Resisting Deceit

Open Your Bible

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Daniel 11:36-37, Ephesians 5:6-14

In the Davis home, family meetings are reserved for serious business. If someone calls for one, everyone’s internal radar begins to beep, “Pay attention! This is important!” We sit on the edge of our seats as we gather in the living room to hear whatever weighty news is coming. In 2 Thessalonians 2, the apostle Paul calls a family meeting of sorts. The tone is familial but the topic is kind of scary: even God’s children are vulnerable to deception. 

Can’t you picture the Thessalonians gathering together, family-style to read Paul’s letter? I imagine a few biting their fingernails with worry as they read these words, “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him: We ask you, brothers and sisters, not to be easily upset or troubled” (2Thessalonians 2:1–2).

My heart is right there with the believers who first read these words from Paul. I know I’ve been upset and troubled by the promise of Christ’s coming, even while longing for Him to come. Sometimes I wonder what is taking so long. What if we miss it? How can we know, really know, that when He comes He will receive us as His own?

Beyond the return of Jesus, I have other worries. I’ve seen my Christian brothers and sisters crash and burn on the runway of wrong theology. I’ve watched church leaders veer from the truth to their own peril. Though I trust my salvation is sealed in Christ, I also know I’m capable of falling for lies and grabbing on to false hopes. We must remember that God knows about our racing pulse and anxious heart (Philippians 4:6). Through His Word, He acknowledges our fears with a paternal warning: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way” (2Thessalonians 2:3). 

But isn’t it the very nature of deception that it’s tricky? And who is the “man of lawlessness” (vv.5–12), and how do we steer clear of the “strong delusion” (v.11) Paul writes about in his letter? 

In the Davis home, family meetings are also a space for reassurance. We consider something challenging and vow to tackle it together. We acknowledge that something isn’t working, and we stay in the huddle until we have a new game plan. God’s Word does the same. Deep breath. Let’s have a bit of a family meeting.

How can we know if we’ve been deceived? Look closely at verse 12. The answer was there all along. Those who are deceived do not believe the truth. They’ve turned from God’s Word. It’s that simple. And it’s also that easy to do, to be swayed by deception.

Sisters, huddle up. Here is the game plan for battling deception. Ready? We hold God’s Word high as the source of truth. Then we love the truth. We live the truth. We run away from every deception, by running toward our Bibles—together. 

(55) Comments

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55 thoughts on "Resisting Deceit"

  1. Hannah Gealy says:

    This is convicting for me bc I don’t run towards the Bible. I often have to force myself to have quiet times and to read. But I do it bc I know it’s important and that I need to be obedient to what God has asked me to do. So I pray that I continue to be obedient and run to His word

  2. Brandy Deruso says:

    Lord i thank you

  3. Nancy Marshall says:

    I was fascinated that the antichrist is called lawless and lawlessness. I did not ever know that. Also very interesting given our current events and cities under siege last summer.

  4. Melissa Mcronney says:

    Amen, praise God for His Word. HE LOVES US

  5. Betsy E says:

    14for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

    “Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.” AMEN

  6. Laurie Crary says:

    Angela. Yes and yes.

  7. Emily McGrath says:

    Go to God with everything! Pray constantly! Stick to His word. He is truth! And He is Faithful! ❤️

  8. Jessie Chatigny says:

    I fully embrace the word as authority and Christ’s divinity AND I welcome lively, whole-hearted, thoughtful interpretations and discussions of it. Scholars and laypeople and ministers who love Jesus have come to different interpretations for millennia and I believe God honors that. Reading some of these comments, I get a pit in my stomach: I don’t want christian theology and debate to be hung up on one or two issues, but to be centered on making us more holy, closer to Christ in community and within our own selves. Remember that anti-racism has its roots in the freedom of God, and that all real love is God.

  9. India Moss says:


  10. tanya b says:

    I love the truth…sisters let us always run not walk towards the truth!!!

  11. Elizabeth Gibson says:


  12. Kristi L says:

    Hi Mercy and Candi,

    I have not personally attended Charis Bible College or listened to Andrew Wommack’s teaching. However, I just wanted to mention that he (and by extension, Charis) are associated with the Word of Faith movement. If you want to read more about that, here’s a link that explains a bit more:

    I know someone who was a student at Charis several years ago and now testifies about how she was deceived by the Word of Faith and New Age teachings of the school. Again, I acknowledge that I haven’t investigated Charis or Andrew Wommack myself, so I could be wrong, but based on the article it seems like he does subscribe to the false teachings of Word of Faith.

    Candi, I’m not sure where you are located, but I can wholeheartedly recommend Grace College in Indiana. I earned my master’s degree in ministry studies from there, but they also offer a number of undergraduate programs as well. Very sound theology and wonderful professors.

