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Wholly Illumined, No Dark Part

(This is part of the Bible study and article entitled Freedom In Christ.)


Luke 11:33-36 - The Bible declares that when He comes His body will finally be a perfected body of believers that is full of light, with no dark part in it, wholly illumined as when the lamp illumines you with its rays. Darkness in the Body will be removed by the angels (Math. 13:41).

33 "No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.

34 "The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. [See 1 Samuel 3:2, 4:15; Eli’s “dark” eyes]

35 "Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. [See the Bible study The Light Becoming Darkness.]

36 "If therefore your whole [3650 - “all, complete”] body is full of light [5460 – “composed of light, of a bright character”], with no dark part [4652 - “a division or share”] in it, it will be wholly [3650] illumined [5460], as when the lamp illumines [796 - “lightning, bright shining (see Daniel 12:3 below)”] you with its rays." [See the Bible study Oil And The Trimming Of Lamps; God’s Order.]

NASU


Matthew 3:7-12To cleanse His body of followers, Jesus is going to “clear His threshing floor” by removing “out of His kingdom” (Matthew 13:41) the parts of His body that are considered chaff (“all stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness” in Matthew 13:41), which means they will not repent, cutting them off from Himself (see the Bible study Cut Off). They are the faithless/unfaithful followers, the dark parts that must be removed so as to have His body of faithful followers filled with His light and glory at the end of this age (see the Bible study Cultivate Faithfulness).

The Greek for “clear” is diakatharizo (dee-ak-ath-ar-id'-zo) which means “to cleanse perfectly, to cleanse thoroughly.” This is the final perfecting of the body of Christ at the end of this age. The Lord will accomplish His cleansing/purging of His body through the fire of the last days. As with the three Hebrew children in Daniel who were cast into the fire for not bowing to an idolatrous image, they will come forth shining, having the dross of their fallen natures completely removed (Daniel 3). They were “delivered” in the fire by God because they “put their trust in Him” (Daniel 3:28). So will we (see Psalm 78:22).

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 "Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

10 "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down [1581]and thrown [906] into the fire.

11 "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

12 "His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear [1245 - KJV; “thoroughly purge”] His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

NASU


NT:1245 diakatharizo (dee-ak-ath-ar-id'-zo)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:1223 and NT:2511; to cleanse perfectly, i.e. (specially) winnow:

KJV - thoroughly purge.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to cleanse thoroughly (Luke 3:17)



Matthew 5:27-30Jesus gives us a teaching, using an extreme example, to show how serious it is to allow sin to continue within us. Having one part of our body that causes us to continue in sin cut off and thrown or cast away from us is better than having your whole body cast into hell. This applies to the corporate Body of Christ as well. Those “members” that continue in sin without any repentance, looking for the Lord’s “way of escape” will be cut off from the rest of the Body (see the Bible study Cut Off).

27 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY';

28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

29 "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw [906] it from you; for it is better for you to lose [622- “to lose fully, to destroy, to perish”] one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown [906] into hell.

30 "If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off [1581] and throw [906] it from you; for it is better for you to lose [622] one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into [565] hell.

NASU


NT:906 ballo (bal'-lo)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primary verb; to throw (in various applications, more or less violent or intense):

KJV - arise, cast (out), dung, lay, lie, pour, put (up), send, strike, throw (down), thrust. Compare NT:4496.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to throw -- either with force, or without force yet with a purpose, or even carelessly

1. with force and effort (Mark 14:65)

2. without force and effort; to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls (Matt. 27:35)

3. to move, give motion to, not with force yet with attention and for a purpose; eis ti, to put into,

insert (Mark 7:33)


NT:1581 ekkopto (ek-kop'-to)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:1537 and NT:2875; to exscind; figuratively, to frustrate:

KJV - cut down (off, out), hew down, hinder.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to cut out, cut off

a. properly: used of a tree (Matthew 3:10)

b. figuratively: teen aformeen, to cut off occasion (2 Cor. 11:12)


NT:565 aperchomai (ap-erkh'-om-ahee)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:575 and NT:2064; to go off (i.e. depart), aside (i.e. apart) or behind (i.e. follow), literally or figuratively:

KJV - come, depart, go (aside, away, back, out, ... ways), pass away, be past.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to go away (from a place), to depart

1. properly,

a. absolutely (Matthew 13:25)

b. with specification of the place into which, or of the person to whom or from whom one departs

Matthew 5:30 to follow his party, follow him as a leader (Mark 1:20)

2. tropically: of departing evils and sufferings (Mark 1:42)



Matthew 13:24-30In this parable Jesus taught that the wheat and the tares are allowed to grow together in the Body until the time of the harvest when the dark parts are removed. Harvest time is a time of separation. At the end of this age, Christians will separate themselves from the darkness or be separated from the Body of Christ and thrown into the fire. This is the final gathering of God’s people (see the Bible study The Third Day Gathering).

