The Mystery of Iniquity – Part 1

2Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 

‘Only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.’ The hinderer of lawlessness: It is something already known (2:6). It now hinders lawlessness (2:6-7). It is strong enough to prevent the revelation of the Antichrist (2:6-8). It will hinder lawlessness until it is removed from the earth (2:7-8). It is called “he” (2:7). It will be removed from the earth before the second coming (2:7-8). It will not be here when Christ comes to destroy the Antichrist (2:7-8).

The hinderer is one of three things: Governments (Rom. 13:1-7; 1Pet. 2:13). The Holy Spirit (John 16:7-15). The body of Christ (Matt. 5:13; 1Cor. 2:15-16; Eph. 6:12-18; 2Cor. 10:4-7). The hinderer of lawlessness must be the one that will be taken out of the world before the Antichrist can be revealed (2:6-8). Will governments be taken out of the world? No, because the Antichrist reigns over many kingdoms (Dan. 7:24; 11:40-45), and other kings reign over the rest of the earth all during the time the hinderer of lawlessness is removed (Rev. 11:15; 16:13-16). Will it be the Holy Spirit? No, for He will be here all through the tribulation and forever (John 14:16; Acts 2:16-21; Rev. 12:17 with 19:10; Zech. 12:10-13:1). Multitudes will be saved by the Holy Spirit during the tribulation, as now (Acts 2:16-21; 12:5, 17; 15:2-4; 20:4-6). So, it must be the body of Christ. Christians will be raptured before the Antichrist comes and this is the only one of the hinderers of lawlessness that will be removed from the earth (1Thess. 4:16).

To be continued…

That He Might be Revealed -Part 2

2Thessalonians 2:5-6 Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withhold that he might be revealed in his time. 

Seven things incited by the mystery of iniquity (continues): [4] Speaking lies in hypocrisy (1Tim. 4:2). The Greek word pseudologos means speakers of lies in pretended revelations; putting on an act of self-denial and mortification of the flesh to prove their false doctrines to be the truth. [5] Having the conscience seared with a hot iron (1Tim. 4:2). The Greek word kauteriazo means to sear with a red hot iron; to brand; to be seared in conscience. It means to make callous, withered, hardened, and insensible to right and wrong. It was customary in ancient times to mark criminals with a hot iron so that (according to the heathen) the infernal judges would know their vices and appoint them punishment according to their sins. [6] Forbidding to marry (1Tim. 4:3). To forbid means to prohibit, hinder, oppose, or operate against. Seducing spirits influence people to hinder and operate against wedlock by enticing them to meet the demands of the sex drive apart from the sanctity of marriage. To heed (as in “giving heed to seducing spirits,” 1Tim. 4:1) means to pay attention to and act under the leadership and control of. Hence, those who satisfy their sexual needs through perversions – any of the ways contrary to what is approved by Scripture – are under the control, more or less, of demons (Rom. 1:21-28; Lev. 20:13; Joel 3:3). This also applies to religions that discourage or forbid marriage to anyone among laymen or clergy. Marriage is honourable to all and the bed undefiled (Heb. 13:4; 1Cor. 7:1-40). [7] Commanding to abstain from meats (1Tim. 4:3). Among the heathen and even some of the so-called Christians, certain meats and food are forbidden in utter disregard of 1Timothy 4:3-4. Such unscriptural commanding under the new covenant is prompted by demons arrayed against the gospel and the liberty it provides regarding food (Gen. 9:1-7; Rom. 14:1-6).

That He Might be Revealed -Part 1

2Thessalonians 2:5-6 Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withhold that he might be revealed in his time. 

