Taking Deception to a New Level

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Something to beware of

According to Deb Reichmann, technology now has the capacity of making “deepfake” videos depicting leaders or celebrities as saying or doing things they never said or did (https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article214178854.html).

Obviously, this could sway elections, ruin reputations, and create general havoc.

The article observes that once people are aware of “deepfake,” they will wonder if what they’re watching is real or contrived. It’s an uncomfortable position to be in.

Lies, lies, and more lies

Satan, whom Jesus called “the father of lies” (John 8:44), has been up to his deceptive tricks ever since Eden.

“You surely shall not die,” he assured Eve, causing her to doubt her Creator’s warning that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would cause them to “surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

Eve took the bait and suffered the consequences.

Haven’t we all?

Masters of disguise

The Bible provides us with all the resources we need to keep from being duped by Satan.

Paul warns against “false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness . . .” (2 Corinthians 12:13-15a).

In other words, we can’t afford to believe everything we hear from the pulpit, from a religious leader, or from any book, tract, or media source purporting to teach the Scriptures.

How to spot spiritual counterfeits

Perhaps the best example of how to detect religious truth from error is to use the Berean approach. The Jews of Berea listened with an open mind to what Paul preached, but before they accepted it, they checked it against God’s “yardstick.”

“. . . they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:10-12).

As a result of their diligent study, they concluded that what Paul taught was indeed the truth.

So before buying in, check it out!

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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I Was Going by the Wrong Standard

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“I wish they’d just leave it alone.” Have you ever heard anyone say this regarding Daylight Savings Time? It certainly can be a hassle, but do we really have any choice, unless we want to be out of sync with all those who do change their clocks twice a year?

“Spring forward, fall back”

Saturday night I dutifully set our clocks back one hour for the end of Daylight Savings.

But the trouble was, I did it a week too early. I was going by my pocket calendar that said it was time to change the clocks, so I did.

The trouble was, I was using a 2006 calendar to prevent having to buy a new one for the current year. Since both 2006 and 2017 began on a Sunday, I figured it would do just fine.

The trouble was, the date to fall back had been changed since then to the first Sunday of November. I had forgotten that.

As a result, I missed Bible class. A week early and an hour late.

So what lesson can we draw from my slip-up? Simply this, I was going by the wrong standard and didn’t realize it.

More wrong standards

Do people ever go by the wrong standard in religion? All the time.

Such erroneous standards include:

  1. Old Testament laws which are no longer in force, now that we are under the New Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:4-18; Hebrews 8:6-13)
  2. Additional writings purported to be divinely inspired and accepted as equally authoritative with the Bible (Proverbs 30:6)
  3. Religious traditions which are of human, not divine, origin (Matthew 15:1-9)
  4. Pronouncements by religious leaders who claim to speak directly for God (Jeremiah 23:25-32)
  5. One’s own subjective feelings (Proverbs 3:5; 14:12; 28:26; Jeremiah 10:23; 17:9).

And that’s not all! With so many different standards, is it any wonder that division prevails?

But God’s word unites all who hold to the Scriptures as their only standard, neither adding to nor taking from.

This is “the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3).

Next spring I’ll be more careful.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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