Br. Christian W. Zahnow
(his last discourse)
My subject for this afternoon is found in 2 Thess. 2:7 to 12, "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:† only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.† 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:† whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.† 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:† that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."† (Reprint 2274)
My dearly beloved in the Lord, I believe our subject for this afternoon is timely.† Never in all history has there been so much distress with perplexity.† Never has there been so much corruption in the earth; the earth is filled with fear.† The earth reels to and fro and staggers like a drunken man and it is because of delusions--strong delusions! And oh, how our pastor, interpreting our text, tells us it would be in the church during His parousia.† And we as new creatures need to fear it the most because during His presence these delusions would be among and in around the new creation.† God shall send them strong delusions that they shall believe a lie. Many of them actually believe that it is the truth, even if it is out of harmony with the harvest message and the Word of God.† And St. Paul said they might be condemned, judged as unfit, unworthy of a place in the high calling in the kingdom. Therefore, not believing on the teachings of the truth as they had received it, at one time, they have pleasure in unrighteousness.
2 Thess. 2:8--they shall be consumed "with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his parousia"--his presence.† And isn't it true, his presence, to the new creation (those who remain on this side of the veil), his brightness is getting brighter and brighter constantly?† Everything that is hidden shall be made manifest.† It shall be revealed so as by fire--manifest, revealed.† Yes!.† The Lord said He comes as a thief--quiet unobserved, stealthily--as a thief in the night.† Look around, about you. What do you see taking place upon the earth?† Suddenly there it is--open, all can behold it.† Everything that is hidden "shall be made manifest:† for the (this) day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed (so as) by fire; . (2 Cor. 3:13)† That is right!† These are features of Armageddon that you see in the earth today!
In 1915 our Pastor was asked about this in Pittsburgh--I was there--and he said these things are merely features: of Armageddon.† The real Armageddon is a finale.† It will finally come brethren.† The seventh trump is sounding, the kings have had their day.† The seventh trump is the last trump--it is the trump of God, and it is sounding throughout the earth for justice, freedom and liberty and everywhere in the earth mankind is clamoring--clamoring for justice, freedom and liberty!† It keeps on sounding--it will sound for a thousand years.
Let us remember brethren what took place in Num. 16--two hundred and† fifty princes were destroyed.† Who were they?† They were men of renown--highly esteemed among the Israelites.† Their wives and children were swallowed up into death because they murmured against God's mouthpieces--Moses and Aaron.† Who selected Moses and Aaron? Our kind heavenly Father.† They murmured against His selection.† We have the same today--the end of the age.† Get your eyes open!† Who were they? Oh, they were men of renown, highly esteemed among the people. So it is today--men that are highly esteemed amongst the Lordís people are those that have these strong delusions.† If it were possible it would deceive the very elect.† The earth opened itself and swallowed them up.† Oh yes--they were famous, but their murmuring came before God, because God selected them.
Who selected that faithful and wise servant? Who art thou that replyest against God? Where did you get the truth?† It's shameful to hear some talk today!† They donít want you even to mention his name! Oh, friends!† We are living in the most momentous day of all history of the church.† Yes, I am sure you will say that it is true.† Murmur against God and Christ when they murmur against the truth!--that faithful and wise servant.
What is a delusion? A delusion is error, which when examined is not the truth!† Many of these theories and ideas that you hear about--if you examine them they are not the truthómenís ideas.† They're dangerous!--dangerous because they becloud and falsify the truth and finally they bring disaster, like in Num. 16--read it!
When a person is in the truth and is deluded, he thinks he is right, and there is a measure, perhaps, of sincerity displayed by such an one. But after all, you examine it carefully, it is not the truth.† There are many kinds of delusions, brethren--political delusions, financial delusions, religious delusions--everywhere upon the earth.† The earth is filled with delusions!† Again, I saw this plainly exemplified in coming from Florida to this convention.† It was my privilege to serve at a funeral in Alabama--for old dear brother Horn--been in the truth for perhaps 50 years and more--loyal, faithful Brother.† But we were permitted to have the Baptist Church and again I heard this thing before the service and after the service and during the week that I stayed there.† That men of the cloth--religious men--constantly would preach--"Oh, I wish I had the power to take the word death out of the Bible."† They would like to take the word death out because they say there is no death.† Your bible and my bible and their bible teaches from Genesis to revelation that the wages of sin is death.† In preaching and teaching, what they do is lying about God--making out God a liar.† Everywhere in the Bible is the teaching that the wages of sin is death.† These strong delusions are everywhere!† Won't it be grand when it is all over--done away with?† When all mankind will know the truth, so the truth may make them free.
