In listening to the news for what is happening in Canada where I live, in the United States or other places in the world there is increasing frequency and severity of hatred, strife and violence in society. There can be many different forms of these antagonistic attitudes or behaviour but in a way they can be divided into two categories. These are those that are so called random hatred or attacks by individuals or groups who are particulary characterized by hatred and strife against people, a group of people or society in general that they had no previous significant slight or harm done to the strifeful or violent people by those that become their victims. There are also those people or groups of people who have had strife or antagonism against them previously and respond to the strife or violence by the person or group of people that were antagonizing them with more extensive strife or violence such as attacks of assault or murder or serious threats. On the news these are often said that assaults or murders in such cases were involving people who previously knew each other (and not in a good or peaceful way) and that the public is in no serious danger. God's word the Holy Bible deals with various instances of both kinds of strife and violence but sometimes uses different words or language.
For instance some terms in God's word the Holy Bible for hatred, strife or violence at least in the King James Version are the following: rose up, fell among, fell upon, murder, assault, buffet, set on, strike, rise up, insurrection, violence, full or wrath, caught, rushed into, afflict, persecute, tumult, seize, fierce, offend, beat, crime, smite, robber, havock, rage, wrath, strife, evil doer, malefactor. The previous words for hatred, strife and violence are just in the New Testament and I am sure there are likely other related words in the Old Testament as well. Later in this web page I will give some examples from God's word particularly the New Testament of hatred, strife and violence and how they might relate to what is going on now regionally and worldwide in society. Although I do not believe we are yet in the period of time called the tribulation, as I give evidence for my belief elsewhere in this web site such as there is not yet a restored Jewish temple built in Jerusalem, a revealed antichrist or beast world leader, that the true Church is still on earth or that we don't yet see the 144,000 Jewish witnesses for Jesus at the forefront of world evangelism, I do believe we are very close to the end of this current Church Age and to the following tribulation. I believe what we are seeing now in society is leading up to the much higher levels locally and worldwide that will be evident in society in the tribulation when there is not as much restraint of this or other evil by the Holy Spirit on earth through the true Church or true Christians. I believe that restraint of the Holy Spirit will be lifted from the earth or people or society on Earth when the true Church or true Christians are very soon raptured or caught up to heaven with the Holy Spirit in our new eternal spiritual bodies. After that will be the seven year tribulation or 70th week of Daniel and reign of the devil's men the Beast (Antichrist) and false prophet and God's plagues of judgment on earth which will end with God judging the world and establishing His Kingdom on Earth with the glorious, visible second coming to earth of the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God.
What God sees, through His servant the Apostle Paul, as many of the different aspects of hatred, strife and attacks are included in some of the lusts of the flesh or desires or inclinations of fallen human nature. I will elaborate in this paragraph some of the list of the lust of the flesh that are most related to different types of strife or attacks based on the descriptions in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. I believe these are relevant to many of the crimes of assault or attacks we hear about all too often in the news or perhaps in what happens in the town, city or area around us these days in this world. According to God's word the Holy Bible this is the root of the problem of attacks of different sorts and this goes back to when our first parents Adam and Eve rebelled against (attacked) God and His word by disobeying His command not to eat of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and eating of it and gaining the knowledge of good and evil but also becoming separated from God who is holy and righteous as well as loving, gracious and merciful including in the New Testament and gaining also a selfish and sin inclined fallen human nature.
First are adultery and fornication which especially with rape or sex without consent is sexual attack or assault. Adultery would involve someone who is married other than one's opposite sex spouse while fornication would include any sex especially sex with unmarried people opposite or same sex. Strong's Concordance just has adultery for the meaning of the Greek word for adultery as it is probably clear enough to us now what the word adultery in the King James Version of the Bible is to us now as the word meaning hasn't changed much. The Greek word for fornication in Strong's Concordance is porneia which means harlotry or prostitution including adultery and incest and figuratively idolotry and the basic meaning being fornication. Pornography is from this world porneia of course and would be a sexual attack through the eyes and mind especially in the case where the pornographic images are taken of people by coercian or force. Lasciviousness means uncontrolled lust especially sexually and can result in sexual attacks in action, intentions, words or thoughts to another person. According to Strong's Concordance the word lasciviousness is from the Greek word for incontinent and means licentiousness (sometimes including other vices): filthy, lasciviousness, wantonness (or uncontrolled especially sexual lust).
