2nd Thessalonians 2-3

Fred R. Coulter

pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

Let's go back to 2-Thess. and finish up chapter two. There are some things that we need to understand, etc. I found that whenever I translate I always find that there are some very important and vital things that are not really conveyed in any other translation.

When I did Galatians I was shocked when I found out that the English word translated 'setting forth' actually meant a written record of it. To me a 'setting forth' does not mean a written record in my little ole pea brain. But when I saw in the Greek that it was 'prographo' I knew that had to do with writing.

The New Testament began to be written immediately. It didn't wait till 50 years afterward for all the lying traditionalists to begin to compile the New Testament. I think we're going to find that very, very profound. Let's look at some other prophecies and put some of these things together in a way that will give us a little better picture. This is going to be quite an event. Let's review:

2-Thessalonians 2:1: "Now, we beseech you, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him." This is the whole goal of every Christian, the whole purpose of why we are here.

Verse 2: "That you not be quickly shaken in mind, nor be troubled—neither by spirit…" There will be demon spirits bringing false messages. And if there's anything that sounds very convincing it is when you have an idea that comes from a familiar spirit, you feel so exhilarated that you are right, that you are even going to defy the Word of God. You become convinced because it's from an extra source that's not human. We have seen all of those things, and there are even some right now with their own ideas that are cavorting with 'familiar spirits.'

"…nor by word…"—message, hearing a message from someone. The Greek here is 'logos,' which can mean message, as well as word.

"…nor by epistle…"—letter. Notice that Paul is covering every aspect of communication to get to you. The Greek for letter is 'epistole.'

"…as if from us…" Counterfeit and can be done very handily on the Internet, putting it under your name and stick it out there as if you said so.

"…saying that the day of Christ is present" (v 2). We noted that this is not the Day of the Lord. But it is the day of the Messiah is present; that's what it's talking about. There will be false messiahs—plural—at the end-time. That's where we're able to learn from that, that there will be 'messiah competition.' Who is the greatest, the most miracles, the most converts.

Verse 3: "Do not let anyone deceive you by any means…" That's pretty all inclusive because now Paul is going to tell you something that you need to look for, that is going to key this event that's going to come:

"…because that day will not come unless the apostasy…" Not just a few people leaving church. This means the whole world leaving God!

Let's see a history or where there was the apostasy ready to begin. Let's understand how quickly that human beings can do things.

Genesis 11:1: "And the whole earth was of one language and one speech." We've got that today with the speed of light around the world. You'll be able to be anywhere on the earth, and I think we're going to end up with those Dick Tracy phones right on the wrist.

Verse 2: "And it came to pass, as they traveled from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar. And they settled there. And they said to one another, 'Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar" (vs 2-3)—like asbestos. They were building a water-proof tower in case God would flood the earth.

Verse 4: "And they said, 'Come, let us build us a city and a tower, with its top reaching into the heavens….'"

There was an IBM ad showing a partially destroyed Tower of Babel, and it says, 'We now have the power to finish what they started.' This is big, bold and brash! That's why one of the most difficult things is to be innocent, believing, trusting human beings and never educate yourself; you can be duped so easily.

"'…And let us establish a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth.' And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men had built. And the LORD said, 'Behold, the people are one and they all have one language. And this is only the beginning of what they will do—now nothing which they have imagined to do will be restrained from them'" (vs 4-6).
What I'm saying is that the Tower more represented the civilization they wanted to build, and now through computer technology they can finish what they started there. That's what they are saying. They can build the world-civilization that they started here. Now there are computers that can compute billions of calculations in split seconds.

Verse 7: "'Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they cannot understand one another's speech.' So, the LORD scattered them abroad from that place upon the face of all the earth. And they quit building the city" (vs 7-8). The rest of the story is the two Babylons; that religion went in all different forms throughout the whole world, all based on Nimrod, Semiramis and their son Horus or Tammuz.

This is where we are coming back to. If you analyze the last 100-plus years, we started with electricity and everything went from there.

