In this study we will be looking at (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica for the second time he was aware that some people claiming to be apostles were spreading the rumour that the Day of the Lord had already come. These reports had unsettled the minds of the believers and at that time they were under severe persecution by Imperial Rome so that last thing they needed was to hear reports that the Day of the Lord had already come. Previously Paul had only spent just a few weeks with them and in that time had taught them quite a lot about the Coming of the Lord. If you are a believer when was the last time you had a Bible Study on Revelation or on the book of Daniel or on Eschatology in your church?
The Day of the LORD
Paul thought it was important to teach these new believers at Thessalonica about these things and his teaching on Eschatology is a strong feature in both Epistles. In the Bible “The Coming of the Lord” is also called “The Day of the Lord” and both these phrases refer to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. “The Day of the Lord” is that Last Day when the Lord Jesus comes in the clouds to catch up the saints to meet Him in the air and pours out the bowls of God’s wrath on the Antichrist’s kingdom. These events will occur consecutively one upon another. In this his second letter Paul links “The Day of the Lord” with the rapture of the Faithful Church. They are part of the same event. Paul had already mentioned the rapture in his first letter. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) According to Paul’s Eschatology both the rapture and the Second Coming are called the Day of the Lord. There is not “two phases” of the Lord’s return but one single event that includes the rapture and Paul clearly links the rapture to the Day of the Lord or the Second Coming of Christ. This is clear from verse one. As we will see there is nothing “secret” about these events including the idea of a secret pre-tribulation rapture. Now let’s look at the text itself.
(Vs. 1-2) “Concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you brothers not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us saying that the day of the Lord has already come.”
As believers our hope and expectancy should be to meet the Lord Jesus in the air at His Coming. Unfortunately multitudes of professing Christians today, especially in the western Churches, are attached to this world and to the things of this world and do not have a real longing for the coming of the Lord. Around thirty to forty years ago there was much more interest in the Second Coming of Christ among Christians than there is now.
Kingdom Dominion Now?
Today many so called teachers and prophets are telling us that the Church is going to take over the whole world for Christ and present it to Him at His coming. They are teaching that Jesus returns to the Church is some way other than what is described in the Bible. Some of the people promoting this teaching in the Church do not even believe that there will be the Antichrist, the Rapture or a Great Tribulation where Israel will be centre-stage. Primarily they belong to the Kingdom Now, Kingdom Dominion Movement. These people are teaching that the fulfilment of God’s prophetic purposes in the Bible to not depend on His promises to Israel but on their Kingdom Now Movement taking dominion over the world and presenting it to Jesus when He physically comes back. Of course this kind of thinking is not new just repackaged as it were. There have been movements in the past history of the Church when others taught the same things. This doctrine was perpetrated on the Church by a heretic named William Branham in the 40’s who taught this Kingdom Dominion thinking as the Manifest sons of God doctrine. He openly and publically stated that the doctrine of the Trinity was of the Devil.
Keeping Matthew Chapters 24-25 in perspective
For the first century believers the Coming of the Lord was their longing and hope because they were constantly being persecuted in the world because of their faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. They were not at home in this world at all but were “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” These Kingdom Now people today say that Matthew chapter twenty-four is not about the last days but only applies to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD and that there is no future fulfilment. However, a careful examination of the text of Matthew chapter 24 including chapter 25 as well clearly reveals that Jesus’ discourse on the Mount of Olives and what follows not only speaks about the events leading up to and including 70AD but also directly relate to His Second Coming and the conditions in the world leading up to it. According to the Bible the last thing happening just before the return of Jesus will be the Great Tribulation and the persecution of faithful Christians by the Antichrist’s empire on a scale unequaled in history. (Revelation 13:7-8)
“The beast wounded by the sword” is making is making a comeback!
Already this is a reality in today’s world. Right now millions of faithful Christians are laying down their lives for Christ as Islam spreads its religion of the sword through many third world countries. The whole of the Middle-eastern region is infested with Islamic fundamentalism. Islam itself is the greatest threat to western democracy and Christianity we have today. The west is compromising with Islam but Islam is not compromising with the west! In fact it is Islam and not Rome that endangers the very freedom and democracy we hold dear in the west. The rapid rise of Islam today is “the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lives!” Europe is still being invaded with thousands of ’refugees’ many of whom are undoubtedly Jihad minded militants and ex-ISIS operatives.
