Every one of us is subject to deception. Y’shua said even the very elect could be deceived (Matt 24:24). This was also Y’shua’s very first warning when He was asked about the end of the age. He said: “see to it that no one deceives you” (Matt 24:3-5). We have written a previous post about deception and will continue to do, because of the importance and relevance of this topic. In this study, we want to look at how certain practices can make it possible for us to be deceived. These practices can be summarized as mixed worship. This will include any practices and traditions contrary to the Word.
The definition of deception:
We shall commence this study by defining deception:
mis•lead \ˌmis-ˈlēd\ verb
-led \-ˈled\; -lead•ing verb transitive before 12th century : to lead in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief often by deliberate deceit verb intransitive : to lead astray : give a wrong impression
Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
de•ceive \di-ˈsēv\ verb
1 archaic : ENSNARE
2 a obsolete : to be false to
b archaic : to fail to fulfill
3 obsolete : CHEAT
4 : to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid
5 archaic : to while away verb intransitive : to practice deceit also : to give a false impression 〈appearances can deceive〉 — de•ceiv•er noun — de•ceiv•ing•ly \-ˈsē-viŋ-lē\ adverb
synonym DECEIVE, MISLEAD, DELUDE, BEGUILE mean to lead astray or frustrate usually by underhandedness. DECEIVE implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness 〈tried to deceive me about the cost〉. MISLEAD implies a leading astray that may or may not be intentional 〈I was misled by the confusing sign〉. DELUDE implies deceiving so thoroughly as to obscure the truth 〈we were deluded into thinking we were safe〉. BEGUILE stresses the use of charm and persuasion in deceiving 〈was beguiled by false promises〉.
Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
From the above we can expound the following:
- deception may or may not be intentional.
- it is to be led in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief; to be led astray
- to cause to accept as true or valid; what is false or invalid
- implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness
- obscure the truth
Practices that cause a person to be deceived.
We have in a previous post focused on how to know the truth from error. This time we are going to look at two other practices that will cause us to be deceived.
There are many accepted practices, among believers that are totally against YHVH’s Torah. These practices are quite varied. We are going to expound two practices that will lead to further deception. Both have their roots in idolatry. Firstly the merging of pagan or heathen worship practices or traditions with our worship of YHVH, and secondly the infiltration of new age ideologies and methods as part of what we believe and practice.
1. The merging of pagan worship with the worship of YHVH
YHVH has given us His appointed times to celebrate, in Leviticus 23. These times are Sabbath, Rosh Chodesh (new moon), Pesach, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Shavuot, Yom T’ruah, Yom Kippurim and Sukkot. These feasts all have a special prophetic significance, and we are told to celebrate them perpetually.
None of these instructions have changed. YHVH said it is to be an everlasting ordinance, and He does not change (Mal 3:6).
Why do we add to this?
Why are we celebrating feasts not commanded by Him like Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Valentines day to name a few. Do we know where these feasts originated from?
Why are we blindly following traditions without understanding the roots thereof? The lighting of candles as an act of worship comes from Nimrod. The setting up of a Christmas tree or a Channukah bush stems from an ancient pagan tradition which is described in Jeremiah 10. The tradition of eating apples dipped in honey at Yom T’ruah, also has heathen or pagan roots. These are but a few examples. It is not our intention to go into further detail here. It is our responsibility to study the origins of the traditions we observe.
We don’t have the authority to add to Scripture, and we should not be participating in traditions with idolatrous origins.
30 beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’ 31 “You shall not behave thus toward YHVH your Elohim, for every abominable act which YHVH hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32“Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.
2 Thus says YHVH, “Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them;
2. Adopting practices used by the nations (unbelievers)
Read that scripture in Deuteronomy again
29 “When YHVH your Elohim cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’
We have to be pure in our worship of YHVH! YHVH the Almighty does not tolerate idolatry. We have to fear and obey Him only!
The Israelites – when they made the golden calf – called it their Elohim who brought them out of Egypt (Exo 32:4-5). They even declared a new feast day in YHVH’s Name. They were in their hearts worshiping YHVH. However, in front of them was a golden calf. It was still idolatry!
You cannot take a pagan practice and make it “kosher” by doing it in the name of YHVH. It was, is and always will be an abomination to Him.