  13. Natasha R says:

    Today’s devotional prompted me to reflect on how the evil one is deceiving me today, and I see now that his strategy is to distract me from what really matters. Because of his deceit/distraction, I experience materialism, vanity, and pride, and have the wrong priorities. Though he can distract me sometimes, I know the evil one will ultimately fail because I am a child of the light and I follow the truth. I check in with the truth everyday when I read my bible, pray and meditate. Even when I falter and get distracted, I will stay in the light because I gave my life to God and He will never let go of me.

  14. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that I would hold on tight to the word of God. So that I wouldn’t be swayed by false teaching of any kind.

  15. Nancy Singleton says:

    I am so encouraged by this scripture, devotional, & the comments of our SRT community. So thankful that we stand together on the Truth of God’s Word, not wavering to suit the culture in this dark & dangerous time.

  16. Beth says:

    @Dorothy, would like to give you several suggestions. Turn off the TV, the screen causes your brain to think it is daytime and that is not good. Replace TV with a book, then read the Word of God at night. If you are still awake pray for everyone you know and needs they have in their lives, and your needs. Also, something like warm Sleepytime tea, warm milk, even a little Melatonin (a natural ingredient that sometimes our body is in lack of to sleep can be purchased and taken in the evening). Just some suggestions to replace practices that we may have done for years, it are not always heathy for us. Especially watching many things on TV that can make your mind keep thinking about and become anxious or stressed and take away your sleep. Blessings.

  17. Mercy says:

    I am just in awe of how majestic and mighty God is. Sometimes I forget that. The Lord will consume the wicked one in the last day with just the breath of his mouth and the brightness of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Just effortless, totally effortless. Just a puff of air and the devil be destroyed. Majestic God.

  18. Mercy says:

    Candi S, I would highly recommend Charis Bible College (part of Andrew Wommack Ministries) in Colorado Springs, which is their main and new-built campus, and there are colleges in some other states. They have the 3rd year training in more specific areas like worship directing, business, government legislation, etc. according to the branch of ministry that their graduates might choose to work in, which I find very hands on before launching the young ministers into the world. It was amazing how Andrew Wommack’s teachings were miraculously brought to me by God when I was in a dark phase of wrong doctrines (legalism), I prayed and I prayed, I stumbled across “Killing sacred cows” teachings and they set me free. His materials are FREE (about 20 years worth of archives all free), made available on their website and youtube. I find that he covers many topics and he always stays close to Bible, easy to understand. I was like a person finding water after years of thirst in the dessert, thanks to the free lessons of this amazing ministry. All the best to your daughter on this exciting journey. I will keep her in prayers.

    1. Candi S. says:

      Thank you Mercy! I’m so glad to hear how this ministry touched you. I will check out the university for sure. :)

  19. Beverly Watley says:

    Jesus is Lord

  20. Stacy Smith says:

    I went to a Christian college. There were a lot of opportunities to mingle with non Christians and honestly, while there are a lot of “Christians” there weren’t a lot of Christians. I grew a lot in my faith and learned my theology but those 4 years are not something I would ever regret bc it allowed me a safe place to grow and ask questions of those who had similar questions. The professors were also great at making me feel safe enough to ask things that others may find heretical and condemn me for. Good luck to your daughter.

    1. Candi S. says:

      Thank you Stacy!

  21. Traci Gendron says:

    Churchmouse you spoke to me again! I need to open my Bible more so I can study the genuine and be able to recognize false teachings. I pray everyday that God will open my heart and lay His word inside. I yearn to live more like Jesus. Thank you SRT sisters for such wise words.

  22. Kristin Porter says:

    That is amazing and I completely agree!

  23. Heather O’Malley says:

    @Linda – I agree wholeheartedly! It’s so important to be in the Word and understand the whole context.

  24. Churchmouse says:

    I heard once that those in the Federal Mint do not study counterfeit bills. They study the intricacies of authentic currency so that they can readily spot the counterfeits. Their focus is on the genuine. So too, I study the Bible so that I know the Truth and can then more easily recognize false teaching. When I was a young Christian I read many books to help me grow in the faith. Over time I realized I was able to parrot what certain authors/teachers had written (and it was good teaching). I could find their individual explanation of a passage in their book more readily than I could find the corresponding passage in my Bible. Though well intentioned, I had slipped out of order. I was convicted to read my Bible as the primary Source of Truth that it is and use other books as mere supplements. So I began reading the Bible from cover to cover, using only its footnotes and references. Sometimes I finish in a year, sometimes it takes longer. I don’t rush just to meet a particular date. When I finish, I start over (often with a different translation). I participate in Bible studies (hello, SRT!) but I make sure I spend more time in my Bible than in any other book. Someone once asked me what is the best Bible and my answer is “the one you will read.”

