Still looking at 2 Thessalonians 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; (KJV)
“and that man of sin be revealed,”
Sin (as the KJV states) is the Greek hamartia and also means offense. However, the NASB uses the word lawlessness, and it is another Greek word altogether, anomia, and means illegality, that is, violation of law. ( – ah, but whose law?)
Revealed is the Greek word apokalupto and means to take the cover off or disclose.
If I stopped here I don’t think I would be any the wiser, but, I have learned that because of the political emphasis going on in the early 1500s, the Catholic Church pushed to have the wording changed to reflect their disgust with people leaving the “mother” church and going to the newly formed Protestant churches. In many early English manuscripts, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 was less confusing and read similar to this:
“…for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition, …” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 Geneva)
There is something absent from the sentence above, in my opinion, and therefore, makes the sentence misleading. Having listened to Pastor JD Farag reread this passage from the Geneva Bible, it is obvious to me that he did what I did, and Americanized the passage. I don’t really see a problem with that, but I still have difficulty with this fuzzy transition that verse three gives. As it reads, although we gained an understanding about how apostasia means a departure, yet, we still have an issue as it appears that the son of perdition must appear before the catching away of the church. This hesitation about the man of lawlessness might then put us into the category of mid-tribulation saints, and that would make those that stand against a pre-tribulation rapture, ecstatic. Sorry to disappoint, but not really, because Pastor JD Farag did the same thing that I did, as he too changed one of those “that’s” to a “then”, and that made the sentence flow.
Can we or should we do that? Legitimately, no, but, if you read ahead to verses seven and eight, where the story is basically retold from another angle, we see verse seven end with “until he is taken out of the way,” while verse eight begins with, “then that lawless one will be revealed.” “He” is the church filled with the Holy Spirit, and has been, in every way, shape, and form, standing against the lawless one, and those who represent him. Because it is the same story, then by the usage of “then” we have a precedent established and can legitimately use the word “then” to convey a timing, that is otherwise not given.
In continuing to define the man of sin, we move on to verse 4.
(2 Thessalonians 2:4 NASB) who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
Daniel tells us this: In emphasizing an attempt at changing God’s Law and the sacred seasons, it confirms that the majority of the thrust is toward the Jewish people in the nation of Israel.
Daniel 7:25 CEV “This king will speak evil of God Most High, and he will be cruel to God’s chosen ones. He will try to change God’s Law and the sacred seasons. And he will be able to do this for a time, two times, and half a time.
The scriptures use words like deceitful, crafty, policy, trickery, and cunning. Doesn’t this sound like almost every politician? But this guy takes these two steps to the extreme.
Daniel 8:25 CEV His deceitful lies will make him so successful, that he will think he is really great. Suddenly he will kill many people, and he will even attack God, the Supreme Ruler. But God will crush him!
This person, whether he is a king or not, is not essential; what is critical is that he gains immediate control. Now, considering where the real focus is – Israel, then it would be logical to assume that this man is associated with the Middle East, and he is quite probably a Muslim, controlling Islamic armies. Islam is anticipating a powerful Muslim man, the reincarnation of the 12 Twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, to do this very thing.
Daniel 11:36 NASB “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.
Consider for a moment this portion of the passage above, as he, “exalts and magnifies himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods.” Did you catch that? He exalts himself above all other gods. I know what that says to me, he is attempting to set himself above Yahweh. There are thousands of gods that people worship. Why wouldn’t a large variety of people suddenly rise up against this guy? Perhaps they will, but since he may total control, our cries against his actions will probably be quickly squelched.
If there were ever a revealing collection of verses, it would be these we see in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10, for they tell us plainly, that something MUST be removed, and then the lawless one will be revealed. That something is the Holy Spirit-filled church, which has been praying and voicing their displeasure at this drive for a one-world government.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-10 NASB (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (8) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; (9) that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, (10) and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
Since the passage defines who this lawless one is, we can now recognize the timing and method of his departure. Although Daniel makes it look like the beast is vaporized, the spirit remains alive and is dealt with.
Daniel 7:11 NET. “Then I kept on watching because of the arrogant words of the horn that was speaking. I was watching until the beast was killed and its body destroyed and thrown into the flaming fire.
Revelation 19 also tells us the story of the lawless one, or beast, being destroyed and put away.
