The Danger Of Being Deceived
A friend of mine went to hear an evangelist and heard him say something that made her uncomfortable. She asked Jesus about it, and the Lord told her ,“He has believed a lie.”
This was the first time I heard the term, “believing a lie.” What I had always heard was, “he lied to her” or “he was lied to,” but I never heard it the other way. It sounded as if the responsibility was not upon the liar, but upon the one who believed the lie.
My experience with a lie that I heard but did not quite believe.
I was a baby Christian at this time, just a few months old in the Lord. A lady at church asked me if I would go see a visiting evangelist at a church and give her my opinion of him. I thought that was strange, but I did go to see him after work the next day, dressed in my business suit. The church was located in a very old part of town that was not very affluent. Their building had been a theater and was perfect for a church. I was there early and sat in the second row and observed that those coming in were all seniors and humbly dressed.
The evangelist preached that God had three kinds of people: the called, the chosen and the elect. I did not agree with that, so I started paying more attention to what he was saying. He walked on the stage from side to side while preaching dramatically. All of a sudden he stopped, looked up, put his hand on his forehead and said, “Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes Lord,” in a crescendo.
Then he turned back to the congregation and said, “The Lord has told me that there are 10 ‘elect’ here, and He has tremendous blessings for you, but you need to come up front with $100 if you want to receive those blessings!!”
No one walked up to the front, so he said, “You know who you are, you know you are an elect of God!” He spent time enumerating what they were going to miss if they did not come to the front. He repeated this over and over.
Since I was younger and better dressed than the rest, he figured I had money, and he kept glancing at me once in a while. Finally a few persons came up front. When he realized no one else was going to walk up front, he proclaimed that there were 20 “chosen” and they needed to come up front with $50. Same scenario repeated. When several came to the front, he then proclaimed that there were 40 “called” and they needed to bring $25.
I was perplexed and did not feel good about what was going on. The guy kept looking at me as if I were not “obeying”. When he decided that there were not any more “called, he gave the podium to the pastor, who announced it was time for the regular offering. The pastor stood on the stage by the stairs on the right, the evangelist by the stairs on the left. The pastor had the offering basket at his feet, and we were supposed to go up, put the offering in the basket and walk to the other side of the stage to come down. As I passed by the evangelist, he looked at me and asked how I was “feeling”, as if I was to be feeling badly for not “obeying”.
The next morning when praying I asked the Lord, “What was that last night?” He replied, “Simon the Sorcerer.”
I remembered having read this name in the Bible somewhere, but I was at a loss as to where. I needed to find it urgently, so I called a friend who told me where the scripture was:
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. (Acts 8:18-22)
What was the thought in Simon’s heart? That the gift of God could be purchased with money.
Simon was deceived, and Peter cursed him with a curse of death. Simon, being a sorcerer, knew that what Peter said was a curse:
Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.” (Acts 18:24)
Conclusion: The ones who came up front to give money were deceived by the evangelist. In other words, they believed the lie of the evangelist, because the gift of God is not purchased with money. They might have been right with God, but then were deceived and became sinners, just as Simon.
Is it a sin to be deceived?
In the Old Testament, I find that the Lord, in establishing His covenant with his chosen people, instructed them to beware of being deceived:
“It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. (Deuteronomy 11:13-16)
God said if the Israelites let themselves be deceived by the enemy into following other gods, they would be punished, as indeed they were punished for this reason and were scattered all over the Earth. They sinned because they were deceived by idolaters and thought that it was okay to worship other gods, so they were punished.
Jesus also commanded us not to be deceived.
He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. (Luke 21:8)
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. (Matthew 24:5)
Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. (Mark 13:5-6)
Do you sin if you are deceived?
Who is the sinner, the one who lies or the one who believes the lie? And what if you sin because you did not know you were sinning? The following explains that God considers sinning either by error or by ignorance a punishable sin, requiring atonement.
