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Subtitle: Some Thoughts About The Possibility Of God's Elect Being Led Astray

Like many topics found within the Word of God, the possibility of a Christian being spiritually deceived is debated pro and con. Those who say it is impossible point to the following two verses as proof texts:

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" Matthew 24:24 (KJV)

"For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect" Mark 13:22 (KJV)

Obviously they take the words "...if it were possible..." to mean that it is not possible and claim the Holy Spirit will not allow it. However, I believe that interpretation is wrong and tends to lead some to adopt a false sense of invulnerability. The account of Eve's deception should settle the debate because she was in a state of perfection prior to being tempted by Satan!

And to show that the KJV translators did not necessarily intend impossibility by the phrase "if it were possible," consider their use of it in the following verses--where possibility is certainly not ruled out:

"For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost" Acts 20:16 (KJV).

"And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship" Acts 27:39 (KJV).

The only other instance of its use is where the Lord Jesus Christ prayed for possibility, but the will of God the Father rendered it impossible.

"And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him" Mark 14:35 (KJV).

And when we look closely at both Matthew 24:24 and Mark 13:22 (given earlier), we find the words "it were" (in the phrase "if it were possible") are in italics denoting they were supplied by the translators. In the Greek the phrase is simply, ei dunatos--"if possible," which in modern English definitely leaves the door open for possibility.

Additionally, in the following two instances, the Lord spoke to His disciples and warned them about the possibility of deception:

"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? [4] And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" Matthew 24:3-5 (KJV, emphasis mine).

"And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? [8] And he said, 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" Luke 21:7-8 (KJV, emphasis mine).

Why include such admonitions if there is no possibility of an elect child of God being deceived?

"Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners" 1 Cor. 15:33

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" Galatians 6:7

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, [10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God" 1 Cor. 6:9-10 (KJV, emphasis mine).

And since we are on the subject of deception, we need to point out that those who believe one can lose their salvation if they commit any of these sins after being saved--the very next verse [1 Corinthians 6:11] should forever lay that false notion to rest! It says:

"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (KJV, emphasis mine).

In other words, the Corinthian believers had been made eternally righteous in the sight of God! They were set apart for His service and declared innocent of all charges. Justification confers the very righteousness of Christ to the individual--forever removing the condemnation of sin and "labels" such as  fornicator, idolater, etc.  The constant reality and possibility of sin remains an ugly fact of  life for the believer, but praise the Lord--for us the penalty has been removed through justification. Be not deceived, the Serpent has no fangs where the child of grace is concerned!!!!

This is not the first article I have written about deception and it probably will not be the last. Why? Because spiritual deception is so thick today one can almost reach out and grab a handful! And in my opinion it is nowhere more evident than in the fact so many brethren assume others to be genuine believers simply because they say they are. Then if anyone dares to question the validity of such professions of faith, "judge not that ye be not judged" is almost an automatic response. But that response is counter to teaching concerning spiritual discernment that runs throughout the New Testament. We should always give professed believers the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time exercise a principle former President Reagan was fond of citing: "Trust, but verify.". In other words, we must not be gullible and too hasty in believing professions of faith! A general failure to exercise proper discernment is wreaking havoc in our churches, because tares now greatly outnumber the wheat. Genuine believers are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and no matter how immature and untaught they might be, to some degree the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23) will always be evident in their lives. And it is of the utmost importance that each of us look for that fruit before we let our guard down and accept someone as being genuine. Under the best of circumstances the devil is going to slip some "under our radar," but the permissive and ultra-liberal attitude now being displayed by the majority of Christendom is nothing less than catastrophic!

In the years prior to the counting noses mania of the twentieth century, most churches exercised restraint in accepting new members. Those who made professions of faith had to "walk the walk and talk the talk" for what amounted to a probationary period before being received into the assembly. And all the members of the church in question recognized their responsibility to put aside petty politics and social distinctions when they voted--the only legitimate criteria being whether or not the candidate had demonstrated spiritual fruit in their life. But alas, such common sense measures have long since fallen by the wayside and today anyone breathing and possessing the potential of taking up space on a pew will be welcomed with open arms.

Can a believer be deceived? I can cite no better example of the affirmative than the many who are Freemasons and stoutly defend the "craft" as being merely a benign fraternal organization dedicated to "making good men better." Their myopic assessment stems from teaching that is expressly designed to deceive and they cannot see the forest for the trees! And speaking of which,  I think it was the famous writer John Steinbeck who told of a trip he took through the giant redwoods of northern California. His little dog accompanied him and, because of a bladder problem, had to make frequent pit stops along the way. But when they entered the forest of huge trees, the dog obviously became frustrated because from his perspective there were no available "targets"!! The size of the trees far exceeded his limited perception and therefore they did not far as he was concerned. And it is the same principle with the overwhelming majority of Freemasons. They do not have a clue as to what is going on at the top of their organizational pyramid and attempts to warn them are rebuffed--usually with the lame excuse that no outsider could possibly understand their teaching. Yet their "secrets" are readily available for all who will take the time to educate themselves and what emerges is not a pretty picture. To go into specifics is beyond the scope of this article, but we strongly suggest that all who are interested read the following:

What particularly distresses me as a minister of the Gospel is that occult Gnosticism is the religion of Freemasonry and that fact is kept hidden from the average member. What is openly taught in Rosicrucianism is veiled in allegory for the Freemason. Why? To deceive the unwary as they advance through the various degrees in a quest for "illumination." Most of the many thousands around the world who enter a local lodge are content with the fraternal and benevolent aspects of the organization and seldom progress beyond the first few degrees. But a few who display particular aptitude and a willingness to advance are carefully watched as they progress through the higher degrees. And at a certain point--some sources say it is the 30th degree--those who have been deemed as possessing a potential for bigger and better things are informed that the master they serve is none other than Lucifer. Then if this revelation does not deter them, they are well on the way to achieving "true illumination" and serving a vital role in the organization. And for those brethren who insist this is not true, we challenge you to consider the considerable body of evidence which says otherwise! Masonic writings are available on the Internet in abundance and only those who take the time to sift through them (as we have done and continue to do) can consider themselves to be informed about the true nature of Freemasonry.

Here is how the Amplified Bible renders Colossians 2:2b-3; 8-9--the apostle Paul's tremendous warning about Gnosticism:

"....and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly, that mystic secret of God [which is] Christ, the Anointed One. [3] In Him all the treasures of [divine] wisdom, [of comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God], and [all the riches of spiritual] knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden."

"[8] See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism, and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition--men's ideas of the material [rather than the spiritual] world--just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe, and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ, the Messiah. [9] For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead), continues to dwell in bodily form--giving complete expression of the divine nature."

The "illumination" or "enlightenment" offered by Rosicrucianism/Freemasonry is pure unadulterated Gnosticism and must be rejected by God's people, because Jesus Christ is the divine repository of all that is truly illuminating. We need to pray mightily for spiritual discernment because darkness is masquerading as light and many of God's people are following it like moths drawn to a flame!!

So I offer this thought in conclusion: If Christians cannot be deceived, why oh why does there exist today such a terrible morass of conflicting doctrines and teachings concerning salvation and the Christian life? God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor.14:33), so where do you suppose it originates? Me deceived???? Brethren, all of us need to pray for discernment and be willing to change our minds when the Holy Spirit exposes error, rather than stubbornly holding to that which is false. To rightly divide the word of truth (2 Tim.2:15) has never been more important than it is now because darkness is rapidly descending upon us.

If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.

If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.

We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.

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God bless you.