10

2 Thess. 2:11,"

καὶ διὰ τοῦτο πέμψει αὐτοῖς ὁ θεὸς ἐνέργειαν πλάνης εἰς τὸ πιστεῦσαι αὐτοὺς τῷ ψεύδει(TR Stephanus 1550)

"And because of this-- will send to them--God--a working of delusion--for to believe them what (is)false.'(Interlinear translation)

A plain reading of the text would suggest that God 'sends' this delusion; is this so? Are there any precedents for this in scripture, and how are we to understand this text in light of the rest of 2 Thess. 2?

You may give your understanding of what you believe the "lie" is, providing it supplies a context to understanding this verse.

4
  • 1
    The most famous example must be 1 Kings 22 (see vv. 19-23); the principle is set out in Ezekiel 14:9, and in some sense experienced by Jeremiah (20:7). The "exchanges" and "handing over" in Romans 1 might fit here (though that's somewhat "chicken & egg"); cf. also Mt 24:24 // Mk 13:22, not so direct, but events under divine governance. (No time for a proper answer!)
    – Dɑvïd
    Nov 10 '14 at 8:05
  • @Caleb - (No time for a proper answer!) - OK, I took the time. ;)
    – Dɑvïd
    Nov 13 '14 at 10:23
  • related: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/q/25668/16757 idiomatic language. Active verbs were used by the Hebrews to express, not the doing of the thing, but the permission of the thing which the agent is said to do.
    – Michael16
    Nov 16 '16 at 10:04
  • I think that Mat 28:18 is an important verse; Jesus: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me". Earlier Satan was a powerful agent in heaven's court, and God cooperated with him on many, if not all, occasions. God despised this hierarchical arrangement, and had a power balance shift planned through Jesus' victorious death on the cross; where Satan was given a death blow, and like Titanic, eventually was going to go down. However he still has enough clout in heaven's court for a final attack on God's people. This is the big last delusion. Feb 8 '19 at 12:08
8
+50

2 Thessalonians 2:11 -

[SBL GNT] καὶ διὰ τοῦτο πέμπειa αὐτοῖς ὁ θεὸς ἐνέργειαν πλάνης εἰς τὸ πιστεῦσαι αὐτοὺς τῷ ψεύδει...
[translit] kai dia touto pempeia autois ho theos energeian planēs eis to pisteusai autous tō pseudei...
[NRSV] For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false...

a πέμπει pempei = "sends" ] 𝔓30vid ℵ* A B F + | πεμψει pempsei = "will send" ] ℵc Ψ ++ MT TR

As it happens, many of the "technical" commentaries don't give much attention to the issue of whether God sends delusion in this verse (OP's "is this so?"), for the reason supplied in the Question:

A plain reading of the text would suggest that God 'sends' this delusion...

Exactly. That the text conveys precisely this notion is not in doubt; its clarity is not an issue. Rather, the question it raises for modern readers is an ethical/theological one, and more about this in a moment.

First, a couple comments on the Greek text all the same:

  1. The textual variant is noted for the time of "sending" deception: is it present or future? In a sense, it's both: the present tense is required to match the use of estin ("is") in v. 9; the widespread future tense probably arose "ad sensum" given the progression of the thought; some commentators refer in any case to a "prophetic present".1
  2. The phrase "powerful delusion" (energeian planēs) is, as J.B. Lightfoot puts it, "a strong expression which it is difficult to render adequately in English".2 Fee glosses with "a working of delusion", attempting to convey something of its active character.