‘You know what withhold that he might be revealed in his time.’ What was it that they knew hindered the mystery of iniquity or spirit of lawlessness? If they knew what it was can we not know the same thing, especially given this added revelation about it? Seven things incited by the mystery of iniquity: [1] Departing from the faith (1Tim. 4:1). The Greek word aphistemi means to put away; remove; separate; to revolt from. Translated “depart from” (1Tim. 4:1; Luke 2:37; 4:13; 13:27; Acts 12:10; 15:38; 19:9; 22:29; 2Cor. 12:8; 2Tim. 2:19; Heb. 3:12); “refrain from” (Acts 5:38); “fall away” (Luke 8:13); and “withdraw” (1Tim. 6:5). It is possible to depart from the faith and apostasize if such passages are true. No man can depart from something that he is not in or does not have. All men do not have faith (3:2). Only men of that class would find it impossible to depart from faith for they have no faith to depart from. Men are warned to take heed, lest their hearts become evil and unbelieving and cause them to depart from God (Heb. 3:12). [2] Giving heed to seducing spirits (1Tim. 4:1). The Greek word planos means leading astray. Translated “seducing” (1Tim. 4:1) and “deceiver” (Matt. 27:63; 2Cor. 6:8; 2Jn. 1:7). These are deceiving demons that seduce men. To seduce means to lead astray; draw into evil; especially to entice to surrender chastity. Demons are charged with carrying out the program of enticement to forfeit virtue or surrender chastity. This is the same as forbidding to marry (point 6, below). [3] Giving heed to doctrines of devils (1Tim. 4:1). To urge departure from the faith is the first work of demons. This results in a departure from holy living, and acceptance of doctrines that will damn the soul. Men who pretend inspiration and revelation and false teachers of all kinds are the agents of demons (2Cor. 11:14-15). Every religion that denies the reality of God; Christ; the Holy Spirit; the atonement; the death and the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ; sin; sickness; satan; demons; hell; heaven; and the other fundamental doctrines of Scripture are as much of satan and demons as the Bible and Christianity are of God.

To be continued…

The Son of Perdition – Part 2

2Thessalonians 2:3-4 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; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Two events precede the Day of the Lord (continues): The great whore of Revelation 17:1-18 will destroy multitudes of Christians during the first 3½ years of Daniel’s 70th week, while the Antichrist is coming to power over the 10 kingdoms inside the old Roman Empire (Rev. 6:9-11; 17:6). When the Antichrist comes to full power over the 10 kingdoms in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week, he, together with the 10 kings, will destroy the great whore, establish the worship of the beast, and kill multitudes who will not worship him and his image or take his brands (Rev. 7:9-17; 13:1-18; 14:9-13; 15:2-4; 16:6-11; 17:2-4, 16-17). [2] The man of sin is revealed (2:3).

‘The son of perdition’ – Used for the Antichrist (2:3), and in the Septuagint of children of transgression (Isa. 57:4). Hebrews and Greeks called anyone who had a particular destiny, quality, or trait, the child of that thing, as “children of the kingdom” (Matt. 8:12; 13:38); “of the bridechamber” (Matt. 9:15); “of hell” (Matt. 23:15); “of wrath” (Eph. 2:3); “of wisdom” (Matt. 11:19; Luke 7:35); etc. Judas (John 17:12) and the Antichrist have no relationship with each other as to parents, birth, life, death, etc. Both are simply destined for destruction by their own deeds. The Antichrist will die at the hands of Christ, while Judas hung himself (2:8; Dan. 7:11; Isa. 11:4; Rev. 19:20).

‘Worshipped’ – This refers to the beast worship of Revelation 13:1-18; 14:9-11; 15:2-4; 16:2-12; 19:20; Daniel 9:27; 11:35-45; 12:7 and Matthew 24:15.

The Son of Perdition – Part 1

2Thessalonians 2:3-4 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; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 

‘Let no man deceive you by any means.’ The purpose of the epistle was to calm believers and assure them that the day of Christ (the Lord, as in the texts) had not yet come; that apostasy and the Antichrist must first come; that the rapture must take place even before these two events (2:3-8); that he did not write any such letter as used by the false teachers who were disturbing them; and that he had not changed his doctrine since seeing them and writing the first epistle to them.

