Sunday, January 31, 2016

2 Thessalonians 3 Verse-by-Verse Bible Study

2 Thessalonians 3 Verse-by-Verse Bible Study


August 26, 2015

2 Thessalonians 3 beginning in verse one, the bible reads, "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, for all men have not faith, but the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil."

Now, as we get into this third chapter of 2 Thessalonians, let me just mention this. This is pretty much the only chapter in first or second Thessalonians that doesn't go much into end times bible prophecy, whatsoever. All the other seven chapters covered it at least in part of the chapter, but in this chapter not so much, but it's interesting that in verse five it does just make one quick reference to it, just to complete the eight chapters in a row of dealing with it.

It says, "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ." There is just that little reference to the second coming. Most of this chapter has to do with people working hard and having a good work ethic, and talking about the traditions that they've been given by the apostles, and so forth.

Now, in the first few verses here, Paul is asking for them to pray for him. He says, "Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you." He's saying, "Look, you've been a success story." The church at Thessalonica was a church that was a pattern church. If you remember in some of the previous chapters that talked about how their faith was spoken of throughout the whole world. The apostle Paul is basically praying and saying, "Look, pray for us that we will have the same success in other places where we go and preach that we had with you, that God's word would have free course, and that God's word would be glorified."

The bible says that God has magnified his word above all his name. God's word ought to be glorified. It needs to be exalted, it needs to be lifted up. A lot of people will accuse us as fundamental Baptists of worshiping the bible or making an idol out of the bible. You know what? Guilty as charged because you know what? We ought to glorify the word of God. We ought to exalt the word of God. If God has magnified it above his name, and of course, we're supposed to worship the name of the Lord, then of course, we should worship the word of God.

Now, we're not talking about worshiping a physical book. Obviously, a book is a book. We're talking about the word though, the words that are in the book. They were in the beginning with God, and they are God, and they ought to be glorified and exalted and magnified even above the name of God.

There are whole denominations out there that are just based on understanding the name of God. You got the Jehovah's Witnesses saying, "Hey, we're the ones who have the real name of God." Then you have the Hebrew roots people over here that are telling you, "Hey, it's actually Yahweh," or Yeshua, and all these different things. You know what? God is exalted above even any of his names. He's exalted his word. He's magnified his word above all his name, according to Psalm 138:2.

So we should always make sure that what we believe and preach is in accordance with God's word. That's the most important thing. The Jehovah's Witnesses, hey, they're preaching the right name, but they got all the doctrine wrong, and they didn't get the word right. What's more important, the word, isn't it? Of course, that's a whole another sermon in and of itself why it's biblical to use the term the Lord, and why that's the term that Jesus used, et cetera, et cetera, but that's another sermon that shall be preached in another time.

Here, the bible says, "We want God's word to be glorified," verse two, "that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, for all men have not faith," and there are people out there that are unbelievers, and they're unreasonable people, and they're wicked people. They don't have faith.

Let me tell you something. Many people who don't have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are unreasonable people. Yet, often those who are atheistic will lift themselves up as being those who follow reason. That's actually a word that they use a lot, reason. "Forget religion, we need reason." Then when you try to reason with one of these atheist, you'll realize they don't believe in reason. The bible is right when it said that those who have no faith are unreasonable and wicked men.

It's true because I've rarely met an honest atheist that you could actually have a reasonable conversation with. They're out there. I've talked to some atheist that you could actually reason with, but 99% of atheists will just give you the most ridiculous, unreasonable answers. When you try to talk to them, you just can't get through to them because they just have a preconceived idea. There is no God, and they don't want to hear about any other philosophy or any other evidence. It's just there's ... That's their starting point. They hate God, they don't want him to exist.

Obviously, they're going to then take all the evidence that they see and look at it through that lens of atheism. Everything that they teach in their schools, and in their colleges is through that atheistic lens, and that atheistic world. That's how they interpret everything that they find in the natural world.

We that believe in the God of the bible, we look at all the same evidence. We look around us and we see the handy work of God. Especially, you'd think that today when we have all the microscopes and the technology to look at organisms on the micro level and be able to see the intricacy that previous generations didn't even know about where we know the intricacy of a single-celled organism, and we should be marveling at God's handy work when we look at DNA, and how complex it is, and realize this is not anything that could just randomly come to pass. This could not be by chance. It's clearly created by the Lord God, but they don't see it. You know why? Because they're not reasonable.

Only an unreasonable person would look around at the world and the magnificent creation and then behold the heavens and say, "This is all the product of a random explosion of who knows what." What kind of an unreasonable person thinks that something comes from nothing? It's not reasonable to say, "Hey, there was nothing and then all this just came about." That defies every law of science that says that something can't come from nothing. That teaches laws like cause and effect or the laws of conservation of matter, laws of conservation of energy. All that is just turned on its head in the name of atheism. Unreasonable and wicked men teach that there is no God. The fool had set in his heart that there is no God.

The bible says in verse three, "But the Lord is faithful," faithful meaning trustworthy, we can rely on him, "who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil, and we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you, and the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."

Verse six, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." Now, this is a pretty important verse because we all know that there are verses in the bible that talk about separation, that there are people that we should separate from.

If you would flip over to 1 Corinthians 6, I'm sorry, 2 Corinthians 6, if you would turn over to 2 Corinthians 6, the bible says in verse number 14, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?"

Now, that's a whole bunch of ways to say the same thing here. It's all summed up in the beginning there, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers," and then he uses different words. He's talking about Christ versus Belial, him that believeth, an infidel. Infidel is just a fancy way of saying someone who doesn't believe. Fidelus means faithful or believing. Infidel means nonbeliever.

Then he says in verse number 16, "What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

That's a pretty famous passage that most Christians are familiar with, and they understand that we, as Christians, are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. That would go especially for marriage, that's pretty much the tightest bond that we have on this earth. So we should not marry an unbeliever. We don't want to join forces with unbelievers. When you see this type of ecumenical prayer breakfast, for example, that will join the Christians, and the Muslims, and the Hindus, and the Buddhists, they all pray together or they all join together for some ecumenical presidential prayer breakfast. We know that's wrong.

We know that ... I as a pastor of a bible-believing Baptist church should not join the local ministerial association where I can have breakfast with the Catholic priest or Jewish rabbi or all these different denominations of people who do not believe the bible because I'm not supposed to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. "What fellowship hath light with darkness?" It's pretty clear, right?

This teaching in 2 Thessalonians 3, if you go back there, is not so well-known, and is not so popular because the bible does not only tell us to separate from unbelievers. It also tells us to withdraw ourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly. Do you see that? This is talking about somebody who's saved. Not only are we not supposed to be yoked up with the unsaved, we are also not supposed to be yoked up with brothers and sisters in Christ here who walk disorderly and not after the tradition received of the apostles.

If you go down a little bit in the chapter, it says in verse 14, "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him," but then look at the next verse, "Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a ..." what? "... a brother." What's the bible is saying here? Twice in the same chapter letting us know that there are certain brothers and sisters in Christ that we should separate from, that we should not have anything to do with.

Now, we also know this from 1 Corinthians 5, if you would flip over there quickly, but we need to understand that just because someone is saved does not mean that we should be united with that person or that we should have fellowship with that person. The bible says in Amos 3:3, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Honestly, today, there's this message that's constantly being pounded into us that says, "We as Christians need to stay united. We need to be unified. United we stand, divided we fall," but that is not what the bible teaches.

The bible teaches that there are people that we'd be better off to withdraw from, that we'd be better off to separate from, not, "Let's all join together. Hey, as long as we're saved, let's put aside the doctrinal differences, let's put aside the lifestyle differences, and if we're saved, we should all be able to just rally around the gospel of Jesus Christ."

I had a guy tell me one time, "You're going to be in heaven with these people for all eternity. You should get used to fellowshipping with them now, and you need to be united with them." Today, there's a huge movement that says, "Unite all Christians. Put aside the doctrine." This is where the nondenominational crowd comes from because they say, "We want all types of people at the church even if they have wildly different doctrine. Hey, that doesn't matter. We all believe in Jesus, right?"

Wrong, because when people are believing in major false doctrine like believing that you can lose your salvation, like believing that salvation is by works, like believing that Jesus Christ is not God in the flesh, but that he's just a created being. These doctrines matter. When people all have a different bible, and different doctrine, and a totally different belief system, the bible talks about people having another Jesus, but even if there's ...

You say, "Yeah, but these people are saved. They believe it's by faith. They don't believe it's by works. They don't believe you're going to lose your salvation. They believe Jesus Christ is God." Okay, but what about when they're just disregarding the clear teachings of scripture and teaching other false doctrine, that would be a brother who's not walking in the traditions and the teachings of the word of God.

Look at another group. Look at another group in 1 Corinthians 5 that we should separate from. It says in verse nine, "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world." He's saying that he had previously written to them telling them that they should not hang around with fornicators, but he's clarifying now. He's saying, "I'm not saying not to hang around with the fornicators of this world," because he said in order to do that, you'd have to leave the world because he's saying, unsaved people, they're fornicators, they're covetous, they're idolaters. That's just unsaved people acting like unsaved people.

He's saying, "You don't have to separate from those people in the sense of having no fellowship with them, no company with them," but watch what he says in verse 11, "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat."

The bible is teaching a higher standard of separation for those who are called a brother. He's saying, if you're around worldly people, unsaved people that you work with or that you have maybe in your extended family, he's saying, "If they're fornicators, if they're covetous, if they're idolaters, and they're not a Christian," he's saying, "you don't have to completely withdraw from that person. You could still eat a meal with that person." He's not asking us to leave the world.

Jesus prayed and said, "I pray that you would not take them out of the world, but that you would keep them from the evil." That's what he prayed to the Father. So we should not withdraw ourselves from society and go live on some compound somewhere, live out in the wilderness somewhere secluded and isolated like a hermit. No, we should stay amongst the people of this world because it's our job to preach the gospel to every creature. So we're going to interact with people.

The bible says that if someone's called a brother and they're a fornicator, someone's called a brother and they're an idolater, covetous, railer, drunkard, extortioner, with such an one no not so much as to eat. I mean, that's pretty strong words. They're saying don't have anything to do with people like that.

Now, when it comes to the unsaved fornicator, are we supposed to be yoked together with them? No, we're not supposed to be yoked up with the unsaved, but we could still talk to them, be friendly, have a meal with them, et cetera. Don't get yoked up with them, but we're still going to be nice to them. We're still going to spend time with them in our jobs, and in our neighborhoods, and so forth, but with a brother who is involved in these major sins, he says, "With such an one no not to eat."

Now, there's a false teaching out there today that all sin is equal. We see it different, but in God's sight, it's all equal. That would be a ridiculous unjust God who saw all sin is equal because all sin is not equal. The proof of that is that all throughout the bible, God distinguishes the severity of one sin over another. For example, Jesus told Pontius Pilate, "He that delivered you unto me," talking about the Jews that delivered him unto Pilate, "He that delivered you unto me hath the greater sin." How can someone have a greater sin if all sin is equal?

Then also, Jesus talked about the Pharisees and the Scribes receiving a greater damnation. If all sin is equal, how could you have a greater damnation? If all sin is equal, then why did God in the criminal code of the Old Testament punished some things minorly and some things severely. Some things are punished with death. Some things are punished with a beating. Some things are punished with paying of fine, but that shows right there that there's a difference in severity. There's not a single scripture in the bible that says all sin is equal.

The reason that this is such a dangerous doctrine to say that all sin is equal is because it causes people to commit bigger sins because they think, "Well, it's all equal anyway, right?" We're all going to ... Then they just say, "Well, we're all going to sin. We're all sinners. If I commit fornication, I mean, that doesn't make me any different than anybody else because hey, we're all sinners, right?" That is a very dangerous doctrine.

Think about how dangerous it is to say, "Well, stealing a pencil and murdering someone is the same." I mean, you don't have to be a crazy person to believe that, but think about what that would do to people's morals. I've confronted people who were in major sin and had them say, "Well, we're all sinners." It's like, "Well, wait a minute though. We're not all fornicators." What they'll do, they'll take certain scriptures and they'll twist the meaning.

For example in James 2:10, it says, "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." He's saying, either way you're a transgressor of the law. If you commit one sin or if you commit both sins, you are still guilty before God.

There are chapters like Romans 3 that go into the fact that, "There's none righteous, no, not one. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," but none of that is saying that all sin is equal. It's just saying that we're all guilty before God. It's saying, no matter how good we are, and even we don't commit a major sin, we're still guilty and condemned to hell unless we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is our savior.

That's why it says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." The point is that we're all guilty, we all need to be saved by Jesus, but that's not saying that everyone is of the same guilt or that all sin is equal. So that's a big stretch there to make that leap from the one to the other, and it's dangerous or they'll take for example, Matthew 5 where it says that if you look on a woman to lust after, you've committed adultery already in your heart.

What's the context of the passage? The passage is teaching people that we're all sinners. We're all guilty. He says, "Look, if you say to someone, 'Thou fool,' and if you're angry with your brother without a cause," he says, "you're in danger of hell fire." What's he saying. The same thing Revelation 21:8 is saying where it says, "All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

He's trying to show us that you don't have to be a murdered to go to hell. You don't have to actually go out and commit the physical act of adultery to go to hell. You could just hate your brother in your heart. You could just think a lustful thought toward a woman, and look upon woman to lust after, and you're guilty, but that does not mean that looking at a woman to lust after is just as bad as actually going and committing adultery, and doing the physical act.

