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Age of Deception

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Satan is bringing deception into the Church as He always hasby undermining the Word of God

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Genesis 3:1–6 ESV
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

3 Now uthe serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You1 shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, v‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 wBut the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6

Matthew 3:16-4:
Matthew 3:16–4:6 ESV
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”
Many years ago I was involved in a ministry, it was a deliverance ministry, and I was there to learn about how to deliver people through prayer and casting out demons. This object of this ministry was not to deliver demons from unbelievers but from believers. As time went on i started to notice that those who where teaching the content of the course and those learning the content where becoming more and more in bondage to fear about what Satan could do to them. I started to seek God about this as this seemed to be contradictory to what scripture teaches, i.e.
Luke 12:32 ESV
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Luke
Romans 8:15 ESV
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 timothy
Hebrews
Hebrews 13:6 ESV
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
1 John 4:18 ESV
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
After days of seeking God, the Lord asked me a question, “What is only power that Satan has over you” I wasn't sure and I told the Lord “I'm not certain” The Lord answered me and said to me, “The only power that Satan has over a Christian is deception”.
How do I know that this was what the Lord was telling me? Because Jesus already said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
The primary weapon in Satan's arsenal is deception,
2 Corinthians 11:3 ESV
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
1 Timothy 3:13 ESV
For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy
1 Timothy 2:14 ESV
and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
Revelation 12:9 ESV
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Revelation 13:14 ESV
and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
Revelation 20:10 ESV
and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Revelation
Revelation
it is why Jesus called Him a liar and the Father of all lies
John 8:44 ESV
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
it is why Jesus called Him a liar and the Father of all lies, it is how Satan operates in keeping people both unbelievers and believers in the dark, and in bondage.
It is how Satan operates in keeping people both unbelievers and believers in the dark, and in bondage.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
So it is one thing to know that Satan operates in deception
So it is one thing to know that Satan operates in deception, its another thing to know how he operates in deception, and there is one primary way that he does.
Genesis 3:1–5 ESV
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Note what Satan says “Did God actually say” The primary means by which Satan will try to insert Deception into our lives is by undermining what God has said to us. In other words, he will try to undermine the Word of God. It has been the way he has operated from the very beginning Starting with Eve and even with Jesus he tried the same thing. in Matthew we read this.
Matthew 3:16
Matthew 3:16–4:6 ESV
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”
Look at the context of this passage of Scripture we see that God the Father gave a direct word that Jesus was His “…beloved Son,...” What where the very first words out of Satan mouth when Tempting Jesus? “If you are the Son of God.” God says you are, Stan says IF you are. In those 3 words, Satan was doing the very same thing that he has done in the garden of Eden, which was to undermine what God had said, i.e. the Word of God.
Therefore we can see that the primary modus operandi of Satan is to bring deception by undermining the Word of God, and he undermines the Word of God by bringing doubt about what the Word of God says.
Therefore we can see that the primary modus operandi of Satan is to bring deception by undermining the Word of God, and he undermines the Word of God by bringing doubt about what the Word of God says.
Now a lot of you may be saying, well I know that the Devil deceives and I know that he is a liar, so why is it important to understand this now?
The reason why understanding this now and learning to defend against it now is because the church at large is starting to succumb more and more to deception. In fact it is growing exponentially as we start to move further towards the end times.

Warnings against deception in Scripture

Before i move into the current situation in the Church in terms of deception in the church, I want to make something absolutely crystal clear to you. Satan has, from the very inception of the church, constantly sought ways of bringing deception into the church. In fact many of the epistles in the NT that you have in your hands today where written as a means of rebuttal to false doctrine coming into the Church. In fact many of the negative statements made in the NT are statements that are directly related to False teachers that where infiltrating the church.
One of the primary Greek words used for the term deception is planao

4414 πλανάομαι (planaomai), πλανάω (planaō): vb.; ≡ Str 4105; TDNT 6.228—1. LN 15.24 (dep.) wander about, move about without purpose (Heb 11:38); 2. LN 31.67 (dep.) stray from the truth (Jas 5:19); 3. LN 31.8 deceive; (pass.) be deluded (Mt 24:4; 2Ti 3:13)

It is the word used by Jesus when He talks about the end times, it is used also in Revelations, and its message is the same in both, do not be deceived, what that means is simple one of the marks of the end times will be deception and we must be careful not to be deceived.
We see this warning by Jesus echoed in the Warning by Paul to the Ephesians. This was the last time that Paul was going to see the Ephesians elders, and who knows tht when your never going to see someone again you make sure that you tell them the most important things that you can, it was false teachers who would arise after he left that Paul warned them about.
Acts 20:28–31 ESV
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.
Even after the New Testament period some of the most important moments in Church history happened because of false doctrines that arose in the church, for example the council of Nicea which was a response to a heresy promoted by Arius:
Even after the New Testament period some of the most important moments in Church history happened because of false doctrines that arose in the church, for example the council of Nicea which was a response to a heresy promoted by Arius:

Named after Arius, this heresy maintained that God the Father alone is eternal and made His Son to be the first creature He created ex nihilo. Some Arians went on to teach that the Holy Spirit was the first and greatest creature produced by the Son. The Council of Nicea met in A.D. 325 to deal with the subject, and it firmly rejected Arianism.