“Electrifying the fence!”
Many professing Christians in the west are sitting on the fence today with one foot in God’s Kingdom and one foot in the world but God is going to electrify the fence so that they will have to jump one way or the other. The Lord Jesus is going to arrange things in the world in such a way that we will desperately long for His coming. The one thing that was uppermost in the mind of the Apostle Paul was the fact that the faithful church would be gathered together to meet the Lord Jesus in the air at His Second Coming and that this event was to be uppermost in their thinking. They were to be like a faithful bride waiting in anticipation of the arrival of her husband to celebrate the Marriage.
Can the Rapture happen at any moment?
Apparently some people claiming to be apostles had spread the rumour that Jesus had already come, the Day of the Lord was at hand and they had been left behind. Also they were suffering severe persecution and some evidently thought it was the Day of the Lord and that they were in the thick of it. However, Paul wanted them to know that this wasn’t true at all. In fact when you consider the doctrine of a Pre-Tribulation rapture of the Church it does not hold up in the light of what Paul teaches here in Second Thessalonians as we will see in the text itself. What Paul teaches in his letters actually contradicts those who are promoting the Kingdom Now teaching and telling Christians that things are not going to get worse in the world but better. Both doctrines, the Pre-Tribulation rapture and the kingdom now teaching, are a deception that will leave many Christians unprepared for the persecution of the Antichrist and the Great Tribulation. Now Bible scholars are divided as to when the rapture takes place and the most common view is the Pre- Tribulation rapture namely that the Church will be removed from the world before the time of Great Tribulation, however, when we examine what Paul says here in this letter it is clear that the rapture and resurrection of the faithful Church cannot happen until at least three things occur. Now let’s look at the first thing.
1. The Great Apostasy
(Vs. 3) “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion (falling away) occurs…”
Deception and Betrayal
The first thing Paul warns them about is deception. The Lord Jesus in His discourse on the Mount of Olives warned about earthquakes, wars, famines and diseases once but warned about spiritual deception at least four times. Even though the Kingdom Now and Pre-Tribulation people are sincere in what they are teaching it is a deception that Satan is promoting in the Church to make Christians unprepared for the Antichrist’s widespread persecution of the faithful Church. However, Paul tells us that before the Lord Jesus returns there will be a falling away of Christians unparalleled in history. The Lord Jesus also warned us about this when He said, “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:9-13). The word Jesus uses for love is the word ‘Agape’ and in Matthew it is used of believing Christians. Non- Christians are incapable of this love because they do not have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of them. This love can only be produced in the heart by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5)
Two other types of Apostasy
In the Book of Hebrews we see the two forms of apostasy. One is a total and deliberate rejection of the truth. (Hebrews 10:26-29) The other type of apostasy is falling away from the standard of living set out for Christians in the New Testament. (Hebrews 6:4-6) Both of these are conspicuous features in the Church today. However, the word used here in Second Thessalonians translated from the original Greek is “the apostasy” or “the rebellion.” It not only implies a “falling away from Biblical standards of living” but also includes a complete denial of the basic truths of the Christian faith but also teaching others doctrines that go against the plain teaching of the Word of God. Literally it is “to step out of what you are in.” This is where we are today in the professing Christian Church.
The apostasy that started under Constantine has blown out of all proportions today through the influence of the media. Most of the false teaching is primarily coming out of the Churches in the Western democracies. Many of these false doctrines of demons may still bear the name of being a Christian When you look at Europe including Great Britain you see a thousand years or more of Christianity in these countries that are now Post Christian nations, not to mention America with its false prophets and teachers hogging air time on television along with the money preachers fleecing the saints. Europe today is under the judgement of God as thousands upon thousands, most of which are Muslim, pour across the borders of Europe. Islam is now invading the western democracies on a scale unprecedented in history. This has always been the goal of Islam for centuries. Today it is happening before our eyes. Europe is now for most part a Post-Christian neo-pagan continent that has made a radical departure from its Biblical roots from the past.
They are selling us out!
