Wednesday, 4 October 2017
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 2 Thessalonians 2:9
Paul now uses words which are more than just descriptive talk about the Antichrist. Instead, they are given as a contrast to the coming of Christ in His power. The Greek word for “coming” is the same often given concerning the second coming of Christ, parousia. It is a word which indicates an arrival, or an advent. Paul uses this word to contrast the two arrivals. The coming of Christ is according to the redemptive working of God; the coming of the Antichrist is according to the destructive working of Satan. One results in salvation for His people; one results in destruction for those who follow him.
It is a coming which Paul, as noted, does more than merely describe, but rather purposely contrasts to Christ. The Antichrist will be revealed “with all power, signs, and lying wonders.” Scholars argue over the placement of the word “lying.” Does it only describe “wonders,” or does it describe all three of the aspects given? The most likely answer is that it describes all three. This is how, for example, the Holman Bible translates it (translating the word as “false”) –
“The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders.”
As Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), the working of Antichrist fits in perfectly with the one from whom his workings are derived. Each of these three descriptors has been used when speaking of Jesus, such as in Romans 15:19 (and elsewhere), and so applying them to the Antichrist as “false” workings, gives us the needed contrast to see how much greater Christ is.
Being God, and possessing God’s unlimited power, Christ Jesus displays that power perfectly. His signs are true, and they are a confirmation of His place within the Godhead. And His wonders are intended to bring glory to God. On the other hand, the power of the Antichrist is limited. It is a false power, merely granted to him until the fullness of judgment has come upon the world. At that time, it will be shown ineffective against Christ Jesus. His signs are false, proving that his power is not godly, but Satanic. And his wonders are intended for self glorification, not the glorifying of God. Everything about him is a cheap knockoff, and it will eventually be proven as such.
Life application: How easily people are deceived into believing lies. Even Christians are duped constantly by those who present false gospels (Galatians 1:6-8), false doctrines (Romans 16:17), false displays of power (Benny Hinn), and false predictions (the rapture did not happen on 23 September 2017). How easy then it would be for Christians to believe the false presentations of the Antichrist. But such will not be the case. God will keep His people from such lies. For now, the cure for being duped by false teachings is to KEEP YOUR NOSE IN THE BIBLE. Read! Study! Show yourself approved! KNOW YOUR BIBLE!
Lord God, Your precious word, and experience in life as well, shows us that even those who are saved can easily be deceived by false gospels, false doctrine, false displays of power, and false prophecies. It is a chronic problem as we fail to rightly apply the word to our lives. The cure is found there though. You have given it to us for right doctrine and holy living. What a shame we watch TV instead of reading Your word! Help us to get over the stupid, and hold to the good. To Your glory we pray. Amen.