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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The Great "Falling Away".The Maths doesnt Work!!

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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5638


Julius- I agree with you about the temple (try applying your logic to the passage where Jesus says in His father's house are many rooms"-- might rock your world- hint- God's house is never called heaven in the Bible- house always refers to the temple).

So do you believe this "man of sin" is a real man- meaning a single person who is yet to come?

I still think Matthew Henry's commentary that this man of sin is the papacy is extremely convincing; that which was the restraining force and ultimately removed was the Roman Empire which enabled the Papacy to grow in power.


 2015/10/9 17:41Profile

Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1644
Tennessee, but my home's in Alabama


I don't know for sure. Did a little more reading, though. This makes sense to me.

A rule of Greek grammar is that a pronoun, adjective, or substantival phrase must agree in gender and number with its preceding reference. I'm no Greek scholar or student. I found it online, but it goes to the earlier point made about the two he's --- sort of. Bear with me please.

I want to lay out the whole passage here in ESV. This is when bold and italics features would be nice! :)

2 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 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. 3 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, 4 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. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 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. 8 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. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Context: Paul is calling them to remember what he had already taught them ("Don't you remember...?") about the coming of the Lord on the day of the Lord.

What had he told them? He doesn't detail, but he had evidently given them a thorough exposition of facts about the "coming" (parousia) that he started discussing in v.2.
It is readily seen from the passage that Paul had taught them about the coming of the Lord and what thing had to happen before that day. It is also obvious that some had been swayed by other people who taught that the day had already come. (Interesting how that conflict of thought still exists among brethren of good will.)

Whatever Paul says after that first statement is repetition for these Thessalonians. He'd already taught them all this. We now benefit from their confusion, right? Anyway...there was no need to fear that the Day had come and gone because it hadn't arrived yet, and they knew why. Now we know why he told them so.

The Teaching:

" know what is holding back..." Notice: "what" not a who. This neutral gender "what" explains the neutral participle "katecon" ("restrainer"). The participle is neutral because the reference is not personal, but to a something that restrains.

What is this "what" "holding back"? Well, I think we have to look at context again, right? What's the context? "...concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him". Remember, the confusion was not about the revelation of the lawless one, but about "the coming of our Lord ... and our being gathered". More specifically, says verse 2, some sort of teaching (a sprit or word) or rumor (letter) about His coming and our gathering. What is being held back then? The parousia itself.

What is the "what" in v. 6 that's doing the holding back? The grammar indicates it, and this is where that rule I quoted at the top comes into force. A writer says that the neuter singular form appears ("katecon" -- "holding back") when a "mass" of ideas is being summed up in an expression. What mass of ideas is Paul discussing in 2 Thess 2 that are being summed up? Verses 3 and 4 -- the apostasy and the revelation of the lawless one. Grammatically, these are the 'mass' of ideas in the passage that the gender neutral "katecon" is applied to. In other words, the apostasy and the revelation of the lawless one are the "what" that is "holding back/preventing/standing in the way of" the parousia and gathering.

Verse 7 contains a change of participle form, though. It goes to a masculine form -- "Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way." HE -- a person -- who now "katecho" (present masculine form of "holding back").

So, the total expression seems to be that the EVENTS of apostasy and revelation of lawless are "holding back" the coming of Christ and gathering together to Him, and in v. 7 Paul shifts his emphasis onto the actual person who is the lawless one who must first appear (v.4) and is thus personally "holding back" the parousia and gathering.

In this sense, TMK, I don't think the Thessalonians actually understood Paul at all to necessarily refer to a then-existing person. Quite the opposite, it seems that Paul was saying that "now" this person's appearance restrains/holds back/stands in time between the current time and the coming of Christ and our gathering together to Him. It doesn't require that the person actually existed "now" (which was 'then' to us), only that "now" (which was 'then' to us) this person's appearing holds back the day of the Lord's coming and our gathering to Him until such time as that person appears, whenever that will be.

Again, I'm not standing firmly on this, but it reads logically to me.


 2015/10/9 17:46Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5638


Your explanation makes good logical sense.

If correct, I wonder if the identity of this man of sin will be obvious. It seems he would be because Paul links his revelation as a precursor to the parousia. In other words Paul seems to be saying "look for the man of sin because when he is revealed Jesus is not far behind." Paul seems to intimate there will be no mistaking the man of sin.

However, I am not convinced that Paul was not using the term "man of sin" as a veiled reference to something he had more explicitly taught the Thessalonians. Of course we do not have the advantage of knowing what he taught them in private. The language regarding the "restrainer" also seems to be indicative of a veiled reference. In other words, he was purposefully vague in his letter- in case it was intercepted by unsavory authorities(which causes us consternation) but perhaps his direct audience knew exactly who and what he was talking about.


 2015/10/9 18:54Profile

Joined: 2007/2/8
Posts: 1583


Hi Passerby,
I guess thats it their for me most people what ever our views believe this to be of global porportions,
This cannot happen right now today if the falling away is from the church(true believers)only,
Although it doesnt say the word "great" the fact that Jesus mentions it in the context of what he is saying would strongly favour a global size,
Yours Staff

 2015/10/9 19:08Profile


[I edited this and added more.]

by TMK on 2015/10/9 17:41:21

So do you believe this "man of sin" is a real man- meaning a single person who is yet to come?

If you notice in the latter part of the verse below, the "man of sin" is equated with the "son of perdition".

2Th 2:3 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;

Psalm 41:9 is prophetic of Judas (son of perdition).

