Don’t Be Deceived – Part Four

This post is the “fourth” in a series of posts, that addresses the absolute Biblical requirement for Christians to exercise Biblical discernment.

If God’s Holy Word, is, as I contend, our “yardstick” by which everything else is evaluated or determined against, when it comes to discerning as to whether a teaching or Christian doctrine of truth, that is being put forward by someone, is in line or agrees with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in God’s Holy Word, it should stand to reason that the teaching or doctrine being put forward, should in fact, line up with or agree with the whole counsel of God, as provided in God’s Holy Word, on that particular teaching or subject.

And for clarification purposes, the “whole” counsel of God would be all that God’s Word says on a particular subject, not just an isolated verse that could possibly be taken out of context with the rest of God’s direction or guidance on the particular subject. A good example of this is where all judgement is deemed as inappropriate, versus the admonition of making “righteous” judgements.

But here is the kicker. If one is not conversant with what the whole counsel of God’s Word says on a given subject, one has nothing in which to compare it with. As I indicated in the previous post, Jesus chastised the Sadducees for not knowing the word, nor the power of God. Not knowing the word applies to knowing the whole counsel of God’s Word. Keep “the power of God” in the back of your mind, because we shall cover that shortly.

Let’s take a look at some Scriptures verses that provide us with warnings about what we can expect to encounter at the end of the age and at Christ’s return.

Matthew 24:10-14 NASB
“And at that time many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another.And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold. But the one who endures to the end is the one who will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Notice that many will fall away, betray one another, hate one another and many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people.

Fall away from what? Sound doctrine? Betray and hate one another for what reason? Rejection of sole reliance on God’s Holy Word? Who are these false prophets and why will many be mislead? Nothing to compare false prophets and doctrines with, rendering discernment judgements highly improbable?

In Matthew 24:24-25 NASB, we have the following:
“For false christs and false prophets will arise and will provide great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.Behold, I have told you in advance.”

Again, false christs, false prophets, great signs and wonders that do not necessarily have their origin in God, misleading many.

And then we have Matthew 7:21-23 NASB:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Did you note that word “lawlessness“? Click on the link I have provided to see what God’s Word defines as “lawlessness”. Also note in particular the prophesying in Jesus’ name, casting out demons, performing many miracles that are deemed as insufficient to enter.

I have some questions for you.

How are we to discern who is a false prophet (false prophecy)? How are we to discern what are authentic God origin miracles? How are we to discern if what we are doing is in fact a form of lawlessness? How are we to discern if all Christians can be prophets and give prophecy? How are we to discern what the Biblical criteria for an authentic prophet of God is? How are we to discern how to test the spirits? How are we to discern “another Gospel”?

There is one answer for all of these questions and that answer is the whole counsel of God’s Holy Word,

Did you notice the criteria that was acceptable to Jesus to enter the kingdom of heaven? “BUT THE ONE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER, WHO IS IN HEAVEN WILL ENTER.” And where do we find God’s expressed will? Same answer, the whole counsel of God’s Holy Word.

There is a distinct difference between us pursuing our idea or our concept of what we think God wants us to do, and what God actually wants us to do (His will) , as clarified within the whole counsel of God’s Holy Word.

Examples you say. Sure, here are but three:
Love your enemies – Matthew 5:44 (this would mean no slander).
Forgive as you are forgiven – Ephesians 4:32
Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s – 1 Peter 2:17 (check this link to the left)

Do you see any potential problem areas there? I know I certainly do.

The power of God resides with God, wrought through His Spirit, in us, to His glory and to His honour. When we lose sight of the source of that power and His work in us, becomes our mantra, or claim to fame per se, the scales are reversed because God’s power is denied. Lip service may be given but the self ordained authority is self evident. Think the New Apostolic Reformation movement.

Consider what the Apostle Paul advised Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NASB pertaining to the “last days”:

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant. slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these.” Emphasis is mine.

Not knowing the whole counsel of God’s Holy Word and denying the glory to God, as the source of the power, were the two shortfalls Jesus identified with the Sadducees and both of these shortfalls are becoming increasingly prevalent today. Not only is the glory not rightly given to God, but selling the means to attaining this power is now a thriving highly lucrative industry. Think New Apostolic Reformation movement.

More to follow.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. I am enjoying your series, Bruce! I have been working through spiritual deception with our youth group and asking them how do they know they are not being deceived, how do they respond when they realize they’ve been deceived, what areas are they most prone to deceive themselves? Then we look at what Scripture says. It is maddening and heartbreaking at all the ways professing Christians are accepting the NAR. I have told the youth i the NAR, New Age and Progressive Christianity are great threats to their spiritual health and walk with Christ and if they ever have questions about what they read and hear to never hesitate to ask. Thank you for the time you are taking to share your heart!

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    • My pleasure Mandy. Later posts will go into the NAR and the Mormons but only lightly as examples, but there will be references to make use of. It’s scary how many there are to pick from and how little awareness there is. Blessings to you and Nathan and PQ!

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