Who is “the man of sin” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3? 

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2 Thessalonians 2:3,4

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2: 3,4). 

The apostasy

The apostle Paul predicted that an apostasy would rise by some men within the early church “to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:30). He warned Timothy of similar dangers, adding that a time was coming when men would turn to fables, closing their ears to the truth (1 Timothy 4:1–3; 2 Timothy 4:3, 4).  

Peter and Jude spoke with clear words about those who have forsaken the right path (2 Peter 2:1, 12–22; Jude 4, 10–13). And John testified that, at his time of writing, many antichrists have come (1 John 2:18). Jesus Himself warned His followers to beware of false prophets (Matthew 7:15; 24:24), and predicted that many would be offended (Matthew 24:10).  

The prophecy concerning the falling away was partially fulfilled in Paul’s day, and much more so during the Dark Ages, but its complete fulfillment occurs in the days immediately prior to the return of Jesus. The apostasy was not only to precede the second advent (2 Thessalonians 2:2), but would serve as a sign of the closeness of Christ’s coming.

The man of sin

The “man of sin” is the Antichrist, “one who opposes Christ,” or “one who stands in the place of Christ” (1 John 2:18). He is also called the “son of destruction.” This term was applied by the Savior to Judas Iscariot (John 17:12), one of the twelve disciples, one who so allowed Satan to enter into his heart (John 13:2, 27) that he betrayed his Lord (Matthew 26:47–50). 

The man of sin is an arrogant power that opposes all competitors in the field of religion and permits no rival to receive the worship he claims for himself. This overbearing power assumes divine prerogatives. The wicked one sits soliciting worship of himself. His taking his seat in the inner sanctuary of the temple reveals that he claims to sit “as God,” that, indeed, “he is God” – the ultimate blasphemy. 

The papacy  

A comparison of 2 Thessalonians 2: 3,4 with Daniel’s prophecy of the blasphemous power that succeeds that of pagan Rome in Daniel 7:8, 19–26, and with John’s prophecy of the leopard-like beast in Revelation 13:1–18, shows many similarities between the three descriptions. This leads to the conclusion that Daniel, Paul, and John are pinpointing the same power, namely, the papacy.  

Identification of the Antichrist in Daniel 7:8, 19–26: https://bibleask.org/who-is-the-antichrist/Daniel 7:

Identification of the Antichrist in Revelation 13:1–18: https://bibleask.org/who-is-the-beast-of-revelation-13/

The larger picture

In a larger sense the power here described may be identified with originator of sin, who has strove to be “like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Satan is working to the utmost to make himself as God and to destroy all who oppose his power. And today the world is bowing before him.

The enemy of the church will use signs and apparent miracles to lead many to perdition. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Corinthians 2: 9–11). Hence, the faithful should beware of being led astray. Their faith must stand upon the thus says the Lord not on what they feel or see. 

In His service,
BibleAsk Team  

 

Disclaimer:

The contents of this article and website are not intended to accuse individuals. There are many priests and faithful believers in Roman Catholicism who serve God to the best of their ability and are seen by God as His children. The information contained herein is directed only towards the Roman Catholic religio-political system that has reigned in varying degrees of power for nearly two millennia. Under the influence of its successive popes, bishops, and cardinals, this system has established an increasing number of doctrines and statements that clearly go against Scripture.

It is our sincere desire to lay the clear Word of God before you, the truth-seeking reader, so you may decide for yourself what is truth and what is error. If you find herein anything contrary to the Word of God, you need not accept it. But if you desire to seek for Truth as for hidden treasure, and find herein something of that quality, we encourage you to make all haste to accept that Truth which is revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.

 

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