Spiritual War Bible Studies

Spiritual War Bible Studies => Second Thessalonians => Topic started by: Hidden In Him on March 22, 2019, 07:04:53 PM

Title: Video Notes: 2nd Thessalonians Title Study
Post by: Hidden In Him on March 22, 2019, 07:04:53 PM
Know God's Prophetic Timeline, To Avoid Being Deceived

- What do you believe about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you think it could take place at any time, or do you believe there are still things that need to happen before it can take place?
- The belief that He could come at any time can in some ways be beneficial to believers because it causes them to be conscious of the Lord's return at all times. He could be coming in 100 years, or He could be coming in 15 minutes, so one has to always be living for God.
- Unfortunately, this teaching also plays into the hand of Satan when it comes to end-time delusions, and I'm talking specifically here about those who set premature dates for His return.
- Yes, I'm aware that those who say He could return at any time are nevertheless quick to add that no one should be setting dates, for the Lord Himself taught the disciples, saying:

     Heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away. But no man knows concerning that day and hour, not even the angels of Heaven, but the Father alone. (Mathew 24:35-36) Overlapping


- But here is the problem: If He could return at any time, what's to say He might not be returning at a specific date someone is presenting a convincing case for?
- There have been a number of end-time delusions that have come along just in this century alone, and I will be covering some of them and the effects they have had on people's lives in a moment. But it is clear that people are drawn to date-setting. I was alive to witness the Y2K scare, and the Harold Camping debacles. Then there was the Mayan calendar scare in 2012 (hence the backdrop for this study), and the 12 stars over Virgo delusion that set a date of Christ's return for September 23rd, 2017. 
- What happens is, most Christians have a zeal for the Lord's return, but not much knowledge of the word of God, so Satan uses their zeal against them. In the end, such people get humiliated for proclaiming and believing in something that turned out not to be true, and in worst cases they become completely disillusioned with the faith altogether. As I will cover in this study, some have even sold houses or donated their life savings to advertise for a return that never came.
- Such disillusionments can leave some asking, "Why did God allow this to happen to me?"


- Well the truth is, God doesn't allow this to happen to believers. Believers allow it to happen to themselves because they don't give enough time to studying God's word on what scripture actually says about it to be truly educated on the matter.
- Both Paul and the Lord Jesus Himself taught that there were signs believers needed to watch for, and until those signs came to pass they had no reason to be concerned that the Day of the Lord had come.
- This was the protection God gave us against being deceived by the enemy in regard to Christ's return, and it is what I am going to be covering in this study.


The Turn Of The Millennium, And The "Y2K" Scare

- The first end-time delusion I was alive to witness was the "Y2K" Scare. Y2K stood for the year 2000.
- Supposedly, computer programmers had not accounted for the turn of the millennium, and it was going to cause the world's economies to crash. This would bring about the total breakdown of the fabric of society, and within weeks the planet would devolve into mob rule and rioting the streets as governments tried to maintain control of their populaces. Ultimately, this would usher in apocalypse, and by implication potentially the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Time Magazine even published an issue on it in January of 1999 with... (Describe the cover art: Man wearing billboard sign, holding cross).


- This scare gained international attention, and nations around the world ended up spending billions of dollars trying to circumvent this supposed computer bug.
- New York City alone spent something like 400 million.
- Entire teams of people were on stand-by to try and reboot systems and keep things running after the clocks turned over.



- But then nothing happened.
-  So few malfunctions actually happened that newspapers took to posting cartoons in the following days making fun of it, saying, "5 ATMs shut down in the Northeast,  one guy's automatic toilet wouldn't stop flushing, and not all library cards would scan."



- So it all ended up as a big joke, at least for the world.
- But it was not a joke for the Christian ministries that likewise ran with it, and ended up bearing the shame of supposedly being authorities on Biblical prophecy yet telling national audiences that they needed to be prepared for the worst and that this could signal in the start of the tribulation period.


Harold Camping, Family Radio, And May 21st, 2011

- Then we fast forward 10 years later, and we come to Harold Camping
- Harold Camping was a radio host who gained control over a radio station called Family Radio. When other controlling members of the station passed away, he had them replaced with hand-picked yes-men types, and eventually began making predictions regarding the rapture of the church.
- His first prediction was for 1994, and when that one didn't come to pass he went back to teaching normal Christian doctrine and things settled back down. But in 2003 he again predicted the return of the Lord and the rapture of the church.




- According to Camping, Noah's flood supposedly took place in 4990 B.C., thereby placing it two millennium earlier than most credible Bible chronologers did. Harold then found a verse in Genesis, Chapter 7 where God promised to send rain on the earth in seven years, applied the principle that "A day with the Lord is as a thousand years," and concluded therefore that the Lord Jesus Christ was going to be returning on May 21st, 2011.
- Despite being a pure fabrication, many got swept up in it anyway, and by the time 2011 was rolling around over 100 million dollars had been sent in as donations to help get the word out through advertising that the rapture of the church was at hand. People were selling houses and sending in their life's fortune to help spread the word. The ministry bought vans and buses and painted them with advertisements, and toured the country warning everyone to prepare for Christ's return.




- As the day approached, public evangelism over the event picked up, with groups of his followers warning the world that the rapture of the church was about to take place.


- But May 21st came and went and nothing took place.
- Harold then tried to regroup by telling them it would actually come six months later in October, and when that failed the radio station's support started dwindling quickly. By 2013, the man whose predictions had effected tens of thousands had passed on to whatever reward was awaiting him.



- But those who were closest to him should have warned others, because there was something a creepy about Harold Camping to begin with. He was supposedly enamored with Jim Jones, the notorious cult leader who led 300 of his followers to commit suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Kool Aid in Jonestown. Camping actually had equipment that had been used in the People's Temple, and he used to show it off to people. He would also laugh if donators asked to get their money back.



December 21st, 2012, And The Mayan Calendar Scare

- A year or so later, the whole Mayan Calendar scare gained national attention. It was based on a few lines of extremely obscure prophecy found in some Mayan inscriptions, that read there would come a display of Bʼolon-Yokte', the Mayan god of war and the Underworld, "in a great investiture." Well, that could have meant anything. It could have simply meant that he would parade himself around in an elaborate costume, since this was usually how the Mayans depicted their gods behaving anyway. But this didn't stop various groups from interpreting the expression any way they wanted to.



- The New Agers said the prophecy predicted the coming of a great spiritual awakening on earth. Of course, the New Agers always predict that various events will signal the coming of a great spiritual awakening on earth.



But Hollywood decided to go the opposite direction and portray how the Mayan god of the Underworld was going to kill us all. So in late 2012 a major motion picture was released depicting scenes of apocalyptic destruction as natural disasters swept across the earth and brought about the end of mankind.


- The numbers in this date were even made to have mystical significance, but despite all the hype once again nothing happened. Life went on as usual.



12 Stars Over Virgo, And September 23rd, 2017

- Then in 2017, two men named William Tapley and Scott Clarke began posting videos on Youtube claiming that the tribulation would come on September 23rd of 2017. Supposedly 12 stars that would align themselves over the constellation of Virgo and this would fulfill a prophecy found in Revelations, Chapter 12, where it talked about the woman with 12 stars over her head being attacked by the dragon. Unfortunately for those Christians who bought this fabrication, once again nothing happened, and life went on as usual, leaving those who took their predictions seriously to try and save face after getting worked up over nothing.



A Deeper Underlying Motive At Work

- These delusions are not just the products of human imagination. Humans have plenty of help when it comes to religious deception, and beneath Satan's desire to see believers become humiliated and embarrassed lies an even deeper motive: He ultimately wants to Discredit The Word Of God, by making a mockery out of the prophecies of scripture.
- As we get deeper into the end-times, it will become increasingly apparent to those willing to look into what the word of God actually says that Biblical prophecy is coming to pass. To circumvent many coming to faith in Christ because of it, Satan is going to increasingly desensitize people to this by presenting more and more end-time delusions to the public, so that many just sit back and say, "I've seen people predict Christ's return and nothing happened."
- Peter prophesied that a time will come when they deride those who believe in Christian prophesy, and mockingly ask, "Where is the promise of His coming?"

     Knowing this first, that in the last days some will come in mockery, walking according to their own lusts and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming, for from the time the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they have since the dawn of creation." (2 Peter 3:3-4)

- Just as he did in the garden of Eden, he is essentially getting people to question "Has God said?" He said to Eve "Has God said you shall surely die?," and by planting doubt in her mind about the word of God it ultimately led to her destruction.
- The truth of what God has said in His word will be proven out, but the key to surviving delusions like these unscathed is in knowing God's prophetic timeline, so to avoid being deceived by such things.


Paul's Teaching On The Timing Of Christ's Return

- Here is what Paul told the Thessalonians in Chapter 2 of his second letter. I will read for you the first five verses:

     Now we implore you, brothers, by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him, that you not become quickly disturbed in mind nor troubled, neither by spirit, nor by report, nor by letter as if written by us [intimating] that the Day of the Lord is here. No one should deceive you in any way if the apostasy has not [yet] come first and that man of lawlessness has been revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above everything that is called God or is worshipped, so as for him to sit down in the temple of God, exhibiting himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was with you I was telling you these things? (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5)


- What did Paul mean when he asked them, "Do you not remember that when I was with you I was telling you these things?"
- What did he teach them when he was with them? He likely taught them what Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 24 when they asked Him directly what would be the signs of His coming, and of the end of the age. Jesus also mentioned several events that would have to take place first before the Day of the Lord would finally arrive:


     Nation shall raise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines and earthquakes in [diverse] places. But all these are the beginning of birth pangs. Then they will deliver you up to affliction, and will kill you. And you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be scandalized, and deliver one another up and hate one another... When therefore you shall see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation, that having been spoken of through the prophet Daniel, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains... for then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be. And if those days were not shortened, no flesh would be saved, but on account of the chosen those days shall be shortened... but immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth wail, and they shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Learn the parable of the fig tree: When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that the summer is near. Thus, you also, when you see all these things, then know that it is near, even at the doors. ... Then two will be in the field, with one being taken and one left behind; two grinding at the mill, with one being taken and one left behind. (Matthew 24:7-9, 15-22, 29-33, 40-41)


- Jesus mentioned several things here. Eventually the Antichrist would arise, conquer Jerusalem, and set up the abomination that causes desolation, after which the Jews would flee for their lives.
- Then there would come a time when believers turned on one another and delivered one another up, when the nations turned upon them and persecuted them to their deaths. By this event, Jesus was referring to the same thing Paul was when he told the Thessalonians there would first come a great apostasy from the faith.


The Apostasy Must Take Place First

- The apostasia is not "the departure," as many Pre-tribulationists want to interpret it. It meant literally "the apostasy," as we still use the term today.
- This word was used of those who apostatized from political or religious groups.

     ἀποστασία, ας, ἡ = Desertion from a particular political or religious body. In the Bible namely, from the true religion.

- An "apostates" was a political deserter.
- In the only other New Testament use, some accused Paul of "apostasy from Moses."

     And [the Jewish believers] are informed concerning you that you teach all the Jews apostasy from Moses in accordance with the Gentiles, telling them not to circumcise their children nor walk in the customs. (Acts 21:21) Overlapping


- This word apostasia is also sometimes translated as "falling away," and is applied to a phenomenon we see happening today among many Christians. The statistics say that 90% of Christian youth who are being raised in the public schools are departing from the faith once they're out of the house and on their own, and if these trends hold America is going to increasingly go in the same direction Europe went, where churches are now being converted over into markets and mosques, and Christians are very much in the minority.
- But this is not what's being referred to here by the word "apostasy." Paul was referring specifically to a time when great masses of Christians will betray the Lord to save their own lives specifically as a result of intense persecution; the most intense persecution in the church's history.
- Jesus described it as a time when many would be "scandalized," which is a literal translation of the Greek there. A scandalon was the snare for a trap, and becoming trapped in a compromised situation is what the Lord was referring to. When they were taking Jesus to be interrogated and crucified, Peter sought to deny he was the Lord's disciple, but there was evidence against him. Someone said, "But your accent is Galilean," which is where Jesus was from, so Peter was essentially caught in a scandal. So, too, will many in the end-times try to distance themselves from Christ and profess they are not Christians, but they will have evidence against them that they are by association, which will force them to betray other believers and deliver them up to their deaths in order to save their own lives. 

     After a little while, those who stood by came to Peter and said, "Truly, you are one of them also, for even your accent makes it evident." Then he began to curse and swear, [saying], "I do not know the man." And immediately a rooster crowed. (Matthew 26:73-74) Overlapping


- Do we see this kind of apostasy taking place yet? The simple answer is: No, we do not.


- Certainly there is Christian persecution - even severe persecution - in many regions of the world today, such as in nations like N. Korea, or the Muslim countries of the Middle East, like in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia. But the persecution referred to by Paul here will be so severe it causes a mass exodus from the faith, and it is something still set to be fulfilled in the future, as the time of the Antichrist draws nearer.
- Thus, when you know what exactly you are looking for, it becomes easy to tell that we still have a ways to go before Christians are hated by ALL the nations of the earth, and persecuted so severely that multitudes betray the Lord and deliver each other up to their deaths.


The Fourth Beast Must Also Arise First

- Both Paul and the Lord Jesus Christ also made reference to the Antichrist coming first. Paul referred to him as "the lawless one" who would take his seat in the temple, and Jesus referred to him as he who would set up "the abomination that causes desolation" in the temple. This was a reference to the statue the Antichrist would erect thereafter as a permanent reminder to the Jews that he was essentially their god now.
- But we know from other Biblical prophecies that in order for the Antichrist to arise, there will have to be an empire already established in the earth that he can assume power over.
- We know this from how this empire is described in Daniel, Chapter 7:

     As for me Daniel... I drew near to one of them that stood by, and I sought to learn of him the truth of all these things. And he told me the truth, and made known to me the interpretation of these things. The four beasts are four kingdoms that shall rise up on the earth, which shall be taken away, and the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom and possess it for ever and ever. Then I enquired carefully concerning the fourth beast, for it differed from every other beast, being exceedingly dreadful. Its teeth were of iron and its claws of brass, devouring [its victims], and utterly breaking them to pieces, and it trampled the remainder with its feet, and concerning the ten horns that were in its head and the other that came up, and rooted up some of the former. That horn had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things, and his look was bolder than the rest. I beheld, and that horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them until the Ancient of days came, and He gave judgment to the saints of the Most High, and the time came on that the saints possessed the kingdom. And he said, "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on the earth, which shall exceed all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth and trample and destroy it. And the ten horns are ten kings that shall arise, and after them shall arise another who shall exceed all the former ones in wickedness, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak words against the Most High and wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and law. And power shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But judgment has sat, and they shall remove his dominion to abolish it and utterly destroy it. And the kingdom and power and greatness of the kings under the whole heaven were given unto the saints of the Most High, and His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all powers shall serve and obey Him. (Daniel 7:15-27, LXX)


- This passage states clearly that the ten horns will be ten kings that shall arise, and Daniel 2:44 states that "In the days of those kings the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed."
- This means the ten kings will be alive together at the time when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, and puts their reign very clearly still in the future.
- This is important to understand because there are many that teach that all these prophesies have been fulfilled already, and nothing remains before the Lord can return. This is false. We need to be watching for an empire to emerge that will be led by ten kings, and this empire will be characterized by military conquest unlike anything the world has ever seen before.
- When it says "Its teeth were of iron and its claws of brass, devouring [its victims]," it's victims here are the nations this empire will conquer. Teeth, claws and horns are the means by which the beasts of the earth kill and destroy one another, and these being made of iron and brass suggests that the weapons of war this empire uses will be exceedingly strong, and able to do great damage on earth.


- That the empire will utterly break these nations to pieces, and "trample the remainder with its feet" means nothing will be left. The nations it conquers will be completely subsumed and assimilated into the empire as conquered territory.
- What is crucial to understand is that this empire will have to be fully manifest in the earth before the Antichrist can come. This is clear from the words, "and there were ten horns in its head, and [then] another came up that rooted up three the former." It means that when he emerges he will usurp three of the ten kings that head up the empire
- This empire led by ten kings, then, will already have to be in place before the Antichrist can arise to do so.


- As will be covered in later studies, the apostles believed this fourth beast was Rome, and because it was already established in the earth, they had reason to believe that an emperor could soon arise to fulfill this prophecy. 
- Do we the same reasons to believe the Antichrist could emerge at any time? No. There is no such empire of unparalleled conquest even existence in the earth at the present time. There are suggestions it may eventually take shape among the Muslim nations of the Middle East, but if so it still has a long way to go yet.
- Thus, until we see an empire of military conquest unlike anything this world has seen before taking shape, we have no need to become concerned that the Day of the Lord has arrived yet.


False Christs Must Also Appear First

- Another sign that will precede the Day of the Lord will be the rise of false Christs and false prophets, who will perform signs and wonders powerful enough to deceive even the very elect away from the truth:

     Then if anyone says to you, "Behold, the Christ is here, or there," do not believe it. For there will arise false Christs and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead if possible even the elect. Behold, I have foretold you. If therefore they say to you, "Behold, He is in the wilderness," do not go forth, or "Behold, He is in the private rooms," do not believe it. For as the lightning comes forth from the east and appears as far as the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:23-26)


- Paul mirrored this teaching as well in what he was telling the Thessalonians in Chapter 2:

     The coming of [the lawless one] will correspond with the demonic activity of Satan, [manifesting] in all the power, signs and wonders of falsehood and in all the deceitfulness of unrighteousness unto those who are perishing, on which account they have received not the love of the truth for them to be saved. And it is for this reason that God is sending them this demonic activity which endorses error for them to believe the lie: So that all may be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:5, 9-12)

- More will be covered on this passage in later studies, but do we see these false prophets and false Christs operating in the earth who can call fire down from heaven, or levitate into the sky, or other such powerful false signs? No, we don't. And until we do we shouldn't be concerned that the Day of the Lord has come yet.


Future Studies In 2nd Thessalonians

- Describe the first two on camera, and then put the entire list up of ACTUAL titles (rewrite list)

Study #1: The future location of the Lake of Fire
Study #2: The return of Christ to avenge His own in flaming fire
Studies #3-5: The Antichrist's coming reign of genocide
Studies #6-7: Several things that remain before the Antichrist can be revealed
Studies #8-10: The false Christs that will come, and what they will likely teach
Study #11: Satan's coming attack on the Christian traditions
Study #12: Remaining pure of heart against the Devil's attacks
Study #13: About combatting the financial exploitation of the Church

     Lest Satan should get an advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV)

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