A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Blindness as a result of being deceived by others – part 5 of series on blindness and deception

The Bible says that we can be blinded by Satan and by other human beings.

Some of the humans who blind us are consciously working for Satan.

Some of the humans who blind us are unconsciously working for Satan. Perhaps they have to some degree been blinded by other humans who are consciously working for Satan, as I explained in Part 4. Nevertheless, that does not erase all their individual responsibility for the wrongs that they do. They are responsible for their own individual choices, as I showed in Part 3.

If you have been blinded and deceived by Satan or by human beings, there are many Bible passages that can help you.

The god of this world (Satan) blinds people

2 Corinthians 4:3-4
If our gospel be yet hid, it is hid among those who are lost, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Human beings can deceive other human beings

2 Timothy 3:13
But the evil men and deceivers will grow worse and worse, while they deceive and are deceived themselves.

Holy hypocrites

William Tyndale’s prologue to the Book of Romans 
This is Paul’s order: that good works grow out of the Spirit, the Spirit comes by faith, and faith comes by hearing the word of God, when the glad tiding and promises that God has made to us in Christ are preached truly, and received in the ground of the heart.

Of this – God’s spirit and his fruit – our holy hypocrites have not once known, nor yet tasted how sweet they are, though they invent many good works out of their own imagination, in order to be justified thereby. In their works there is not one crumb of true faith or spiritual love, or of inward joy, peace, or quietness of conscience, seeing they do not have the word of God for them, that such works please God. But they are even the rotten fruits of a rotten tree.

Here are two passages from the Bible where Jesus is speaking to the Jewish religious leaders. What Jesus said can by extension be applied to the wolves in sheep’s clothing who lead churches today.

Romans 2:19
And you believe that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness

Matthew 23:26
You blind Pharisee: cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, so that the outside of them may be clean also.

In Matthew 15 the disciples were worried that Jesus was offending the Pharisees. The advice Jesus gives to his disciples (emphasised in bold by me) still applies today:

Matthew 15:7-14 — Jesus is confronting the Pharisees

Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draws near to me with their mouths, and honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching doctrines which are nothing but men’s precepts. 

And he called the people to him and said to them, Hear and understand: that which goes into the mouth does not defile a man, but that which comes out of the mouth defiles a man.

Then his disciples came and said to him, Do you perceive how the Pharisees are offended in hearing this saying? He answered and said, All plants that my heavenly Father has not planted shall be plucked up by the roots. Let them alone. They are the blind leaders of the blind. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch.

 

Notice the beam (plank) in the eye of the Pharisee who thinks he can teach others.

If you have been deceived by other human beings

The Psalms have many passages that are helpful for those who have been deceived by other people.

Psalm 35:4-8
Let them be confounded and put to shame, that seek after my soul : let them be turned back and brought to confusion, that imagine mischief for me.
Let them be as the dust before the wind : and the angel of the Lord scattering them.
Let their way be dark and slippery : and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.
For they have privily laid their net to destroy me without a cause : yea, even without a cause have they made a pit for my soul.
Let a sudden destruction come upon him unawares, and his net, that he hath laid privily, catch himself : that he may fall into his own mischief.

The hymn Be Thou My Helper in the Strife is based on Psalm 35. Click here for lyrics of the hymn and click here to hear the hymn sung by a congregation of believers. If you open those two links you can sing/pray the hymn. I am pretty confident that if you do so, you will be encouraged and comforted.

You can use Psalm 139 to help you pray. Psalm 139 is one of many imprecatory psalms. “Imprecate” means to pray, to invoke evil upon, to curse. The imprecatory psalms ask God to pour out His vengeance and wrath on the evildoers. The imprecations are against the wicked, not against the one who has been abused by the wicked.

If you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and you feel anguish about the evil works of the evildoers, you can ask God to slay the wicked.

Psalm 139:19-24
Wilt thou not slay the wicked, O God : depart from me, ye blood-thirsty men.
For they speak unrighteously against thee : and thine enemies take thy Name in vain.
Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee : and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
Yea, I hate them right sore : even as though they were mine enemies.
Try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart : prove me, and examine my thoughts.
Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me : and lead me in the way everlasting.

