A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God

 

Study 7: DECEPTION AND DAMNATION THROUGH LYING WONDERS

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12


This prophetic passage contains words of warning for the Church of the present day and men of understanding will take heed. “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4). These are days of deception and men love falsehood rather than truth. This chapter declares that there will be “a falling away” from the truth, an irreversible departure from the saving gospel. It predicts the coming of the Antichrist, the “man of sin”, “the son of perdition”. And God’s infallible Word reveals that the spirit of the Antichrist (1 John 4:3), “the mystery of iniquity” (2 Thessalonians 2:7) is already at work. Already “even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1 John 2:18).


The man of sin, the son of perdition will be a great deceiver who will deceive the great as well as ordinary people. The high and the low, the enlightened and the illiterate, powerful leaders and average citizens, religious and secular minds will all be deceived by him. The activities of the Antichrist will be mysterious, having the hidden power of Satan with deceptive, counterfeit miracles, false signs and lying wonders. That spirit, the mystery of iniquity, is already at work and many miracle-seekers are being deceived. False prophets advertising false miracles are on the increase in many nations of the world. False teachers “handling the Word of God deceitfully”, operating through “hidden things of dishonesty” and “walking in craftiness” (2 Corinthians 4:2) are deceiving multitudes in many nations of the world. This is the age of deception and only commitment to the Truth will preserve us from error.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE SUPERNATURAL, LAWLESS WONDER-WORKER

2 Thessalonians 2:9; Matthew 24:24,25; Acts 8:9,18-23; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Revelation 13:11-16; 16:13,14; 1 John 2:18; Matthew 7:15-23; 2 John 7-11

 

The “man of sin” will demonstrate great signs, wonders and miracles through Satan’s power. To demonstrate power for genuine miracles, we must be men of God and godliness, and such miracles will lead people to repentance and righteousness. Christ’s miracles proved Him to be the Son of God. The miracles of the Antichrist will be performed “after the working of Satan” and will only deceive those who “received not the love of the truth”, “but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” With the end-time falling away from the truth, unwillingness to “endure sound doctrine” and a world-wide “turning away from the truth and turning unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3, 4), antichrists and false prophets can easily deceive ignorant, religious people who are “destitute of the truth” (1Timothy 6:5). Even those who have the rare privilege of hearing the truth of the gospel but do not give their heart to Christ in genuine repentance and love for righteousness will be deceived. They are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).


It is important to know that not all miracles are of God. The devil and his agents can perform miracles. False prophets and false apostles can perform miracles, signs and lying wonders. The miracles performed by true men of God are done in the power of God by men who are established in the truth. Such miracles are of a moral nature and lead the recipients to saving truth. The lying wonders of false prophets and antichrists damn the souls of men and lead them to perdition.


 
DECEPTION THROUGH SEDUCTIVE LYING WONDERS

2 Thessalonians  2:10,11; Mark 13:5,6,22,23; Acts 16:16-21; 2 Corinthians 11:3,4,13-15; Ephesians 4:14; 1 Timothy 4:1,2; 2 Peter 2:15-22; Galatians 1:6-9; Titus 1:10,11,16; 2 Timothy 3:13,14

 

Satan has been a liar, a deceiver, a seducer and a corrupter from the very beginning. His spirits are lying spirits (1 Kings 22:22), his miracles and wonders are lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9), his interpretations of Scripture are deceptive and destructive (Genesis 3:4-7; 2 Corinthians 11:3,4). His gifts and favours are dangerous and deadly (Revelation 13:14-18; 14:9-12). The man of sin and all men in sin working miracles delude themselves and deceive multitudes of followers. The great deceiver will unscrupulously use every form of wickedness to deceive those who love miracles more than salvation. Those who love the world and worldly ease more than heaven and eternal realities will fall for his deception. The son of perdition will draw souls to perdition through their own lusts and uncontrollable desire for deceptive miracles, false signs and lying wonders.


Even today, false prophets and heartless deceivers “having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2) drive souls into damnable error “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness”. Those who do not love the truth that saves, those who reject the truth that sets us free, those who abandon the truth that sanctifies are given over to “a reprobate mind” and “strong delusion” (Romans 1:28; 2 Thessalonians 2:11). Since they will not believe the truth that they might be saved, they are abandoned in a state of delusion, believing false doctrine and the lies of antichrists and Satan. All who live and die in Satan’s lies and deception will spend eternity with him.

 

DAMNATION OF SEDUCED LOST WANDERERS

2 Thessalonians 2:12; Psalms 9:17; 52:3-5; Matthew 23:28-33; John 3:18-20,36; Acts 13:40,41; Romans 1:28-32; 1 Peter 4:17,18; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Jude 4-16


“That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness”. All who believed not in Christ, the ultimate Truth, will be damned. All who believed not the truth of His grace and the transforming truth of His atonement will be judged and condemned. His truth sets us free from sin when we believe with the heart. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

 

Some people give a mental assent to the truth but because they love and take pleasure in unrighteousness, they do not “believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39). Loving and living in unrighteousness, practising and encouraging unrighteousness in others, preferring “pleasure in unrighteousness” to the way of holiness, they are forever doomed and damned, forever separated from God and glorious rest. They loved their sin more than the Saviour; they chose the pleasures of sin instead of the free gift of righteousness in Christ; they turned away from the true faith and were swept away with the tide of iniquity and corruption; their condemnation is just.

 

 

 

 

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