The Book of Hebrews: Chapter 1 on the Falling Away.

Chapter 1:     The Falling Away.

third part

Senator McCain of Arizona called terrorism “the challenge of our generation.”  As the world of natural people think, at least the non-Muslim half of the world, terrorism is a good challenge to place up there at the top as a United States national goal.  Definitely the American Democratic Faith, which is actually more political and social than the Christ Faith {I would call this the Christian Faith, but “Christian” has lost most of its meaning.  In most cases it refers more to the American Democratic Faith.  For example when former prime minister Begin said, “You Americans are born Christians like we Israelis are born Jews.”} of the Bible, would give a high priority of effort in the direction of anti-terrorism. The American Democratic Faith has been defined in previous volumes of the LEARN CHRIST commentaries and in the book written for my kids and grand kids, SOME SOUNDS OF A SOUND FAITH.

There are three majors differences between the American Democratic Faith and the Christ Faith of the Bible:  (1) Majority–the majority is right and rules in the American Democratic Faith whereas in the Faith and religion of the Bible the majority is seldom if ever right {“few” there be that find the narrow way that leads to life, etc.}; (2) Toleration–in the American Democratic Faith of our schools, big business, and big government, we work hard and work long to overlook cultural differences in the name of unity, peace, and harmony {remember, we as Americans are proud of our “unity in diversity”; whereas in the Christ Faith of the Bible there is no peace without inherent unity and common beliefs}; and (3) Peace–Jesus clearly taught us, and I guess that we should still use the teachings of Jesus as the basis of the Christ Faith of the Bible…Jesus clearly taught that there were two kinds of peace, the peace which Jesus gives and the peace which the world gives.  Since by the very nature of the American Society as hardly dominated by Jesus and as hardly having the kind of peace inherent in it that Jesus gives, we must say that the peace of the American Democratic Faith is the kind of peace which Jesus identified as that which the world gives.  Simply by considering fighting and killing along, we can easily distinguish the kind of peace of the world, and of the American Democratic Faith, which comes by war from the kind of peace of Jesus which advocates the overcoming of evil with good.

And the fact that we so readily as a nation accept war as the natural reaction to terrorism tells us how deeply ingrained the American Democratic Faith is in our American thought, character, and national actions.  Do you not think that the God and Christ of the Bible will not hold Bush, McCain, our national leaders, and military people responsible at the Judgment of the Bible for the killing of men, women, and children across the world?  {Perhaps  when you consider the casualties on both sides, President Bush has killed more people than Sadam; and you know whey the fundamentalists pulpits of this nation are silent on these killings:  it is because the fundamentalist have always promoted a fighting spirit.  Fifty years ago when I was growing up in the Southern Baptist Convention, we called them fuedamentalists because you knew what they were against more than what they are for.  Instead we use the “mission of America” of the History of American Thought and of the American Democratic Faith to justify and rationalize the killing of Iraqis.  In other words, the ones who survive we are giving them a democratic way of life, therefore the means justify the ends.  One day the Bush dictated news of a national network said, “Fallujah was liberated.  Two thousand killed.”  This is the kind of liberation that was provided by the Arabs when they conquered the world approximately 1000 A.D.  “You become a Muslim or you die.”}  If so, you are a real dreamer as part of your American Democratic Faith.  Just for a few moments, contrast the real teachings of Christ to such a belief of the American Democratic Faith.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I tell you not to resist an evil person.  But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to him who ask you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”  (Matthew 5:38-42)

Foolish, you say.  The whole system of American justice is centered around your “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” {or property as written in the first draft}, and that means when I go to court I have the right to keep my tunic and my cloak.  You see, I told you there is a lot of differences between the teachings and faith of Christ and the teachings and faith of the American Democratic Faith.

