We go on to 2 Thessalonians 2:6-12
v6: Restraining (restrainer): The Bible does not say who or what this is. When it is mentioned in this
verse it is gender neutral (neither masculine nor feminine). In v7 it is written in the masculine. This
emphasises the fact that whoever or whatever is restraining cannot be feminine. The Greek word for
church (ecclesia) is a word written in the feminine. We know therefore that it cannot be the church
who is restraining – as some preach. Many people also teach that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit –
they say that when the church leaves, is raptured, the Holy Spirit leaves too. This is also a false
teaching, as the Holy Spirit is G-d eternal and cannot be removed as He is omnipresent (Ps 139:7-12).
• He: Speaking of the antichrist. Although we don’t know the identity of the restrainer we do
know what his/its purpose is – to reveal the antichrist in his proper season ie: when the
time is right (G-d’s timing). The antichrist isn’t sovereign. He doesn’t choose when he will be
revealed – G-d does that. The restrainer restrains so that the antichrist is not revealed early.
When G-d declares that the time is right the restrainer will move out of the way of the
antichrist and allow him to carry out his plans. The antichrist will then reveal himself to the
world (watching believers will understand what is going on) with the abomination of
desolation. This abomination happens in the Holy of Holies – where the glory of G-d had
dwelt in a unique way. The antichrist sets himself up to appear as if he is G-d. This is our cue
that we as believers are about to be raptured (no one knows the day or the hour of the
rapture so we might go at that time of abomination, a few days later, a month etc. It is the
last sign before the rapture happens) For the Jewish people however they are about to
begin an intense time of persecution known as Jacobs’s trouble (Jer 31:7) as they reject this
antichrist. This is also happening at the same time as the wrath of G-d is falling on the world
– trumpet and bowl judgements. The countdown for the second coming of Messiah can
now be commenced. Although the timing of the rapture is unknown the second coming of
Messiah can be calculated (Dan 12:11-12)
• Revealed in his own time: In his season.
v7: The mystery of lawlessness is already at work: There is a certain behaviour (working) that
produces lawlessness. The spirit of the antichrist has been operating in the world for the past 2000
years. What is the spirit of the antichrist? He is called the ‘man of sin’ and the ‘lawless one’. He is
against the law/Torah of G-d. He loves sin and hates righteousness.
• Until he is taken out of the way: This is not the word for ‘rapture’ and is another clue that
this removal/stepping aside is not talking about the church.
v8: When Yeshua returns to earth for His second coming, He is going to render this antichrist and his
works (the antichrist is also going to be revealed with all types of power and signs – false wonders –
Rev 13:11-18) null and void.
• Consume…and destroy: This does not mean that he is going to be annihilated, it means that
he is going to be reduced – his kingdom is going to be removed from him. The antichrist and
satan are never fully destroyed – they are cast into the abyss (Rev 19:20).
v9: The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of satan: When the antichrist is made
visible (when he is revealed) it’s with the working of satan.
• With all power, signs and lying wonders: The source of all of this is satan. There will be
intense deception in the last days.
v10: Unrighteous deception: Literally translated: “deception of unrighteousness”. The antichrist is
going to encourage people to behave unrighteously. Those who are living in an unrighteous way
(living in opposition to the commandments of G-d) will be very easily deceived.
• Among those who perish: If we embrace lawlessness (operate not in the Holy Spirit but in
the spirit of the antichrist) it is going to lead to our destruction.
• (They perish) because they did not receive the love of the truth: The love of truth
(embracing the gospel) would have led to their salvation.
v11: This verse literally says: ‘And on account of this G-d will send to them the working out (this is
the same Greek word used in v7 –“mystery of lawlessness is at work”- and v9 speaking of the
“working of satan”) of this delusion.” G-d does not send them delusion – it is contrary to the
character of G-d to deceive people. What this is saying is this: If we embrace deception it is going to
have an effect in our lives. This same principle is seen outworked in the life of Pharoah in Exodus 7-
10, in the process of Pharoah’s heart being hardened. G-d did not just reach into Pharoah’s heart
and harden it so that Pharaoh was forced to disobey G-d. This is false and not what the Scripture
reveals. Pharaoh refused to submit to G-d’s plan to send the people out of Egypt. G-d gave Pharoah
plenty of opportunity to repent, but he stubbornly refused to repent and consequently, in the
process, his heart became harder and harder – Ex 7:13, Ex 7:22, Ex 8:15, Ex 8:19, Ex 8:32, Ex 9:7, Ex
9:12 (this is the first time – after the 6th plague – that there is a change in the script), Ex 9:34-35, Ex
10:20, Ex 10:27. This hardening of Pharoah’s heart was not in isolation. There was a spiritual law at
play. This is the same principle that can be applied to this verse in regard to many of the people in
the last days. Although Pharoah came to great spiritual knowledge in that time – he came to the
realisation that he was a sinner in need of pray and forgiveness (Ex 8:28, Ex 9:27-28) – although he
was convicted by the truth he rejected it, he did not obey it and he did not love it. This is what
brought about the hardening of Pharoah’s heart and his ultimate destruction (see 2 Thess 2:10
• They should believe the lie: They reject truth. They believe a lie.
v12: Condemned: Judged. Those who do not believe the truth are going to be judged.
• Had pleasure in unrighteousness: They thought that unrighteousness was good. Their
rejection of truth caused them to embrace unrighteousness.
We go on to 2 Thessalonians 2:6-12