Another common trait that Paul tells Titus to be on the look out for is deception. He calls the false teachers, the dangerous dogs, “deceivers.” I like the way the Amplified Bible translates, and adds explanation to Paul’s warning to the Galatians who were falling prey to false teachers. He says, “A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump (it perverts the whole conception of faith and misleads the whole church.”

Let me quote one of my old professors who wrote a popular handbook on cultic misinterpretations. He gives some examples and explains the deceptive nature of cults. He writes, “Moonies are known for their so–called heavenly deception. Duplicity and lies are used to win converts into the movement. Mormon founder Joseph Smith also engaged in fraudulent tactics which, on occasion, even landed him in court, where he was once found guilty and fined. Modern leaders of Transcendental Meditation have also been deceptive in trying to further their cause. Far more common is the cults’ use of Christian terms infused with new meanings, thus deceiving untrained Christians into believing the cult is Christian. For example, New Age cults sometimes use the Christian terms ‘resurrection’ and ‘ascension’ when they really mean the ‘rise’ of Christ–consciousness in the world. The familiar Christian term ‘born again’ is often employed by New Agers to support the doctrine of reincarnation. The term ‘the Christ’ is used by New Agers to seek Christian approval when to them it actually means an occult office held by various gurus throughout history.”

Norm Geisler often gets in trouble for speaking his mind so clearly. I know about that. But let me finish again today giving you his words about the danger of spiritual deception. Again he writes, “Those who believe lies are already deceived. And if they act on these lies they are in danger. Some everyday examples make the point well. If you believe a railroad flashing sign is just stuck when it isn’t, you are in serious danger of being hit by a train. If you believe ice on a lake is very thick when it is thin, you are in danger of drowning. If you think you are on a two–way street when it is one–way, you are in dire danger of a head–on collision. The spiritual danger of believing a lie is even more serious—it has eternal consequences! To die while believing in the Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Jesus of Mormonism is to die believing in a counterfeit Jesus who preaches a counterfeit gospel which yields a counterfeit salvation (which, in fact, is no salvation at all).”

“The truth shall set you free…” John 8:32