Be Not Deceived

There are five places in scripture the phrase, "Be not deceived," is used. In all of the text where it is found, the admonition of God is to beware of the false sense of security given by the devil to trust in other gods, believe that sin will not be found out, and that it matters little what we do in this life. When Jehovah gave law to the children of Israel, he warned them of having their hearts deceived to turn and serve any other god but himself. Deuteronomy 11 exhorts the Jews to "love the Lord thy God, and keep his charge and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always." (Deuteronomy 11:1)

They are reminded of the great power shown by God in the deliverance from Egyptian bondage. This same power can be either a blessing or a cursing to the people. If they obey him, he will bless them. If they disobey him, he will punish them. In verse sixteen he warns, "Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them."

The devil wants to take the hearts of God's people away from the truth. To be deceived is to believe that one can serve more than Jehovah God who made the world. In the giving of the Ten Commandments God said, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3) God demands first place and no other place. Many people have been lead astray in being deceived to turn aside from the true God and serve the desires of the god of this world.

In Luke 21:8, Jesus warned the people of his day to not be deceived in believing there was more than one Christ. "Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, 'I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them." There were many who professed to be the coming Messiah, the Christ. Jesus was the true Christ as he showed in his teaching, his authority and his power.

There were other movements that drew men away. (Acts 5:35-37) Jesus warns the people not to be deceived in believing that anyone else could be the Christ but him. The only way to the Father is by Jesus Christ. (John 14:6) No man can take that place whether he be the Pope, Joseph Smith, Buddha, Mohammed, me or you or anyone! Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and our hearts must not be deceived in believing in other way but the one way.

Paul warns in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that God will not allow sin to be part of the kingdom of God. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." Sin is not tolerated in the mind of God and regardless of what men say may be a social right, God calls it immoral. There will be no adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, liars and such in the kingdom of God. Don't let the world deceive you with the appeal of sin being a pleasure. It is poison.

Further, the influence of evil companions will corrupt our morals. "Be not deceived: evil companions corrupt good morals." (1 Corinthians 15:33) If you sleep with dogs, you will get fleas. "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27) Our friends will determine the type of conduct we follow. Do not deceive yourself in believing that your friends do not influence you life! You are as much by those who are your associations as any part of your life. The wise man warned against following after the wrong crowd in Proverbs 1. Children of God are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:11) Next week: the final passage - "Reaping what you sow" - Galatians 6:7.

By Kent E. Heaton Sr.

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