How not to be deceived?

How can I learn not to be deceived by a false spirit? Hyperthetical example: An evil spirit imitates an angel or gives a vision or a word to the effect of “God says go to xxxx and do such and such” when this is taking you away from your calling somewhere else. My thoughts are that I should check if the vision/word lines up with the bible… But what if it does?

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Just my opinion. We can do anything we want as long as it doesn’t violate morality. As long as it is benevolent. Is it Gods perfect will? We must be in a habit of using the peace of christ to guide and rule our hearts. My greatest tool asset is that peace. If I consistently obey the inner voice of God I learn what that peace feels like. If my greatest desire is to love God and glorify him then it’s impossible not to know His will. The key is whether you truly are hungering and thirsting after being right with God and truly expecting And trusting God to meet your needs. The fear of what you are wanting and are after is it because you believe it will somehow meet your needs and you must have it? If you truly trust God to meet your needs you will have no fear about what happens. I pray about decisions and tell God I’m making the decision in faith based on what I understand according to the facts I have and according to what God answered me. If He doesn’t make it more clear that is not my fault provided I’m truly trusting the pure in heart see And hear His voice. If your heart purely trusts God for your needs then His love casts out this fear you speak of. Makes sense to me. What do you think of that?

Hi, @ash.

That depends on how you would be lining it up with God’s Word. People can very easily read something into the text that is not there if they are looking for something specific.

First and foremost, God has revealed Himself in His Word, including His character and His ultimate will for us to be formed into the image of His Son in order to reflect His glory more and more. Obviously, though, God’s Word does not lay out every detail of our individual lives. I would be very, very cautious and suspicious about anyone or anything that specifically says something like, “God says” to do this or that–even if it seems to line up with the Bible in some way.

Without anything more specific to go on, I would put my focus on God and His Word rather than on trying not to be deceived. If we are grounded in prayerful study of His Word, then we don’t need to be overly concerned about being deceived.

I guess what I would want to know is why do you ask? Is there something specifically concerning you about a situation? Or is there just a general deep concern or worry about being deceived?

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Hi, @SuneXei.

Hi, @SuneXei. In order to get a better idea of where you are coming from here, can I ask, of what or whose morality do you speak? How do you define morality, and how do you think it comes into play in Christianity? Many things claim to be benevolent–but not all are. In what are we to base our idea and understanding of morality/benevolence?

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The entire bible describes who God is. HIS character. Right and wrong and the 612 rules in the old testament including the 10 commandments help us understand who God is. God doesn’t say do not steal lie or commit adultery arbitrarily just to make some rules . He says that because He is not a thief liar or unfaithful. What is t standard for morality? What is benevolent? Meeting another persons genuine needs. What is best for each of us in the long run. What did Jesus teach us to be the highest morals and values? Trusting God, the Lords prayer. Thy will be done. Not taking into one’s own hands and responsibility to meet one’s own needs. Its impossible to understand what it means to be broken bread and poured out wine unto others aside from the direct context of being constrained compelled controlled by the love of God. God is love. What is benevolence? The essence and character of God: always and only ever giving helping doing what is perfect best righteous. This side of eternity. It’s very complicated to explain what when how to meet the real needs of others because of the dynamic complexity of humans needing a spectrum of exhortation between law justice rebuke punishment to mercy forgiveness etc.

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Just a few more thoughts to consider in your intent to diminish your susceptibility to deception.

Consider how prone to self deception our thoughts and and imaginations are. Consider what the bible has to say about how man’s imagination can go astray (Below is every instance of the word imagination in the bible… Scan through them and walk cautiously with respect to your imagination.

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Ge6:5) And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. (Ge8:21) And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: (Deu29:19) And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. (Deu31:21) And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. (1Chr28:9) O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: (1Chr29:18) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (Prv6:18) At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (Jer3:17) But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. (Jer7:24) But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them: (Jer9:14) Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do: but they did them not. (Jer11:8) This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. (Jer13:10) And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me: (Jer16:12) And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart. (Jer18:12) They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. (Jer23:17) Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations against me. (Lam3:60) Thou hast heard their reproach, O LORD, and all their imaginations against me; (Lam3:61) He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. (Luke1:51) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Rom1:21) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2Cor10:5)

Discuss your specific concern with other trusted Christians. *Where no counsel is , the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14)

