2nd Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
This passage of scripture lays out one of the fundamental principles used by the devil in deceiving souls, the use of counterfeits, so that the unwary might become confused and thus inadvertently become entangled in the myriad of snares that are set for our feet. Beginning with Eve, this method has been used and developed over the centuries to the extent that Christ saw fit to issue several warnings to those who would be living in the last days of earth's history.
Not only is there a counterfeit Jesus and a counterfeit gospel, but there are also counterfeit miracles and counterfeit ministers, false prophets, false doctrines, and even a counterfeit trinity according to the Bible. Let's read:
2nd Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before.
These many and variant deceptions are scheduled to ensnare millions upon millions of people, including Christians who did not take the necessary time to research and understand clearly what they believe. A prominent example of what the Lord is referring to can be found in the experience of Paul and some other disciples who were traveling with him through the city of Philippi. They had come for the sole purpose of spreading the true gospel and they were experiencing good success through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the baptisms and conversions that were taking place, when they were joined by a woman, who for all intents and purposes, seemed to be encouraging them in their efforts to enlighten the people. Let's read:
Acts 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
A close examination of her words reveal that they were in fact perfectly true, and there was absolutely nothing in them that would raise an alarm or a red flag. But after several days, Paul became disturbed by her unsolicited advertisement, and through the power of the Holy Ghost, cast out a demon out of her. Let's read:
Acts 16:18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Now folks, this is as close as it gets, for there was absolutely nothing wrong or false about what she was saying, which brings us to the question of whether an evil spirit operating through an evangelist or a miracle worker, can actually speak things that are perfectly true and upright. The answer is a resounding yes, and that's the reason why Christ gave warning in the scriptures about the fine-tuned deceptions that would be coming our way, which indeed have already begun.
The question is, why would the devil try to align himself with the true work of the gospel? Why would he apparently be acting as a herald for the genuine work of the Holy Ghost? The answer is to be found in the passage given in the introduction, which delineates satan's work of counterfeiting everything that is good and upright so that the unwary, or those who think themselves too intelligent to be fooled, might receive the doctrines of devils as being the voice of God.
The work of deceiving does not stop at merely fooling people, for it is executed by satanic agencies for a particular purpose with a specific result in mind. Whatsoever an individual, or the multitudes believe, is what will inevitably be acted upon, for our actions are the result of what we believe or cherish. Satan first got Eve to believe that she would live forever by disobeying God, before she acted on her belief by eating of the forbidden fruit.
As we get closer to the end of time it will become more and more difficult to tell the difference between the true and the false, that's why it is of critical importance that we study the word of God very carefully, because it is the one and only means given to us to discern between right and wrong, good and evil. When Jesus was in the wilderness of temptation, and was accosted by the evil one, His responses to satan's suggestions were never "The Spirit told me", and yet Jesus was loaded with The Holy Ghost from birth. Christ's responses in every instance was "It is written", and thus he has set the precedent by which all temptations must be recognized and refuted. That's why in His victory gained in our behalf, he made a profound statement of fact that all people would need to adopt in order to live victoriously. Let's read:
Matthew4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
It is our sincere prayer and hope that every member of the human family will take the instructions of the Bible seriously, for very many people are already immersed in error that seems to be truth, and are consequently acting upon their beliefs. We therefore end with a passage of scripture, encouraging us to study the word of God for ourselves, using the Biblical methods of interpretation so that we do not accept darkness as light, or error as truth. Let's read:
2nd Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
May God add His blessing to the study and doing of His word. "Good night" and God bless!