Seduction and Deception: A Bible Study By Mark T. Barclay

I recently obtained the following transcript of a Bible Study/preaching outline authored by Mark T. Barclay.  The subject is clear from its title: Are You Being Seduced or Deceived?  What better way to evaluate the doctrine of a minister than to study their own writings and teachings.  This outline/Bible study remains unedited except for some minor formatting tweaks I have performed in order to accommodate this blog.  Judge for yourself, but once again, Barclay seems intent on teaching others how to avoid sin and deception.

Dr. Mark T. Barclay

Are You Being Seduced or Deceived?

by Dr. Mark T. Barclay

1 Timothy 4:1-2:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron . . .

This set of verses tells us there will be this kind of activity throughout the end times and that many will fall prey to it. Why would anyone depart from Christianity? Because they give heed to these seducing spirits.

Are you being seduced or deceived? I suppose every Christian would answer no—emphatically no! No, I am not deceived, and no, I am not being seduced. No one has to give heed to seducing and deceiving spirits.

Matthew 24:4:

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Matthew 24:11:

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:24:

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Deception vs. Seduction

There is a difference between seduction and deception, but both lead to the same place—disaster.

Deception is when an outside force tricks you or fools you into thinking you are right. When you act, you are wrong; but you are convinced you are right. Once you realize the truth about the matter, you fix yourself and don’t allow it to repeat in your life. You were fooled—but not anymore.

Seduction is when an outside force persuades you into activity that you know is wrong at the time, but you fall prey to this influence anyway. You are being seduced. You know all the time you are doing something that it is wrong. You are not fooled or tricked. You simply give in to the influence and act upon it.

These spirits are demons, but they are also humans. What do I mean by that? Humans are a spirit, though they have a soul and live in a body. Many people will not give heed to demon spirits but will give in to a human with the same spirit. They say no to demons, but they seldom say no to humans. If the devil can’t get you to be indoctrinated by a demon, he will send a human into your life who has the same demonic influence.

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Shallow Worship At The Altar Of Semantics

I once took a college spring trip to Key West, FL. A buddy from church and I left out on a Friday and made our way down to the tip of the Continental United States. We stopped off at Marathon Key and got a campsite for the first night. Being college students, this was going to have to be a budget trip. If I recall, that campsite cost us $70 a night (and this was back in the 90’s). We both realized quickly that we didn’t have the money to last a full week down in the Keys. On Sunday morning we got up and, having nothing else to do, we went to church. I recalled seeing an Assemblies of God church on the main drag so we stopped in there, arriving just a little late for the first service. With nothing to do and nowhere to go (we were after all college students flying by the seat of our pants), we stayed for the second service as well. During the second service I remember hearing the pastor mention the name of their sister church down in Key West. When he mentioned the name of that church, I knew within myself, that’s where we need to head next. Long story short, we made great friendships that week with some beautiful Assemblies of God brethren and even got to spend the rest of the week sleeping in one of the Sunday school rooms. God provided housing for us at no cost. At the nudging of God’s Spirit, we went down there to have fun, but God did so much more. During that divinely appointed Spring Break, I had the honor of personally leading 25 people to Christ through simple street evangelism. My friend led two people to the Lord. We came back a week later with 27 salvations under our collective belt (that’s far better than what most college kids do on Spring Break).


Upon our return, we were so excited to tell everyone what God had done (this was the 90’s, we didn’t have cellphones, and Zuckerburg would have been in middle school). In those days, the group of believers I ran with called the positive fruit of evangelism, “getting someone born-again.” And so that’s we said when we returned from the Keys. Them: “How was Spring Break?” Us: “Awesome! We got 27 people born-again.” Most people were so excited to hear such a testimony, but inevitably there was Brother Semantic ready to extinguish young college zeal. His retort would have sounded something like this, “Brother, you didn’t get anybody born-again. It is Jesus that saves, by the power of the Holy Spirit. You were either sowing, or watering. It is God that gives the increase. You sound so prideful when you talk that way.” Eh, maybe we did sound prideful. Or maybe it was just shear excitement and exuberance at such a wonderful Spring Break.

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