Revelation 19:19-20 NET. (19) Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to do battle with the one who rode the horse and with his army. (20) Now the beast was seized, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf — signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur.
What is it that I have now settled in my mind?
- That we are neck-deep in apostasy; although, I have learned that the word apostasy was inserted thanks to the Roman Catholic church and is a rabbit trail because the best and previous terminology was “the gathering.”
- The gathering is imperative and something that we, the church, have been looking for since the church came into being.
- Since the word apostasia, transliterated into apostasy, can also indicate a defection, I have to ask the question, has the church, in the majority, turned their backs on God? The answer is yes.
- Another thing that I have established or settled is that there are no prophecies left to fulfill prior to the return of Jesus Christ to gather His church; and is, therefore, imminent.
- And, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10, the Antichrist will NOT come into view until after the removal of the church.
One other thing before I move on.
I have had many discussions about the war of Ezekiel 38,39. In this war, God jumps in and sends a firestorm upon Gog and his armies, while they are on the hillsides within Israel. Why is that significant? Because, the Antichrist calls out for peace, and, comes to a seven-year agreement with many. That word many does NOT have to include Israel and very well may not.
If what we know from the Word of God is true, then, there are only seven more years after the church is taken away. Where then do we fit all these events that happen during “the day of the Lord?” If the Antichrist is a Muslim, speaking to the Muslim nations, then there are a multitude of reasons to call for peace, one of which is that the Islamic nations in the Middle East would have taken a tremendous beating from this firestorm and need to regroup and resupply, possibly even get themselves a new leader, since Gog is now gone.
How about this? God, sends two witnesses, who stand in the streets of Jerusalem and prophesy for forty-two months. The word “prophesy” is a wide spectrum term. See Revelation 11:3-14. When does this take place? During what appears to be the first 42 months of God’s wrath.
Sadly, not everyone who calls themselves a Christian will go up in the catching away of the church.
How do I know that?
Because Matthew 25:1-13, tells us of ten virgins who were all invited to the same wedding. They all got an invitation, but not all made it in, Why? The story is told in terms that were relevant to the Jewish audience that used oil lamps, and therefore may not strike us as significantly; because of that, we simply change the oil to flashlight batteries that fit in a digital flashlight. A digital flashlight does not warn you that it is going to quit by dimming, as an older style might. If you pick it up, push the button and it works, you have NO idea if it will work the next time you push the button, not to mention continuing through the night.
Might I equate the oil to fresh batteries and the impact they could have on my life and my ability to see clearly?
That’s great, you have fresh batteries on the shelf. In this scenario, did you check? I always have a few backups, because I have a couple of flashlights that I go to consistently to deal with bangs in the house (we have cats inside during the night,) and peculiar noises outside. It is very annoying to grab a flashlight and not have it work. And, in the case of this wedding that we were invited to, they may not have checked to see if the flashlight was even working, as it was light when they left the house. Let’s just say I get to the meeting point, as these all did, and night falls; when the call comes to go, and my light did not work. Those in the story had already been demanding that the others share what little bit of extra oil they had, with them. Well, that’s no way to ask, and the obvious thing, for a time and place such as Nazareth, would be that the town shut down completely in the dark hours. There was no place to go and find more. But since they were all invited to the same wedding, surely they all knew each other.
Why then wouldn’t you simply follow along with those who had light?
I have run that through my mind many times. I would have done that. And, even if you did not want me near you, I would have followed. I may have stayed out of swinging distance, but I would have come. Considering the nature of this crowd, I can’t imagine such hostility, nor someone trying to keep you away from the wedding, but as I was writing these words, haven’t we, as the church, done that? I don’t try to focus on church history but wasn’t there something called the inquisition. Yeah, I thought so.
Some have told us that oil is representative of the Holy Spirit-filled life. Since having the Holy Spirit is thought by many to be an aspect of our salvation, you would think that we should be permanently filled. If that were the case we would not be having so many ugly moments where we act like angry cave dwellers. So my answer to this is to pursue a constant, daily infusion of and from the Holy Spirit. NO, I don’t ask, much like some who struggle with negativity, for God to save me, once again. But I consciously put my life into the hands of the Holy Spirit daily. I want Him to possess me, and fill me. Keep pouring your life in me until you and I are one. You did that for Enoch, do it with me.