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Richard Bennett :: Chapter 6 Why Are People so Misguided?

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Your Quest for God — Chapter 6

Why Are People so Misguided?

Now there was a certain man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city, and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; and they all, from the smallest to the greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, ‘This man is what is called the Great Power of God.’

—Dr. Luke

As a boy, I lived in a part of the British Isles over which enemy bombers continually flew. It was wartime, and these bombers were en route to their target areas in the industrial Midlands and Northern England. My friends and I learned to distinguish the drone of an enemy bomber from the roar of our own fighter planes. When we saw the searchlights illuminate an enemy plane in the skies, we became very excited. We knew the ‘Ack-Ack’ guns on the ground or a ‘dog fight’ in the air would sometimes result in a bomber being shot down.

With the shooting down of an enemy plane, there was always the possibility that some of the crew members would parachute to safety. To make it difficult for the survivors to find their way and thereby escape and perhaps return with another load of bombs, the authorities dismantled the signposts at the road intersections. Thus there were virtually no signposts on the roads.

However, we boys knew that outside of town, in Wootten Woods, there still remained a small signpost at a very insignificant intersection. When we turned that signpost around and pointed it in the wrong direction, we really thought we were helping the war effort. We, like the local authorities, wanted to confuse any unwelcome guests on our shores.

Of course, if such a person held a reliable map in his hands, the fact that there were no signposts would have presented no problem. Even our boyish idea of turning the signpost around would not have confused the enemy unless he had chosen to ignore the information on his map.

God tells us the kinds of people who, in their quest for God, will be misguided by a false signpost.

To begin with, any person who chooses to ignore the fact that the existence of this marvelous universe points to the Creator God will really become confused!

Professing to be wise, they became fools…And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind … (Romans 1:22, 28 NASB).

And that depraved mind will worship the works of creation, instead of the Creator Himself. A clear thinking man, on the other hand, will worship his Creator. Thus, if you refuse to believe that God created the universe, God will give you over to a corrupt mind and let you believe some wild idea about how the universe came into being. A depraved mind is a deluded mind!

God also warns that people who refuse to accept the Word of God as truth will readily follow a deceptive path, one which will lead to destruction. Indeed, any person who chooses not to positively and actively love the truth of God’s Word puts himself in a very dangerous position.

Because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved…God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false… (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11 NASB).

Once a person has ignored or rejected the truth, he will readily embrace that which is false.

I well remember once when I tried to find my way home through a dense London fog. Just to find my way to the edge of the road, I needed all the help I could get. Even the light of my flashlight could not be seen when I held it out at arm’s length. God tells us that a strong delusion, which is really like a mental fog, will accompany the end of this present order of things on Planet Earth, for the people will have rejected the truth of God’s Word. The disciples of Jesus asked Him, what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? Among other things He answered:

For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24 NASB).

Even now you may be saying to yourself: “Well, I am not deceived.” You may even take pride in the fact that you can easily recognize a false Christ or a false prophet. But stop for a moment and think about your conclusion. If, because you have not loved the truth, God has allowed Satan to deceive your mind, you would certainly not be aware of it. If you actually knew that some false prophet had deceived you, you would not really be deceived at all. All delusion must be in the mind, and anyone who is intellectually proud will find it hard to accept that his mind has been tricked into believing a lie.

There are really two types of people who will resist truth when they read the Bible, thereby opening themselves up to the deceptions taught by the world. One is the person who is intellectually proud and seemingly self-sufficient. The other is the person who is morally disobedient. But to every person who really desires to do the will of God, the Lord Jesus has a special promise: “If any man desires to do His will, he will know…whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself…” (John 7:17 AMP).

If you really desire to do the will of God, you may be assured that through the Bible God will teach you what to believe and what not to believe, and how to behave and how not to behave.

However, we still must be careful to reject the words of those self-appointed religious teachers who do not teach the true Word of God, but will instead try to get you to believe and do the wrong things.