Post modernism

Not only do we have Satan's normal strategy against the church by means of Heresy and false doctrine from within, we also have a straight out external attack against truth itself by the rise of a philosophy called post-modernism. At the essence of postmodernism is the sense that truth is not related to what can be objectively known but rather what can be subjectively known, in other words, “thats your truth not mine”. The problem with post modernism is that there really is no ultimate truth, a concept that runs counter to the Scripture which tells us that Jesus is the truth.

Statistics about the bible

27 percent of Christians believe the Bible is the actual Word of God and should be taken literally
31 percent believe it is the actual Word of God, but with multiple possible interpretations
28 percent believe it is the actual Word of God, but with multiple possible interpretations28 percent believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God but should not be taken literally18 percent believe it is an ancient book of legends, history and moral precepts written by man
31 percent believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God but should not be taken literally
7 percent believe it is an ancient book of legends, history and moral precepts written by man
2014 Gallup poll
While the long-standing Gallup trend shows biblical literalism as ebbing, the new question indicates that the percentage of Americans taking the Bible literally is even lower, at 22%, when respondents are offered more alternatives.
What these statistics tell us is that the authority of Scripture as the Word of God is rapidly coming into decline.

Some deceptions in the modern church

Universalism: Universalism. Universalism is the belief that everyone eventually will be saved. It was first proposed by the unorthodox church Father, Origen (ca. 185–ca. 254). Origen and universalism in general were condemned as unorthodox at the Fifth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople (A.D. 553).
Norman L. Geisler, “Universalism,” Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 746.
The Prosperity Gospel: the belief that God's primary concern is for believers to be healthy and wealthy. If Christians are sick, suffering or poor, it is because of sin or a lack of faith.
The New Age Movement: a belief system of Eastern influence that emphasizes universal tolerance and doing what feels good (moral relativism). It contends that man is divine and can create his own reality and identity. 
Legalism: The dogma of salvation by works, the heresy* that man must earn a place in heaven by his personal righteousness.
Alan Cairns, Dictionary of Theological Terms (Belfast; Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald International, 2002), 262..
Hyper-grace: the overreaction to legalism, resulting in abuse of God's grace. Believers find themselves drawn to the modern hyper-grace movement because they are looking for freedom not just from legalism, but also from God's standards.
The Emerging Church: a movement that claims to be Christian but employs culturally sensitive methods to make the gospel more palatable to a postmodern culture. Jesus' life is treated more as an allegory or narrative rather than a true event. Of particular concern is the inclusive approach to various belief systems, an emphasis on emotions over absolute truth and the notion that there is no hell, judgment or need for forgiveness. The Emerging Church movement also glorifies honesty and confession, but without repentance.

Responding to errors

To the universalists: No one will be saved apart from Jesus Christ. Only those who choose to repent and call on the name of Jesus will have eternal life (see ). 
To heralds of the prosperity gospel: Jesus promised us that we will suffer, but that He is with us and has overcome the world (see ).
To the new agers: There is only one sovereign God, Creator of all things (see ).
To legalists: If righteousness were attainable through the law, Christ would not have had to die (see ). We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ's singular work on the cross, and even this faith is a gift from God not achieved by our own efforts (see ). And we are not to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ on debatable issues (see ).
To proponents of hyper-grace: God's grace has freed us from the bondage of sin, but we should not receive His sacrifice in vain (see ). We must repent and seek to live under the lordship of Christ, seeking holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit (see ).
To the emerging church: If we dilute the gospel, then we no longer have Good News to share (see ). Only Christ can break the chains of sin, set the captives free and conform us to His image (see ).

3 Areas of deception

Flesh

Self-deception

World

Deception from worldly philosophical systems

Devil

Deception from seducing spirits and their ministers (1 Jn)
Misunderstanding of Gods Love
Subjectivity of Truth
Feelings trumping faith

Responding to deception

Matthew 22:29 ESV
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
We need to have a both the Word of God and the Spirit of God. If we only have the word of God we will not have life, or a proper understanding of the Word of God, if we only seek the Spirit without the word we can fall prey to deception. We need both the Word and the Spirit.
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