24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.

25 "But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.

26 "But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.

27 "The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'

28 "And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' The slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?'

29 "But he said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.

30 'Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up [see Matthew 13:42 below]; but gather the wheat into my barn."'"

NASU



Matthew 13:36-43Again Jesus teaches about the dark parts being removed from His kingdom at the end of this age. They are defined as all stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness (see 2 Thess. 2:1-8 below). They are removed from God’s kingdom at harvest time and are thrown into the furnace of fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (see Matthew 13:30 below). Depending upon the object, fire either purifies or destroys. Because the darkness has been removed, the Body will then be full of light, spotless and blameless, shining bright as the sun with the glory of God.

36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field."

37 And He said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,

38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;

39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.

40 "So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.

41 "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks [4625], and those who commit lawlessness [458 - see Math. 7:23 and 2 Thess. 2:1-8 below],

42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [See Matthew 24:51 for weeping and gnashing and the assigned place with the hypocrites.]

43 "Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN [see Daniel 12:3 below] in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

NASU


NT:4625 skandalon (skan'-dal-on) ("scandal")

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

probably from a derivative of NT:2578; a trap-stick (bent sapling), i.e. snare (figuratively, cause of displeasure or sin):

KJV - occasion to fall (of stumbling), offence, thing that offends, stumblingblock.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

a. properly, the movable stick or tricker ("trigger") of a trap, trap-stick; a trap, snare; any impediment

placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall (Romans 9:33)

b. metaphorically, any person or thing by which one is ("entrapped") drawn into error or sin

1. of persons (Matthew 13:41)

2. of things (Romans 14:13)


NT:458 anomia (an-om-ee'-ah)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:459; illegality, i.e. violation of law or (genitive case) wickedness:

KJV - iniquity, transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1. properly, the condition of one without law -- either because ignorant of it, or because violating it

2. contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness (Matthew 23:28)



Daniel 12:1-3In the above verses from Matthew, Jesus quotes verse three from this passage which also refers to the time of the end. Daniel was told that in the time of great distress at the end of the age, Michael will rise up and rescue all whose names are written in the book (of life). Those who have been given insight from the Lord will be used to enlighten others, leading them to righteousness. The Greek has the sense of not just giving insight, but of warning others. Their warnings are to wake up the Body of Christ so as to be ready for His return. The Bible says they will shine brightly, “like the stars forever and ever.” Amen.

1 "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued [“to save, to deliver, to preserve (1 Thess. 5:23- “preserved complete”)].

2 "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

3 "Those who have insight will shine brightly [2094] like the brightness [2096] of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

NASU


OT:2094 zahar (zaw-har')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to gleam; figuratively, to enlighten (by caution):

KJV - admonish, shine, teach, (give) warn (-ing).

Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon

to admonish, to warn, to teach, to shine, to send out light, to be light, to be shining

a) (Niphal) to be taught, to be admonished

b) (Hiphil)

1) to teach, to warn

2) to shine, to send out light (figurative)


OT:2096 zohar (zo'-har)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:2094; brilliancy:

KJV - brightness.

Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon

brightness, shining



Matthew 7:21-23By definition, to depart from Christ is to be removed from being near Him (see the Bible study The Door). These dark parts, or people in the Body who practice lawlessness, not doing the will of God, will be separated from Him. One of the definitions for lawlessness is “illegality”. While driving in the car one day, I heard a discussion on the radio regarding the issue of illegal aliens in America. The Lord revealed to me that there are also illegal aliens in His kingdom. Like these being discussed, they want the benefits of living under His government without adhering to the rules that govern it. They will be removed.

21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'

23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM [575 - “off, i.e. away (from something near), used of separation”] ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS [458 – see def. in Matthew 13:41 above].'

NASU



2 Thessalonians 2:1-8See the note below.

1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together [1997 - “a complete collection, a gathering together in one place”] to Him,

2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy [“defection from truth, a falling away, a revolt”] comes first, and the man of lawlessness [458- see Math. 13:41 above] is revealed, the son of destruction [684 – “ruin or loss, a destroying, a perishing”; see the Bible study The Son Of Perdition.],

4 who opposes [“lie opposite to, to oppose, an adversary”] and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?

6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.

