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I totally agree with this article. What I would like to add is that I also believe God has given us the information as to how this delusion will take place. Twelve years ago I was surfing the Net for a specific health topic and came across a Christian doctor's website who was on board with what I was looking for. One of the things on his website was a powerpoint presentation and in it he noted Revelation 18:23b - "In the last days, the merchants of the world, who are the world's powerful, influential men, will deceive the nations with their witchcraft/sorcery/black magic/etc." What this doctor brought out was that the Greek word that is translated a witchcraft/sorcery, etc. In any and all versions and languages, is PHARMAKEIA. According to Strong's Greek Concordance and Dictionary, it basically says that pharmakeia - pharmacy - is drug induced witchcraft. The old early 1900s Webster's dictionary, says the same thing. Living languages change over time. Take for example the word nice. We think of it as a complimentary word. Originally it meant fool. Currently, the word bad used to mean bad but in some circles it means good. A car commercial a few years ago used the word wicked to mean something good and desirable. Pharmaceuticals have gotten us to believe that drugs are what heal us, not foods. Drugs and treatment are more important to doctors' learning than learning what can be done to prevent disease. What we have been led to believe is that early detection is similar to prevention. This was done to get our minds to think of man's ways instead of God's ways. Pharmacy - pharmakeia - is about controlling people and their minds. Nowhere is this more evident than when reading the quotations of psychiatry at www.psychquotes.com. Galatians 5:22 and 23 are the gifts of the Spirit. Verses 19-21 are the works of man, and as Christians we are to stay away from them. Here, one of the works of man is again witchcraft or one of its synonyms, and once again the Greek word God had Paul use was pharmakeia. Will we be deceived? The deception is upon us. But God isn't to be totally denied. He has said that He will raise up an answer to this aspect of Satan's deception in the last days and I believe He has but people aren't totally ready to listen. They choose their own paths, paths that are full of promise in order to entice unsuspecting people in to keep them away from God and God's truths.
I agree with both articles written above. However, I would also add this: we live in one messed up GONE CRAZY world. Woe unto the world, right has been made to be wrong and wrong to be right. (Isaiah 5:20) Discernment and trust must be used in the use of drugs (pharmakeia) to treat legitimate psychological medical conditions. For someone who suffers from depression (for example) sometimes it is more of a "simple" brain chemistry misfunction, not an underlying spiritual condition. Unless there is a miracle, even good counseling and copious use of Scripture does not necessarily heal a chemically messed up brain. The cause of this kind of depression is genetic in many cases... passed down through time (a sign the DNA that codes our bodies is degrading as well). We in the West live in a toxic age, a mad cap work-a-holic materialistic post-christian culture with our physical environment degrading and poisoning us as we speak. For some, drugs (pharmakeia) may be delusional but for others the gift and healing of God. Especially when it comes to treating mental illness. (see Titus 1:15) Moreover, He gives us medicine all the time... he is our Healer. Not all uses of (pharmakeia) are tied to the occult, which is really the message here. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!
God will send a strong delusion at the end times to minimize unnecessary confusion for both sides - those believing in God, and those who don't. World War One, the greatest in recorded history up to that time, had both sides believing in the same God and praying to the same God for victory. Without the war, both sides would have been considered normal Christians. That situation will not be repeated in the end times. There must be a clear, unequivocal choice between God side and the anti-God side. This may be accomplished primarily through the AntiChrist, who may be the one promoting the strong delusion. Notice the word "strong," which implies that those under the delusion will not be able to change their minds, once they are made up. They will not in any event be converted to Christianity. The delusion thus creates a clean division and true choice for those on the earth at that time. Even today we see the trend toward this final division in the growing popularity of atheism, materialism, and blind evolution. We see and have seen whole countries based on these false doctrines. The latest wrinkle is the notion that so-called space aliens are humanity's creators and gods. We can expect a growing witch's brew of these false ideas consolidating with the AntiChrist's ideology to produce a very strong delusion during the end times.
Why is God going to send a strong delusion in the end times? 2 Thess. 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. God will allow the unsaved to be totally deceived by the Antichrist for their sin of rejecting the truth. HW Michael made mention of Romans 1 where they (the deceived) already regarded His truth as a delusion; now they will become even more convinced of it (Rom 1:28). FSB God uses sin to punish the sinful (cf. Ro 1:24-28) NIVSB 2 Th 2:11. for this cause—because “they received not the love of the truth.” The best safeguard against error is “the love of the truth.” JFB If you love Jesus who claimed to be "the truth" (John 14:6), you won't have to worry about being sent a divine "strong delusion." See this article for what Kenneth Heck said about "false doctrine," "false ideas" and what Al Mark said about "falsehood." Those who refuse to believe (2 Th 2:10) eventually become incapable of believing. When people resist God, He lets hardening happen. QSB Ron Rhodes has a paragraph on this in his ebook, Basic Bible Prophecy: : Great Deception Will Continue to Escalate Jesus warned that during the tribulation period there would be increasing deception (Matthew 24:11). The apostle Paul speaks of end-times “evil deception” rooted in “lies” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11). Revelation 12:9 tells us that Satan—“the one deceiving the whole world”—will be highly active during this period. The antichrist’s first lieutenant, the false prophet, will deceive “all the people who belong to this world” (Revelation 13:14). Truth will be a rare commodity during those days.
This idea of God sending a strong delusion in the end times is very similar to what Paul speaks of in the book of Ephesians about people being darkened in their understanding. 17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. Eph 4:17-19 Ephesus was home to the temple of Artemis, which was so large that it was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Paul was opposed by Demetrius the silversmith in Ephesus, who profited from the idol manufacturing trade (Acts 19:23-34), and he stirred up a riot when he saw the effect of the gospel on the people. This marked Ephesus as a center of paganism, and the new converts to Christianity were instructed by Paul to leave that lifestyle behind. There are four pagan characteristics John MacArthur identified that believers are to forsake: 1) the worldly lifestyle which is intellectually futile, 2) being ignorant of God’s truth, 3) being spiritually and morally calloused, and 4) depraved in mind. An unbeliever cannot think straight, in regards to spiritual and moral issues. His thoughts are bound up in trivial things and pursuing goals that are selfish, accumulating that which is temporary and looking for satisfaction in what is really deceptive and disappointing. Advertising caters to this mode. Ungodly people are unable to comprehend the things of God. “Being darkened in their understanding” means a continuing condition of spiritual darkness. The darkness of understanding is connected to exclusion from the life of God (John 1:5), and the hardness of their heart, or willful determination to remain in sin, is the cause. When men determine to reject God, He determines to blind their minds and exclude them from His presence, completing their spiritual ignorance. Those who continue in sin and who turn away from the life of God become apathetic and insensitive concerning moral and spiritual things. They reject standards of righteousness and do not care about the consequences of their unrighteous thoughts and actions. Without a conscience, there is no moral restraint, especially in the area of sexual sins, and a depraved mind results. Sensuality refers to total licentiousness, and there is no discipline, only self indulgence. The unbeliever can no longer distinguish good from evil, truth from falsehood, and reality from unreality.
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