One of the other lust of the flesh in another area is idolatry which is more an attack against our Creator God as the only One who is the worthy of our primary worship. According to Strong's Concordance it means image worship literally or figurativly or idolatry. Another word used especially in reference to an attack spiritually against God by involving oneself worshipping self or evil spirits including the devil is the word witchcraft. Elsewhere in the New Testament the same Greek word is translated sorcery in the King James Version and is from the Greek word pharmakeia. Of course we get our English words pharmacy or pharmaceuticals directly from this word. From the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance this word means medication ("pharmacy") by extension magic literary or figuratively or sorcery and witchcraft. This is from the idea of taking drugs to get into the realm of evil spirits that is very popular today especially with mind altering drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, crystal met or other designer drugs, fentanyl etc. and was apparently popular for the same purposes in 1st century Greek and Roman culture. Sometimes, especially with drugs that are smoked such as cigarettes, marijuana or crack cocaine, there can be an attack whether intentional or unintentional to neighbours who are exposed to the smoke or fumes especially if they find this smell or fumes offensive. This would be part of what today by New Agers and others getting into a higher state of consciousness. The magic part could include other things that can be like magic in getting into a entranced state such as consulting evil spirits through witches or spirit guides or so-called channelers or eastern meditation like yoga and transendental meditation to empty one's mind which invariably makes one more prone to demons or evil spirits to fill it. Witchcraft whether arrived at through drug abuse, consulting evil spirits or some other way can also involve spiritual attacks on others through curses or spells with the help of evil spirits or spirit guides or what the Bible calls familiar spirits or spirit of divination.
Some of the next words in the list of lusts of the flesh are what we usually associate as more basic types of attacks or assaults. The Greek dictionary in Strong's Concordance has the defintion of hatred as hostility by implication a reason for opposition enmity or hatred. This is an emotion or feeling that can lead to actions or words of attack including slanderous words if not controlled. The next in the list of lusts of the flesh is variance. According to the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance this is the Greek word eris from which we probably get our English words ire and irate and means a quarrel in the other words or by implication wrangling, contention, debate, strife or variance. This is verbal attack or attack by words and would include slander or just general contentious talk. Although this is certainly practiced in an non-public basis between individuals or groups it is now all too familiar in politics and the media from most directions often by excessive criticism of the other person or group or their ideas instead of conveying the virtues of one's or one's groups own or own ideas. This word emulation in Strong's Concordance is from the Greek word zelos. This word means heat in other words figuratively zeal (in a favourable sense ardor; in an unfavourable sense jealousy as of of a husband (figuratively of God)or an enemy malice that is the words emulation, envy(ing), fervent mind, indignation, jealousy, zeal. Sometimes jealousy can be towards someone who is accomplishing more than us and then we can use jealous words or actions to try to bring that person down instead of trying to improve ourselves. The next in the list of lust of the flesh is wrath. The Greek dictionary in Strong's Concordance has for this word passion (as if breathing hard) fierceness, indignation, wrath. This can lead to verbal or physical attacks of different types against another person or group of people. The next word in the lust of the flesh is strife. The entry for this word in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is properly intrigue in other words by implication faction, contention (ious) strife. This is what is involved in sometimes excessive partisan politics we see today in politics or the media from different sides and can lead to especially verbal attacks and sometimes physical ones (or legal or monetary attacks (fines or lawsuits).
The next word in the lust of the flesh is sedition. The definition of this word in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is disunion in other words figuratively dissension division or sedition. This can result in verbal or organized attacks on the genuine truth and love based harmony of a local church or group of churchs by members or adherents or in general society by words, organizing or actions of attacks against social order in society. In extreme cases this could involve violent riots or terrorist attacks or treason against the state to try to overthrow it by violent means as by Islamic, anarchist, left wing communist or right wing neoNazi or other extremists or terrorists as we unfortunately also see much and increasing in our society now. The next in the list of lusts of the flesh is heresies. The defintion for this word in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is a choice in other words specifically a party or abstract disunion that is heresy or sect. In excessive cases this can result on some using verbal or organized attacks against sound Biblical Christian teaching or against the true word of God the Bible literally in context and to endorse or promote practices based on heretical teachings. This can also result in trying to attack by political, legal, monetary, verbal or physical means people or ideas contrary to one's beliefs or groups which we see a lot of through so-called political correctness in western society for instance and to be fair the backlash against it by some in the extreme right although this is sometimes exagerrated by the mass media. For instance when they say anybody that doesn't accept their politically correct ideas hates them or is irrational when that opposition could be more against their ideas, practices or systems and could be based on very different authority than them including in a good sense God's word the Holy Bible in context especially when focused on constructive criticism of non-Christian ideas or systems.
The next in the list of lust of the flesh is envyings. The definition of this word from Strong's Greek dictionary is ill-will (as detraction) jealousy, spite or envy. This could give rise to slanderous or other hateful or contentious words or verbal attacks or even different types of physical attacks especially against an individual or group and individual or group has ill-will etc. against. The next in the list of lust of the flesh is murders. The definition of this word from the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is to slay murder murder be slain with or slaughter. This means the act of one or a group of people killing one person or a group of people due to overflowing hatred or direct strife with that other person or group. This does not include capital punishment in a just way by government of murderers or other serious criminals which God even in this present Church Age gives the right to governments to do to maintain social order and remove extremely unruly people as in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2:14. There is some basis in the Bible that people that commit murder forfeit their right to life since they unduly took the life of someone else that only God has the right to do. Murder does not include taking the life of an animal for legitimate reason such as meat for food even though some extreme animal rights people might try to see that is murder. God gave the right to all people to eat animals for food if they wish since after the worldwide flood of Noah in Genesis 9:1-4 and God has not revoked this although people including in God's Church are free to just be vegatarian and not eat meat if they want as in Romans 14.
The next of the list of lust of flesh is drunkenness. This would include excessive use and be under the influence of any drug not just alcohol. Among other things this can result in people that are drunk making more verbal or physical attacks against other people, groups or property. The word for drunkenness in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is methe which could be used in such words for drugs as methadone or methamphetamines and means an intoxicant and by implication intoxication or drunkenness. The last word in the list of lust of the flesh is revellings which means excessive or wild parties. The definition for this word in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is a carousal (as if a letting loose) revelling or rioting. Of course this could involve substance abuse or intoxication, excessive sex, consulting with evil spirits or violence and could include encouragement by people present at the revelling meeting or wild party or riot to outdo each other in wild or violent behaviour or attacks including verbal, sexual or physical against each other or against God including taking His name in vain, exalting the devil or demons or trying to rise oneself above God including God the Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
The writer of this article doesn't claim to perfect in all the above areas but seeks to in limit more in practice the areas of weekness in some areas that are more difficult and seek God's strength through His Son Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit to better live for God and seek forgiveness when sins in any of these areas are committed as we all who are Christians should do while we still have the fallen human nature or the flesh in this life. In the life to come true Christians will just have the sinless and unselfish born again or new nature in Christ Jesus so there won't be problems in heaven or the Millennial or new Earth or heavens with lust of the flesh by genuine or born again Christians but we will just live with God and His people in perfect righteousness and love forever to which you the reader if you haven't already trusted in Jesus to forgive your sins are invited to join us as His Church or called out of this world people by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour by faith according to His word the Holy Bible that He died for all our sins and rose again from the dead to bring us a restored relationship with God the Father. The lust of the flesh including some that are very related to hatred, strife, attacks and violence in Galatians 5 are as follows:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do (practice) such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
Although it is true that in this world, both what we hear on the news and what we see around us, there is serious and increasing hatred, strife, attacks and violence around us of various sorts God has a good solution for all people. As mentioned above, a main factor in all these forms of hatred, strife, attacks and violence stem in large part from the lust of the flesh or fallen human nature. However there is also contribution to these contentious types of behaviour from the devil and other demons or fallen angels directly or causing worse behaviour in people and from what the New Testament calls the world (system) which is the nature of much of world society that is focused on time and sense and self and this world rather than on eternity, biblical spiritual things and the true God (Yahweh) and (and including) HIs Son Jesus Christ and Heaven. A primary aspect of God's solution to eliminate or reduce these thoughts, feelings, words, motives or actions to hate, strive, attack or cause violence against our fellow human being or our Creator and potential or actual Saviour God through HIs Son Jesus Christ is to either initially become reconciled to God and get God's peace and restored relationship with Him through admitting we are sinners by nature and practice in His sight to Him through His Son Jesus Christ and receiving Him through receiving His Son Jesus Christ through prayer in His name as our personal Lord and Saviour Who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead to give us new life. This new life includes a new completely sinless and selfless nature that can be empowered by His come to indwell in our hearts Holy Spirit when we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Alternatively if we have already trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ we can eliminate or at least reduce in this life our causing or contributing to hatred, strife, attacks or violence if we more fully and consistently trust in God through Jesus and live for Him by living following the leading of His indwelling Holy Spirit and the godly new nature instead of falling back onto living according to the flesh or fallen selfish and sinful human nature that we as true or born again Christians also still have until we leave this world through physical death or the soon coming rapture or catching up to heaven of the true Church.
