Antichrist, Deceivers, Man of Lawlessness

The Mystery of Lawlessness

According to Paul, the “mystery of lawlessness” is active in the world preparing hearts for the “arrival” of the “Man of Lawlessness.” It will continue to do so until the appointed time when this figure “comes out of the midst” and appears in the “sanctuary of God.” And he will employ “lying signs and wonders” to cause many disciples to depart from the faith.

In the New Testament, the term “mystery of lawlessness” is unique to Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. The Greek term rendered “mystery” does not refer to something that is esoteric or mysterious, but to something that is hidden.

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Antichrist, Beast from the Sea, Man of Lawlessness

The Beast is Rising!

The subject of the “Antichrist” raises many questions. Who is he? When will he appear? How will we recognize him? What is his “mark”? In popular preaching, he is a global political leader who uses military might to subjugate other nations and attack Israel. But if Satan is truly clever and cunning, why would he do the very things that we expect?

Over the centuries, the church has heard a multitude of predictions and theories about the “Antichrist.” He has been identified with the Roman emperor, the Pope, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, and numerous other political figures. And in many cases, excellent arguments were made to support the proposition. Nonetheless, not one of these candidates ever became the world-dominating “Beast from the Sea.”

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Photo by Pascal Debrunner on Unsplash
Apostasy, Deceivers, Man of Lawlessness


The New Testament warns several times of coming deceivers and apostasy in the days prior to the return of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul described two things that must occur before the “Day of the Lord” when Jesus will gather his elect – the “apostasy” and the “revelation of the man of lawlessness.” And in his second letter to the Thessalonians, the two events are inextricably linked, for the goal of the “lawless one” is to deceive believers.

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Dark Figure - Photo by Joe Shields on Unsplash
Antichrist, Man of Lawlessness


Before the “Day of the Lord” arrives, the “lawless one” will be revealed who will deceive many with “signs and lying wonders.”

According to Paul, the day when Jesus “arrives” to gather his elect will not come until the “apostasy” takes place and the “man of lawlessness” is unveiled. And in 2 Thessalonians, he also refers to this dark figure as the “son of destruction” and the “lawless one.” He will use “signs and lying wonders” and “deceit” to destroy all those who “refuse the love of the truth.”

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