For some time now our Christian leaders have been selling us out. One of the former Archbishops of the Anglican Church in Britain some ywaes ago now was a practicing Druid. Ancient Druidism was the pagan religion practiced in Britain before the coming of Christianity. According to the Bible any form of worshipping false gods is demon worship. (Deuteronomy 32:16-17) (1 Corinthians 10:20) Not only had the former Archbishop encouraged demon worship but was also quite open to same sex marriages and the ordination of practicing homosexuals. Some years ago also an Anglican Bishop in England denied the resurrection of Jesus and two thirds of the Bishops supported him. The Muslims who heard this man had a field day and were almost astonished that a so called Bishop would deny the Resurrection of Jesus. For some years now in the Uniting Church of Australia they have been open to ordaining practicing homosexuals to the ministry. Many of our evangelical leaders are becoming ecumenical and trying to align themselves with the Roman Catholic Church that teaches doctrines totally opposed to scripture, not to mention the interfaith dialogue.
Sharing in their wicked work!
John the Apostle arote about this telling us that if we welcome anyone or invite anyone into the Church who does not bring Biblical teaching we share in that person’s wicked work. (2 John 10-11) The late Robert Schuler of the past Crystal Cathedral fame at one time had a leading Muslim Cleric in his Church as a guest speaker and afterwards it was reported that he said publicly that he wouldn’t mind if his grandchildren were Muslims. Today the Crystal Cathedral has been purchased by the Roman Catholic Church. Likewise, Bill Hybells from Willow Creek, who was mentored by Robert Schuler, also had a Muslim cleric in his pulpit explaining Islam. Even if his motive was sincere according to the Bible he had an antichrist in his church. Islam teaches in the Quran and in its other literature that “God has no Son nor does he beget a son” and scripture is clear that whoever denies the Father and Son relationship in the Tri-Unity of the Godhead is the Antichrist. When you look at the Dome of the Rock Mosque you can see another abomination that causes desolation which has stood on the Temple Mount for over 1300 years.
Who is ‘in bed’ with who these days?
Some years ago now some leading evangelical leaders actually signed a document with the Church of Rome not to try to convert Roman Catholics. Many of our leaders today are even going further and advocating interfaith worship. In the late 1980’s the late Pope John Paul met with all of the other religious leaders of the world to pray for unity and to begin the process of forming a One World Religion. There was a picture taken of the late Pope kissing the Koran which as I have already mentioned before clearly states that “God has no son neither does he beget a son.” Some time ago the present Pope met with a leading Muslim Cleric in Rome to discuss global unity and tolerance and the establishment of a common faith. This present Pope has even prayed in a Muslim mosque after offending the Muslims in a speech he made. Some time ago the current Pope was in Jerusalem for an interfaith conference with a leading Jewish and Muslim cleric. Many years ago now the United Nations set out a constitution calling for a universal religion and had even established an Ark of Hope containing seventeen commandments for world peace and unity to be the focus of that religion. Spiritual ‘Harlotry’ is the name of the game! All of them are ‘in bed’ together!
“A Common Word between Us and You”
Just a few years ago now many other church leaders signed a document circulated by Muslim leaders to Christian leaders called “A Common Word between Us and You.” This document in the name of “love” between faiths as it were tries to somehow say their Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews. Of course the reality is that Allah is the Mesopotamian Moon-god of war clearly defined by crossed swords and the Crescent Moon which appears on the tops of Islamic Mosques and Minarets everywhere today. In fact this “god of war” defined by a crescent moon goes way back into history before the time of Mohammad. You can read about this moon god in Judges Chapter eight in the Bible. (Judges 8:21 NASB) It is recorded there. After defeating the Midianites Gideon removed the crescent ornaments from around the necks of the enemies camels.
God hates the mixture!
Many of our Bible Seminaries and institutions are becoming increasingly academic and moving away from the plain teaching of God’s Word. Many evangelical colleges are now mixing secular psychology with the Bible. One of the trends that really impacted the Church was the Purpose Driven Movement that is based primarily on secular marketing strategies mixed with scripture. In the Bible God clearly says that He hates a mixture. But let’s move on.
