Written by Lee Stevenson, sorry I am not the best editor.
With this system winding down and corruption and deception is rampant. The lines between what is right and what is wrong are getting skewed. This can open the door for us to be deceived and can cause a lot of misery and possible harm to ourselves or loved ones. So we have to pay special attention to the history of those we put our trust in. If they have a history of corruption, deception or outright lying we need to be careful trusting them. We also need to consider others ways we can protect ourselves from deception. The worst deception and the one we are most vulnerable to is self deception. The pharmaceutical and biotech industry has a history of criminal activity, deception and harm. Many governments have been caught colluding with them to hide the harm they have done. That is evidence that when the bible tells us is true the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one. It is also proof of how easily man can be deceived or corrupted.
The bible tells us many times not to leave ourselves be deceived. It will happen but as we are deceived and we apply the scriptures we can learn how to better protect ourselves from being deceived. The bible makes it clear to look at a persons fruits. The more fruits of the spirit the person produces the better the chances are we will not be deceived. The bible makes it clear we should not trust the world and even the governments because it warns the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one. There is going to be a time where many governments will turn on true worship world wide. They will try to deceive people into turning their backs on God. The better we get at identifying deception the harder it will be for us to be deceived. By reading God’s word and praying to him on matters it can help to train our minds so we will not be easily deceived by Satan and the world. We have to remember Satan knows God’s word also. The bible warned he and his messengers can appear as angels of light.
The bible showed us clues so we will know when something originates with the world and not God. One thing that is a clue, is most of the talk of a person would be of the world and not of God’s word or of God. For example if a person constantly avoids speaking of the bible it may indicate they have a matter of conscience and hearing God’s word could be hurting it. In such an instance we would need to be careful trusting such a person. Looking for the fruits of the spirit is very important. Does the person continue to grow and show more and more of the fruits of the spirit? For example do they pursue peace, do they leave love guide them, are they patient and kind, do they have self control in various areas of their life, do they have strong faith in God and trust his word to guide them. Some may show many spirits of the fruits but if there is an area they need to grow and they are not progressing we may want to be cautious.
Does the person show signs of works of the flesh for example fits of anger, hostile towards others, cause conflicts with others, do they frequently get jealous in a bad way, do they envy others, do they get drunk often, do they associate with people who do these things? Do they lack self control in areas of their life. Do they put spiritual things first? The bible makes it clear putting worldly things over spiritual things is a form of idolism. For example if a person puts the pursuit of money or material things first we may want to be careful. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy but when the pursuit of it takes from us being able to worship God with our whole heart then we are doing an act of worship to the money or material things because that is where our devotion is.
Something else we want to watch for. When a person does experience trials and tribulation do they come out of it more spiritually mature and wiser or has it drawn them away from God. If it has drawn them away from God we may want to be careful putting our trust in them. We should try and build them up, we should try to be there when they are experiencing trials and tribulation but if they are not growing from it and taking in the spiritual food offered we may want to be careful in trusting them.
Another way we can be deceived is if a person is very good at false reasoning , or has a lot of worldly knowledge. If they are using fancy words and not quoting the bible , or they keep complementing a person and doing what appears to be acts of kindness but do not talk about Gods word and show their faith in it but looks for solutions from the world we should be cautious. There are certain responsibilities we have and certain professionals that we do have to rely on for assistance sometimes but if the advice they give goes against what God would expect or require of us we should be cautious.
We even have to be careful of our spiritual relatives. I had a spiritual relative that would continually ask me the same question about something that pertained to my life. If I did not repeat the answer back in the same exact words I had first told them , they would try to use this as evidence that I was being deceptive. No one remembers everything perfectly, it is unreasonable to expect them to. Be careful about they questions they are asking, if they have a history like the spiritual relative I mentioned be careful. Those ones cause divisions and strife. We are warned to be careful of such ones. Even when talking about spiritual things. Know your bible well enough to be aware of when you are being ask a loaded question. This way we can give an appropriate answer ans sometimes now answer which Jesus did when he realized the motive of the question was to entrap him or had deceptive motives behind it. Be careful of those who ask questions like that. They are forms of deception and indicates we may not be able to trust them. Jesus knew he was being tried and convicted of something he was not guilty of. So when he was accused he would not reply. This does not mean we should not defend ourselves but when it is obvious the person has already come to a conclusion and are asking the question to try to get you to incriminate yourself it is best to remain silent when possible.