The same argument is true with regards to alternative health care practices. To quote the believers herein: “The frequencies emitted by the linen or the essential oils have healing power.” Really? I do not deny that it is healthy to wear natural fibers and I do not deny that we can benefit from the use of herbs and healthy nutrition, but to ascribe the healing to frequencies (which is a new-age lie) is idolatry. How is it different from standing in front of a carved image and ascribing your healing to it?
People will, for the sake of unity, allow anything nowadays. They don’t want to make an issue. People don’t want to tell anybody he or she is in the wrong. They are so scared that it may cause division in the fold. They call it love; I call it compromise. It is a typical Laodicean (Rev 3:15-16) attitude. It plays beautifully into the hands of the enemy. We are told in Gal 6:1 to correct each other in love.
We must be passionate about the truth and not allow heathen practices to creep into our lives, but we also have a responsibility to warn our brothers in love.
Is it love to allow your child to play in a busy street because, he might become upset if you tell him that it is wrong? No, it isn’t, and not telling him, might lead to his death. Just so, will idolatry cause spiritual death! I can speak from experience since I was involved in new-age and we have for the most part of our life celebrated Christmas, Easter and Valentines day. Thankfully, YHVH has shown us His way. Often, He uses people!
I am ever so grateful to a colleague who was bold enough to tell me about the dangers of new-age. I was an unbeliever at the time and was involved in it. He sat down with me and told me how wrong it was and that it ultimately leads to death, first spiritually and then physical. I remember him drawing it all out to me on a piece of scrap paper. I was shocked and upset then, but grateful now. He planted a seed, and YHVH made it grow. That may even have been the first seed planted for me to become a believer…
Years later, after becoming believers, we were going to celebrate our very first Christmas as a family. Our baby was five months old, and we decided to buy a tree and start some lovely family traditions. The tree was beautifully decorated and we had friends over for dinner. I am to this day so thankful for what they shared with us that evening. We had a lovely evening together with them, and just before they left, they gently told us to go and read what Jeremiah 10 says about a Christmas tree. We read it that evening after they had left, and we were so shocked. The brand-new tree was in the garbage the very next day. It really sounds easier than it was. All our “Christmas tradition dreams” were shattered. It was difficult to do, but we knew we had to and through YHVH’s grace, it was possible to take that first step. We have since not looked back! Accepting that truth and walking in it caused YHVH to reveal more truth to us about the origins of Christmas and other feasts and traditions we were involved in.
I am telling you this to help you, just like I was helped many years ago. I want to be that person for you. YHVH through His grace and mercy placed people in my life who showed me the way. He is good to us and will tell us when we do wrong, and He will often use people.
Will we listen? Sometimes we are too blinded by pride to listen. Pride leads to spiritual blindness. Read Rev 3:17-19.
Nobody has the ultimate truth. We shall go through life always having to unlearn untruth and learn new truth. A dangerous place to be, would be a place where you have been doing what you do and believing what you believe, without ever considering anything else. If you don’t accept new truth revealed to you, you will remain stagnant in your learning.
What does the Scripture teach us?
I was studying two passages in the books of the prophets Ezekiel and Hosea and was shocked when I realized what the implications of these words were.
The Scripture shows us in this study how these practices, seen by many, as innocent or unimportant will lead to your destruction.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your Elohim, I also will forget your children.
This verse has always made an impression on me. I have repeatedly wondered whether we can apply the knowledge spoken of here to any knowledge. People are destroyed for lack of knowledge, so I think it can be applied to life in general, but looking at the context; we see the meaning is much deeper. The knowledge spoken of is YHVH’s instructions – His Torah! Not having the knowledge of the Word of YHVH can and will destroy those not having it.
We shall study this passage in Hosea further to show us how this deception works.
12 My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their Elohim.
YHVH is speaking to His people here. They have been led astray by a spirit of harlotry. That can happen very easily. That is one of the reasons He told the Israelites not to mingle with the heathen nations. Most things start off on a small-scale and quite innocent.
There is a practice in new-age where you use a dividing wand or pendulum to tell you if something is good or bad. This is divination (seeking answers by a stick of wood). This practice is getting more popular even among believers. It is called dowsing. Another form of dowsing is muscle testing. This is a form of divination. These people are deceived by a spirit of harlotry. They are practicing witchcraft and idolatry. Is it acceptable to practice some of the popular new-age healthcare practices? It sounds harmless enough, but YHVH makes it very clear what the result of this would be. It will result in them departing from Him.
