Throughout my Christian journey, God in His wisdom, has placed me in circumstances in which I have witnessed first hand the duplicitous behavior of seemingly Christian ministers. While this has undoubtedly caused a great deal of turmoil, confusion, and emotional pain, it has also taught me the importance of true discernment, and led me to an understanding of the true nature of evil.
If I could take the lessons of those many experiences and boil them down to a precise definition of the nature of evil, it would be this. Evil is duplicitous, the degree of evil increasing proportionately with the level of duplicity present.
The dictionary defines duplicity as a contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially: the belaying of one’s true intentions by deceptive words or action. Satan is the father of duplicity. He claims by his very nature to be something he is not. He presents himself as pious. It is most certainly not a piety born of a redeemed and sanctified life, but rather one of deceitful duplicity. It is a piety meant only to gain a trust that can later be exploited. One openly pagan website describes this satanic duplicity as follows:
“Supreme Pious Duplicity is the act of senior religious/spiritual figures openly preaching moral restraint, virtue and peace while secretly advocating war, terror, satanic worship, murder and social corruption.”
This is precisely the kind of duplicity that is esteemed by Satan; the kind practiced by religious leaders who openly preach restraint while secretly engaging in all manner of offence and sinful indulgence! These deceivers are masters of double speak, speaking in a manner which is both satanic and superficially pious simultaneously. They bring a deep confusion and torment to their followers who consistently question and blame themselves. Those who dare question are chastised without mercy, as others rush to the defense of the “misunderstood” leader, shaking their heads, wagging their fingers, shouting “Touch not the Lord’s anointed!”
I have learned that it is impossible to judge by words alone. It is somewhat comforting to know that I am not the first person to grapple with this. The early church faced the same dilemma. Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians, reminded the members of the church of Corinth that false deceivers would try to pawn themselves off as ministers of righteousness. Paul reassured the Corinthians that although these deceivers might look and sound pious, their end would surely be according to their works.
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. (II Cor. 11:13-15)
Satan’s followers, by transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness, can gain an influence over our lives, and a voice into our affairs, that they would not normally have. You would be unlikely to be deceived by someone wearing a black robe and carrying a Pentagram, but you might by a person who is wearing a well-tailored suit and carrying a Bible.
Anton LeVey, the father of the Satanic church, said his goal was to create a duplicitous people, who served both God and Satan, thus negating serving God at all. LeVay taught that the highest sacrifice to Satan was to serve as a leader in both worlds, Christian by day and cult by night. In fact, he stated that the higher the position that a Satanist could attain in a Christian organization, the greater the sacrifice to Satan.
This is chilling in light of the spreading apostasy in the modern church. Can you see the insidious plan of the enemy in this? It is very difficult for someone who has been subjected to the often subtle evil of one of these conniving wolves to ever mature in Christ. It destroys their trust!
If I placed five identical cookies on a plate, then told you two were filled with deadly poison, what would you do? Would you take one? No! You would politely, or not so politely, decline. After all, it would be far more advantageous for you to decline all cookies than to risk consuming the poisonous ones. A silly analogy, perhaps, yet this is precisely the impossible conundrum faced by Christians everyday! They may be starving, but having encountered poisonous cookies in the past, they are unwilling to try again. They end up shunning all cookies.
As it turns out, LaVey’s strategy of defeating Christians through pious duplicity was brilliantly evil and extraordinarily lethal. After all, isn’t this precisely why the Gospel has been brought into such ill repute? Christians have been subjected to this very thing over and over until their trust has been broken and their faith shattered. After being subjected to leaders who preach one thing and do another, many inevitably turn from God, fearing He too, might be duplicitous.
Pious Duplicity A Personal Reflection
This weekend as I contemplated having a long sought after stretch of time to relax and write, I received a phone call from a close friend. He also came out of MorningStar and we have been inseparable friends for many years. We can generally talk about anything, yet inevitably our conversations drift to our years spent at MorningStar.
For years we have grappled with the confusion and spiritual fall out. We have talked at great length, remembering bits and pieces, faded snippets of conversation. As usual, our cell phones die long before our conversation does. We sift through our memories like a treasure hunter might comb the oceans bleached sands. We look for keys and clues to unlock what happened there. Those around us urge us to leave it be, to let it go, to move on. I have always felt an odd sense of kinship with him that I could never share with another. Like people who have been through a natural disaster or violent crime together, we understand each other. We alone understand the pain, confusion and torment we endured.
Today, our conversation, like every conversation before it, turns to Morningstar. “I am not the same” he laments… “I can never ever be the same.” He pauses, sighs, and continues. “It was like a vortex” he whispers. “A vortex that attracted and sucked up innocents who sincerely believed they were seeking God. It drew us in and attached itself and began to suck everything of value, everything of substance, everything good and right and decent from us. After it succeeded in taking the Blood from us, there was nothing left of any substance. We were left as lifeless lumps of flesh… we became the living dead.”
As I listen to him talk, I start to giggle. “It is TRUE” he insists, his voice suddenly shrill. “Yes,” I reply, “I am not disagreeing. It IS true, a little melodramatic perhaps, but true none-the-less.”
It is strangely comforting to hear another understand and verbalize your deepest thoughts and feelings. You see, once you are touched and deceived by evil- you can never be un-touched. You CAN through acceptance and understanding of the Truth, be un-deceived, but you most certainly can never be, un-touched. Does a victim of violent crime in the natural world ever truly “get over” their ordeal? Oh certainly, their physical pain and trauma heals but something deep inside the very fabric of their being, changes. Their trusting, carefree and naïve nature becomes guarded, suspicious and hyper-alert. They possess a deeper knowledge of evil than those around them, and they live with a gnawing fear that given the right circumstances, it could happen again.
