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Can You Be Deceived?

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Can You Be Deceived? by: Wayne Schatzle The apostle Paul warned that Satan has transformed himself into an angel of light and that he also has ministers who appear righteous (2 Cor.11). He is trying to pawn himself off as Christ, the Messiah. He and his ministers appear to be God's servants! He won't look like the traditional devil, with the horns, tail, red body stocking, spade beard and evil grin - that wouldn't fool anyone into thinking he was Jesus. No, if he wanted to fool people he would have to appear like the traditional Bible story picture we have come to accept as what Jesus looks like. And what would his ministers look like? Well, they would have to appear friendly, polite, knowledgeable of the Bible, be called reverend or father, be trustworthy, and good respectable citizens. A good counterfeit is hard to detect.

What are we to do, and how can we be sure our church, minister, and the one we follow is the true Savior? The simple answer is given by Isaiah (8:20), "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." It's as simple as that, preachers must speak according to the Bible and people must hold them to that standard. The people of Berea were commended for receiving Paul's message and also for searching the scriptures daily to prove his words (Acts 17).

We study for school and work. We read all we can about sports. We watch our favorite stars on TV for hours. We listen all we can to the great names of the singing profession. We spend so many hours in vain pursuits, and so little time searching for God and salvation. The most important things of life are put on the "back burner" and we trust our minister to lead us to the promised land, without really knowing if he is on the right path. Jesus spoke of just this situation (Luke 6), "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?" He also said narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life and there are few who find it. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves" (Matt. 7). When you trust a man more than the Word of God, you are in effect following a man instead of God, which is the very foundation of a cult.

The good news for Americans is, we are a land flooded with Bibles and Bible helps. A good start would be a new King James Version with marginal references, a Strong's concordance, and maybe a good Bible dictionary, and you can be skilled in the Word in just a short time. All this and more is also available on computer disks at very low prices.

All we need now is the determination to put forth the effort to study to show ourselves approved unto God. And we also need to ask God to lead us in His truth, and the willingness to make the necessary changes in our lives. Jesus promised that if we seek God with all of our hearts we will find Him.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105)

Written by Wayne Schatzle


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