What does 2 Thessalonians 2:9 mean?
ESV: The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
NIV: The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie,
NASB: that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and false signs and wonders,
CSB: The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders,
NLT: This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles.
KJV: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
NKJV: The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
Verse Commentary:
Before the coming of the day of the Lord—a time of wrath and judgment—certain events must take place. Among these are a worldwide moral and spiritual rebellion, and the appearance of a "man of lawlessness."

Paul points to Satan as the evil person who brings the man of lawlessness into power. Satan enables him to perform "false signs and wonders." One of the miracles is mentioned in Revelation 13:13 as that of making fire drop from heaven in public view. Another miracle is that of giving the power of speech to the idol he erects (Revelations 13:15), in honor of the first beast—another end-times figure, appearing in Revelation 13:1–8.

These so-called miracles are counterfeit according to 2 Thessalonians 1:9, but they are intended to dupe people into thinking the man of lawlessness is the Messiah. Jesus, the true Messiah, authenticated His claim to be the Promised One by performing genuine miracles. False miracles are distinguished first by the person who performs them (Matthew 7:16, 20; 1 John 4:2–6), since any person who opposes God cannot be granted God's power. True miracles also support God's Word and His truth. As the apostle John noted: "These [miracles recorded in the Gospel of John] are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ [the Messiah], the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31).
Verse Context:
Second Thessalonians 2:1–12 discusses the ''day of the Lord'' as an event from which Christians are exempt. Some Thessalonian believers were confused, thinking they had entered this time of hardship and judgment. Paul tells them to put such thinking aside, regardless of the source. He assures them the day of the Lord will not commence until a rebellion or apostasy occurs, followed by the emergence of the man of lawlessness. This figure will try to take on the role of God and deceive those who are lost and had rejected the truth. Empowered by Satan, the man of lawlessness will deceive unbelievers by performing signs and wonders. But at His coming, Jesus Christ will destroy the man of lawlessness.
Chapter Summary:
The Christians of Thessalonica have not missed out on the events described in Paul's prior letter. Despite what some teachers apparently thought, they were not experiencing the ''day of the Lord,'' a time of God's great wrath and judgment. As proof, Paul offers instruction on events which had yet to occur, prior to the coming of the day of the Lord. The first is a rebellion, or a ''falling away.'' The second is the emergence of a ''man of lawlessness'' who will demonstrate satanic power. This will correspond with God removing His restraint, in some way, leaving sin freer rein to enable His judgment.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 praised the Christians of Thessalonica for their spiritual growth and acts of love. This chapter seeks to correct a discouraging error present in that same church. Paul encourages these believers by stating that they have not missed out on the events described in his prior letter and have not entered into the judgment of the ''day of the Lord.'' Before that catastrophic time can begin, certain events must occur. These include a widespread spiritual apostasy and the rise of a satanically-empowered figure. Chapter 3 commends the value of a strong work ethic, both in a spiritual and a secular sense.
Book Summary:
Second Thessalonians follows Paul's earlier letter to the same group of Christian believers. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul had praised them for their faithfulness and given them reassurances about the day of the Lord. This included teachings on the rapture and a description of death as ''sleep'' from a Christian viewpoint. In this second letter, Paul corrects possible misunderstandings about those ideas. Among his teachings here are the importance of a good work ethic and God's impending judgment on sin, including judgment on those who persecute the Christian church. Paul also provides the Thessalonians with reassurances that they have not somehow missed out on Christ's return.
Accessed 7/17/2024 1:24:58 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com