Man of Perdition

2 Thess. 2:3 (NKJV) says: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.” The Greek word translated “sin,” is “hamartia” which also carries the meaning of “rebellion.” In fact the Living Bible translates it this way.

The second title of this man is “the son of perdition.” Perdition means “a state of final spiritual ruin; loss of the soul; damnation, the future state of the wicked.” It is no wonder that the New Testament also calls him the anti-Christ. Who is the man and what will he do?

A Man of Lawlessness

The NIV says that this man is a man of lawlessness. One very early Greek text does use a Greek work for “lawlessness” instead of harmatia.  Thus, this translation may be a very good one.

Thus, this man will rebel against the law of God and make himself the authority instead of God (Jehovah). Study the book of Daniel, especially the 11th chapter and you will realize the extent that he does this.

There are many that fit into this category that are living right now. However, this passage indicates a man that not only rebels against God, but leads a large portion of the population of the world who is also rebelling against God. This has not happened yet.

He Is Also Called The Son of Perdition

This title is given to him in verse 3. It is interesting that other translations use different terms. The Living Bible calls him “the Son of Hell.” And if you read in Daniel what he will do when he gains his full power, this is certainly a fitting title for him.

The NIV puts it a little differently. The NIV says that he is “the man doomed to destruction.” This meaning is certainly part of the meaning of “apoleia” which is the Greek word that is translated “perdition” in the original text.

This is why I often tell people that if they want to fully understand what the original text was saying, you need to study more than one translation. In fact, the Amplified Bible is a very good one to use.

When Will This Happen?

When will this man be revealed to the world? I believe that we so close to the Second Coming that this man is alive right now. However, I doubt that he is anyone that we would now identify as the anti-Christ.

Look at 2 Thess. 2:7-8 (NKJV): “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He (the Holy Spirit) who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”

Listen to what the passage is saying. There is lawlessness (rebellion against Almighty God) already going on in the world. But the Holy Spirit is holding back this lawlessness. In other words, what we see happening right now is nothing compared to what will happen when the Holy Spirit leaves this world.

When will the Holy Spirit leave this world? The Holy Spirit resides in born-again Christians. When the rapture takes place, and all the born-again Christians are removed from this world, the Holy Spirit has no place to reside. This means that the Holy Spirit is taken from the world at the rapture.

Two Very Important Facts

2 Thess. 2:3 tells us two very important details about when Jesus comes back for His Church.

First, there will be a great rebellion against God. Remember, this is not just about one community, one area or even one country. It is talking about a great rebellion against God. This means that it will be a rebellion that will be spread throughout the whole world.

Is This Happening Now?

It is, more so than anytime in the history of mankind. Radical Muslims are infiltrating countries all over the world. This group is a small percentage of the Muslim population, but they are the most vocal and have declared that they plan to dominate the whole world.

This group is definitely anti-Jehovah. This is proved in their crusade to completely destroy Israel and secondly to destroy the great Christian nation, the United States of America. If this is not a great rebellion against God, I don’t know what is.

The Second Fact

The second detail in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is that Jesus will not come again until “the man of perdition is revealed.” This is telling us that Jesus will not come again for His Church until after the anti-Christ is made known to the world. This does not mean that he will be recognized as the anti-Christ by the whole world. However, it does mean that the whole world will recognize that he is a great man of influence. He will also be recognized as someone who is against Israel and Christians.

It does not matter if he is ever called “The anti-Christ.” Born-again Christians will recognize him as such but may not refer to him as “The anti-Christ.” The rest of the world will certainly not label him as the anti-Christ. But, keep in mind what the Scripture says about him.

When Will This Happen?

The anti-Christ will come into power before the 7 year Tribulation Period. This must happen because Daniel 9:27 says that he will make a 7 year covenant with Israel. In order to do this, he must already have gained control over the government(s) that have been warring against Israel. We know that radical Muslin groups are doing this now. They just do not yet have a leader that is recognized by all the different governments.

This “man of lawlessness” will at first appear to be a man of peace. He will gain power in this way. Remember the first horseman (when the first seal was broken, Rev. 6:2) had a bow but no arrows. This means that he had power, but did not destroy anything. In other words, he brings peace, not war. It is not until the second seal is opened that war breaks out.

Will This Affect Us Here In America?

The Bible makes no reference to America. So will the anti-Christ have control over America? I tend to believe that he will not. There are definitely parts of the world over which he will have no control. In Daniel 11 we are told that there are armies that will come against him. Will America be a part of these armies going against him? I believe that if America re-dedicates itself back to God, we may be a part of that army.

However, keep in mind that anything that affects the Middle East will affect America. Will Born-Again Christians still be here on the earth when he comes to power? Probably, yes. However, remember, he will not be free to unleash his full wrath until after the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth and this will not happen until Born-Again Christians are taken from the earth.


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