Why are our pulpits not ablaze with the righteous teachings of Jesus on “overcoming evil with good”?  It is because our pulpits are dominated by the American Democratic Faith of the fundamentalists.  Let’s see, who was it that said, “Pray not that God is on our side, but rather that we are on the side of God.”  Do you really think that God supports the killing of men, women, and children as we have done in Iraqi in the name of promoting democracy in the world?  What we are really doing, since God is in control of Bush even as He was in control of Pharaoh {and raised Pharaoh up to show His own power}, is to place American troops in position for the final battle of the world, that of Armageddon, when the Muslim world surrounds with the assistance of nations like China, the US army in the Middle East, causing a retreat to Israel, the only real ally in that part of the world, and to Jerusalem where the famous “camp of the saints” of the book of Revelation is surrounded by enemies.  I don’t know why the fundamentalists are not warning Bush about this.  Rice has an excuse, nobody knows what she really believes except to support Bush and her own ambitions; but Bush is famous for his conversion to fundamentalism.

Well, this is an introduction to The Falling Away; and what I intended to write when I took the aside on the American Democratic Faith versus the Christ Faith of the Bible, is that the real challenge of our generation, if you take the perspective of God as the Great Maker of History, is the Falling Away.  However, if you can see The Falling Away of the Bible as happening right now, you can see that giving a priority to the American Democratic Faith over the Christ Faith of the Bible is a significant part of that Falling Away.  {From a life time of support and service to this nation and a life time of the study of the History of American Thought, I have come, perhaps more so than most Americans, to love the American Democratic Faith; however, it can not be and never will be a substitute for the Christ Faith of the Bible.  True, that are certain areas where the two overlap, and the two kinds of faith can be and will be maintained simultaneously; yet on the three distinct areas of differences–majority, toleration, and peace–priority must be given under the authority of God and the Bible to the Christ Faith of the Bible.}

1-1:        The Biblical Fact of the “Falling Away”.

American church members of all denominations are not yet facing up to the very fact of The Falling Away, whether they are willing to admit that it is the challenge of our generation or not.  They do not realize that the Falling Away is not from churches and denominations as church attendance in the very nature of the Falling Away where leaders have fallen as much or more than average church members may go up.  {“they will heap–this heaping involves an increase in attendance by itching ears people listening to itching ears teachers and preachers–to themselves teachers having itching ears out of their own desires and turn away from the truth.”}

  1.   Matthew 24:11,12.

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

Perhaps, you knew about this teaching of Jesus in the famous eschatological chapter of Matthew 24, but did not realize that this is a teaching about The Falling Away.  You will see as we add other Scriptures from the Word of God that these are characteristics of the Falling Away, especially the next from Paul in II Thessalonians where all that remained to happen during his own life in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ was The Falling Away and the revelation of the man of sin, the son of perdition.  Two thousand years later, approximately, and that is still all that remains to happen.  The gospel surely has been preached to every nation.  Jesus said, also in Matthew 24, then would the end come.  As far as the earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanos, tsunamis, all this is sort of on God’s automatic control as the “whole creation groaneth in travail like the pangs of birth”.  The whole earth and universe could any day split wide open as the internal and external pressures build up to melt the earth with a fervent heat, as the light of the sun and moon diminish, and as there becomes a total shaking of all the natural laws of the Universe, something which God originally intended and set on automatic control from the beginning.  Even the law of physics called entropy says that the system and organization in the universe is running down.  What confuses natural scientists is the assumption that the rocks on top are the youngest and the deepest are the oldest, not allowed for the upheaval of all the earth, including the separation of the continents, the forming of mountains, and the vast upheaval with all that water on top of it during the Flood.  When the deep of the existing Ocean gave up the waters that were in them and formed the Mid-Atlantic Ocean range and well as a range of mountains all over the world under the Oceans, rocks from deep below were scattered to the top by the Flood; and when the waters reseeded back into the holes of the deep, while taking all the carbohydrates of human bodies, dinosaurs, and plants and animals with them, the more recent rocks were placed deeper.  {So much of what is in the world today, scientists can not and will not comprehend because they do not recognize the Flood as a world wide act of God.  I think this is another thing that Paul and the Word of God implied when it stated, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.”  God chooses simple things like rocks and water and the earth itself to confound the wisdom of archaeologists, and geologists, and physicists.}