In this generation, some of Satan’s agents who point people in the wrong direction are members of pseudo-Christian cults. Any person who has chosen to reject the truth about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit—Three in One and One in Three—is a false prophet. Though such people may quote a few isolated verses from the Bible, they totally divorce the text from the context and so promote a non-Biblical religion. You can always detect a false teacher by asking him: “Who is Jesus Christ?” That is part of the reason why it is so important that you know who He is.

When you indeed know Jesus to be God the Son, even the secret societies that have such a great camaraderie of helping one another will be seen as yet another spiritual delusion.[1] While God may be mentioned in such societies, these groups ignore the teachings of Jesus Christ, who said:

No one comes to the Father, but through Me (John 14:6 NASB). The Bible records scathing words concerning those who have a misguided belief about God. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble (James 2:19 KJV).

Today we are also seeing an alarming growth of activity from the major religions that deny the God of the Bible. Various sects of the Hindu religion are attracting the interest and following of many new people. In countries once known for their Biblical heritage, the basic Hindu philosophy is presented in the form of Transcendental Meditation or such forms of Eastern Mysticism as yoga and asceticism. The various cults that have sprung from Hinduism foolishly worship many gods in creation, rather than the God of Creation. And, sad to say, many deluded minds are more fascinated by a self-exalted ‘Guru’ than they are with the God of Creation who humbled Himself to visit Planet Earth.

The Muslim world is also displaying tremendous zeal in spreading its faith. Their oil dollars and their growing political clout enable them to expand their borders on a scale thought impossible but a few years ago. From one of their most ‘holy’ shrines, called the Dome of the Rock and located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, they boldly deny the very heart of God’s good news. The Arabic caption surrounding the Dome of the Rock states: “God is not begotten, neither can He Beget.” The Bible, however, states:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16 NASB).

And spiritual delusion is not confined to the religious world. The secular world has embraced a humanistic philosophy which holds that man is the center of the universe and that society’s supreme goal is the development of man. Humanism is proclaimed in universities, newspapers, multi-national corporate seminars, popular magazines, and on radio and television. ‘Pamper yourself’ is the selfish theme popularized by the advertising world.

Humanism, which is nothing more than the worshiping of man, is really not as new a philosophy as some may think. Back in Paul’s day, God said: They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator… (Romans 1:25 NASB). The Lord asks what must surely be a very humbling question to humanists: Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth! Tell me if you have understanding (Job 38:4 NASB). It is the old story. When Satan came to Eve, he posed an impossibility as a possibility by saying: you will be like God (Genesis 3:5 NASB). In our day Satan continues his nasty work through the deceptive teachings of secular humanism.

Maybe you are a modern youth who is not ‘turned on’ either by the political or the religious scene. To you, politicians are suspect and religion is irrelevant. You prefer to join with your peers and look elsewhere for personal fulfillment. You may think that the lifestyle described by the lyrics of ‘punk rock,’ ‘new wave music,’ ‘heavy metal,’ or whatever else is on the scene will give you an escape from the lonely world in which you find yourself.

You are, of course, aware of the words that you listen and dance to. Though you might not want to describe them in this way, surely you will agree that for the most part they are a combination of Satanism, sadism and sex. Not infrequently the horrors of Hell are presented in the music as an attractive alternative to a supposedly meaningless existence. In an atmosphere that sometimes reaches frenzied violence, the banner under which these young people unite encourages them to destroy themselves and one another.

Let me tell you of a place in the city of Los Angeles. It is a mortuary called ‘The Refrigerator.’ There, 600 bodies, many of them young people, are stored for three months in the hope that someone will be able to identify them. ‘Anonymous’ tags are tied to their toes. The vast majority of these unfortunates are eventually buried as unidentified ‘John Does’ in paupers’ graves. Most of them have come from the drug scene, having acted upon the same message that is presently being proclaimed from discos and listened to on CD players in millions of homes. They had followed the wrong signpost. Now, at the end of the road, it is too late to change. If only they had heard and heeded the words of the Lord Jesus, Who said: I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly (John 10:10 NASB).