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

The HB/OT offers some clear examples of the God of Israel being the "originator" (I'm trying to state this carefully) of human deception.3

The most famous example must be 1 Kings 22 (see vv. 19-23), where the prophet Micaiah gives a glimpse of the divine council to the kings of Israel and Judah, Ahab and Jehoshaphat. The key passage is worth citing in full (emphasis added):

19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, with all the host of heaven standing beside him to the right and to the left of him. 20 And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, so that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ Then one said one thing, and another said another, 21 until a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 ‘How?’ the LORD asked him. He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then the LORD said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do it.’ 23 So you see, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has decreed disaster for you.” [NRSV]

One other example may fit in here, as in some sense "divine deception" is experienced by Jeremiah (20:7)‌​. It is articulated as a principle by Jeremiah's contemporary, Ezekiel, in a passage on the working of prophecy (Ezekiel 14:9):

If a prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the LORD, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

[In fact, the HB/OT has no term for "false prophet", although the Septuagint often translated Hebrew nabiʾ ("prophet") by pseudoprophētēs (pseudo-, or false prophet) where it suited the context.]

One more slightly more distant example could be noted: this is the case of David's census in 2 Samuel 24 // 1 Chronicles 21, in which 2 Sam 24:1 reads:

Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them...

whereas the parallel passage in 1 Chron 21:1 reads:

Satan stood up against Israel, and [he] incited David to count the people of Israel.

(This being the only occasion in the Hebrew Bible where "Satan" appears as a name rather than a title meaning "the Accuser", or the like.)

The basic witness of the HB/OT, then, is that God is the one who has ultimate authority over both truth and deception.4

Elsewhere in the New Testament

There is, then, good HB/OT precedent for Paul's announcement of "divine deception" in 2 Thess 2:11. This is not the only place in the NT where this sort of notion arises, though.5 As Ernest Best notes, the "exchanges" and "handing over" in Romans 1 also fit here. Vv. 18-32 recount the successive stages of estrangement from God that follow as a result of sin. These passages share the notion that "divine deception" is not arbitrary or capricious, but is a consequence of human rebellion.

There is an echo of this as well in Jesus' apocalyptic teaching: Matt 24:24 // Mark 13:22 may not be so direct, but these events -- including false prophets "to lead astray, if possible, even the elect" -- remain under divine governance.

"Lie" and "Truth"

The question also raises this matter:

You may give your understanding of what you believe the "lie" is, providing it supplies a context to understanding this verse.

Most immediately in context, the ψεῦδος (pseudos - last word of the verse) -- that is the "falsehood" or "lie" -- must be what precedes in vv. 9-10, that is the working of Satan through the advent of "the lawless one". Preference for that display of "power and false signs and wonders" (v. 9) is the "deception" (v. 10) which is prefered to God's truth. This "truth", in turn, in the wider context of the letter as a whole, must refer to "the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thes 1:8) which is to be "obeyed" and parallels knowledge of God (cf. Colossians 1:9-10).

Beyond this, the notes of J.B. Lightfoot cited above include an insightful passage on this matter which is well worth reading in full (available at the link). This brief extract makes a salient point:

The use of these words is a striking example of the New Testament doctrine of the connexion between faith and practice. To believe is to act. 'Truth' and 'falsehood' are terms belonging not more to the intellectual than to the moral world.

That connection is quite an organic one in 2 Thessalonians 2, and comes sharply to the fore in the verse (2:11) being elaborated here.