Time permitting in this volume, I would like to discuss outstanding and believing physicists like Dr. R. A. Millikan and Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin, Joule, and geologists like Steno, Woodward, Brewster, Buckland, Cuvier long with their beliefs and teachings.[1]  Christian Evidences and Christian Apologetics are classical and well developed fields of study with men like C.S. Lewis in literature, Simon Greenleaf and Irwin Linton in law, Bernard Ramm in attempts at reconciliation between science and religion, and Elton Trueblood with his concept of “intellectual honesty” in the Philosophy of Religion.  Personally I feel that part of The Falling Away as supported from the fundamentalists is the replacing of all these honest and reliable books, scholarly and devotional, with their own books which were born in their seminaries of training, small buildings at the back of the church.  Like breeds like, and when the fundamentalists with their bad fighting spirit chose scholars and books, they chose those of a fighting spirit.  In other words they chose the American Democratic Faith books over the books dominated by the Christ Faith of the Bible.  In short, I think it behooves us real Southern Baptists who benefited from years of training and reading after this men of God, now in ill repute or lack of respect from the fundamentalists leaders of the SBC, …it behooves us to appreciate our real Southern Baptist heritage–before the fundamentalists aggressively and with a fighting spirit took over the Convention–and to promote such authors and books.  This I will try to do as time permits as part of my responsibility to preach and teach the whole Word of God, and to reveal as much as possible the follies of the fundamentalists as we are urged to do in II Timothy 3:5.

At the time when my wife gave me a copy of BREAD FROM BELLEVUE OVEN with Dr. R. G. Lee’s sermon, “The Menace of Mediocrity”, I did not realize that this also was an aspect of the Falling Away.  Dr. Lee, himself accepted by both the fundamentalists as the real Southern Baptists, wrote that times will become so bad that “wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.”  Unfortunately with the sweeping times of the Falling Away, his own Bellevue pulpit became such a victim as Adrian Rogers, Charles Stanley, and W.A. Criswell–not originally southern Baptists at all–led the fundamentalists takeover of the SBC.  {Study the history of denominations, at the time the Methodist or Presbyterians or Congregations, or any other denomination including the SBC, passed from evangelistic, graceful, and gracious to formal and traditionally oriented, it seemed–at least to the leadership and perhaps most of the followers–as though righteousness was triumphing over evil.  And at heart what fundamentalism really means is for the predominance of custom and tradition, unfortunately as noted earlier in this chapter, it is not custom and tradition from Jesus and the Bible.}

  1. II Thessalonians 2:1-3.

Let’s see what did Jesus say would be the characteristics near the end time so we can compare them with what Paul said shortly after Jesus and during the First Century:  (1) many false prophets and teachers would pop up all over, like would you suppose on television; (2) these false prophets and false teachers would deceive many {you see the “many” is a popular and majority movement; (3) sin and lawlessness would abound {and can you not see that in the world including our own country}; and (4) the love of many–once again the many over the few, the majority over the minority–the love of many would wax cold.  The love of church members, Jesus predicted, will be inversely proportional to the increase in world-wide sin:  as sin or lawlessness increase, the love of church members for Christ and the Bible will go down.  Television has a lot to do with that.  We see sin…we hear sin in the taking of God’s name in vain; and even as advertisement pays off in big money for the advertisers, so also the sin we see and hear pays big dividends into pushing church members further into the Falling Away.

Okay, remembering that the Ascended Christ trained the Apostle Paul in what to teach and write in the Saudi desert, after his conversion on the road to Damascus, compare what Christ taught on earth about the Falling Away with what He and the Spirit taught Paul to write later about the Falling Away.

“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him {I think and I hope you know these are the two terminal events of last things for this universe, The Second Coming of Christ and the Gathering of the Elect, some like the fundamentalist calling it the Rapture with their confusing and self-created events of eschatology like a thousand year materialistic reign of Christ on earth–they just can not give up materialism–and a confusion of the final tribulation with the great tribulation.  How simple it would be if fundamentalists would ignore for a while the notes of the Scofield Reference Bible, pick up their Bibles again, and allow Christ in Matthew 24:29-31 to teach them how simple are the last events of eschatology:  final tribulation of those days, immediately after the Day of the LORD and Lord all destruction of the old heavens and earth are completed, the Second Coming of Christ, and then the Gathering of the Elect.  All beyond this comes out of a vivid imagination–you will notice that the recent books by the fundamentalists Tim LeHaye is fiction–a desire to be the only ones who understand and preach the Bible, a desire for a thousand years of heaven on earth for fundamentalists and a materialistic kingdom–it is hard to spend your life working for things and not see a future for them.}…we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ {I hope you know the Day of the LORD so frequently mentioned in the Old Testament is the same day as the day of Christ, or the Second Coming, in the New Testament}..the day of Christ had come. {the day of Christ had not come and the day of Christ still has not come–little has changed in two thousand years except for more signs of the crumbling of the universe.}  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day {the Day of the LORD and Lord, the Day of Christ}…will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.”

I hope you caught that:  PRELIMINARY TO THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST IS THE FALLING AWAY and SIGHTING OF THE MAN OF SIN.  God said long ago in one of the Old Testament Prophets that He would never do anything without forewarning His own people.  Are God’s people listening today, or even for the last two thousand years ago, when God and His Spirit through the Apostle Paul said that two things will happen before the end of time:  the Falling Away and sighting of the man of sin.

  1.   Context of II Thessalonians 2:1-3 in II Thessalonians 2:1-12.

While we are here at II Thessalonians 2:1-3 on the Falling Away, and since it is so seldom preached or taught, we should look at the larger context of the Scriptures in II Thessalonians 2:4-12.  It is startling what we read here, yet so few know about it; chose to teach or preach on it; or even admit the validity of the facts.

(1).  The Man of Sin, or Son of Perdition, not to be confused with the anti-Christs since John clearly stated in I John that many anti-christs already existed in the First Century, will become apparent {we will know that we are seeing him as the Man of Sin–this is one place that the Truth of the Bible is dependent upon what we citizens of the world can see in world history} as he opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped as God.  What is it for the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition to oppose all that is called God, to exalt himself above all that is called God, and to exalt and oppose all that is worshipped as God?  That is more what you have been led to believe is what the anti-Christ does!  Since Christ is the representative of God and all that is worshipped in God, it would ordinarily make sense that the Anti-Christs would be the one to be the opposite of Christ.  And the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition, is an anti-christ; but he is an anti-christs among many.  There is only one Man of Sin who is also called the Son of Perdition, and we will come to know him better as the Falling Away approaches its completion.  Yes, the sighting of the Man of Sin becomes more apparent near the end of the Falling Away, because it is at the end of the Falling Away lawlessness and the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit are completed.  You can imagine how much lawlessness and Falling Away will happen as the Holy Spirit is withdrawn from this earth.

(2).  The Man of Sin sits as God in the temple pretending to take the place of God.  What the Scripture really says is not that he actually sits in the temple claiming to be God, but that “he sits as God in the temple”.  It is like he is effectively sitting as God in the temple.  I know how the fundamentalists and even such dedicated Bible scholars as B. H. Carroll in his AN INTEPRETATION OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE, claim that the Pope is the anti-christ, literally sitting in a temple, or the equivalent, making religious proclamations as if he could speak very Word of God, or new Bible.  And indeed, the Pope is among many anti-christs even as many Mormon leaders who promote four other Bibles as Word of God and pretend to speak with the authority of God and Scripture, or any other religious leader of today who would attempt to subjugate to themselves the priesthood of believers.  How easy it would be for the Man of Sin in this day and time to rise to the top of the many know-it-all wind bags with all the answers of all the questions.  There is one fundamentalists well-known preacher, of short stature and comical appearance who repeats the name of “God” so often in his messages, that it is easy to see where he can get confused as to who is really God.  In general, I think you will notice that the less men or women know about God, and the less they accept the authority of God in their life and in Scriptures, the more they tend to have all the answers on all questions.  What I am saying is that to talk like God and act like God is so common in our American culture and in our time, that how easy it will be for the Man of Sin to rise to the top, and to become apparent.  {I need to lay the foundation later, but consider now Osama Bin Laden as the Man of Sin, or a son or grandson, or follower.  Read carefully Daniel 11:  Osama meets many of the Scriptural requirements.  Also you must admit that Osama must have supernatural assistance, the kind that would come from a former angel called the Prince of this world, in order to escape both the most powerful Army and Intelligence network, that of the United States, ever known in the world.}