‘For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.’ Two events precede the Day of the Lord: [1] The falling away [Greek: apostasia] defection, revolt, apostasy. Used only here and in Acts 21:21, but the same as apostasy, divorce, in Matthew 5:31; 19:7 and Mark 10:4. The Greek here has the definite article, “the apostasy,” referring to the great apostasy during the tribulation days between the rapture and the second coming of Christ (Matt. 24:4-31; Rev. 6:1-19:21). At the rapture of all dead and living in Christ in a moment (1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; 1Thess. 4:13-18), not one soul will be left on earth who is a Christian. Multitudes will soon be saved afterwards through an awakening (Acts 2:16-21; Rev. 6:9-11; 7:1-21; 12:17). The rest will become so hardened as to seek to destroy these being saved in those days (Rev. 9:20-21; 16:2, 9-11).

To be continued…

Our Gathering Together unto Him

2Thessalonians 2:1-2 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 

‘Now we beseech you, brethren …’ This is the 2nd and last New Testament prophecy in 2 Thessalonians that is unfulfilled.

‘By the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ This could refer to both comings – the coming in the air for the saints (1Thess. 3:13; 4:13-18), and the coming of the Lord to the earth with the saints (Matt. 24:3).

The Greek word Parousia means a personal visible presence or reappearing. Two appearances: [1] Rapture – personal coming in the air (not to the earth) for the saints (1Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:13-17; 5:23; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; 2Thess. 2:1, 7-8; Jas. 5:7-8; 1Jn. 2:28; John 14:1-3). [2] Second coming to earth with His saints to reign (Matt. 24:3, 27-51; 25:31-46; Jude 1:14; Rev. 19:11-21; Zech. 14:1-5).

‘Gathering together’ [Greek: episunagoge] is a gathering together in one place (2:1; Heb. 10:25; cp. the verb in Matt. 23:37; 24:31). Here is a gathering together to Him in the air (1Thess. 4:13-18). This could only refer to the rapture, not the second coming.

‘Neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us.’ Three things disturbed the Thessalonians: Spirit – spirit-communication, pretended revelation, or spirit demonstration. Word – teaching, preaching, discourse, reasoning, argument, fluent speaking. Letter as from us. False teachers had come to Thessalonica with a letter that had been forged in the name of Paul containing false doctrines about the day of the Lord being at hand (2:2-3).

Come to Be Glorified

2Thessalonians 1:10-12 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

‘When he shall come to be glorified in his saints.’ The judgment of the nations – At the second coming Christ will judge the living nations and send the goats of Matthew 25:31-46 to eternal punishment. This is not a general judgment or one of the wicked dead, so both passages refer primarily to the living people at the second coming (1:10; Matt. 25:31-46). Christ will not only judge the wicked living nations at that time but will be glorified in His saints and be admired by all who believe among those who are alive on earth.

‘Be glorified’ [Greek: endoxazo] to adorn with glory. It refers to His glory seen in the blessings conferred upon saints as the eternal rulers of the universe and as the heirs of all things (1:10, 12). Compare sundoxazo, glorified together (Rom. 8:17-18); endoxos, glorious and honourable (Luke 13:17; 2Cor. 4:10; Eph. 5:27); and doxazo, glorify, extol.

‘Be admired’ [Greek: thaumazo] Translated “admire” (1:10; Jude 1:16); “marvel at,” 30 times (Luke 7:9; John 5:28; Gal. 1:6; etc.); and “wonder at” 14 times (Luke 24:12; Acts 7:31; etc.). ‘Pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.’ Fourfold prayer for Thessalonians: That God would count them worthy of the eternal calling. That God would fulfil all His pleasure of goodness in them. That God would fulfil in them the work of faith with power. That Christ and saints may be glorified in each other by grace (1:12).

