The rebellion at the end of the age is partly explained in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. Paul deals with a false rumour that the Lord has already come. He says that Jesus will not come again until after the "rebellion".

Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction (2 Thes 2:3).

This man has not yet come, but is being held back until the proper time. At that time, the "restrainer" will be removed and the Man of Sin will be revealed. The Holy Spirit holds back the power of lawlessness. At the end of the age, he will release his restraint on evil and allow the Man of Lawlessness to emerge.

Against God's Law

Paul gives a clear picture of what the Man of Sin will be like. When he first emerges, the Man of Sin will appear to be wise and good. However, his true character will soon be revealed.

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing (2 Thes 2:9,10).
These signs and wonders refer to his attempt to improve society using political power and human government.

Lawlessness is not the absence of law. Lawlessness is rejecting Godís law and replacing it with human laws. The Man of Lawlessness will claim that the world has changed and that Godís law is not sufficiently sophisticated to be a basis for justice in a modern world. He will advocate a return to democracy as a superior form of government. People who feel maligned by Godís justice will join him in his efforts to establish new laws using democratic processes.

The Man of Sin will be anointed with special power by the Satan. He will be the greatest manifestation of evil power that the world has seen. In his last desperate attempt to gain control of the world, Satan will invest all his power in one man, enabling him to do many wonderful and amazing things. These signs will deceive many people and they will become his followers. Satan was the most beautiful angel in the whole of creation (Ezek 28:12-13), so his special representative on earth will be an attractive man (not ugly or repulsive as many Christians would expect). This will cause many to be deceived.

Some people who appear to be living righteous lives will begin delighting in unrighteousness in their hearts, but this will make them vulnerable to deception (2 Thes 2:12).

They refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie (2 Thes 2:10-11).
These people will stop trusting in Jesusí salvation and will begin to believe the lie of power politics. This lie has been discredited during the Time of Distress, but the passing of time will allow it to take hold again. The Man of Lawlessness will stir up discontent and instigate a rebellion against God.

Not the Beast or the Antichrist

The Man of Lawlessness should not be called the Antichrist. He is a political leader, whereas an antichrist is someone who denies Jesus (1 John 2:22).

The Man of Sin is often confused with the Beast of Revelation, but the two are not the same. The Beast represents a powerful nation, whereas the Man of Sin is a political leader. Moreover, Paul clearly links the Man of Sin with the second coming, whereas the Beast rises to power at the end of the times of the Gentiles (2 Thes 2:1).

Defeated

Jesus will overthrow the Man of Sin by the glory of his power on that day when he returns for the final judgment.

This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. he will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thes 2:7-10).

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