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Author Topic: Video Notes: 2nd Thessalonians Title Study  (Read 91 times)

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Hidden In Him

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Video Notes: 2nd Thessalonians Title Study
« on: March 22, 2019, 07:04:53 PM »


- How long do you think we have until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you believe there are still things that need to happen before it can happen, or do you believe it could take place at any time?
- For those who believe it could take place at any time, there are spiritual dangers inherent in teaching this. Satan wants to embarrass and humiliate Christians, so he tries to get them to put their trust in false predictions about Christ's return. I know of two people right now who are setting dates for Christ's return. They both have their own websites, and both have a presence on the Christian forums.   
- And these are only small time. Every 3-5 years some major theory gets presented that gains international attention, and many get swept up in it thinking the return of the Lord or the rapture of the church or the beginning of the Tribulation is indeed upon us.
- Now yes, I'm aware that those who say He could return at any time are also quick to tell people that no one should be setting dates, for the Lord Himself taught this in the Scriptures

     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

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- But there is a problem with telling people He could return at any time: If He could return at any time, what's to dissuade others from believing that He might be returning at the time a date setter is giving for it, considering the person is presenting a convincing case for that particular day, and with supposed scriptural proof for it?
- And don't underestimate the damage Satan can do to people's lives through deceptions like this. Some end up suffering more than just humiliation and embarrassment.
- I will cover some of the major delusions of the 21st century here in just a second, but in some instances people have even sold their houses or donated their life savings to ministries that were advertising the return of the Lord on a particular date, and ended up completely disillusioned in their faith as a result.
- How do you face friends and family knowing that you lost everything buying into a lie? It leaves some people asking, "Why did God allow this to happen to me?"
- Well the truth is, the Lord doesn't allow it to happen to believers. Believers allow it to happen to themselves because they don't give proper time to studying God's word on 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.


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

- Let me cover briefly some of the major apocalyptic predictions of the 21st century. 
- First there was the "Y2K" Scare
- This was probably a deliberate hoax on the part of Time Magazine just to sell copies, but it worked like a charm because the article just scared the living daylights out of people.
- Time published an issue in January of 1999 with... (Describe the cover art: Man wearing billboard sign, holding cross).


                                                         

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- According to the article, supposedly the computers wouldn't be able to handle the turn of the century because programmers hadn't accounted for it, the world's economies were going to crash, and within weeks the planet would devolve into mob rule with rioting the streets, and an ushering in of the entire apocalyptic scenario.
- This scare gained international attention and people across the globe took it seriously. Billions on dollars were spent worldwide to try and prepare for it. New York city alone spent over 400 million dollars to prevent the computer bug from bringing about a collapse of its computer systems.
- But then nothing happened.


                               

-  So few malfunctions actually happened that newspapers took to posting cartoons in the following days making fun of it, saying, "7 ATMs shut down, some people's library cards wouldn't scan, and one guy's automatic toilet wouldn't stop flushing."

                                                     

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- So it all ended up as a big joke for the world, but it was not a joke for the Christian ministries that 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.
- Then we fast forward 10 years later, and we come to Harold Camping
.

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

- 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.

                                     

                                 

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- 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. The ministry bought vans and buses and painted them with advertisements, and toured the country warning everyone to prepare for Christ's return.

                                     

                                         

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- This one was tragic because many sold their homes and donated their life savings to advertise for this thing. While it many be funny to some, these things are no laughing matter to friends and loved ones who see someone they cared for lose everything to a religious delusion.
- When May 21st came and went, Harold tried to regroup by telling people that it would actually come six months later in October, and when that failed the radio station's support started dwindling quickly. By 2013 Harold 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.


                                       


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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.

                                                             

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- 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.

                                                     

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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.

                   

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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)

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- 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.


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What Paul Taught Them About 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)

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- What was going on here? One tactic Satan often uses is to reinterpret what Christians believe. He doesn't attack their beliefs directly. He inserts lies into the mix in order to deceive them through what they already believe.
- The same thing was happening with the Thessalonians. In his first letter to them, Paul told them that Christ's return was coming so they would not grieve over the deaths of loved ones they were losing to persecution. They would be reunited with them again soon, because Christ's return was coming.
- Now roughly a year later there were threats of people convincing them that His return was not only coming but had already arrived.
- So what did Paul advise the Thessalonians to do in this situation 2,000 years ago?

                                                         

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- The key is in understanding what he meant when he asked them, "Do you not remember that when I was with you I was telling you these things?"
- What did Paul 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:

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     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)

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- Jesus mentioned several things here. First there would come wars and great natural disasters, then a great apostasy would take place, when the nations turned on believers and persecuted them to their deaths. Eventually the Antichrist would arise and set up the abomination that causes desolation, after which the Jews in Jerusalem would flee for their lives, knowing the great tribulation was about to begin. Finally the return of the Lord and the rapture of the church would take place.
- But when he talked about a time when many believers would deliver one another up, Jesus was referring to the same thing Paul was talking about when he told the Thessalonians there must first come an apostasy from the faith.

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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

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- 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

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- 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.

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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 excel 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)

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- Some say this "Beast" will be an amalgamation of church & state, wielding mere political power over people. NO. This will be an empire 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.
- But the suggestion that the arrival of the Antichrist is still a ways off yet can be seen in the words, "and there were ten horns in its head, and another came up that rooted up three the former." This means that when he emerges he will usurp the rule of three of these kings that head up the empire, and that means that this empire will already have to be in place before he can arise to do so.


                       

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- As will be covered in later studies, Paul believed this empire was Rome, and that an emperor would soon arise to fulfill the Biblical narrative. 
- Did he have legitimate reasons to believe that Rome was the 4th Beast of Daniel, and that the return of Christ could be coming soon? Yes. The fourth beast of Daniel already appeared to be established in the earth.
- But do we the same reasons to believe he could emerge at any time? No. There are numerous suggestions that this empire may eventually take shape among the Muslim nations of the Middle East, but if so this empire still has a long way to go. 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.


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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)

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- 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.

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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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« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 09:17:34 PM by Hidden In Him »