Taking Vengeance on Them – Part 2

2Thessalonians 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Thirty-four purposes of the Second Coming (continues): To restore all things (Acts 3:19-21). To bind satan and his angels (Rev. 20:1-10; Isa. 24:21-23). To punish the inhabitants of the earth for sins (Isa. 26:21; 27:1; Rev. 11:18). To give man one more probationary trial (Rev. 20:1-10; Isa. 11:1-16; 65:20-25). To fight the battle of Armageddon and restore man’s dominion (Rev. 19:11-21; Matt. 5:5; 25:31-46; Ps. 8:1-9). To establish a theocratic government (Ps. 2:1-12; Isa. 2:1-4; 4:1-3; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Zech. 14:9; Rev. 20:1-15). To gather together in one all things in heaven and on earth (Eph. 1:10). To heal everyone (Isa. 32:1-5; 33:24; 35:5). To fulfil the Abrahamic, Davidic, and other covenants with man (Gen. 12:1-3; 2Sam. 7:1-29; etc.). To be glorified in the saints (1:10, 12; Matt. 25:31-46). To be admired by believers (1:10). To prepare the earth for the eternal habitation of God (Isa. 35:1-10; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 20-22; 1Cor. 15:24-28). To purge man of all possibility of future rebellion, so that the original program with man can be finally and eternally realized (Gen. 1:26-31; 8:22; 9:12; Ps. 8:1-9; 1Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20-22).

‘Flaming fire’ [Greek: phlox] flame of fire (Luke 16:24; Acts 7:30; Heb. 1:7; Rev. 1:14; 2:18; 19:12).

‘On them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel.’ Two classes of people to be judged: They that know not God – that put forth no effort to know or understand Him (2Cor. 4:4; Matt. 13:19). They that obey not the gospel – that put forth no effort to obey it (John 3:17-20, 36; Acts 7:51; Rom. 1:21-32).

‘Punished with everlasting destruction.’ Eternal punishment [Greek: dike] penalty awarded by a judge; suffer punishment. Translated as punishment (1:9); judgment (Acts 25:15); and vengeance (Acts 28:4; Jude 1:7). The penalty here is eternal destruction. The Greek for destruction is olethros, ruin; undoing; that which causes destruction, a plague, pest. Translated as destruction (1:9; 2Cor. 5:5; 1Thess. 5:3; 1Tim. 6:9). Whatever it is that causes the destruction or ruin is eternal. It is not annihilation, for the destruction is eternal and the ones being so punished eternally are as eternal as the destruction itself. There will be no possibility of their ever being reconciled to God beyond this life, for they are eternally banished from the presence of God and the glory of His power (1:10; Heb. 9:27). This in itself would be dreadful punishment, but besides this, there will be the punishment in eternal hell (Matt. 8:12; 13:49-51; 25:41, 25:46; Mark 9:43-49; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:11-15; Isa. 66:22-24).

Taking Vengeance on Them – Part 1

2Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

‘In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Thirty-four purposes of the Second Coming: To take vengeance on rebels (1:7-10; Jude 1:14-15; Rev. 19:11-21). To judge living nations (Matt. 25:31-46; Ps. 67:4; 96:10-13; 98:9). To establish universal religion and civil government (Ps. 72:11; Isa. 2:1-4; Zech. 14:1-21; Mal. 1:11; Rev. 11:15; 20:1-10). To deliver Israel (Zech. 14:1-21; Rom. 11:25-29; Isa. 63:1-6; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 19:1-21). To destroy enemies (1:7-10; 2:8-12; Jude 1:14-15; Rev. 19:11-21; Zech. 14:1-21). To re-establish David’s throne and his kingdom (Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 30:7-11; Ezek. 37:20-26; Hos. 3:5-6; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 15:13-16). To deliver creation from bondage (Rom. 8:21-24; Isa. 11:1-2; 35:1-8; 65:20-25). To bring salvation (Isa. 11:9; 49:6; 52:7; 1Pet. 1:5-13; Rom. 11:25-29). To mete out justice to all (Isa. 11:1-9; 42:1-4; Jer. 23:5-6; 1Cor. 15:24-28). To reign over all nations (Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 11:15). To make resurrected saints eternal rulers of earth (Matt. 19:28; 1Cor. 6:1-3; Rev. 2:26; 5:10; 20:4-9; Dan. 7:18-27). To gather Israel (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 11:10-12; 66:19-21; Matt. 24:31). To put down all rebellion on earth (1Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 2:27; 11:15; 19:11-21). To rebuild the Jewish temple (Ezek. 43:7; Zech. 6:12-13). To manifest God’s glory (Isa. 4:2-6; 35:2; 40:5; 60:1-9; Ezek. 39:21; Matt. 16:27; 25:31). To remove the curse from the earth (Isa. 35:1-10; 65:20-25; Mic. 4:1-7; 1Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:3). To bring universal peace and prosperity (Isa. 2:1-4; 35:1-8; Mic. 4:1-7). To end the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24; Rom. 11:25; Zech. 14:1-21). To possess the earth (Ps. 2:1-12; Rev. 11:15). To build up Zion (Ps. 102:16; Ezek. 37:11-28; 40:4 – 48:35). To evangelize the world (Isa. 2:1-4; 11:9; 52:7; 66:19-24; Mal. 1:11; Zech. 8:23; 10:1; 14:16-21).

