The Man of Lawlessness.
                                                                                   (2 Thess 2:3)

 

2Th 2:1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 
2Th 2:2  That ye 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. 
2Th 2:3  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; 
2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 
2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 
2Th 2:6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 
2Th 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. 
2Th 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: 
2Th 2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 
2Th 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 
2Th 2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 


The subject of the timing of the Rapture of the church is a very controversial subject.
This is because of the many different schools of thought on the subject.
We have seen in past studies that there are many different interpretations of this teaching.

However they all have one thing in common. They all accept that one day in the future, there will be a Rapture of the church, the dead in Christ and those who are alive and remain to the Coming of Jesus Christ.

The main views are:

Pre Tribulation. (The Rapture happens before the seven years covenant of Daniel 9: 24 - 27)
Mid Tribulation. (At the mid point of the seven years covenant)
Post Tribulation. (At the end of the seven years covenant) Note: This view is held by the A Millennialist also.
Pre Wrath also called by some Intra Seal Rapture. (Sometime towards the end of the seven years covenant but before the Wrath of God, in between the sixth and seventh seals of (
Revelation 7: 13,14.

(
The Tribulation) (Greek: Thilipsis) the time before and including the first three and a half years of the seven year covenant made by the antichrist)
(The Great Tribulation) ( Greek: Mega Thilipsis) The time from the mid point of the seven tears covenant to the end of the seven years but before the Wrath of God.

(The Wrath of God) ( Greek: Orge) The time at the end of Great Tribulation.

Dan 9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the
consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. 


Note: In BIble prophecy, one day = one year, one week = seven years. This particular week is the 70th week of Daniels prophecy of Daniel.

(Daniel 9:24-27)

Daniel's vision of the " seventy weeks" (490 days) 

  • "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city ... from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks ... And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease..."

     

These views are also, further clouded by the views on the Millennium Kingdom.
(The Millennium: The reign of Jesus Christ on the earth for 1000 years)
There are three main views on the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ.
 

Pre Millennium. (The Rapture occurs before the Millennial reign of Christ.) ( a Literal 1000 years)
Post Millennium ( The Rapture occurs at the end of the Millennial reign) (A Literal 1000 years)
A Millennial. (The Rapture occurs at the end of this present age, which is the Millennium) (An Allegorical number, representing a period of time. - not a literal 1000 years)


Rev 20:1  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 
Rev 20:2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him
a thousand years, 
Rev 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 
Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a
thousand years. 
Rev 20:5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 
Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a
thousand years. 

This passage of scripture  in 2 Thess is a very important passage concerning the timing of this event.

2Thess 2:1: by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The coming is in Greek, the word (Parousia) it has the meaning of Christ’s presence.
This is described in
1Thess Ch4.

The Coming of the Lord (my words in red italics)

1Th 4:13  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep (those Christians who have died), that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope (those who are not believers). 
1Th 4:14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (
the dead in Christ)
1Th 4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord (
the Christians that are still alive at the time of Christ’s return) shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. (will not be taken before those who have died)
1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (
resurrection of the dead in Christ – Greek – Anastasia

(See blog 78, https://jeffreyunsworth.wixsite.com/teleiosbibleblogs/78-shout-voice-trump

1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up, (Raptured, Greek – Harpazo) (snatched away) together with them in the clouds,(the gathering of all the believers, dead and alive, Greek – Episunagarge) to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 
1Th 4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 

 

2Th 2:2  That ye 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. 
 

Paul here has recognised that false teachers have infiltrated the Thessalonian church, teaching that those Christian’s who have died before the Coming of Christ, have missed the Rapture, (Greek – Harpazo). (The Blessed Hope)
He was saying, do not believe these lies. Do not be taken in by it.
Do not believe the false messages, whether by spirits, by anyone telling you this, or even if they say that it is by letter from us.

