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2. The Man of Lawlessness

1Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him; 2to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand; 3let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 4he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. 5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. 7For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming; 9even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: 12that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14whereunto he called you through our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours. 16Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

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9. whose coming—The same Greek as was used for the Lord's coming (2Th 2:8) or personal "presence."

is—in its essential character.

afteraccording to the working ("energy") of Satan, as opposed to the energy or working of the Holy Spirit in the Church (see on Eph 1:19). As Christ is related to God, so is Antichrist to Satan, his visible embodiment and manifestation: Satan works through him. Re 13:2, "The dragon gave him (the beast) his power … seat … great authority."

lying wonders—literally, "wonders" or "prodigies of falsehood." His "power, signs, and wonders," all have falsehood for their base, essence, and aim (Joh 8:44), [Alford]. In Mt 24:24 Jesus implies that the miracles shall be real, though demoniac, such mysterious effects of the powers of darkness as we read of in the case of the Egyptian sorcerers, not such as Jesus performed in their character, power, or aim; for they are against the revealed Word, and therefore not to be accepted as evidences of truth; nay, on the authority of that sure Word of prophecy (here, and Mt 24:24), to be known and rejected as wrought in support of falsehood (De 13:1-3, 5; Ga 1:8, 9; Re 13:11-15; 19:20). The same three Greek words occur for miracles of Jesus (Ac 2:22; Heb 2:4); showing that as the Egyptian magicians imitated Moses (2Ti 3:1-8), so Antichrist will try to imitate Christ's works as a "sign," or proof of divinity.

10. deceivableness—rather as Greek, "deceit of (to promote) unrighteousness" (2Th 2:12).

in—The oldest manuscripts and versions omit "in." Translate, "unto them that are perishing" (2Co 2:15, 16; 4:3): the victims of him whose very name describes his perishing nature, "the son of perdition"; in contrast to you whom (2Th 2:13) "God hath from the beginning chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."

because—literally, "in requital for"; in just retribution for their having no love for the truth which was within their reach (on account of its putting a check on their bad passions), and for their having "pleasure in unrighteousness" (2Th 2:12; Ro 1:18); they are lost because they loved not, but rejected, the truth which would have saved them.

received notGreek, "welcomed not"; admitted it not cordially.

love of the truth—not merely love of truth, but love of THE truth (and of, Jesus who is the Truth, in opposition to Satan's "lie," 2Th 2:9, 11; Joh 8:42-44), can save (Eph 4:21). We are required not merely to assent to, but to love the truth (Ps 119:97). The Jews rejected Him who came in His divine Father's name; they will receive Antichrist coming in his own name (Joh 5:43). Their pleasant sin shall prove their terrible scourge.

11. for this cause—because "they received not the love of the truth." The best safeguard against error is "the love of the truth."

shall sendGreek, "sends," or "is sending"; the "delusion" is already beginning. God judicially sends hardness of heart on those who have rejected the truth, and gives them up in righteous judgment to Satan's delusions (Isa 6:9, 10; Ro 1:24-26, 28). They first cast off the love of the truth, then God gives them up to Satan's delusions, then they settle down into "believing the lie": an awful climax (1Ki 22:22, 23; Eze 14:9; Job 12:16; Mt 24:5, 11; 1Ti 4:1).

strong delusionGreek, "the powerful working of error," answering to the energizing "working of Satan" (2Th 2:9); the same expression as is applied to the Holy Ghost's operation in believers: "powerful" or "effectual (energizing) working" (Eph 1:19).

believe a lie—rather, "the lie" which Antichrist tells them, appealing to his miracles as proofs of it … (2Th 2:9).

12. they all … damned—rather as Greek, "that all," &c. He here states the general proposition which applies specially to Antichrist's adherents. Not all in the Church of Rome, or other anti-Christian systems, shall be damned, but only "all who believed not the truth," when offered to them, "but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (Ro 1:32; 2:8). Love of unrighteousness being the great obstacle to believing the truth.




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