The Berean Expositor
Volume 27 - Page 101 of 212
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Does Scripture say anything concerning war in the air.
pp. 174 - 177
A superficial reading of II Thess. 2: would lead one to believe that at the time of the
end complete atheism will prevail, for in verse 4 we read:--
"Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is
worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is
God" (II Thess. 2: 4).
The phrase: "All that is called God, or that is worshipped" would include even false
gods, and false worship. To such an extent will the ruler of the last days be opposed to
any thought of God that he will tolerate no act of worship. And yet one god remains in
spite of all, for this Man of Sin places himself in the temple, "showing himself that he is
God". So, when we turn to the passage in the Book of the Revelation which corresponds
to II Thess. 2:, we find, in a day when God will be denied, and the Beast shall open his
mouth and blaspheme God and His name (Rev. 13: 6), that all the world will wonder
after the Beast, and will "worship the Dragon which gave power unto the Beast; and will
worship the Beast, saying, Who is like unto the Beast? Who is able to make war with
him?" (Rev. 13: 4).
The word here translated "power" is exousia, and means "authority":--
"All this authority (said the Devil) will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is
delivered unto me: and to whomsoever I will give it. If Thou therefore wilt WORSHIP
ME, all shall be Thine" (Luke 4: 6, 7).
Here is the direct contrast to Rev. 13: 4. What Christ refused, the Man of Sin
Satan is called, in Eph. 2: 2, "The prince of the authority of the air", and his agents
are described as the "world-holders of this darkness" (Eph. 6: 12). There are only seven
occurrences of aer ("air") in the N.T. and there can be no doubt that the "air" in the
commonly accepted sense of the word is intended. "They cried out, and cast off their
clothes, and threw dust into the air" (Acts 22: 23). Had the passage read "threw dust in
their eyes" we might have felt that a figure of speech was intended out, but, as the
passage stands, the meaning must be literal.
So I Cor. 9: 26: "beateth the air", I Cor. 14: 9: "speak into the air", I Thess. 4: 17:
"meet the Lord in the air", are all to be taken literally. When we read in Rev. 9: 2 that
the sun and the air were darkened, the reason given--the smoke coming out from the
pit--is a sufficient explanation, and no figure need be introduced.