Why Will There be a Strong Delusion?

     The Bible speaks of a strong delusion that will overshadow the entire Earth in the end times. This global deception presents and interesting conundrum, because the Bible declares that God is the author of truth. Why will the author of truth allow such vast deception?

     Better yet, why has He already allowed a strong delusion?

     While there are many deceptions in the world today, one that currently encompasses roughly two billion people, is the religion of Islam. I single out Islam, because Muhammed singled out Christianity.

     A central tenet of Islam declares that the Trinity, which is a core doctrine of the Christian faith, affirming the divinity of Christ, is outright blasphemy. Muhammed repeatedly demoted Jesus in the Qur’an, stripping away His divinity. Qur’an 4:171 is one such example.

Qur’an 4:171 (Shakir) [bold emphasis added]

O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only a messenger of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His messengers, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one Allah; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.

     During the days of the early Christian church, Gnostic teachings diverged from orthodox Christianity to such an extent, some theologians contend that the Apostle John wrote the book of 1 John to address these heresies.

     John insisted that Jesus came in the flesh, and anyone who taught otherwise, as the Gnostics did, was inspired by the spirit of the Antichrist (1 John 4:2–3). John’s statement that this “spirit of the Antichrist” was already in the world in his day was his acknowledgement of the deception the Gnostics promoted.

1 John 4:2–3 [bold emphasis added]

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

     Ignoring John’s warning, Muhammed latched onto these early Gnostic teachings and incorporated them into his Qur’an.

     The religion of Islam fits the bill for the strong delusion spoken of in Scripture so succinctly, I wrote a 400+ page book about it, drawing from both the Bible, as well as the Qur’an and Hadiths.

     The Strong Delusion: Revealing the Strange God of the Antichristbegins with the eye-opening fact that the Qur’an also includes Muhammed’s version of eschatology, (end times prophecy). It is literally a mirror image of the Bible, with the protagonists and antagonists flip-flopped.

     In the United States, Muslims don’t generally publicize the details of their religion. Instead, they repeat the generic phrase that Islam is a religion of peace. However, if pressed for an answer, many Muslims would take a firm stand against the doctrine of the Trinity. They actually consider it blasphemy.

     For anyone curious to test this conclusion, simply find a Muslim and politely, respectfully ask the question, “Do you think Jesus was, or rather is the Son of God?”

     In the very least, this might stimulate an interesting conversation…

The Qur’an borrows from the Bible, and tweaks it considerably. Exactly how close are these two books to each other?

     In stark contrast to Islam, the Bible declares the doctrine of the Trinity throughout. One Scripture that explains how Jesus actually played a part in creation is Colossians 1:13–20. This Scripture is clearly about Jesus.

Colossians 1:13–20 [Bold emphasis added]

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

     Returning to the question that initiated this quandary, why has God allowed this strong delusion to deceive as many as two billion people?

     This question singles out the issue of deception, so as a comparative analysis, how do the Allah of the Qur’an and the God of the Bible differ with respect to deception?

  1. ACTIVELY DECEIVING VS. SENDING A DECEIVER

     While the Bible generally identifies deception as satanic in origin, the Qur’an has a different perspective. The Qur’an speaks of deception in many places, and ascribes a great deal of it to Allah, in what is perceived as an Islamic virtue. Muhammad took this to heart on many occasions, and advised his followers to do the same.

     Christians that point out to Muslims that the Allah of the Qur’an is described as a deceiver, will most likely be countered with arguments claiming that the God of the Bible is also a deceiver. This is not true, (hear me out), but they do have Scriptures they can use to draw this conclusion.

     Concerning deception, the Allah of the Qur’an actively deceives, whereas the God of the Bible sends a deceiver. This may sound like an insignificant distinction, but I think it is very significant.

1.1 THE ACTIVE DECEPTION OF ISLAM

     According to the Qur’an, Allah is described as “the best deceiver” or “schemer,” (Qur’an Surah 3:54, 7:99, 8:30, 10:21).

