It is of the utmost importance that we look at various sections of scripture specifically relating to end times issues. First up is perhaps the most important verses of them all as written by Paul as he was nearing the end of his ministry in 1 Timothy 3:16 where it says:
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory."
The mystery of godliness is indeed Jesus Christ. He was God manifested in the flesh. He was justified in the Spirit. He was seen by angels. He has been preached among the Gentiles. He has been believed on in the world. He was received up into glory. These are the things, according to verse 15, which need to be taught and lived in the house of God which is the church of the living God which is the pillar and ground of the truth.
Having just said all this, the very next verse states in chapter 4 verse 1:
"Now the Spirit expressly (distinctly and explicitly) says that in latter (later) times some will depart (fall away from, desert, abandon, rebel, revolt, turn away) from the faith"
This is not some fuzzy picture the Spirit is painting. This is distinct and explicitly clear that in later times some, or certain ones, will in one form or another leave the faith. Whether they abandon it or rebel against it; the end result is an apostasy from the one true faith of Jesus Christ. The verse goes on to explain HOW this happens:
"Giving heed (paying attention, continuously give and yield their minds and attention) to deceiving spirits and doctrines of devils."
The only way believers get to the point they leave the one true faith is that they start paying attention to and then end up yielding their minds to two things; deceiving spirits and doctrines of devils.
Deceiving spirits are demons which cause a believer to err from the truth. Deception is the only way the devil can beat a believer, just as he did Adam and Eve in the garden. The words I DO NOT want to hear when I appear before my Lord and Savior are; "You were deceived". I will work 23 hours a day to study and learn God's Word just to avoid hearing those awful words.
Deception is the very key to the devil's success. Once a believer is deceived, then introduction of devilish doctrines finishes the job of causing a believer to depart from the faith. This verse is of the utmost importance to understand because it specifically is speaking of the times in which we live. The level of deception is growing stronger by the hour. Everyday more and more believers are rebelling against the true faith and following cleverly devised doctrines that originate in the depths of hell.
The vast majority of demons are deceiving spirits. They are low ranking demons with limited authority and very little responsibility. Although limited in strength, they are massive in number. Their sole purpose is to turn and twist things so as to promote deception. I shall never forget when I first learned by experience how these spirits work and how they open the trap doors to many more bigger and more malicious spirits.
Deceiving spirits are at work in every church in the world. Deceiving spirits are at work in the homes of every minister attempting to try and trick them into saying or doing something that will lead them away from the true faith. Deceiving spirits are at work in meetings as they attempt to twist and turn what is being said into a lie in the hearer's mind. These spirits are not to be feared, they are to be attacked with the one thing they cannot stand up to and that is the TRUTH.
The sword of the spirit can destroy a colony of deceiving spirits faster than an atomic bomb destroying a city. Unless the truth of God's Word is spoken boldly and honestly in our churches, homes and personal relationships with each other; the door will open for deceiving spirits to enter and succeed in disrupting and destroying relationships. And that is what they do; they break up relationships by planting doubts and lies. Listen to me; that which breaks up and splinters relationships are deceiving spirits!
Near the end of Paul's life he tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4 that he has "fought the good fight of faith". The fight he is speaking about was his lifelong battle against deceiving spirits. That is our fight every day we stand for God in this life. We must stay on guard and FIGHT for the truth or face the consequences of what the deceiving spirits plant and we allow to grow. Every day and everywhere there are deceiving spirits who will gladly turn an element of truth into a blatant lie in order to seduce someone away from the one true faith.
I do not tell you these things to scare you but to inspire you to gird up the loins of your mind and FIGHT for the faith. In these final days of these later times, the battle that rages is between truth and error. The agents promoting error are the deceiving spirits and we are the agents promoting the truth. I John 4 says that "GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD", so we have nothing to fear. Now is the time to stand up and be counted as one whom the Lord Jesus Christ can count on to stay faithful to Him who IS true to the very end.
Much more to come for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.
Creative Commons: Attribution