This is an important article for end-times believers around the world. There is a great deception coming and we must be prepared for even what errors have come towards us. You can read the full article here on SermonIndex.
Practical tips for the End-time church.
Some people say that knowing Scripture is the only real key to
discernment that we need. And yes – Scripture is very important -
especially in exposing false doctrine. But it is not only doctrines
or teachings that are the greatest danger today. It is just as likely
to be false `anointings´ or spirits – perhaps even “lying signs and
wonders”. And we may need more than just a good understanding
of Scripture to spot these things. Remember, a lot of the people
caught up in today’s “manifestations mania” actually know their
Bible quite well. And yet they could still be deceived. So what
are the things that can help us avoid deception in similar situations?
Some of the most basic keys to discernment that God has shown
me are as follows:
(1) Know your HOLY GOD intimately. (-When you have seen His
glory, His holiness and His love – by drawing close to Him in prayer -
then you can usually see through any “counterfeits” because you
know the ‘real thing’ so well).
(2) Know your Bible. It is very important to be able to spot teachings
that are either extra-biblical or directly opposed to what the Scriptures
teach. However, it is important to remember that the Scribes and
Pharisees were extremely learned in the Scriptures and yet they
missed the very Messiah that was prophesied! So knowing the
Bible is important – especially for doctrinal issues – but we need
to be able to “discern the spirits” also.
(3) Be a “lover of truth”. This is very crucial. Are you someone who
will actually stand up for TRUTH – even against the crowd? Or do
you remain silent even when you feel something is very wrong?
(4) Purity of heart and Humility. Many deceptions only appeal to
us because there is something inside us that “wants” to believe
them. They are seductive because of darkness and wrong motives
in our own lives. We must search our hearts and root these out.
(5) The ‘inner witness’ of the Holy Spirit. We must learn to NEVER
over-ride this “still small voice”, as it will save us from deception
again and again. (-More on this below).
Did you know that even an unbeliever can often spot a ‘con-man’
or a snake-oil salesman? They get a kind-of “gut feeling” about
such things. And they are often right! In fact, they are often less
gullible than the Christians! (-Because we are told in the church-
“Do not judge”, ‘Touch not the Lord’s anointed’, “You have a critical
spirit if you do not join in”, etc, etc. This is the very reason why
Christians are often the most gullible and easily deceived). We
need to realize that the Bible says to “Test the spirits” and warns
very strongly that the Last Days will be a time of “seducing spirits”
and great deception. So how can we become more alert to these things?
I believe that God has placed within every human being at least a
measure of an inner “warning system” to protect us from being
easily deceived – just as He has given us all a conscience. It is
something that He has built into every one of us, in His mercy. (I
guess a lot of it is simply `common sense´). However, Christians
should have an even greater advantage in this area, because we
have the “inner witness” of the Holy Spirit, and the `still small
voice´ of the Lord speaking to us every day.
But what I have found again and again with people who give
themselves over to some form of deception is that they often
“override” these alarm bells. They go against their ‘better
judgement’. They ignore the little voice deep inside them that is
telling them that there is something wrong. Christians do this all
the time. That is how they get themselves involved in such foolish
This may all sound very obvious, but I am telling you, this one
basic area alone could wipe out half the deception in the church
right now. If only people would listen to these internal ‘alarm bells’
and act with common sense, half of it would be gone overnight.
The Bible is very clear that the Last Days are a time of such
widespread deception that it would “deceive if possible the very
elect”. It also shows that much of this deception will arise from
WITHIN the church – luring believers with “itching ears”. Do we see
evidence of this kind of thing taking place today? Certainly! In fact,
some of it is at a level that is truly shocking. And yet it is all
accepted as perfectly “normal” by many Christians.