The first of the mentioned fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5 is love or charity. The meaning of this word agape from the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is love in other words affection or benevolence; specifically plural a love feast, feast of charity (ably), dear, love. If we have love, especially God's unselfish agape love, we will seek the good of other people and of our Creator God in how we relate to them and so we will eliminate or at least reduce any thinking, intents, words or actions of attack against them. The next in the list of the fruit of the Spirit is joy. The word for joy is chara and the meaning of it from the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is cheerfulness in other words calm delight, gladness, greatly (times be exceeding) joy, joyful, joyfully, joyfulness, joyous). The idea here is that if we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit we will have or have more joy or calm delight etc. and that would be caused by and lead to more restraint from any attacks against our fellow human being or our Creator and Saviour God among other things. The next in the list of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is peace. The meaning of this word peace in the fruit of the Spirit from the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries is to join, peace literally or figuratively by implication prosperity one, peace, quietness, rest, set at one again. The idea here is that if we are or become Christians following the leading of the Holy Spirit we will value peace and quietness etc. with especially other Christians and God but as much as possible other people and we would be more motivated and be able to eliminate or at least reduce our attacks against other people or God by applying this fruit of the Spirit.
The next in the list of the fruit of the Spirit is longsuffering. The definition for longsuffering in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is longanimity in other words object forbearance or subject fortitude, longsuffering or patience. The idea here is that if we are or become Christians and live by the leading and fruit of the Holy Spirit we will have more patience etc. with other people born again Christian or other people or with God including His trials over believers sometimes we will for our part eliminate or reduce any attacks against other people or God and to some extent reduce encouraging justified attacks by other people against us. The next in the fruit of the Spirit is gentleness. The meaning of gentleness in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is usefulness or in other words moral excellence (in character or demeanor) gentleness, goodness or kindness. If we are or become born again Christians living in the leading and fruit of the Spirit and demonstrate this gentleness, or goodness we will think of and act more for the good of other people and God and eliminate or reduce attacks of any sort against other people or God and reduce justified basis attacks of any sort against them. The next in the list of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is goodness. The meaning of the word goodness from the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Dictionary is goodness in other words virtue or beneficence, goodness. If we are or become born again, evangelical or biblical Christians we will seek the good or benefit or other people especially fellow Christians but also other people and God and so we will eliminate or reduce our attacks of any sort against other people and God.
The next in the list of the fruit of the Spirit is faith. The meaning of faith in the Greek dictionary in Strong's Concordance is persuasion, in other words credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstract constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity. If we have faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ and His salvation and we are or become evangelical Christians we will show our thankfulness to God for His free salvation to us and to better be faithful to HIm to lay up rewards for ourselves in the life to come to better treat other people and God including to eliminate or reduce any sort of attacks against them or give reason for justified attacks of other people against us. The next in the list of the fruit of the Spirit is meekness. The meaning of meekness in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance is gentle implied humility or meekness. The idea of this fruit of the Spirit of meekness or humility which includes be willing to say when justified that we are sorry or we don't know about something will mean we don't have an over exalted impression of ourselves and will have a better relative impression of others of God will eliminate or reduce our attacks against other people and will reduce justified attacks by other people against us. The last in the fruit of the Spirit is temperance. The meaning of the word temperance in the Greek dictionary of Strong's Concordance of Hebrew and Greek Dictionary is self-control (especially continence)- temperance. The idea of the fruit of the Spirit of temperance or self-control is that those of us who are or who become evangelical Christian when we more live in the leading and fruit of this or other fruit of the Spirit will be more restrained in any especially unjustified anger or hatred and any attacks against other people or God and this will likely reduce justified attacks against us from other people. Unjustified attacks would be those especially from non-Christians or Christians in the old nature that don't like to hear Christians preach or live for God or goodness speak against sin including of others, to say all people need to trust in Jesus for salvation and that there are eternal consequences if we don't trust in Jesus or live more fully as Christians for Jesus in this life as either suffering in the lake of fire or for loss of possible eternal rewards or crowns. I as an evangelical Christian could also live more sometimes in the leading and fruit of the Spirit but having the old nature still in this life, God's trying of me and other believers and the uncertainty of the time of Jesus' return to take believers to heaven, the signicant and probably at least in North America increasing indifference or opposition to biblical Christianity can lead to increased difficulty to live as fully and consistently in the leading and fruit of the Holy Spirit. However there will not be these or other obstructions to living in the leading and fruit of the Holy Spirit in the life to come for myself or any other person who has or does become an evangelical Christian in this life especially in this current but almost complete Church Age or Dispensation or Age or Dispensation of Grace or the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit that are God's solution for those who become Christians or His chosen heavenly or spiritual people of this current Church Age, Age of grace or of the Holy Spirit from Galatians 5 including some that directly help to overcome hatred, strife, attacks and violence are the following:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:22-24
God directed the apostle Paul to write to some of the believers (Christians) in Thessalonica and elsewhere that the true Church including the believers in Thessalonica were not in and were not appointed to go through the tribulation or that part of the Day of the LORD. Paul was also saying that any violence or strife etc. on earth then or at the actual end of the Church Age as at present doesn't necessarily mean in itself that the tribulation had come and that believers were on Earth at that time. Paul referred to the blessed hope of Christians that we will be raptured or caught up to be with Jesus first in the air in our new eternal resurrection or changed spiritual bodies then to heaven with Jesus in verse 1. The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ mentioned in verse 1 in this chapter is the same as the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church to the air before the tribulation mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Our gathering together unto him mentioned in verse 1 is the gathering of the true Christians with the Lord Jesus at the pre-tribulation rapture or catching up of the true Christians first to the air or upper atmosphere or beginning of outer space and then with Jesus in our eternal spiritual or heavenly bodies to the third heaven and our eternal homes in the Father's house in the third heaven. God directed the apostle Paul to comfort the Christians or believers in Thessalonica and elsewhere that they would not miss the rapture and be left for the tribulation part of the Day of the LORD when God will judge this world with unprecedented worldwide judgment as mentioned much in the Old Testament prophets and much of the Book of Revelation etc. According to the Ryrie Study Bible notes there were three sources of false teaching that were distressing (or shaking or troubling) the Thessalonican believers to make them think they had missed the rapture and were already living in the tribulation. By spirit according to the Ryrie Study Bible notes means teaching by false teachers by some prophetic utterance (that would likely come from a demon by divination etc. or what we today might call a spirit guide) or by word (a spoken teaching) or by letter as from us (a written letter claiming to be from Paul or other leading legitimate Christians of the early Church). The term of day of Christ is a New Testament term for the day of the rapture or resurrection of the Church but the term here should better be the Day of The LORD which is the last days time of God's greater intervention in the world starting with the tribulation and the plagues on earth then that He brings to judge the world to bring people to turn to Him through faith in His Son Jesus Christ and then Jesus' visible second coming from heaven to earth at the end of the tribulation to set up God's kingdom on earth and more fully judge the world and then God's direct visible glorious rule over this world for a thousand years through His Annointed One (Christ or Messiah) Jesus of Nazareth after the tribulation. That thousand year rule will be also through and with the true Church, restored Israel and the restored of the nations. The term at hand in verse 2 should be already present. In other words God through the Apostle Paul was reassuring the Thessalonican and other Christians that in contrast to what the false teachers of that day were saying they weren't then in the tribulation (part of the Day of the LORD and that they or any other part of the Church weren't appointed for that in the future.
God through the apostle Paul then went on to say what would be the sign that the Antichrist or man of sin would immediately appear next in the tribulation. This would be a falling away or apostasy that is a falling away of professing Christians from fundamental biblical Christian teaching often while still claiming to be Christians. We do see this falling away in our time especially through the so-called emerging Church led by false teachers like Brian McClaren and Rob Bell with their saying the true Church is characterized by emphasis on liberalism, environmentalism and New Age mysticism rather than Biblical New Testament Christianity. We also see this falling away through increasing popularity of other false teaching like the cults such as Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons and on liberalism in Protestant and other Churches and liberalism or false mysticism and putting of church tradition above the New Testament Bible teaching for the Church by the Roman Catholic and to some extent Eastern Orthodox Church. We also see this falling away by increasing attempts in the ecumenical and multi-faith movement to compromise Christian teaching and practice to get in harmony with other world religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, aboriginal religion or secular religion. Some of this falling away or apostasy creates hatred or strife against God according to the Bible and against Bible believing or evangelical Christians or Churches especially when those Christians or Churches try to correct apostate or merely professing Christians to trust in Jesus alone according to the New Testament for salvation and then Christian service and not in themselves, other leaders or other non-biblical teaching.
Paul tells these Thessalonican and all Christians that this falling away when it comes at the end of the Church Age would quickly lead to the rise of and manifestation of the Antichrist or man of sin. According to the related passage in Daniel 9 of the 70 weeks of Daniel this will be first by the Antichrist making a covenant or peace agreement with Israel and others such as the world powers of the US, European Union, United Nations and probably the surrounding Arab or other nations to provide a false Middle East peace that would include permission for Israel or the Jews to build their third Jewish temple or temple of God on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This covenant would also allow the Jews to carry out their Old Testament Levitical worship including animal sacrifices or offerings of wine and grain in the temple in Jerusalem. These are the sacrifice and oblation mentioned in Daniel 9:27 that will stop at the mid point of the tribulation or 3 1/2 years after the Antichrist allows Israel to build their temple of God on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Antichrist will present himself at the Messiah or the Jews and likely to the remaining falsely professing Christians as the Lord Jesus Christ and perhaps to people of other religions as their last days religious leader such as the Mahdi or Twelth Iman to the Muslims, the 10th Avatar to the Hindus and some New Agers and the Maitreya Buddha to the Buddhists and some New Agers and the corresponding Great Spirit or something similiar to people of aboriginal religions and world statesman to secular people. The Antichrist or man of sin will then further manifest himself starting at the midpoint and through the second half of the tribulation through claiming to be and acting on that claim to be God or God in the flesh in a role. This role of God in His Temple worshipped as God will only in the Millennial or Messianic Kingdom, after the time of the Antichrist, be done by God's true annointed only and divine incarnation Jesus of Nazareth in the Millennial Temple mentioned in Ezekiel 43-46, Zechariah 14 etc. after His second coming at the end of the tribulation from heaven to rule the world after judging it including the last leader of this world system the Antichrist and his associate the false prophet. In verse 5 of 2 Thessalonians Paul mentions to the Thessalonian Christians that he had apparently already taught them these prophetic truths.
God through Paul then goes on to say that a main reason these events surrounding the manifestation of the Antichrist in the rebuilt Jewish Temple or at that time could have been the still standing Jewish Temple rebuilt by Herod was that there was still the restraint (or letting or withholding) of evil or lawlessness by the Holy Spirit. This restraint of evil by the Holy Spirit was then and continues to be now at the end of the Church Age the presence and action of the Holy Spirit indwelling born again or biblical Christians such as by allowing us to rightly discern teaching in God's word the Holy Bible, make some effort through the Holy Spirit to apply it to our lives and to give sound bible teaching on salvation or other topics to so far unbelieving or non-Christian people or society. When the true Christians or true Church are removed from this world or earth through the rapture or catching up to heaven of all the true Church the Holy Spirit and much of His current role of the restrainer of iniquity or lawlessness will also be removed or taken out of the way. This lawlessness is I believe however already be gradually partly lifted as we near the end of this present Church Age, Age of Grace or Age of the Holy Spirit through His in many cases increasingly less effective work through even true or born again Christians as even born again Christians too much give into leading of the old fallen human nature characterized by the lust of the flesh. However there will still be a great jump in the lifting of restraint in the world and in the people including falsely professing and not Holy Spirit professing Christians when the rapture of the Church of true Christians who have received the Holy Spirit to indwell our hearts occurs. We become true Christians when we admit to God in prayer in Jesus' name that we are sinners in God's sight and don't deserve His salvation but can and do obtain it through trusting in God's Son the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour Who died for all our sins on the cross about two thousand years ago around Jerusalem, physically died and then on the third day rose from the dead to enable us to get God's eternal resurrection life all by God's grace or undeserved favour.
When the taking out of this world of born again or true Christians or the true Church and much of the restraining work of the Holy Spirit happens at the rapture of the Church and the end of the Church Age then the Wicked One the Antichrist or man of sin and his associate the false prophet will be revealed on earth. The Antichrist and false prophet will be defeated by the second coming in glory of the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God and true God in the flesh from heaven to earth at the end of the tribulation as in Revelation 19 and 20, Zechariah 14, Matthew 26:62-65, 24:29-31, Acts 1:10-11, Daniel 7:13-14, 2 Thessalonians 1 etc. At the end of the tribulation when the Lord Jesus Christ comes to set up visibly over all the earth the true Kingdom of God thelawless rule over all the earth and its people of Satan's men the Antichrist (the man of sin or the wicked one) will end. This wicked rule of the Antichrist in the tribulation will include instigation to violence by those who follow the Antichrist and the devil against those of the nations and of Israel or the Jews who won't worship the Antichrist as God and who become believers in God through His Son Jesus Christ on the earth in the tribulation (as in Revelation 6:9-11, 13:1-10-14 after the rapture of the Church. The devil Satan will work through the Wicked One the Antichrist or man of sin (and his associate the false prophet) to do many remarkable miracles or wonders to persuade people that he is God incarnate or the Christ or Messiah in His Second Coming and as a counterfeit of the true Messiah or Christ in His Second Coming Who will be the same as He who came as Jesus of Nazarath in the first coming two thousand years ago of the true Christ or Messiah of the true God. These false miracles or wonders or signs by the man of sin or wicked one and the false prophet are also mentioned in God's word in Revelation 13:1-4, 11-18.
