Second Thessalonians 2:4     

 

 

 

Continuing to describe the antichrist, the Bible says in Second 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 of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Notice that the temple is referred to. This means that a temple will exist during the time of the reign of the antichrist. Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians. Herod’s temple was destroyed by the Romans, but there will be at least one more temple built in Jerusalem. We do not know when it will be built. Perhaps it will be built after the tribulations starts.

 

At any rate, the temple will exist at least by the middle of the tribulation. The abomination of desolation takes place at the middle of the tribulation, and the temple must exist for that event to take place. The blasphemy that will take place in the temple that is mentioned by Paul here in Second Thessalonians 2:4 is probably the same event prophesied in the Old Testament. Daniel 9:27 speaks of the antichrist and says, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and the determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” We know from studying related passages that the “week” is seven years, and “the midst of the week” is the middle of the seven years or at 3 and one half years into the great tribulation. Of course, Jesus was aware of what Daniel had written, and Jesus said in Matthew 24:15, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand.)”

 

The antichrist will be sinful. He will eventually cause great destruction on the way to his own swift destruction, and he will be greatly motivated to receive worship. The antichrist will exalt “himself above all that is called God,” and the antichrist will show “himself that he is God.” The spiritual battle that is going on in the world has to do with the true worship of God. There are many substitutes to the true worship of God through Christ. All of the false religions offer a substitute. Materialism, hedonism, and humanism all offer substitutes to the true worship of God. Even Christians will be tempted to commit idolatry and to put someone or something above the Savior. But with the antichrist will come the ultimate turning away from God and worshipping of that which ought not to be worshipped. Perhaps something about the circumstances of the Great Tribulation along with the personality and charm of the antichrist will drive blind human beings to worship him.

 

One thing is for sure: the true believers have been given ample warning. Everything that we need to know about true worship has been recorded for us in the scriptures. Paul said as much to the believers in Thessalonica. He wrote in Second Thessalonians 2:5, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” If you have been saved at least a year, you have had time to read through the scriptures and to know the difference between good and evil and between truth and error. Ask for enlightenment from the Holy Spirit and search the scriptures, and you will avoid the deception that has fallen upon so many.

 

Ever since Paul wrote these words, the world has been moving closer and closer to the day of iniquity, when the falling away from truth will reach a climax and the antichrist himself will appear on the scene. Things seem to be prepared already. Why does he not appear? The Bible gives that answer in Second Thessalonians 2:6-7, “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” The word that is translated “withholdeth” is the same word that is translated “letteth.” It means literally “to hold back” or “to restrain.”  

 

Something or someone is “holding back” iniquity and keeping iniquity from doing all of the things that iniquity wants to do. Of course, we know that the power of God is withholding iniquity. God is keeping evil from doing more evil deeds. The day will come when the restraining force of God will be taken away. That will be a very dark day for the earth and for the inhabitants of it. That day is called the Great Tribulation: a time of death and destruction and sorrow such as the world has never seen. Concerning just some of the sufferings of that day, the Bible says in Revelation 8:13, “And I beheld and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound 

 

Never forget that it is only during the Great Tribulation that iniquity will be turned loose. Right now iniquity and evil are restrained and held back by the goodness and power of God. In the day in which we live light can conquer darkness, goodness can defeat evil, and truth can silence error. Do not get too negative about the age in which we currently live. There will be some difficult days, but there will also be good days. There will be wonderful days when the sun will shine and things will work out very well. The devil wants to destroy, but he is restrained. He wants to reveal the antichrist, but he is held back. We live in the age of grace. The grace of God is showered down upon the earth. The gospel of Christ is preached. Salvation is offered. Doors of opportunity are opened.

 

Enjoy all the good things that God has created for you to enjoy. There will come a day when there will be no good days for anyone. Iniquity will be turned loose, and the antichrist will be revealed. Destruction, and sorrow, and death will come to the earth as they have never before been known. Jesus said concerning those terrible days that will come in Matthew 24:22, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened

 

The antichrist will bring destruction to the earth, but only for a few short years. He is called the son of destruction because he brings destruction, but also because he goes swiftly to his own destruction according the just judgment of God. Second Thessalonians 2:8 speaks of the appearing of the antichrist, but the same verse speaks of his destruction. It says, “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” The Lord does not want us to dwell on the antichrist or any other part of darkness that exists in our present circumstance. Never forget that the Lord is still in charge. Yes, evil exists, but evil will lose. Somehow the Lord will cause a good result out of every bad thing. We may not see it now, but we will see it some day.

 

The worse thing that ever happened was that the Son of God was put to death on the cross of Calvary, but His death was followed by the resurrection, and His death resulted in souls being able to go to heaven. The antichrist will come bringing destruction, but his own destruction will be brought by the Lord. Notice what destroys the antichrist: the spirit of Christ’s word and the brightness of His coming. When the Word of the Lord is spoken with the spirit, great things happen: sin is judged and evil is defeated. No one will speak that word better than the Lord Himself. When man has failed to speak His Word, the Lord will appear to speak it, and evil will not be able to stand before those pure and powerful words. The darkness will come in human form, but the light of the Lord will destroy that darkness. Let your light shine, and you will be used by God against the powers of darkness according to the will of God for your life.             

 

Second Thessalonians 2:9 makes it clear where the antichrist will get his power. It says about the antichrist, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” Do not forget that Satan was once an angel of light. He is very powerful. He is nothing compared to God, but Satan has much power in this world to do evil. One of the things that Satan can do in this world is to give power to people. When Satan tempted Jesus, the Bible says in Matthew 4:8-9, “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Jesus rejected his offer, but evidently the antichrist follows in the footsteps of other godless people who sell their soul for a few years of power or wealth or fame. Unless the godless people repent and turn to Jesus, they will go to the same place of torment for which the antichrist is destined.

 

The antichrist will gain his position from a human standpoint because people will see his power and signs and wonders. Of course, the power is the power of Satan, and the wonders are “lying wonders.” Evidently he will perform miraculous deeds of some kind and will gain popularity in the world because of what he does. The deception will be so great that the very elect will also be deceived, if it were possible. Perhaps the world will be in the worse of all depressions or perhaps for a short period of time he will bring peace in a way that no one else has ever been able to do. We are introduced to the antichrist in Revelation 6:2 that says of him, “And I saw, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer 

 

We have been given a very clear picture of the antichrist and his character. Now we are going to be told some things about those who are deceived by the antichrist. One of the reasons that people become deceived is because they do not have wisdom. They could have had wisdom if they had gone to the right source for it, but they neglected to do so. The Bible says in James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Those who do not have wisdom from God will be deceived by the antichrist. They will think that he is a great leader, and they will give power to him.

 

Second Thessalonians 2:10 says, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” The next couple of verses tell us some important details about why some people will be saved and go to heaven while other people will not be saved. God gives wisdom, and He enlightens. No one else can enlighten the heart and mind of a human being. Speaking of Jesus, the Bible says in John 1:4, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” And it says in John 1:9, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man which cometh into the world

 

A person becomes enlightened when they turn from sin to Christ. Only God through Christ can enlighten the soul of a human being. If a person does not become enlightened in that way, they remain in a state of deception. Those who do not turn to Christ have chosen to stay attached to sinfulness. They are held by the chords of their sins. Salvation comes by faith in Christ, and faith in Christ is only possible when a person wants to do the right thing and wants to know God.

 

If you do not know God, today you can turn from your sins and turn to Christ. Jesus is the Light of the world. He will forgive your sins and give you light, and then you will be saved.    

 

 

 

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Copyright; 2006 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved