PTB2-Special1: The Biblical Fact of the “Falling Away”.

NOTE: As usual you are welcome to free download this special message from SunGrist at https://biblecombibleman.com/PTB2Special1BiblicalFactofFallingAway.pdf .

A lack of acknowledgement of the great apostasy called in the Bible the Falling Away can be directly correlated with taking the word “backsliding”, almost exclusively a word of and from the book of Jeremiah, out of context to make it sound like a failure in church attendance.  No, in Jeremiah, there was regular attendance at the Temple, the attendees, according to God the Father, did not have the right attitude.  Today, one might say, their heads were not in the right place.  This is described in the famous Temple Message of Jeremiah 7 that God told him to preach faithfully and consistently at the Temple entrance in spite of the fact that the people of God would not listen, even often ridiculed the Prophet of God.  Sorry for the length of it, chapter 7 of Jeremiah, and perhaps that is the same problem during that time with Gods people and today, a propensity for very short sermons.  And before we read it, remember these are the very words themselves that God the Father gave Jeremiah to speak and preach and teach, including the fact that Jeremiah was no longer allowed by the Father to pray for these people.  It is difficult in these days of the coronavirus as Satan has been loosed to realize that God has allowed it to happen, then know how we should pray for all the people.  Do we fight against the will of God to pray that it happen to only unbelievers, as the Bible says in Revelation 9, or can we provide some measure of comfort by our prayers for them.

Jeremiah 7

New King James Version

Trusting in Lying Words

7 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!’ ” Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’

“For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute [a]judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.

“Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, 10 and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’? 11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the Lord.

12 “But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these works,” says the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren—the whole posterity of Ephraim.

16 “Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. 19 Do they provoke Me to anger?” says the Lord. “Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces?”

20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place—on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it will burn and not be quenched.”

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat meat. 22 For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. 23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed[b] the counsels and the [c]dictates of their evil hearts, and went[d] backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. 26 Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

27 “Therefore you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you.

Judgment on Obscene Religion

28 “So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth. 29 Cut off your hair and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on the desolate heights; for the Lord has rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath.’ 30 For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight,” says the Lord. “They have set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to [e]pollute it. 31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.

32 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room. 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be desolate.

Footnotes of Jeremiah 7, the Temple Message of the Prophet Jeremiah

  1. Jeremiah 7:5 justice   {Justice is what God demanded}
  2. Jeremiah 7:24 walked in  

{Their lifestyle like the majority of church members today:  “24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed[b] the counsels and the [c]dictates of their evil hearts, and went[d] backward and not forward.”  Backsliding from God and Jeremiah tersely stated in this one sentence of the Sermon was:  (1) Living a lifestyle that followed the ways and advisers of their own wicked hearts.  In the words of II Timothy 4:3-5, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but out of their own desires, shall they heap up teachers of itching ears, turn away from the truth, and be turned into fables”; and (2) went backwards and not forward, that is real backsliding, and the sad fact is that God’s own people, then and now, had so lost godlike orientation, almost like in space with no gravity, that of all things, they did not realize their backward movement and would not listen to any such nonsense from either God or the Prophet Jeremiah.

  1. Jeremiah 7:24 stubbornness or imagination
  2. Jeremiah 7:24 Lit. they were
  3. Jeremiah 7:30 defile

                 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 worldwide 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.}

     2.  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 LeHay 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.

                 3.  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 INTERPRETATION 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 Ladin 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 possibly 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.

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