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God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ who worked the works of God (John 9:4).

Enemies of the truth may use signs and wonders to seduce and deceive. When warning God’s people about false Christs and false prophets, Jesus noted how they would use signs and wonders as part of their deception.

Matthew 24:24:1
For there shall arise false Christs [enemy #3 on the list], and false prophets [enemy #7 on the list], and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Christ means “the anointed one.” Many may claim falsely to have a special anointing and point to the signs and wonders they perform as evidence. However, in addition to the genuine godly signs and wonders by which God delivers His people, there are also lying signs and wonders that the devil uses as bait to trap people. The bait is effective ― so effective, that the very elect2 may be deceived.

II Thessalonians 2:8-10:
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders [enemy #13 on the list], 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

There is the key to it all: “because they received not the love of the truth.” That is what keeps us going. We have the love of the truth, and that keeps us on course. It is only a love for the truth that motivates us to pursue the truth until we can distinguish the genuine from the counterfeit. I know in my life there have been times when my love has been challenged, but praise God, I have made it through.

If we do not take the bait, the devil will even go so far as to suborn perjury through false witnesses to try to convince us.

Matthew 26:59-60:
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness [enemy #12 on the list] against Jesus, to put him to death; 60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses [enemy #12 on the list] came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses [enemy #12 on the list].

People are false witnesses because they do not testify to the truth. The true witness of the spirit God allows us to operate manifestations of the spirit. Lying signs and wonders are the counterfeit of the true witness. They are designed to deceive. Indeed, Paul said if Christ was not raised from the dead, we would all be false witnesses. Not only would our words be untrue, but the evidence of the presence of the holy spirit that the operation of the manifestations of the spirit are said to provide, would also be misleading.

I Corinthians 15:15:
Yea, and we are found false witnesses [enemy #12 on the list] of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

Matthew 15:19 declares that false witness proceeds from an evil heart. The greatest protection against it is the purity of heart of which the epistles of Timothy and Titus speak.

II Peter 2:1:
But there were false prophets [enemy #7 on the list] also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers [enemy #11 on the list] among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

We should not be shocked when false teachers spring up among us. We should be able with reproof and correction to help those who err, but if they refuse the help and maintain damnable heresies, we must identify them and confront them. This frequently happens when people desire to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm (I Timothy 1:7).

In these last few days, we have handled all thirteen of the enemies of the truth. We have seen the adamance and urgency of Paul as he engaged each of them. We also saw how he beseeched Timothy to join him in the fight. We have quite a responsibility to show ourselves valiant for the truth. Regardless of how much of the Word of God we know and practice, we will always be called upon to face our enemies. As we faithfully live and share God’s Word with others, we will make full proof of our ministries and be among the brotherhood of the committed who are valiant for the truth.

1. See also Mark 13:22.

2. “The elect” is a term also used in our administration by both Paul and Peter referring to born-again believers elected or chosen by God. (See Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; I Thessalonians 1:4; II Timothy 2:10; I Peter 1:2; 5:13; II Peter 1:10.)