2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 ¶ But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
So as to establish our spiritual minds upon a path of proper understanding concerning these weighty matters, let us confirm some absolute truths concerning God’s sending delusions upon human kind.
First, God cannot lie! Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Secondly, God hates a lying tongue! That is the second thing on his list of things he hates. (And take notice that it s actually referred to again in the sixth matter.) Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Thirdly, Lies and liars will not be allowed in his kingdom! Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Finally, Satan is the source of all lies and all liars! John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
Yet we must realize that our God is THE Sovereign Lord of all. All creatures, whether human, angelic, or demonic are his subjects. He rules over all. He has them all as his servants. All beings are God’s servants, but all beings are not God’s sons! Hebrews 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
Let us now see an occasion when the Sovereign Lord used a lying spirit to accomplish his intended purposes. 1 Kings 22:19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.(Just as in Job 1:6 and Job 2:1) 20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. 21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. 22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. 23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
And we see these seemingly opposing forces at work even in the amazing event of the cross! Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: The Lord Jesus, as the Lamb of God, was delivered to the cross by not only the determinate council and foreknowledge of God (“the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Rev. 13:8), but also with the usage of “wicked hands.”
Dear Reader, Satan is God’s servant! And he shall be given that power to deceive the nations during the little season, after the glorious thousands years of gospel evangelism have finished their course. This is but God setting forth his “Strong Delusion” in order to gather the evangelized, but unregenerate masses of Gog and Magog! Ezekiel 38:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: 11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, 14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
We must not simply see the Lord solely from the viewpoint of his holiness, but also from the all encompassing viewpoint of his wisdom! Of course we are to seek out his holiness for our example. Leviticus 11:44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: But we must also seek to be led by his wisdom! Yet this is a more difficult matter which can solely be accomplished by the revelation of the Holy Spirit to our consciousnesses! Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Isaiah 30:20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Every true believer has the anointing of the Holy Spirit within them. And the Scriptures are provided to them for the confirming of those things they already perceive by the Spirit. 1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. For the Harlot church seeks to be led in their accomplishment of religious morality solely by Bible verses. But the true church is led by the Holy Spirit with the confirmation of the Scriptures for a second witness. “Thy word have I hid in my heart – not solely “in my head!” This is why the masses of religionists on the broad way shall be so shocked to hear the Lord say, “Depart from me ye that work iniquity!” But they, being deceived by memorized Bible verses, without the Holy Spirit, shall attempt to argue, “But Lord we have done many wonderful works in thy name!” Yet they shall be cast into outer darkness as unprofitable servants!
And the very God of holiness who threatened severe punishment for the violation of his Sabbath, required multitudes of priest to labor on that very day in his temple for the good of his people. Consider out Lord’s question to the legalistic Jews concerning this. John 7:23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
God can take a crooked stick and draw a straight line! For like an expert apothecary who uses poisonous plants in his potions in order to combat deadly diseases, our glorious Lord is holy and wise in his admixture of matters which work together for our good! Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Let us make sure that we understand the need, or cause, for this action from the Lord. Notice that word, “because” in verse ten of our text. “…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” It is not that they do not embrace the letter of the scriptures. For they do associate themselves with what they imagine the scriptures state in the support of the practice of their own religious traditions. But it is that they never come to the love of the truth! That is, they never come to love the Person of the Word! Salvation is not to be found in education; no matter how religious it may be! Salvation is exclusively to be found in revelation! And that is the manifestation of the Person of the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
And this revelation does not originate from a human source. Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And those who are “once enlightened” to this influence, but never come to love the truth, can never be recovered again. Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
It is a very dangerous matter to involve one’s self light-heartedly, or insincerely with the scriptures and not come to love the Lord with all the heart! Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
To do otherwise is deceptive to one’s soul! James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Even though our Lord shall protect us from Satan’s lies, we still have a responsibility for ourselves in this matter! Matthew 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 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. 25 Behold, I have told you before. For even though the elect cannot be deceived, we must jealously guard our souls in a separation from such influence. We are not to gather ourselves together in the world’s religious orders, no matter how enticing they make it seem. We must not be ruled by guilt, nor pity, but only by the still small voice of the Holy Spirit guiding us into the Scriptures. 2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
And we must maintain a sanctified imagination! 2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And this truly is a warfare, requiring all the armor and all the weapons of our Christianity to constantly combat Satan’s attempts to invade our minds. For believers who are no longer confronted with the presence of the physical realms of wordiness find that they now have a much more powerful warfare in casting down Satan’s debilitating thoughts in their minds. Therefore, brethren, stand fast.
Pastor Gene Breed
January 26, 2023