THE SON OF PERDITION
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?
This is one subject of which there is very much erroneous interpretation. It seems to be too much to expect those commentators to honestly just say, “I don’t have any light on this subject,” rather than to try to save face and make something up. For this has led christendom down some dark and harmful paths. The only true Interpreter of the Scriptures is the one who wrote them; the Holy Spirit! 2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. So let us now bow our heads and hearts before the Lord and seek his wisdom. James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; (that is, without reproaching or faultfinding) and it shall be given him.
We can begin by seeking an interpretation for the Greek word, here translated, “perdition.” For this “man of sin” is equally said to be “the son of perdition.” It is the same Greek word translated as both “damnable” and “destruction” in 2 Peter 2:1. Therefore he is the son of damnation, or the son of destruction. And we also find this word used in Revelation 17, verses 8 and 11 to speak of the final place of eternal torment. Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
Yet because we find our Lord using the term “the son of perdition” in his prayer as recorded in John 17:12, religious commentators have tried to make us believe that this “man of sin” is THE antichrist; even Judas Iscariot! How foolish! For you will be hard pressed to find the term “THE antichrist” in the scriptures. John reveals to us that there were “many antichrists” who have already “entered into the world.” 1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 2 John 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
And he gives a very clear definition of just what constitutes an antichrist in 1 John 2:22 and in 1 John 4:3. 1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
So what is the reason that Judas is set forth in such an erroneous way? As has been stated, our Lord used the term “the son of perdition,” referring to Judas Iscariot in his High Priestly prayer to his Father. John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. But here Judas is set forth as an example of a “son of perdition,” but not as “THE antichrist!” We should read all of that verse, not allowing our minds to cease to function when coming upon that phrase “the son of perdition!” For he goes on to state it is in order “that the scripture might be fulfilled.” Should we not ask, “What scripture?”
And if we are a serious Bible student we would be referred back to John 13:18,19. John 13:18 “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.”
He had already stated “not all” of them were truly, spiritually clean in verse ten of this passage, referring to Judas as being among the true disciples. John 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. And the passage he referred to in verse eighteen that must be fulfilled was Psalm 41:9. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. John 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. And this verse in Psalms was the testimony of King David in reference to the traitor, his former counselor Ahitophel, who joined against him in the rebellion of Absalom, David’s son. (See 2 Samuel 17 & 18.)
So was Ahitophel ‘THE’ Antichrist? Was Absalom? Certainly not! No more than Judas! But they are examples of the one of whom the Apostle wrote that were, at one time, ‘members’ with us, but later rejected the faith and went out from among us! 1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
David further writes of this character in another psalm. Palm 55:12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: 13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. 14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. 21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
They were among us, but never really of us! They were but tares among the wheat. For they had to be biblically educated along with us, as one cannot apostatize from that which he has never professed! The Apostle Paul clearly teaches us that our gospel responsibility includes giving light to “every creature” even to those to whom the Spirit will give no life! 2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
As the rain brings up both vegetables and briars, so the gospel is used by the Holy Spirit as the single implement to mature both apostates as well as true believers! Hebrews 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
And let us not fail to give due attention to that word “son” in our phrase. For the Lord describes him as “the son of perdition.” We do not wish to give improper attention to this word, but we should not ignore it altogether. Therefore let us ask ourselves how one comes to have true faith as a sincere believer. Is it not by the Spirit’s application of the word? Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
And did we not learn from the Apostle John that these antichrists came out from among us? Therefore we learn that as the same sun and rain brings forth briars, so the same gospel merely heard in the physical ear, but not loved in the heart brings forth these as sons of perdition! 2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Those who are given spiritual ears to hear are enlivened – made alive – by the effectual hearing of the word. Whereas these, who have no love of the truth are but enlightened, are birthed into a condition where it is impossible to ever renew them again unto repentance! Hebrews 6:4, 6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, … If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Just as Adam and Eve were originally the only couple for procreation, therefore her womb brought forth the righteous and the wicked. For she strongly proclaimed upon the birthing of her first son that she had gotten that man from the Lord God about whom He had prophesied to them in Genesis 13:15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Therefore we read in Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
Yet it has proven out to be quiet different! For we learn that this same son Cain was of the Devil! 1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
Therefore it is not the natural, but the spiritual birth to which we must direct our attention. John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Even though Nicodemus had spent his life in religious devotion and study, he was still ‘short one birth!’ John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Saul of Tarsus, an equally great Pharisee as was Nicodemus, came to realize this most clearly. For with only the one natural birth, he was a tormentor of the true believers. But upon his new, spiritual birth, he became Paul the Apostle, and greatly benefitted the true church. Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
Remember that our Lord instructed us that John the Baptist was the greatest man “born of woman!” But the least little spiritually-birthed believer in the new kingdom is far greater then he! Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
And both of these births manifest themselves according to their nature. 1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Let us again consider that 1 John 2:22 verse: Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Pastor Gene Breed
June 10, 2022