7 For the mystery of lawlessness [458] is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.

8 Then that lawless [459 – “lawless, departing from the law, wicked”] one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay [see Luke 19:27] with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance [2015] of His coming;

NASU


NT:2015 epiphaneia (ep-if-an'-i-ah)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:2016; a manifestation, i.e. (specially) the advent of Christ (past or future):

KJV - appearing, brightness.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

an appearing, appearance (2 Tim. 1:10)

epiphaneia [NT:2015] - "epiphany," lit., "a shining forth," was used of the "appearance" of a god to men, and of an enemy to an army in the field, etc. In the NT it occurs of (a) the advent of the Savior when the Word became flesh, 2 Tim. 1:10; (b) the coming of the Lord Jesus into the air to the meeting with His saints, 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1,8; (c) the shining forth of the glory of the Lord Jesus "as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west," Matthew 24:27, immediately consequent on the unveiling, apokalupsis, of His Parousia in the air with His saints, 2 Thess. 2:8; Titus 2:13.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)


The “man of lawlessness/the son of destruction/that lawless one” will be revealed at the coming of Christ (see the Bible study The Son Of Perdition). I believe this is another reference to the dark parts in the Body of Christ. The ones who take their seat in the temple of God, which is within us, we are His temple (2 Cor. 6:16), are those who make themselves Lord through their choices. All followers of Christ have their moments of revolt, but this is referring to those whose hearts have become hard, again, through willful rebellion with no intent of turning back.

This passage also refers to the time of our being gathered together as one at the end of this age (see the Bible studies Joined Together and The Third Day Gathering). It’s the gathering together of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13:30 above. He will slay the lawless ones in His kingdom (Math. 13:41) with the breath of His mouth at the “appearance of His coming.” The Greek for “appearance” is epiphaneia [ep-if-an'-i-ah] from which we get our English word epiphany from. It’s defined as “a manifestation.” In the New Testament it occurs as the shining forth of the glory of the Lord; “For just as the lightning [“bright shining”] comes from the east and flashes [“to bring forth into the light, cause to shine, to become evident”] even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:27/NASU) The glory of the Lord will shine forth as the sun on His righteous ones. This is tied in with the shining forth of the righteous in Matthew 13:43 above.




(The following writing is from the above verses and is from the Freedom In Christ Article.)


The Bible declares that when Jesus returns, His Body will finally be a complete, perfected Body that is full of light, with no dark part in it. We will be wholly illumined, full of God’s glory, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays. This is the promised hope of our gaining God’s glory that those who the writer of Hebrews described as having great faith never received. We are told this occurred “so that apart from us they would not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:39-40). I believe that we will soon gain it together as one whole Body in Christ, full of His light (see the Bible study Joined Together).

In a discussion with His disciples regarding light and darkness, Jesus made the following statement;


"If therefore your whole [“complete”] body is full of light, with no dark part [“a division or share”] in it, it will be wholly [“completely”] illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays."

(Luke 11:36/NASU)


In order to gain God’s glory there will have to be the removal of all darkness from our midst. The intense trials of the final days of this age will accomplish this. It will be used to cleanse all remaining dark parts from within each one of us who are alive and remain at Christ’ return. We will either allow the fire of God to purify us, separating us from internal darkness, or it will separate us from Christ. Either way, as in the beginning of creation, God will once again separate the light from the darkness per our choice.

One day a large crowd came to Jesus and He taught them many things in parables. One of them was about tares being sown among wheat in a certain man’s field. He said that while his workers were sleeping his enemy came and sowed the undesirable plants that resemble wheat but are actually weeds. Once the wheat bore grain, the tares became obvious. When the workers asked whether or not they should gather them up the owner of the field said;


No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:24-30/NASU)


Again, harvest time is a time of separation. At the end of this age, we will separate ourselves from the darkness or be separated from the Body of Christ and thrown into the fire. This is the final gathering of God’s people (see the Bible study The Third Day Gathering). Up until this point, both the righteous and the wicked have been allowed by God to grow together in His church. That will soon change. Because the Lord is about to act, and is not willing that any should perish, especially among His own people, He is crying out, saying, “Come out and be separate” so as to be a people made ready for My return” (Rev. 18:4-5, 2 Cor. 6:17-18, Math. 25:6).

After leaving the crowds, Jesus’ disciples came to Him and asked for an explanation of the parable of the tares. His disciples do the same thing today. He said to them;


“The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”

(Matthew 13:36-43/NASU)


This parable is one more teaching of Jesus about the dark parts being removed from His kingdom at the end of this age. They are defined as “all stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness” that are removed from God’s kingdom at harvest time and thrown into the furnace of fire (see the Bible study Outer Darkness). It’s a place where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Because the darkness has been removed, the Body is now full of light, spotless and blameless, shining bright as the sun with the glory of God.

The Greek for stumbling blocks is skandalon (skan'-dal-on). It’s defined as “a trap-stick, or snare, any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall.” Metaphorically speaking, it’s “any person or thing by which one is drawn into error or sin (‘entrapped’).”

The Greek for lawlessness is anomia (an-om-ee'-ah) which means, “illegality, contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness.” Through these two definitions it becomes obvious that all those who reject God’s truth, and are used by the devil to lure others away from devotion to Christ through their error, and have chosen to not believe the truth revealed to them so as to be saved, will all be gathered up and thrown into the fiery furnace of God’s judgment in the final harvest. Due to their removal, the rest of the Body will now “shine forth as the sun.”