See, the one is punished by death even on this earth. The thing about that is that if you taught people that, here's what you'd be teaching them, "Oh, they look at someone with lust, well, I might as well go through with it now. I mean, I'm already guilty of it anyway." It's nonsense. It's ridiculous. Plus, the bible also differentiates between sins of ignorance and sins that are committed presumptuously, sins that are just deliberately committed. Those are differentiated in scripture.

David said, "Cleanse thou me from secret faults," things that he didn't even know that he'd done wrong, but he also didn't want to sin presumptuously. He said, if he sinned presumptuously against the Lord, he said, that would be the great transgression.

That's why the men of Sodom in Genesis 18 and 19, it's a story of Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah, the bible says that the men of Sodom were sinners before the Lord exceedingly. See, there are sinners and then there are sinners exceedingly. There's damnation, then there's the greater damnation. There's sin, and then there's greater sin. Today, we have this doctrine of just, "Hey, all sin is equal." So then when you try to show them scripture that says, "Hey, the bible commands us to separate from a brother who's a fornicator," they say, "Well, your church will just be empty then if you don't allow sinners."

Look, I've heard it a million times. They say that, "If you were to throw out the fornicator, then your church is going to be empty, buddy." That's a lie because not everybody is a fornicator. There are plenty churchgoers who don't commit fornication. "Well, if you get rid of the drunks, you have to get rid of everybody." No, wrong. Look around. This is not a room full of drunks tonight. This is an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that you stumbled into. This is not ...

Now, are there people in here that are susceptible to those sins or maybe even guilty of those sins and haven't been found out? Of course, that's always possible. We're not going to openly, knowingly have a church filled with people who call themselves a Christian and are out fornicating, getting drunk, extorting money. Look, the bible says, "No. This isn't me coming up with this tonight." Look at the bible.

It says in verse 11, "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?" Without meaning outside the church. He said, "What have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."

Look, is there a person we need to get rid of according to the bible? Yeah. It says, "Put away from among yourselves that wicked person." Yes, we are all sinners, and I'm going to admit right now that I am a sinner, that I am not perfect. I'm not going to get up here and say, "Hey, I've repented of all my sins. I'm walking in sinless perfection." No. I am a human being, I sin. I do wrong things. I make mistakes. I am constantly coming short of the glory of God. I am battling just like you between the flesh and the spirit, and there are times when I'm walking in the flesh and would fulfill the lust of flesh, but listen to me now, I'm not a fornicator. I'm not a drunk. I'm not a railer or an extortioner or an idolater or a covetous boaster. I am none of these things.

If I were, then I should be thrown out and if you are, then you should be thrown out. I mean, that's what the bible says. The bible is differentiating between these major sins and just ... People say, "Oh, you're a Catholic if you believe in big sins and little sins." You could throw names at people, but this is what the bible teaches.

Look what chapter five verse one says because a lot of people will say, "Well, how can you guarantee that you don't have such a person in your midst?" Of course, we don't know what everybody's sin. There could be people amongst us that are guilty of these things and we don't even know it. Look what it says in verse one, "It is reported commonly that there's fornication among you." I mean, it's just a common report. Everybody knows it.

Obviously, we can't control things that are hidden and that we don't know, but we can't control things that we do know about. When it comes to light that a church member is involved in these particular sins that are known as leaven, that would leaven the whole lump, then it has to be dealt with. The person can be given a chance to repent, and if they're not willing to repent, then they need to be cast out.

I've confronted maybe, in fact, there are many times when I will do this on an almost monthly basis where just because we have so many people coming through the doors of our church, I mean, think about it. Every single week, we have visitors at our church, lots of visitors. Why? Because we're outreaching people. We're preaching the gospel. We're making things happen. So there are a lot of visitors passing through the doors.

Virtually, every service there are first time visitors. On a Sunday morning service, there's as many as 10, 12 first time visitors. A lot of people would come, and maybe they come for a few weeks and then quit coming, but in the cycle of all that, and that just because of the culture of 2015 America, constantly, there are people who will come to the church and they're living together and they're not married, but they're living together in fornication.

Now, when that person shows up, obviously, if they just got saved yesterday, they need time to learn and be taught or maybe they've never heard this kind of preaching. Usually, what I would do first of all is I'd preach it from the pulpit, first of all. A lot of times when I preach it from the pulpit like I'm doing right now, someone will come up to me after the service and say to me, "Pastor Anderson, that's my situation and I want to make it right," or if I preach from the pulpit, that person may just never come back because they're offended by that sermon, or if I preach it from the pulpit and they come back, but they don't fix the problem, then the next step is I go to that person, and talk to them.

I tell that person that they have three options. I say, "Here are your options." I say, "Number one, you can stop coming to church here. Number two, you can stop living in fornication. You can split up or at least stop living together. I mean, you could still be boyfriend and girlfriend but you need to live separately or number three, you can get married to each other, and rectify the situation that you're living in."

I always tell them this. I say, "You have seven days to get married, and if you get married in the next seven days, I'll perform the ceremony and I'll help you take care of it, and get this fixed." Why? I want to help people live for God. I'm not out to burn people or mess up their lives or be mean to them. No. I want to help them do what's right. I tell them, "Look, you can leave the church. That's an option or you can stop living together if you're not sure you want to marry this person because guess what? If you're not sure that you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, you have no business hopping in the sack with that person."

I say to them, "... or you can get married. If you do it in the next seven days, I'll perform the ceremony," because that shows a heart that wants to get it fixed right away. Seven days, it gives you time to go to the courthouse, get the marriage license, et cetera. I say to them, "You know what? If it's going to be beyond seven days, then just don't come back until you're married."

There are a lot of people who take ... They never split up. Nobody ever takes that option even though it's on the table. I'd say it's about 50/50 where they say, "Okay. We're going to get married then," and we perform the marriage within ... we perform the ceremony within seven days. That's a hard rule, no exceptions, seven days. I told somebody that on Wednesday night, and we had the wedding on Tuesday night next week because it's just seven days.

The other half will just quit coming to church because otherwise, people will just say, "Oh, yeah. We're going to get married but we want to wait to be there. It's going to be six months from now." Wrong answer. "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." It needs to be rectified immediately.

We follow this passage, but the church of today, the mega church fun center community church now, their answer is, "Hey, let's just welcome in all the fornicating couples, and just have them go to church amongst us because church is not a museum; it's a hospital. It's not a museum of perfect Christians for us to stand it up; it's a hospital to help people and yada, yada, yada. So let's bring in all the fornicators."

Wrong. "Put away from among yourselves that wicked person," thus saith the Lord. You're not helping that person by condoning, "Well, we don't condone it." You know what? De facto, you are condoning it when you allow them to come. I mean, I've been in churches where people were holding bible studies in their home and they were a fornicating couple, and the bible study meets at their house. Church activities are meeting at their house. "Oh, this is our home." They're living in sin. It's not acceptable.

What is it teaching the children when they look around and see all these people that aren't married and they're living together, it normalizes size and desensitizes them to sin. Therefore, it cannot be tolerated. This is what the bible teaches.

The bible does not only teach that we should separate from those who are unsaved. It also teaches a greater degree of separation from believers who are involved in these major, major sins. We need to separate from them.

Go back if you would to 2 Thessalonians 3. It says in verse number six, "Now we command you, brethren," and notice, he doesn't say, "We suggest this. We're making a recommendation." He says, We command, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."

Now, don't forget, he just finished saying back in verse four, this is significant, "We have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you." Then a couple of verses there, he says, "Now, we command you." That's not a coincidence. He's preparing them in verse four for what he's going to say in verse six. He said, "Look, I have confidence that you're going to obey the word of God here and what I'm about to command you. Here is the command, withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly and not after the tradition which he received of us."

See, Paul knew he's going to get resistance when he starts preaching on separation, when he starts preaching on separating people, separating from people that teach false doctrine, separating from people that are not following the word of God, and separating from people that are involved in major sin.

The bible says in verse number seven, "For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought," nought means nothing, "but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread."

This church had a problem with people, men who wouldn't work, men who would not work at all. Paul is saying, "If any will not work, neither should he eat," but these are just lazy people who don't do any work, they have no job, and he's rebuking it here. He's saying, "Withdraw yourself from it. Don't hang around with people like that. These people need to get to work." He says, "They need to be commanded and exhorted that with quietness, they would work." Shut up and work is what that means. With quietness, work. Shut up and go to work. Why? Because people who don't work, they often run their mouths.

The bible says, "In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury," poverty. He's saying, these people with quietness, they need to work and eat their own bread. I believe that this applies today just as much as it's applied back then. The word of God is timeless. So we need to be aware of this thing of lazy people who don't want to work.

Again, we're told today though, we're told today that, "Oh, let's just fill our church with fornicators, and Sodomites, and people who refuse to work and everything." Yeah, that's great because it's all about reaching people. What bible are you reading? I mean, it's as plain as the nose on your face in this passage here that yes, we want sinners to come to our church, but we don't have just this anything goes policy of just, "Come on in, everybody and come as you are, stay as you came, and we'll all just sing Kumbaya and have a gay old time." Wrong. It's false. It's not what the bible teaches.

Now, there's something else interesting about this portion of scripture here. He says in verse seven, "For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; neither did we eat any man's bread for nought." What's he saying? We weren't a loafer. We didn't just take people's food and eat it, and not do any work.

He says, "We wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you." Then in the next verse he says, "Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us." Now, what's he saying here? He wanted to set the example of working hard so that other people would see his work ethic and be inspired by it to be a hard worker themselves.

There were a lot of lazy people apparently amongst the Thessalonians. He said, "Look, we hear that there are some that walk among you disorderly working not at all." This church had a reputation for having people in it who didn't work at all. He says, "Look, I've heard about this, and I'm telling you, you need to get rid of these people. You need to tell these people that if they don't work, they can't eat."

These are people that are coming to church for a handout and they won't get their rear ends to work. That's what's going to ... Look, people come to our church and will ask for handouts and freebies. I always ask them questions because instead of just, "Oh, sure. Here. Here's everything you need," I usually ask them this question, "Where did you go to church last Sunday?" That's the first thing I ask when somebody stumbles in here asking me for money, and they have a big story, and want to tell me some big life story about what got them to this point.

I just stop them and say, "Wait a minute. Where did you go to church last Sunday?" "Oh, oh, oh, well ..." I say, "Once you figure it out, go ask that church for money." If they say, "Oh, I went to so and so church." "Okay. Go ask them for money," because they actually know you, and they're actually going to give you money if you need it, but they might know that you're just somebody who doesn't want to work, so they won't give you any money, so that's why you have to come and ask strangers for money.

You see, if people ask their own church for money, their own church knows whether that person is trying and working hard because there are some people who need help, who need charity, who are down on their luck, and of course, we want to help people that need it. We want to deal our bread to the hungry. If somebody doesn't have a coat and we have two coats, we want to give their coat.

Does the bible just say, "Hey, indiscriminately give money to everyone who refuses to work," is that what the bible says? No. The bible is teaching us here that there are some people who are just refusing to work, and they should not eat.

I've known some pastors where when people come and ask them for money or food or anything, they tell them, "Well, I have work for you to do around the church right now." They'll take them out because they have a church with property and stuff, and they'll show them, "Hey, I need you to pull all these weeds," or "I need you to go dig this hole," or "I need you to help build this fence," or whatever.

Then all of a sudden it's like, "Oh, well ..." My pastor told a story one time of this guy who came through asking for money. The pastor had a bunch of work to do, and he said, "Well, you know, here's some work that you can do, and if you do that, then I'll pay you for that work." He said, "Sir, my wife is pregnant and I am in no condition to work." I guess he's taking that "We're pregnant" thing a little too far. You know what I mean? "My wife's pregnant and I'm in no condition to work."

Look what Paul is saying here. He's saying, "Look, we wrought, we labored night and day to be an example unto you, to show you how to work hard." Look what he says here. He says, "Not because we have not power." Now, what does he mean by that, "Not because we have not power"?

We'll flip over to 1 Corinthians 9, keep your finger in 2 Thessalonians 3. Go over to 1 Corinthians 9 because he uses that term about having power in regard to not working in the sense of working a secular job. Look what the bible says in verse number three of 1 Corinthians 9. Same author, the apostle Paul. He's not speaking to the church of Thessalonica, he's speaking to the church of Corinth. He says, "Mine answer to them that do examine me is this."

Now, when he talks about being examined, people are criticizing him. They're attacking him, they're insulting him, and he's defending himself here in this passage. He says in verse three, "Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, 'Have we not ...'" what? Power. Same term here. "Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" Who's Cephas? Peter. Peter, his other name is Cephas.

It says, "Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?" Forbear working means that they're going to forego working, that they're not going to work. They're saying, "Look, don't we have the right to eat and drink as human beings? I mean, don't we need food and water?" He says, "Don't we have the right to be married?" He said, "Look, Peter is married. All the other apostles are married. The brethren of the Lord are married," talking about Jesus' half brothers, Simon, Judas and James.

He's saying, "The brethren of the Lord are married. They eat and drink. Peter is doing it. Everybody ..." He's saying, "Are Barnabas and I the only ones who don't have the right to forebear working, to get married, to live that kind of life?" He says in verse seven, "Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man or saith not the law the same also?

For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this ..." what? "... power over you, are not we rather?" Watch this. "Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

He's basically saying the same thing to the Corinthians that he said to the Thessalonians. He said to them, "We wrought with travail night and day. We didn't take anyone's bread. We worked our tails off not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us."

Then over here he's saying, "Look, we have the power to forego working because God has ordained that those that preach the gospel should live of the gospel. God's plan is that the ox that treadeth out the corn not be muzzled," but he says, "I've not used that power because I don't want to hinder the gospel of Christ." He felt that he could do more for Christ by working a secular job, setting the example, working hard, et cetera, in order to be an example of hard work.

Here's the thing. Paul was not married. It's clear. He's saying here, look, that he's not married. He's saying, "Barnabas and I, we don't have a sister, a wife, and a sister in Christ." West Virginia people, don't marry your sister. He's saying here ... Sorry, West Virginia. Kentucky people. Now, I just burned two whole groups. Anyway, the point is though that it's very righteous for a pastor, for a preacher to be paid for being a pastor.

Now, there's a false doctrine out there today that says it's wrong for pastors to be paid in their hireling. That's what the Mormons have always taught. Of course, the profit of Mormonism lives on a five million dollar house. Don't let that bother you. They teach, "Hey, we have to have an unpaid clergy." When you're out knocking doors and trying to reach Mormons with the gospel, they'll often say, "You're preaching lies because you're getting paid. We're all unpaid clergy."

Yeah, you're unpaid clergy because the top organization in Salt Lake City is writing the sermons for you, and you just get up like a robot and preach them. You're not a real man of God, anyway. You're a false teacher that's being controlled by Salt Lake City and that big skyscraper there, that's the brains of that satanic organization, the Mormon church. Of course, the people at the top of Mormonism, they're getting paid. They're multimillionaires, but it's just down at the bottom where they don't pay the clergy.

Here's the thing. That's not biblical, my friend. The Mormons on their website will quote all these scriptures where Paul's talking about the fact that he worked a secular job. Does anybody know what Paul's secular job was? He made tents. He was a tent maker, so he was a blue-collar guy on the side. Hey, that's great. He chose not to use his power to be paid and to work hard. You say, "Well, that's great. That's what everybody should do."

Here's the thing. The bible doesn't teach us all about clergy. Just because the apostle Paul was unmarried and Barnabas were unmarried, that is not God's plan for 99% of men. It's not good for the man to be alone, the bible says. God made Eve to be there with Adam because man needs that companion, that help. It's better to marry than to burn, the bible says in 1 Corinthians 7.

The bible clearly teaches that we should be married. As a pastor of the church, we must be married. The bishop, the bible says must be blameless, the husband of one wife having faithful children, not accused of riot or unruly. According to the bible, a pastor, a bishop or an elder, those three terms are used interchangeably in the bible, must be married with children. That's what the bible teaches. That's part of the qualification.

Why? Because if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? If you're not married, and you don't have children, then you don't understand how to run a household like someone who's married and has children. The bible says, that's a prerequisite.

Here's the thing about that. The apostle Paul was not a pastor, and this is what people are losing sight of. Never one time does the bible talk about the apostle Paul being the pastor of a church or call him a bishop or an elder. No. He went around and started churches by evangelizing, but then elders were ordained in those churches. He was an apostle, but he was not a pastor.

Now, John, on the other hand, is called an elder. Peter is called an elder, a bishop. The bible talks about them, the other apostles being pastors, being elders, and guess what? They're all married. Because what does it say in 1 Corinthians 9? It says, Cephas is married, and even before Jesus chose him as one of the disciples, he was married because right after Peter becomes one of the 12 disciples, Peter's wife's mother lay sick of a fever. Jesus goes and heals Peter's wife's mother.

Tell that to the Catholics who think that Peter was the first pope. Then the first pope was married then because you don't have a mother-in-law unless you're married. Nobody just signs up for a mother-in-law without the wife to go with it. That doesn't make any sense. You get the mother-in-law, it's a package deal with the wife. You don't just, "I'm never used to getting married, but I'm going to get a wife's mother though. I'm only going to get a mother-in-law." Nobody's that masochistic.

Anyway, the bottom line is ... I'm just kidding. The bottom line is that these men, Peter, James, John, these are the people, they were married, they had kids. Let me tell you something. They did not have secular jobs. The bible teaches that a pastor does not have a secular job that he is in the ministry full time and gets paid. That's what the bible do. People are like, "Oh, they're greedy pastors." Look, is there a greedy pastor out there that abuses us?"

Of course, there are all kinds of pastors with their super fancy, air-conditioned doghouses, and three swimming pools, and tennis courts and their own jet, and everything. The Joel Osteen's of this world, the Kenneth Copeland's of this world that are multimillionaires and whatever fleecing the flock. It's out there. I get that.

The bible says that they that preach the gospel should live of the gospel. Who goeth a warfare of his own charge? He's saying here that the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn should not muzzled. That exact same quote that's here in 1 Corinthians 9 is found also in 1 Timothy 5 when it says, " Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."

"The labourer is worthy of his hire," Jesus said in the book of Mark. So we need to understand that a pastor getting paid is biblical. Now, can a pastor choose not to get paid if he wanted to? Sure. If he wanted to work a secular job, and for the first four and a half years that I pastored this church, I didn't get paid. I worked a secular job. I made tents as it were, except I was a fire alarm technician, but I was working a secular job and not getting paid from the church.

I remember during that time, people would come to me and say to me, "Oh, that's what I love about you, Pastor Anderson, you have a secular job unlike my lazy pastor." I'm like, "Whoa! Wait a minute. Stop. Don't criticize your pastor. That's perfectly biblical for him to get paid for the work of a pastor." Look, is pastoring work or not? Then it deserves to be a livelihood for someone to get paid to do it.

Here's the proof. Peter is the example that's brought up in this passage. What did Peter do for a living before Jesus called him? Fishing. You know what Jesus specifically told him? To stop fishing. If God just intends for every pastor to be by vocational, and to pastor the church, and work a secular job, then why did he specifically tell Peter, "From henceforth, thou shalt catch men." Peter forsakes the net, forsakes the ship, forsakes fishing, and goes fishing for men.

Then later when he gets back sledding and goes back to fishing, Jesus comes and rebukes him in John 21. This foolishness that says, "Hey, every pastor has to work a secular job and not get paid," it's part of a bigger agenda to attack the local church in general. That's what it is.

Why? Because the local church cannot be as effective without a pastor that is a qualified pastor who is full time working at the success of that church and trying to do the work that God has called him to do. Of course, the world wants him out gathering straw by night so that he can make bricks by day because then, he's going to be less effective.

Plus, how's he going to have the kids and pay for everything if he's out trying to do both? Here's the thing. When the church is small, it's not that hard to do both. It's doable. For starting a church, it's a great way to go because in the beginning, you don't have as many people to deal with, you don't have as much work on your plate. As the church grows, I think it's great for the pastor to be full time, and that's why now, I like the fact that I pastor full time. I make no apologies about that.

I'm not going to get up here and, "Oh, well, you know, I mean, I guess, I'll get paid a little bit." "No. Pay me," why? Because it's right. What does the bible say? Look, do you want to go be a plumber and electrician and work your tail off and not be able to feed your family? I don't want to be rich. I don't want to drive a fancy car or live in a fancy house. You know what? I want to be able to take care of my family. That's all I want is to be able to just put healthy food on the table for my family of 10 people, my eight children that I support. I want to be able to support my family just at a reasonable level. I don't want to have riches or poverty. I just want to have a basic living for my family.

You know what? It's an example in the beginning when you're working hard, working the full-time job and starting the church, but you know what? It's also an example to be paid because today, there's a wicked movement out there that wants to get rid of all pastors, real pastors anyway. What they want to do is they want us all meeting together in living rooms and calling it church with no pastor, no leader, no structure, but basically, they want us to just sit around the living room, and have a little bible study and call it church. No, you're playing church.

When you're sitting around the living room having a bible study with a couple of your buddies, that's not church, that's not the church of the New Testament, my friend because in the New Testament church, they start with 120 people, and then they grew to thousands and they had full-time guys that were living off the gospel. Their food was put on the table by the work that they did for the ministry of the Lord. That's what Peter was doing. That's what James was doing. That's what John ...

"Oh, money hungry ..." Yeah, it's not money hungry to go to work and get paid. Are you money hungry when you go to your plumbing job and get paid, when you work as an electrician and you get paid? I mean, does your boss say, "You money hungry. You're doing this for all the wrong reasons."

Look, even when you're working your secular job, I hope you believe in what you're doing. I hope you take pride in your work and do the best you can. You know what? You still get paid. It doesn't mean that your heart is not in it. I hope your heart is in it. I hope you do your work is unto the Lord.

This house church movement as they call it is a wicked movement, and I make no bones about calling it wicked because that's what it is. This is something that gets me very upset. Why? Because I spend my life trying to reach people with the gospel and trying to baptize them and to teach them to observe all things that Christ commanded.

I know that that work gets done through the local church. The local church is the tool that God uses to reach the world with the gospel. Jesus said upon this rock, "I'll build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." That's the church that God is going to use to stave off the gates of hell and to reach and pull people out of the fire and win people to Christ.

Let's put it this way. Our church on a weekly basis and really, on an almost daily basis, someone is saved through the efforts of our church. We get people saved at this church virtually every day of the week. We win over a thousand people to the Lord every year through the door-to-door soul-winning efforts of our church, and also just one-on-one soul-winning with people that we come into contact with.

Let me tell you something. If we were all individuals off in our own houses doing our own thing and just getting together for a coffee klatch with other brothers and sisters in Christ, 10 people in a living room sitting around with a bible study without a leader, you know what? It wouldn't be happening, my friend. Period. It wouldn't. Those thousands of people would not be getting saved. It's a fact.

You show me somebody who doesn't go to church. I said, "Go to church." I said, "Go to church." People will say, "You don't go to church. We are the church." Wrong because the bible says that the church is the congregation. You go to the congregation because you got to get there where the people are assembled. See, people get mixed up because the church is not a building. They say, "Well, the church is the people, therefore, I, all by myself in the church," or two or three gathered together as a church.

"Look, I got 10 people gathered together everyday. It's called my family," but that's not called a church. That's called a family. "But the 10 of us often gather together in Christ's name, and Jesus Christ is there in the midst of us," but that doesn't make a church. That's called a family. That's called friends when you have a couple of people come over for a meal at your house and you talk about the bible.

The church is the congregation, the general assembly where all come together with one accord in one place. Yeah, the church isn't the building. We could have church outside. We could have church ... Listen, church could meet in a house. Our church, Faithful Word Baptist Church met for the first year and a half in a house, but we were not a house church because when these people talk about a house church, they're talking about a bunch of unqualified people, nobody's meeting the biblical qualifications of the leadership, just getting together and just having a free-for-all in somebody's living room with 10 people.

They're never going to run 200 in the living room. They're never going to run a thousand in that living room. No, because they're playing games, that's why. It's a joke. It's not biblical. They say, "Oh, we're getting back to the way it was in the book of Acts with our eight people in the living room." Really? Because I remember them having 120 people in the living room. Then I remember them adding 3,000 more. Then I remember them adding 5,000 more. That doesn't sound like your living room unless you live in the Taj Mahal.

This thing of "Oh, the house church," no, it's great to start a church in a house, outgrow the house unless you got a real big house. I mean, some people might have a huge house, great, because it doesn't matter. Look, we could meet in a circus tent. We could meet outside. We could meet under an underpass. Let me tell you something. We have to congregate in order to be a church because church means assembly, congregation.

It's an attack on the church today because attacking the institution of the pastor, of the bishop, of an elder. Once you get rid of that institution and say, "Hey, we don't need a pastor." It's called the Gainsaying of Korah, by the way. "We don't need a pastor. We don't need a leader. Every man is going to do what's right in his own eyes." You know what ends up happening? You end up having people who don't have a church.

Then they say, "Well, the bible teaches multiple elders." Because they reject the teaching that the elder should be paid, look, when you're not paying the elder, you can have as many as you want. I mean, think about it. Why does our church only have one pastor? Because our church doesn't run thousands of people to be able to support multiple pastors and deacons.

I mean, think about it. How many can you afford to pay for all the ... If our church got bigger which it will get bigger, then we would hire more staff eventually, more leaders. You'll hire the deacons. You could hire the assistant pastor or whatever, but they want to just have a bunch of people where too many chiefs and too few Indians basically is what they want. No offense to the Native Americans amongst us.

They want to have too many chiefs and two little Indians. They have a church with 15 people in it, a "church", house church, 15 people, six of them are pastors. It's like, "What a joke! That's ridiculous." They pick seven deacons in the early church because they had thousands and thousands of people in the early church. That's why they needed seven deacons to be on.

They're like, "God forbid, we still have one leader." Isn't horrible in the bible when there's one man of God leading a group like Moses, Joshua, Othniel, Ehud? I don't want to say Barak because he was a lame judge. No one names a kid Barak, except, well ... Nevermind. Gideon, Samson, I mean, think about all the leaders throughout the bible. Think about how many times God called a leader. David, Hezekiah, Josiah. All throughout the bible, there's a leader.

I mean, look at the first church, who's the pastor? Jesus. Then he wanted to send his 11 out into all different directions to go be leaders here, there and everywhere. This idea of not having a leader is foolishness today. It's an attack on the institution of the local church because the devil hates the local church because the local church is what's going to prevail against him. The local church is what's going to evangelize.

