2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
A lot of people are good at pretending. In fact, most of us probably try to give a certain impression at one point or another, even if that doesn’t reflect how we truly feel or who we really are. Mostly we do this to blend in, because it is usually what is different that stands out. And spiritually what we need to be aware of and on guard against is not always going to be overt. There’s not always going to be something obvious about a person that sticks out and warns us that they are being deceptive.
When people try to pass off a counterfeit item, whether it’s money, a painting, gemstones, or something else, they try to make it look as close to the real thing as possible. And Satan’s deception works much the same way. He and his workers try to look as close to the real thing as possible. They talk the talk and put on the right show. They can appear to be doing the work of God right alongside us while actually sowing their seeds of darkness among us. Satan disguises himself as light, but his message is counterfeit to the pure truth of God.
So how do we counter this to avoid being deceived? By doing the same thing that people do to expose counterfeit money and art. They become experts at what the real and true one should look like. They know everything about it so that one tiny difference becomes glaringly obvious. So if we learn the truth of God and stick to it, we’ll be better able to avoid being deceived. If we become experts at what His Word says, we’ll quickly notice when something doesn’t line up with it. We also have the Spirit of truth who will come alongside us and reveal what is genuine and what is not. With God’s Word and His Spirit, we can expose those counterfeit things that Satan tries to deceive us with.
The master of deception will use any trick he can to lead people from the truth, and his servants will do the same, so we shouldn’t be surprised when he tries to make something false appear true or something bad appear good. He himself wears a cloak that hides his true nature. There are many who would feign righteousness, but we don’t have to fall for their lies. When we are aware that people are out there trying to deceive us, we can be on guard, prepared with the truth, and trusting in God to help us avoid believing something that’s just not true or believing someone who is not who they claim to be.