Scripture Study: 2 Thessalonians 2

2 Thessalonians 2  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 8
2 Thessalonians 2
Verse 1. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him.”
He had already unfolded to them how this would take place, and that it was the first scriptural event that was to happen, and they were to keep this before their hearts and minds. He is using it here as an argument that nothing of prophecy could be fulfilled till all the heavenly saints were raised and changed and caught up to that wonderful gathering to meet the Lord in the air.
Verse 2. If they kept this before them, they could not be soon shaken in mind, nor be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as if it came from the Apostle himself, as if the day of the Lord was already come (see N. T.).
Some false teaching had gone in among them as if it came from the Apostle. We find some timorous souls now, not well established, and even teachers that once seemed to know better, that have lost their hold on the truth. Perhaps the better way would be to say, that this truth had not laid hold of them.
Verses 3, 4. “Let no man deceive you by any means.” The day of the Lord cannot come, till the apostasy have first come. (“Falling away” here means “Apostasy”). “And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.”
What poor, silly, rebellious creatures men are. Yet this was the very thing the devil said to the woman to get her to eat the forbidden fruit. “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
After the saints are caught up, we find two men—one at Rome, and one at Jerusalem, setting themselves up as God.
Satan has a trinity in imitation of God—the beast, the false prophet, and the dragon (Rev. 13:4, 11-174And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (Revelation 13:4)
11And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:11‑17)
; Rev. 16:1313And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (Revelation 16:13)).
Verses 5-8. It is evident that Paul had told them these things already, and he also had told them that which hindered the evil, even then, from coming to a head that he might be revealed in his time.
“For a mystery of iniquity (lawlessness) doth already work: only He who now letteth will let (read it, hindereth will hinder), until He be taken out of the way.”
The Holy Spirit is now dwelling in the church on earth, and by means of the powers that be (Rom. 13:11Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1)) which are in God’s hand, the mystery of lawlessness is kept in check. When the Lord takes His church home, the Holy Spirit will not dwell on earth, though He will ever work as in the Old Testament times, in both Jews and Gentiles that are yet to be saved, but having an earthly calling. Then that wicked one will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.
Verses 9-12. We see this wicked man’s coming is full of Satanic delusions, “with all power and signs and lying wonders” —imitation of Christ—(Acts 2:2222Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: (Acts 2:22)), “and with all deceivable of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
The Lord Jesus came in His Father’s name, and they would not receive Him. “Another shall come in his own name, and him they will receive” (John 5:4343I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (John 5:43)).
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: and that all might be judged that believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
This man of sin is a religious fraud, an imitation of Christ. The graces of Christ, and even His works of power, are all imitated by this king of the Jews, and he fills the temple at Jerusalem with his lying wonders (verse 4). The God of Israel will take vengeance on him. All this will happen after we are caught up, and before the Lord comes with us to set up His Kingdom, and to judge the living nations. It is then that the day of the Lord will begin, when He comes with us.
This lawless man, the antichrist, the false prophet, the king of the Jews, promises the Jews their freedom to worship in the temple. Later he sets up his idol abomination, the image of the beast, compelling them to bow to it (Isa. 28:15, 1815Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: (Isaiah 28:15)
18And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. (Isaiah 28:18)
; Dan. 9:2727And 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. (Daniel 9:27); Matt. 24:1515When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Matthew 24:15); Rev. 13:12, 13-1712And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (Revelation 13:12)
13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:13‑17)
). He makes fire to come down from heaven. We also find that he denies Christianity—the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:2222Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)). How complete the deception is!
The Apostle turns now with thanksgiving to God for them,
Verses 13, 14. “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: whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
How different that is from what troubled them. Their portion is glory with Christ above, chosen from the beginning to salvation, set apart through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, and called to be with Christ in His heavenly glory.
Verse 15. “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the instructions which ye have been taught, whether by word or by epistle.”
Verses 16, 17. “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, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.”