During the Viet Nam War, the Vietcong guerrilla fighters would sneak up on unaware U.S. troops, attack them, and quickly disappear. The Vietcong would also pose as citizens or farmers. Then, when least expected, they would launch a surprise attack on U.S. troops.
When you’re in a war, you must be alert. The enemy does not announce his arrival. And he often pretends to be someone he’s not.
Are you prepared to stand against your enemy, Satan? Do you know how to stand against him?
It is critical that you know God’s Word. Ephesians 6 says,
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (vs. 11) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist …” (vs. 14)
What is the “Belt of Truth”?
Jesus said, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17
The Belt of Truth is clearly God’s Word, the Bible. It is the essential part of the “Armor of God”.
Do you think it’s possible that Satan could be attacking you, and you don’t even know it? The Bible says,
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
That verse tells us a lot. In a battle, it’s important for soldiers to be alert. If not, they may walk right into a trap. Can you imagine walking through a jungle during war and not being alert? Of course not!
There is only one place to find truth and that is in the Bible, in God’s Holy Word. We need to know what it says. If you don’t know God’s Word you will be an easy target. Why? The Bible tells us,
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3
This can be more subtle than you think. False teaching may not be that obvious, unless of course, you know God’s Word and know it well.
Does it really matter what you believe, as long as you love Jesus?
Yes! False teachers can take Scripture verses out of context and convince people of almost anything. This is how good people are deceived. But verses are not meant to be taken out of context. Instead, we should always study the context to correctly understand every verse. Here’s a good example of a verse that is often misunderstood.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Let’s say I told you, “All things means all things! You can perform healings and miracles. You can be a great athlete, make a lot of money, whatever you want can be yours – if you believe. If you have faith in God’s Word!”
Well that may sound good, but that’s not what that verse is saying.
Paul wrote these words while in prison, and the full context says,
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Paul is saying, whatever your circumstances, no matter how bad they are, Christ will give you strength. In verse 11, he says,
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
Paul is talking about being in prison. Roman prisons were known to be cold and cruel, prisoners were not provided adequate food or blankets, and they were kept in chains.
But in all this, Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
That’s a lot different than the first interpretation!
You say, “Oh, I would recognize false teaching right away.”
Really? Because it won’t be obvious. It will be hidden in truth and love. The Apostle Paul warns us about false prophets,
“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15
To masquerade means to pretend to be something else, to disguise oneself, to impersonate. This verse teaches us that Satan will disguise his workers as servants of righteousness. Please understand, people will be easily fooled. But there is a way to stand firm.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. … With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6: 10-18
As you read and study this passage, understand the important role God’s Word plays in your life. Know God’s Word. Read your Bible every day so that you can stand against any scheme the devil may launch against you. We do not have to live in fear, but we cannot ignore God’s Word without consequences.
Ask the Lord to give you a love for His Word. Ask Him to help you want to read it. He will do it!
With Love, Cindy
Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?
All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.