II Thessalonians 2

 

The apostle reminds them that before the coming of the day of the Lord there should

be a great apostasy, and the man of sin, whose nature and characteristics he had

described to them, should be revealed; but that at present there was a restraining

influence which prevented his appearance.  When that restraining influence was

removed, the man of sin would be revealed, accompanied with powers and signs and

wonders of falsehood, and would succeed in deceiving those who were destitute of the

love of the truth. Then would the Lord Jesus Christ come and destroy him by the

breath of his mouth and the appearance of his presence.

 

This chapter is involved in difficulties; it is the obscurest passage in the writings of

Paul; it is pre-eminently one of those things in his Epistles which are hard to be

understood (2 Peter 3:16).

 

v. 1 – “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” – the Second Advent

 

v. 2 - “that ye be not soon shaken (agitated) in mind…..or be troubled (terrified)

            …as the day of Christ is at hand”

 

The Thessalonians ought always to be living in a state of preparation for the day

of the Lord, as that day would come suddenly and unexpectedly; but they were

not to be so impressed with a sense of its immediateness as to be deprived of their

sober reason.

 

Remember Christ’s teaching from John 14:1-3

 

v. 3 - “Let no man deceive you by any means”

 

that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first” “the apostasy”

- a religious falling away – a signal  defection from the Christian faith.    ajpostasi>a,

 ap-os-tas-ee’-ah; feminine of the same as (ajposta>sion); defection from truth and faith 

[“apostasy”]: — falling away, to forsake.  (taken from Strong’s Greek Dictionary – Ages Digital – used

by permission)  Nor must we conceive that the man of sin himself is here meant; for this

apostasy precedes his coming — prepares the way for his advent; it is not the result,

but the cause, of his appearance. The word, then, is to be taken generally to denote

that remarkable “falling away” from Christianity concerning which Paul had instructed

the Thessalonians (compare 1 Timothy 4:1-3). First; namely, before the coming of the

day of the Lord – “and that man of sin;” in whom sin is, as it were, personified, as

righteousness is in Christ – be revealed.” The apostle considers the man of sin as

the counterpart of Christ; as Christ was revealed, so shall the man of sin be revealed.

The son of perdition”; whose sin necessarily conducts to perdition; not here the

perdition of his followers, but his own perdition.  The same name which was applied

by our Lord to Judas Iscariot  (John 17:12).

 

                                    The Doctrine of Antichrist.

           

Antichrist is the caricature or counterpart of Christ.

 

1. He is the man of sin, the personification of iniquity; whereas Christ is the

righteous One, the personification of righteousness.

 

2. He is the mystery of iniquity; whereas Christ is the mystery of godliness.

 

3. His advent is announced by the same word as the advent of Christ.

 

4. His coming occurred in its proper season; so also Christ came in the

fulness of time.

 

5. His coming is after the working of Satan; whereas Christ’s coming is in

the power of the Holy Ghost.

 

6. He performs miracles of falsehood, a counterpart of the real miracles

which Christ performed.

 

7. He sitteth in the temple of God, thus occupying the proper seat of

Christ.

 

8. He shows or exhibits himself as God, whereas Christ is the true

manifestation of the Godhead. In short, the kingdom of light which Christ

has established has its counterpart in the kingdom of darkness.

 

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We are surrounded by many influences tending either to lead us into error

and delusion, or into scepticism and infidelity. We must add to our faith

knowledge, and seek to be rooted and grounded in the faith. The truth

ought to be the great subject of inquiry. Let us cultivate the love of the

truth; let us pursue the truth wherever it leads, lest we should render

ourselves liable to the condemnation of those who “received not the love

of the truth” (v. 10) and believe not the truth, but have pleasure in

unrighteousness (v. 12); and lest we should be led from error to

error, and be lost in a PERFECT MAZE OF FALSEHOOD.

 

 

v. 4 – “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God”

 

He is antichrist – the opponent of Christ.  And yet antichrist is not Satan, the

great adversary (1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:10), for he is expressly distinguished

from him (v. 9), but the instrument of Satan. As Satan entered into the heart of

Judas Iscariot, the son of perdition, so does he take possession of the man of sin.

