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Deception & Discernment: Part 3




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Colossians: Deception and Discernment – part 3 

© 2018 G Kamp www.truthbase.net

Scripture quotations from NKJV

9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

  1. Satan grasped at God’s position, but lost. He is now trying to disrupt God’s plan through deception.

Being deceived: Believing a lie or a half-truth, with dire consequences for yourself, others, and God’s reputation

2. Satan deceives through lies, causing us to miss God’s will, hence the need for Spiritual discernment.

a. He deceives us through lies, which we end up believing and upon which we act 

Satan appeals to our core desires to try to get us to depart from God’s revealed will (Genesis 3, temptation of the Christ, 1 John 2).

b. Believing lies, we miss God’s will, and suffer negative consequences. Hence, we need knowledge, wisdom, and understanding from the Holy Spirit.

Knowledge: Knowing the relevant facts about God and us, and the relationships between them all (who, what, where, when)

Understanding: Being able to put things together, know consequences of actions, correctly understand things in context. (why)

Wisdom: Choosing the right objectives and the right means to obtaining them, ie pleasing God by doing His will. (how)

Discernment: Being able to distinguish right from wrong, truth from deception, God’s will from Satan’s/our will, and acting upon it.

c. The lies are about the character and the commands of God, and about the consequences of our actions

The bible contains many examples of people who started off ok. But then they got deceived, they believed a lie, and acted upon it. They missed God’s will and it always ended badly. For each of the following examples, ask yourself:

  1. What are the people in this example missing? Is it knowledge, understanding, and/or wisdom, and/or understanding?
  2. What core driver (power-security/significance, pleasure, possessions) did Satan use to deceive them?
  3. What would it look like in my life, if Satan were to use similar tactics to deceive me?
  4. What can I learn from this example to improve my own discernment and be less likely to be deceived by Satan?




Character/Command of God


Adam and Eve (Gen 3)

You will not die but become like God

God means what He says. Do not eat from the tree.

Sin and death came into the world. They died.

2 Million Israelites as Kadesh Barnea (Num 13)

We will die and our wives and children will be taken as plunder

God is able to win battles. I will give you this land.

No entrance into the promised land, died in the dessert

Saul (1 Sam 10, 13)

Samuel won’t show up, I have to act now

God saves. Wait 7 days.

Lost the kingship

David (2 Sam 11, 12)

I have to kill Uriah to cover up my affair with Bathsheba

God gives what’s best when its best. Do not murder.

His son died, someone else would sleep with his wives 

Solomon (Deut 17, 1 Kings 10, 11)

I have to please my wives and their gods

God is a jealous god. Do not have other gods before Me.

Lost 10 tribes of the kingdom (after his death)

Asa (2 Chron 15, 16)

I have to get help from the king of Syria/Aram/Damascus

God wants us to trust in Him alone.  Woe to those who trust...

From now on, he had war, God no longer protected peace

Pharisees (John 11)

We should kill Jesus to protect our place and nation

Jesus is the Messiah. This is my Son, whom I love. 

They rejected and crucified the Messiah.

Peter (John 13, 18, 21)

If I deny knowing Jesus, I will be safe.

God protects. Love God first. He who loses his life…

Shame, Jesus had to restore the damaged relationship.

Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5)

We can secretly keep some of this money ourselves and enjoy it.

God knows everything. Do not lie.

They died on the spot.

Demas (Col 4:14, Philemon 24, 2 Tim 4:10)

This apostleship is not worth it, the world has more to offer.

God does reward our labor. Do not love the world.

Loss of reward.

 We also, if we do not develop discernment, will end up being deceived. 

The Spirit of truth uses the Word of God to produce in us the mind of Christ.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response

  1. If we are deceived, is it possible for us to know it? If we don’t know it, can we be held responsible?
  2. Does God view sin as a result of being deceived the same as willful sin? Why / why not?
  3. Do you know of biblical examples where Satan tried to deceive people but they were able to counter his lies? What helped?
  4. How do knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and discernment relate to each other? Which one is the most important?
  5. What do you think are some of Satan’s favorite lies to get you off-track? How do you guard against them?