Sunday, July 17, 2011

►Man of Lawlessness

The epochal event that marks end the Times of the Kingdom is the coming of the Man of Lawlessness. Paul describes this man in his second letter to the Thessalonians. They had been unsettled by prophecies and false rumours that the second coming had already occurred. People explains that Jesus will not come again until after "the rebellion".

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction (2 Thes 2:3).
An evil man will lead a rebellion against God’s law at the end of the age. This man is called the Man of Lawlessness . He will be destroyed at the Second Coming.

As his name suggests, this man leads a rebellion against God’s law. (A few Greek manuscripts call him Man of Sin in verse 3, but not in verses 8 and 9. Lawlessness is at the heart of what he does so it is an appropriate name.) He will claim that local judges applying God’s law are not producing justice. He will advocate the restoration of human government to bring “proper” justice. Those who feel aggrieved by the decision of godly judges will join him in agitating for change.

Paul explains that this man has not yet come, but is held back until the proper time.
You know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way (2 Thes 2:6-7).
The Holy Spirit is the one who holds back the power of lawlessness. This power was at work through the Roman Empire in Paul’s time. When the Times of the Gentiles are complete, the Holy Spirit will completely restrain this power of lawlessness. At the end of the age, the Holy Spirit will release his restraint on evil, and the Man of Lawlessness will emerge.

When he first emerges the Man of Lawlessness will appear to be wise and good, but his true nature will soon be revealed.
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing (2 Thes 2:9,10).
These miracles, signs and wonders, might be worked using demonic powers. It is more likely they refer to an attempt to improve society using the powers of human government. He will promise to make the world a better place using political powers.

Lawlessness is not the absence of law. Lawlessness is rejecting God’s law and replacing it with human laws. The Man of Lawlessness will teach his followers that the world has changed and that God’s law is not sufficiently sophisticated to be a basis for justice in a modern world. He will advocate a return to democracy as a superior form of government. People who feel maligned by God’s justice will join him in his efforts to establish new laws using democratic processes.

Some people who appear to be living righteous lives will begin delighting in unrighteousness, but this will make them vulnerable to deception (2 Thes 2:12).
They refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie (2 Thes 2:10-11).
These people stop trusting in Jesus salvation and will begin to believe the lie of political power. This lie was discredited during the Time of Distress, but the passing of time allows it to take hold again. The Man of Lawlessness will stir up this discontent to instigate a rebellion against God’s law.

The Man of Lawlessness should not be called the Antichrist. He is a political leader, whereas anyone who denies Jesus divinity is called antichrist (1 John 2:22). The Man of Lawlessness must not be confused with the Beast of Revelation. The Beast is a national empire, whereas the Man of Lawlessness is a political leader. They operate in different seasons. The Beast rises to power during the Time of Distress, whereas the Man of Lawlessness is closely linked with the second coming of Jesus.

The lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming (2 Thes 2:8).
Jesus will overthrow the Man of Lawlessness on the day of his second coming.
This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels (2 Thes 1:7).

1 comment:

Gene said...

This whole series has been soooooo good. I appreciate the work you put into it. I value all I have read.