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2 Thessalonians 2:7  (King James Version)
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<< 2 Thessalonians 2:6   2 Thessalonians 2:8 >>


2 Thessalonians 2:7

Paul affirms that the "mystery of iniquity" was already working then. Look how long it has taken to come to its fullness! We are 1900 and some years later, and it is only now coming to a head. God gave us this affirmation as evidence so we could understand how He thinks in terms of time. It is not the same as with us. We want things done bang! bang! bang!—immediately. But that is not the mind of God; He will do it in His time.

We are living at the time, from everything we can see, that the "mystery of iniquity" will finally reach its height. Let us not do what the first-century Christians did in II Thessalonians 3. We must not let down just because we can see a few things that seem to fit into prophecy, as if the end were already here.

II Thessalonians was written just a few months after I Thessalonians, about AD 52. Meanwhile, the pressure is mounting. Jewish civilization is in turmoil, and it will end in less than two decades with the destruction of Jerusalem. In addition, the church is already experiencing internal turmoil, though it is less than two decades old. Nero is alive, and in about ten years after the writing of II Thessalonians, he will be severely persecuting Christians—tarring them, burning them alive, and throwing them to lions for the public's pleasure at the games. By that time, Christians are being martyred, and still no return of Jesus Christ. Thus, conditions are ripe for people to lose hope.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Trumpets Is a Day of Hope



2 Thessalonians 2:1-9

Though Paul wrote these words nearly two thousand years ago, we should do not let anybody deceive us. Prophecy can be fulfilled very quickly, and God is busy laying the groundwork for the fulfillment of these end-time prophecies. When everything is in place, it will happen swiftly. As Sovereign over all, God has to maneuver events and people into place before they come to pass. If we are not watching carefully, the events that form the groundwork can slip right by us, and Christ will return as a thief in the night (as this same apostle says in I Thessalonians 5:2-8).

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 3)



2 Thessalonians 2:7

Paul wrote II Thessalonians in the early AD 50s and the mystery of iniquity, the mystery of lawlessness, was already working. Galatians, in which Paul gave a similar warning (Galatians 1:6-7), was also written in the early AD 50s. In a short period of time - about 19 or 20 years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ - the mystery of iniquity was already at work, and it was beginning to have a negative impact on the church of God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 4)



2 Thessalonians 2:7

Pressure was mounting for these people. Jewish civilization was in turmoil. It would not come to a climax for some nineteen years after this in AD 69. An end would come upon Judea in 70 A.D. The church was already beginning to experience some of that turmoil. About a dozen years after the writing of I and II Thessalonians, Nero was emperor in Rome and persecuting Christians.

Tribulation against Christians broke out in one place and then another. It was scattered all over the world, a little bit here, a little bit there, some in Rome, some in Corinth, some in Thessalonica, some down in Jerusalem. Gradually, it built until the church was driven to the wilderness for 1,260 years, where it barely maintained its existence.

We cannot depend on that escape; that prophecy has been fulfilled. There will be no running away, not this time. There will be no disappearing into the woodwork, except for those to whom God gives the privilege of going to the Place of Safety. And who knows what true Christians will have to face between now and then? As it intensifies, the time of the end will be a very tumultuous period. We find in verse 10 that some were falling away, and unfortunately, that will be the "escape" some choose to take.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Don't Be a Prudent Agnostic



2 Thessalonians 2:3-10

Paul wrote II Thessalonians to correct a false impression held by the members of the church in Thessalonica. He did this by telling them what Christ had revealed to him regarding the "gathering together with Christ" of those dead in Christ and those remaining alive when He returned. He opens by foretelling, first of all, that Christ's return will be preceded by a period of apostasy that could include anything from a falling away, a departure from doctrine or teaching, all the way to and including an outright political rebellion.

The second sign would be the appearance of the man of sin. This person has four different names or titles, but all of them are described similarly: the man of sin (II Thessalonians 2:3-10), the little horn (Daniel 7:8), the two-horned lamb who spoke like a dragon (Revelation 13:11-18), and the false prophet (Revelation 19:20). The description in each location is not exactly alike, but each adds to what the other gives. Consider this summary of comparisons.

In each case, the person described appears at the time of the end. This is the one piece of information that every one of them has in common.

In three of the four, his end—his destruction or annihilation—comes at the return of Jesus Christ (Daniel 7:8-9; II Thessalonians 2:3; Revelation 19:20).

In three of the four, it directly states or strongly implies the person speaks with great pompous words (Daniel 7:8-9; II Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:11-14).

In three of the four, it directly states the person does miraculous, supernatural signs (II Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:13-15; Revelation 19:20).

In two of them, the signs are done in the presence of the Beast, showing they are not the same figure (Revelation 13:13-15; 19:20).

In two of them, he deceives and leads people into idolatry (II Thessalonians 2:4,9-10; Revelation 13:12,14).

In two of them, he either makes war against the saints or causes those who would not worship the beast to be put to death (Daniel 7:21; Revelation 13:15).

In two of them, he either thinks to change times and law—suggesting the law of God—or he sets himself in the Temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. The implication is that he has the authority to do these things (Daniel 7:25; II Thessalonians 2:4).

In two of them, his period of greatest influence is three and a half years (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5).

All of these scriptures are describing the same person. The Bible shows that this person—the man of sin—has a direct connection to a large political power and has a religious influence. It should be understood that we are dealing with a personage and with prophecies of global significance.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 4)



2 Thessalonians 2:5-9

We should get two things out of this prophecy. One is that the lawlessness was already working in Paul's day, and the second is that it has the force of the supernatural power of Satan. We are dealing with something significant here. The "he who restrains" therefore has to be one of supernatural power in order to restrain. Thus, He who restrains must be God. When He lifts the restraint, the man of sin will come to full power. In this is the vague implication that, since Paul says the mystery of iniquity was already working, a man of sin was also on the scene—not the man of sin, but a man of sin.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 3)




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing 2 Thessalonians 2:7:

Daniel :
Daniel :
Daniel :
Matthew 13:24-30
Acts 20:28-31
2 Thessalonians 2:3-10
Jude 1:3-4
Revelation 2:14-15
Revelation :
Revelation :

 

<< 2 Thessalonians 2:6   2 Thessalonians 2:8 >>



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