Here is another imprecatory psalm:

Psalm 7:9-18, [v 11  in bold]
O let the wickedness of the ungodly come to an end : but guide thou the just.
For the righteous God : trieth the very hearts and reins.
My help cometh of God : who preserveth them that are true of heart.
God is a righteous Judge, strong and patient : and God is provoked every day.
If a man will not turn, he will whet his sword : he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
He hath prepared for him the instruments of death : he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors
Behold, he travaileth with mischief : he hath conceived sorrow, and brought forth ungodliness.
He hath graven and digged up a pit : and is fallen on himself into the destruction that he made for other.
For his travail shall come upon his own head : and his wickedness shall fall on his own pate.
I will give thanks unto the Lord, according to his righteousness : and I will praise the Name of the Lord most High.
(Myles Coverdale’s translation, 1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer)

I highlighted verse 11 of Psalm 7 because I think you will find it helpful to see a few translations of that verse.

Psalm 7:11, various translations —

God is a righteous Judge, strong and patient
and God is provoked every day.
(1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer)

God is a righteous judge
and a God who shows His wrath every day.
(HCSB)

God judgeth the righteous,
and God is angry with the wicked every day.
(KJV)

***

Bible versions used in this series

New Testament: NMB (New Matthew Bible)
Psalms: Myles Coverdale’s translation as per the 1662 Book of Common Prayer
Old Testament other than Psalms: NKJ (New King James).

Other parts in this series

Part 1: Are abusers blind? Are abusers deceived? What does the Bible say?

Part 2: Blindness from original sin

 

4 Comments

  1. Finding Answers

    From the original post “……The imprecatory psalms ask God to pour out His vengeance and wrath on the evildoers……”

    ^That.

    From the original post “If you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and you feel anguish about the evil works of the evildoers, you can ask God to slay the wicked.”

    Including ^That prior to Psalm 139:19-24, I could accurately picture in my mind that I was the speaker. In (some) earlier readings, I (sometimes) had difficulty with identifying myself as the speaker.

    From the original post “Human beings can deceive other human beings”

    The HCSB translation of Psalm 7:11 refers to a God in the second line of the verse cited in the original post. While one can (grammatically) understand the intent in the context of this cited translation of the verse, it (the intent) could be (intentionally or unintentionally) misconstrued to refer to “a god”.

    ^That has happened with other chapter and verse translations, resulting in the blind Bible “translators” leading the blind “leaders” to “lead” the blind.

  2. Helovesme

    Another home run. I usually read on my phone only if I have to, but reading this on my phone kept me focused (no other tabs open to distract me!)

    I again loved it how it was stressed that one can be consciously deceived (and deceiving others), and unconsciously deceived (and deceiving others),

    But regardless, each of us is responsible for ourselves. Maybe an alternate way to express this: if you fall asleep at the wheel of your car, and you hit someone, you’re still responsible for what you’ve done—-even though it was clearly an accident. You weren’t intoxicated with alcohol or drugs, yet your judgment was impaired by a lack of consciousness. Literally, your eyes were closed, so you couldn’t see, so you couldn’t operate your car with wisdom.

    A lot of car accidents occur not because of intoxication, but being distracted. Your focus, your attention is divided in too many ways, in too many places. If it’s not 100% focused on operating a 2000 pound bullet (the car), you may be putting yourself and your passengers at risk.

    Or, becoming overconfident: I haven’t had an accident in X amount of time. I’m virtually invincible. Or, I’ve been driving for years; my reflexes are razor sharp by now. I’ll drive more carelessly, take more risks, drive more aggressively—-what could possibly go wrong?

    Apply those parallels to Biblical living. Your “spiritual eyes” need be 100% focused and fixed on Him, your beliefs based solely on Scripture, and be very aware that how you live out your faith DOES affect those around you. You are an influence, in some way, shape or form, on others. And vice versa.

    Being blind simply means that you are not able to see. Spiritually, this does not have to be permanent. For those that are beyond help, there is no hope. But that is not true for every single believer, even if their vision is not totally blind, but only darkened.

    I love Psalm 36:9: “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.”

