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AN EXPOSITION OF II THESSALONIANS 2:1-12! Part 2-4



PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 251

November 24, 2005

AN EXPOSITION OF II THESSALONIANS 2:1-12!

Part 2  (Same First Page on Each New Part)


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 Part until I finish it. 

Please review Part 1 before reading this continuing exposition of II Thessalonians 2:1-12.

II Thessalonians 2:3 – 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;

At times in the New Testament, the expression “that day” has a wide variety of prophetic time periods, which are determined by the context of the verses in which it is found.  In these verses the context determines “that day” to mean specifically the day of the rapture.

Paul advises the local church that those who are telling them that the rapture has already occurred, or is about to happen in the immediate future, are misinforming them.  And he then gives then two reasons why what they have been told by these men is simply not true.

The first reason is that the great “falling away” had not occurred at the time he wrote the epistle, and until it did no one could say the coming of the Lord was going to happen right away.  The Greek word translated “falling away” is “apostosia,” from which our English word “apostasy” is derived.  In the context of these verses, it is preceded by the definite article in the Greek text, and can only refer to “the falling away” from something, and that something represents the gospel truths of the faith once delivered to the saints.

Jude 1:3 – Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

At the time Paul wrote II Thessalonians he knew the rapture was not in the immediate future, because the faith had not been delivered by the gospel to all the world of his day, as Jesus had indicated it would before the end.

Matthew 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

The faith, a system of teaching and doctrine, had to first be in place in order to have a “falling away” from it.  In an attempt to justify the “first of the week” position, in very recent times, someone came up with the idea that “apostosia” meant “a catching out” of the saved at the rapture, but that is stretching the linguistic meaning of     the word far beyond allowable limits.  It’s a cute idea, but it just isn’t true.

Well, I would say it is finally getting close to the first resurrection, because the falling away from the truth is now in full swing on a worldwide basis, just as Paul indicated in his second epistle to Timothy.

II Timothy 4:1-4 – I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; [2] Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. [3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

The second reason he gave them that the rapture had not yet occurred, and was not in the immediate future, was that the man of sin, the antichrist, had not yet been revealed to them.  The Greek word rendered “revealed” in the KJV is “apokalupto,” which means “to remove the veil or covering away from, so as to expose to open view what was before hidden, hence, to reveal, to make manifest.”  The same word is used in the same epistle to refer to Christ’s visible manifestation at the time of his Second Advent.

II Thessalonians 1:7,8 – And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, [8] In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Revelation 1:7 – Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Some who hold the “first of the week” position teach we will be caught out before the antichrist is revealed to the believers, but that is simply not true.

I have a suspicion that many who believe they will be caught up before the manifestation of the antichrist are going to be as surprised as an animal suddenly finding itself trapped inside a snare.  They will suddenly find themselves trapped in the tribulation period with a real manifested antichrist in the Middle East.

Luke 21:35 – For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

Revelation 12:17 – And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 28:20 – Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

   
       

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 252

December 2, 2005

AN EXPOSITION OF II THESSALONIANS 2:1-12!

Part 3  (Same First Page on Each New Part)


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 Part until I finish it. 

Please review Parts 1 & 2 before reading this continuing exposition of II Thessalonians 2:1-12.

II Thesalonians 2:3,4 – 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; [4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The man of sin, the antichrist, the son of destruction, is described critically in verse 4.  The word translated as “opposeth,” is “antikeimai.”  It means “to lie opposite,” hence, to oppose, to be adverse or repugnant to another person.  God is the other person in this verse, against whom all this animosity is directed.

The word translated as “exalteth” is in the middle voice, meaning “to lift up one’s self over others in conceit or arrogance.”  Antichrist in his own mind becomes the god of all gods, and demands that all worship be given to him alone.

The word translated as “shewing” means “to point away from other objects at one specific object,” in this case he fingers himself as the only object of worship.  It is almost as if he is frantic to prove it to himself as well as others.  One of the first things one will notice in most Islamic countries are the countless huge pictures and statues of the current despotic leader, an effort on their part to point to themselves as “El Jumbo Supremo.”  The antichrist will be pointing to himself as the supreme one of all supreme ones, and his statues and pictures will blanket the countries of the Islamic world.

The examination of the phrase “he as God sitteth in the temple of God” is perhaps the most interesting part of verse 4.”  It has commonly been taught this refers to a rebuilt temple of stone in Jerusalem, but I have every reason to believe this is not the kind of “temple” Paul refers to in this verse.  Please bear with me in a rather lengthy discourse on this phrase, because it makes a lot of difference in other areas of prophetic interpretation.  If Paul had used the Greek word “HEIRON” for temple in this verse, I would tell you immediately there was no question he was referring to a rebuilt temple in the old city of Jerusalem.  But he chose to use the word NAOS for temple, and that makes it a horse of quite a different color.

There are two words commonly translated as “temple” in the New Testament – HIERON and NAOS.

Temple – HIERON is the word used of the Jerusalem stone temple itself and, at times, of the whole compass of the Temple Mount enclosure, including all the other subordinate buildings pertaining to the temple.

Temple – NAOS is any enclosure surrounding the place where the Spirit of God dwells.  In the HIERON, it was the enclosure within the HIERON where the Spirit of God dwelled, namely, the Holy of Holies in the rear of the Temple, which was separated from the Holy Place by a thick curtain.  It was torn from top to bottom by the power of God when Jesus commended his Spirit into his hands.  It was his completion of the redemptive work that finished the plan of salvation for all men, and tore open the barrier between the presence of God and man.  It is still open to all those who will receive him as the one who finished God’s plan of salvation.

John 19:30 – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Matthew 27:50,51 – Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. [51] And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

The word “temple” appears some 24 times in the book of Acts, and it is ALWAYS “HIERON.”  It first appears in Acts 2:46.  Its last occurrence is in Acts 26:21.

Acts 2:46 – And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Acts 26:21 – For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. 

The word “NAOS” does not appear in the book of Acts.

There is no question that Paul thoroughly understood the exacting differences between the two words.  It is true that, at times, the word “NAOS” is used in the N.T. to refer to the entire temple building, but only because it was a part of it.  But let’s take a detailed look at how Paul himself used the words “NAOS” and “HIERON.”

Paul used the word “NAOS” eight times in all of his N.T. writings – Seven of these cases follow:  See if there is any possible way you could twist these usages by Paul to refer to the stone temple in Jerusalem.

I Corinthians 3:16,17 – Know ye not that ye are the TEMPLE of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? [17] If any man defile the TEMPLE of God, him shall God destroy; for the TEMPLE of God is holy, which temple ye are. 

Ephesians 2:21 – In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy TEMPLE in the Lord:

II Corinthians 6:16 – And what agreement hath the TEMPLE of God with idols? for ye are the TEMPLE of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

I Corinthians 6:19 – What? know ye not that YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own

None of these usages refer to the stone Jerusalem temple.

Paul did use the word HIERON for the temple located in Jerusalem in the following Scripture.

I Corinthians 9:13 – Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the TEMPLE? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 

Paul certainly knew the difference between the two words translated as TEMPLE in the New Testament, and, considering the importance of the eighth and final use of NAOS by Paul in all his writings, I don’t believe a temple will be built in Jerusalem before the 2nd Advent.  II Thessalonians 2:4 – Who opposeth and EXALTETH HIMSELF above ALL that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the TEMPLE (NAOS) of God, SHEWING HIMSELF that he is God.  

I believe that Paul’s usage of NAOS in II Thessalonians 2:4 carries the same meaning as Paul intended it to have in I Corinthians 6:19.

I Corinthians 6:19 – What? know ye not that your body is the TEMPLE (NAOS) of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

II Thessalonians 2:4 – Who opposeth and EXALTETH HIMSELF above ALL that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the TEMPLE (NAOS) of God, SHEWING HIMSELF that he is God.

The antichrist will sit in a sinful body of flesh on the temple mount.  I now sit in a sinful body of flesh at 204 Hickory in Dardanelle, Arkansas.  My body, even though it is sinful, is a temple I received from God in the womb.  The antichrist will have received the body in which he dwells by the same process, and from the same God.  But inside it will dwell an evil spirit and soul, claiming to be God, and trying to prove it to mankind.  Jesus was God living in a temple of sinless flesh.  He was God incarnate living in a sinless body formed by God in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

Jesus referred to his own body as a temple (NAOS), but the Pharisees and scribes thought he was referring to the Jerusalem temple.

John 2:19-21 – Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this TEMPLE (NAOS), and in three days I will raise it up. [20] Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? [21] But he spake of the TEMPLE OF HIS BODY. 

Colossians 2:8-10 – Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. [9] For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. [10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

II Corinthians 5:19 – To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

John 10:30 – I and my Father are one.

John 14:9 – Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 

The Devil is the greatest counterfeiter in all of history.    His son, the antichrist, will be a man who the world will believe has been resurrected from the dead, after having received a deadly wound by a weapon of war.  Jesus was the only begotten Son of God who came in sinless flesh and lived a sinless life.  The Devil will come and dwell in the body of the antichrist after he is apparently returned from the dead.  When the antichrist sits on the temple mount near the end of the tribulation period, he will be Satan incarnate in sinful flesh, claiming to be God, and trying to prove it to man and himself.

II Corinthians 11:13,14 – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES into the apostles of Christ. [14] And no marvel; for Satan HIMSELF IS TRANSFORMED into an angel of light.

John 5:43 – I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

Revelation 13:3,12,14 – And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. [12] And 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. [14] And 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. 

The Beast was (he was alive) – is not (he died) – yet is (is resurrected)! 

Revelation 17:8-14 – The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. [9] And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. [10] And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. [11] And the beast that was, and is not, even he IS the eighth, and IS OF the seven, and goeth into perdition. [12] And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. [13] These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. [14] These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. 

The seven mountains symbolize seven governments (kingdoms) that will all have persecuted Israel before the 2nd Advent. When John wrote Revelation, in about 96 A.D., five of the seven kingdoms, which the seven kings represent, had already persecuted Israel in the past.  They were, in chronological order, the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Grecian Empires.  The sixth, Rome, was in power at the time John was writing, and the seventh kingdom will have the antichrist as its King.  However, when he is apparently resurrected from the dead, he will be Satan incarnate in human flesh and, as such, he will also be the eighth king of the seventh kingdom.  The word used for “perdition” means “destruction.”  And “none shall help him,” because he will be destroyed, along with the false prophet, at the end of the final battle of Armageddon by the power of Christ’s Second Advent.

Isaiah 14:12-15 – How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! [13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: [14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. [15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Revelation 19:19-21 – And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. [20] And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. [21] And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

The antichrist’s claim to be God incarnate in human flesh will be the final accumulating and consolidation of the spirit of antichrist in a single man, which is the final absolute corruption of the truth of God in Christ.  The antichrist’s claim represents the absolute denial that the one who came before him was the Christ, the Son of the living God.

I John 2:18-22 – Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. [19] They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. [20] But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. [21] I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. [22] Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

But there is another reason that I do not believe Paul was referring to a temple of stone in Jerusalem when he used the word NAOS in II Thessalonians 2:4.  The same event is found in Daniel 11:45, and what follows it, in 12:1 marks it as the latter part of the tribulation period.  The word used for PALACE is APPEDEN, which is never translated as TEMPLE in the Bible.  And it literally means a “fortress command post.” The word for TABERNACLES is rendered from the word OHEL, which always mean TENTS.  The following scripture by Daniel paints the same event that Paul paints in II Thessalonians 2:4 – The antichrist on the temple mount as Satan incarnate sitting in human flesh, between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas, with the countless tents of his great army poised to strike a final death-blow against Israel in the Negev – waiting for his command that will begin the battle of Armageddon.  But in spite of his multi million army of flesh, none shall be able to help him, because he is about to be zapped by the direct power of God in his creation.

Daniel 11:45 to 12:1 – And he shall plant the tabernacles of his PALACE (APPEDEN) between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. [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.

Matthew 24:21,22 – For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

Matthew 24:29,30 – Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: [30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

The admonition that Paul gave to the Elders of the church at Ephesus is sorely needed today.  Since Paul spoke these words countless number of grievous wolves have entered in among many flocks, and have drawn away many disciples

Acts 20:28 – Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to FEED the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 

Matthew 24:44-47 – Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. [45] Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them MEAT in due season? [46] Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. [47]Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over ALL his goods.

