Salvation Through Sanctification – Part 1

2Thessalonians 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

‘Bound to give thanks alway to God for you.’ Christian obligation: [Greek: opheilo] be under an obligation to do a thing. Translated “bound” (1:3; 2:13); “be guilty” (Matt. 23:18); “behoved” (Heb. 2:17); “must needs” (1Cor. 5:10); “need so require” (1Cor. 7:36); “duty” (Luke 17:10; Rom. 15:27); “should” (1Cor. 9:10); “ought” (John 13:14; 19:7; Acts 17:29; Rom. 15:1; 1Cor. 11:7, 10; 2Cor. 12:11, 14; Eph. 5:28; Heb. 5:3, 12; 1Jn. 2:6; 3:16; 4:11; 2Jn. 1:8); “owe” (Matt. 18:28; Luke 7:41; 16:5, 7; Rom. 13:8; Phm. 1:18); “due” (Matt. 18:34; 1Cor. 7:3); “be indebted” (Luke 11:4); “debt” (Matt. 18:30); and “be a debtor” (Matt. 23:16).

‘Chosen you to salvation.’ God’s choice is to salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth. No man can receive salvation except through these two things. It is folly to claim salvation without sanctification and belief in the truth.

‘Sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.’ The doctrine of sanctification: [Greek: hagiasmos] consecration; a separation unto God FROM a profane, secular, and carnal use TO a sacred, religious, and spiritual use.

The words “sanctify” and “sanctified” are used 132 times; “sanctification” 5 times (New Testament only); and “sanctifieth” 4 times (New Testament only) – 141 times total in Scripture: 110 times in the Old Testament and only 31 times in the New Testament A study of the various passages shows that to sanctify means to set apart from other uses to God’s particular use, not to cleanse from sin or rid of carnal nature (sometimes called “the old man” or Adamic nature). Even Christ, the Sinless One, was sanctified (John 10:36; 17:19). Where humans are concerned one begins to be sanctified when he begins to consecrate his life to God, and the process is continued as he continues in his dedication (2:13; 1Cor. 1:30; 6:11; 1Jn. 1:7-9; 3:8-10; 5:1-4, 5:18).

To be continued…

They Received not the Love of the Truth

2Thessalonians 2:9-12 Even him, 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

‘Coming is after the working of satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.’ His preparation and revelation will be the work of satan. The satanic angel now in the abyss will come out and use the human Antichrist to fulfil satan’s will in these last days. He will have satanic power (2:8-9; Dan. 8:24; 11:36-39; Matt. 24:24; Rev. 13:1-18; 16:13-16; 19:20).

‘All deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.’ With every cunning art and wicked practice men and demons can produce to deceive men who reject the truth (2:10-12; 1Tim. 4:1-8; 2Tim. 3:5; 4:1-5; Matt. 24:24; Rev. 13:1-18; 19:20).

‘Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.’ This states the reason God will permit such strong delusion at this time (2:10-12). If men are determined to go to hell, there is nothing further that God can do to rescue them (Matt. 25:41; Rom. 1:21-32).

‘God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.’ Is God responsible? In what sense does God send such things? This question is answered in Romans 1:21-32. It is not God’s will that any man perishes, but that all come to repentance (John 3:16-20; 2Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17). If men persist in rebellion, then God gives them over to their ways which will damn their souls. It is something that He is forced to do because He cannot save men who persist in damning their souls. God has made the laws of sowing and reaping and this is the sense in which God has anything to do with such destinies (Gal. 6:7-8; Isa. 45:7). God has made the law of sowing and reaping, and evil results will come when men sin. God has decreed that misery, wretchedness, sorrow, trouble, and distress will come as a result of sin (Gal. 6:7-8). Ra‛ is translated “evil” 442 times and never with the idea that sin is created by God. If people sin and reap for it, the responsibility for both is theirs. God simply made the law and penalties for breaking the law will always be in force.

Then Shall that Wicked be Revealed – Part 3

2 Thessalonians 2:8 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

Twenty-one facts about the Antichrist (continues): He will be satan’s agent and his last attempt to raise a world dictator (2:9; Dan. 8:24; 11:37-39; Rev. 13:2). He will have miraculous powers from satan (2:9; Dan. 8:24; 11:37-39; Rev. 13:2, 11-18; 16:13-16; 19:20; Matt. 24:24). He will be a deceiver (2:10; Dan. 8:24-25; 9:27; 11:36-45; Matt. 24:15-31; Rev. 13:1-18; 19:20). Only those who are lost will follow him (2:10-12; Rev. 13:1-18; 14:9-11; 16:13-16; 19:20). The reason for people being deceived by him is that they have rejected truth, loved sin, and refused salvation (2:11-12). He will be a great delusion and a lie (2:11-12; Dan. 8:10-14, 25; 11:39).

‘The Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.’ Whomever the Antichrist will be he will fulfil many prophecies and be slain by Christ at Armageddon (Dan. 7:11; Isa. 11:4; Rev. 19:19-21).

‘Consume’ [Greek: analisko] (G355), to kill, destroy (2:8; Luke 9:54; Gal. 5:15). Other scriptures speak of his being slain by Christ (Dan. 7:11; 8:23-25; 9:27; 11:45; Isa. 11:4). This does not contradict Revelation 19:20, for this passage only shows that after he is slain, he will be cast into conscious and eternal torment along with others (Matt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 19:20; 20:10). The fact that he will be slain disproves the theories of the Antichrist being Judas or some other historical man resurrected as the beast of Revelation 13:1-18. If he were a resurrected man he could not be slain. It is not necessary for Judas or some other historical man to be brought back from death to fulfil Scripture. A future man could do this, as well as one of the past. All that is necessary is his yieldedness as a tool of satan.

