Pamphlet #5147 KC2Thes2
Do you believe that Jesus Christ can return at any moment?
If you do, why do you believe that?
Who was it that told you such a thing and where did they get that idea?
It is precisely because some of the Thessalonians believed that the day of the Lord was at hand, as do so many believers in the pre-trib Rapture Theory today, that Paul wrote this second letter to "straighten them out" on this urgent matter!
It is EXTREMELY important that Christians understand the chronological order of events which are about to take place because as Paul will make clear to even the simplest reader, there is a "supernatural one" coming first, BEFORE Jesus Christ returns, and he will look just like the Messiah, and he will call himself Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, those who are expecting the return of Jesus Christ at any moment will surely believe the second advent has taken place because they don't know there are two Jesus Christs, the real one and the imposter who is called in scripture "anti-christos". "Anti" means "instead of" as in a "substitute".
anti, an-tee', Greek 473; a primary particle; opposite, i.e. instead or because of (rarely in addition to) :- for, in the room of. Often used in composition to denote contrast, requital, substitution, correspondence, etc.
In today's exciting study we are going to discover what the Word of God says concerning the second advent as we begin to carefully examine chapter two of Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians.
However before we begin, take a moment and carefully consider the words the great scholar E.W. Bullinger wrote in his Introductory to "How to Enjoy the Bible", Kregel Publications, pg. 6.
"When we come to ask ourselves, and say, 'Where did I learn this?' 'How did I get this?' 'Who taught this to me?' it is astonishing to find out how much we have imbibed from man, and from tradition; and not directly and for ourselves, from the Word of God.
"All that we have learned from our youth up must be tested and proved by the Word of God. Where we find it is true we must learn it over again, from God. And where it will not stand the test of His Word we must be not only content, but thankful to give it up; and receive Divine revelation in the place of man's imagination."
2 Thes. 2:1
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
We've just been "beseeched"!
Do you know what that means?
It means that Paul is imploring us not to do something concerning the subjects of "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering unto Him".
Here is what he begs us not to do:
 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
Furthermore, there is no need to be ignorant concerning our gathering back because Paul "spells it out" in real simple terms in this chapter.
Do you remember we covered the problems that were troubling the Thessalonians concerning the Day of the Christ's return in our last study?
They were not much different than the problems confronting Christian's today concerning His return.
You see, the "many" whom Christ said in Mat. 24 and Mark 13 would be deceived by the words of false teachers in these last days, are continually fed a "vision" of a mentally disturbed woman who claimed her vision was a "revelation" of the spirit.
Today it is called the Rapture Theory and lately it has been promoted very heavily among Christians on radio, TV, in book after book, and now in full length motion pictures such as "Left Behind".
I recently saw a very prominent Christian preacher on a nationally televised talk show tell the host of the program that at any time during that interview Jesus Christ could return and snatch him right out of his seat!
Well, I'm sorry!
That was simply a lie, whether spoken intentionally or not!
Hopefully the man is just sorely deceived in his own Biblical illiteracy.
Either way though, he has perpetuated a big dangerous lie!
We are going to find out.
Note: With just a little research at your local library you can easily trace the origin of the Rapture Theory back to Glasgow, Scotland, to the year 1830 when a lady named Margaret MacDonald saw a "vision" whereby all of a sudden the Lord descends in the clouds and calls His saints to rise up and meet Him in the air. Start with the book "The Incredible Cover-up", by Dave MacPherson. You can then trace this Rapture Theory's entry into this nation, even identifying the group that brought it here, and chart its infiltration into the majority of our churches today. Those who support this any-moment Rapture Theory rely heavily on the two verses of 1 Thes. 4:16-17 to support their theory. However, we have already documented that the events of vs. 16-17 occur at the last Trump, which is the Day of the Lord and the first day of the Millennium.
Paul continues in verse 3 with an even more direct statement:
2 Thes. 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;
That is certainly easy enough for anyone to understand.
But the really hard part of this verse for people to come to grips with is the "Let no man deceive you by any means" part!
Perhaps your minister or pastor is a really nice man with a lovely family and you know him to be sincere and conscientious and one who would not purposely lead you astray.
And that may all be true but will you consider that perhaps he has blindly followed after the traditional teachings of the church, which have the appearance of being good, just as you have followed after him?
Think about it!
The point Paul is making is "PLEASE, DO NOT let anyone tell you in any way, shape, or form that the day of Christ is at hand, i.e. that Jesus Christ can return at any moment!"
They are "in the dark", void of accurate Biblical knowledge, and they will be caught off guard, caught sleeping, when the true Messiah returns.
You see, whether a man is pope, bishop, elder, preacher, teacher, pastor, minister, deacon, usher, author, televangelist, or the paperboy, we have been instructed to check out what that man says in the Word of God.
Remember Paul said to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thes. 5:21)."
Well, Paul was not, neither did he believe he was, nor did he attempt to, exempt himself from the "proving and the testing".
It is written in Acts 17 that those rascally Bereans checked him and Silas out real good, every day!
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
They had the NERVE to check out what the apostle Paul himself taught them.
The question one should then ask is, "Is there anyone greater than the apostle Paul today that we should exempt from accountability to the Word of God?"
Forget whether they are nice guys or good folks or popular among the people or followed by millions.
Do your homework and believe the scriptures!
If a teacher does not encourage you to study on your own (2 Tim. 2;15) or if that teacher is offended that you document whether his words fully align with the scriptures, then find another teacher.
No true servant of God will ever ask you to believe him or her apart from documentation in the Word of God.
 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
So Paul has now specifically told us in verse 3 that TWO THINGS must happen BEFORE we gather back to Jesus Christ.
(I would say that if those two things have not happened yet then you are NOT going to be plucked out of your seat, are you?)
What are those two things?
There must first come a falling away and the "man of sin", who is the "son of perdition", must be revealed.
Who is this "man of sin", this "son of perdition"?
The word Greek word for "perdition" is a derivative of "apollumi" which means to fully destroy, i.e. die, perish:
apollumi, ap-ol'-loo-mee, Greek 622; from Greek 575 (apo) and the base of Greek 3639 (olethros); todestroy fully (reflexive to perish, or lose), literal or figurative :- destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.
You see, there has only ever been one son who has been sentenced to "perish" in the lake of fire and that one son is the man of sin himself, Satan, the Devil, the Great Red Dragon, the soon coming Antichrist.
Judgment for everyone else, unless you are part of the First Resurrection, has been scheduled for the time following the Millennium known as the Great White Throne Judgment.
Here is some more info on the son of perdition:
2 Thes. 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.
* Note: If you are not familiar with the first earth age, the "world that then was" spoken of by Peter in 2 Pet. 3:6, or the over all plan of God log unto our study of "God's Plan"
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!
 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:
 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
The 6th Trump is when Michael stands up (Dan. 12:1) and the time of trouble (spiritual trouble) begins such as never was since a nation was born nor ever shall be again.
Satan as antichrist, the false messiah, will once again exalt himself above God and he will sit in the temple, just as Paul explained in verse 4, and claim that he is God, i.e. the Messiah who has come to rapture you away.
Jesus Christ also told us in Mat. 24 and Mark 13 about this abominable one who shall come before He returns, and when he does, stay away from him.
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:)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
We will find out in our next study exactly why it is and what it is that will cause most people to believe that he truly is Jesus Christ.
He will not only deceive the whole world with a display of power and signs and lying wonders but he causes the great falling away, the great apostasy, when the majority of Christians begin to worship him as Jesus.
That my friend is a "great fall" indeed!
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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