IN HIS TIME
2 Thessalonians 2:1 ¶ Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye 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. 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; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
In this second letter the Apostle Paul is refreshing the minds of the believers in Thessalonica concerning the physical coming of the Lord Jesus. For in verse five of our text he states that he told them “these things while I was with you.” And he also states that the coming of the Lord would be preceded by a day of apostasy, when many would “fall away” from the faith. And in doing so he reveals that Satan would then be assigned by the Lord a particular day of deception. For the last three words of verse six state he would “be revealed IN HIS TIME.”
And first of all, for the purpose of this article we must be certain that we realize that the Lord God is absolutely sovereign over the times of all providential occurrences. Therefore carefully consider these verses: Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
John 19:10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
The demons certainly clearly understood that this day was already established, and it caused them great fear! Matthew 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? They trembled as they had a certain fearful looking towards that day! 2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
The great battle in the spiritual realm that was fought at the time of the Lord’s crucifixion ended up with his victory and Satan’s being cast out of heaven. Take note of the following verse twelve. Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael (representing the Lord Jesus), and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, (See? Salvation was completed at Calvary!) and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 ¶ Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Satan was cast out at the cross! John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, (that is upon the cross), will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Satan had stolen the scepter out of Adam’s hands, and had been henceforth called “the god of this world.” 2 Corinthians 4:4. But when the Mighty Christ proclaimed the victorious words on the cross, “It is finished,” as recorded in John 19:30, Satan was cast out. And the spiritual darkness that had engulfed the world was pushed back by the “Light of the world!”
John 8:12 ¶ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
This is also clearly seen in Christ proclaiming his absolute sovereignty before his command for his church to go forth into all the world. For heretofore he had restrained their mission just to Israel alone. Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. For the blood of bulls and goats would not sustain world wide evangelism! It was only as he had destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil, that it was profitable for the gospel to be preached world wide! Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
This is reflected in both that twelfth and in the twentieth chapters of the Revelation. Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. (That is both Christ’s Incarnation and ascension.) 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, (Israel considered everything outside of her boundaries as “the wilderness.” And Acts 8:1 reveals the church being “scattered abroad.”), where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (which is the church age.)
Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Verses one through three reveal again the spiritual results of Christ’s victory at the cross. The thousand years merely represents the church age. And we see that during that time Satan is restrained from “deceiving the nations.” But in verse three we are shown the portion of time which is afterward assigned to him by the Sovereign Lord! It is called “a little season.”
And during that period he is used by God to “deceive the nations” once again in order to bring to judgment all who do not obey the gospel. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: This is set forth in Revelation 20:7,8. But, as usual Satan goes too far. Isaiah 10:7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. Therefore the Lord Christ himself shall handle him. For as he bound him at the cross in order that the church could go into all the world with the gospel, he shall now finally destroy him by casting him in the lake of fire which burns for ever!
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. Isaiah 57:20 And we read that as God sovereignly sets its bounds, so he sets the bounds of Satan’s wrath. Job 38:8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? 11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
For all wrath which does not bring praise to God is restrained. Psalm 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
We clearly read in the Book of Job that Satan must seek permission from God to afflict any creature. Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. 2:6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
Dear soul, belief in Christ and obedience to his gospel are the only deterrents to the terrors of Satan and the demonic forces. Be assured that this Wicked One seeks your destruction. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: And be equally assured that Christ’s intercession to the Father for you is the only safety you have against those forces! Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Because the Lord God has been so wonderfully gracious in not even holding back his only begotten Son, He takes it as the most offensive sin for those who do not believe in Him, and do not obey him! Hell’s fiery wrath comes from the rejection of God’s glorious love! For those who do not believe in Him commit the same disrespectful rejection of him as if they were those who spit in his face! Matthew 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
And is there one single sinner who has repented whom the Lord has not saved? There is not one in all the masses of humanity! For God has no pleasure in anyone’s eternal death. Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Be very careful for Satan’s time is assuredly coming!
Pastor Gene Breed
December 15, 2021