Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
1 Tim 4:1-5 NKJV
These are indeed trying and challenging times that are upon us, the bible describes these days as the last days. Many people are confused when reference is made to the last days; the main reason why they are confused is in their lack of understanding of God’s reference to time.
God does not live in time, we do. With God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day, you can find this is in 2 Peter 3:8. When God speaks of the last days generally it is a reference to the end of an age or season, so in that context Jesus appeared at the end of this days to put away sin by the sacrifice of the cross.
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son
Heb 1:1-2 NKJV
However in the scripture above the apostle is referencing what one could call the last days of the last days and he highlights various signs that would characterize that period. According to the Paul the period just before the culmination of the end would be manifest in a large scale departure from the faith; the body of truth revealed by Jesus and those he taught, it would be showcased by an abandonment of Jesus and the values, principles and commandments he taught and commanded for the Church-his disciples.
Many times teachers of eschatology are always pointing out the signs without the Church that Jesus did highlight as preceding his coming and the end of this age but we also need to look within the Church too. When you put the signs within and without together it becomes doubly obvious that these are indeed the last days.
There has been no other time in Church history where the commandment and teachings of Jesus have been so assaulted from within the Church as is present today. Many people, denominations and church leaders who were once known for their steadfastness to Jesus and His word have succumbed to the seductive wiles of deceiving spirits and have turned away from the truth they once stood for. This is occurring at the highest levels of ecclesiastical authority.
From questioning the divinity of Jesus, the integrity of the word of God, the sanctity of marriage as revealed in the word, the genders and the place and responsibilities of genders, to issues of sexuality, morality, heaven and hell, the bulwark of truth has been severely assaulted.
Paul the apostle did say
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
Acts 20:28-30 NKJV
Political correctness, the need to draw a large following, money and power has led many to be seduced by the enemy away from the simplicity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What is behind this large scale falling away? It is the enemy, the devil and a host of demonic entities that have been specifically assigned in this day to turn many away from the truth.
Paul said many shall give heed to seducing spirits, it is a shame to find believers or people who don’t believe in the existence of a real devil. These are already victims, in spiritual warfare the mind is the main battleground and truth and error are the chief weapons of warfare. Satan is called the deceiver and he is truly one, in fact he is a master deceiver and subtle seduction is his stock in trade
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Rev 12:9 KJV
These devils whisper lies and half truths to the unwary and the careless, feeding on their fears, insecurities, lusts and prideful ambitions. They target people of influence and authority and through them seek to turn people away from the way of truth.
There are many people who believe a lie simply because someone they trust has peddled it. In today’s world millions follow social media influencers, the question is ‘who is influencing the influencers’?
Many men have turned away from the will of God for their lives and families because a woman they loved was deceived, likewise many women have walked down the path of death because of a man who led them, need we go on?
These doctrines or teachings of demons are not necessarily religious in nature but are assaults on divinely established principles on human activity and relationships. They challenge the authority of God over His creation and cause people to rebel even against that which nature reveals and establishes as proper or natural to mankind.
The most notable example of how this works is found in the very beginning of creation in the story of Adam & Eve.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Gen 3:1-6 NKJV
This is the story of satan’s prime strategy against mankind, it is a tested and true one, it worked then and it is still working now.
The big question is ‘how can we protect ourselves from the seduction and falling away of these days.
For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted — you may well put up with it!
2 Cor 11:2-4 NKJV
In these words above lies the key, the only key that will work against these satanic strategy
If there is just one thing to recommend to anyone in other to be safe from seduction it is this
Keep your eyes on Jesus
Jesus is greater than doctrine, He is doctrine! To know him, love him, follow him and obey him is the only way to be safe.
Satan will try to use the word of God against you! He tried it on Jesus, the Pharisees and the scribes sent Jesus to His death while they quoted the scriptures. It is no new thing, people today quote the scriptures to justify all many of evil and perversion.
Wherefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
2 Peter 3:14-16 NKJV
Paul the apostle offered this useful piece of instruction
Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith… Heb. 12a
Follow me as I follow Christ.. 1 Cor. 11:1
The moment we take our eyes off Jesus and lose sight of him in our hearts then we are not safe, this is why true Christianity is not an exercise of the intellect but a revelation of the Lord Jesus in our hearts. Any body can be deceived, no none is naturally immune to the wiles of the enemy. This is why we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and commit to leaving by His word.
There are too many people who are Christian in name only but have no revelation of Jesus in their hearts and these people are the chief purveyors of the teachings of devils and evil spirits under the guise of progressivism, modernity or what they call liberal theology.
In declaring themselves wise they become fools and in proclaiming their freedom they become ensnared in bondage so great.
Jesus knew all this and so simply declared ‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free’
He is the Truth! It is important, very important to know the word of God, to study it, to love and obey it but it is far more important to know Jesus first.