The spirit of deception is characterized by being sly, cunning and subtle in its infiltration in the minds of men. The devil, as the father of all lies, comes to steal kill and destroy and one of his ways is to present a lie dressed up as truth (as a wolf in sheep’s clothing), often disguised in the form of a so-called “revelation” from God.
Deception is strongly associated with the spirit of pride and will flaunt itself with impressive words and terminology, giving the impression of authority. He will come in false teachings and gatherings (and many other ways) to deceive those that are not rooted in the Word of God.
The Lord clearly warned us to ‘take heed that no one deceives you’ Matthew 24:4,
False prophets will arise (v.11) 23-26 et al. And Paul taught that in the latter times believers would give heed to ‘deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons’ 1 Timothy 4:1.
Remember that the devil also knows the Bible and used it to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. So, it contains truth, but it has a twist to it, tempting you with a sense of grandeur.
Using Scripture passages taken out of context, stringing it together to produce a “teaching”.
After having planted the corrupt “seed” of a false doctrine in your mind, the enemy will use
regularly or repeatedly occurring coincidences or similar type events which act as a support to a belief. This is the work of deceiving spirits.
“A little leaven leavens the whole lump”. Whole sects have started out with one little lie.
Whenever there is true revelation, the devil will try to distort it to lead many astray.
Test everything by the written Word of God and by the witness of the Holy Spirit. Do not rationalize because someone with a big name has said something.
On the other hand, do not be skeptical and suspicious about something you haven’t encountered before if it is found in Scripture.
Be careful! The devil, your adversary is walking around like a roaring lion to see whom he might devour.(1 Peter 5:8) Think of Saul, who believed he was right, persecuting the Christians. God had to apprehend him with the light, striking him blind to get his mind renewed.
When you get these beliefs you either don’t feel secure sharing them or, you feel they ‘must’ be told. The belief is often felt as a ‘personal’ or ‘special’ revelation, causing you to be extra careful whom you share these beliefs with. It carries the feeling of exclusivity and special enlightenment, giving the impression that anyone who doesn’t “see” this is inferior and uninformed and on a lower level of understanding.
How to guard against the spirit of deception:
- The Bible is our plumb-line, our lamp for our feet and has been divinely inspired. Get saturated in the Word of God. 2 Tim.3:16: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Get saturated in the Word of God so that you will easily recognize something which does not ring true.
- Test the tree by its fruit. “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” (Mark 13:22). Look at a person’s character – especially whether they want to be recognized, honored and acclaimed – not giving God the glory. This is already happening. A good example is Bileam.
- We also have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. Pray lots in tongues, sing also in the Spirit. Those who walk in the Spirit shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
- Listen to God! Make the Lord your prime focus.
- Walk in love, humility and holiness.
- Do not be afraid to expose the lie. Take your stand for truth.
Father God, we come to You in the name of Jesus, asking that You would shine Your light into our minds and reveal any belief system which we have absorbed that is not of You. Lord, anoint our eyes that we can see your truth in the light.
We ask for discernment and wisdom to know what is of You and what is not! Help us to expose and reject the things which are false and deceptive. Help us also to recognize any new thing which the enemy wants to use to lead us astray – in Jesus’ Name. Amen.