    Those that consciously deceive others are GREAT at insisting that they are not in the dark. I wonder if they profess this so convincingly, that no one doubts their sincerity. Even those that don’t know they are deceived (and therefore deceiving others) might try to claim they can clearly see.

    I would put Psalm 36:9 out there to consider: “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.”

    It HAS to be His light, not our own and not a counterfeit version of His. Or else you aren’t really seeing as He does. And if you’re not seeing as He does, you’re not really seeing at all.

    The 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 verse: “the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe” reminded me of a few other verses:

    Hebrews 11:6: “without faith it is impossible to please God.”
    2 Thessalonians 2:10: “they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”
    Galatians 5:6: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
    1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

    I would have thought that without LOVE it is impossible to please God—after all, in the last example—-love is stated to be the greatest. not faith. Paul even said “if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” in verse 2. Not only that, but the two greatest commandments center around love. And God Himself is defined as Love.

    Then it says faith must work through love. Makes sense. If you have faith that can move mountains, but no love—will you carelessly drop that mountain on the innocent? But why isn’t it worded: love must be expressed through faith? Shouldn’t love be first and foremost?

    In the second example, love of the truth does not mix with love of lies—-so you must renounce a love of deception in order to be saved.

    I don’t have all the precise, exact answers. And it’s not a competition—-faith and love don’t compete with one another, they work together as a team! Work in Romans 3:22 and Philippians 3:9, where “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe,” and we add even more to the discussion.

    My own personal testimonies of deception tend to revolve around a failure or a severe lack of faith and love working together as God intended it. This is something you grow in, not something instilled within you when you are born again.

    A lack of faith in HIS righteousness as it truly is—-confirmed by His Spirit living in me, is one way I fell into deception. Philippians 3:9 is clear that “be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own.” If you are found in Him, this righteousness is not yours. it is His. You cannot put your own “spin” on it, or else it is no longer His righteousness. It is a “hybrid” version that does not honor Him. It also does not honor His love of justice, in that His righteousness is meant to work on behalf of the oppressed, not for the oppressor.

    A lack of His love (and His alone, not my own version) is the other way I fell into deception. And no, not always a lack of love for others. A lack of understanding in how He loved me first, and loves me still, and loves me always. From the moment I became born again, it was myself and the Lord. That it how it started. That is how it will end.

    I needed to be filled with that personal, individualized love He has towards me, in order to love others. Imagine if you do not eat or drink yourself, but attempt to feed others. You cannot give out what you so desperately need for yourself in order to live as well. I deceived myself into thinking that others were more worthy to be loved, not just in word but in deed, but I was not. Imagine how that sickening lie works in an abusive relationship. A victim is squeezed out like a sponge, leaving her high and dry—-all the while being told that this is “Biblical.”

    This ties to abuse because abuse, by its very nature—-it is pure deception—from start to finish. And deception is all about covering up the truth, so you can’t see the truth, and maybe—-you think those lies ARE the truth. You don’t even know that you are not seeing properly, if at all!

    From the original post:

    In their works there is not one crumb of true faith or spiritual love, or of inward joy, peace, or quietness of conscience, seeing they do not have the word of God for them, that such works please God. But they are even the rotten fruits of a rotten tree

    There is no middle ground with Him. It is one or the other, and you cannot pick one without denying the other. And you can’t have some of one, and some of the other.

    Either you are a bad or good tree (and your fruit will confirm or deny which one you are). Either you belong to the kingdom of darkness or light. Only two choices exist for a spiritual father—either the devil or the Living God. You are either hot or cold. You are either born again by faith, or not born again at all. You either love Him or hate Him (you can’t serve two masters). And you cannot put one foot in one, and another foot in the other. It’s all or nothing.

    And if you don’t pick rightly, your fruit will come out wrongly—no matter how good it looks on the outside, on the inside it will be rotten and inedible. And it will not feed anyone. It will not help anyone. It may honor you in this life (false Christians are often praised by people), but it not honor you in the next one.

  3. Helovesme

    Ironically, with the discussion and the correct emphasis on faith—-this may seen like a strange warning that I try to live out and give out:

    Never, ever believe a mere claim that someone is a born again believer. Don’t assume they are not, but don’t assume that they are—-not until you observe their belief system, which WILL (I repeat, WILL) reveal themselves by their fruit. It’s just a matter of time, so be patient, watchful, and ask God for discernment.