Look at the map back there on the wall that represents the doors of about a million people that this church has knocked the doors of approximately one million people in the last 10 years. Look, none of us would have done that on our own. If I would have been in my living room with a few of you, we would not have done that. If you would have been in the living room with a few other people, you wouldn't have done that.

Look, collectively, we assemble together, we're a team, we have a leader that's biblically qualified according to 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Hey, we're not playing games. We're not playing church. We're doing a huge, great work for God. We have a big vision that says, "Hey, there's four million people in Maricopa County. There's four million people in this Greater Phoenix Area. Let's get the gospel to every single one of them, and let's do it again."

I want to do something big, but these small thinking people that want to throw out God's institution, throw out the requirements for the bishop, throw out God's plan of coming to church tithing, paying the pastor, and just want to have this little free-for-all with too many chiefs and too few Indians. You know what? It fails to get the job done for God. That's why the devil loves it, and that's why I have no patience for that movement.

I spend my life trying to get people in church, and then this movement comes along and tells people, "You don't need to go to church. Sit at home and eat chips off your chest while watching the internet, and you can evangelize by typing online." They want to ... "Oh, man. I've been soul-winning all day." "Oh, really?" "Yeah, it was through Facebook." I've heard people say that like, "Oh, man. I was giving the gospel to these people." They're all cyber people. You know what I mean? They think that you just stay home, you eat chips off your chest, every once in a while you get together with few buddies just to fulfill that not forsaking the assembling requirement, just to check that off. Then we go back to our computer work.

Look, it's just people don't want to assemble together anymore, and God predicted it would be that way in the last times. He predicted social media would kill people's social skills because he said, "As you see the day approaching, don't forsake the assembly." He said, "More than ever, so much the more as you see the day approaching, you need to assemble." What do we see as we reach the end time? You say, "Well, you've been preaching so much about bible prophecy in first and second Thessalonians, I mean, is there no prophecy tie in tonight? Here's the prophecy tie in, the prophecy that people wouldn't go to church in the last days.

He said, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching," because people are to the point where they don't want to interact in the real world with people. They think watching it on TV or listening on the radio or on the internet substitutes for church, and it doesn't.

We need to join together where we're all with one accord in one place, where there's a leader that is qualified and preaching the word of God to people, and they are equipped and they're a team, and we go out, and we get things done for the Lord.

Let's finish up quickly in this passage, 1 Corinthians 9. It says ... I'm sorry. We are done in chapter number nine. Flip back over to 2 Thessalonians 3. We'll finish up there. Back to 2 Thessalonians 3 and the bible reads, "Not because we have not power," verse nine, "but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us." When we compared that with 1 Corinthians 9, you can see what it meant. The power to not have a secular job and to just spend all his time preaching and ministering the word of God, that is his right as a minister of the gospel. That's what all the other apostles are doing, the ones that are married with children, they're supporting their families based on their work in the gospel.

Notice what else he says in this passage that ties in with this. Look at verse number six, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly." Now, how did he define disorderly? The people who are working not at all, busy bodies. He says, "... and not after the tradition which he received of us."

These same type of people, these lazy, nonworkers are the same type of people who are busy bodies, the bible says, meaning that they get involved in everybody else's business instead of worrying about their own business. Then he also talks about the fact they want to throw out tradition. Now, are there bad traditions? Of course. Jesus talked about other Pharisees had made the word of God of none effect by their tradition.

A lot of people have mistakenly just demonized all tradition just because there's bad tradition that makes void the word of God. It doesn't mean that all tradition is bad. All tradition is not bad.

Look at 2 Thessalonians 2:15, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." He's saying the stuff we preach to you in person or the stuff that was in the written document. Then in chapter three he says, they walked disorderly, the end of verse six, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

See, tradition is just something that's passed down. That's what tradition means. Something that is passed down unto you. Now, there are traditions in every family. Certain ways that our parents did things, we do things the same way. It's been passed down. It's a custom. All tradition is not bad. Tradition is bad when it goes contrary to the word of God.

There are some people who just want to throw out all tradition, just anything that our parents did or our grandparents did or anything that our previous church did, just throw it all out. It's all these traditions. Get rid of traditions. That's a foolish attitude that throws out the baby with the bath water because there are good traditions that are passed down also.

Traditions that are in accordance with God's word or traditions that are neutral to God's word don't need to be thrown out. The traditions that made God's word of none effect should be thrown out.

For example, there's a guy in the Old Testament named Jonadab, the son of Rechab. He had a tradition for his family that they dwelt in tents. Now, that wasn't a biblical command. That wasn't a right and wrong thing, but it was something that they did as a family. That's how they lived. That was their way of life, and God commended that tradition.

There's nothing wrong with people having family traditions. A lot of people just want to get rid of every holiday, every traditions, and it's all wicked traditions and ... but honestly, a lot of it is fine. For example, American missionaries will go to other countries and in those other countries, they'll have a different culture, and they'll have different traditions, and they'll just want to change them over. Like instead of just making them Christians, they want to make them American too.

I've literally been at a church in Germany where the pastor was an American missionary, and he celebrated the fourth of July as a church with the people. People are scratching their heads like, "Why are we celebrating the fourth of July? We're in Germany. This isn't United States of America." It's stupid, right? I mean, it doesn't make any sense to try to foist American culture on the foreigners.

Paul said the opposite. He said, "I become all things to all." He said, "When in Rome, do what the Romans do." He said, "If I was among the Barbarians, I became as a Barbarian. If I was among the Jews, I became as a Jew. If I was among the Greeks, I became as a Greek." He said, "As those that were not under the law, I became as one not under the law," he said, "but I was not without law before Christ."

He didn't violate scripture but he fit in with the people that he was preaching to as much as he could without violating scripture. Meaning that, I'm not going to go to the bar and drink with you to fit in with you to try to reach you with the gospel. Here's the thing. If I went to India, I would dress like a person from India. If I went to China, I would dress like a person from China. If I went to the Philippines, I would dress like people dressed in the Philippines. I wouldn't try to impose an American style of dress on foreigners. It just doesn't make any sense.

Now, here's the thing. If I went to India, I'd have to rebuke the idolatry. Hey, that tradition's got to go, the statues, the false gods, the Hinduism. Here's the thing. Just the food, the basic clothing and everything, you'd keep all that stuff because of the fact that there's nothing wrong with it.

We need to get off this thing of just demonizing all traditions. Some people just have traditions that are neutral. They don't have anything to do with scripture, and those traditions are fine. Other people have good traditions. A lot of people today are throwing out ... You know what's a good tradition? How about the King James Bible, the traditional text?

"You just love the King James because of tradition." Yeah, it's a good tradition when somebody hands you down the word of God. That's been the power of God into salvation. The gospel preach from this book for the last 400 years unlike these new versions that are producing all these corrupt fruit. This is a pretty good tradition right here.

"Oh, you Baptists are so into your tradition, singing the old hymns." Look, a lot of the old hymns are great tradition. Just because something is traditional doesn't mean that it's bad. A lot of traditional things are good, but we need to check every tradition and make sure it doesn't contradict the word of God.

Now, there's a tradition a lot of Baptist churches where they have steps at the front, and the pastor preaches on a platform. Nothing wrong with that because of the fact that sometimes the church is big and people just want to be able to see the pastor, so he's up on a platform.

Here's what's a bad tradition. When they point at those steps and say, "This is the altar." The reason that's a bad tradition is because that is contrary to the teachings of God's word because God's word has no such New Testament altar of steps. The bible specifically says that if you build an altar, it should never have steps. I mean, if you go back to Exodus, it says, "Do not have steps leading up to the altar." Yet, people will point to steps and say, "This is the altar." That's a bad tradition. That's not scriptural.

I don't think it's a good tradition for a pastor to be up on a platform, and people come up and bow down in front of them. Bow at his feet or close their eyes and have a Baptist confessional booth. Who's struggling with the sin of pornography tonight? Every head bowed, every eyes closed. Raise your hand if you're struggling with pornography. God bless you. I see that hand. I see that hand. God bless you.

Hey, I've been in church ... How many of you have been in a church where they're asked about a specific sin? Who's struggling with this sin? Heads bowed, eyes closed, no one looking around except the pastor. It's almost like a confessional booth where the pastor gets in on your secret sins.

No, those are some weird traditions. Those are bad traditions. They're not scriptural, but other traditions are good. So we just need to test tradition with scripture. Then keep the good. The bible says, "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good." Get rid of the junk. That's a bad tradition.

Let me just hurry up and finish here. It says in verse number 14 of chapter three, "If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write."

See, Paul would dictate his epistles to someone else who would write it down for him. Tertius was the one who actually physically wrote down the book of Romans, even though Paul was dictating it. The bible says that in every epistle, he would sign it with his own name. Something along the lines of what we see in verse 18, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

All of Paul's epistles end with something like that, "Grace be with you all," or "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen," something like that. He would always do that with his own handwriting so that people would know that the letter was authentic because if you remember in chapter two of the same book, he talked about that there were people who would write a letter as from us, seeming to be from them.

So he's reminding them, "Don't believe any letter came from me unless it has in my own hand this writing at the end, 'The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.' You need to recognize that in my handwriting to know that this letter came from me."

That's a warning to us too that there are people out there who want to counterfeit the word of God. Just as then, also now today. We need to look for that signature of God and what's that salutation of God. You know what? You can tell God's word from the phony. Why? Because man can never duplicate what God has done. Man writes a word and claims that it's from God, and it just falls apart as a cheap imitation. The book of Mormon, the Koran, the quality just isn't there of the word of God.

He's just warning them about counterfeit scriptures, and that brings us to the end of 2 Thessalonians. A great pair of books written unto the church, by the way, and to warn them about persecution, a lot of talk about tribulations, trials and troubles that we go through, a lot of talk about end times bible prophecy, and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Isn't it interesting that this chapter had a lot to do with working hard? Other places in Thessalonians emphasize that labor, labor, travail, work hard. Why is that? Because I believe that God wants us in these last days as we wait for the coming of Christ to work hard.

He said, "Occupy 'til I come." When he said occupy, he didn't mean like occupy space and do nothing. Occupy is like occupation. He's saying, "You need to work until I come." We need to be hard work in these last days, patiently waiting for the second coming of Christ, understanding that we're going to go through trials and tribulation. If it happens on our lifetime, we're going to go through the great tribulation. We need to work harder than ever. We need to get in a local church and we need to get under a leader, a man of God who's going to rally the troops, and we need to work harder than we've ever worked as we wait for the second coming of Christ.

Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much, Lord, for the gift that you've given us of the local church, Lord, where we can assemble together, and where we can receive our marching orders, Lord. Help us to work hard, and to patiently wait for your glorious appearing, Lord, and our gathering together unto you. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

2 Thessalonians 2 Verse-by-Verse Bible Study

2 Thessalonians 2 Verse-by-Verse Bible Study


August 19, 2015

2 Thessalonians Chapter 2:1 the Bible reads, "Now we beseech you brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together under him that you 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. 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 worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."

Now these four verses are very important to tell us that the day of Christ is not at hand and not only that, but it's so important that he almost uses similar language to what he uses at the beginning of Galatians 1 when he warns them about another gospel and he says, "If any man preach any other gospel and be ..." and he says, "Though we are an angel from Heaven preach any other gospel." Look what he says here, "Don't be troubled neither by spirit nor by word nor by letter as from us." He's saying even if you get a letter that's seems like it's coming from us and it says that the day of Christ is at hand, Jesus can come back at any moment, he's saying do not be deceived by any means, not by a spirit, not by a word, not even by a letter that seems like it's coming from us. Should you ever be deceived as to think that the day of Christ is at hand. He says, "For that day shall not come," in Verse 3, "except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed the son of perdition who opposeth and exalted himself above all that is called God and his worship.

There are a couple of things that need to happen before the day of Christ happens. Okay? These are the things that have to happen. First of all, there has to be a falling away. Second of all, the man of sin has to be revealed. It says the one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.

This is who we would commonly know as the Antichrist. It is saying that the Antichrist has to be revealed and how is he going to be revealed? By sitting in the temple of God and claiming to be God. He's going to show himself that he is God unto the world. That has to happen first.

This teaching that the day of Christ can happen at any moment and that Jesus Christ can return at any moment and there will be no signs of His coming, all prophecies have been fulfilled. There's nothing left. The next event on God's prophetic timeline is the rapture. It's a false teaching because he says don't let anyone deceive you with that.

Man: That's right.

Pastor: By the way that is a deception.

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: If somebody tells you, "Hey, the day of Christ is at hand. Christ returns and ... They are a deceiver.

Congregation: That's right, yeah.

Pastor: Because the Bible says let no man deceive you with that.

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: Now, a lot of people who teach that are not trying to be deceptive. They are just repeating the deception that they've heard from someone else. They're just repeating lies that they've heard and so that are unwittingly just being a part of this deception. The Bible tells us that the day of Christ is not at hand.

Now, just to help you understand what the day of Christ is, let's look up verses that use the term "Day of Christ" in the Bible. Go to First Corinthians 1, First Corinthians 1, and while you’re turning there let me just mention to you that the modern Bible versions completely twist this passage, which shouldn't surprise us because if it's that important of a passage, of course, they're going to change it, right?

Man: Right.

