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A Sign to Refute the Lie
Now, with the subject more clearly in view, what we're being warned about in this passage makes sense. In the overview offered in this study's introduction I wrote that the revealing of the lawless one can be seen as a sign, as a special kind of evidence intended to assure us that the gathering to the Lord, in the Day of the Lord, has not yet happened. While that's the main thrust of the message there's more to it than that. Before we explore further let's make sure we're clear on the main point, which everything else hangs on.
When we read through verses 1-12 of 2 Thessalonians 2 we can see how there's an abundance of what might be considered extraneous information. It's not superfluous, of course. Paul isn't just rambling on in a clumsy attempt to communicate some vague sense of comfort, as demonstrated by the thematic structure that betrays its divine source, but we have to distill from all that what point is being made. The Author has not made it easy for us to discern the truth of it. The essential message can be distilled from the first 3 verses.
1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
Paul is making a request, entreating, beseeching, imploring. His concern is that the saints will be quickly shaken from their composure. The threat is very specific. It involves some report to the effect that the day of the Lord has come, which is to say that it has already past. Why is it so important that the composure of the saints is not quickly shaken? What difference does it make if the saints are disturbed by such a report? Our hope is at stake, our reward! If there is no ingathering to the Lord in our future because this is already past, our hope is for naught and our faith is destroyed. Consider what he had just written in chapter 1.
4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. 5 This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10
Whew. When you have mopped up your tears and regained your composure (oh, the Lord is so good to us!), consider the value of this hope we have. If you have not already had such a personal revelation about it, try to imagine if there were some demonstration of evidence that convinced you that your hope was unfounded. If you had truly had such a hope you would be completely devastated. Here's what Paul wrote to the Corinthians when he was about to share with them some comforting truth about their hope.
If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, `Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.` ~ 1 Corinthians 15:32 (1 Corinthians 15 - Interactive Display of the Symmetry)
What Paul was entreating the Thessalonians about in the focal passage wasn't unwarranted. He wasn't just responding to rumors. Paul's robust description of the threat reveals that it's more substantial than just a rumor. Although rumors with false evidence had probably been circulating in their communities and the faith of some had already been shaken, his entreaty was not just for them, then. It was for every saint where this epistle was read, providing for us, even today, a substantial basis for maintaining a reliable defense that can stand up in the face of convincing lies about the harvest having come and gone, with all hope of just reward.
When saints are confronted with such a lie and there is substantial evidence provided in support of the claim, how can such as that be refuted with confidence? We have been given a sign for just that reason, and either it is so adequately defined and reliably recognizable that even in its absence we can be fully assured of our hope, or Paul's elaborate precautionary entreaty is impotent, feeble and pointless, a swing and a miss. So, which is it? Is the church going to fall into apostasy and then the lawless one will be revealed? Or, is the church going to be raptured then the lawless one will be revealed? Is there substance in any of that to refute anything, or is that not the point of the message? Is there anything in such nonsense but confusion? How absurd. What a ludicrous mess, that doctrine of devils!
The pre-trib rapture theory being promoted by so-called prophecy experts is utter claptrap. What a huge set-up. The other popular theories, mid-, post-, pan-, pre-wrath - all of them are faulty, part-truth and therefore untrue and wholly unreliable. Brethren, what you believe matters. Plenty. Do you have false hope? That's bad. Is your faith based on lies? This is going to be exposed, and your faith will fail.
I'm not making nebulous warnings here. I'm going to give it to you straight from the scriptures, untwisted, with the Lord's help. Some months ago, the Lord began to impress upon me how this message of 2 Thessalonians 2 was most particularly and very specifically intended for a people who will witness the event described as the sign - perhaps you or someone who hears your testimony, because it's now not far distant.
Many claim that this is not the stuff of salvation, but that is another one of the Devil's lies. Folks, we've been set up! If it has been easy to be deceived in this day and hour, just wait another year! When you see what the divinely appointed thematic equation has to reveal about the primary audience for Paul's cryptic message, which has been so incredibly targeted by the ministers of misinformation and disinformation, you'll understand why I've been required to update this study with this insight in this late hour.
16 “Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. 17 For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. 18 So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.” ~ Luke 8:16-18
A Sign for the Bride
Now, one of the implications of this very obscure message delivered by Paul is that, at the revealing of the lawless one, that which was promised would not come first will logically follow after that signal event. Once the sign is witnessed, those who recognize it will know that the gathering to the Lord is impending. At least some of them, perhaps all those involved as witnesses in that day, will know that three harvests will come in sequence at their appointed times, and at least some of those saints will understand about their role in the impending Barley Harvest, which I also refer to as the Bride Theft. The baptism and anointing of the Antichrist beast will thus be a sign for the Bride when it happens, who alone will be awake and alert and sober in that day, excepting the 144k sons of Israel and 2 witnesses. The dramatic revealing will indicate the nearness of her Bridegroom's approach. Given how the Body of Christ today appears to be suffering from an overspreading blindness, if the Lord has opened your eyes and ears and granted you the grace to perceive the truth about the sign, I encourage you to thank Him and honor that by pursuing hard after the opportunities that appear before you, to enter fully into the Lord's provision and accept the sufferings and the glory.
The Lying Report - A Supernatural Multimedia Hoax
I mentioned at the outset how a third element in the sequence of events is directly related to the two that follow it. That element is the lie itself, the threatening report Paul was entreating us about, which is to the effect that the day of the Lord has already come. Like I just mentioned, the Lord has been impressing upon me how this message of 2 Thessalonians 2 was intended primarily for the saints who would actually witness the revealing of the lawless one. What had so long ago threatened to shake the composure of the Thessalonians was a foreshadowing of what is about to come. After He began to impress this upon me I began to see models of this being dramatized in media. I wrote at some length about this during the recent Winter Olympics, because this deceptive report was modeled during the opening ceremony and then again in the closing ceremony. If you read Part 3 - Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 - The Ultimate Hoax, which I recommend for a collateral study, you'll find a fair synopsis of much of what you are reading here. What I discovered since the Olympics is what I'm about to demonstrate.
I believe what the Lord was revealing about a supernatural multimedia hoax is validated by the thematic structure of 2 Thessalonians 2!
A little over a week ago I returned to my earlier work, a version of the structure I think was unchanged from 1991, except for updating the presentation to one that is interactive. It was speaking to me of a need for further refinement because it was not as granular as I suspected the divine design probably was, based upon insight acquired during the hundreds of hours I invested over the years in the analysis of entire chapters of scripture. The Lord granted me the favor to bring it into the state you explored earlier, in the interactive frame, and which you see below. After becoming satisfied with this refined version, which I find far more compelling, I reflected upon the deeper insights offered by the newly discovered thematic equations.
What the Lord had worked with me to discover in 1991, which facilitated the key insight about the baptism, was quite intact. What really struck me now was how the extensive description of the massive deception that would obviously attend a baptism and subsequent fraudulent messianic ministry was directly matching to the description of the report that Paul was entreating us about. Wow!
The connections I'm going to be pointing out weren't apparent prior to this recent analysis. All the content describing the sign is set within bracketing elements that describe the deception. When I shared this refined presentation with Aaron, we marveled together at how awesome and masterful the Lord is in crafting His Word. How touching is His loving care in tending to our need in these last days! What is coming is going to be most challenging, but the Lord has ordained that there will be Overcomers!
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And, there's still more to follow, which will be posted soon, Lord willing.