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Hold fast the Good:
1 THESSALONIANS, V.
80 may God Keep you ucholly. beneath "tongues," which seemed more miraculous: 1 but not like the believer with a spiritual (spirittherefore declared by Paul to be a greater gift than endued) body like Christ's (Romans, 8. 11). blameless tongues, though the latter were more showy (1 Corin unto-rather as Greek, "blamelessly (so as to be in a thians, 14. 5). 21. 22. Some of the oldest MSS. insert blameless state) at the coming of Christ." In Hebrero. * But." You onght indeed not to "quench" the mani "peace" and "wholly (perfect in every respect) are kidfestations of "the Spirit," nor" despise prophesyings;" dred terms: so that the prayer shows what the title "but." at the same time, do not take "all" as genuine “God of peace" implies. BENGEL takes a wholly as which professes to be so: * prove (test) all" such mani-collectively, all the Thessalonians without exception. festations. The means of testing them existed in the so that no one should fail. And "wbole" (entire). church, in those who had the "discerning of spirits" | individually, each one of them entire, with "spirit, (1 Corinthians, 12. 10; 14. 29; 1 John, 4. 1). Another | soul, and body." The mention of the preservation of sure test, which we also have, is, to try the professed the body accords with the subject (ch, 4. 18). TREXCH revelation whether it accords with Scripture, as the better regards "wholly" as meaning "Having pernoble Bereans did (Isaiab, 8. 20; Acts, 17, 11; Galatians, fectly attained the moral end." viz., to be a full grown 1. 8, 9). This precept negatives the Romish priest's man in Christ. "Whole." complete, with Do Tace assumption of infallibly laying down the law, without which ought to be in a Christian wanting. 24. Faithful the Jaity having the right, in the exercise of private-to His covenant promises (John, 10. 27-29; 1 Corinjudgment, to test it by Scripture. Locke says, Those thians, 1. 9; 10. 23; Philippians, 1. 6). he that calleth who are for laying aside reason in matters of revela you - God, the caller of His people, will cause His tion, resemble one who should put out his eyes in calling not to fall short of its designed end do itorder to use a telescope, hold fast that which is good preserve and present you blameless at the coming of Join this clause with the next clause (r. 22), not merely Christ (v. 23; Romans, 8. 30; 1 Peter, 6. 10. You must with the sentence preceding. As the result of your not look at the foes before and behind, on the right "proving all things," and especially all prophesyings, hand and on the left, but to God's faithfulness to His ** hold fast (Luke, 8. 16: 1 Corinthians, 11. 2: Hebrews, I promises, God's zeal for His honour, and God's love 2. 1) the good, and hold yourselves aloof from every for those whom He calleth. 24. Some oldest MSS. appearance of evil" ("every evil species." (BENGEL & read, “Pray ye also for (lit.. concerning) us: make WAHL.)). Do not accept even a professedly spirit-in- us and our work the subject of your prayers, even as spired communication, if it be at variance with the we have been just praying for you (e. 23). Others truth taught you (2 Thessalonians, 2. 2). TITTMANN omit the "also." The clergy need much the prayers of
norte English Vereinn" from every evil appear. I their flocks. Paul makes the same regnest in the ance" or "semblance." The context, however, does epistles to Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, not refer to evil appearances IN OURSELVES which we Philemon, and 2 Corinthians : not so in the epistles to ought to abstain from, but to holding ourselves aloof | Timothy and Titus, whose intercessions, as his spiri from every evil appearance IN OTHERS: as for instance, tual sons, he was already sure of; por in the epistles in the pretenders to spirit-inspired prophesyings. In to 1 Corinthians and Galatians, as these epistles abound many cases the Christian should not abstain from what in rebuke. 26. Hence it appears this epistle was first has the semblance ("appearance") of evil, though really handed to the elders, who communicated it to the good. Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and ate with pub brethren." boly kiss-pure and chaste. "A kiss of licans and sinners, acts which wore the appearance of charity” (1 Peter, 6. 14). A token of Christian fellowship evil, but which were not to be abstained from on that in those days (cf. Luke, 7. 45; Acts, 20. 37). as it is a account, being really good. I agree with TITTMANN common mode of salutation in many countries. The rather than with BENGEL, whom ALFORD follows. The custom hence arose in the early church of passing the context favours this sense : However specious be the I kiss through the congregation at the holy communion form or outward appearance of such would-be pro- JUSTIN MARTYR, Apology. 1. 65; Apostolic Constit phets and their prophesyings, hold yourselves aloof tions, 2. 67), the men kissing the men, and the women from every such form when it is evil, lit., "Hold the women, in the Lord. So in the Syrian church each yourselves aloof from every evil appearance" or takes his neighbour's right hand, and gives the salo**form." 23. the very God-rather as the Greek, "the
tation, “ Peace." 27. I charge-Greek, "I adjure you." God of peace Himself who can do for you by His own read unto all-vz., publicly in the congregation at a power what I cannot do by all my monitions, nor you