Pastor: It's so important that we use the King James Bible. There's so many things that these modern versions twist where they call Joseph Jesus' father, where they remove sixteen entire verses in the New Testament alone, where they sit there and complicate salvation and make it difficult and hard when the Bible talks about it being narrow as in fewer saved, they say salvation is difficult, like you'd have to work your way into Heaven instead of just trusting Jesus Christ as your savior.

There are so many things that these modern versions do. One of the things that they do here, where the King James Bible is really clear saying, "Do not let anyone tell you that the day of Christ is at hand." That day shall not come until x, y and z happens first. You know what the new versions do? The ESV, the Abbey, they'll change it to, "Don't let anybody tell you that the day of the Lord has already happened." The King James is saying, "Hey, don't let anybody tell you that the day of Christ is at hand," meaning that it is about to happen. They change it to, "Well, just don't let anybody tell you that it's already happened." Okay, in order to make it compatible with a pre-tribulation rapture.

Now, look, if you would, at First Corinthians 1:8. It says, "Who shall also," speaking of the Lord, "Who shall also confirm you unto the end that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." Whatever the day of the Lord Jesus is it's a day where we want to be found pure on that day. Okay, flip over to First Corinthians 5:5. First Corinthians 5:5 it says, "To deliver such in one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus," so it's a day of salvation. Okay? Flip over to Second Corinthians 1:14. Second Corinthians 1:14, we're looking at every single mention of the day of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Look at Second Corinthians 1:14, "As also you have acknowledged us in part that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus."

Now, let's just look at some things we've learned from these three mentions so far. In the first mention it said that God would confirm us unto the end that we would be blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus, so that's the end of something, isn't it?

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: Confirm us unto the end so that we'll be blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus. First Corinthians 5 talked about the spirit being saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Second Corinthians 1:14 talks about we are your rejoicing. He's talking about people that he had won to Christ. He said, "We are your rejoicing even as ye also are our in the day of the Lord Jesus." Sounds like a reunion of the person who got to save with the person who got him saved and it's a day of salvation and it's a day that's the end of something. It's a day when we want to be found blameless before Him. Okay? It's sounds like we're going to see Jesus on that day. The day of Jesus Christ, the day of the Lord Jesus.

Look, if you would, at Philippians 1:6, you'll see something similar. Philippians 1:6 says, "Be confident of this very thing that he which had begun work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. When we got saved the Lord began a good work in us and he's going to perform that good work until the day of the Lord Jesus, so again, it's the end of something, isn't it? I'll tell you what it's the end of, our life on this earth.

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: He's going to continue working in our lives until the day of the Lord Jesus, because at that point we're caught up together to be with him, in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord. You see? Sanctification is the good work that he has begun in us. He wants to make us holy as He is holy so He works in our lives, he chastens us and chastises us, the Bible says in Hebrews 12, that we might be partakers of His holiness, so He works in our lives, but once we are caught up together with Him and the clouds to meet the Lord there, we're going to be changed in a moment and between you and I, we don't need sanctification anymore at that point because when we see Him we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. We will, at that point, be glorified with him, so the sanctification work is complete. The good work that was begun in us, He will perform until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. It makes perfect sense.

Flip over to Philippians 2:16, it says, "Holding forth the word of life that I may rejoice in the day of Christ. That I have not run in vain; neither labored in vain," so this day of Christ is when the Apostle Paul is going to see the fruits of his labor. On that day he's going to look back and say, "Hey, I didn't labor in vain. I didn't run in vain." He's going to see the fruits of his life of soul winning and ministry and winning people unto Jesus Christ and the evangelism that he had done. He's going to see that all come to fruition.

then, of course, we have the seventh mention which is the one that we already looked at in Second Thessalonians 2, where it says don't let anybody tell you that it's at hand. All this fits perfectly with the rapture, with Christ coming in the clouds and us being caught up together with Him. Every mention fits perfectly with that.

Now, let me say this as well, the day of Christ is the same day as the day of the Lord.

Congregation: Yeah.

Pastor: Now, a lot of people are trying to complete this and say, "Oh, there's a different day of Christ and the day of the Lord." No, Christ is the Lord, okay? The day of Christ and the day of the Lord are the same day. Two different names for the same day.

Man: Amen.

Pastor: That is why it's sometimes even called the day of the Lord Jesus. All right? The difference is that when we talk about the day of the Lord in the context of the unsaved being judged, it's usually mentioned as the day of the Lord and then when we talk about it from a perspective of somebody who's saved, it's often referred to as the day of Christ or the day of Jesus Christ because of the fact that as the saved, that's what we're looking forward to. We're looking forward to seeing Jesus Christ and meeting Jesus Christ in the clouds whereas the unsaved are looking forward to the day of the Lord's wrath being poured out upon them, so they see it from a different perspective. We’ve already talked about this in the previous weeks, but this just reinforces that.

Now, back in Second Thessalonians 2 it says, "Now, we beseech you brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto Him. Now, I already proved to you back in Thessalonians 4 that the rapture is called the coming of the Lord Jesus.

Congregation: Yeah.

Pastor: That is what it's called, the coming. Doesn't it make sense that we look to all these scriptures on the day of Christ, they all fit perfectly with Christ coming in the clouds at the rapture and us being caught up in the clouds with Him. Then he starts the chapter by saying, "Now we beseech you brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the gathering together unto Him," which is again, talking about the same event. "That you be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled neither by spirit nor by word nor by letter as from us that as of the day of Christ at hand. 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," and on and on.

Now, this verse demolishes the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture. I mean, not to mention the fact that we have the crystal clear scriptures in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, that talk about the rapture being "After the tribulation." As if that were not enough, right here, this scripture alone demolishes it saying that it is a deception to say that the day of Christ is at hand and that first we're going to see these ... Look, he's setting the believer's mind at ease saying you will see these things happen first.

Congregation: That's right. Yeah.

Pastor: Don't get all worried and shaken, "Oh, it's about to happen. It's happening any moment." He said, "Look, these are the things that you're going to see." Why would he tell them about stuff that's going to happen after they're gone? Oh, don't let anybody deceive you because this other stuff is going to happen after you're gone. It makes absolutely no sense. He's telling them first, you're going to see these things happen so don't let anybody tell you it's at hand because this other stuff has to happen first that you're going to see.

First of all, there's going to be a great falling away and then you're going to see the Antichrist revealed as such declaring himself to be God and so forth, that's what you're going to see first. Because this scripture is so damning to this false doctrine of the pre-trib relation rapture which is loved by so many evangelical Christians today, you've got the Left Behind movie, the board game, the video game, the action figure and they're really attached to this doctrine. There are so many churches where this is preached, literally, almost every Sunday morning or at least once a month. "He's coming again. He's coming today; any moment." You know? This is such a big theme that people don't like you to show them this Second Thessalonians 2, so they have to find some way to answer this. Right? It's pretty hard to come up with anything because it's so open and shut. It's just so cut and dry. Just telling you that day shall not come except this other stuff happens first. How do you get around that? They're always going to come up with something, aren't they?

You're not going to believe this. Here's what they say. They say, "Oh, well, the falling away, that's the rapture." That's what people are saying. I mean, I've heard it from a whole bunch of different people that say that the falling away happens first." When they hear first they are like, "Well, whatever happens first, that's got to be the rapture, right? Because that's the next event on God's prophetic timeline, is the rapture." They literally say that the falling away is the rapture. Now, here's a little, tiny problem with that. Things usually fall down, not up.

I mean, how could you call believers being caught up into the clouds, yeah, that's the falling. How do you fall up? There is this thing called gravity that brings things down. This is just the kind of nonsense where people are just grasping at straws to try to make something fit that just doesn't fit.

Man: Right.

Pastor: They're just trying to jam that square peg into a round hole, so then they just get a drill and they just want to drill out that square hole, just shove it, just whatever they can do to make this thing work. It doesn't work. It's false. It's a lie.

Man: Right.

Pastor: They say, "No, the falling away, that's the rapture." You're like, "Well, how do you figure? How does that work?" They say, "Well, you know? If you go back to the Greek."

Congregation: Oh.

Pastor: If you go back to the Greek you go back to the geek, he'll tell you. Some Dr. Fatbottom in some university is going to tell you what the Greek sai- but here's the thing about that, we shouldn't have to go back to the Greek to get the true meaning of God's word. Whenever somebody teaches you a doctrine that relies upon going back to the Greek, that's a huge red flag right there.

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: Because the Bible here is translated into plain English. It's been translated over four hundred years ago. It's stood the test of time. It's an accurate, trustworthy translation. The King James Version, it's says the same thing in English as it says in Greek and here's what I always challenge people with and you ought to do this to, when someone comes at you with this, "Well, what does the Greek say?" Or, "Let me tell you what the Greek says." I always come at them with this, (foreign language) and the reason that I come at them with that is because they usually don't speak a lick of Greek.

Man: Right.

Pastor: Even you can just say one little sentence. You could say (foreign language) and they're just like "Huh?" They don't even know what you're saying. Then they'll try to lie to you and say, "Oh, oh, well that's Modern Greek. I speak Ancient Greek." No, you don't. You're a liar. You know how to open a Greek dictionary and look things up. These people couldn't even order food at a Greek restaurant and if Old Testi- I'm sorry, and if New Testament Greek is so different than Modern Greek then how come fifteen million people who live over in Greece today, when they look at a Bible, guess what they read? Mostly they read the Old, the actual Coin-A Greek. I mean, the Greek Orthodox Church, to this day, preaches out of the Textus Receptus. I get emails all the time from Greek people living in Greece saying, "Don't listen to these liars who tell you it's a totally different language. I go to church every Sunday and we read from the Textus Receptus and we understand it just fine." There is this fraud out there that tries to say that Modern Greek and Coin-A Greek are two completely different languages. No, you know why they lie about that? Because they don't want to expose the fact that they don't know the language.

Man: Right.

Pastor: If they admitted that it was the same language then they'd have to explain why they can't talk to Greek people.

Man: Right.

Pastor: Then, instead of being able to tell us, "Ooh, this mystical, magical going back to the Greek and we find all these hidden truths." They'd have to admit that there's fifteen million people who understand the language perfectly and that it's just like any other language. It's not some magical language. It's just like English or Spanish or anything else, but they want to put it on this pedestal so they can teach lies.

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: They can teach lies because they talk in a foreign language that nobody knows, that they don't even know, and then basically, they can deceive people that way. You've got to be careful with this stuff.

Man: Right.

Pastor: That's why I know enough Greek and Hebrew to where when these people come up to me and start talking (foreign language) I can come at them with a little bit of Hebrew and then all of a sudden they get this deer in the headlights look when I actually start using conversational Hebrew with them because they don't know the language. It's so funny how you can sit there and say, "Well, here's what the Greek really means." Like you know more than the people who translated the King James Bible because you looked it up in a dictionary or looked it up in a lexicon or you took two semesters in college. The people who translated the king James Bible, some of them literally spoke over twenty languages.

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: When they translated the Old Testament from Hebrew, they didn't just know Hebrew, they knew Aramaic and they knew Arabic which is very closely related with Hebrew. They knew all the surrounding lang- not just Hebrew, but they knew all the surrounding languages. They didn't just know Greek, they spoke fifteen languages, ten languages, I mean, these guys were in books all day. These guys were very smart men who were very educated who had read just thousands and thousands and thousands of pages in Greek, but you think that you're just going to turn all that on its edge. "Unfortunately the fifty-four genius scholars who translated the King James were wrong on this because my Strong's Concordance said this, "Blah, Blah." It's ridiculous. You couldn't even order food. You couldn't even get a taxi cab in Greece and you're going to tell us what it really means.

Anytime there's a doctrine that relies on going back to the Greek, you better run from that. Okay. Let's just compare scripture with scripture in plain English and see what falling away means. Go to Luke 8. Luke 8, but anyway, back to what I was saying about how Modern Greek and Coin-A Greek are the same language, now, I'm not saying they're identical, okay? For example, someone from Australia doesn't speak the same as someone from America, but would you say that that's a completely different language? Of course not. It's a different what?

Man: Dialect.

Pastor: Dialect of the language. Okay, what about this? Do we talk the way they talk in the King James Bible in 2015 America? No, but would you say this is a foreign language?

Man: No.

Pastor: Absolutely not. It's just a different dialect of the same language, so obviously there are differences between Coin-A Greek and Modern Greek, but they are not completely different languages. Just to illustrate it for you, I bought a box of Greek flash cards, okay. It had the thousand most commonly used words in the Greek New Testament, which is 80% of the Greek New Testament is using these thousand words, so I got the thousand most commonly used words and they're arranged in order from the most commonly used to the least commonly used. I took the hundred words that were the most commonly used in the Greek New Testament and I pulled out a Modern Greek dictionary and then I pulled out the New Testament Coin-A Greek Dictionary and then I got these flash cards and out of the first one hundred, ninety-five of them out of a hundred were identical in Modern Greek and Coin-A Greek, but you're going to tell me that's a completely different language. This is the fraud that's out there of just trying to hide behind this. The only people who teach this are people in America.

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: Because I get emails all the time from these American professors telling me, "You're totally wrong about the Greek." But I get hundreds of emails from people in Greece telling me that I'm spot on. Who should I listen to? Some guy in some Baptist cemetery or seminary or should I listen to people from Greece that are saying, "I'm a Greek Orthodox. I go to church every Sunday. You are nailing it on Greek. You're pronouncing it right. You're saying ..." and so forth.

