2 Thessalonians, Chapter 2
Copyright © 1999 Darroll Evans-All rights reserved

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2
1 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.

Paul now addresses an issue that was of great concern among the Thessalonian Christians. He speaks of the coming of Christ.

In this section we learn much about the return of our Lord and Savior. Some of what we find here has been twisted to fit various theories.

The Greek text uses language that many have claimed indicates a pre-tribulation coming of Christ. There are many Christians that firmly believe in the Pre-tribulation rapture.

Then, there are those Christians that hold to the mid-tribulation position. Finally there are those that are just as committed to Christ who believe in a post-tribulation return.

Here, Paul speaks to the Thessalonians concerning the coming (Gr. parousias-parousiaV) of our Lord Jesus Christ. It also concerns the "gathering together" (Gr. episunagoogees- episunagwghV) of we who believe.

Paul admonishes the Thessalonian Christians to not become anxious concerning about the day of the Lord. That advice is still good today.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-12
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.
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.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

This section has been used falsely to preach and justify certain rapture theories. But, let’s look at it.

Paul warned the Thessalonians to not allow anyone to deceive them.  The day of the gathering will not happen until a great “falling away” (Gr. apostasia-ἀποστασία), a great apostasy or defection from the “Truth” first happens and the man of sin, the son of perdition, is revealed. As you can see, the gathering is the result of the apostasy and does not precede that falling away.

The son of perdition, Anti-Christ will oppose God and exalt himself “above all that is called God, or worshipped.”  Paul warned that the man of sin will attempt to so sit in the temple of God, and appear to be God.

The falling away speaks of the revealing of pretenders who now attend Church without a true conversion!

Those who have been actually given to Christ cannot fall away!

Let’s focus on verse seven.

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.”


This verse is used by many to validate a certain theological stance.  That is not its purpose. This verse was written as part of a comforting message to the Christians in Thessalonica.


In the KJV, “letteth” means to restrain. And among some, “he who now letteth” is the Holy Spirit.


The teaching is that the one who lets or restrains (the Holy Spirit) will be “taken out of the way” when the Church is raptured in the pre-tribulation Rapture. 


The Rapture teaching also says that during the tribulation period when the Holy Spirit is no longer on the earth, however despite that some will be saved. That group is known as tribulation saints. 


Without the Holy Spirit to convict people of their sins, repentance and salvation are impossible.  The pre-tribulation rapture invalidates much biblical teaching.


The fact is that none of us may be saved without the work of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:3b---“no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” (NKJV)


There is another major problem we must address.  The Holy Spirit does not restrain or “let” evil. 


Look around!  Do you honestly think that evil is being restrained?


The Holy Spirit was sent to comfort those chosen by God to follow Christ.


The Holy Spirit comforts those chosen to follow Christ (John 14:16, 26; John 15:26; John 16:7).


The Holy Spirit seals those chosen to follow Christ (Eph. 4:30).


The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin in order to draw some out for the sake of Christ (John 16:8-10).

The Holy Spirit teaches us (John 14:26).


However, the Holy Spirit does not restrain evil!


In fact, the Holy Spirit does not restrain us from anything.  Instead, He leads us into God’s righteousness (Romans 8:14).


II Thessalonians 2:7 is a difficult verse, because we must throw out traditional thought in order to find the actual meaning. 


The problem is compounded, because the phrase “will let” is not in the Greek text.  The addition of that phrase as compounded the misunderstanding.


In II Thessalonians 2:7 the Greek phrase translated “he be taken out of the way” is ek mesou geneetai-ek mesou genhtai. Ek denotes the origin. Mesou indicates the middle, midst or among. Geneetai means to be, to become, and speaks of a birth, or coming into being.


Another key to understanding II Thessalonians 2:7 is found in the word translated “letteth” (Gr. katechoon-katecwn). That Greek word may indicate one who restrains, BUT it also speaks of one who is in firm control of any given situation.


II Thessalonians doe not refer to the Holy Spirit at all.  Instead, that verse points to Christ Jesus!  It is the return of Christ that is the focus of this section of Scripture.


Personal translation: For the mystery of lawlessness works only until He who has firm control comes into the midst.” It will be at that time that the lawless one, Anti-Christ will be revealed and consumed by Christ’s sword of the Spirit.


Let’s fit it into the context.


II Thessalonians 2:5-8
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 “And now you are aware that the One who is controlling so that He might be revealed in his due time.”
7 For the mystery of lawlessness works only until He [Christ Jesus] who has firm control comes into the midst.”
8 And then [at that time] shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:


II Thessalonians 2:5-8 (personal translation)
5 Don’t you remember that, when I was with you, I told you these things?
6 So that you are now aware that the Controller [Christ Jesus] will be revealed in His due time.
7 Because, the mystery of lawlessness works only until He [Christ Jesus] who has firm control comes into the midst.
8 It is at that time that the wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.


Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (KJV/emphasis mine)


In case nobody has told you, Revelation focuses of the revelation of Jesus Christ, and not the revelation of Lucifer.


God’s plan calls for all of Jesus’ enemies to be made His “footstool” (Matt. 22:44), indicating that all things will be subject to His control and authority.


Christ shall completely and utterly destroy the power of the Anti-Christ with the brightness of His coming!


Many focus on Christ’s “coming” or “parousia/parousia, as if that word had some magic in it. But, in verse nine we find that Anti-Christ also has a “coming” or “parousia/parousia.   Anti-Christ will be destroyed by the coming or “parousia/parousia, of Christ (v. 8).


Anti-Christ’s coming or “parousia/parousia, will be highlighted with signs and lying wonders.  Christ will shed His light on the world with His coming or “parousia/parousia.


According to verse 10, Anti-Christ will deceive those that are perishing.  We were once among those folks, but God called us out to serve and follow Christ Jesus.  People are lost because they will not believe the Truth and follow Christ in order to be saved.

It may sound hyper-Calvinist, but those who do not believe the truth cannot believe until their appointed time to believe.  The must believe the lie (The Greek definite article is in the Greek text) until the appointed time. God has sent them “strong delusion.”  For that reason, they take pleasure in unrighteousness.

God has now sent a strong delusion upon all who reject Christ Jesus.  They now believe THE lie that “we” are all brothers, Yahweh is only equal to Allah, and man is God! According to verse 11, God makes some unable to trust in Christ until the proper moment. Heathen are not “brothers” to Christians. We are a new creation, but the lost are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-15
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Because of Christ's love for us, we should give thanks to God for those of the faith. Keep in mind that we are beloved in Christ Jesus.

God chose us from the beginning to receive salvation by way of the Holy Spirit. We have been given the faith of Christ the ability to reflect that faith back to Him in the truth.

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.


Jesus said, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit,…" (John 15:16a/NKJV)

It was because of His choosing that we have been called to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to stand firm, and uphold the truths we learn in the Holy Bible.

These truths are not the traditions of man. Instead, they are rules of conduct in our relationship to Christ Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Here is a lovely benediction. Paul prays that "our Lord Jesus Christ Himself," and also "God our Father," who loves us beyond anything we understand or personally deserve, through His grace grant us everlasting consolation and hope.

I pray that He may comfort and "stablish" (strengthen) our hearts in all our work, and in the words we speak.

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