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“The Man Of Sin”

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SIH STSTA ICONOne of the most interesting, and controversial, of all the prophetic scriptures is Paul’s teaching on “the man of sin”. This title is used only once in the entire Bible and is presented by Paul as a topic of utmost importance to all Christians.

May we all approach this subject with a heart submitted to the Lord and the revealed truths of His Word. May we seek to shun all the interpretations and sensationalistic teaching on this subject that has been presented to us by the worldly religious kingdoms of this world.

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him,
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.
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;
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.
7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way.
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:
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.
11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
(2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

1 John 2:18-24
(18) Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
(19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
(20) But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
(21) I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
(22) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
(23) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
(24) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

1 John 4:2-4
(2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
(3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
(4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

2 John 1:6-8
(6) And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
(7) For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
(8) Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

11) And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12) And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14) And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15) And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16) And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17) And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18) Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.
(Revelation 13:11-18)

THE STUDY:

(2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

1) Now we beseech you, brethren,

Paul is coming before the people humbly, asking them to take his message very seriously, and then carefully apply it, due to its importance.

by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him,

The word “by” comes from a Greek word meaning “concerning” or “referring to”. What was this important message going to be referring to? I would be addressing the second coming of Jesus Christ and our gathering together to be with Him for an eternity.

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.

Why was Paul delivering this message to them? He wanted to give them assurance, Christ was coming again to take His people to be with Him for an eternity. Paul did not want the believers to be shaken in mind or spirit, or weakened in their faith about His coming.

Paul main concern was them be shaken in their faith by a false teacher claiming to have a vision (“by spirit”), a false teacher delivering an ungodly message (“by word”), or a misunderstanding of one of Paul’s letters (“by a letter from us”). Paul wanted them to rest assured “the day of Christ is at hand”.

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,

They were not to allow ANYONE mislead them to believe Christ is not coming again. As a matter of fact, they should expect to hear these false teachings, they WILL take place prior to His coming.

Christ will not come again until this apostasy take place. This apostasy will be fueled by the doctrine of false teachers who are actively opposing the truths of Christ. But the Christians were to not lose faith, at the second coming of Christ, those who teach these errors will be uncovered and shown clearly to be the enemy of Christ and receive His wrath upon them.

Falling from the truths of God takes place in every age and every place. They are like “birthpains” that increase in intensity and frequency, as time progresses (Matthew 24:5). In other words, these things will increase as we get closer to the return of Christ.

When the falling away from the truths of the Lord becomes evident, the man of sin that is leading them is revealed to the world. This takes place now, and at the massive falling away that takes place close to Christ’s coming. When Christians see others fall from the truth due to the influence of a false teacher, the Christian then recognizes that teacher as one that opposes Christ and is to be avoided.

“By their fruits ye shall know them”… if the fruits of a person’s ministry is rebellion against the truths of God (leading others to depart from the faith), the Christian can make a clear judgment that this man is a false teacher, one that holds the title “the man of sin”.

Note on the title: “Man of Sin”…
This title does not have to speak of an individual man, but can also be referring to many men who share the same characteristics or position.

For example, in the sentence “the President of the United States is a powerful man”. The title President of the United States can refer to our current president, or it can be referring to the office of President and anyone how has previously held that office. Another example of this is found in the sentence “the elephant is a big animal”. This sentence tells us any animal that is called an elephant is a big animal. Is is not just referring to one specific elephant.

A Biblical example of this same principle is the usage of the singular word “church” in Matthew 16:18 – “Upon this rock I will build my church…”. Although it is singular in number, the word “church” is referring to any assembly that can be classified as a church of the Lord. This verse is stating that any true “church” is built upon the “rock” (the truth of Jesus Christ). There are many churches that are built upon the truths of Christ… the singular word “church” includes each and every one of them.

The title “Man of Sin” is being used in exactly the same way to refer to all the false teachers of the world. They are given this title to describe the sinfulness of their ministries as they actively teach error in direct opposition to Christ and the true teachings, His Word. Paul is emphasizing to the believers the sinfulness of the false teachers and need to refrain from any part of their ministries.

