Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 43
2 Thessalonians 2:4-9 – Part 2
We had three phone calls in a row the other morning that just about put us on cloud nine. I guess the comment that thrills us most, is when people tell us, “for the first time in my life, I’m enjoying my Bible.”
Let’s go back to II Thessalonians 2:9. In our last program we were talking about the leaving of the Holy Spirit so far as the indwelling of the believer is concerned, but how the Holy Spirit would certainly be present on the earth during the Tribulation, which of course He has to be in order, even as He does now, to open the hearts of those who will be saved. And there will be multitudes saved as John tells us in Revelation during the Tribulation, but there are also multitudes who think that they will have a second chance, but they will not. We’ll look at that soon. Now in verse 9, we find Paul continues on this agreement with the prophetic program when he says –
II Thessalonians 2:9a
“Even him, (the anti-Christ) whose coming is after the working of Satan…”
See this whole scenario now is driven by the Satanic power, the god of this world. Now when I use that term I’m sure a lot of people may raise their eyebrows and think, “Where is he pulling this from anyway?” So maybe we’d better qualify that first. Go to II Corinthians 4, verse 3. Hopefully I use terminology that is Scriptural. When I do go outside the Scriptures I try to be careful to delineate as such that this is my own idea, my own projection, but otherwise I try to stay explicitly with the language of this Book, and the Book calls Satan “the god of this world.”
II Corinthians 4:3-4
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4. In whom (the lost people of this world) the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Now that was just to show you that terminology is Scriptural, as Satan is the god of this world today, and has been ever since Adam dropped the ball. And we all know Adam dropped the ball when he disobeyed and ate of the forbidden tree. Now I always like to point out that wasn’t such an act of wickedness per se. He didn’t commit some horrible immoral sin, but the tragedy of it was, it was direct disobedience to the direct will of God. So, consequently, Adam fell. Well, the minute Adam fell, he lost that dominion that God had given him when He first created him, and Satan picked that dominion up. So when Satan picked it up, he became then, the god of this world all the way down through human history. Now back to II Thessalonians chapter 2, and again into verse 9. So this man born of a woman, an ordinary human being from all appearances, but once the mid-point of the Tribulation is reached he will become indwelt by this god of this world, by Satan and all of his power, even as Judas was back at the first advent.
II Thessalonians 2:9
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”
What did Jesus do? Signs, miracles, and wonders, isn’t that right? Absolutely! So now what do we have – the master counterfeiter! Satan’s been the counterfeiter from day one, and many times he is so close to the original that unless you have a real insight you can’t tell the difference. And that’s why the world has been so deceived down through the ages because of his ability to counterfeit the truth. And folks we’re seeing it all around us today.
Now when he gets into full force, and indwells the man anti-Christ, he, like Christ is going to perform miracles and signs and wonders. Now let’s go back to the first time we have the instance of the powers of Satan counterfeiting and copying what the men of God were doing. So come back to Exodus chapter 7 verse 10. Now remember earlier in the Book of Exodus, God has proven to Moses that he was God’s instrument to bring Israel out of Egypt. And in order to prove to Moses that He was the real God of Abraham, He performed a couple of signs and miracles with Moses. The first one was, He said “throw your rod on the ground,” and it became a serpent. The second one was, “Put your hand into your breast” and it became leprous. The “Put it back in,” and it became completely whole. Here Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh, and again, to convince Pharaoh that the God of Abraham, the supernatural working God, is the One Who is sending them to get Israel out of Egypt, they too are going to use the sign gift.
“And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.” (instantly that Shepherd’s rod was suddenly a live serpent. Pharaoh of course knowing the powers of his magicians called his sorcerers in.) 11. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt they also did in like manner with their enchantments.”
They also drew on supernatural power. Not God’s power, but Satan’s. And this is why the Bible condemns sorcerers, and enchantments, divinations, fortune telling from day one, and that has never been rescinded. And why? Because all those disciplines draw their power from Satan, everyone of them. Now I don’t know all that’s going on over television, because Iris and I never turn it on, but from the questions that are coming in my mail, I’m beginning to wonder, “What in the world are people saying.” We had 2 or 3 questions in the last week, “Can I really make contact with my loved ones who have died?” Whenever there comes any kind of teaching like that, that is not from God, but rather that is Satanic.Now verse 12, speaking of the magicians of Egypt.
