James 1:16 – Do Not Be Deceived

James warns us not to be deceived. The Bible makes it clear that there will be a proliferation of false teachers, antichrists, and erroneous doctrine in the last days. There is a deception over the world today like at no other time. We must take every precaution not to be deceived.

James 1:16 – “Do not err (be deceived), my beloved brethren.”

There is a deception over our world today like at no other time in history. We must take every precaution not to be deceived.

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Scriptural Warnings

Acts 20:28-30 – “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. 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.”

2 Corinthians 4:4-6 – “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 – “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 – “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”

Galatians 1:6-9 – “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

1 Timothy 4:1-3 – “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; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”

1 John 2:18-27 – “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.”

1 John 4:1-6 – “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

Primary Ways Deception Comes

  1. Inconsistent with the entirety of scripture. Any and all teaching, preaching, and doctrine must be consistent with the entirety of scripture. It can not be based on some scripture that is pulled out of context to simply support what they are saying. It must be what God’s Word teaches as a whole.

    Acts 20:27 – “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”

    The best way to accomplish this is expository preaching and teaching. Going verse by verse through books of the Bible. Topical is good and has its place but teaching through the Word is the only way to be sure you are declaring the whole cousel of God.

    Acts 2:17 – “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.”

    We must be able to direct people to God’s Word for all faith, doctrine, and experience. On the day of Pentecost Peter was quick to point the people to scripture to validate the experience they heard and saw. Any experience that can’t be backed up by the Word of God must be rejected.

    1 John 4:5-6 – “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

    If what is being taught is merely concerning this world and this world’s system we must make a point to dig deeper to see what they actually believe concerning the foundational priciples of scripture and the gospel. I’ve found if you dig deep enough you’ll find something is desperately wrong. God’s Word does apply to the things of this life but it ultimately direct us heavenward.

    Romans 8:5-6 – “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

    Colossians 3:1-2 – “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

  2. The divinity of Christ. If anyone denies the divinity of Jesus that are propagating a false doctrine. Jesus is the object of our faith. If we have the wrong Jesus, we have the wrong gospel, and are deceived (2 Corinthians 11:3-4 and Galatians 1:6-9). This is where “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

    This is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith. Jesus was and is more than a good teacher, prophet, and high priest. He is all of those things and much more. He was and is very God. Be sure to study and examine the following scripture closely and carefully concerning the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. I would even encourage you to put them to memory.

    Matthew 1:23 – “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

    John 1:1 and 14 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

    John 5:18 – “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.”

    John 8:56-58 – “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto Him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. ” (Cross reference with Exodus 3:14)

    John 10:30-33 – “I and My Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone Me? The Jews answered Him, saying, For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.”

    John 14:8-9 – “Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?”
    Read also John 20:19-28

    Acts 20:28 – ” Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.”

    Colossians 2:9 – “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

    Philippians 2:6-11 – “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”

    1 Timothy 3:16 – “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.”

    Hebrews 1:8 – “Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”

    Revelation 1:8 – “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

    John gives a very stern warning concerning any who do not hold this doctrine. We are to withdraw ourselves from them and have nothing to do with them. He says we must not let them into our home or bid the godspeed. When we do we are partaking in their evil deeds.

    2 John 7-9 – “Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

  3. Salvation by works. Salvation by works or the law is a false gospel. If we could have been good enough we would not have needed Jesus. It means we are trusting in the flesh rather than Christ. We are either saved by works or grace one or the other. It can’t be both. If we trust in a works salvation, we must never fall short. If we fall short in one area we stand condemned before God.

    James 2:10 – “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

    Romans 11:6 – “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

    Galatians 2:21 – “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

    Galatians 3:1-3 – “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”

    Galatians 5:4 – “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”

  4. Jesus is the only way. If anyone is teaching that there is any way to heaven and to be saved other than Jesus and Him alone, they are a false teacher and propagating a false gospel. “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).

    Jesus is the narrow gate through which we must enter, all other ways lead to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). All religions are not the same. If they preach another Jesus and another gospel then it is a false one. You have to be very narrow minded to be a Christian. JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY!

    John 14:6 – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

    Acts 4:12 – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

    1 Corinthians 2:2 – “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

    1 Corinthians 15:3-4 – “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

    2 Corinthians 11:3-4 – “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

    Galatians 3:1 – “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”

    Our sufficiency is in Christ and in Him alone!

Jude 1:3 – “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Sound Doctrine

The teaching of doctrine is imperative! Without this our people will be easily led astray. Sound doctrine is sorely lacking in the church today. Along with good expository preaching and teaching there also needs to be the teaching of solid doctrine otherwise our people will be tossed here and there by every new and often dangerous teaching coming into the church.

Ephesians 4:14 – “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”

2 Timothy 4:2-4 – “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Titus 2:1 – “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.”

Hebrews 9:13 – “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.”

With over 43 years of teaching and ministry experience, Dr. Linton’s passion is to equip, encourage, and strengthen pastors and ministry leaders. Check out his latest video messages and sermons.