Paul and Dispensationalism #5

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Today’s Scripture is part of a larger context (verses 1-15). Paul rarely writes about prophecy, so when he does, we had better take note. Verses 1 and 2 explain Paul’s purpose in writing it: “[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.”

Erroneous (false) teaching had distressed Thessalonica. Someone had forged a letter using Paul’s name! The Thessalonian believers were suffering immense persecution for their Christian testimony (see 2 Thessalonians 1:4-6)—actually, some had already been killed (1 Thessalonians 4:13)! Evidently, that forged letter taught the Thessalonians that they had missed the Rapture, and they were now experiencing the horrors of the Daniel’s 70th week, the seven-year Tribulation! (Sound familiar?) These poor Christians were like many poor Christians today—“shaken in mind” and “troubled.” It is not uncommon for “Christian” people to say today, “I refuse that Mark of the Beast! Look at this computer chip, this smartphone, this I.D. card! Oh Lord, help me resist the Antichrist!” Frankly, beloved, this is foolishness! Paul wrote today’s Scripture to correct such flawed theology.

Our Dispensation of Grace has—we have—nothing to do with Israel’s program. Nothing! Theologians may not see it (because they refuse), but today’s Scripture says our program is postponing Israel’s prophetic program. Paul’s words in this second chapter of 2 Thessalonians can save us from sensationalistic prophecy preaching. May we let the Holy Spirit use today’s Scripture to comfort and encourage our souls—the Body of Christ is appointed to heaven, not wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9)!

For more information about this, you can see our study, “Is prophecy being fulfilled in the Dispensation of Grace?

For more information about the King James Bible’s wording in 2 Thessalonians 2:2, you can see our study, “Should the King James’ term “Christ” actually be “Lord” in 2 Thessalonians 2:2?