For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie. – 2 Thessalonians 2:11
2 Thessalonians 2:1-11
1 Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him.
2 Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us.
3 Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed – the one who brings destruction.
4 He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.
7 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way.
8 Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.
9 This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles.
10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them.
11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies.
A big lie is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he wrote Mein Kampf in 1925, about the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously” (Adolf Hitler).
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” (Adolf Hitler).
Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany, pioneered the use of fake news to sway the public opinion to accept the lies of National Socialism, the Nazi party.
It was a big lie that plunged the human race into sin and brought about the Fall. The first big lie is found in Genesis.
1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.
3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’“
4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.
5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful, and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.
The devil was present in the Garden of the Eden and took control of the serpent to carry out his evil intentions and tempt Eve (Ezekiel 28:13). Eve was truly innocent and totally unawares. The enemy took advantage of her purity and innocence. He leveraged them and told her a big lie regarding the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He raised doubts about the truthfulness of what the Father had said and His intentions. She ceased believing the truth and instead believed the enemy’s lies.
Two things happened simultaneously. She rejected the Father’s Truth. She embraced the devil’s lies. This is the pattern that has continued down to this day. As a result, the human race was plunged into sin.
REFLECT & PRAY
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.
Father enable me to embrace the truth and become less and less susceptible to lies, deception, and delusion. Give me wisdom and discernment.
The end of the age will be characterized by a spirit of rebellion and defiance against the truth and those that embrace it. A multitude of lies will be disseminated which people choose to believe. This comes to culmination when the vast majority of the deluded human race, the children of darkness, embrace “the Lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-11).
The Scriptures are quite clear that people are under the influence of evil spiritual forces. They have been present manipulating people since the beginning. The apostle John provides a simple test to know if a spirit is from the Father or not.
1 John 4:3 Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
We are encouraged to test the spirits that we come into contact with to determine whether they are from the dark side or the kingdom of light.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
False teachers, false prophets, and false messengers are one of the signs that we are at the end of the age (Matthew 24:3-26).
1 John 2:18 Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.
Lies of all sorts are being propagated. People simply choose to believe the lies rather than the truth because they are not children of the light. There is a shocking, if not terrifying cause and effect relationship between choosing to be deceived and being deceived. When people reject the truth, they become more susceptible to lies. When people embrace the truth, they become less susceptible to lies. Regrettably, the Father not only allows the dissemination of false information, in judgment He sends of deluding influence as well. They sow the wind, and so they will reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7)!
2 Thessalonians 2:11 Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false.
“Paul pictures a growing rebellion against God, the emergence of one who was the devil incarnate as Christ had been God incarnate, a ﬁnal struggle and the ultimate triumph of God” (Barclay).
As rebellion and deception increase, so does delusion. People think they are doing what is right when they are entirely incorrect.
“‘Delusion’ is stronger than deception. Deception means that a person can be fooled about something. Delusion is a way of life in which one is perpetually deceived. People under delusion harden their heart permanently” (Richardson).
1 Thessalonians 5:3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
All of humanity is entrapped by delusion and spiritual death. Each child of the King, has been snatched out of the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light. Now we are to walk in the light.
1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.
2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil– the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,
5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)