Friday, September 21, 2018

Christ Through the Bible- 1 & 2 Thessalonians

The Soon Coming King

In the 5th chapter of 1 Thessalonians Paul talks about the end times.  It is apparent from his writing that they were aware of the coming of the LORD.  It says that they know when the LORD comes it will be a surprise.  There will be those who talk about peace and safety, but they know that destruction is coming. 

He goes on to say that the true believer is not living in darkness and will not be surprised when the LORD returns.  The reason is we belong to the light.  We do not live in the night or darkness.  He tells us that we should not be sleeping but should be awake and have self-control.  Our protection is our faith and love in Jesus Christ and that our hope is in the helmet of our salvation.
Paul reminds us that we are not the object of God’s anger.  However, this does not mean we will not suffer tribulation and persecution.  It may even result in our death.  Paul says we are to encourage each other and help each other grow stronger in faith.
In his second letter Paul talks about the suffering they will be going through.  He gives the promise that God will do what is right.  God will punish those who persecute His children.  The time of this punishment will take place when the LORD comes from heaven with his powerful angels.  He will come with burning fire to punish those who don’t know God and those who refuse to accept the message of Jesus Christ.  This will happen on the day when the LORD comes to receive honor with His holy people.
I am sure that the Christians Paul is writing to have the same question we have been asking for year.  What is going to happen to us?
Paul starts by saying don’t let yourselves be easily upset or worried if you hear that the day of the LORD has already come.  There have been prophecies given from the time of Paul up to the present that the LORD will come on a specific day.  The same thing was happening in Paul’s time as it has happened in our time.  Paul said, don’t be fooled by these prophecies.  He then gives us some indicators of the end times.
1.     There will be a turning away from God.
2.     The Man of Evil appears the one who belongs to hell.
3.     He will oppose God
4.     He will sit in God’s Temple and claim that he is God
Paul tell them they know what is stopping the Man of Evil and that he will continue to stop it until he is taken out of the way.  Then the Man of Evil will appear.  This appearance will happen at the end time and the LORD will kill him with the breath from His mouth.  When the LORD comes everyone will see and that will be the end of the Man of Evil.
Paul tells us that when the Man of Evil comes, it will be the work of Satan.  He will come with great power and will do all kinds of false miracles, signs and wonders.  The Man of Evil will use every kind of evil to fool those who are lost.  They are lost because they refuse to accept the truth and be saved from their sins.  Because of their rejection of the LORD He will send them something powerful that will lead them away from the truth and believe a lie.  They will be condemned because they enjoy doing evil.
We are admonished to spread the LORD’s teachings and pray that people will honor His teachings.  The LORD has promised to give us strength and protect us from the Evil One.
The message of Paul to the Church at Thessalonica was the LORD is coming back and the time and day is not important.  What is important is that we are ready.
The indicators that we are in the end times is there is a turning away from God.
Scripture warns us that in the last days before second coming of Jesus Christ there will be wars and rumors of wars, nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there shall be famines , food shortages, pestilences despite medical advances, old and new diseases will plague mankind, there will be increase in earthquakes and floods and natural disasters ,which are the beginning of sorrows.
Are we seeing these things today?  The world is in chaos.
Also, there would be increase of antichrist spirits, false Christ’s, false Prophets, false signs and wonders, tremendous increase in wickedness. Many people have deliberately turned away from God and have become Godless and some have heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.
1 Timothy 4:1-3 says “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth”.
Every year in America over 4000 churches close their doors.  According to researchers less than 10 per cent of the those who call themselves Christian attend church.
Many churches are filled with false teachers who are wolves in sheep’s clothing and their congregation is filled with carnal Christians or lukewarm Christians or compromise Christians and a type of Godliness (2 Timothy 3:5).
These churches have become man-centered and entertainment-style programs designed to lure kids and teens into church, baiting the hook with promises of excitement with spectacular worldly events like hip-hop and rock music, craft time, snack time, or game time. God’s intention is that the gospel should be enough to draw men into the church (John 12:32, 33, Romans 1:16), not food, fun, selling books, games or entertainment. The true church is not lead by man’s spirit, it is led by the Spirit of God.
We see nowadays days such churches are continually begging for more money, twisting the Scriptures to exploit people. With the church money, these false pastors and their families enjoy all luxury living. These people have turned the House of God into a place of greed, gluttony, merchandizing, fraud, and a den of thieves and robbers.
Jesus clearly explains that there will be one Last Day’s generation that will see the Biblical signs from the heavens and from the earth, unfold in a powerful way, like never before! “Jesus also teaches that when much of the church falls away from the faith, and all of the catastrophic signs begin to increase at the same time on a global scale, the true believer would know that the coming of our Lord is near. One thing is sure, all the signs of the times are not decreasing; they are increasing all around the world! “But you brothers are not in darkness so that this Day should surprise you like a thief” (1Thess 5:4). “But let us encourage one another, and all the more as you SEE the DAY APPROACHING” (Heb 10:25).
When you push God out of the picture, devastation increases. Jesus said in Luke 21:10-11, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. “There WILL BE great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” Are the worldwide sicknesses and diseases getting better or worse? What about violence and terrorism? Should we be standing up behind the pulpit preaching health, wealth and prosperity? Or should we be preaching fire and brimstone, turn or burn, get right or get left behind (Luke 21:34-36, 1Thess 1:9-10, Rev 3:10-11)?
The Man of Sin, the Man of Evil or the Antichrist
There are those who teach the Man of Sin or the Man of Evil is the Antichrist.  In Christianity, antichrist is a term found solely in the First Epistle of John and Second Epistle of John, and often lowercased in Bible translations, in accordance with its introductory appearance: "Children, it is the last hour! As you heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come". The term antichrist is found in the New Testament in 1 John and 2 John, once in plural form and four times in the singular. The explanation of the word "antichrist" is given by the author shortly after, revealing how the name is chosen.  To have the spirit of antichrist one must:
1.     Deny that Jesus is the Messiah
2.     Deny the Father and the Son
3.     Deny the Jesus has come in the flesh
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 1John 1:22
 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 2John 1:7
The word antichrist (in Greek: antichristos, an opponent of the Messiah:--antichrist.) That word appears only four places in Scripture.  Every verse is in 1st and 2nd John.
John is the only writer that write about the antichrist and it is mentioned nowhere else in the scriptures.  By the time that John is writing about the spirit of the antichrist there were many heresies in the early church.  John has been addressing these heresies from the time he first penned his Gospel of John, where he addresses Gnosticism and the deity of Christ.  In the book of Revelation, he addresses the Nicolaitans, worldliness and the Synagogue of Satan.  In the epistles he addresses false leaders and the antichrist.
 1 John 2:18  Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now.

