Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 43
2 Thessalonians 2:4-9
Now we’ll picking up again where we left off in II Thessalonians 2:8, But before we begin I would like to say that all I want to do is just present the truth, and the truth shall make you free, and Les Feldick doesn’t have anything to do with that. So we trust as you study with us that you’ll be aware of what the Word says, and what it doesn’t say. The Word is quite explicit, and when you learn how to compare Scripture with Scripture and learn to whom the writers are writing to, Jew or Gentiles, then it’s not all that difficult to understand.
Now as we begin our study, we’ll pick up in verse 8. Remembering in the last program we saw how the Holy Spirit, the restrainer, dwelling in the believer is that force on the planet to maintain a semblance of sanity. And as we see the wickedness and iniquity constantly encroaching upon us, it just tells us that the cup of iniquity is nearing the full mark. But before it reaches full that other number of people which is the Body of Christ is also reaching the full mark, and we trust will be taken out of the way before the wrath of God begins. As we begin we’ll almost have to read verse 7.
II Thessalonians 2:7a
“For the mystery (or secret things) of iniquity…”
I pointed out that all of the false religions, at the very core, at the very center of their high priests, are what they call mysteries. And that’s why we refer to a lot of them as the mystery religions. Let’s go on.
II Thessalonians 2:7b
“…doth already work: (already present in the world) only he who now letteth will let, until he (the Holy Spirit) be taken out of the way. v. 8 And then…”
Now maybe I should qualify, because again the question came up at break time. You want to realize that when the Rapture takes place and the believer is taken up, that in itself does not remove the Holy Spirit from the planet. The Holy Spirit will still be here to enhance the work of the 144,000, the two witnesses and so forth, because no human being in the Age of Grace, any more than in the Tribulation, can come to a knowledge of salvation except the Spirit draw him. And so I have to teach it that as the Body of Christ goes up in the Rapture, the Spirit just sort of falls off and will remain on the planet as the Omnipresence of God. Now the verse I like to use to compare all that is back in Genesis chapter 1. Because all of scripture fits together. And that’s why we can learn from the Old Testament as well as from the New. Let’s look at Genesis chapter 1 and verse 2. And I think this is almost a parallel of what we’ll see during the Tribulation. Even though the Body of Christ has now been removed, the believing influence is gone, yet we know that God is going to send the two witnesses to Jerusalem. We’re going to have the 144,000 young Jewish evangelists, and they too, are going to need the power of the Holy Spirit. They can’t operate without that. So now in Genesis 1 and verse 2 we have a parallel. That after God destroyed, evidently, that original, beautiful earth in verse 1 in verse 2 we find this.
“And the earth was without form, and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (In other words, it was covered with water) And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
So even after that judgment of what I call the first flood, what person of the Godhead still remained over the planet? The Spirit of God! And so never has this planet been without the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. He’s always been here. He’s everywhere. Now back to Thessalonians. Even today, we speak of the Holy Spirit as “indwelling the believer,” and that certainly is true. But is that the only place the Spirit is operating? Just in the believer? NO! The Holy Spirit is everywhere. The Holy Spirit permeates even the dens of wickedness. Why? Because He’s like the air we breathe – He’s everywhere. He is the Omnipresence of God. That’s why no one will ever be able to tell God, “But I never had a chance. I was never approached by the Spirit of God.” Yes they were! He’s everywhere.
And the same way here then. As the body of Christ is taken out in what we call the Rapture, yes, the roll of the indwelling Holy Spirit stops for us because we won’t need it in glory. Because we’re not going to be walking by faith as we are tonight. Once we get to glory it’s not by faith, but by what? Sight! We’ll be walking by sight because the Lord is in our midst. What a difference! And so don’t ever worry about the Holy Spirit leaving the planet and the 7-year period being without. The Holy Spirit will be evident even as He is today. Now I think we’re ready to go on into verse 8. And what are the first two words? Time words.
II Thessalonians 2:8a
It’s a perfect parallel with verse 3. The very same thing: as soon as the Body of Christ has departed, then what’s the next thing? The man of sin be revealed. You bring it on down to verse 8 and it’s the same connotation. And what’s the “And then” referring to? The removal of the Body of Christ and the dropping back of the Holy Spirit on the planet. So then and not until then –
II Thessalonians 2:8b
“…shall that Wicked (one) be revealed…”
I hope I don’t upset anybody because I add the word “One” the anti-Christ. He’s suddenly going to make his appearance by signing that 7-year treaty. That’s why we won’t know who he is. They can speculate all they want. I’ve got books that people have sent me. Some think it’s Juan Carlos of Spain. One thinks it’s Prince Charles of England. Some think it some others that I won’t name. Listen, there’s no use speculating. We don’t know who he’s going to be. But I’m pretty confident he’s already in some European government. I’m sure he’s there in some capacity, learning the ropes, getting ready to make his political moves.
