'SON OF PERDITION,'
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 (the rebuilt Temple at Jerusalem), showing himself that he is God . . . For the
'MYSTERY OF INIQUITY'
doth already work (in Paul's day); only He (the Holy Spirit) who now letteth (restraineth R. V.) will let (restrain), until He be taken out of the way. And then shall
be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit (breath) of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness (manifestation R. V.) of His Coming. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth (Christ) that they might be saved." 2. Thess. 2:3-10.
In the American Standard Edition of the Bible the Antichrist is called the "MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS" or the "LAWLESS ONE." As such he is not the cause of Lawlessness, he is the result or fruit of it, for he will arise out of the seething cauldron of Lawlessness that is now becoming more pronounced and manifest in the world.
The name that the Apostle Paul gives the Antichrist--the "SON OF PERDITION," is not without significance. The name is used but twice in the Scriptures. It is first used by Christ of Judas (John 17:12), and then here of Antichrist. The Apostle also calls the Antichrist in this passage the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY." What does that mean? In 1. Tim. 3:16 Christ is spoken of as the "MYSTERY OF GODLINESS," that is, that He was God MANIFEST IN THE FLESH. How did He become "manifest in the flesh"? By being born of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. Thus it was that Jesus became the SON OF GOD. Luke 1:35. Now as iniquity is the opposite of godliness, then the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY" must be the opposite of the "MYSTERY OF GODLINESS." That is, if Christ is the "MYSTERY OF GODLINESS," Antichrist must be the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY," and as Christ was the "Son of God," then Antichrist must be the "SON OF PERDITION," that is, of SATAN. And as Christ was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, so Antichrist will be born of a woman (not necessarily a virgin) by Satan. This is no new view for it has been held by many of God's spiritually minded children since the days of the Apostle John, and
there is some warrant for it in the Scriptures. In Gen. 3:15, God said to the Serpent (Satan), "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between 'THY SEED' and 'HER SEED'." Now the Woman's SEED was CHRIST, then the Serpent's SEED must be ANTICHRIST. In John 8:44 Jesus said to the Jews--"Ye are of your father THE DEVIL . . When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of IT." In the Greek there is the definite article before "lie," and it should read "THE LIE," so when the Devil speaks of "THE LIE," he is speaking of his own (child), for he is a liar, and the FATHER OF "IT"--"THE LIE." And it is worthy of note that in the verse (vs. 11) that follows the passage we are considering that the Apostle says--"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie." Here again the definite article is found in the Greek, and it should read "The LIE," the "SON OF PERDITION," the ANTICHRIST.
But why was Judas called the "SON OF PERDITION"? Was he a child of Satan by some woman, or was he simply indwelt by Satan? Here we must let the Scriptures speak for themselves. In John 6:70-71 we read that Jesus said "Have not I chosen you Twelve, and one of you is a DEVIL? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon; for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the Twelve." In no other passage than this is the word "Devil" applied to anyone but to Satan himself. Here the word is "diabolus," the definite article is employed, and it should read--"and one of you is THE DEVIL." This would make Judas the Devil incarnate, or the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY," and explains why Jesus in John 17:12, calls him the "SON OF PERDITION."
This is the only place in the Scriptures where the word "diabolus" is applied to a human being, and it implies an incarnation.
While "Perdition" is a PLACE (Rev. 17:8, 11), it is also a "condition" into which men may fall (1. Tim. 6:9; Heb. 10:39), and while men who have committed the "Unpardonable Sin" are "sons of perdition," because they are destined to the place of the irrevocably lost, yet Judas and Antichrist are the "SONS OF PERDITION" in a special sense, for they are the SONS of the author of "Perdition"--THE DEVIL. That is they are not merely "obsessed" or controlled by the Devil, the Devil has incarnated himself in them, and for the time being, to all practical purposes, they are the very Devil himself.
The next question that arises is, "If Judas and the Antichrist are both called the 'SON OF PERDITION,' are they one and the same, or are there two 'Sons of Perdition'?" Here we must anticipate. Turning to Rev. 11:7, we read that the "Beast" that slays the "Two Witnesses" ascends out of the "Bottomless Pit" (ABYSS), and that "Beast" is the ANTICHRIST. Now how did he get into the "ABYSS"? Well, if there is only one "SON OF PERDITION," and Judas and Antichrist are one and the same, then he got in the ABYSS when Judas went to his "Own Place" (the ABYSS). Acts 1:25. Of no other person is it said anywhere in the Scriptures that he went "to his own place." Again in Rev. 17:8 it is said--"The 'Beast' that thou sawest was, and is not: and shall ascend out of the
[paragraph continues] 'Bottomless Pit' (Abyss), and go into PERDITION." As this "Beast" is the same that slays the "Two Witnesses" he is the ANTI-CHRIST. Now there are four things said of him. First, he "WAS." Second, he "IS NOT." Third, he shall "ASCEND OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT." Fourth, he shall "GO INTO PERDITION." From this we learn that in John's day the "Beast" "Was Not," but that he had been before on the earth, and was to come again, that he was to ASCEND FROM THE BOTTOMLESS PIT. This is positive proof that the ANTICHRIST has been on the earth before, and that when he comes in the future he will come from the "ABYSS."
The question then arises, when was "Antichrist" on the earth before? If Judas and Antichrist are one and the same the enigma is solved. When Judas was on the earth, he WAS; when Judas went to his "Own Place" he "WAS NOT"; when Judas comes back from the "Abyss" he will be--THE ANTICHRIST. The Author does not insist on this view of Judas and Antichrist being correct, but with open mind he accepts it, because it seems to be the only logical solution of both Judas and Antichrist being called the "SON OF PERDITION."