Tag Archive | lying spirit

Does God send a delusion so that people must believe a lie?

God is glorified when we bear much fruitglorified.jpg

If God is glorified when we bear fruit, he clearly would not send a delusion on innocent people so that they will believe a lie and live in darkness. If he would do something like that, it would be his fault that they believe in a lie instead of their own fault.

The God of the Bible does not trick people into believing lies. The following Bible text explains why people believe in a lie:

2 Thess. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;–10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; BECAUSE they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.11 And FOR THIS CAUSE God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Above we can see that God ”shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”, but it also explains why this happens. In Young’s literal translation it says ”and in all deceitfulness of the unrighteousness in those perishing, because the love of the truth they did not receive for their being saved, and because of this shall God send to them a working of delusion, for their believing the lie”.

It explains that those who are perishing are those who are unrighteous and who had no love for the truth. That is a bad choice on their part (they knew better), and due to their refusal to seek the truth and come to God, he will send them a delusion. Paul repeats, that those who eventually will be damned are those who do not believe the truth (indicating they could have and should have), and who had pleasure in unrighteousness. If people would not have chosen to dismiss God, they would not have ended up being totally comfortable in their false delusions. This happens to be the exact same message as Paul gives in Rom. 1:18-32. 

Rom. 1:1818 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, SO THAT THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.24 THEREFORE God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who EXCHANGED THE TRUTH OF GOD FOR THE LIE, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.26 FOR THIS REASON God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (NKJV)

God gave them over to a reprobate mind (KJV), due to their choice to turn their backs on God, despite that he could be clearly seen and understood by them. Those who deserve death, according to Paul, are those who practice such sins which he listed. This means that these people must exist (have physical bodies) in order to perform such things, which further means that they were not chosen to be non-elect from the foundation of the world, the way Calvinists think. People end up in hell due to their sins which they refuse to get rid of, and not due to being chosen as non-elect before they are even born.

Is. 66:3 —He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol. Just as they have chosen their own ways, And their soul delights in their abominations, 4 So will I choose their delusionsAnd bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, When I spoke they did not hear; But they did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.” (NKJV)

It is the same story in Isaiah above. The message is that people have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations. For this reason God will ”choose their delusions”, and bring their fears on them. They should rather have come to God when he called for them to do so. Instead they did evil before his eyes, and committed sins against his will.

More verses about people who believe in falsehood against God’s willosas 10

Man must be blamed for believing in deceptions, and not God.

Is. 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves

Above,  the people of Jerusalem had chosen to make LIES their refuge. Something that naturally does not please God. Deceit comes from their own hearts.

Is. 59:13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

Jer. 8:5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.

Jer. 9:6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the Lord.

Jer 13:25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the Lord; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.

Jer. 14:14 Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

Jer. 23:26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;

Ps. 119:118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.

Prov. 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.

Prov. 26:24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;

Prov. 29:13 The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.

Above verses clearly show that man causes his own deceit, and believes in falsehood and lies despite having a better alternative.

Jer. 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The above is a well-known verse often used by people who would like to find support for maintaining a sinful life style. However, this verse is just a general statement in relation to the sins of Judah – speaking about sinners – and does not say that all people are bound to live in sin whether they want to or not. We can even read in the same chapter ”5. Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord”, indicating that Judah has the ability to remain faithful to the Lord and his commandments. It goes on to say ”6. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LordAnd whose hope is the Lord”, showing that no man’s heart has to be deceitful. Instead this type of man will not cease yielding much fruit (v. 8) . Clearly no one has to depart from the Lord and forsake him. They are warned if they do:

Jer. 17:13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed.
Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the Lord, The fountain of living waters.”

When it comes to Ahab and the ”lying spirit” in 1 Kings 22 and 2 Chr. 18 you can read this article.

There is no darkness in God and we are told that we should not accuse him of tempting us since he tempts no one, much less causes anyone to sin.

Ja. 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

Above we can also see James warning his beloved brethren to not be deceived, indicating there is a risk that they will. More of the same warnings below. Notice that the deception spoken about does not only concern temporary disadvantages on earth, but our souls are at risk (Gal. 6:7-8).

Deut. 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them

Job 15:31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.

Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

1 Cor. 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind

1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Gal. 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

2 Tim 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Rev. 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Let us pray and encourage each other to not deviate from God’s word.

Hebr. 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Did God cause a lying spirit to entice Ahab? – 1 Kings 22 and 2 Chr. 18

sin

God does not tempt anyone, nor does he cause people to sin

Is God pleased to put humans into impossible predicaments which he himself decrees and in which there is no escape? Only to turn around and send those poor people to hell for doing his exact will (by sinning)? How does that line up with:

Psalm 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.

Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

The Bible says that God doesn’t even TEMPT anyone, so how could anyone possibly suggest that God plays the role of Satan and causes people to sin, and even worse; pretend to be angry at the sin that he himself caused? Between Genesis and Revelations we cannot find one single case where God in any way causes/forces anyone to sin. IF 2 Chronicles 18 would tell us that God caused someone to sin (which it doesn’t) would this mean that God is the one who causes all people to sin at all times? Can every single sin under the sun be traced back to GOD? So every time we see people refusing to hearken to God and when they rebel against him, it’s really GOD who caused them to do this all along? So our Lord wants people to rebel against him? You must be joking…

James. 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.13 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:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Numbers 14:22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have NOT hearkened to my voice;

There are a few occasions where God allows a group of evil people to be victorious over his chosen people Israel, and we can see Israel’s enemy gain the Lord’s reluctant permission (2 Sam. 24 and 1 Chr. 21) to go through with their desire to cause calamity. Israel’s enemy was of course set on destroying Israel from the start, so it wasn’t a desire that God planted in them.

Saul and evil spirits

God can absolutely send ”evil spirits” (or rather allow Satan certain power) just like he did with Saul, but note that God doesn’t do this randomly to people for no reason at all. God chose Saul to be king but Saul ended up being selfish and wicked which resulted in that God repented of having chosen him. Due to Saul’s evil approach, God sent him an evil spirit – or rather allowed Satan to torture him through evil spirits, which boils down to the same thing. The reason for the presence of this evil spirit is therefore Saul’s, and not God’s.

1 Samuel 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

1 Sam. 16:1 And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.—14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.15 And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.—23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

1 Samuel 18:10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.

1 Samuel 19:9 And the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

There is a difference between God ruling over the activity of demons and God ruling the activity of demons. God is of course more powerful than Satan and his demons. God can (albeit oftentimes reluctantly) allow demons to afflict men for various reasons, which is not to be compared with the idea that God plays dice and commands demons to torture people for no reason at all – or just because he can.

2 Chron. 18 and 1 Kings. 22 – and God trying to persuade Ahab to accept his warningsspirit2

1 Kings 22 below shows that God simply allowed King Ahab to do what he already wanted and had set his mind to – i.e., to listen to his false prophets. King Ahab of Israel twice complained to King Jehoshaphat of Judah that the Lord’s prophet Micaiah never says anything good about him but only speaks calamity. Ahab was not thankful for God’s warning to him which he chose to reject, and he was resentful once Micaiah gave him the word of the Lord. God extended even more patience toward Ahab by having Micaiah tell the king exactly what evil spirits had been doing to plot his downfall, but Ahab rejected this further warning as well. If God’s intent was to command demons to lie and deceive Ahab, why would He bother warning Ahab about it? What would be the point with trying to warn Ahab against the very disaster to which he was trying to entice him?!

When we read only certain phrases in 1 Kings 22 it may sound as though God is the direct causal agent to what happened, but if we are honest and read the whole context we get another picture. Micaiah says to Ahab: “Now therefore behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.” The word for ”evil” in Hebrew may also be translated as disaster or calamity, and it’s not uncommon at all to see God punishing Israel (for their rebellion against him) by causing calamity to happen. This can easily be done by taking away his protective hand over Israel and by doing so allow the enemy to be victorious in their desire to conquer Israel – which their hearts are set upon. God is described by Micaiah as someone who has put a lying spirit in the mouth of the false prophets, while the context shows that God is doing this by permission and not by a commandment, and he even warns Ahab in the process. It’s an idiomatic way of speaking which the entire context of 1 Kings 22 demonstrates. “The Lord hath sent a lying spirit” is a stronger way of including God’s overall power than merely stating “God has allowed a lying spirit”.  The lying spirit helps the false prophets to speak lies to Ahab about all that the king himself wants to believe about his future. God is not sending Ahab what He (God) wants but rather what Ahab wants! Certainly a bad choice by Ahab.

2 Chron. 18:18 Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the Lord; I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.19 And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith?21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.22 Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee.

Same story, but in Kings:

1 King. 22:19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.20 And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him.22 And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.23 Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.

Note that God is asking who shall entice Ahab?” and ”wherewith?” when a certain spirit volunteered to do it and explained how he intended to do it. God did not take the other route by selecting a spirit and telling him ”This is what I will cause you to do through predestination”, but instead he allowed/granted the spirit to do what he proposed to do which was what Ahab in fact asked for.

We can compare this with what happened to Job, and it’s clear from context of Job 2 that God merely allowed events to happen.

Job. 2:And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

God desired to allow Satan to have certain power, but it’s not certain that God wanted him to use the power the way he did.  When God says that he ruined Job he speaks idiomatically as though he were the causal agent, despite that the context shows he was not. There is a ”lost book” called ”The testimony of Job”, and even if it’s not a canonical book and therefore cannot be totally trusted, it still provides a reasonable answer to why Job was even selected to go through all this pain at all (he more or less opened up for it himself). We know that Job’s life started out being very blessed just as the end of his life. His painful time happened somewhere in the middle and it was a parentheses in his life time.