How To Avoid Being Deceived
The biggest danger is for a Christian to think s/he could never be deceived. The first step is to recognise that each one of us can be deceived, if we do not follow Jesus' instructions and the warnings of others in the Bible. Below are some guidelines.
1. DEVELOP YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD on a daily basis by
• practising the four spiritual discplines Jesus practised
• learning to recognise the voice of the Good Shepherd
2. GET TO KNOW GOD'S WRITTEN WORD - THE BIBLE - AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
• The Word of God will help to keep you on the right track and
enable you to discern truth from error. (PSALM 119:105)
• The Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth, as Jesus promised
(JOHN 16:13-15) and seek God's wisdom as James advised JAMES 1:5-6
3. TEST EVERYTHING YOU SEE & HEAR WITH THE WORD OF GOD
Anyone or anything that contradicts the Written Word of God is a lie and
a counterfeit. (1 JOHN 4:1)
4. DON'T FOCUS ON THE GIFTS; FOCUS ON THE GIVER
[See JESUS ON SIGNS & WONDERS]
The point of signs and wonders is that they should point people to God, not
to individuals posing as miracle workers. By focusing on signs and wonders,
we are in danger of focusing attention on ourselves instead of on God.
5. BE ALERT TO THE ENEMY'S TACTICS OF DECEIVING THE UNWARY
Don't be gullible. Be aware of the ways the enemy tries to deceive the unwary
• Tempting you into seeking signs and wonders MATTHEW 12:38-42
• Using crowd manipulation techniques for inducing trance-like states to prevent you
hearing the Word of God & testing everything
6. BEWARE OF FLESHLY DISPLAYS OF SHOWMANSHIP IN FRONT OF LARGE CROWDS
• Jesus was not interested in spectacular displays before large crowds
• Beware of so-called healers and evangelists who like to perform in front
of large crowds, often with crude appeals for money before anything else.
They frequently use well-known crowd manipulation techniques, including loud music and
hypnotic chanting, raising of hands in response to instructions from the platform to increase crowd suggestibility, and the use of emotional appeals.
• There is little emphasis on the Word of God and much emphasis on dramatic
experiences, including pushing people over as a sign of 'being slain
in the Spirit'; claims from the platform of dramatic healings, which are not substantiated
or followed up with credible evidence; and appeals for money to support the work!
BUT Don't let fear of being deceived by the fakes make you quench the genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit 1 THESSALONIANS 5:19-22