particular time. The Greck aorist implies a single act by all your efforts (Romans, 16. 20; Hebrews, 13. 20), done at & particular time. The earnestness of his ad. viz., keep you from all evil, and give you all that is | juration implies how solemnly-important he felt this good. sanctify you-for holiness is the necessary con- divinely-inspired message to be. Also, as this was the dition of " peace" (Philippians, 4. 6-0). wholly-Greek, | FIRST of the epistles of the New Testament, he makes (so that you should be) “perfect in every respect." this the occasion of a solemn charge, that so its being [TITTMANN.) and -- i.e., "and so (omit I pray God; publicly read should be a sample of what should be not in the Greek) may your...spirit and soul and body | done in the case of the others, just as the Pentateuc be preserved," &c. whole- A different Greek word from and the Prophets were publicly read under the CM ** wholly." Translate. "Entire :" with none of the in- | Testament, and are still read in the synagogue. CI tize tegral parts wanting. [TITTMANN.] It refers to man same injunction as to the public reading of the Apoor in his normal integrity, as originally designed: an ideal lypse, the LAST of the New Testament canoo (Revel which shall be attained by the glorified believer. Aution, 1. 3). The "all" includes women and children. three, spirit, soul, and body, each in its due place, and especially those who could not read it themselves constitute map entire." The "spirit" links man with (Deuteronomy, 31. 12; Joshua, 8. 33-35). What Paul the higher intelligences of heaven, and is that highest commands with an adjuration, Rome forbids under part of man which is receptive of the quickening Holy curse. (BENGEL.] Though these epistles had difficul Spirit (1 Corinthians, 16. 47). In the unspiritual, the ties, the laity were all to hear them read 1 Peter, 4. 11: spirit is so sunk under the lower animal soul (which 2 Peter, 3. 10: even the very young. 2 Timothy. I. $: it ought to keep under), that such are termed 3. 15). "Holy" is omitted before "brethren" in most "animal" (English Version, sensual, having merely the of the oldest MSS., though some of them support to body of organised matter, and the soul the immaterial | 28. (Note, 2 Corinthians, 13, 14.) Paul ends as he bexia animating essence), having not the Spirit (cf. 1 Corin- (ch. 1. 1), with "grace." The oldest MSS. cm thians, 2. 14; Notes, 16. 44, 46-48; John, 3. 6). The un- "Amen," which probably was the response of the believer shall rise with an animal (soul animated) body. I church after the public reading of the epistle.
2 THESSALONIANS, I.
The Subscription is a comparatively modern addi- names of Silas and Timothy (besides Paul), who did tion. The epistle was not, as it states, written from not join the apostle before he reached the latter city Athens, but from Corinth: for it is written in the (Acts, 18. 5).
elas cores Timothy beside
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE
INTRODUCTION. TTS GENUINENESS is attested by Polycarp (Epistola ad Philippenses, sec. 11), who alludes to ch. 3. 15. Justin Martyr, I Dialogue with Tryphonen (p. 192. 39), alludes to ch, 2. 3. Irenæus (3. ch. 7., sec. 9) quotes ch. 28. Clement of Alexandria quotes ch. 3.2, as Paul's words (Stromata L. 5., P. 554; Padagopus 1, 17). Tertullian (de Resurrectione Carnis, ch. 91) quotes ch. 2. 1, 2, as part of Paul's epistle.
DESIGN.-The accounts from Thessalonica, after the sending of the first epistle, represented the faith and love of the Christians there as on the increase; and their constancy amidst persecutions unshaken. One error of doctrine, however, resulting in practical evil, had sprung up among them. The apostle's description of Christ's gudden second coming (1 Thessalonians, 4, 13, &c., and 5. 9), and the possibility of its being at any time, led them to believe it was actually at hand. Some professed to know by " the Spirit (ch. 2. 9) that it was so; and others alleged that Paul had said so when with them. A letter, too, purporting to be from the apostle to that effect, seems to have been circulated among them. (That cb. 2 2 refer to such a spurious letter, rather than to St. Paul's first epistle, appears likely from tbe statement, ch. 3. 17, as to his autograph salutation being the mark whereby his genuine letters might be known.) Hence some neglected their daily business and threw themselves on the charity of others, as if their sole duty was to wait for the coming of the Lord. This error, therefore, needed rectifying, and forms a leading topic of the second epistle. He in it tells them (ch, 2.), that before the Lord sball come, there must first be a great apostasy, and the Man of Sin must be revealed; and that the Lord's sudden coming is no ground for neglecting daily business; that to do so would only bring scandal on the Church, and was contrary to his own practice among them (cb. 3. 7-9), and that the faithful must withdraw themselves from such disorderly professors (ch. 3. 6, 10-15). Thus, there are three divisions of the epistle: (1.) Ch.1.1.12, Commendations of the Thessalonians' faith, love, and patience, amidst persecutions. (2) Ch. 2. 1-17, The error as to the immediate coming of Christ corrected, and the previous rise and downfall of the Man of Sin foretold. (3.) Ch. 3. 1-16, Exhortations to orderly conduct in their whole walk, with prayers for them to the God of peace, followed by his autograph salutation and benediction.
