At the beginning of an important teaching session with His disciples about the last days before His return to earth, Jesus warned His disciples to be careful not to be deceived. (Matthew 24:4)
Jesus was very concerned about spiritual deception because it was an important tactic in the warfare that the Devil and his spiritual forces of darkness were using in their war against God and His spiritual kingdom of light.
After God’s creation of mankind in the Garden of Eden, Jesus saw how the serpent/devil used spiritual deception to get Eve to disobey God’s command not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Her disobedience resulted in the fall of the human race from having a special relationship with God.
Jesus also saw how the spiritual forces of darkness used spiritual deception down through the ages to get people and organizations to rebel against God’s kingdom and His principles of living found in the Bible.
That spiritual deception occurs when the spiritual forces of darkness deceive people or organizations into accepting beliefs or practices which are initially pleasant-looking distortions of God’s principles found in the Bible, but then grow into beliefs and actions which openly break God’s laws and become part of the Devil’s principles of corrupt living.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10, the Apostle Paul warns His readers that the man of lawlessness will use the power of the Devil to produce signs and wonders to deceive those people who won’t receive God’s truths and become saved.
In Matthew 24:24, Jesus says that in the last day before His return to earth ”False Christ’s and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”
In order to avoid falling into the trap of spiritual deception, Christians need to learn a lesson from an experienced bank teller who knows how to spot a counterfeit twenty dollar bill because it looks and feels different from the many genuine twenty dollar bills that they have handled.
When Christians have a good working knowledge of God’s principles and teachings found in the Bible as the foundation for their beliefs and actions; then when they read or hear something that distorts or contradicts what God said in the Bible, an alarm from their Scriptural knowledge along with an alarm from the insight of the Holy Spirit will go off and say ‘there’s something wrong about that teaching.’
When that happens, Christians need to use their knowledge of the Scriptural teachings and the insight of the Holy Spirit to figure out what is the Scriptural truth about the subject being discussed.
There are some times when the spiritual gift of distinguishing of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10) tells Christians that there is an attempted spiritual deception from the spiritual forces of darkness taking place. When that happens, Christians need to bind the attacking demonic forces in the name of Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit cast them into the abyss/lake of fire to stay there forever.
Since the spiritual warfare between God’s spiritual kingdom of light and the Devil’s spiritual kingdom of darkness will continue until the very end when God overcomes the Devil and his spiritual forces and throws them into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10, 15); then Christians need to keep using their spiritual weapons described in Ephesians 6:10-18, the name of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit to fight the spiritual battles that come against them!