Let's start in Matthew 24:5 "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."
They will come in His name saying He is Christ.
I used to read that and say "false preachers will claim to be Christ"
But how would that deceive us? We would KNOW they aren't Christ.
Then I read it again and thought WOW. They will come and say He IS Christ. That's how they will deceive.
Acts 8:9-10, "But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is that great power of God."
Do you know what sorcery a preacher uses to bewitch the people that would make them think they were following a great man of God?
I don't think God's people would follow someone who was casting potion in a black cauldron. I think we'd all know better than that. So how does a false preacher like Simon get the people to think he was so great, to where they thought they were following a man of God? And how do preachers today do the same thing?
Manipulation: to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage : to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose.
The word artful really catches my attention. Artful:: adroit in attaining an end usually by insinuating or indirect means.
Sounds crafty to me. Crafty: adept in the use of subtlety and cunning b: marked by subtlety and guile.
I think we've seen those two words before. Subtlety and guile.
Guile: Middle English gile, from Anglo-French, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old English wigle divination — more at witch Date:13th century
1: deceitful cunning
Wait a second! A witch? Divination? So manipulation is a form of Witchcraft!
Genesis 3:1, "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"Oh that's where I saw it before. Satan, the serpent was subtil to Eve.
Genesis 3:13, "And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat."Oh he used his subtilty to beguile Eve. There's that word guile!
He used God's very own word to MANIPULATE her into thinking she was making the RIGHT decision.
So now we know where manipulation comes from and who empowers others to do the same.