And exalteth himself above; or rather, against, in a hostile manner.

 

(See Daniel 7:25, 11:36-39)

 

sitteth in the temple, showing himself that he is God” -His sitting in the temple

of God was an assertion of his divinity; he claimed to be regarded and worshipped

as God. This was the crowning act of his impiety; not only, like the Roman emperors,

he demanded to be worshipped as one of many gods, but he claimed to himself the

prerogative of the Godhead, not only to the exclusion of the false gods of heathenism,

but even of the true God.

 

Wherever the scene of this marvelous usurpation may be, it signifies the

obliteration of all Christian interests and the triumph of atheistic malignity

but it will become the instrument of the WORLD’S FINAL RUIN!

 

In reality, to man, the antichrist is no better than the idols mentioned in

Psalm 135:15-18!  His speaking, his seeing, his hearing and his breathing,

although a step above man-made idols, are abused and prostituted for

evil purposes.  Those who follow receive ETERNAL DAMNATION.

 

v. 6 – “what withholdeth  - the Holy Spirit – a restraint upon the appearance

            of the man of sin.  Compare the precedent set before the flood when God

            said “My Spirit shall not always strive with man  - Genesis 6:3

 

“might be revealed in his time” (antichrist) - literally, in his season; in his

proper time, the time appointed by God. Events were not yet ripe for his

appearance. Just as there was a “fullness of time” when Christ should

appear (Galatians 4:4), so there was a “fullness of time” when the man

of sin should be revealed; there was a series of events going on which

would culminate in his revelation.

 

 

v. 7  - “until He be taken out of the way” – (the Holy Spirit)

 

Ver. 7. For the mystery. “Mystery” here denotes something which was

unknown or secret before it was revealed (comp.Ephesians 3:3-5). So

also one of the names of Babylon, the seat of the antichristian power, is

Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17:5). Of iniquity; rather, of lawlessness;

namely, this apostasy which shall precede the coming of the man of sin.

(Compare Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:12)  The genitive here is that of

apposition — “that mystery which is lawlessness,’’ whose essence and sphere

of operation is lawlessness. Doth already work; or, is already working. The

mystery of iniquity even now works in secret; but the man of sin himself will

not appear until the restraining power be removed. Even at the time the apostle

wrote the seeds of apostasy were already sown; the leaven of lawlessness was

fermenting inside Christianity; the foundations of a false Christianity were being

laid. Thus the apostle warned the Ephesians that false teachers would arise from

among themselves; to Timothy he writes of those perilous times which

were then present; and, in his Epistles, mention is made of false practices

and doctrines, such as the worship of angels, abstinence from meats, bodily

mortifications, and the honor conferred on celibacy. So also John, in his

First Epistle, refers to this working of this antichristian power when he

says, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist

shall come, even now are there many antichrists ....Every spirit that

confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this

is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and

even now already is it in the world” (1 John 2:18; 4:3). “Antichrist does

not step on the scene suddenly without any preparations; on the contrary, a

stream of anti-christian sentiment and conduct pervades the whole history

of the world” (Olshausen). (i. e. American Civil Liberties Union, People for

the American Way, Southern Law Poverty Center, Untied Nations, attacks

on churches and morality issues under the guise of “separation of church and

state, etc. – Yahnig)  Only he that now letteth; or, restraineth, the

old meaning of the word “let.” Will let. These words are not in the original,

and ought to be omitted. Until he be taken out of the way. The whole

clause ought to be rendered, “The mystery of lawlessness is already

working, only until he who restraineth is removed;” when that takes place,

when the restraining influence is removed, the mystery of lawlessness will

no longer work secretly, but will be openly manifested.

 

Ver. 8. And then; namely, so soon as He that restraineth is taken out of

the way. Shall that Wicked; or, that lawless one, in whom the mystery of

lawlessness is realized; not different from, but the same with, the “man of

sin, the son of perdition.” Be revealed; appear unveiled in all his naked

deformity. No longer working secretly, but openly, and in an undisguised

form; no longer the mystery, but the revelation of lawlessness. The apostle

now interrupts his description of the man of sin by announcing his doom.

