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THE REVELATION OF THE MAN OF SIN
At this chapter we have the reference to the false teachers and their teaching. The first two verses should be read in the Revised Version which brings out the meaning clearer, for what the false teachers said was, that “the Day of the Lord is now present.” Therefore what the apostle announces to take place before that “Day” comes, does not apply to the coming of Christ for his church, (an event which, so far as we know, may be very near), but the judgments that are to fall on the ungodly after the church has been taken away. Such is the significance of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 .
That which is to take place is (1) “a falling away,” an apostasy in Christendom, and (2), the revelation of “the man of sin” (or lawlessness).
This “man of sin,” who was foretold by Daniel, by Zechariah, and by Christ himself as we have seen, is described as opposing and exalting himself against “all that is called God,” in the sense that he gives out that he himself is God, and men are ready to believe him. “The temple of God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4 ) as we have seen (Daniel 9:0 ; Matthew 24:0 ), is the Jewish temple re- erected in Jerusalem, for the Jews are to return there, at first in an unconverted state so far as the acceptance of Jesus as their Messiah is concerned.
The apostle had informed the Thessalonians of these things when he was with them (2 Thessalonians 2:5 ), and furthermore that a restraining power was holding back the full development of this “man of sin” until his time came (2 Thessalonians 2:5 ). Just what this power is we are left to conjecture, but doubtless it is the Holy Spirit who dwells in the church. Imagine the church translated out of the earth, and the ascent of the Holy Spirit in consequence, and what restraining power would be left to hold back the hordes of wickedness in the earth, and prevent Satan from having his way in the full development of “the man of sin”? The doom of the latter is given in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 , and an added description follows in verses 9-10. Satan gives him his power, but he is able to deceive only those who “received not the love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10 ). The truth was revealed to them and rejected, for which reason that moral and spiritual weakness which made them a prey to the delusion, fell upon them as a divine judgment (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ). There is a solemn warning here for those who are being tempted by Spiritualism, the New Age, Christian Science and kindred teaching.
It is a relief to turn to the apostle’s address to the true believer in verses 13-15, and as we close the lesson let us for ourselves offer the prayer of 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 .
1. Have you read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 in the Revised Version?
2. What did these false teachers teach?
3. To what event do 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 apply, in general terms?
4. What two things must transpire prior to The Day of the Lord?
5. What is intended here by “the temple of God”?
6. Who presumably, is holding back the full development of this apostasy?
7. What is the doom of “the man of sin”?
8. What class of people only will he be able to deceive?
9. What warning have we here?
10. Have you offered the prayer of 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 ?
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Gray, James. "Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2". Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany