II Thessalonians 2

"Departure From the Faith; Appearance of the Antichrist"

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and made available with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

II Thessalonians 2:1 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,"

Paul is now getting to the purpose for this second letter. Paul reminded them of his first letter to them, of Christ returning and our gathering back to Him. Because of the misunderstanding that could be drawn from the first letter, he writes the following.

It's important in this final generation that we pay attention for this will happen during our life time. The subject again of this letter is; "our gathering back to Christ".

II Thessalonians 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 [the Lord is just] at hand."

Paul doesn't want you to misunderstand what he is about to say. This is why he makes it plain and simple; Paul told them not to confuse what he is saying here with any other teaching, or spirit, or even that first letter from him. This is because there was a confusing part in the first letter where false teachers had crept in and twisted Paul's words. The prime example of this today is the twisting of that first letter by the "rapture theorist", to form the trap that has been set for Christians in this final generation.

Paul is saying, don't let anyone trouble you [confuse you], and tell you that the "day of Christ" is at hand. The "day of Christ [the Lord]" is the day when Jesus Christ will return to earth, and gather His saints to Him. This gathering will happen at the sounding of the seventh trumpet. This is one of those tradition's of men [false doctrines] that can deceive you.

II Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come [it will not be], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"

Jesus Christ is not gathering anyone to Him, nor is He coming here to earth, except there be a falling away first. The word for "falling away", in the Greek is "apostasy". Jesus told us in His revelation to John, in Revelation 9:11, that "Apollyon" is one of Satan's names, and this name is derived from the word apostasy.

The word "perdition" means "one that perishes". Satan and only Satan has already been condemned to die [to perish] by God. Satan's judgment day has come already back in the first earth age, and he will have no part in the Great White Throne judgment, or any other judgment yet to come. He has already been judged, and sentence by God to death "perdition" [Ezekiel 28 covers this judgment].

What did Paul say again?

Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth, but the saints of Christ will not be gathered to Him until the "son of perdition" [Satan] be revealed first. How will we know who he is when he arrives?

Revelation 17:8 "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is [shall come]."

This beast "thou [John] sawest", was in the first earth age; and is not on this earth now, as it is written in Revelation 12:7. Satan is in heaven being our accuser, and will be cast out to this earth very shortly by Michael.

"And shall ascend out of the bottomless pit; and go into perdition;" Who is he again? He is Satan the Antichrist. Satan is not a man born of woman, but a "supernatural arch angel". In Ezekiel 28 it is written that Satan [Lucifer] is the most beautiful of all God's created beings.

In Isaiah 14:12; "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lu'-ci-fer [day star], son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" Lucifer then is another name for Satan; he is also called the Dragon, the serpent, and many other names accounting for the roles he plays, and in our generation he will also be called the "Antichrist".

Isaiah 14:13; "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:"

Satan is saying, I'm going to be God, and be above the sons [stars] of God. The "mount of the congregation" is on mount Zion; and that is "the side of the north" where Jesus Christ's temple will be.

Isaiah 14:14; "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." Satan is saying again, he is going to be God.

Isaiah 14:15; "Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell [sheol], to the sides of the pit."

Who is this that is going into the pit? Who is this son of perdition? It is Lucifer, who is Satan, the "son of perdition". The "son of perdition" of II Thessalonians 2:3 is none other than Satan himself, coming to earth to play the role of Jesus Christ. Paul then is saying that the true Christ, Jesus Christ, will not return to earth until this "apostasy" takes place first.

Isaiah 14:16; "They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;"

Following Jesus Christ's return to earth, and when the Antichrist [Satan] is safely in the pit; the world will wonder; how could Satan have shook all the kingdoms? They simply can't believe that they were deceived into believing this man to be God. Are you going to be one of those deceived into believing Satan is the Christ, or do you know the difference?

Paul is saying to the Thessalonians that Jesus Christ will not come, or will their be a gathering of the saints until you see the Antichrist [son of perdition] first. It takes a lot of guts to take the word of a false preacher, over Paul, Jesus, John, Isaiah, and a whole host of other prophets and disciples. This "apostasy" [falling away] is caused by the "son of perdition", and you will see him live and in person, very shortly.

II Thessalonians 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."

The "Son of perdition" is Satan and Isaiah just told us this very same thing. Remember, the temple of God is on mount Zion, and "on the side of the North". This person sitting there is sitting in God's seat, pretending to be God: "Showing himself that he is God."

