Lawlessness: the Vehicle Ushering in Final Empire

June 15, 2020 at 12:26 PM Leave a comment

In Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonian believers, he assured them that the false ideas they had started to embrace (due to false teachers and even a letter that may have come to them proclaiming it was from the apostle himself; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2), should be roundly rejected for the actual truth about the upcoming events that will precede Jesus’ physical return to this earth. What I find fascinating about this, is the fact that Christians today are essentially in the same position as the believers of Thessalonica were around 2,000 years ago.

Think about it. The Thessalonian believers were told that they awaited several events that would ultimately lead up to the return of Jesus. These events were (as Paul listed them in logical rather than chronological order):

  • apostasy
  • revelation of the man of sin
  • removal of restraint of lawlessness

When Paul says the apostasy must come “first”, he is essentially saying that this must occur before the day of the Lord begins. His point is that this “apostasy” is a major event that will usher in the final empire led by Antichrist. Without this apostasy and God sending a “deluding influence” (NASB), the final empire would never come into existence. This coming empire must be willingly embraced by the world. So people who do not know God are helped along when He sends the “strong delusion” (KJV), which makes it far easier for them to embrace the error that increases lawlessness. Because they have no love for truth, the delusion simply helps them along faster.

Paul’s point here is that there will be a great “abandoning of a formerly held position” (Constable). Paul referred to this same apostasy in numerous ways in other writings (1 Tim 1:18-20; 4; 2 Tim 3:1-5, etc.), as did other apostles. What Paul’s talking about here is the actual departure of many professing Christians from the revealed truth of God’s Word. It is also possible for authentic Christians to depart from the truth by no longer caring about God or His Word. Certainly, this often happens in small increments, but it happens.

This does not mean actual Christians will lose salvation as some believe and teach, but they will lose rewards at the Bema Seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:15). Too many Christians today have embraced the world with their language, their thinking and the way they live. This alone represents a departure from God’s Word. Too many Christians don’t even bother going to church anymore or getting together with other like-minded Christians to study God’s Word, to fellowship or to encourage one another. Consider the large percentage of evangelical Christians who now believe homosexuality or adultery is not sinful anymore. What changed in God’s Word? Nothing, but people have chosen to reinterpret God’s Word to say something it does not say.

It is not difficult to start to slide is it? We have to force ourselves at times to continue doing what we know we should be doing. God is not only able, but will provide strength, wisdom and opportunities for us to expand the Gospel to other people and I also believe even if you cannot find a biblically-based church, there may be other believers there who are going through the same thing you are and want fellowship as well. Ask the Lord to help you find them. Christians need one another.

Verses 1-23 of chapter 2 of 2 Thessalonians contain information nowhere else provided in Scripture. Much like Daniel 2 and the revelation of the five empires that will ultimately lead up to the return of Jesus, the information in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-23 provides unique information that Paul revealed to his readers (and ultimately, to us). Paul reminds his readers in verses 1-2 that they should not be “shaken” (start to doubt or move away from), from what they had previously been taught personally by him when he had been with them. The issue was on what Paul had taught them about the Rapture (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), among other things.

The Thessalonians had become confused and frustrated because teachers other than Paul (and some who were pretending to be Paul), were telling them that the “day of the Lord” had already begun (v. 2). Since the Thessalonians had been experiencing severe persecution, it tended to be believable that the great “day of the Lord” had already started. People today often make that same mistake, believing we are at some point inside the Great Tribulation, but it is clear from Daniel 9:24-27 that the Tribulation does not start until Antichrist brokers a seven year peace covenant with Israel and surrounding Arab nations. Paul assured them it had not and then proceeded to tell them how he knew it had not yet begun. What the world is experiencing now are simply the birth pangs described by Jesus in His Olivet Discourse.

Before I go any further, I’d like to make several things crystal clear. I am a firm believer in a Pretribulational Rapture event, meaning I believe it will occur prior to the start of the coming Tribulation/Great Tribulation. That said, I’d also like to be just as clear in stating that I have no idea when the Rapture will occur and just as importantly, I have no idea exactly how difficult it will become for the average Christian before the Rapture occurs.

I believe things may become very rough in society and certainly some of that will bleed over to Christians and Christianity. Consider the time under Nero in the first century. How horrific was that?! Yet that was also within the same “age of grace” that we are living in now. We cannot be guaranteed that we will not experience horrendous persecution and in fact, it is very likely that we will. The only way to shore up against it is in seriously cementing our relationship with Christ (John 15). That is done by spending time with Him in His Word daily as a start, and then contemplating it, praying it, memorizing it and ultimately, living it.

The coming Tribulation is the seven year period when God will pour out His wrath on the anti-God character of global society. I do not believe the Church will be here to experience that because Paul makes it clear that Christians are not appointed to God’s “wrath” and if he was simply talking about the wrath of “hell,” he would not have clarified the meaning elsewhere in 2 Thessalonians.

The Bible teaches that the Tribulation occurs when God’s patience has ended and He begins to pour out His wrath in various forms on the people of the earth and begins the final pruning of Israel’s Remnant. Why does His patience end? Because Israel will enter into a covenant brokered by the coming Antichrist (Daniel 9:24-27). What this means cannot be underestimated. By entering into that covenant with surrounding Arab nations (by the Antichrist), Israel will literally be entering into a covenant with the devil. This signing of the covenant begins what is known in Daniel as the “70th week.” We are now living in a parenthesis between the 69th and 70th weeks.

