The Man Of Lawlessness [4]

Monday 11th November 2019 Prayer Devotion

Scripture Reading:- 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10

Topic:- The Man Of Lawlessness [4]

Text:- 2 Thessalonians 2:10

G. Who Or What Restrains:
1. When Paul declares, “You know what is restraining him now,” we again confront our lack of firsthand knowledge. Paul’s original audience “knew” such matters based on Paul’s prior instruction, but we are left to infer as much as we can to the best of our abilities. See 2 Thessalonians 2:5.
2. This is particularly difficult, and one of the most avid debates among modern commentators concerns the question of who or what is restraining the lawless one’s appearance.
3. Before considering the options, it speaks of some entity (neuter gender in Gk.) that is restraining the lawless one, and also shifts to the masculine gender, implying that the restrainer is some person (“he who now restrains it”). See 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7.
4. It seems that some personal entity must cease his restraining action in order for the lawless one to be revealed. This could be metaphorical for a group of people, but it seems likely Paul has a single individual in mind.
5. Interpreters have considered multiple options for this “restrainer.” Many suggest that God himself restrains such evil, perhaps especially in the person of the Holy Spirit.
6. Others believe Paul has some earthly agents in mind, and perhaps the Roman emperors or the empire itself held back the lawless one in Paul’s day.
7. This is possible, though such postulations often require a metaphorical expansion of “he who now restrains” to indicate an entire nation or a series of emperors rather than a single individual. Some have even suggested that Satan is the one restraining his own lawless agent until the proper moment. See 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10.
8. However, the mention in verse 6 of “in his time” seems to speak more of God’s sovereign timing that governs the removing of restraint. An intriguing recent monograph argues that Paul believed the restrainer to be an angel of God, noting that, in Daniel, the lawless ruler who establishes the abomination of desolation is followed immediately by Daniel’s prophecy that Michael the archangel would “arise,” unleashing a time of trouble prior to the deliverance of God’s people. See Daniel 11:20–45; 12:1-4.
9. With this list of options, it appears most likely that God himself controls the timing and the restraint, holding back the advent of the lawless one until the proper moment. God may then be the restrainer (perhaps specifically as the Holy Spirit) or may act through the agency of an angelic restrainer. What can be stated clearly is that the appearance of the lawless one is entirely in keeping with God’s sovereignty.  See 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12.
10. Therefore, the Thessalonians need not fear that the world is out of control. Rather, the lawless one will appear “in his time” and will be conquered by the Lord Jesus at the proper moment. See 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

H. Already At Work:
1. Although the lawless one is yet to come, “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” This is consistent with the concept of evil elsewhere in the NT. John states simultaneously that the “antichrist is coming” and that “now many antichrists have come.” See 1 John 2:18; 2:22; 4:3; 2 John 7.
2. Although Paul prophetically anticipates the rise of a particular figure who will embody deceptive opposition to God, he admits readily that the same forces of deception and lawlessness are already prevalent in society. Paul has experienced such evil, as has the persecuted Church in Thessalonica. To the extent that the lawless one comes with “false signs and wonders” and “deception” See 2 Thessalonians 2:9-1.
3. It is helpful to remember that Jesus predicted that many false Messiahs and Prophets would arise over time but that the church will nevertheless endure and give witness. See Matthew 24:4-5, 11-13, 23-25.
4. Thus we live in an age when simultaneously the Spirit enables the church to proceed with its mission and lawlessness is at work.

Prayer Point:- Rebuke every form of lawlessness and man of lawlessness that are working against my spiritual life and success henceforth by fire, die, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Have A Glorious Monday! www.timogundelejesu.com

Pastor Timothy Ogundele-Jesu

Pastor Timothy Ogundele-Jesu

Pastor Tim Ogundele_Jesu is a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and an apostle by the grace of God. He has been used by God prominently in the area of salvation, healing, blessing, and especially deliverance.

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