Notes

  1. In fact, the UBS Greek New Testament 4th Edition doesn't even mention it, and Gordon Fee insists on the present: The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (Eerdmans, 2009), p. 295.
  2. J.B. Lightfoot, Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul from Unpublished Commentaries (Macmillan, 1895), p. 118.
  3. For a very recent study surveying "lying" and the matter of "truth" in the Hebrew Bible in general, see Johannes Thon, "Truth, Lie, and Language: An Introduction from a Biblical Perspective", in The Claim of Truth in Religious Contexts (Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Regionalstudien, 2009), pp. 1-11. I believe the only monograph devoted to this theme remains that of Martin A. Klopfenstein, Die Lüge nach dem Alten Testament: Ihr Begriff, ihre Bedeutung und ihre Beurteilung (Gotthelf-Verlag, 1964).
  4. See a previous BH.SE Q&A on Ruth where a related point is discussed.
  5. In my brief researches into the NT commentary literature, Ernest Best gives the most attention to this matter: 1 & 2 Thessalonians (A & C Black, 1972), pp. 211-212.
6
  • Sir - would you consider Zech 3:1-2 an example where the person of Satan appears (as a name in the Hebrew Bible) versus the title of an adversary? You had mentioned that 1 Chron 21:1 was the only instance where the name of the person Satan had appeared in the Hebrew Bible. Very Respectfully,
    – Joseph
    Nov 13 '14 at 23:52
  • @David I'm very thankful you've 'found the time' to answer this question, "Exactly. That the text conveys precisely this notion is not in doubt; its clarity is not an issue. Rather, the question it raises for modern readers is an ethical/theological one, and more about this in a moment."
    – Tau
    Nov 14 '14 at 4:06
  • @David (cont.) You have answered 2 questions-1)Is this what the text says, and 2)Is this what the text means. Both you and Joseph concur on it's contextual meaning, which I totally agree with; I am still not amenable to God purposefully deceiving men. But a very incisive analysis, which I am very appreciative :>)
    – Tau
    Nov 14 '14 at 4:18
  • @Joseph - wherever śāṭān appears with the article, I take it to be used as a title; Zech 3:1b-2a has וְהַשָּׂטָן עֹמֵד עַל־יְמִינוֹ לְשִׂטְנוֹ׃ וַיֹּאמֶר יהוה אֶל־הַשָּׂטָן that is 2× haśśāṭān. Are there any other instances without the article except 1 Chr 21:1? I don't think so, but do point them out if I'm missing any! [I was trying to bold the two instances in my citation - but the LTR/RTL-with-asterisks has defeated me!]
    – Dɑvïd
    Nov 14 '14 at 7:45
  • 1
    @Tau - hope you found the "answer" helpful/useful. I'm sympathetic with your lack of amenity -- and yet these passages are not opaque, but rather the opposite. Do you have the same issues with the Bible's depictions of all of God's acts of judgment? I see this as belonging to that cagetory. You might find Dale Patrick's Redeeming Judgment (Wipf & Stock, 2012) an interesting read.
    – Dɑvïd
    Nov 14 '14 at 7:50
5

Dr. Robert B. Chisholm, professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, wrote an extensive article on the theme of divine deception within the Hebrew Bible: "Does God Deceive?" Bibliotheca Sacra 155 (1998): 11-28. He cites more than 10 specific examples of divine deception in the Hebrew Bible (for example, see footnote 37 of his article, where 1 Sam 2:25; 2 Sam 17:14; 1 Kgs 12:15; 2 Chron 25:20; Ezek 20:25-26 are noted, although lacking the key verb "deceive"). His conclusion was that, yes, God does deceive but does so as a divine act of retributive justice. Please click here to read the summary portion of this article, since to quote the summary in this space would be too lengthy.

Finally, in the passage of 2 Thess 2:11, the context of the passage refers to the "son of destruction" from 2 Thess 2:3. The term is ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας in the Greek, and was the term used of Judas Iscariot in John 17:12, whom Luke mentioned was possessed by Satan Luke 22:3. In other words, the "son of destruction" mentioned by Paul in the Thessalonian epistle is someone who will be "in accord with the activity of Satan with all power and signs and false wonders" (2 Thess 2:9). It is through this person that the Lord will send strong delusion to the world as a divine act of retributive justice.

