Fake news is heard over the airwaves and seen in print every day. You cannot get away from it. If you don’t like something, or if it has a percentage of content that doesn’t hold water, then it’s called “fake news.” It is a favorite phrase of politicians and it really just gained traction in this most recent election cycle. Much of what is called fake news isn’t, and at the same time, reports you hear that seem to be valid, are not. This is not new. Fake news has been here since the dawn of time.
In Genesis, Satan convinced Eve that God hadn’t really said you’d die if you ate the fruit from that tree. But he twisted the words. Threw in just enough to entice and cause doubt. And then Adam joined her. They didn’t die right then, but death entered in, and man, things have been screwed up ever since! They were seduced by the “good” of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We still look at the so called good in things that are very dangerous and have death tangled up in their meaning.
In Numbers 13, God had Moses send out a man from each tribe of Israel to spy out the land that God said He was giving to the children of Israel. Even though God had already decreed that He was giving them the land, 10 of the men, believing what they saw with their eyes, came back with a false report. There were giants in the land and the inhabitants were too strong to overcome. Yet Caleb and Joshua believed the promise of God and knew they would take the land. But the people believed the report of those who did not believe the promise of God. They went even further and attempted to select a new leader and return to Egypt. This error in discerning His truth caused a 40 year wandering in the desert. Believing in fake news is a killer.
In 1 Samuel 17, David went to the battlefront to see how things were going and to bring a bit of lunch to his brothers and a snack of cheese for a few others. When he got there, he found the whole army in fear of the Philistines and their champion, Goliath. David believed the report of the Lord, yet the others believed a false report of threats and what their eyes told them. They forgot how many times God had delivered them. David not only stepped up to fight this giant, but spoke with him and told him what he would do to him. And he would use Goliath’s own sword to do it. What hutzpah! He was true to his word. When he felled the giant, he then took Goliath’s sword and cut off his head. A teenager with faith killed a giant and THEN the people followed and routed the enemy. We, too, need to discard so much of what assails our ears and eyes and cause us to follow outright lies and half-truths. They are destructive!
In the Gospels, we see Jesus bringing light to areas clouded by fear and belief in wrong doctrine. He showed what belief could accomplish. Jesus told His cousin, John the Baptist, who was in prison, “The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Yet with all Jesus did for 3 and ½ years, they eventually lost faith. They feared the Pharisees. They heard what was true and saw with their own eyes, but all deserted Him. They had all the prophecies available to them, foretelling of what would happen, but did not hold fast to that which was true. So, Jesus was crucified. Yet the Pharisees feared that this belief in Jesus could become a following. So they had Pilate place guards around the tomb of Jesus. That didn’t work. They had no answer as to why Jesus did not stay in the tomb. Believing He was resurrected was out of the question. So they bribed the soldiers that were to have guarded the tomb and started a fake news story that Jesus’ disciples came at night and stole His body. Of course, no word as to how they were able to move the large boulder in front of the tomb and to do it without alerting the guards. But hey, a story is a story, and if you spread it around enough, people start to believe it. And many still do today. But, as it says in Zechariah 12:10, “They will look upon Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” There’s a penalty for those who believe the false and cast off the truth.
1 John 4:1 says not to believe everything you hear. You must test it to see if it’s true. This isn’t just from preachers, but all you read and hear. You have the Holy Spirit in you who will guide you into all truth if you listen. We should be progressing in our understanding and have gone from milk to solid food as it says in Hebrews 5. But people become dull in hearing. Still needing teachers to lead them and explain the difference between right and wrong and what is or is not from God. Ephesians 2:2 states that Satan is the prince of the power of the air. He works to bring discord and division among all people, but especially in the body of Christ. And it’s working. Spend 15 minutes scrolling through comments on Facebook or posts that people like and repost. When you see such extreme reactions, you must realize that you’re ceding ground to the enemy of truth. If you’re not surprised by some stance taken by people that you know to be Christians, then you need to examine yourself as to your position in the faith. You are already infected and in danger.
The world is caught up in this like a person who has fallen off their horse, but their foot is still in the stirrup and being dragged through a spiritual minefield that will leave you bloodied and bruised. Stop and take an accounting of what you are allowing to be received as facts. Does it line up with what Jesus taught? If not, then it’s a lie. Proverbs 3 talks of the one who finds wisdom and gets understanding as being blessed. The epistle of James says to ask for wisdom and God will give it liberally. We have all that we need to guide us into what is true, yet we allow that which hits right in the middle of our soulish realm to affect us. This causes us to walk in a spirit of error and lies which brings death. Death to truth, life, healing, understanding, being able to evangelize, and most importantly, to our spiritual walk with God. We can ask for discernment to navigate these troubled waters, but you first must realize that by being a part of this, you are helping to cultivate this evil crop of fake news. Come out from among them and be separate. Don’t be cheated by the philosophy of men or basic worldly principles. Follow Christ.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” This includes all you see and read and hear. All you take in. He is faithful. As it says in Proverbs 2:2, “Incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding.” It is there for all of us. I pray light to break this ever increasing confusion and darkness and that your understanding will be enlightened. Blessings.