     When I researched the various translations of these passages in English, I noticed that the phrase was most often translated into English as “best of planners,” or “best of plotters.” This, however, is an obscuring of the text; (a little irony there…) The word for deception, is often mistranslated into English, so Islam sounds more like a religion of peace to western civilization. The root word makr, actually means “deception,”1 hence, the following Qur’an verses should be translated as follows:

Qur’an Surah 3:54 (Shakir) [bold emphasis added]

 And they (the unbelievers) planned to deceive, and Allah planned to deceive (the unbelievers), and Allah is the best of deceivers.

Qur’an Surah 7:99 (Shakir) [bold emphasis added]

Are they then safe from Allah’s deception? No one feels safe from Allah’s deception except those that shall perish.

Qur’an Surah 8:30 (Shakir) [bold emphasis added]

And (remember) when the unbelievers plotted deception against you (O Muhammad), to imprison you, or kill you, or expel you. They plotted deception, but Allah also plotted deception; and Allah is the best of deceivers.           

     Jesus never once lied; lying is a sin, as specifically mentioned in one of the Ten Commandments, (Leviticus 19:11; Exodus 20:16). Jesus furthermore led by example, placing His life on the line to tell the truth, and only the truth, and all of His disciples did the same. However, Allah is the best of deceivers, and because of this, Islam officially endorses lying, i.e., al-Taqiyya.

Muslims are permitted to lie: (1) to save their lives, (2) to reconcile a husband and wife, (3) to persuade a woman into a bedroom and (4) to facilitate one on his journey. Muslims are even permitted to disavow Islam and Muhammad if it is not a genuine heart-felt rejection. Muslims will tell you that concealment of a truth is not an abandonment of that truth if it benefits Islam.2

     The Qur’an legitimizes the active deception of breaking oaths, lying, violating treaties, and plotting deception against non-Muslims, (Qur’an Surah 2:225, 3:28, 3:54, 9:3, 16:106, 40:28, and 66:2). Muhammad declared, “War is deceit,” when he murdered unarmed prisoners after offering them safe passage, (Bukhari 4:52:268-271).

     During the negotiations of Oslo I and II, Arafat’s so-called willingness to acquiesce to Israeli demands was merely his following Muhammad’s example, using al-Taqiyya, to gain an advantage over his enemy.3

     National warfare has a long standing history with military deception in general, but Islam is a religion of war, and it justifies deception as a religious duty in the exercise of jihad, (perpetual holy war, or unholy, depending on one’s perspective).

According to all four recognized schools of Sunni jurisprudence, war against the infidel goes on in perpetuity, until “all chaos ceases, and all religion belongs to Allah,” (Qur’an Surah 8:39). According to the Brill Online edition of the Definitive Encyclopedia of Islam, “The duty of the jihad exists as long as the universal domination of Islam has not been attained. Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs only; the chance of circumstances alone can justify it temporarily. Furthermore there can be no question of genuine peace treaties with these nations; only truces, whose duration ought not, in principle, to exceed ten years, are authorized. But even such truces are precarious, inasmuch as they can, before they expire, be repudiated unilaterally should it appear more profitable for Islam to resume the conflict.”4

     The Bible describes Satan much like the Qur’an describes Allah. Satan is the best deceiver, because he is the father of lies, (John 8:44).

John 8:44 [bold emphasis added]

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

     Even when Satan is telling the truth, he is lying. Take Satan’s temptation of Adam and Eve as a starting point.

     When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, were their eyes not opened? Satan said their eyes would be opened, and they would know both good and evil, (Genesis 3:5), and that’s exactly what happened, sort of.

     Part of what he said came true, but that wasn’t all there was to it. Telling 99% truth, and leaving out 1% of a critical element that completely flips everything on its head, is something that Satan loves to do.

     In fact, the best lies are composed mostly of the truth; that’s why so many people believe them. This is why the strong delusion will be so devastating; it will contain a great deal of truth.

1.2 APPEARING TO MISLEAD OR MISDIRECT TO REVEAL THE TRUTH

     In contrast to the jihadist Allah of Islam, who actively deceives, the God of the Bible is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, (John 14:6); everything God does and says, serves the purpose of revealing the truth.

     One of the Ten Commandments is, “You shall not lie,” (Leviticus 19:11; Exodus 20:16). Even when it appears that God is misleading or misdirecting, He is revealing the truth with greater impact.