Don't be deceived by this going back to the Greek stuff. Whenever somebody says, "Well, in the Greek ..." I just turn off. Shut them down unless their name is Papadopulos, you know what I mean, and they are just fresh on the ... Oh, unless there name is Papadopulos and they are fresh off the boat from Greece, then I'll listen to what they have to say. I'm not going to listen to some American university guy who took a couple semesters of Greek tell me.

Anyway, look at Luke 8:13, where we have another biblical usage of the term "falling away." It says in Verse 13, "They on the rock are they which when they hear receive the word with joy and these have no root which for a while believe and in time of temptation fall away." What are we talking about? A spiritual falling away. A doctrinal falling away. Okay? We're not talking about the rapture, are we? Nonsense, okay.

Now, flip over to the Book of Acts 21, because here's what's funny. They'll come at you with this thing of, "Oh, if you go back to the Greek, here's what's they say, "falling away in the Greek," they say, "is a departure." Because the Greek word here for falling away, remember this is coming from the amateur, armchair Greek scholars of America, they say, "because the word falling away in the original Greek means departure, that's sort of like the rapture because we're going to depart? Right?" Wrong, because here's what they don't tell you. They'll deceptively say, "Well, if you go back to the Greek it's departure." Here's what they forget to tell you, what the Greek word is, (foreign language) which guess what that is? It's were we get our English word apostasy, and what does apostasy mean? Departing from the faith. Turning away from the faith. Falling away from the faith. What is falling away mean when we look it up in English, what does falling away mean? Falling away from the faith. Okay. Departing from doctrine. Okay.

Now, look that word apostasy is used twice in the New Testament. Here is the other time it is used. Look at Acts 21:21, "And they're informed to thee that thou teachest all Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake," and that work forsake is that same Greek word, "forsake Moses saying that they ought not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs." What are they departing from here? What are they forsaking? Doctrine, customs of the Bible. Whether you read it in English or in Greek, guess what? It means the same thing. You're turning away from the fa- you're falling away from doctrine. Even of the word departure, the Bible says that in the last days some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seduce the spirits and doctrines of devils. Trying to turn falling away into the rapture is to turn the Bible on its head, to turn the English language on its head, to turn the Greek language on ... it's just to live in a fantasy land.

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: No reasonable, intelligent person thinks that the falling away is being caught up into the clouds. I think if that's what ... How can we understand anything in the Bible is the Bible is that cryptic where falling away means you go up? I mean, what nonsense.

If you would go back to Second Thessalonians 2. I'm just addressing everything that they try to pull out here. They might try to pull out the ESV and show you, "Well, it says that it already happened." You know? Form a text that is so corrupt that it's calling Joseph Jesus' father. A text that is so corrupt it's removing the blood, it's twisting salvation and somebody will say ... Or, they will come at you, "Well, you know, the falling away, that's the rapture." What in the world? No, friend, there is no way around it. The Bible's clear here. That day shall not come except the falling away comes first and watch this, and the son of man be revealed, I'm sorry, the man of sin, I'm sorry, and that man of sin be revealed the son of perdition who opposeth and exhalteth himself about all that is called God or that is worshiped so that he as God, sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.

This event is commonly referred to as that abomination of desolation, okay? Now in order to understand this event and learn more about it, let's go to Revelation 13 because in Revelation 13 we see this event actually taking place. Look at Revelation 13, let's start reading Verse 1. It says, "I stood upon the sand to the sea and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns and upon his horns ten crowns and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. The beast which I saw was likened to a leopard and his feet were as the feet of a bear and his mouth was the mouth of a lion and the dragon gave him his power and his seat and his great authority. I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death and its deadly wound was healed and all the world wondered after the beast.

Now, this is written in a little bit of a cryptic language, right? A little bit symbolic and you're kind of like, you know? "The beast, the heads, the horns." Let's put our finger over in Revelations 17 because in Revelations 17 God explains it. Now, we're getting into the strong meat of the word here. This isn't exactly the easiest book of the Bible. This isn't exactly the Gospel of John. When we read Revelation it's designed to where we understand it. It's not this unattainable book. It's not a book that's impossible to understand. You just have to take a little time and study. Let's just do a little bit of comparison between Revelation 13 and Revelation 17 and see if it all comes clear, okay? Revelation 17 says this in Verse 9, "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. Seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth and there are seven kings. Five are fallen and one is and the other is not yet come and when he cometh he must continue a short space and the beast that was and is not even he is the eighth and is of this seven and goes into perdition and the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings which have received no kingdom as yet, but received power as kings one hour with the beast."

If we look at the scripture in Revelation 17 we see that the seven heads of the beast are seven kings and then when we see the ten horns, the ten horns are ten kings as well. Obviously, this is without the scope of this sermon to sit here and go into every detail of Revelation 13 and we go back to Daniel and look at the beast and all these different things, but just to break it down to you in a simple way, the beast that rised out of the sea having the seven heads and ten horns, it is basically a great kingdom or a governing body or a world government that's going to rule over the whole world and these horns and heads represent different people in that system and in that kingdom. Okay, so we see here that the Bible is defining itself. It's telling you, "Hey, there's seven heads here. They represent seven mountains, but then the seven heads also represent seven kings. The ten horns represent ten other kings and these are ten leaders or kings that will give all of their power unto the beast. Okay? Unto one man.

Let's go back to Revelation 13 with that in mind. Keep your finger on Revelation 17 because we're going to be back there. When it talked about him seeing this great beast with the seven heads and ten horns, that represents the whole system; the whole governing structure. We already see this world government in progress in the form of the United Nations. That's the embryonic world government. Okay?

Now, in chapter 13 here it says, "And I saw one of its heads as it were wounded to death." Now, what are these heads again? These are kings, right? These are leaders. As soon as it says one of its heads as it were wounded to death and his deadly wound was healed and all the world wondered after the beast, so the term the beast is referring to both the whole system and also to the individual man, the Antichrist. He is also referred to as the beast.

Now, what does it mean here when it says he received a deadly wound, his deadly wound is healed and all the world wondered after the beast. Look at Revelation 17 for the answer, again. Verse 8, it says this, "The beast that thou sawest was and is not." Now, what does that mean, is not? In the Bible the term is not is used to refer to someone who is dead. For example, when they thought that Joseph had died in the book of Genesis, they said, "Joseph is not." Okay? It says here, "The beast that thou sawest was," meaning he was alive, "and is not." He was alive, now he's dead. "And shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder," remember we saw that in Revelation 13, they all wondered? Wondered means that they were amazed by it. It says, "they shall wonder whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundations of the world when they behold the beast that was and is not and yet is."

Now, what does that mean? He was, meaning he was alive. He was not, meaning he's dead, but yet he still is. What does that mean? He is not, but yet he is. What? Because he is what we would call undead. All right? To use kind of a crass term there, undead. Meaning basically that he died and came back.

Now, who is someone else who died and came back, but here's the thing, Jesus wouldn't be described as is not because Jesus is alive. Jesus Christ died, he said, "I was dead and behold I am alive for evermore." Amen and I have the keys of hell and of death. This guy is not alive. This guy is not, yet he is. What this is is a counterfeit resurrection. You see, the real resurrection was Jesus. He was alive, he died, he was dead for three days and three nights and then he rose again and he said, "I am he that liveth and was dead and behold, I'm alive forever more." This guy is not alive. This guy just is. After he already died and he still is not in a sense. Okay? He's dead, but he's there talking, acting and so forth.

Now, you say, "What in the world?" It's a counterfeit of the resurrection. See, the devil is a great counterfeiter. The devil, in order to have the Antichrist, is going to have a counterfeit of the death, burial and resurrection. This guy is going to die, one of these world leaders, this great man, he's going to die and the devil is going to bring him back, but it's not really him because he's dead. Okay? What does that Bible say here? In Verse 8, "The beast that I sawest was and is not and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit." What's the bottomless pit?

Congregation: Hell.

Pastor: Hell, okay, so the beast, Antichrist, is coming out of hell. Okay? Does everybody understand that? He died. I don't want you to misunderstand in Revelation 13 when it says he received a deadly wound and a deadly wound was healed, a lot of people would just read that as, "Oh, he got a deadly wound that would have killed him, but he miraculously survived. Listen, the whole world wouldn't wonder about that.

Man: That's right.

Pastor: I mean, there's a congressman down in Tucson that was shot in the face at point blank range and everybody was just amazed that she survived because it was a deadly wound and yet it was healed, but here's the thing, the whole world is not wondering about that. They are not worshiping her and saying, "Who is like unto Kathy Giffords?" You know? "Who is able to make war with her?" What? When somebody actually died and then comes back, say, three days later. Yeah, people are going to wonder at that, aren't they. They are going to say, "Jesus, it's the second coming of Jesus Christ." That's what they're going to say. That's what the whole goal of the Antichrist is.

The term Antichrist is found in the books of First John and Second John. A lot of people misunderstand the word Antichrist. The prefix anti, we think of anti as being against something, but in this case, actually, Antichrist, the anti means in the place of Christ. It's a different use of the prefix anti. It's a different prefix. It's a Greek prefix, in the place of. What we have here is a counterfeit of the resurrection.

Now, go back to Revelation 13. Revelation 13 it says, "And I saw one of its heads," Verse 3, "as it were wounded to death and its deadly wound was healed and all the world wondered after the beast and they worshiped the dragon." Who is the dragon? Satan, so they worshiped Satan. They worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast. What's powering this undead beast? You know, this undead man? It's Satan. It says that hey worshiped the dragon which gave power to the beast and they worshiped the beast saying, "Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemes and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle and then to dwell in Heaven. It was given unto him to make war with the saints," and, you know, all the people that are already gone according to the pre-trib of rapture.

Who are the saints that he's making war with if supposedly they've all been taken out? Makes no sense, does it? No, but it makes perfect sense if you realize that this happens first, before the rapture. Okay. That's why he's making war with the saints, because they're still here. It says, "It was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them and power was given him over all kindred." You say, "Well, where do you get this one world government thing?" What's the Bible say? "Power was given to him over all kindred and tongue and nation." Is that not a one world government?

Congregation: Yeah.

Pastor: If you have one guy reigning over all kindred, all tongue, tongues are languages, and all nations, that's a one world government. Where did he get this power? In Revelations 17 it says it was from ten kings who gave their power and strength to the beast. These are ten great world leaders that relinquish their sovereignty unto this one guy and they give him their power and they put him in power over the entire world. You can't just do that without first having the infrastructure in place of a world government, world currency. That's why we're moving toward that right now and then it's all going to be ready, the stage will be set for the Antichrist to come on the scene, for the world to already be consolidated to where ten people can just sign that document and just put this guy in power and the infrastructure is already in place for him to rule over the entire world.

Then, it says that not only that, Verse 8, "All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him." Remember this guy is exalting himself about all that is called God or that is worshiped so that he is as God, sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God." We see that here that he is being worshiped by the entire world. It says, "Whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. It says in Verse 11, "I behold another beast coming up out of the earth and he had two horns like a lamb and he spake as a dragon and he exercises all the power of the first beast before him and causeth the earth and them which dwell there to worship the first beast who's deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders so he maketh fire come down from Heaven on the earth in the sight of mean and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast which have the wound by a sword and did live and he had power to give life unto the image of the beast.

Now, this isn't really that farfetched to give life unto an image of the beast. This could be some kind of a hologram. I mean, who knows what this is, but the technology is there to create a lot of images that are alive and speak and so forth. It says that he gave life to the image of the beast and it say that he would cause, Verse 15, it says that the image of beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed and he causes all those small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads and that no man might buy or sell save that had the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name. Hear his wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast, for it is a man and his number is six hundred three score and six.

With all that background let's go to Second Thessalonians now. Second Thessalonians 2, when we say that there is going to be a one world religion, what are we talking about? Everybody in the world worshiping the beast. That's a world religion. Not every single person because obviously the saints aren't worshiping the beast. That's why he's going after the saints, but here's the thing, Buddhism is going to accept the beast. They are going to accept the Antichrist. Hinduism will accept the Antichrist. Islam will accept the Antichrist and Apophatic Christianity is a false Christianity. Look, Roman Catholicism folks, and other false branches will embrace the Antichrist and worship him. It is only the saved, okay, amongst Christians who are not going to be deceived. The elect will not be deceived according to Matthew 24.What we see here is one world religion, one world government reigning over all the nations, controlling the money and so forth, and a one world, you know, financial system. We can see that already being put in place right now.

Let's go to Second Thessalonians 2 with that in mind because remember those who believe in this pre-trib rapture, or a rapture that comes before the tribulation, it could happen at any moment, they grasp at straws. One of their favorite verses to use to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt their pre-trib rapture, you say, "Show me a clear verse on it." They say, "I got a clear verse for you, Second Thessalonians 2:7."