Whom the Lord; or, as the best attested manuscripts read, whom the Lord

Jesus. Shall consume; or rather, shall slay (R.V.). With the spirit (or,

breath) of his mouth. Various interpretations have been given to this

clause. Some refer it to the Word of God, and others to the Holy Spirit,

and suppose that the conversion of the world is here predicted; but this is

evidently an erroneous interpretation, as the doom of antichrist is here

announced. Others refer the term to a cry or word, and think that the

sentence of condemnation pronounced by the Lord Jesus on the wicked is

intended. But the words are to be taken literally as a description of the

power and irresistible might of Christ at his coming — that the mere breath

of his mouth is sufficient to consume the wicked (Isaiah 11:4, “He shall smite

the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall he slay

the wicked”). And shall destroy (or, annihilate) with the brightness (or,

appearance) of His coming. The two words, epiphany and parousia, which

are elsewhere used separately to denote the coming of Christ, are here employed.

There is no ground for the assertion that the first is the subjective and the second the

objective aspect of Christ’s coming (Olshausen). The brightness of Christ’s coming

is not here expressed; but the meaning is that the mere appearance of Christ’s

presence will annihilate the wicked.

 

Ver. 9. — The apostle resumes his description of the man of sin. Even

him; not in the original, but necessary for the sense. Whose coming. The

use of the same term, parousia, employed to denote the coming of Christ

exhibits the counterpart of the man of sin. Is after the working

according to the energy — of Satan. Satan is the agent who works in the

man of sin; he being the organ or instrument of Satan. With all power and

signs and lying wonders. The adjective “lying” ought to be rendered as a

substantive, and applied to all three: “With all powers and signs and

wonders of falsehood;” whose origin, nature, and purpose is falsehood.

Here, also, the counterpart to Christ is manifest; for the same terms —

“powers,” “signs,” and “wonders,” are employed to denote his miracles

(Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:4). The miracles of Christ were miracles of

truth; the miracles of the man of sin would be miracles of falsehood. The

“miracles and wonders and signs” which God did by Christ are to be

parodied by the power and signs and wonders which Satan will work

through the agency of the man of sin – ( a form of “voodoo karaoke” C. Y.)

There does not seem to be any essential difference between powers, signs, and

wonders; but the words are employed as a mere rhetorical enumeration. It

is not to be supposed that the man of sin will be enabled to perform real

miracles; they are the wonders of falsehood; but still by them his followers

will be deceived (Matthew 24:24).

 

Ver. 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness; or rather,

with all deceit of unrighteousness (R.V.); either with all deceit leading to

unrighteousness or with all deceit which is unrighteousness. The man of sin

works by deceit and falsehood; and by means of imposture and wonders

and high pretensions he will succeed in imposing on the world. 

 

Lies of Satan leading to unrighteousness. “With all deceit of

unrighteousness.” When men entertain false views, especially of the

character of God, there is an easy transition to unrighteousness. There are

many ways in which they can persuade themselves, that they may exercise

liberty in their manner of living. They do not need to pray to God; they do

not need to read God’s Book; they do not need to keep God’s day; they do

not need to be strictly honorable in their transactions; they do not need to

make sacrifices for others. It is enough that they keep up an appearance of

probity and purity, and, it may be, of religion, before men. They can leave

all their failings to the general mercy of God.

 

Unrighteousness leading to destruction. “For them that are perishing” -

From unrighteousness there is a necessary, though, it may not be, an

immediate, transition to destruction. When men do not observe the rules

which are laid down for them by God, they are contending with God, and,

contending with God, they cannot in the end succeed; for God is stronger

than they. There were those who were perishing in their unrighteousness in

Paul’s day. And there are still those who seem to be perishing in their

unrighteousness today.

