Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 1 Study # 6
Thesis: The extreme deceit of the man of the lawlessness will be impossible for all but the "elect" to escape.
Introduction: In our last study we looked into the response of the Lord to the coming of the man of the lawlessness. We saw that not only will He reduce the man to the barest essentials of existence, but will also completely frustrate all of his lawlessness.
This evening we are going to look into Paul's description of how this man achieves his status in this world before the Lord reacts and brings to pass the complete frustration of evil in this creation.
December 20, 2015
- I. The Means of the Rise of The Man of The Lawlessness.
- A. The first description of this means has to do with the roots of his rise.
- 1. Paul declares him to be the product of "Satan's" work.
- a. In this description, Paul lays out a "standard" that summarizes the nature of the opposition.
- 1) The issue is "opposition" by virtue of Paul's use of "Satan".
- 2) The fact of "opposition" has a direct implication of what 2:4 specifically stated: the quest for the power of the "doing" of a "god".
- b. This opposer's work has a typical "standard".
- 1) At issue are all of the "doings" of the opposer: his "energy" expended in the pursuit of his goal.
- 2) This "standard" is rooted in the objective of being a "god"; i.e., in the exercise of power.
- 2. That his rise is "Satan's work" means one thing in particular: he is nothing more than the useful, human, idiot needed to bring humanity and its power into play.
- B. The second description has to do with the particulars of the "standard".
- 1. The first particular is "power".
- a. The word that is used indicates the ability to actually accomplish an objective.
- b. This is the most fundamental root of a "god" in the minds of human beings as illustrated throughout the history of Israel's conflict with its neighbors and their "gods".
- 2. The second particular is "signs".
- a. The word means something that has certain characteristics of meaning in one domain that point to a truth about another domain.
- b. This is the actual basis for human understanding of things beyond the normal reach of human beings: types of meaning that "point as a sign" to a meaning that exists in a different domain (...the kingdom of heaven is like unto...).
- c. Revelation 13:13 uses this term to identify the kind of "signs" the man will be able to produce.
- 3. The third particular is "lying wonders".
- a. The impact of a "wonder" is identified by Hebrews 2:4.
- 1) In all cases of "understanding" that are rooted in the proper interpretation of an act of "power", or a given "sign", there has to be some form of "validation".
- 2) Romans 1 says of this that Jesus was "declared to be the son of God by the resurrection of the dead".
- b. In Satan's case, the "wonders" are "false".
- 1) Either the wonder itself is fake.
- 2) Or the interpretation of the wonder is false.
- 4. The major impact is described as "the deceivableness of unrighteousness".
- a. Here the real issue is unveiled in terms of actual motive.
- b. In the true God's activities of "power", "signs", and "wonders" is the reality of His underlying motives (thus, "God is Love" becomes more consequential than "God is Powerful").
- c. In the false "god's" activities of "power", "signs", and "wonders" is the reality of a totally self-destructive motive: the harm of all others for the personal gain of the "god".
- II. The Permission of God For the Rise.
- A. At issue is the "power" of human beings so that they may be "allied" together to increase their impact.
- B. That the true God permits a false opponent to achieve a great deal of power through alliances is rooted in the real root: Love.
- 1. The true God is only interested in final, and real, accomplishments.
- 2. That those humans whom He has created are more interested in selfish objectives has set up the result: He will let them be deceived because they have no interest in "the love of the truth".
- a. This means that they are not interested in the "salvation" He offers.
- b. This means that they are significantly corrupted to the point of no return.