Deceiver

old-woman-574278_6402Timothy 3:13: But evil people and imposters will progress to the worse, deceiving and being deceived. (LEB)

If you are a deceiver, it is a strong indication that you have been deceived yourself, and not that you are smart.

There are evil people in the world, who have given themselves over to be used by the devil. Paul asked that people should pray for him so that he will be delivered from wicked and unreasonable men (2Thessalonians 3:1-2). He said he fought with beasts in Ephesus (1Corinthians 15:32).

Jesus said that he is sending us out as sheep among wolves, so we need to be as gentle as a dove and as wise as a serpent (Matthew 10:16). Not that we should be deceptive because the serpent is also a symbol of deception, but be able to catch people in their deception, by being able to follow their deceptive reasoning, being able to pinpoint their deceptive source.

In the book of proverbs, we read: do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him (that is being like a dove) and answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own eyes (that is being like a serpent) (Proverbs 26:4-5).

The deceiver cares for nothing but himself. Jesus calls the devil the father of lies (John 8:44-59). But in the focus verse, Paul directs our attention to people, who themselves are deceivers, having their behavioural source from the devil.

He calls them imposters, who will get increasingly sophisticated in their deceptive antics. That is a word of caution that whatever you allow to grow in your life will become a forest and that all that glitters is not gold. Things should not necessary be taken at face value. Paul said that even Satan measures as an angel of light, when taking about false apostles (2Corinthians 11:10-15).

Our business, therefore, is to become rooted and grounded in truth, which is the opposite of lies. And we should not be afraid to reveal the lies and liars out as Jesus did.

He confronted the Pharisees, calling them out, cutting them no slacks at all. He told his people to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1).

A hypocrite is the embodiment of deception, who puts extra care to look and act a certain way. They are far from genuine. Their number is many, their influence is pervasive. They lay claim to being followers of Moses to the hilt. They have a form of godliness.

They lay heaven burdens of right and wrong on the people, and they exempt themselves from bearing (Matthew 23:1-7). Their public persona is a cover for all manner of atrocities and murderous intent.  Jesus told the Jews your father the devil was a murderer from the beginning, and a liar. The devil Jesus said has come to steal kill and destroy (John 10:10), and his uses his instrument of falsehood to achieve them.

We need to stand firm against the forces of deception, those who have perfected their game, giving themselves over to the devil to be used in his evil works, who have mastered the art of smooth talk. There are people who have been corrupted and have become first class agents of corruption.

However, we have been equipped to resist their influence. John said that God has given us an unction from the Holy One and we know all things, hinting that no single man should deceptively claim to be a custodian of truth but the Holy Spirit is and he is available to everyone of us (1John 2:18-29). We are made sensitive, able to distinguish between good and evil.

What you sow you will reap, therefore if you sow deception you set up yourself to be deceived. You open yourself to be taken over by deception. It is the same thing with the man who loves to curse. The bible says: he loves to curse, let it not be far from him (Psalm 109:17). When you specialise in beclouding people’s vision, they you are setting yourself up to not know the truth, to not spiritually see correctly.

Being far from using deception is to be close to God’s vision. Jesus said that Nathanael was a man in whom there is no guile. And he promised him that he will see heaven opened with the angels of God climbing up on and down Jesus. That was the first and the last we will hear of him in the bible but he will be noted for his truthfulness and the promised reward of revelation from God (John 1:45-51).

A prophet laments the dearth of truth in the society (Isaiah 59). When a society is built on lies and truth and transparency are nowhere to be found, that means there is no righteousness which exalts a nation and there is sin, which is reproach (sin is shameful) (Proverbs 14:34).  When lies are elevated sin is elevated and you can expect corruption and lack of progress to mark the people.

God wants to flow through us with his truth, but he must first see your personal commitment to truth. God seeks those who will faithfully deliver his message, not those who because of one consideration or the other decide to bury the truth (Matthew 10:27).

We need to stand by truth, be committed to it since anything else is darkness and the truth is light. We are saved by believing the truth and we only progress in the Christian faith to the degree that we embrace and increase in truth (Ephesians 4:1-10).

Jude said that we need to contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints. He warned us, together with other apostles, against those who twist the truth of Christ. Paul referred to such things as the persuasion that does not emanate from God (Galatians 5:1-9). He calls some things doctrines of demons, there are conditions emanating from demonic sources that are not in alignment with the truth of Jesus.

Jesus is the truth and to not embrace and believe him is to believe in a lie. Our journey of truth starts with believing and embracing the truth which is Jesus. The truth is in him while information can be gotten in other places.

Truth is beyond information, it is a living entity. It is an animating force, it is the path that we should walk in, and it is inner compass. A man prayed to God: for your name sake, lead me and guide me (Psalm 31:3). Another asked: send forth your light let it guide me (Psalm 43:3).

What prize are you willing to pay for truth? If you are not willing to pay the price for truth you will be deceived (Proverbs 23:23).

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