There are two opposing Spirits at work in the world, the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. The Spirit of Truth comes from God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son by inspiration of the Holy Ghost. The spirit of error (which is the lying spirit of Satan) comes from the source of evil which is Satan.
The Spirit of Truth, when followed, sets one free from the enslavement of sin and all the side affects which sin causes. When speaking to His Father, Jesus said “thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Christ was declared to be “the way, the truth, and the life” in John 14:6. And in John, chapter one He is declared to be the Word of God made flesh. Jesus promised to send upon His disciples the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, which He called to be the Spirit of truth (John 14:6-7).
In John 8:32 Jesus said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” And He said in John 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Being “free indeed” involves not only being free from our sins, but being free from the spirit of error which is the lying spirit of Satan as explained in John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
There is further warning to beware of this lying erroneous spirit of deception in 1 Peter 5:8 and Revelation 12:12. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour—Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
How does Satan stalk his prey and deceive them and in what forms does he employ in his diabolical schemes against the souls of men? He does this by entering right into the arenas of God’s people, right into the house and sheepfold of God, posing as a “sheep” of God in order to lead the true people of God astray.
The Apostle Paul warned the Church at Corinth about this: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13, 14). Jesus also warned against deception when He said: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). He stated that they would even come into the Church with their deceptive doctrine: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1).
Paul warned that this would happen after he left the scene of action. “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:29-31).
Then lastly, Jude spoke of this taking place within the Church: “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). Jude appealed unto the Church to combat heresy by encouraging them to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” That is still our shield against false doctrine today.
These warnings are especially pertinent to us today. Consider these verses: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:1, 2). We are truly living in the time of great deception and should earnestly take these warnings to heart.
I have traveled far and wide and have seen and heard of the many churches that are being divided along doctrinal lines and are breaking up into factions with some going this way and that way. The Bible warned of such times and has pointed to the way of protection for those so affected.
While the sheep of God are being scattered by the wiles of the enemy, God has a fold of protection waiting for them. Jesus built His Church on the solid rock of truth which comes by way of divine revelation. Paul spoke about the stability of the Church when he said; “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). Christ warned of these times and promised to call all His true sheep together into one fold and be the one true Shepherd over His flock. “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16). The fold is the Church which He built (Matt. 16:18) and the Shepherd is Christ (Heb. 13:20, John 10:14, and 1 Peter 2:25).
The sheep are wandering from hill to hill seeking food and shelter. We are living in the mid-night hour when the cry will be made: “Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him” (Matt. 25:6, in the parable of the ten virgins). The Bride (the Church) will make the cry according to Revelation 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Those who are deceived by Satan will be as the five foolish virgins, but those who still maintain a Christian lifestyle and experience with Christ will be as the five wise virgins who still had oil in their lamps. At that point they began to trim and light their wicks (light of their lamps). When all Christ’s children (sheep) come to the fold (the Church) they will be fine-tuned to perfection and presented to Christ for the marriage of the Lamb. (See Ephesians 4:12, 13 and Rev. 19:7.)