 

The energetic power of the man of sin is, however, by no means irresistible;

only they who perish will succumb to it.  Resist the devil and he will

flee from you” (James 4:7) -  Study how Jesus resisted him – (Matthew 4:1-11)

 

“In them” - In the best manuscripts the preposition “in” is wanting; therefore

the words are to be translated for them or to them. “That perish” –

 (2 Corinthians 2:15); because they received not the love of the truth. Not

only did they not receive the truth when it was offered them, but, what was

worse, they were destitute even of a love of the truth. By the truth here is

meant, not Christ himself, as some expositors think, but primarily the

Christian truth, and secondarily the truth generally. There was in them a want

of susceptibility for the truth, and thus not only were they prevented embracing

the gospel, but they were led astray by numerous errors and delusions. That

they might be saved. The result which naturally would arise from the reception

of the truth.

 

Christianity is the most reasonable, most beautiful thing in existence.

But when men are in a state of judicial blindness, they do not see its

reasonableness and beauty; they believe men who lie about it, and treat it

with indifference, or disdain, or hatred. This can only lead on to their being

judged and condemned, the ground of their condemnation being their not

believing the truth especially about Christ, but taking pleasure in

unrighteousness. Let us see, then, that we accept the great offer from God

not taking darkness for light, and evil for good.. Let us especially be open

toward Christ and toward the efficacy of his blood,

 

Ver. 11. For this cause; on account of their being destitute of a love of

the truth. God shall send them; or rather, God sends them; the present

being chosen because the apostasy had already commenced, the mystery of

lawlessness was already working. Strong delusion; or, a working of error

(R.V.). These words are not to be weakened, as if they meant merely that

in righteous judgment God permitted strong delusion to be sent them; the

words are not a mere assertion of judicial permission, but of actual

retribution. It is the ordinance of God that the wicked by their wicked

actions fall into greater wickedness, and that thus sin is punished by sin;

and what is an ordinance of God is appointed by God Himself. That they

should believe a lie; or rather, the lie, namely the falsehood which the

man of sin disseminates by his deceit of unrighteousness. Being destitute of

the love of the truth, they are necessarily led to believe a lie — their minds

are open to all manner of falsehood and delusion.

 

Ver. 12. That; in order that. The statement of purpose depending, not

upon “that they should believe a lie,” but upon “God sends them a strong

delusion” — denoting a still more remote purpose of God. God, as the

moral Ruler of the universe, will pronounce sentence of condemnation

against them, this sentence being the necessary result of their receiving not

the love of the truth. Its reception would have been the cause of their

salvation; its rejection results in their condemnation. They all might be

damned; or rather, judged (R.V.). The verb employed does not here, or

elsewhere, express the idea of condemnation, though this is implied by the

context. Who believed not the truth; namely, the Christian truth; their

unbelief of it was the consequence of their want of love of the truth, and

was the cause of their being judged. But had pleasure in

unrighteousness. Their delight in unrighteousness was wholly

incompatible with their belief in the truth; their want of faith arose, not

from any defect in their understanding, but from the perversion of their

moral nature.  (Compare Romans 1:32 – especially “have pleasure in

them that do them)

 

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Satan’s antichrist will stamp falsehood upon the whole system (politically,

economically, religiously, etc.) and will use superhuman craft for the

MISGUIDANCE OF MEN.  Guile marks his whole career, and

unrighteousness is the aim and result!

 

Here the description of the man of sin concludes.

 

THIS IS TO WHAT THE EXCLUSION OF THE TRUTH LEADS!

 

Proverbs 29:18a - “Where there is no vision, the people perish” -rather,

cast off restraint, become ungovernable, cannot be reined in (Exodus 32:22, 25).

“Vision” (chazon), prophecy in its widest sense, denotes the revelation of God’s

will made through agents, which directed the course of events, and WAS INTENDED

to be coordinate with the supreme SECULAR AUTHORITY. The prophets were the

instructors of the people in Divine things, standing witnesses of the truth and power

of religion, teaching a higher than mere human morality. The fatal effect of the

absence of such revelation of God’s will is stated to be confusion, disorder, and

rebellion; the people, uncontrolled, fall into grievous excesses, which nothing but

high principles can restrain.  (IN THIS INSTANCE CHURCH-STATE RELATIONSHIP)

 

 

 

v. 13 – “God hath from the beginning” - The phrase, “from the beginning,

            does not denote “from the beginning’ of the gospel,” but “from eternity.’’          

