19. Dealing with Deception
I am deceived. There are things that I believe about God, about myself, and about this world that are simply not true. But more than "not true," some of what I believe are a lie, of the enemy, and contrary to God. I do not know what those things are, nor how little or how much damage the untrue things I suppose are true are doing to my life, to my relationship with God, to my future, and to the people around me.
19. Dealing with Deception
I am deceived.
There are things that I believe about God, about myself, and about this world that are simply not true. But more than “not true,” some of what I believe are a lie, of the enemy, and contrary to God.
I do not know what those things are, nor how little or how much damage the untrue things I suppose are true are doing to my life, to my relationship with God, to my future, and to the people around me.
And God will not tell me. Nor can I rely on others to tell me; they will get it wrong more often than I.
Jesus said in the parable of the tares that His church will be filled with as many lies as the truth and that He will do nothing to remove those lies, nor can anyone tell the difference just by looking since tares are identical in appearance to wheat.
At this point, you might be thinking, “That might be true about you, Daniel Yordy, but it is not true about me. Everything I believe about God and about this world is the whole truth and not one thing that I believe to be true could be a lie, endangering my life and my future.”
You might base your argument on the fact that you believe what the Bible says and that’s all there is to it. But is that really true?
Are you filled with all the fullness of God? Do you walk as Jesus walked? Do rivers of living water flow out of your belly healing all you pass by? Do you manifest all the fullness of Christ in all reality right now?
No? Then let’s settle on this fact. You do not believe what God says.
If I believe things to be true about God that God does not say in the New Testament, and if I disagree with things God does say in the New Testament and avoid those things by creating a “theology” that allows me to explain why God does not mean what He says, then am I not deceived? Do I not believe a lie?
Let us accept, then, that both you and I are deceived about certain things, that is, some of what we believe about God and this world are lies and not the truth.Am I supposed to be deceived? Does God want me to believe a lie?
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth on the one hand, but on the other hand, He commands His servants not to remove the lies, but to allow them to grow together with the truth until the time of the harvest.
Solomon said that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the honor of kings to search out the truth. Does God hide the truth just enough so that only those who are determined to know the truth alone will seek it out and everyone else will remain in deception?
We do have to accept this reality as humans in the weakness of this world: we do not need to fear being deceived, we already are. What we must do is seek God until we come out of deception into all truth.
Here is my dilemma and consternation: I fellowship and work with dear Christian brethren who love God and understand much truth and who move in the graciousness and power of the Holy Spirit. Yet, in seemingly utter opposition, they believe things about God and this world that are absolute lies, things that are endangering their relationship with God, their lives in this world, and especially, are endangering the lives of those children whom they are called to teach. And God tells them nothing about it, but continues to attend their exercise of the Christianity they know with His presence.
At the same time, I look back at over 30 years of seeking God, wanting to know Him with all my heart, paying a great price, forsaking all that I had to follow Him, and yet, I know now that for most of those years I suffered pain and confusion that was (seemingly) unnecessary because I believed things about God that were not true, theology that kept me separate from Him when I should have been enveloped in the knowledge of His love. Yet God allowed me to believe lies about Himself, even though through all of that He was teaching me much truth, drawing me to Himself, and comforting me greatly with His presence.
What’s the deal?
The Internet gives us a window into the church of Jesus Christ like we have never had before. Everyone who can put up a website or a blog is presenting a view of “truth” as they see it and in searching the Internet, looking for those who are hearing the same thing God is teaching me, in the same Spirit, I see what looks like mass confusion. Everyone has their own take on things. Some sites I “agree with” but don’t witness to their spirit. Some sites I see truth, and I start getting excited, then right there in the middle of the truth they insert this ridiculous thing that has nothing to do with what God says in the New Covenant. Others go a little way with truth, but they stop so short of all that God says in the New Covenant; they find a place to limit God. And each one claims and fully believes that they have the clearest view of truth, that their handful of verses is what God is really all about.
And yes, I do find sites that are hearing the same word in the same Spirit. Not many, but they are precious and pure and holy.
Now, before I go any further, a lot of Christians like to take the position that if you do not agree with them on some point of doctrine then you are not “saved.” This is, of course, absurd. Salvation is Jesus. My trust in His shed blood alone is my salvation. More than that, Jesus said that ALL whom the Father has given Him will come to Him. I don’t have to doctrinalize what Jesus said; I simply believe it. So, no, other than the atonement of the blood of Jesus, believing lies about God and this world cannot affect our initial relationship with God.
But believing those lies certainly can get us killed. More than that, many, upon discovering that their pastors have taught them lies on some really critical issues in today’s world, will turn their back on God and walk away. “If pastor lied about this, he must have lied about everything.” And many more will weep when they find their spirits “saved,” but they themselves have missed out on wonderful responsibility from God.
