PRETERIST BIBLE COMMENTARY › Forums › Forum › Was the Lawless One active in A.D. 52-54 or was he not yet revealed then?
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May 12, 2022 at 4:01 am #15425adminKeymaster
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 2:6, and 2:8 we learn that the Lawless One had not yet been revealed at the time in which 2 Thessalonians was written:
“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” (2 Thess 2:3.)
“And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.” (2 Thess 2:6.)
“For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed[.]” (2 Thess 2:7-8.)
If the Lawless One had not yet been revealed in A.D. 52-54, then what is meant by “the secret power of lawlessness [that] is already at work”? This “secret power of lawlessness [that] is already at work” is equated with the “spirit of the antichrist” that “is coming, and now” “is already in the world” mentioned in 1 John 4:2-3: “[E]very spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” In 2 Thessalonians 2:9 we learn that this “secret power of lawlessness” and by extension “the spirit of the antichrist” is Satan as it is Satan who is ultimately behind the “signs and wonders” performed by the Lawless One: “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie[.]” We see this “secret power of lawlessness” a.k.a. the “spirit of the antichrist” mentioned in Revelation 12 and 13 as the “red dragon” “that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” Here we see that both the “red dragon” and the “secret power of lawlessness” are equated with Satan (2 Thess 2:7-9, Rev 12:9). In Revelation 13:2 we see that it is the dragon, i.e. Satan/”the secret power of lawlessness/”the spirit of the antichrist” who gives the beast his authority just as he gives the Lawless One the ability to perform “signs and wonders that serve the lie”: “The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.” In 2 Thessalonians 2, 1 John 4:2-3 and Revelation 12-13 we learn that “the secret power of lawlessness,” the “spirit of the antichrist,” and the “red dragon” is separate and distinct from the Lawless One, the Antichrist(s) and the beast respectively and is Satan himself. Thus it is NOT the Lawless One who is active in A.D. 52-54 but rather Satan who works to bring about the revealing of the Lawless One which had not yet occurred when 2 Thessalonians was written.
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