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The Apostasy? or Rebellion?
Comments on 2 Thes. Chapter 2

2 Thes. 2:3 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; (KJV)
The rebellion refers to the apostasy in the church. Apostasy is a falling away, a defection, a deserting, a rebellion, a forsaking or an abandoning or leaving the faith.  In a Biblical sense, it means a deliberate and willful departure from professed faith in God and His Truth revealed in Scripture.
It is a falling away of many within the Church. Consider the following Scriptures, which is RIGHT ON, in view of today’s times. We are well on our way to the rebellion!
1 Timothy 4:1-3 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (KJV)
2 Timothy 3:1-9 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. (KJV)
Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (KJV)
2 Peter 3:17  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (KJV)
Jude 1:17-19  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. (KJV)
This rebellion, this apostasy has been building up over the years because false teaching and has clear references to Daniel's prediction of an end-time opponent who will bring about a large-scale compromise of faith among God's people (Dan.9:24-27).
The apostasy will not occur primarily in the non-Christian world but instead within the church, and as I said, it is taking place today.
This rebellion is connected to the "man of lawlessness." The Scriptures do not elaborate on this man, but it seems to apply it to an individual who represents wickedness mainly in the range of religion (1 Jn.2:22). He will draw away those already persuaded against the true God, and will in the end commit the foulest sacrilege of thrusting himself upon humanity as its object of worship (2 Thes.2:4). He will come by the power of Satan, as opposed to Christ, who came by the power of God (2 Thes.2:9); he will work false wonders, in contrast to Christ’s marvelous and true miracles. Paul portrayed this imposter as a vile and immoral imitation of the true Christ, and as the complete opposite of Christ. Although Paul did not himself use the term, "antichrist" (1 Jn.2:18,22; 4:3), is a fitting substitute. The fate of this imposter is sealed; he shall be destroyed at the Coming of Christ.
Exalt himself over everything that is called God (2 Thes.2:4). This description of the man of lawlessness echoes that of Daniel's little horn (Dan.7:8,20,25; 8:9-12; 11:31,36), and which foretells John's description of the beast from the sea (Rev.13:1-8). He as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God . . . some have concluded from this verse that the Temple in Jerusalem, still standing when Paul wrote this letter but destroyed in A.D. 70, must be rebuilt prior to Christ's Return in order for the man of lawlessness to sit there. It seems to me that this has to be so, because the Temple on Earth IS mentioned in the Book of Revelation during the Great Tribulation (Rev.11:1-2). 
To the church, God’s temple is our body (1 Cor.3:16-17; 2 Cor.6:16). But the Great Tribulation will especially be God’s wrath on Israel, and I think there shall be a Temple there.
The man of lawlessness is very similar to Daniel 11:29-34, and refers to the end-time trial as a period when the lawless ones will do lawlessness. The lawless ones will not understand. They will mislead, be misled or both. This doing of lawlessness in Daniel is directly linked to, if not partly explained by, the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up (Dan.11:31; 12:11), by the end-time enemy in the Temple.

Names of the Antichrist
Abaddon:  (Rev.9:11
Abominable branch: (Isaiah 14:19) 
Abomination of desolation: (Dan.12:11; Mat.24:15)
Adversary: (Psalm 74:8-10)
Angel of the bottomless pit: (Rev. 9:11) 
Antichrist: (1 John 2:22)  
Apollyon: (Rev.9:11) 
Assyrian: (Isaiah 10:5) 
Beast: (Rev.17:8) 
Beelzebub: (Lk.11:15,18-19)
Bloody and deceitful man (Psalm 5:6)
Branch of the terrible ones: (Isaiah 25:5)
Devil: (Rev.20:2)
Dragon: (Rev.12:9) 
Extortioner: (Isaiah 16:4)
God of this world: (2 Cor.4:4)
Idol shepherd: (Zec.11:16-17)
King of Babylon: (Isaiah 14:4)
King of fierce countenance: (Dan.8:23)
Lawless one: (2 Thes.2:9) 
Little horn: (Daniel 7:8)
Man of sin: (2 Thes.2:3) 
Man of the earth: (Psalms 10:18) 
Old serpent: (Rev.20:2)
Prince of the power of the world: (Eph.2:2)
Prince of this world: (Jn.12:31;14:30)
Prince of Tyre: (Eze.28:2) 
Prince that shall come: (Dan.9:26)
Profane prince of Israel: (Eze.21:25) 
Satan: (Rev.20:2)
Seed of the serpent: (Gen.3;15)
Son of perdition: (2 Thes.2:3)
Spoiler: (Isaiah 16:4) 
Tempter: (Mat. 4:1)
Vile person: (Daniel 11:21) 
Wicked one: (2 Thes.2:8) 
Wicked prince of Israel: (Eze.21:25)
The willful king: (Daniel 11:36)
Some of these are names for Satan, but he is the one empowering Antichrist.