DATE OF WRITING.-As the epistle is written in the joint Dames of Timothy and Silas, as well as his own, and as these were with him whilst at Corinth, and not with him for a long time subsequently to his having left that city (cf. Acts, 18. 18, with 19. 22; indeed, as to Silas, it is doubtful whether he was ever subsequently with Paul), it follows, the place of writing must have been Corinth, and the date, during the one"year and six months" of his stay there, Acts, 18 11 (mio., beginning with the autumn of A.D. 52, and ending with the spring of A.D. 54), say about six months after his first epistle, early in A. D. 53.
STYLE.-The style is not different from that of most of Paul's other writings, except in the prophetic portion of it (ch, 2 1-12), which is distinguished from them in subject matter. As is usual in his more solemn passages (for instance in the denunciatory and prophetic portions of his epistles, e.g., cf. Colossians, 2. 8, 16, with v. 3; 1 Corinthians, 15. 21-28, with
. 8, 8; Romans, 1. 18, with v. 8, 10), bis diction here is more lofts, abrupt, and elliptical. As the former epistle dwells mostly on the second Advent in its aspect of glory to the sleeping and the living saints (1 Thessalonians, 4. and 5.), so this epistle dwells mostly on it in its aspect of everlasting destruction to the wicked and him who shall be the final consumma. tion of wickedness, the Man of Sin. So far was Paul from labouring under an erroneous impression as to Christ's speedy coming, when he wrote his first epistle (wbich rationalists impute to himn), that he had distinctly told them, when he was with them, the same truths as to the apostasy being about first to arise, which he now insists upon in this second epistle (ch. 2. 5). Several points of coincidence occur between the two epistles, confirming the genuineness of the latter. Thus, cf. cb. 8. 2, with 1 Thessalonians, 2. 15, 16; again, ch. 2. 9, the Man of Sin "coming after the working of Satan,".with 1 Thessalonians, 2. 18; 3. 5, where Satan's incipient work as the hinderer of the gospel, and the templer, appears; again, mild warning is enjoined 1 Thessalonians, 3. 14; but, in this second epistle, when the evil had grown worse, stricter discipline (ch. &. 6, 14): "withdraw from the "company of such
Paul probably visited Thessalonien on his way to Asia subsequently (Acts, 20. 4), and took with him thence Aristarchus and Secundus, Thessalonians: the former became his “companion in travel," and shared with him his perils at Ephesus, also those of his shipwreck, and was bis " fellow-prisoners at Rome (Acts, 27. ; Colossians, 4. 10; Philemon, 34). Accord ing to tradition he became bishop of Apamea.
to make, to thank God for it. Thus, Paul and his fellom Ver. 1-12. ADDRESS AND SALUTATION: INTRODUC missionaries practise what they preach (1 ThessaloTIOX: TBANKSGIVING FOR THEIR GROWTH IN FAITH | niang, 6. 18). In 1 Thessalonians, 1.3, their thanksgiving AND LOVE, AND FOR THEIR PATIENCE IN PERSECU. was for the Thessalonian "faith, love, and patience;" TIONS, WHICH ARE A TOKEN FOR GOOD EVERLASTING here, for their exceeding growth in faith, and for their TO THEM, AND FOR PERDITION TO THEIR ADVERSA- charity abounding. meet-richt. "We are bound.** RIES AT CHRIST'S COMING: PRAYER FOR THEIR PER- expresses the duty of thanksgiving from its subjective FECTIOX. 1. in God Our Father-still more endearing | side as an inward conviction. "As it is meet," from than the address, 1 Thessalonians, 1.1, "in God THE the objective side as something answering to the state Fatber. 2. from God our Father-So some oldest MSS. I of circumstances. (ALFORD.) Observe the exact corread. Others omit" our." 3.We are bound-Greek," We respondence of the prayer (1 Thessalonians, 3. 12, “The owe it as a debt" (ch. 2, 13). They had prayed for the Lord make you to abound in love") and the answer, Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians, 3. 12) that they might * The love of every one of you all toward each other "increase and abound in love;" their prayer having aboundeth" (cf. 1 Thessalonians, 4. 10). 4. glory in you been heard, it is a small but a bounden return for them l -make our boast of you, lit.. "in your case." "Our
Thanksgiving for their Grorth
in Faith and Lore. selves implies that not merely did they hear others thought. 8. In faming fire-Greek, "In flame of fire;* speaking of the Thessalonians' faith, but they, the or, as other oldest MSS. read, in fire of flame. This missionaries themselves, boasted of it. C1. 1 Thes. flame of fire accompanied His manifestation in the salonians, 1. 8. wherein the apostle said, their faith was bush (Exodus, 3. 2); also His giving of the law at so well known in various places, that he and his fel- Sinai (Exodus, 19. 181; also it shall accompany His low-missionaries had no need to speak of it; but here revelation at His advent (Daniel, 7. 9, 10), symbolizing he says. so abounding is their love, combined with His own bright glory and His consuming vengeance faith and patience, that he and his fellow-missionaries against His foes (Hebrews, 10. 27; 12. 29; 2 Peter, 3. 7, 10). themselves, make it a matter of glorying in the various taking-lit.. " giving" them, as their portion, *vengechurches elsewhere he was now at Corinth in Achaia, ance." know not God-The Gentiles primarily (Psalm and boasted there of the faith of the Macedonian 79, 6; Galatians, 4. 8; 1 Thessalonians, 4. 5): pot of churches, 2 Corinthians, 10. 15-17; 8. 1, at the same time 1 course those involuntarily not knowing God, but those giving the glory to the Lord), not only looking forward roilfully not knowing Him, as Pharaoh, who might to glorying thereat at Christ's coming (1 Thessalonians, have known God if he would, but who boasted *I 2. 19), but doing so even now. patience-In 1 Thessa- know not the Lord” (Exodus, 5. 2); and as the heathen lonians. 1. 3." patience of hope." Here hope is tacitly persecutors who might have known God by the preachimplied as the ground of their patience; . 6, 7, state ing of those whom they persecuted. Secondarily, all the object of their hope, viz., the kingdom for which who “profess to know God but in works deny Him" they suffer. tribulations - lit., pressures. The Jews (Titus, 1, 16). obey not the gospel-Primarily the unwere the instigators of the populace and of the magi- believing Jews (Romans, 10, 3, 16). Secondarily, all who strates against Christians (Acts, 17.5, 8). which ye endure obey not the truth (Romans, 2. 8). Christ-Omitted by -Greek, " are now) enduring.” 5. Which-Your en- some of the oldest MSS., and retained by others. 9. during these tribulations is "a token of the righteous Who-Greck, "Persons roho," &c. destruction fruns the judgment of God," manifested in your being enabled presence of the Lord-driven far from His presence. to endure them, and in your adversaries thereby (ALFORD.) The sentence emanating from Hom in filling up the measure of their guilt. The judgment is person, sitting as Judge (BENGEL), and drivind theme even now begun, but its consummation will be at the far from Him (Matthew, 25. 41; Revelation, 6. 16: 12. Lord's coming, David Psalm 73. 1-14) and Jeremiah 14; cf. 1 Peter, 3. 12; Isaiah, 2. 10, 19). "The presence of (12. 1-4) were perplexed at the wicked prospering and the Lord" is the source whence the sentence goes the godly suffering. But Paul, by the light of the New forth; "the glory of His power" is the instrument Testament, makes this very fact a matter of consola- whereby the sentence is carried into execution. tion. It is a proos (so the Greek) of the future judg. (EDMUNDS.) But ALFORD better interprets the latter ment, which will set to rights the anomalies of the clause (see v. 10, driven "from the manifestation of present state, by rewarding the Dow suffering saint, and His power in the glorification of his saints." Cast by punishing the persecutor. And even now "the out from the presence of the Lord is the idea at the Judge of all the earth does right" (Genesis, 18. 