2Th 2:1-12; What Is the Mystery of Lawlessness Up to Today?

Class Outline:

Tuesday August 5, 2023


Theme: The mystery of lawlessness is works from a position of weakness, being held down by the Lord, but still able to rule the hearts of mankind. How do they do this if the Lord restrains them?  


The power of the elites in any society is not in a vacuum. There are others who want power and there are the masses who will become discontent with failing policies or the folly of the incompetent ruling class (and they always become so).


God is restraining the mystery of lawlessness, or we might call it the “revelation of lawlessness.” One day, He will lift His restraint, and then lawlessness, of Satan’s full influence, will be manifested to the completeness that he can.


The Scriptures reveal to us something of what the lawless kingdom of Satan will do when it is allowed to really breathe.


2TH 2:3-10

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, 4 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. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 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. 8 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; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 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.


Apostasy - departure from true authority, both political and religious.


Lawlessness - departure from moral law.


Opposes and exalts above all gods - lust for power and worship.


Claiming to be God - completely delusional.


Deceiving - has no truth to stand upon.


We see this in our world, but it is not everywhere. It is in some places more prominent than in others.


God is using something to restrain this evil power right now. Good scholars disagree as to what the force of restraint is. The Holy Spirit, the church, governments are most reasonable suggestions.


We do know that when the antichrist rises to power, he will be opposed by three kings, who he will overcome and slay. That makes a case for governments or nationalism as the (or a) restraint.


What is it about others that resist the power of imperialism?


People want autonomy, freedom, and the right to choose, even if it is their own destruction, they are happier having the freedom to choose to destroy themselves.


God could have done what the proponents of this eventually do - turn and force us to comply.


God did not do this.


God maintained our autonomy, freedom, and right to choose and gave us the greatest display of love imaginable - the magnificent Christ dying for us.


The desire for world domination and control has always been in Satan, long before Christ was born. But he has been ever unable to pull it off. God has held his ambitions down. Satan showed this problem to us when he offered Christ the kingdoms of the world. Satan was asking the Son of God who added humanity and its weakness to Himself if He would be his world ruler - in his delusion, he was asking Christ to be the antichrist.


God has maintained our autonomy, freedom, and right to choose.


In other words, we get to choose who will reign over our lives, our thoughts, our hearts, and our bodies.


MAT 16:24-27

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.  25 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  26 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.


In Matthew, He says this right after he tells Peter, “Get behind Me Satan.”