How does a person know if they have been deceived?
The great danger of deception is one does not know they have been deceived unless something opens their eyes to the truth. Jesus said, “If, therefore, the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness” (Matthew 6:23).
It is that very condition the Apostle Paul warned about in the last days.
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 NKJV).
The last days will be marked by a level of extreme deception the apostle calls, strong delusion.
It is not just the press and media giving misinformation. It is more than leaders who are lying to the people and a revisionist education system. The people have refused to “receive the love of the truth.”
Jeremiah described such a time in the history of Israel. “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end” (Jeremiah 5:30-31 NKJV)?
Because the people will not “receive the love of the truth”, they are given over to believing “the lie”; not just the lies of government or of revisionist history. They are given over to “the lie”. It is the same lie Adam and Eve believed when confronted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. “Your eyes will be open and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).
As men and women refuse to “receive the love of the truth,” they assume the authority to determine the standard of right and wrong, truth and error, good and evil.
When humans assume such authority truth becomes a lie, right becomes wrong, and good becomes evil. The people love to have it that way and their pleasure is found in those things known at one time to be unrighteous and evil.
Behavior God calls an abomination becomes acceptable.
The pastors and preachers of the land rewrite the standard of holiness to fit political correctness and tolerance of the culture.
Even the truth, once known to be certain, becomes corroded.
In midst of this strong delusion, the church revises the character and nature of God. His love and grace excuses the unrighteous behavior. They have fallen into the error of Psalm 50:21, “You thought I was altogether like you.”
Do you see this is the very condition creeping upon the Church in North America?We live in the very condition described by the Apostle Paul.
How can a believer avoid falling prey to the “strong delusion”?
1. They must seriously ask, “Do I receive the love of the truth?”The Psalmist declared, “Oh how your love thy law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97 NKJV).
2. They must fall in love with the infallible, inerrant, absolutely true Holy Word of God.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers…” Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV).
3. Believers must be committed to defending the fundamental principles and precepts of the Word of God and make them the standard and rule by which they live their life. It is not enough to just say you believe it is infallible, you must live it daily.
“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3-4 NKJV). Holiness must become the standard for your life and entertainment.
4. The believer must stir up the fire of the Holy Spirit in their heart. It is only His power they will be able to stand in the face of such strong delusion.