     Take the encounter with Jeus on the road to Emmaus as an example.

     In Luke 24:13-31, Jesus purposely concealed His identity, and acted as though He did not know what the two travelers were talking about. At that time, however, He was raised from the dead, so He knew exactly what they were talking about.

     Slowly easing His way into their conversation, He expounded on the Scriptures with these men, and laid out the entire fulfillment of prophecy concerning His life, death, and resurrection.

     When Jesus was through, He revealed Himself to these men, and then vanished before their very eyes. Needless to say, they were shocked, and then they carried on about how Jesus spoke to them. What He said was so profound, their hearts burned within them, (Luke 24:32).

Luke 24:32

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

     Jesus did things like this a number of times in Scripture. People thought one thing, while Jesus was doing or saying something else, and then He would drop a truth bomb. The point of doing this was to emphasize the truth.

     The reason Jesus taught in parables, is another example of what appears to be misleading, or misdirecting, in order to emphasize the truth with greater impact. Consider Jesus’ words in Mark 4:10-13.

Mark 4:10-13 [bold emphasis and bracketed comments added]

And when he [Jesus] was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.” And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?”

     For starters, Jesus’ answer about speaking in parables was in itself, a truth bomb, because He was actually quoting a prophecy from Isaiah about Himself, (Isaiah 6:8-10).

Isaiah 6:8-10

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.

     As for the content of the prophecy, Jesus spoke in parables to weed out those who may have been fascinated by His miracles, but were not interested in what He had to say. He referred to these people as a wicked and adulterous generation, seeking after a sign, (Matthew 12:39, 16:4; Mark 8:12).

     Jesus’ parables worked like an encryption code; they did not make sense to people who were not interested in having a relationship with the God of love. This was not deception, but rather revealing the truth, highlighting people with hearts that were longing for Jesus’ message, and separating them from those that could care less about Jesus’ message.

     The reasoning behind Jesus’ parables is sort of like a billionaire searching for a wife who loves him for who he is. The guy is only going to find the right woman, if she does not know he is a billionaire, right? At the same time, he has to put himself out there so she knows what he is like. How else can he find the right girl who will love him for who he is?

     This is the reason Jesus came down to Earth, and cloaked Himself in the form of an ordinary human being, not as a king or a priest, but rather an obscure carpenter in a backwater town.

     God was being extremely intimate with us, and revealing Himself a great deal, but at the same time, He arrived in an obscure setting and kept a low profile for the first thirty years of His life. Then when He started His ministry, He spoke in parables, and He did not fit the human perception of divinity to any of the religious leaders of His day.

     In fact, Jesus had a tendency to rub religious leaders the wrong way. The only rules He played by were His Father’s rules, and a lot of people didn’t get it, just like a materialistic, superficial woman on the hunt for a rich guy would totally miss out on a billionaire disguised as an ordinary guy. That was the point.

     In God’s case, He has everything, but He wants to ensure that our faith is genuine, rather than superficial. He therefore gives us enough light to believe, (John 1:9), but not so much that our belief comes from intellectual knowledge rather than faith.

     This is why those who believe without seeing, receive a special blessing, (John 10:29; 1 Peter 1:6-9). This is God’s way of seeing if we hope for a God of love, more than anything else, because anything without love is nothing, (1 Corinthians 13:2).

     In the Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis put it this way:

“The Irresistible and the Indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of His [God’s] scheme forbids him to use. Merely to override a human will…would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo.”5

     Another interesting facet about parables is that they are designed to evoke deep contemplation. Most parables need to be discussed in order to figure them out. Rather than a single truth, parables contain multidimensional truth that can be extracted as part of a corporate interpretation, sort of like Parable-pedia.

     Scripture states that we know in part, (1 Corinthians 13:12), but as the body of Christ, we know more, so with the corporate body of Christ discussing parables together, they reveal truth with greater impact.

     In summation, as I previously stated, even when it appears that God/Jesus may be misleading or misdirecting, He does it for the explicit purpose of revealing truth with greater impact. This is in direct opposition to the active and blatant deception ascribed to the Allah of the Qur’an, as well as to Satan of the Bible.

