The mystery of iniquity and the strong delusion are biblical terms

“For the mystery of that iniquity does he already work, which only locks until it is taken out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7)

How can we understand this? I do not know. But I know it is something to deeply ponder.

Let us read it in context. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-17 (link) —

Let no man deceive you by any means. For the Lord comes not unless there come a departing first and that sinful man be revealed – the son of perdition, who is an adversary, and is exalted above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he shall sit as God in the temple of God and show himself as God.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholds, so that he may be manifest at his time. For the mystery of that iniquity does he already work, which only locks until it is taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one be exposed, whom the Lord will consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and will destroy with the appearance of his coming – namely him whose coming is by the working of Satan, with all lying power, signs, and wonders, and in all the deceptiveness of unrighteousness among those who are perishing. They perish because they would not receive the love of the truth, so that they might have been saved. And therefore God will send them strong delusion, so that they will believe lies; so that all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you for salvation, through sanctifying by the Spirit and through believing the truth, to which he called you by our gospel, to obtain the glory that comes of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast. And keep the ordinances that you have been taught, whether it was by our preaching or by epistle.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has loved us, and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in all doctrine and good-doing.

Now I will repeat verses 3-12, showing some words in bold.

Let no man deceive you by any means. For the Lord comes not unless there come a departing first and that sinful man be revealed – the son of perdition, who is an adversary, and is exalted above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he shall sit as God in the temple of God and show himself as God.

And now you know what withholds, so that he may be manifest at his time. For the mystery of that iniquity does he already work, which only locks until it is taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one be exposed, whom the Lord will consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and will destroy with the appearance of his coming – namely him whose coming is by the working of Satan, with all lying power, signs, and wonders, 10 and in all the deceptiveness of unrighteousness among those who are perishing. They perish because they would not receive the love of the truth, so that they might have been saved. 11 And therefore God will send them strong delusion, so that they will believe lies; 12 so that all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The strong delusion

Notice this: the one who sends the strong delusion is God (verse 11). God allows and ordains that all who will not receive the love of the truth will be strongly deluded by the deceptions of the evil one.

The evil and deception that is in this world is beyond the understanding of any one of us as individual human beings.

Each of us as individual human beings, and all of us collectively, cannot comprehend or plumb the depth of evil in this world.

It would be hubris to think that as mere human beings we can discern all the deceptions of the evil one. While I urge each and every one of us to strive to discern and see through the deception, we as human beings cannot solve the problem of evil. But God understands. God is across it all. And God offers us a way out. He came into this world as a man and bore in his own flesh the punishment for all evildoing. He did this out of love.

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked

“God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (Exekiel 18:23, click here to read it in context)

“No one who believes in him [Jesus] will perish, but will have eternal life. For God so loves the world, that he has given his only Son, so that none who believe in him should perish, but should have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world through him could be saved. Whoever believes on him shall not be condemned. But whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he does not believe in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the condemnation: that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness more than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:15-19, click here to read it in context)

Jesus said: “Heaven and earth shall perish, but my words will abide.” (Matthew 24:35)

“The Lord is not slack to fulfil his promise, as some count slackness, but is patient toward us, and would have no one lost, but would receive all to repentance. Nevertheless, the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which day the heavens shall perish with terrible noise, and the elements shall melt with heat, and the earth with the works that are in it shall burn.
If all these things will perish, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy living and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, in which the heavens shall perish with fire and the elements shall be consumed with heat? Nevertheless, we look for a new heaven and a new earth according to his promise, wherein righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:9-13)

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give to them eternal life. And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to take them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

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Bible versions used in this post

New Testament: William Tyndale’s translation gently updated in the New Matthew Bible (NMB). Old Testament: Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

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For God so loves the world, that he has given his only Son, so that none who believe in him should perish, but should have everlasting life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world through him could be saved. Whoever believes on him shall not be condemned. But whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he does not believe in the name of the only Son of God.

And this is the condemnation: that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness more than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But whoever does truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be known, that they are wrought in God.
— John 3:16-21 (NMB – New Matthew Bible )

Read John 3 in the New Matthew Bible

The hard copy of the New Matthew Bible has notes that are not shown on the biblegateway site. Here are the notes:,

Notes on John 3, NMB

Here in Australia it is Oct 31 — Halloween. Pray for the victims who the Luciferians will be ritually sacrificing today. Pray against the evildoers.

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William Tyndale was the first man to translate the New Testament from Greek into English.  His translation was published in the Matthew Bible (1537). It has been updated into modern English.  Click HERE to learn about the New Matthew Bible.

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