There was a Bible teacher who once said, and I certainly agree with him, “that this period of time between the Rapture and the signing of the 7-year treaty in Jerusalem, he calls it that membrane of time.” And I like that, because a membrane even though it is so fragile, it’s flexible, so I think it’s an appropriate term, because nobody knows how long it will be between the Rapture, and the signing of the 7-year treaty. It could be 48 hours, it could be a year or two or more. There’s nothing to say that it has to be immediate, because the term that Paul uses constantly is, “and then.” Now you could use that analogy right now today. We’ve still got one more program after this one, and then we can go home, but some of you are going to stop for lunch. So the “and then” for you is probably an hour or two longer than it will be for us, because I want to go home after the taping. But you can stipulate that the “and then” is a flexible period of time between the Rapture and the signing of the 7-year treaty.
II Thessalonians 2:8
“And then shall that Wicked (one) be revealed, (but the next statement leaps seven years) whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:”
Now I told you that this is one of the few places that Paul deals with prophecy. Now let’s see what Paul is agreeing with. Turn with me to Revelation chapter 19, and drop down to verse 11, and see what totally different language there is here than Paul uses when he speaks of the Rapture. Paul never speaks of Christ coming for the Church on a white horse. Paul never speaks of Christ coming for the Church with attending wrath and vexation, but John does, because John is prophecy. John is dealing with the age for the non-members of the Body of Christ, whether it be Israel, or the rest of the Gentile world. But here starting in verse 11 we have the Second Coming of Christ as He will come to the Mount of Olives.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”
Keep your hand here, and go back to I Corinthians – and the reason I’m doing this is because I’m getting so much mail lately of people being told that the Rapture is a figment of our imagination, that there’s no such thing in the Bible, and after all, the Second Coming is the only thing that the Bible deals with. Well I beg to differ with those who think that, and I’m going to keep differing, by comparing Scripture. Now look what Paul says in I Corinthians chapter 15, starting with verse 51. This is totally different language than Revelation. I mean they’re totally different, there’s no way you can fit these two events together.
I Corinthians 15:51-53
“Behold, I shew you a mystery: (a secret that had never before revealed) We shall not all sleep, (die physically) but we shall all be changed. (there’s noting like that in Revelation, not a word) 52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (who are alive and remain)shall be changed. 53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Now the companion for this portion of Scripture is written also by Paul in I Thessalonians chapter 4, and remember Paul is the only one that writes about this event, and then also remember the only reason I’m doing this is to compare the language that Paul uses for the Rapture or the out-calling of the Church, with the language of the Second Coming. And they don’t fit at all. No wonder people are confused. When you teach it totally wrong then confusion abounds. Here we’ll begin with verse 13.
I Thessalonians 4:13
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, (have died) that ye sorrow not, even as other which have no hope. 14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, (or if we have believed Paul’s Gospel that was given only to him) even so them also which sleep (or have died) in Jesus will God bring with him. 15. For this we say unto you be the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (or go ahead of) them which are asleep. (died) 16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,…” Riding upon a white horse? No, that’s not in here. Also not in here is the coming of the Lord with wrath, judgment, and wars; nothing like that is in here. All of a sudden in a normal day the trumpet will sound the Lord will descend from heaven, and now:
I Thessalonians 4:16b
“…with the voice of the archangel, and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (Raptured) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
See here in the Rapture there’s none of the Second Coming language where Christ shall stand on the Mount of Olives, or when He fights the Battle of Armageddon, so they are two totally different events. Now coming back to Revelation chapter 19 again. So here is what leads up to the destruction of this man of sin, the wicked one, the anti-Christ, that Paul is referring to in II Thessalonians 2:8. And that’s why I brought you back to Revelation. Now come on down to verse 16.
“And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Absolutely! As He returns to the planet where He’s going to rule and reign. Now jump over to verse 20, and this again is what Paul is alluding to in II Thessalonians chapter 2.
“And the beast (the wicked one, the man of sin, the son of perdition) was taken, and with him the false prophet (the great religious leader who works hand and glove with the wicked one) that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Now that is what Paul is referring to as we come back to II Thessalonians and verse 8.
