by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4 December 6, 2015 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(037)Thesis:The lawless one shall be revealed in his "season".
Introduction:In our study last time we focused upon the issue of the identities and doings of the one the Scriptures called "The Man of The Lawlessness" which we abbreviate with "The Lawless Man". His identities were given as two: The Man of The Lawlessness and The Son of The Destruction. These identities focus upon the essential nature of the man (one who seeks to be God: lawless) and the essential result of such a nature (destruction as a "harvest concept" -- he destroys and is destroyed). This man is, ultimately, simply the human tool of the greater "lawless" one, Satan.
This evening we are going to look into the divine plan regarding this nature and result.
I. At The Beginning of "The Lawlessness".
A. The most fundamental issue was rebellion against "immutability".
1. When Satan first conceived of this rebellion, it was a two-fold conception.
a. He sought to supplant God in respect to His Throne; an attack upon Sovereignty.
b. He sought to dismiss God in respect to His character: an attack upon Immutability.
1) It is impossible for a creature to even begin to think he can function as the ultimate sovereign unless he has first dismissed the idea of the existence of an immutable and eternal character.
2) It is impossible for a creature to foment a rebellion against eternal immutability without first conceiving of "power" as less than eternal omnipotence and then presenting the rebellion as an alliance of powers.
a) Hence, there was an attempt to persuade the "others" (fellow angelic persons) of both the horrible state of all who are under "immutable character", and the possibility of a successful alliance against the "current" "God".
b) The reality is that the arguments were leveled against "ignorant creatures" and were only "successful" in regard to a third of those fellow angels by whom he wished to form an alliance of power that could "win" in a rebellion.
2. When Satan saw that God had created an entirely new group of created beings who each had a "dispensation of power", he immediately sought to bring this new group into his rebellion so that he could possess the power of their alliance with him.
3. Thus, he conceived of "The Man of The Lawlessness" who would be his tool to bring all of the power of humanity into his rebellion against God.
a. What this Man of Lawlessness does not realize is that he will never be allowed to be the 'god' because he is simply a useful idiot to the one who seeks to be 'god' over all other creatures, including angels.
b. What Satan, as the devil, has always attempted to keep hidden is that it is his nature that is untrustworthy; not that of the Creator (Genesis 3).
B. The most inevitable result was "destroying unto destruction".
1. On the one hand, Satan had to either persuade unto an alliance, or destroy the available power-source (the creature possessing a dispensation of power) before it could be marshaled against him.
2. But, his assumption of God's "weakness" set him up for what will inevitably occur: he will reap what he has sown; the destroyer will be destroyed.
C. The Immutable and Eternal Creator determined to set forth his own set of arguments to argue that "rebellion against immutability" is a hopeless and self-destructive concept.
1. Romans 9:22 says that He became "willing to shew his wrath and make his power known".
2. Ephesians 3:10 says that He intends to make His manifest wisdom known through the church to principalities and powers in the heavens.
a. This wisdom is Omni-wisdom, rooted in Omniscience, and it declares the impossibility of a "mutable" God.
b. This "wrath and power" is omni-vengence and omnipotence: eternal and immutable aspects of the one true and eternal God.
II. In the Outworking of "The Lawlessness".
A. Paul's claim is that there is a "restrainer" so that the "mystery" can develop incrementally unto a final confrontation.
1. The "restrainer" is presented as both a neuter gender and a masculine gender entity.
a. This characteristic is only really applicable to one Person, the Holy Spirit of God.
b. As "God" the Holy Spirit is the only One able to control enough of the details to keep Satan from getting ahead of the game.
2. The "restrainer" is willing to permit the incremental development of the rebellion of the lawlessness so that it, ultimately, will be "seasonal": fully mature and ready to be addressed in a final way.
B. Paul's claim is that the "restrainer" will eventually become "out of the midst".
1. The exit from the midst has its context in the Romans 9 and Ephesians 3 concepts: God will remove Himself from the midst when all of the details are finally in place.
2. The exit is coincidental with the "disappearance"/"departure" already addressed.
a. The Spirit's fundamental "tool" for His side of the plan is the Church.
b. When the church is removed, the Spirit exits the scene with it.
C. Paul's claim is that once the restrainer is removed, the Man of the Lawlessness will be allowed to bring his rebellion to its culmination.
D. Paul's claim is that, then, the destroyer will be destroyed.