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AN EXPOSITION OF II THESSALONIANS 2:1-12!  PART 1

       

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 250

November 18, 2005

AN EXPOSITION OF II THESSALONIANS 2:1-12!  PART 1


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

I long ago lost count of the number of requests I have received about the identity of the “he’s” referred to by Paul in II Thessalonians 2:7.  I did not reveal what I believed on the “he’s” for some time, and did not start to say what I believed about it until I made a trip to Kenya in 1999.  Joel Cobb asked me what I thought about the he’s while I was lecturing in the Seminary there.  As I had done so often in the past, I turned the question back on the asker, asking him to first tell me what he believed about it.  Before that, when the asking person had told me what he or she believed, I would quickly say – well, that is what everyone else that asked me the question believes, so you are on solid ground.  And, indeed, those who had asked me previously, all thought it referred to the Holy Spirit being taken out when the rapture came at the first of the week.  But, much to my surprise, I was shocked to find that Joel Cobb believed what I believed about the Scripture and, as far as I know, still does.  So, at age 73, knowing my time on this planet is limited, in this series I intend to offer my case as to who I believe the “he’s” represent in II Thessalonians 2:7.  The reason I believe so many have asked me who it represents is this – down deep inside some, who have been taught the “he” is the Holy Spirit, there has been a suspicion it could be someone else.

I intend to exposit line by line from II Thessalonians 2:1 to 12 in order to make my case, and this will be the beginning sheet on each new Series Part issued. 

Quite frankly, when God called me into the ministry at age 38, I did not know what this Scripture meant and, if someone asked me, I would simply refer them to some commentary.  But in the 1980’s, as I began to link other Scriptures with it, I finally reached a conclusion with which I have found rest within myself with the Spirit.  In order to make my case, it will be necessary for me to exposit on the six verses before it and the five which follow it.

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

This is, of course, referring to the gathering together, the catching up, of the saints in I Thessalonians 4:16,17.

I Thessalonians 4:16,17 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

The primary subject of II Thessalonians 2:1-12 involves the event known as the “rapture,” which is identified as the first resurrection in the New Testament.  The only angel specifically identified as an archangel is Michael, but it is generally accepted that Satan and Gabriel were also archangels, created by God to rule over the three angelic realms he created for specific purposes.

Daniel 10:13 – But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Daniel 12:1 – And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Jude 1:9 – Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

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

Paul tells them specifically in unmistakable terms – If any stand up among you, and tell you something I told you about the rapture, which is different from what I taught you, don’t get shook up in your spiritual mind or troubled in your daily walk, even if they claim to be led of the Holy Spirit to say it, or claim it is the word of God, or even if they show you an epistle they say we wrote, which they use to tell you the Lord is coming at a specific time in the near future.  His major thrust is a simple one – don’t believe anything different from what I originally taught you.  Don’t  believe them if they tell you the rapture is in the immediate future or has already occurred, as was the case Paul mentioned in his second epistle to Timothy.

II Timothy 2:18 – Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

II Thessalonians 2:1-3 – Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, [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 at hand. [3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

In verse one Paul tells them the subject he is about to address is the first resurrection.

In verse two he tells them not to believe anything that is different from what he originally taught them about the first resurrection, especially as it pertains to being in the immediate future or having occurred in the past.

Paul begins verse three by referring back to verse two by telling them again, “Let no man deceive you by any means,” meaning, as he had previously advised them against believing anything different from what he had previously taught them.  So, just what did he tell them had to first happen before the rapture occurred?  He said two things had to happen before the rapture would occur: “for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”  First, there had to be a falling away from the faith once delivered to the saints. This meant the truths of the faith had to be taught in many places before believers could fall way from it, which meant the rapture had not already occurred, nor was it in the near future when Paul wrote this epistle.  The second event, which was to occur before the rapture, and which had not occurred when Paul wrote the epistle, was a visible revealing of the antichrist to the eyes of believers.  Lord willing, I will exposit fully on verse three next week.