A Bold Movement toward the Truth

...Making Us Ready for the Last Days

 ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PASSAGES of scripture for this perilous time comes in Paul’s second Epistle to the Thessalonians. Over forty years ago I met the Lord through some verses in Chapter 2. What a special meeting that was! He laid it upon me to ask Him to give me a love of the truth mentioned in verse 10. I know He released that in me. It wasn’t that suddenly I knew all truth, but I came from that encounter assured He had given me a love for the truth. In His Own time and way He would guide me into all truth (John 16:13).

 I soon learned there were two requirements laid on me if I would come into all truth.

I must become yielded to God’s Spirit as my Teacher, and
• I must love His written Word with a passion.

 The strong conviction was settled in me that All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (II Tim 3:16). This means it came by the breath of God, being verbally inspired. Peter held the same conviction as Paul. In II Pet 1:21 he said, Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (by holy breath).

  That encounter was, I believe, only a stroke of the grace of God on me. It did not set me up as someone with a special revelation from Him, but it did release me to be one who would love His truth to the extent that whatever came from the false one my spirit could reject. And, I must say, I was released that day from a spiritual “cage” that demanded I believe in a certain way regardless of what the Scripture might say. That encounter with the Holy Spirit and the Word has remained as a point of faith for me through the years.

  From time to time I’ve come back to this II Thes passage, having it always grasp my spirit with fresh conviction as to its value for these days. While I’ve waited before the Lord for understanding enough to write these articles on our minds as they are being restored for God’s Kingdom, He has directed me to it again—with a renewed conviction.

 There is a parallel between what we find in II Thes 2 as it relates to the closing of the age and what happened in Eden when the serpent bamboozled our Mother Eve. We discussed this in the previous article (See Gen 3:1-5). It was there in the Garden that the mystery of iniquity (II Thes 2:7) began its work that has continued through the ages till this day.

  Mystery is from the Greek mustérion which means “a secret” known only to the initiated, or, that will remain under cover until its time of revelation has come. Iniquity is from he anomía, which means “the lawlessness” and has reference directly to the utter disregard for God’s Law. The small word he (pro­nounced “hay”) is a Greek Definite Article meaning “the.” It specifies the word it precedes as distinct.

 Thus it is the mystery of THE iniquity, that specific attitude of response toward God that denies He has the right to rule, whether in a life, in a situation, or in a nation. The iniquity began with an assault on the mind of the Woman in Eden. It has continued through the ages with its mystical hold on all humanity. This will continue till its final work, its magnum opus, when all its poison will be released toward the minds of those who have found redemption through the Seed of the Woman (Gen 3:15)—those of us who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ.

  After many millennia of studying Adam’s descen­dents, he, who once filled up the sum of wisdom (Ezk 28:12) but is now the wicked one (Mt 13:19), will fix his strategic gaze on us who are set in the earth to withstand him (Eph 6:13). As the age winds down, he is working to throw our minds off kilter with the goal of disabling us for function with Christ in His Kingdom.

  In II COR 10:4, 5, which we will use in the “Prayer Starters,” Paul makes more clear of what will come in our counter strategy when we realize that the main end-time battlefield is our mind. But now to see some of the powerful insight of this II Thes passage.

 II Thessalonians 2:1,2—Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him,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.

Paul’s exhortation was with regard to the coming of the Lord. This word coming is from the Greek parousía, Christ’s arrival on earth to reign. At that time all true believers will be gathered together unto Him, it is apparent, with no walls or divisions. This grand appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ is the end toward which this age is moving. Paul’s concern for this was that believers be not soon shaken in mind.

The deception of the enemy, coupled with the trauma of the age ending, might come upon our minds with the cataclysm of a mental earthquake. It could throw the mind of even a true believer into turmoil so that it lacks all sound judgment or understanding. It was Paul’s concern—and ours—that this not be so.

  There are three means by which spiritual revelation may come:
• by spirit, • by spoken word, or • by written word.

True and pure revelation may come by the Holy Spirit, but there are also other spirits at work mimicking God’s Spirit. It is here we need that operation of the Holy Spirit Paul called discerning of spirits (I Cor 12:10). This is the ability born in us of God’s Spirit by which we put spiritual revelation to the test to discern whether it is indeed from the Lord. As we have spent these years with Him and His Word, there have come three criteria by which we seek to judge any revelation that comes to us. We ask:

Is it in line with God’s Word? Does it bring exaltation to the Lord Jesus Christ? Is the anoint­ing of the Holy Spirit upon it?

