Showing posts with the label Lawlessness

The Apostasy

The Apostle Paul responded to false reports about the “ Day of the Lord ” by pointing to the expected apostasy and the “ Man of Lawlessness .” Jesus would not “ arrive ” to gather his saints until the “ Apostasy ” occurred and the “ Lawless One ” was revealed “ in the Sanctuary of God .” In doing so, he reiterated warnings found elsewhere in Scripture about the “ falling away ” and “ deceivers ” in the “ Last Days ,” including those made by Jesus in his ‘Olivet Discourse’.

Key Predicted Events

The New Testament warns the disciples of Jesus about several things that will characterize the period between his first and second comings, ones that will intensify as the end approaches. They include a great many deceivers that will infiltrate the church along with deception, apostasy, the rise of an especially significant deceiver just prior to the end, and Satan’s final assault on the church.

Two Missing Events

Two events must occur before the Day of the Lord comes, the Apostasy and the unveiling of the Man of Lawlessness .  The men who were spreading false rumors in Thessalonica about the immediate future were deceiving believers by raising false expectations about the imminence of the “ Day of the Lord ” and the “ arrival ” of Jesus when he will gather his saints. Paul warned the church not to be alarmed or deceived by such rumors, especially such reports that claimed (falsely) to be from him or his coworkers.

The Great Day

In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul refuted claims that the “ Day of the Lord ” was imminent if not already underway. Contrary to what some voices claim, that day will not come until the “ Apostasy ” occurs and the “ Man of Lawlessness ” is unveiled in the House of God. And when Jesus does “ arrive ” on that final day, he will gather his elect to himself and destroy this malevolent figure.

Forerunner of the Lawless One

The Little Horn in Daniel is the model for the Man of Lawlessness described by Paul to the Thessalonians . In his visions, Daniel sees a malevolent ruler called variously the “ Little Horn ,” the “ King of Fierce Countenance ,” the “ Contemptible One ,” and the “ King who does according to his will .” This figure is an arrogant ruler with a “ mouth speaking great things .” He profanes the Sanctuary, causes the cessation of the daily burnt offerings in the Jerusalem Temple, erects the “ Abomination that Desolates ,” and “ exalts himself against God .”

Lawless One Paralyzed

Jesus will deal with the “ Lawless One ” at his “ arrival ” or Parousia . In describing this, Paul employs language from Daniel’s vision of the “ little horn speaking great things ,” originally, an image representing the Seleucid ruler who attempted to destroy the Jewish faith and nation through deceit and persecution.

Lying Signs and Wonders

The “ day of the Lord ” will not commence until the “ Lawless One ” is “ revealed in the sanctuary of God .” His arrival coincides with the “ apostasy ,” and he will be characterized by his ability to deceive, especially with “ lying signs and wonders .” Satan himself will equip him to destroy as many saints as possible.

Until Revealed

Paul has explained why the “ day of the Lord ” has not commenced. Neither the “ apostasy ” nor the “ revelation of the man of lawlessness ” has occurred. Next, he describes the “ mystery of lawlessness ” that is setting the stage for the “ arrival ” of the “ Lawless One .” He will be unveiled when this  “ mystery of lawlessness ” completes its preparatory task.

Seated in the Sanctuary

Jesus will not “ arrive ” to gather his “ elect ” until two events occur: The “ Apostasy ” and the “ revelation of the Man of Lawlessness ,” and the two are inextricably linked. It is not just the presence of this dark figure but his unveiling in the Assembly that will signal the imminence of the “ Day of the Lord .” Not only will he cause many to abandon their allegiance to Jesus, but also his “ revealing ” will take place when he “ sits down ” in the “ Sanctuary of God .”

Mystery of Lawlessness

The “ Mystery of Lawlessness ” is active in the world, and especially so in the Body of Christ as it prepares hearts and minds for the “ arrival ” of the “ Man of Lawlessness ” and the “ Apostasy .” It will continue to do so until the appointed time when this “ Lawless One ” will “ come out of the midst ” and be unveiled in the “ Sanctuary of God .” Moreover, he then will employ “ lying signs and wonders ” to cause those who refuse the “ love of the truth ” to betray the Apostolic faith.

Son of Destruction

Many saints will apostatize when the Lawless One, the Son of Destruction, seats himself in the Sanctuary of God . As the Apostle Paul explained to the Thessalonians, the “ Day of the Lord ” would not arrive until the “ Apostasy ” occurred and the “ Man of Lawlessness ” was unveiled, the one who would seat himself “ in the Sanctuary of God .” Paul also labeled him the “ Son of Destruction ,” but is there any additional significance to this second designation?