Further Sojourning …Now Through 2 Thessalonians Pt. 7

Further Sojourning…Now Through 2 Thessalonians, Pt. 7

Study Guide, June 23, 2024

Pastor Clay Olsen

So, why do we have Fahrenheit and Celsius? Well, we have Celsius because people like those energy drinks. Oh, not that Celsius…although those are pretty good. Teens are all about Celsius drinks. My granddaughter saw that I was drinking one and thought that was pretty cool.

But when we say ‘Fahrenheit’ we could also say ‘Daniel Fahrenheit’, because he was the German scientist that came up with that thermometer in 1724. And it was also decided that 32 degrees would be the freezing point of water and around 212 would be the boiling point. Why? Nobody knows! However, in 1742 a Swedish astronomer named Anders Celsius had another idea. And with his measurement it simplified the readings as Zero degrees for freezing and 100 degrees for boiling point. Although, they had that backwards for a while until they flipped it to make better sense. But most of the world went with Anders’s idea, while America and a few other islands still use Daniel’s scale…kind of like how ‘Soccer’ is called ‘Football’ to the rest of the world, but it’s ‘Soccer’ to us, nevertheless. That’s so that we could use ‘Football’ to call the game where we mostly carry and throw the ball! That’s just how we do things in America!

But we say all of that to say that things can be a little confusing, until we examine their origins and purposes. Which brings us back to where we left off describing the difference in the ministries of God the Holy Spirit during the Age of the Old Testament and the Church Age and on into the Tribulation Age. And what we discovered is that the Apostle Paul reveals in 2 Thess. 2:6-8 that the Holy Spirit, the Restrainer, will be ‘taken out of the way’ at the time of the Rapture of the Church. And since the unique ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Church Age is the ‘indwelling ministry’, when the Church Age is completed, then the Holy Spirit’s ministry to those in the Tribulation Age will return to being the same ministry as in the Age of the Old Testament. Which still includes what? Let’s just briefly summarize that.

We pointed out that the regenerating ministry of the Holy Spirit will continue in the Tribulation Age. God will still be granting a new birth of the spirit to all those in the Tribulation Age who repent and receive the Messiah as their Lord and Savior. In fact, if you are reading through our Bible Reading Calendar, on Thursday you read in Revelation 7 of the salvation of the 144,000 representatives of every tribe of Israel, who are no doubt also special evangelists, along with this: Rev 7:9-10- “…a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” NASU Praise God, multitudes will be saved during the Tribulation Age!

The Holy Spirit will also continue His empowering ministry to the saved. In Haggai God told the people that His spirit was among them, basically empowering them, just like He also said in Zech 4:6- “Not by might nor by (human) power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” NASU The Holy Spirit also will continue His equipping ministry with various skills and talents for various services and tasks. It’s like with those who worked on the Tabernacle. God said this about them: Ex 31:2-7- “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship. And behold, I Myself have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill, that they may make all that I have commanded you…” NASU

Where do you think people’s talents and abilities originate anyway? It’s like Paul pointed out, in reference to man’s skills, talents, intelligence, musical and artistic abilities and so on: 1 Cor 4:7- “What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?” NLT All of the talents and abilities that we have are simply gifts of God’s grace to people…actually, just start with ‘Breath’, and then go from there!

Also, that wonderful presence of God the Holy Spirit will be with the saints in the Tribulation Age, just like every other age. But, again, what will be different is that even though the Holy Spirit will be present with the believers in the Tribulation Age, equipping and empowering, and basically sanctifying or developing and maturing their minds and hearts, still, this ministry of the Holy Spirit is better understood as a ‘coming upon’ ministry for various tasks and services, like that in the Old Testament, rather than a ‘dwelling within’ ministry of the Church Age. In many different instances in the Old Testament, we see God saying that the Spirit of God ‘came upon’ different ones for different tasks, like with the Prophets and Kings, and even the Judges of Israel. We often wonder about how much God used Samson, coming upon Samson for various battles and such. You know, Samson was not exactly the model of morality that you want your children to follow. But what this does show us is the amazing grace and mercies of God and the working of God the Holy Spirit in the lives of His people, often in spite of their wavering in their spiritual maturity and faithfulness.

But there is one specific example that reveals this change in this ministry of ‘presence’ and ‘indwelling’ between the Old Testament believers and those in the Church Age. Some are often confused by something that the Psalmist said in Psalm 51. This is after his repentance and confession before the Lord over his sin. Take a look: Ps 51:11-12- “Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” NASU What is David talking about… ‘do not take Your Holy Spirit from me’? It’s certainly not talking about him losing his salvation, like some misled Bible teachers have suggested. Spiritually Born-again believers cannot lose their salvation due to their behavior anymore than a child can lose their biological relationship to their parent due to their behavior. Once a person is regenerated in his or her spirit, they are forever united to the very spiritual DNA of God, the very life of God. And he or she will always be a child of God’s. There won’t be any children of God in Hell because of their disobedience. There will be some children of God in Heaven who were disobedient children while on Earth, but that is what the Judgment Seat of Christ is for, to reward the obedience of God’s children and reveal the loss of privileges because of the disobedience of God’s children.

So, even with David, his loss was not his salvation with God. His loss was his fellowship with God. And yet his prayer itself reveals a difference in this ministry of ‘presence’ of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Old Testament believers and those in the Church Age…similar to like we pointed out about the difference between being in the courts of the Temple to being in the very Holy of Holies within the temple.

