2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,

10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,

12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The apostle, having carried his readers directly to the climax toward which the forces of evil and of good are even now working, returns to indicate the hidden source of the Antichrist’s power, and to describe the way in which he will manifest it, and the effect upon men generally. Antichrist’s “parousia,” in strict accord with the meaning of the word, is the period of his supremacy, beginning with his revelation to the world. — Vine, page 123

working (v.9) = energy

of Satan (v.9) — The Antichrist won’t be working in his own power, but in that of Satan.

signs (v.9) = token, or indication

wonders (v.9) = something strange, exceptional, causing the beholder to marvel.

The same words (power, signs, and wonders) occur together concerning the works of the Lord Jesus (Acts 2:22), and the apostles (Romans 15:19; 2 Corinthians 12:12). “Power” declares its source to be supernatural; “sign” expresses its purpose and appeals to the understanding, “wonder” describes its effect upon the observer and appeals to the imagination. — Vine, page 123.

lying (v.9) — the miracles will be real miracles, but their purpose will be to deceive men into believing Antichrist is deity.

those how perish (v.10) = lit. “the perishing” in the present, continuous tense

the love of the truth (v.10) — “the word of the truth of the gospel” (Colossians 1:5). The perishing don’t simply fail to receive or understand the truth—they don’t desire to know it.

When Antichrist comes he will come with “all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” So when he claims to be Israel’s Christ, the unsaved will be deceived by him. After all, if even the elect can barely escape his deceit (Matthew 24:24), the unsaved don’t stand a chance.

Specially since Paul says this deceivableness is “in” the unsaved who perish. That means Satan will have an inside man in that day. He’ll have Antichrist working from without “with all power, and signs,” and from within the unsaved in their natural inclination to be deceived by him. — Kurth

for this reason (v.11) — because the aren’t interested in the truth—they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19)

When men persistently refuse to obey the truth they soon become incapable of perceiving it. It was because men refused to have God in their knowledge that He gave them up to a reprobate mind, i.e., a mind bound to lead them astray, inasmuch as it was no longer controlled by Him (Romans 1:28). But plainly more is intended than merely to say that God permits men to be deceived. The retributive justice of God is not arbitrary; sin and its punishments are related as cause and effect. … Inasmuch as God is the source of the laws under which men live, He is also the source of all the consequences to men of their violation of those laws. — Vine, page 124.


It won’t be God’s fault [that the perishing] didn’t receive the love of the truth, for if they didn’t receive it, that means it was offered to them. The “truth” is Christ (John 14:6), and they won’t receive Him for the same reason they didn’t receive Him when He was here, they love sin and know He’s against it (John 3:19-20). If they don’t receive the love of the Lord they will be “anathema,” or cursed (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:22). — Kurth


that they should believe (v.11) = lit. “unto the believing, i.e., with the foreseen and intended result that they should believe [the lie]. — Vine, page 124.

who did not believe the truth (v.12) — Because they refused to believe it; the negative used here expresses more than the fact that they did not believe the truth, what exposed them to this judgment was their refusal to believe it.

pleasure (v.11) = free and deliberate choice

The sin that involves men in this catastrophe is not intellectual, unwillingness to exercise the reasoning powers; it is moral, the love of evil. Distaste for the truth leads to its rejection; God in retributive justice sends a working of error to those who love error, this they gladly accept, yielding themselves to it and cooperating with it until they are overtaken by the climax in which the righteous judgment of God is expressed. — Vine, page 125.


[Keep in mind] our Lord’s words in John 5:43: “I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” This prediction will be tragically fulfilled at the rise of Antichrist.

Antichrist will not be immediately “consumed” and “destroyed.” For some years he will be permitted to deceive the world “with power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.”

Then, it should—but will not—dawn on the masses that the working of miraculous signs does not necessarily prove divine authorization! But this will not dawn on the masses because it was not their desire to know the truth, but to go on in their own willful way. This is why God will finally give them over the “the big lie.”

Note: the Apostle refers to “them that perish because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Consider thoughtfully those words. He puts the blame squarely on them. They were not deprived of faith so that they could not be saved. They rejected “the love of the truth that they might be saved.”

And it is “for this cause”—because of their rejection of the truth and the love behind it, and their desire for a lie, that “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Will God tell a lie? Certainly not, but He will give rebellious men up to a lie. Just as he gave the Gentile world up to the sin and darkness and superstition of idolatry millenniums ago (Romans 1:24, 26, 28) so, at the close of the dispensation of grace He will give the world up again by allowing Antichrist to appear with his “big lie.” — Stam, pages 132-133.

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