By Christine Darg
In 2 Thessalonians in the New Testament, the apostle Paul taught important information concerning the future antichrist dictator.
Paul wrote that the coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of power, sign, and lying wonder, and with every wicked deception directed against those who are perishing, –WHY?– because, Paul wrote, “they refused the love of THE TRUTH that would have saved them.” For this reason [because they are destitute of a love of truth] God will send a powerful delusion so that they will believe THE lie.
I wonder what is this lie that they will believe? We’ll explore this prophetic topic and hopefully many will be protected from THE COMING LIE by believing on the world’s one and only Saviour!
In 2 Thessalonians 2, the apostle Paul warned that people who refuse the love of the truth will be powerfully deluded as a judgment befalling all who disbelieved the truth and delighted in wickedness. As a consequence they will believe THE lie.
Let’s examine this highly relevant passage from 2 Thessalonians 2 starting with verse 1:
“Now we ask you, brethren, regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, and our gathering together to him [that’s a description of the rapture, our gathering together to the descending Lord in the atmosphere], don’t be so quickly upset or alarmed when someone claims that we said the Day of the Lord has already come. Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come unless the apostasy (or literally the departure) takes place first and the man of sin, (speaking of the antichrist), who is destined for destruction, is revealed. He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god and object of worship. As a result, he seats himself in the sanctuary of God and declares himself to be God.” Paul asked, “Don’t you remember that I repeatedly told you about these things when I was still with you? You know what is now restraining him, so that he will be revealed when his time comes. For the secret of this lawlessness is already at work, but only until the restrainer holding it back gets out of the way. Then the lawless one [the antichrist] will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy with the breath of his mouth.”
Paul continued in verse 9, “The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the power of Satan— miraculous signs, lying wonders—and every type of evil to deceive those who refused to love the truth that would save them. For this reason, God will send them a strong delusion so that they will believe THE lie.”
In a moment we’ll talk further about this lie, but first I want to say I’m noticing with increasingly alarm how people are shedding biblical truth. So many prefer to believe what they foolishly call “their own truth,” whatever that means. Even an historic institution such as the Church of England is toying with the idea of making God gender neutral— as if they could recreate the Almighty in the image of the current woke culture.
Jesus said in John 14: 6, “I am the way, THE TRUTH and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He didn’t say to the Mother or to the Parent, he said nobody comes to the FATHER except through me. And when Jesus taught his disciples to pray, He started out the Lord’s Prayer by saying, “Our FATHER who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” Even in some denominations the Lord’s Prayer is called “The Our Father!”
For decades, the gender of God has prompted debate within many traditional church denominations with many leaders calling for the male pronouns “He and Him” to be scrapped in favour of gender neutral or female alternatives. In what would mark a departure from centuries of tradition, Anglican bishops plan to discuss gendered language referencing God in church services later this year. The move has been criticized by conservatives, who have warned that male and female imagery is not interchangeable. Liberal church-goers welcome the controversy, claiming that a theological view of God as exclusively male promotes discrimination. A national campaign group for gender equality in the Church of England also welcomed the move to consider more inclusive language in liturgy. However, according to the scriptures, fathers and mothers are not interchangeable roles. Fathers and mothers were intended by God to relate to their offspring in different ways.
The fact that God is called ‘Father’ in the Bible cannot be substituted by ‘Mother’ without changing the meaning and moving toward ancient sacred feminine worship. Nor can Father be gender-neutralized to “Parent” without loss of meaning. If the church’s Liturgical Commission dares to tamper with these concepts, the crucial question remains—will they not be subtracting from or adding to the Word of God, which is forbidden? They will definitely uproot the fatherhood of God from being grounded in Scripture. According to the admonition in Deuteronomy 12: 32, “you must not add to it or take away from it.”
And so Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2: 11 that because people reject truth, they will become ensnared in a strong delusion. Not only is there a great apostasy in the churches, it’s astounding how many are OPENLY delighting in wickedness, just as the apostle Paul predicted. People are taking a high degree of pleasure in distressingly evil, malicious behaviour. We’re seeing perversity of an alarming nature every day — an increasing brazenness in the way people speak, behave and present themselves, flaunting biblical values, despising and mocking everything that is good and wholesome.
When Roe vs. Wade was overturned in the USA, instead of repenting for the millions of abortions, people became more belligerent and angry, which is a foreshadowing of attitudes in Revelation Chapter 9. In that chapter horrific judgments of the wrath of God are described in which a third of mankind will be killed, but verses 20 and 21 reveal the stubborn hearts of the survivors. Twice the apostle John states that they refused to repent of their murders and sorceries, fornications and thefts.
Even now whether it’s the National Football League’s Super Bowl half time show, or the Grammys, or Hollywood they all promote overt satanic symbols, met with wild applause and public approval.
