| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 203 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
and should be supplied to complete the sense. The answer to our first question is found
in Rev. 9: 1, 2 and 11: 7. The man of sin, that Satan inspired personage, is held fast by
the `bottomless pit' or better `abyss' as rendered by the R.V., until the `appointed season'
or time of his manifestation to the world.
The second question finds its solution in Satan, who holds fast to his possessions in
the aerial regions (see Eph. 2: 2) until he is taken out of the way or removed. How this
happens Rev. 12: 7-17 describes. There is war in heaven; Michael and his angels fight
against Satan and the fallen angels under his control, and the Deceiver is cast down to the
earth with terrible results, leading to the Great Tribulation. When this happens, as a last
desperate throw, Satan calls up his man from the abyss, and for a short time he dominates
the whole world, Satan receiving, as we have seen, world worship through the Beast.
All this Paul must have explained in detail to the Thessalonian believers, for he says,
"Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things?" Taking note
of what we have seen of the usage of katecho, the following verses may be rendered as
follows with explanations in brackets:
"And now ye know what holds him (the lawless one) fast, to the end that he may be
revealed in his own appointed season (this is the abyss). For the secret of lawlessness
already works; only there is one (Satan) who now holds fast (to the aerial regions), until
he is taken out of way (i.e. cast out into the earth, Rev. 12: 9-12) and then shall be
revealed that lawless one whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the spirit (or breath) of His
mouth, and bring to nought by the brightness (epiphaneia) of His coming."
The Apostle, describing the destruction of the lawless one evidently has Isa. 11: 4 in
"He shall smite the earth (or the oppressor) with the rod of His mouth, and with the
breath of His lips, shall He slay the wicked (one)."
It takes the glory of the Lord's Coming and His almighty power to destroy this
superhuman being. We believe it will be beyond the capacity of man to do this.
furthermore it explains why the O.T. Scriptures, such as the prophecy of Daniel, deal
somewhat mysteriously with his end. In Dan. 11: 44, 45 R.V. we read:
"But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: and he shall go
forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the
tents of his palace between the sea and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to
his end, and none shall help him",
but the prophet does not describe how he comes to his end. That is left to II Thess. to
Paul uses the word epiphaneia here which gives us our English word epiphany. He
uses it in an adjectival way with the word parousia, which, as we have seen, is the
characteristic word to describe the hope of the Acts period, the Lord's arrival back on
this earth in power and great glory. Parousia is not used again by the Apostle after
Acts 28:, but epiphaneia is, standing by itself from this point onwards, and usually