Page separation

The Day of the Lord (Part 2)
2 Thess. 2:6-12


Let’s continue our topic last week. As we have seen, three events will happen, namely: a falling away of the church in apostasy, the removal of the restrainer of the man of sin, and the manifestation of the man of sin. I have told you about the falling away of the church in apostasy and about the man of sin which is none other but the antichrist. Now we would talk about the removal of the restrainer.

I. And now ye know what withholdeth (2 Thess. 2:6)
A. The word witholdeth here in simple English means, restrainer, one that hinders.
B. The Day of the Lord cannot come until the man of sin is revealed but the man of sin cannot be revealed until God removes the “restrainer.”
C. Why is Satan unable to reveal his “man of sin” sooner? Because God is restraining the forces of evil in the world today. Satan cannot do whatever he wants to do, whenever he pleases.
D. This Restrainer is non-other than the Holy Spirit. By comparing Scripture with Scripture, we can conclude that only the Holy Spirit can do it.

II. The mystery of iniquity (2 Thess. 2:7)
A. Mystery is that which is hidden or concealed, something that was hidden in the Old Testament times.
B. “Iniquity” is anomía, lawlessness, transgression, to trespass the law.” It is translated “transgress” in 1 Jn. 3:4, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” The mystery of iniquity is defined in the context of 2 Thessalonians 2 as the devil’s program to put his man on the throne of the world. It is the culmination of Satan’s age-old rebellion against God. It is the apex of lawlessness.
C. “Doth already work” in his day, so it has been operating throughout the church age. Lawlessness was at work in the first century but it was under control to some extent. The persecution that the Thessalonians faced was not the Tribulation. They suffered persecution because of lawlessness but not the kind of lawlessness in the Tribulation, which will be unescapable.
D. Only he who now letteth. Who now hinders or restrains. This is the same word which is used in 2 Thess. 2:6. The Holy Spirit of God is the only Person with sufficient (supernatural) power to do this restraining.
E. When will the Holy Spirit “be taken out of the way”? At the Rapture when the church saints will be removed! Paul says that when the Restrainer is taken out of the way, then the Antichrist will be revealed (2 Thess. 2:3).
F. Then the day of the Lord’s wrath will begin. The Day of the Lord has, nothing to do with church-age believers; it is a day that pertains to the unsaved nations (Isa. 34:2) and to Israel (“the time of Jacob’s trouble,” Jer. 30:7). Paul’s reasoning is thus a strong argument for the pre-tribulational Rapture: the Thessalonians were not in the Great Tribulation because the Rapture had not yet occurred.

Illustration 1: Life Of The Antichrist
Briefly sketched, the following are the salient points in the life history of the future Antichrist:
1. Inconspicuous beginning—Daniel 7:8, 24; Rev. 6:1-2.
2. Makes treaty with Jews for Seven Years—Isaiah 28:15, 18; Daniel 9:27.
3. Overcomes some resistance in uniting Europe—Daniel 7:8, 20, 24.
4. Becomes head of 10-nation European Confederacy—Rev. 13:1; Rev. 17:12-13.
5. Attacked by Kings of the South and the North, and is killed—Daniel 11:40-43.
6. His deadly head wound is healed—Rev. 13:1, 12-14.
7. He becomes world ruler—Rev. 13:7b; Rev. 17:9, 11-14, 17, 18; Rev. 18:2, 10, 16.
8. Breaks Jewish treaty and stops temple sacrifices—Daniel 9:27.
9. Kills the Two Witnesses—Rev. 11:3-7.
10. Usurps divine worship—2 Thess. 2:4; Matthew 24:15.
11. Persecuted the Jews—Daniel 7:21-22; Jeremiah 30:7.
12. Kills the 144,000 Evangelists—Rev. 14:1-5.
13. Destroys the World Church—Rev. 17:16-17.
14. Defeated at Armageddon by Christ—Rev. 17:14; Rev. 19:19.
15. Cast alive into the Lake of Fire—Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:10.
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.

III. That wicked will be revealed (2 Thess. 2:8-9)
A. That wicked one is the antichrist.
B. The name or the identity of the antichrist is not mentioned in the Bible.
C. When Jesus Christ returns (after 7 years), He will judge the Antichrist by “the spirit of His mouth … and the brightness of His coming” (2 Thess. 2:8). The verbs “consume” and “destroy” do not mean annihilate; for Rev. 19: 20 says that the antichrist and the false prophet both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. He will be tormented in the lake of fire forever.
D. “His coming is after the working of Satan” (2 Thess. 2:9). Here the Spirit of God reveals the power behind the Antichrist. He is Satan’s man, and he will operate in Satan’s power and rule Satan’s kingdom. The dragon gives power unto the beast and is worshipped with the beast (Rev. 13:4).
E. His miracles are not the only thing that will deceive people into thinking he has divine power. Everything he does will mislead people, especially those whose minds are blinded to the truth of who he is and what he is doing because they do not believe God’s Word. The meaning of this verse is not that everything he does will be perceived as evil by people, but that it will be evil in its essence because it misrepresents the truth and leads people away from worshiping God. The same three words used to describe his miracles in verse 9 (miracles, signs, wonders) were used of the miracles of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22) and the apostles (Heb. 2:4). It will appear to unbelievers living on the earth at that time that he is indeed God. He will be able to pass himself off as God and receive worship as God.

IV. His judgment for the unsaved (2 Thess. 2:10-12)
A. A great number of Jews and Gentiles will be saved during the seven-year Tribulation period (Rev. 7:9, 14:1-5, 15:2-4, 20:4). But the vast majority of the world’s population will be lost. Many will die in the terrible judgments that God will send on
earth (Rev. 6:7-8; 8:11; 9:18; 11:13). Others will perish in judgment when Jesus Christ returns and separates the saved from the lost (Matt. 25:31-46).
B. God shall send them strong delusion. Gr., “energy of deceit;” meaning strong deceit so that they will believe the satanic lies instead of believing the truth of the gospel. “Delusion” is stronger than deception. Deception means that a person can be fooled about something. Delusion is a way of life in which one is perpetually deceived. People under delusion harden their heart permanently
C. I want to emphasize that these people have opportunity to believe and be saved, but they resist the truth and chose not to believe. God has no delight in judging the lost (Ezek. 33:11). God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). These people will be judged and will suffer forever because they would not receive and believe the truth. In fact, their hearts will be so evil that they will not even have any love for the truth. Those who love lies and make lies will be excluded from the heavenly city (Rev. 22:15) and sent to the lake of fire. Also, these people have pleasure in doing unrighteousness meaning they love to commit sin.

Illustration 2: Return of Christ
The Second Coming is a term applied to the return of Christ. If there is a second coming, it follows that there must have been a first. The first coming of Christ was His incarnation when He was born. At the second coming of Christ every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7) as He descends from heavens in the clouds (Matt. 24:30; Mark 14:62).
Christ’s return at the end of the world to establish God’s kingdom (1 Cor. 15:23-25). The New Testament does not use this expression; it refers simply to “the coming” (parousia), also called a “reveal(ing)” of Jesus (1 Cor. 1:7), or an “appearing” (Titus 2:13). There is dispute about the relationship of Christ’s second coming to the thousand years, or millennium (Rev. 20:4), but none as to the fact that it will be God’s decisive and indispensable intervention. Christ’s coming to destroy all evil will be the culmination of his redemptive work.
The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, Walter A. Elwell, Editor, (Harold Shaw Publ., Wheaton , IL; 1984), p. 358

V. Conclusion:
The antichrist will only be revealed when the restrainer which is the Holy Spirit will be taken at the Rapture. The Day of the Lord will then begin. The antichrist will deceive many people. When Christ returns, He will judge the antichrist and the false prophet by casting them alive in the lake of fire where they will be tormented forever and ever. Those who will be deceived by the antichrist and those who refuse to believe the truth of the gospel will also be thrown in the lake of fire. My friend, repent from your sins now and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour before it’s too late.

Page separation