God Himself sends delusions and seductions to believers. 2 Thess. 2:11-12 “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness will be condemned.” How can a loving God allow something like that?
It happens due to the following reasons:
1. To expose those who have the wrong attitude towards the truth
The attitude a person has towards the truth is important.The first reason for which God allows delusion, flattery and seductions is to highlight a person’s attitude towards the truth in real life: to what extent does he love truth and is able to stand firm in it.
To create situations that will reveal the heart of a man.
At times people who have the wrong attitude towards the truth:
- Do nothing about it
- Think that they are the most righteous people
- Do not know what is hidden in their heart
Such situations become an examination in order to understand the heart of a person, and to what extent he loves the truth.
It is important to understand who is who.
Only those who have hidden motives in their heart fall under the influence of delusions and seductive spirits.
These people are:
- good people
who were once on fire for God. In order to remove such people from a church God sends a spirit of delusion and seduction.
If a person does not love the truth, he will perish.
2 Thess. 2:10: “and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and be saved in so doing.”
Loving the truth is not easy:
- love to the truth
- preaching the truth
- quoting the truth
- hearing the truth
- confession of the truth
2. God wants to reveal the secret motives of a person’s heart
Only God sees the depth of a person’s heart and his attitude to the truth.
(Jer.17:9-10) “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.“
Due to the work of the spirit of delusion and seduction :
- The hidden thoughts of a person and the state of his soul are revealed
- It becomes obvious who a person truly is.
Even a person himself does not know what is hidden in his heart.
Sometimes we even are not able to understand what is going on in our hearts, or the true measure of our love and belief in the truth.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”(Jer. 17:9)
We also do not know the true wishes, thoughts and state of the soul of those people who surround us. At times even they themselves are unaware.
It is hard to define a man’s attitude towards the truth by simply looking outwardly.
We may think that everyone is similar to us, but we can be mistaken. Not everyone is similar to us. Everyone has his own thoughts. It does not matter how active a person is in the church or the length of time he has been attending.
Not those who visited a church and repeated a prayer of confession will be saved, but those who have had a crazy love to the truth.
Who is the “son doomed to destruction?”
God permits, and sometimes personally sends the spirit of delusion to a church to cleanse it.
Exposing the innermost chambers of a person’s heart, God gives such a person over to the hands of the world and the devil. Jesus called such a person “the son doomed to destruction.” (Jn. 17:12) Only the “son doomed to destruction” falls under the influence of the spirit of seduction.
3. The most important: God desires to cleanse a church
John 15:1-2: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will bear even more fruit.”
The purpose of the church’s cleansing
God is keen to purge all extraneous mixtures in order for a church to become more fruitful
After a church’s cleansing:
- growth takes place
- new buds appear
- a new movement comes to life.
Every branch that does not bear fruit is cut off
What pastor thought about people:
- they are as radical as he is,
- with them he will change the whole world,
- it occurs that there was something in their hearts that was displeasing to God.
For the achievement of His main purpose, God allowed these people to be cut off.
IT IS BETTER TO LOSE SEVERAL PEOPLE FOR THE SAKE OF THE CALLING AND FULFILMENT OF THE REST.
Every branch that bears fruit is being cleansed: everything that hinders her from being more fruitful is being cut off.
Hardships that appear in the process of the church’s cleansing
In this case it is not possible to take a knife as it is not a physical operation. It is not feasible to say to a person: «You look different, we exclude you».
You never know whom to cut off because everyone :
- looks beautiful,
- is active,
- prays in tongues
Everything looks good outwardly!
When the wrong people are at the steering wheel
When God sees that people without love for the truth go to:
- the pulpit,
- sit behind the steering wheel of the church and,
- become bearers of God’s vision which is supposed to be kept be impeccably pure
In order not to lose a whole church God sends the whole «ship» into a storm– placing it under the spirit of delusion and seduction.
How does God cleanse His church?
