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Wesley's Notes on the Bible
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2:1 Our gathering together to him - In the clouds.
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2:2 Be not shaken in mind - In judgment. Or terrified - As those easily are who are immoderately fond of knowing future things. Neither by any pretended revelation from the Spirit, nor by pretence of any word spoken by me.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2:3 Unless the falling away - From the pure faith of the gospel, come first. This began even in the apostolic age. But the man of sin, the son of perdition - Eminently so called, is not come yet. However, in many respects, the Pope has an indisputable claim to those titles. He is, in an emphatical sense, the man of sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled, the son of perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers, destroyed innumerable souls, and will himself perish everlastingly. He it is that opposeth himself to the emperor, once his rightful sovereign; and that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped - Commanding angels, and putting kings under his feet, both of whom are called gods in scripture; claiming the highest power, the highest honour; suffering himself, not once only, to be styled God or vice - god. Indeed no less is implied in his ordinary title, Most Holy Lord, or, Most Holy Father. So that he sitteth - Enthroned. In the temple of God - Mentioned Rev 11:1. Declaring himself that he is God - Claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2:6 And now ye know - By what I told you when I was with you. That which restraineth - The power of the Roman emperors. When this is taken away, the wicked one will be revealed. In his time - His appointed season, and not before.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2:7 He will surely be revealed; for the mystery - The deep, secret power of iniquity, just opposite to the power of godliness, already worketh. It began with the love of honour, and the desire of power; and is completed in the entire subversion of the gospel of Christ. This mystery of iniquity is not wholly confined to the Romish church, but extends itself to others also. It seems to consist of, Human inventions added to the written word. Mere outside performances put in the room of faith and love. Other mediators besides the man Christ Jesus. The two last branches, together with idolatry and bloodshed, are the direct consequences of the former; namely, the adding to the word of God. Already worketh - In the church. Only he that restraineth - That is, the potentate who successively has Rome in his power. The emperors, heathen or Christian; the kings, Goths or Lombards; the Carolingian or German emperors.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2:8 And then - When every prince and power that restrains is taken away. Will that wicked one - Emphatically so called, be revealed. Whom the Lord will soon consume with the spirit of his mouth - His immediate power. And destroy - With the very first appearance of his glory.
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2:10 Because they received not the love of the truth - Therefore God suffered them to fall into that strong delusion.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2:11 Therefore God shall send them - That is, judicially permit to come upon them, strong delusion.
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2:12 That they all may be condemned - That is, the consequence of which will be, that they all will be condemned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness - That is, who believed not the truth, because they loved sin.
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
2:13 God hath from the beginning - Of your hearing the gospel. Chosen you to salvation - Taken you out of the world, and placed you in the way to glory.
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2:14 To which - Faith and holiness. He hath called you by our gospel - That which we preached, accompanied with the power of his Spirit.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
2:15 Hold - Without adding to, or diminishing from, the traditions which ye have been taught - The truths which I have delivered to you. Whether by word or by our epistle - He preached before he wrote. And he had written concerning this in his former epistle.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.