Concerning belief in “the lie” referred to in the previous posting, note that the Apostle Paul was writing to one of the true churches of God (see 1 Thess. 1:1). This letter was written around 55 A.D., only some 24 years after the founding of the New Testament Church in Jerusalem in 31 A.D. Like her sister church in Ephesus, this congregation had, within one generation, found herself unwittingly mired in a battle with Satan, a deadly battle that many in the church were losing. Paul, who was not known for pulling verbal punches, saw what was happening and was warning the Thessalonians because he knew that, like a cancer, what begins small will eventually become large and consume its host unless it’s growth is halted and the problem removed. In this case the spiritual cancer was unbelief–doubt of the truth of God’s Word. There were those in the church who were presenting to the congregation another way to serve God. Just as Paul had been warning the churches about for several years, Satan had inserted his false prophets into their midst in order to deceive members into following his new and improved gospel.
By studying the apostles’ letters to the churches we can see that this heresy had been introduced early on into the Lord’s churches scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Those who had not been attacked by the devil soon would be. History reveals that this spiritual disease, characterized by rejection of many of God’s Holy precepts, would eventually destroy the entire church system, culminating in the creation of the Catholic (Universal) Church which, during the fourth century, embraced Babylonian heathenism by incorporating many of its beliefs and customs such as the Sunday Sabbath, the trinity, the celebration of Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentines Day, etc. which the Whore–Catholicism–and her harlot daughters–the denominations of Protestantism (see Revelation 17:1-5)–continue to believe and practice to this day.
Through his false prophets Satan continues to lure parishioners away from God in the same way he convinced Adam and Eve to follow him–by giving them a more enlightened and user friendly way to serve God. His religious system continues to destroy multitudes of unsuspecting souls to this day. As was the case in the early days of the church, the modern Church of God has within it those who “are perishing because they do not love the Truth so that they might be saved.” And because of their faithlessness, GOD has sent them “strong delusion so that they believe a lie” (2 Thes. 2:10-12). Again, Paul was writing to the true Church of God, as did all of the apostles. These were not splinter groups formed by wayward religionists in search of followers. These were God’s Elect, many of whom were falling by the wayside while remining in His church. Through His end-of-the-age call to those searching for Him, the Lord continues to warn them through the Holy Scriptures and those who preach and teach them. His warning: “STUDY, BELIEVE AND OBEY MY WORD OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.”
It is important that the Institutional Church consider the following facts. If Satan is capable of deceiving some of God’s Very Elect within His true church, and he is (see 1 Pet. 4:14), what chance do those in Catholicism/Protestantism have against him? The truth is that the billions of God-seekers trapped in his religious empire have no chance for salvation as long as they remain in their current spiritual condition (see 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). In spite of numerous warnings from God through His printed Word and the preaching of His ministers, history has proven that the vast majority within Satan’s church system will remain there. It is to those unsuspecting souls that Paul and the other apostles wrote their epistles. It is for their spiritual descendants that this and other end-time ministries exist. L.J.