“And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him” (John 20:13).
Living in a modern world where everything has become digital, information is something that is very easy to disseminate. In a few seconds, information can reach tens or even millions of people. If what is distributed is good and useful information, it will certainly benefit many people. But the problem is, not all information that is disseminated is good, there is even a lot of false information being disseminated, which we know as HOAX.
What is a hoax?
A hoax is false information, fake news, facts that are twisted or engineered to overthrow the enemy.
In recent days, especially on social media and cyberspace in general, there are many hoaxes that are scattered everywhere. We are made confused because we do not know which is a hoax and which is right. We have difficulty distinguishing it because all of the information seems correct. Moreover, they are equipped with data that support and even with details.
Usually, people make hoaxes with a purpose to take down someone or their opponent with the hoax so that the person is negatively affected by the hoaxes and ends up bearing losses both psychologically and mentally. The point is that the hoax maker is a cheater or liar or deceiver.
No wonder, that’s what the Bible says about the devil:
“He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
The devil is the real king of hoax, which is behind all the deception to bring down believers. Actually, the devil had been defeated 2000 ago when Jesus rose, so he had no weapons anymore. He could only use one weapon (which is actually not a weapon), deceit or deception (read: hoax) with the aim of bringing down believers.
“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15).
That is why our spiritual warfare is a battle between deceivers and those who are deceived. The battle between whether we are fooled or not fooled. Do we want to be cheated or not. That is the only war in our lives because basically Jesus has won and we also have won.
How does the devil work with his deception?
First of all, he will make fake news in order to influence us with the hoax. When we begin to be affected, our moods start to get distracted and our hearts begin to feel upset. When we are troubled, we cannot think clearly. When our minds are vulnerable, the devil starts attacking us by put in negative thoughts. Without realizing it, when we start thinking negatively, we start to speak negative things planted by the devil, and in the end, we weaken ourselves with those words.
On the day of Jesus’ resurrection, Mary went to the tomb of Jesus and was surprised to see that the stone covering Jesus’ tomb had been rolled over and when she looked inside, it turned out that Jesus’ body was not there. Then she immediately met Peter and John and said to them, “They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him” (John 20:2).
Where are Mary’s words came from? Where did Mary know that someone had stolen Jesus’ body? Was she hallucinating? Obviously, there was a person who put that thought into Mary’s mind, and it was none other than the devil who tried to influence Maria’s mood so that her mind began to not be able to think clearly. As a result, she easily believed in the lie and unconsciously began to spread it to the disciples. In the end, they all believed in lies which were accidentally spread by Mary (John 20:8).
Despite the fact that the stone has been rolled over and the tomb of Jesus was empty, it does not mean that it is the truth. Satan put in Mary’s mind a scenario that made her think that Jesus had been taken, even though Jesus had told His disciples many times that He must die and then rise on the third day. Mary must have heard it too (Matthew 17: 22- 23, Mark 9: 30-32; Luke 9: 43-45).
When the devil’s lie was put inside Maria’s mind, the response was that she was crying. That means the devil managed to put sadness in Maria’s mood and made her become discouraged and hopeless. If she just held the truth she had received, when she saw the empty tomb, her response should be cheering and rejoicing because her Lord had risen as Jesus said.
How many of us have experienced like Mary? Satan makes us see the facts, then the facts begin to affect our moods and then our minds become chaotic and we begin to say words of lies planted by the devil, that weaken us, and finally, we are overthrown by the devil.
Pay attention to Mary’s words after she saw the empty tomb. When asked why she was crying, the answer was more or less the same, her God had been taken by someone and His whereabouts was unknown (John 20: 2, 13, 15). Even when Jesus himself spoke with her, Mary did not recognize Jesus. Jesus had to call Mary out loud so she would realize that she was talking to Jesus (verse 16). Finally, Maria realized that she was talking to Jesus whom she thought had been taken.
Sadness due to being consumed by devil-built hoaxes makes us unable to see God in our lives. Sometimes to awaken us from deception, the Holy Spirit must shout in our hearts and often it still does not awaken us. We already believe in the lies the devil planted in our minds to the point that we cannot be made aware of anymore.
Then how do we not fall into Satan’s deception?
1. Accept the word which is the truth.
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
In the case of Mary and Jesus’ disciples, it seems that what Jesus has said about His death and resurrection (Matthew 17:22; 20: 18-19) does not enter their hearts and minds so that when the devil throws lies, they easily believe it. Unconsciously, they had underestimated the words of Jesus and did not accept them as truth so that they were easily deceived by the devil.
In order for us to be free from the deception of the devil, we must not underestimate the Word we have received. When we underestimate something, we will not try to remember it, let alone live it. On the other hand, when we consider every word we receive as something important and must be considered, and accept it as truth, then we will hold and live in it.
With us having this attitude towards the Word, when the devil tries to bring us down by throwing hoaxes, we cannot be deceived because we already know the truth and live in it. People who know the truth and live in it will not be easily deceived by the devil’s hoaxes.
So do not underestimate the word, have this attitude: I will accept every Word as truth, I must consider every Word that I have received as important to my life and make sure I hold it and live in it!
2. Change every Word into strong convictions.
The truth we have just received is like a seed, it must be planted, watered, and fertilized until it grows into a huge tree. Huge trees are very difficult to be uprooted and do not easily collapse in by storm. Likewise, we must ensure that the truths we have received continue to grow into strong and unwavering convictions.
Mary and Jesus’ disciples had heard the truth about the death and resurrection of Jesus, but they did not change that truth into a strong conviction in themselves so that when the facts seem contrast, they were swept away in the lies the devil put in their minds. The joy that should be part of their lives every day instead turns into deep sorrow and sadness. This means that their lives have been dictated by facts. But after being reminded of the truth, then they rejoice.
By having a strong conviction in the truth, any lie can come to us, but that will not change our situation. Our mood will continue to be full of joy and victory every day. This is the life that God wants in us, a life that is not tossed around by facts but always triumphs every day.
For example, we have heard the word, “By His stripes, you are healed.” This means that we should live in divine health. There is no single disease that can survive or exist in our body. When we hold and live in it, meaning that whatever happens to our body, we always want to learn to believe that it is a lie. The truth is that I have been healed and we continue to insist that we have been healed. The truth is by His stripes I am healed. When we continue to hold on to the truth, then the truth will be increasingly planted firmly and transformed into a strong conviction.
When it has turned into a strong conviction, the doctor may say A, people may say B, but you don’t care about all that. You only believe in the truth: by His stripes, I am healed. And what you believe, that is what happens to you.
3. Don’t be passive, fight every hoax with the Word.
The important thing we have to do with hoax is confronting it. Anything that contradicts the truth must be opposed. Most believers, after knowing that the devil has deceived them with lies, they were passive and did not try to find the truth to confront the lie. What’s worse, they know the truth but don’t to use that truth to replace the lies that have long been entrenched in their minds.
Jesus knew that He had to clarify the false news that had spread among His disciples, that is why He came to His disciples and proved that He had risen and lived, even proved it to Thomas personally (John 20:19-31).
People who do not confront lies and replace them with truth will eventually fall into the same trap. That’s why DON’T BE PASSIVE!!! If you know that you have been deceived, seek the truth and make that truth a part of your life.
Example: if you already know that in Christ, you should live in divine health, then disease is a lie. But don’t stop there, find out what are the truths about divine health and confront the lies you have received so far. As long as you know the truth, but don’t use it to confront lies, then that truth will not set you free. However, when you actively confront lies with the truth, you will experience the truth will set you free.
Again, hoaxes are lies. This is one of the truths that you must believe and say: “Jesus has risen and we have been raised with Him. Jesus has won and we have won with Him too!” Any fact other than that is a lie! Don’t be deceived by the devil anymore. The truth that you hold and live will make you always live in freedom. Freedom from Satan’s deceit forever. Once you are free, you remain free!!!!
Also read: God the Defenders of the Weak.