Posted Feb 03, 2021 by Michael L. Brown

There is a principle often found in the Bible wherein God gives people over to their sins and delusions if they refuse to humble themselves and repent. Consequently, the more we reject the truth, the more deluded we become, and the more we reject the Lord’s moral standards, the more perverse we become.

We find this principle in Romans 1, which describes the spiritual and moral declension of the human race. In sum, because we rejected God, He gave us over to foolish idolatry. Then, as we persisted in sin, He gave us over to sexual immorality, then to sexual perversion, then to every kind of moral evil.

We find this same principle in 2 Thessalonians 2, but this time in terms of delusional beliefs, as those who reject God’s truth will end up following the Antichrist.

As Paul wrote, “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

Notice carefully: God Himself sends these persistent unbelievers “a powerful delusion.” They are hardened in their sin, just as Pharaoh was in Exodus. (For a detailed treatment of the Hebrew verbs involved in the biblical account, see here.)

In some cases, we simply reap what we sow, meaning that, the more we walk in error, the further we get into error. The more we walk in disobedience, the more we disobey. (See Galatians 6:7-8.)

In other cases, as with the texts just referenced, God actively gives people over to delusion and deception. This is the judgment they experience for refusing to yield.

Today, we are witnessing a similar phenomenon, be it with people reaping what they have sown or with God giving them over to delusion. Either way, it is frightening to watch this unfold here and now, right in front of our own eyes.

For example, those who continue to believe in the QAnon conspiratorial myths are now espousing even more extreme and bizarre theories.

There can be no reality check because reality no longer has any meaning.

It was one thing when, in the days before Joe Biden’s inauguration, the conspiracy theorists told us that the thousands of National Guard troops that flooded the Capital were there to install Donald Trump, not protect Biden.

Yes, we were assured, both Biden, Mike Pence, and others would be arrested, and Trump himself, the rightful president, would be inaugurated.

The theory was bizarre and preposterous, without any foundation in fact, yet the inauguration had not yet taken place. But for those given over to delusion, the events of January 20th presented no problem at all.

Biden, we were told, was not actually installed as our 46th president. It appeared to be him but was not. Trump is still in control. Soon enough the whole world will see. (For a variation of this, actually fact-checked by USA Today, see here.)

This is the madness of delusion. There are no facts. There is no reality. There is only perception.

Thankfully, many QAnon followers did wake up. They had their reality check, with many commenting, “We’ve all been played.”

As Forbes reported, “As Joe Biden was sworn in as president, QAnon followers finally saw their hope for the ‘storm’—when President Donald Trump would bring down the ‘deep state’ and expose a far-reaching child-sex-trafficking ring—disappear, leaving followers of the unhinged conspiracy theory in despair and searching for answers, while one of the most prominent adherents gave up.”

On the Christian charismatic, spiritual front, we’re witnessing a similar phenomenon when it comes to the failed Trump prophecies.

Some leaders have apologized for their wrong words, however well-intentioned the prophecies may have been. And many believers have recognized that these prophetic leaders have erred, calling for honesty and accountability without throwing them under the bus.

But many others have dug in their heels.

Some of those claiming the mantle of prophet have told us that Trump has actually been inaugurated by God, and that it is he, not Biden, who is currently the legitimate, even governing president.

Others are insisting that the big turnaround is still to come, with new dates set for March or April or sometime in the next four years (!). Yet these very same voices guaranteed us that Trump would be inaugurated on January 20th, reaffirming their words in the days leading up to that date. Why the need to shift the dates now? Did God lose track of the time?

As for those of us who would call for accountability, based on clear New Testament principles (see 1 Corinthians 14:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21; 1 John 4:1), we are accused of attacking the prophets, or criticizing the prophets, or shaming the prophets. “Don’t touch God’s anointed,” we are told with threatening intonation. God will strike us if we do.

Still, it’s one thing for those who made the failed predictions to defend themselves. It’s another thing for their followers to do so as well, castigating anyone who would dare point to reality. As one of my colleagues noted, it is a bizarre fulfillment of what God said through the prophet Jeremiah over 2,500 years ago: “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and My people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31, my emphasis)

The path to delusion has many roadblocks along the way. One of those is called reality. Once we deny that, we are well on our way to dangerous deception.

So, to one and all I say: it is high time for a serious reality check. Those who truly love God will never be hurt by the truth.

