Seducing Spirits: Warning of Deception (sample)
An excerpt from the iTi Level Two, Session Two course "Seducing Spirits: Warning of Deception." All Scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible, unless specifically noted (and used with permission). All other material is ©Copyright 1994, Dove Ministries International.
There is a world-wide attack by the powers of darkness against humanity. Satan has been conspiring to victimize the world with a deadly poison of the hearts and minds of everyone, and The Church has not gone untouched.
Satan's attack is through the spirits of seduction and deception. Within every human is the God-given desire to experience the supernatural. However, that desire was designed to draw man to God and cause him to live and walk in the realm of His Spirit.
Satan has brought delusion and blindness to man, causing a loss to the Kingdom of God.
II Corinthians 4:4 (KJV) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
The prophet Isaiah foretold of this delusion.
Isaiah 60:2 (KJV) For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
In his writings to Timothy Paul deals with the Last Days occurrences of delusion:
II Timothy 3:13 (KJV) But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
In the Greek, the word that describes the timing of the Last Days deception means a sudden, alarming increase in speed. As The Church approaches Its greatest hour, Satan's workers will literally pick up speed and cut to the worst level. The timing of this onslaught of deception is given to us:
II Timothy 3:1 (KJV) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
The word Paul uses for "know" in this verse is the Greek word ginosko, which would be better translated as "realize the facts." What Paul is telling Timothy here is to recognize what is going to happen in advance so he can be prepared, and so that he will be able to prepare The Church.
That the "perilous times" will appear is a fact that the Holy Spirit wants us to comprehend. There is nothing that we can do to stop them from coming, but there surely is something we can do to be prepared for their advent!
The phrase "last days" is taken from the Greek word eschatos. This is the root of our English word "eschatology" with which we denote the study of the Last Days. That the Last Days are upon us is evident from the fulfillment of so many scriptural warnings about the events and the times that would herald them. We must not lose sight of the fact that the Last Days are a time in human history that immediately precedes the return of our Lord. We must use everything we have now to prepare ourselves and as many of those around us as we can for this event!
Not only do we know when the Last Days will occur, we also know the type of days we will experience. Paul says that these will be "perilous" days, days of treachery and great difficulty.
II Timothy 3:1 (AMPLIFIED) But understand this, that in the last days there will set in perilous times of great stress and trouble.
This means risky, painful days. In two different places the word "times" refers to a specific allotted period of time, like centuries. But here in this passage the Greek usage indicates that the word "times" is speaking of decades. This helps us achieve a clearer translation. In the Last Days difficult decades will come, and with each new decade will come newer dangers and riskier struggles.
Each decade will add its provision of pain to the world's suffering. We, as Americans, can see this just by comparing the 1950s to the 1960s to the 1970s, and so on. The pattern is very clear when we step back and take an overview of the decades.
The results we can expect from people in these Last Days are also specified by Paul to Timothy.
II Timothy 3:2 (KJV) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
The Greek phrase translated by the King James translators as "own selves" is eimi. This literally means "I am." Eimi conveys the idea of self-centeredness or selfishness. It is describing people who look out only for themselves or people with a preoccupation with themselves.
People under this kind of pressure and deception will be in The Church causing tremendous difficulties. What will happen to these people?
I Timothy 4:1 (KJV) Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
"Departing" in this Scripture means separation from a commitment. The Greek word was often used when someone renounced something, and detached himself from the thing renounced. A surface example of the use of this word is from Acts, where Paul left one country and departed for another.
In a more serious example, when Jesus called His disciples, He demanded they leave behind all to follow Him. They had to loosen all of their emotional ties from their means of earning a living (not necessarily the means itself!). They were required to break away from their familial entanglements. In this context Jesus used the word "depart" when He insisted His disciples depart form the desires of the flesh and sell out in commitment to Him. Jesus demanded a radical renouncing of their family identification and their attachment to their possessions.
This word was also used by the apostolic fathers when they said believers were to depart from wickedness and the works of the flesh.
To "renounce" means to give up or put aside voluntarily, to abandon, to take a word back, to disclaim.
The word translated "depart" is also translated "deny."
Matthew 10:32-33 (KJV) Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
A deeper meaning of "deny" is the turning away from what you once believed. Denial is a refusal to recognize or to acknowledge. It implies disowning and means to argue against. Synonyms for "deny" are "oppose" and "contradict."
People who deny the faith are people who turn and become traitors to what they once held dear. They openly renounce and testify now that what they had once believed was deception but in truth it is a reversal of true deception.
Paul called them "enemies of the Cross."