Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. II John 1:7
The Priests of God were among those who refused to recognize Jesus as the Christ. The chief Priests and the Pharisees said, Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he say, 'I came down from heaven'? With such reasoning they denied his place as the messiah and accused him of blaspheming. With accusations of blaspheming they arrested him found him guilty and then took him before Pilate to have him crucified. However they remembered one thing that Christ said. 'After three days I will rise again.
They did not think that Jesus would rise from the dead but chose to predict that his disciples would steal his body from the tomb. To prevent this from happening the chief Priests plotted with Pilate to have his tomb sealed. A few of the members of the Sanhedrin chose to believe that Jesus was the Christ, but the majority of the Sanhedrin chose execute Jesus to keep the Romans from taking their place and from destroying Israel. John 11:48 The members of the Sanhedrin did not know those who are deceived become deceivers.
The gospel Jesus Christ preached brought people back to God and away from the practices that the Priests and Pharisees had established. They saw Jesus demonstrate his love for the truth. On the other hand, the Pharisees were zealous about the law and boldly reminded everyone that Jesus broke the Sabbath several times. On the other hand, God credited Jesus Christ with signs and wonders, healing the sick and making the lame walk on the Sabbath to make a point. More so when the Pharisees saw the numbers of Christís followers growing and their influence dwindling.
The chief Priests and Pharisees thought Jesus was just another person who was making waves in their life of prominence. Offended by the words and actions of Christ, the chief Priests and the Pharisees were driven by the motives that keep them in the spotlight of leadership. To keep their authority to govern the laws of God, but they overlooked the law that says do not murder and applied their minds to rid themselves of Jesus. With Jesus out of the way they could resume their rightful place of leadership in a world ruled by the Romans.
The Pharisees were driven by selfish motives to keep the authority of government the Romans delegated to the High Priests. On the other hand we need to take note of the priests standing in opposition for the way the officials of the Sanhedrin were treating Jesus Christ. Nicodemus for example, was a disciple of Jesus and a teacher of Israel who recognized that Jesus could not have performed miracles if God wasnít with him. We can see the love of God in Nicodemus as he used his wealth to purchase the spices needed for Christís burial. Nicodemus also saw Jesus as someone who was deeply concerned over the spiritual welfare of everyone he came in contact with. As you can see the High Priests were motivated over earthly needs and Nicodemus being prudent, was concerned with spiritual things.
As long as you can choose what you want to believe it is possible you to be deceived for there is all kinds of human emotional motives that structure your personality. A wise person will make decisions with the full knowledge that his plans will succeed. He reads books on the subject, asks for advice and adopts what he considers the best choice for what he receives in return.
However, the knowing the truth has always been the key to make things happen the way you want them to happen. Procedures are a series of steps taken to accomplish a desired end because procedures are designed around the way things happen. In the same way, truth is an agreement with actuality and consistent with fact.
We live in an information age with valuable information that you need to know on the Internet and Libraries fill with books on any subject you can think of. However, among knowledgeable men and women we have one expert saying one thing and another expert disagreeing and saying something altogether different.
Even in religious circles, where the knowledge of God abounds we find that Godly men who have Doctorates with accreditationís and accomplishments a yard long that can not agree either. Havenít we learned that
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
Havenít we learned that there is only one source of truth. Havenít we learned to trust in Jesus to help us to interpret his word? Unfortunately some Christians feel incapable of determining the truth for themselves and donít make an effort to interpret the bible. Instead they follow those who teach the word of God and take the risk of being punished for another personís mistake. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge and trusting God has always been the key to know the truth.
What bothers me is the amount of theology that dominates the church community and is reflected in the personal beliefs of our fellow Christians. Christians can not talk about the Second Coming of Christ without reflecting on the pre-tribulational rapture. The pre-tribulational Rapture is based on the idea that a Tribulation Period has been prophesied to take place. How can you prove that a Tribulation Period exists when the term is not in the biblical text. Isnít that equivalent of making things up or filling in the blanks or just plain adding to God's word.
Consider this: As Godís ambassador you are to express the actual message that your leader gave you in a responsible manner to other nations. You should not use your office to talk about personal impressions or what you think your leader may have said. In other words you shouldnít go beyond what your leader wanted you to express and stick what he actually said. As a teacher you can heap burdens on your disciples if you expand the commands of God. The command was to teach your disciples to obey everything that Jesus Christ Jesus commanded you to do. As a layman you should never willingly spread unverified information as fact that will deceive your fellow Christian.
People that have been deceived become very disappointed when all their work was for nothing and heartsick because they were tricked to believe something that did not work. Disappointment turns to regret, frustration, bitterness and anger when they learn that they have been victimized and punished for the expert advice they trusted, and acted upon. One thing is common with being deceived, you suddenly learn what you should have done, when its too late to change what you have done. You never get a second chance to make or do things right.
Deception begins when the church we attend confine Godís word to a single theme to operate under. Lets remember that the Mormon Church is not the only church that supplements the teachings of great men for the Bible. For example Calvin, Wesley and Ellen White are among the great men of the church. Their teachings are found in membership classes and taught as part of the Sunday school curriculum for a quarter every two years. The problem is not in the teachings of men or the theme the church was structured to operate under, but in using the scriptures to justify the teachings they endorse. It makes you wonder whom they are working for and whose message are they giving.
Iíve been in churches where there is a shortage of qualified teachers and seen teachers that would be lost without their quarterlies. Some teachers can not live the life they advocate in class, arenít they saying one thing and living a different way? In this respect Christianity can be turned off, because being a Christian is a twenty-four hour seven day a week life. The teacher is the classís example so only those who are experienced in Christian life are qualified to teach.
God told Hosea my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6, The more you know about God the less likely you are to be deceived and to develop the prudent life God desires.
The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young ó let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance ó for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:1-7
Fools despise wisdom and discipline and yet the bible was written for all of mankind to attain wisdom and discipline from the mouth of God. Within the scriptures are words of wisdom spoken by God to those who make the effort to listen to his voice. Therefore, it is important to learn how to listen to God if for no other reason than to know how to please him.
Listening takes a disciplined effort to acquire the correct knowledge, so that you may approve of Godís good and perfect will. The knowledge you already have will become a barrier that prevents you from hearing what God has to say. Listening to anyone demands that you confine your questions to what they say. The same is true about listening to God, you ask God questions pertaining to what he said to learn what he is expressing to you. The moment you ask God to prove what you already know is when you stop listening and begin to defend what you believe. That is argumentative and telling the expert that you know more that he does.
Fools despise wisdom and discipline and because they want to be the authority on every subject known to man. They feel compelled to speak as an expert to gain the attention of those who listen willing. Christians should never shoot from the hip or talk off the top of their head. James advises not to be quick to speak as we do not know or understand that the heart of man is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9) At the same time, speaking to quickly will force you to say things you do not know as a solid fact. The wise person seeks knowledge to learn how to make something of his or her life. The fools makes people laugh, but the fool has more fun ignores the more important things in life. His carelessness forces himself to struggle against the pattern of life and in the end of his life he left no mark on the world to show what he stood for.
The bible tells us that there is a deceiver who is actively busy leading the world astray. The way to prevent him from deceiving you is know the truth that sets you free. As a Christian, truth is our only means of defense against the lies of Satan. The truth is a solid foundation on which we take our stand on life and succeed. The number of people deceived in this world is incomprehensible and most hope that God will find them worthy of heaven. Unfortunately that hope will be crushed by the reality of the judgment day. Godís elect knows the truth of Godís word, and have the assurance of going to heaven when this life is over, all because they have personally accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of their life.