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Author Topic: Man of Sin  (Read 344 times)

Daniel

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Man of Sin
« on: September 15, 2017, 08:04:46 AM »

I am new to the forum and I am hoping for a better understanding of the Man of Sin in 2 Thessalonians 2.
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FaithIsKey

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Re: Man of Sin
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2017, 06:07:42 PM »


I am new to the forum and I am hoping for a better understanding of the Man of Sin in 2 Thessalonians 2.


I doubt anyone knows, but there are two "time stamps" that indicate a first century fulfillment:

"Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction," -- 2Th 2:1-3 ESV

Paul and his audience were expecting an imminent return of Christ, but not before the rebellion. The rebellion of the Jews against the Romans was in full bloom by the time Cestius Gallus arrived with his armies in A.D. 66:

"But now Cestius, observing that the disturbances that were begun among the Jews afforded him a proper opportunity to attack them, took his whole army along with him, and put the Jews to flight, and pursued them to Jerusalem." [Flavius Josephus, "The Complete Works." Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1934, Book II.19.4, p.719]

Paul also indicated the man of sin was alive and being restrained at the time of his letter:

"Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way." -- 2Th 2:5-7 ESV


There was a good candidate for the man of sin in one Eleazar ben Ananias, the son of the (former?) high priest Ananias, and the leader of one of the three rival factions of Jews who were maneuvering for power. You may recollect that Ananias was the one who ordered Paul to be struck on the mouth (Acts 23:2). When Ananias was killed by one of the other two factions, Eleazar went rogue, as referenced here: 

"Hegesippus claims that it was this very same Eleazar (ben Ananias) who was "the originator" of the rebellion (Heg. 5:53). Eleazar then seized control of the temple and used it as his fortress (in violation of the Law) from that point forward [Wars 2.424 (2.17.5); Yos. 61; Heg. 2:10; 5:1]. A few days after this, the angelic armies were seen in the clouds over Palestine, signaling that the Son of Man had arrived to begin His judgment and wrath out-pouring (April-May AD 66).

"A few months later, Eleazar illegally stopped the daily sacrifices of all Gentiles (Aug AD 66). This was totally unprecedented and lawless in the extreme. Never (before) had Gentile sacrifices and offerings been refused. At the very time God was grafting the Gentiles into His Church, the Zealots were breaking off all religious ties with the Gentiles--quite a contrast!" [Edward E Stevens, "2014.03.30 Eleazar Blew the Horn AD 66." 2014, p.2]


If we assume the "restrainer" was Eleazar's father, then Eleazar becomes the "perfect" candidate for the man of sin.

Faith
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Daniel

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Re: Man of Sin
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2017, 09:56:53 PM »

I never heard that before.  I always heard he was the antichrist.
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FaithIsKey

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Re: Man of Sin
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2017, 10:03:03 PM »

I never heard that before.  I always heard he was the antichrist.

Daniel, none of that is written in stone. But it seems reasonable to interpret Paul's statement about the "restrainer" as someone alive at that time.

Faith
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Daniel

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Re: Man of Sin
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 10:09:31 PM »


[Edward E Stevens, "2014.03.30 Eleazar Blew the Horn AD 66." 2014, p.2]


Faith, I was about to give up on this but decided to try again. I searched for that title and found it:

http://lastdayspast.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Eleazar_Blew_Horn-Ed-Stevens.pdf

I looked up the references in the paper and found everything but could not find the ones for Hegesippus. I found fragments of him and thats it:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/hegesippus.html

Where did he get those quotes?

Daniel
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FaithIsKey

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Re: Man of Sin
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2017, 10:55:24 PM »


Where did he get those quotes?


Daniel, he was quoting a fourth-century work called Pseudo-Hegesippus, available here:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/hegesippus_00_eintro.htm

The first reference, Heg 5.53, is found at the bottom this page:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/hegesippus_05_book5.htm

And so forth. Eleazar is listed as Eleazarus in those books.

Faith
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Daniel

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Re: Man of Sin
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 08:41:22 AM »


Daniel, he was quoting a fourth-century work called Pseudo-Hegesippus, available here:
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/hegesippus_00_eintro.htm


I found what he is talking about but why would is he trusting this writer when everyone says the man of sin is the antichrist in Revelations?

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FaithIsKey

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Re: Man of Sin
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 07:01:07 PM »


I found what he is talking about but why would is he trusting this writer when everyone says the man of sin is the antichrist in Revelations?


Not everyone says the Man of Sin is the "Antichrist" of the Revelation, Daniel, nor is the word "Antichrist" even found in the Revelation. Those claims about the so-called "Antichrist" are all interpretations.

There is no doubt that Psuedo-Hegesippus is non-canonical; but neither is Josephus, nor even Irenaeus who provides futurists with the only reference for a late-date of the book of the Revelation. So, let's turn to the instructions of Christ found in the Scripture:

"But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses." -- Mat 18:16 ESV

In this case we have a multitude of witnesses, including a historical figure (Josephus), and a non-historical figure (Pseudo-Hegesippus). There is another historical figure, Yosippon, quoted by Ed Stevens, whom I know very little about, nor do I have access to his work, so I will use Mr. Stevens' references in my answer.


First, carefully examine this statement by Paul:

"Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day (of the Lord) will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction . . . For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming." -- 2Th 2:7-8 ESV

I interpret that to mean the lawlessness of the Man of Sin was being restrained by someone at the time Paul wrote the letter. The lawlessness was already in the works, but the rebellion had to begin before the restrainer would be removed and Man of Sin would be revealed. We need to find out "who" was restraining "who", prior to the rebellion.  The second "who" must also fall within these parameters:

"who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God." -- 2Th 2:4 ESV


Now to Josephus who wrote that there were some unsavory events in the city:

"I should not mistake if I said that the death of Ananus [the High Priest] was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city." [William Whiston, Wars of the Jews, "The Works of Flavius Josephus." David McKay, 1890, Book IV.5, 2Th 2:7, p.776]

"But on the next day the high priest was caught where he had concealed himself in an aqueduct; he was slain, together with Hezekiah his brother, by the robbers: hereupon the seditious besieged the towers, and kept them guarded, lest any one of the soldiers should escape. Now the overthrow of the places of strength, and the death of the high priest Ananias, so puffed up Manahem, that he became barbarously cruel; and as he thought he had no antagonist to dispute the management of affairs with him, he was no better than an insupportable tyrant; but Eleazar and his party, when words had passed between them, how it was not proper when they revolted from the Romans, out of the desire of liberty, to betray that liberty to any of their own people, and to bear a lord, who, though he should be guilty of no violence, was yet meaner than themselves; as also, that in case they were obliged to set some one over their public affairs, it was fitter they should give that privilege to any one rather than to him; they made an assault upon him in the temple; for he went up thither to worship in a pompous manner, and adorned with royal garments, and had his followers with him in their armor." [Flavius Josephus, "The Complete Works." Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1934, Book II.17.9,  p.714]

"At the same time Eleazar, the son of Ananias the high priest, a very bold youth, who was at that time governor (Captain, or "Sagan") of the temple, persuaded those that officiated in the Divine service to receive no gift or sacrifice for any foreigner (the daily sacrifice). And this was the true beginning of our war with the Romans; for they rejected the sacrifice of Caesar on this account; and when many of the high priests and principal men besought them not to omit the sacrifice, which it was customary for them to offer for their princes, they would not be prevailed upon. These relied much upon their multitude, for the most flourishing part of the innovators assisted them; but they had the chief regard to Eleazar, the governor of the temple." [Flavius Josephus, "The Complete Works." Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1934, Book II.17.2, pp.711-12]

Now to "Hegesippus" who expands on this part of Josephus' work:

