Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
Thesis: The Lord's reaction to the arrogance of "man" is a complete destruction of both his life and his efforts.
Introduction: In our last study we looked at the reason that the man of the lawlessness has not yet made his appearance: there is a restraint placed upon the development of lawlessness at present. The man of the lawlessness will be revealed once the Holy Spirit removes Himself from the midst of the process of the mystery.
This evening we are going to look more closely into the Lord's response to this man and his fully ripened attitude of self-deification.
December 13, 2015
- I. The First Description of the Lord's Response.
- A. The NASB uses our word "slay" to describe this response.
- 1. The word is only used three times in the New Testament and none of the three indicates "killing" as a primary focus.
- 2. The Authorized Version uses the word "consume".
- B. The three uses are instructive.
- 1. Luke 9:54 uses the word to indicate what would happen if fire fell from heaven upon someone.
- a. That it would "kill" them is a result.
- b. The point, however, is not that it would "kill" them so much as it is that it would burn them to a crisp.
- 1) The point is the graphics of the degree of retaliation.
- 2) By this word we are pushed in the direction of a fairly high degree of deep anger.
- 2. Galatians 5:15 uses the word to picture what happens to a piece of food that is placed into one's mouth to be chewed up and swallowed.
- 3. Our current text is set within the context of a long process of "patient long suffering" wherein the lawlessness of the rebellion against God is allowed to incrementally build to its final state.
- 4. The conclusion is that the word is used when a writer wishes to indicate an extreme degree of intolerance that leads to a violent rejection.
- C. The instrument of this violence is called "the breath of His mouth".
- 1. In the book of the Revelation, there is a sharp sword proceeding from the mouth of the glorified Christ that is intended to indicate the slaughter of those who oppose Him (Revelation 19:21).
- 2. But that same book tells us, in the same context (Revelation 19:20), that the beast and the false prophet are cast "alive" into the Lake of Fire.
- 3. Thus, Paul's picture is of the Lord spewing a violent breath out of His mouth at the man of the lawlessness that picks him up and casts him into the Lake of Fire.
- D. The Point: the Lord's reaction to this final culmination of human rebellion is simply to "blow it away".
- 1. The point is not that the man of the lawlessness is annihilated into non being.
- a) There is no point to saying that he is cast into the lake of fire "alive" if he ceases to exist.
- b) Nor is there any point to the statement of Revelation 20:10 if the beast and false prophet are not still there.
- 2. The point is that his man has been relegated to that place where "torment" is day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10) under the categories of Jesus' declaration in Matthew 13:42 -- fire, weeping, and gnashing of teeth.
- 3. At issue is the absolute denial of "Life" to those under these conditions.
- II. The Second Description of the Lord's Response.
- A. The word used in the Authorized Version is "destroy" and the NASB says "bring to an end".
- B. This word is widely used in the New Testament and its characteristic meaning is "to nullify the process so that the intended objective is unrealized".
- 1. The etymology is graphic: all of the energy expended is rendered ineffective.
- 2. Paul's use in our text indicates that he wants the Thessalonians to understand that no matter how detailed and comprehensive the "mystery" is, it is going to be brought to nothing.
- 3. Thus, not only is the man himself going to be relegated to the place where all rebellion is contained, but also all of his efforts, and those of him who stands behind him, will be reduced to absolute futility.
- 4. Thus, the issue is both "destruction" (limited to the obtaining of goals) and "an end" (limited to the end of the permission of the incremental process).
- C. The instrument of this end is identified as "the manifestation of His coming".
- 1. The word "manifestation" indicates a greater degree of clarity.
- 2. The straightforward implication is that men have simply not been able to grasp what Jesus' return to this world will look like.
- D. The Point: the manifestation of Jesus at His coming is to be a total and complete reversal of everything that has been involved in attempting to thwart God's production of a final kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy.