The Original Great Deception

The Original Great Deception
Photo by ANDREAS BODEMER / Unsplash

The Bible describes a deception that occurred in the early days of the Earth's existence.  It is the first deception that is described in the Bible, and it is a deception that has lasting impact to this day.  Every deception since then has followed the same pattern.

Let's consider the words of Jesus:

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

--- John 14:6 (ESV)

Jesus refers to himself as The Truth.  That is an objective statement.  There is no alternative truth.  He is also not saying "I am true", meaning that you can trust him and depend on him.  Instead he is "the truth".  Everything that is true, is somehow found in him.  

What many people have found through experience, is that the words of Jesus can even transcend reality.  We think that our eyes are the ultimate truth, but our eyes can be deceived.  Magicians make a living by fooling our eyes, making us believe one thing, seen with our own eyes, but the reality, or what actually happened is different.

We can see something and believe it in everyday life, but if Jesus speaks something different to what we see then his words can actually change our very experience.  This can be seen in something like healing.  We see and experience our sickness, but when Jesus says "You are healed", then your vision and experience change and you actually become healed.

Now to come back to the deception.  It is recorded in Genesis chapter 3.  

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

--- Genesis 3:1-5 (ESV)

The deception here starts with a question "Did God actually say?".  This plants a seed of doubt.  Now there is some doubt in Eve's mind, but he misquotes God and says "you shall not eat of any tree in the garden".  Eve correctly responds in saying "we may eat of the fruit of the trees".  However, she goes on to say "you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it".  So now Eve does not correctly understand what God has said.  God said to Adam, before Eve had been made, in Genesis 2:17

of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat

We do not know, and cannot know, whether Adam also misunderstood what God had said, or simply that he had not correctly taught his wife.  Somehow Eve had come to understand that she must not touch the fruit.

When you have a misunderstanding of the truth, then there is opportunity to make you doubt.  And once you start to doubt, then your faith is weakened and your resolve subverted.

Eve did not know the truth and consequently she was weak and was able to be deceived.

The antidote to deception, is to know the truth.  

God did not remove the possibility of deception from the garden, rather he taught the truth.  What we find in our world right now, is that there is a removal of an alternative narrative.  There is an attempt to hide information so that all other information is in agreement.  In this article I'm avoiding stating which side of the narrative is right and wrong, simply to state that only one side is allowed to be heard on the major technology platforms and media outlets.  This approach can and will strengthen that particular view.

However, Jesus is the truth, and the truth will prevail.  When truth is stated alongside a deception then truth stands out.  Certainly under a little scrutiny, the truth will stand and the fraud will fall.

The start of any deception is to cause you to look away from the truth.  A misdirection allows a sleight of hand, as is done in countless magic tricks.

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

--- Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Göbbels is claimed to have said the above quote, which is sometimes called the Big Lie. The idea behind it is to increase the volume of the deception to the point that it drowns out all competition.  We have seen this so much in the pandemic that it warrants its own article.  It is also called The Law of Propaganda.  Repeating something, from many outlets, all at the same time, constantly, may cause you to doubt the alternative view.

Let me conclude this article by encouraging you all to focus on the truth.  Focus on God and on the words of God.  When we become distracted, or misdirected, then we are more easily deceived.  We expect deceptions to come and now we can be prepared, we have the antidote (or the vaccine), focus on the truth.