(3).  Paul told the church members at Thessalonica about the preliminary requirements of the Falling Away and the Man of Sin before the Second Coming could take place.  Admit it, if you are a fundamentalists, that you are far more aware of a thousand year kingdom on this earth and of a non-existent Rapture before the destruction of the Day of the LORD than you are of the preliminary necessity of the Falling Away and of the Sighting of the Man of Sin.  Why?  Because the Falling Away and the Sighting of the Man of Sin, along with the scary withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from this earth just do not fit into their teachings based on the notes of the Scofield Reference Bible.  These later three clear teachings, or doctrines, of the Bible do not support the growth of their churches and denominations, do not supporting giving to them, and do not support the kind of kingdom of earth that they are looking for and teaching.  {Millionaires clearly have a place in the establishment and growth of fundamentalist, millionaires that are very reluctant to give up their money and possessions.  Henry Steele Commager, former professor of American Studies at Amherst and author of THE AMERICAN MIND as well as other writings in the History of American Thought claims that fundamentalism was started in California by a group of millionaires; and I believe it.}

Paul had to remind them of what was taught previously, because a movement was already happening in First Century Christianity of those who taught and believed that the Second Coming had already taken place.  The sad part of that was that most of the church members had missed out.  Paul said, “Don’t be shook up.  The Second Coming can not happen until the Falling Away and revelation of the Man of Sin.”

The same is true today.  If you want signs of the Second Coming, then instead of looking for a materialistic one thousand year kingdom on earth, start looking in your churches and denominations for the Falling Away, and by the way in your own life, and start looking in the world news for the Man of Sin.  Now, I know you can see many signs among your fellow church members of all denominations of the Falling Away such as (1) blasphemy of God’s name, (2) disregard for the clear Bible teachings on marriage and divorce, (3) anarchy in church government where Christ’s authority through the pastor is subverted, (4) increase in the world and American Society of sin and lawlessness, (5) intolerance toward “sound doctrine”, and so on; but since it is almost impossible for those who have turned away from the truth, and turned into fables, to recognize truth, then just imagine the full extent of the Falling Away when the Holy Spirit is completely withdrawn from the earth.

(4).  Paul had taught them at Thessalonica that the Holy Spirit was all that was restraining the historical increase in lawlessness and sin in the world.  You recall the teachings of Jesus, reinforced by Paul and the other Apostles, how when the Holy Spirit came in great power and presence on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension, among other things, it was the job of the Holy Spirit to convict the whole world of “sin, of righteousness, and of judgment”.  That has worked up to a certain extent, to the extent that God intended.  It is the work and presence of the Holy Spirit that has “restrained” the flood of sin, lawlessness, and the Falling Away.  {Incidentally for those who still have eyes to see and ears to hear, which have not been completely captivated by the false teachings of the Scofield Reference Bible notes, this Coming of the Holy Spirit after the Ascension of Jesus marks the binding of Satan, along with the bruising of His head by Christ in the Crucifixion; and the loosing of Satan to again deceive all the nations is the Withdrawal of the Holy Spirit.

How I would long to see doctrinal teachings in our churches, in any churches, or books, or any works on doctrines like:  The Falling Away, Withdrawal of the Holy Spirit, The Binding of Satan by the Coming of the Spirit, and et cetera.  It just does not fit into the little equations that have been memorized by the fundamentalists from extra-biblical sources.  One of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people is that the fundamentalists of the Bible belt are the conservatives of the Bible.  What they are conservative on is not the Bible itself, but the little equations and notes that they have memorized from Scofield and passed on to each other in little out-house seminaries, et cetera.

(5).  What is restraining the “mystery of lawlessness” and the Man of Sin is the Holy Spirit.  {Can you not see that to restrain sin is to restrain Satan; can you not see to restrain the Man of Sin is to restrain Satan; and can you not take one simple, Biblical, and logical step to see that to restrain Satan and sin is to bind Satan; and to release Satan for the deception again of all the nations is to unloose, or unbind, Satan.  How simple it would be had the Scofield Reference Bible never been written, but to tell you the truth for years it was the only Bible I read through and preached and taught from.  The blessings are great:  perhaps greater are the curses of the notes.  The greatest curse being, as personified in fundamentalism, is the confusion of accepting the PRE’s notes as synonymous verbal inspiration of the Scripture.  It is a giant step; but believe me, at least in their own little minds, the fundamentalists have managed to do it.}