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jennifer smith posted a comment · Mar 19, 2022
I agree Q was beyond ridiculous, and the followers naïve, but there are far greater, much more concerning delusions that christians should be focusing on. such as the whole transgender bit. just look at the state of the church. they have begun to accept homosexuality, CRT and social justice issues. THOSE are FAR more concerning than folks being taken by a deep state psy op. i really like dr. brown, but his trump derangement syndrome is quite unfortunate.
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JH Brake posted a comment · Feb 14, 2021
Like I wrote in another post, I would rather stand with the remnant and thought a fool than stand with the fearful and unbelieving. Defining "delusional" Dr. Brown uses the example of a remnant within the broken Church who believe the prophets! - A remnant who love God, who try to hear Him, have repented, and cry out daily for deliverance from unrepentant thieves and the creeping darkness that is settling upon our country. And writing in a Christian forum on the "delusional", Dr. Brown completely ignores the demonic worldly-wise who mock God, claim gender fluid nonsense as truth and murder babies as a right! Truly amazing. And a respondent below speaks of "common sense"! Was the parting of the Red Sea, the resurrection of Lazarus, or even the resurrection of Christ Himself "common sense"? Methinks the doctor doth greatly err.
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yeshuais4me posted a comment · Feb 07, 2021
Isaiah 66 (CJB) 66:1  “Heaven is my throne,” says Adonai, “and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house could you build for me? What sort of place could you devise for my rest? 2  Didn’t I myself make all these things? This is how they all came to be,” says Adonai. Comment: Here it appears that God is mocking man for wanting to build Him a house. God denied King David’s request to build a house for God and the ark but then allows Solomon, King David’s son to build a house for Him. I also appears that Solomon was the cause of the 10 tribes to leave Judah and Benjamin. Continue Isaiah 66: “The kind of person on whom I look with favor is one with a poor and humble spirit, who trembles at my word. 3  Those others might as well kill a person as an ox, as well break a dog’s neck as sacrifice a lamb, as well offer pig’s blood as offer a grain offering, as well bless an idol as burn incense. Just as these have chosen their ways and enjoy their disgusting practices, 4  so I will enjoy making fools of them, and bring on them the very things they fear. For when I called, no one answered; when I spoke, they did not hear. Instead they did what was evil in my sight and chose what did not please me.” 5  Hear the word of Adonai, you who tremble at his word: “Your brothers, who hate you and reject you because of my name, have said: ‘Let Adonai be glorified, so we can see your joy.’ But they will be put to shame.” 6  That uproar in the city, that sound from the temple, is the sound of Adonai repaying his foes what they deserve. 7  Before going into labor, she gave birth; before her pains came, she delivered a male child. 8  Who ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Is a country born in one day? Is a nation brought forth all at once? For as soon as Tziyon went into labor, she brought forth her children. Comment: A professor at Hebrew University, Eleazar Sukenik, was seeking to purchase scrolls from the dead sea discovery. The day before the final vote to give God’s people the land that they had been promised, Sukenik brought several scrolls from an antique dealer in Bethlehem.  Sukenik did this at great personal safety and expense.  One of the scrolls was the Isaiah scroll which matched word for word the Isaiah scroll that was being used in 1947 and within 24 hours after the Isaiah scroll reached it’s home in Jerusalem, the vote was passed.  So what is so great about this in relationship to Israel becoming a country?  The Isaiah scroll contains two questions in Isaiah 66: 8, first is a country born in one day?  Second is a nation brought forth all at once?  Within a day of the scroll reaching Jerusalem the country of Israel was born and the moment the British left the land given to God’s people, a nation came to be.  You can read the entire story of how this happened in ”The Dead Sea Scrolls” the overview by Hershel Shanks. Continue: 9  “Would I let the baby break through and not be born?” asks Adonai. “Would I, who cause the birth, shut the womb?” asks your God. Comment: God would not prevent the process of His creation to be stopped; however, man would. I recently saw report saying there were 42 million plus abortions in the world in 2020. Is not God saying we do not murder the unborn? 10  Rejoice with Yerushalayim (Jerusalem)! Be glad with her, all you who love her! Rejoice, rejoice with her, all of you who mourned for her; 11  so that you nurse and are satisfied by her comforting breast, drinking deeply and delighting in the overflow of her glory. 12  For Adonai says, “I will spread shalom over her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried in her arm and cuddled in her lap. 13  Like someone comforted by his mother, I will comfort you; in Yerushalayim you will be comforted.” 14  Your heart will rejoice at the sight, your bodies will flourish like newly sprouted grass. It will be known that the hand of Adonai is with his servants; but with his enemies, his fury. 15  For — look! — Adonai will come in fire, and his chariots will be like the whirlwind, to render his anger furiously, his rebuke with blazing fire. 16  For Adonai will judge all humanity with fire and with the sword, and those slain by Adonai will be many. 17  “Those who consecrate and purify themselves in order to enter the gardens, then follow the one who was already there, eating pig meat, reptiles and mice, will all be destroyed together,” says Adonai. 