25; for root of eternal death; the law of evil left to its unre the godly are in themselves sinful and need chastise- stricted working, without one counteracting influence ment to amend them. What they suffer unjustly at of the presence of God, who is the source of all licht the hands of cruel inen they suffer justly at the hands and holiness (Isaiah, 66. 24: Mark, 9. 44). 10. * Wben of God; and they have their evil things here that they He shall have come." glorified in his sainte-as the may escape condemnation with the world and have element and mirror In which His glory shall shine their good things hereafter (Luke, 16. 25; 1 Corinthians, I brightly (John, 17. 10). admired in all them that believe 11, 32). (EDMUNDS.) that ye may be counted worthy -Greek,"them that believed." Once they beliered. non -expressing the purpose of God's righteous judg. they see: they had taken His word on trust Now His ment" as regards you. for which-Greek, “in behalf word is made good and they need faith no longer. of which ye are also suffering" (cf. Acts, 5. 41; 9. 16; | With wonder all celestial intelligences (Ephesians, 3.10 Philippians, 1. 29). "Worthy" implies that, though shall see and admire the Redeemer on account of the men are justified by faith, they shall be judged "ac- excellencies which He has wrought in them, because cording to their works" (Revelation, 20. 12; cf. 1 Thes.&c. - Supply for the sense, among whom (viz., those salonians, 2. 12: 1 Peter. 1. 6, 7; Revelation, 20. 4). The who shall be found to have believed) you, too, shasil " also” implies the connection between the suffering be: "because our testimony unto (so the Greek for for the kingdom and being counted worthy of it. C. 'among') you was believed" (and was not rejected as Romans, 8. 17, 18. 6. Seeing (that) it is a righteous thing by those who obey not the gospel," v. 8). The early -This justifies the assertion above of there being a preaching of the gospel was not abstract discussions * righteous judgment" (v. 5), viz.," seeing that it is (lit.. but a testimony to facts and truths experimentally 'if at least,'' at all events it is") a righteous thing with known (Luke, 24, 48; Acts, 1. 8). Faith is defined by (i.e., in the estimation of) God" (which, as we all feel, Bp. PEARSOX as "an assent unto truths, credible upon it certainly is). Our own innate feeling of what is just the testimony of God, delivered unto us by the apostles in this confirms what is revealed. recompense-requite and prophets" (originally delivering their testimony in kind, viz., tribulation to them that trouble you orally, but now in their writings). "Glorified in His lafliction to those that afflict you); and to you who are saints" reminds us that holiness is glory in the bud: troubled, rest from trouble. 7. rest-governed by "to glory is holiness manifested. 11. Wherefore - Grer, recompense" v. 6). The Greek is lit. relaxation: “ With a view to which," vis,, His glorification in you loosening of the tension which had preceded; relaring as His saints. also-We not only auticipate the con of the strings of endurance now so tightly drawn. The ing glorification of our Lord in His saints, but we are Greek word for "rest." Matthew, 11. 28, is distinct, viz., pray concerning (so the Greek) YOU, our God-whom cessation from labour. Also, Hebrews, 4, 9, "A keep we serve. count yon worthy-The prominent positio ing of Sabbath." with us - viz., Paul, Silas, and of the "YOU" in the Greek makes it the emphatic Timothy, the writers, who are troubled like your I word of the sentence. May you be found among the selves, when at the time when, &c., not sooner, not saints whom God shall count worthy of their calls later. with his mighty angels-rather as the Greck, 1 (Ephesians, 4. 1)! There is no dignity in us inde " with the angels of His might," or "power," i.e. the dent of God's calling of us (2 Timothy, 1. 9). The ori angels who are the ministers by whom He makes Hising here is not merely the first actual call, but the might to be recognised (Matthew, 13. 41, 42). It is not whole of God's electing act, originating in His "pur their might, but His might, which is the prominent pose of grace given us in Christ before the world
Correction of their Error
