Things to Come, Lesson 7, The Person of the Antichrist, Part 1, II Thessalonians 2:5-12
It is very obvious that the times are such that the people of this world look for someone who can lead them to the utopia that they crave.
It is within men and women to always look for a heaven but it is also obvious that what we have on this Earth is not the heaven people long for nor can it be.
Anyone who thinks at all knows that what we have on Earth is broken.
And for all the centuries of recorded history you can read of manís attempts to fix this broken world.
From generation to generation there have been saviors who came on the scene with tools promising to fix things, promising to bring hope and change.
But these saviors come and these saviors go, leaving the world no better off than when they found it, many times leaving it worse.
The world is simply a Humpty Dumpty who had a great fall and all the kings horses and all the kings men cannot put Humpty together again.
But these failures do not deter, nor do they put out the candle of hope for a heaven on Earth.
Men and women keep looking, for perhaps the next savior will have the right tools to really solve the problems of the world and bring the utopia they know exists somewhere.
Jesus Christ came into this world some 2000 years ago, sent by His father, with the "the kingdom of heaven is at hand message."
He had no argument with the fact that this world was broken for he was at hand when the breaking occurred.
He was there when Satan beguiled our parents, Eve and then Adam.
He knew before the foundation of this Earth was laid that only He had the power to bring about solutions to this problem of sin that had isolated men from the utopia for which they have always longed.
But he came to his own with the message that the kingdom of God is at hand but his own received him not.
For the kingdom that was at hand did not match the utopia of their own minds so they despised him and rejected him and they hid their faces from him and they esteemed him not.
But in so doing they did not cease to look for a savior of their own making, a savior that fit all of their criteria and specifications.
For the savior the world longs for does nothing for the human condition but only brings that which covers up the reality of sin.
So God, in giving them up to a reprobate mind, will provide such a savior for this savior will fit the pattern of their minds for it will be a savior that epitomizes everything that man can be, but only from the outward.
But in their minds this man, this man that will be totally man must be devoid of anything related to God.
He must be totally and perfectly godless.
In their minds he will be the perfect man who has come on the scene after generations of evolution for they believe that only evolution will bring the perfect man.
Jesus told us of this man in John 5:43, I am come in my Fatherís name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
Now notice that phrase, "come in his own name."
This means that all he is, is because of himself.
He will not say as a believer would say, By the grace of God I am what I am.
He is a self made man and will not, for all that he is, give honor to another.
He will not humble himself to honor anyone for all he is, lies within himself.
He will be the epitome of pride lifting himself up without acknowledgment of any other.
He will meet all the specifications and criteria that the men of the world desire in their savior.
So when he comes in his own name, men will see him as their perfect representative for he will reach the highest level that a man can reach.
The Apostle Paul spoke of this savior to the Thessalonians in II Thessalonians 2:5-12, Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And 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: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe THE LIE!
I am continually amazed at what is taking place in our lifetime as the world prepares itself for the coming of the LIE.
It is as if the people of the world are dressing for his coming and their dress is the dress of liars.
The people of the world have not the love of the truth and without the love of the truth the only thing left is the love of the LIE.
The world is in dress rehearsal for this manís coming and lies abound.
Good is being called evil and evil is being called good.
And remember, once on the road of lies, there is an abounding of lies for lies always beget more lies.
We live in the age of Lies for we live in the age of image.
Everything rises and falls on image.
We elect our leaders based on image, we hire people based on image, we flatter based on image, we marry based on image, we major on cover up of the reality in favor of image.
We refuse Godís aging process for every part of the body with every treatment known to man, which is a denial of growing old.
We try to project a body of youth from a body of old age.
Our technology projects image rather than reality.
Our faces are buried in image producers so that we cannot see the heavens declaring the glory of God and the firmament his handiwork.
We throw out principled living in favor of emotionally based living.
And how perfectly we see this perfected in our leaders as we rob future generation to satisfy every want.
