When GOD starts my day off with a phrase like this I know we will be on a day long, or longer, adventure. As I was coming up into consciousness, I tried to dive back down into the depths of sleep when I heard, ‘false pretenses.’ So now, sleep is just a memory, something to be reclaimed tonight. Silence… Now what? HIS classic answer to me, “Get up and look it up”!
I queried, to no one in particular, or mused to self, “Is there a demon named false pretenses?” That would not surprise me. I encountered a territorial demon in Africa whose name was perpetual cursing.
‘False’ is defined as contrary to truth or fact, misleading, not genuine, artificial, deceptive, or misleading. ‘Pretense’ is faithless, substitutive, a pretended claim, false assumption of character or condition, act or state of pretending, a right or title asserted, or condition of being a claimant. Dictionary .com defines the phrase this way: false pretenses; noun behavior intended to deceive others.
One mission to Kenya was preceded by the LORD warning me that a demon would dog me forty days before I left. Of all unlikely places, I encountered this on the altar in a church. The person looked the part and talked the part, but when they slipped by assuring me they were here to help me by bringing light I knew I was encountering anything but a carrier of light. Satan calls himself an ‘angel of light’ in scripture. (2 Cor.11:14) A false pretense!!
One of my general’s in training had a very prophetic dream. As he recounted it to a group of us, the LORD was revealing its’ meaning. As a training group we listened to the dream and began getting HIS interpretation. In the dream, an “angel” manifested. It was what ‘she’ claimed, her stance, and ‘her’ appearance that gave us all pause. First, in scripture when angels are talked about they are always ‘male’ – being shown as fearful in appearance, warriors with names we would identify as male, often causing the hearers to cower in fear or fall onto their faces. Second, what she presented was ‘false pretenses’. Why would GOD allow a demon manifest in the dream of this Godly person? I believe GOD is training us to be increasing in discernment, to know our enemy well so as not to be drawn in by a false pretense. In the end we believe she indeed was an angel of light from the master of disguise as an angel of light.
The WORD is so rich with information and examples for us to use as a manual for life/for warfare/for Godly conduct. It should quickly become the most tattered and thumbed and memorized book we carry. A bishop in Kenya said the cleanest Christians carry the dirtiest bibles. I know the younger generation will protest that they have their ‘tech’ Bibles. I show my age carrying my paper copy. Bishop dubbed me the cleanest Christian in the meeting.
Researching in Revelations I came across a startling scripture- at least it was for me. Rev. 21:8(NLT) 8 “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” It is quite clear ALL liars are going into hell. False pretense is a synonym of deceiver or liar or lies. The WORD leaves no wiggle room.
1 Peter 2: 1(NLT) “Get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.” Peter calls false pretenses deceit and evil behavior.
Amos 5:21 (NLT)21 “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.” This is a caution for us in the church not to do things just by tradition or because we feel it is required, but that our actions come from our genuine heart of love towards GOD. Judah in Jeremiah (reference) only pretended to be sorry. We cannot fool God.He shall not be mocked. Gal.6:7 HE sees and knows the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb.4:1212 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.)
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recount JESUS speaking of the religious leaders being hypocrites shutting up gates of heaven and not going in themselves. HIS strongest words are for those being religious leaders, but denying the true power and truth of how we walk in faith and obedience.
Sometimes in ministry we may do something out of wrong motives. We need to examine why we do all we do in ministry. When we speak or move in truth HE gets the glory yet HE will come, and expose our motivation if it is tainted with selfish ambition. Wrong motivation becomes false pretense, and defiles our ministry actions. We need tender hearts to hear Him and then repent quickly and change that so our flow can be even more pure and produce righteous fruit that lasts.
Attacks are becoming more and more diabolical and cut to our very core. A challenge to us all who call HIM LORD, and especially those in ministry, is to examine ourselves and ask if there is any trace of false pretence in our behavior, actions, speech, or motives? If we eschew false pretense and make covenant with truth the enemy will find nothing in us, and leave in a howling defeat.
Allow Him to look into your heart. Ps.139:23 “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Be swift to repent and turn from this evil behavior. Rise up and take courage in this season like never before.
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