What is the Day of Deception?

What is the Day of Deception?

The Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 begins with Jesus’ disciples asking Him three questions. The first was, “When will these things be?” The second, “What will be the sign of Your coming?” The third, “What will be the sign of the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3)?

In response, Jesus said, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ, and will deceive many’” (Matthew 24:4-5). Jesus then goes on to confirm that deception would be the foremost problem in the terminal generation saying, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

The apostle Paul also wrote, “Let no one deceive you by any means, for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition [the Antichrist]” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

But what is the day of deception that Jesus and Paul were talking about? How does it impact the church?

What is the Day of Deception

Three Parts of Deception

The above-mentioned verses confirm that deception will be the major problem of the last days. And one of the major sources of deception is self-deception. The Bible says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

There are three elements of deception. The first is the fundamental distrust of God and His leadership, authority, and Word. But God’s Word is truth (John 17:17) and He Himself is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

The second element of deception is rebellion. Just like Jonah, you know what to do; you simply won’t do it. The Bible says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

The third element of deception is the rejection of God’s love. All cults are loveless. They are harsh, dominating, mean-spirited, and critical of everyone except their own. But the Bible says, “Love does no harm to a neighbor” (Romans 13:10), and “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another” (John 13:34). A church without the love of God is nothing more than a loveless cult.

Deception Appeals to the Flesh

Deception offers that which is desirable in the beginning but destroys in the end. Satan came to Adam and Eve in the Garden and asked, “Do you want to be like God?” It was desirable in the beginning. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they were driven from the Garden into a world God had just cursed.

When David saw Bathsheba bathing naked on her rooftop, he desired her. A sexual relationship with her was appealing in the beginning, but when he impregnated Bathsheba and conspired to have her husband Uriah killed, God’s judgment came upon him (2 Samuel 12:10).

Why Does God Permit Deception?

Every New Testament church has deception working in it. And Jesus prayed, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).

God allows deception to drive us to the Word that we may be “approved for God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). When heresies, false doctrine, or cults preach another gospel, those who are approved stand boldly and expose the deception.


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Nine Types of Deception

There are nine types of deception in the world.

1. Religious Deception.

Paul teaches, “Therefore let no one judge you in food or drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths” (Colossians 2:16).

Fasting without godliness is an illustration of religious deception. Forbidding people to marry is religious deception. Declaring people holy for keeping man made rules of righteousness is deception (1 Timothy 4:1-5).

2. Doctrinal Deception.

Doctrinal deception occurs when people leave the simple meaning of the Word of God. An illustration of this is those who say, “We do not need water baptism because the thief on the cross wasn’t baptized.”

We say to them, “Get yourself crucified and we’ll excuse you from water baptism. In the meantime, get in the tank!”

3. Ethical Deception.

This is when Christians profess the lordship of Jesus Christ but cheat and lie in their business dealings.

4. Moral Deception.

Secular humanism is the cornerstone of moral deception. It says, “If it feels good, do it!” But Scripture says, “It is written, ‘Man shall not leave by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

You don’t break God’s law; God’s law breaks you!

5. Intellectual Deception.

Intellectual deception is when an individual believes that his opinions, formed by his intellect, are equal or superior to the teachings of the Word of God.

6. Fanatical Deception.

Jesus taught, “The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 16:2). The crusades and leaders of the Spanish Inquisition are historical illustrations of fanatical deception.

7. Mystical Deception.

Experiencing dreams, visions, voices, angels, or “a bright light” does not mean you have had a visitation from an angel or Jesus Christ.

Paul says that “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Anything that inspires you to do anything contrary to the Word of God is demonic.

8. Sexual Deception.

Sexual deception is the belief or philosophy that rejects the God-ordained monogamous sexual relationship between a man and his wife as the only acceptable sexual relationship.

9. Spiritual Deception.

When Christians become bored with the discipline of the Word of God and begin practices that are contrary to New Testament orthodoxy, this represents the genesis of spiritual deception.

Closing Words

We get traumatized when thieves steal our money or identity but far more traumatic is when con artists who pose as Christians deceive the unsuspecting because the stakes are so much higher than someone’s life savings. What’s at risk is the eternal destiny of the soul.

To avoid deception of any kind, we need to develop biblical discernment and be vigilant at all times.

Note: This excerpt is taken from the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible’s “Top 20 Questions” edited by John Hagee.

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3 Replies to “What is the Day of Deception?”

  1. Hello There,

    Thank you for this powerful presentation.

    I love how you broke down the nine methods of deception that are commonly used throughout human history, not just from Scripture. I feel like the Christian community is being over-shadowed by moral, ethical, religious, and spiritual deception, although all nine of them could be witnessed in this age.

    Many are compromising their own moral compasses in order to stay in their leadership positions and their political party. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, there are many false prophets who claimed to see certain visions and dreams that never came to pass.

    For example, there were many prophecies stating that on April 12 of this year, it would be the start of the Three Days of Darkness. That prophecy never came through. I believe one of the biggest mistakes that prophets have been making is to give dates and times of then certain Biblical prophecies would take place.

    Matthew 24:36 states, “But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Only God knows the hour of the return of Jesus Christ. Not even the human, any of the angels, or Satan himself. Only God the Father. We do not have the right to throw in random dates and try to figure out what only God knows through our own efforts.

    Many Christians have turned to end-times prophecies and began to see dreams and visions that either never came to fruition or twisted the Scriptures– It’s hard to separate the true prophets and the false prophets these days.
    It is just so sad and unacceptable to see that a professed Christian could outright push the limits without any shame or guilt! All in the name of compromise and testing God’s patience!!! We are supposed to be the salt of the Earth, and the light of the world, but we are the bad weeds growing out of a tree!

    Finally, I would like to give an analogy. A baby would be fed formula and milk because it satisfies their mini-appetite and their bodies. An adult would eat fries and sweets 24/7 because it appeals to their tastebuds. Yet, they would neglect that these foods could give them health problems down the road. A healthy adult would eat chicken, salmon, and vegetables to not only feed their bodies but to improve and maintain a healthy and nutritious lifestyle that promotes growth and balance.

    A healthy lifestyle and a person’s maturity go hand in hand. For a Christian, it is the same thing. God’s Word not only feeds our natural bodies, but it feeds our souls, our spirit, and our hearts with the truth. The truth will lead us on the righteous path that leads to abundant life on this Earth, and eternal life in Heaven.

    Sometimes, the truth does not appeal to the flesh. It takes growth and maturity to realize that the truth will always be the best, even if we lose fame and fortune.

    Now, think of Satan as your dose of sweets and French fries. Do you know how good-looking those promises are? Do you hear that pleasant these worldly gains sound? Do you like how good it tastes and smells? It would appeal to your ears and your natural senses. But, is it the best for you according to what God wants and commands? No. If you fall for the deception, you may get the reward right now, but it will have terrible consequences down the road.

    For example, if you take a peek at someone’s paper and cheat on a test, you would expect to fail the test, the class, and possibly be disciplined by the school. All of that could have been prevented if we would have avoided the false notion cheating and lying will bring us positive results in a faster way rather than actually doing the work ethically. As they would say, don’t be fooled by Satan’s charm.

    May we all continue to lean on the truth of God’s Word so that we may not be deceived. May we also continue to stand for the truth in all circumstances, and remain vigilant of Satan and his schemes.

    Praise Jesus! 🙂

      1. Thank you! Have a wonderful day. Praise Jesus for continuing to show His love to us, and for the wonderful gift of life!

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