Be Not Deceived! (3)
Raymond E. Harris
It seems mankind's, God-given power of logic and reason have often been misused. The misuse of God's goodness has always led to mischief and misery. The misuse of the wonderful gift of speech is manifest in lying, cursing and gossip. The misuse of sex is manifest in fornication, adultery and incest. The misuse of logic and reason is self-deception, disobedience and sin.
In 1 Kings 12, we have a classic example of Israel reasoning themselves into disobedience. Jeroboam appeared on the political scene as a moderate and compassionate leader who cared more for the people than did Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. Hence, ten of the twelve tribes chose to follow Jeroboam.
He immediately realized he could never hold his new followers if they continued to return to Jerusalem to worship. Therefore, he who appeared to be a good and compassionate leader, turned into a terrible deceiver of the people. He convinced them that the journey back to Jerusalem was much too far and inconvenient. So, he set up places for them to worship at Bethel in the South and at Dan in the North. He built altars, appointed an unlawful priesthood and invented special feast days. The Bible says all this Jeroboam "devised of his own heart."
It is sad but true that we see the same kinds of self-deception all around us today. Self-righteous man has never been satisfied to worship God according to His divine directives. Cain, the Israelites, and modern man have all stumbled over God's worship commandments. Hence, today we see the masses engaged in countless religious practices which are unauthorized by God. Using so-called "holy" water, incense burning, sprinkling, counting beads, quarterly communion and salvation by faith only, are but a few of the pseudo-religious acts and doctrines men have deceived themselves into accepting.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 7, p. 212