Finally, the "lie" or delusion is that this person declares himself to be God in the temple in Jerusalem, and people will believe him. That is, the apostle Paul had the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in mind when he wrote the following verse:

2 Thess 2:3-4 (NASB)
3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

People will believe he is the Christ. But he is instead the "son of destruction" who only equates himself with God in the same way that Jesus of Nazareth had equated himself with God -- that is, through signs and wonders, but in this case, the power will not be through the Spirit of God, but through the agency of Satan. (These miraculous events, much less someone desecrating the Jewish Temple by declaring himself God, never occurred in the First Century.) In other words, "the son of destruction" appears to be someone in the future who will declare himself to be the anointed one, the Christ of God, within the Temple of God, in Jerusalem, and the delusion to believe in him will be a divine act of retributive justice, which is the explicit statement of 2 Thess 2:12.

2
  • 2
    This is a good answer; it addresses the text in context, and arrives at the conclusion of "It is through this person that the Lord will send strong delusion to the world as a divine act of retributive justice". "Retributive Justice" is an all-encompassing topic, best left for another question; and I disagree that God directly "lies", rather, He allows the "Liar-in -chief" to have access to deluded souls. Bur you make a convincing case, and certainly one that demands scrutiny- +1.
    – Tau
    Nov 14 '14 at 3:39
  • Thanks especially for adding the Chisolm reference. I know his work on God's "repenting", and it was similarly thoughtful and helpful.
    – Dɑvïd
    Nov 14 '14 at 7:54
4

In responding to this question, I at first wish to affirm what @Joseph and @David responded: that the key to understanding the text lies in what comes previously in the chapter, the 'son of perdition/destruction' initiates the strong delusion after the working of Satan. Therefore, one can rightly concur that,

It is through this person that the Lord will send strong delusion to the world(from Joseph's answer)

The larger question remains, "Is it God's will to deceive"?

A plain reading of the texts, in both Old and New Testaments seem to validate God's willingness to deceive, but in order to conclusively affirm this, we must examine several texts which leads us to the contrary.

Num. 23:19 says,

"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Keil and Delitzsch's Commentary on this passage states,

"... God does not alter His purposes like changeable and fickle men, but keeps His word unalterably, and carries it into execution. The unchangeableness of the divine purposes is a necessary consequence of the unchangeableness of the divine nature. With regard to His own counsels, God repents of nothing; but this does not prevent the repentance of God, understood as an anthropopathic expression, denoting the pain experienced by the love of God, on account of the destruction of its creatures (see at Genesis 6:6, and Exodus 32:14

So while it is an "anthropopathic"(sympathetic/empathetic) expression for God to 'repent', in fact in He doesn't, for He knows all along what the conclusion is.

Can this same 'analysis' apply to purposes of deception?

The passage often quoted on "God's deception" is Jer. 20:7,

O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.

The verb "[מָּתָה] " be spacious, wide, open doesn't connote actual deception, although there are other words that do, rather they describe Jeremiah's 'openness' without understanding God's purposes, making Jeremiah a 'willing participant' in a process he doesn't understand. It is with this understanding that we must proceed to look at the bigger question.

In the New Testament, 2 scriptures come to mind that challenge the thought of "Divine Deception": 1 of them is James 1:13-15,

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

πειράζω(peirazo) in the Thayer's Lexicon means "to try", and every word used in vs 13 is built around this definition. Therefore, if James is emphatic that God does not "tempt" or "try", then who does? Here is where the 2nd passage comes into play, Matt. 6:13,

καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ(TR)

"And not lead us into temptation(peirasmon), but deliver us from the evil(one).(Interlinear)

Here we see the nexus of the James passage; God does not "peirazo", it our lust and sin that does, and when we pray the Lord's Prayer, we are asking the Father not to allow us to go the path of sin, but to deliver us from the evil one, Satan, who has tempted man from the beginning, and will do so until the final judgment.

In the 1 Kings 22:19-22 passage, God allows a lying spirit to be manifested in the mouths of the false prophets, who are those who prophesied, yet the Lord had not sent them, nor had He put His words in their mouths.(Jer. 23:16/Ezek. 13:1-8) Therefore, He allowed Satan(or one of his minions) to be a lying spirit in the mouths of the false prophets.