2 THESSALONIANS, II. as to Christ's Immediate Coming. began," and having its consummation in glory. the genuine letters (ch. 3. 17). day of Cbrist-The oldest good pleasure of, &c.-on the part of God. (BENGEL.) | MSS. read, “day of the Lord." is at band-rather, "is faith-on your part. ALFORD refers the former clause, ) immediately imminent," lit.,"is present:" "is instantly "good pleasure," &c., also to man, arguing that the coming." Christ and His apostles always taught that Greek for goodness is never applied to God, and trans- the day of the Lord's coming is at hand; and it is not lates. "All (i.e., every possible) right purpose of good-likely that Paul would imply anything contrary here : ness." WARL, “All sweetness of goodness," i.e., im- what he denies is, that it is so immediately imminent, part in full to you all the refreshing delights of good instant, or present, as to jnstify the neglect of every ness. I think that, as in the previous and parallel day worldly duties. CHRYSOSTOM, and after him clause, "calling" refers to God's purpose; and as the | ALFORD, translates, "Is (already) present" (cf. Greek for "good pleasure" mostly is used of God, we 2 Timothy, 2. 18, a kindred error). But in 2 Timothy, ought to translate, "fulfil (His) every gracious purpose 3. 1, the same Greek verb is translated "come." WABL of goodness" (on your part), i.e., fully perfect in you supports this view. The Greek is usually used of actual all goodness according to His gracious purpose. Thus, presence; but is quite susceptible of the translation, "the grace of our God," 0. 12, corresponds to God's"is all but present." 3. by any means-Greek, “in any ** good pleasure" here, which confirms the English manner." Christ, in Matthew, 24. 4, gives the same Version, just as "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" warning in connexion with the same event. He had inis parallel to "work of faith," as Christ especially is dicated three ways (v. 2) in which they might be dethe object of faith. "The work of faith;" Greek, "(noceived (cl. other ways, v. 9, and Matthew, 24. 6, 24). a article : supply from the previous clause all) work of falling away-rather as the Greek, “the falling away." faith;" farth manifested by work, which is its per- or "apostasy," viz., the one of which "I told you before fected development (James, 1. 4; cf. Note, 1 Thes. I v. 5), "when I was yet with you," and of which the salonians, 1, 3). Worleing reality of faith. with power | Lord gave some intimation (Matthew, 24. 10-12; John, -Greek, "IN power," i.e., "powerfully fulfil in you" 5, 43). that man of sin be revealed - The Greek order (Colossians, 1. 11). 12. the name of our Lord Jesus- is, "And there have been revealed the man of sin." Our Lord Jesus in His manifested personality as the | As Christ was first in mystery, and afterwards revealed God-man. in you, and ye in him-reciprocal glorifica- 1 Timothy, 3. 16), so Antichrist (the term used 1 John, tion: cf. Isaiah, 28. 6. "The Lord of hosts shall be...a 2. 18; 4. 3) is first in mystery, and afterwards shall be crown of glory and...& diadem of beauty unto... His developed and revealed (. 7-9). As righteousness people," with leaiab, 62. 3. “Thou (Zion) shalt be a I found its embodiment in Christ, “the Lord our right crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal l eousness," so "sin" shall have its embodiment in the diadem, &c. John, 21. 19: Galatians, 1. 24; 1 Peter, | man of sin." The hindering power meanwhile restraing 4. 14). The believer's graces redound to Christ's glory, its manifestation: when that shall be removed, then and His glory, as their Head, reflects glory on them this manifestation shall take place. The articles, "the is the members. the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus l apostasy," and "the man of sin." may also refer to their Christ_There is but one Greek article to both, imply being well known as foretold by Daniel, 7. 8, 25, "the ing the inseparable oneness of God and the Lord Jesus. | little born speaking great words against the Most CHAPTER II.
High, and thinking to change times and laws;" and Ver. 1-17. CORRECTION OF THEIR ERROR AS TO | 11. 36. the wilful king who "shall exalt and magnify CARIST'S IMMEDIATE COMING. THE APOSTASY THAT himself above every God, and shall speak marvellons MUST PRECEDE IT. EXHORTATION TO STEDFASTNESS, things against the God of gods; neither shall be regard INTRODUCED WITH THANKSGIVING FOR THEIR any God." the son of perdition—a title applied besides ELECTION BY GOD. 1. Now-rather, “But:" marking to Judas (the traitor, John, 17. 12), and to none else. the transition from his prayers for them to entreaties Antichrist (the second "beast" coming up out of the to them. we beseech you or "entreat you." He uses earth) therefore shall at first be “like a lamb, whilst affectionate entreaty to win them over to the right he speaks as a dragon" (Revelation, 13. 11): "coming view, rather than stern reproof. by-rather," with | in peaceably and by flatteries," "working deceitfully." respect to:" as the Greck for "of" (2 Corinthians, 1. 8). but "his heart shall be against the holy covenant" our gathering together unto him--the consummating or (Daniel, 11, 21, 23, 28, 30). Seeds of "the falling away" final gathering together of the saints to Him at His soon appeared (1 Timothy, 4. 1-3), but the full developcorning, as announced, Matthew. 24. 31; 1 Thessalo- ment and concentration of these anti-Christian ele. nians, 4. 17. The Greek noun is nowhere else foundments in one person are still to appear. Contrast the except Hebrews, 10. 