I am commanded by God to receive all of my brethren, all who put their trust in Jesus; in just the same way that Jesus received me. And by His grace I do. But I cannot get away from Jesus’ words in Revelation 3: “Because you are neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”
In American Christianity, as it imposes itself around the globe, we have a Christianity that is closer to Jesus than ever before but at the same time in full and open support of anti-Christ, the enemy of Jesus, the ones who said, “Come, let us kill Him, that the inheritance might be ours.”
There IS great danger in believing lies about God and about this world, even though we may enjoy His presence because of our trust in Jesus’ atoning blood.
Let me make a claim without going into evidence.
The second strongest force in establishing the power and triumph of the beast of Revelation 13, the head of the beast that was wounded unto death and now lives, anti-Christ, in our world today, is the American Christian church. The strongest force is, of course, the depository and philosophy of anti-Christ itself. Yet, it seems apparent that without the assistance of the evangelical church, the Beast would not quite succeed in today’s world. And Christians give their full support to that Beast contrary to the gospel, imagining that God wants them to, imagining they are reading the Bible right.
Here is the terrible thing. Those who are fully aware of this evil thing rising upon the earth in power also know that the full intent and driving focus of this Beast is to destroy Christianity, with its primary venom reserved for the American Christian church. And those who are watching this evil thing rise in power, also see the open support given the evil by evangelical Christians, and they blame Christianity for the evil. They are not wrong.
God says clearly that the Beast will win; it will defeat the church and kill multiplied millions of Christians. This is not prophecy, but rather the study of current events. (And I am not talking about Islam – the beast hates Muslims almost as much as it hates Christians. In fact one of the strategies of anti-Christ is to provoke Muslims and Christians into killing each other off.) But how much of the coming horror is “and they shall burn her flesh with fire” and how much is “he shall make war against the remnant of her seed,” God alone knows.
It is deeply shattering to watch dear believers, whom I know and love, exalting anti-Christ, worshipping the Beast that was wounded unto death and now lives. And to find nothing but horror and stuttering attending any attempt to explain to them what the gospel of Jesus Christ, the New Testament, really teaches.
And so I submit, that being deceived, believing lies about God, the gospel, and the world of today, is dangerous. It can get you killed, and worse than that, it can harm your future with God.
At the beginning of this article, I made the claim that I am deceived! How do I know what is the truth and what is the lie? If half of what Christians believe to be true is a lie and if Jesus is not in the practice of removing lies from His church, what do I do, as an individual believer, who wants to be with Jesus in His triumph more than anything else in this universe?
I want to share with you what has become my anchor, my own personal certainty of truth. All force of darkness will assail the truth over the next few years; we must be absolutely anchored and certain, not in lies, but in the truth.
The first part of truth is a personal choice. It is my choice and commitment to trust in Jesus, in the New Covenant in His atoning blood. It is my choice and commitment to believe with all my heart that He lives in me, that Jesus is my life, and that I have no other life. It is my choice and commitment to regard the words of the New Testament as pure and certain truth as they come through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is my personal choice and commitment to believe what God says and to disbelieve anything God does not say.
It will come down to this. All of the accepted “reasons” for believing that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior, the only way to the Father, that historically He was crucified and rose from the dead, all the mental stuff, will be shattered before this thing is over. All of it. “The Bible says” is such a worn out and trite phrase; most Christians have no idea, really, what the Bible says. In the end it will become one thing and one thing alone. Jesus is my life. And this is a personal decision. But do not fear, dear one, for He has already chosen you. He will keep you.
All knowledge about Jesus and Christianity will not keep you. Your love of Jesus Himself, leaning your head upon His breast, that alone will keep you.
“He will lead you into all truth.” Those were the first words Jesus spoke that the Holy Spirit quickened to me personally, as I began my walk with God. Many believers find it easier to adopt the lame philosophy “We’ll know it all in the sweet bye and bye.” I never have. God gave us the Bible for this life and for this age. It is inconceivable that anything in Scripture is not meant by God for us, not only to understand fully, but also to live in all of the life of every word God speaks.
This is my firm and certain belief. One, that God intends for us to know, fully, everything He has spoken in the New Covenant. And two, that God intends for us to see all of it fulfilled in our lives in this age and on this earth.
So what is the truth? What personal decision causes me every time to go in one direction and not another? And it is a personal decision. Most Christians have made a personal decision to follow whatever their church says. Show them a New Testament verse and they will look at you like you’re from Mars if it doesn’t fit what their church says.
This is a personal decision they have made.
Here is my decision. If God says it in the New Covenant, I believe it. (With this caveat, that sometimes the words of the New Testament have been mistranslated or misconstrued.) If God does not say it in the New Covenant, I do not believe it.
That is not quite enough, however. God says things in the New Covenant that seem to contradict each other. Jeopardy versus assurance is probably the biggest seeming contradiction.
So what do I use to focus and understand the New Covenant?