     Satan lies even when he is telling the truth, but God reveals the truth, even when he is using Satan as a tool for deception.

     Say what?

      I will now take this a step further, and explain how God can even use a deceiver, to reveal the truth.

1.3 USING A DECEIVER TO REVEAL THE TRUTH

     There are two ways that God reveals the truth. First is the easy way. He tells us the truth, we believe Him and live by that truth, He is pleased with us, and we are blessed for it; simple enough.

     The other way is the hard way.

     God tells us the truth, but we question what He said, and when we think no one is looking, we tip toe around the alternatives, and we tantalize and tease ourselves with a series of ‘What if’s.’ All the while, God is observing us, perhaps thinking, “Okay, let’s just get this over with.”

     Adam and Eve learned the truth the hard way. I suspect the Garden of Eden was a pretty big garden, designed to host a massive human population, yet I have a feeling that Adam and Eve may have been spending an inordinate amount of time staring at that Tree of Knowledge, scratching their heads, having picnics under it, talking about it with each other, and burning with curiosity about the secrets of its forbidden fruit.

     Desire is sort of like that; it can be a pesky annoyance at times, and Adam and Eve were compelled with desires, even before they sinned.

     Desire by itself is not wrong. We get hungry and we have a desire to eat, and then when we eat, we are thankful for our food and we praise the Lord for it. God is pleased with this. Adam had desires he didn’t even know he had, but when God presented him with Eve, you can bet he instantly realized what he was missing! God was pleased with this, and He said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply…” (Genesis 1:28).

     Then Adam said “Wow, awesome! Uh…now, with you standing here?”

     Just kidding, but seriously, God pretty much commanded them to have sex. God actually loves to fulfill our desires when they are pure as He intended them, (Psalm 37:4).

Psalm 37:4

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

     Desire only turns into temptation when it focuses on something that is known to be wrong. Adam and Eve may have been toying with the idea of tempting themselves, even before Satan showed up. Scripture doesn’t state this; I simply think it’s a strong possibility.

     What we know for sure is, God allowed Satan access to the Garden of Eden. Scripture does not state that the serpent was in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, where he is commonly depicted in art, but I suspect he was.

     In fact, I speculate that it was only that tree that Satan had access to, because after all, Adam and Eve didn’t really have any reason to be hanging around it if they were determined to never eat from it. Therefore, the only way any stronger degree of temptation, (from the serpent), would even come their way, would be if they first questioned the truth of God, by toying with the idea of eating fruit from that tree.

     The reason I speculate about this possible scenario in the Garden of Eden, is because the strong delusion matches this pattern. When people reject the truth, God allows Satan into the picture, perhaps to expedite the process of deception that He knows is going to eventually happen anyway, (with people deceiving themselves).

     God also wants to reveal the truth, and allowing the chips to fall with deception, allows people to learn the truth about the consequences of sin. This is God’s way of appealing to anyone who might learn and accept the truth the hard way.

     The Bible states that God will be sending a strong delusion in the end times. However, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 clearly states that Satan is the one heading up that strong delusion. In fact, the descriptions given to the lawless one, (who I think is the Antichrist, controlled by Satan), indicate that he will in fact, be the best deceiver.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 [bold emphasis added]

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

     Note the phrase, “the activity of Satan with…deception for those who are perishing,” actually aligns very closely with the Qur’an’s verse, “Allah planned to deceive the unbelievers.”

     Basically put, the Bible makes a distinction that God sends a strong delusion, with Satan leading it, whereas the Qur’an cuts out the middleman of Satan, and Allah does the deceiving.

     The Qur’an also speaks of a devil.

     Part of the pilgrimage that Muslims take, the hajj, includes a symbolic act of throwing stones at the devil. However, the Qur’an’s attributes associated with the devil are subject to interpretation in light of what is defined as the truth. Reflecting on some of the commands of Allah, and the life of Muhammad, one might very well conclude that Satan is irrelevant in Islam.

