Deviation’s from Truth: Applications :: By Ron Ferguson

(This is a longer message, maybe not a one-sitting experience. I apologize to a couple of people who have written to me, and I did not reply. There has been so much to cope with that I was not able to keep up with everything. I always try to reply to those who write to me.)

Deviation is the means of achieving a goal through small, incremental steps. It always begins small and finishes large.

Consider this verse – Genesis 3:1: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made, and he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

That began with a question, not an outright contradiction. Had it been a straight, outright contradiction, Eve probably would not have been so susceptible, but a question is something to be entertained, and she thought about it. You see, what was happening is that the walls were penetrated, and that is all it took.

I wrote a series recently on “We Are Not Ignorant of Satan’s Schemes,” and it covered the working of Satan in the leaven of corruption in this world. That imperceptible first step is the most dangerous. In Eve’s case, it broke down her defenses, and failure followed.

What we are seeing in this world is the breakdown and overthrow of all values, traditions, and absolutes in order to lead the world by the hand into an alleged paradise of “earth harmony,” and our compliance to it will be for our own good (and we will be saving the planet as well!). In my nation (that must be the same elsewhere), one of these moves is to a cashless society. There is an agenda for that.

Here are some of the steps that have been happening –

  1. Talk, discussion, and reason. Left-wing television stations start spruiking up (promoting) the idea of a cashless society, telling you the advantages. This is the softening-up period, the conditioning of people’s minds for the acceptance they are really wanting and willing to do.
  2. Then comes the odd place that will start with this in the next step of conditioning. For example, the City Council where I live, in a very sly move of untrustworthy Councillors, secretly tried to bring in the abolition of cash in order to pay all Council rates, charges, fines, etc., but a whistleblower came forward, and the public opinion stopped it.
  3. Banks have been steadily abolishing ATM machines so people can’t get cash out. This is forcing them to use credit cards.
  4. Just recently, one major bank has said it no longer is issuing money to customers. Other banks have mooted (discussed) a similar move.
  5. Government agencies are planning the next step whereby cash will not be permitted to be used.
  6. The last step, and we are not there yet, is legislation banning the use of cash in buying and selling, and in all transactions.

You may ask, “Why is this happening? What is wrong with cash money?” Well, the answer to that is as follows: THIS IS ALL ABOUT TRACKING. Governments and world agencies want to know exactly what people are up to – what they are buying, where they are spending, and what organizations they belong to. With no cash money to negotiate, it is easy to do that.

Where is it heading? This is the section – Revelation 13:16-17 “and he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be GIVEN A MARK on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has THE MARK, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.”

Without cash, there is no option but to use what is trackable (traceable) to buy and sell. In other words, cash is worthless. It will take very little to implement all that because it is already partly in operation and is legislated for, just not passed yet. The money markets are a scourge on Governments because they have difficulty keeping tabs on people’s activities.

Once banking goes digital and cashless and church offerings are forced to go digital as well, the government will know what you give to your church and other religious support groups.

By the way, while we are in Revelation 13, here is something I want to comment on again: Revelation 13:16 “and he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given A MARK on their right hand, or on their forehead.”

There is so much silly speculation about the mark of the beast, and not one of us can know, but I believe a few things are most likely. The following is from Strong’s:

χάραγμα (charagma)
Noun – Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong’s Greek 5480: Sculpture; engraving, a stamp, sign. From the same as charax; a scratch or etching, i.e., Stamp, or sculptured figure.

Greek scholar Meyer says it is an external mark that is attached.

Commentator Barnes wrote:

(a) a graving, sculpture, sculptured work, as images or idols;
(b) a mark cut in, or stamped – as the stamp on a coin.

I quote Gill here, a Calvinist (John Gill, English Baptist theologian (1697-1771) who did not necessarily understand Israel’s restoration, but he is correct in this – “the Complutensian edition.” (The Complutensian Polyglot Bible was the first printed Polyglot of the entire Bible, produced and sanctioned by the Catholic Church – Cardinal Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros, who lived from 1436–1517. In contrast, the earlier printed Greek and Latin Bibles produced by Erasmus contained only the New Testament.)

reads;… which is an allusion either to the custom among the Romans of imprinting marks upon their servants and soldiers, by which they might be known to whom they belonged; servants had them in their foreheads (i), and soldiers in their hands (k); or to the usages of the Jews, in binding their phylacteries upon their arms and foreheads, to put them in mind of the law of God, and their obedience to it; or to the practices of the Heathens, in putting the mark of the god they worshipped upon their bodies.

