Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

May 14, 2007

Volume 6 Number 10

Strong Delusion

Paul writes to the Thessalonians about the timing of the coming of the "Day of the Messiah," which is also often called the "Day of the Lord:"

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Yahshua the Messiah, and by our gathering together to him,

2 That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Messiah is at hand. -2 Thessalonians 2

Like the Thessalonians, many of us are also living in a world of expectation. We are expecting the Messiah to return to rule and judge the world in righteousness as the "King of Kings," the "Lord of Lords," and the "Prince of Peace." This is especially evident among the three major global monotheistic (believers in one God) religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The Jews are looking for the coming "Messiah," the Moslems, especially the Shiites, are expecting the "Mahdi," and the Christians are anticipating the return of the "Christ."

As we look about and see the growing tide of global chaos, we are praying and looking for someone who will bring peace to the world. In our earnest desire for peace, we will be tempted to believe that anyone who offers us the promise of peace and the opportunity for us to escape from the commotions of the world is really the promised Messiah. Yahshua (Jesus), however, cautions that many will be deceived into believing that false Messiahs, who will come in His name, are really Him:

4 And Yahshua answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceives you.

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Messiah; and shall deceive many. -Matthew 24

Yahshua continues, saying there must first be a time of trouble for those who believe in Him:

6 And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you are not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my nameís sake. -Matthew 24

Paul warns us not to be confused about the timing of the coming of the true Messiah. Believers will first be deceived into "falling away" from the truth. This will prepare them to unwittingly accept the false Messiah when he is finally revealed to the world:

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, unless there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition; -2 Thessalonians 2

The expression "falling away" is translated from the Greek word, apostasia (apostasia). The word is transliterated into English as "apostasy." It literally means to turn away from that on which we once stood. In other words, it means to forsake the truth which we once believed.

Paul was amazed at how quickly the Galatians turned away from their faith in the true gospel to accept a perverted doctrine, which he called "another gospel:"

6 I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of the Messiah unto another gospel:

7 Which is not another; but there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of the Messiah.

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preaches any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed. -Galatians 1

While "other gospels" may sound attractive, they are no more than the "cunningly devised fables," which Peter says he did not follow:

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Yahshua the Messiah, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. -2 Peter 1

Paul writes that the time will come when people will not accept the true gospel. They will prefer teachers who tell them the fables that they want to hear:

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. -2 Timothy 4

That time is like that which Isaiah also wrote about, as Yahweh told him to write it in a book:

9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of Yahweh:

10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. -Isaiah 30

Satan accommodates those who do not want to hear the Word of God. He sends them his own ministers to tell them what they want to hear. Posing as ministers of righteousness, they teach fables instead of Godís word:

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of the Messiah.

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also are transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. -2 Corinthians 11

People who receive the teachings of those who pretend to represent God are taught to hear, view, read, and study many things about Godís word, but they are never really able to learn the truth, which is the Word of God:

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women loaded with sins, led away with diverse lusts,

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. -2 Timothy 3

Satanís subtle ministers creep in among unsuspecting believers, planting the seeds of deception:

4 For there are certain men crept in unnoticed, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Yahshua the Messiah.

5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though you once knew this, how that the Lord [Yahweh], having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. -Jude 1

Once believers allow themselves to be deceived, they will be ready to unsuspectingly accept the false Messiah, and his promises of peace, before the true one comes. They will believe the lies of the "man of sin," the "son of perdition," as he sets himself up as God in a rebuilt temple:

4 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. -2 Thessalonians 2

They will be convinced to believe him as he heads a global spiritual movement, which looks like a movement of God, as he demonstrates the power of the spirit of Satan, as though it were the power of the Spirit of God:

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, -2 Thessalonians 2

By using miracles, the deceiver will also convince the people of the world to make a speaking image that they must worship as a means of worshipping the false Messiah:

15 And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. -Revelation 13

Those who do not love the truth, which is the Word of God, will receive a "strong delusion," which is a mental state whereby false things, such as apparitions of images, appear to be real. They will thereby be convinced to believe the lie that the false Messiah is the true one:

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

Before we are deluded into giving praise to the image belonging to the false Messiah, we need to remember that Yahweh will not give His glory to another, no matter how beautiful its image may appear to us. He says:

8 I am Yahweh: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. -Isaiah 42



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