How To Deal With Deception Even From Christians

In today’s world, many don’t mind stretching the truth. Even Christians can get caught up in doing it. So, when a Christian deceives us, how should we deal with their deception?

The Bible included an interesting story in 1 Kings 13 involving two nameless prophets. One following the Lord’s instructions, we’ll call the younger prophet.

The older one, however, deceived the first one into disobeying God by telling him an outright lie. Why would he do that? We don’t know. We’ll begin with the deception.

For the Lord gave me this command: ‘You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.'” But the old prophet answered, “I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this command from the Lord: ‘Bring him home with you so he can have something to eat and drink.'” But the old man was lying to him. 1 Kings 13:17,18

God commanded the younger prophet to deliver a prophetic declaration to the king. Jeroboam, the king, did not like what this young man had to say.

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The Story

When King Jeroboam heard the man of God speaking against the altar at Bethel, he pointed at him and shouted, “Seize that man!” But instantly the king’s hand became paralyzed in that position, and he couldn’t pull it back. 1 Kings 13:4

The young prophet relayed a message to the king about what would happen on that particular altar. Then, God confirmed the prophecy immediately.

At the same time a wide crack appeared in the altar, and the ashes poured out, just as the man of God had predicted in his message from the Lord. 1 Kings 13:5

You can probably guess that the king’s rage quickly tuned to a humble plea. He asked the man of God to seek the Lord for a healing, which he did.

The king cried out to the man of God, “Please ask the Lord your God to restore my hand again!” So the man of God prayed to the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored and he could move it again. 1 Kings 13:6

Gratefully, the king offered to take this young prophet to the palace. He not only invited him to share a meal, but he also offered him a gift as well. 

But in accordance with God’s directive, the prophet graciously declined the king’s invitation and offer.

But the man of God said to the king, “Even if you gave me half of everything you own, I would not go with you. I would not eat or drink anything in this place. 1 Kings 13:8

For the Lord gave me this command: ‘You must not eat or drink anything while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.'” 1 Kings 13:9

The Task of the Young Prophet, Almost Completed

Deal With Deception

Just as the Lord instructed him, he chose a different way to return home. This younger prophet had completed his mission thus far in complete obedience to the Lord.

In the meantime, the older prophet had heard about the younger one from his sons. After inquiring about the direction the younger one left in, he set out to bring him back.

He deceptively convinced this young man to do the exact opposite of what God commanded him. What could he do?

Surely, he didn’t think he would need to deal with deception, especially from another prophet. The enemy, though, will deal deception to us in any way he can.

But the old prophet answered, “I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this command from the Lord: ‘Bring him home with you so he can have something to eat and drink.'” But the old man was lying to him. So they went back together, and the man of God ate and drank at the prophet’s home. 1Kings 13:18-19

God Spoke Through the Older Prophet

During the meal, God spoke through the older prophet. This same man who deceptively lied to the younger one now told him that he would die.

This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have disobeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back to this place and ate and drank where he told you not to eat or drink. Because of this, your body will not be buried in the grave of your ancestors.” 1 Kings 13:21-22

It seemed like this young prophet got a raw deal because of the deception of an older peer. But in reality, his death resulted because he disobeyed God.

After they finished eating, the older saddled his own donkey for the younger and sent him on his way. But he didn’t get very far.

As he was traveling along, a lion came out and killed him. His body lay there on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. 1 Kings 13:24

Deal with Deception

How Should We Deal with Deception, Especially from a Christian?

Sometimes, unfortunately, we have to deal with deception from other Christians. So, how do we deal with it? First of all, understand that confusion doesn’t come from God.

Observe what happened in our story for today. The older prophet’s message didn’t coincide with the command the younger man received from the Lord.

The older man started his deception when he said an angel spoke to him. The young man received his command directly from God.

He delivered God’s message, and God confirmed it. To complete his mission, he only needed to return home a different way. Before that happened, the enemy struck.

The enemy will often allow us to complete 90% of what God calls us to do. Then he will deal some sort of deception our way to stop us in our tracks.

Many Christians feel good about what they accomplish for God, but how often do their tasks remain unfinished?

Obedience to the Lord Is Paramount

This young prophet’s life depended on complete obedience. Our eternal life also depends on total obedience. Regrettably, many people who think they’re headed to heaven aren’t.

Sure, they attend and actively participate in the church, give generously, and do good things in the community. Satan wants them to keep doing that 90% of good stuff.

The last thing he wants good church people to do is accept Jesus as their Savior. In fact, he will continue to deal the deception of religion to make them feel good about church.

Jesus told us that everyone can enter heaven but only through His name. Lord, we always want to be obedient to you. Give us discernment spot deception no matter who the enemy uses to deal it our way.

Check out this other post about how to deal with deception



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