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When we read in the opening line of verse 3, “Let no one in any way deceive you,” we want to observe how a notable deception had just been described in verses 1 and 2. The thematic companion to verses 1 and 2 is easily seen to have deception as it's primary theme, too. In a reading of the passage as it is normally read, straight through in sequence, we must connect what's in verses 9-12 with the event of the revealing of the man of lawlessness. That's entirely valid, of course, and we should understand how this signal event we've identified as a fraudulent messianic baptism will be attended by terasin pseudous, which the Interlinear renders as “wonders of falsehood.” Yet, with the benefit of having discovered the Author's link to verses 1 and 2, we should perceive how the nature of the deception described in verses 9-12, which is so evidently supernatural, applies to the disturbing lie about the gathering to the Lord being past that is the subject of Paul's entreaty. One side of the thematic equation sheds light on the other.
What is being conveyed by the divine link is how the same kind of deceiving supernatural dynamic that is associated with the baptism is also at work in the message that threatens to quickly shake the composure of the saints.
Here's the first component, with the more granular structure indicated by highlighting one set of paired elements. The pairing of the second line of verse 1 with the second line of verse 2 speaks to how the entreaty is primarily for those who live in the day of the Lord, during the season of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that this is when the threat will come.
Here's the matching component, which shares the same pattern of simple alternation.
This insight into the connection between the massive deception that attends the revealing and the threatening report that precedes it is actually a very big deal. If it weren't, it wouldn't be concealed in a code that has to be broken to expose the link, and which has possibly been hidden until now. What it means is that the baptism has a prelude that is equally cloaked. It reveals something of the composite character of the threat.
The impression many saints have is that they are already equipped to identify the lawless one as an impostor when he's revealed. Many, of course, are convinced they will be raptured to make their escape before he can be revealed, so, already subject to delusion, they will be completely unable to resist accepting his false claims. Many have certain elements of the scenario in mind; a short list of potential candidates, some kind of UFO/alien presence and disclosure, a Petrus Romanus to lend it the Vatican's authority, yet, that's not going to suffice. They will fall prey because the Lord has assured it by appointing massive deception for the segue into the revealing. An opening salvo is appointed that will lay waste to their faith in one quick offensive like a spiritual Blitzkrieg. Their front line of hope will be obliterated. They will be found to have no more defense than the rest of the global population against this supernatural onslaught. Then the lawless one will be revealed!
I know who won't be deceived, and I know why. And, I'm going to tell you, but I also know that most of you still won't believe it, until it's too late. We think, never, no way, not us, but so it will be, for most!
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And, there's still more to follow, which will be posted soon, Lord willing.