The Word for today:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
mark this: 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12/NKJV
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The last book of the Bible is called Revelation. Revelation--in Greek, the apokalypsis--is the unveiling of the complete Jesus Christ. Known heretofore as the suffering servant / the sin-bearer / the Lamb of God, he is revealed in the Bible's finale` as the the Lion of Judah/ the King of Kings / the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.
But The Revelation will be preceded by this revelation:
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
Satan is not a creator. He is a copyist, a mimic, a poseur. He, along with the beast and the false prophet, will present a counterfeit trinity:
And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. (Revelation 16:13; see also Revelation chapter 13.)
He appears, even now, as a counterfeit angel:
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
He will ultimately appear as the Christ, fooling the many who have willed their own blindness, who have chosen to believe a lie:
They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11)
2 Thessalonians teaches us that the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. 1 John 4:3 teaches us that the spirit of Antichrist--a counterfeit of the Holy Spirit--is now abroad, spreading the doctrines of demons amongst us:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)
We must be diligent to put on the mind of Christ (1)--to think the thoughts of Christ as presented in scripture--and not to be conformed to the outlook of the fallen world (2).
Put the spirits to the test, we are told:
Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
Do not succumb to a counterfeit. The Antichrist will be the "Christ" as portrayed by secular culture, not the real Christ of the Bible. So the way to keep from being fooled is revealed in this verse:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)
His "voice" is his Word! Graze in the Word of God every day and you will not be misled:
A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. (John 10:5)
You can start by slowly digesting today's passage:
The secret power of evil is already working in the world, but there is one who is stopping that power. And he will continue to stop it until he is taken out of the way.
Then that Man of Evil will appear, and the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath that comes from his mouth and will destroy him with the glory of his coming.
The Man of Evil will come by the power of Satan. He will have great power, and he will do many different false miracles, signs, and wonders. He will use every kind of evil to trick those who are lost. They will die, because they refused to love the truth. (If they loved the truth, they would be saved.)
For this reason God sends them something powerful that leads them away from the truth so they will believe a lie.
So all those will be judged guilty who did not believe the truth, but enjoyed doing evil. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12/NCV)
Prior to the revelation of Jesus Christ, a counterfeit "Christ" will be revealed. But in your hands you hold a book--which doubles as the only reliable lie detector in all the world.
(1) 1 Corinthians 2:16; (2) Romans 12:2