In the same breath, He allows Satan to test Job, even telling him(Satan)"

although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.(Job 2:3)

Satan 'made' Job to believe he was God's enemy, although that was far from the truth.

In Conclusion: God "tempts" no man, neither is He tempted by any. In the same sense, He 'deceives' no man, being the source of all that truth is. He will 'allow' the evil one for a season and time 'test, tempt, try' man, and if man embraces the deception, then he has willing embraced the "deceiver", who is Satan, the father of lies, of whom Jesus says, "There is no truth in him".(John 8:44). It is therefore very necessary to pray,

"Deliver us from the evil (one)."

2
  • Helpful answer, but to a slightly different question than OP's. Or perhaps this was OP's real question -- you would be the one to know! ;) Good, in any case, to have this reflection in the "thread".
    – Dɑvïd
    Nov 14 '14 at 8:07
  • 1
    @Davïd You actually did answer the right question, and FWIW-my vote for the bounty.:>) I felt I needed to respond to the "Does God intentionally deceive" argument that is congruent to this passage.
    – Tau
    Nov 14 '14 at 10:18
2

A plain reading of the text would suggest that God 'sends' this delusion

As they say, When the plain sense makes perfect sense, seek no other sense.

Scripture is full of other examples of God 'sending' delusion or other such things. Good examples include.

  • Exodus 9:12 - God hardened Pharaoh's heart.
  • Job 1:8-12 - God permitted the testing of Job.
  • 1 Samuel 16:14 - An evil spirit from the LORD tormented Saul.
  • 2 Chron 18:18-21 - God 'allowed/sent' a lying spirit to be in the prophets.
  • Romans 1:28 - God gave them over to a reprobate mind.

We understand, of course, that God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13), and that everything that God does is in accord with perfect righteousness and justice (Psalms 89:14, it's the foundation of His throne). Further, it is noted, that God does not delude--He sends 'delusion'. It is still up to man whether he believes it.

Consider the Lord's prayer.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: (Matthew 6:13)

This is not God tempting. But from the request, it is apparent that God could lead us through temptation (for whatever reason, perfectly just), and the prayer is asking that He wouldn't. So, there is a measure of which God can and does lead us into harder situations, and they can be reduced by just asking Him not to. But, the fact that He does is what is pointed out. It must also, however, be noted that God does know whether it will be 'successful' or not, as with the 2 Chron 18:21 verse, above.

So, since it is perfectly within the Biblical precedent to say that God sent it, and makes perfect sense, I go with it. Yet, this in no way makes God unjust or unrighteous. As Revelation 16:7 alludes to, these are just and true judgments upon those who do not believe, according to what is deserved. And, yes, more unbelief is one of the just punishments for unbelief, in the idea of 'seek and you will find'. If you seek unbelief, you will find it, and if you keep asking for it, why should He not give it?

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  • As I tend towards the milder end of Preterism regarding Eschatalogical views, my thoughts would be that this is referring to Jerusalem in 70AD. The 'man of sin' would likely be Simon bar Giora, the rebel leader who took control of the temple and used it has his headquarters. However, as this did not directly the answer as it stands, I decided to leave it out. Whether this is the case or not, the 'lie' would generally then be the rejection of the Gospel. In the specific instance here, it would refer to the lie of Jewish liberation and rebellion, which proved to be false.
    – user6152
    Nov 14 '14 at 22:22
  • Thank you for your response! There are numerous reasons to accept the 'plain meaning' of the text; 1 of them is "Retributive Justice" which I didn't address in my response-it's a question in itself. My conclusion is that God is "All Truth", therefore it is beneath Him to purposefully deceive man. It is not beneath His Archenemy, Satan, who is the "Master Deceiver", and at any opportunity will purposefully deceive man. It is "anthropopathic" to ascribe to God 'deception', just as it is "anthropopathic" to ascribe 'repentance' to God; it's our way of explaining God's actions.
    – Tau
    Nov 15 '14 at 21:19
  • Some call it stepping outside of His protection. I use Scripture to say God can send deception, although whether it is active sending or willful allowance. So, to say He sends it is Biblical, even if it is merely our choice to step out of that umbrella of Grace. However, it is agreed that God never deceives or deludes. While it is "from Him", as Lord of all, in that man stepped into the reaping (God didn't originate it, man did with sin), God never deceives anyone. Even in the face of strong delusion, it is still a choice to "believe the lie", hence man's sin, not God's doing.
    – user6152
    Nov 15 '14 at 21:29
  • In the mind of Amos 3:6 and Daniel 9:14, disasters are from the Lord.. One of the greater disasters is that false teachers are not stopped sooner (wolves). God didn't send the wolves, but the sin of the people prevented them from being spotted and eliminated, hence their presence. And, with their presence comes their false message, "the lie".
    – user6152
    Nov 15 '14 at 21:33
  • Yes, disasters can be from the Lord; this is part of the "Retributive Justice" issue which must be understood as God's direct response to sin. I agree with your conclusion. However, not all cases are "Retributive Justice"(witness Job), so one must be careful in assigning them to Him.
    – Tau
    Nov 15 '14 at 21:45
0

It should be a surprise to no one that Paul's teaching has an OT basis:

[Isa 66:4 KJV] 4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose [that] in which I delighted not.

If we understand Isaiah 66:4 then we will understand what Paul is on about in 2 Thessalonians 2.

Isaiah: I also will choose their delusions, Paul: God shall send them strong delusion

Isaiah: and will bring their fears upon them Paul: That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled

Isaiah: because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose [that] in which I delighted not Paul: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

As Bill Gothard says, "Light received brings more light; light refused brings more darkness".

0

regarding 2 Thessalonians 2:11, I think the focus is not that GOD sends a delusion, because the delusion was coming when Satan is no longer held back in 2:7; rather the focus is that GOD allows the delusion to be "powerful". as we see in 2:9 that Satan will work "...with all power..." But Satan doesn't have all power, GOD does. So what I think is happening here is that GOD gives Satan all power, and therefore sends Satan with the ability to perform most powerful sings and wonders, which Satan could not do with his innate powers, and therefore resulting in a "powerful delusion".

-2

I think the text of 2 Thessalonians 2:11 should read something like:

And because of these things, God will abandon them to the strong influence of delusion, (that) they believe the lie.

My reasoning for this is shown below:

enter image description here

Notes:

  1. πέμπω. The strongest sense of this word is not "to send something to a person", but "to send a person from one's presence to somewhere else", i.e. to send away/dismiss from one's presence. "To where", is inconsequential to the meaning of the word.

  2. Most translations totally ignore the existence of εἰς τὸ. I can only imagine that it's just not a good fit for what they imagine the verse is saying, so why not ignore it. This is clearly not a wise approach, particularly when their chosen interpretation attributes to God a spirit of deceit (beware, every idle word ...).

    No, the clear sense of what is being said in this verse is: because the ones who are perishing are not listening to God -- those who don't want to be rescued or don't believe there is a rescuer (2 Thessalonians 2:10) -- He will send them away INTO THE (εἰς τὸ) STRONG INFLUENCE OF DELUSION (Depart from before me, saith the LORD!). In other words, He will abandon them to its SPELL.

Conclusion

No one can save a person who has no desire to be saved, and God is not going to do any more for them than He's already done. If humanity can't see what God is on about, 35 centuries on from the giving of the Law and 20 centuries on from the sending of his Son, then it/he/they never will.

God has always been into giving people the desires of their hearts, and if they prefer power and signs and lying wonders, to Him, then so be it.

