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Showing posts with the label Lawlessness

The Little Horn

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The description of the Little Horn in Daniel fits the known history of the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, who waged war on the Jewish nation . The “ Little Horn ” is a key component of Daniel’s visions. It represents a king from one of the four Hellenic kingdoms that evolved from Alexander the Great’s short-lived empire. Passages in the Book of Daniel concerning this figure also provide Paul with the model for his “ Man of Lawlessness ” described in his second letter to the Thessalonians.

Predicted Final 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.

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.

Lawless One Destroyed

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.

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

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Jesus will not “ arrive ” to gather his “ elect ” until two events occur: The “ Apostasy ” and the “ REVELATION of the Man of Lawlessness ,” and they 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 faith in and allegiance to Jesus, but his “ revealing ” will take place when he “ sits down ” in the “ Sanctuary of God .”

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 explains to the Thessalonians, the “ Day of the Lord ” will not arrive until the “ Apostasy ” occurs and the “ Man of Lawlessness ” is unveiled, the one who will seat himself “ in the sanctuary of God .” Paul also labels him “ the Son of Destruction ,” but is there any additional significance to this second designation?

The Coming Apostasy

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In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul warns of the future Apostasy and connects it to the “ Man of Lawlessness .” The “ Day of the Lord ” will  NOT  come until the “ Apostasy ” occurs and that master deceiver is revealed, two events that are inextricably linked and must occur before the final day begins. In doing so, the Apostle reiterates warnings found elsewhere in Scripture about the “ falling away ” in the “ Last Days ,” including ones made by Jesus himself.

The Beast is Rising!

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The subject of the “Antichrist” raises many questions. Who is he? When will he appear? How will we recognize him? What is his “mark”? In popular culture and preaching, he is a global political leader who uses military and economic might to subjugate other nations and attack Israel in the Middle East. But if Satan is truly clever and cunning, why would he do the very things that so many unsuspecting believers and even nonbelievers expect?

Mystery of Lawlessness

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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.

Lawless One - Forerunner

T he Little Horn in Daniel is the model for the Man of Lawlessness described by Paul to the Thessalonians . I n 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 .”