.*… Also, consider the story of Hanun and the sons of Ammon in 2 Samuel 10…

Something I find helpful: Listen to the stories of those who fell into deception and what they learned…
The following youtube story is very insightful into the dynamics of deception
(youtube.com/watch?v=OBda3vWOBsU)

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Wow timotto. that was a super intense thorough reply to the balancing side of the truth regarding being deceived. Fantastically thorough.
Through email and these platforms its so difficult to give the entire counsel and balanced view. We each ask ourselves what do we think needs to be shared most?
This interaction reminds me of my conversations with my pastor who is amazing. He often will reply similarly giving the opposite balancing points.
my question and thought to you particularly because I’ve read many of your posts and obviously you are intellectually keen; please read this and give feedback:
The topic I will post in Christian growth. titled law and grace. because I don’t want to stretch this thread too off topic.

@SuneXei
Thank you for your kind remarks regarding what I shared, especially considering the video which gives a converse perspective to yours in the consideration of whether the feeling of peace can be trusted as a guide to mitigate deception.

I’m not sure I can respond right now to your invitation to comment on your other post (although I think I understand what you’re asking in it). I may have time to respond later.

I’ll be glad to “spar” with you more on future posts: :crossed_swords:

As Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (Proverbs 27:17)

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Thank you. Video was very good too.

Great video. I too had fallen into a cult. When I was 21. I’m now 47. I since leaving the cult personally believe the bible is 100% correct and trustworthy.
Timottos list of scriptures I usually share in detail with people. To this day it’s good to review them because I would say that each time any of us sin it is because we are listening to our feelings without verifying first whether they line up with biblical truth

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I don’t see video link. Do you mind attaching?
Thank you kindly

Hi Patrice!
welcome to our community!!

Not sure why it’s not showing up anymore. Hope this helps :blush:

Hi Patrice!
welcome to our community!!
Not sure why it’s not showing up anymore. Hope this helps…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBda3vWOBsU

hello all readers and my dear friend Timotto. my friend timothy is the one who preached daily to me until I invited God to be Lord and He radically transformed me so the name Tim is dear to me. He was my best man later. on the topic of deception I wanted to share what I have been experiencing lately: Yes the risk of deception is huge and real. again I am giving the counter balancing truth: when we truly are simply and completely trusting in God to meet all of our needs and doing that to such an extreme thorough extend that we truly have no personal selfish desires, no ambitions, no wants that are focused on me being responsible for meeting what I think I need, then the fruit of that is peace, joy and life. I wrote a 2 page exegisis in my current book about this following profound truth: we either are doing religious works, ceremonies or simply trusting in God and by faith realizing the Oneness which we are with God. it is either or. before knowing God people try to earn God’s love. it is possible to become a follower of God and do the same thing but put a different package on it. the freeing truth is incredibly simple: trusting in the complete sovereignty of God. So, it is a life altering revelational rhema word truth to me understanding that true humility and faith is seeing that I am One with God in Christ. that truth sets me free from fearing circumstances need to be manipulated by ME ME Me through works. Peace and grace to you brothers and sisters be multiplied

Look at the fruit of it. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them’. I don’t know exactly where in the bible that quote is but I know it’s in there. It sounds to me like you have some experience of the action of the Holy Spirit. In the beginning when the Holy Spirit works with us it can be rather confusing and even alarming. When in doubt have recourse to logic. What is the rational thing? God and his holy spirit doesn’t usually ask us to do something bonkers. The trouble is sometimes he does or at least, sometimes he asks us to do something that flies in the face of logic. Be careful because there is a deceptive spirit. You might find the work of William Johnston helpful, ‘Silent Music’, ‘The I nner Eye of Love’. He is/was a Jesuit priest and he spent a lot of time in Japan studying and having enlightening discourse with Zen Buddhists. When it’s really the Holy Spirit you get a feeling of light and peace and love.
Also the same inclination/vision/word keeps coming. We need to be able to make a good examination of our own consciences. The Jesuits are very good at teaching that. The sayings of St Ignatius of Loyola are helpful for this. There is a modern book called ‘God of Surprises’ by Gerard Hughes, also a Jesuit. You may find this book and the exercises in it helpful. I have, and I think your question and my response has definitely helped me, today, in my difficulty. Thank you and God Bless you!