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Exposing Deception Pt. 1: How to Detect the Seed and Its Fruit

The spirit of deception is running wild in the world and I have been a prey to it recently. Exposing deception is high on God’s agenda though. I actually had another episode planned to release today but God led me to speak about this instead. The spirit of deception is running wild and while it’s concerning to see in action, it isn’t a surprise to see.

It isn’t a surprise because it’s in God’s word. On an occasion when the disciples were with Jesus, they asked him, “what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

The very first thing out of Jesus’ mouth was, “Take heed that no one deceives you.” They’re asking for a sign of his return and he’s talking about deceit. He mentioned deceit two more times in his response saying, “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” A little later in his response he said, “many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”

Given all of that, I can understand why God shifted what I had planned for this episode and redirected me to teaching about exposing deception. As best as I can tell, this is about to be a whole series, so buckle up!

Here’s where we’re going in this episode:

  • Define deception
  • The goal of deception
  • The fruit of deception and satan’s schemes
  • What makes someone vulnerable to deception
  • How to guard against deception

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Photo by Noelle Otto

What is Deception

The first step in exposing deception is to define what it is in the first place. According to Merriam-Webster, deception is the act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid.

The Greek for the term “be deceived” in the Bible is the word planao (pla-nah-o). That word means to lead astray. It also means to lead aside from the right way.

So, deception is anything that leads you away from the truth and into error.

The Goal of Deception

The goal of deception is separation from God; every aspect of God.

I think a great way to see deception is to view it as a seed. It’s a seed that gets planted. Because it’s a seed, it eventually bears fruit and that fruit is usually sin. I have a timely example of this.

My experience.

A timely example of this seed/fruit way of viewing deception is what I shared in the last episode. I was deceived about the foundations of an organization that I was a member of. If you have not listened to that episode, I want to encourage you to check it out now, then pick this episode back up. You can listen over at pavielle.com/144.

Ok, back to the illustration. I was walking around thinking that simply because the organization was founded on Christian principles it was rooted in Christ and pleasing to God. The seed was watered because there were official prayers, meetings would be held in churches, etc. So, I accepted my belief as true.

The fruit of this seed of deception was the sin of idolatry, manipulation of scripture, and entering into actual covenants. There were more sins, but those are what I covered in the last episode so we’ll keep it consistent here. But at this point, I was in sin so I had been led away from the truth and into error.

Later, I found out that my belief was false.

See this why you can’t be out here leaning on your own understanding because we be wrong. Proverbs 3:5-6 has a whole new meaning now. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Make our paths straight Lord

See how effective a tool deception is? It does a great job of mixing truth and lies.

The Fruit of Deception

There are three categories of how the fruit of deception manifests. Three methods he uses are lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. 1 John 2:16.

1. Lust of the Flesh

Lust is a desire or a craving. The Greek interlinear also defines it as a desire for what is forbidden. Flesh is our body.

When it comes to lust of the flesh, satan promises to satisfy our legitimate bodily needs and desires in illegitimate ways. Sex is a legitimate desire. Some would even categorize it as a need. Sexual immorality in all forms (sex outside of marriage, masturbation, etc) is an illegitimate way of satisfying the desire.

Eating is a need. We need food, but overeating is an illegitimate way of satisfying that need. 

2. Lust of the Eyes

Satan uses the lust of the eyes to tempt our mind through what we see with our eyes. This is covetousness.

3. The Pride of Life

The pride of life boils down to being in a state of living to impress others and not having a reverence for God. Scripture tells us that we shouldn’t even be living for ourselves let alone others. “And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:15, CSB

With pride, satan does a great job of making the “now” of our lives seem more important than eternity.

Deception can enter through any one of these mechanisms but the main vehicle is pride.

One of the main avenues that cults, lodges, and secret societies use to lure people in is the attraction and appeal is that you’ll be in a group that’s superior in one way or another. They’re the smartest, the first, prettiest, manliest, or even holiest. Or they promise something supernatural like immortality,

Groups Most Vulnerable To Deception

Some are more vulnerable to being deceived than others. Derek Prince discovered seven groups that are the most vulnerable. I explored them below.

1. Those who rely only on subjective impressions

This group relies on their own personal views, experiences, or background when making decisions. We can put our feel good people here as well. Because they feel “good” about it that means it MUST be right.

2. Those who look only to human leaders

“If so and so says it, I believe it.” This is a very dangerous place to be. A Lot of these are dangerous honestly. What makes this vulnerability dangerous is that blindly following someone’s beliefs can lead to death, which is how people end up in cults that lead to them being murdered or committing suicide. Nobody joins a cult. They join what they believe to be a good thing.

