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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 15

The Man of Sin

“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; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” II Thessalonians 2:3-4.

This scripture is generally interpreted as having reference to some world tyrant who will be Satan personified. Called the Anti-Christ by many, he is thought by some to be a Jew who is an apostate from Christianity. This line of interpretation fits in with the belief that the Jews will return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. Of course it is there that the man of sin is supposed to exalt himself as God.

SON OF PERDITION

Because Judas Iscariot is called the son of perdition, John 17:12, some teach that the man of sin will be Judas resurrected or reincarnated. The fact that the man of sin is called the son of perdition simply means it is humanity completely and eternally turned away from God. Judas was a type of such humanity. Lucifer himself was the original son of perdition followed by Cain and all who love not the truth that they might be saved.

The word perdition (Greek -- apoleia) means utter ruin, loss or damnation. Wherever it is used it pictures man in an utterly ruinous and lost estate. It is man who rejects light and chooses darkness. It is a final state of reprobation from which there is no hope of deliverance. John 17:12, Romans 1:28, Philippians 1:28, I Timothy 6:9, Hebrews 10:39, II Peter 3:7 and Revelation 17:8.

Others think the man of sin was the rise of the papacy. The blasphemous claims of the man of sin as to being God (verse 4), they say, is fulfilled in the titles ascribed to the pope. “Deus alter in terra,” another God on earth; “Idem est dominium Dei et papa,” the dominion of God and the pope is the same. “Dominus Deus noster papa,” our Lord, God the pope.

Although there are, no doubt, many who would qualify as men of sin, I feel this is something uniquely different. This man of sin is a type of humanity that as a whole reaches a place of delusive presumption and diabolical wisdom such as has never been manifested before.

It is doubtful that the man of sin, as is popularly characterized, will be some world figure at all. Such a person exalting himself as God in a rebuilt temple at Jerusalem with great false signs would not fool anyone. How could such an obvious fraud deceive most of the world? There may be many world figures that are actually men of sin but those believing in and following them will not recognize them as such. No sane person would follow such a worker of iniquity if he knew it.

GOD’S TEMPLE

According to verse four, the man of sin will so exalt himself that he will sit in the temple of God, actually taking the place of God. Many think this temple is an earthly building made with human hands. The dispensationalist idea that the temple will be rebuilt at Jerusalem from where Anti-Christ or the man of sin will sit and proclaim himself as God is, I believe, the carnal reasoning of man. This can’t be true because no earthly temple built at Jerusalem or anywhere else can qualify as God’s temple. According to the Bible, God dwells not in temples made with hands. Isaiah 66:1-2. Acts 7:48-50. Acts 17:24.

If, then, the temple of God is not an earthly temple made with human hands, what is it? There is no room for doubt on this question if we go by what the Bible teaches. When Jesus said, “destroy this temple and I will raise it up again in three days,” (John 2:19) he was not talking about the temple at Jerusalem. Everyone knows he had reference to his physical body that was raised from the dead after three days in the tomb.

In I Corinthians 6:10-20 and II Corinthians 6:16 Paul tells us our body is the temple of God and that he would dwell in us, walk in us and be our God and we would be his people. This is also what Jesus meant when he taught the disciples that he and the Father would come and dwell in them thus making their bodies the temple of God. John 14:16-23, 16:7-14.

Paul taught in many places that the Church was the body of Christ. I Corinthians 12:12-31. Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:29-32. In Ephesians 2:19-22 he likened the Church to a building fitly framed together and said it was growing unto an holy temple in the Lord. From these and other scriptures it is plainly evident the temple of God is not some earthly building but humanity that God has purposed to dwell in.

The temple that the man of sin sits as God is likewise humanity. Made in the image and likeness of God, man was intended to be God’s dwelling place. This dwelling place of the man of sin, called the son of perdition, is apostate humanity completely given over to the evil principle that all men are born with. Ephesians 2:2-3. The man of sin is Adam -- the rebel, with the restraining grace of God removed allowing Satan to exalt himself in humanity like never before.