Now, what's funny about this is that they pick the verse that is three verses after he just told us, Let no man deceive you this can't happen at any moment, this other stuff has to happen first. I guess when they show people they kind of have to cover up the Bible. "Don't look at Verse 1-4. What are you doing? I said Verse 7. Look at Verses 6 and 7. Don't let Verses 1-4 confuse you that tell you over and over again it can't happen any moment." Here is their clear verse, Verse 7, "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth will now let until he be taken out of the way. I mean, case closed. It's right there. Pre-trib rapture. It says right there, "Before the tribulation the rapture is going to happen." Jesus is going to come back at any moment. Does everybody see it? Oh, you don't have a Scofeld Reference Bible. That's the problem. Yeah, you have to have a Scofeld Reference Bible. You have to have this Bible with all these notes and commentaries that will explain it to you, friend. No, I wouldn't ... Would you base a doctrine on that verse? Would you base any doctrine on that verse and say, "Oh, this verse I'm going to hat as a clear ..." Look, that's not a clear verse about anything. Now, it's a wonderful verse. I mean, all scripture is given by inspiration of God and it's powerful for doctrine, but not every verse is a clear verse, is it? This is not a clear verse. This is a cryptic verse. This is a verse that's hard to understand because it uses pronouns, he, and you have to wonder what do the he's refer to. This isn't some crystal clear verse that they make it out to be.

Once you understand the verse it makes sense, but it's not an easily understood verse. The Bible says that there are things in Paul's Epistles that are hard to be understood. Look what the Bible says, let's back up to Verse 5. He just finished telling us, "Don't let anybody tell you that this can happen at any moment." First, the Antichrist is going to be revealed. He's going to be sitting in the temple of God saying he's God. Okay? That's the context. Look at Verse 5, "Remember ye not that when I was yet with you I told you these things and now you know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time for the mystery of iniquity that's 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 brightness of it's coming, even him who's coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness and them that parish because they receive not the love to the truth that they might be saved."

Now, let's look at this and let's figure out who the he's are. He is a pronoun and a pronoun has an antecedent. Do you remember this in English class? The antecedent is the word that goes before the pronoun that tells you what the pronoun is. It'd be like if I just walked into a room and without saying anything else said, "He is a piano player. He is a piano player." It's like, "Well, who?" You can't just come out with he when you haven't stated who it ... You always have to state who it is once and then after that you can refer to him as he. I can say, "Matt Adams is sitting in the front row. He is a piano player. His wife is named [Sheena 00:43:00]. I don't have to keep saying like, "Matt Adams is in the front row. Matt Adams is a piano player. Matt Adams has a wife named She- The who purpose of pronouns is to not have to keep restating who you're talking about because we already know who you're talking about because of the antecedent and the ante in antecedent means before, so something that comes before the pronoun to tell us who we're talking about.

When we see the word he in the Bible, we can't just insert whoever we want. Just pick somebody that you want to insert and just stick it in there. No, no, no, we look for the antecedent. Okay? Now, look at Verse 6 first of all because we have a he in Verse 6 where it says that he might be revealed in his time and then we have a he in Verse 7, he who not letteth will let until he be taken out of the way. Okay? Now, first of all let's deal with Verse 6 because that's a little easier, isn't it? It says, "And now you know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time."

Now, who's being revealed? Go back to Verse 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." Who are we talking about being revealed here? Okay, and how is the man of sin revealed? He's revealed by sitting in the temple of God, exalting himself as God, showing himself as God. That's how he's revealed, meaning this, we will not know who the Antichrist is until he does that. You know, you've got seven guys here, you got ten guys here. How do we know who the Antichrist is? It's the guy who receives a deadly wound, the deadly wound is healed and he's declared to be God in the flesh. He's declared to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. He's declared to be the Messiah of the Jews. Think about it. That's how he's revealed. I mean, we're not going to know him when he's a teenager. You know, "Oh, this guy is going to be the Antichrist someday. Let's watch him grow up." No, that's not what ... He's revealed when he does what the Antichrist does.

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: That's why the Bible says how he's revealed. It explains how he's revealed in Verses 3 and 4. It's says, "Now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time." Something is stopping the Antichrist from being revealed. He's going to be revealed when that person is taken out of the way. Okay? In Verse 7 it says, "For the mystery of inequity doth already work only he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way, then shall that wicked be revealed. Who's that wicked? Antichrist, okay? Basically, if we study this that he that's being revealed is clearly the Antichrist. I don't think anybody would dispute that. That's pretty obvious. The question is, who is taken out of the way so that the man of sin can be revealed as Antichrist? Who is being taken out of the way? Now, those who believe in the pre-trib of rapture, they think this is like a mad lib where you just insert a noun. Who knows what mad libs are? You know, you just give me a verb, give me a noun, give me an adjective. They think they can just put whatever noun they want in he. Give me a noun. The Holy Spirit, that is what they say.

Now, here's the problem with putting the Holy Spirit there. Number one, the Holy Spirit is not mentioned anywhere in this passage, anywhere near this passage, so how can you say the he is referring to the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit has not been mentioned whatsoever? That's ridiculo- I mean, you might as well put Mickey Mouse in there if you're just going to put people in that aren't even mentioned in the passage. Okay, but here's the other problem with that, number two, is that the Holy Spirit is God, so you can't just take him out of the way. I mean, think about how ridiculous that is. "Yeah, let's just get the Holy Spirit out of the way." How do you get him out of the way? He's God. I mean, it's blasphemous to say you're going to take Him out of the way. He's God; He's everywhere. Wither shall I flee from thy spirit if I ascend into Heaven behold thy art there. If I make my bed in hell behold thy art there. God's spirit is everywhere, so to say he's going to be removed, and here's what they say, "Well, the Holy Spirit is going to be taken out," and if the Holy Spirit's taken out, since the Holy Spirit dwells in believers that means all the believers are going to be taken out, so therefore this is the rapture. I mean, it's a lot of logic leaps ...

Man: Yeah.

Pastor: ... to say, "Well the he is the Holy Spirit." "Well, is there an antecedent?" "No, but just shut up and believe it because I said so." Anyway, the Holy Spirit is the he and since the Holy Spirit is inside the believers, well, then, you know, we can't say if the Holy Spirit is God. Look, I'm telling you. I've sat in a pre-trib church for five years, where the pastor said about once a month, literally, "When the Holy Spirit's taken out I'm taken out." That was pretty much the only teaching he gave on the pre-trib rapture. He never could prove from the Bible that it's pre-trib. He'd just say, "You know, if you're calling Jesus a liar because he said it can happen at any moment and when the Holy Spirit's gone I'm gone. Amen. Amen." It was just always like when the Holy Spirit is taken out I'm going to be taken out, so this is their big text right here, "He who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way." He said, "Well, he who letteth," that's who allows things to happen. That is not what let means. Let means to hinder. This isn't the 2015 texting language definition of let. Okay? Where you let someone do something. No, no, this is actually letteth, which is an older definition, which still exists today, but let means to hinder and it's parallel with the withholding.

Now, ye know what withholdeth, you know, he who now letteth will let until he's taken out of the way. He's no longer hindering anything because he's taken out of the way, whoever his is, so they say, "Well, it's the Holy Spirit." If you look up the Scofield Reference Bible it says, "This can be none other than the Holy Spirit being removed and he dwells in the church, so when the church is removed in the rapture the Holy Spirit is being removed." Here's the problem with that, number one, the Holy Spirit is not mentioned. Number two, the Holy Spirit is God, so you don't just remove Him, and number three, if removing the believers somehow removes the Holy Spirit, okay, well, what about all the people that they claim are going to be saved after the rapture that they call the tribulation saints? How are these people getting saved without the Holy Spirit? Can somebody explain that to me?

Man: Right.

Pastor: When the Holy Spirit is necessary for you to be saved.

Man: Right.

Pastor: The Holy Spirit is the one who quickens you and saves you. No one can be saved without the Holy Spirit, so ...

Man: Right.

Pastor: ... to sit there and say the Holy Spirit is removed from this earth, well, how can anyone be saved? Yet they claim that all these people are going to be saved and you know what? Here's the thing, there will be people saved after the rapture. After the rapture there's going to be the hundred and forty-four thousand, the two witnesses and people will be saved through the power of the Holy Spirit, the only way anybody has ever gotten saved; through the Holy Spirit who works through the word of God. This teaching is ridiculous to say it's the Holy Spirit and it's borderline blasphemous. Like you're just going to take God out of the way. Yeah, get Him out of the way. God doesn't just get taken out of the way. I mean, if God does something he chooses to do something. Somebody else doesn't get Him out of the way as it were. That's a really weird way to talk about God.

Anyway, you say, "Okay, who is the he referring to then? Huh? If it's not the Holy Spirit, well, who is it?" Pretty much any explanation makes more sense than the Holy Spirit. Here's the thing, even if I didn't give you an explanation, it's still not the Holy Spirit. That doesn't just make it the Holy Spirit because I don't have an ex- but I do have an explanation because I believe this is talking about someone who is actually mentioned in the passage, believe it or not. That the passage is actually referring to an antecedent. Because think about it. Who is it? Just stop and think about it. We read Revelation 13. We read Revelation 17. Okay? Who has to be taken out of the way before the man of sin can be revealed as the Antichrist and can rule and reign over the whole world? Here's who had to be taken out of the way, the human being, the man of sin himself.

Man: Right.

Pastor: Because that's who's going to be killed so that the other can take over. Think about it.

Man: Mm hm (affirmative).

Pastor: Because if you look at, let's look at some scripture to kind of understand this. Flip over to Luke 22. Because remember the Antichrist is called the son of perdition. Now, the reason that that makes sense is because the man of sin is mentioned in the passage, so it makes sense to mention the man of sin and then say he about the man. That's an antecedent for your pronoun, but here's why I believe that the he who now letteth will let shall be taken out of the way is referring to the human being, the man of sin himself, so that someone else can, another spirit from hell, can take over his body because remember, he is not. Right? He's dead, but he's still actioning and functioning and really ... It's not really him anymore, folks. He didn't really rise from the dead. What it is is that this guy is going to receive the wound of a sword, he's going to die. Right? His body is going to be revivified with a spirit from hell. A spirit that ascends out of the bottomless pit, the spirit of Antichrist is going to indwell this guy and control his body and this guy is going to live and breathe and function by the power of Satan. I don't believe that Satan can resurrect life. Satan is not all powerful. If you go back to Exodus you'll see that when the plaques are being done water is turned into blood.

Pharaoh's sorcerers, through the power of Satan, were able to turn water into blood. Moses threw down his rod and became a serpent. Pharaoh's sorcerers were also able to throw their rods and make them into serpents. Of course, Moses rod ate their serpent, you know, but they were able to duplicate it, but when it came to creating life, when it came to the point where Moses took the dust of the earth and sprinkled it and it became lice, lice is what? A living thing. Okay, they couldn't do it and they said, "This is the finger of God."

You see, God can form of the dust of the earth man and breathe into his nostrils and he becomes a living soul. God can take dust and turn it into creatures, lice. The devil can't do that. The devil had no power to create lice. I don't think that the devil can give life to somebody who's already died. Okay? It's a fraud; it's not a resurrection in the sense of he's coming back to life. It's just an evil spirit taking control of this guy's body and everybody thinks he's resurrected. Look, the real guy, the real soul, is gone. He's out of the way, folks. He's taken out of the way. He's killed. He's murdered. It's a false flag. You know what I mean? He's killed. They kill him. Take him out of the way so that they can use his body, do you understand? Use his body to be the vessel of the Antichrist which is not the same person because that guy's dead. Now, it's the spirit from the bottomless pit that has entered this guy and now he's the Antichrist. Okay?

Now, if you would, look at Luke 22:3. It says, "Then entered Satan into Judas, surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. Now, the reason this is interesting is because Judas Iscariot is referred to as the son of perdition. Two people in the Bible are called the son of perdition. Judas Iscariot and the Antichrist. Isn't it interesting that when Judas betrayed Jesus the Bible says that Satan entered him and prompted him to do that, so he was what we would commonly refer to as demon possessed. Okay? Then, over in John 13:27 it says something very similar, "And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, that thou doest do quickly. You don't have to turn to there, but in Matthew 27:3, afterwards he comes to his senses. Judas Iscariot and he brings the money back. He gives the money back and says "I've betrayed the innocent blood." They say, "Phew, what is that to us? See [thou 00:55:17] to that and then Judas goes and hangs himself. Right? Because he's still a human being. He felt bad about what he'd done, but he did it because he was being controlled by Satan. That's what the Bible says; Satan entered into him.

Now, he was already a bad guy. I'm not saying he's a good guy, okay? He was a bad guy. He was stealing money from Jesus, the whole ministry. He had the bag and stole from it. The Bible says he believe not from the beginning. You know? A Christian person who's a believer in Christ, Satan's not going to enter and take over their body, okay? This is a bad guy, but he was still a human, okay? He still had feeling of repentance there in Matthew 27:3. He died and went to hell because he was an unbeliever, but we see that when he betrayed Jesus, Satan was controlling him. Satan entered into him. I mean, I just showed you in two different places.

Now, you say, "Okay, well, then why does this other guy have to die? Why does he have to be taken out of the way in Revelation 13?" Number one, because the job that the Antichrist has to do is a much bigger job than Judas Iscariot has to do. Judas Iscariot, all he had to do was just betray Jesus. Just, you know, go to the Pharisees, make a deal, give Jesus a kiss, done, pretty simple task. Right? Pretty easy to do. The Antichrist is going to be ruling over the entire world for forty-two months. That's a pretty big job not to just give to a person, but rather that the devil is going to make sure that he's got full control of this guy. Okay, by basically taking over his body with this evil spirit that's under his control. Okay? That's why all of his workings are through the power of Satan, but number two, the reason the guy has to die and to come back is because that's the only way to get the whole world to worship him. Because that miracle has to take place that will amaze the whole world, where even the atheist, who say, "Well, if you show me proof, I'll believe it." Even they'll be convinced when they see this guy die, deadly wound of the sword, and he's healed and he's back to life. "Life" they think he's back to life. He's really undead. Okay?