In the above verses from Matthew, Jesus quotes from Daniel which also refers to the time of the end. We read in chapter 12, verses 1-3;


“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued [“to save, to deliver, to preserve (see 1 Thess. 5:23; “preserved complete”)]. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly [“to gleam, to enlighten (by caution), to admonish, to warn”] like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:1-3/NASU)


It was revealed to Daniel that in the time of great tribulation at the end of the age, Michael will rise up and rescue all whose names are written in the book (of life). Those who have been given insight from the Lord will be used to enlighten others with the light they have received, leading them to righteousness. The Greek has the sense of not just giving insight, but of warning. Their word of warning will be used to awaken the church so as to make them ready for the Lord’s return. The Bible says these messengers filled with insight from God will shine brightly, “like the stars forever and ever.” Amen.


The Sons Of Lawlessness


Jesus said in Matthew 13 that those in His kingdom who commit lawlessness will be removed by the angels and thrown into the furnace of fire. Earlier, in chapter seven, He referred to these same people. He said;


“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM [“off, i.e. away (from something near), used of separation”] ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”

(Matthew 7:21-23/NASU)


By definition, to depart from Christ is to be removed from being near Him. These dark parts, or people in the Body who practice lawlessness, not doing the will of God, will be separated from Him.

One of the definitions for lawlessness is “illegality”. While driving in the car one day, I heard a discussion on the radio regarding the issue of illegal aliens in America. The Lord revealed to me that there are also illegal aliens in His kingdom. They also want the benefits of living under His government without adhering to the rules that govern it. They will be removed.

Many would say at this point that obviously these are not Christians since Jesus said He never knew them. Here’s something to think about. Paul said in his letter to Timothy; “If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us.” (2 Timothy 2:12/NASU) The NIV version says; “If we disown him, he will also disown us.”According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, to disown is “to refuse to acknowledge as one’s own; to repudiate [“to refuse to accept or have anything to do with”] any connection or identification with; to deny the validity or authority of.” The Cambridge English Dictionary defines disown as “to state that you no longer have any connection with someone that you used to be closely connected with.” From these definitions we can see that to disown someone is to reject them having once been close to them.

Unfortunately, when this occurs it’s usually a family member who is rejected due to a deep rooted conflict or argument. It’s as if the person who disowns never knew the one they were at one time very close too. They are treated as an outsider from the family. And so it is in the family of God per the inspired word of God. If we disown the Lord through our actions (Titus 1:16), He will disown us. It will be as if He never knew us. The spirit of denial is the spirit of antichrist that, if allowed to remain within the heart of someone who has received Christ, will cause them to be rejected and disowned by Him (1 John 2:22-24). Yes, He has promised to never leave us or forsake us, but we can choose to deny His power to change us and forsake Him. This is how serious it is as a Christian to deny the power of God (2 Timothy 3:5).

In Paul’s comforting of the church in Thessalonica regarding the coming of the Lord, he gave the following exhortation;


“Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together [“a complete collection, a gathering together in one place”] to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy [“defection from truth, a falling away, a revolt”]comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes [“lie opposite to, to oppose, an adversary”] and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless [“departing from the law, wicked”] 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.”

(2 Thessalonians 2:1-8/NASU)


Paul clearly states that the “man of lawlessness/the son of destruction/that lawless one” will be revealed at the coming of Christ. I believe this is another reference to the dark parts in the Body of Christ who have disowned their Lord. The ones who take their seat in the temple of God, which is now within us (2 Cor. 6:16), are those who make themselves Lord through their choices. Due to the fallen nature that resides within mankind, all followers of Christ will have their moments of revolt in the process of sanctification, but they will choose not to remain there (John 12:46) and will instead look and long for deliverance. This is referring to those whose hearts have become hard, again, through willful rebellion with no intent of turning back. Their self-exaltation without repentance will cost them their place in Christ.

This passage of Scripture also refers to the time of our being gathered together as one at the end of this age. It’s the gathering together of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13:30. He will slay the lawless ones in His kingdom with the breath of His mouth at the appearance of His coming.

The Greek for “appearance” is epiphaneia [ep-if-an'-i-ah] from which we get our English word epiphany. It’s defined as “a manifestation.” In the New Testament it occurs as the shining forth of the glory of the Lord. In His response to the disciples question about the signs of His coming and of the end of the age, Jesus said; “For just as the lightning [“bright shining”] comes from the east and flashes [“to bring forth into the light, cause to shine, to become evident”] even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:27/NASU) At His return, the glory of the Lord will shine forth as the sun on His righteous ones that have remained near, or in Him (see the Bible study The Door).




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