To a congregation:
‘Now if the whole congregation of Israel sins unintentionally, and the thing is hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done something against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which should not be done, and are guilty; when the sin which they have committed becomes known, then the assembly shall offer a young bull for the sin, and bring it before the tabernacle of meeting. And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before the Lord. Then the bull shall be killed before the Lord. The anointed priest shall bring some of the bull’s blood to the tabernacle of meeting. Then the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord, in front of the veil. And he shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar which is before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. He shall take all the fat from it and burn it on the altar. And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. Then he shall carry the bull outside the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bull. It is a sin offering for the assembly. (Leviticus 4:13-21)
To an individual, unintentional sin:
When any of you commit a trespass and sin unintentionally in any of the holy things of the Lord, you shall bring, as your guilt offering to the Lord, a ram without blemish from the flock, convertible into silver by the sanctuary shekel; it is a guilt offering. And you shall make restitution for the holy thing in which you were remiss, and shall add one-fifth to it and give it to the priest. The priest shall make atonement on your behalf with the ram of the guilt offering, and you shall be forgiven. (Leviticus 5:15-16)
To an individual, sin in ignorance:
If any of you sin without knowing it, doing any of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, you have incurred guilt, and are subject to punishment. You shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish from the flock, or the equivalent, as a guilt offering; and the priest shall make atonement on your behalf for the error that you committed unintentionally, and you shall be forgiven. It is a guilt offering; you have incurred guilt before the Lord. (Leviticus 5:17-19)
To a congregation:
But if you unintentionally fail to observe all these commandments that the Lord has spoken to Moses— everything that the Lord has commanded you by Moses, from the day the Lord gave commandment and thereafter, throughout your generations— then if it was done unintentionally without the knowledge of the congregation, the whole congregation shall offer one young bull for a burnt offering, a pleasing odor to the Lord, together with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering. The priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the Israelites, and they shall be forgiven; it was unintentional, and they have brought their offering, an offering by fire to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord, for their
error. All the congregation of the Israelites shall be forgiven, as well as the aliens residing among them, because the whole people was involved in the error. (Numbers 15:22-26)
To an individual:
An individual who sins unintentionally shall present a female goat a year old for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement before the Lord for the one who commits an error, when it is unintentional, to make atonement for the person, who then shall be forgiven. For both the native among the Israelites and the alien residing among them—you shall have the same law for anyone who acts in error. (Numbers 15:27-29)
To an individually knowingly sinning:
But whoever acts high-handedly, whether a native or an alien, affronts the Lord, and shall be cut off from among the people. Because of having despised the word of the Lord and broken his commandment, such a person shall be utterly cut off and bear the guilt. (Numbers 15:30-31)
Conclusion: If you don’t know you are sinning, you are still sinning in the eyes of God. Even today in the in courts of this country, ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law. How do we know if we are sinning or not? By studying the word of God by ourselves, not relying upon what we hear at church or what parents, relatives or friends tell us.
All the sins you committed intentionally or unintentionally were forgiven when you were saved. After that, if you sin intentionally, beware. But if unintentionally, at the time you become informed, confess and repent and your sin will be forgiven. I am saying this because all along in the deliverance ministry, I have found Christians who don’t think they have to confess and repent because they “did not know it was a sin”.
The first person to be deceived
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:8-9)
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” (Genesis 2:16 -18)
Then God created Eve.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” (Genesis 3:1-3)
The tree in the middle of the garden was the Tree of Life, of which both Adam and Eve could eat, not the Tree of Knowledge. The serpent played along with Eve’s ignorance and induced her to eat from the wrong tree.
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:13)
Who do you think that was punished: the liar, the sinner or the deceived? The serpent was cursed, and both Adam the sinner (because he knew better, and ate anyway) and Eve the deceived were cursed and evicted from the Garden of Eden.
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. (Genesis 3:16-17)
And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (I Timothy 2:14)
God did not exempt Eve from punishment because she was deceived. Even when she explained that she had been deceived by the serpent, she was punished.
To this day we have lived under those curses, because Eve was deceived. And if you and I become deceived, we may become sinners just like Eve. Watch out! The serpent works through ordinary human beings!
Beware when watching Christian TV: There are plenty of TV ministries that tell you that God will prosper you and give you all kinds of gifts and blessings if you send them your money. Think about this: If you send them money, are you deceived into thinking that you can buy the gifts of God? Will you be cursed as Simon was?
Denominations and Churches: The danger of being deceived
Many denominations and independent churches believe lies. The danger is that the leaders teach those lies because they are deceived themselves.
1- One Pentecostal denomination has a long article on their website stating that Christians do not have demons. It is backed up with plenty of scriptures and it is very persuasive, so much so that when I read it, I was almost convinced of it. But the Lord had called me to minister deliverance to Christians. In the gospel He called deliverance “the Children’s Bread”.
2- There are denominations where teachers do a lot of research into the original languages, and into history, and the teaching of the scriptures is very well put together, but they don’t believe that miracles are for today. They believe in the Holy Spirit but not in the infilling of the Holy Spirit with tongues and nine gifts. This is a deception.
3- Most denominations teach certain passages of the Bible in a traditional way. The interpretation of the passage has been handed down for generations from a certain viewpoint, and it has become “written in stone.” If anybody dares question it because they get another understanding of the passage, they are called heretics.