Sometime things may occur maybe those taking the lead among us may be in error or we may be aware they have imperfections. Some who have their own interest at heart can use this to draw some away from the truth. This happened Moses and Aaron, they were chosen by God to lead Israel. They made mistakes. God corrected them and they accepted the discipline and did not make the errors again. Korah was a high priest. He most likely was very aware of the errors that Aaron and Moses had made. He decided that he was more qualified then Aaron and Moses to lead Israel. He tricked many into following him in the rebellion. Moses and Aaron were chosen by God so were directly accountable to God. It was not Korah’s place to question the choice God made and it was not his position to remove them. In doing so he was trying to undermine God. This resulted in Korah and others losing their lives. So we need to know our bibles well enough to know when something like this is occurring so we cannot be deceived. God has chosen imperfect humans, we know they made errors in the past and corrected them just as Moses and Aaron did. We should not loose faith in Jehovah he always sets matters straight. Over the years true worship has become purer and purer. As this system winds down things may occur exposing things that need corrected. We can be sure Jehovah will set matters straight as he did with Moses and Aaron when they were in error. There are many Korah like ones out there. Many have websites they have set up. They look for those who are disappointed in something our spiritual leaders and guides may have done. They may even exaggerate something that has occurred. If we give them an ear it leaves Satan get his foot in the door and can lure us away from true worship and just as Korah and the 250 did, we could start opposing God. These ones use comforting or flattering words and then slowly try to draw people away from true worship.
Often times people with hidden motives will come with soothing words and complements because they know the person is vulnerable. They may tell us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear. We need to be aware when we are vulnerable and when we are accepting words we want to hear instead of what we need to hear. If we get upset or uncomfortable with a scripture we should self reflect on what this tells us about ourselves it could indicate something we may need to work on or overcome. Though it may mean we need to do deeper research to understand the meaning. When you care about someone it is not easy sharing scriptures with them you know they need to hear. Sometimes for a brief time they may get upset with you. But if we see someone stumbling and did not try to help them where would that leave us in our standing with Jehovah?
Another way we can be deceived is believing a bad association will not draw us into sin. The bible warns us about having bad associations. If we are tolerating behavior that in in opposition to God or that is not bringing glory to God we are not only telling the person their behavior is okay we are telling God and Jesus we approve of that type of behavior. In doing so even though we are not participating we share in their guilt. This does not mean we should completely avoid them. When we have the opportunity we should plant the seed of God’s word and watch to see if it grows. If we see them apply what they have learned in their life and make changes , it is God that makes the seed we planted grow so we need to continue when possible to share God’s word with them. When we may be teaching another or we are helping someone who is a spiritual relative we need to be careful that we do not get drawn into sinning. The more we take in God’s word the more aware we become of our short comings and weaknesses the better we can protect ourselves. God wrote his word because we all sin and fall short. If we were perfect God would not have had to give us his word so we could look into the perfect mirror of his word and learn to overcome our short comings. If we ignore the bibles warnings about bad association we are being wise in our own eyes and the bible has warned that can lead us into trouble. If we get overconfident we are thinking we are something we are not, because we are ignoring God’s warnings and believing that we are above being drawn into sin. The bible warns us being overconfident can cause us to fall. Surely we would not want this to happen.
We are told the word of God is sharper then any two edge sword able to discern the deeper things of the heart. If a person tends to not want to hear Gods word or they tend to avoid certain scriptures they could be telling us something about them. If they react badly to a scripture we should not suddenly jump to the conclusion they are hiding something. They may need the scriptures clarified, or need a deeper understanding. Many of us had believed things in error before we learned accurate bible truths. Sometimes those things can be deeply entrenched and may take a while for them to overcome. In situations such as that it is the spiritual growth you watch. If you see them spiritually growing you know they have a deep love for God and his word and we just need to give them time. We should be cautious and pay attention to how they react to God’s word. For example if they frequently avoid scriptures involving immoral sex , it could be a sign we may want to be careful they may have issues in that area. They could avoid them because they still fill guilt for letting God down. But asking questions carefully and not directly or bluntly asking things may help you to determine if you should help them to forgive themselves or if they may be hiding something, or if the scripture causes them confusion because they cannot fully understand it.
