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Deception: The Consequences Can Be Disastrous

Posted by Men of Redemption on January 19, 2015

 

eveIt began way back in the book of Genesis, chapter 3 with the serpent deceiving Eve into taking a bite of the forbidden fruit that God specifically gave instruction to Adam, not Eve, to not partake of. You see, Eve wasn’t even created yet so the responsibility of informing Eve was Adam’s, but he failed to advise her of God’s instruction. Communication was lacking at this point, and we husbands and wives can relate to that example so well even in our marriages today. It’s so critical that we communicate with our wives so that we can all be on the same page and get through this thing called together and righteously. But because of the deception that took place in the garden of Eden, we have this “deception” in the marriage relationship as well as in life itself. It continued throughout Biblical history even with God’s people; Abraham deceiving King Abimelech that his wife was his sister(Gen. 20:1-3); Jacob deceiving his brother Esau with a bowl of soup for his birthright(Gen. 25:29-34); and so many other examples throughout history. Today, it’s even more prevalent in our lives because of the selfishness and advantageous desires of man to succeed in all of his endeavors. Man will do anything and whatever it takes to gain his desires or whatever is in his heart, and he isn’t worried or concerned about the outcome at all. But one of the more notable deceptions in God’s Word is the story of Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts, chapter 5.  And unfortunately we see the likes of these two individuals in so many others around us that its hard to see the deception until we become the victims of their intent. By that time, we’ve been hurt, mislead, deceived, even disrespected.

annanias & sapphira“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”  –  ACTS 5:1, 2

Their sole intent was to deceive the apostles into thinking they were selling all of the property when they only intended on selling part of it. In scripture, it doesn’t say that Ananias and Sapphira were believers or unbelievers but it does say that they conspired to deceive. Nevertheless, they worked together to deceive with criminal intent for selfish gain. It appears that they never gave thought to the consequences for their actions, let alone those whom might be hurt or deceived. If we take some time to look at this carefully, how many of us have been deceived or taken as fools from people who have a hidden agenda or selfish motives against us? People will paint a “false picture” of their circumstances, lead you to believe that their situation is worst than perceived, or they’ll give the impression that their struggles are in dire straights. As we listen, those of us who are moved by compassion and heart-felt stories, we tend to feel sympathetic towards them and want to reach out and help. Not knowing the true story, we end up being taken advantage of, deceived, and never knowing the truth until much later when their intentions have become known. Yes, God’s grace is there for them but with those intentions come disastrous consequences. When they have the opportunity to bring the truth forward when the intention to deceive is exposed, they still stick to the deception, not knowing that the truth will come out eventually.

 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.”  – ACTS 5:3, 4

 

God forbid that we wish these consequences should come upon those who deceive us!! No!! But this lesson shows us how important God looks at being honest and truthful in our dealings and interactions with people. What it boils down to is what’s in the heart of the deceiver. Why would someone want to deceive us, and what gain is there for him or her? the heartIs there a wound or wounds that compels the deceiver to carry out his or her vengeance? Are they acting out of pain?Have they been taken advantage of and just want to get back at anyone to justify their loss or hurt? There are so many reasons why and the one that comes to mind is envy, not having what others have and desiring it, willing to do whatever it takes to obtain it. But it still comes down to what’s in the heart. The same results came to Sapphira as she purposely conspired to stay in agreement with her husband . . .

“Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.” Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last.”  ACTS 5:7-10

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.”PROVERBS 20:2

How do we protect ourselves from being victims, taken advantage of by those whose intentions are to deceive? Well, we never know who they might be, but one thing we can do is ask God to first and foremost protect us from those who have evil intentions, whether they are against us or others. Secondly, seek God’s guidance and instruction through His Word. We need to know God’s Word for ourselves, studying and meditating on scripture so that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. And thirdly, we will know them by their fruit. Everyone is known by what they say and do. Their lifestyle, their word, their actions and their belief system. These characteristics will reveal their heart and their heart’s intention. So let’s be mindful of those we interact with in the times we live in. Yes, it is hard to see it coming, but with the gift of discernment and being enlighten by God’s Holy Spirit, He will protect us from danger and those whose intent is to deceive. The consequences, well, they’re going to happen regardless. But we have to trust God that He will bring righteousness to fruition.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”  –  MATTHEW 7:15-20

 

 

 

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