Sunday, September 14, 2014
Man of Sin (2) – Part 24 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
When we were last together we began our study of the identity of the Man of Sin…who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God…II Thes. 2:4. Since this extensive study reveals historical documentation that proves the majority of John’s visions have been fulfilled, there is one empire that fulfills this prophecy – the Holy Roman Empire’s 1000-year reign as God on Earth.
In this prophecy, the Apostle Paul says that the Man of Sin…sits as God in the temple of God. Where is the temple that the Man of Sin sits as God? Once we define the word temple our understanding will be enlightened. The word temple in the original Greek language is vaos meaning: to dwell in the sacred place; Holy of Holies – where God dwells.
The Apostle Paul asked new believers…do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?…I Cor. 3:16. When Jesus Christ became the blood sacrifice for the sins of mankind, He offered men the opportunity to become the temple or dwelling place of God forever – but men must choose to allow God into his heart and become the place – where God dwells. There will never again be a temple made by the hands of men – bricks & mortar – where God will dwell. God does not regress.
During the 1000-year reign of the Holy Roman Empire the leadership taught the spiritually ignorant masses that the Pope was the temple of God, showing himself to be God – an act reserved for God alone in the Holy of Holies. The scriptures clearly reveal that a believer in Jesus Christ becomes the temple of God. But the false religious doctrine of the Holy Roman Empire taught that God resided in the Pope, so the people must come to him for atonement for their sins – thus he became the temple of God that Paul is talking about.
No wonder the thousand-year reign of the Holy Roman Empire was dubbed with the not so eloquent euphemism – Dark Ages. The populous truly was kept in the dark about the liberating truths of the Bible.
As we continue with the Apostle Paul’s prophecy regarding the Man of Sin (Thes. 2:1-12), he tells believers that the return of Jesus Christ…will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed…the son of perdition. The Christians in Paul’s day, as well as Paul himself, expected the Lord to return in their time, so he gave them two signs – prophecies – that must precede His return. We have already identified the Man of Sin. What does falling away mean?
Falling away means that believers will abandon the faith of their forefathers – apostasy. Paul in his prophecy inextricably linked together the Man of Sin with the Son of Perdition. Perdition means: ruin or loss; damnable; pernicious ways. While every era has apostasy including the 21st century, never in recorded history has there ever been a protracted falling away of the faith, than during the 1000-year reign of the Holy Roman Empire.
We must keep our study of Thessalonians chapter 2 in context, so that we will understand the meaning of Paul’s prophecy. In verse 1, Paul says…concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him… So the main subject of his explanation, the return of Jesus Christ and Day of Judgment, began in chapter 1 — so begin reading here.
This will help us understand what Paul meant in verse 6…and now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. This short statement by Paul creates three questions.
1. Who is restrained?
2. What is restraining?
3. Who will be revealed in his own time?
For the answers to these three questions, as revealed in chapter 2…stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question…