Posts Tagged ‘true discernment’

How Can We Distinguish Between Deception and Truth?

May 26, 2017

The current onslaught of the “fake news” meme today can often be confusing.  How can one know whether or not an article or news report from the media is true or fake these days?

Well, Kingsjester’s Blog has a great post up today that shares the fact that almost 2/3rds of people polled believe that the media of mass deception is full of fake news.

My comment there:

Thanks for sharing this poll with your readers. I often wondered what percentage of people in our nation were falling for the made-up Trump/Russia meme. Glad to see that at least 2/3 recognize the lies of the media of mass deception!

Loved what you wrote here:

At the rate that these stories are being debunked, most Americans have accurately surmised that the MSM’s “anonymous sources” are the voices inside their own over-sized heads.

Sad…but true! And it made me laugh, too!

Did you see (or hear) President Trump’s commencement speech at Liberty University? It was wonderful! I loved how he included that the naysayers in life should be ignored and that the students should never, ever give up on their goals!

I actually feel sorry for the snowflakes in the liberal universities and colleges that are having their heads filled with progressive propaganda. I pray that someone will share the truth of the written Word of the Bible and the “peace that surpasses all understanding,” the Living Word, Jesus Christ with them.

*******

The following is a portion of a post that was shared back in 2013 at my former blog.  It holds true even more today, as the perpetuation of lies has increased even more since that post was written!  The question isn’t really “what” can help you distinguish between deception and truth.  The question (and ultimately the answer) is Who can help you do this!

 

~ Christine

Deception Can Cause Many to Suffer
The Bible has a lot to say about deception.  This post will not be totally comprehensive about the subject of deception and/or deceiving people.  However, it will give us some insight into the machinations of this type of evil and what it tragically often leads to in this fallen world.

Deceit (a.k.a. dishonesty, lying, tricking) is a tool used by people in order to accomplish certain outcomes in which they desire to reap power, monetary gain, fame, tyranny over others, and a whole host of other reasons.  The ability to “get away with it” in a world of disinformation runs rampant.  People don’t know what to believe anymore.  They are so conditioned to believe what they are told on the news.  But, what if the “news” being reported is not the truth?  What if many are being told to lie to us?  What if they are “programmed” to trick us into believing even the most bizarre event(s) ever seen by mankind; just because the ignorant and uninformed continue to trust them?

People who are propped up as being “dignified” and “above the fray” are often the very same individuals who deceive the most.  Getting away with dishonesty is easy when so many others are either mesmerized by a popular (but deceptive) individual and thus miss the fact that such a popular person is actually complicit in the lies being perpetrated.

The Bible informs us just who is called the deceiver.

Read Revelation 12:1-9.

However, the key Bible verse is:

This great dragon–the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world–was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.  (Revelation 12:9)

We can see that the Bible describes Satan as the deceiver.  The devil is not some cartoon character or made up entity.  He was originally an angel of God whose pride made him corrupt.  The name Satan means “adversary” or “accuser” (12:10).

As 1 Peter 5:8-9 informs us, Satan actively looks for people to attack.  He especially likes to seek out believers who may be young in the faith, vulnerable in some way, or not involved in fellowship with other believers.

Despite the fact that God allows (due to Adam and Eve’s choice to do evil in the Garden of Eden) the devil to do his work in the world, God is still in control.

Unbelievers often try to mock Christians for their beliefs.  They hate Christ and try to diminish the fact that Jesus has complete power over Satan.  This was demonstrated during Christ’s three-year ministry on the earth.  Scripture tells us that when Jesus was tempted by Satan, Christ used Scripture to send him away.  Only the Word of God was needed to make Satan flee!!   That is an important fact to remember!

You may or may not know (or believe) that when Jesus died for the sins of mankind and rose from the dead, it was at that moment that Satan’s future was doomed and Jesus has the keys to heaven where he goes to create mansions in eternity for believers.  Revelation 20:10 tells us that one day Satan will be bound forever, never again to do his evil work. (1)

Next, read John 8:42-47.

The key Bible verse:

You are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does.  He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth.  There is no truth in him.  When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.  (John 8:44)

[Notice that] Jesus called Satan the father of lies.  The attitudes and actions of these leaders clearly identified them as follower of Satan.  They may not have been conscious of this, but their hatred of truth, their lies, and their murderous intentions indicated how much control the devil had over them.  They were his tools in carrying out his plans; they spoke the very same language of lies.  Satan still uses people to obstruct God’s work (Genesis 4:8; Romans 5:12; 1 John 3:12). (2)

From the John 8:44 verse, we learn that lying “is consistent with his (the Devil’s) character.”  Satan was “a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth.”  There is “no truth in him.”  What’s even more disturbing is the realization that the “children of your father, the Devil, love to do the evil things he does.”

The Devil can have much control over the un-saved.  They can become “his tools in carrying out his plans.”  They speak “the very same language of lies.”  Also, see the Bible verses that describe how Satan uses people to obstruct God’s work.