     Because the Allah of the Qur’an endorses active deception, ideologically speaking, Muslims can justify deception in almost any way imaginable, if they believe it will benefit the spread of Islam. In contrast, the Bible does not endorse deception to spread Christianity. Ultimately, anyone who accepts Christ must do so with an absolute genuine acceptance. Any degree of compulsion or deception injected into one’s acknowledgement of faith, brings that confession of faith into question.

     A number of scriptures that shed light on why God will send a strong delusion, are Jeremiah 17:10, Revelation 3:15-19, and two parables that Jesus spoke, in Matthew 13:3-8, 19-23, 25:14-29. These scriptures illuminate how the strong delusion is actually designed to reveal the truth, so as many people as possible will be saved, and those who reject the truth to the bitter end, will be weeded out.

     This is probably not how Satan would describe his role in the strong delusion, but that doesn’t matter; whether he likes it or not, Satan does God’s bidding, even when he is trying to rebel against Him.

     That is not to say that all the evil happening in the world is God’s will, because it is not. Part of God’s will is allowing freewill to exist in His creation, so there are wills that exist that do not agree with God.

     However, God has taken the sum total of freewill into account, and He uses freewill within the scope of His plan. He has designed the universe with a master algorithm that unfolds in an infinitely complex game of chess, where even Satan is used as a tool to ensure that as many people as possible will be saved, down to the last soul.

     Satan hates this!

     But he can’t do anything about it, no matter how much he tries, and that’s all he does, is try and try and try.

     For example, Satan might have thought he achieved a major victory when he convinced Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus, and get Jesus crucified. As it turned out, God used that terrible act for His greatest glory, the ultimate greater good. Only God is capable of operating at this level.

     God didn’t deceive the devil into thinking he could defeat Him. The devil deceived himself, and God simply let him do it.

     Addressing the above mentioned scriptures that lead to why God will send a strong delusion, I will begin with Jeremiah, where Jeremiah states that God searches the heart, and tests the mind, (Jeremiah 17:10). Since a person’s eternal destination is at stake, this process has to be very thorough.

Jeremiah 17:10

“I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

     The main thing God is looking for in the human heart, is love (Matthew 22:36-40; Luke 10:27). God is love, and He wants us to use our freedom to choose to be like Him. Molding us into His likeness, while simultaneously respecting our freewill, in order to perfect the good work He starts in us (Psalms 138:8; Philippians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 3:18), is an infinitely complex process. It involves a little bit of what I already talked about; using something that can appear misleading, but the ultimate intent is to reveal truth.

     In short, the process of searching the heart and mind is vastly complex, and it involves allowing people the freedom to sin for a temporary season, (this life). Some people are fairly apt to avoid sin, but most are not, because sinning can be fairly easy for us to do, especially since God created us with desire.

     Satan tempted Eve with the desire to know what good and evil are, so they would be like God. Ironically, God does actually want us to be like Him. That was His plan all along. Satan actually tempted Adam and Eve with something that God was probably going to give them anyway. Is that not ridiculous? If they would’ve simply trusted God, He would have fulfilled the desires of their hearts when the time was right (Psalm 37:4).

     When Eve was tempted to disobey God’s command, things would’ve gone much differently, if she simply said, “Wait, wait, wait; hold on just a second, did you just say that God is a liar? You can stop right there. He created me, not you. No, I’m definitely not eating it, and I think you need to stick around here until He gets back, because I’m going to tell him exactly what you just said to me.”

     Then Adam, who was probably standing right there, would’ve snatched the snake out of the tree, gripped his fist around the snake’s throat and squeezed until he lost consciousness.

     Afterward, God would’ve showed up and said, “Cool guys, about this tree, congratulations, you just passed the test! Here, you can eat this fruit now. Now about this guy, boy oh boy, he was lying to you big time. Good is good, but evil, oy, not so much. You’ll see. After you’re through munching on that, I’ll take you two to another dimension, where another version of you two blew it, and then you can see just exactly what you avoided. You have no idea…

     Perhaps in another dimension, but I digress…

     God initially makes His own appeal, by giving every person ever born, a bit of truth about Himself (John 1:9). One form of this is humanity’s hardwired basic comprehension of love. Basically put, those who know love, know God (1 John 4:16).

