The Belt of Truth.
We are on the topic of spiritual warfare as we complete our study of Ephesians with the full armor of God. Eph 6:10-20 People have all sorts of ideas regarding the nature of spiritual warfare. Intercessory prayer, deliverance, and worship are some of the most common and popular forms within charismatic circles. Even so, Jesus clearly demonstrated that the first line of spiritual attack that believers face is rooted in “disinformation” otherwise known as twisting the truth. Many times the the devil, the father of lies injects confusion by accusing us of what he is doing. While his methods might vary, he always disguises himself and his intentions by mixing truth with lies. Mat 4:1-11
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. Acts 16:16-18
Divination is Pýthōn in Greek – the Python spirit of which you may have heard. It presents as “good”, or even Godly, and honoring of those who seek after Him but it is Satanic. Flattery and validation are its bait. Heresy is its fruit.
While not exactly divination, if you consider the obsession with things over which we have absolutely no control, you might see a connection between compulsive news-watching and the desire for foretelling future events.
One of our primary sources of deception today is media programming. Most believers willingly acknowledge the inherent dangers of uncensored and unmitigated media consumption. Yet few heed the warning enough to stem the flow of lies designed to program our minds. Jesus alluded to this principle in Mark 8:15 and Mat 16:6. Most of the media we consume amounts to high-tech, leaven, and or a subliminal repetition of the age-old question,
“Did God really say?” Gen 3:1.
Unbeknownst to most, we are entering into a more sinister synthetic realm of disinformation. One that not only threatens to distort our most basic Christian values. But also the presuppositional fabric upon which reality as we know it is based. Some might even say that the makings of a 2 Thess 2:11 strong delusion are upon us. Not only must we ask ourselves “What is true?” but also “What is real? It’s a brilliant strategy if you are a fan of the devil. Because at the end of the day,
Confused and deluded people are easy to herd.
Hence we are grateful that the Belt of Truth is the first piece of armor mentioned in Eph 6:14.
Like it or not we are living in a time of profound darkness and deception. It might be tempting to wonder if it isn’t prophetic. Isaiah 60:2 That said, there is more than one reason for darkness.
And while we know that the eschatological implications regarding the timing of final events will be debated until the day they are fulfilled, one thing is certain. History is a continuum that terminates with the wedding supper of the lamb. Rev 19:6-9 In the meantime we know the world will become darker until the permanent light shines. Rev 22:1-4 In the meantime we are called to be watchful. 1 Cor 16:13, Col 4:2 That said,
What time is it? Mat 16:1-4
Jesus was speaking of Himself, His death, and his resurrection in Matthew 16. Still, the overarching principle remains valid today. Several New Testament verses concerning the final fulfillment of the Gospel of the Kingdom include a warning about deception. 2 Thess 2:1-4 Jesus’ first response to the disciple’s eschatological question on the Mount of Olives beginning in Mat 24:3 was
Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
While some contemporary translations say “I am the Christ” the original Greek is “I am Christ“- Christós – anointed. Anointed implies the authority to speak as, or for God. Many have and will claim to be Messiah. A great many more claim to be anointed. The anointed can define and declare truth. The anointed can define what is real. Deception marked the beginning of the Fall. Deception is progressive.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Mat 24:24.
If you are in Christ Eph 2:5-6 then you are among the elect.
Our common problem is that we tend to fix our eyes on what is seen and at best give lip service to the unseen on Sunday. We do so in direct contradiction to scripture. 2 Cor 4:18, Col 3:1-4 So often we are unwittingly consumed by the cares of this world – so myopicly focused on our own desires and gratification that we open ourselves to the enemy and he blinds us. 2 Cor 4:4
Consider that most if not all of what we know about the world beyond our respective communities is derived from what we see, hear, or read in the media. Given that fewer and fewer people read these days it’s probably safe to say that the majority of that information is consumed in video format. As a former video producer, I can tell you that video is inherently deceptive even when the editor is doing his very best, to be honest.
Using cuts, and B-roll is deceptive enough. But did you know that what we define as reality is becoming “synthetic” by design?
The two following videos are AI generated deep fakes.
If like me you’ve ever wondered what Mat 24:6 might look like…
So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
So what is the belt of truth and how do we put it on? For starters may I suggest rereading the first introductory post in our Acts 17:11 Bereans Bible Study series; What Is Truth? Perhaps read and meditate on 1 Cor 2. Then join the discussion on Thursdays at 6 pm in the Rock Church sanctuary.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Eph 6:12