Hopefully, that helps in better understanding this wondrous ministry of the Holy Spirit in the different Ages…those past and those still to come. Particularly it should cause us New Testament Priests to not only be amazed that we have full access to the inner courts and throne of God, but to never take God’s presence and promises for granted. Rather, as children and priests of God, we are to come daily before the Throne of Grace to find mercy and grace, and to then offer up our sacrifices of praise and our services to our King and Savior!

Now then, we turn to the ‘then’ of 2 Thess 2:8-12- “Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” NASU

So now Paul’s revelation really ramps up…ramps up into rejoicing over the victory that is coming with the coming of the Lord Jesus after the three- and one-half years of the Tribulation and the three- and one-half years of the Great Tribulation. And now it’s time for very great tribulation, or very great trouble, to fall on this ‘lawless one’ and on his ‘false prophet’…and the days of judgment to begin to fall on the Devil himself. Revelation 19 describes what happens to the Antichrist and the False Prophet. Rev 19:20- “And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.” NASU

As we have pointed out before, the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be the first two residents of Gehenna Hell. All the unsaved are now being confined in Hades, awaiting their sentencing at the Great White Throne Judgment. After their sentencing there, then they will be removed to Hell, the land of eternal separation from God.

And as for the Devil, John tells us this: Rev 20:1-3- “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.” NASU Why a thousand years? Satan is bound 1000 years because this ‘1000 years’ is the Millennial rule of King Jesus and the Millennial reign of the King’s children. Plus, this final 1000 years before the Eternal Kingdom begins is the final gathering of the family of God from humanity, along with the final rebellion of the devil at its conclusion. But a study on the Millennial Kingdom is a complete study in and of itself. We’ll get to that sometime soon.

But Paul is both unveiling this great victory and revealing a warning to what will be happening spiritually in the days of the Tribulation Age before King Jesus returns. Notice that he said many will be deceived ‘with all power and signs and false wonders.’ Friends, something that has been a fault of human nature throughout history, which the devil has really exploited, is that people have been prone to being easily deceived by signs and wonders, regardless of who or what is behind the signs and wonders. The devil and demons have been able to perform signs and wonders from the beginning of the world. The false priests of Pharoah were able to mimic most all of the miracles of Moses…that is, until Moses had Aaron strike the dust, and from that, life was created out of the dust becoming gnats. That’s when the priests said to Pharoah…. “this is the finger of God!” Only God can create life. You see, the devil can manipulate life and living things, but only God can create life…can create living things! Again, the devil can manipulate what has already been created, but he cannot create what has not already been created. ‘Ex nihilo’ is God’s alone…creating out of nothing!

But there are still a lot of things the devil can manipulate that are seen as ‘signs and wonders’ in the eyes of so many, and that’s why so many are so often deceived by signs and wonders. It is no challenge for the Deceiver to deceive people with signs and wonders. He’s been doing that throughout history! And the only way you can keep from being deceived by ‘wonders’ is by being devoted to the only One whose very name is ‘Wonderful’…the Lord Jesus Himself!

So now, what is the lie that so many in these Tribulation days will believe? The lie that they will believe will be the ‘Second lie’. The ‘Second lie’? What was the ‘First lie’? Remember, the ‘First lie’ was Gen 3:5- “…and you will be like God.” NASU The First lie from Satan to mankind was ‘you can be god to yourself!’ And ever since this lie was given much of mankind has acted that way as a result. But now the second lie of Satan to mankind will be: ‘But now, I am going to be your god. And if you don’t worship me…you die!” Remember 2 Thess 2:4- “…he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” NASU That has always been Satan’s dark desire…to be worshipped as God. And many will be deceived into doing just that in the last days of the Great Tribulation.

And Paul says that the reason that many are deceived is because of something in particular. And we’ll wrap up this study with this. He put it this way: 2 Thess 2:10- “…because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” NASU Of all the virtues, there is something dynamic and powerful in connection with ‘Truth’. Why is it that whenever this virtue is spoken of or presented or postulated, that there is often so much push back? Why does this concept…even the very word itself, ‘Truth’, elicit so deep of a response in the hearts and minds of men? It’s because this virtue of ‘Truth’ is directly connected with its source…connected with the One who is, The Way, The Truth, and The Life! Truth is more than a construct, more than a virtue…truth is an attribute of God! Truth is a Person! Truth is the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ himself!

That is why ‘truth’ is often so resisted. That is why the idea of there being such a thing as ‘absolute truth’ is so threatening to so many people. It’s because their soul is bent toward rebelling against truth…resisting the conviction of truth. How strange that so many people dismiss followers of Christ and His Gospel with ideas like: “That’s just your truth!” And then they claim to have their own truth, or that there are many different ‘truths’, and on and on. It’s basically related to how people the world over claim that there are different gods, with different teachings…different ‘truths’, all the while their teachings and beliefs conflict with one another and contradict other teachings and other so called ‘truths’. How strange that so many people can accept absolute contradictions as being true…as being the ‘truth’, but yet they cannot accept absolute truth as being true…as being the ‘truth’!

Yes, it’s strange, but it is not surprising, because when it comes to mankind’s sin nature and sin-bent resistance toward the Creator and Savior, all spiritual reasoning and logic and sense of what is true and what is false is completely damaged and distorted. Note how Paul describes what is involved in repentance unto salvation in 2 Tim 2:24-26- “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.


To live your life apart from repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ is completely senseless. It is a life of ‘non-sense!’ It is to live your life being spiritually unreasonable, illogical, irrational, and adverse to the knowledge of the truth. But when a person becomes willing to seek the truth, willing to seek with all of their heart the One who is the Truth, they will find Him. They will find ‘Thee Truth’. They will find God. They will come to their senses and escape the bondage and the lies of the devil, and they will become a saved and reborn child of the One God, the Lord Jesus Christ!