     As children mature into adulthood, they will either respond to the truth revealed to them by God, (the easy way), or they will reject it, (the hard way). Those who consistently respond to God’s truth will mature spiritually, grow closer to God, and receive more revelation about God.

     Jesus gave two parables about the nature of truth that illustrates this point perfectly.

     The first parable, known as the parable of the sower, is found in Matthew 13:3-8, and Jesus explained it’s meaning in Matthew 13:19-18. The second parable is the parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25:14-29.

     The parable of the sower speaks of a farmer (sower) planting seeds for his crops, and the parable of the talents speaks of a man going on a journey, and he gives each of his three servants a sum of money (talents), to invest while he is gone. In both of these parables, a symbol for truth is given; seeds, and talents. Also in both parables, the way people respond to truth is also presented, as well as what happens as a result of their response.

     Seeds planted in good soil represent people responding to the truth, and receiving a bountiful harvest that is 100, 60, or 30 times greater than what was planted. In contrast, seeds that did not find good soil, represent people who reject the truth, and therefore produce nothing. Those seeds are eaten by birds, choked out by thorns, or shriveled up and die in shallow, rocky soil.

     As for those with the talents, the two servants who invested their money wisely, represent those who responded to the truth, and they doubled their profit. Concerning the servant who rejected the truth, what little truth he had was taken away from him, and given to the servant who earned the most.

     These parables demonstrate a pattern with God’s revelation. God reveals the truth to everyone. God is not a deceiver, but rather, a revealer of truth, and it’s not just a onetime event. God reveals truth to people throughout their lives, in countless ways, and He observes the human heart through the thoughts, words, and especially the actions that follow.

     When people reject something God has revealed, God shifts gears and executes Plan B, the hard way, and He gives Satan permission to deceive people even further. This is God’s way of saying, “So you don’t want to listen to me? Fine, then I’ll present you my alternative, Satan. He has what he thinks are some grand ideas for the citizens of planet Earth! His grand prophet will arrive to endorse him, and everyone on Earth will be awestruck dumbfounded with the revelations this grand prophet will present – with resounding PROOF!

     The False Prophet may even be more deceptive than the Antichrist. He will have a variety of attributes that will appeal to people of every religion, every ethnic, every demographic.

     He will have all the answers, and he will solve everyone’s problems!

     He will be all of this and more, and simultaneously be someone so outlandish, no one would ever expect it.

     In my book, The Strong Delusion: Revealing the Strange God of the Antichrist, I reverence 850+ Scriptures, 320+ Qur’an and Hadith Surah’s, and 300+ source notes, that draw a conclusion about an upcoming New Age version of Islam, no one has any idea is coming.

     Though Louis Farrakhan might have a clue for those familiar with his sermon about the mother plane…

     God will allow this imposter to take center stage on planet Earth, so everyone can essentially have their way with this alternative ‘god’. Hopefully this all goes down after the rapture, because those left behind will have rejected the true God, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

     Then God will send His messengers throughout the world at that time; preachers of the Word, and some of which may even be angels (Revelation 14:6), or people from heaven, such as The Two Witnesses (Revelation 11).

     It’s going to be insane, and through all of that, God will continually search for people who come to their senses and turn to Him.

     The ultimate purpose of God allowing this, is to reveal the truth, ferreting out the essence of the human heart.

     As the consequences of sin begin to manifest, people will sometimes eventually come to their senses. This is what happened in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), and it is what Elihu was referring to in his discourse with Job and his friends, when he said God allows trials into people’s lives, in order to save them from the pit (Job 33:29-30).

     God does not want anyone to perish (Luke 13:34; 2 Peter 3:9; Matthew 18:11). He wants people to repent and be saved (John 3:16; John 12:32; Revelation 7:9). Twelve times, the word “repent,” is repeated in the book of Revelation, some of which covers the duration of when the strong delusion will be in effect (Revelation 2:5, 16, 21, 22, 3:3, 19, 9:20, 21, 16:9, 11). When it comes to forgiveness, Jesus declared to His Disciple Peter, (my paraphrase), that pretty much as often as people ask for forgiveness, it should be granted (Matthew 18:21-22).

