Deceive, Deceit, Deception

* How Satan tries to deceive us

Satan tried to deceive Eve by making her think that sin is good, pleasant, and desirable.  A knowledge of both good and evil seemed harmless to her.  People usually choose wrong things because they have become convinced that those things are good, they deceive themselves.  Our sins do not always appear ugly to us, and the pleasant sins are the hardest to avoid.  So prepare yourself for the attractive temptations that may come your way.  We cannot always prevent temptation, but there is always a way of escape.  Use God’s Word and God’s people to help you stand against deceit. (NLT)

Genesis 3:6 – The woman was convinced.  The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise!  So she ate some of the fruit.  she also gave some to her husband, who was with her.  then he ate it, too.

* Deceit not justified, even to achieve worthy goal

When Rebekah learned that Isaac was preparing to bless Esau, she quickly devised a plan to trick him into blessing Jacob instead.  Although God had already told her that Jacob would become the family leader, Rebekah took matters into her own hands.  She resorted to deceit, doing something wrong, to try to bring about what God had already said would happen.  For Rebekah, the end justified the means.  No matter how good we think our goals are, we should not attempt to achieve them by, deception, doing what is wrong.  Would God approve of the methods you are using to accomplish your goals? (NLT)

Genesis 27:5-10 – But Rebekah overhead the conversation.  So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game, she said to her son Jacob, “I overheard your father asking Esau to prepare him a delicious meal of wild game.  He wants to bless Esau in the Lord’s presence before he dies.  Now, my son, do exactly as I tell you.  Go out to the flocks and bring me two fine young goats.  I’ll prepare your father’s favorite dish from them.  Take the food to your father; then he can eat it and bless you instead of Esau before he dies.”

* Wrong miracles can deceive us

God performed a miracle by turning Aaron’s staff into a snake, and Pharaoh’s magicians did the same through trickery or sorcery.  Although miracles can help us believe, it is dangerous to rely on them alone.  Satan can imitate some parts of God’s work and lead, deceive, people to stray.  Pharaoh focused on the miracle rather than the message.  We can avoid this error by letting the Word of God be the basis of our faith.  No miracle from God would endorse any message that is contrary to the teachings of his Word. (NLT)

Exodus 7:12 – Their staff’s became snakes, too!  But then Aaron’s snake swallowed up their snakes.

* How we deceive others

To testify falsely means lying in court.  God knew that Israel could not survive unless its system of justice was incorruptible.  We should be honest in our private dealings as well as in our public statements.  In either situation, we “testify falsely” by leaving something out of  story, telling a half-truth, twisting the facts, or inventing a falsehood.  God warns us against deception.  Even though deception is a way of life for many people, God’s people must not give in to it!

Exodus 20:16 – “Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.”

* Deceit comes when we want to believe what we shouldn’t

Samson was deceived because he wanted to believe Delilah’s lies.  Although he could strangle a lion, he could not smother his burning lust and see Delilah for who she really was.  How can you keep your desire for love and sexual pleasure from deceiving you?  (1) You must decide what kind of a person you will love before passion takes over.  Determine whether a person’s character and faith in God are as desirable as his or her physical appearance.  (2) Because most of the time you spend with your spouse will not involve sex, your companion’s personality, temperament, and commitment to solve problems must be as gratifying as his or her kisses.  (3) Be patient.  The second look often reveals what is beneath the pleasant appearance and attentive touch. (NLT)

Judges 16:15 – Then Delilah pouted, “How can you say you love me when you don’t confide in me?  You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!”

* Deception more powerful than we realize

Delilah was a deceitful woman with honey on her lips and poison in her heart.  Cold and calculating, she toyed with Samson, pretending to love him while looking for personal gain.  How could Samson be so foolish?  Four times Delilah took advantage of him.  If he didn’t realize what was happening after the first or second experience, surely he should have understood the situation by the fourth time!  We think Samson is foolish, but how many times do we allow ourselves to be deceived by flattery and give in to temptation and wrong beliefs?  Avoid falling prey to deceit by asking God to help you distinguish between deception and truth. (NLT)

Judges 16:19 – Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and she called in a man to shave off his hair, making his capture certain.  And his strength left him.

* Deception leads to disaster

A life of deceit leads to disaster.  The man lied to gain some personal reward for killing David’s rival, but he misread David’s character.  If David had rewarded him for murdering the king, David would have shared his guilt.  Instead, David had the messenger killed.  Lying can bring disaster upon the liar, even for something he or she has not done.  (NLT)

2 Samuel 1:13 – Then David said to the young man who had brought the news, “Where are you from?”

* Deception of flattery

Sincerity and truth are extremely valuable because they are so rare.  Many people are deceivers, liars, flatterers; they think they will get what they want by deception.  As a king, David certainly faced his share of such people; who hoped to win his favor and gain advancement through flattery.  When we feel as though sincerity and truth have nearly gone out of existence, we have one hope–the Word of God.  God’s Words are as flawless as refined silver.  So listen carefully when he speaks. (NLT)

Psalm 12:6 – The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.

* Deception of money

Money has the power to take God’s place in your life.  It can become your master.  How can you tell if you are a slave to money?  (1) Do you think and worry about ti frequently?  (2) Do you give up doing what you should do or would like to do in order to make more money?  (3) Do you spend a great deal of your time caring for your possessions?  (4) Is it hard for you to give money away?  (5) Are you in debt?

Money is a hard master and a deceptive one.  Wealth promises power and control, but often it cannot deliver.  Great fortunes can be made–and lost–overnight, and no amount of money can provide health, happiness, or eternal life.  How much better it is to let God be your master.  His servants have peace of mind and security, both now and forever. (NLT)

Luke 16:13 – [Jesus said] “No one can serve two masters.  For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.”

* Deception of Christians in the end times

In times of persecution even strong believers will find it difficult to be loyal.  To keep from being deceived by false messiahs, we must understand that Jesus’ return will be unmistakable; no one will doubt that it is he.  If you have to be told that the Messiah has come, then he hasn’t.  Christ’s coming will be obvious to everyone. (NLT)

Matthew 24:24-28 – [Jesus said] “For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chose ones.  See, I have warned you.  So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look.  Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it!  For as the lightning lights up the entire sky, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.  Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.”

* Is it possible for Christians to be deceived?  Yes.  So convincing will be the arguments and proofs from deceivers in the end times that it will be difficult not to fall away form Christ.  If we are prepared, Jesus says, we can remain faithful.  But if we are not prepared, we will turn away.  To penetrate the disguises of false teachers we can ask: (1) Have their predictions come true, or do they have to revise them to fit what’s already happened?  (2) Does any teaching utilize a small section of the Bible to the neglect of the whole?  (3) Does the teaching contradict what the Bible says about God?  (4) Are the practices meant to glorify the teacher or Christ?  (5) Do the teachings promote hostility toward other Christians?

Mark 13:22-23 – [Jesus said] For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.  Watch out!  I have warned you!”

* Ignorance of Bible leads to deceit

Because of their cultural background, women in the Ephesian church had had no formal religious training.  They enjoyed their new freedom to study Christian truths, but their eagerness to learn made them a target for false teachers.  Paul warned Timothy to watch out for men who would take advantage of these women.  New believers need to grow in their knowledge of the Word, because ignorance can make them vulnerable to deception. (NLT)

2 Timothy 3:6-7 – They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by many desires.  Such women are forever following new teachings, but they never understand the truth.

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and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find
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