“A Great Storm Approaches” Part 20

The Hour of Trial coming upon the whole world (Rev 3:10)

Whose presence (our Lord’s) is to be [accompanied by or during] an energetic operation of
Satan [Satanic energy and action] with
ALL power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with
every iniquitous deception for those perishing

“This great energetic operation of delusion by Satan is to take place during the Lord’s Second Advent, not
initially when
the Lord first came but during his presence and yet future. This great deception will
precede the destruction of the nominal systems and take place shortly before the epiphania (or “bright
shining
”). Satan will control and manipulate the man of sin so that it will be working very feverishly.

What is the difference between power, signs, and lying wonders?

Notice in that the signs and lying wonders are
plural, which indicates that there will be various
deceptions along these lines, not just one particular miraculous event
.    

POWER

Satan will use all the power he has ever had down through the ages. He is not being bound. In
fact, he will get even
more liberty and power during Jesus’ Second Presence. Stated another way,
instead of being progressively bound, Satan is being loosed more. He will work with
all power to do what
he wishes with only certain, hardly evident limitations. He will operate through
the man of sin with all
kinds of delusions and
tremendous power. Therefore, the future hour of great trial has to do with the
power and deception of Satan. At the time of the Crucifixion, Jesus said, “
The prince of this world
[now] cometh, and hath nothing in me
” (John 14:30). Like Jesus their head, the feet members
will have a similar experience and die at the hand of Satan
.

We will not here go into a debate over whether or not the binding of Satan is instant or progressive, but
simply present what Brother Shallieu has stated for the benefit of this study. As for myself I am yet
decided fully on the matter, for a long time I have leaned toward a progressive binding but of late I have
seen the reasoning in an instant binding, but that’s a whole nether can of worms which we do not at this
particular moment wish to discuss as it would detract from the study at hand, perhaps sometime later
under another thread we will discuss the issue in further detail
.

SIGNS

The Pharisees and Sadducees demanded a sign from Jesus: a “sign from heaven” (Matt 16:1). They did
not want a healing miracle but a sign from heaven.
Here at the end of the age, if Satan is going to
manipulate great power to produce
signs,the account is suggesting that something visual
could occur—not just a bleeding icon, for example, which is a localized sign, but
visible signs that
will have a
worldwide effect. It could even seem as if something is happening in regard to the God of
nature—something clearly
supernatural and in heaven.

On this last suggestion with regards to nature we must keep in mind that along with the various man-
made calamities taking place at the time so too will there be natural disasters and calamities accruing,
disasters of an unprecedented nature and scope as the physical world readies itself in final preparation for
the kingdom of God, to be made a paradise in which nothing shall hurt or cause injury to any traversing
the Highway of Holiness. Some of these events although at first detrimental to mankind will most likely
give instant evidence of beneficial results contributing to the long-term advantage and benefit of
mankind. Of course any such evidence would only be noticed by the few as most will have more on their
plates to contend with at the time than they can handle. Those few who do take notice (with an
understanding of the truth, and the plan of God) will attribute it to the Lord’s preparation for the in-
coming kingdom, whilst the majority of nominal Christendom will imagine it to be the results of the
great final warfare between God and Satan in preparation for Judgment Day
.            

LYING WONDERS

These will be deceptive, false phenomena that teach untruths. Sometimes an untruth is taught without
words, as when Satan had the serpent eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. However, these
future lying wonders will probably be
audible as well as visual. In the past there were visions of the
Virgin Mary as well as voices and messages giving false instruction. Many do not believe the visions actually
occur because they
took place in a localized area, but what if such a thing happened on a worldwide
scale
—or even to a whole city or country? In a recent case in England, all television airwaves were jammed
simultaneously by an unexplained message. Such possibilities are open to Satan and his fallen angels.

Suppose asignwere accompanied by a televised message.

Suppose angels were seen flying over the Vatican.

Suppose a UFO landed with seemingly friendly superior beings who gave advice.

The point is that there will be
large-scale deceptions (small ones worked well all down throughout
history), but with
all power (not some power); future deceptions will be even more demonstrative
and widespread than anything to date
. They will give a lie to all that is good and true through a
frenzy of delusion (Greek energeia, an energetic operation with all power, that is, a frenzy to do
certain things in order to
delude).”

We should very much like to purpose a scenario which may take place, one which would especially test
the faith of the consecrated here at the end of the age, but we will discuss that under another thread
shortly as once again we do not wish to detract from the study at hand. I promise to bring it up later
under another thread as soon as I am able
.