Do you know what Jesus said about this very thing. Jesus called it in Matthew 24:15, the very same thing that Daniel called it in Daniel 9:27; "the Abomination of desolation". A more correct translation in the "James Moffatt translation Bible" is called "The abomination by the desolator".

"Satan claiming to be God" is the abomination, and "he" [Satan] is the desolator, for the entire world will believe him; except for God's elect, and all those who have the seal of God in their minds [foreheads]. The sealed of God have their gospel armor on, and they are ready to face Satan and his system in the spiritual warfare.

Does the "rapture theory" still look inviting to you? If it does, friend, your in a heap of trouble. This is not me talking, but Paul; for he is warning you to be watching out for the Antichrist, for he is a copy of exactly what you expect of Christ. The Antichrist [Satan] will have supernatural powers, and he will come first, before our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are given the exact time of the Antichrist's arrival upon the earth in Revelation 9:1. It is at the sounding of the FIFTH TRUMPET. The trumpets are sounded in order, and the fifth trumpet is prior to the seventh. It can't be that hard to understand. Satan will be God to all the people of the world, including all Christians who do NOT have the seal of God in their minds [foreheads], to know the truth. The fall is because they will not take the simplicity and understanding in which Christ taught.

The whole purpose for Paul to write the II Thessalonians letter, was to warn that church, as well as the churches of today, of the errors in teaching that others were making of his first letter. Don't expect Christ's return to soon, for these things of II Thessalonians 2:1-4 must take place first.

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

Paul is again reminding them.

II Thessalonians 2:6 "And now ye know what withholdeth [that which restraineth to the end] that he might be revealed in his time [own season]."

"And now", is Paul's reminder to them that they did talk about this when he was with them in person. Who then is this one that would "be revealed in his time?"

The subject here is "the son of perdition", Satan, the Antichrist, or what ever name you desire to use for him. He is Satan, and Satan will commit the "abomination of desolation" of Daniel 9:27; and the church will be here to see it, because the "gathering", or Christ's return follows this.

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

There is no mystery around when this will take place, for we will know his methods of operation [withholdeth], and the signs, the seasons, and the times of Satan's arrival to earth. If you are in the Word of God and not following these "one verse preachers", you will know when to expect the Antichrist. You will also know within hours of when to expect our Lord Jesus Christ's return. Satan's reign on earth is not seven years because God reduced that time to five months for the "elect's" sake, as Jesus told us in Matthew 24:22. Jesus also revealed that the time is shortened to five months, to John in Revelation 9:5, and 10.

The "mystery of lawlessness" is the mystery of iniquity. "He who now letteth will let"; in the Greek should be translated; "He who holds fast [ketcho] will stand." The ellipsis, or "omission from an expression of a word clearly implied"; "There is one who hold's fast", instead of by repeating the verb, "will let". However, "katecho" is a transitive verb, and an object must be supplied also. So if the subject in verse six is Satan, then the object must be his position in the heavenlies [see Ephesians 6:12], from which he will be ejected from heaven by Michael [Revelation 12:7-9].

"Out of the way", in the Greek is "out of ek", or "the midst". It is the same expression used in Acts 17:33, and I Corinthians 5:2.

Many "rapture theorists" claim this one who "letteth" is the Holy Spirit, and they claim that when He is "taken away", then the Antichrist will come. By reversing the role of the characters in the verses here, and attributing what is Satan's to the Holy Spirit, you have a whole new doctrine called the "Any moment doctrine". This false doctrine is better known as the "rapture theory". It is dangerous to play around with a foreign language; and when the flock relies upon their shepherd for the truth, and the shepherd is assumed to be correct; in ignorance it is accepted just because he said it.

It is Michael who "holds fast" on to Lucifer [the Antichrist], and Michael will continue to keep Lucifer held until the appointed time, spoken of above. That time is appointed by God. Then at the appointed time God will give Satan the keys [authority] to release his fallen angels and they will be cast to the earth [see Revelation 9:1-10]. Let's take a look at the one [Michael] who holds on to Satan now.

Revelation 12:7; "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels," Michael [that is who the "he" is in II Thessalonians 2:7 and his [Michael's] angels fought against the dragon [another name for Satan] and his [Satan's] fallen angels.

