What causes deception

Mike Ratliff made some interesting observations concerning deception in his latest post, Speak Not to Please Man but to Please God

What causes deception? We like to believe that people lying to those they deceive cause deception. However, if we think critically about that (yes, I know that post-modernists have lost that ability, but humor me) deception is not the direct result of the lie, but is only takes effect when the one being deceived desires something from the deceiver such as a relationship or something else that is offered. The deceived believe the lie in order to receive something else that they want.

What has this to do with compromise in ministry?

When theologians, preachers, or Christian leaders who once were not compromised suddenly appear to make these strange decisions, if we take the effort to dig into what is going on, invariably we will find that they are doing what they are doing in order to please someone else. The motive is that of gaining the approval of man. Yes, there will be some with discernment who will notice and make an issue of it, but these people go ahead and do what they do because they see the gain they will receive as being higher than what they will have lost by not doing so. Of course, that gain is from man not God and the heat they will take from those with discernment, well, who listens to them anymore anyway?

He writes,

“…deception is not the direct result of the lie, but is only takes effect when the one being deceived desires something from the deceiver such as a relationship or something else that is offered”

I believe he is right, and that what the “pre-deceived” really are seeking from a deceiver is confirmation (and affirmation) concerning a lie which is attempting to take root within them already, and which they want to believe.

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

just musing…

5 comments on “What causes deception

  1. You are really right on in your theory here, that when a person desires something other than Truth, it is that desire that leads him into deception. Sobering truth that should cause us, in holy fear, to always put all our opinions, thoughts, “knowledge”, theology, ministry, etc. on the altar daily, because the Lord may just want them to become burnt offerings to Him and save us from deception in our willingness to sacrifice them.

    How vital is the scriptural command to watch over our hearts with all diligence, because out of them are the wellsprings of life!

    Art Katz touches this subject a lot in many of his sermons. Posthumously, Art’s brothers have collected some of Art’s writings into a small book called, “The Anatomy of Deception” which I highly recommend (available from Art Katz Ministries). It will fill out even more the good stuff you and Mike have here.

    Thanks my Brother and Sister.

  2. Deception is not difficult to entertain. It happens in subtle ways when truth is compromised by incomplete disclosure or exaggeration or simply deflection. Some deception is deliberate. Sometimes it is simply the result of laziness since making the effort at uncovering the truth more than we wish to make. We as individuals must act upon what we presently understand as right vs. wrong. Good vs. bad. Of God & His kingdom or the world. God’s principles vs. anything else used as excuse or explanation. We can sincerely believe in a distorted version of truth, but then in the broad sense what we understand as basic kingdom principle applicable to 99.9% of life’s circumstances. If we truly want to be open to correction I believe the Holy Spirit will indeed guide us in all truth. I believe we will all be in for a BIG surprise once we see Him as He is. To gaze into the eyes of Truth will be a real eye-opener for us all. And yes, many of those things we thought to be truth will melt away as imperfections removed. Thank you Jesus…

  3. Christ Jesus, risen, is the Resurrection and the Life. He is Truth. He is the narrow door that opens to us Eternal Life, in this life and the next.

    He is active.

    He is alive.

    How could we be deceived then with that in view being vigilant and sober minded daily in fellowship in one Spirit through Christ to God Our Heavenly Father?

    The “narrow” way is a Spirit Person. He is one of Three Eternal, Holy, True, breathing Beings, active and living in His dwelling place on earth, the Body of Christ, the Church.

    It would be easy to be lied too and deceived without Him. I maintain that no lie will ever deceive one with the True, Living Christ dwelling in them actively participating with Him in this life which is what Paul is teaching at Ephesians 2:10.

    Jesus Himself laid the foundation for “never” being deceived though one is lied too.

    Luke Chapter 20 is classic and worthy of mention in light of this topic.

    Here’s some quotes:

    Luk 20:1 One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up
    Luk 20:2 and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.”

    Luk 20:16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!”
    Luk 20:17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’?
    Luk 20:18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

    And here as well. With this as the foundation of Truth, let me ask, how could anyone be deceived after being lied too?

    Luk 20:33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”
    Luk 20:34 And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage,
    Luk 20:35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage,
    Luk 20:36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
    Luk 20:37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.
    Luk 20:38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.”

    Isn’t it time to open your heart and let Truth dwell there from now on and forever seeing God, our God, is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him?

    Jesus said, “you must be born again”.

    Peter explained what Jesus meant, here:

    1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
    1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
    1Pe 1:5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

  4. We’ve got to be in the Bible…letting it permeate us. Not just the chapter a day, Our Daily Bread stuff…….we’ve got to read it, think about it, write things down to chew on, talk about it.

    That way when we run into something like Glenn Beck……Bible verses should be popping into our brains.

    When a Dominionist starts teaching us about God’s plan to revive America……an alarm goes off. Even when I didn’t know how to refute Theonomy many years ago, I still didn’t buy into just because I’d been saturating myself with the Bible. I didn’t know how to refute, but I could see plainly it was wrong.

    I’m looking at Arthur Pink’s picture over on the side as I’m typing this. He gave me a love for the Scriptures. Reading his books on Elijah and the Sermon on the Mount etc….taught me to really think on the Bible. I don’t find that a lot today…people who have really bothered to read it and study it. It’s no wonder they’re led astray by Gary DeMar, Hagee, or even the really outrageous like Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen. People that are listening to them….have not read their Bibles. Because anyone I know who has studied the Word…the minute Osteen opens his mouth…the alarms start going off.

    I don’t know what it’s going to take to get people to abandon this idol called America. Somebody once said how the American individualist culture has more or less dispensed with the whole idea of The Church as the means by which God communicates His Word to His people and they fellowship in Him.

    So we’ve lost the Biblical corporate-community aspect. So…we substitute something else……..The corporate-community idea for American Christianity is….America itself.

    John A.

  5. Hi PJ,
    Mike’s post offers good insight into the reason for deception. It’s true that nobody “wants” to be deceived–they “want” what the lie will buy them.

    A study of 1 John helped me to understand that there are two areas that will inevitably lead one into deception: 1. Lack of love for God and the brethren
    2. Idolatry

    At the very end of the fifth chapter, the writer says, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”

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