There is going to be the apostasy, the one-world religion, and this means that people are leaving everything that represents the true God. That's what this man—the beast—is going to do: he's going to be worshiped as God (Rev. 13) by the whole world. This is what the apostasy means. That's why all of this nicey-nicey things concerning the one-world religion and all getting together; it's all part of it.

We can't be fixated on one part here and say this is the biggest deal, or another little part of it over here and say this is the biggest deal. We have to look at the whole picture and know that we've got religion, politics, economics, and down through all of those we have various degrees of things that they are doing at that level. This is going to be something when it comes.

2-Thessalonians 2:3: "Do not let anyone deceive you by any means because that day will not come unless the apostasy shall come first…" It's going to be a completed fact, but it's not completed, yet.

"…and the man of sin shall be revealed—the son of perdition" (v 3). That will be a completed fact; that has to come on the scene before. Then we are going to have this great religious movement.

Verse 4: "The one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God… [King Nebuchadnezzar was a type of it (book of Dan.)] …or that is an object of worship; so that he comes into the temple of God and sits down as God, proclaiming that he himself is God."

We will see every bit of that happen, because when he does that, that's when the Great Tribulation will begin. Everything else leading up to it will be what is called 'the beginning of sorrows' or the throws and difficulties that people will be going through. A lot of these crises are created for control so that they can gain more control.

Remember, the whole goal is to reach this pinnacle and bring the whole world into subjection under Satan the devil. When you watch the news and television programs, read the newspapers or magazines, watch religionists, listen to the economic reports—whatever it may be—just ask yourself: Are they still marching toward the overall goal? You will see that, yes, everything is step-by-step-by-step, every day!

You can check anything: religion, education. There's going to be a whole generation of children that will have been program into accepting this as the greatest thing that has ever happened. That's coming! Wherever you look, there it is.

Verse 5: "Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you these things?" This is so gigantic they couldn't understand this. We can sit here and we can nod our heads with affirmation that we can understand how it's going to happen. Can you imagine what the brethren in Thessalonica were doing to try to figure this out? This was a prophecy for our day! Even though Paul told them, how could they imagine any of this? It took them weeks to get to Jerusalem from Greece, so how could they imagine that this thing would happen like this?

Daniel 8:27—after the vision: "And I, Daniel, fainted, and was sick certain days. Afterward I rose up and did the king's business. And I was astounded at the vision but did not understand it." Even Daniel didn't understand it. That is an amazing thing—isn't it?

When the apostles were taught of Christ, and they wrote the New Testament, they had a whole lot more understanding than those of the prophets who prophesied in the Old Testament, up to that point. Here we are 1800 years further removed from the apostles and we still have the Word of God, but a lot of the things that they wrote are for us today.

We can take any credit for any great smarts. If we read the Bible and see something happening in the world, we have done nothing great except believe God and see it happening.

1-Peter 1:10: "Concerning which salvation the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you have diligently searched out and intently inquired, searching into what way and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them was indicating, testifying beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and these glories that would follow" (vs 10-11). That has not only to do with Christ, but it has to do, in principle, with all of the prophesies.
Verse 12: "To whom it was revealed that, not for themselves, but to us…" And we can say to Peter that 'it was not revealed unto you, but unto us.' It's still the same God doing it!

"…they were ministering these things, which now have been announced to you by those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven—into which things the angels desire to look" (v 12). God has even told the angels. That's something! How God does that, I don't know, don't ask me, but He does!

Verse 13: "For this reason, be prepared in your minds…" That's what we need to do today. Don't let your mind be carried away by someone else.

"…be self-controlled… [serious minded] …and be fully hoping in the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (v 13). You can project that forward in type to the book of Revelation.

Dan. 12 helps us understand 2-Thess. Here's the final thing that Daniel said: Daniel 12:8: "And I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, 'O my lord, what shall be the end of these things?'" We don't even know. We have all this knowledge, and we understand some of the technologies that we have, and we can begin to grasp what it's going to be like. But even for us to fully understand it is a big task when it's right at hand.