That's what the Bible's teaching. I hope I'm making sense to you tonight, but if you study Revelation 13 and Revelation 17, I don't see how you can come to any other conclusion but that this guy is dead and then a spirit from the bottomless pit takes over his body. That makes sense when you think about the fact that somebody's got to be taken out of the way so that this guy can take over. You know, this evil spirit from hell.

Now, go back to Second Thessalonians 2, and this is where people get confused. They get confused by this part where it says, in Verse 7, "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work only he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way." The now there, I don't believe it's the Apostle Paul saying now as in 1st Century AD, I think he's telling the story, okay, about that and he's saying now as in at this point in the story. Like, "Okay, the Antichrist is now revealed when this, that happens. See, a lot of times the Bible will use the present tense about things in the past and future because it's story telling. For example, it says in Revelation 13, "He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond to receive a mark in their right hand. It speaks about in the present because you're in the story. Okay? There's a lot of places where we could show that grammatical example. It says, "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work," meaning at this point in the story, but he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way, then shall the wicked be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

Now, that doesn't happen right away. That happen forty-two months later, because power is given unto him to continue forty and two months or three and a half years. After three and a half years the Lord is going to consume him with the spirit of his mouth and destroy him with the brightness of his coming. Even him who's coming is after the work of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. Those are the wonders that the false prophet does where he brings fire down and so forth from Heaven. Then it says, "With all deceivableness of unrighteousness will then perish because they received not the love of truth that they might be saved. For this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned to believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Okay, now, there are other theories here about the he who now letteth will let because not everybody buys into this crazy Holy Spirit and dwelling the believers being taken out thing. Some people have put forth the theory that says, "Hey, the he who now letteth will let is Michael the Archangel, okay? Which I think that that's actually a legitimate theory. You know? There's scripture to support that when you compare Daniel to Revelation, different things. Michael's part in the end times. I can see that theory. Okay?

One of the big problems I have with that is that he's not mentioned in the passage.

Man: Right.

Pastor: No antecedent. Okay, but at least that theory makes sense, so if somebody has that theory I wouldn't criticize that theory because I can see that scriptural support for it. I believe that it makes more sense, though, that the he who now letteth will let is the man of sin, the human being ...

Man: Right.

Pastor: ... so that the beast could be revealed. So that the Antichrist could be revealed which is a spirit from hell and is not a human being because the human being is taken out of the way, frankly, so that this guy can take over the reins of the world government, but it says here that they will believe a lie and it says in Verse 10, because they receive not the love of the truth. Now, what does it mean when it says they didn't receive the love of the truth? What it means is that there are people who love the truth and people who don't love the truth. There are some people who don't care what the truth is. You can show people the truth until you're blue in the face and they just won't accept it. They don't even care. They just want to believe a lie. They want to believe that which is false. Then, there are other people who love the truth and they just want the truth. They don't really care what the truth is, they just want to know what it is and believe it and when you show them that they're wrong they're willing to change because they love the truth. Whatever the truth is, they want to know it. They love it.

There are people who receive not the love of the truth and they believe not the gospel. The Bible says, in Verse 11, "For this cause, God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie." Now, this is nothing new in the Bible. There are all kinds of places in the Bible where God hardens people's heart. God darkens their eyes, blinds their minds. There are all kinds of scriptures where it gets too late for people to be saved and they become what the Bible calls a reprobate. People don't want to accept this doctrine today, but it's all through the Bible, tons of places. Here God is sending people a strong delusion.

Now, it's not that God just hates people for no reason and just sends them a delusion and just damns them to hell just for no reason. No, these are people who receive not the love of the truth. These are people who have already rejected the truth, so he sends them a strong delusion that they believe the lies of the Antichrist. Basically, when the Antichrist comes along you say, "Well, how's the whole world going to believe on him?" Because God's going to send a strong delusion on the people who did not believe the truth and who received not the love of the truth and had pleasure in unrighteousness. God will send them a strong delusion that they will believe a lie. That is what the Bible says. That they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. They didn't love the truth. They took pleasure in lies. They took pleasure in that which is wrong. That which is false. That which is wicked. It says, but, Verse 13, "We're bound to give thanks always to God for you brethren beloved of the Lord. Because God, from the beginning, chosen you to salvation trough sanctification and belief of the truth where unto he called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore brethren stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught whether by word or our epistle."

Now, our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God, even our father which have loved us and has given us everlasting consultation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

I'm running out of time, but let me just point out a few things about these verses. First of all, the Bible says here, in Verse 14, "Where unto he called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." That reminds me of literally, just about an hour and a half ago, when I was out, knocking doors [soul winning 01:03:55] we talked to this guy and he was saved, he gave us the right testimony of salvation through faith. He said he believed on Christ and that he didn't believe you could lose your salvation. He didn't believe it was by works. He thought it was all finished by the blood of Jesus on the cross, but he had this attitude of, "Well, whoever is going to get saved is going to get saved no matter what we do." He kept focusing on that, "Well, you know God calls people. God's doing the drawing and God draws people unto him, and so you can go out and knock all these doors," he said, "but at the end of the day the same amount of people are going to get saved whether you go out and do it or not."

Man: Wow.

Pastor: I told him, I said, "Well, I wouldn't even be here then. Why would I?" He said, "Well, you do it out of obedience." I am thinking to myself, "Yeah, when was the last time you knocked a door, buddy?" He's going to some big mega church fund center. This guy is not out knocking doors. He's talking to me about obedience, to the great commission of go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. I said, "Look, if I didn't think I was making a difference I'd go out and do the minimum." I'd just go out, do a little [soul winning 01:04:54], knock some doors, chock it up that I preached the gospel and then enjoy life. You know? I'd do the minimum, but when we think about the fact that souls are in the balance and that people are dying and going to hell, the Bible says, "And others save with fear calling them out of the fire. Hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." You know when I go out [soul winning 01:05:17] I believe I'm pulling people out of the fire.

Man: Amen.

Pastor: Paul said, "I become all things to all men that I might by all means save some." He's not just going through the motions. He's trying to pull these people out of the fire. He's trying to get people saved. This guy, you know, "Oh, God does the calling, God does the drawing." To point out this verse where Jesus said in John, you know? "No man can come unto me except the father drawn." You know what's funny is they never like to talk about the verses a few chapters later where Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

Man: Amen.

Pastor: They said, "Well, nobody can come with us unless father drawn." "If I'll be lifted up from the earth I'll draw all men unto me," he said, "All men unto me," and he said this, "Spake he signifying what manner of death he should die." When he said, "If I should be lifted up from the earth," he was talking about being lifted up on the cross, he said, "I'll draw all men unto me." The Bible says here that God called, doesn't it? In Second Thessalonians 2, but it says in Chapter 14, "Where unto he called you by our gospel." Do you see that? Yeah, God's calling through our gospel. How's God calling? When we go out with the word of God as ambassadors for Christ where God has committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation and God is sending us forth as ambassadors for Christ, he says, "You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth." When show up with the word of life and the word of God and we preach the gospel, God calls through that.

Congregation: Yeah.

Pastor: The Bible says that when the world by wisdom knew not God it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe and when a preacher, which isn't just a pastor, but is any man, woman, boy or girl who talks to someone about Jesus and opens their mouth to preach the gospel; when they preach that word, God is calling. That's God calling. That's God on the phone calling you saying be ye reconciled to God. It says, "We beseech you in Christ stead, be reconciled to God.

Man: Amen.

Pastor: We're there as messengers from God. God is calling and he's using us to make the call.

Congregation: Right, amen.

Pastor: I mean, this is clear. He called you by our gospel. He says, "To the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." He said, "Well, over in Verse 13 it says God chooses." It's not saying that God chooses which people will be saved. It says, "God has, from the beginning, chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and believe the truth." He chose all that would believe.

Congregation: That's right, yeah.

Pastor: He chose us to be found in him if we believe in Jesus Christ. Look up all the verses about God choosing and about predestination, look up Chapter 8. Yeah, we're predestined to [corner 01:08:11] the foreknowledge of God. God knows who will believe on Him. In Ephesians 1, yeah, He chose us to be glorified with Him. He chose us in Romans 8 to be conformed to the image of his son. It's not saying he chooses which ones will be saved. It said he choose that those who believe will be saved and he chooses that those who believe will not only be saved, but they will be sanctified, that they will be conformed to the image of Christ and that they will be predestine to that glory with him. To sit there and say, "Well, it's already predetermined who's going to go to Heaven, who's going to go to hell and there's nothing we can do about it," and that when we go and preach the gospel we're going through some kind of an exercise and that we're not really making a difference in anybody life, but we're just going through the motion. You know what? That's why people aren't going today, because that's what they believe.

Man: Right.

Pastor: As I was talking to him I was very kind to him and polite to him, but in my heart I was thinking, "You jerk. You're damning this whole world to hell with your stupidity." This world is not here in the gospel because of people like you who want to sit around and say, "Oh, god's going to get it done on his own." No, he told you to do it.

Congregation: Yeah. Amen.

Pastor: It's our gospel [inaudible 01:09:18] to them that are lost and we're sitting there hiding the gospel under a [inaudible 01:09:23] and saying, "Oh, well, God's going to get it done." Then, the guy said, "Well, are you saying that all these people who have never heard of Jesus are going to go to hell? I think they're going to get a pass." You know what? Keep telling yourself that. Maybe that'll let you sleep at night when you don't serve Jesus at all.

Man: Right.

Pastor: You know what? I'd rather work and spend my life to getting the gospel to that guy who hasn't heard of Jesus.

Congregation: Amen. Amen. Yeah.

Pastor: Instead of sitting around and coming up with some stupid naval gazing theology of, "Well, if God knows everything and God already knows who's going to be saved, well, maybe it's all predetermined anyway. I'm just going to sit around and have Bible study and go way down deep and stay down long and come up dry." No, why don't you get out there and do some work for God. Why don't you do what Christ said and go ye there in all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Why? Because he said you're saving with fear. You're pulling them out of the fire. It's not just some game that we play.

These same fools also believe this thing like you pray for stuff, but you're going to get it anyway, but you just pray for fun or something. You just pray so you can feel like you got your prayer answered. No, the Bible says you have not because you ask not.

Man: That's right.

Pastor: You have not because you ask not. You have not because you ask not. They perish and go to hell because you go not.

Man: That's right.

Pastor: It's not all predetermined. It's going to happen anyway. Wrong. We write the book my friend. God has given us the keys to the kingdom of Heaven. Did he not say that in Matthew 16? Did he not say, "Whatsoever you bind on earth I'll bind in Heaven. Whatsoever you loosed on earth I'll loosed in Heaven." Then they say, "Oh, it's just God just makes all the decisions." Then why did he say choose? Why did he say choose life? Why did he say choose this day whom you'll serve? Because we have a choice.

Congregation: Amen. That's right.

Pastor: Don't buy into this garbage of, "Well, God calls and God draws and we just sit back on our lazy American rear end and let the world go to hell." No. It's false. It's a lie. The devil, he loves that doctrine because it gets all the Christians to sit around and not care. I'll tell you, I told this guy. I said, "You know what? I'll be honest with you, my friend." I said, "I'm just being honest. If I believed like you I would do very little for the Lord. I would just do the minimum." He was like, "Oh, that's not right." I'm just being honest. Look, does obedience to Christ motivate me? Of course. Does my love for Christ motivate me? Of course, but you know what? That wouldn't really motivate me to go all out though. You know, but when you actually feel like you're making a difference, when you actually feel like you're accomplishing something, that motivates you.

I mean, who wants to play a game, does anybody want to play a board game with me after church where the outcome is predetermined, where you spend hours playing? Did you ever play the game War? Who's played the card game War? The stupidest card on the planet. It's a card game for Calvinist. It's the official card game of Calvinism. You cut the deck in half, you give half the deck to one guy, half the deck to another guy, and you put down a card and whoever has the best card gets to take both cards and you pull out the next card. There's no thought, there's no skill. The whole thing is predetermined. The moment you cut the deck in half the winner is determined, but you just go through the motions. "Oh, man you got me." "Oh, I got you." You know? It's a game you play when you are like four. You play it when you are like five and after that you say I need something where I can actually control the outcome. Just going to sit there and just play War. Stupidest card game ever invented. You know what? Calvinism is the stupidest doctrine that anybody ever came up with.

Man: Amen.

Pastor: We need to go out and people need to be called to the Lord by our gospel.

Man: Amen.

Pastor: That's when it's going to call them unto the Lord. All right, let's have a word of prayer.

Father, we thank you so much for your word Lord in this chapter Lord. A lot of great doctrine Lord and it’s a deep passage. It's a difficult passage Lord. Help us to study to show ourselves approved unto God. Help us to study Revelation and to put all the pieces together about the issues of the end time, but Lord, we also see in this passage a lot of talk about those who believe not the truth and they didn't receive the truth and we read about them being damned. Then we read about another group of people that are called by our gospel, so, Lord, please help us to get out there with the gospel because people can't be called by our gospel if we don't have a gospel. If we're not preaching the gospel nobody is going to be called by our gospel, and so, Lord, help us to take admonition from that and to get serious about being your tool and your instrument to call people by the gospel and in Jesus name we pray. Amen.