New Bible Prophecy Article “When the Man of Lawlessness is Revealed” 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2:3

“When the Man of Lawlessness is Revealed”

2 Thessalonians 2:3

(2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8-10 “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God… Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”


I have been watching a well-known prophecy teacher and author with his own online website speaking about God’s future plans for Israel for the Body of Messiah, the faithful Church, and for the nations. He also has contacts within the Israeli hierarchy, more likely within IDF circles as he himself has faithfully served as an officer in the IDF. Most of what he said prophetically concerning Israel I agree with from the Bible and his knowledge of the situation in Israel and Israeli politics are excellent and very informative, and I value him greatly as a very dear blood-redeemed brother in the Lord Jesus.

Having said this, he, like most of the other Bible prophecy teachers online and from their pulpits, are teaching a pre-tribulation rapture of the Church that they are saying occurs before the man of sin or lawlessness is revealed who is also called the Antichrist. This doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture was never held by the early Church but an invention of the 19th Century. It has spread through western assemblies (churches) and is widely accepted within western Christendom today that has not experienced the persecution experienced daily in communist and Islamic countries.

Now while the Bible does teach that the faithful Body of Messiah will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air at His Second Coming to earth, it does not teach an escape from this world before the revealing of the man of lawlessness, nor an exemption for the Body of Messiah in the western democracies from the persecution at the hands of the beast empire of this man of lawlessness also called the Antichrist (Revelation 13:5-7).

Before the Lord Jesus returns physically and visibly to earth, and snatches up His Body the faithful Church to meet Him in the air at His Second Coming, certain things must first take place. In His second letter to the assembly at Thessalonica Rabbi the apostle Paul writes about these things. In Chapter 2:1-12 Paul connects the Coming of the Lord Jesus with our being gathered to Him (Vs 1). Paul wrote about this meeting in the air with the Lord at His Second Coming in his first letter to the Thessalonian assembly See (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Now here in this second letter he connects the Coming of the Lord Jesus and the rapture with the Day of the Lord (Vs.2), a phrase in God’s Word directly connected to the visible and physical Second Coming of the Messiah our Lord Jesus and the events preceding it.

In the Bible there are many references to the day of the LORD related to the physical and visible return of the Messiah our Lord Jesus to earth. Paul then tells them that before the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus that there will be three things that have to happen first before the Lord Jesus comes back. Let’s look at these three things very briefly…

1. The Apostasy:

Firstly, Paul says the falling away or the apostasy must happen which we see happening today (Vs.3a).  Our Lord Jesus also said that because of the increase of wickedness in the world that the love of most believers would become cold and that they would fall away from the faith (Matthew 24:12). The Greek word used for “love” is the word “agape” which is only possible with those who have the Spirit living on the inside of them (Romans 5:5). If those who are falling away were not saved in the first place, then what are they falling away from?

2. The Man of lawlessness:

Secondly, Paul says that this apostasy will open the way for the man of lawlessness to be revealed who will set himself up to be worshipped and even sit in God’s Temple proclaiming himself to be God (Vs.4). See also (Daniel 11:36-37).

3. Counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders:

Thirdly, his coming as the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders that will deceive all those who have refused to love the truth and be saved, having embraced all kinds of wickedness and that God will Himself send them a delusion that will lead them into accepting the lie of this man of lawlessness because they had delighted in unrestrained wickedness. (Vss.9-12). Now let’s continue…

Left Behind?

Why would Paul mention the revealing of the man of lawlessness also called the Antichrist if the Body of Messiah was no longer on earth?  Already at Thessalonica there had been teaching being passed around that the Day of the Lord had come and by this implying that the Thessalonian believers had been left behind. In light of the severe persecution and suffering they were experiencing as an assembly they were fearful that the Lord had come and that they had been left behind. Paul was correcting their thinking on this matter and saw it as a form of spiritual deception (Vs. 3).

The Secret Power of lawlessness:

The secret mystery or power of lawlessness (Torahlessness) undiscerned by the unsaved world was already at work in the world at that time Paul was writing. This secret power of lawlessness continues to this very day, but this wicked spiritual power in the unseen spiritual world is restrained by the Holy Spirit from being fully manifested in and through this man of lawlessness. Once the Holy Spirit removes His restraining power the manifestation of this spirit of lawlessness will be fully revealed in the man of lawlessness whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath (command) of His mouth and destroy by the splendour of His coming (Vs.7-8). That’s the good news!!!

Many Antichrists:

Since the first century there have been many antichrists, all of whom foreshadow the final antichrist to come and these have been primarily associated with wider Christendom, hence the final one will set himself up in God’s Temple in Jerusalem to be worshipped as God and also in some way and at the same time to be worshipped within apostate Christendom as well (1 John 2:18-19).  On the broader scale, whether they were the pagan Roman emperors claiming to be deity and receive worship as a god and persecuting the saints, or the Papacy with the Popes taking the role of the Lord Jesus on earth and perpetrating the Inquisition, or Stalin and Adolph Hitler murdering millions, or more recently Xi Jinping, Putin, the Islamic Ayatollahs and Imams, or those within secular governments pushing through legislation that goes against the Bible, these combined are all an affront to God and controlled by this secret power of lawlessness. These are all antichrists!