(6).  The “mystery of lawlessness” is already at work.  In the day of Paul of the First Century the mystery called the increase in sin or lawlessness was already at work.  You know it had to be with Satan roaming about the world like a lion seeking whom he might devour through lawlessness and sin.  It is still at work today, and in American Society.  You are blind if you can not see in American Society the same characteristics of Romans 1 that leads to the downfall in lawlessness and sin any society.  It started in Romans 1 with a failure to “retain god in their thinking”, this has happened and is happening in American Society in many ways that you can think of such as prayer in schools {goodness, many Americans would attempt to take God the Creator out of Creation}; it continued with gay and lesbian activity in Romans 1 as it does in American Society; and it ended both cases with all sorts of sin and lawlessness.  No wonder, Paul and the Bible call it a “mystery”.  It stills remains a mystery how it could happen in a society in many ways founded on faith in God, and whose pulpits have often rung with sounds of the righteousness of Christ.  Closely related to the mystery of lawlessness is the mystery of the Falling Away.  Indeed, I would think that the Falling Away is more a mystery to the average church member than is the increase in lawlessness and sin.  I know the average church member is more acquainted with certain pet sins than with the Falling Away.

(7).  “He” (II Thessalonians 2:7), the Holy Spirit “who now restrains Satan, sin, and the Man of Sin will do so until “He”, the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way.  By the way, Who do you think is powerful enough to take the Holy Spirit and His work off of this earth?  Yes, of course, God the Father.  And likewise to send the Holy Spirit in the first place to do His work on earth.  Jesus said, when about to leave this earth and His disciples, that God will give Him to Spirit to send on this earth.  He did that shortly after His Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension back to God the Father; God and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to restrain on the First Day of Pentecost after the Ascension; however, the restraining or binding has a time limit in the total plan of God, the end of the restraining being at the end of the Falling Away.  Look for signs in your denomination and church of the Withdrawal of the Holy Spirit.  You should see a significant increase in sin and lawlessness.  It should also become apparent to you from the world news as to who the Man of Sin is.

(8).  “then the lawless one will be revealed” (II Thessalonians 2:8), whom the Lord will consume…”  When is the Lawless One, the Man of Sin and Perdition?  Immediately after the Holy Spirit is withdrawn.  Don’t take any teachers word for it, read it for yourself.  Then what happens after the Man of Sin is revealed, he is defeated in the battle of Armageddon by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

(9).  How does the Lord Jesus Christ destroy the Man of Sin?  (II Thessalonians 2:8).  Two ways:  (1) with the “breath of His mouth”, Jesus the powerful and returned Christ, the Lord of Lord and King of kings needs only to speak the words and the Man of Sin will be consumed {it is not clear exactly to what extent the legions of angels with the Returned Christ will be active in this consumption:  I would think to a great extent since this is also the great battle of Armageddon, and the same angels who caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in an instant can also take care of the Man of Sin and the vast army that follows him to attack the camp of the saints outside Jerusalem.}; and (2) “destroy with the brightness of His Coming”.  Only the holiness and righteousness and power of the Returned Christ will be so powerful as to destroy the Man of Sin and his army.

(10).  The Coming of the Man of Sin is according to the power, signs, and wonders of Satan. (II Thessalonians 2:9)  What do you think the extent of the power of Satan is, the same Satan who is called the ruler and prince of this world?  Remember also, that at one time Satan was an angle of light.  And you will recall that Jesus recognized during the temptation in the wilderness that the power and status of the whole world was that of Satan to give Him.  What are the signs of Satan?  I would think that all the world can muster in scientific weapons and technological-destruction signs and power is at the disposal of the prince of this world; and further I would think that as Satan lays at the disposal of the Man of Sin all the wonders of Satan that far exceed all the present and immediate future wonders of warfare.