You see, what is so damaging and deceiving about evil is its duplicitous nature. It is the fact that it masquerades as good and entwines itself around it until you can’t tell one from the other. It is like spiritual Kudzu. One miniscule patch of kudzu unchecked can kill a healthy forest. Yet to the undiscerning eye, it is all just foliage. Satan himself is the father of duplicity. He masquerades as an angel of light. The purest evil will always be a mixture. It is only through the pairing of good and evil that the maximum spiritual damage can be sustained. When you pair the two, you end up with good AND evil instead of good OR evil. Black AND white- is Grey, Good AND Evil is duplicity.
What if we, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, are placing our faith in what turns out be just a man behind a curtain? In fact, what would have happened, hypothetically speaking, if Dorothy had later in her journey encountered the real deal? What would have been her first inclination; Disbelief, scepticism, suspicion? How much do you think it would have taken to convince her a second time? Do you think she would have peered behind the curtain the second time, or turned away, frightened that behind it might lie another gotcha moment.
You see, this precisely illustrates the damage that is done when there is a mixture of both good AND evil. We trusted a “wizard” because he set himself up as an authority over us. He spoke to us in magical, mystical ways and performed all the right signs and wonders. However, when the curtain was pulled back and the smoke cleared, we saw that there was no wizard. Oh yes, we heard the booming voice urging us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, but it was too late. We knew we had been had, and we knew it had been planned. Worse than that, it set us up for a lifetime of fearing that some day we might actually find out that God himself was just another man behind a curtain.
Oh, but you say that, is NOT a good analogy. After all, the Wizard of Oz was a good man, with good intentions. I mean he meant well, right? Think about that a moment! Is that not the same logic by which the serpent deceived Eve? After all, did he not present himself as a kind and understanding serpent who represented her very best interest? Hadn’t he simply wanted her to be illuminated to the secret truth as he was? I mean, he was only trying to help, right? He wanted to give her secret knowledge that would open her eyes and save her. Rest assured my friend, that the most dangerous deceivers will always come across as having your best interests at heart.
The Wizard was NOT a good man; he was a lying and deceiving counterfeit who set himself up as an authority over an unsuspecting people by virtue of his false signs and wonders. Why would the inhabitants of Oz have needed to seek the one true God when they had such a seemingly powerful wizard?
Let me add here that if you are trusting in signs and wonders, or are using the words of these so called apostles and prophets to guide your life in any way, you are already deceived. You must in all honesty muster the courage to peer behind the curtain, no matter how painful the outcome. Oh, but I am NOT deceived you insist! How would you know, since the Bible clearly states that multitudes will be deceived by awe- inspiring miracles produced by satanic power? People who are deceived do not know they are deceived. How could they know? The very act of knowing one is being deceived makes them knowledgeable of the error and thus complicit.
In Exodus 7, we read that Pharaoh’s magicians were clearly able to replicate through the channelling of Satanic power, many (but not all) of the signs and wonders that Moses and Aaron performed through the Power of God!
Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the LORD commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12 For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.
Exodus 7:8-12 (emphasis mine)
Reading further in the same chapter we see the following:
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood…… And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the LORD commanded…… And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood……. Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said. Exodus 7:19-20, 22 (emphasis mine)
And if we continue reading a bit further we see in chapter 8 verses 5-7, the following:
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your rod ….and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.’” So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt. Exodus 8:5-7 (Emphasis mine)
God clearly shows us in His word that Satan can, will, and frequently does, perform the miraculous in order to deceive us! In fact, the Word makes it clear that it will be by very virtue of lying signs and wonders that those who receive the mark of the beast will be deceived!
And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev 19: 19-20)
We can not and we must not judge through signs, wonders and miracles or by any other means short of the infallible, unchanging Word of God. There are no NEW revelations. God’s truths are available to all who seek Him and we do not need hidden knowledge and secret keys to unlock them. There are no secret pathways into God’s presence. There is ONE Gate and ONE Door in the person of Jesus Christ. We can not enter any other way, except through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is simple enough for a child to understand and receive yet these charlatans entice us to exchange cash for merchandise to learn the secrets of their hidden truths. We must return to the pure Word of God!
In summing this up, let me close with the words of the late Stanley Frodsham.
There shall come deceivers among My people in increasing numbers, who shall speak forth the truth and shall gain the favor of the people. For the people shall examine the Scriptures and say, ‘What these men say is true’. Then when they
have gained the hearts of the people, then and then only shall they bring out their wrong doctrines.
…….Watch for seducers! … He will speak words of righteousness and truth and will appear as a minister of light, declaring the Word. The people’s hearts shall be won. Then when the hearts are won, they will bring out their doctrines and the people shall be deceived. The people shall say ‘Did he not speak thus and thus’? ‘And did we not examine it from the Word’? ‘Therefore he is a minister of righteousness. This that he has now spoken we do not see in the Word but it must be right, for the other things he spoke were true’.
Be not deceived. For the deceiver will first work to gain the hearts of many, and then shall bring forth his insidious doctrines……… When the mixture appears then you will know he is not a minister of righteousness….Therefore I exhort and command you to study the Scriptures relative to seducing spirits, for this is one of the great dangers of these last days.
If you are presently involved in a church or ministry whose leaders lead duplicitous lives, you must take a stand. Make no mistake about it, no matter how convincing their words, their end will be according to their works.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God(1 Cor. 6:9-10)
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factionsand envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21)
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
(I Cor. 5:11)
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Mathew 7:21-23)
If you have truly committed your life to Christ, then I implore you to allow Him to bring you out. Repent for your involvement, hide yourself in His Word, and allow the Lord to lovingly heal and restore you. There is hope. I made it out- you can too.