As we continue with the Man of Sin’s description we will clearly see this identity of the man of sin being brought out more clearly….

the son of perdition; 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.

The man of sin is now described as:

1. “the son of perdition” – “the son of ruin or destruction”.

Those who lead men away from Christ rightfully hold this title for at least three reasons:
a. They cause ruin and destruction to come upon the lives of others
b. They are to be viewed by Christians as destructive as rightfully ignored.
c. They are headed for eternal judgment (ruin and destruction) as they face the wrath of Almighty God.

Please note only one other place in the Bible do we read of the son of perdition…

John 17:12 – refers to Judas Iscariot as “the son of perdition”. Within his life we find a clear display of the characteristics of a son of perdition…
a. He attempted to bring great harm to the Lord and His cause.
b. The intended consequences of his actions would be to condemn a world to die in their sins, by killing the One sent to save them.
c. Due to His exceeding wickedness, his life was cut short and he now faces a special place of eternal wrath (Acts 1:25).

2. “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped

False teachers, as they teach errors that oppose God’s word and leads men astray, are placing themselves in opposition to Christ and His ministry.

Although they may not verbally claim that are higher than God…. their teachings imply this. Through their false teachings (as they consistently oppose, deny and correct the Word), they are saying, “I have the truth, Christ is lying to you”, “I have more knowledge, understanding and wisdom than God”, “I know better than Jesus”.

This is clearly exalting themselves above the true God and any other false God whose teachings oppose theirs. With their voice they may say…. “I am a follower of Christ and a worshipper of Jehovah, the true God”, yet found in the content of their teachings a clear denial of Jesus as their Lord and Jehovah as their God.

3. “so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

False teachers whose teachings oppose the truths of God’s Word are clearly setting Himself up as the true all-knowing God. Through their ministry, as they declare their false teachings publically, they are taking the place of God, usurping His authority and taking His place as the Giver of truth. They may not claim to be God, although many do, but their actions and teachings clearly “shew” themselves to be God.

It is important to note the word translated “temple” (naos) and its usage in the NT scriptures. This word comes from the Greek word for “dwell” and is speaking of “a dwelling place”. It is translated by the words “temple” and “shrine”.

It is used to speak of:
1. the Jewish temple – (Matt 23:35, etc)
2. shrines built for the worship of idols (Acts 19:24)
3. the body of the saints – (1 Cor 3:16-17 etc)
4. the local church – (Eph 2:19-21)
5. the physical body of Christ – (John 2:21)

From these examples, it is important for us to realize that the term “temple” does not have to be limited to the Jewish place of worship. As a matter of fact, nowhere in Paul’s writings do we see him use this word to describe the Jewish place of worship. His writings limit the usage of “temple” to the body of the saints and the local assembly.

So when we read that the “man of sin”, the false teacher, is “he as God sitteth in the temple of God”.

Paul is telling us that this false teacher can be found teaching in the midst of the “temple”:
1. amidst the saints (in LOCAL CHURCHES where the worship of Jehovah can be corrupted by error)
2. amidst of the lost (in SHRINES reserved for the worship place of idols where false Gods are worshipped)
3. amidst the Jews (in the JEWISH TEMPLE where a denial of Jesus as the Messiah is clearly proclaimed).

In other words, false teachers, men of sin, can be found in any place where men gather to worship the true God and the gods of men.

5) Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

Paul had previously warned them about false teachers and, apparently, had felt the need to repeat this solemn warning to them.

6) And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

Paul now reminds those in the church at Thessalonica that the Lord is in control. There is no need to lose hope, nor question the existence of false teachers.

The Lord’s sovereign power actively withholds each individual false teacher from teaching error, until the time is right for the false teacher to be revealed to all. It is only then that the false teacher is allowed to minister, gain a following, bear fruits in opposition to Christ and be recognized by all Christians as a false teacher.