II Thessalonians 2:8
“And then shall that Wicked (one) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”
He’s going to end the anti-Christ’s domain on earth. And remember the old Devil who is indwelling this man has been the god of this world, he has ruled the kingdoms of this world for 6,000 years. Now here’s another verse that I just thought of. Let’s go back to Matthew chapter 4 because this is all stitched together. Here I’ll show you how Satan is the god of this world. Starting at verses 8 and 9. Now this raises a question in my own mind. In one portion of Scripture we know that the demons know the Scripture don’t they? They believe and they tremble.
Well Satan we know is the prince of demons, and with all of his brilliance, and all of his intelligence, he’s still kind of dumb. Do you know that? There are some things that evidently he has not yet figured out. Number one, I always go back to when he thought he had the Lord totally defeated when He hung on that cross. I know that Satan thought he had finally put his chief adversary to death. But evidently Satan did not know that He’d be raised from the dead. All right now here’s another one in Matthew chapter 4. This was before the crucifixion, but look at the audacity of this personality that we call Satan or the devil.
“Again the devil taketh him (the Lord Jesus) up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them: (now that means what it says and it says what it means. What does he show the Lord? He showed Him the glory of Babylon, He showed Him the glory of Greece, the glory of Rome, and everything that’s been since. Including all of the marching armies of Hitler, and all the power of NATO, and the political maneuverings of the present day world system. The Devil in his cockiness says to the Lord, “Do you see all that? Do you see everything from back there to way out there? Now look at the next verse.) 9. And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
Isn’t that amazing? You know what I always have to ask? Were they his to give? Yes, Yes, Yes. Because Paul tells us Satan “is the god of this world.” But here’s where I think he’s kind of dumb. He evidently didn’t know that one day Christ would have all the kingdoms of this world, and He wouldn’t have to bow down to Satan to get them. One day soon, He’s going to get them by power and force and the wrath of God, and then Satan is going to come to his just end by going straight to the Lake of Fire. (Transcriber note: Les intended to say that the anti-Christ and the false prophet at the Second Coming of Christ would go straight to the Lake of Fire. He will explain that at the end of the lesson.)
But isn’t it amazing that Satan had the audacity to offer the Lord Himself, the Creator of everything, all the kingdoms of this world, if only He would worship him. And they are his tonight. This whole world system is under the control of Satan. Oh God’s got His Sovereignty I know that, but Satan is the god of this world, and don’t ever forget it. When you wonder how in every nation, even Israel, God’s chosen, Biblical people, their politics are rotten to the core. They’re just as corrupt as any other nation on earth, why? Because they’re still under control of the god of this world. And that will continue until the day comes when the Lord will rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Now let’s get back to II Thessalonians chapter 2, and look at verse 8 again.
II Thessalonians 2:8
“And then shall that Wicked (one, the anti-Christ) be revealed, (when he signs that 7-year treaty according to Daniel chapter 9) whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth , and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming;”
So you see, I guess I should put it on the board since I haven’t used the board all day. Here we have our 7 years of the Tribulation, and as you know we always divide it in half. The first thing that happens is the anti-Christ signs a 7-year treaty with the nations of the Middle East. Israel, right off the bat is going to come back under temple worship, they’re going back under the Law where they can offer their sacrifices. But at the mid-point the anti-Christ comes from (I think) his headquarters over here in Europe, and he’s going to defile the temple, he’s going to turn on Israel, and bring in the last 3 1/2 years of the wrath of God. The wrath of God is going to be poured out these last 3 1/2 years. Oh it’s going to bad enough these first 3 1/2 years, don’t ever think that time will be real rosy.
But the last 3 1/2 years is where it really gets tough, and it all leads to His Second Coming when He will actually come to the Mount of Olives. At that time Satan will be sent to the bottomless pit. I think earlier I said that Satan was sent to the Lake of Fire at the end of the Tribulation, but he’s not sent there until the end of the kingdom. The anti-Christ and the false prophet are the ones that go to the Lake of Fire at the end of the Tribulation. Come back to Revelation chapter 20 and we’ll show what happens to Satan.
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.”
He cast Satan into the bottomless pit for a thousand years so that He could bring him back at the end of the thousand-year kingdom rule of Christ to give the people that have been born during that time a choice. (Rev 20:7-8) A choice like each of us has to make, God or Satan. Now flip over to Revelation chapter 10 and this is what Paul is referring to when, in II Thessalonians 2:8 he says, “He destroys the anti-Christ and false prophet with the brightness of His coming.” Now here in verse 10, the thousand year reign of Christ has just been completed and we see what happens to the old Devil.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”Now coming back to II Thessalonians chapter 2 for just a second.
II Thessalonians 2:8
And then shall that Wicked (one) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming;”
Rest assured, God is in control!