Revelation 12:8; "And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven." This war took place in heaven, and that is where Satan and his angels are now; though Satan's spirit, and demonic spirits are all over the earth today. Now we will see what Michael does with Satan, in fulfilling II Thessalonians 2:7.

Revelation 12:9; "And the great dragon [Satan] was cast out [that is the transitive verb of verse seven], that old serpent [this is the role Satan played in the Garden of Eden], called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world [except for God's elect]: he was cast out onto the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

This is when Satan will physically appear on earth as a man with his angels. This is the time of the Antichrist's coming, and we must know when this time is by when these events takes place, for Satan comes at the sixth trumpet.

Then the verse picks up where Satan is standing in the holy place. Satan's object is to deceive all the world, and have the world take his markings in their minds. God's Word thus says that Satan will come to earth and stand in that Holy place, before Christ will come and gather anyone back to Himself.

II Thessalonians 2:8 "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, Whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit [breath] of his mouth, and shall destroy [bring to naught] with the brightness [manifestation] of his coming:"

"The wicked" is better translated, "wicked one": What comes out of the Lord's mouth? It is the Truth. That is also the Word that God put in the mouth of Paul in this writing. Satan shall then be destroyed after being cast out, and also after standing in the holy place. After this is the time of Jesus Christ coming and gathering of His saints. There is no "anytime doctrine" here. It is in the course of certain events, and God lets us know clearly the order of these events, and exactly what to expect. In Matthew 24:15 Jesus is saying exactly what Paul is saying, Satan will come first and reign before the gathering of the saints.

Then Christ will destroy Satan.

II Thessalonians 2:9 "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Sa'-tan with all power and signs and lying wonders,"

"Even him" also includes Satan's religious beast system. Satan's religious system will be present with Satan. The religious beast is discussed in Revelation 13, and this the religious role that gives support and authority to Satan. If you believe in the Rapture theory, you will take part in that role. Many Christians will assume Satan to be Christ when they visible witness the supernatural powers he possess, and the deceptions that will take place, all except God's elect.

II Thessalonians 2:10 "And with all deceivableness [deceit] of unrighteousness in [for] them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth,"

God is writing this letter to us personally, and we are responsible for understanding it. We are accountable to God to give answer for our actions. It is you and I, individually, that will stand before God and give our personal answer for the personal handling of His Word. There will be no preacher, friend or family member with you on that judgment day, for they will all be explaining and accounting for their own words and actions. If your pastor is one of the false shepherds, and led many saints astray, his ignorance won't help him or you.

This is something we must think about, our souls are at stake here.

II Thessalonians 2:11 "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion [send them a working of error], that they should a lie;"

If you want to believe a lie, God will allow it; in fact he will help you into the system of deceptions Satan will bring on the earth. Do you really think God will come here and personally show you, and talk to you when you refuse to believe His Word, when He gave it in such detail through the prophets and His Son. If you desire to believe that your going to fly out of here, and refuse His word, He will so block your mind that you will not be capable of understanding truth. God will send the "strong delusion" over your mind. The strong delusion is an act of love given by God for your protection.

II Thessalonians 2:12 "That they all might be damned [judged] who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

This is the reason for the "strong delusion" of verse eleven; "That they might be damned", it would be more accurately translated "condemned". Condemned for not believing the truth in God's Word when given to them. They had the warning, but still followed Satan, and partook in his religious system.

"Pleasure in unrighteousness" is not referring to drunken brawls, or whore houses, but it is a continuation of the subject here at hand. That subject is "worshipping the Antichrist [Satan] as the true Christ." You will take pleasure in that damnable sin; that unrighteous act will be done in your total ignorance. It's easy to say "I'm saved", but saved from what? The subject here has changed from that of verse eight, to "being damned through deception." The traditions of men will change this subject, from "being deceived by Satan, and enjoying it" to petty activities of the day.

II Thessalonians 2:13 "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:"

Paul does not think the Thessalonians will fall for this deceiving lie of the "any moment doctrine", after they have the truth. They were chosen from before the foundations of this earth age [the elect], and because they are, they will see, and believe the truth of God's holy Word. Romans 8 identifies these elect.

II Thessalonians 2:14 "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The "obtaining" is the persevering after the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

II Thessalonians 2:15 "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."

These traditions are what is presented in God's Word, or this letter Paul is writing.

II Thessalonians 2:16 "Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,"

Our only hope is through God's grace extended to us through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ shed on the cross at Calvary.

II Thessalonians 2:17 "Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work"

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