The real question that a member of one of the Lord’s churches should be asking is this – How much of the inheritance do I want to inherit?  Or, to put it another way – How close to God will you live in heaven?

Revelation 21:7 – He that overcometh shall inherit ALL things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

God has concluded ALL of Israel in unbelief, and while the words “they” and “them” in I Thessalonians 5:3 can be used to apply to all unbelievers, it is, in context, specifically referring to the nation of Israel.

Romans 11:32 – For God hath concluded THEM all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. 

I Thessalonians 5:3-6 – For when THEY shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon THEM, as travail upon a woman with child; and THEY shall not escape. [4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. [5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. [6] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 

Should atheists, agnostics, or anyone read the book of Revelation?  Yes!  But the book is written to churches.  And the primary applications of the writings are directed to church members.  Church members, who will not swallow the MEAT of the word by applying it to their lives, are defiling their garments, which represent their visible, everyday, outer lifestyle testimony to the world.  And they are going to live about as close to Jesus in his heavenly kingdom as they lived to him in this present life.

Revelation 3:3,4 – Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. [4] Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

Revelation 22:12-14 – And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. [13] I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. [14] Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 

“Quickly” is an adverbial modifier used as a descriptive adjective.  It is referring the manner of his coming, not the time or nearness of it.  His coming for the saved will be as quick as the blinking of an eye.

 
      

PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 253

December 9, 2005

AN EXPOSITION OF II THESSALONIANS 2:1-12!

Part 4 (Same First Page on Each New Part)


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 Part until I finish it.

Please review Parts 1 to 3 before reading this continuing exposition of II Thessalonians 2:1-12.

II Thessalonians 2:3-5 – 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; [4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. [5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

Verse 5 is the keynote of this exposition of verses 1 to 12 in this exposition of II Thessalonians 2, because it tells us that Paul had already given them the details when he was previously with them. He was simply reminding them of what he had already taught them. It would have been nice to have had a bug planted on the wall to have what he taught them on a recording. But we do have his first epistle to them, and some ideas can be gleaned as to what he taught them about some of the events which would occur shortly before the rapture.

I Thessalonians 5:1 – But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

They did not have any need for him to tell them again because he had told them before, and they should have a perfect understanding of the times and seasons which would be occurring before the rapture.

II Thessalonians 2:5 – Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

Acts 1:7 – And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

“The times” refers to the phases of the moon upon which the Hebrew calendar was based, and the sighting of the new moon began many of the Hebrew festivals. It simply means one cannot tell the month of the year the rapture will occur. “The seasons” refers to much the same as the Gentile calendar, that is, summer, winter, spring, and fall. It simply means we cannot tell whether the rapture will occur in summer, winter, spring, or fall.

In Matthew 24:36, Jesus makes it quite clear one cannot tell the day or the hour.

Matthew 24:36 – But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

So, what do all these Scriptures combined tell us what we cannot know about the time of the rapture – we are not able to tell the hour, the day, the week, the month or which one of the four seasons in which it will occur – and, by inference, we cannot know the year. But it does tell us we can know when it is near, because we know what events are prophesied to occur shortly before it happens, and it tells us why that is possible – because we are not the children of darkness – we are the children of light – and the day of the rapture should not catch us completely by surprise, as would be the case if a thief came into our home while we slept.

I Thessalonians 5:1-5 – But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. [2] For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. [3] For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. [5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

When we see Israel heading into a time when they think they have attained a peace with safety, then one can know her time of travail, the tribulation period, is about to begin, and that the rapture is not in the far distant future.

II Thessalonians 2:5,6 – Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? [6] And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

The he is the antichrist and the subject addressed begs a question – why has he not already revealed himself?

In our next Update in this series, we will discuss what has been withholding him from revealing himself. The answer is found in verse 7. We know that the spirit of antichrist was already in the world when Paul wrote the epistle, but Israel was hardly having a time of “peace and safety” when he wrote it, and have not had such a status up to this day. The spirit of antichrist was being held back from being manifested as a flesh and blood man, and he will not be revealed until Israel believes it has achieved a condition of “peace and safety” – one which it will be able to control and maintain by its own power and expertise.

I John 4:3-6 – And 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. [4] Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. [5] They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. [6] We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.