The Workings of Deception
in the Last Days
"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day
should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of
light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night,
nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others;
but let us watch and be sober" 1 Thess 5:4-6.
The Lord has not left us in ignorance, nor is His Word silent
concerning the conditions which will prevail during these
last days. Just as Jesus plainly told His disciples about
His death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit has revealed to
us the condition of the Church, and of the workings of evil
in the latter days. All who read their Bible can know what
to expect in this, the closing out of the Gentile age.
No thoughtful, earnest Christian can doubt that we have indeed
entered into the days immediately preceding the Second Coming
of Christ. Indeed, God is working in such a rapid and marvelous
way upon the earth, moving swiftly yet quietly, that the sounding
of the midnight cry, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh,"
has already commenced to go forth.
Presently, there is too great a reliance upon the blessings
and manifestations which are being experienced. It is today
as it was during the life of Christ upon the earth. Unless
people see signs and wonders, they will in no wise believe
(John 4:48). This craving "to see" is a sign of
unbelief, and is recognized as such by our precious Lord.
"Hope that is seen is not hope" Rom 8:24b. God gives
signs and does wonders, and there are manifestations and blessings
which are from Him, but the enemy also shows signs and does
wonders, and there are manifestations which are from him.
We must be established in the Word of God that we may be
able to discern what is from God, and that which is not. When
men, with their works and theories, have passed away, when
Satan is eternally shut up, when heaven and earth have passed
away - throughout eternity, "THE WORD OF GOD ABIDETH
FOREVER." We have something that we can anchor to, which
God has made a "Lamp unto our feet and a light unto our
path" Psalm 119:105. We should know what He has said
about these things, rather than placing our trust in the opinions
of man. We are blameworthy if we ignore the light which has
been given in His Word.
Concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul said
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall
not come, except there come a falling away first" 2 Thess
2:3a. From the beginning, there have been many" fallings
away." Indeed, as many as there have been revivals and
mighty workings of God. In every case, a falling away has
always followed the moving of God, and much of the visible
results have disappeared.
We may ask what it is that is fallen away from. I Timothy
4:1 makes it very plain, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly,
that in the latter times some shall DEPART FROM THE FAITH,
giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils."
It is from the truth of the Gospel that the people will fall
away, in such numbers as to make our precious Lord exclaim,
"When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the
earth?" Luke 18:8b. Again in II Timothy 4:3-4, "For
the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine
... and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and
shall be turned unto fables."
In order to fall away from a place, a man must first be there.
He cannot fall away from where he has never been; neither
can he fall away from the faith if he has never been in the
faith. Nor can he fall away from the truths of the Gospel
if he has never heard and partaken of them. These Scriptures
are not referring to sinners or to nominal Church members,
but to those who have known the Truth and have been in the
"And 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: Even him, whose coming
is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and
lying wonders" 2 Thess 2:8-9. This speaks of the "wicked"
who are of Satan, working miracles and doing wonders, and
precede the return of our Lord to the earth. This is proven
by our Lord's own words in Matt 24:24-25. "For there
shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show
great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible,
they shall deceive the very elect. Behold I have told you
before." All this is previous to the coming of our Lord,
and applies to the days in which we are now living.
Let us notice especially that these false prophets will show
great signs and wonders. We are told that we need not be surprised
at anything that is done through the power of the enemy in
these days. The very signs which accompany them are intended
to prove that they, and what they do, are of God. This is
an attempt to deceive the Lord's people into believing that
God is working through them, when in reality it is the power
"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them
that perish; because they received not the love of the truth,
that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send
them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie"
2 Thess 2:10-11. This is because they did not hold fast to
sound doctrine; because they loved not the Truth; because
they were not filled with faith but craved for signs, to see
miracles and mighty works; therefore, "God sendeth them
an inward working of error" that strikes down into the
heart and works there.
All that is exterior is unimportant compared with that which
gets into the heart; for out of the heart are the issues of
life. And the grave part is that God not only permits it,
but sends it in order "that they may believe a lie."
Because they did not believe the Truth of God, He sends them
that which they prefer, the opposite of the Truth, which is
There is an attitude which many of the Lord's people take
toward the Word and the doctrines of Jesus Christ, which is
injurious to the ones who hold it. It is the feeling that
they need not stand for the truths of the Gospel, nor even
declare their position, in order to be true to God.
We are commanded to "Earnestly contend for the faith
which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). We
are to "Fight the good fight of faith" (I Tim 6:12).
In II Tim 4:7, Paul says "I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." There
is no uncertain sound in these words.