Then Shall that Wicked be Revealed – Part 2

2 Thessalonians 2:8 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

Twenty-one facts about the Antichrist: he is called “the man of sin” because he will be the embodiment of lawlessness and leader of the great apostasy of 2Thessalonians 2:3, 8-12 and Revelation 13:1-18; 14:9-13; 15:2-4; 16:2-12. He is called “the son of perdition,” because of being destined to destruction by his rebellion, like Judas or any other man who sells himself to satan (2:3, 8-12; Rev. 13:2; Dan. 8:24; 11:37-39). He is to be revealed (2:3). He will be the opposer of God (2:4). He will exalt himself above God. He will accept worship as God. His worship will be carried on in the future Jewish temple at Jerusalem (2:4; Dan. 8:10-14, 23-27; 9:27; 11:36-45; 12:1-7; Matt. 24:15-21; Rev. 11:1-2; 13:1-18; 14:9-11; 15:2-4; 16:2-12; 20:4-6). He will claim to be God (2:4). He has time to be revealed (2:6). Something now holds back or hinders his revelation (2:7). The spirit of lawlessness now works preparing for his revelation. The mystery of iniquity, or spirit of lawlessness cannot reveal him until the hinderer of lawlessness is taken out of the world. When the hinderer of lawlessness is taken out of the world, then shall that wicked be revealed (2:7-8). When the wicked is revealed, he will live until the second coming of Christ, will head the armies at Armageddon and will be destroyed by Christ (2:8; Rev. 19:11-21; Dan. 7:24-28; 8:23-27; 9:27; 11:36-45; 12:1-7; Matt. 24:15-31). He is a man, for he will be killed by Christ at Armageddon (2:8; Dan. 7:11; 8:25; Isa. 11:4; Rev. 19:11-21). This man could not be Judas or someone else who has died already (Heb. 9:27).

To be continued…

Then Shall that Wicked be Revealed – Part 1

2 Thessalonians 2:8 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

‘And then shall that Wicked be revealed.’ And then. When? When he who hinders will be taken out of the way, “then shall that Wicked be revealed” (2:7-8). The Antichrist cannot possibly come until after the rapture of 1Thessalonians 4:13-16. All who go in the rapture will not be here during the days of the Antichrist and the tribulation of Revelation  6:1-9:21; Matthew 24:15-21 and Daniel 12:1.

‘That Wicked’ is the “little horn” of Daniel 7:8, 24; 8:9, 23; “the prince that shall come” of Daniel 9:26-27; “the king of the north” of Daniel 11:36-45; “the man of sin of” 1Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 8; “the beast” of Revelation 13:1-18; 14:9-11; 15:2-4; 16:2-16; 17:1-18; 19:19-21; 20:10.

There are fifteen titles of the Antichrist: Antichrist (1Jn. 2:18). The Assyrian (Isa. 10:20-27; 30:18-33; 31:4 – 32:20; Mic. 5:3-15). The king of Babylon (Isa. 14:4). The spoiler (Isa. 16:4). The extortioner (Isa. 16:4). Gog, the Chief Prince of Meshech and Tubal (Ezek. 38:2-3). The little horn (Dan. 7:8, 24; 8:9, 23). King of fierce countenance (Dan. 8:23). The prince that shall come (Dan. 9:26-27). The king of the north (Dan. 11:5-45). The man of sin (2Thess. 2:1-12). The son of perdition (2Thess. 2:1-12). The wicked (Isa. 11:4). That wicked (2Thess. 2:8-12). The beast (Dan. 7:11; Rev. 13:1-18).

To be continued…

The Mystery of Iniquity – Part 2

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.

‘He’ – the “He” of 2Thessalonians 2:7: The only argument used to prove that the Holy Spirit is the hinderer of this passage is the pronoun he. It is believed that the body of Christ could not be referred to as he because it is the bride of Christ. However, they are called a man (Eph. 2:15; 4:13) and the body of Christ (2Cor. 12:12-13,27; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18, 24). Therefore, can be referred to by a masculine pronoun.

The body of Christ is the only one of the three hinderers of lawlessness that will be taken out of the world. We must, therefore, conclude that the “he” or the hinderer of the lawlessness of 2Thessalonians 2:7 must refer to the body of Christ being taken out of the world … And then shall that wicked be revealed who will be destroyed seven years later by Christ at His second coming (2:7-8).

‘Until he be taken out of the way.’ The Rapture before the Antichrist: The body of Christ will continue to hinder lawlessness until the rapture. And then the Antichrist will be revealed. This is conclusive proof that the rapture takes place before Daniel’s 70th week and the tribulation of Revelation 6:1-19:21. According to Daniel 9:27, the Antichrist will be here for 7 years, for he makes a 7-year covenant with Israel. If he is here for 7 years, which will be the last 7 years of this age, and if he who hinders lawlessness refers to the body of Christ and is taken out of the way before he comes, then the rapture will take place before the last 7 years of this age and before the Antichrist comes at the beginning of those 7 years.

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…

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).