Friday, August 20, 2010
. . . the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:9--10)
Antichrist's great power will not be his own but will be in accord with the activity of Satan. Energeia (activity), the root of the English word "energy," describes power in action. It usually refers to God's power (e. g., Eph. 1:19; 3:7; Phil. 3:21; Col. 1:29; 2:12), but here it describes Satan's power. Antichrist's power and signs and false wonders will not only be deceptive tricks, like falsifying his own death and resurrection (Rev. 13:3, 12, 14; 17:8, 11), but also actual manifestations of Satan's supernatural power. Power (miracles; cf. Matt. 7:22; 11:20, 21, 23, etc.) refers to supernatural acts; signs point to the one who performs them; wonders describes the astonishing results. Antichrist's miracles will reveal his supernatural power and create wonder, shock, and astonishment. Pseudos (false) modifies all three terms; Antichrist's miracles, signs, and wonders are false not in the sense that they are fakery but that they lead to false conclusions about who he is. They will cause people to believe the lie that he is a divine being and worship him. John saw that Antichrist's deluded followers "worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?' " (Rev. 13:4; cf. (vv. 12--15). Antichrist will mislead the world with all the deception ... wickedness has at its disposal; he will muster all of evil's undiluted, unrestrained, seductive power to tempt the world to give him unprecedented influence over it.
Antichrist's malevolent, deceptive, deadly influence will extend to all those who perish. Only God's elect will not be taken in (Matt. 24:24). The unregenerate, being children of the arch-liar Satan (John 8:44), will inevitably fall for the lies of his emissary (cf. 1 Cor. 2:14; 2 Cor. 4:3--4). Through him, Satan will deceive the whole world (Rev. 12:9); all those who "[receive] the mark of the beast and those who [worship] his image" (Rev. 19:20; cf. 2 Cor. 4:4)...