"Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, 'I am Christ': and shall deceive many....and many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many...there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24: 4,5,11,24
Don't think you can be deceived? We live in a world of illusion. The world is real, but just the way light & sound behave, the ways our eyes & ears work, illusions are everywhere! Ever see a baseball game? The players on the field look about an inch tall. Perspective is an illusion, as is the Doppler effect. Our own minds play tricks on us.
The truth is, if you think you're too sharp to be fooled, you're a prime target for deception! In fact, the one deceiving you doesn't even need to be smarter than you. Believing lies just comes natural to us! We are highly susceptible to deception. And Jesus warns us to be on our guard.
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.", Paul told Timothy. And to the church at Thessalonica he warned: "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie..." 2 Th 2: 9-11
And speaking of 9-11, (just kidding, I won't go there).
Anyway, when the Antichrist arises, do you think he'll appear in the form of Baphomet, or have horns and a 666 tattoo on his forehead? "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field..." And he's had a few thousand years to perfect his craft. "And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14
No, rather: but he'll come in a non-threatening, appealing guise. Christians will be fooled. "Not me! I'm Spirit-filled!" How many people believe Disney is good, wholesome family entertainment? His films are in nearly every Christian home in this country. Yet these movies are filled with occult themes and sexual subliminal messages, as well as racism. He was a high-level Mason and a pedophile. We were all fooled!
Friends, we need to take the warnings of Jesus seriously. Don't think for a moment you can't be deceived. Stay humble before God, and pray for His wisdom to discern what's real & what's not, what's of God and what's of the Devil. Jesus told the Samaritan woman, "You worship you know not what". That's a scary thought.
Brothers and sisters, we can't be too careful. "Trust no one, question everything!" is good advice in these days. And please don't think someone else has already checked it out for you. "Yeah, but, So-and-so is in the Truth Movement". The Truth isn't a movement; He's a Person- Jesus Christ!
We can get through this mess if and only if we follow Jesus' warnings. Stay thirsty for the truth, my friends. Fight the good fight. God bless the faithful.