The Danger of Deception

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Consider two important facts.  First, no liars will be in heaven (Rev. 21:8).  Second, no one who believes a lie to the exclusion of the truth will be in heaven (II Thess. 2:11-12).  Being deceived is not an excuse for disobeying God.  Herein lies the danger of deception.
The Deception Perpetrated By The Gibeonites.
The Gibeonites were among the Hivites who feared Israel at the beginning of the conquest of the land of Canaan by Joshua.  They disguised themselves in an elaborate way and pretended to be from a far country when, in fact, they lived in Canaan.  In Joshua 9:4-5, their elaborate disguise is recorded, “They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.”  They were able to deceive Israel because of this disguise.  The disguise obscured the truth about their identity and so helped with the deception.  The men of Gibeon sought a treaty of peace with Israel in order to spare the lives of their people.  God commanded Moses to utterly destroy them (Deut. 7:1-3).  Joshua was supposed to carry out this command which was the result of the justice of God against these people due to their iniquity (Gen. 15:16).
The Deception’s Success
In Joshua 9:14, we are told why the deception succeeded.  “And the men took of their victuals and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.”  You cannot discern a lie without knowing the truth. You cannot know the truth without consulting the word of God.  This neglect on the part of Joshua and Israel makes them culpable for believing the lie.  They are not innocent in this matter.
The Deception’s Danger
We are vulnerable to lies when we fail to consult God’s word.  If we believe a lie, we will transgress the commandment of God.  Joshua and Israel transgressed the commandment of the LORD and failed to carry out the justice God required against the Hivites.  The result is that they entered into a covenant with the Gibeonites that God forbade and this permitted them to live among the Israelites and influence them (Num. 33:55).  “But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.  Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.”  Israel’s disobedience led to their own eventual destruction.
A sure defense against believing a lie and being damned (II Thess. 2:11-12) is to love the truth and cleave unto it.  “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

Duped, Deceived, Damned

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Yahoo News reported recently that a 53-year-old  North Carolina man, Michael Fuller, tried to buy a vacum cleaner, a microwave oven and other items at a Walmart store with a million-dollar bill.  He insisted that the note was real when he was purchasing $476 worth of items.  Fuller was arrested and charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument.  He is in jail on a $17,500 bond.

Note several things about this story.  First, Fuller insisted that his milliion dollar bill was legit.  He was duped.  Second, he attempted to deceive others by using it and insisting it was authentic.  Third, A standard of currency proves him wrong.  The largest bill in circulation is $100.  The government stopped making $10,000 notes in 1969.  An authentic million dollar bill has never been produced by the United States Mint.  Fourth, Fuller was arrested and is now having to face the penalty for his crime.

In II Peter 2:1, the Word of God declares, “But there were false prophets also amng the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”  In the world of religion we must beware of false prophets.  First, these men are duped themselves.  They are cunning and bold.  They deny the Lord that bought them.  Do you know anyone who denies the deity of Jesus Christ?  Second, these men attempt to deceive others.  They teach damnable heresies.  They teach the opposite of truth.    Third, the standard of truth falsifies what they teach.  There is a standard to which we can compare any doctrine.  The Word of God is truth (John 17:17).  The test of truth is available to anyone willing to read and understand the Bible for themselves.  Fourth, these teachers and those they deceive will be damned.  The language is strong but effective.  To be damned is to be eternally separated from God.

If someone asked you for change for a million dollar bill, what would your reaction be?  What about someone who insists that Jesus is not God’s Son?  If we deny Jesus Christ, one day He will deny us (Matt. 10:33).

The Praise of Folly

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     The Praise of Folly is a book written by David Lutzweiler.  Lutzweiler reviews the life and work of Cyrus Ingerson Scofield.  Lutzweiler was once a believer in the dispensational, premillennial, Zionist theological view, but has now rejected it.  He thoroughly investigates the life of Scofield and finds many problems with his character and conduct both before and after his conversion.  He also explores the development and production of The Scofield Reference Bible which promotes the DPZ theological system.  Lutzweiler gives his own analysis of the DPZ theory and exposes its errors.  While you may not agree with everything in this book, you will be amazed by the shocking facts. 
     The title of the book is taken from a satire by Desiderius Erasmus (published in 1515).  In that book, Erasmus has the character Folly give an oration whereby he praises self-deception.  Lutzweiler applies the satire to evangelicals who are engaged in the praise of folly by endorsing Scofield and The Scofield Reference Bible.  I have just completed a book review of Lutzweiler’s work and posted it on my blog under “Book Reviews.”  Why not take a few minutes and read it.  Then, you may want to purchase and read the book.

Beware of Deception

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     The British carried out the most famous of all paradummy missions during the early hours of D-Day, June 5/6th, 1944.  The paradummy operation was code-named “Titanic” and involved dropping hundreds of paradummies along the French coast to confuse and deceive the Germans as to where the actual Allied Airborne drops would occur.
     These dummies, which have come to be known as “Ruperts” (as opposed to the American “Oscars”) were made of simple stuffed burlap sack cloth.  They were filled with sand, straw, or wood shavings and were attached to small scale sized parachutes.  They were small, only about 3 feet tall and could be dressed in actual small uniforms.
     Six brave SAS men jumped along with the paradummies to make a lot of noise on the ground, play combat recordings, make small attacks on German troops (like couriers) and generally help make the landings appear real to the Germans.  Days after the operation, only two of these six men returned to friendly lines.
     Deception can be a tool in war.  It can also be a tool of Satan.  Paul writes, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:14).
     False teachers do not go around wearing a badge indicating that they are false teachers!  All teachers should be put to the test of truth and righteousness (I John 4:1).  Those who are teaching the truth do not fear such scrutiny.  Those who teach error avoid it.  Spiritual discernment based upon a righteous standard is sorely needed today.  The spiritually immature are easily duped by Satan’s disguises.  Beware the “Rupert.”  Beware of deception.