We are preaching a two-part sermon on deception. In the prior broadcast we studied things that deceive you. Today, we are going to discuss people who can deceive you. In Matt 24:4, Jesus said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Notice the people who can deceive you:
You can deceive yourself – Gal 6:7 says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” You can deceive yourself into believing that you can sow sin without reaping corruption. Don’t do that to yourself. Instead of deceiving yourself, believe God and follow his truth. You must be careful.
- Your senses can deceive you, Gen 27:12. Isaac was deceived into believing that Jacob was Esau.
- Your heart can deceive you, Deut 11:16. When Solomon’s heart deceived him, he worshipped idols.
- Your wisdom can deceive you, 1 Cor 3:18. You’ll start thinking that you’re something, when you’re really nothing, Gal 6:3.
Men can deceive you – 2 Thes 2:3 – Paul said, “Let no man deceive you by any means.” Men will use any means at their disposal to deceive you. Consider the spam emails and robo calls that you receive. They use official looking emails to get you to click on their embedded links, and numbers from your own area code to get you to answer their calls. They pretend to be who they are not to steal your information, encrypt your files, and extort your money. Professors deceive you into believing that evolution explains our origin. Jehovahs Witnesses and Latter Day Saints use their appearance and their slick doctrine to deceive you into following their teachings. The closer we get to the coming of the Lord, the more deception you’ll see. In 2 Tim 3:13, Paul said, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
Preachers can deceive you – Jer 29:8, Rom 16:17-18, Eph 4:14 – deceiving people from the pulpit is a very common problem today. There is more deception today in the pulpits than there is truth. The only way you would know this is by searching the Bible, Acts 17:11, to see whether what men are preaching is so. And you must study to shew thyself approved unto God, 2 Tim 2:15. False preachers and teachers are clever. You must examine them according to what the Bible says and not what they make it say. If you are deceived by a preacher, you’re to blame. In 1 Ki 13:17-18, the young prophet who was deceived by the old prophet died for disobeying God, 1 Ki 13:20-26.
The Devil can deceive you – 1 Tim 2:14; Rev 12:9; Rev 20:8-10 – of course, the devil is the master deceiver. He knows how to use the Bible against us better than any person on earth. Look how he tripped up Eve. Look how he deceives the whole world into worshipping him. He’ll even deceive the nations to fight against the saints and the beloved city following his 1,000 year imprisonment in the bottomless pit.
The Lord can deceive you – Ezek 14:9; 1 Ki 22:22 – If you are determined that you are not going to believe the truth, or that you are going to live contrary to the truth, the Lord can deceive you. Look what he does to the prophets who set up idols in their hearts. Look what he did to Ahab’s prophets before Ahab died in battle. Look what he does in the Tribulation; God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, 2 Thes 2:11.
Conclusion: To keep from being deceived, you must simply know, believe and follow the truth, 2 Thes 2:12. That way when you hear someone lying to you to deceive you, the words of God will expose their lie and keep you from being deceived. If Eve had believed and followed what God said in Gen 2:17, she would not have been deceived. If Ahab had believed the truth of Micaiah’s prophecy he would not have been deceived. If the young prophet had believed the word of God about not returning to the city after prophesying against Jeroboam, he would not have been deceived by the old prophet. If you would believe what God said about creation, you would not be deceived by so called scientists. If you would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you would be saved and, therefore, not deceived about salvation and eternal life. Like Jesus said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”