How To Avoid Being Deceived
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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.
2. GET TO KNOW GOD'S WRITTEN WORD - THE BIBLE - & 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): seek God's wisdom (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)
[See TESTING THE GENUINENESS OF SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES]
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 how the enemy tries to deceive the unwary by
• 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