25, said of the assembling together King of Zion's coming as JESUS: (1.) Righteous or of believers for congregational worship. Our instinc just: (2.) having salvation : (3.) lowly: whereas Antitive fears of the judgment are dispelled by the thought christ is (1.) "The man of the embodiment of) sin;" of being gathered together UXTO HIM (“even as the (2.) the son of perdition; (3.) exalting himself above all hen gathereth her chickens under her wings"), which that is worshipped. He is the son of perdition, as conensures our safety. 2. 5000-on trifling grounds, with signing many to it, and finally doomed to it himself out due consideration. sbaken-lit., tossed as ships ) (Revelation, 17.8, 11). "He whose essence and inherittossed by an agitated sea. Cf. for the same image, I ance is perdition." (ALFORD.} As "the kingdom of Ephesians, 4. 14. in inind-rather as the Greek, "from heaven" is first brought before us in the abstract. your mind," i.e., from your mental stedfastness on the then in the concrete, the King, the Lord Jesus; so subject. troubled - This verb applies to emotional here, first we have (v. 7) "the mystery of iniquity,' agitation; as "shaken" to intellectual. by spirit-by a then "the iniquitous one" (v. 8). Doubtless "the person professing to have the spirit of prophecy (1 Co-l apostasy" of Romanism (the abstract) is one of the rintbians, 12. 8-10; 1 John, 4. 1-3). The Thessalonians greatest instances of the working of the mystery of had been warned (1 Thessalonians, 6. 20, 21) to "prove" | iniquity, and its blasphemous claims for the Pope such professed prophesyings, and to "hold fast (only) I (the concrete) are forerunners of the final concentrathat which is good." by word-of mouth (cf. v. 5.16): some tion of blasphemy in the man of sin, who shall not word or saying alleged to be that of St. Paul, orally merely, as the Pope, usurp God's honour as vicegerent communicated. If oral tradition was liable to such of God, but oppose God openly at last. 4, Daniel, 11. perversion in the apostolic age (cf. a similar instance, 36, 37, is here referred to. The words used there as to John. 21. 23), how much more in our age! by letter as | Antiochus Epiphanes, St. Paul implies, shall even be from us-purporting to be from us, whereas it is a more applicable to the man of sin, who is the New forgery. Hence he gives a test by which to know his Testament actual Antichrist, as Antiochus was the
The Apostasy and
Man of Sin. Old Testament typical Antichrist. The previous one person that shall form the full Antichrist, as the world-kingdoms had each one extraordinary person as union in one Person, Jesus, of all the types and pro
d and embodiment (thus Babylon | phecies constituted the full Christ. (OLSHAUSEN.) in had Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, 2. 38, end; Medo-Persia | the temple of God... that he is God-"He will reign a time. had Cyrus; Greece bad Alexander, and Antiochus times, and half a time" (Daniel, 7.25), ie, three and a Epiphanes, the forerunner of Antichrist : so the fourth half years, and will sit in the temple at Jerusalem: then and last world-kingdom, under which we now live, shall the Lord shall come from heaven and cast him into tbe have one final head, the concentrated embodiment of lake of fire, and shall bring to the saints the times of all the sin and lavless iniquity which have been in their reigning, the seventh day of hallowed rest, and Pagan and Papal Rome. Rome's final phase will pro- give to Abraham the promised inheritance." (IRENEUS bably be an unholy alliance between idolatrous super-adress Haereses, 30. 4.) showing himself-with bias stition and godless infidelity. Who opposeth and exalteth phemous and arrogant DISPLAY (cf. & type. Acts, 12. himself-There is but one Greek article to both parti- | 21-23). The earliest fathers unanimously looked ciples, implying that the reason why he opposeth him. personal Antichrist. Two objections exist to Romansell is in order that he may eralt himsel abore, &c. ism being regarded the Antichrist, though probably ALFORD takes the former clause absolutely. "He that Romanism will have its culmination in him: 1) So withstands CHRIST)," i.e, Antichrist (1 John, 2. 18). far is Romanism from opposing all that is called God, As at the conclusion of the Old Testament period, that adoration of gods and lords m Israel apostate allied itself with the heathen world- Mary and saints) is a leading feature in it; (2) the power against Jesus and His apostles Lake, 23. 12; Papacy has existed for more than twelve centuries, and and at Thessalonica, Acts. 17. 5-9). and was in right-yet Christ is not come, whereas the prophecy regards eous retribution panished by the instrumentality of the the final Antichrist as short-lived, and soon going world-power itself (Jerusalem being destroyed by to perdition through the coming of Christ (Revelation, Rome), Daniel, 9. 26, 27; so the degenerate church (be- 17. 8,11). Gregory the Great declared against tbe po tricome an "harlot"), allying itself with the godless world. arch of Constantinople, that whosoever should asuine power (the "beast of Revelation) against vital religion the title of "universal bishop" would be the forerunner (1.e., the harlot sitting on the beast), shall be judged of Antichrist." The Papacy fulalled this his unde by that world-power which shall be finally embodied signed prophecy. The Pope has been called by bis in Antichrist Zechariah, 13. 