strong delusion

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;

Note: “that day” refers to 2 Thess 1:1 “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him”

2 Thess 2:11-12 And 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.

Notice it is God who allows the false prophet to prove you.

Deut 13:1-3 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

the refreshing

Isaiah 28:9-13
Whom shall he teach knowledge?
and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?
them that are weaned from the milk,
and drawn from the breasts. 

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept;
line upon line, line upon line;
here a little, and there a little:
for with stammering lips and another tongue
will he speak to this people. 

To whom he said,
This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest;
and this is the refreshing:
yet they would not hear. 

But the word of the Lord was unto them
precept upon precept, precept upon precept;
line upon line, line upon line;
here a little, and there a little;
that they might go, and fall backward,
and be broken, and snared, and taken.

In contrast to the unteachable prideful ones in Isaiah 28:1-8 who produce immature fruit, those who are teachable in knowledge and understanding of doctrine are mature [have been weaned from milk – note you must first be raised on the milk before you mature, those who are still on milk still have not been practicing the basics].

The crown of pride (ie: bible correctors) is contrasted with those who study God’s words repeatedly line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.

To contrary, the elders who are spiritually mature from laboring in the word and doctrine wear their gray hair as a crown of glory.

Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

1 Tim 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

Notice to that the refreshing (the Holy Spirit) in v11-12 is in between studying God’s words in v10 and v13.

ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil

Gen 3:5b ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil

Being made in the image of God, Adam and Eve were already “like” God.   Appealing to pride, Satan’s temptation was that knowledge would enable them to decide good and evil for themselves thereby making them as gods.

Instead of trusting in God’s words (the tree of life), they sought knowledge so they could decide good an evil for themselves.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  There is no other avenue to the Father. (John 14:6)

Gen 3:24b a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Eph 6:17b the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

God’s word is truth (John 17:17)

Godly wisdom, a wholesome tongue, and the fruit of righteousness is a tree of life (Prov 3:18; Prov 11:30; Prov 15:4)

crown of pride

So many ministries and movements start out full of glorious beauty, however, at some point begin to fade…

Isaiah 28:1-8 

1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.
3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:
4 and the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower,
and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth,
while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.
5 In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
6 and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way;
the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine,
they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

The spiritual leaders and elders, instead of wearing a crown of glory are wearing a crown of pride.

Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

The crown of pride is worn by those who should be spiritually mature (wearing a crown of glory), but instead of submitting to and maturing in God’s truth, they are drunk on their own authority (ie: bible correctors) and produce immature fruit.

Notice how a “crown of pride” leads to drunkenness.

They are drunk on the strong drink of old (fermented/corrupted) wine from the vine of sodom.

Drunkenness leads to error in vision, stumbling in judgement, and being “out of the way”.

The judge at the gate is put to sleep.

What was once glorious beauty is now become a fading flower to the point that there was no longer any place not corrupted (no place clean).

be not drunk

Some folks who seek to defend the “drunk in the spirit” behavior are often long on experiential anecdotes and philosophical musings but short on scripture.  One scripture that is often cited is Acts 2:12-15.

Acts 2:12-15 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

The mockers said “These men are full of new wine”.  The sugar in unfermented new wine brightens your countenance in same way as honey (see 1 Samuel 14:27) and can make you feel and appear joyful and energetic.

No doubt that those who had just heard the mighty rushing wind, seeing the tongues of fire, and been filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time were very excited, jubilant, and rightfully full of the joy of the Lord!

Read Isaiah 28:1-13 – God contrasts drunkenness on the fermented (corrupted) old wine from the vine of Sodom (Deut 32:32) in Isaiah 28:1-8 to His plan of “new wine” from the True Vine (John 15:1) that is refreshing in Isaiah 28:9-13.

If you are drunk on “old wine” you stumble in judgement, your senses dulled, and the judge at the gate is put to sleep.  Your only goal is to increase and prolong the drunkenness (Prov 23:35).   You are not interested in new wine as it would not help you get drunker — to the contrary new wine would begin to “wake you up”.

Luke 5:39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better

Notice Peter had stated in Acts 2:15 “these are not drunken”.  How can we say they were “drunk in the spirit” if Peter plainly states that they were “not drunken”?

Contrary to promoting drunkenness, Peter admonishes that we should “be sober”:

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Notice that the way to resist steadfastly in the faith hinges on being sober and vigilant.  The adversary the devil seeks who he “may” devour.  Those who he “may” devour are those who are not sober and vigilant.

We must be sober and vigilant because the brethren (believers) are vulnerable to the same afflictions (weaknesses) that are accomplished in the world.  Being sober is an antidote to the affliction of drunkenness.

Paul also says in Ephesians 5:18 to “be not drunk“.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Paul links drunkenness with darkness in 1 Thess 5:7 “For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.”

He also tells the Corinthians in 1 Cor 6:10 that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul tells Timothy in 1 Tim 3:2 that a pastor should be sober and of good behavior and also says in 1 Cor 14:26, “Let all things be done unto edifying”.

How is behaving drunk edifying to the church or any different than the flesh driven distractions and incoherent behaviors Paul is correcting the Corinthians about in his letters to the Corinthians?

1 Cor 11:20-22 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.  For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.  What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.  

Paul says that what they are doing when they are coming together is NOT the Lord’s supper. Some are there only to appease their fleshly appetites in drunkenness (both physical and spiritual) and this leaves others famished (both physically and spiritually) – the pursuit of fleshly experiences is a distraction and not edifying to the body, resulting in people go hungry for not hearing the words of the Lord — a famine in the land for a lack of hearing the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11).

If there remains any doubt concerning drunkenness being a work of the flesh, please read:

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.