Imagine how Daniel felt. He was probably standing there, an old man, gray-headed, and probably his joints were kind of creaking. You know how it is. One time we had a man up Boise, Idaho, and he was 82-years-old and he was a mountain man all of his life. He was big and tall, and had big hands. He was kind of decrepit, but he was happy and cheerful and when he would come to Sabbath services I would shake hands with him and you could hear his bones rattle.

When I think of Daniel being old and having all of these prophecies given to him, and he didn't understand it, I think of this man; Daniel was wanting to know. He was one of the greatest prophets of God, and God said, 'Sorry about that.'

Let's understand that how stupid and foolish it is for people to come up with their own ideas concerning prophecies and proclaim themselves better than God and better than Daniel. I ring a cowbell when I speculate, so that I don't get carried away with the ideas of men.

Daniel was told, v 9: "And he said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white and refined….'" (vs 9-10). I think that's what the Church is going through right now.
"…But the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand…" (v 10). That makes you think, 'If God is going to reveal some of these things to us, we better take heed and hear and fear!

"…but the wise shall understand" (v 10). That's why we study, so that God will reveal in His time what we need to know. Some of the things we know. That's why in studying the Bible, one of the first rules is to begin with what you know and then go from there.

I will just have to tell you, brethren, I do not know the full correct interpretation of the 2300 days, or the 1150 morning and evenings, I have never been able to make it fit anything. You will see on the two charts of the Dan./Rev. series that I couldn't find anywhere where the 2300 days fit that made any sense. The only thing that has ever made any sense is the 1150 and Antiochus Epiphanies in cutting off the sacrifices at the time he desecrated the temple. That comes the closest to it, so exactly how all this fits, I don't know.

Daniel 8:17: "So, he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was terrified and fell upon my face. But he said to me, 'Understand, O son of man, for the vision is for the time of the end.'" We just read that in Dan. 12. We're closer to the time of the end than we have been, but how long is the time of the end. I don't think any of us can truly say—can we?

Verse 18: "Now, as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep, my face toward the ground…."

That's why Joseph Smith is a liar. When I was in Salt Lake City pastoring that area, it was right in the middle of the Mormon country. They say that God told Joseph Smith that the Church died out and that He was going to start the Church through Joseph Smith. Smith fell on his back and worshiped God, and got the message. When you worship God, you fall on your face! When confronted with some missionaries on one of my visits, one man invited me to visit and I didn't know it was a trap. He had two Mormon bishops there to argue religion.

I said when I found out that's what it would be, 'You say that God told Joseph Smith that the Church died out, and therefore, it was raised up through Joseph Smith.' Yes! 'The way I read my Bible, Jesus said that He would build His Church and the gates of hell would never prevail against it. Now, I'm stuck with a problem: you either have to believe Christ or Joseph Smith. So, I believe Christ and Joseph Smith is a liar.' That was a very short visit, trust me! That's what I said to him; why should I say anything else? There's nothing else to say.
"…But he touched me and set me upright. And he said, 'Behold, I will make you know what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation… [the apostasy] …because it belongs to the appointed time of the end'" (vs 18-19). If we can all learn this one verse. When will the end be? At the time appointed! Isn't that simple?

Verse 20: "The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the shaggy goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king" (vs 20-21). So, He started out with what Daniel would understand.

Verse 22: "Now, that being broken, then four stood up in its place; four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not with its power. And in the latter time of their kingdom…" (vs 22-23)—right down to our day today. You've got to go through and study history and know that that whole religious system was transferred over to Rome.

Now then, it's going to spread to the whole world in a whole new form. The man of sin is going to come up out of this to lead it.

Verse 23: "And in the latter time of their kingdom when the transgressors have come to the full…" In other words, when the whole world is sinning grievously to God. I believe that this also has to be the conspirators and their plans finally have brought it all together. They are the chief transgressors.