The major feature today that indicates that we are in the last days is the widespread spiritual deception in the Church through false prophets and teachers who are teaching doctrines of demons. (1Timothy 4:1-3) In his second letter the apostle Peter speaks about these false teachers, “secretly introducing destructive heresies” This phrase Peter uses indicates that false teachers do not teach outright lies but “lay truth and error side by side.” It is like having a beautiful gourmet sandwich laced with arsenic a slow acting poison that eventually brings on death. False teaching is the same and its end result is spiritual death! (2 Peter 2:1-3) This is “the leaven that leavens the whole lump.” One major false prophet today is Benny Hinn. He is a proven false prophet and yet millions of Christians around the world still follow him and hang on to every word he says. Then there are the faith prosperity teachers who are teaching another gospel and are doing exactly what the moneychangers were doing in Jesus day when He drove them out of the temple. These men are “profiteering on the blood of the Lamb.” They are promoting “Godliness as a means to financial gain” but are “an accursed brood” according to the New Testament. Of course much more could be said on this issue.
In one foul sweep!
Ultimately this compromise in the professing Christian Church, primarily in the western nations, will bring the Antichrist to power. When he arrives on the scene there will be a falling away from faithfulness to Jesus and His word unparalleled in the history of the Church. In one foul swoop “a third of the stars will be swept from heaven by the tail of the dragon.” (Revelation 12:4) “Stars” in the Bible are symbolic of believers in both Testaments. (Genesis 15:5) (Daniel 12:3) So the first thing Paul tells us is that we will see the great apostasy before Jesus comes to rapture and resurrect the faithful Church. Now we come to the second thing to occur.
2. The Coming of the Antichrist
“…and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction (the son of perdition). He opposes and exults himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
There is only one other man in the Bible called “the son of perdition” and that is Judas Iscariot. He is a major type of the Antichrist in the New Testament. He was the only man personally indwelt by Satan himself. He was an apostle and very close to Jesus and the other apostles. He was able to work miracles. He was into money. He was a deceiver and a thief and only Jesus knew this. He was able to deceive the other apostles. The antichrist will be very closely associated with religion and especially with the professing Christian Church. Like Judas he will be personally indwelt by Satan himself and able to deceive the majority of the professing Christian Church into compromising and going along with his agenda. When you consider ecumenism and interfaith worship being encouraged today by the secular powers it is logical that those who go into this type of amalgamation will be deceived. When you consider all the Church leaders that signed the document “A Common Word between Us and You” you see the apostasy taking deeper roots within wider Christendom. The deception perpetrated by the man of sin will be so powerful that multitudes of professing Christians will actually embrace him and his agenda when he is revealed.
Today Islam is the fastest growing religion or ideology. It is a socio-economic, militaristic, form of Government with a religious component. There are now well over 1.2 billion Muslims in the world and over a 100 million are fanatical and Jihad minded! That means that 10-15% of Muslims are of the militant Islamic strain. In America it has been estimated that somewhere between 300,000 to 750,000 American Muslims support the terrorists. In fact the Koran itself actually commands Muslims to kill Christians and Jews and to actively destroy those who believe in the Tri-Unity of the Godhead. There are no moderate Muslims or a philosophical Islam. There is only Islam! Many so called peace-loving citizens in the western democracies could become remorseless killers of women and children if the circumstances changed in the west. Already the refugees entering into the western democracies are a recipe for disaster in years to come. It is highly likely than within a decade much of Europe will be known as the European Continent of Islam.
A major type of the Antichrist in history was the Seleucid Greek Antiochus Epiphanes whose name meant ‘god manifest.’ This despot invaded Israel around 160 years before the birth of Jesus. When he invaded the Holy Land the majority of the Jewish religious leaders supported him and many who knew what was happening said nothing to save their lives and their reputations all except for the Maccabees who were led by a Priestly family to resist Antiochus. God had a faithful remnant that resisted Antiochus with the physical sword and just before the Lord Jesus comes again there will be a faithful remnant that will be resisting the Antichrist and his empire with the Sword of the Spirit. During this time many will be purified and refined!
Worshiped as God
Now Judas Iscariot was also into money, being the treasurer, and the Antichrist will also have vast amounts of wealth at his disposal. This aspect of his character is seen in Daniel Chapter Eleven from verse 36 onwards. (See the Study, “The King who Exults Himself” on this website) Ultimately the Antichrist’s aim is to be worshipped as God by the whole world and especially within the professing Christian Church. According to the Bible this man will seek to be worshipped as God on the temple mount in Jerusalem and in the professing Christian Church. In the Bible there are several different words used for “temple” and the word Paul uses here is the word “naos” which implies “a spiritual temple as well as a physical one.” In other words Paul is telling us that before the faithful church is caught up to meet the Lord in the air at His Coming the Antichrist will demand to be worshipped in the professing Christian Church.