To be continued…

When the Lord Jesus Shall Be Revealed – Part 2

2Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels

Thirty testimonies proving the Second Coming: Enoch (Jude 1:14-15); Jacob (Gen. 49:10); Balaam (Num. 24:7, 17-19); Moses (Deut. 4:27-31; 30:1-11; 31:29); Job (Job 19:25-27); David (Ps. 22:26-31; 72:1-17); Ethan (Ps. 89:1-37); An unknown psalmist (Ps. 102:16); Isaiah (Isa. 9:6-7; 59:20; 63:1-6); Jeremiah (Jer. 3:14-25; 23:5-6); Ezekiel (Ezek. 38:19-23; 39:21; 43:7); Daniel (Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-27); Hosea (Hos. 3:4-5; 5:15; 11:9; 13:10); Joel (Joel 2:1-11; 3:1-21); Amos (Amos 1:2; 9:11-15); Obadiah (Oba. 1:15-21); Micah (Mic. 1:3-4; 4:1-7); Zephaniah (Zeph. 1:7-8, 14-18; 3:8-20); Haggai (Hag. 2:6-9, 21-23); Zechariah (Zech. 2:10-11; 8:3-8, 23; 12:1-14; 13:8-9; 14:1-21); Malachi (Mal. 3:2-5; 4:1-6); Jesus (Matt. 16:27; 19:28; 23:38-39; 24:1 – 25:46; 26:64; Luke 21:1-38); Peter (Acts 3:20-21; 1Pet. 1:7, 13; 2Pet. 1:16; 3:3-4); James (Acts 15:13-18); Paul (Rom. 11:25-27; 1Thess. 1:7-10; 2Thess. 2:1, 8-12; 1Tim. 6:14; 2Tim. 4:1, 8; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 9:28); John (John 14:28; Rev. 1:7; 11:15; 16:15; 19:11-21; 22:20); Angels (Acts 1:11; Luke 1:32-33); Lord’s Supper (1Cor. 11:26); Lord’s prayer (Matt. 6:10); Jude (Jude 1:14-15, 24).

‘Revealed from heaven.’ Tenfold manner of His Coming: As lightning (Matt. 24:27). With destruction (1:7-10; 2:8; Matt. 24:38-51; 25:31-46; 1Thess. 5:2; Jude 1:14-15; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 19:11-21). Visibly (Matt. 24:29-31; 2Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-21; Zech. 14:1-21). In brightness and fire (2Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8; Ezek. 38:17-21; Mal. 4:1-6). In vengeance and wrath (Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21; Jude 1:14-15; 2Thess. 1:7-10). With power and great glory (Matt. 16:27; 24:27-31; 25:31-46). With saints and angels (Zech. 14:5; Matt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46; 1Thess. 1:7-10; Jude 1:14; Rev. 17:14; 19:14). With clouds (Matt. 24:29-31; 26:64; Rev. 1:7; Dan. 7:13-14). As Judge and King (Rev. 19:11-21; Isa. 11:1-16; Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 25:31-46). As a thief (1Thess. 5:2-4; Rev. 16:15).

‘Mighty angels’ [Greek: dunamis] inherent power. The Greek reads, “the angels of His power,” indicating that angels are part of God’s power over the vast creations. God’s angels help Him maintain order over others who are now in rebellion (Eph. 3:9-10; 6:12; Rev. 12:7-12; Dan. 10:11-21).