When you take your mind back to the days of Jesus, not that any of us were there of course, but you read of the many signs and wonders that were all part of Jesus’ short ministry: you read of voices coming out of heaven, you read of visitations that Jesus had with Moses and Elijah and also that He transfigured (turned glorious white), people being healed, casting out devils, walking on water, raising the dead, changing the weather (in that He calmed a storm), turning water into wine, feeding the five thousand, Jesus Himself coming back from the grave, visitations from many saints after Jesus came back from the grave, Jesus Himself going up into the clouds, walking through walls and appearing in rooms, cursing a fig tree that withered on the spot, Peter being told to catch a fish which had a coin it it’s mouth (in order to pay the tax man), prophecies given that actually came true, Jesus was able to read people’s minds and know their thoughts, He knew all about people that He’d never met before (told the women at the well that she’d been married five times), Jesus also was visited by angels – All of these to name but a few of the miracles that Jesus performed whilst on earth. St John also said, regarding the many other things that Jesus did, “…if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” (John 21:25). This being so in only three and a half years, you would have to say, was quite earth shaking and is still shaking the earth to this very day and of course the words of Jesus as recorded in the King James version of the bible are still as true today as they ever were, and all of this coming under the title of Signs & Wonders!
One of the main things that Jesus said when He was here was that He would return and this is commonly called the second coming, so ever since Jesus said this, both the disciples and every follower of Jesus have all wondered if Jesus would return in their day. Even back in the days of St Paul, even his followers were wondering if Jesus was going to return in their day, you read about this in Thessalonians. St Paul quickly pointed out to people who were thinking this way, that the return of Jesus was not at hand because something else has to happen first and that something else hasn’t happened yet. He pointed out that there was a mystery of iniquity at work. To understand what he meant by the mystery of iniquity it is sometimes best to think of a who-done-it-mystery in that someone is performing evil deeds and nobody knows just who is doing it but St Paul was saying that he knew who was doing these evil deeds and he knew why these evil deeds were being performed, so he said, “For the mystery of iniquity 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…” (2 Thessalonians 2:7,8). “Let” is an old English word which simply means: to hold back – so St Paul was saying that, He, Jesus, is holding the devil back and all of this mysterious evil that is going on in the world is all down to one person, that person being the Devil. So what is it that the Devil wants? Why has he been doing all these evil deeds throughout the centuries?
You read in these murder-mystery suspense thrillers and in these who-done-it-mystery scenarios of how someone has been plotting and planning and mysteriously bumping people off etc. and you wonder just who is doing it and why, and so first you look for a motive as to why someone would do it and then maybe you can figure out just who did it. So what is the motive in all of this plotting, planning, lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, conspiring, you name it, it’s all out there and it is as St Paul said, The Mystery of Iniquity! Paul in effect goes onto explain what all of this mystery and suspense is really all about, it is all about the Devil of course, the Wicked one who wants to be revealed. Revealed to what end you might ask? Well, believe it or not, he wishes to be revealed because he wants one thing only and that is to be God in the eyes of mankind, he wants your adoration and worship, he wants you to put him above every other god, and so he has to be revealed! Jesus of course is holding him back but one-day God will in a sense take Jesus out of the way and then shall that Wicked be revealed. So how will that Wicked be revealed when our usual understanding of such a person is that most people don’t really see the Devil do they! So how is he going to be revealed so that everyone can see him and worship him seeing as he’s some kind of spirit or something? Well, believe it or not, he will be revealed much the same way that God chose to reveal Himself through His only begotten Son, Jesus! We read of Jesus in the book of John as being the Word (Jesus) that was made flesh and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace (giving) & truth. Well, the Devil will be revealed in his son who will also be made flesh so that people will also be able to behold his so-called glory, but of course he is not full of grace and truth, he is full of selfishness and lies. Paul goes onto say that after Jesus is taken out of the way:
(2 Thessalonians 2: 8) “…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:” The Wicked that is going to be revealed is going to be:
9. “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”
So here we have, a person whose workings is the same as the Devil’s workings and he will be coming in, or in other words: being revealed through all kinds of signs & wonders just like when Jesus started His ministry, all kinds of signs & wonders followed Him! And so it will be with the Devil’s son, all kinds of lying signs & wonders will follow him along with as it says all power. “All power” means his power will be coming from the Devil himself, the Devil wants the world to believe that he is God through this Wicked man that is being revealed to the world. This Wicked man that is being revealed to the world will also come in:
10. “…with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved.”
The world has gotten to the stage where it has pretty much rejected the love of the truth: so what is the love of the truth that Paul is talking about? The love of the truth is simply this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” So here we have St Paul telling us that the Devil is now giving the world his only begotten son: So does the Devil so love the world that he is giving his only begotten son? – Most definitely not! – that whosoever believeth in him should not perish? – Most definitely not! (because they will perish) – but hath everlasting life? – again, Most definitely not! Everlasting life actually means “everlasting God” – through receiving Jesus into our hearts we receive the everlasting God, or in other words, the everlasting Life and Love and Spirit of God. Through receiving the Wicked one, we receive a false messiah, a false saviour, a false Christ, a false light, and what you might call everlasting death, or in other words, an everlasting kind of living death and a life without life, a life without God! Paul goes on to explain this and says that because people didn’t choose to receive Jesus, or in other words: they didn’t receive the love of the truth that they might be saved, so:
11. “…for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:”
People will herald this Wicked one as being the Christ – this is what is meant by the “Great Deception” that a lot of people are talking about these days on the Internet. It makes it quite clear what this “Great Deception” is when you break all of these verses down. People are going to actually believe that this Wicked and what Paul calls calls earlier on the man of sin, is some kind of saviour and Christ figure, they are even going to believe that he is the long awaited Messiah, the Anointed One – the word “Christ” means anointed one. “Anointed One” means that all your power comes from God, remember that it said earlier on “all power and signs and lying wonders.” This Wicked one will have all of his power coming from the Devil and whatever signs & wonders followed Jesus could very well follow this man but in a more negative sense in that they will be Lying signs & wonders, so much so that people will believe that he is the Christ. This is the strong delusion, or in other words: The Great Deception that Paul is talking about and it will be so powerful and so much so that they should believe a lie.
12. “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrigheousness.”
So what we have here is a world that has rejected Jesus, the true Christ, the true anointed One, and then you have the Devil and his so-called Christ and his so-called anointed one, this being the Great Deception, or in other words: the Great Delusion which Paul calls the strong delusion that the world will flock after when they see all of the lying signs & wonders and so they will receive this Wicked one as the all powerful and all mighty one, in other words: he will be God in their eyes!