            The apostle refers the salvation of the Thessalonians to the eternal

            election of God. Chosen you to salvation — the final purpose of God’s   

            election.  Through; or rather, in, denoting the elements in which the

            salvation consisted, or, which is the same thing, the state into which

            they were chosen. Sanctification of the Spirit — the Divine side — and

            belief of the truth — the human side of the element in which the

            salvation was realized.

 

v. 14 – “He called you” - Whom God elects from eternity, he calls in

            time. To the obtaining (or, acquisition) of the glory of our Lord

            Jesus Christ - “to be possessors or sharers in the glory of

            Jesus Christ.”  Believers are constituted “heirs of God and joint

            heirs with Jesus Christ.”  - Romans 8:17

 

 

(ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE ANTICHRIST AND THE EFFECTS OF

HIS LEADERSHIP)

 

THERE IS A MAN OF SIN. The Bible does not ignore the awful depths of

human wickedness. It is dreadfully significant that this evil being is a man,

not a devil. Humanity, which was created in the image of God and intended

to be a temple of God, may be degraded into the image of Satan and become a

haunt of iniquity. As good works through human sympathies, so does evil.

A bad man is more dangerous than a fallen angel, because he is nearer to

his fellow men.

 

The “man of sin” could not arise before the Church had fallen, nor if he

had appeared prematurely, could he have had any power against a

faithful Church.

 

 

THE MAN OF SIN PRECEDES THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST!

 

Paul does not encourage us to look for a gradual, unbroken progress of

Christianity.  Christ even wondered whether He would find faith left on

the earth at His return.  (Luke 18:8) 

 

CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN WHEN HE IS MOST NEEDED!

 

“the mystery of iniquity (lawlessness) - We are not to expect to be able to

understand all the forces and influences with which we are surrounded. It is

enough that we are in the hands of God who knows all, and trusting in

Christ who can lead us safely through the darkness.

 

 

His character. He is a person, a man of mighty intellect and giant

strength of will, who will take advantage of a general development of

unbelief and lawlessness, and gain for a time a widespread sovereignty. Sin

fills his being; it becomes, as it were, incarnate in him; it dominates his

entire personality. He is “a son of perdition” like Judas (compare the

common Hebraism, “a son of death”), destined himself to eternal death,

involving in utter death ALL who follow him. He is an adversary, a HUMAN

SATAN.  Such a man the world has not yet seen. There have been many

outbursts of wickedness, many evil men in the long course of history have risen

to sovereign power; but no one yet has combined in himself all the characteristics

ascribed to the man of sin in this Epistle.

 

THE RETRIBUTION THAT OVERTAKES THE VICTIMS OF THE

MAN OF SIN. “Because they received not the love of the truth, that they

might be saved.” The causes of the success of the man of sin are first

described on the side of man and then on the side of God. The whole case

is one of just retribution.

 

A. The Sin of the Perishing.

 

 (1) The truth was that which brought salvation near, disclosing at once

   their need of a Saviour and the readiness of Christ to save them.

  

   (2) They did not receive it, though it was offered them, but rejected and

   despised it.

 

   (3) They rejected it because they had “not the love of the truth.” Without

   this love, the truth will do us no good; it must be received into the heart as

   well as the head.

 

THE PENALTY OF REJECTING THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH IS

INCAPACITY TO KNOW TRUTH FROM ERROR. God punishes men

in this condition by sending “them a working of error, that they should

believe a lie.” This is an awful fate. Truth is too precious a pearl to be cast

before swine. They who do not love it shall not have it. Liars become

incapable of knowing truth. The habit of indifference to truth so grows

upon some people that the whole idea of truth becomes obscure and

meaningless to them, and they ask with Pilate, half bewildered, half

scornful, “What is truth?” Is not this a veritable destruction — the

spiritual eye blinded and burnt out by the fires of falsehood and

unrighteousness; the highest intellectual faculty, that of grasping truth,

killed by corruption and falsehood? God save us all from this hideous

doom!