"…a king, fierce of countenance and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty… [this is going to be a man of great charismatic power that will make Hitler look like sandbox] …but not by his own power…. [satanic power] …And he shall destroy marvelously…" (vs 23-24). Who is able to make war against the beast? (Rev. 13).

"…and shall prosper and do his own will, and destroy the mighty and the Holy people…. [the people of Christ] …And also through his cunning he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand…." (vs 24-25). There's going to be witchcraft and satanism, demonism, just everywhere!

"…And he shall magnify himself in his heart…" (v 25). Ties in with 2-Thess. 2. If you say you are God, how much greater can you magnify yourself? You can't!

"…and in time of security shall destroy many.…" (v 25). False peace, prosperity and insecurity; when they say 'peace and security, then sudden destruction comes.

"…He also shall stand up against the Prince of princes…." (v 25). The beast of Rev. that fights Christ. You have the beast and false prophet that fights Christ; can't be any other one. No other human being in the history of the world has stood up to fight against God, in this way. Using all the demonic forces of Satan the devil, and all the weapons that they have created. I truly believe that a lot of these new high-tech weapons that we have are designed, in hopes by Satan the devil, that he can actually kill God. That's an impossibility, but if Satan could kill God, who would be God? Satan!

That's why these things are so awesome and powerful! It's not just to kill human beings. I mean, you can burn them with fire, but to disintegrate them into ashes, just a little poof and their gone! What Satan is really trying to do is get something powerful enough to kill God. After all, he said, 'I will be like the Most High, which means, 'I want to have that same power.' Everything he's doing is to try and develop that power to kill God. They're going to fight against Him!

God's got a few secret weapons as you find in the book of Revelation, and He'll take care of that! No contest!

"…But he shall be broken without a human hand…. [without a human hand; God is not going to have a human being do it; God is going to do it] …And the vision of the evening and the morning, which was told is true. But you shall shut up the vision, for it belongs to many days to come" (vs 25-26).

How would you like to carry that around in your head, and all the other visions that Daniel had? All coming to the end-time, every one of the prophecies of Daniel come to the end every time.

  • in days of those kings the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed (Dan. 2)
  • the kingdom shall be given to the saints of the Most High (Dan. 7-9)
  • talking about ending up at the same place, at the end (Dan. 10-12)

What is the book of Daniel telling us? About the end!

2-Thessalonians 2:5: "Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you these things?" Even though Paul told them, it was a prophecy for us.

Verse 6: "And now you understand what is holding him back in order for him to be revealed in his own set time." We read the appointed time and the time of the end. There is a set time! Who set the time? God did! No man is going to speed it up.

Remember how many years we ran the gun-lap and all we did was shoot ourselves in the foot? 'Brethren, we don't have much time, send in all you have to send in; we've got to get this message around the world.' It's like the man who wrote the book 88 Reasons Why Christ is Going to Return in 1988. It didn't happen so he put out an amendment: 89 Reasons Why It's Going to Happen in 1989.

It's going to be God's set time and we're going to see it! God has His time schedule, and He told Daniel that it's closed up until the time of the end, and then He's going to open it.

Verse 7: "For the mystery of lawlessness is already working…"—the whole Babylonian system, always working. Satan is trying to bring the end as quickly as he can, but it's not time.

"…only there is one Who is restraining at the present time until it… [these end-time events] …arises out of the midst."

Revelation 13:1: "And I stood on the sand of the sea; and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea…" Out of the midst of this Babylonian system. That agrees with 2-Thess. 2.

2-Thessalonians 2:7—Christ is restraining it: "…until it arises out of the midst. Then the lawless one will be revealed…" (vs 7-8)—the man of sin, the son of perdition. He'll be manifest and will be known. The world will think he's a hero, and we will know he's of Satan the devil.

Verse 8: "…(whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth…"—ties in with Dan. 8; he's going to stand up against the Prince of princes; destroyed without human hand.

"…and will destroy with the brightness of His coming)" (v 8).

