~ Chapter 1 ~
The Disciple’s Test Is Issued
“And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you’” (Matthew 24:4). In the Greek New Testament, there are nine different forms for the word “deceive.” The Greek word Jesus used in the above text for “deceive” (planeo) means “to roam from truth.” It carried the idea of someone who would go astray. Clearly, Christ was pleading with His disciples to cling to what He taught them because they would face “deceivers” after His ascension. He did not want to see His disciples “roam” away from the truth that He entrusted them with. Jesus is just as concerned now with you as He was with His first disciples because you hold the truth that they did. Protect it.
What is truth? Truth is fact. Fact is proof. Proof is evidence. The Lord Jesus Christ did not merely claim to be the Son of God. He was and is the Son of God, proving Himself to be with undeniable, undebateable, unshakable realities (Acts 1:3, 2: 22-24; 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8). Reality is proof, proof is evidence, evidence is fact, and fact is…truth! If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it must be a duck. You see, Christ did not know the truth or point to the truth. Dear disciple, He was and is and always will be the TRUTH (John 14:6). Do you realize what this means? Christ is the foundation for ALL truth (1 Corinthians 3:11). Life, as we know it, is lived as a lie against the heavenly Father until we surrender to the truth found in His Son, Jesus (Ephesians 3: 20-21). How do you surrender? By submitting your entire body, soul, and spirit to the Word of God, not out of obligation but out of realization that you were created and exist for relationship with Him.
Therefore, know the “truth” in every sense of the word, for such is your only hope for freedom from false teachers (John 8:32). Your time here on earth serves as the issuance of a test, one that determines not how much you know but the One you know, Jesus (1 John 2: 18-27; 4: 1-6). It is not sufficient to know what you believe. Disciple, you need to also know why you believe what you believe (1 Peter 3:15), otherwise you are prey for false teachers to capture your undisciplined mind (Ephesians 4:14). There is a war in religious society, one that is being fought for the territory of truth. There are many terroristic cults emerging, all empowered by Satan, to suction every ounce of truth from the hearts (Matthew 13:19) of pew-sitting church goers who sit near sound doctrine but not protectively under its practice (2 Timothy 4: 3-4). Brace yourself. Test yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5) for you will be tested.
Avoid getting bogged down into unnecessary arguments with fellow disciples; such is not the will of God (Philippians 2: 14-15; 1 Timothy 1: 3-4; 6: 3-5; Titus 3: 9-11). Prepare yourself, for tidal waves of false prophets are everywhere in this world. They are looking for disciples like you. Are you ready to face them? Satan has them lined up, from the television to the radio to a pulpit in your town (2 Corinthians 11: 13-15). The satanic deception is not found in their appearance, but rather in their speech, for it twists the truth of God and opens floodgates for apostasy! Oh dear disciple, stand as anchored to your belief in Christ and His word as the apostle Paul did (2 Corinthians 11: 10-12). False prophets and teachers are present. Beware. Statistics of professing disciples are led away into the confines of false teachers daily. How can you prove you will not be one of those who receive the grace of God in vain (1 Corinthians 15: 1-2)? You will not, so long as you remain committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Be faithful (Revelation 2:10).