Maimonides (l) says it was a custom with the Gentiles to mark themselves with their idols, showing that they were their bought servants and were marked for their service: the sense is that some received the mark in one place, and some in another: those who were obliged to receive the mark in the right hand seem to be the clergy, such who entered into holy orders; who lifted up their right hand, and swore and vowed allegiance to the pope, and testified they were ready to defend and support his religion and interest; and who in their ordination are said to have an indelible character impressed on them.”

I reject this sophisticated stuff about the insertion of computer chips under the skin for many reasons. The mark will be something simple because of the tiny timeframe in the middle of the Tribulation and will be something like a barcode used today on products, or a tattoo, or a stamp.

I would like to move to the subject of deviation in a more practical sense –


Deviation in one’s life is more highlighted the more one is considered to be in an important position. So many love to pull others down. In Australia, we have what is known as “the tall poppy syndrome.” It means that if someone has a higher profile, the desire and tendency is to pull those people down to the average level. It is almost the opposite of the American attitude of hero worship where they follow celebrities, even Trump. (It’s no good following Biden because he does not know where he is or where he is going and wants to sit down on chairs that are not there, as he did on the D-Day remembrance).

I could not believe my eyes, but the very latest polling in the USA (20 June 2024) – Trump versus Biden nationwide – shows Biden now has the lead by 1%. That was done by Fox News. People don’t vote for Trump or Biden really; they are voting for their own belief position. They would support Mickey Mouse if he was a socialist and promoted left-wing policies. (Disney certainly does now – a very anti-Christian organization.) People just vote for their own left-wing, socialist position, and sadly, about half the USA is that now. That is what Democrats are.

By the way, for you Americans, if you want to follow what is really happening in your nation where your own media won’t tell you, go to SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA. (Many Americans have subscribed.) You will find a lot there from proper sources. This might take you there:

By deviation, we mean the tendency to turn or swerve from a specified course. It may be only a small angle from the median line, but it is a deviation nevertheless. If you looked at a tiny deviation from about three meters away (10 feet), you would probably not even notice it – maybe not a big deviation to some, BUT – it might be only 0.5 of a degree difference, but in a precise building of 100 meters length (just over 109 yards), it is going to mean a difference of 87 cm (34.2 inches), and the building cannot be squared up. Carried on to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri is about 4.3 light years away; a deviation of just one-tenth of one degree would mean you’d be out by 1,434,528,969 miles, and all that in only one-tenth of a degree. Your spaceship would be lost in space! Tiny deviations are as severe as big deviations when accuracy counts.

There is a term in usage – deviant, and it refers to a person who has swerved from the norm of acceptable behavior and into the unacceptable and the forbidden. In fact, every person born into this world is a deviant in the sense that he or she has swerved away from the righteousness and holiness of God. We have all deviated from the straight measuring line of God. That is what makes us sinners, as God says through Paul – Romans 3:10-12 “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one. There is none who understands. There is none who seeks for God. ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE. Together they have become useless. There is none who does good. There is not even one.'”

It might be easy to understand deviation in the worldly sense of the word, but it is more difficult to understand in the spiritual sense as it might relate to Christians. The problem here is that we all still have the old sin nature, the natural man, and the heart is as Jeremiah described it – Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick. Who can understand it? ‘I, the LORD, search the heart. I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.'” It is only God who can really detect the deviation, as we often try to fool ourselves, or we just do not notice. We will speak more on this later.


1 Peter 3:15-16 “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'”

These are our verses for now, and a quick glance may not show how deviation applies here, but it does. Peter opens this statement with a command to sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. When a Christian does not do that, even a tiny bit, then he/she has deviated from the standard of God. That is what Christian deviation is. It means to wander off course, maybe only a small bit, but it does have consequences. What are those?

The consequences of deviation are lost blessings and a path of sinfulness. Let us consider both of those in examples.

Ephesus was a thriving church of steadfast people who walked strongly for God, and Paul could write such beautiful things to them in his letter. They loved the Lord and did not deviate from that love all the time that Paul knew them.

However, a few decades further on, John had to write to them with this sad conclusion – Revelation 2:3-4 “You have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary, but I have this against you, that YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR FIRST LOVE.”

They still had wonderful perseverance and endurance, BUT they had left their first love. They were not even conscious of it. Slowly, slowly, slowly, the first love crept away only by the smallest fraction, but it was a deviation. Once you slip even the tiniest amount, it seems to be easier to add a little more to that slip, then a little more, and a little more.

Sin is so cunning and devious. It will catch us out, and that is why Peter stresses we must sanctify the Lord in our hearts. Check for any known sin; keep short accounts; walk hand in hand with the Lord, and don’t be attracted by the rubbish along the side of the Christian pathway.