-4

I was attracted to this site and forum because it appears to be serious, honest, and diligent. I found nothing redeeming in the responses I read; they appear to me to be "straining a gnat," too intellectual, non sequitur and askew of context. Let's dispense with the horizontal personal opinions of intellect and stick with the raw unfiltered vertical truth from the Father above. The context of verse 11 of Thes was completely avoided. The context is that delusion WILL BE SENT BY GOD ...if... one does not subscribe to the love of truth. This begs the question; what is love and what is truth?

First, to answer the question about delusion as to being causatively directed from our Father, without equivocating let's go to Isaiah and Job.

Isa 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

Job 39:17 because God has caused her to forget wisdom, and He has not given her a share in understanding. Job 39:18 At the time she lifts herself up on high, she scorns the HORSE and its RIDER.

As Thes suggests the context is love and truth so rather than going to earthly dictionaries or personal commentaries, again let's go to Him, His Truth and Word for definitions.

Psa 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your Law is the truth.

The law, the commandments is the truth. I won't say any more on that but now let's go to Romans 13:8-10.

Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves another has fulfilled the Law. Rom 13:9 For: "Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not lust;" and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Rom 13:10 Love works no ill to its neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law.

The law and love are woven together like a singular rug. The woof doesn't exist without the warp. Paul says that to love one another means to fulfill the commandments; Jesus says the same exact thing in Mt. 5. It is a logical question to ask now, does spiritual love exist today? Without equivocating, NO. Heaven and earth have not passed away an neither has the law. In fact, the execution of spiritual laws hasn't even begun and it won't begin until we reach the 1000 year SPIRITUAL AGE, the Millennial Kingdom (MK). Today we have lots of kindness that we call love and then we have much more madness. I suppose someone will counter with the supposition of the number of types of Greek love there may be but I will take that argument up if I get it.

I want to approach the answer to delusion indirectly through the mysteries that lie beneath the literal text in the verses I have quoted above. We are admonished in Mt 13 to seek the mysteries of the kingdom by Jesus. What are the mysteries and how can we know them? This is a very short answer to an extremely large subject.

The Parable of the Sower (POTS) and the 30-60-100 fruit is a pattern and paradigm that allows one to see the mysteries of the kingdom. As Mark says, all the parables are understood if you know what the 30-60-100 paradigm metaphors are. The wayside stony and thorny seed do not produce any spiritual fruit; they go down to the pit. The THREE good seeds enter the kingdom of heaven (KH). Now we tie this 'three' spiritual seeds paradigm to Mt. 13:33. Leaven (sin) is likened, compared to the three remaining good seeds of Mt. 13:8 and 23. The seeds are metaphors for people groups, three of them. The KH is defined as having three groups of sinners for all have "fallen short..."

Backing up a couple verses in Mt 13 we have the parable of the M Seed. The abbreviated meaning of this parable is that we enter the Mil Kingdom (MK) metaphorically with the spiritual stature of a tiny seed. When the light and the life from above comes down in the MK the seed sprouts and we continue to spiritually mature to that of the stature of a tree where the birds rest in it. The birds are angels but we have to leave that alone for now. The MK is about 1000 years of spiritual growth with all the blessings of love and joy that are unimaginable.

Next we go to Mt. 25 and parable of the talents where we get a second witness of THREE believers that enter the KH. Two of the servants are praised while the third is labeled wicked and lazy. Not only is he wicked but he must give up his single talent to him who has ten talents; this is a submission posture and paradigm. This is critical: the two talent and five talent servants doubled their respective talents and are blessed with being rewarded as RULERS OF MANY THINGS. When? In the 1000 year MK! The question remains, why or what defines wicked and lazy? Can we know? Of course; all Scripture answers Scripture. In fact, once you know how to SEE and HEAR the mysteries and paradigms (it is actually quite simple) of this threefold phenomena then one is able to see these questions answered multiple thousands of times beginning all the way back in the first verse of Genesis. In the few OT verses I randomly quoted (I didn't front load by cherry picking) there are several 30-60-100 mystery paradigms with emphasis on the 60 and 100 folds, the rulers of many things (Mt. 25:23, 25).

