| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 200 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
had expounded the subject to them in his oral ministry and therefore there was no need
for minute detail when he wrote to them. We of course have not the Apostle's spoken
ministry which doubtless treated the subject fully, and in this we are handicapped. The
only sure help we can get is by comparing Scripture with Scripture and seeking the Holy
Spirit's aid in understanding, and if we have this we have all that is necessary, although
we may not be able to fully understand all that is latent in this passage.
Just as the Lord Jesus, when dealing with events leading up to His Second Advent, as
recorded in Matt. 24:, warned his followers against being deceived (verses 4, 6, 24), so
the Apostle here warns the Thessalonian believers lest they should be `beguiled' (3).
Prophecy has always been the happy hunting ground of the spiritual charlatan and utmost
caution is necessary when we seek to expound or understand it. If we take care to keep
exactly to what Scripture says we cannot go wrong. The theories of the various prophetic
schools need not bother us provided that we have the solid ground of revealed truth, with
due regard to context, under our feet.
Paul now states explicitly that the Day of the Lord cannot take place until the apostasy
sets in. The words `falling away' are a rendering of the Greek apostasia a late form of
apostasis. The LXX uses it for `rebellion' in Josh. 22: 22. It is also used in the
Apocrypha concerning Antiochus Epiphanes who was enforcing the apostasy from
Judaism to Hellenism. The only other occurrence of the word in the N.T. is found in
Acts 21: 21,
". . . . . thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses . . . . ."
The thought behind the word is `revolt' or `rebellion', a willful departure from truth
and this is obviously in direct contrast to the conception that the world is going to get
better and better before Christ returns. Practically every context in the N.T. that deals
with conditions prior to the Second Advent, portrays these as being utterly dark and
unrelieved in gloom and departure from the Lord and Christian standards. This accords
too with the teaching concerning the Day of the Lord in the O.T. Such a condition, the
Apostle stated, will set in before the Day of the Lord. The next event would be the
revelation of the man of sin, the son of perdition. Apokalupto, to reveal, gives us the
word `apocalypse' and occurs in verses 3, 6 and 8. It is the same word that is used of the
revelation of Jesus Christ, the Lord's Second Advent, either as a noun or a verb, by both
Peter and Paul (I Cor. 1: 7; I Pet. 1: 7, 13; 4: 13). It literally means to `unveil' and we
see that all the great happenings connected with the Lord's Return are travestied by
Satan, the Cross and the Resurrection (Rev. 13: 3, 12; 17: 8) and here the Second
The phrase, `the son of perdition', has already been used by the Lord of Judas Iscariot
(John 17: 12) and some have taught that the man of sin is Judas Iscariot resurrected. We
do not think there is sufficient Scriptural evidence for this, but the man of sin is possibly
one of the two Satanic personages of Rev. 13: portrayed there as wild beasts.
Some have interpreted this passage as relating to the Emperor Gaius, who in 40A.D.
attempted to have his statue set up in the Temple at Jerusalem. However, this was only