What is a mystery in Scripture? It is NOT a who-dun-it or a mystery story, and it is NOT something you wonder about: Was it the butler who committed the crime? A mystery in Scripture means that God is revealing something, that up to that time, He had not revealed. There are two elements which always enter into a New Testament mystery: #1. It cannot be discovered by man, for it is always a revelation from God; and #2. It is revealed at the right time and not concealed, and #3. Enough is revealed to establish the fact without all the details being disclosed.

There are fifteen mysteries in the New Testament:
#1. The mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven (Mat.13:3-50; Mk.4:11; Lk.8:10).
#2. The mystery of His will (Eph.1:9).
#3. The great mystery of Christ and His church (Eph. 5:32; Col.4:3).
#4. The mystery of the Gospel (Eph.6:19).  
#5. The mystery of Israel's blindness during this age (Rom.11:25).
#6. The mystery of the faith (1 Tim.3:9).
#7. The mystery of the translation of living saints at the end of this age (1 Cor.15:51-52; 1 Thes.4:13-17).
#8. The mystery of the N.T. Church as one body composed of Jews and Gentiles (Eph.3:1-12; 6:19; Rom.16:25; Col.4:3).
#9. The mystery of the Church as the bride of Christ  (Eph.5:23-32).
#10. The mystery of being in Christ (Gal.2:20; Col.1:26-27).
#11.  The mystery of Christ as the incarnate fullness of the Godhead embodied, in whom all the divine wisdom for man subsists (1 Cor.2:7; Col.2:2,9).
#12. The mystery of godliness (1 Tim.3:16).
#13. The mystery of iniquity (2 Thes.2:7; Mat.13:33).
#14. The mystery of the seven stars (Rev.1:20).
#15. The mystery of the woman (Rev.17:5,7).
My friend, even with all these, God has NOT revealed everything to us. There are many things God has NOT told us, because it is not necessary for us to know. When it is necessary, He will reveal them to us.

Facts about the Antichrist:
#1. Called "the man of sin" because he will be the embodiment of lawlessness and leader of the great apostasy of (2 Thes.2:3,8-12; Rev.13:1-18; 14:9-13; 15:2-4; 16:2-12).
#2. Called "the son of perdition," because of being destined to destruction by by his rebellion, like Judas or any other man who sells himself to Satan (2 Thes.2:3,8-12; Rev.13:2; Dan.8:24; 11:37-39).
#3. He shall be revealed (2 Thes.2:3).
#4. He will oppose God (2 Thes.2:4).
#5. He will exalt himself above God (2 Thes.2:4).
#6. He will accept worship as God (2 Thes.2:4).
#7. His worship will be carried on in the future Jewish temple at Jerusalem (2 Thes.2:4; Dan.8:10-14,23-27; 9:27; 11:36-45; 12:1-7; Mat.24:1-7,15-21; Rev.11:1-2; 13:1-18; 14:9-11; 15:2-4; 16:2-12; 20:4-6).
#8. He will claim to be God (2 Thes.2:4).
#9. He has a time to be revealed (2 Thes.2:6).
#10. Something now holds back or hinders his revelation (2 Thes.2:7).
#11. The spirit of lawlessness now works preparing for his revelation (2 Thes.2:7).
#12. The mystery of iniquity, or spirit of lawlessness cannot reveal him until the hinderer of lawlessness be taken out of the world (2 Thes.2:7).
#13. When that which hinderers lawlessness is taken out of the world, then shall that wicked be revealed (2 Thes.2:7-8).
#14. When the wicked is revealed, he will live until the Second Coming of Christ, will head the armies at Armageddon and will be destroyed by Christ (2 Thes.2:8; Rev.19:11-19; Dan.7:24-28; 8:23-27; 9:27; 11:36-45; Mat.24:15-31).
#15. He is NOT God, he is a man, for he will be killed by Christ at Armageddon (2 Thes.2:8; Dan7:11; 8:25; Isa.11:4; Rev.19:11-21). This man is NOT Judas or anyone else who has already died (Heb.9:27).
#16. He will be Satan's agent and Satan’s last attempt to raise up a world dictator (2 Thes.2:9; Dan.8:24; 11:37-39; Rev.13:3).
#17. He will have miraculous powers from Satan (2 Thes.2:9; Dan.8:24; 11:37-39; Rev.13:2,11-18; 16:13-16; 19:20; Mat.24:24). Antichrist will NOT have omnipotent power like God, and his power shall end at his death!
#18. He will be a deceiver (2 Thes.2:10; Dan.8:24-25; 9:27; 11:36-45; Mat.24:15-31; Rev.13:1-18; 19:20).
#19. Only those who are not saved by the Blood of Christ will follow him (2 Thes.2:10-12; Rev.13:1-18; 14:9-11; 16:13-16; 19:20).
#20. The reason people are deceived by him is that they have rejected Truth, loved sin, and refused salvation (2 Thes.11-12).
#21. He will be a strong delusion and a lie (2 Thes.2:11-12; Dan.8:10-14,25; 11:39).

