Discerning Deceptions

We live in these last days which are like the days of Noah and the days of Lot.

Mark 13:22 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

These are troublesome days where even the elect could be deceived. Hence, it is essential for every true Christian to discern deceptions and false doctrines.

Cry Out for Discernment

Prov 2:3-5 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.

In the book of Proverbs, we see that if we cry out for discernment, we will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. The first thing required for discernment is understanding the fear of the Lord.

Prov 15:21 Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, But a man of understanding walks uprightly.

In the above verse, we see that the man with understanding is the one having discernment and walks uprightly.

Undiscerning Deserves Death

Rom 1:29-32 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

It is important to note that among those who deserve death, undiscerning is one of the characteristics mentioned for those who call themselves Christians but have no discernment.

 

Exercise to Discern

1Cor 12:7-10 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

Discerning of Spirits is a gift from God, which is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. This is not the same discernment we are discussing here.

Heb 5:14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Discernment must be trained or exercised to whom solid food belongs to and it is not a gift. So, how do we exercise for discernment? As we saw earlier, the first thing we need to do is cry out for discernment in order to understand the fear of the Lord.

Prov 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.

Prov 16:6 In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.

So, what is this fear of the Lord? It means to hate and depart from evil. This is the beginning of wisdom. Hence, the understanding to hate and depart from evil is discernment.

Knowledge of God

Prov 2:3-5 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.

When we cry out for discernment, we not only understand the fear of the Lord, but also find the knowledge of God. It is this knowledge of God that helps us to discern.

Hos 6:6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

God desires the knowledge of Him more than the burnt offerings. While fear of the Lord is to hate and depart from evil, what is the knowledge of God mean?

1Cor 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

2Pet 2:20-22 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

The knowledge of God is to know how to be holy or the way of righteousness so that we don’t sin and escape the pollutions of the world.

Knowing God Intimately

Gen 4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.”

Marriage is not about just having the knowledge of the spouse. A husband knowing his wife in the Bible is far more richer and intimate in it’s meaning. When a wife spends more time with her husband, she will come to know more about her husband, his liking, his desire, his actions and other intimate details shared only between herself and her husband. The more she knows about her husband, the more she will be able to discern a message if sent from her husband or a stranger. This discernment can be of his writing style, handwriting and other intimate details shared only between the wife and the husband. How will a wife discern if a message is from her husband if she haven’t spent enough time to read his previous messages or see his hand writing or spend time intimately?
During Nazi persecution, Corrie ten Boom received a secret message under the stamp, telling her “all watches in your closet are safe,” meaning that the Jews escaped. How did Corrie knew that the watches in the closet are safe means that the Jews escaped, unless the sender of the message and Corrie shared a secret knowledge not known to Nazis or anyone else? In Roman times, the persecuted Christians used the symbol of fish. These are examples from history where shared knowledge between believers were used during persecution.
But between a husband and wife, the shared knowledge is far more intimate and the more time spent is knowing more and more about each other. This also means, in the absence of her husband, the wife will be able to discern and know exactly if a message is from her husband and/or if she is required to take a decision, she will take the correct decision her husband will take.

Isa 62:5 For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.

John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

God’s relation to His people is compared to the relationship between a husband and his wife. God expects us to know Him intimately and the way He is known is by His judgments. This does not mean He is not merciful or compassionate. While Scripture mentions the attributes of God as being compassionate, merciful, gracious, long-suffering etc., He is specifically mentioned as known by the judgment He executes. The book of Ezekiel is full of these judgments which will make the people know the Lord God.

Ps 9:16 The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Meditation. Selah

Exod 7:5 “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”

Ezek 7:4 My eye will not spare you, Nor will I have pity; But I will repay your ways, And your abominations will be in your midst; Then you shall know that I am the LORD!’

The more we read the Scriptures with His word abiding in us and spend time in prayer, the more we will be able to grow in the knowledge of God which is to know His righteous judgments and His desire for our holiness and righteousness. The more we know God, the more we will be able to discern deceptions that deviates from what He pleases.

Conclusion

  • Cry out for discernment and you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
  • Undiscerning are deserving death.
  • Fear of the Lord is to hate and depart from evil.
  • Knowledge of God is to know how to be holy and the way of righteousness. The Lord is known by the judgment He executes.
  • The more we know God intimately, the more we will be able to discern deceptions that deviates from what He pleases.