And now added to all this confusion is the phenomenal growth of interest in the ‘black arts.’ Reliable sources indicate that active interest in the occult is as prevalent today as it was in what is known as the Dark Ages. And this occurs in spite of today’s so-called ‘scientific enlightenment.’

In the most unlikely places there are growing numbers of Satan worshippers. Professionals from the City of London assemble in Kensington to celebrate the ‘Black Mass.’ Witches’ covens have proliferated in Europe as well as in such remote places as beautiful Vancouver Island. The dark practices of ancestral worship from Africa are being duplicated in spiritistic seances throughout the world. Various parlor games such as ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ and the ‘Ouija Board’ cater to people’s growing fascination with evil and the supernatural. Such proliferating phenomena are the result of a superficial spiritual curiosity. In their misguided quest for God, many people, not only turn from the light of God, but they also turn to the darkness of the occult for some sort of false, empty spiritual fulfillment. And all this takes place in what we still call the civilized world.

We do well to remember what God says about the last days. He warns us about false prophets and the spurious signs and wonders that would accompany the great delusion of the end times. In fact, God tells us that there is going to appear a master of deception, whose sinister deeds will be in accordance with the work of Satan and displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 NIV).

Because of this accelerating interest in false teachings and evil practices, it is not hard to understand why a growing number of nations and communities are blanketed with the oppressive forces of skepticism, empty resignation and hopelessness. Satan’s signposts are too many to mention, but you can be sure that none of them point to the Lord Jesus Christ as the only deliverer of men.

God’s message, contrary to the world’s dismal portrayal of life, is certainly not one of gloom, confusion and death. His is a message of hope, assurance and vibrant life as it is found in Christ. As you read the Bible in your quest for God, the Holy Spirit will always point you to the Lord Jesus Christ, who said: I am the way, and the truth, and the Life. And there can be no other, for Jesus continues: No one comes to the Father, but through Me (John 14:6 NASB).

God has warned you about the deceptive signposts so that you will not be misguided. He has also informed you about the growing delusion that could cloud your thinking. Now He gives you this promise:

‘For I know the plans that I have for you…plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you, ‘declares the Lord (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NASB).

Pause to Consider

  1. What kind of a mind will worship creation rather than the Creator? (Read Romans 1:22-28 NASB).
  2. In your quest for God, what is the key that will unlock any intellectual problem you have? (Read John 7:17 NASB) Is it your mind? Is it your desire and will?
  3. Has God given you a clear ‘signpost’ to guide you to Himself? (Read John 8:12 NASB). Why are people so misguided?

[1]Freemasonry is the largest international secret society in the world, presently boasting a membership of about ten million men around the world. Though its principles of ‘Brotherly love, relief, and truth’ seem attractive to many, Masonry is not as harmless as it may appear to the uninitiated. To become a Mason, each candidate must confess that he is in darkness reaching for the light. A follower of Jesus already believes he has found the light. Jesus said: I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12 NASB). The initiation ceremony into the Masonic secret society is very dramatic and full of symbolism. At that time, the Masonic candidate is guided away from Biblical concept of God, when he is introduced to the name of ‘Gauto.’ The candidate is told that Gauto is “the lost name for God,” and that Gauto is “the grand architect of the universe.” In theory, any believer in God whether Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish or Christian can become a Freemason. So Gauto (a man-made concept of God) deflects the thoughts of the candidate from Jesus, who the Bible declares is the true Light (John 1:9 NASB). Later, when the Mason becomes a Master Mason, he is taught a further name for God—‘Jahbulon.’ This name is really a combination of Jewish and Middle Eastern names for God. It is derived from JAH for YAHWEH, BUL (a form of Baal) and ON, which refers to the Egyptian Sun-god. This is a classic example of syncretism, with its vain attempts to combine differing beliefs. Jesus Himself stated: If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:23 NASB).

Chapter 5 What Is the Real Problem? ← Prior Section
Chapter 7 Does God Truly Love Me? Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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