2Th 2:3  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; 

Here, Paul tells us that there are two things that must happen before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
1. Come a falling away first. (Apostasy)
2. That man of sin be revealed.

1. Falling away. The word here in Greek is (apostasia) (falling away from the truth).

Again there are differing opinions on this verse.
Some believe that those who fall away are Christian’s that believed and then denied their faith.
Then there are those that believe that these apostates are those that profess Christianity but never were true believers at all. (Professors and not Possessors)

 

However, the scriptures are quite clear on the perseverance of the saints. (That no true believer can be lost).
To verify this, we have the words of Jesus:


John 18:9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perishneither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
This is commonly known as "The Perseverance of the Saints" or "Eternal Security".

No true believer will ever be lost. However those that never truly believed will fall away. These are they which heard the word but it never really took root.
Like the parable of the sower.
Matthew 13.
Some seed fell on stony ground and was eaten by the birds, then there are others where the seed fell on soil but it did not take root and perished in the sun.

These are the apostates. Those that heard the word but it never produced fruit in their lives.
The seed that fell on good ground, took root and grew. These are they which Jesus is speaking of, never being lost. These are they that are part of the true vine and produce fruit of eternal life.

 

2. That man of sin be revealed.
The antichrist, the beast, 666, man of sin, and the son of perdition. These are one and the same.
These are all references to the man of lawlessness.
This is he that will come with all lying wonders, the man who will set himself up in the Temple of God and claim to be God.

2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 
 

Again, I must point out that there are differing interpretations of this verse also.
Some believe that this verse is referring to a system or a church.
However, examining the text, it shows that this antichrist is referring to a man. The Greek here is (Anthropos) a human being, a certain man. The son (Greek – Uihos) (son, foal or child) of perdition, (Greek – Apoleia) (the son of ruin, the son of destruction, the son of the damnable, the son of pernicious ways).
There has only been two men referred to as the son of perdition, one was Judas Iscariot and the other is this antichrist.
Some believe that because the Bible tells us that we are the Temple of God, that this antichrist will set himself up as God in the church (The Temple of God).
This may be true but it cannot the Spiritual Temple of God, because the Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of believers that make up the true church of Jesus Christ, His body the church. The only way this could happen was if the Holy Spirit abandoned the church, which we know will never happen.
Jesus said
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Also Jesus said: John 14:18  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Matthew 28:20 - Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.


If this is referring to an earthly church, which is possible, it would be a false church a harlot church and not the real church of Jesus Christ.
This we read about this in Revelation, 

 

Revelation 17 
1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,
2. with whom the kings of the earth committed {acts of} immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality."

3. And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.

4. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,

5. and on her forehead a name {was} written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS 
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

6. And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.

7. And the angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.

See Blog 25 & 26 on "The man of Sin" & "The Whore of Babylon".
 

However a literal reading of this passage leads one to believe that it is referring to a literal temple.
If this is the case, then two things must happen before the Rapture of believers will take place.

1. A great Apostasy, (
which by the way is happening in our day, a great falling away from the faith.)

2. The man of sin, sitting in a temple.
(Note: There is a project going on in Israel today, the Temple Institute in Jerusalem have plans for the rebuilding of a third Temple. They already have all the utensils made, along with all the priests garments and are in the process of training men for the priesthood.


https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
For the first time in 2,000 years, a group of Kohanim (men of the Jewish priestly caste) living close to Jerusalem’s Old City are studying the relevant Jewish laws to be able to ascend the Temple Mount and enter the Holy of Holies,

When Paul was with the Thessalonians, he obviously taught about these things and he is reminding them of something he’d said.

2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 

2Th 2:6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 

Paul had told them that there was something that was holding back this antichrist from appearing.
He had revealed to them what or who was restraining the man of lawlessness.
However the Apostle Paul does not tell us in this passage who or what the restrainer is..
Although he does not reveal what or who it is that is restraining, we can detect from the passage certain things.

