Revelation

  1. Before the great day comes, Paul declared, the rebellion must occur.  The word used here is apostasia, or apostasy.  Before the day of the Lord, there will be a great denial, a deliberate turning away by those who profess to belong to Christ.  It will be a rebellion.  Having once allied themselves with Christ, they will abandon him.  Within the recognized church there will come a time when people will forsake their faith.  Throughout history there have been defections from the faith.  But the apostasy about which he wrote to the Thessalonians would be of greater magnitude and would signal the coming of the end.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:4 pg. 105-106. 
  2. The other precursor to the day of the Lord will be the revealing of the man of lawlessness....the man doomed to destruction.  That he will be "revealed" indicates that he will be a real man, living on earth, whose identity is not known, or at least not understood, until a particular time.  Then the mask will be taken off and his true identity will be revealed.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:4 pg. 106. 
  3. The man of lawlessness will be a person so given to sin that he will become the embodiment of it.  Here is a man so overcome with evil that no flicker of light can be detected.  It is hard to imagine how horrible that will be, especially in light of some of the diabolical figures throughout history which this man will overshadow.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:4 pg. 106. 
  4. The man will oppose everything connected to the divine - not only Christianity but anything that has to do with theism.  This man will wage war against everything that hints at religion, faith, or spirituality.  He will try to eradicate worship of any kind: prayers, songs, gatherings, and shrines.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:4 pg. 106. 
  5. The man of sin will set himself up in God's temple, or more literally, put himself into God's seat in the inner sanctuary of the temple, proclaiming himself to be God.  This will be more than a taking over of some building.  The man of sin will understand the implications and claims that attend taking his seat in the sanctuary of God.  He will anoint himself as divine.  He will usurp the rightful place of God and declare himself as the one to be worshiped.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:4 pg. 106. 
  6. Paul noted that the Antichrist, who embodies sin was being restrained; something was holding him back.  There was a controlling purpose in the affiars of men and of Satan as well.  Although he is ruler of this present system and world, Satan and his activities are still restrained by the Sovereignty of God.  Even when events seem out of control, there is still the restraining hand of God.  In the last days, God will act with deliberate purpose in holding back Satan's workman: so that [the man of sin] may be revealed at the proper time.  Just as Christ had an advent, entering history at the proper time ("when the time had fully come," Gal. 4:4), so the antichrist will have a proper time for his revealing. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:6 pg. 107. 
  7. Just as good things come from God, so evil is empowered by the energy of Satan.  However, we are not talking about equals.  This is not a dynamic struggle against forces of equal power or ability.  Satan has great power and we should not ignore it.  But God reigns over all - even Satan.  That is why God restrains Satan's activities.  That is why the culmination of history and time is settled.  That is why there is no nail biting anxiety as to whether Christ will triumph. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:7 pg. 107. 
  8. Even so, until that time, Satan is allowed enormous influence and power, capturing the souls of billions.  Though held back from the full vent of his evil, the power and energy of wickedness continues to work and build toward the day of Antichrist's revealing. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:7 pg. 107. 
  9. Though there is containment of evil now, there will come a day when the present restraint will be removed:  but the one who now holds it back.... is taken out of the way.  There are many candidates set forth by scholars as to who the "one" is who restrains Satan and his forces. The most reasonable explanation as to who holds back the boiling powers of evil is the Holy Spirit.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:7 pg. 107.   
  10. When the time for the Antichrist comes, however, the Holy Spirit will depart; he will be taken out of the way.  This must refer to the rapture of the church when Christ comes to gather us, to snatch us up to be with him.  Though still omnipresent as a member of the Godhead, the Spirit's unique working relationship within people will end.  It is at that moment in history that the Holy Spirit will depart from his involvement in the affairs of mankind.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:7 pg. 108.   
  11. With the believers and Holy Spirit gone, the restraint will be removed and then the lawless one will be revealed, allowing Satan and his Antichrist to unleash their fury and abominations.  Paul did not finish his sentence before he added, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.  Paul did not give the Antichrist much time, and it is conceivable that God will not either.  The duration of his rule and power is unknown, but most agree that it will not be an extensive time. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:8 pg. 108.   
  12. Satan has been building toward this time of rebellion when he can hurl his evil in the face of God and his creation.  But this will be over simply by the breath of Christ's mouth.  This will not be a long, bloody battle.  This will not be a back and forth contest.  Satan's chosen man will be destroyed by Jesus with one blow of his breath.  The Antichrist will be overthrown and destroyed.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:8 pg. 108. 
  13. The Work of the Antichrist  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 pg. 108. 
    1. The portrayal of the man of sin (Antichrist) has parallels to the Son of Man (Christ).  Both have a coming and a revealing - when people become aware of what is already in their midst.  One proclaims the truth and the other proclaims a lie.  Both demonstrate power through signs, miracles, and wonders - one from the truh and the other a counterfeit.  Each will claim exclusive worship.  Both are empowered - Christ by God and the Antichrist by Satan.
    2. The lawless one lives in accordance with the work of Satan.  The word translated "work" is energeo, from which the word energy is derived.  Besides the word's use in God's power working in the believer " for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Phil 2:13), this word is also used of Satan's empowering his chosen man (2 Thess. 2:9).  The work is an energy which comes from beyond the individual, and it is supernatural in origin.  