“The secret power of lawlessness”
Today we can clearly see “the secret power of lawlessness” (rebellion) at work in the Church. Today in the Roman Catholic Church the Pope is called “The Vicar of Christ,” i.e., as “the one who speaks in place of Jesus Christ.” In the Latin language his title is “Vicarious Christos” but in the Greek language his title is “Anti Christos” or “Antichrist”. These words are printed on the Pope’s Tiara and every time he puts it on he sits in the seat of the antichrist. The word “Antichrist” itself has two meanings in the Greek language of the New Testament. Firstly it means, “Against Christ.” Secondly, it means to be, “in place of Christ.” The real Vicar of Christ is the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth and not error. The Holy Spirit will never endorse teaching that contradicts God’s Word. (John 14:17 15:26 16:13) This is why Ecumenism is unbiblical and aligned with the spirit of antichrist. When the Pope speaks he is speaking as Jesus Christ and even if what he says goes against the plain teaching of God’s Word it is accepted as doctrine. (This has been proven historically) All of these things are the spirit of antichrist operating in the Church. Some years ago now the late Pope had his photo taken kissing the Koran, which explicitly says that “God has no Son” and John tells us that whoever denies the Father and Son relationship in the Godhead is the antichrist. (1 John 2:22-23) While the Papacy itself reflects the character of the Antichrist it points to the ultimate Antichrist who is to come.
“Islam, not Rome! “
Many Christians down through the history of the Church believe that the final Antichrist will be a Pope but the Church of Rome does not deny the Trinity, the virgin birth or the deity of Jesus. However, Islam denies them all! Many are looking for a European Antichrist but the reality is that he will be a Middle-Eastern politician and Muslim general commanding a vast army. (See the studies called “The Coming of the Antichrist” on this website.) This is further supported by Daniel 11:36ff. His empire will spread into Europe making him both a Middle-eastern as well as a Western Potentate.
The “Abomination of desolation”
Islam itself is the worship of Satan and another “abomination of desolation’” presently stands on the Temple Mount today awaiting the appearance of the Antichrist. Already Muslims around the globe are waiting for the 12th Mahdi and in the light of world conditions if someone in the character of Mohammad arises in the earth then the whole Muslim world will follow him. This would bring about a widespread persecution of faithful Christians unparalleled in history. What Islam does to Christians in the countries associated with that religion will continue to grow and to spread into the western nations. In fact there is already an Islamic Trojan Horse in every western nation today. Ultimately the Antichrist himself will destroy all religion except his own and demand everyone in his empire, which will be vast, to worship him as God. Let’s continue with the text.
(V5-8) “Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendour of His coming.”
Three things that restrain evil
There are three things that restrain evil in our world today. Firstly, there is human government ordained by God to restrain evil. Secondly, there is the preaching of the Gospel. (Salt and Light) Thirdly, there is the Holy Spirit Himself. Here in the text Paul is referring to the Holy Spirit as “the restrainer.” In some way a time will come when the restraining force of the Holy Spirit will be removed and the Antichrist will immerge. The Holy Spirit will never be taken out of believers but in some way He will no longer restrain evil in the way He does now. For a limited time and within certain perimeters the Lord will allow Satan to dominate many countries. During this time Satan will persecute the Church through the Antichrist and then turn on Israel. The Holy Spirit is restraining him now but the time is coming very soon when there will not be enough faithful believers left to stop his coming.
The Lord’s intervention
The increasing apostasy in the Church will open the way for the Antichrist. Things will become so bad at that time that the Lord Jesus will have to intervene to save the world from total destruction and for the sake of His faithful followers, “the Elect.” (Matthew 24:21-22) On the Last Day when the seventh trumpet sounds the Lord Jesus will take His bride out of the world, unleash the bowls of His wrath on the earth and then come with His Bride to destroy the Antichrist and his armies. (Matthew 24:31) (Revelation 7:14) (Revelation 19:11-21) (Isaiah 63:1-6) The final war to end all wars will be fought over the City of Jerusalem. The events in the Middle-East and surrounding Jerusalem today are fulfilling Bible Prophecy.