But what’s frightening about Paul’s text in 2 Thessalonians 2: 11 is that hard hearts result in a powerful delusion sent by God himself as retribution so that stubborn hearts will believe THE lie. Bible scholars point out that this text includes the definite article, THE lie. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul wrote that truth-rejectors will believe THE lie. This implies that a major lie will be the ruination of multitudes of people on this planet, those who have resisted and refused the glorious truth of the Gospel, truth capable of saving everybody who dares to come by faith to Messiah for salvation.
The truth of the Gospel will save anybody who humbles themselves and says to Jesus, “Lord, I’m a sinner, I need the salvation you procured for me at the Cross, I bow my heart and receive you and your Atonement purchased for me by the sacrifice of your blood.”
But for multitudes who disbelieve Gospel truth, what is THE lie, what is the misleading influence, that will be their damnation? This question sent me to the Lord and to the Bible commentaries! Bearing in mind the context, which concerns the revelation of the future antichrist, I found this interesting translation by J. B. Phillips in the New Testament in Modern English: “God sends upon them, therefore, the full force of evil’s delusion, so that they put their faith in an utter fraud and meet the inevitable judgment of all who have refused to believe the truth and who have made evil their play-fellow.”
Because disbelievers will not care if matters are true or not, therefore the antichrist will dazzle them with special marvels and frauds by which they will be misled. By refusing to accept the love of the truth, God will remove from them the power of discerning the true from the false. An illustration of how this works is referenced in the Hebrew Bible in 2 Chronicles Chapter 18 concerning the weak King Ahab who didn’t care about truth, and therefore as a judgment, the Lord sent a lying spirit to entice him into a death trap in battle. Sin becomes its own punishment. But why would a righteous God use a lying spirit to deceive King Ahab? We have to grapple with difficult questions —why would God do such a thing? To learn the answer we need to know the character of King Ahab. He had repeatedly refused to submit and obey God although many times God showed His power and mercy to Ahab. Ahab refused to believe a truthful prophet sent to him by God, so in response to Ahab’s constant choice of sin, and because Ahab preferred the lies of false prophets over the truth, God gave permission to a fallen angel, a lying spirit, to deceive him. God allowed the lying spirit to proceed due to the fact that Ahab had already rejected God’s faithful warnings.
Theologians have also grappled for ages about God hardening the heart of Pharaoh in the Book of Exodus. If GOD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, was it fair to punish him? We have to understand that Pharaoh had deliberately chosen to bring further judgment upon himself and his nation by repeatedly resisting God’s commands so that eventually God let Pharoah’s heart set like stone. Although God does honor free will, he also knows the disposition and predilection of hearts of all men and women. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commented that Pharaoh’s hard heart “tells us … that evil is recalcitrant and determined.” And the German Jewish philosopher Erich Fromm speculated that Pharaoh’s heart hardened because he kept on doing evil; it hardened to a point where no more change or repentance was possible.
The Bible commentaries explain that Paul’s phrase “God will send a strong delusion” should be explained as “an effectual inward working of error”—this means not just a mere indifference to truth, but a real influence of error upon rebellious hearts to believe the lie.” (I repeat, the Greek has the definite article)–THE lie which the Antichrist would have people in the future to believe, namely the falsehood that he will disseminate about himself claiming to be God and thus his demand for everybody to be branded with his damnable mark amounting to 666 in order to be able to buy and sell. That’s all predicted in Revelation Chapter 13. The world is increasingly being set up for the ultimate big lie. Unidentified flying objects are increasingly reported; alien abductions will likely be the narrative to explain away the disappearance of millions of Bible believers when the Church Age concludes and Jesus comes for us in the clouds to Rapture us away. The number of UFO sightings will greatly increase after God takes away the restrainer referenced in 2 Thessalonians 2: 7.
Bible teacher Chuck Missler of blessed memory said that UFO sightings this side of the Rapture amount to occasional leaks compared to the flood of deception that will come after the Rapture and after the restrainer is removed. Already fake news incessantly and sometimes shamelessly pours forth false narratives by pundits, politicians, bankers, medical administrators, educators day and night if we’re not circumspect. Many who are left behind will believe the lie that Bible believers were abducted by aliens.
Our times call for the greatest of discernment. Leaders of nations have convinced themselves of many lies. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard recently unveiled a purported ballistic missile with the words “Death to Israel” painted in large letters in Hebrew down its side. Iran’s Tasnim News Agency showed menacing images of what appears to be a surface-to-surface missile in a launcher. The mullahs are promoting this lie that they will destroy the Jewish state when the word of God says you cannot curse what he has blessed! And he has definitely blessed Israel to return to their ancestral land after nearly 2000 years of exile in fulfillment of many Bible prophecies.
