In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul teaches that before the Day of the Lord, the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction, will be revealed. This coming world ruler, the antichrist, will attract followers from all over the world with his magnetic personality.
He will be a financial and political genius.
In Daniel 7 he is referred to as the “man of sin, the “little horn.” Daniel wrote, “This horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.”
He will be boastful and egotistical, a megalomaniac in his quest for world power. He will come preaching peace. But Daniel says, “through peace he will destroy many.” (Daniel 8:25)
His authority will be overpowering, his hatreds intense, his political techniques first rate. The news media will not be able to resist covering his every move and pronouncement – however outrageous.
He will be a master deceiver, able to make many people think good is bad and bad is good. During his administration, everyone will receive an ID number. You won’t be able to buy food or anything else unless you have this government-issued ID.
You may be thinking, “He won’t deceive me!” The Bible says, “He will deceive the very elect, if it were possible.”
Antichrist’s extraordinary ego will soak up the adulation and worship from his followers. Like his father the devil, what he ultimately wants is worship.
Paul wrote that he “takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” Some interpreters understand that to refer to a rebuilt Jewish temple in Jerusalem on or near The Dome of the Rock.
Other scholars think the temple of God may refer to the church, since Paul calls the church the temple of God elsewhere.
Paul wrote that the antichrist will be restrained until the right moment:
And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.”
Paul says someone or something is restraining this coming world ruler, until just the right time. Who or what is this restrainer? Some scholars believe it refers to the Roman Empire or governments that succeed the Roman Empire.
Others believe the restrainer is the church. Other scholars believe it is the Holy Spirit working through the church. And still others think this restrainer could be Michael the Archangel.
Whoever or whatever the restrainer is, the restrainer functions to make sure the antichrist is revealed in his time and not before. But right now Paul says, even before he appears on the world stage, the mystery of lawlessness is at work.
What’s behind the mystery of lawlessness? This is the spirit of antichrist that has been at work throughout history. It has a venomous hatred toward believers. This spirit attacks Christians (and Jews) and tries to undermine God’s plan.
Ephesians 6 tells us there are spiritual forces of evil at work in the invisible, supernatural realm. These demonic entities deceive and lie and try to undermine and destroy Christian leaders, Christian marriages, Christian ministries, and Christian homes.
Continue reading Here >>