An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 53 of 277
nears its end, as dispensations run out and cease, as all the threads gather
to the crisis of the age, so the darkness foretold descends.  The end of the
Gospel age is evidently one of unbelief, for the Saviour said, 'When the Son
of Man cometh, shall He find faith in the earth?' and the implied answer is
'No'.  Paul's last epistle, the one that completes his testimony as the
Prisoner of Christ Jesus for us Gentiles, speaks of 'perilous times', when
men will not endure sound doctrine.  Peter also speaks of scoffers who shall
figure in the last days, in conformity with these utterances.  Paul tells the
Thessalonians of the coming day of the Lord and the apostasy that precedes it
(2 Thess. 2:3), the rise of the Man of Sin, the son of perdition and the
Satanic delusion that descends upon those who have rejected the truth.
'A falling away' supposes at least a previous profession.  The darkness
of the last days is not so much pagan ignorance, but wilful blindness.
Apostasia, the word translated 'a falling away' in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, is
rendered 'to forsake' in Acts 21:21, while the word apostasion is translated
in its three occurrences 'divorcement' (Matt. 5:31; 19:7; Mark 10:4).  Three
times in this prophetic chapter does Paul use the word energeia or energeo,
the culminating point being the words of 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 'strong
delusion' (Authorized Version); 'a working of error' (Revised Version); 'a
misleading influence' (Weymouth 3rd. ed. 1909).  Satan's 'working' had been
supported with 'all power and signs and lying wonders' (2 Thess. 2:9), and
from the verse that follows, it appears that no one will be deceived by this
Satanic attempt who is not already disposed to deception by personal and
responsible turning from the truth:
'With all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;
because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be
Such we learn are 'damned' for they believe not the truth, and their
unbelief is not because of honest doubt, nor of intellectual difficulties but
from moral reasons, they 'had pleasure in unrighteousness'.  As it was in the
beginning, so will it be at the end,
'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness
and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness ...
who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are
worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that
do them' (Rom. 1:18,32).
In both Romans 1, and 2 Thessalonians 2, the Greek word pseudos 'the lie' is
found (Rom. 1:25; 2 Thess. 2:9,11).
'The wrath of God' is a term that needs to be handled with great care.
An examination of its usage in the New Testament will show that in most
cases, culpable and inexcusable unbelief is in view (Matt. 3:7; John 3:36;
Rom. 1:18; 2:5,8; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6; 1 Thess. 2:16; Heb. 3.11; 4:3).  The
references to wrath in Hebrews 3 and 4 speak of the apostasy of the people of
Israel, and in Romans 1 of the culpable sinfulness of paganism.  It is
therefore in blessed contrast to 2 Thessalonians 2:11, that we read in 1
Thessalonians 2:13, of the effectual working of the Word of truth in them
that believe.  One essential feature of the faith of these believers is that
they discriminated between that which was 'the word of men' and that which
was 'the Word of God'.  Those who make their boast of 'independence' and
'free -thought', are nevertheless in terrible bondage.  See how they
swallowed the forged letter referred to in 2 Thessalonians 2:1,2, if men will
not receive the truth, they will receive the lie.  An 'effectual working'