Many of the elect feel that there is no danger from the spirit world because of a misconception that they cannot be deceived by evil. This misconception comes mainly because of the following English mistranslation of Matthew 24:24.

"For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (KJV).  

The words "if it were possible" is where the mistranslation conveys the thought that it is impossible to deceive the elect. However, the correct translation is "if possible", which conveys the correct thought that it is the goal of false christs and prophets to deceive the elect. This is the reason for the many warnings given to the elect by Jesus Christ and the apostles.

The  history of the early church clearly shows that it is indeed possible to deceive the elect of God under certain circumstances. The goal of evil spirits and counterfeit ministers of Christ is to cause people to accept a lie as truth. There would be no reason for a warning, if there were no danger of being deceived and led astray by evil spirits, false teachers, and false doctrines.

The  apostle Peter  warns that the devil is an enemy  who is actively trying to destroy righteous people. Peter says that the way to  conquer the devil is to resist him and to have faith  that  God will deliver the righteous:

"Humble  yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,  that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he  cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your  adversary the  devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom  he  may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions  are  accomplished in your brethren that are  in  the world. But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you  perfect,  establish, strengthen,settle you" (1.Pet.5:6-10 KJV). See also Jms.4:7.

Although one's own failings and lustful desires are a  formidable foe  to  conquer, the child of God must also be aware of powerful spiritual forces that are a tremendous threat to one's salvation. Paul warns that the most powerful enemies of a child of God are not of this world but are from the spirit dimension of time and space:

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and  blood, but against  principalities,  against  powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual  wickedness  in  high places" (Eph.6:10-12  KJV). Read  also verses 13-18.

The  existence  of the dark side of the spirit world  was common knowledge  to those who were called to salvation during the  time of  the  early church.  Paul gives an exhortation to  the  Romans about using the  power of God in one's life to overcome physical trials and  evil spiritual powers:

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom.12:21 KJV).

"Who  shall separate us from the love of Christ?  shall  tribulation,  or distress, or persecution, or famine, or  nakedness,  or peril,  or sword? As it is written, For your sake we are  killed all  the day long; we are accounted as sheep for  the  slaughter. No,  in all these things we are more than conquerors through  him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor  life, Nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things  present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any  other  creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom.8:35-39 KJV).

The spiritual warfare that the elect of God are engaged in is a life and death matter.  A major goal of Satan and the evil spirits that serve him is to destroy the elect of God. In order to become victorious over these evil beings (Rom.12:12), a Christian must know and understand who  and what the enemy is and its strengths and weaknesses. If one does not know these things about one's enemy, the battle can be lost before it even begins. Once a Christian knows the enemy and its potential  for destruction, they should thoroughly acquaint themselves with the superior weaponry of God's spirit that is given to each Christian in order for them to overcome evil.

Masters of Deception

Evil spirits are masters of deception, and throughout the ages, they  have cleverly produced many counterfeits of the Father's truth, his good news message, his worship system, and his way of life for humanity.

Although it is a  powerful adversary, evil is  no match  for those who truly believe in the Father and Jesus,  because they have the power to overcome all adversaries through the power that is in the blood of Christ and the holy spirit.

By B.L Cocherell, file b8w15