"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Monday, December 1, 2014

PROPHETIC and PERSONAL Perspectives from 2 THESSALONIANS - PART 2-A of 3

Chapter 1 – James Fire
Chapter 2 – Danny Islas; supplemented by J. Fire
Chapter 3 – Josh Boubion; supplemented by J. Fire

Theme: The Day of the LORD (This phrase is also seen in Joel 1:15; 2 Ptr. 3:10 and Rev. 19:19 and elsewhere). This phrase refers to that period of time when God actively and openly begins to deal with the people of the Earth in judgment, beginning with the Jew and then the Gentile as portrayed in Revelation Ch. 6 – 19.
It begins with (1) the translation of the church or rapture (“bride of Christ”) from Earth to Heaven and culminates at (2) the Great White Throne Judgment with the 70th week of Daniel (“time of Jacob's trouble” Jer. 30:7) in which the world will see the 7 year reign of anti-Christ or “the man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3) occurring between those two points.


The saints at Thessalonica were anxious because they thought that the Day of the LORD was upon them, but Paul corrects this misunderstanding in explaining that two crucial events must first happen before this occurs; we will see what those things are in 2 Thess. Ch. 2.

Outline: Intro: 1:1-4; I – Comfort in persecution: 1:5-12; II – The Day of the LORD vs. the man of sin: 2:1-12; III – Exhortations and instructions: 2:13-3:15; Conclusion: 3:16-18.

STUDY # 2 – 2 Thess. 2:1-17: The Perspective of FALLING AWAY INTO DECEPTION and IT's BIBLICAL PREVENTION:


PART - A

2 THESS. 2:1-3:  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 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.
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;

The only cure to deception is to stay in the Word of Truth (JN. 8:31) and be led of the Spirit (ROM. 8:14). The establishment of the truth as outlined in this chapter of 2 Thessalonians is crucial to prevent spiritual deception within the church. Those who will not stand on the truth will eventually fall for anything, among the myriad of deceptions, false teachings, etc.

1 TIM. 3:15
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth

The foundation of the church is Christ Who is Himself the Way, the Truth and the Life (JN. 14:6) as well as the Rock (MATT. 16:18), and as long as He remains as that foundation, the church will then be the receptacle of truth – or as stated above, its pillar and ground. However, the apostle Paul forewarns that there is coming a falling away – an apostasy – in the professing church!

Today we are witnessing a rebellion in the secular world against truth and the authority of truth; tragically we are also observing this same kind of rebellion in the professing church (possibly because, at least in part, the world has infested the church by way of 'Seeker Friendly' types of fellowships?).

The professing church must be distinguished from the 'invisible church' for the sake of clarity: the professing church are all the members of every church that 'fill the pews'; we understand however that attending church and adhering intellectually to a set of doctrines does not a Christian make. These may be church goers but they are not necessarily viable Christians! The only viable Christian and legitimate member of the actual church established by Jesus Christ are those who are spiritually born again (JN. 3:3; 1 PET. 1:23), who have received salvation in Christ by faith. The invisible church therefore are those spiritual members of the body of Christ that may attend any church that we might visit (hopefully those kind that are biblically sound, but that is not always the case). The professing church are those who may or may not be actually, genuinely saved.

Some professing Christians while they may for a time adhere to biblical truth, later they may at some time or another reject and even deny the Word of God as stated here:

1 TIM. 4:1-2
1 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;
“The faith” is not what we mean by expressing faith in Christ, that is believing; rather when stated as the faith in Scripture it refers to the body of doctrines as contained in the Word of God, and so this is what is being addressed in the above passage. Having turned away from THE faith, what do these apostates then turn to?

“Doctrines of devils” and “seducing spirits” - and do we see evidence of this today? Absolutely! After reading Warren Smith's book FALSE CHRIST COMING and doing research on various New Age/Spiritual leaders for a three part article  on TTUF, I have come to appreciate that just as the Holy Spirit has provided the truth of God by inspiration upon the many prophets and apostles (2 PET. 1:21; 2 TIM. 3:16), so too Satan has inspired many authors to transcribe his doctrines into a multitude of books (and dvds, and other media) which bring about spiritual seduction. 

A great book that deals with this is the classic by Dave Hunt (founder of The BEREAN CALL), The Seduction of Christianity  - here is a 30 min. video  where Dave and his co-laborer Tom McMahon discuss this work. If you have not yet had the opportunity to read this book, you can order it from a number of different sources; here is a link to TBC where you can order it directly from the ministry. It's amazing that while this is an older book (published in 1985) it's still incredibly relevant today! 

Here it is on PDF.  

Another Scripture that deals with this time of apostasy, which began even in the early church, but has yet to climax as that time is just ahead is:

2 TIM. 3:1-8
1 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.

Such a time as this we find that, according to the Scripture, there will be those who are unable to come to the knowledge of the truth, reprobate, and while having a “form of godliness” will in all actuality “deny the power thereof”. The power of godliness has always been Christ Himself, and to deny the power of godliness is to deny Christ. This is certainly the spirit of anti-Christ (See 1 JOHN 4:1-6)!

We as saints are responsible as stewards of God's truth to hold fast (1 THESS. 5:21; 2 TIM. 1:13-14) to these sound words and all the good that we find in Scripture. This is the only means by which we can prevent being deceived ourselves! Compare the above passage with the following and note the contrast between ungodliness and godliness.

2 PETER 1:2-4
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

This is why its not possible for the church to compromise or 'find a middle ground' with the world; the world-system, that is the political, intellectual, spiritual, social and other aspects, are totally centered around and in itself is entirely ungodly. Light cannot be one with darkness any more than the church can be one with the world.

Yet this seems to be exactly what we are seeing today – that the world is becoming one with the church and vice versa; but in all actuality it is merely the visible professing church that is uniting with the world, not the spiritual, invisible, genuine body of Christ, blood bought by the Lamb and Spirit-filled.
Even genuine saints can find themselves marred and tainted by the world of sin. How can a saint maintain purity in such an impure world as we are dwelling in today?

As mentioned above, by continuing in the Word and being led of the Spirit! As well as this we must consider the Blessed Hope, the appearing of the LORD Jesus Christ . . . 

TITUS 2:13
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

1 JOHN 3:2-3
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
As much as all of that is vital, this even more so to maintain the purity that Christ would have of us:

1 JOHN 1:7-9
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 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.

There are too many churches being told by their pastors that Bible prophecy is either too complicated to understand, or not important enough to study. One seldom hears a teaching about prophecy and last days events, and for this reason, many Christians are untaught, and even disparage the idea of the Second Coming just as people in the world do (2 PET. 3:3-4)!

Yet when these ignorant, professing Christians who aren't genuinely saved and who will miss the rapture of the church* see a man rising up among the nations, one who is noble, virtuous, compassionate, wise and shrewd – a global problem solver and for all appearance seems to be a carbon copy of Jesus Christ Himself, they will be deceived and think that they were mistaken about Christ coming, and believe that this “son of perdition” really is Christ!

(* This does not include genuinely saved Christians who hold a different eschatological view on the rapture of the church!)

Yet a vigilant and expectant Christian who “watches and prays” for his LORD's return is one who is spiritually active and working in the kingdom, sharing the Gospel and exhorting the saints, and remains ready always for the appearing of Jesus Christ – this is the very reason WHY we are to expect the LORD's return at any moment, because of the purifying effect that such expectation has on us and prevents us from being deceived by these last days false Christs and prophets!

2 THESS. 2:1-4
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 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.
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;
4 Who 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, shewing himself that he is God.

Prior to the Second Coming of Christ, the Beast will have his day (lasting a total of seven years; known in Scripture as the 70th week of Daniel) and rule and reign over the Earth, and be worshiped as God! For more about this see this article FROM the MIND of FIRE – A LETTER To THOSE LEFT BEHIND  

Until the revealing of this quintessentially evil Beast of Revelation, the veritable son of Satan – we are witnessing an ever increasing flow of anti-Christ's who all claim to be the anointed of God. Scripture states that these numbers are “many” (and not few) and that such numbers indicate that we are indeed in the last times. 