“I will gather all nations against Jerusalem”
When Jesus comes back the armies of the whole world will be surrounding Jerusalem with a siege. According to the Word of the LORD He will have gathered them. He will have brought them into the valley of Jehoshaphat to sit in judgement on them. As we read “multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision.” Jesus by the power of the words of His mouth will send forth His armies to destroy those armies of the Antichrist in a series of battles which are all recorded in the Old Testament. In fact the countries that Jesus will fight when He comes back are named and they are all Islamic nations today. After the battle for Jerusalem is over and Jesus proclaims victory standing on the Mount of Olives the Antichrist and the false prophet will be thrown alive into the lake of fire. Satan himself will be thrown into a pit and locked up for a thousand years. Following this Jesus will judge the nations that have survived the time of Great Tribulation and inaugurate His Millennial reign from Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem will then become the Capital City of the whole world.
Remember the Titanic
This present world is a Titanic heading for the iceberg. We are either in the casinos of this world’s pleasures and pursuits and living for ourselves or in the Lifeboat of Salvation clothed with the life vests of Jesus’ righteousness waiting for Him to come back to rescue us from the coming disaster. So then the second thing Paul tells us that before the Lord Jesus comes for His Church the Antichrist will be revealed. Now Paul tells us that the third feature that will precede the coming of the Antichrist will be an abundance of false signs, miracles and wonders in the Church. These manifestations will open the way for his arrival.
3. Counterfeit signs, miracles and wonders
(Vs. 9-12) “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. 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 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
“Signs, miracles and wonders?
Today in the Church there is so much emphasis on signs, miracles and wonders. Multitudes of Christians today are flocking to hear men like Benny Hinn and others who are obviously preaching another gospel yet they still go to their meetings. The Lord Jesus said that it was “a wicked and sinful generation that seeks for a sign.” (Matthew 12:39) He also said that these signs would follow the preaching of the Word and not be the main focus. (Mark 16:17) Today just the opposite is happening. Multitudes of Christians are emphasizing signs, miracles and wonders above the preaching of God’s Word. Today many so called prophets are saying, “I have a word for you” and many Christians want to hear “a word” rather than hear the Word of God. Signs, miracles and wonders do not validate a man’s ministry. Even among Mormons and African witch doctors and in other religions people prophecy, speak in tongues and perform healings. These things are not unique to Christianity. The magicians of Pharaoh’s court up to a point were able to counterfeit the miracles of Moses and Aaron by occult power. False apostles, prophets and teachers are using the occult in the Church today to counterfeit the miracles of Jesus.
When you look at the laughing revival also called the Toronto Revival which burst upon the church scene some years ago now it was a form of Kundalini Yoga. If you watch the video tapes of the meetings you will see people falling over, rolling along the floor and laughing uncontrollably. You see even Pastors sliding down the seats in a semi-mesmerised hypnotic state while others stagger around as if intoxicated. You see the opposite of a Spirit of love, power and self-control (sound mind). In fact people including the leaders were out of control. Then the two leading false teachers promoting this ‘laughing thing’ began speaking to each other out loud in tongues while laughing and clowning around on stage while they recieved applause from the audience! What do you think the Lord Jesus thinks about this? It is an insult to His intelligence! The apostate Super Church of the last days will be a so called supernatural Church filled with all kinds of lying pseudo signs, miracles and wonders. Those into this kind of thing will be deceiving others while deceiving themselves! Jude and Peter in their letters in the New Testament had much to say about these kinds of leaders prominent in the Church in the Last Days. What is there to laugh about when you see our faithful brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus all over the world being crucified, beheaded and boiled alive?
History will repeat itself.
Just before Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC God’s people were chasing after false prophets and false prophecies. Actually at that time they were enjoying a time of abundant prosperity. Listen to what the Lord said through Jeremiah, “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and My people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? ….“From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their; loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 5:30-31 8:10b-12)
The Babylonians are coming!
