Sunday 10th November 2019 Prayer Devotion
Scripture Reading:- 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10
Topic:- The Man Of Lawlessness 
Text:- 2 Thessalonians 2:10
E. With that background, we can briefly list various specific interpretations that have been suggested over the years concerning this Man of Lawlessness:
1. Many have looked to a future, yet unknown, person who will seek to exalt himself in this way. Some have suggested that this lawless one must refer to Satan himself or to one of his demons, but Satan is mentioned later as a separate figure. See 2 Thessalonians 2:9.
2. The most natural inference from this text and its Danielic imagery is that a human ruler is intended. Some have suggested that this refers to a nation-state (rather than to a particular individual), with the Roman Empire being the most likely candidate; however, the imagery itself repeatedly points to an individual rather than an entire state.
3. Others have specifically considered his sitting in the temple (2:4) to refer to the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple at the hand of Titus (AD 70), but the specifics of that event do not align with an individual’s calling himself God while seated in the Temple Precincts.
4. Similar objections could be made against any of the subsequent religious shrines built atop the Jerusalem Temple Mount, whether the Hadrianic Temple of Jupiter (built around AD 135) or the current Dome of the Rock (built around 691).
5. This reminds us of another related debate, namely, is a specific physical temple required in order for the prophetic expectation to be satisfied?
6. If so, then many contend this would require a future rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple prior to the advent of the lawless one. Yet others would suggest a more metaphorical understanding of the lawless one’s session in the Temple.
7. Whether or not there will be a physical Temple in Jerusalem is not yet foreseeable. The more fundamental is that God is faithful to his prophetic promises, yet the actual fulfillment of these promises often surprises.
8. In the first advent of our Lord, Jesus’ fulfillment of OT prophecy, while comprehensible and wonderful in hindsight, was not anticipated properly by even the most faithful Jewish students of Scripture. Who in the Judaism of Jesus’ day, having studied OT prophecy thoroughly, would have predicted that the Messiah would be God incarnate?
9. Or that he would come, be crucified, be raised, ascend, and then delay his return to establish his kingdom fully by at least two millennia?
10. Thus, though it seems best to assume that the man of lawlessness is still to be revealed, the specifics of how that might look (including what is meant by his session in the Temple) will likely surprise the best of interpreters. Only in hindsight will we understand the full intent of the prophetic word.
F. Remain Consistent And Confident:
1. Paul remarks, “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?” Clearly, the original audience already knew more Pauline eschatological teaching than we presently have.
2. Although Paul and his colleagues were compelled to leave Thessalonica sooner than they wished, they were able to begin instructing the Thessalonians concerning the events of Jesus’ return. See Acts 17:10.
3. Paul assumes the Thessalonians recall that instruction. Therefore, Paul often speaks in abbreviated ways about matters that we may wish he had written about in greater detail.
4. Paul insists that his teaching remains consistent with the message they knew from the beginning. He thus seeks to instill confidence regarding his present argument. In particular, they have previously been informed about the coming of the man of lawlessness.
Prayer Point:- Rebuke every form of lawlessness and man of lawlessness that are working against my spiritual life and success henceforth by fire, die, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Happy Lord’s Day! www.timogundelejesu.com