Monday, October 11, 2010

8 Ways People Can Deceive Themselves

What does the Scripture say about self-deception?

"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 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." II Corinthians 11:2-4

In the above text, Paul is speaking of being ready to be presented to Christ as His Bride and he indicates that there is one thing which could prevent us from being ready: deception.

I had a friend who, no matter what situation she got herself into, she would convince herself that it was good.  As a result, she never learned from her mistakes.  I once told her, "The most dangerous thing about you is that you can deceive your own self."   What I didn't realize at the time is that this capability exists for each person.  The carnal mind is fantasy-prone, and will run to lies and delusion so as not to submit to the truth. 

Pastor Zac Poonen examines the Scriptures to see what God's word has to say about self-deception You should listen to this message.

8 Ways We Can Deceive Ourselves
  • Ephesians 5:6 - Seeking to understand spiritual things primarily by human intellect or cleverness.
  • I Corinthians 6:9-10 - Assuming that we can be a "believer" and continue in unrighteousness.
  • I Corinthians 15:33 - Believing that we can hang around "bad company" and not be affected.
  • Galatians 6:3 - Thinking more highly of yourself than you ought, even if based on some gifts or talents God has given you.
  • Galatians 6:7-8 - Not understanding that what we reap is what we sow and that we also "reap" eternal life.
  • James 1:22-25 - Forgetting the importance of "doing" what the word says, not just "hearing" it.
  • James 1:26, 3:2-13 - Not knowing that all our "good works" mean nothing if we can't control our tongues.
  • I John 1:8 - Never seeing your own faults, but only the faults of others.


  1. thank you for posting...again your ministry has helped me alot. i am alway blessed and i daily read your blog. keep up the Good work and may God bless you and your family...In Jesus name..regi

  2. This is a very good message.

  3. Pastor Poonen is a really great teacher. Teaches straight Biblical truth. I am glad that you all were blessed by this message as I was too. :-)

  4. Hello, bless God for this message... I was struck by how all of the 8 instances link so closely to pride and lack of humility and how it is so easy to fall into deception of 'i know better' and pride always comes before a fall...the fall of deception/pride... God have mercy upon us that we will continuously have our eyes focused on Jesus and seek to know His voice and humble ourselves daily under His hand. God have mercy it is so easy to be deceived, may God help us in Jesus name.
    One question, he said that there will be no seniority in heaven? Just wanted to understand this in context when we have the 24 elders described in revelation and also Jesus' promise to apostles that they will sit on 12 thrones judging etc...
    What did pastor poonan mean by this statement, do you know?

  5. Hi Esther,

    Of course, I wouldn't presume to speak for Pastor Poonen, and I had questions when I heard that part as well for there will surely be even varying rewards and authority given as well. What I assumed he meant was that - in terms of receiving honor - there will be only one, Christ Himself. That irregardless of how we may be rewarded, all of us will bow down in recognition of Jesus for only He is worthy. We will all be worshipers of Him alone. However, I will ask him what was meant and post back here when I get a response.

  6. Hi Esther,

    Below is the response I received from Christian Fellowship in India (Pastor Poonen's church):

    "There will be varying rewards in Heaven. No doubt on that. What br Zac meant by saying 'there is no seniority in heaven' is this:

    All of us are EQUALLY accepted before God. None of us can ever claim either any special acceptance or any merit for the acceptance before Him. We are all accepted only on the basis of our faith in the Blood of Christ."

    Hopefully this helps answer your question.

    God Bless!


In an effort to reduce the amount of spam received, Anonymous posts will no longer be accepted. Comments are still moderated and will appear once approved.

If you have a personal message to relay, please use the "Contact Us" form at the top of the blog. Thank you!