Shock and awe is another way we can be deceived by Satan or his people. Satan tried to use this tactic unsuccessfully against Job. Often times a person may do some things to cause you to get overwhelmed. Or circumstances may happen to cause you to become overwhelmed. Often times when this occurs people or even Satan will try to put us in a position where we feel we have to make a quick decision. If this decision can effect the rest of our lives or negatively impact someone else and there is any uncertainty then we should not let anyone pressure us into a decision. It is a moment of vulnerability and when we are pressured, in a state of panic, frustration or anxious we will not use the reasoning parts of our brains. If what God would want us to do is not clear then we should delay the decision. If we are put in a position where we cannot delay that decision do no lean on our own understanding but trust God and do what he would want you to do. Often times I will think what would Jesus do or what would Jesus want me to do. We should not follow our hearts when it comes to making major decisions because the bible warns us the heart is very deceptive. This is where wrighting God’s word into our hearts will protect us. By reading his word daily and applying it and making it a part of our lives it will train our hearts so we will do what God ask when we do have to make decisions and we will not lean on our own understanding.
False reasoning is another way we can be deceived. If we listen to it or we false reason with ourselves we could fall into a trap and be led down the wrong path. Often times that can cause harm to ourselves or others or cause things to happen in our lives that can take years to recover from. The first instance of false reasoning was when even listened to Satan. It was clear she had been taught what was required of her because she had quoted what she had been taught. She should have stopped listening to Satan but she continued the conversation and it lead to her believing that humans did not need God to guide them and that man could guide themselves. We are seeing the end result of that rebellion now as this system comes to a climax. Satan knows Gods word and he can subtly draw us away if we continue to listen to false reasoning. There is also instances in the bible were someone false reasoned and thought that God would back them. For example there were rules of war for Israel. They were only to take back land God had promised to them. There were certain peoples they were not to fight wars with. Israel false reasoned because they were God’s people that he would protect them if they fought the war , even though it was a war God had told them not to fight. Israel disobeyed God and was punished for their disobedience, God did not protect Israel in their battle. I meant someone once who believed if he made money he would get a certain security, which there is nothing wrong with that. But he false reasoned if he made more money he could help more people. This slowly drew him away from God and he did not help others because so much of his time was spent making money.
We are clearly in the last days. The bible as I mentioned earlier said there would be scoffers. They would false reason that things are the same as they have always been and would take no note that they are happening on a grand scale like they have never occurred before. By they time they realized the time frame we are in the bible says it would be too late. Noah was a preacher of righteousness. He had given warnings about what was going to occur but they paid no note and the flood swept them away. There was no way for anyone else to enter the ark because it was God himself who closed the door. This is why Jesus frequently warned stay alert. If we associate with people who frequently scoff about the time frame we are in and ignore the warnings , it could slowly erode away at our faith.
We are told to enter the heavenly kingdom through the narrow gate. Jesus is the gate. He gave his life as a ransom for our sins. While on earth he so perfectly emulated his father that he gave us a guide that can help us enter the narrow gate. Just as in Noah’s day many will pay no note and will be destroyed at the end of this system. As a matter of fact the bible says they will be confident that they are going to live in peace and security when the end of this system comes. Jesus said those who go in through the narrow door are his sheep they would be the ones who were not deceived but listened to his voice.
Other forms of deception used is intimidation tactics like trying to make someone feel embarrassed, picking at someones else’s flaws so victim will not see their flaws, being critical of someone or trying to get someone to doubt their reasoning. Often times they will even remove a person’s support system by convincing people the person has bad qualities, or even outright lying so the person exposing the truth will be put in a vulnerable position and have no choice but to be silent. They tried these things many times with Jesus. When things got too bad he knew it was time to take his leave. If he did not leave often times it would escalate to the point they would want to harm him. Sometimes this intimidation the constant sarcasm and talking down to someone and constantly putting them in a position that people doubt what they say can cause the person to start doubting themselves. If you are around someone like this be careful. They may even try to make your good qualities seem bad. For example if you are empathetic they may try and use it as proof you are weak , even too clingy. Jesus showed empathy, was Saddened when others were sad, Jesus cried when others cried. When confronted by ones who do things like this try to meditate on how Jesus and the apostles reacted. We have the examples of Stephen and Jesus in the bible. So when we see this form of deception we need to be very very careful. So they will go to any lengths to hide the truth and protect their deception.