The next most important and third witness is found in Ezekiel 44. Ezekiel qualifies who the 30-60-100 are. This book explains who will be in the Millennial Kingdom (MK) based on our rewards of our current life. It also explains to some extent what the two rulers of many will be doing for 1000 years.

The 100 fold are the priests of the MK that God chooses. The 60 fold are what Ezekiel calls the Levite but in the MK there won't be a Levitical tribe but they will be called prophets. The 60 fold are the elect 144,000 who are covenanted in this present kingdom age. Both the 100 fold and 60 fold are covenanted to the Father but the 30 fold group, the MULTITUDE are not covenanted and this is why they are called wicked and lazy. Ezekiel 44 explains in verses 4-9 why the 30 fold is not covenanted.

I can't go into great detail here but in the two verses of Job there are two glaring threefold paradigms; I will just underscore the rudimentary aspects of this spiritual principle. Sorting out who the 60 and 100 fold are and why is critical to understanding why the 30 fold lazy group is struck with delusion.

Job 39:17 because God has caused her to forget wisdom, and He has not given her a share in understanding. Job 39:18 At the time she lifts herself up on high, she scorns the HORSE and its RIDER.

In verse 17 wisdom and understanding are highlighted and are 100 and 60 fold respectively. The third or 30 fold group appears left out but not so; the 30 fold is visible in the pronoun 'her.' This 'her' would also be the equivalent of knowledge. In other words, 30 fold knowledge leads to 60 fold understanding and more diligence then renders one with 100 fold wisdom or part of the priesthood. This is what the mysteries teach us untold thousands of times. Even a casual glance at Psalms and Proverbs one can see this paradigm.

In the poetic writings, particularly Job, Psalms and the prophets, pronouns of her, she and nouns of harlot(ry), whoredom, and adjectives of wicked, evil, abominations etc are used prolifically. These references are never (or rarely) used except to point to the 30 fold spiritual harlot. Now back to delusion.

Notice in verse 17 how it is God that causes the 30 fold spiritual harlot not only to not have 100 fold wisdom blessings, but not have a 60 fold understanding of spiritual matters. The spiritual harlot knows(ledge{30fold}) that there is a God but they are bereft of His blessing. They are not covenanted so He sends them strong delusion because they fail to have the love for the truth. Elsewhere in the Word the 30 fold are known as the multitude, children, or the sand of the sea.

In verse 18 the same paradigm exists but with different metaphors; this time she (30), horse (100) and rider (60). Where have we seen the horse and the rider paradigm before. In 2 Kings chariots of fire and horses of fire separated Elijah who went up from Elisha who stayed below. Do you see the pattern? Chariots are always 60 and horses always represent the 100 fold. The 30 fold group is there in that setting but they are standing across the Jordan watching all this transpire. What is the spiritual contextual meaning of this account? Elijah, a 100 fold priest is being chosen and separated unto Himself (Dt.18:5). This will happen in the twinkling of an eye when we cross over to the MK.

In virtually every verse throughout the poetic writings, this and many more paradigms play out beneath the surface of the literal text. Each verse presents the same or similar paradigm but with different metaphors. I walked for many years in the dark bereft of the light, love, and truth; once I turned back, and immediately, God began blessing me first with understanding and then followed wisdom. I wish the same for you. I would love to share more but this is all I have time for. Shalom

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    Welcome to BHSE, and thank you for your contribution. We're a little different here, please read our site directives before answering. Your answer doesn't respond to the question itself, but veers off on a tangent which you are apparently reflecting on. While you may have valid points, it is off-topic, and consequently DV'd. This is not a discussion Forum; there are many good ones but this site doesn't work like them. We ask, and answer questions; and give specific detailed references to our questions and answers. Thank you!
    – Tau
    Nov 14 '14 at 3:55

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