Paul wrote, “The coming of the lawless one [as ruler and epitome of Satan’s end time rule and kingdom] will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”
We prefer to think of the demonic as raw and pure evil with which we have no desire to have any interaction with. Instead the demonic is most often the invisible, unfelt, unseen, but more-than-welcome deception – the deception, though lethal, is embraced because it makes us think we are much better people than we actually are. The love of the truth that accompanies true salvation must include a clear recognition that there is nothing within us that was not in Judas Iscariot. There, but for the grace of God, go we. This is more truth than most, if not almost all, care to examine, let alone fully embrace.
The schemes and snares of the devil and the demonic laid for the end time people are all constructed with deception. The “church” paradigm is a subtle, multi-layered, multi-dimensional snare carefully woven by the enemy of our souls over the course of many centuries. This “religious” snare is interwoven with other deceptive snares constructed in the context of government, culture, career, education, family life, entertainment, even science and technology. Each and every one of these deceptions, when received as truth, have the potential to open a “door” of influence for the enemy of our souls to enter into our midst and begin his work of deception, distortion, diversion, division and ultimately death.
These deceptive schemes and snares are not sudden, overnight appearances nor are they things that we normally look upon as raw and pure evil. Rather we should look at the fact that all these historical things have a major element of deception away from faith in God and a strong thread of deception and bad fruit within whatever relatively small amount of good was done through each thing. The “church” paradigm covers at least two millennia of deceptions, our government alone covers a period of just over 200 years (500 if you go back to England and the Magna Carta, etc.) and science (with its political coup to take power from the “Church” of Rome that men commonly call “the Enlightenment”) is about 600 years old. In this country, we now have several generations of family problems and dysfunctionality, the career path made possible and virtually (and however subtly) mandatory by the Industrial Revolution is now about 150 to 200 years old and education (socialized prison for the young) has been mandatory in this country for only 125 years. Technology has changed the lifestyle of the world in less than a century by providing “culture,” transportation, luxury, ease and materialism (the quest to own more – the worship of mammon) to the affluent and covetous parts of society. Philosophy has made lawlessness (known as relativism) the standard of life and conduct – in short, no standard whatsoever – for just over a century now.
By what insanity can we think that, just by knowing that some of these deceptions exist and that because we have at least found enough sense to flee from the “church” building and religious system, by what insanity can we believe that we have already overcome all of these things? When we can barely define what God’s eternal purpose is and what the devil’s schemes to thwart that purpose are – some can barely admit that he exists, others find it impossible to think that he could deceive or harm anyone even if he did exist (only proving that they are victims of his deceptions) – by what insanity might we think that we are now able to simply sail or that we have already sailed right past all these things and worship God in spirit and truth?
How much deception can we obey and still be abiding in Christ’s truth that sets us free of all darkness and death? How much sin can we continue to commit and still be faithful sons of the kingdom of light? How long can we hide in and participate with the various darknesses that abound in this world, aiding and abetting their ongoing presence, and still say we are Christ’s salt and light in this world?
May God strengthen our love of the truth no matter how painful and humbling that may be to our own ideas of our self.
Let he who has ears hear.
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