  25. Cynthia Johnston says:

    Before I read God’s Word I ask the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to read God’s Word
    to open my ears to hear God’s Word
    to open my mind to know God’s Word
    to open my heart to receive God’s Word
    and to open my spirit to trust and obey God’s Word.

  26. Linda Gilbow says:

    Over the years I’ve found it vital to read through the Bible systematically. It’s important to study in a focused way! Yet, we miss the tying-together if we don’t read His Word as a whole. I’m in my 60’s and have read thru the Bible every year since I was in my 20’s. I would say it’s the most important way to guard against deception, because most false teachers take bits and pieces from the Word and build a theology on that. But if we see the Bible as a whole, it’s easier to find the untruths.

  27. NanaK says:

    Decision Magazine recently wrote an article that shared a study done by an American pollster, George Barna, noting that “only 6% of Americans adhere to a Biblical worldview, while 88% borrow from multiple and sometimes contradictory worldviews in order to form their beliefs and habits.” It is easy to be deceived when we allow satan and worldviews to dictate our beliefs! In a “coexist” society it is easy to just go along with literally “whatever “ in an attempt to not be considered a “hater.” But ladies, there is real danger in that. While we all look differently, talk differently, eat different foods, like different things….There is only One Truth and that is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and following HIS ways, no one else’s, is the way to stay in His light and be the “ salt and light” in this dark world.

  28. Dorothy says:

    Ephesians 5:14 reminds me of a song by Austin French titled, “Wake Up Sleeper”.
    Sisters with the help of each other and SRT we can keep other from deception and help our families stay away from deception. We can also try to help with passing on the Word of God and make sure those around us know the truth and aren’t deceived.
    Please pray for me, I’ve been having problems with getting a good and sound night’s sleep. I come home from work and unwind for a few hours, sometimes even fall asleep on the couch watching TV, but when I go to lay down I don’t sleep but for an hour or two maybe three.
    Have a blessed day sisters.

  29. Candi S. says:

    Thank you for your post. We are deciding on colleges for my daughter and we have it narrowed down to a few Christian colleges. One of them we know is trustworthy in their care and teaching of the Word. Additionally, our daughter would take enough required Bible classes that she would graduate with a minor. The only thing that gives me pause about the school is that they only allow Christian students. On the one hand, of course, I love that, but I also wonder if we should isolate ourselves so. We send our kids to Christian elementary school and the one we chose lets believers and nonbelievers enroll so they can share the Gospel with everyone. It is a vibrant Christian environment that is preaching the Gospel to all who are willing it hear it and I love it! The other college is closer to us and allows those if all faiths enroll, but we’ve heard they are preaching more of a social gospel, which makes us very uneasy. I don’t want our daughter being taught a watered down powerless gospel. I’ve been praying for confirmation and Ashli your post really felt like it.

  30. Mari V says:

    A couple of years ago, on late afternoon, my son,who was about 17 years old at the time, came running into the kitchen crying! He said he woke up and the house was quiet and still he thought he had gotten left behind. I pointed him back to God’s word. I reminded him of the day that he committed his life to Jesus. Most recently my daughter and I were having the same conversation and thinking to herself what if she gets left behind and I pointed her back to God’s word as well and reminded her when she gave her life to Jesus. Jesus takes our commitment to follow Him seriously. Even though the end times are scary we don’t need to fear. Jesus takes our salvation seriously with tenderness and love. I long for that day so much!

  31. Mikayla Hatcher says:

    Love this.

  32. KJ Johnson says:

    I love this SRT community and how we point each other to the word and read it together. This page of sharing is our family meeting. Today I encourage you and me to keep our eyes on Jesus not the world and we won’t be deceived. If our hearts are focus on his word and we are in our lane taking care of what God calls us to do we will not be deceived but we have to remain humble and teachable as we need to be growing in our faith.

  33. Julie Waldvogel says:

    Amen! The Word of God is Jesus himself. Let’s keep him center in our lives!

  34. Jill Lee says:

    Lord, help us hold your word high as our source of truth. Amen!

  35. Deb Ireland says:

    Sheila, I know what you mean. I am very hesitant to use Bible studies for the same reason. I have really just been reading the Bible and using the cross references to dig deeper for the last couple of years.

  36. Deb Ireland says:

    I have been trying to memorize scripture recently instead of spend time on social media or news websites. It has been so refreshing! As I work to hide God’s word in my heart, I have been thinking deeply about it too. I love that! I am almost half way through memorizing Romans 8 and I have learned so much about walking with God just by spending time in His word.

  37. Kate Emmert says:

    Help me to expose deceit Lord and live in your light!!