Those on earth in the tribulation who are deceived by the Antichrist and the false prophet and their false or Satanic miracles to believe the Antichrist is God and take the mark of the beast etc. will perish or be condemned to the lake of fire forever and live in a tormented state there forever as also in Revelation 13:1-4, 5-10, 11-18, 14:9-20, 19:17-21, 20:4-6, 11-15. Those who are deceived by the Antichrist and think he is God in the flesh, especially after they worship him and receive his mark in their right hand or forehead will be too deceived to have any further chance of true salvation, eternal life, forgiveness of sins, a restored relationship with God and a home in heaven through God's Son and true Christ, Messiah and God in the flesh Jesus of Nazareth. People of this age who have heard the true message or gospel of salvation through God's Son Jesus Christ clearly and who continue to reject or neglect that message will be left behind on earth after the rapture of the Church to heaven and be judged of God with delusion to prevent them with further understanding or desire for true salvation from God through His Son Jesus Christ. This refusing or neglecting to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour in this life and Church Age or Age of Grace or the Holy Spirit is to continue to reject or neglect to admit we are sinners in God's sight (Who views any sin in our lives according to His word the Holy Bible as making us sinners). Of course to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour also includes a committment to pray and keep praying afterwards to God in Jesus' name that He died on the cross to pay for all our sins and rose again from the dead to give us new life in Him and by God's grace and power by His Holy Spirit live for Him in this life and world. God does not expect perfectly sinless living in this world even for true or born again Christians and I the reader could do better in some ways as well but God does expect that we will in practice seek His strength to live for Him and not in general rely on our own strength and that we be ashamed of our sins, not boast in them but seek God's forgiveness of them after we commit them to renew fellowship with God again through confessing them to God in prayer in Jesus' name. Although our fellowship and usefulness to God for Christian service can be broken and needs renewal through confessing and renewed seeking God's strength to forsake the sins our relationship with God can't be broken because it is based on the finished work of His Son Jesus Christ in His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead and our trusting in Him and His righteousness for justification with God asin Romans 3:23-31, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 3:18 etc.
The lie that people who don't receive the Lord Jesus Christ and salvation through Him by the time of the soon coming rapture of the true Church and following 7 year tribulation or 70th week of Daniel on earth is probably especially that they will believe that the Antichrist or man or sin or beast out of the sea is God or God in the flesh instead of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Incarnate God. However the lie could also include other big lies given by the devil including persuading people that they are or can be God or gods or goddesses themselves that the devil or Satan or the serpent has been attempting to do since he tried it successfully with our first parents Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden several thousand years ago as in Genesis 3:1-6. One of the things that can and does unfortunately keep or continue to keep many people from trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation in this Church Age especially this last part of it is preoccupation with unrighteous pleasures including hatred, strife and violence but also just primary focus on oneself and leaving God and Jesus out of first place in one's life such as through focus on work, school, family, hobbies, friends that might not be bad in itself but is seen as bad when they are pursued to the exclusion or above focus on obtaining and seeking God's strength to live for Him through His Son Jesus Christ. However unrighteous pleasures would also include especially pleasures God calls unrighteous in His word such as involvement or seeking power or self-exaltation through substance abuse or involvement in the occult or witchcraft under the biblical term sorcery or witchcraft, excessive sex especially outside of marriage, perverted sex of any type such as same sex or so called transexual actions, gambling, wild music or language etc.
In contrast to the people who don't or won't believe the trust of the gospel of salvation in God's Son Jesus Christ especially in the last days of the Church Age and who will be left behind in the tribulation the Apostle Paul gives thanks to the Thessalonican Christians for believing in Jesus for salvation and continuing to live for Him in a set apart or sanctified way from the world system, flesh and the devil or demons. God through the apostle Paul further thanks God for these and other true Christians who have responded to God's call on them and their lives by responding to the gospel invitation of God through His Son Jesus Christ and by His Holy Spirit and that they could look forward with Paul of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ to be resurrected or changed into glorious resurrection bodies at the rapture of the Church and then reign with Jesus in the visible Kingdom of God after Jesus' glorious second coming to earth at the end of the tribulation and through the Millennial or Messianic Kingdom and then His and God the Father's eternal Kingdom in the New Jerusalem, New Earth and New Heavens in which eternal realm there will be no hatred, strife or violence with only humans in just the new unselfish nature in Christ, God including God the Son Jesus Christ and the holy angels. The scripture reference from 2 Thessalonians 2 of God through the apostle Paul assuring the true Christians in Thessalonica and elsewhere or throughout the Church Age that we will be taken to heaven in the rapture or coming together with Jesus of the true Church and not be left behind on earth during the tribulation with the unpredented hatred, attacks, strife and violence especially against God and His people through faith in His Son Jesus Christ that will then be on earth and that is presently at our time quickly leading up to that is as follows:
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand (should be day of the LORD is now present). 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; 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, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity (lawlessness) doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightnes of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceibableness of unrighteous in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-14
God says through the Apostle Paul that the law is good if we use it lawfully that is this age as he says in other of his inspired writings such as Romans 13:8-10 that some of the law such as most of the 10 commandments of God can guide us in our Christian lives. However the commandment to keep the sabbath is not mentioned as one of the 10 commandments for the Church or Christians to keep but we are encouraged to gather in Jesus' name on the Lord's day or first day of the week which is Sunday as in Acts 20:7 or 1 Cor. 16:1-2. Paul's statement about the law being used lawfully probably also includes God's statements through his elsewhere in his writings such as Galatians 2:16-21, 3:1-29, 4:1-31 that none of us can keep the law therefore we need especially in this age of grace or Church age to trust in Jesus alone for justification or salvation with God rather than trust in any part in our own keeping of the law for justifation or salvation with God. However we can use the law and New Testament scriptures such as in Paul's epistles as a basis for service to Jesus after we are saved for rewards in addition to the free gift of salvation or eternal life that is through faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour alone.
