Don't Be Fooled!
I counted 101 times that the Bible either warns us directly not to be fooled, or it suggests that deception is all around us. I am sure there are a lot more than 101 deception verses, but the point is well taken. If it were not possible to be fooled, God would not warn us. By the way, each time He was talking to Christians. (Believers)
So what sort of deception is out there? I think it would be easier to go through who or what would NOT be lying to you. Do you really believe that the news is not pushing a specific agenda? Do you really believe newspapers, magazines, and even websites have your best interest in mind?
It starts very early in your life. "Mommy, can I have some cookies?" "No dear, we are out of cookies." Reality is, you are about to eat dinner and don't want little Johnny to spoil his dinner. Instead of telling him the truth, you lied. Why? Because in your mind it would be easier to handle it this way. What about as they get older and you tell them lies? Does it matter if they start lying?
We come by it honestly because there has never been a day in our lives that we have not been lied to by our parents, family, school teachers, government, church, pastor, spouse, kids, etc. The first day of your life that you will not be lied to is the day you stand if front of Jesus. I can assure you at that point there will be no more lying.
I watched a documentary about a guy that was on the "inside" in Hollywood. He pointed out something very interesting. The box they use to mold us into what they want us to be is called a "Tell A Vision". They use "Programs" to guide us along the way. Where do we find them? On "Channels". By the way, a channel is used in spiritualism.
The disciples came to Jesus to ask, "when shall these things be?"
Matthew 24:2-3, "And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
The entire world, all throughout history, has wanted to know these things. How cool. They had God sitting right there. Who else would know beside Jesus? Of course they asked. His answer?
Matthew 24:4, "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you."
Wow! The very first thing out of Jesus' mouth was "don't be fooled". Why would He say such a thing? Because Jesus knows the heart of man.
Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Even when debating with the leaders of the synagogue (church), he called them out.
John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
Deception is warned against because we are gullible and want so badly to believe everything. It is so hard to believe that someone would lie to us. When we see something on television, it must be true. When we read something in the newspaper, it must be true. Why? Why must it be true? If the source is not a born-again believer in Jesus Christ who has submitted to Jesus' authority as God, why wouldn't they lie?
Chuck Swindoll was asked, "Why do we sin?" Sounds like an honest question. He gave them a very good answer. "Because we choose to". When someone is "born-again", they are free from sin. That doesn't mean they won't sin, it simply means they don't have to sin. What about a non-believing, non born-again believer? They are not free from sin so it is their duty to sin; i.e. lie. The problem isn't they are lying to us, the problem is we believe it.
We live in a fallen world and when given information, depending on the source, it is never questioned. Since that is the case, why do we always question God, His Bible, His Son, or His Holy Spirit? Can you answer that one for me? We don't question the media but we will question God.
When you see a video of a man being gunned down by police and there is no blood, do you not find that a little strange? What about when a policeman shoots someone up close in their car and the passenger is recording the event on Facebook live and is never asked to exit the car. Do you find that just a little odd? When you see doctors that you know and trust have a different opinion from the ones on television, why do you automatically assume the ones on television are correct?
Jesus, Paul, Moses, and others warned of deception. They outlined it so many times. And yet? We still fall for it; hook, line, and sinker. Dr. Thompson, the Vice-President of Fruitland Baptist Bible College has what I call the "Pendulum Analogy". It is very simple, yet so profound.
A pendulum sways from left to right. It is affixed at the top to something so that it can sway from side to side. We are that pendulum. Let's use politics for example. When John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country could do for you, but what you can do for your country", he was considered very liberal and a left-wing Democrat. Today? He would be considered a right-wing Republican with a statement like that. You see, the pendulum swings in politics. If the country is too far to the left, it swings to the right. If it is too far to the right, it swings left. What nobody sees however is the top of the pendulum that has slowly moved to the left over the years. Yes, the pendulum of politics sways back and forth, but the overall movement of politics has been to the left.
A Christian may sway from right to left, but the pendulum is affixed at the top to something that DOES NOT MOVE! The difference is night and day. We are easily fooled and must have a solid foundation. When I went through the Charlotte Police Academy, we had a four-hour class on counterfeit money. I thought they would bring in lots of different types of counterfeit moneys and machines used to make it. Nope. They brought in lots of real money. We went over every aspect of real money. Why? SO WE WOULD KNOW A FAKE WHEN WE SAW IT! Why must you study your Bible? So when deception comes, you will know a fake when you see it.
The last days are here. Deception is all around us. PLEASE, study your Bible so that you will know a FAKE when you see it!