that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,2 Thessalonians 2:9(NASB)
Paul gives an in-depth description of the coming 'man-of-sin' in this chapter. The lawless attitude and rebellious actions of this 'son-of-perdition' will not only oppose the true and living God and all He stands for, but exalt himself above every religion, including Christianity, and every other form of worship... worldwide.
For 2000 years, lawlessness has been restrained through the prayers, praises, and exploits of Church-age saints by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Christians are the tool God is using today to suppress the spread of all forms of satanic evil and preach the gospel of grace to every nation.
Today, the prayers and praises of Christians exalt the true and living God as He is worshipped in spirit and in truth. How terrible it will be when the Church is removed, the full force of evil is permitted to envelop the earth, and the Antichrist is revealed.
In verse 9 of 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul tells us about the demonic actions of the Antichrist, which will be empowered by Satan. When this evil man is revealed on the world-stage, he will mesmerise people with his satanic power, evil signs, and false wonders. His activities will be designed to deceive true believers, and Revelation tells us he will come as a man of peace, but war, destruction, and death will follow in his wake.
Verse 9 also gives us information about the character of the coming 'man-of-sin'. His pride glistens like a necklace, as he opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship. This verse gives a graphic description of the ungodly disposition of the coming antichrist: "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."
From the beginning, the spirit of antichrist has been working towards Satan's goal of opposing God, bringing the world under his total control, and receiving men's undivided worship, but the 'man-of-lawlessness' about whom Paul is writing, has yet to be revealed. In times past, others have polluted God's Temple, but the day is coming when the Antichrist will desecrate the innermost sanctuary of a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus refers to this as: "The abomination that causes desolation," and for three and a half years this man will rule the world with tyranny and destruction.
For three and a half years, this man will work tirelessly to establish his own despotic dictatorship and establish his global domination. Kings of the earth will empower him and the whole world will follow after this terrible 'beast' who is further described in Revelation. However, the desecration of the Temple will expose him as the false Christ. The abomination he sets up in the Temple of God will be a wake-up call that causes Israel to return to the Lord.
This little passage was written to believers in Thessalonica to correct their fear that the 'man-of-sin' had been revealed and was already in power. They feared the Day of the Lord had begun. Paul begins this passage with reassuring words that reminded them of his earlier teaching on the end times, and the 'trigger' that would set in motion the dreadful Day of the Lord.
He reminds them of the character and conduct of the Antichrist: "Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?" he gently chided them. Paul concludes by reminding them that the 'man-of-sin' will be only revealed when the Restrainer of lawlessness is removed: "Then that lawless one will be revealed." The Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, and His restraining ministry is being carried out today through the Church. Only when the Church has been removed at the Rapture and the Holy Spirit's restraining ministry comes to an end, will the Antichrist be revealed.
Daniel informs that this evil tyrant will be revealed at the start of the 70th week of Daniel, with Israel signing a 'covenant with death'. Until that pivotal point in history, when the restraining influence of the Church, through the indwelling power of the Spirit will be removed, the identity of the 'man-of-sin' will remain unknown.
The adversary of God is Satan, and his nefarious activities are continuously at work to undermine all that is good. He seeks to twist the truth with demonic doctrines and introduce every disgusting, godless behaviour into men's conduct, to violate the race that was created in the image of God. His final attempt to oppose the true and living God will be through the tyrannical reign of the coming Antichrist.
May we continue to work the works of God in our lives while there is still time, and warn the lost that the offer of salvation is still available to whosoever will come.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the ministry and teachings of the apostle Paul, and for this comforting passage of Scripture which reminds us that lawlessness will continue to be restrained by the power of the Holy Spirit, as God's plans and purposes are forwarded through the prayers and praise of the Body of Christ. May the prayer of the righteous be effective, powerful, and continue to restrain the spread of lawlessness throughout the world. Thank You that the day is coming when Satan, sin, death, and hell, will be thrown into the lake of fire, and righteousness will be established forever. May I worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness and work the works of God in every area of my life as I walk in spirit and truth for His greater glory. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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