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  • Writer's pictureDawn

Popping the Deception

My youngest daughter and her husband were on vacation recently and returned with a kind of hilarious story. One night, in their very luxurious resort suite, my daughter said she had a feeling that something was in the room. She tried to ignore it but sensed that something was staring at her. Then out of the corner of her eye she saw a dark shape move past the window. Ok, now she was getting afraid. Something was in the room for sure. (Just a little insert here: As I was listening to this story, I couldn't help but think something was about to be cast out in the name of Jesus. A pat on the back to this charismatic momma for keeping quiet and not saying, "Well, I hope you rebuked it!") As my daughter lay in bed wondering what to do, she felt something bump her foot. She said to her husband, "Ben, something is in the room and hit my foot!" All of a sudden she hears him yell out and start punching something, "It hit my face, it hit my face!" When the light came on, they saw that it was one of the left-over balloons from their celebratory decor. She said Ben was just hitting that balloon like Rocky. Now knowing my son-in-law, I was almost in tears laughing. He has a hilarious natural sense of humor and the best laugh so imagining him going to town on the creeper balloon was too much.

Jesus said "See that you are not deceived...". (Luke 21:8) He was not only warning the current audience but also those who would be alive at the end of the age. In fact, the main warning sign for the end times according to Jesus was deception. (Mathew 24:5) The Holy Spirit through Paul stated that in the last days there will be an exponential increase in false teaching and deception. (1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 3:1-9) The bad thing about deception is that one doesn't often know they are in it until they aren't anymore. So how do we not be deceived? Be filled with the Spirit of God. This is the fool-proof way to avoid the devil's land mines set to blow up our faith and take us off the path of truth. Yes, we need to know the word of God, but we don't know every single nuance of the word and revelation of every level of every passage. But the Holy Spirit does because He wrote it. The author of the book lives to intercede for us and He was sent to guide us into all truth. (John 16:13) When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior and put our trust in Him we are baptized into the Body of Christ. The next baptism we can receive as a free gift (just as salvation is a free gift), is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. When we repent of our sins and ask Jesus to save us, our spirits are reborn and we become children of God. Just as the early church put their faith in Jesus and then waited for the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:4) This experience is subsequent to salvation and is the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If it was necessary for Jesus to be baptized with the Holy Spirit at His water baptism, then clearly we need Him. Friends, we absolutely need Him.

I could write paragraphs about the kinds of false doctrines and subtle deceptions permeating Christendom these days. Much of it is circuitous deception reappearing in this generation, albeit more polished and slick, but with the same old demonic rhetoric. And even if I named names (which I won't, even though Biblically speaking I could), I couldn't begin to cover every possible deceptive nuance out there. But the Holy Spirit knows ALL the angles and NOTHING will slip by His radar. And if we are filled with His Spirit, and tuned to His frequency by being literate in His word, and walking in holiness, then He will alert us to even the most seemingly insignificant deviation from truth. Many years ago, my husband and I were impressed by a high-quality series a popular speaker had produced and decided to use it as a Bible study with our kids. There were about 15 dvds and as we progressed through, I began to have a sense of uneasiness. Something just wasn't right in the Spirit. Finally, I felt the Holy Spirit direct me to stop watching them. I didn't have a definitive reason why. Much of what was said seemed Biblical, but it was just the sense that something was off. I remember putting the series in a box and for years we just kind of lost track of it. To this day I can't tell you what happened to it, but I can tell you what happened to the guy who made them: Some years later, he became pretty notorious for coming out as a universalist and even wrote a book denying the existence of a literal hell. As far as I know, he is still following that trajectory. The deceptive roots that were infused in his productions, even if they were microscopic to me, were revealed by the Holy Spirit to protect us from deception. In the early 2000s, this guy was a kind of Christian theological rock star and wrote several books that thankfully have been called out as being heretical. Now we have new "rock stars"; one of whom has even been compared to this guy but defined as "more theological". The truth is their teachings are ancient, mystic, and rooted in doctrines of demons.

Jesus said that if we are His children, His sheep, we will know His voice and another voice we will not follow. (John 10:27) Let's be filled with the Spirit so we can hear Him properly. It's so easy, even though many people have been taught incorrectly or just plain scared away from receiving the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is ASK for Him. In Luke 11:13, Jesus says if we know how to give good gifts to our children, and we are evil, then how much more will He give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for Him? Just ask to be Baptized with the Holy Spirit. You can just say it during your prayer time and because the evidence is that He gives us a prayer language (Acts 2:4, Mark 16:17-18), start vocally praising God and expect that your good, good Father will give you Him. Jesus said that our of your belly will flow living water - so praise God and expect that the living water will flow as your beautiful, new language of the Spirit comes out. (John 7:38) I guarantee you it's His perfect will that you receive Him! He is not weird, scary or unusual. He is supernatural! The Holy Spirit will come upon you and empower you to be a witness for Jesus. (Acts 1:8) Remember the disciples before Pentecost? Mostly hiding in fear and scattered? Then after Pentecost? Boldy proclaiming the word of God with miraculous signs and power! If we are truly disciples of Jesus, then speaking in new tongues, casting out demons, raising the dead and all kinds of miracles should be normal for us. (Mark 16:17-18)

So like my daughter and son-in-law, let's be mindful when deception is lurking around us. It may be subtle and seemingly good and spiritual, but when the light of truth comes on, it may reveal something more sinister than a rogue balloon.

*I have included a short YouTube clip by Greg Laurie on how to receive the Holy Spirit.

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Greg & Kathy Fisher
Greg & Kathy Fisher
Apr 16

A deceived person doesn't know they're deceived. I can't imagine living one day without the Holy Spirit living in me. Good post Dawn. Thanks.

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