Two other funerals I had but I can't tell you about them now--perhaps sometime--miracles practically performed. My dearly beloved, let us beware of all these delusions in the church and out of the church. Yes, it is true that mankind today does not believe in the word of God--very few, because they do not believe in death.† The delusions among God's people are direct from the adversary--Satan.† 2 Cor. 11:14, 15, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.† Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; . .Ē
Why brethren--Satan has thousands and thousands of ministers here upon the earth who have transformed themselves as ministers of righteousness.† And oh, how fearful it is when one of the Lordís people is overcome by delusions--passing them around among the Lordís people--those who are consecrated--shame on you!† Ought to get on your knees and ask the Lord to forgive you!† Who is selecting the brethren to do the work? --God Almighty--and you murmur and complain about it!† Then you are murmuring and complaining against God.† The harvest message stands firm. You cannot change it and I cannot change it.† Let us hold fast to the message as we have received it--received it into good and honest hearts. Let us continue in this wonderful message we have.
These folks are clamoring for liberty!† Yes, they would sooner have their liberty than the truth!† Therefore, they make a lie--create a lie and believe it and teach it.† And some of these highly esteemed of the church are constantly finding fault with the translations that we have and interpreting the scriptures their way.† Yes!† ďThis is my thought, this is my idea,† and so on.† Come to a delusion friends, they're deluded and they would like to delude others and it comes in a most deceitful form.† They fall prey to it.† Yes indeed!
In Psalm 24:3 we read:† "Who shall ascend in the hill (the kingdom) of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?"† Let me ask you a question brethren--What is the holy place?† It is the secret place of the Most High.† There is where we live and move and have our being. There is where we study the truth and have the truth in the Holy of the Tabernacle.† Oh, how grand it is to remain there--stand in the Holy place!† Do you think you could stand in the Holy place if you were teaching delusions? Do you think that you could stand in the Holy place in the secret place of the Most High if you had a chip on your shoulder?† Your finding fault with the brethren that are doing the work--and start something of your own? Do you think you could stay in the secret place of the Most High--sooner or later it will happen, like Jesus told us about in Matt. 22--the parable of the marriage feast. Reread it, please reread it--Matt. 22:11, "And when the king came in (the presence of Christ) to see the guests, he saw there a man (class) which had not on a wedding garment:"† In the secret place of the Most High--but he didn't stay there long. No!
"And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?. .Ē† He had already discarded his wedding garment--the things he was teaching.† "How camest thou in hither" in this banqueting hall? Jesus then said to his servants, "bind him hand and foot and cast him into outer darkness; . . ď-outer darkness?† Yes!† Well, where did he come from in the first place? He came out of darkness into the Lord's marvelous light but now he is cast into outer darkness!† He never was in outer darkness, but he came out of darkness--and so did you and so did I.† Now let us beware, that weíre not cast into outer darkness.† That is the parable of the marriage feast.† That's the danger.† With the love in my heart for all or you and as long as I have been with you--I feel there should be a warning on these delusions.† Think it over with me brethren.† Those who are opposing others who are doing the work--shame on you!
All that are in the truth today, who claim to be in the truth, should uphold the truth and not oppose it.† And if one becomes a bitter spirit, and has a bitter spirit should be very careful.† Oh, I see it! See it right along--bitter spirit.† How can anyone stay in the Holy with a bitter spirit? And those that have clean hands--yes, those that have clean hands--yes, those that have clean hands.† Let us, friends, be very humble before the Lord.† Never exalting ourselves. Oh, no:† But in simplicity and in truth walking before the Lord and upholding the banner of truth and simply teaching the truth:† not for the praise of men.† Those that have pure hearts--pure motives in their hearts--they are glorifying God.† (Rom. 5:12)† V. 5, ". . the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us."† 2 Cor. 6:6, "By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by love unfeigned."† Love from a pure heart, a good conscience and unfeigned.† And an undissembled faith--that is what the Lord like. to see in us.† Then we can be strong in the power of (His)might.
Eph. 6:13, "Therefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the (this) evil day, . . "† It means the whole armour of God!† You couldn't fight bare handed.† You couldn't fight bare headed if you were in the army!† You couldn't fight bare footed.† You must have on the whole armour of God--not half an armour --the whole armour.† Yes!† Then we can exalt His holy name in our bodies and spirits which are His, and glorify His name.† Oh--then we can be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.
There is one scripture I would like to leave with you.† Friends--let us use it often.† It is short but it is sweet.† Take your pencil and jot it down.† Psalm 71:1, "In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust:† let us never be put to confusion."† Isn't that a wonderful prayer? Don't you think we ought to hold close to our hearts a prayer like this? Let me reread it, Psalm 71:1, "In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust:† let me never--never be put to confusion."
I pray the Lord to add His blessing.† Thank you.