Paul then emphasizes that the law is meant, especially in this age of grace, for the disobedient or wreckless living person. Paul mentions some of this unrighteous living such as lawless by which there he probably means uncivilized or sinful such as acts of violence, strifeful or hateful words to God or our fellow human being, sexual sins, stealing etc. The expression ungodly and sinners could have emphasis about people who are characterized as committing sins or offences against their fellow human while unholy and profane could emphasize sins against God such as taking His name in vain (including Jesus' name in vain) by giving excessive derogatory, mocking or twisted talk against God or the Bible or Christians (or Jews) and biblical practices. These can also be sins of hatred and strife and not having the love of the truth but having pleasure in unrighteousness.
Then Paul gets more specific in what sins he mentions. He mentions murders of fathers or mothers which would be some of the worst acts of breaking the commandment not to kill and in those cases would also break the commandment to honour our mother and father. He then also mentions the sin of manslaying which would be murder in a general sense although it could include what we now call manslaughter that is non-intentional killing. However manslayers could also include intentional murder or if not intentional murder would be implied as a sin when combined with murders of fathers and mothers and manslayers and the fact that one of the ten commandments was not to kill (murder) in general. These just mentioned sins would of course all be sins of hatred, strife, attacks and violence. Paul then mentions some sexual sins such as whoremongers that would include adultery and fornication or sex outside of marriage both with a married person and with someone who is not married but in either case not with one's opposite sex marriage partner. Then Paul mentions those that defile themselves with mankind who would be homosexuals but also be implied to be lesbians who in either case are defiling themselves with same sex intimate sex rather than with the opposite sex. This could be considered an attack, strife or violence against the other same sex person since it is having sex with them other than how God intended and would defile both humans persons involved in these sexual acts. Next in this list of sins are menstealers which means kidknappers or people than abduct other people against their will I think whether the abducted people are adults or children. This would also be an act of hatred, strife, attack and violence. Next in this list of sins that the law condemns is liars or those who give false witness. This is a sin or hatred, strife or violence against the person the lie is made to as it is against their right to be told the truth and not deceived. The last sin is perjury which is to make a false oath especially in legal proceedings. This could be included in the commandment not to give false witness. This would be a sin not just against the other person it was said to directly but against the whole legal system if it was said to a judge or in a court of law and could be considered such an act or strife or violence. After that Paul says this list above is not exhaustive and that the law was meant against other sins as well including for instance not stealing or robbing that would be an attack against other people by forcefully taking their possessions without their permission.
Paul concludes by saying such acts as the above that the law of Moses is meant to convict people are of are also against sound doctrine or teaching and against the basic gospelthat was committed to him that he makes clear is the good news that we can have eternal life and salvation from God through faith in Jesus and His death and resurrection alone without our good works as in 1 Corinthians 15:1-7. Paul is mentioning the use of the law hear to convict people of sin so we will be more likely to admit we are sinners and trust in Jesus alone for salvation which is the gospel committed to Paul, Peter and John and the other apostles. This is the same gospel of grace everyone who becomes a true Christian by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone and His finished work on the cross for our sins and resurrection from the dead to give us eternal life has been called to as in 2 Thessalonians 2 and that is associated with those that are part of the true Church who will take part in the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church and not be left behind on earth to live under the antichrist or man of sin as also mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2 and described above. The scripure reference from 1 Timothy 1 of the apostle Paul emphasizing the law of Moses used in this Church Age to convict people of sins (including of strife and violence) to encourage us to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation according to the gospel is as follows:
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which are committed to my trust. 1 Timothy 1:8-11
For more information, comments, questions or adviceContact Doug at Spirit and Truth Ministries