The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 57 of 181
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The Lie in
II Thess. 2:
pp. 112 - 116
The second chapter of the second epistle to the Thessalonians briefly speaks of the
time when the Lie will come into its own as never before. Bad as the situation outlined in
Rom. 1: may seem, it will be outmatched by that referred to by Paul here. Satan's Lie,
which made its first appearance in Eden (Gen. 3:) will come to fruition.
Had Israel fulfilled the conditions presented to them, the days of which Paul speaks in
this epistle could have approached in a comparatively short time. But Israel finally
rejected the offer of their King and the earthly kingdom, and in turn were themselves laid
aside by God. It is important to be clear that Paul writes to those who are believers:
many today assume the epistles were written to all men, and in so doing encourage the
growth of the Lie. But it is clear to whom he is writing: "unto the church of the
Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (1: 1), "We are bound to
thank God always for you . . . . . because that your faith groweth exceedingly" (1: 3).
When, then, he begins chapter 2: with a warning, it is a warning to believers. It is a
warning believers today would do well to heed as the situation of which he warns once
more draws near, this time to find fulfillment.
He warns first of the danger of being `shaken in mind, or frightened (the word has the
root meaning of `cry aloud, shriek', hence `frighten'), neither by spirit, nor by word, nor
by letter as from us' (2: 2). So he continues in verse 3 "Let no man deceive you by any
means". The word he uses for `deceive' means `to deceive thoroughly, seduce', and in
the phrase he employs a double negative by way of emphasis. Paul wants his readers to
understand very clearly the reality of the danger that they, believers though they were,
could be deceived. Just what he means when he warns against being deceived `by spirit',
or better `by spiritual', may be difficult to decide; but it would seem likely to link up
with the lying power, signs and wonders of verse 9. It may well be that Paul had in mind
a `spiritual' communication which purported to come from him from a spirit (rather than
spiritual) source, a warning many today might heed to their spiritual well-being.
The reason he gives for this warning is `for that day shall not come, except there come
a falling away first'. The word for `falling away' is apostasia, apostasy, with the strong
inference that the spiritual or spirit communication would be one resulting from the
apostasy. Here was (and is) the danger: a brother respected for his godliness hitherto has
now been carried away from the purity of the faith, influenced by the Lie. How easy then
for the unthinking to continue to follow his teaching. Let no one deceive you by any
means at all, says the Apostle.
This apostasy will pave the way for the revelation of the Man of Sin in whom Satan's
original Lie finds its fulfillment. He sets himself an adversary to God, exalting himself