For those who laugh at the suggestion that there are “gaps” in Scripture, let me remind readers that there are several places in Scripture where gaps do occur, but those who lived before or even during those times could not necessarily see any gap at all. We see them from our vantage point.

Zechariah 9:9-10 comes to mind and I’ve mentioned this before. Just read those two verses and note the “space” between verses 9 and 10. Jesus came to this earth and just days before He was crucified, rode a donkey in victory as people placed palm fronds on the ground in front of Him shouting “Hosanna!”

Now notice the text in verse 10. Did that happen? Not yet. Some say “Yes, it happened because Jesus is reigning from heaven!” But this is exactly how error is created. Jesus came physically in verse 9, didn’t He? Yet, verse 10 is supposed to represent what He does spiritually? No, when He physically returns to this earth (as the angels testified in Acts 1), Jesus will fulfill Zechariah 9:10 physically and in person! Verse 9 is to be taken literally and so is verse 10. It’s really simple.

People do the same with Jesus’ physical return. He came the first time physically but they say He “returned” spiritually, though the Scriptures affirm He will come a second time exactly the way He came the first time – physically.

As far as Israel is concerned, we read throughout the Old Testament the many times Israel’s kings partnered with neighboring nations against another nation. They did this often because of their failure to trust God and Him alone. Normally whenever they did this (with few exceptions), God’s anger broke out against Israel because it often meant that they not only failed to trust the Lord, but also eventually began joining in worshiping false gods of those other nations. Many Psalms recount these things.

Israel will need to learn once and for all that their only hope is in God Himself, not in joining with other nations in an attempt to secure their own safety. So when the Antichrist comes along and works to secure a seven year treaty between Israel and neighboring nations for “peace,” their signature on that treaty will represent their treason that forces God to issue seven years of reprimand.

At the midpoint of the Tribulation (three and a half years in), this same Antichrist will declare himself to be God and demand to be worshiped. This event will open the eyes of many in Israel and they will know they’ve been hoodwinked. Revelation 13 gives an overview of Israel from birth to Messiah and to their escape to the wilderness after they realize they’ve been deceived by Antichrist.

These are the things that Paul clarifies for the Thessalonian believers and for us as well. Imagine if neither first or second Thessalonians had been written. We would never have access to 2 Thessalonians 2.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul writes, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first…” Here Paul is talking about the “day of the Lord,” which I believe starts with the Tribulation and includes the return of Jesus and the Millennial Kingdom following His return and the judgment of the nations. Paul says in order for those future events to occur, there must be a “falling away” or “apostasy” (NASB) before those other events can happen. The ESV uses the term “rebellion.” The sense here is the situation that allows all the other events after it to happen is the coming “falling away.”

If the “day of the Lord” had actually begun as the false teachers of Paul’s day stated it had, then this means that the view of the Rapture as being imminent was denied. Paul had clearly taught the Thessalonian believers about the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and notice he ends that section with, “Therefore comfort one another with these words,” (v 18). It would not be much comfort if the Rapture happened at some point after the Tribulation began, would it?

If the rising anarchy that is occurring throughout society now is any indication, we can be assured that things are going to continue to get very rough. Lawlessness is breaking out onto our land and this is clearly satanic in origin because lawlessness is a direct attack on God’s ordered Creation.

As lawlessness increases, we know that things are building to a new order, the final empire. The goal of lawlessness is not simply to be lawless. The goal is to overturn and overrule. It puts so much internal pressure on the current system that something has to give. That something is usually the system itself, which is replaced with something else.

Consider how many times this has happened in society. It was only a few decades ago that the push was on by same-sex groups to be recognized as normal. The goal was to be accepted as fully normal as male/female relationships had been since the dawn of time. Several decades later, where are we? Not only do the majority of people in society see same-sex partnerships as normal, but transgenderism is being foisted upon society as another “normal.” Men who identify as women (but never women who identify as men), are infiltrating women’s sports because they cannot win in men’s sports. This is becoming the new normal that has overturned the old system of biological men who competed against other men and biological women who compete against other women. SCOTUS recently went along with this by changing definitions of words so that now, LGBTQ fall under civil rights protection.

These things serve to overturn an established pattern or system with a new one. That is the goal and it has been at work for quite some time. At the heart of this change is lawlessness; an attack on God’s created order. This is what will build up to such an extent that eventually, the rule of law in the USA will give way to a new order, a new system that will be the antithesis of God’s created order. This is what Paul is explaining to the Thessalonian believers.

This lawnessless started and grows with the ever burgeoning apostasy that is catapulting society toward the final empire.

Entry filed under: 9/11, Agenda 21, alienology, Atheism and religion, christianity, Communism, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, dispensationalism, Emotional virtue, eternity, Global Elite, israel, Judaism, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming, Shadow Government, Sharia Law, Socialism, temple mount, Trilateral Commission. Tags: , .

Foundational Crisis in America, Part 2 2 Thessalonians: Introduction

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