2 Cor. 2:11 π 2 Cor. 4:4 π Eph. 4:18
The children of God need to know that to be true in motive, and faithful up to light, is not sufficient safeguard against deception; and that it is not safe for them to rely upon their "honesty of purpose" as guaranteeing protection from the enemy's wiles, instead of taking heed to the warnings of God's Word, and watching unto prayer.
Christians who are true and faithful, and honest, can be deceived by Satan, and his deceiving spirits, for the following reasons:
a) When a man becomes a child of God, by the regenerating power of the Spirit, giving him new life as he trusts in the atoning work of Christ, he does not at the same time receive fulness of knowledge, either of God, himself, or the devil.
b) The mind which by nature is darkened ( Eph. 4:18 ), and under a veil created by Satan ( 2 Cor. 4:4; top ) is only renewed, and the veil destroyed, up to the extent that the light of truth penetrates it, and according to the measure in which the man is able to apprehend it.
c) "Deception" has to do with the mind, and it means a wrong thought admitted to the mind, under the deception that it is truth. Since "deception" is based on ignorance, and not on the moral character; a Christian who is "true" and "faithful" up to the knowledge he has, must be open to deception in the sphere where he is ignorant of the "devices" of the devil ( 2 Cor. 2:11; top ), and what he is able to do. A "true" and "faithful" Christian is liable to be "deceived" by the devil because of his ignorance.
d) The thought that God will protect a believer from being deceived if he is true and faithful, is in itself a "deception," because it throws a man off guard, and ignores the fact that there are conditions on the part of the believer which have to be fulfilled for God's working. God does not do anything instead of a man, but by the man's co-operation with Him; neither does He undertake to make up for a man's ignorance, when He has provided knowledge for him which will prevent him being deceived.
e) Christ would not have warned His disciples "Take heed...be not deceived" if there had been no danger of deception, or if God had undertaken to keep them from deception apart from their "taking heed," and their knowledge of such danger.
The knowledge that it is possible to be deceived, keeps the mind open to truth, and light from God; and is one of the primary conditions for the keeping power of God; whereas a closed mind to light and truth, is a certain guarantee of deception by Satan at his earliest opportunity.
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