When does Sanctification begin?
It began in God's plan before Adam (Eph.1:4), but when involved in our lives, it begins:
#1. God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (Thes.2:13; Rom.1:16)
#2. When a person receives Christ, they receive His righteousness and sanctification (1Cor.1:30)
#3. When born again (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8; 1Jn.4:7; 5:1-5,18; 1 Pet.1:23)
#4. When one becomes God's elect through sanctification (1 Pet.1:2-4; Eph.1:4)
#5. When made righteous through Christ’s righteousness (1 Cor.1:30; 1 Jn.1:9; 3:7-10; 5:1-5,18)
#6. When the Holy Spirit makes us a new man (Eph.4:24)
#7. When the old man is put off (Rom.ch.6; Eph.4:22-24; Col.3:8-10; 2 Cor.5:17-18)
#8. When a person becomes dead to sin (Rom.ch.6)
#9. When baptized by the Spirit (Rom.6:3-5; Col.2:11-12; 1 Cor.12:13) 
#10. When a person stops living in sin (Rom.ch.6; 8:12-13; 1Jn.3:7-10; 5:1-5,18)
#11. When a person turns from sin and Satan, to God for forgiveness of sins (Acts 26:18)
#12. When accepted by God (Rom.3:2,28; 4:5; 5:1,9; 8:30; 9:30; 10:4) 
#13. When a person becomes “in Christ” (2 Cor.1:21; 2:17; 5:17; Eph.1:1)
#14. When a person is made a new creature (2 Cor.5:17-18)
#15. When a person is justified (Rom.5:1; 1 Cor.6:11; 1 Pet.1:18-19)
#16. When a person becomes one with Christ (Heb.2:11; 2 Cor.5:17-18; Rom.8:1-13)
#17. When a person accepts Christ as the ONLY Offering for sin (Heb.10:4-14; 1 Cor.1:30; Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12)
#18. When a person is cleansed by the Blood of Christ (1 Pet.18-19; 2:22-24; 3:18; Mat.20:28; 26:28; Acts 20:28; Eph.1:7; Col.1:7; Heb.9:12-14; 1 Jn.1 :7; 2:2)
#19. When saved to the uttermost and from Satan (Heb.7:25; 1 Jn.3:8-10; 5:18)
#20. When redeemed (Lk.1:68-77; 1 Cor.1:30; Tit.2:14; Heb.9:12-15; 1 Pet.1:18-23) 
#21. When a person believes the Truth (1 Thes.2:13)
#22. When saved from fornication (1 Thes.4:3-4; Gal.5:24; 1 Cor.6:9-11)
#23. When a person becomes the temple of God (1 Cor.3:16-17; 6:19-20; Rom.8:9)
#24. When reconciled to God (2 Cor.5:17-21; Col.1:20-123; Rom.5:1-11)
#25. When a person is saved by faith (Eph.2:8-9)
#26. When brought to obedience to God (1 Pet.1:2; Rom.6:16-23; 8:12-13)
#27. When one is prepared for resurrection (Heb.12:14; Rev.20:4-6)
#28. When grace brings salvation and the Spirit renews (Tit.2:11-13; 3:5)
#29. When converted and all sins are blotted out (Acts 3:19-21; 26:18)
#30. When purged of all sin (Heb.1:3; 10:1-18; 2 Pet.1:4,10).