Let's see what's going to happen. As one of the seven last plagues, and this is why it takes time for the seven last plagues to be poured out, it can't happen all instant. God is going to take His time destroying this system. After all the five plagues are poured out:

Revelation 16:12: "And the sixth angel poured out his vial into the great river Euphrates; and its waters were dried up, so that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared."

There are going to be many armies coming from the east; multiple armies. We're talking about a population of 4-billion by the time you count China and India, and throw in the nations of the former Soviet Union. They're going to want to fight Christ! They're going to be inspired to do it.

Verse 13: "Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet." You can't get any higher authority as far as human beings would be concerned.

Verse 14: "For they are spirits of demons working miracles…" They're going to convince them with the miracles. Isn't it interesting how they are all deceived with miracles?

"…going forth to the kings of the earth, even of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of the Almighty God" (v 14). They are going to come, the greatest mass movement of troops and equipment.

Verse 15: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is the one who is watching and is keeping his garments, so that he may not walk naked and they may not see his shame." Right there are the Laodiceans!

Verse 16: "And he gathered them together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon." The Battle of Armageddon is not nation against nation. It's the nations of the world against God!

Remember when Saddam Hussein started out. There were many books: Babylon is Here; the Battle of Armageddon is Coming. Even one man wrote, who was supposed to be one of the ministers in the Church of God, and said, 'Brethren, I have women who are prophesying that this is the end of the world, and atomic weapons are going to be used. We all need to draw close to God—and send me your money, by the way.'

I wrote him back a scathing letter, and called him on the phone and said, 'If you were sincere you would not ask for one penny.' It wouldn't do any good anyway. If it were really the end, and you really believe it, what money is going to do any good? What does it say of money in Isa. 2? When Christ arises to shake the earth, they're going to take their gold and silver and throw it away! Hypocritical manipulation of the brethren of God to get money!

We're talking big time stuff here. I don't think we can fully grasp it. We can sit here and say, 'Yeah, I get an inkling of what's going on.' But this is worldwide. They're all coming to fight God! All deceived!

All the armies can't be gathered there all at once. You're going to have armies staging all the way back to the east. You're going to have a first echelon of armies come up. Then you're going to have the reserve troops behind them, and troops behind them. This is going to take some time. This is the beginning of the battle:

Revelation 19:14: "And the armies in heaven were following Him on white horses; and they were clothed in fine linen, white and pure. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations…" (vs 13-15). That ties in with Isa. 2.

When Christ finally comes on the earth, and we're here with Him, we've just started. There's going to be some more battles. There are going to be more wars and casualties that are going to happen. Not everyone is going to be convinced.

If you don't believe me, watch some of these Eastern Oriental 'religion' narrations that they do. How are you going to convince these people to give up their gods and demons except to kill them, destroy all of their idols and temples.

That's why every mountain is going to be brought down to a valley and every valley exalted to a mountain. It's going to take all of those temples that they have and crush them and destroy them, get rid of every vestige of this whole thing that's on the earth of Babylon the Great. This is something that's going to happen!

"…and He shall shepherd them with an iron rod; and He treads the winepress of the fury and the wrath of the Almighty God" (v 15). Tie that in with:

(go to the next track)

Revelation 14:20: "And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood spewed out from the winepress as high as the horses' bridles, to the distance of a thousand six hundred furlongs." Eighteen hundred miles of blood! There's has never been a battle like that.

Revelation 19:16: "And on His garment and on His thigh He has a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords." Not Satan the devil or the great beast on the earth, but Christ!

Verse 17: "Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, 'Come and gather yourselves together to the supper of the great God so that you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of chief captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all, free and bond, and small and great'" (vs 17-18).

The question was asked in either Zephaniah or Amos: What is the Day of the Lord to you that you desire the Day of the Lord? These are awesome events. You want to claim the Day of the Lord for your own manipulation, to gain your own thing?

Zechariah 14:1: "Behold, the Day of the LORD comes, and your spoil shall be divided in your midst, 'For I will gather all nations to battle against Jerusalem… [the same battle we just read] …and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women raped. And half of the city shall go into exile, and the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.' And the LORD shall go out and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall split in two, from the east and to the west…" (vs 1-4). It's going to be a huge, mammoth event!

