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.
Let me introduce you to the only real and true God. The true God of the Bible is little known in the halls of traditional religion today. He is THE Holy One. Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
And as he is holy, he must despise evil as much as he loves righteousness. Nahum 1:2 God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Therefore take careful notice of the phrase in verse eleven of our text, “God shall send them strong delusion.” Be careful, O religionist! He is not your sugar daddy! He is not a Santa Claus! When his Son became sin, he delivered him up. Then what shall he do to us if we are not separated from all sin, unto holiness? Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
A reverential fear of God is essential for salvation. Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Today’s religious converts are made by assuring them a free ticket to “heaven,” if they give only a mental assent to the gospel. Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
We send our ‘missionaries’ far and wide, but the greatest field of evangelism remains within the church membership! Both the churches of Ephesus and Sardis had unregenerate religionists, insomuch that the Holy Spirit, when writing to them used the term, “the synagogue of Satan!” Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Now consider these words of the Apostle Paul as he speaks from his saddened heart concerning Israel’s need of salvation! Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Our Lord called the highest religious order in Israel, “hypocrites!” For they had so much fleshly zeal without any true knowledge of God that they payed tithe of ‘salt and pepper’ and omitted mercy and faith! Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. It was in this way that they tried to establish their own righteousness.
So why does God say that this “Strong Delusion” shall be sent? For only one reason; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. The truth is not just bare information about God. THE Truth is the Person of the Son of God! And as a person he must be loved! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
The church at Ephesus was about to be ‘unchurched’ because they had left their first love. 1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. For love is the fulfilling of the law! Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Our Lord clearly stated that loving God with all the heart is the very support of the entire law! Matthew 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
That is the “Why.” And we have already begun to address the “How.” How shall this delusion be originated? Clearly it is that “God shall send.” And this is where the modern day “Sugar Daddy” Jesus is exposed, and the only true God is revealed. For we see that He will respond to mankind in the same way they act towards Him. Listen to David as he addresses this matter:
2 Samuel 22:25 Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight. 26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright. 27 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury. 28 And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.
It is in response to man’s refusing to maintain the true knowledge of Him that God responds in their reprobation! Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
But what of this “Strong Delusion?” Just what is intended by these words? That word “delusion” is the same word translated, “to deceive” in Ephesians 4:14. And it is seen as the word, “error” in James 5:20. And that word, here translated as, “strong” is seen in Ephesians 4:16 as “effectual working.” That means it never fails to accomplish that for which it was intended.
Let us take notice of just how strong and effectual this God-sent deception really is. It is so strong that religionists, making strong profession of being believers, will commit murder and think it is of God! John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. Did not Saul of Tarsus, later becoming Paul the Apostle confess of this very thing? 1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
Listen at that which God had his Prophet Jeremiah proclaim to Israel. Jeremiah 7:8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. 9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
Can you believe that?!? Their sins are listed out in verse nine. But they boldly attend ‘worship services,’ standing in the face of God, proclaiming that it is God who gave them the opportunity and ability to commit these horrible sins! Truly, this deception is powerful! 2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. For one cannot enter into deceiving others who does not become deceived himself!
These actually “oppose themselves,” as they are “taken captive” by Satan. 2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
And it starts where all sin starts – failure to glorify God! But it does not stop until it renders a deception so strong that it makes fools out of those professing themselves to be wise! Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
The Apostle Paul pointed this out to the Jews in Rome. He reveals to them that at the same time they were teachers of others, they needed to teach themselves! Romans 2:21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
We are strongly warned of those who can teach with their lips but their spoken truth does not abide in their own hearts! Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
The Lord warns of those who eagerly assume the “seat” of the teacher, but then does not live what he teaches. Matthew 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
But why does the Lord allow these hypocrites in the pulpit? 1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. The voice of the false shepherd is allowed in order for the sheep to develop their discernment. For their ears may hear the deceiver, but their feet will not follow him! John 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Pastor Gene Breed
July 30, 2020