3. Those who accept supernatural signs as a guarantee of proof

Supernatural signs alone are not sufficient to guarantee that the person is a true man or woman of God. How do we know this to be true? Jesus told us. Matthew 24:24 tells us that “false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

We see this play out when Moses and Aaron pulled up on Pharaoh and his crew. Aaron threw his staff in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it turned into a serpent. Then Pharaoh told his wise men, sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians to come. They showed up and did the same thing Aaron did but instead of it being a demonstration of God’s power, they tapped into demonic power and used sorcery and magic. To the undiscerning person looking at both groups, no one would be able to tell who’s on the Lord’s side based on that initial showing of power.

This is why it was so important for Paul to address the spirit in the girl in Philippi. See Acts 16:18. What the girl was saying was true! But the spirit was trying to counterfeit and camouflage in there like it was the spirit of God.

This is why you can’t accept supernatural signs as a guarantee of proof. Because the devil has access to supernatural information and forms of power too! Soooo many things can seem right when they are actually wrong.

4. Those who through personal ambitions are susceptible to flattery

Sometimes we look for appreciation in the wrong place and get hooked on it. This is a prime way for a person.

5. Those who through personal ambitions are susceptible to flattery

The Bible tells us we must expect this. Since Christ suffered in the flesh [and died for us], arm yourselves [like warriors] with the same purpose [being willing to suffer for doing what is right and pleasing God] 1 Peter 4:1, AMP. Suffering happens. It’s a part of the Christian walk. I know there are some people who will preach that everything will be all roses but that just isn’t scriptural. So if you’re walking around expecting that, then someone can deceive you into going down a path of roses that is outside of the will of God.

6. Those who are ignorant of scripture

Sadly, this is a majority of Christians. We have to check everything against scripture because all of scripture is written inspiration of the Spirit of God. But if we don’t know the scriptures, then people can tell us anything and if it sounds good, and it will sound good, we are more susceptible to believe what that person says. And it could be a blasphemous error.

7. Those who through personal ambitions are susceptible to flattery

Tradition was a huge reason why the Israelites and the Pharisees rejected Jesus while he was walking the earth before he was crucified.

Guarding Against Deception

God gave us effective tools to guard against deception. Here are five:

1. Identify the Truth

In order to avoid deception we have to be able to identify the truth. Identifying and grasping the truth is one of the biggest challenges we face in the area of defeating deception. Well, who decides what’s truth and what isn’t??

Truth is a person.

  • In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” So Jesus is truth.
  • In John 17:17, Jesus was praying to God about his disciples and said to God, “Sanctify[i] them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” God’s word is truth.
  • 1 John 5:6 says, “And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.” The Holy Spirit is truth as well.

Verify with all three! Is it true to Jesus, is it in line with the word, does the Holy spirit bear witness to it?

This is why Satan works so hard to get you to not believe in the truth.

2. Cultivate a True Relationship With God

We must cultivate humility and the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 9:10 tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of true knowledge and true wisdom. I don’t want you to brush past this and be like “I fear the lord so I’m good.” Do you really? Inspect that thoroughly. I find that what most people fear isn’t the Lord at all, it’s poverty, being single, success, other people and their opinions.

3. Seek God in Everything

We can’t lean on our own understanding. Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Every time that I was deceived it involved a moment where I had not consulted God about the situation.

4. Exercise Discernment

Discern between good and evil. Practice. Exercise your senses. Subject everything to your discernment. Discern between what is true and what’s false. Discern between what’s spiritual and what’s soulish.

5. Cultivate a Love for Truth

Spend time finding out the truth. Search your Bible for it. Vet everything against it. The Bible has to be our first and final authority. Doing devotionals isn’t gonna cut it.

It isn’t enough to have some devotional time in the morning, go church once a week, and pray everyday. We have to have a commitment to the truth of the Word of God. And here’s the thing, if you aren’t reading the word, then what are you praying? We should be praying the word.

Want More?

If you enjoyed this episode, then you may also enjoy the episode of the show about overcoming deception or this episode detailing the deception with false idols.

Resources Mentioned

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1 thought on “Exposing Deception Pt. 1: How to Detect the Seed and Its Fruit”

  1. This comment offers a profound exploration of deception, delving into its origins, manifestations, and methods for defense. I find the author’s approach insightful, as they dissect deception’s essence, portraying it as a seed that sprouts into sin, drawing from both linguistic definitions and biblical contexts.

    Their personal experience serves as a poignant illustration of deception’s insidious nature, highlighting how easily one can be led astray by false beliefs. Through a detailed examination of deception’s goals and fruits, they underscore its detrimental effects on spiritual well-being.

    Moreover, the comment sheds light on vulnerable groups susceptible to deception, from those who rely on subjective impressions to those ignorant of scripture. This analysis resonates deeply with me, as it underscores the importance of discernment and a solid grounding in biblical truth.

    Finally, the strategies outlined for guarding against deception resonate strongly. Cultivating a genuine relationship with God, seeking truth in all aspects of life, exercising discernment, and nurturing a love for truth through diligent study of scripture are vital practices in navigating the treacherous waters of deception. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide you in Jesus’ mighty name.

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