Knowing a man’s thoughts, God allows and sometimes even sends:
- public shame,
- untruth (not just rumors)
and allows it to move across a congregation.
This untruth comes to the entire congregation, penetrating everyone’s heart.
Example: the process of purification in the Embassy of God took place in order for the church to fulfill the mission it was called to :
- To move to the next level
- To realize what God calls us to
- To raise new leaders – history makers
- To achieve the target of 500 million souls saved
God says that we should not feel sorry for those who left or for ourselves, because it is an act of mercy towards us, and for them – «a sign to them that they will be destroyed» (Php. 1:28), and nobody will save them.
We must be thankful to God for everything that happened! Everything that happened to us is not trouble, but mercy! The whole crisis and scandal was orchestrated by God. God permitted all admixture to be removed from His nation in order for the water to become pure again. If God had not cleansed the church, the Embassy of God church would not have been able to progress.
Two different reactions of people
Everything will pass through trials.Everything that brings fruit and everybody who brings it will undergo definite trials. Often these trials are presented by the action of the spirit of delusion. The same forms of information such as lies and flattery attack all people, but only those in whose hearts is untruth, can deception occur.
The first category of people is those whose hearts are pure. Even if an unclean thought flashes across their mind they will act in accordance with biblical teaching. The Bible teaches: do not uncover the nakedness of your father (Lev. 18:7), cover the nakedness of a father, do not be like Ham (Gen.9:23), do not judge another person. (Rom.14:4), Leave judgment to God (1 Pet. 2:23), do not judge, or you too will be judged (Matt. 7:1, Lk. 6:37).
The second category of people are those who have any kind of impurity in their heart, no love for the truth and are sly inside. Someone who starts to believe in a lie and this lie takes him out of a church. Thus God cleanses the church.
How to relate to deceitful people and how does God respond to deceitfulness? In spite of the fact that God loves such a person He does not reason with him until he becomes sincere. Thus, God shows Himself “shrewd”. “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.” (2 Sam 22:26-27, Ps.17:26-27)
It is not possible to help a deceitful person. While you may sincerely want to help such a person, he does not want to help himself. If there is the slightest presence of deceitfulness in a person it is necessary to keep him at a distance until he becomes sincere. It is not possible to relate to such a person with grace and love. It is necessary to act according to the slyness of his heart.
Example:What was pastor Sunday’s reaction in the past to the slyness of people? He thought: “Maybe I will be patient for a while and thus influence him. Then he will communicate with me and will have changed in the end.God gave us the command to love our enemies, so I will love him. God commanded us to bless those who curse us, so I will close my eyes on his behavior…” But this is slyness. It appears that God does not act this way: He does not close His eyes to deceitfulness.
Christianity is more serious than we think.
God does not tolerate any kind of crookedness. If he notices such things he will give many chances for that person to change, but in order to avoid impeding the main vision, God will not only allow it to happen, but send a spirit of delusion to such a person so that “they will believe the lie” (2Th.2:11).
Summary: God allowed us to hear this teaching because He does not want us to become sons “doomed to destruction”. If today there are no grounds for a lying spirit, flattery and delusion to trap us, it can be possible tomorrow, and our adversary the devil is not sleeping. This teaching can save someone, but everything depends on our attitude toward it.
Questions for home assignment:
1. Why does a loving God not only allow, but sends the spirit of delusion to believers?
2. How do you understand Jeremiah 17:9-10 in the context of the spirit of delusion?
3. Prove that the spirit of delusion is a blessing according to Jeremiah 17:9.
4. Explain why God allows the spirit of delusion according to John.
5. Why did God allow the shock and crisis in the Embassy of God church?
6. Why did some people come under the lie and leave the church, but others did not?
7. How should one relate to deceitful people? What is God’s reaction to deceitful people?
8. What is your understanding of 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12?
May God bless you abundantly!
From the Summer Fast 2013, Kiev
The press-center of the Embassy of God church
Translated by Valeria Granova
Edited by Kizito Leacock