"…and make a very great valley. And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 'And you shall flee to the valley of My mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.' And the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with You" (vs 4-5).

It's recorded that this earthquake of Uzziah was the one that destroyed the million-man army of the Egyptians. The way that God did it: that was such a powerful earthquake that it sent a four to six-foot wall of earth rolling right down the battlefield and killed every one of them. There's no weapon against that. What are you going to do if you're standing there and all of a sudden the earth rises up and BAM! six feet of earth knocks you over dead? That's what's going to happen.

Verse 9: "And the LORD shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one LORD, and His name shall be one."

Verse 12: "And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will smite all the people who have fought against Jerusalem. Their flesh shall consume away while they stand on their feet…" That's this calling all the birds and fowl that come and eat the flesh of men. What can you do against that? Nothing! That's the Feast of Trumpets (Rev. 19) when we come back to the earth.

"…and their eyes shall consume away in their sockets. And their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall be in that day that a great panic from the LORD shall be among them. And they shall each one lay hold of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor" (vs 12-13).

They're going to end up fighting against each other. There's going to be many things going on. There's going to be a whole group that the flesh is falling off. There are going to be others running away from it. There are going to be others killing each other saying, 'You duped me into coming.' God is just going to eliminate all of these demon-worshipers and Satan-followers.

Verse 14: "And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem…" There's going to be some Jews that won't be convinced.

Now then, here's what's going to happen to the beast and the false prophet to fulfill the prophecy to be taken without human hand:

Revelation 19:19: "And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war with Him Who sits on the horse, and with His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked miracles in his presence, by which he had deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Those two were cast alive into the Lake of Fire, which burns with brimstone" (vs 19-20). Christ is the One Who is going to do this.

Verse 21: "And the rest were killed by the sword of Him Who sits on the horse, even the sword that goes out of His mouth; and all the birds were filled with their flesh."

This being the Feast of Trumpets, I believe this battle is going to continue on right down to the day before the Day of Atonement. Satan is not yet bound at this point. There are still going to be other armies out there fighting. There are still going to be those that God has to execute in this way. It's not going to happen just in one day, but day after day after day.

Then on the Day of Atonement the angel comes down from heaven and takes Satan and casts him into the bottomless pit. All of these events are going to be awesome! They're going to be gigantic indeed.

2-Thessalonians 2:7: "For the mystery of lawlessness is already working; only there is one Who is restraining at the present time until it arises out of the midst. And then the lawless one will be revealed (whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and will destroy with the brightness of His coming); even the one whose coming is according to the inner working of Satan…" (vs 7-9). That's as close as I can translate that to the Greek—'en ergon,' which means in.

"…with all power and signs and lying wonders… [there are going to be miracles and things that are going to be breathtaking] …and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness… [cover the whole earth] …in those who are perishing because they did not receive the love of the Truth, so that they might be saved" (vs 9-10).

  • What is the most important thing?
  • The Truth!
  • What is more important, who is right?

or

  • What is right?
  • What is right!
    • You have to love the Truth!
    • You have to love the Truth of God!

Which means that you will not bring any lie into the Truth of God! You won't try and misinterpret the Word of God for your own benefit.

Now do you understand what is happening to the brethren? They've lost their love for the Truth! They're blind, naked and don't understand! That's why we have to be blunt and direct to them. It's kind of like the king who was standing naked was convinced that he was clothed with invisible clothes. Finally, a kid said, 'Look at the king, he's naked.' That's the way we have to deal with some of the brethren, and say, 'Hey, you're standing there naked.' They didn't love the Truth "…so that they might be saved."

Because you don't love the Truth something happens, v 11: "And for this cause, God will send upon them a powerful deception… [the people love to be lied to] …that will cause them to believe the lie, so that all may be judged who did not believe the Truth…" (vs 11-12). That judgment is going to come upon all—everyone! No one is going to escape!