    He knows who are His—-you do not. And to assume that you know what only He knows—-well, I don’t know about that.

    The worst kinds of deception often involved not just in the deceptions themselves, but who they came through. Who perpetuated them, and then trying to untangle all the sticky knots and confusing questions that result.

    I know the power of lies. We tend to minimize its power and potency—-not to mention being so self-assured that you think you’re above being deceived. The Bible say to “take heed lest you fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). We can get so used to walking, putting one foot in front of the other (it comes so naturally), that we forget to look where we’re going. Or where we are headed. Or, Who we are following. Then we look up and realize we are way off the straight and narrow—-and who is this we are following? That’s not Christ, that’s a false Christ!

    Hebrews 2:1: “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

    One of the key things I look for is not only those that love Biblical truths as they truly are, but they hate un-Biblical truths as they truly are not. This has been a horrible road for me personally. Even the most clever and well made of disguises will rip or tear or reveal holes.

    I love the Psalms that Barb provided. Especially where the Psalmist asks God to “test” his heart, to reveal the condition of his soul. If there is wickedness in me, lead me to life everlasting. Expose me as I really am—-and fix me to be what I really need to be.

    I have to work hard to ask God for this. It’s scary for me to ask, because I will have to accept whatever He says in return. And I usually ask Him to prepare my heart to hear what I need to hear—-so that I can take it in. Proverbs 16:2 and 21:2 make it clear that He weighs our motives and our hearts—-while the outward may seem pure and right to us—God goes deeper, and deepest, to see what what we are really all about.

    I have been duped in so many ways, so many times, and for so many different reasons—-it’s become more of a jumble of puzzle pieces with no discernible picture that it reveals.

    I try to give Him ALL those puzzle pieces, and let Him deal with them, one piece at at time. Don’t do it yourself. Don’t do it BY yourself. Don’t do it at all—-let Him do it for you, and let Him do it because He loves you, and let Him do it because, well, He knows what He is doing, and you do not!

    That last line is about as humbling AND as humiliating as it can get—-I either wasn’t thinking straight or clearly, or thinking at all—-in either falling for deception or perpetuating them. OR, I took false comfort in deception, or deception favored the easy way versus the hard way, or I simply did not care either way. I was careless, and worst yet, I cared little to nothing about the consequences.

    All of those things have been revealed to have been true in my life at one point,

    BUT, other things have come out as well: I was sincerely deceived by a deceiver, or a handful of deceivers (there is power in numbers!). I was fooled, I was foolishly blind, and I fell for much foolishness. I was falsely faulted, and in my foolishness I believed them (deception can include being told you have sinned, when you have not. Or that others have sinned, when they have not. Even if you or others have sinned, there is a Biblical way to deal with it. Any other way is deception.)

    I fell into the ditch as the verse promises (“If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch) but the Lord did not leave me there to die. He came and rescued me, and He did not have to. It is shameful to fall into a pit, and I felt like I deserved to stay there for good. Well, He didn’t agree with me, and I thank Him for that.

    And Matthew 18:6 promises punishment for those that cause “one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble,” Even ONE of those little ones matters to Him!

    It’s comforting to know that when a sheep falls into a pit, even on the Sabbath, it should and will be pulled out (Matthew 12:11) Knowing I am one of His sheep, and if I dumbly fall into a pit, or not so dumbly fall into a pit—-He’ll pull me out. If someone threw me in there, He will make sure they are punished.

    After all, He is the Good Shepherd!

    • Highlighting some of what Helovesme said:

      I fell into the ditch …but the Lord did not leave me there to die. He came and rescued me…
      I felt like I deserved to stay there for good. Well, He didn’t agree with me, and I thank Him for that.

      When a sheep falls into a pit, even on the Sabbath, it should and will be pulled out.

      Knowing I am one of His sheep, and if I dumbly fall into a pit, or not so dumbly fall into a pit —- He’ll pull me out.
      If someone threw me in there, He will make sure they are punished.

      Amen!

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