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Strong Delusion

Babylon and the Beast Part 2

Just Say No!

Most of you who read this are likely much more resistant to sales pitches than myself. I have had to train myself to read through sales pitches just for the opportunity to say “no!” to the psychological schemes that are employed against me. It is easy for me to be drawn away and enticed by the strong delusion that I need one more tool or one more book or one more….whatever. It always amazes me at how my mind can be so made to fear that I will be missing out on something if I say no.

That leads me to the challenge of the present hour. How do I not get drawn in by the fear porn presented by the media harlot? What reliance outside of myself must I find to say no to the incessant call to worry? What power must I summon to not leave myself open to ideas that do not reflect the faith that I profess? For example, God has not given us the spirit of fear… (2 Timothy 1:7) What good then is faith in a good God, if I panic at every news story and display my lack of confidence in His ability to produce good?

Undoubtedly knowledge of the devil’s schemes to deceive is part of the answer. Even more so is to have a working knowledge of the God of the Holy Scripture. This working knowledge is more than knowing God’s Word. It is even more than experiencing God in His Word, as precious as that is.

This knowing is experience with God. That is, it is knowledge of God’s goodness that is gained by inviting God into every endeavor of life.

The Father’s Heart

Most men will experience the loss of their father by the time that they are in their fifties. If it was a good relationship, this leaves a great void where once a giant advocate stood. If it was a bad relationship it leaves a profound sadness- and often guilt that there wasn’t enough in me to measure up to my father’s expectations. The wonderful thing about coming into a relationship with God as father, is that He fills that void and He dispels that guilt…but only as we recognize Him to be who He is…He is only good.

One reason that I love to spend time in my wood shop is that many of my fathers tools are still there for me to use. Even if they are not as useful as my newer tools, I still often prefer to use them just to feel them in my hands and remember how he longed to teach me when I was wholly unteachable..How he never abandoned his post as an advocate for my brother and I. Now I wish that he was here to teach me how he got the best use of his tools…and then for him to see what I have made with the help of those same tools.

Truly I am not the sharpest chisel in the tool rack. Even though the Lord saved me forty years ago, it has only recently occurred to me that, in a very practical ways, my relationship with God should fill that void left by my earthly father. In retrospect, I think that the Lord was making that happen without my realizing it.

Just as King David acknowledged that his hands were taught of God for war (Psalm 144:1), God’s heart longs for me to ask Him to show me the best way to use the tools in my wood shop. More than that, just as He desires for every believer, He wants to help me use the tools provided by His Holy Spirit in order to build a blessing for others.

That experience of working with God as a Father enables us to more readily recognize enduring truth. Years ago I had a job to teach woodworking skills to some blind men. The way that some of them learned how to use a particular hand tool was to lay their hands on my hands as I completed a task.

In the same way, more than merely knowing the words that He has spoken, our hands gain experience by following His hands as they separate truth from error. Moreover, the strong delusion that each of us may easily fall prey to, is held at bay by the shield of truth that He places in our hands. It is our responsibility to learn from him how to use it.

The goal of scripture is to apply the knowledge that God gives us to our walk with God. He tells us what to look for so that we may be prepared and have our minds and hearts fortified against any delusion that the enemy of our souls puts before us. The Father’s heart is to teach us what to say no to and what to embrace as truth.

The reason for pointing this out is the simple truth that “There is no fear in love because perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). That is, when we have a complete relationship with God, we trust in His goodness and so whatever challenges are put before us, He gives us the resources for ultimately being victorious. When we walk in the calm assurance that God is good and that God is for us, then fear will not lead us into believing the lie of the devil.

Strong delusion

“… and for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie”

2 Thessalonians 2:11

This delusion is an act of judicial blindness imposed by God in the last days before the Lord returns to His earth. It is placed upon the recalcitrant souls that refuse to receive God’s truth. We should observe that in the original Greek, the use of the definite article before ‘lie’ seems to refer to a specific, familiar lie. It is not just ‘a lie’ but ‘the lie’. This leads us to think about the lie that Satan originally told Eve…

“Ye shall not surely die. For God knows that in the day that ye eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods…”

Genesis 3:4,5

Breaking this lie down, Satan is always trying to convince us in one way or another that God is a liar, God is not good, God is keeping you in the dark and He is not allowing you to be something great. O my, how this lie appeals to our pride!