"…but who took pleasure in unrighteousness" (v 12). There's the full story; vs 1-12 tells it all. There are many warnings in here for us, and we can say this of the brethren who are, hopefully, with us:

Verse 13: "Now, we are duty-bound to give thanks to God always concerning you, brethren, who are beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning has called you unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth." It's combined together.

What is Truth? John 17:17: "…Your Word is the Truth."

What is the Holy Spirit called? John 14:17: "Even the Spirit of the Truth…"

Will any lie come from the Spirit of Truth? No! 1-John 2:21[transcriber's correction]: "…not one lie comes from the Truth."

John 16:13: "However, when that one has come, even the Spirit of the Truth, it will lead you into all Truth…"

How are we going to understand the Word of Truth? By putting Truth with Truth! Letting the Spirit of God lead us! When we don't understand it, we don't understand. There's nothing wrong with saying that you don't understand something. That's the first step that God may be opening your mind to understand it. It's going to guide us into all Truth! What does that mean? It means it's going to guide us into all Truth! But you have to love the Truth first!

2-Thessalonians 2:13: "…through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth." You have to:

  • love the Truth
  • believe the Truth

notice how all of this circles around the love of God! That's why it's important that we study the Word of God. Not talk about it, but study it!

Verse 14: "Unto which He called you by our Gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm…" (vs 14-15). That's what trouble and persecution does; it gives you conviction that you stand!

"…and hold fast the ordinances that you were taught, whether by word or by our epistle" (v 15). That's why it's so important that the Truth is taught. Not what we decide or think, but the Truth!

Verse 16: "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God—even our Father, Who loved us and gave us eternal encouragement and good hope through grace. Encourage your hearts and establish you in every good word and work" (vs 16-17).

There's a special blessing that comes when we all sit down together and study the Word of God together, and God's Spirit with us to lead us, to uplift us, to encourage us! That's why it's important that when we get together that we do this. God adds something to us. Let's hope that it increases the measure of the Holy Spirit within us.

What it does is gives us a greater love and desire for His Word, and a greater love and desire for God and for His kingdom, so that we can do as the Apostle Paul said: There is nothing that is going to separate us from the love of God! Not a thing ever!

But you can't come to that unless you have the Truth and the Spirit of God, unless you study the Word of God and have the conviction that comes with it. Then you can sit back and see how foolish it is for people to play religion in church. This is eternal life that God is talking about!

That's why Paul wrote so impassionately when he wrote.

2-Thessalonians 3

2-Thessalonians 3:1: "As for the rest, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may spread rapidly and may be glorified, in the same way that it has been with you." He wasn't seeking his own glory, but the glory that alone comes from God.

Verse 2: "And that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked men… [that sure is a prayer for today] …for all are not of the faith." Isn't that true? And it seems as though we run into those daily now.

Verse 3: "But the Lord is faithful, Who will establish you and keep you from the evil one." He will keep us! If we love God, will He not keep us? Yes! If we love the Truth, will He not open our mind? Yes!

Verse 4: "Now concerning you, we trust in the Lord that you both practice and will be practicing the things that we command you." In other words, they have the spiritual maturity to love God and obey Him when someone isn't looking.

Philippians 2:12—this is how our behavior is to be: "So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed…" If you believe God you can obey Him; if you love God, you're going to follow Him. Then you establish the Law of God within you, because you desire to do it, because you love God.

"…not as in my presence only… [not as eye-service to men] …but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (v 12). If you love the Truth then you'll be doing that.

Verse 13: "For it is God Who works in you…" This combines together with:

  • the love of God
  • the love of the Truth
  • the Spirit of God

God dwells in you:

  • He gives you the desire!
  • He gives you the will!
  • He gives you the longing!

It's God longing over you to do that! He imparts it to you. That's tremendous!

"…both to will and to do according to His good pleasure" (v 13). That's the point of spiritual maturity that God wants us to come to. That's the whole purpose in all of it.

