Part I (continued)
Strong Delusion In The Modern Spirit-Filled Era
Today, the essence of strong delusion is that the spirit-filled church has received God by means of the Holy Spirit, but not as the Spirit of Truth—thus creating an essentially false relationship with the true God. Because of the bad prism of heart upon which the Comforter has fallen, His esteemed ministry of this century has also been a strong delusion sent from God upon a truth-rejecting majority. Like Clark Kent and Superman, the great last day outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the great last day delusion have been one and the same.
By attempting to approach God only through His Comforting nature, most spirit-filled people have come to an experience of God that is void of truly knowing Him. Where intimacy with the Father ought to reign, the Comforter's attributes have instead been set up as objects of worship and God's goodness has co-opted God as the center of the church's affection. Through the exalting of the Spirit's corporate ministry toward human need, His mission to lead us to Christ has been hijacked to establish the church as the center of God's eternal purpose. This has created an enterprise in Spirit-sponsored humanism.
- Lest the Elect Be Deceived...
"... Those who are chosen have secured [the Spirit of Truth], while the rest have grown callous [through the Comforter]; as it is written, 'God has given them a spirit of stupidity...'" Rom. 11:7 paraphrasedFor false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. Mt. 24:24
Certainly not everyone who has received or ministered the Holy Spirit has received Him as a delusion. There are those who have received Him both as Comforter and as the Truth. But the number who receive Him as Comforter upon a foundation of Truth is very small compared to those who respond to Him only as the Comforter. Only a few move beyond the realms of the Spirit's need-centered corporate ministry to endure the Father's personal discipline that leads to intimate union with Him as sons.
This brings us face to face with the reality of an elect remnant people within a people. In every generation the majority of those with whom God deals come only to a form or likeness of Him while a few preserved by God Himself come to the reality to which the form points. Our present era of the Spirit has been no different.8 This is what Jesus had in mind when He charged the disciples about coming false christs and the deception the elect must overcome.
When Jesus warns of end time false christs, false prophets, signs, miracles, etc., it is the Holy Spirit's ministry of delusion to a truth-rejecting people that He envisions more than satan-originated eastern religions. First, satan's anointing is not as hard to detect as is delusion coming through an anointing of the Holy Spirit. Second, keep in mind that Satan's powers have reigned throughout this age while the Holy Spirit's powers have only blossomed in these end times. On satan's side there have always been false christs working false miracles. But the Holy Spirit's rise with its delusion is unique to the end times—and it is the end times that Jesus is addressing. Third, the word christs is just another word for "anointed ones." It doesn't just refer to people who claim to be "the Christ" but to anybody who is anointed for ministry.
What Jesus is really predicting here is the rise of end time ministries that will have a true anointing, but which are essentially false. They are false because, having hearts darkened by greed, lust and self-interest, these ministers will successfully use the Comforter's anointing as a cloak for their carnality, and so lead many sincere but undiscerning people astray.
Of all the issues we have touched concerning the Holy Spirit, comprehending the nature of delusion is the most difficult to fathom. Yet it completes a basic trilogy of things we must understand if we are to find right relationship to the Spirit. Together with our failure to apprehend the Holy Spirit's dual nature and the partiality of his presence, our ignorance about the real nature of spiritual delusion forms a three-fold cord of blindness by which all but a remnant of the spirit-filled church have been taken captive. These chains have tightened with each succeeding move of the Holy Spirit and are preparing a disobedient goat church to receive the Man of Sin as the Son of God.