 Our concern is that, no matter what happens or how it happens or when it happens, the people to whom we minister will not be thrown into tumult, drowned by discouragement, or lost to Christ’s Kingdom because they lose the stability of their minds. Teaching mixed with error may well cause this, but revelation that is pure brings stability.

  Paul goes on in writing to the people he loved.   The following verses are heavy with revelation.

 II Thessalonians 2:3,4—Let no man deceive you (beguile you from the path) by any means: for that Day shall not come, except there come a falling away (from he apostasía, THE apostasy; THE falling away) first, and that man of sin (that man of THE sin, from he hamartía) be revealed, the son of (the) perdition (the one who wastes all things; the one who is set in the earth to mastermind a final great destruction); Who opposeth (sets himself in opposition to) and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple (from Greek, náos) of God, showing himself that he is God (a god).

 Keeping he apostasía (the apostasy) in the context of this verse, we must conclude it has reference to “a falling away” that will come at the end of this age. The Lord Jesus seems well to have reference to this same thing when He says, And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many (lead many down the path of falsehood). And because iniquity shall abound (the iniquity shall be multiplied), the love of many shall wax cold (Mt 23:11, 12). That you may abide in the truth in this trying time is our desire and the purpose behind these articles.

 Significantly, Paul used the word náos for Temple in the above passage. It means the Most Holy Place. Another word, hiéron, also means “temple,” but signifying the temple as a whole, with all its build­ings and courts. Paul did not use this word a single time in the following passages all of which define what the náos is under the New Covenant. He was clear in his conviction that it was not a building of stones, but of living members, redeemed people, believers. See Ac 17:24; I Cor 3:16, 17; I Cor 6:19; II Cor 6:16; Eph 3:21.

 I think we must conclude that the reference in II Thessalonians 2:4 is to the same Temple.

The anti-Christ’s scheme is to spoil this Temple, which we are, for usefulness in Christ’s Kingdom. But, alas for him, his activity can but push us to learn more of what we call prevailing grace! The grace and power of God will far exceed the determination of anti-Christ to ruin us for the Kingdom.

  There is a technical point in the passage regarding the Temple that flashed like a light to me when I saw it. Take note of the statement he as God sitteth in the Temple. The little word in comes, not from the Greek en, but from eis, which particularly means into, or unto. This presents a picture of the son of perdition pushing in toward the Temple, contend­ing for the Holy of Holies. But it does not say he becomes seated in it. At the very instant it seems he might accomplish this grand feat and make his parousía on the world’s scene, the Lord Jesus makes His glorious appearing and consumes him.

  What an example Paul set for us! He was clear in warning the people under his care that spirits of deception would ever keep an eye on believers to get them away from the Lord and His purpose for them.

II Thessalonians 2:5—Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

  The Greek word in this verse from which we get I told (élegon) is a Greek Imperfect form. This means it is spelled in a way to let us know it was Paul’s practice to speak time and again of these matters.This next verse is in need of close observation with help from the Holy Spirit. Particularly must we give attention to the terms letteth and be taken out of the way.

II Thessalonians 2:7—For the mystery of iniquity doth already work only he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way.

The mystery of iniquity is the secret operation of the lawlessness, that energetic force of evil that has been in operation since Eden, and will continue till the anti-Christ brings it to its full. Letteth, from katécho, means to hold back or restrain. Will let has no corresponding word in the Original. It was added to give some meaning to the phrase. But we believe it is better to translate the whole as “only there is a restraining force.” This restraint will continue in operation until he be taken out of the way.

The Verb above translated taken out, from the Greek gennáo, is the same word translated made in Gal 4:4 with reference to the Son of God when He was born in the flesh, made of a woman. This helps strengthen our conviction that the anti-Christ will himself come on earth’s scene in the flesh, as the seed of the serpent. It is in this time, evidently in the last three and one half years of this age, that he will make his movements toward a confrontation with Christ Who is the Seed of the woman. Christ Jesus is the Heir of the Covenant, the One to Whom rulership in the earth has been granted by the Lord God.

At this point there is a divergence of opinion. Many consider the reference is to the church that is raptured at this time, that is, taken out of the way. Others believe it is the Holy Spirit. However, there is compelling evidence that the reference is to the anti­Christ, not who is removed from influence in the earth, but rather who comes into physical being as the seed of the serpent. When he thus becomes a physical presence in the earth, the restraint on the mystery of iniquity is lifted to allow sin to come to its full and demand the judgment of God.