The author of the Bible Knowledge commentary says it well: “In the midst of this idolatrous, immoral worship the Israelites even had the audacity to employ YHVH’s name in oaths. (Hos 4:15)The Law commanded Israel to swear by YHVH’s name (Deut. 6:13; 10:20). However, to make a semblance of devotion to Yahovah while serving other gods was the grossest hypocrisy.”
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ho 4:15). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
What we have here is an example of mixed worship.
14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot Or your brides when they commit adultery, For the men themselves go apart with harlots And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes; So the people without understanding are ruined.
One thing always leads to another and ruin is the end of these people without understanding.
4 Their deeds will not allow them To return to their Elohim. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know YHVH. 5 Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies against him, And Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also has stumbled with them. 6 They will go with their flocks and herds To seek YHVH, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn from them.
The most striking and alarming part of this whole passage is that these people will not be able to return to YHVH. He has withdrawn from them. Think about this passage in our context. Practicing idolatry in any form – no matter how innocent in your mind- will lead to YHVH withdrawing from you and your ultimate destruction.
Another passage that confirms this is the passage in Ezekiel 14. What is the meaning of Ezekiel 14? Does YHVH allow people to be deceived? Based on this passage, I would say yes. Abba YHVH will allow us to be deceived, and to spread a message of deception if we have idols in our heart.
1 Then some elders of Israel came to me and sat down before me. 2 And the word of YHVH came to me, saying, 3 “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity. Should I be consulted by them at all? 4 “Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says YHVH Elohim, “Any man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I YHVH will be brought to give him an answer in the matter in view of the multitude of his idols, 5 in order to lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel who are estranged from Me through all their idols.” ’ 6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says YHVH Elohim, “Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations. 7 “For anyone of the house of Israel or of the immigrants who stay in Israel who separates himself from Me, sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me for himself, I YHVH will be brought to answer him in My own person. 8 “I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from among My people. So you will know that I am YHVH. 9 “But if the prophet is prevailed upon to speak a word, it is I, YHVH, who have prevailed upon that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 “They will bear the punishment of their iniquity; as the iniquity of the inquirer is, so the iniquity of the prophet will be, 11 in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Thus, they will be My people, and I shall be their Elohim,” ’ declares YHVH Elohim.”
A plain reading of the scripture in context reveals the following:
These unrighteous leaders came to Ezekiel for council. YHVH said to Ezekiel that they practice idolatry, and this will be the reason YHVH; Himself will answer them according to the idols in their hearts.
The best illustration of Ezekiel’s meaning is the story of YHVH’s letting false prophets deceive Ahab, to bring him to his death (1 Kings 22:19-23).
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ezekiel 14:9–11). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
YHVH allowed a deceiving spirit to deceive Ahab, which resulted in his death.
YHVH will allow us to be deceived, if we participate in idolatry. Our deception will be in accordance to the idols in our hearts. What are the idols in our hearts? We need to evaluate ourselves to see if that which we practice, is strictly in accordance with Abba’s Word, or do we have all kinds of heathen or unbiblical practices mixed in?
There certainly are ways of practicing idolatry in ignorance. This is one case where the saying “ignorance is bliss” is not true.
How do we set up idols in our hearts?
Anything or anyone more important than YHVH is an idol. Clinging to unrighteous, heathen traditions and practices are idols in our hearts.
How do we safeguard ourselves against deception?
- Stay away from any form of idolatry.
- Do not mingle idolatrous practices into your worship of Abba YHVH.
- Live purely and in accordance with His Word. His Word is righteousness.
What is righteousness?
It is only through our belief in Y’shua that we are truly righteous. Y’shua is true righteousness, He is the living word.
8 Let your garments be white at all times, and let your head lack no oil.
White clothes are a picture of righteousness. To put on righteousness is to put on Messiah Y’shua. What is the role of the Torah then? After salvation comes righteous living. How would that be possible without instructions? You would say: but we are led by the Ruach (YHVH’s Spirit). That is true! The Ruach will lead you to walk in His way, according to His instructions.
To put on Y’shua’s salvation is to put on the righteousness of YHVH – His Torah. YHVH and Y’shua are one just as His instructions and righteousness are one.
172 Let my tongue sing of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
by Schalk_and_Elsa | Set Apart people