Verse 14: "Do all things without complaints and disputes; so that you may be blameless and without offense, innocent children of God in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world" (vs 14-15). There we are, brethren.

2-Thessalonians 3:7: "For you yourselves understand that you should do exactly as we have done because we have not behaved irresponsibly among you, nor did we eat food at someone else's expense, but we were working day and night with labor and toil so that we would not be burdensome to anyone among you. We were not obligated to work because we did not have authority…" (vs 7-9). They could have, but they were more concerned that they stay steadfast with Christ.

"…to receive from you; rather, we chose to work in order that we might personally give you a pattern to imitate. For indeed, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: that if anyone is not willing to work, he should not be allowed to eat" (vs 9-10). There were some just sitting around saying that the Lord is going to return any day, why work?

How are you going to eat? You feed me! I'm waiting for the Lord and I'm spiritual! Paul came along and said, 'Look, I'm going to fix your 'cookie,' I'm going to go work and since I'm working and you're not working, you're not going to eat.

Verse 11: "For we hear that some among you are walking irresponsibly, not working at all, but are behaving as busybodies." That sounds like a problem in the Church today, too.

Verse 12: "As for such individuals, we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ that with quietness they work…" Apparently, they were going around preaching and upsetting everybody. 'Give me some of your food. I'm so spiritual I haven't had time to eat.' Paul is working with his hands day and night and says, 'You can't say I'm not working.'

"…in order that they may eat their own food. But you, brethren, do not lose heart in well doing" (vs 12-13). We can sure say that today. Sometimes you think: What's it worth? All this fight? All this battle? That's all part of endurance, meaning that you are standing against something! You're enduring!

The one who endures to the end shall be saved! Not the one who almost endures to the end, but the one who endures to the end. Don't lose heart in well-doing! If no one else knows, doesn't God know? Isn't that the most important thing, that God knows? What good does it do if I know or you know what other people are doing or not doing. That's fine, but the ultimate reward is… What did Jesus say when they pray? They blow the trumpet and here's this prayer, everybody watch! Toot! Toot! Tinkle, tinkle in goes the money! They have their reward, because they weren't doing it from the heart willingly. So, don't lose heart in well-doing!

Always do right, even when you have a carnal moment and you feel really nonplused and frustrated and you don't want to. After all, that person may not deserve it! You don't know whether they do or not. Who knows, maybe your kindness will help them. Maybe you're not being carnal will bring them to repentance, that they will change. That's how Christ was able to operate with the whole world against Him. He loved the Father and knew that in time He would take care of it.

Verse 14: "Now if anyone does not obey our word by this epistle, take notice of that man and do not associate with him so that he may be ashamed." That's totally different than what we have done in the past.

Verse 15: "But do not count him as an enemy; rather, admonish him as a brother." They had their own internal problems there that they had to deal with.

Verse 16: "Now, may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all. The salutation of Paul by my own hand, which is the sign in every epistle—so I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (vs 16-18).

Both of these epistles had two very important profound prophetic applications for us to understand.

  • the resurrection and meeting Christ in the air
  • the timing of the events at the end

God has a set time when these things are going to take place, and these events will happen when God determines that it is time.

That's why these two little epistles are so important in the New Testament!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
  • Genesis 11:1-8
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5
  • Daniel 8:27
  • 1 Peter 1:10-13
  • Daniel 12:8-10
  • Daniel 8:17-26
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:5-7
  • Revelation 13:1
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8
  • Revelation 16:12-16
  • Revelation 19:14-15
  • Revelation 14:20
  • Revelation 19:16-18
  • Zechariah 14:1-5, 9, 12-14
  • Revelation 19:19-21
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:7-13
  • John 17:17
  • John 14:17
  • 1 John 2:21
  • John 16:13
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
  • 2-Thessalonians 3:1-4
  • Philippians 2:12-15
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:7-18

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Daniel 2; 7; 9-11
  • Isaiah 2

Also referenced: Sermon Series: Daniel/Revelation

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 5-15-15

BOOKS