Something or someone is restraining this evil.

Verse 6 gives a clue. “that he might be revealed in his time”. The restrainer is a he, a person. It is the majority view of most scholars that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit.
For more information on this:
(See Blog
No. 17) "Who is the Restrainer"

2Th 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. 

Jesus said when He was talking about leaving, "If I don't go He can't come" He said I must go if He the Holy Spirit is to come.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

There will be a reversal of this, if the Holy Spirit doesn't go then Jesus can't come.
The Holy Spirit will never leave the church, He dwells in our hearts and is with us for ever.

However He will leave the world and when He does the Man of Sin will come.
This happened also at the time of God's judgement on the world at the time of Noah.
God said, "My Spirit will not always strive with man".


Genesis 6:3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

One day the Holy Spirit will be taken from the world and the age of grace will cease.
The church, the Body of Christ will be in a state of waiting.
J
ohn 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

Remember, Jesus said "Behold I come like a thief in the night"
 

Paul is saying here that the mystery of iniquity is already here, at work in the world but the person that is restraining the fullness of this evil is allowing it until the time comes when he is taken out of the way.

Most scholars believe that the he who letteth is the Holy Spirit of God.
 

2Th 2:8  And then, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 
2Th 2:9  Even
him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

And then “shall that Wicked be revealed” Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan.

When Jesus comes at His Second Advent He “shall destroy with the brightness of his coming”: 
Also, those that are not believers, the unsaved will also be destroyed with him.

 

2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 

Whatever lies and lying wonders this antichrist will say and do, will delude the unbelieving world.

They will gladly follow him and in doing so will be damned.
 

2Th 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 
2Th 2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 

 

Jesus foretold of all this in Matthews Gospel.

Matthew 24:24  For there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
 

He spoke about the apostasy.
 

Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 
Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 


He spoke about the coming antichrist.

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand) ( Holy place—Greek—hagios, topos— sacred spot)
 

Jesus also told us when it would happen.

Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 
Mat 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 

 

The antichrist will set himself up in the temple of God and “then” shall be great tribulation, (Greek – Mega Thilipsis) will begin.
When the antichrist sets himself up in the temple, it will kick off the Great Tribulation.
The antichrist begins to persecute the Jews and the Christians.
At the end of the Great Tribulation or near to the end, Christ will appear in the clouds. This is the Pre Wrath or the Intra Seal view.

This is near the end of the great tribulation but before the Wrath of God.

Jesus said that, “immediately after the tribulation of those days” there will be great signs in the heavens and “then” shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven.
 

Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 

Mat 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 
 

There are three separate words used in Greek for these times.
Tribulation (thilipsis), Great Tribulation (Mega Thilipsis) and Wrath (Orge)

Tribulation is what the believers have always encountered throughout the history of the church until the middle of the seven year covenant with many. Made by the antichrist.

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. And for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even
until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. 


The Great Tribulation begins at the midpoint of the covenant and the Wrath of God is poured out on the earth at the end of the Great Tribulation at the end of the seven year covenant.

The Christian church has been experiencing Tribulation, (Thilipsis). The Christian church will experience some of the Great Tribulation (Mega Thilipsis).
However the Christian church will NOT see the Wrath of God (Orge).

Jesus said that these days shall be shortened for the Elects sake.


Matt 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

The church will not experience the pouring out of the Wrath of God.
The church will be Raptured prior to the Wrath.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. ( the greek here is Tereho Ek—keep from)

1 Thess 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

The church will be removed from the earth at the Rapture, prior to the Wrath of God being poured out on the earth.

The great truth of this passage is: Although there is going to be an apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin, it is not what we, the believers are looking for.
We look for the Son of God our Saviour, looking for that Blessed Hope.

T
itus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;


 “In the twinkling of an eye at the last trump, when we shall be changed” and shall be with the Lord for ever.

1 Corinthians 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.


Maranatha, “come, O Lord.”

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