Are even the elect being deceived?

Within wider Christendom we have ‘antichrists’ in ecumenical and interfaith circles and unions, in the hyper faith prosperity teachers infesting the Body of Messiah, and many into all kinds of counterfeit miracles signs and wonders that are even deceiving many of God’s elect saints (Matthew 24:24). Having said this, according to what Paul writes in his second letter to the assembly at Thessalonica, he had not taught that the Body of Messiah would not be here when the antichrist also known as the man of lawlessness is revealed.

Persecuting the Saints:

We know from the books of Daniel and Revelation that the Antichrist’s beast system of government will persecute the saints of the Most High God, and that only at the end will the Lord Jesus return to destroy the man of lawlessness, his beast empire, rescue Israel, and gather His Body, the faithful Church to Himself in the air as He descends to earth to establish His Messianic Kingdom on earth. Only then will the saints inherit the kingdom! (Daniel 7:24-27) (Revelation 13:5-7) (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) (Revelation 11:15).

The last Trumpet:

When the seventh and last trumpet sounds, announcing the return of the Messiah our Lord Jesus, as New Covenant believers we will all be changed in the twinkling of an eye receiving instantly immortal, indestructible bodies as the Lord Jesus has Himself! (Matthew 24:31) (1 Corinthians 15:51-55) (1 Thessalonians 4:16) (Revelation 12:15) (1 John 3:2) (Philippians 3:21).

An Ardent Hope:

The first century Body of Messiah was persecuted and their ardent hope was in the return of the Lord Jesus to establish his Messianic Kingdom. In fact down through history for the most part faithful New Covenant Bible believers have always been persecuted for their faith yet had in their hearts the certain hope of the return of the Lord Jesus who would rescue them from His wrath to come upon a Messiah hating, Messiah rejecting world (Hebrews 11:1, 6) (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). Here in the western democracies we have been spared this persecution due to the Biblical revivals primarily in the 18th and 19th Centuries. However, when the man of sin is revealed, and the Body of Messiah is still here on earth, sadly, many will fall away from the faith because they were taught they would not be here when the man of lawlessness is revealed.

God’s Enabling Grace:

In that day when the beast empire of the man of lawlessness unleashes its persecution against God’s people Israel and the spiritual offspring being the Body of Messiah spiritually grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel, God’s enabling grace will be very great for His persecuted people who remain faithful because they will be supernaturally empowered by the Holy Spirit to endure to the end even though may will be martyred and betrayed (Daniel 11:31-35). The power and presence of the Lord Jesus, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, will be with His brothers and sisters in the furnace of affliction, as He as the pre-incarnate Messiah was in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrews before His incarnation (Daniel 3:25).

Escape, Imprisonment and Martyrdom:

During the persecution of the Antichrist’s beast system of government some of us will escape, some of us will be imprisoned, and many of us will be martyred, yet the power and glory of God will be resting mightily upon us as the Lord Jesus Himself promised (1 Peter 4:12-19) (Luke 21:12-19) (Matthew 10:16-23).

Foreknown by God:

Our days on this earth and how they will end are already planned and foreknown by God. He has already provided in the Messiah everything we will ever need to walk in the will of God through life and we will be as strong as the will of God is strong because His strength will be abiding in us! As it is written; “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever. The LORD gives His people strength; the LORD blesses His people with peace” (Psalm 29:10-11). The Holy Spirit revealed this great truth of the absolute sovereignty of our Triune God to King David who writes; “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139: 16). Also we can rest assured in the words our Lord Jesus spoke when He said; “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

What will they say?

Those who teach a pretribulation rapture that the wider Body of Messiah will not be here to see the man of lawlessness really need to stop teaching this doctrine. Added to this, what will these prophecy teachers do when the man of sin is revealed and they and their congregations are still here? What will people do with all of their books and videos and CD’s they have purchased?

Destined for Tribulation, not Wrath:

Brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus one thing all of us need to keep in mind as New Covenant believers in Messiah is that we are destined for tribulation in this world, but not for the wrath of God which is coming upon the world at the very end of this present age (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 3:3; 5:9).  (Click here)

The Rescue is Coming!!!

The man of sin is coming, the beast system of government is coming, and the persecution of the saints by this antichrist is coming, but the rescue is also coming!!! As our Lord Jesus also said; “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:25-28). 

Brothers and sisters we will see the man of sin revealed if we are still alive on earth. However, when the Lord Jesus comes again He will overthrow this son of perdition by the breath (command) of His mouth, and destroy him by the splendour of His coming!!! (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Will the faithful Body of the Messiah see the revealing of the man of lawlessness or be taken out before he is revealed?  Will there be a pre-tribulation rapture? The answer may well surprise you (Click here)  (Click here)