“And no wonder! For Satan himself is disguised as an angel of light.” (1 Corinthians 11:14 CSB)
There is a fish in the lower, dark depths of the Pacific Ocean that has an antenna on its head with a glowing light on the end of the antenna. Its unsuspecting prey see the light and go to it, unable to see the danger that is attached at the other end. By the time they do see it, it’s too late.
Deception can take many forms. It may come into the form of misdirection, where someone is taken off target by a misrepresentation of truth. A similar form is disinformation, which essentially is an intentional lie that represents information as factual for the purpose of influencing decisions. Military and intelligence agencies around the globe have often used misdirection and disinformation to confuse their enemies.
In essence, this amounts to speaking a lie as if it is truth, presenting it as light. All forms of deception overlap, but the purpose is the same: to mislead and defeat.
Paul spoke of how Satan disguised himself as an angel of light. He said this in the context of talking about those who were “false apostles,” that is, those who presented themselves as apostles of Christ while, in fact, they were representatives of Satan, sent to mislead believers by presenting themselves as the true light.
So, how are we to know when what looks like the light is really not? First, we have to have already experienced the genuine light that comes from a personal relationship with the Lord by faith. Second, we have to watch the works of those who say they teach the light. If their works demonstrate inconsistency with what the Bible teaches, or if they teach something that does not exalt Christ, or if they attempt to lift man up to the level of Christ, then they cannot be of the light. Third, we have to stay in the word of God, so that the Holy Spirit can keep our minds and hearts tuned to the truth.
Lord, Help us today to not be misled by that which appears to be the light but really is not. Help us to remain firmly committed to the Lordship of Christ. Amen.