(11).  We dare not forget the “unrighteous deception” (II Thessalonians 2:10) that is the spiritual warfare that goes with the physical warfare.  Many have recognized that in Iraqi, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan, that we are also in a spiritual warfare.  It is “Jehad” to the Muslim world; and as the Man of Sin is revealed near the end of the Falling Away, it will increase with sin the leadership of the Muslim world under the Man of Sin.   The Man of Sin will be bolstered by other countries like China where God and Christ have long ago fallen into disrepute.  It is “unrighteous deception” on the part of those who perish with the Man of Sin.  And why were they deceived into joining the army of the Man of Sin:  “because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”  You can not miss the truth here:  it is the unsaved who would not believe and love Jesus that are deceived into joining the losing army.  You see we come back to II Timothy 3:3-5.  When people all over the world and in American Society and churches will not tolerate sound doctrine, since a vacuum will not exist they become active to get church leaders and false teachers with itching ears who will tickle and comfort their own itching ears, heaping up like a fortress these comforting teachers.  The results are inevitable:  they find teachers to agree with their unsound doctrines; they turn away from the truth; and they turn into fables.  Does this mean that the Muslims and Chinas of the world will find support at the Battle of Armageddon from some in American Society?  Yes, I think so.

(12).  The context of II Thessalonians 2:1-12 is almost complete, but two other important Scriptural statements remain.  When it says that “God will send them strong delusion to believe the lie” (II Thessalonians 2:11), you must see other biblical statements in this like how in the world could church members possible go from intolerance to sound doctrine to turn away from the truth and turn into fables.  Well, it is easy when God intervenes, especially with the Holy Spirit gone, to send “strong delusion”.  Not just delusion but “strong” delusion in believing the lie that Jesus is not the Christ, the Son of God, and not loving and continuing to love that Jesus with a love that does not wax cold with the increase in godliness.  You might ask then what happens to the nation of Israel where the final Battle of Armageddon is being fought outside of Jerusalem.  {Don’t worry I am sure that we will either have live TV coverage in the States from Israel or we will be caught up in the air already.  After all, the Gathering of the Elect, according to Jesus in Matthew 24, does happen immediately after the Second Coming.  The Returned and Powerful Jesus could be busy wiping out the Man of Sin and his army, while the angels are simultaneously gathering the elect from all four corners of the earth.  Amen, Amen, and Amen.  “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus Christ”.}

Well, there is little doubt from Paul, Paul in Romans, and the Spirit of God talking through the Apostle Paul that something is going to happen in the nation of Israel after the Fulness of the Gentiles is complete.  You might also start looking for signs of this anytime.  I think you could easily see that the United States has the leader among Gentiles during this fulness of the Gentiles, as many have believed and as the Gospel has been preached to every nation.  {Jesus said, after the preaching of the Gospel to every nation, the end would come.}  With this evangelization to every nation and with the increase in the US of the Falling Away, we should be looking for an end to our fulness and to a new beginning of the influence of Christ in Israel.  Therefore, I would naturally think that some in Israel will support the Man of Sin, and others will support the camp of the saints outside Jerusalem.

(13).  “the lie” is the striking words of the last verse in our context of II Thessalonians 2:11 and 12.  We can think of many lies talked about in the Bible, so that what is the mother of lies, “the lie”.  Well, it is apparent in the context:  the lie is to fail to believe in and love the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.  This is the only reason that God condemns them to eternal punishment, the man of sin, Satan, and the vast army that supported the Man of Sin.  It is not for all the sins and lawlessness that increased during the Falling Away.  It is for the single failure to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Of course, the lack of faith in Jesus and the sins are related.  “who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”  The inevitable consequence of the failure to believe truth is to seek out comfort elsewhere, comfort and pleasure in unrighteousness.  Even as we will find in our study of the Falling Away that it takes years for church members to fall away from God, Christ, the Bible, and sound doctrine–it took the children of Israel 40 years in the First Falling Away, it also takes years for people to believe and practice the lie, simultaneously find pleasure in unrighteousness.

[1]More scientists believers in Bible Creation:  In Chemistry – Boyle, Dalton, Ramsay; in Biology – Ray, Linnaeus, Mendel, Pasteur, Virchow, Agassiz; in Astronomy – Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Herschel, Maunder; and in Mathematics – Pascal, Leibniz, Euler.

FINAL NOTE:  This message is chapter 1 of volme 4 of the Learn Christ Bible Commentaries (LCBC), “Christ, Paul, and the Falling Away”.  If you wish you can free download the complete book in PDF at  . Later it will join the three other LCBCs on Amazon of the 7 volumes of the LCBC.


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