The understanding of Paul in 2 Thes 2:1ff is, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Yeshua, the Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter from us, as that the day of the Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come until there be a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
Paul was writing the letter before the judgment that would fall upon the land of Yudah in 70 AD, the “not one stone left upon another” judgment. There were those who erred, going about troubling believers at the time of Paul writing the letter, who were prematurely declaring the “the day of the Christ is at hand”. Paul stated that even if we (Paul and those with him) tell you now (at the time the letter was written) that “the day of the Christ is at hand”, do not be troubled, for their words are not according to truth. The falling away must occur first and the man of sin be revealed before “the day of the Christ can come and it be said that it is at hand. Neither of these two events had occurred at the time of Paul writing this letter. The falling away had not yet occurred. The man of sin had not yet been revealed by God. Paul did not know who the man of sin was at the time of the writing of this letter. The man of sin, the antichristos, was already alive, but God had not revealed him to believers, including Paul. The antichristos was (and is) the betrayer of the assembly to fulfill the purpose of God. Yeshua in His generation knew the betrayer from the beginning, when He picked Yuda (called Judas). Judas was called the son of perdition by Yeshua. He was the son of perdition as is the man of sin, Paul speaks. As is the man of sin is in our day and hour, the antichristos (the one who is against Christ, unlike all others).
Again the falling away had not yet occurred at the time of Paul’s writing of the letter. The true gospel was preached by Paul. And the true gospel is the Christ died for our sins according to all the writings of the prophets, He was buried and He rose again the third day according to every verse, line, and passage written in what we call the Old Testament. Paul as well as I, Daniel, open and allege that Yeshua of Nazareth is the Christ. All the scriptures testify of the Christ-this is undisputable and all who dispute this are barren of the Spirit of God. As it was in the time before the judgment that came upon Israel in 70 AD, so is it in our day and our, the sound doctrine of the true gospel is rejected, and by the word of the Lord, “the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so.” The falling away in Paul’s day and the man of sin being revealed occurred after the second letter to the Thessalonians was written.
Paul writes in Acts 20:29ff, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievious wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by a space of three years I ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears. And now brethren I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace (the gospel), which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of our Lord Jesus, it is more blessed to give than receive.”
Paul understood after his departing (his leaving them and ultimately his death) grievious wolves would enter in among the flock. And Paul left to be with the Lord before the judgment of 70AD (his head was cut off), and God would give strong delusion to believe a lie. But there was grace in the earth, and God had a people, the few who were saved, as He has in every generation, as He has in our day and hour.
The falling away has already occurred in our generation and the man of sin has been revealed in our day and hour. I say unto all who have ears that “the day of the Christ is at hand.” The Lord comes quickly and quickly means quickly. Let me say it as clearly as I can say it, the judgment of God is at hand. We will see it in this generation. These are the last days, and days means days. It is not longer years. No longer can it be said the Lord will come in the next few years. No longer can it be said with no understanding by the false prophets Jesus is coming soon, and they, the false prophets pile up riches by making merchandise of the things of God which are given freely to all by God. And while making merchandise of the free gifts of God they make merchandise of the souls of the flock.
Come Lord Yeshua! Maranatha!