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What Is The ‘Lie That Damns’?

What Is The ‘Lie That Damns’?
By Bud Hancock

“For the mystery of iniquity ( a state of lawlessness) doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 KJV emphasis mine).

Also in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, ”Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” The words ‘falling away’ are a translation of the Greek word ‘apostasia’ (Strong’s 646, pronounced ap-os-tas-ee’-ah; meaning defection from truth, falling away, forsake)

Some very interesting, and seemingly controversial, statements were made by Paul in his second letter to the church (believers) in Thessalonica. In the 2nd chapter he was trying to comfort some believers who, because they had heard something from some source other than Paul, about the nearness of the coming of the Lord and were concerned that ‘The Day of Christ’ was at hand. He assured them that the Day of Christ would not come except there comes a falling away (Greek apostasia) first and then the man of sin would be revealed, the “son of perdition”, known as “the Antichrist”.

I would like to discuss the ‘controversial’ aspects of Paul’s words in this second chapter.

Apostasy in the Church(es)

As stated above, apostasy is a ‘falling away’, but a falling away from ‘what”? When Paul and the other apostles went about evangelizing the known world, they presented to all who would listen, ‘the gospel’ (Romans 1:16-17 KJV), the good news that a way of salvation had been provided for all who would believe and accept it (John 3:16). Paul said it this way: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed, from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17 KJV). Salvation is only available through acceptance of the blood of Jesus, by an exercise of faith in the power of that blood as proof of the validity of the sacrifice to save from all sin. Jesus called Himself, ‘the way, the TRUTH and the life’. In essence, the apostasia is the rejection of, or the forsaking of, ‘the TRUTH’, Jesus, the sacrifice for sin. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (or suppress) the truth in unrighteousness;” Romans 1:18 KJV emphasis mine). The act of rejecting God’s offer of salvation is the first step taken ‘toward the wrath’ and ‘away from salvation’. Paul’s statement makes it clear why many are so easily deceived: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind…” (Romans 1:28 KJV).

In Paul’s gospel, God had revealed His righteousness, through all the works of His creation, to any person who would ever desire to be a partaker of that righteousness through faith in the sacrificial work of Jesus; all who accept then ‘would live by faith’. Everywhere the disciples and apostles went, preaching this gospel, by hearing and receiving ‘the TRUTH’, multitudes received God’s offer of salvation, with large segments of entire cities being born again and churches being established. As a result of Paul’s preaching the TRUTH, the Thessalonian Church was born between 50-51 AD. Paul wrote his second letter to that church around 55 AD.

Even in the four to five years that had passed since Paul first evangelized the Thessalonians, they were being lied to and were questioning some of the ‘basic tenets’ that Paul had delivered to them, to the extent that they were ‘troubled’ and ‘shaken in their minds’. Remember that the Deceiver works against both believers and non-believers in the mental realm, trying to convince all people of things that are contradictory to God’s word, a slick devilish ‘political’ move, similar to the work of Satan in the Garden of Eden (more on that later).

All of Paul’s teachings and preaching were based on “The Word of Truth”, so anything that was meant to contradict his teaching was obviously from a source of lies, or THE source of lies (John 8:44 KJV). Paul told this body of believers in verse 7 of chapter 2 that ‘the mystery of iniquity’ (lawlessness) was already working, even in their midst. There has not ever been one church, or body of believers, whether a small local body, or a worldwide body of true believers, that has not been approached by the deceiver in an attempt to change their thinking and to get them to turn away from, or forsake, the Truth. This is a basic strategy of Satan in his attempt to destroy the True Church, the Body of Christ, through apostasy, or a ‘forsaking’ of the truth.

The Effect of Apostasy

Some have likened the apostasy of the Church to a dissolution of marriage. The relationship between Jesus, the Head of the Church, His Body, (all true believers) has been compared to the relationship between a husband and wife: they too have become ‘ONE FLESH’. And just as the marriage of a husband and wife is meant to last until death parts them, so the relationship between Jesus and the Church, His Own Body, is meant to last forever.

But we all know that many marriages don’t last more than a few months or years, and very few, especially in the United States, make it to the ‘death parting point’. Most marriages fail because one or both partners have allowed some form of deception to enter in and tear the marriage apart. Just as in a failing marriage, deception in one form or another is responsible for apostasy in the Church. It is no wonder that Paul and most of the other writers of the New testament warned so many times against being deceived. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul told his readers, “Let no man deceive you by any means”. Invariably, deception that is allowed/accepted will lead to an even worse state: delusion. (For more details on the subject, see my previous article titled “Deception, Delusion and Damnation” (https://www.raptureforums.com/bible-study/deception-delusion-and-damnation/).

When deception is allowed, the person deceived becomes easily convinced that what had been previously accepted as truth has now become, in his mind, a lie. The truth was NOT changed into a lie, but was only PERCEIVED to be a lie. From that point, it is only a small step to becoming one of the damned who ‘had pleasure in unrighteousness’ (2 Thessalonians 2:12 KJV).