"And so things having been despaired of Eleazarus the originator of the disturbance seeing nothing of a help to be left delivered this speech, which we as a mournful conclusion for finishing the work have not let pass in a rhetorical manner:"What are we to do, men descended from Abraham, a royal race, unconquerable by virtue of priestly favor? For not from the outcome of victory, which is frequently uncertain, but from the steadfastness of a way of life is character seen. From which it is permitted to conclude, because for the enemy to make us subject is fate, not to change your attitude of mind is the act of courage. Rightly therefore I have designated you unconquerable, if no fear of death has as yet conquered you. But not thus did father Abraham instruct you, who in his one son taught, his was not to be death but immortality, if he was sacrificed for his religion." [Pseudo-Hegesippus, "Hegesippus." Early Church Fathers, 370, Book V.53, 2Th 2:7, p.409]

"Eleazarus the son of the foremost of the priests a man of reckless boldness, persuaded that an offering or sacrifice of a foreigner should not be accepted, which was a trumpet call of war against the Romans and aroused everyone into an uproar. And so those who were most prominent seeing that this thing would be the cause of an abrupt withdrawal, stressed upon the people that not only war against Caesar would be invited but even the institution of religion would be violated and reverence for the temple would be diminished, the traditions of the fathers would be complained of and condemned, who from the offerings of foreigners decorated the temple, to which much more of wealth accrued from the contribution of nations and the gifts of separate and innumerable peoples, the sacred things of our ancestors would be forgotten, the sacred rites would be changed." [Pseudo-Hegesippus, "Hegesippus." Early Church Fathers, 370, Book II.10, 2Th 2:7, p.159]

And to Yosippon, according to Ed Stevens:

"As Yosippon indicates (Sefer Yosippon, Chapters 72, 75), Eleazar was the one who literally 'sat in the temple' controlling all the affairs of the temple, priesthood, and sacrifices, and used the Temple as his fortress during nearly the entire war, beginning in April AD 66, until just before Titus began the siege in AD 70 (about three and a half years). Eleazar took it upon himself to make changes in the Law and customs that had always been followed since the beginning of their nation. Thus, it appears that Eleazar may have been the Man of Lawlessness that Apostle Paul pointed to in his second letter to the Thessalonians (2 Thess. 2:3-9)." [Edward E Stevens, "2014.03.30 Eleazar Blew the Horn AD 66." 2014, p.3]


There is another factor that should be considered, and that is the imminence spoke of by the Lord and all of his Apostles. For example, John said the winnowing fork, used for harvest, was already in the hand of the Lord:

"Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 'I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.'" -- Mat 3:10-12 ESV

Jesus confirmed John's prophecy by stating the fields were already ripe for harvest:

"Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.'" -- John 4:35-38 ESV

Jesus said he would return before his disciples has visited all the cities of Israel:

"When they persecute you [disciples] in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes." -- Mat 10:23 ESV

Jesus said some in his audience would still be alive to when he came in his kingdom:

"For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.'" -- Mat 16:27-28 ESV

Jesus said all the things he prophesied in the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24:1-33) would be fulfilled during his generation, which included him coming with his angels:

"Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other . . . Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. -- Mat 24:30-31, 34 ESV

So, when Paul said this:

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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. 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;" -- 2Th 2:1-3 KJV

Paul is explaining that the Man of Sin will be revealed, and the Lord will return, while some of those he is writing are still alive.

Faith

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Daniel

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Re: Man of Sin
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2017, 08:56:29 PM »


Not everyone says the Man of Sin is the "Antichrist" of the Revelation, Daniel, nor is the word "Antichrist" even found in the Revelation. Those claims about the so-called "Antichrist" are all interpretations.


Faith, I never heard any of this before. Thank you. Everyone I know says there will be an Antichrist. How did that happen?
Daniel


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FaithIsKey

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Re: Man of Sin
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 12:00:31 AM »


Faith, I never heard any of this before. Thank you. Everyone I know says there will be an Antichrist. How did that happen?


