The key to addressing deception is discernment.
Sadly, there are numerous example that I could draw from that highlights the lack of discernment in the body of Christ. I could point to the over 15 yearlong fall of a Todd Bently, not being able to distinguish between Holy Spirit and demonic spirits, to the number of churches/denominations who've abandoned the faith even rewriting scripture so as to condone ordaining ministers who practice lifestyles the Bible calls an abomination (ie. Leviticus 18:1-25 - includes fornication, adultery, incest, homosexuality and abortion), to electing candidates and supporting political parties who enact laws which are directly contrary to God's word.
Moral compromise, ignorance of God's word and the lack of a personal daily prayer life has resulted in an ignorant and therefore easily deceived Church. Add to that a lack conviction because of fear, greed or a combination of both and we'll find a Church at large which is almost irrelevant to society except for a small remnant.
Yet I have great hope. Why? Because the cannon of scripture promises revival, a mature Church (spotless bride) and an incredible end-time harvest and some of God's prophets have recently prophesied the same. 2 Chronicles 20:20 tells us we'll be blessed and prosper if we believe God's prophets.
The Key to Fulfillment of Prophetic Words
However, you'll find that most prophetic words are conditional. Prophetic words often remain unfulfilled until someone or some group motivated by the love of God and informed by the wisdom of God put their faith into action so as to bring the prophecy from a vision or spoken word into manifested reality. My friends, James 2:20 is so clear. Faith without works is dead. You show me your faith without your works and I'll show you my faith by what I do.
Those works minus the love of God is useless (1 Corinthians 13:1). Those works minus the wisdom of God is fruitless and often destructive. The key to this revival is the Church awakening to the truth of God's word.
Therefore I'm praying for a revival of discernment. I'm praying for the revival of true character with true miracles and healings.
Revival Requires Discernment
Jesus said it so clearly in John 8:32 where He said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
The truth makes us free. Lies and deception are used to put people into bondage.
We Must Learn to Judge
Discernment could also be described as deciding or making a decision. That requires judgment. Let me show you what the Bible says about discernment.
Jesus said, Luke 12:56 "Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?" The Greek word translated discern means "to test, approve, allow, discern or examine." It means to determine if something is genuine.
That my friends requires judgment. Hebrews 5:14 puts it this way. "But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who be reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.
So what is the foundation for that discernment? It is found in Hebrews 6:1-2. It says, "Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."
It's so clear that there are very few disciples today who actually know what the Bible even says about these foundational doctrines. This situation inspired me to prepare this workbook Hebrews 6 Foundations several years ago. It goes into every single doctrine the scripture says every believer needs to mature. I'd encourage you to get your copy today and study to show yourself approved a workman unto God rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
This will help lay a foundation for Biblical discernment in your life.
The Keys to Discernment
- The study of foundational doctrines found in Hebrews 6:1-2. Every believer ought to know these basic truths. Click for Hebrews 6 Foundations workbook.
- Regular reading and studying of God's word is critical. God's word is the plumbline from which all words and actions should be judged. My opinion and your opion don't really count for anything. The only thing that counts is God's word. This is what will be used to judge every action we take. Did you know that a recent survey revealed that only 11% of Christians have ever read through the Bible one time? If God's word is the standard then how can you discern if you have never read nor studied it? Ninety percent of the body of Christ is making decisions minus a first hand knowledge of the Truth. Personally, I read the Bible all the way through at least once every year plus I study it regularly. I encourage you to do the same.
- Testing the words, actions and spirits. The Greek word translated discern in Luke 12:56 is the exact some word bolded in each scripture below. The scripture says:
- 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good (NKJV). The KJV says "Prove all things..."
- 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
- How can you test the spirits unless you actually know Holy Spirit. This is only accomplished through a personal daily prayer life which must accompany a regular times in God's word for it is the "anointing which teaches you concerning all things" in 1 John 2:24.
- Galatians 6:4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
- Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
- Hebrews 5:14 "But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Bottom line, we need experience. Discernment comes from the regular use of God's word to distinguish between good and evil.
The root word translated discern in the Hebraic culture also referred to the money changers who had integrity. In otherwords, they refused to comprimise the purity of the silver or gold used in the monies. It's the same today with the United States Secret Service. They have responsibilty to watch for counterfiet monies.
How do they prepare to indentify the counterfiet? They get to know the real or true money really well so it becomes easy to spot a counterfiet.
Many years ago I began to learn about all of the cults etc. But I have not studied them for many years. Why? Like the Secret Service, I found that it was easier to discern but studying the true. It makes it easy to spot a fake even when its a new lie or deception.
In this context, Romans 16:19-20 comes alive as it says, "For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly."
God said in Ephesians 3:10 that He chose through the Church to show the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers. Therefore, I'd like to invite you to join me in Ephesians 4:12-15 "for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—... Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
I'm working and praying to help present to our Lord a mature bride, a Church without spot, wrinkle or blemish. Will you join me in this work?
How? Get equipped and then equip others. Make disciples!
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”