The best way to avoid being deceived ‘by any means’ is to have such a solid foundation of Truth, or God’s word, that deception is quickly seen for what it is, and resisted immediately. When people allow themselves to be deceived, by any means, or from any source, they are opening themselves to a worsening situation that can easily damn their souls to an eternal separation from God.

The Source of Lies, the Source of Deception, and the Use of POLITICS & Propaganda

Per Dictionary.com, a lie is defined as
noun
• a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood;
• something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture;
• an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood.

Here is a somewhat lengthy definition of Politics:

Politics Defined
noun
• use of intrigue* or strategy** in obtaining any position of power^ or control^^, as in business, university, etc.

*Intrigue Defined
noun
• the use of underhanded machinations or deceitful stratagems.
• such a ***machination or stratagem or a series of them; a plot or crafty dealing: political intrigues.

**Strategy Defined
noun
• a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world.

***Machinations defined
noun
• crafty schemes; plots; intrigues

^Power Defined
noun
• ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
• political or national strength: the balance of power in Europe.

^^Control Defined
noun
• the act or power of controlling; regulation; domination or command: Who’s in control here?
• the situation of being under the regulation, domination, or command of another: The car is out of control.
• check or restraint:

Propaganda Defined (from Dictionary.com)
noun
• information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
• the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.
• the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.

Based on these explanations/clarifications, politics is more clearly defined as “The use of underhanded, crafty schemes, plots, intrigues and deceitful plans, methods, or series of maneuvers (machinations and intrigue) in obtaining any position enabling one to do or act, providing the capability of gaining or maintaining power, control, domination or command.

I want to use the definitions listed here to introduce you to the ‘inventor of politics’ and the most masterful politician of all time: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14 KJV).

In Isaiah 14, the prophet details what happened to one of God’s highest archangels, named Lucifer, who had become puffed up with pride at his exalted position in the angelic hierarchy and at all the magnificence that God has placed in him at his creation. Lucifer and decided that he was above God and planned to exalt himself to what he considered his rightful place. Lucifer failed in his attempt to place himself above God and for his rebellion, he received an eternal sentence in the lake of fire. But before that sentence was to be carried out, he roamed around the earth as an outcast angelic spirit. When God decided to remake the earth after the rebellion of Lucifer, the outcast was there, waiting to see how he could get his revenge on God for the sentence he had received.

In Genesis 3, we have the account of Satan craftily scheming to gain control over the earth, to usurp the dominion that was given to Adam. This is the first recorded use of politics with Satan (through the serpent) approaching Eve and encouraging her to question what God had said to her and Adam. He convinced her, by accusing God of being a liar, that they would NOT surely die if they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, and he spoke the first lie recorded in the Bible: “And the serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4 KJV). From this account, we can see that Satan was the source of lies, the source of deception, the first propagandist and the first politician.

We know that Eve succumbed to the devil’s deception and persuaded Adam to follow suit. This is the first, and likely the greatest example of the successful use of politics in human history. We also know that Satan, who will provide the lying power to the human body of the Antichrist, is the original ‘Lawless One’ and that he has been using his craft to place and keep men and women under his control since his first political success in Eden. He is indeed the first, and the most successful, politician in history.

The Connection Between Politics and Propaganda

It should be obvious from the words of Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, that the Thessalonian believers had, over a short time, become the victims of a propaganda campaign designed to get them off Paul’s teaching (God’s word) and onto the path to destruction. Propaganda has long been one of Satan’s tools to induce the acceptance of deception, and he has used it very successfully for thousands of years and he is using it today even more effectively. We are seeing entire nations giving in to the deception being furthered by politicians through the use of propaganda. Since we are to be completely under the control of the Holy Spirit in everything we say and do, the use of propaganda against us is to be avoided at all costs.

The use of propaganda in these United States has become so prevalent that millions of citizens now have lost confidence in almost every institution of our government, not to mention what was at one time, a ‘free press’.. The perception seems to be that no one in government or the media is to be trusted. Both of the major political parties are heavily invested in their propaganda machines. They have now partnered with all the Mainstream Media (the MSM) as well as all the social media platforms to target their propaganda at whichever segment of the population will best aid them in them in furthering their particular agendas. We do know that all the propaganda that emanates from the political sphere is for the purpose of gaining even more control over the entire population.

As the political propaganda machines are more and more successful, their sphere of influence extends ever farther into the population, even to the point where many Christians fall under the spell of the propaganda. There was a time, not that long ago, when nearly every person calling himself a Christian, was very pro-life and anti-abortion. Now there are whole denominations that seem to have changed and are either pro-choice or at least have no feelings either way on the matter. The same goes for the acceptance of homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle. Propaganda has greatly changed the way Christians feel about what the world considers to be ‘important issues’, and that change has not been for the better. It indicates that apostasy is increasing in the religious world, and that indicates that the apostate Church (not the true Body of Christ) has gotten to the point where they will believe ‘the lie’.