 “You have heard” is the significant phrase here. John isn’t saying that antichrist is coming, only that you have heard that he is.   Then he goes on to debunk the idea by saying, “even NOW many antichrists have arisen.”   John then describes what antichrist is really like as we have already stated.
 1 John 2:22  Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
 So, anyone who “denies that Jesus IS the Christ” is antichrist.
 2 John 1:7  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This IS a deceiver and an antichrist.
So there was going to be a many antichrists. John also tells us what antichrist really is.

 1 John 4:3   And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that SPIRIT of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that IT should come; and even NOW already is IT in the world.
John does not identify the antichrist as a man but rather an IT and IT was already in the world.  They did not have to wait until it was revealed to them.  IT was already working in the world during John’s day. So, biblically, antichrist is any evil spirit who denies that Jesus is the Christ.
 Now the above quotes are EVERY verse in Scripture that mentions antichrist!

So, do you see some super-duper Satan-inspired human being called "The Antichrist" in those verses? One who is going to appear at the end of the Christian Era and rule the world from Jerusalem for seven years?
No?  Those are all the verses in the Bible that mention antichrist. Everything else we believe about antichrist is pure conjecture. If that seems impossible, see if you can find other verses in your own concordance.
Some 19th century theologians concluded that “the man of sin” of 2 Thessalonians 2 just had to be “THE” antichrist. So, lets, look at "the man of sin."
 2 Thess 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall NOT come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
 Now what temple do you suppose the Lord was speaking of in that verse? 
 In Old Testament times, God’s temple was in Jerusalem, but this epistle is to the Thessalonian church which began after the Paul preached there.   And where is the temple of God during this Christian Era? 
 1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
 2Co 6:16  for ye are the temple of the living God.
 Because of the location of 2Thess in the Bible, it is sound theology to conclude that the temple spoken of in the above verses is the human heart. So, I quote again:
 “ he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
2Th 2:4 “who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship”:  
Let me bring you into the 21st Century.   Secular humanists state that man is a god, their manifesto declaring: “Man made God in His own image.” By these declarations they exalt themselves above every god. 
 v.4 (cont.) “so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God”: 
 That phrase, all by itself, shows us that the “man of sin” is not a human being, but a spirit! Only a spirit being can take his seat in the human heart.

 Our bodies are still the New Testament temple of the Holy Spirit. I know there are some that will disagree with what I have said, but hear what Transhumanist Richard Seed has to say:
“We are going to become Gods, period […] but if you are going to interfere with me becoming a God, you’re going to have trouble. There’ll be warfare.”

Let me ask you this where does this anti-God spirit come from?  It existed in Old Testament and it exists today in the 21st Century.  There are many in the world today who are seeking to become “as a god.”
Seed’s words are not intended in any biblical sense but to declare that we too will become as God – that we can be our own gods. A week later Seed elaborated in an interview on CNN: “Man will develop the technology and the science and the capability to have an indefinite life span.” Eleven years later he would make an even more radical statement; whereas the first was to become like God, his latter statement was for man to become a god.
We are going to become Gods, period. If you do not like it, get off. You do not have to contribute, you do not have to participate but if you are going to interfere with me becoming a God, you’re going to have trouble. There’ll be warfare.
Seed’s words are not just isolated radical ideas, but part of the much larger and well-funded movement known as transhumanism (or posthumanism). While probably most in it would not proclaim that they want to become “gods,” the goal is the same. They are playing with the human source code in ways that are extremely dangerous. Biblical and transhumanism researcher Dr. John P. McTernan puts it this way: “Evolution also detaches man from his Creator and being created in God’s image and likeness. Man is now a free agent to tamper with his DNA under the guise of advancing evolution.” Therefore, man sees himself as the captain of his own destiny. He is going to overcome death, disease and human “limitations”. Rather than live with the image of God that he has and receive the cure for his fallen state, man would rather pretend that God does not exist and attempt his own cure. Even the difference in the sexes is no longer considered to be God-given.
The Man of Sin or the Man of Evil has been revealed and it is man himself.  The spirit of antichrist has filled the hearts of those who deny Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Those who claim Jesus is not the Messiah are antichrist in spirit and nature. 

Let not sin therefore reign (sitting on the throne of your heart) in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Rom. 6:12-13
 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Rom. 6:16
We are in the last days and Jesus Christ is coming soon.  The message today is preparing for His coming.  If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, if you do not believe He is the Son of God and that He came in the flesh to provide us with salvation you have the spirit of antichrist in your heart and the Man of Sin sits on the throne where God should be sitting.  You have the choice to change that condition by allowing the Holy Spirit to cleanse you from the sin that has condemned your soul to everlasting punishment by coming to Jesus Christ and accepting His gift of salvation.  Today is the day of salvation.  Now, is the accepted time.  Jesus is coming soon are you ready?

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