The strong delusion that the apostle Paul spoke of in his second letter to the Thessalonian believers was given as a warning to anyone who believes ‘the lie’. If we fail to embrace the truth before the anti Christ appears on the scene, there is little hope of embracing it afterwards. The lie that he refers to will be impossible to resist once the restraining work of conviction by the Spirit of God (John 16:7-11) is removed.

There is coming one whose power is gained by deceit. He will promote the lie that is impossible to resist because there is simply no desire to resist it. In fact it will be the lie that is enthusiastically embraced even now because of a pre existing mindset of having no love for the truth. This mindset rejects truth because it is contrary to the desire for taking pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:10)

For example, there is a false christianity that makes the claim that rather than calling ourselves “Christ-ians”, we should be calling ourselves, “Christ-I ams”. This is a form of ‘the lie’ that encourages us to find the Christ consciousness within ourselves. This philosophy demands that we strive for higher dimensional thinking in order to realize our true greatness.

When the church is taken off of the earth, it can be claimed by these new age thinkers that those souls (those who are born again) were removed from the earth for insisting on remaining in a lower dimension (only sinners, saved by grace) and so cannot be allowed to participate in the earth’s new age that is renewed unto greatness.

This lie will have convincing proofs of power, signs and lying wonders. In other words, these proofs will mimic truth of God’s Kingdom on earth but substitute that with a cheap imitation. It will appear to be from God, bringing peace and prosperity to the earth, but it will actually lead people away from Him and replace it with a false image of God in the form of a man. 

False christians will believe this man to be Christ returning to the earth; Jews will believe this person to be Messiah; Muslims will believe him to be their twelfth Imam. All will agree that this one who comes in his own name (John 5:43) deserves to be worshipped and obeyed as the supreme ruler.

What of This Deadly Wound in Revelation 13:3?

We learn that one of the heads of this beast has a deadly wound that is healed. It appears to be a picture of decapitation and the head is miraculously restored. This fatal wound is said to be the result of a sword. (Rev 13:14) In the scriptures, a sword may figuratively refer to civil government(s) exercising authority as a check on evil. (Romans 13:4). It may also refer to war. (Luke 21:24) Finally, it may refer to the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17)

To this point there is bound to be a wide divergence of opinion as to who or what this restored head is. Each opinion will be informed by a variety of sources. It is difficult to make the exclusive claim that any source apart from scripture is of the Holy Spirit.

Many Biblical scholars believe that this wounded head refers to an individual leader at the head of an empire. This is because we are told to count the number of the beast for it is the number of a man. (Revelation 13:18) The thought is that this individual will be killed and resurrected to provide a ‘strong delusion’ that everyone who has refused to believe the gospel will be hardened into believing the lie. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

There is merit to this argument. However, it is also recognized that as we have looked at in previous posts, that the head with a crown can also refer to a kingdom or empire. It is also described as a mountain. (Revelation 17:9) There is a figurative use of the word ‘mountain’ in scripture. In such a case it refers to something lifted up over its surroundings. For instance in Isaiah 40, mountains seem to refer to those empires that have exalted themselves against Jerusalem and will be brought down by Messiah.

This suggests that while this head is a man, it could also be more than an individual who is brought back from the dead. Instead this view asserts that it is the resurrection of a previously destroyed empire led by one man with extraordinary powers.

On the basis of these scriptures and others, it is reasonable to characterize these seven heads or kings as seven attempts at world empire…If so, who and what is the seventh world empire that appears after John’s day as the final manifestation of the beast in world empire? How will it appear to have been put to death only to be revived? This is what we will consider in future posts.

Summary

In this post we have looked at the importance of having experience with God as our Father in order to have protection against the strong delusion of the devil’s lie and schemes.

We have also looked at a specific strong delusion that is coming to those who refuse to embrace the truth of the gospel. Finally, we introduced the idea of how this strong delusion will trap souls into believing that they can be as gods. It is this lie that will be promoted by the head of an empire that will appear as having been healed from a deadly wound. It represents the final form of world empire that is about to be revealed on the earth.

Lord willing, in future posts we will take a look at the seventh empire and its re-emergence as the final world empire that will be crushed by the King of kings.

In the meantime…enjoy your (heavenly) Father.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I have included Blue Letter Bible links to the scriptures cited. When you click on them, it will open a new window to that reference.

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Thank you and may the Lord richly bless you today.

smc

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