Christians should always use this truth to encourage their hearts. Every false minister is under God’s control and only allowed to minister as the Lord allows.

7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way.

The same spirit is at work in all the hearts of the false teachers. It is Satan and those under his control (demons) that are at work within the false teacher’s life.

This Satan and his work is described as the “Mystery of Iniquity”. This is because Satan’s workings are done secretly in the life of the false teacher. He empowers the false teachers secretly, the lost world does not recognize that the false teachers have Satanic enabling and authority. Lost men look at false teachers, readily accept them, and eagerly follow them.

These dark forces “doth already work”… they have been at work in the lives of false teachers from the beginning of time until Christ’s coming (Satan in Eden – Second coming).

The Lord will continue to “hold down” this demonic work of Satan in the lives of false teachers until Satan is taken out of the way at the second coming of Christ. It will be at this time that Satan will be defeated and the false religions and heretical teachers will be brought to an end.

Paul is explaining to the church at Thessalonica that the Lord will always restrain false teaching until He comes again. No matter what victories the false teachers seem to gain, no matter how many are led astray, the Lord is allowing it for a reason and will continue to control it until He comes again.

Paul now turns our attention to that great day when Satan is defeated, and those who teach error are brought into great defeat.

10) And then shall that Wicked be revealed,

At the second coming, the false teachers who have led others away from the truths of Christ (“that
Wicked”), will be seen for what they are… those who oppose Christ and misled all mankind and deserving of divine wrath.

whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

The defeat of the wicked will involve the Lord calling down His wrath upon him (pictured by the sharp two-edged sword in Revelation 19). This will take place at the second coming of Christ. The greatness and glory of the Lord will destroy the false religions of the world.

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.

“That wicked” the false teachers and religions of the world, are now described as

1. “whose coming is after the working of Satan” – The Mystery of Iniquity, Satan working in their heart
2. “with all power” – Their tools are Satanic abilities and talents.
3. “and signs” – the ability to perform great signs seeming to indicate divine origins.
4. “and lying wonders” – the ability to work miracles that lead men astray
5. “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish” – They are very misleading, they have many sinful acts and teachings that are effective in the lives of those that are headed for eternal ruin. These remain in their lost state, being misled, because they have never received the love of the truths of God.

11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The false teachers, that possessed a mental recognition of the truths of God, have willfully chosen to mislead the lost and benefit from their eternal destruction. These same false teachers have become deceived like their followers. This is because God has placed upon them overpowering errors that ensured their continued spiritual blindness, and caused them to believe the same lies they have propagated among the lost. These same false teachers approved and encouraged sinfulness to take place.

1 Timothy 4:1-2 – “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;…”

It is these that were turned over to their spiritual blindness to ensure their divine punishment. The Lord did this to ensure that those false teachers would face the same divine wrath as those they misled.

These are the same type of individuals described in Romans 1:20-32, only in their case, they spread their errors and attempt to selfishly profit from them…

(20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

(22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

(24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: (25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

(26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

(28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Other Biblical texts that speak of this “man of sin” include the following texts. Please notice in every text, this man of sin is not described as one individual, but is described as applying to many individuals who have existed throughout time…

1 John 2:18-24
(18) Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
(19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
(20) But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
(21) I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
(22) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
(23) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
(24) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

1 John 4:2-4
(2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
(3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
(4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

2 John 1:6-8
(6) And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
(7) For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
(8) Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

Revelation 13:11-18
11) And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12) And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14) And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15) And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16) And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17) And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18) Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all come to understand the destructive nature of the Satanic tool of false teaching. Not only does false teacher harm those who are misled by the teachers, but it also brings far greater judgment upon those who declare these errors to mankind.

May we all make certain that the teachings we accept only come from God’s Word. We do this by making sure any teaching we hear aligns itself with the Word of God.

Acts 17:11 – “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

And then, for those of us who teach God’s Word, may we NEVER, NEVER, present any teaching that we cannot prove is true using God’s Word. That leaves no room for speculation, addition or subtraction from any truth found in God’s Word.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 – “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com


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