  38. Taylor says:

    The Word of God is where I run to fight my battles! I wrote in my journal whoever said “May Jesus be the source of truth to which I cling.” Amen!

  39. Sheila says:

    I feel I have been deceived by several well-known Bible teachers. I love to study the Bible with other women–especially women ahead of me in studying. However, now I struggle to trust many of them. One well-known, vivacious woman that my church hosted by simulcast and arranged buses to go to her weekend conferences that I completely trusted has now made me afraid of most of the others. She went all political and has even changed her opinions that fit more with the culture of today. I don’t feel comfortable even with other teachers that still trust that teacher. Satan is sure hard at work. He can deceive anybody and I know he can me and has. We need the truth now more than ever.

  40. Adelynn Campbell says:

    Continue to open your Bible everyday sisters ❤️ In Christ we will press on!

  41. Ashli V says:

    I first ran across some “alternative theologies” in my college classes. Sadly, it was a Christian school by name. Many of the students (and even some professors) seemed to hold fast to a system of beliefs loosely based on God’s Word, but tailor-made to their lifestyles or personal agendas. It saddened me when I feel so strongly about the word of the Lord and His truths for our lives, but am labeled a “hater” or “intolerant” in this day and age for standing by God’s entire Word. I wonder how so many can take God’s Word, and hold fast to parts of it as truth, but can be excuse other parts away. This “relative truth” is such a dangerous slippery slope, and is such a huge reason for us to stay connected to His Word and always reference back to what His Word says to be true. Even in Christian schools, music, books, and pastors. So thankful for this community and digging into truth. Praying that we can continue to stand on God’s truth, even in an age when it’s unpopular.

  42. Sheila says:

    I feel I have been deceived by several well-known Bible teachers. I love to study the Bible with other women–especially women ahead of me in studying. However, now I struggle to trust many of them. One well-known, vivacious woman that my church hosted by simulcast and arranged buses to go to her weekend conferences that I completely trusted has now made me afraid of most of the others. She went all political and has even changed her opinions that fit more with the culture of today. I don’t feel comfortable even with other teachers that still trust that teacher. Satan is sure hard at work. He can deceive anybody and I know he can me so I am afraid to sit under the teaching of those that he is also deceiving–especially when they don’t even seem to realize it.

  43. Sheila says:

    I feel I have been deceived by several well-known Bible teachers. I love to study the Bible with other women–especially women ahead of me in studying. However, now I struggle to trust many of them. One well-known, vivacious woman that my church hosted by simulcast and arranged buses to go to her weekend conferences that I completely trusted has now made me afraid of most of the others. She went all political and has even changed her opinions that fit more with the culture of today. I don’t feel comfortable even with other teachers that still trust that teacher. Satan is sure hard at work. He can deceive anybody and I know he can me so I am afraid to sit under the teaching of those that he is also deceiving–especially when they don’t even seem to have a clue.

  44. Angela Sutherland says:

    Such an important reminder to stay in the Word! In a day when there are so many different voices calling out “their truth” (sadly, even in the church we are seeing this), it’s easy to latch onto something that pleases our ear but may not be rooted in actual Truth. When we are anchored in the Word of Truth ourselves, we are able to sift through all the voices calling out and hear the One still small voice that leads us on right paths. I need to daily open my Bible and ask the Spirit to lead and teach me.

  45. Jill R says:

    I believe the best way we can confirm we are understanding a message/belief correctly is to search scripture and be in a community were we read and discuss scripture together.

  46. Shuana Michele-Hackworth says:

    This scripture and devotional is right on time. It was a great reminder to me that proper theology is important. It’s life saving to believe the Word of God. We must take God at His Word. We already live in a time of great deception. I ask that you strengthen me Jesus and keep my heart open for your truth.

  47. Jeannie Wilson says:

    You shall KNOW the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you FREE!

  48. Karen says:

    Loved this devotional. As I read II Thessalonians 2, I got a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out what it all means, reading it slowly, verse by verse. Bottom line, God’s word is truth. If not sure about something I’m told, cross check it by looking to God’s word for truth, then I cannot be deceived.

  49. Julie Hurst says:

    Eyes and ears open to hope and rest in it

  50. Prue Anne says:

    “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John‬ ‭14:6‬) praise God that as we open this glorious book we find truth and in each word we find Jesus. Oh that you would be The Truth to which we cling x

  51. Jaimie says:

    Yes! Praising the Lord for his Truth!! Amen!

  52. Kristen says:

    Yes, May people be drawn to God, hold Him in the highest regard, fear and love Him, repent, and may His Word be our standard for everything. His Word is Truth and His Word is living, active, and powerful! Oh, please help us to not only know Your Word, but be changed by Your Word, live according to Your Word. Amen!

  53. Jo Turnbull says:

    Yay truth!