The energy of the wicked one has been in operation in the world as the mystery of iniquity ever since the deception in Eden. But there has remained a restraint on the iniquity until the anti­-Christ himself, not just his spint, is on the scene. The four visions recorded in Daniel 7 thru 12 give powerful insight into this end-time period. For the serious student of the Word, let me suggest that you take our Outline of Daniel’s Four Prophetic Visions for the End and study the Scriptures carefully to see what will be the end of the wicked one who stands to oppose Christ Jesus.

II Thessalonians 2:8—And then shall that Wicked (the wicked one) be revealed (uncovered; disclosed), whom the Lord shall consume (use up; destroy) with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy (render powerless) with the brightness of His coming (the epiphany of His Parousía, the glorious manifestation of His presence): 

Following the long period while iniquity has been under restraint, it will make a final breakout on earth. Unrestrained corruption has broken out from time to time through the ages only to come to a halt because the iniquity bears within itself its own seed of destruction. Vile persons have, through the ages, come on the scene to ravage humanity around them, only to come to their own devastation. But, the destruction to which this verse points comes when sin has come to its full. Then, a final act of rebellion against God calls for the return of the Lord Jesus

Going on with the unfolding insight of the above verse, we find more about the wicked one’s determi­nation to take the Throne of Christ’s Kingdom. He, mimicking the Lord Jesus, will attempt a glorious burst on the scene to make his presence known in all the earth. He will be energized in his parousía by Satan himself. See the following revealing statement.

II Thessalonians 2:9,10—Even him (the anti-Christ himself), whose coming (from the Greek parousía) is after (is according to) the working (energetic power) of Satan with all power (dynamic power) and signs and lying wonders (terrifying lies), And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish (them that are perishing); because they received not (laid not hold on) love of the truth, that they might be saved.

The word parousía occurs 18 times in the Greek New Testament. In every occurrence but here, it is with reference to the Lord Jesus. This word describes the auspicious coming or appearance on the scene of a majestic ruler. What a brazen insubordination the devil will attempt this with his man! Let us stress this again: his design is to win the Throne belonging to the Lord Jesus. His only hope—a fragile one—is that he can deceive the followers of the Lord Jesus as he deceived our Parents in Eden. In this, his aim is to take our minds and our hearts.

  It was in these verses that I met the Lord years ago. I saw that those who would lose their way in the final days would be those who received not the love of the truth. My faith was very simple in those days and I was ready to simply ask the Lord for something in the Name of Jesus and believe I would receive it. Thus, I asked to receive a love for the Truth. But, go on with me...

II Thessalonians 2:11—And for this cause God shall send them strong (a great energetic force of) delusion (deception), that they should believe a lie (Greek ho pseúdos, the lie)...

Two amazing insights come in here. They could be frightening were it not for the grace of God so mercifully available to any of us who will turn to Him.

To those who have refused to receive a love for the truth, God will send an energetic force of deception.
• What stands to oppose God’s Truth is THE lie brought in by the serpent.

This has maintained a stronghold on the corporate mind of humanity from the beginning. It is the lie that has come down upon us through all our ancestors, descendents of the Man and Woman in Eden who sold themselves and all their progeny to the deception of the serpent.That lie from Eden has since reached for all religion, government, society, economy, education and recreation of man. David knew this. He said, The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies (Ps 58:3). The Apostle John said this, And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness (under the influence of the wicked one). Only through Jesus Christ, Who came Himself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6), we can find our release from this devilish influence.

There is a powerful statement in II Cor 10:4, 5 that lays out the very principle of renouncing the lie and releasing our minds for the Truth that is in Christ. See it carefully. We will take this passage up in the accompanying “prayer starters.”

Generally, whenever and wherever we have ministered the Gospel in the last twenty years or so, we have asked those in attendance to lay their hands on their heads and bring their minds into submission to Christ, as we have learned from the II Cor passage. We pray and ask the Holy Spirit to usher truth into our inward parts. I know of no better way to pull down the stronghold the lie has held over us. This is a strategy by which we bring our own minds under subjection to Christ. Over and over we have found it very effective as hearts become open to the Word of God’s Kingdom.

Now, to be certain, some things of prime importance have become settled with us.
• We have acknowledged that Jesus Christ is our Lord.

• We have chosen to believe the Word of God,

• That it is inspired by the Holy Spirit,

• That its truth abides,

• That the Holy Spirit is ready to bear witness to it, and

• That we must neither add to it nor take from it.

We have also committed ourselves:

...not to alter it nor to weaken its mandate upon our lives.

 

© Berean Ministries

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