Principles get in the way of each man doing what is right in his own eyes so the cry is "down with principled living" so that we can do our own thing.
Principles erect barriers that protect but the LIE tells us to break down barriers for that is where freedom lies.
This in itself is a lie.
Our God, throughout His Word, provides the right barriers for He knows that without the right fences we would be destroyed.
Excellence is being demoted in all areas when we promote equality which only brings all to a state of mediocrity.
Satan is dressing his bride for the coming of his groom and his bride is clothed with lies ready to say "I do", to the LIE.
Christ is TRUTH. The Antichrist is LIE.
Everything that Satan does is opposite of truth.
Christ is a person; Antichrist will also be a person.
Christ is the Son of God; Antichrist will be the son of Satan.
Satan has no original ideas, his goal is to present to the world a system that opposes Godís Way and Godís way is the Person of Jesus Christ.
The battle is the Lordís and has been raging since even before the fall in the Garden of Eden.
God created and Satan wishes to destroy that which God created.
God sent his Son to save; Satan will send his son to destroy.
We are seeing today the rapid ripening of the fruit of sin.
We are seeing today the curtain opening for the entrance of the man of sin.
God is allowing the ripening for God intends to harvest.
He spoke of this process in Matthew 13:30 when he spoke of the tares growing with the wheat.
Matthew 13:30, Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
And in our Thessalonians passage God tells us of the falling away that we are part of in this age which is followed by the revelation of the man of sin, the one who opposes Christ, the Antichrist.
II Thessalonians 2:3,4,8, 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; 4Who 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, showing himself that he is God.
Verse 8, 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:
Ah, such comforting words for some, but alas such terrible and fearful words for most.
Jesus Christ has won the battle but Satan still does not know it.
Victory is Christís for he has overcome the evil one and he will overcome his surrogate.
Remember the pattern of the Bible.
God is a husbandman and he always lets things proceed to the harvest.
It may seem that Satan is winning the battle today but the battle is not over by peace treaty or accommodation but the battle, by Godís edict, will only be over by intensifying the conflict between good and evil.
Victory will not be brought about by accommodation with human development but by its collapse.
God will not share glory with man but man desires glory in all things.
Is it not apparent how man glorifies himself in all endeavors?
And the epitome of man centered glorification will take place with the man of sin, the Antichrist.
God says that the wisdom of man is foolishness to Him.
God says that manís thoughts are not His thoughts nor are manís ways His ways.
None of manís ways will upset Godís ways nor will any of manís thoughts intrude into Godís mind.
So the ultimate victory will not be centered on an agreement with manís civilization for God intends to pulverize such things to the point they will no longer be in manís memory.
Remember the Stone made without hands that Nebuchadnezzar saw and Daniel recorded in Daniel 2:34,35.
This Stone, the stone that the builders rejected for it did not conform to their man centered specifications or criteria, will crush the kingdoms of earth when Jesus comes to set up His kingdom.
Jesus Christ will not ask, What is the best of the earthís kingdoms and then take those things into His kingdom for there will be nothing from those kingdoms to satisfy the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Certainly one would think that Americaís revered Constitution will meet the Lordís approval but no, that too will be crushed as unworthy for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ for all power will be vested in Him.
Jesus Christ will not rule by consensus for he needs no opinion or counsel.
Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar, who gloried so in his kingdom and could not think that such a kingdom would not survive.
Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
Note that the stone was cut out without hands.
This is the stone that the builders rejected for they did not make the stone.
They could take no glory in such a stone for it did not come from their hands.
This Stone came from God but there was no glory for man to share in this stone.
Satan knows that the heart of the natural man desires glory unto himself and has played this hand from the Garden.
Satan will satisfy this longing desire of man when he presents to the world the ultimate man, the beautiful man, the man whose image meets all the criteria that the Stone made without hands did not meet.
There is no wonder that men, women, boys and girls will bow down and worship him as god