Daniel, I am not sure how it all started. The biblical term "antichrist" is given to anyone who denies that Jesus Christ (Jesus as the Christ or Messiah) came in the flesh -- and there were/are many:

"Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour." -- 1John 2:18 ESV
 
"Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son." -- 1John 2:22 ESV
 
"and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already." -- 1John 4:3 ESV
 
"For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist." -- 2John 1:7 ESV


The first characterization of the man of sin as "the antichrist" appears to have been penned by Irenaeus about 175-185 AD, possibly in this paragraph:

"And the Apostle Paul also, saying,"For though ye have served them which are no gods; ye now know God, or rather, are known of God," has made a separation between those that were not [gods] and Him who is God. And again, speaking of Antichrist, he says, "who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped." He points out here those who are called gods, by such as know not God, that is, idols. For the Father of all is called God, and is so; and Antichrist shall be lifted up, not above Him, but above those which are indeed called gods, but are not." [Roberts & Donaldson, Irenaeus, Against Heresies, "Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol 01: Apostolic Fathers." Charles Scribner's Sons, Amer Ed, 1913, Chap III.6.5, p. 420]


The few earlier writers present a more cautious, biblical interpretation. These are from two spurious works by Ignatius who possibly lived in the mid to late first century, followed by one from Polycarp who wrote about 150 AD:

"Chapter II. "Cautions against false teachers. Every one that teaches anything beyond what is commanded, though he be [deemed] worthy of credit, though he be in the habit of fasting, though he live in continence, though he work miracles, though he have the gift of prophecy, let him be in thy sight as a wolf in sheep's clothing, labouring for the destruction of the sheep. If any one denies the cross, and is ashamed of the passion, let him be to thee as the adversary himself. "Though he gives all his goods to feed the poor, though he remove mountains, though he give his body to be burned," let him be regarded by thee as abominable. If any one makes light of the law or the prophets, which Christ fulfilled at His coming, let him be to thee as antichrist. If any one says that the Lord is a mere man, he is a Jew, a murderer of Christ." [Roberts & Donaldson, Epistle of Ignatius to Hero, a Deacon of Antioch, "Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol 01: Apostolic Fathers." Charles Scribner's Sons, Amer Ed, 1913, Chap II, p.113]

"Chapter V. "Denunciation of false teachers. Whosoever, therefore, declares that there is but one God, only so as to take away the divinity of Christ, is a devil, and an enemy of all righteousness. He also that confesseth Christ, yet not as the Son of the Maker of the world, but of some other unknown being, different from Him whom the law and the prophets have proclaimed, this man is an instrument of the devil. And he that rejects the incarnation, and is ashamed of the cross for which I am in bonds, this man is antichrist. Moreover, he who affirms Christ to be a mere man is accursed, according to the [declaration of the] prophet, since he puts not his trust in God, but in man. Wherefore also he is unfruitful, like the wild myrtle-tree." [Roberts & Donaldson, Ignatius, Epistle to the Antiochians, "Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol 01: Apostolic Fathers." Charles Scribner's Sons, Amer Ed, 1913, Chap V, p.111]

"Chapter VII."Avoid the Docet", and persevere in fasting and prayer. "For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist;" and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, is of the devil; and whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan. Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from the beginning; "watching unto prayer," and persevering in fasting; beseeching in our supplications the all-seeing God "not to lead us into temptation," as the Lord has said: 'The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak.'" [Roberts & Donaldson, Epistle of Polycarp, "Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol 01: Apostolic Fathers." Charles Scribner's Sons, Amer Ed, 1913, Chap VII, p. 34-35]


The historical record of the Church between A.D. 70 and 150 is virtually non-existent. But what little is available shows no association of the man of sin and the word "antichrist" until Irenaeus, nor was Paul's phrase "son of perdition" mentioned before Irenaeus.

The letter of Paul is all we really have to go on, and he wrote of the restrainer as current to his day, and the man of sin as about to be revealed.

Faith


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