6 Ways Satan Is Deceiving People in the Last Days
One of the signs of the last days is the increase in deception. By that standard alone, it is clear we are living in the last days. One of the weapons in Satan’s arsenal that he returns to again and again is deception. Deception is simply tricking someone into believing something that is not true. What makes it deception is because whatever it is you are believing or even experiencing appears real or authentic, but it is not.
Satan is a master at this, and he is claiming many victims in these last days. This requires awareness on your part and to help you I want to share with you six ways Satan is deceiving people right now.
6 Ways Satan Is Deceiving People in the Last Days:
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1. The Signs and Wonders Deception
“He answered, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’” (Matthew 12:39-40).
One of the most dangerous ways a person can be deceived is by seeking after signs and wonders. If you seek signs and wonders, you will find them, but that is not always a good thing. Some people have become so obsessed with the desire to see signs and wonders, they open themselves up for deception, and most are not even aware.
Jesus gave us the greatest sign and wonder you will ever need to have faith in him – he rose from the dead. If he never did another miracle, the proof of the empty grave is enough. Seeing a miraculous sign should not be the basis for your faith. Your faith should be grounded in believing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Does God still do wonders and miracles today? Of course he does, but that is not what we should be seeking after. We should be seeking God and for his presence to come. If signs and wonders come with it, so be it, but don’t make that your primary focus because the prize is his presence, not the signs and wonders.
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2. The Seeking Experiences Deception
Another deception is people who are seeking experiences. We even cater to this by calling our services worship experiences. The need for a new “experience” often causes people to seek an encounter which involves something happening. There have been many instances when what they end up experiencing does not align with anything in Scripture, yet they use this experience as validation they have encountered God and the Holy Spirit is at work in their life. Since the experience is what they are after, they unknowingly set themselves up for deception.
The greatest evidence the Spirit of God is at work in your life is not what happens in the moment, but what happens over time. Primarily, it is the changed heart that leads to a changed life. When you begin to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5), then you will know for certain God is at work in your life. You don’t have to chase the momentary experiences which may produce a temporary high but no real change. Ask the Holy Spirit to work in you to change your character, because the fruit will be evidence of your transformation and proof of his power being at work in your life.
3. The Similarity Deception
Another deception that is becoming more commonplace is one that says all religions are basically the same or all roads lead to the same destination, meaning to heaven. Not only is this not true, this doesn’t even make sense. All religions don’t even offer the same path to salvation and some stand in stark contradiction to the others. For this reason alone, it is impossible for them all to be true.
Even religions that say they believe in Jesus cannot all be true because they don’t agree on who Jesus is. For example, the Jesus of Christianity is different from the Jesus of Islam, Mormonism, or the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Because these are all different, they cannot all possibly be true. This same argument can be made for the way of salvation or many of the other beliefs of all the various religions out there.
There is only one road to the Father, and Jesus has made it clear he is that way. While there may be encouragements to do good things in every religion, they are not all the same. The truth is that outside of Christ, all other religions will lead you to the same destination – it’s just not the destination you think.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
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4. The Scriptural Deception
The Scriptural deception happens when people falsely believe that the Bible is not enough. Many people are now reading the Bible in conjunction with other books in the hopes of piecing together their own truth. Instead of the Bible being the standard, it just becomes one book of many where you can supposedly find truth.
This presents the same problem as above because many of these other books offer reasoning that stands in opposition to the Scriptures. When you devalue the Bible to just ancient literature status, then you open the door to be deceived. The Bible is not one of many “words of God,” the Bible is the word of God. It is complete and accurate and for those who miss this, they become prime candidates to fall into deception.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
5. The Everyone Goes to Heaven Deception
There is a belief in our society that everyone goes to heaven. Whenever someone dies, the refrain is always, they are in a better place. Now if a person was a murderer or some type of violent criminal, we assume their place is in hell, but for everyone else they are up in the sky looking down on us.
Unfortunately, this is simply not true. The Bible is clear about the pathway to heaven, and the truth about life is being born does not get you a ticket to heaven – being born again does.
“Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again’” (John 3:3).
The way to eternal life comes only through Jesus Christ and the heart that has been washed and regenerated through the blood of Christ and has been renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Without this new birth there is no entrance into heaven. This is not meant to be harsh but to tell the truth. Everyone does not automatically go to heaven, and that’s why we must be diligent in sharing the message of the gospel, because without it people have no hope.
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6. The Impersonation Deception
The last deception to talk about is what I am calling the impersonation deception. This is where Satan impersonates the Holy Spirit and, in the process, deceives people.
“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Often this impersonation leads to visions, dreams, or experiences that lead people away from Christ and causes them to put their trust in something else. One way to be certain it is the Holy Spirit is he will always point to Christ, he will always glorify Christ, and he will always operate within the boundaries of Scripture. The reason he does this is so we can test and know it is his work and not some counterfeit. That’s why the more you know the word of God, the more you will be able to discern the Spirit of God. This is also the reason Satan tries to move people away from the truth of God’s word, because then they become more easily prone to being deceived.
Now that you are aware of these deceptions, your responsibility is to prepare yourself so you don’t fall victim to them. However, because you are aware, these can help you identify them and move in a different direction when you see them.
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Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. His most recent book is The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. Clarence is also committed to helping 10,000 people learn how to study the Bible and has just released his first Bible study course called Bible Study Basics. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.