By focusing on writing God’s word on our hearts and letting it and love guide all we do we will protect ourselves from being deceived and we will store up treasures in heaven. This will also protect our reasoning abilities as things wind down and get much worse. It will help us to realize this is all temporary and will be gone soon but the treasures in heaven and the rewards that come with it, such as our health being restored, being restored to a perfect spiritual state, there will be no more suffering only happy memories. So we must protect ourselves from deception the best we can so we can maintain our hope in the future promises. This will keep us from getting faint at heart and prevent us from losing our faith in God. The bible tells us where our treasure is there is where our heart will be. So if we focus on building spiritual treasures it will protect our hearts and make it much more difficult for us to be deceived. With the end of this system being so near anxiety can overwhelm us and make it so we can be easily deceived. Many things will occur that we have no control or power over. Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow it will make us more anxious. So we should focus on the things we can do something about and the things we do have some control over. Jesus said do not leave our hearts be troubled. If we over think on things it can cause us anxiety and fear. Trust God and Jesus they will not forget all you have done.
If they say we are showing a bad quality reflect on the bible. Reflect on the things that pleased God and whether he would approve of your behavior or personality traits. Would God think your behavior was bad? If a person is tearing others down and making fun of them be very very careful those ones only have their own interest at heart and are covering their own short comings.
(1 John 4:4-6) 4 You originate with God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in union with you is greater than the one who is in union with the world. 5 They originate with the world; that is why they speak what originates with the world and the world listens to them. 6 We originate with God. Whoever comes to know God listens to us; whoever does not originate with God does not listen to us. By this we distinguish the inspired statement of truth from the inspired statement of error.
(2 Corinthians 11:12-15) . . .. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps disguising himself as an angel of light. 15 It is therefore nothing extraordinary if his ministers also keep disguising themselves as ministers of righteousness. But their end will be according to their works.
(2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) 9 But the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders 10 and every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth in order that they might be saved. 11 That is why God lets a deluding influence mislead them so that they may come to believe the lie, 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.
(Galatians 5:22-24) 22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires.
(Galatians 5:19-21) 19 Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, 20 idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom. . .
(Matthew 6:24) 24 “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches.
(Matthew 13:18-22) 18 “Now listen to the illustration of the man who sowed. 19 Where anyone hears the word of the Kingdom but does not get the sense of it, the wicked one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart; this is the one sown alongside the road. 20 As for the one sown on rocky ground, this is the one hearing the word and at once accepting it with joy. 21 Yet, he has no root in himself but continues for a time, and after tribulation or persecution has arisen on account of the word, he is at once stumbled. 22 As for the one sown among the thorns, this is the one hearing the word, but the anxiety of this system of things and the deceptive power of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
(Colossians 2:8-10) 8 Look out that no one takes you captive by means of the philosophy and empty deception according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ; 9 because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily. 10 So you have acquired a fullness by means of him, the one who is the head of all government and authority.
(Matthew 22:15-22) 15 Then the Pharisees went and conspired together in order to trap him in his speech. 16 So they sent their disciples to him, together with party followers of Herod, saying: “Teacher, we know you are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and you do not seek anyone’s favor, for you do not look at the outward appearance of people. 17 Tell us, then, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay head tax to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus, knowing their wickedness, said: “Why do you put me to the test, hypocrites? 19 Show me the tax coin.” They brought him a de·narʹi·us. 20 He said to them: “Whose image and inscription is this?” 21 They said: “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them: “Pay back, therefore, Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.” 22 When they heard that, they were amazed, and they left him and went away.
(Matthew 27:13, 14) . . .” 14 But he did not answer him, no, not a word, so that the governor was very surprised.