God’s fury will be unleashed on Israel’s enemies in the Ezekiel War described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. How ironic that while Iran chants “death to Israel,” the Jewish state is a relatively happy place compared to other nations. Israel is now home to 53% of world Jewry and is being called the “Startup Nation” because it innovates and flourishes despite the menace of antisemitism. The Abraham Accords continue to deliver positive security and global trade rewards to Israel. And tiny Israel helps to alleviate humanitarian disasters like earthquakes around the world with field hospitals and rescue teams who are disproportionately large compared to the size of the nation itself, which is only 9 million in population.
Meanwhile, the world is being groomed by lying spirits for the Great Tribulation and THE big lie of the antichrist. There are many other issues dealing with truth versus error. When we consider how rapidly technology is developing, it’s hard to determine what is a lie, what’s fanciful and what is reality. Recently in the news was this headline—a rogue scientist has “huge unease” over the future of Chinese babies that he gene-edited. The technique he used is called Crispr which enables scientists to edit DNA far more easily than was previously possible. According to the South China Morning Post the twins live a normal, peaceful and undisturbed life with their parents but when asked if he worried about their future, the scientist said he feels a “huge unease.” He stated that he carried out his bold experiment “too quickly.” His pioneering feat was widely condemned by the medical establishment and raised dystopian fears of re-engineering the human race. However, since the scientist has been released from prison, he has launched his own laboratory in Beijing, predicting an approaching “golden decade for gene therapies.” The proverbial Pandora’s box of Greek Mythology has been opened. Out of curiosity a woman named Pandora opened a container that released physical and emotional curses upon the world. And, as one physician recently warned, “once Pandora’s box has been opened, it becomes impossible to reverse the consequences.”
Artificial Intelligence is also causing anxiety. Many predict that Artificial Intelligence will inevitably become superhuman. The A I industry prefers that we sleep walk and not ask questions while alarmists say runaway A I could annihilate the human race. As Joe Allen wrote in this article, “Countdown to Gigadeath,” many techno elites believe we’re adrift in a godless cosmos and the scary thing is some technocrats would sacrifice humanity to create a digital god. China has cyborg ambitions. As do Russia and NATO. Vladimir Putin famously proclaimed. “Artificial intelligence is the future. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.” And any nation that fails to embrace Artificial Intelligence will fall behind its rivals.
According to Revelation 13, in the future there will be a speaking image of the world leader known as the antichrist. The image will appear to come to life. Eschatologists believe these verses refer to artificial intelligence. Today we already have robots that speak and interact with human beings. With the period known as the Great Tribulation on the horizon, it’s vital that we heed the warnings of Jesus to be on our guard against deception.
Let’s look for a moment at what the New Testament teaches about the primacy of Jesus, Yeshua is his Hebrew name. The world has become so accustomed to saying “Jesus Christ” that people often mistakenly think of Jesus as being his first name and Christ as being his surname. However, Christ is not a name —it’s a title. It’s the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word for Messiah—meaning “the Anointed one.” So the word Christ is not the Lord’s last name; rather it refers to the work that Jesus accomplished while he was living on earth. Jesus, Yeshua, is the Anointed One, the Christ, HaMashiach in Hebrew, who was anointed to save, heal and deliver mankind.
Now concerning the big lie, I want to share a highly important and startling verse in 1 John 2: 22, where the apostle John asked, “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.”
So then to deny Jesus as the Christ, God’s Anointed, is to deny something major. To deny Jesus as the one anointed and sent by Father God to save his people from their sins, who was anointed to preach good news to the poor and to set the prisoners free is to deny the Father and the Son. To deny that Jesus is the Messiah is to deny the relationship that Father and Son have with each other. Such a denial opens the door to deception and the twisting of truth.
So this is the summary of all the Bible commentaries I’ve studied recently. I want you to know that Satan doesn’t care if you believe that Jesus existed. Satan doesn’t care if you believe in the historical Jesus. Satan’s fear is for you to receive Jesus as the Christ, the anointed one who was sent by the Father to save us from our sins and to bring us back into fellowship with the Almighty. Only through Jesus the Anointed One, the Mashiach, can we be reconciled to God.
I like the powerful words of a Bible commentator I read this week: “The devil is not a playful kitten who will give you a little scratch every now and then. No, he’s a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He goes right for the jugular vein.” So be very careful that you cling to the Saviour.
All the signs Jesus gave us are converging and warning that He will soon return. I call all the earthquakes birthquakes—the world is rocking and reeling with the birth pains of Messiah’s Second Coming. Jesus will return and that’s why there’s so much upheaval in the world!
Have you welcomed the Lord as your Saviour? If yes I rejoice, if not, I urge you to delay no longer! Romans 1: 4 is a true saying and worthy of all acceptance— “Jesus was declared the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord!” How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? Although these End Times are not easy times, there has never been a better opportunity for sharing the Gospel! And Jesus promises us comfort of the Blessed Hope of his soon Appearing! (Titus 2: 13)
Editor’s Note: this article is available in video form at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XgpznyKgkI
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