The man of sin is spoken of in the singular (as one man) because finally Satan gains sufficient control of incorrigible man to exalt himself above all that is called God. The union of unregenerate man and Satan simply becomes one whole. Becoming self-sufficient and independent, man thinks he is master of his own destiny, thus taking the place of God. The man of sin and the subsequent rebellion against all righteousness is the climax of the work of Satan and his evil host to bring together into one an unholy union of humanity through which he can take the place of God. Revelation 18:8 says, “And all that dwell upon the face of the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

MAN OF SIN REVEALED

The man of sin revealed is iniquity coming to its fullest fruition in man’s age-long rebellion against a holy God. So given over to Satan and exalted in his mind, he assumes the place of God. This was Satan’s dream of delusion in the beginning when he said, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:14.

From the time of his original rebellion against God until this day, Satan has been hindered and frustrated in his desire to exalt himself above God. Nevertheless, he has worked under cover and behind the scenes of human history. The mystery of iniquity has always worked and involved man to the degree he deemed expedient for his own cause. II Thessalonians 2:7.

Because of divine restraint in the earth and his fear of exposure, Satan and his evil forces have been held in check until this day. With unregenerate man completely given over to him, he will, at last, openly come forth in man. This will be the man of sin revealed. Man without God has always been a rebel on the inside. Only the institution of law in some form has kept him from open rebellion against God. The man of sin will be Satan and man united in their rebellion. However, even in this, only the elect of God will be able to see what is taking place. The world, as a whole, will be blinded by strong delusion. They will in fact partake of the spirit that inspires the man of sin.

A STATE

Seeing then that the man of sin is a type or state that rebellious mankind will come to in the end, we need to know how to recognize him. As already stated, he will not be recognized as such. On the contrary he will be believed in and followed by most of the world. Only the elect of God will be able to recognize what is taking place.

Many who will be following and believing in this manifestation of evil will be fundamental Bible believers who think they know all about “the man of sin.” Like most of the Jews who knew all about the Messiah and how he would come, they will be blind to the real thing. Looking for some super world figure who comes forth with great lying signs and wonders, they will not recognize the lying signs as such nor the man of sin.

The man of sin will be of super intellect and convinced in his own mind that he has the answer to the world’s ills. He will embrace a combination of religion and political ideology based upon the concept of one world. The ideological approach will capture the minds of those who do not believe in God and the religious approach will get those who supposedly do.

Notice the description of the two beasts (symbolical) of Revelation 13 and the man of sin in II Thessalonians 2:3-10. These two beasts represent world powers headed up by many. They are called beasts because they are ruled by the animal nature of man rather than God. It is a type of the natural or earthly qualities of humanity coming to full development and expression in the earth. They, along with the man of sin, are exalted blasphemers who deceive mankind through great signs and wonders. With their power coming from Satan, they are human expressions of the spirit of Anti-Christ.

The man of sin and the second beast that comes up out of the earth are, I believe, identical. Both exercise power and influence over the whole of lost mankind. The number of the second beast, 666, is said to be the number of a man. Six is the number of man and seven is the number of God. These three sixes are a type of man reaching the zenith of human development in the three major areas of human endeavor. Although it is man at his best it is man without God.

One six represents man coming up with a religion that is supposed to be the answer to all religious division. It is a one-world super church that embraces all religion. The second six represents man’s answer to the many divisions of politics and government. It is a one-world super government. The third six is man’s answer to the material needs of mankind. It is a one-world economy based upon human need and equal distribution of wealth.

Some of the lying signs and wonders brought forth by the man of sin will not be in the field of religion at all. They will have to do with the world system itself which seemingly and at last solves the great problems of mankind. The world unity in government and religion will be considered miraculous. The scientific and economic achievement will also be hailed as great wonders. This is true even now of many things including man’s exploration of outer space.

It is my belief that the man of sin is just a type of humanity that comes to his zenith of glory and power without God. If indeed there will be a person fitting this description, he will simply be a figurehead for a single world system devised by man under the inspiration of Satan. The real master and lord will be Lucifer.

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