And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know, 1st Corinthians 8:2.
I had been saved for 14 years and had been no slack student of the bible during those 14 years before I was able to read 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-8 straight through with my conscience settled on what I was reading. I say my conscience because when I read a passage of scripture and I am applying a forced or awkward interpretation to it, my conscience is troubled. There is simply no substitute for being able to read a passage and to have the spirit of the author of that passage to be in agreement with your own spirit as you read.
That does not mean that the Lord will not reveal more to me from the passage. It is like all the rest of scripture, it is unsearchable. There will never be a time throughout all of eternity in which I am not gaining further insight. What I am confident of, is that throughout all of eternity, the Lord will be giving me insights through the words of my King James Bible. My conscience is settled because just like reading passages on the resurrection, I know what it is saying. I may get more understanding over the years, but I will not need to scratch my head about the basic meaning of the passage.
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2nd Thessalonians 2:1. The Apostle Paul is beseeching the brethren by two distinctly different events. He is beseeching them by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he is beseeching them by our gathering together unto Jesus Christ. In the next verses he will make comment on each of those two events.
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand, 2nd Thessalonians 2:2. This is old news to the Thessalonians. Jesus Christ had emphasized in the gospels that many would say, "here is Christ, or there is Christ" (Matthew 24:23), Paul had warned the Thessalonians; Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?, verse 5. People were going to use many devices to try to make the saints believe that the day of Christ was at hand. Don't believe any of it.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 2nd Thessalonians 2:3. What day? The day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, remember, Paul has besought us by two distinctly different events. To the world that day is a grievous day , to the saints it is the day when Jesus Christ is revealed in his glory and those who have been found worthy will ride with him. I wrote of this here. The term day of Christ is used when a day comes in which Christ reveals himself to his beloved.
That day cannot come until the son of perdition is revealed. Jesus spoke of the son of perdition in John 17:12. There will be a great apostasy. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God, 2nd Thessalonians 2:4. This is clearly the anti-christ. This is clearly the abomination of desolation. Paul makes it clear that the anti-christ will have his day to defile the holy things before that day of Christ comes. Therefore, don't believe anyone who says that that day is at hand.
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time, 2nd Thessalonians 2:6. There is new information coming. Paul said so, "now ye know". What do they now know? Hitherto, they had not known what was stopping the anti-christ from being revealed in his time. They knew that the day of Christ could not come until the anti-christ was revealed, but they did not know what had kept him from being revealed. They did not know what was withholding him from being revealed in his time.
The Lord has decreed that the man of sin must be revealed in his time, yet something is withholding his physical revelation. We may find the wording here awkward, but if we take it in its most simple and plain meaning, something has been withholding the man of sin from being revealed in his time. The saints had not known what that was that was withholding that he might be revealed in his time. Now Paul is telling them.
The man of sin cannot be revealed in his physical state as long as the seal of God exists on the earth as it has been since the day of Pentecost. The rapture is the reversal of Pentecost. Just as the glory of God was taken up in Ezekiel 10, the Holy Ghost in his capacity as sealing the saints of God will be taken back up just as he was poured out. This was covered here. Just as God would not allow Nebuchadnezzar to sack the temple with God's glory in it and the ark of God in it, the anti-christ cannot appear with the seal of God in its many vessels here on this earth.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way, 2nd Thessalonians 2:7. It is that seal that lets us depart from iniquity and it is the taking away of that seal which opens the world to almost universal iniquity. That does not mean that the Holy Ghost will not be on earth after the rapture. He was there prior to Pentecost and he will be there after the rapture. He will operate differently. His capacity of bonding all of the saints together and sealing them for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30) will change. He has been letting us depart from iniquity and if he did not let you depart, you never would. He will be taken out of the ant-christ's way. That is brand new revelation from the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians.
Two things have now been accomplished just as we were told in verse 1. We have seen the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we have seen our gathering together unto him. An order has been given. He who now letteth us depart from iniquity must be taken out of the anti-christ's way before he can be revealed in his time. After he is revealed in his Satanic faux glory with all lying signs and wonders and with all power, Jesus Christ will be revealed in the day of Christ as a savior to those saints on earth who have been converted during that awful time. If you are found worthy, you will ride with him. If you have lost your inheritance in the Kingdom of God, you will wait in heaven while those found worth in the day of Christ ride with him.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, 2nd Thessalonians 2:8. We know that his spirit is working even now. That is the mystery of iniquity working. Just as the Spirit of Jesus Christ and his holiness operates while he is physically removed from the earth, the ant-christ's spirit works while he is not here physically. Quite simply, it is impossible for the anti-christ to be physically present while the seal of God is maintained in his people on the earth. Because of 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-8 we now know that.