“For they cast down every man his rod, and they (their rods) became serpents:…”
Just exactly like Aaron’s rod did, but with Satan’s power. Do you see what a counterfeiter he is? Even today, just because something is a miracle, don’t take it as from God, because the little letter of John says, “You test the spirit, whether it’s the true one or not.” And the only way we can test it is to line it up with the Book. Is everything in accord with the Scripture? Otherwise then it’s nothing more than the powers of the magicians in Egypt, which is Satan. And Satan is alive and well today, and don’t you forget it. Now at the end of the verse is the only consolation and comfort we can take in this:
“…but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.”
That shows of course the superiority of God’s power. Now you can take it even a little further, if the serpent is a picture of death, then the serpent of Aaron would be a picture of Christ’s resurrection where He conquered death, and it is no longer our enemy. But, the point is that when it came to performing signs and miracles and wonders, the magicians of Egypt could do what Aaron and Moses did. And this is simply to teach us that the powers of Satan are so close to the true power that is exercised by the Creator Himself. Now let’s come back to II Thessalonians chapter 2 for just a moment, because I don’t want to lose where we’re coming from. I know we use a lot of references, but I always want to remember that we’re starting here in II Thessalonians chapter 2 and verse 9. So back to this man, this master counterfeiter, and that’s why he’s depicted in the Book of Revelation chapter 6 as riding on a white horse. Well I think we pointed this out in a previous program. Why does Satan seemingly come riding in on a white horse? Because the True Christ will! So he’s a counterfeit in everything he does.
II Thessalonians 2:9
“Even him, (this anti-Christ) whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”
Now we looked at it in previous programs, but let’s look at it again in Revelation 13, verse 11. Now you realize there will be two powerful Satanically empowered men during this final 7 years. One is a political economic leader, the anti-Christ, but he’s going to have a side kick that will have much the same kind of power, called the false prophet. He will be the religious leader of this final 7 years. Throughout history (even the pagan empires of Greece and Rome), the main backbone in controlling the masses was religion.
See, the communists were right when they said that religion was the opium of the people. I’ll never argue that statement. Now they weren’t talking about true Christianity. The Christianity that I teach is not an opium. It’s not something that puts people half a sleep, and they don’t know what they’re doing, but religion does. Religion puts people under a drug mentality, and they do only as they’re leader tells them to do. That’s exactly what this religious leader of the Tribulation era will do. He will be the front man for the anti-Christ. Now here he comes.
“And I beheld another beast (another man, not one in the same, but rather he’s a different one) coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, (I think this indicates his religious personality. He’s probably going to come with the cloke of the Church or something like that, or some religious system, so consequently he’s referred to as less aggressive in his action than the anti-Christ who is depicted as a carnivorous beast. So he comes like a lamb, but look how he speaks) and he spake as a dragon.” See he’s going to have the force and the power of Satan behind everything he says.
“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast (the anti-Christ) before him, (remember this power is all coming from Satan) and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, (the anti-Christ) whose deadly wound was healed.”
We always have these individuals as counterfeits of the Trinity. Satan as the counterfeit of God the Father, the anti-Christ as a counterfeit of God the Son, and this false prophet or religious leader as a counterfeit of God the Holy Spirit.
Because after all in our spiritual economy today, what is the rightful role of the Holy Spirit? To point people to Christ! The Holy Spirit is not to be elevated to a position of His own. He is constantly to be pointing us to the crucified, resurrected Christ. Now that’s the role of the Holy Spirit. He also convicts of sins to lead us and direct us, but never to be the object of our worship. We have the same scenario with this false prophet, this religious leader will not draw the world to himself, but he is going to point the world to his boss the anti-Christ as we see there in verse 12.
“…and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast,…” (or anti-Christ.)