These above facts have to do with immediate sanctification. There is also progressive sanctification and complete sanctification.
Progressive sanctification is what slowly separates the people of God from the world and makes them more and more like Christ Jesus.

Sanctification differs from justification in several ways. Justification is a one-time work of God, which results in His declaring “not guilty” to those who have believed Him (1 Jn.5:10-13), and accepts the work of Christ on the cross (Jn.3:15-16). Sanctification is a process, which starts with justification and continues throughout life. Justification is the starting point of the line that represents a TRUE Christian’s life . . . sanctification is the line itself.

Sanctification is a three-stage process, past, present and future. The first stage happens at the beginning (birth, Jn1:12-13; 3:3-8) of our Christian lives. It is a preliminary moral change, which breaks us away from the power, love and lust of sin. It is where we can count themselves “dead to sin but alive to God” (Rom.6:11). When sanctification begins, we are no longer under sin’s power (Rom.6:14). Our desires are rearranged, as we develop a love of God and His righteousness. We are no longer slaves of sin, but servants of righteousness (Rom.6:17-18).
The second stage of sanctification needs a lifetime to complete. As we grow in grace, we slowly but surely change to be more like Jesus with each passing day (2 Cor.3:18). This process is one of daily spiritual renewal (Col.3:10). The apostle Paul was being sanctified even as he ministered to others. Paul claimed that he had not reached perfection, but that he pressed on to attain everything Christ desired for him (Phil.3:12).
The third and final stage of sanctification happens in the distant future. When believers die, their spirits go to be with Christ (2 Cor.5:6-8). Since NOTHING unclean can ever enter Heaven (Rev.21:27), we must be made perfect . . . BEFORE we enter Heaven! The sanctification of the whole person . . . body, soul, and spirit, will finally be complete when the Lord Jesus Returns (Rev.19:11-21; Zec.14:1-5), and we receive glorified bodies (Phil.3:21; 1 Cor.15:35-49).

God’s work in sanctification involves all three members of the Trinity. God the Father is constantly at work in His children “to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil.2:13). He changes our desires, so that we want to please Him, and He empowers us to do so. Jesus paid for our sanctification on the cross and, in reality, has become our Sanctification (1 Cor.1:30),
and Perfecter of our faith (Heb.12:2). The Holy Spirit is the main Agent of our sanctification (1 Cor.6:11; 2 Thes.2:13; 1 Pet.1:2), and He is the One, the ONLY One, who produces in us the fruit of sanctification (Gal.5:22-23).

Our role in sanctification is both passive and active. Passively, we must trust God to sanctify us, presenting our bodies to God (Rom.6:13; 12:1) and yielding to the Holy Spirit. It is God's will that we should be sanctified (1Thes.4:3), and God will have His way.

We are responsible to choose to do what is right. Each of us should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable (1 Thes.4:4), and which involves mortifying the deeds of the body (Rom.8:13), and striving for holiness (Heb.12:14), fleeing immorality (1 Cor.6:18), cleansing ourselves from every defilement (2 Cor.7:1), and making every effort to increase our faith (2 Pet.1:5-11).

Both the inactive and the active role are needed for a healthy Christian life. We should never emphasize the passive (inactive) role, because that may tend to lead to spiritual laziness and neglecting spiritual discipline. The end result of this course of action is a lack of maturity. On the other hand, to emphasize the active role can lead to pride and self-righteousness, which could result in a Christian life without joy. As we pursue holiness, we must remember that only Almighty God can empower us to do this. The end result of uniform sanctification is a steady, mature Christian life that will faithfully reflect the nature of our awesome and holy God.

John makes it quite clear that we will never be totally free from sin in this life.
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (KJV)
And praise God, the work of sanctification that God has started in us He will finish. Phil. 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (KJV)


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