    3. Miracles, signs and wonders were testimonies of Jesus' claim as Messiah.  They also validated the authority of the apostles and the apostolic church.  Since Satan deals in mimicry and deception, he will also use miracles, signs and wonders to affirm the Antichrist's demands for worship and power.  Miracles points more directly to the power causing the act rather than the act itself.  Signs are tokens, deeds done in order to confirm authority or power.  In the case of the Antichrist, he will perform supernatural feats, energized by Satan, for the purpose of authenticating his claims for worship and obedience.   The wonders include anything strange or spectacular which cause people to be amazed.  Signs deal with the purpose - to validate authority - while wonders deal with the effect - to cause a sensation.  The people will be awestruck, and the performer of the signs and wonders will be admired and treated with reverence and honor.
    4. Christ performed miracles, signs, and wonders, and the lawless one will also.  The difference is that the Antichrist's miracles and signs are designated pseudous, or false.  The Antichrist's miracles originate from the realm of falsehood and lies because they are empowered by the father of lies, Satan.  Antichrist and Satan have no legitimate claim to authority or worship, so their supernatural works are designated to entrap people and steal what rightfully belongs to God.  In this way, everything they do is "pseudo" or false.  The Antichrist's miracles originate from the realm of falsehood and lies because they are empowered by the father of lies, Satan.  Antichrist and Satan have no legitimate claim to authority or worship, so their supernatural works are designed to entrap people and steal what rightfully belongs to God.  In this way, everything they do is "pseudo" or false.  What Satan can devise, and what the Antichrist will enact, are beyond the imaginations of mere mortals.
  14. It should be remembered that evil is being used to ensnare people, to lure them away from what is true.  Most likely this is not the evil of terror, but evil which attracts the base and natural inclinations of fallen humanity - power, narcissism, sexual degradation, and moral blindness that elevates selfishness, just to name a few.  But these ancient sins will be loosed with a fury unseen or experienced before.- From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:10 pg. 109-110. 
  15. Satan will use every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.  His purpose is to secure people for himself, thereby stealing from God what rightfully belongs to him - the crown of creation, mankind.  The term "who are perishing", indicates that those people are in process.  Though blinded and deceived, they have chosen the path toward destruction on which they are traveling.  These are not innocents whom Satan snatches, but people who continually and persistently chose unrighteousness, sin and falsehood.  They refused to love the truth and so be saved. These are people who willfully spurn the saving grace of God.  That is why they are in a state of perishing, a process which results in eternal destruction rather than salvation.  God has held out the truth and opportunity of rescue, but they have refused. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:10 pg. 110. 
  16. Paul declared, For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion.  After humankind continually refused God and embraced wickedness and self-exaltation, "God gave them over" (Rom. 1:24.  Likewise, in these last days, men and women refuse the truth, running after evil and conceit and so "God sends them a powerful delusion."  In each case the judgement is just, resulting from their own choices.  Since they prefer lies, God obliges them with delusions.  The ultimate delusion is their acceptance of the Antichrist and his claims for worship.  It is the Lie, because it is in opposition to the Truth, that God has give Christ all authority.  We must remember that God does not cause these people to believe the lie or follow delusions.  They have already proved themselves contrary to rightneousness and open to evil.  These people have repeatedly embraced wickedness so that their character is formed by evil. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:11, pg. 110. 
  17. The consequences of such sin are always judgment and death (Rom. 6:23).  In this day when Satan rules through the man of lawlessness, all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.  By willfully rejecting the truth, these people reap for themselves the natural consequence of such rebellion.  Those who reject the truth inevitably follow after unrighteousness.  Truth and wickedness are mutually exclusive.  You follow either one or the other.  There is no neutrality in issues of life and morality, righteousness and wickedness.  Rejecting truth will always pull a person to evil.  The further a person allows himself to continue to sin, the more deeply entrenched he becomes, and the more hardened his heart and conscience.  But at each point, every person chooses, making God's judgment fair and just. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:12 pg. 110-111. 
  18. The consequences of such sin are always judgment and death (Rom. 6:23).  In this day when Satan rules through the man of lawlessness, all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.  By willfully rejecting the truth, these people reap for themselves the natural consequence of such rebellion.  Those who reject the truth inevitably follow after unrighteousness.  Truth and wickedness are mutually exclusive.  You follow either one or the other.  There is no neutrality in issues of life and morality, righteousness and wickedness.  Rejecting truth will always pull a person to evil.  The further a person allows himself to continue to sin, the more deeply entrenched he becomes, and the more hardened his heart and conscience.  But at each point, every person chooses, making God's judgment fair and just. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:12 pg. 110-111. 
  19. The future looms inevitably before all people, resulting in promise for believers and judgement for those who refuse God's Son. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2  pg. 114. 
  20. Christ will come and destroy Satan's representative by his breath and the splendor of his appearance.  People perish and receive God's judgement because they willfully refuse his truth and grace. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2  pg. 114. 
  21. But when the Lord stands forth in unmistakable glory, it will be terrible for those who do not delight in his control and his power. They will see how worthless their most dearly cherished idols really are, and they will have nothing left worth having.  - From location 855 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners 
  22. We can be sure of at least these truths about the end times:  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 4 pg. 213.  