Example: One day I was driving to the women’s meeting at church. Although I wondered about a certain passage in Genesis, I had not asked the Lord about it and I was not even thinking about it at the time. So, I was surprised when He told me something relating to that passage.
He did not explain it to me. He just gave me a hint. When I arrived at the church I read that passage and then everything fell into place. It was there all the time, very clear. But it was not the traditional teaching of this passage.
I was so excited about the light shed onto this passage that I went to see the associate pastor and told him about it. He reacted in anger. He told me some nonsense, and pulled out his Dake Bible and told me, “See, Dake says such and such.”
Dake’s bible is full of Dake’ opinions. I got the impression the pastor thought that whatever Dake wrote in this Bible was also the word of God. And since I told him that I had heard the real story from God, I guess he was putting Dake above God. Or maybe he thought I was lying. Anyway, he was believing a lie and rejecting a truth. (If you want to know what the Lord told me, email me.)
In our deliverance ministry, we have learned some things that are hard to believe for those who slumber and don’t want to be awakened. Truth is stranger than fiction to them, so they prefer to believe a lie and not the truth.
When I was a child, I had a supernatural experience. I was afraid of the dark and a very bright cloud of white light appeared over my head and delivered me of fear.
I was wondering if that light was the Shekinah glory of God, so when I started attending a Messianic Synagogue, I told the story to a rabbi and asked if that light was the Shekinah. I could see in his eyes he was not believing my testimony at all and told me, “I don’t know.”
Weeks later, a friend wanted to open up her house for him to teach, and she wanted me to both help financially and to call my friends and invite them. So, I put him to the test. I told him what happened when I came back from my first deliverance and tried to burn a poster. (This is my testimony in the booklet Idols and Images, published by Hegewisch Baptist Church, and also on this website.) He thought I was lying and behaved borderline rude with me.
Believing a lie is a stronghold
He feeds on ashes; A deceived heart has turned him aside ; And he cannot deliver his soul, Nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” (Isaiah 44:20)
Believing a lie causes deliverance to stop or not happen at all. I will share some cases.
1- The stubbor
A woman came for deliverance; she was studying to be a minister. She started having plenty of deliverance, then a stubborn demon manifested. It would not come out. When I asked her to pray and renounce being stubborn, she started telling me, “Oh, but my family was so stubborn! Uncle Joe was very stubborn, and Auntie Mary was so stubborn, and we were stubborn…” And it looked like they were proud to be stubborn. Her facial expression changed. She did not get any more deliverance.
2- The shy
A woman came for a deliverance session and had plenty of deliverance, particularly of Catholic demons, which she requested. The next day she called and said she had wanted deliverance of shyness and she did not get it.
We met again, and I started commanding the demon to manifest. It would not manifest and nothing was happening. Then she started telling me the story of her life and how shy she was. “I was so shy that in elementary school thus and thus. Then in high school I was so shy that thus and thus, and when this happened, I was so shy that….”
I got tired of hearing her say that she was shy, and then the Lord told me, “Tell her she is not shy. I did not make her shy! The demon has convinced her that he is her personality.”
I told her what the Lord told me. I could see in her eyes that she understood! She realized she had been believing a lie. I commanded the demon to manifest, and he did and said, “I am not a demon! I am her personality!!”
The demon was cast out.
3- The self sufficient
A business woman flew in from out of state for a deliverance session. After all the prayers were said and all the curses broken and demons commanded to manifest and all that a minister does, nothing was happening. I asked some questions but nothing was coming up, and then the Lord told me she had made a covenant with herself to be self-sufficient.
And yes, she had made that covenant. She believed strongly in being self-sufficient and she did not get deliverance. One thing is to work to provide for our living and solve some problems ourselves, but we need God. We have to trust in Him and lean on Him for everything.
She believed the lie that she did not need God.
4- The “I don’t have any demons”
People who say that are deceived. Some come for deliverance just to prove that they don’t have any demons and of course don’t receive deliverance. The result is that they jump for joy and say, “I knew I did not have demons!!”
They get more convinced that the lie they have believed is the truth.
Are we believing lies? We all have paradigms and shifting a favorite paradigm is very hard. How do we know that something we believe is not true? Impossible! We believe it because we have qualified it as truth. So how do we get out of this if we don’t even think about getting out of it in the first place?
The answer is in God! He knows all truth and He will tell you the truth if you ask Him for it. I hope you don’t think you don’t need to do such a thing. We all need to check things with the Lord.