The gospel according to Paul. Paul claims that his gospel, received by revelation, rules everything. Paul even treated James’s authority lightly. Either Paul was wrong, or what he said was absolute truth from God.
And what lines from Paul rule everything Paul speaks? “From the beginning God determined that I would be just like Jesus.” “Christ is all in me.” “Christ in me the hope of glory.” (Whatever God speaks, I make it personal to me. That is called “faith.”)
Consider this. The only books of the New Testament that were written before Paul began to share his understanding of “Christ in you” were Matthew, Mark, and James. Before Paul began sharing his revelation of Christ, everyone saw Jesus as the Savior, but as one separate from themselves who had done something for them. Paul revealed to us that Christ is our life, we are one with Him.
Luke was a disciple of Paul. The writer of Hebrews, though not Paul, was a disciple of Paul, Paul adding his own words to the last of the book. John did not write anything until after he had spent more than twenty years in the church at Ephesus, Paul’s church, influenced greatly by the disciples of Paul. Peter, though he had heard Paul’s gospel thoroughly before he wrote his books, excused himself by claiming that he did not understand Paul.
What Paul made different is to place the gospel of Jesus Christ out from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and fully into the tree of life.
Much of the Old Covenant, particularly the law, was God fitting what He could into the mindset of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That mindset says this. “Here I am. There God is. And I, separate from God, must choose to obey Him. He speaks to me; I obey Him. But I have a fallen nature, and many times I do not obey Him. He forgives me, yes, but here I am running back and forth between good and evil, flesh and spirit, obedience and disobedience.”
If you think this way, you live in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and you must die.
Paul’s gospel takes us out of that tree and places us fully in the tree of life.
Christ is my life; I have no other life. Everything about me that needed to die is dead. I am a new creation. I live in Christ; He lives in me. I live nowhere else. I walk in full union with Christ. He fulfills obedience in me. He creates in me the wanting to do God’s will; more than that, He does God’s will in me. Jesus does not live alongside of me. In fact, He lives in ME, the human me, as I am right now in this world.
I live and walk in full union with Jesus Christ. I do so by faith; I utterly disregard at all times what my eyes “see.”
From here we start and out from our union with Christ, we believe every word God speaks in the New Covenant.
But it is not enough to “believe,” because sometimes “believing” is another word for unbelief.
I believe in this way. Every word God speaks in the New Covenant, unless the immediate context says otherwise, He fulfills in my life right now on this earth in this age. That is how I believe what God speaks. And I believe what the New Covenant says about the Old Testament. I apply the rules stated clearly in the New Testament as my guide for how I receive what God speaks in the Old Testament.
And if I see things in the New Covenant that God speaks that I do not believe God for in my life right now, then I change my belief.
And if I see things in my life that I “believe,” about God and about this world, that God does not speak in the New Covenant, then I quietly separate myself from those things.
Let me give you an example. I was taught for many years that much of the time I lived and walked “in the flesh.” The verse in Romans 8 that says, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Christ dwells in you,” was almost always skipped over. And so for years I lived under a shadow of accusation and defeat.
Yet here is absolute truth. Nowhere in the New Covenant does God say that I am in the flesh. Therefore I refuse to believe any such thing. God does say, “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit.” I believe that absolutely and no one will move me from that belief. I have been told many times that I have a carnal mind. But God says in the New Covenant that I have the mind of Christ. Nowhere does He say that I have a carnal mind. I will believe what God says and reject what He does not say.
On the other hand, many Christians say that we should love this world, particularly the United States of America. They equate “patriotism” with true Christianity. But God says “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” God says, “Do not love the world, neither the things that are in the world.” Nowhere in the New Testament does God say, “Pledge allegiance to the Roman Empire.” Here is the problem, if I side with American Christians and refuse God, then I am opening myself up to incredible deception. And deception does not come a little at a time. You embrace one lie, and a whole host of lies come sweeping in, and now you yourself have become an emissary of evil. That’s how it works.
American evangelical Christianity is part of the false prophet of Revelation 13. American evangelical Christianity is part of the harlot of Revelation 17. America itself is part of the Babylon of Revelation 18. (Did you realize that the US has a military base sitting upon the site of the ancient city of Babylon, making the President of the United States today’s king of Babylon.)
American evangelical Christianity is working overtime to establish the reign of anti-Christ upon this earth, all the while imagining they will be raptured out and see none of what they themselves, in their ignorance, have helped to create.
If any of what I have asserted here is even partly true, I’m sure you can see how critical it is in these days to escape the lies of this age.
If God says it in the New Covenant, I believe it. If God does not say it in the New Covenant, I quietly separate myself from it.
And everything God says, Christ living in me fulfills all of it.
To believe in Jesus, to rest all of myself utterly upon His breast, to love Him with all my heart, and to believe Him, to believe all that He says. And to separate myself from everything else.