8. 9: 14. 2: Revelation, followers, “Our Lord God the Pope, and at his in17. 16, 17). In this early epistle, the apostate Jewish auguration in St. Peter's, seated in his chair upon the church as the harlot, and Pagan Rome as the beast, high altar, which is treated as his footstool, he has form tbe historical background on which Paul draws vividly foreshadowed him who exaiteth himself his prophetic sketch of the apostasy. In the pastoral , above all that is called God.** An objection fatal to epistles, which were later, this prophecy appears in interpreting the temple of God here as the church a co connexion with Gnosticism, which bad at that time in- rinthians, 3. 16, 17; 6. 19) is, the apostle would never fected the church. The hariot (the apostate church) is designate the apostate anti-Christian church "the first to be judged by the beast (the world-power) and its temple of God." It is likely that, as Messiah was re kings Revelation, 17. 16); and afterwards the beasts and vealed among the Jews at Jerusalem, 80 anti-Messiah their allies (with the personal Antichrist at their head, shall appear among them when restored to their own who seems to rise after the judgment on the harlot, land, and after they have rebuilt their temple at Jerior apostate church) shall be judged by the coming of salem. Thus Daniel, 11. 41, 46 (see my notes therel. Jesus Himself (Revelation, 19. 20). Anti-Christian corresponds," He shall enter the glorious land Judes). tendencies produce different Antichrists: these separate and he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces de Antichrists shall hereafter find their consummation in tween the seas in the glorious holy mountain and an individual exceeding them all in the intensity of his then (Daniel, 12. 1) " Michael, the great prince, shall evil character. (AUBERLEN.) But judgment soon stand up' to deliver God's people. CL. Note. Daniel. overtakes him. He is necessarily a child of death, im- 9. 26, 27. Also the king of Assyria, type of Antichrist mediately after his ascent as the beast out of the bottom- Isaiah, 14. 12-14). "Lucifer" (a title of Messiah, as less pit poing into perdition (Revelation, 17. 8. 11). sumed by Antichrist, Revelation, 22. 16): "I will exakt Idolatry of sell, spiritual pride, and rebellion against my throne above the stars of God." "I will sit upon God, are his characteristics; as Christ-worship. humi- the mount of the congregation the., God's place of lity, and dependence on God, characterize Christianity. meeting His people of old, the temple, in the sides on He not merely assumes Christ's character as the "false the north (Psalm 48. 2); I will be like the Most High Christs." Matthew, 94. 24), but "opposes" Christ. The Revelation, 11. 1, 2, "The temple of God.. the holy Greek implies one situated on an opposite side (cf.city" (viz., Jerusalem, Matthew. 4. 5), cf. Psalm 1 John, 2. 22; 2 John, 7). One who, on the destruction 18, 29, referring to a period since Christ's ascensica. of every religion, shall seek toestablish his own thrope, therefore not yet fulfilled (Isaiah, 2. 1-3; Ezekiel, ches and for God's kreat truth, "God is man," to substitute 40-44: Zechariah, 14. 16-20: Malachi, 3. 1). "In the his own lie. "Man is God." TRENCH) above all that temple of God," implies that it is an internal, not sa is called God-1 Corinthians, 8. 5.) The Pope (for in- external, enemy which shall assail the church. Antistance, Clement VL) has even cornmanded the angels christ shall, the first three and a half years of the preto admit into Paradise, without the alleged pains of phetical week, keep the covenant, then break it as purgatory, certain souls. But still this is only a fore usurp Divine honours in the midst of the week shadowing of the Antichrist, who will not, as the Pope, Some think Artichrist will be s Jew. At all events he act in God's name, but against God. or that is wor- will, "by flatteries," bring many, not only of the Genshipped-Rome here again gives & presage of Antichrist. tiles, but also of "the tribes of Israel (so the Greek for The Greek is Sebasma; and Sebastus is the Greek for "kindreds," Revelation, 11. 8, 9), to own him as their Augustus, who was worshipped as the secular ruler long-looked-for Messiah, in the same city where our and divine vicegerent. The Papacy has risen on the Lord was crucified." "Sitteth" here implies his ou overthrow of Cesar's power. Antichrist shall exaltcupying the place of power and majesty: in opposition himself above every object of worship, whether on earth to Him who "sitteth on the right hand of the majest as the Cosar, or in heaven as God. The various pre-lon high" (Hebrews, 1. 3), and who sball come to s ögurations of Antichrist, Mahomet, Rome, Napoleon, there where the usurper had sat (Matthew, s. 64%. and modern infidel secularism, contain only some, not Note, Daniel, 9. 27; Revelation, IL 2. 3. 9. Il CL all, his characteristics. It is the union of all in some ! Ezekiel, 28, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, as to Tyre, the type of