What is ‘The Lie’?

Now comes the ‘controversial aspect’ of this article. Paul states in 2 Thessalonians 2: 11-12: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Exactly what is ‘this cause’ that will prompt God to send, or allow to occur, the strong delusion? Verse 10 provides the answer: “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

I have read many ‘opinions’ that the lie (singular) they will believe has to do with the acceptance of the Antichrist just before, or at the time of, his appearing, and that may well be a part of it; however, reading these same verses in at least 30 Bible versions, the translation can be ‘a lie’, ‘lying’, ‘the lie’, ‘lies’, ‘these lies’, ‘what is false’, and ‘the falsehood’. This leaves the actual meaning of Paul’s words open to some speculation.

We know that the ‘spirit of lawlessness’ was at work even in the time when Paul wrote this letter (55 AD), and that it has been busy working for the past nearly 6000 years, trying to accomplish one thing: the acceptance of deception by the people of this world to ultimately destroy the Church and God’s word. We should also know that delusion is not a phenomenon that will suddenly occur just before the Antichrist appears. There have been deluded people throughout history, and as a result, many of them died and will take their places with all those since time began who ‘believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness’.

It is undeniable that many people who have had a true relationship with God, and were truly born again, have renounced their faith and become apostate. Even though they once knew God, knew His love and mercy and had experienced His goodness in their lives, they went on to live their lives in the pleasures of the flesh and ultimately died in a state of denial of God and His word. In other words, they esteemed the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives as ‘worthless’ and ‘of no value’.

In Mark 3:29, Jesus says, “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation”. This is considered the ‘unforgiveable sin’. It is the Holy Spirit Who is constantly at work, convicting men of their sins, giving them the opportunity to repent and receive God’s precious salvation. When men who are being convicted of sin continue to reject the work of the Holy Spirit, they are basically rejecting God and His son and their love and are placing themselves in great peril.

We know that there have been nearly 6000 years of recorded history since the Biblical Genesis creation. We also know that Satan has been using his lies, deceptions and fear-tactics, first demonstrated in that creation account, to destroy any who will make it easy for him (1 Peter 5:8 KJV), mainly those who neither know God, nor acknowledge Him as God.

We must remember that it is critical to become, and stay, vigilant as a means of avoiding The Lie. I have no proof from God’s word that there is only ONE LIE that will damn the soul, other than a blaspheming of the Holy Spirit; but, that is an act of a person who has decided to distance, or separate himself, from the Holy Spirit by an exercise of his own will rather than the acceptance of The Lie. Based on reading so many variations of the translations of the word ‘lie’ in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonian believers, I believe that there are many lies that, if accepted then used to base one’s life on, have the power to bring damnation.

Those people mentioned in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, as well as those Paul wrote about in Romans 1, are examples of people who have decided that the lie(s) Satan uses to ensnare men’s souls are better, more desirable, more beneficial, and at least temporarily, more pleasurable than the truth that God has been using for 6000 years to keep us safe from the lie(s) of Satan.

Any persons who are still alive on the earth when the Antichrist is revealed are there because they previously rejected God’s word (Truth) and accepted Satan’s lies and deception. A continued habit of rejecting truth and accepting deception places a person in the position of being a target of delusion, even the strong delusion that God sends (allows) to come on those who “are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Romans 1:21 KJV).

This ‘darkness of the heart’ can be compared to having a seared conscience: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” 1 Timothy 4:1-2 KJV). Anything that is ‘seared’ has been rendered incapable of any feeling.

All such people at the time of the Antichrist’s appearance will be in this category of those who have rejected God and His Christ. For all those who have permanently burned their bridges, they may be the people people who can no longer be reached by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. There will still be people of every nation, race and tongue who will be saved during this time, but it will be much more difficult since the ‘restrainer’, the Body of Christ, will have been removed in the rapture and Satan will have much more freedom to use his lies and deception to destroy these people.

Conclusion

I cannot state with absolute certainty that there is “ONE LIE”, or “MANY LIES” that, having been believed, will cause eternal damnation to a person. It is my opinion that, a person who has habitually rejected God’s truth and believed Satan’s deception and lies and allowed them to determine his course in this life, will likely have sealed his eternal fate. But, whether there is ONE lie, or many lies, that will damn the soul is not the most important aspect to be considered. Yes, after the rapture, lies and deception will abound and Satan will be having a field day with so many potential victims to devour, but, before the rapture, we are all subject to the same lies and deception that Satan has always used to destroy people. Until the rapture, all believers must become much more vigilant, the more so as the days go by, in order to avoid the traps set to ensnare us all. The best, and in my opinion, the only way to do so is to have such a strong foundation built on God and His word that we will be able to discern the lies from the truth and will cling to the Truth. After all, without The Truth, there is no salvation for anyone (John 14:6 KJV).

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:11-13 KJV)

So, stay strong, stand on the WORD, speak the Truth, live the truth and, be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word;

LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU BY ANY MEANS!

Blessings!

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