Monday: Paul’s Short Answer

In the short interval between 1 and 2 Thessalonians, the Thessalonian church members became confused about the meaning of what Paul wrote in the first letter.

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They drew the conclusion that the Second Coming was either at hand or had already come in some secret way (2 Thess. 2:2). Paul’s short answer to this problem? “That can’t possibly be true. There are too many things that haven’t happened yet.”

The confusion in Thessalonica caused Paul to write his most extensive outline of final events. Had he not done so, it would not have been preserved for us.

Read 2 Thessalonians 2:34. What does Paul tell us about “the man of sin” (NKJV) in these verses? What principles do we find here that help us understand what Paul is discussing?

Verses 3 and 4 are an incomplete sentence in the original. “That day will not come” is missing in the Greek and is supplied in most translations. Paul lists the things that have to happen before Jesus can come. There will be a “falling away” (the Greek word apostasia for “apostasy”), and then “the man of lawlessness” will be revealed. That revelation is described in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 as the working of Satan just before Jesus comes (which we will examine more closely in Wednesday’s lesson). But before that revelation of wickedness, there is a period of “mystery” and restraint (2 Thess. 2:67).

Verse 4 is a description of the man of sin (or “lawlessness”), who operates under cover for a time and is then revealed at the end. He opposes God, exalts himself above God, sits in the temple, and proclaims that he is God. This verse is filled with allusions to Old and New Testament texts. The “opposer” recalls Satan in Zechariah 3:1. Exalting himself above God and usurping God’s place in the heavenly temple recalls the little horn of Daniel 8. Showing himself to be God recalls Satan in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28; it also points to the blaspheming power of Daniel 11:36-39. So, the description of the man of sin contains elements pointing to both Satan himself and a wicked agent of Satan in the course of Christian history.

In what subtle ways are each of us susceptible to having the same kind of attitude as we see revealed here in this “man of sin”?

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Monday: Paul’s Short Answer — 10 Comments

  1. This is the Truth that we need to Preach to our fellow protestants. If we tell then,"Jesus loves you. Accept Him as your saviour personally. He died for you. Look up to Him for Salvation".......All these they know, But the information of Reveration 14:6-11, this they need to know. Let's teach Church members even more about the 3 Angels message, especially the young! When they grow, They shall never depart from it. Amen.

    • Yes, Mbozi, God has given the Seventh-day Adventist Church a specific work to do--and that is the proclamation of the Three Angels' messages.

      However, we too often forget that the first message begins with "Fear God and give Him glory." That means that we first need to accept the salvation He offers so that we may "give Him glory" by reflecting His character in our own lives.

      Sometimes other Protestants do better on this first part than we do. And our message will not have God's power if we do not live the message in our own lives by reflecting His character.

  2. So easily we as Adventists can fall for the trap, though very busy in church work, of obtaining the glory to ourselves. When this happens we have made ourselves a "strange" god. We best follow the advice in Rev. 3 and make sure we don't shift our loyalty unbeknowing to a strange god: that we obtain "eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see" (Rev 3:18 NASB). We have to make sure that our eye is single to God's glory as it is this (His glory) that saves us in this helpless state that we willingly, lovingly and appreciatively want to do nothing else but serve Him. Losing our focus here by being distracted with anything else (some other glory) will result in luke warmness which becomes distasteful to our
    all knowing and loving

    • Yes. We have to be aware that THE dEVIL's Angels come in the Form of Spouses, Partners, Friends, and Neighbors...

  3. Because the devil knows he has limited time on earth, is trying to colonize the whole world, the only protection is to accept Christ Jesus our Lord God.

  4. Its true currently we are living with the ant-christ. They know our weakness, ours is to call personal assistance from God because whoever puts him frontline on the battle will turn conquerer. Paul is speaking to us today through the word of the Bible to live a spiritual life.

  5. But before that revelation of wickedness, there is a period of “mystery” and restraint (2 Thess. 2:6-7).
    I think it reveals clear the work of satan and his agents, as it points us to the time that we living at, we are living on the last days where deceptive events and illusion performances are taking place left, right and centre.
    Let's stay ready at all times. Thank you!


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