“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
Paul writes that the falling away will involve the revealing of “the man of sin…the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
The falling away was still future at the time of Paul’s writing. The apostasy was not only to precede the second advent (2 Thess. 2:2), it would serve as a sign of the nearness of Christ’s return; hence the Lord’s coming should not be expected without the prior falling. The prophecy concerning the falling away was partially fulfilled in Paul’s day, and much more so during the Dark Ages, but its complete fulfillment will occur in the days immediately prior to the return of Jesus.
But who is this man?
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11).
Revelation 13 identifies this beast who will be persecuting God’s true church. In Revelation 13:11, it says there will be miraculous “signs” performed by this power (verses 14-15). The beast is the false church (“the harlot”) in Revelation 17:1-5. This beast is also referred to as “little horn” who will “persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law” in Daniel 7:8, 20-22, 24-25.
In His service,
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