Lying Signs And Wonders

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12  (NKJV)

The Great Apostasy
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Many Bible teachers and preachers speak of the awesome and yet terrible day that verse 7 alludes to, “He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” They teach that the “He” is the Holy Spirit at work en mass throughout the earth. They say that the day will come when most of the working of the Holy Spirit will be removed and will not be “restraining” the evil works of satan. 

The imagination can easily invision how exponentially wickedness could spread over the earth without the “restraining power” of the Holy Spirit. That explains the terribleness of the day the Holy Spirit is removed but what would make it an “awesome” day?

They teach that the awesomeness of that day is because it’s the day of the rapture of the church. NOT the “church” exactly but those who make up the “bride of Christ” and have made and kept themselves ready for that “Glorious Day.” Jesus taught about that day in the parable of the 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins. All 10 had the opportunity to go but only 5 stayed prepared.

In relation to the “terribleness” of that day, an added factor of it to allow the exponential spread of evil in the earth is this, the “true” Christians whose prayers had the Ear of God will no longer be on the earth interceding against wickedness.

James 5:13-16 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

All that I’ve written up to this point is to get back to the title of this post, “Lying Signs and Wonders.” As said, the Holy Spirit and satan have the ability to produce things that are tangible to human perception that originate from the spirit world. The great problem in that is that a “black and white” assessment can not be made as to the origin of the “sign or wonder.” If they occur by the hands of a fortune teller, witch or some other obviously occultic person it would be easy to assume the root of it being evil. But what if it happened in a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue by the hands of an ordained minister?

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first,

The Apostle Paul had enough sense to assume Christians would recognize the obvious. What he is warning about is when satan and his fallen spirits are at work to do what Jesus warned of.

Matthew 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  

Today as I read through my devotions in MyDailyBible app from Exodus chapter 8 this verses caught my attention,

7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.

In yesterdays reading from Exodus chapter 7 these verses said this,

Exodus 7:8-12, 19-22 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 9 “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.’ ” 10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the Lord commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.

11 But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12 For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

19 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.’ ” 20 And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the Lord commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. 21 The fish that were in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

22 Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said.

Of the ten plagues that God brought against Egypt only these two were mimicked by the wise men, sorcerers and magicians of Egypt. When it came to the 3rd plague, it says this,

Exodus 8:16-19 And the Lord said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

17 And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

18 And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast.

19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.

As this account states, the wise men, sorcerers, and magicians had limitations placed on them, I believe by God Himself. God allow them to do lying signs and wonders to let us know from scripture that satan has powers beyond the natural into the “supernatural.” Just because we witness or hear of some “supernatural” occurrence we should not assume that it is “of God.” God allows these things now for the same reason He did so then. I think part of that reason is so that the “heart of the wicked” can be hardened to not perceive the “things of God” through discernment. Paul affirms that thought in his Holy Spirit inspired writing,

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

There’s a lot to be unpacked in Psalm 37:4. I believe that in having a sincere deep rooted love for God you can ask Him to place the desires into our heart that He would “desire us to desire.” That verse can be taken into a totally different direction also. If were refuse to walk in the “truth” as the Holy Spirit of God brings revelation to our understanding for long enough that verse can have an opposite effect. God can if He chooses grant us to have the things He knows are not going to be good for us. When we end up “getting” them we may even assume them to be “blessings” from God in error. Sometimes we live to see that the things we desired were not so good for us after all. I would imagine that there are times we could remain oblivious to how bad getting something we “desired” was to us. That brings me to another verse from today’s MyDailyBible app devotions from Exodus chapter 8,

8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Entreat the Lord that He remove the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “The honor is yours to tell me: when shall I entreat for you and your servants and your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, that they may be left only in the Nile?”

10 Then he said, “Tomorrow.” So he said, “May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God.

Who in their right mind would want to have all these frogs around for a minute longer than they had to and say make them go away “tomorrow?” I believe the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart was a sign of what the Apostle Paul spoke of, “a strong delusion.” This can also be related to another condition of the mind and heart that Paul expounded on in Romans chapter 1, a reprobate mind. A mind that is incapable of understanding how wrong, wrong things are in God’s eyes and having a conscience that doesn’t perceive the nudging of the Holy Spirit to do what is right or the will of God in general.

The Apostle John also warns us to be very careful of what we attribute to be the “work of God.”

1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

If there were “many” in John’s day how many could there be today. But you may say, “as long as someone confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh” anything else they say is legit right? Well not exactly. Do you remember when Jesus said these words,

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

There is a way or writing and teaching known as “ellipsis” where words are intentionally left out but are to be understood. The Apostles John and Paul and even Jesus allude to this. What is not written or said in these verses is simple. Those who “confess Jesus is Lord, Jesus came in the flesh, call Jesus Lord, Lord” actually mean it. In the other cases it’s as Jesus states, he who does the will of My Father in heaven,” and those who make verbal confessions of faith actually “believe it” with a conviction revealed to them through the power of the Holy Spirit in their heart, NOT just in their head.

The are many figures of speech used in the Bible meant to convey what God, “it’s author,” wants us to perceive. Studying the Bible to really understand it is a life long mission. That’s why we say that it’s “alive.” If we “seek God with a sincere heart” the Holy Spirit is well able to bring proper understanding to our hearts and minds. For those who cherry pick scriptures to reinforce a theme or doctrine they want to support for good or bad, that’s available too. Satan knows the scriptures very well, remember he used them to try to tempt Jesus those 40 days in the wilderness. Satan is always whispering in someones ear, “hast God said?”

It’s been said, those who are trained to recognize counterfeit currency don’t spend much time looking at the counterfeit, fake stuff. They spend immense amounts of time studying the “original, genuine” item. When they look upon the counterfeit currency they quickly notice the irregularities from the original and genuine. That is also our only protection against the works of the enemy of our soul who is ever trying to lead us astray even by misapplying the Word of God to our lives.

Be A Good Berean, Learn and Know the Word of God for Yourself, It’s a primary form of defense against the wiles of the enemy.

Acts 17:10-11  The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, [j]and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Recently, a sermon I listened to troubled me because of the time of life I was going through and because of decisions I was trying to make. The focus of the teaching bothered me for months because somehow I seemed to feel like I fell into the category that was being presented. Only recently, through Bible study and I believe through revelation by the Holy Spirit to dig deeper into a couple of scriptures He brought to my attention, much relief came into my heart and mind. I soon realized the speaker of that message had not done their due diligence in studying the scriptures and brought a misleading representation of the ministry of a noble prophet of God. I may write about it in the future.

 

 

 

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