THAT MAN OF SIN
2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 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. 3 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; 4 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. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
When the world went from the spiritual darkness of the Old Economy into the greater spiritual light and life of the New Testament, mankind came under more responsibility to God. Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
For where there is more light, there is greater responsibility. Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
For now if we sin by forsaking our attending to the gospel matters, that is a willful sin, and has no forgiveness. Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer (worse, sterner) punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
So the presence of the greater gospel light brings a greater responsibility than those who were under Moses’ law. And therefore there appears on the scene a greater sinner – “that man of sin.” And we are given two characteristics by which they can be recognized. First, they oppose all that is called God. And secondly, they always exalt themselves as being their own god!
Here are but two examples of that New Testament “man of sin.” First there is the rich farmer who dreamed of bigger barns in order to hoard up his produce. Luke 12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. He imagined himself so God-like that he assumed command of his own soul!
And secondly there is the proud Pharisee. Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. The proud Pharisee assumed that he was not a sinner, but was justified before God due to his religious works. But the publican, not trusting in justification by works, but by God’s grace alone, cried out for God’s mercy as a repentant sinner, and went home justified before God.
The rich farmer thought his soul was under his own authority, “I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease,…” He assumed that it was his soul, the same as he did his fruits and goods. The proud religionist “prayed thus with himself, God…” He considered God to be in his image, and not himself in God’s image! So they both exalted themselves, showing themselves to be God! Psalm 50:21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
Those today who do not see themselves as realized sinners have no provision of salvation offered to them. For the Lord Jesus only came into the world to save realized, confessed sinners. Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Matthew 21:31 Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
All are sinners. Some are forgiven sinners. Some are blinded sinners trusting in morality, imagining themselves righteous by religious works. Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Also the Apostle Paul first instructed these believers at Thessalonica that two things must occur before the coming of Christ. These are, a falling away, and that man of sin be revealed. And both these things take place in each cycle of the gospel proceedings around the globe. For as the moon revolves around the earth, while the earth rotates and also revolves around the sun, so the gospel has its cycles. Here is the command of the Sovereign for the gospel ‘rotation,’ who also set the moons and planets in motion. Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
And the Lord promised that while the church is in those gospel cycles they would not run out of cities before He returns. Matthew 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
The cycle of the gospel in Jerusalem was the same cycle of the gospel in all Judaea. And the same cycle of the gospel in Samaria is as the same cycle of the gospel unto the uttermost part of the earth. Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
Europeans fled unto the shores of America due to the apostasy from the gospel in Europe. And like as in Jerusalem the gospel had great affect at the beginning. But now almost no one even knows the gospel in America, nor especially do they want to hear it. Our cycle is almost complete. But unto what undiscovered nation shall we flee? In order for the believers to have new nations unto which to flee, the Lord God ordained the explorers to venture forth discovering new lands. But what part of Planet Earth is there which is yet undiscovered? Is it then time for the Lord’s return?
We can see that day approaching, but no one knows the day or hour. Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
There are ‘many antichrists’ among us already whereby we realize that it is the last time. 1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. And they are that “man of sin.” For they hesitate not to oppose the true, pure word of God. 2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10 ¶ But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
They “despise government,” that is, they do not want anyone to have any authority over them. They are therefore “presumptuous,” thinking that their own selfish desires should only be that which rules and regulates them. Which causes them not to have the slightest hesitation to ‘speak evil of dignities;’ that is, those whom the Lord has set up to govern and guide.
And to what affect does this have on themselves? They are reduced to that of ‘natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed.’ For this is the condition of the world’s population in Noah’s day. Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
And as it was then, so it shall be again in the last day! Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. The final cycle shall have fulfilled the entire gospel journey around the globe, and then shall the end come.
And the other characteristic of the ‘man of sin,’ is that he always exalts himself above God. He is recorded in Luke 19:14 as saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. Therefore having cast off the yoke of Christ and His appointed ministers, there is no one left to be in authority but their own selves, under the influence of the spirit of the ‘god of this world!’ 2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
One of the characteristics of God’s love within the heart is that it seeketh not her own. But it Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7) That true believer with the love of God in his heart ever looks upward to the King on the throne, knowing of His absolute authority. Therefore he is not a defeated spirit. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
The one who thought to exalt himself above God was brought down to the lowest depths of darkness. Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Be careful, dear Reader, self exaltation always results in God bringing down that soul! Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Pastor Gene Breed
November 06, 2020