     This pattern of behavior, and these expressions from the heart of God, is the context in which to understand God’s reason for sending the strong delusion.

     God is not on a witch hunt to deceive people and throw them into hell. Instead, He is bending over backward and doing everything possible to reveal the truth, in order to reach and save the lost. Scripture is replete with examples to support this conclusion.

     For those taken up in the rapture, they are the Plan A folks, (for those that accept the rapture argument). They will take the easy way. Lot and his family that lived down in Sodom (Genesis 19), and the people of Nineveh (Jonah 3:5), are both examples of people who took the easy way.

     As for those left behind after the rapture, they are the Plan B folks. God will get as many of them with the hard way as possible. The fact that there are people who will be beheaded for not accepting the Mark of the Beast during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 20:4), is an indication that they repented.

     These same people were living in sin and rejecting Jesus earlier in their lives, but it took the Great Tribulation, the ultimate hard way, to bring them to their senses.

Revelation 20:4 [bold emphasis added]

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

     God does not revel in the hard way, as is clearly evident in the parable of the prodigal son, but if it gets the job done, then a greater good is achieved, and a new awareness of truth is revealed. This concept is poignantly outlined in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5.

1 Corinthians 5:1-5 [bold emphasis added]

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

     God will resort to drastic means, in order to save people. He never wants to subject people to needless suffering, but at the same time, in the grand scope of things, the pain of any degree of suffering in this life is nothing compared to absolute destruction in hell.

     I say this not to minimize the pain of this life, but rather to point out the truth, that the pain of hell, is all the pain of this life, combined with the imaginations of torture contrived from demonic entities.

     God also wants to see action. He wants people to choose to go one way or the other, so He can work with them. If people choose to obey Him (the voice of love), He will eventually develop them into spiritually mature people. After that, He might send them into very difficult situations to help other people, in order to obtain a greater reward in heaven (Hebrews 11:35, etc.)

     I personally think that the bulk of a heavenly reward is seeing more people in heaven for all eternity, and knowing we were a part of what got them there.

     If people stubbornly reject God’s truth, and maybe they’re even proud or arrogant about it, God hands them over to Satan. This is not God deceiving anyone, but rather people who have willfully defied God, yet at the same time they act like they’re just fine.

     The guy in the above scripture in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, is a case in point. What was he still doing in church, hanging out with the other believers? He was playing church, thinking he could straddle the fence, with one foot in the world, and one foot in God’s Kingdom. This is the exact same situation we see in these end times, and that’s why God is sending the strong delusion.

     For those who reject God’s truth, God is not content to allow them to straddle the fence, nor is there any neutrality in God’s Kingdom. Those who sit on the fence, will eventually be kicked off, one way or the other (Revelation 3:15-19).

     Again, if people continually reject God, He allows Satan into the picture, to see if people would rather follow him. He allows this, with the hope that people see through Satan’s deception, rather than preferring it, and eventually come to their senses (1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Peter 3:9).

Revelation 3:15-19 [bold emphasis added]

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent…

1 Corinthians 5:5 [bold emphasis and bracketed comments added]

…you are to deliver this man [who was committing adultery with his step-mother] to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

2 Peter 3:9 [bold emphasis added]

 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

 Notes

    1. WikiIslam, s.v. “Allah the Best Deceiver,” last modified January 31, 2016, https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Qur’an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Female_Genital_Mutilation (last accessed April 21, 2016)
    2. Don Boys, Ph.D. “Islam Permits Lying to Deceive Unbelievers and Bring World Domination,” Islam and the Facts, 17 November, 2004, http://muslimfact.com/bm/terror-in-the-name-of-islam/islam-permits-lying-to-deceive-unbelievers-and-bri.shtml (last accessed March 19, 2016).s://wikiislam.net/wiki/Qur’an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Female_Genital_Mutilation (last accessed April 21, 2016)
    3. Ibid.
    4. Raymond Ibrahim, “Islam’s Doctrines of Deception,” Middle East Forum, Promoting American Interests, October 2008, http://www.meforum.org/2095/islams-doctrines-of-deception (last accessed March 19, 2016).
    5. C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York, NY: The Macmillan Company, 1968), 128.

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