(Numbers 16:1-22) 16 Then Korʹah the son of Izʹhar, the son of Koʹhath, the son of Leʹvi, got up together with Daʹthan and A·biʹram the sons of E·liʹab, and On the son of Peʹleth, of the sons of Reuʹben. 2 They rose up against Moses along with 250 Israelite men, chieftains of the assembly, chosen ones of the congregation, prominent men. 3 So they gathered together against Moses and Aaron and said to them: “We have had enough of you! The whole assembly is holy, all of them, and Jehovah is in their midst. Why, then, should you exalt yourselves above the congregation of Jehovah?” 4 When Moses heard this, he at once fell facedown. 5 Then he said to Korʹah and to all his supporters: “In the morning Jehovah will make known who belongs to him and who is holy and who should approach him, and whomever he may choose will approach him. 6 Do this: Take fire holders, Korʹah and all your supporters, 7 and put fire in them and place incense on them before Jehovah tomorrow, and the man whom Jehovah will choose, he is the holy one. You sons of Leʹvi have gone far enough!” 8 Moses then said to Korʹah: “Listen, please, you sons of Leʹvi. 9 Does it seem to you such a little thing that the God of Israel has separated you from the assembly of Israel and allowed you to approach him in order to perform the service of Jehovah’s tabernacle and to stand before the assembly to minister to them, 10 and that he brought you near to him along with all your brothers, the sons of Leʹvi? Must you also try to secure the priesthood? 11 For this reason, you and all your supporters who are gathering together are against Jehovah. As for Aaron, who is he that you should murmur against him?” 12 Moses later sent for Daʹthan and A·biʹram the sons of E·liʹab, but they said: “We are not going to come! 13 Is it so little a thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to put us to death in the wilderness? Now do you also want to make yourself an absolute ruler over us? 14 As it is, you have not brought us into any land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of field and vineyard. Would you bore out the eyes of those men? We are not going to come!” 15 So Moses became very angry and said to Jehovah: “Do not turn to look at their grain offering. Not one donkey have I taken away from them, nor have I harmed one of them.” 16 Then Moses said to Korʹah: “Present yourself with all your supporters before Jehovah tomorrow, you and they and Aaron. 17 Each one should take his fire holder and put incense on it, and each will present his fire holder before Jehovah, 250 fire holders, together with you and Aaron, each with his fire holder.” 18 So each of them took his fire holder, and they put fire and incense on them and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting together with Moses and Aaron. 19 When Korʹah had gathered his supporters against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting, Jehovah’s glory appeared to all the assembly. 20 Jehovah now told Moses and Aaron: 21 “Separate yourselves from among this group, so that I may exterminate them in an instant.” 22 At this, they fell with their faces to the ground and said: “O God, the God of the spirit of all people, will one man’s sin cause you to become indignant against the entire assembly?”
(Numbers 16:31-35) 31 As soon as he finished speaking all these words, the ground beneath them split apart. 32 And the earth opened and swallowed them up, along with their households and everyone who belonged to Korʹah and all their goods. 33 So they and all who belonged to them went down alive into the Grave, and the earth covered them over, so that they perished from the midst of the congregation. 34 All the Israelites who were around them fled at their screaming, for they said: “We are afraid that the earth may swallow us up!” 35 Then a fire came out from Jehovah and consumed the 250 men offering the incense.
(Romans 16:17, 18) . . .. 18 For men of that sort are slaves, not of our Lord Christ, but of their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattering speech they seduce the hearts of unsuspecting ones. . .
(2 Timothy 4:2-5) . . .. 3 For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the wholesome teaching, but according to their own desires, they will surround themselves with teachers to have their ears tickled. 4 They will turn away from listening to the truth and give attention to false stories. 5 You, though, keep your senses in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry.
(Ephesians 5:6-11) 6 Let no man deceive you with empty words, for because of such things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore, do not be sharers with them; 8 for you were once darkness, but you are now light in connection with the Lord. Go on walking as children of light, 9 for the fruitage of the light consists of every sort of goodness and righteousness and truth. 10 Keep on making sure of what is acceptable to the Lord; 11 and stop sharing in the unfruitful works that belong to the darkness; rather, expose them for what they are.
(1 Corinthians 15:33, 34) 33 Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits. 34 Come to your senses in a righteous way and do not practice sin, for some have no knowledge of God. I am speaking to move you to shame.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) 9 Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, 10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom. 11 And yet that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean; you have been sanctified; you have been declared righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 3:5-7) 5 What, then, is A·polʹlos? Yes, what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord granted each one. 6 I planted, A·polʹlos watered, but God kept making it grow, 7 so that neither is the one who plants anything nor is the one who waters, but God who makes it grow.
