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The Forty-First (Strong Delusion)

I hope you had a great week! This week we're going to continue along the lines of lies and take a look at delusion. We'll start with 2 Thessalonians 2:11 and go from there, so let's get started!

The first thing to note about this verse is the source of delusion: Yehovah. Surprising, right? Why would God send a delusion? If we take a look at the previous verse we see that the cause is due to not receiving the love of the truth. Looking at the Greek, "the love of the truth," is translated from the words agape aletheia which mean brotherly love and truth. And reading on in this verse, those who do not receive this are not saved.

How are we saved? By believing in the truth that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gave His life for us so that we might have eternal life. And we know that giving His life shows us He has the greatest love (agape) for us (John 15:13). So because some people do not accept this truth, God sends them strong delusion so they believe a lie.

Now what's interesting about the use of the word "lie," (pseudos in the Greek) is the first use of it in the New Testament. Remember in a previous newsletter I mentioned a lot of times the first use gives context to words that we can use. In this case, it points to John 8:44, and it happens to be the verse where Jesus is telling the Pharisees their father is Satan and he is the father of lies. Strong words to the Pharisees! But it gives us more context to the verse we're studying. The delusion is intended to have those that don't accept Jesus believe Satan's lies.

But why? You may look at it and think that's a bit cruel. Remember, we cannot fathom the ways of Yehovah because His ways are so much higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). We can only speculate, but my thoughts are that it makes no question when someone that didn't accept Jesus reaches the Judgment Seat. They can't live their life not really doing anything wrong, somehow following His commandments without knowing it, having their only transgression be not believing in Jesus. Then it wouldn't seem to be fair that this person be denied eternal life. However, the belief in Satan's lies causes a person to make choices which essentially solidify the status that they will be judged on in the end. But that's just my thoughts.

So what is the strong delusion? I've been asking myself this every time I've read this verse. If you look at the Greek, this word is plane and can be found in quite a few verses. However, this is the only verse where it is translated to delusion. If we look to the first use, interestingly enough it's the Pharisees going to Pilate asking guards to be placed at Jesus' tomb (Matthew 27:64). Their argument was the disciples would steal Jesus' body and claim resurrection, making that "error" (plane) or "delusion," worse than the first "error" (quotes here meaning they claimed Jesus being the Son of God was an error, or delusion).

This is interesting because according to Jesus the father of the Pharisees is Satan and they are claiming Jesus being the Son of God is a delusion. This is obviously a lie, and God is sending strong delusion to non-believers to believe Satan's lies! Very fitting.

I don't know that we can figure out what the strong delusion actually is (but if you have an idea, I'm all ears!). But the ultimate goal is for those to believe a lie. So really, we should have our eyes out for those things Satan propagates. In this way we can stay away from the deception, because while we believers may not receive the strong delusion we are still susceptible to the deceit of Satan.

Obviously we can generally state that things against scripture are the lies Satan puts into the world. However, unless we think about how these get propagated we're more likely to fall into his web. For instance, if we stick with the word plane, our next verse is Romans 1:27. And just two verses earlier we see pseudos!

In these verses, Paul is talking about homosexuality. Those who changed the truth (aletheia) of God into a lie (pseudos) and receive the recompense of their delusion (plane). If you haven't heard it yet, there are those claiming that verses talking about homosexuality being wrong are actually mis-translated and they're referring to pedophilia instead. This is a lie propagated by Satan. Both of these things are a sin, and God has never condoned either. He loves everyone, as we should, however a sin is a sin and He will judge a person for committing them.

What other things should we keep our eyes out for? Well, this is just speculation, but have you noticed a bit of an uptick in news about UFOs? Have you thought about what Satan might try to claim the second coming is? Maybe an alien invasion because He's going to come down from the clouds? Well, what comes along with Jesus' return? A resurrection! What has every movie/tv show, even the CDC, made the dead returning to life? Zombies! And yes, the CDC, the organization which has dictated our lives for the past year and a half, has a whole campaign of "zombie preparedness."

These are just a few examples of things to think about as you watch what the world talks about and produces. Always think about what the purpose could be behind things you see so you will not believe a lie in the end. And do not believe the lie that death will keep you from eternal life with Him! This is how we keep the fear of death from leading us away from Him!

Shabbat Shalom and God bless you!

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