The ‘Babylonians’ are coming again in the empire of Islam! Once more the western nations are threatened. The Antichrist will come in the character of king Nebuchadnezzar from the nation of Turkey. He will be joined by a huge army from the regions that once were part of the Ancient Assyrian and Babylonian Empires. They will follow him as they followed Mohammad in his time. Just before the Lord Jesus returns the Islamic empire will dominate much of the world politically, socially, economically and militarily, having swept through the Middle East and into parts of Europe. When you see a country like Iran bent on destroying Israel and developing nuclear power you have the potential means to see a nuclear holocaust unleashed on all those who do not follow the strict Sharia law of Islam. (See our series of studies on this website titled; “fallen, fallen is Babylon”)
What happened in Jerusalem before judgment fell is happening again today in the Western Church. You have your false prophets emphasizing blessing, prosperity and abundance. Society is saturated with materialism and spiritual complacency in both the world and in the Church. Paul wrote to Timothy saying, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4) How many Christians today watch the Trinity Broadcasting Network with its string of false prophets and false prophecies with its late founder saying publically that “doctrine is excrement.” What a contrast to what the Apostle Paul tells Timothy when he says to that young pastor to “watch his life and doctrine carefully” and to teach what is “in accordance with sound doctrine.” What do these so-called ‘peddlers for profit’ on television and the internet really know about sound doctrine? While they deceive and enchant gullible Christians and suck them in on the other hand the world laughs at them knowing it is in reality a ’con job’ and they are right!
“A Love of the Truth”
Today people perish because they refuse to love and obey the truth and so be saved. The Lord Jesus said men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil and that they will not come to the light because their evil deeds will be exposed. But this is equally true of multitudes of professing Christians in the Church today. They would rather chase after signs, miracles, wonders, false words and false prophets rather than hear God’s Word. In fact if they persist in this way the Lord Himself will send them a delusion so that they will ultimately believe the lies of the Antichrist himself. They will no longer be able to discern truth from error or believe the truth even when they hear it because they have refused to believe the truth and have “delighted in wickedness.” God calls all those who refuse to love and obey the truth “wicked.” Just before Jesus comes back the apostasy will be so great that the false Church will have peace at any price even if it means embracing Islam.
“A little leaven leavens the whole lump”
Already the seeds of this apostasy are in the Church today as the Christian Church tries to amalgamate with Islam. Again it needs to be mentioned the past document presented by leading Islamic leaders to well-known Christian leaders who signed an agreement to it called, “A Common Word between Us.” This “document” seeks to identify Allah as the same God of the Christians and the Jews worship. The reality is Allah is not the God of the Bible but the Mesopotamian “moon-god of war.” This is part of the spiritual deception facing the western nations today that historically have been associated with Biblical Christianity! Rick Warren himself not only signed this document but promoted a so called P.E.A.C.E. plan which he hoped to promote globally working alongside Muslims, Buddhists and other religious organizations of one sort or another. However, the Bible clearly teaches that there will be no real and lasting peace in the world until the Prince of Peace the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to inaugurate His Millennial reign from Jerusalem. Then, and only then, will peace prevail throughout the world. False teaching spreads like the leaven does in dough. It eventually permeates and puffs up and promotes religious pride and self-aggrandisement by those promoting it. These false teachers or enchanters not only deceive others abut are themselves deceived. There is a very recent video of a well-known TV faith prosperity teacher leading his whole flock to exonerate and praise the current Pope and to promote unity with Rome.
If the Church was to be taken out of the world seven years before the end of the age then why did Paul tell the believers at Thessalonica about these things? If the Church was removed before the Antichrist was revealed then to whom is Paul speaking to? Undoubtedly Paul expected the man of sin to be revealed to the faithful! The plain meaning of the text is clear. We will not be caught up to meet the Lord in the air until we know who the Antichrist is. Already we see the beginning of the ultimate apostasy and the false signs, miracles and wonders and only after the Antichrist has been revealed will we be taken out of this world to meet the Lord Jesus in the air at His Second Coming. The rapture and resurrection is our hope as Christians and if we love and obey God’s Word in our lives then the Lord Jesus will rescue us from the coming wrath. We are not destined for wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. If we remain faithful to Jesus and to His Word we will never experience the wrath of God. (1 Thessalonians 1:10 5:9)
Unhook ‘the trailer’ of the world
If we are attached to this world and to the things of this world then we will not be ready when Jesus comes back. Remember Lot’s wife! She looked back because her heart was in this world and she perished in the fire. If we do not love and obey the truth then we will ultimately believe the lies of the Antichrist. If we say we love Jesus but do not love His Word then we do not love Jesus. God Himself will send us a delusion and in the end we will no longer be able to love and obey the truth even when we hear it!