Christians sometimes use the wrong word in Revelation 2:4. The Ephesians had not LOST their first love; they had LEFT it.

We live in a world of denial where all that is good is called evil, and that which is of God is being overturned, maybe not drastically all at once but by small deviations; and once it gets underway, it accelerates.

I said that, at first, deviation might be only slight. Evil things come in that way – always small to begin with. In the current world, all this has accelerated and is in full flight. The wickedness and horrors are everywhere.


The passage above in 1 Peter 3 says we are to sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts; that is a command, and so, as Christians, it is imperative that we do that. We either mean business with God, or we don’t.

What does it mean to sanctify the Lord in our hearts? This is not an easy thing to do, but it is all connected with perspective and ownership. Who actually owns our hearts, our lives, once we become Christians? Surely, the one who owns my heart is the one who must have control. Before we were converted, we owned our own hearts; that is, we owned and controlled our own lives. However, once we became Christians, then all that has changed.

Consider it this way: you go and purchase a new computer from a computer store, and you take it home, install it, and begin using it. Not very long later, there is a knock at the door, and the man from the computer shop says to you, “I want to use your computer for a bit, the one you got from my shop. It came from my shop, and so I would like to use it.”

You respond, “But this is my computer now, and I am using it. You must use your own computers. This is mine; I own it; it belongs to me; I fully paid for it.”

The computer man says, “But originally, this computer was mine, and so I have the right to use it for myself when I want to.”

“No, you can’t,” I said to him, “because this is mine. I paid for it in full. I own it, and it is mine.”

What we are trying to show there is that ownership and possession is very important. If we paid for it and purchased it with our own money, then it belongs to us legally. No one else has ownership of it unless I allow that to happen. When we look at the spiritual application here, there is a very important lesson.

Jesus died for us on the cross, and His death paid the ransom price for our redemption; he paid it in full. It was Paul who said – 1 Corinthians 6:20 “for YOU HAVE BEEN BOUGHT WITH A PRICE. Therefore glorify God in your body.”

Peter himself said – 1 Peter 1:18-19 “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless – the blood of Christ.” We have been sanctified by Jesus Christ. When we gave our lives to him, it meant that we transferred ownership to the Lord Jesus Christ. He purchased us with his own blood on the cross. He legally owns us, and therefore, we have no right to keep taking our lives back again. They belong to him, and they are His alone.

I said before, this is all about the ownership of your life. Sanctification is linked with ownership, and if we don’t recognize that, then we are really going nowhere.

Therefore, to sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts, we must recognize firstly the ownership that Jesus Christ has over MY life/YOUR life that He bought with his own blood, and stop trying to take back our lives because we no longer own them!

If you want part ownership of your life, you are like the computer man who did not realize what the transaction of sale and new ownership meant.

Let me ask you a question. Is Jesus Christ worth anything to you? If you are a Christian, then He needs to have you in His hand. You can’t be part in the Lord’s hand and part still in yours.

I will ask another question. “Why, in the light of eternal issues, would you tarnish His Lordship over your life?” Surely it is only a selfish person who lives for him/herself, does all he/she wants to, and lets the Lord stand at the door while you enjoy fleshly things, but then you think you can turn to Him again when it is convenient.

Peter was very clear – SANCTIFY the Lord in your heart. There is NO option or allowance not to do that if you don’t feel like it. The word “sanctify” means to make holy. You CANNOT make your own lives holy because you are sinful, a sinner saved by grace. There is only One who can sanctify you, and who is that? It is the Holy Spirit because He is the Spirit of holiness.

That means you must allow the Holy Spirit to control your life. He will direct you, make the Lord very real to you, bring about cleansing and holiness into your life, and convict you of sin or wrong things in your life. He does all this because He strives to make you into a holy person. Holiness is so vital in the life of a Christian. Without holiness, no one will see God.

It happened with homosexuality. Small images and thoughts at first, then a small introduction in films and in magazines, then in protests and demonstrations, in Mardi-gras, and then in Government legislation until we are swamped with it. It is so bad here that anyone can stand on a street corner or in a park and decry and blaspheme heterosexual marriage all day, and not a thing can be done about it because there is no law or protection. BUT if I did the same thing, as soon as I opened my mouth against homosexuality and homosexual marriage, I would be immediately arrested and charged with a number of counts, including homophobia, inciting hatred, and sexual abuse.

That is the world we live in, and it will get worse. The current deviation in the world is so bad that I am afraid we don’t properly appreciate it because we live with it and seem to get absorbed in it, in a way. It is all bad. We must hold the narrow path and remain true to God’s word.