The Lord points out these strong delusions (attacks of the Adversary) are specifically permitted
to fall upon
his professed followers”, why is this you ask? Why should these strong delusions
be directed specifically upon believers, why not the unbelieving world? The reason is simple,
the
whole world already lies under the sway of the wicked one
” (1 John 5:19), and few, very few of
these have escaped his clutches over the centuries, having been called forth from the darkness into the
Lord’s marvelous light (
1 Pet 2:9).

The Pastors thoughts are these,

“In the beginning of our Lord's ministry at his first advent, Satan's efforts were concentrated specifically
upon the one object of causing him to stumble, thereby to nip the divine plan in the bud,
the Lord’s
followers
, the consecrated members of the body of Christ have been specially opposed and beset by him,
likewise now his efforts are concentrated specially upon the last members of that body, "the feet of him,"
who are running the race for the prize of the high calling.
It is for this cause that so many new and
plausible forms of error have been (and will be) brought forward within this harvest period. Satan
is using every effort to thwart God's plan and to stumble the feet. And God even more than permits this:
he encourages it by sending (
i.e. permitting) these strong delusions of Satan among his professed
followers
--at the same time assuring all who at heart are faithful to his Word and to their
covenant of self-sacrifice that they need fear no evil,
for he will be with them and uphold them
though a thousand fall at their side
(fall prey to Satan’s delusions, these plausible forms of error).”
R 1362

Generally when we think of the Lord’s professed followers we include all of the Household of Faith, i.e. all
believers, both the consecrated and the unconsecrated, the true and the nominal church, but as Brother
Frank Shallieu points out in his study of
First and Second Thessalonians, pages 78-81 the strong
delusions spoken of in
2 Thess 2:11,12And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness
relate to those delusions specifically to befall the consecrated.

Verse 10 is not directed to the nominal Church, the tare class, but to the consecrated, to those
who
have received the truth but not the love of it. (Precisely, how could any believe in that which
they have not yet received? The nominal church has not yet received
THE truth, only a mixture
contaminated with the doctrines of men
) this class (of consecrated ones referred to in Verse 10)
responded to the truth but with ulterior motives. Even though we may initially receive the truth in
the love of it and consecrate on that basis, then, depending on how we respond to trials and
experiences—
whether we compromise on principle, etc., and thus undergo a deterioration—we would
no longer be pursuing the truth because of the love of it. And some have ulterior motives for consecration
to begin with. Our love for the truth should be maintained. Whether we end up in the little Flock, the Great
Company, or Second Death will depend on how much of the spirit of the truth we have imbibed and been
faithful to.”

Verses 9–12 refer to the end of the age. During the Lord’s presence the Adversary will work with an
energetic operation that will have the effect of delusion. Since the world has been under Satan’s
influence all along, throughout the Gospel Age, these verses refer to something Satan will try to
do to the consecrated before the Gospel Age fully ends
. In other words, when Satan deceives all (in
the world
) but the Very Elect, some in the truth (in the Great Company class) will also be deceived and
thus incur a more responsible judgment than the world.”

“In the
Fourth Volume, page 581, the Pastor said, “Great delusions are just before us ... [and]
some of these ... may come
closest upon those possessing the largest degree of the light of
present truth
.” Thus the consecrated will be liable to these deceptions as well as the world. Matt 24:24
implies that all of the consecrated not of the Little Flock will in some manner be at least temporarily
deceived.
Combining several Scriptures, we can conclude that the Great Company will be
deceived
, slumber in measure, and lose out on the oil for a time, but afterwards they will be restored,
rescued, and saved so as by fire (
1 Cor 3:15). As the Apostle Peter stated, “The righteous [will]
scarcely be saved” (which includes all who have received of the imputation of the merit of Christ’s
righteousness, all the consecrated both the Little Flock and the Great Company
) 1 Pet 4:18.

Personally I believe there will be differing degrees of susceptibleness to the deceptions befalling the Great
Company Class, with those having stuck closes to the Elijah class suffering the least, and those poor
souls still in Babylon suffering the most, however as the Pastor pointed out many who have benefitted
the most from the present truth, having received more light than their brethren, still trap within Babylon
will be especial targets of the Adversary, something to keep in mind lest we become overconfident in
ourselves and of our knowledge of the truth
.  

“If the whole world lies in the wicked one—and has been all along, ever since the Flood when Satan became
the god of this world—then
2 Thess 2 is talking about an added deception aimed specifically at the
consecrated
. Put another way, Satan knows that a battle lies ahead between him and Christ, and that
only one can win it.”

Continued with next post


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