18  “For I [know] their deeds and their thoughts. “[The time] is coming when I will gather together all nations and languages. They will come and see my glory, 19 and I will give them a sign. I will send some of their survivors to the nations of Tarshish, Pul, Lud (these are archers), Tuval, Greece and more distant coasts, where they have neither heard of my fame nor seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory in these nations; 20 and they will bring all your kinsmen out of all the nations as an offering to Adonai — on horses, in chariots, in wagons, on mules, on camels — to my holy mountain Yerushalayim,” says Adonai, “just as the people of Isra’el themselves bring their offerings in clean vessels to the house of Adonai. 21 I will also take cohanim and L’vi’im from them,” says Adonai. 22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,” says Adonai, “so will your descendants and your name continue. 23  “Every month on Rosh-Hodesh (new moon) and every week on Shabbat, (seventh day of week) everyone living will come to worship in my presence,” says Adonai. 24  “As they leave, they will look on the corpses of the people who rebelled against me. For their worm will never die, and their fire will never be quenched; but they will be abhorrent to all humanity.” [“Every month on Rosh-Hodesh and every week on Shabbat, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,” says Adonai.] Comment: I understand most of the above but there are a few things that I still struggle with. A example would be when Jerusalem had been reunited with Israel in 1967. The Messiah tells us in Matthew 24 “34 Yes! I tell you that this people (Those who follow Torah both Jew and Gentile) will certainly not pass away before all these things happen. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. I need to ask, could we be in the generation that the Messiah speaks of in Matthew 24 since Jerusalem and Israel were united in June 1967? Leviticus 19:34 (CJB) Rather, treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you — you are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am Adonai your God. Deuteronomy 10:17-18 (CJB) For Adonai your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty and awesome God, who has no favorites and accepts no bribes. 18 He secures justice for the orphan and the widow; he loves the foreigner, giving him food and clothing. Comment: God wants all His human creation to follow His Torah and Avraham, a goy (gentile), is the father of the Hebrews. The Messiah tells us this twice, first in the Gospel of Matthew (5:17-18) and then again in the Gospel of Luke (16:17). There is a difference between being chosen and being a favorite. Normally a person is chosen for a task and God has no favorites for He created all mankind in this world. Mankind decides if he wants to follow God (good) or the Adversary (evil). Also know that the Sh'mittah year started October 3, 2020.
WildOliveBranch posted a comment · Feb 05, 2021
If I were to describe our nation today, it would be "we are under a strong delusion." We are long overdue for God's reckoning. In 82 years I have witnessed our slide to oblivion. For the last 90 years, we have seen the growth of the imperial presidency and the growth of the administrative state. But our government saves no one. What are committed Christians to do? We need to return to the Lord and focus on being witnesses for the Gospel ... living it, and failing that, telling it.
OT posted a comment · Feb 05, 2021
Gadgettribe/skwh310 and pray tell how did you contribute to the delusion ? where are you standing in all this dung heap of humanity ? are you above reproach ? are you one of those that Jesus spoke to about throwing stones ? high and mighty non born again! I ask You this????? "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. Born Again skwh310 who would I be not to warn you ! You MUST be born again! Jesus said it!
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Gadgettribe posted a comment · Feb 03, 2021
Dr. Brown, with all due respect - you have to admit - you contributed your portion to this mess as well. The writing was on the wall. This isn't a novel thing that has recently emerged. This is merely the denuding of what has been unfolding for quite some time within (let's be honest) mainly White Evangelicalism. While I don't affirm Obama's policies on many issues, the obsession over odd theories like 'Birtherism' was embraced by White Evangelicals. It was routed in racism and had no basis - but that didn't matter to them. They embraced the fallacy and were not rebuked by their leaders. Heck - their leaders affirmed it. Then the lies that Trump told - from denying the 'grab them by their p***ys' to inciting violence at his rallies, to saying that it was always his intention to downplay the significance of the virus - the Evangelicals knew better, yet they forfeited the truth for political expediency and power over their 'enemies'. They sacrificed their witness at the altar of Christian Nationalism and excused Trump's destructive rhetoric so long as he was granting Christians power. You initially called Trump out, then did an about face; admitting that his rhetoric was problematic yet rendering it a fair trade for his policies. The difference between many Trump supporters and Biden supporters as you inquired in your recent article is that the former views Trump as a Messiah-figure and is interested in Christendom. The latter isn't deifying Biden. Hence the delusion that many Evangelicals to our chagrin are undergoing. Yet you have a significant platform and leveraged it to lift up Trump. You need to own that.
Swkh310 posted a comment · Feb 03, 2021
Willful ignorance. It’s that simple.