Satan has worked and continues to work, even now, to produce the counterfeit of truth in every arena of life and human endeavor. Imitations, look-a-likes, clones, substitutes, and angels of light permeate every level of human consumption and daily interaction. His handiwork is integrated into every aspect of every thing that occupies mankind including the church of Jesus Christ.
And who has bewitched us is this clever exchange of the truth for the lie and drawn us away from our Father if not the very one who comes “preaching another Jesus, a different spirit, and a different gospel. Is he not the enemy of God who brings into the mix his very own false apostles, deceitful workers, who transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, even as Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (II Col. 11:4 & 13-15). And why does he go through all the trouble of counterfeiting the truth, even to the point of coming in the “guise of Christ” (definition of antichrist in the Amplified), if not to destroy the Work of Christ?
To destroy the work of Christ, Satan must fool the sheep. And even though Jesus said His sheep would not listen to the voice of a stranger, many shepherds have come in to strip and “scatter the flock of the Good Shepherd. “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD. (Jer. 23:1).
And who are these shepherds, wolves in sheep’s clothing, ministers of righteousness who come transforming themselves into angels of light if not the shepherds of which Jeremiah speaks in Jeremiah 23. These are the “hirelings” Jesus spoke of in John 10 who are being paid off by the Devil. They have sold their own souls in exchange for the temporary comforts and acclaim of the world.
Deception is an art form with the Devil and far more than a nasty little hobby. It is the very game itself. Deception doesn’t care which ditch you fall into, lust and lasciviousness, or law and legalism. As long as it keeps you off the King’s Highway of Holiness, Deception is satisfied.
Through deception Satan exports the lie to millions and millions of hungry people who are tired of the way things are. The lie becomes the promise for change and the hope of a new life. For the church it means revival, signs and wonders, answers to prayer and God coming down. Jessie Penn-Lewis a church mystic in the () century, wrote a book called, “War on the Saints”. She said that the people most likely to be deceived in the last days would be those most hungry for God. And how true it is.
A starving hungry man is more likely to eat food out of the garbage can than one whose soul has been satisfied at the table of God’s revelation. Our appetites for the truth of God’s Word have been curbed by Satan’s more appealing and instant gratification of the flesh. The suffering and steadfast faith of the early saints have been replaced by the shameless displays of sorcery and folly of the superstars, and as God Himself comments, “My people love to have it so.” (Jer. 5:31).
He goes on; “To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, (not open to Me), and they cannot give heed. Behold the word of the Lord is a reproach to them: they have no delight in it.” (Jer. 6:10).
If we refuse the love of the truth, God has no other option but to turn us over to the deception. The signs and lying wonders all become unleashed against the peoples of earth. “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.” ( II Thess. 2:9-12).
This is strong language and certain damnation for all who refuse the love of the truth. Much of our problem is that we do not know what the real Gospel looks like. To identify the counterfeit, we must be familiar with the feel and look, and smell of the real. The bank teller is not trained to know all the possible combinations of counterfeit bills, but to know one thing, the feel of the real. And though we do not go by feelings, there is a fruit to the real Gospel that brings an inner peace in the midst of turbulent circumstances. The real Gospel brings forth love and forgiveness that overcomes rejection and injustice. It produces hope and restores dignity to the oppressed and asks nothing in return but that God be glorified.
Again, Father forgive us for what we have done in listening to the lies of the enemy and making our alliances with him. Forgive us for being so ignorant of the true Gospel and complacent, and for the “casual harlotry” (Jer. 3: 9),we have committed in sleeping with the enemy. There is no One like You, Lord God and we repent for our idolatry and adultery, and our silence in these matters of life and death. Forgive us for our children’s sakes and do not let this sin come down upon them any longer. Amen.
How is the flock of God scattered; how is the heart of God broken?