    The "last days" began when Christ left the earth after his resurrection.  

    Nobody knows when Christ is coming back.  Even Jesus said that he did not know the day or the hour of his return.  Only the Father knows.  

    God always calls us to righteousness and light in the midst of darkness, to holiness in a world that turns away from him.  We are to remain faithful until Christ returns.  

    We are to live as if every day could be our last, honoring Christ as Lord and fully expecting his return at any moment.  

    We are to live fully engaged in the world.  We are not to hibernate or separate ourselves from the normal interactions of life.  God desires that Christians influence the world for him, even as the world becomes more sinful  and opposed to the truth.  People are his first love.  They are the objects of his salvation.  God delays his return in Christ because he loves his creation, the people he made.  He calls us to share that love until he comes.
  23. Eschatology is the study of "the last days," or end times.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 4 pg. 213.
  24. God has promised to step in decisively and to punish all wrong with absolute finality. And what the Old Testament calls “the day of the Lord,” the New Testament calls “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8), because Jesus is the one through whom God will judge the world and bring us into eternal peace.3 He is the reason we can live now with redemptive tolerance (Romans 12:14-21). - From location 2205 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners.
  25. The second coming of Christ will be so revolutionary that it will change every aspect of life on this planet.  Christ will reign in righteousness.  Disease will be arrested.  Death will be modified.  War will be abolished.  Nature will be changed.  Man will live as it was originally intended he should live. - From page 121 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  26. Bible teaching about the Second Coming of Christ was thought as “doomsday” preaching.  But not anymore.  It is the only ray of hope that shines as an ever brightening beam in a darkening world. - From page 121 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.