1 JOHN 2:18-22
18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

1 JOHN 4:1-6
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

In the two references above, the common thread is the truth vs. error or those who adhere to truth as opposed to those who adhere to lies and falsehoods. It's no wonder that the LORD Jesus Christ warned us of the deception of these last days not once or twice but four times in MATTHEW 24 - 24 SIGNS

It is the belief of this teacher (Danny Islas) and myself (James Fire) that barring the immediate rapture of the church, we here in America can expect the persecution of Christians by government and religious entities; the only churches that won't suffer persecution are the ones already infiltrated by the world and adopting its ungodly philosophies. Danny reminded us of one so-called Christian pastor who performed a wedding ceremony for his homosexual son!
Human sentiment for social causes, equal rights, education, employment for the poor and any such movements that promote Humanist view points, etc. where we exalt man and his values over God's truth will lead us to such stumbling and sin. 
Late in the 20th century a world leader stated that a singular man is needed to lead us out of the many dangers in the world, and save us from the perils surrounding us, be that person God, man or Satan himself! He is far closer to the truth than he realizes! He is a man, indwelt by Satan, portraying himself as 'God'!

2 THESS. 2:4
4 Who 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, shewing himself that he is God

This exaltation of the Beast, this “son of perdition” and “the man of sin” mirrors closely the self-exaltation of Lucifer himself as portrayed in ISAIAH:

ISAIAH 14:12-14
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Thus we can understand why pride is the most deadly aspect of sin, and can ruin God's created beings; it turned a cherub into a devil, and the First Adam into a wretched sinner!

In verse 4 of our text, we read about how the Beast will sit in the temple of God, and for this reason we understand the prophetic significance of the re-building of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The LORD spoke of the temple in the last days as well in MATT. 24:15; the “abomination of desolation” refers to Antiochus Epiphanes and his foul deed in sacrificing swines flesh on the altar of the Jewish temple and erecting a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies (which brought about the Maccabean revolt celebrated later on in the Jewish feast of Hanukkah) and yet the warning from the LORD Jesus was about a future event! This was not something fulfilled in 70 AD like Preterists would suppose, because this prophecy didn't involve the destruction of the temple as its abomination, but rather a sacrifice in the Holy Place (Not on the outer walls of the Temple nous as was performed by the Romans at the time of the Temple's destruction). This would involve a statue – or an “image” similar to that of Zeus erected by Antiochus Epiphanes. Such an image is spoken of in Revelation 13:

REVELATION 13:14-15
14 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; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Some suppose that the anti-Christ will promote Islam as the world religion, but in keeping with the prophetic contextual arguments for the last days, it seems far more plausible that the “Mother of Harlots” - that is, the source of all false religions, which is of course Babel and later Babylon, would incorporate all false religious systems into an abominable amalgamation coherently as a one world religion which would include Islam but not merely consist of the religion of Allah the moon-god. What in the present text suggests this? The Beast will exalt himself above all that is called God; this would include YHWH and Allah of course. It is my personal belief that the name of Lucifer will find preeminence above all of these in the One World Religion under anti-Christ!

This also reveals that theistic evolution will be the fulcrum of Scientism* in the last days; atheism will not conquer and invoke pure rationalism and a science that is biased and anti-God; rather evolution will prevail and deceive mankind into believing that he can and will evolve into god-hood, but that some sense of a 'god' will remain at the center of the process. “The lie” (2 THESS. 2:11) I believe will be that Lucifer as proclaimed by the Beast, not YHWH will be accredited for this process.

2 THESS. 2:5-7
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

There are those who believe that the 'withholder' of this iniquity is some powerful angel, usually Michael; others believe that the church herself inherently has the power to withstand and keep at bay this iniquity. Yet throughout Scripture, it has always been the Spirit of God that restrained the iniquity of sinful humanity:

GEN. 6:3, 5
3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 
5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually

GEN. 11:1-9; note particularly vs. 4-6
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Just as light will dispel darkness and salt will stave off corruption, likewise the convicting power of the Holy Spirit Who is in residence of the church of Jesus Christ which is called “salt” and “light” by the LORD Himself (MATT. 5:13-16). The church as salt and light, empowered to be so by the Spirit of God is that which is restraining this iniquity spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7.

Yet note what is stated here; the restrainer, that is the Holy Spirit is not taken away (from this world) but merely “taken out of the way” - while the church will be “caught up (to meet the LORD in the air”) the Holy Spirit will still remain here (being Himself God and thus omnipresent) and continue His work of bringing people to the LORD Jesus, however He will no longer restrain the evil that Satan is working even now in the world in a limited fashion, but allow full sway of this chief enemy of God to perpetrate his global agenda of deception and spiritual bondage, bringing all humanity under the tyranny of the Beast.

This ends this portion of this teaching, 2-A of this three part presentation. 2-B will be posted soon!

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