 

 

 

B. The Divine Retribution for the Sin of the Perishing. “And for this cause

God is sending them an inner working error, that they should believe the lie” of

the man of sin. They rejected the truth of God; God will, as a judicial,

punitive infliction, send them blindness so that the error of the man of sin

will be received as truth. “A terrible combination when both God and Satan

are agreed to deceive a man!” There is a double punishment here.

 

   (1) They will actually believe the lie of the man of sin. Sin often in the

   moral government of God is punished by deeper sin. Those who care

   nothing for the truth are easily seduced into the worst errors. Men will at

   last become so perverse as to call “evil good, and good evil.”

 

   (2) They will be finally judged for the pleasure they have taken in

   unrighteousness. “That all may be judged who believed not the truth, but

   had pleasure in unrighteousness.” It follows:

    

     (a) That error is not an innocent thing. It has practical issues of the most

     momentous character.

    

     (b) That it is a fearful perversion of the human soul to take pleasure in

     what God hates.

  

      (c) That God allows the sin and madness of men to develop themselves to

     their fullest extent.

    

     (d) That God in this way will be finally justified in their judgment; He “will

     be justified in his speaking, and shall be clear in his judging” (Psalm 51:4).

 

The antichrist will work miracles, but they are by the energy of Satan, wonders

of falsehood. They are not mere deceptions, they are real miracles; but they are

the works of him who is the father of lies; and they are lies, inasmuch as they are

intended to mislead men into worshipping him as God who is the

personation of Satan, the liar from the beginning. Lies, too, they are,

because they are the signs of a power which is only a miserable imposture,

which must soon end in death and ruin. Our Lord has warned us

(Matthew 24:24) of false Christs and false prophets whose signs and

wonders should be so startling as to deceive, if it were possible, the very

elect. The false prophet, the second beast, of the Revelation – ch. 13:13 - doeth

great wonders, so that he maketh fire to come down from heaven, and deceiveth

them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he hath

power to do. Then there may be, there will be, false miracles, lying

wonders. Miracles alone do not always prove the agency of God, but

miracles with holiness, works of faith issuing out of a life filled with the

presence of God. The blessed life of Jesus Christ our Lord is a mightier

miracle than the physical wonders which he wrought. A life of perfect

purity and transcendent holiness in the weakness of human flesh, amid all

the temptations of this wicked world, is to us a more convincing proof of

the Divine mission of Christ than the signs from heaven would have been

which the Jews so often asked for. The Church must expect the coming of

lying wonders; she must stand unshaken amid all the developments of

Satanic energy. The elect will not be deceived, for they will recognize the

notes of antichrist, “all the deceivableness of unrighteousness;” they will

remember the warnings of Holy Scripture: “Whosoever doeth not

righteousness is not of God,” “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for

the devil sinneth from the beginning.”

 

IV. ITS RESULT.

 

1. He deceiveth them that dwell on the earth; not the elect — the souls of

the righteous are in the hand of God; but those who have not been sealed

with that Holy Spirit of promise which is the earnest of our inheritance, the

pledge of that seal of the living God which his angel shall one day set upon

the foreheads of his chosen. But there are, alas! those that are perishing,

who have not passed from death unto life through faith in the Son of God,

but still abide in death. Such men the man of sin, the lawless one, deceives

and engulfs in his own utter destruction.

 

2. Their own wilfulness is the cause of their ruin. “God is not willing that

any should perish.” The true light lighteth every man. It came to them, but

they received it not. They received not Christ. He is the Truth, and He is

Love. He came into the world that the world through Him might be saved.

But they received not him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. They

had no love for the truth, no desire for it. They were quite indifferent to the

truth, though their conscience told them that it was the truth; they were

worse than indifferent, they rejected it. They might have been saved; the

truth would have made them free. They might have been sanctified through

the truth; for the truth of God, received into the heart, hath power to

cleanse, to purify, to save the soul. But they loved darkness rather than

light, because their deeds were evil.

