What is deception?
It is believing something that is not true. That perhaps would be one of the simplest definitions.
More specific it is sincerely believing something as absolutely true or real or good or truly of God when it is not so.
What I wish to address is how to overcome the work of deceiving spirits.
Deception is more than just holding to a fable or general folklore like Santa or the tooth fairy. It is being given an idea or thought which because of the source of that concept - a deceiving spirit - the influence to believe that thing is real on the person and, once chosen, it is then regularly fed and affirmed by that spirit, to ensure faithfulness, but more so as a type of regular due. It is never enough for a demon to have obtained a hold or an opening in someone's life. They need to receive regular adulation and worship. To do this they make the 'believer' aware of reminders or new facets or any means that help affirm the 'belief'. It is powerful stuff.
I explain some of the ways deceiving spirits 'teach' in my article The characteristics of deception.
Another helpful article which lays down the need to discern what is received is Which s/Spirit are you listening to?
That deceiving spirits exist and are to be dealt with can be seen in what Paul wrote:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
1 Timothy 4:1
A good first step to overcome is to know these spirits exist and how they operate. This is because if you recognise you have come to believe something and you know of such activity as described is what you experienced to lead you to believe, then you are already equipped to begin to overcome. If you do not know there is a problem, then you never have to think about dealing with that problem. But if you begin to question the means which were present to initiate the belief, then you begin to see the challenge.
Teachable not gullible
The enemy works on the level of co-operation with the flesh and in league with other fallen spirits. Pride is one of the best holds the enemy has on people. Another issue of great effect is any feeling held against another. Both of these involve superiority over others and as such reduces the ability to hear and receive truth that is present to set us free. Both these hindrances can be seen as follows:
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
When you are proud you cut yourself off from the source of life and light. God resists you and as He is the Truth, pride prevents you accessing it. For more to help recognise if pride might be in your heart I recommend my article Pride is a killer.
Attitude towards others
He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1 John 2:10-11
God is love is not some airy fairy feeling or concept of a dream life or another existence; love is a hard fact of reality which if not practised totally prevents you to receive truth to guard your heart or to set you free. Only with love for others in your heart can you have nothing to make you stumble.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:7-8
Both in regards to pride and attitude towards others what is of note for overcoming deception is that it is not intelligence and knowledge that are most important. Good teaching is great, but no amount of knowledge beats love for overcoming deception. This is because:
Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
1 Corinthians 8:1
If you want to have access to truth to be set free by, then good teaching is discernible by love of others that makes you a listener: with such God shares easily.
A good test to know if your belief system has become the wisdom justified of her children (Matthew 11:19) is to see how you hold it in regards to others. I give examples of this in the article Making an idol.
The Scripture versus what you believe
The only root source for doctrine for a Christian is the Bible. Paul wrote:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture: not just the didactic, but the narrative too, but everything in context. The enemy knows this so well that as explained in the other articles above his classic method of 'teaching' is by stringing texts out of context together. Veiling the mind to any part of a context that takes away from the use of the specific emphasis given to the element employed out of context: And then constantly being legalistic about the words of that element: overemphasizing and repeating the facet used to deceive with.
Always hold the Scripture with higher regard to a system of belief you currently hold. This is what the Bereans did and why they were so highly commended by Paul.
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
But in all things, just as with prophecy, hold on to what is good:
Test all things; hold fast what is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
The Lord is THE Teacher
. . . for One is your Teacher, the Christ . . .
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
But seek with all your heart:
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Keep asking questions. Keep re-evaluating. Be encouraged with,
For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
If you have a real desire for truth more will be given you; if your heart is not true in this, then deception has you.
NEW – JUNE 2017
Paperback 112 pages
PINK OR BLUE
An Autobiographical look at How Deception Operates