This series is going to deal with four places in the scriptures where we are warned to “let no one deceive you“.
THERE WILL BE A FALLING AWAY AND THE MAN OF SIN WILL BE REVEALED
2nd Thessalonians 2:3
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.
Paul seems to be most concerned about this because he says “let no one deceive you by any means”. This deception that we must guard against is explained fully in the text and so we will look at chapter 2:
- “1Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.”
I believe it’s important to note that they were being troubled in three sources: spirit, word, and letters supposed to come from them. The objectives of these attacks were to convince them that the day of Christ had already come.
Paul makes it sound as though they may have been dealing with these from spirits, perhaps in visions or false prophecies (depending on how you might understand “word” here) and false letters from false apostles.
- “6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.”
There is One who is restraining the man of lawlessness himself and He will continue to restrain him until He is taken out of the way. It is during this time that this many is being restrained that the “mystery” (literally hidden truth) of lawlessness is working in the world. Make no mistake here: Paul is not saying that lawlessness possesses Truth, rather, that it conceals and hides truth and does, itself, claim to be a hidden truth.
I can think of no greater example in our age than the Emergent Church, whose bold claim is that they are emerging new in this age with hidden truths.
- “8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Paul then tells us something that is so very important: the coming of this lawless man is in accordance with the working of Satan with power, signs, and lying wonders and with all unrighteous deception.
There is power behind this work and will be great signs and lying wonders that lead people to destruction through unrighteous deception.
Therefore, when Paul says, “do not be deceived by any means”, he is emphasizing to us the unrighteous deceptiveness that we are going to be facing. We must gird ourselves with all discernment and prepare ourselves to stand boldly against these deceptions in the Light of Truth!