 

3. It ends in judicial blindness. God’s Spirit will not always strive with

man. In His awful justice He gives over to a reprobate mind those who

persevere in disobedience. He sendeth them a strong delusion, a working

of error. As virtue is its own reward, so sin is its own punishment. Eternal

sin (see Mark 3:29 in the best-supported reading) is the fearful end of

the obstinate sinner. That hardening of the heart, in which habitual sin must

at last result, is ascribed in Holy Scripture sometimes to God, sometimes to

the sinner himself, sometimes to the deceitfulness of sin. They are different

modes of expressing the same law of God’s government. He has so

ordered our moral nature, that sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth

death. He lets the rebel have his own will; He leaves him to be “lord of

himself, that heritage of woe.” The Spirit is withdrawn at last from those

who vex, grieve, resist, His gracious influences. But there is something

more awful still. Not only did the Spirit of the Lord depart from Saul, but

“an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.” God Himself sends at the last,

in his most awful justice, the strong delusion, the inner working of error. It is

the last state, worse than the first; after which comes that dreadful

sentence, “It is impossible… to renew them again unto repentance.”  (Hebrews

6:4-6)  This thought gives a most terrible significance to every act of wilful,

unrepented sin; every such act brings a man nearer (how near he cannot tell) to

that most awful state whence there is no repentance. Then comes judicial

blindness; the light that was within them becomes darkness. They would

not believe the truth of God, now they believe the lie of the man of sin. It is

the judgment of God. We see indications of it from time to time in the

credulity of unbelief. Men who reject the Bible are sometimes ready to

believe anything except the Bible; they will greedily accept any legend, any

scientific hypothesis, though evidently not more than a provisional

hypothesis, which seems to contradict the Bible; they will deify humanity,

they will worship the idol which is the creature of their own thoughts

rather than the living God. This unbelief sprang out of sin; they “had

pleasure in unrighteousness.” There is such a thing as honest doubt; such

were the doubts of Asaph, of Thomas. But unbelief in a very large measure

comes from moral causes. Sin darkens the heart and the mind; sin always

leads to practical, often to intellectual, unbelief. “Every one that doeth evil

hateth the light;” he walketh in darkness; he seeth not the coming

judgment.

 

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See Romans 1:19-23 and Galatians 6:7-8

 

WE NEED TO BEWARE LEST WE BE A PART OF THIS “APOSTASY”

AND ANTI-CHRISTIAN SYSTEM!

 

ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT THE FORCES OF UNBELIEF AND

EVIL ARE GATHERING THEMSELVES FOR A MIGHTY CONFLICT!

 

AS SATAN IS A LIAR AND THE FATHER OF IT – (JOHN 8:44) , SO

THE ANTICHRISTIAN MOVEMENT, WHICH HE INSPIRES, IS

BASED ON LYING!

 

THERE IS TO BE AN OUTBURST OF INFIDELITY, A WIDESPREAD

SKEPTICISM, A HATRED OF REVELATION, MANIFESTING ITSELF

IN THE LIFE AND WORKS OF MEN OF LEARNING AND CULTURE,

BEING VERY OUTSPOKEN AGAINST ALL FORMS OF AUTHORITY!

 

REMEMBER HOW THE SITUATION WILL BE HANDLED - CHAPTER 1:7-10.

 

The Lord Jesus shall destroy him, and that in an instant, when He cometh. He

needs only to speak the word of power; the breath of His mouth shall sweep the

adversary into that perdition to which he was appointed. The manifestation of His

coming, the very sight of the awful Judge, shall slay the wicked one. This must be

our consolation when the dark problems of life distress our souls — “the Lord cometh.” 

Then shall come the assured triumph of righteousness, the crowning victory over all the

powers of evil.

 

THE BREATH OF THE LORD IS SUFFICIENT TO OVERTHROW THE

KINGDOM OF ANTICHRIST AND TO BAFFLE ALL HIS PRETENTIONS!

 

His first work was difficult, involving His death.  His last work will be

Divinely simple, and yet sublimely successful.

 

May God bless these thoughts to our hearts in Jesus Name!