No wonder Jesus told us that He is the truth! Christ informs us that God’s Word is Truth!   And the “truth will set you (us) free!”

People will lie, deceive, hurt and murder others because they hate the truth (Jesus Christ).  There is no truth in them, and they LOVE to do the evil things that Satan does.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but when I see what is going on in this world of lies, deceit, sin, evil and death, I sometimes shake my head in disbelief that others don’t recognize that they are being lied to and so heavily deceived!!  However, when I delve back into God’s Word, I realize that we have been warned of this.  Deception is exponentially getting worse because we are heading closer and closer towards the end times.

So, we might ask what happens when we deceive others?

Bible reading:  Luke 8:16-18

Key Bible verse:

Everything that is hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light and made plain to all. (Luke 8:17)

We cannot hide our sins from God.  In God’s eyes, people’s hearts–their thoughts and motives–are as visible as a lamp mounted in the open.  No matter how hard we try to cover up bad attitudes, deeds, or words, we cannot deceive God.  Instead of hiding our faults, we should ask God to change our life so we no longer have to be ashamed.  If you are trying to hide anything from God, it won’t work.  Only when you confess your hidden sins and seek God’s forgiveness will you have the help you need to do right. (3)

The only way to avoid falling prey to deceit is to ask God to help you distinguish between deception and truth.

Keep on praying, America!

Keep on reading and studying the Bible on a daily basis!

Psa 119:160 The entirety of Your word [is] truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments [endures] forever.

 

Jhn 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

 – Jesus Christ

References:

1 The Handbook of Bible Application, Second Edition, 2000, Neil S. Wilson Editor, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois. p. 135 (paraphrased).

2 Ibid. (quote)

3 Ibid. (quote)

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True Discernment: Here’s How the New Christian Left Is Twisting the Gospel

March 20, 2017

My search engine stats have shown a great interest in “The Importance of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares.”  I think that this parable well describes why there are many different types of Christians, and how important it is to “weed out” those who would twist the Gospel of Truth.

John at True Discernment has an excellent post up that informs us:   Here’s How the New Christian Left Is Twisting the Gospel.

Excerpt:

It is no secret that there is an expanding gulf between traditional Christian teachings and contemporary moral values. But the sad truth is that the ideological gulf between America’s evangelical grown-ups and their kids, aka the millennials, seems to be widening too.

Somehow the blame for this chasm is being heaped on traditional churches. They are accused of having too many rules as well as being homophobic and bigoted. Yes, we’ve heard those false claims from popular culture in its desperate attempt to keep Christianity imprisoned within the sanctuary walls. But now popular culture is being aided by Christ-professing bedfellows whose message to “coexist,” “tolerate” and “keep out of it” is more marketable to the rising generation of evangelicals.

The seasoned Christian soldiers are noticing these distortions of the gospel. But for young evangelicals, the spiritual haze is harder to wade through. Desperate for acceptance in a fallen world, many young evangelicals (and some older ones) choose not to take Christ out of the chapel, and so they are unwittingly killing the church’s public witness. In this uphill cultural battle, mired by scare tactics and fear, three types of evangelical Christians are emerging:

  • Couch-potato Christians: These Christians adapt to the culture by staying silent on the tough culture-and-faith discussions. Typically, this group will downplay God’s absolute truths by promoting the illusion that neutrality was Jesus’ preferred method of evangelism.

  • Cafeteria-style Christians: This group picks and chooses which Scripture passages to live by, opting for the ones that best seem to jive with culture. Typically, they focus solely on the “nice” parts of the gospel while simultaneously and intentionally minimizing sin, hell, repentance and transformation.

  • Convictional Christians: In the face of the culture’s harsh admonitions, these evangelicals refuse to be silent. Mimicking Jesus, they compassionately talk about love and grace while also sharing with their neighbors the need to recognize and turn from sin.

I highly recommend reading it all HERE!

My comment there (may still be in moderation) with some additional information:

This is by far one of the best posts that I have read describing the divide in the millennial generation regarding their Christian beliefs. I know individuals (some are even baby boomers!) who fit into the “couch potato,” “cafeteria-style,” and the best – convictional Christian categories. One big reason for the “CP” and “CS” kinds of millennial Christians being more abundant than the convicted Christians believers are because so many of them went to secular colleges!

We are living in the times that Jude described so vividly!

There would be a great falling away.  However, at the same time, the Gospel would be preached all around the world and many will come to true faith.

The “itching ears” types of Christians are described in 2 Timothy 4:3-4

2Ti 4:3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

2Ti 4:4
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

The Syncretism Stew that is being pushed upon believers informs us exactly why Jesus gave us the parable of the wheat and the tares; and the exact reason why “they would grow together” and then the “wheat” would be separated from the “tares” at the harvest.

Our job, as biblically-based Christian believers, is to alert people who would fall for the deceptions of the enemy of our souls [see: Satan’s #1 Weapon] and preach the true, sound doctrine which does not water-down the need for repentance of sins at the Cross of Christ!

Hat tips to True Discernment and graphics links.


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Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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