one of the greatest hindrances being the effect of an assumed position concerning spiritual experiences, which believers are loath to examine, and part with.