(Galatians 6:1) 6 Brothers, even if a man takes a false step before he is aware of it, you who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness. But keep an eye on yourself, for fear you too may be tempted.
(1 John 1:10) 10 If we make the statement, “We have not sinned,” we are making him a liar, and his word is not in us.
(Romans 12:15, 16) . . .. 16 Have the same attitude toward others as toward yourselves; do not set your mind on lofty things, but be led along with the lowly things. Do not become wise in your own eyes.
(Galatians 6:2-5) . . .. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deceiving himself. 4 But let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person. 5 For each one will carry his own load.
(1 Corinthians 10:12, 13) 12 So let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has come upon you except what is common to men. But God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
(Hebrews 4:12, 13) 12 For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints from the marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is not a creation that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we must give an account.
(Proverbs 3:5-7) 5 Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, And do not rely on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways take notice of him, And he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not become wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah and turn away from bad.
(Proverbs 28:26) Whoever trusts in his own heart is stupid, But the one who walks in wisdom will escape.
(Jeremiah 10:23) I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.
(Jeremiah 17:9, 10) 9 The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it? 10 I, Jehovah, am searching the heart, Examining the innermost thoughts, To give to each one according to his ways, According to the fruitage of his works.
(Genesis 3:1-15) 3 Now the serpent was the most cautious of all the wild animals of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it said to the woman: “Did God really say that you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” 2 At this the woman said to the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. 3 But God has said about the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden: ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die.’” 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.” 6 Consequently, the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something desirable to the eyes, yes, the tree was pleasing to look at. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it. Afterward, she also gave some to her husband when he was with her, and he began eating it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made loin coverings for themselves. 8 Later they heard the voice of Jehovah God as he was walking in the garden about the breezy part of the day, and the man and his wife hid from the face of Jehovah God among the trees of the garden. 9 And Jehovah God kept calling to the man and saying to him: “Where are you?” 10 Finally he said: “I heard your voice in the garden, but I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.” 11 At that he said: “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said: “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate.” 13 Jehovah God then said to the woman: “What is this you have done?” The woman replied: “The serpent deceived me, so I ate.” 14 Then Jehovah God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are the cursed one out of all the domestic animals and out of all the wild animals of the field. On your belly you will go, and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel.”
(Revelation 12:8, 9) . . .. 9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. . .
(James 1:22-24) 22 However, become doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, and he goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he is.
(Genesis 7:16) 16 So they went in, male and female of every sort of flesh, just as God had commanded him. After that Jehovah shut the door behind him.
(Matthew 24:36-44) 36 “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. 41 Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. 42 Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 “But know one thing: If the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 On this account, you too prove yourselves ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:1-3) 5 Now as for the times and the seasons, brothers, you need nothing to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. 3 Whenever it is that they are saying, “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly on them, just like birth pains on a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape.
(Luke 21:34-36) 34 “But pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you 35 as a snare. For it will come upon all those dwelling on the face of the whole earth. 36 Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that must occur and in standing before the Son of man.”
(Matthew 7:13, 14) 13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.
(John 10:7-9) 7 So Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to you, I am the door for the sheep. 8 All those who have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers; but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and that one will go in and out and find pasturage.
(Ephesians 2:15-18) 15 By means of his flesh he abolished the enmity, the Law of commandments consisting in decrees, in order to make the two groups in union with himself into one new man and to make peace, 16 and to reconcile fully both peoples in one body to God through the torture stake, because he had killed off the enmity by means of himself. 17 And he came and declared the good news of peace to you who were far off, and peace to those near, 18 because through him we, both peoples, have free access to the Father by one spirit.
(Matthew 6:19-21) 19 “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:33, 34) 33 “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you. 34 So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles.
(John 14:27) 27 I leave you peace; I give you my peace. I do not give it to you the way that the world gives it. Do not let your hearts be troubled nor let them shrink out of fear.
(Hebrews 6:9-12) . . .. 10 For God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name by ministering and continuing to minister to the holy ones. 11 But we desire each one of you to show the same industriousness so as to have the full assurance of the hope down to the end, 12 so that you may not become sluggish, but be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
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