The world is just literally going to fall at the feet of this man, anti-Christ. But this religious leader is going to be promoting it. Now let’s go on to the next verse. This is the one I wanted when it says they’re going to perform signs and wonders and miracles. Now, let’s look what the scripture says. This religious leader is the front man for the anti-Christ, who has the same power that the anti-Christ has. Remember, that’s what it says. So I can use this verse to point out the power that Satan will give this man anti-Christ.
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.”
Now if you know your Bible, when did that happen before? Well Elijah!! As Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal up there on Mt. Carmel. Do you remember that? And he had the prophets of Baal cry out to their gods to do this and do that and then Elijah even taunted them? He said, “Yell a little louder, they must be sleeping.” And yet they couldn’t get any thing to happen. And then Elijah prayed to the God of heaven and what happened? My, the fire came down and licked up the water out of the trenches and consumed the sacrifice. This is a copy of that. The counterfeiter is doing a repeat of the power of God. That’s why it will be so hard for men in this day and time to discern, “Is this the true God?” And that’s what they’re going to think. They’re going to think that this is the power of God. But we know, as we look ahead, even though we’re not going to be here, we know from Scripture that it’s not the power of God. It’s the counterfeit. It’s the power of Satan. Now read on. What’s the second word of this verse? “Deceiveth.”
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast:…”
The whole modus operandi of Satan from day one has been to deceive. And I’m hammering it home more today than I ever did before. Because we’re being inundated today with a mass of deception. Now, keep your hand in Revelation, because I’m not through here. Come back with me to Matthew chapter 24. It’s a Tribulation chapter if there ever was one, from start to finish. And you start right back there in verse 3 of that chapter.
“As he sat upon the Mount of Olives, (the Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry) the disciples came unto him privately, (with benefit of all the crowds and the crush of people. It was just Jesus and the 12) saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? (He was speaking of the destruction of the temple and so forth) and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (or age).” Now look at verse 4.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, “Take heed that no man (what?) deceive you.” Now what does that tell you right up front? There’s going to be mass deception. That’s a sign of the end times. And you’re going to have to be wise or you’re going to be taken in by it. Now, let’s come back to Revelation. And so we have this false prophet, the cohort of the anti-Christ himself, both tools of Satan, both with the world literally falling at their feet.
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had to do in the sight of the beast…”
Oh you see, the world loves miracles. That’s all they want to see. I’ll never forget years ago, after leading a gentleman to the Lord. And he really got involved and was almost wishing that my ministry could grow. This man drove up to my home one day and he said, “Les, if you could just perform one miracle, you wouldn’t just have 50 people in your classes, you’d have 50,000!” I said, “I know that. I don’t want 50,000 people who are coming to see a miracle. That’s not where it’s at.” What I want to see is the Lord opening the hearts as He did Lydia, one at a time, if need be. And have those two go out and win two. And that will accomplish far more than a miracle. The miracle of that is, that is how the Spirit works.But, the population in general wants a miracle. Now look, they’re going to get it.
“….saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image…”
Now they’re already calling him god, but if they’re really going to worship him someplace other than Jerusalem, they’d better make an image. Now I don’t know, and the Scripture doesn’t say this, but I know that in every religion where they worship an image of a god, whether it’s Apollos or Zeus or whomever, they didn’t just have one huge image someplace. But what did they have? Every home had a replica. And I personally think that’s what this is going to be. These images of this man anti-Christ, will be made available to the whole world so they can have him on their mantles. And they can worship him as their god, even as the pagans have done in the past. Now that’s my own idea. The Scripture doesn’t say that. But they’re going to make an image like unto the man anti-Christ so the people can worship him even as they’ve worshipped other pagan idols. Now look at verse 15. And if you don’t think these guys are going to have Satanic power.
“And he had power (from Satan) to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
I think these images will be given Satanic power, that as these poor souls speak to it and worship it, it’s going to be able to respond. And oh, these people are going to think they’ve got the real god right there on the mantle in their living rooms. Isn’t it scary? But it’s coming just as sure as we’re sitting here.