Psa 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

And so again, we see "son of perdition" mentioned in 2 Th 2:3. What is the Lord trying to reveal to us?

Well the first "son of perdition" was a man that betrayed Christ. At the time of His betrayal, Jesus had no Body (the church), yet as the Church was born out of His death and resurrection.

So now, when we refer to Christ, it means Jesus and His Body. They are ONE by His Spirit.

Christ identifies with His Church as being part of Him.
Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, WHY PERSECUTEST THOU ME?

So, will this "son of perdition", betray Him again, but this time, betraying the visible expression of Christ on earth? Yes, I think this "son of perdition" is a man, but not the Pope. Too many true Believers know that he is not of God, not of Christ. The "son of perdition" could also be the collective religious system that has always persecuted and killed the true saints of God. Many are still unwilling to "Come out of her".

I think the "son of perdition" will be someone very close to the Body, maybe one of the inner circle as Judas was. It is hard for me to imagine who that would be, since there is no "mother church" amongst true believers. But, Jesus did intimate in many ways, it will be a time of great deception and He warned us in many ways about this. I don't think it will be the most obvious thing that everyone thinks. Again, it could be those who call themselves Christians that many "go to church" with. Jesus did say there will be widespread betrayal.

Luke_21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.

Religion has been very good at breeding divisiveness (Gal 5:20) and yet, now we live in a time when Religion is organizing to bring together a false unity of ecumenicalism. Jesus Christ is the one that preserves the unity of the Church and only Judas perished in fulfillment of Psalm 41:9. Any unity that is not centered around Christ will be a red flag for those who have their eyes opened. And of course, those who will not conform to the uniformity of belief will be persecuted. This ecclesiastical ecumenicalism will no doubt have a leader, for Religion always has a man-made hierarchy. The Pope would have to become very convincing to fulfill the "son of perdition" prophecy since the "son of perdition", was one of the disciples and then betrays the Lord. He would have to become very close to the Body of Christ and I just don't see that happening. I think it will be those among us who are not true disciples and some who we think are, which will comprise the "falling away".

So, look for a major betrayal of the Church (by the son of perdition). And what happened when he betrayed Jesus? Crucifixion. What happens when the Church is betrayed:

Rev_13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

You can't be betrayed if you don't drink the religious, ecumenical koolaid.

Maybe, this is why Jesus is constantly telling His people to "Come out, Come out of her MY people, and don't be partakers of her sins and plagues". "You play with fire too much and you will get burned."

So, I think the "son of perdition" is the collective religious system (people who have a form of godliness).

You may ask, "how could it be masses of people", since Son of Perdition is singular?

Well, the "son of perdition" (Judas) in Christ's time was singular.

Now we have the Body of Christ (singular) which comprises many, and I think the end times "Son of Perdition (singular) will comprise many, also. Many who will betray the Church.

Read this again:
Psa 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

I know what I am trying to say, and hope I was able to make this coherent.

Remember, Satan's aggressive expression on earth (his body) against Christ and His Body is the religious system. Not unchurched people. And the religious system has always been deft at harnessing the political and military structures for it's dirty work.

We see this convergence taking place, today.

 2015/10/9 20:14


[Another edit. I am finished now.]

Let me just add a little more in trying to clarify the end times Son of Perdition.

It will still be the same "Son of Perdition" that entered Judas.

Luke_22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Satan! The ultimate source of perdition. The "spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience". (Eph 2:2).

The Son of God has always had an Adversary...Satan. He is the true "Son of Perdition" and he entered into Judas.

The Son of God (Jesus) who is the Head of the Church, His Body, has many members. The Son of Perdition (Satan), who is the head of his own (counterfeit) church, also has many members. Satan energizes and infects his members with his spirit and they will turn on the true Church of God.

A counterfeit head, with counterfeit members will persecute the Body of Christ.

When I read Revelation, I see the final battle between the Satan's (body) religious system and Christ and His Body.

And yes, many will be martyred, but fear not him who can kill the body but not the soul.

I think we may be led astray if we think the "Son of Perdition" is one man. Of course, everyone is always trying to pick out who it is, but I still see the "son of perdition" as Satan, energizing and activating the ungodly. The ungodly are all "of the Wicked one".

1Jn_3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

Satan, who disguises himself in false humility and religiousness will be revealed.

2Th_2:8 And then shall that Wicked BE REVEALED, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

 2015/10/9 20:47

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5638


Very interesting Julius. I am tracking with you.

It seems the apostasy would create the divide. The apostates (man of perdition) would somehow convince the world that the true remnant is the cause of society's ills. We see seeds of that today.

As a side note, Art Katz taught that there would be a great future anti-semitism that would make the holocaust pale in comparison because EVERYONE will be after the Jews. He thought this would likely be due to a great financial collapse that people would blame on the Jews. He also felt the true church would have to rise to the occasion and shelter fleeing Jews, and that this action would result in a harvest of Jewish converts.

I just wonder if there could be any parallel between what may happen to the true church and this worldwide Jewish persecution (if Art was correct about that).


 2015/10/9 21:01Profile


by TMK on 2015/10/9 21:01:29

Very interesting Julius. I am tracking with you.

It seems the apostasy would create the divide. The apostates (man of perdition) would somehow convince the world that the true remnant is the cause of society's ills. We see seeds of that today.

I believe the "divide" is already existing. The apostasy is only the manifestation of it. Jesus is telling His people to come out of Satan's church (Babylon, the mother of harlots - Rev 17:5). The divide exists.

Rev_19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

What is probably being withholden or restrained, is the full manifestation of Satan through (his body) the religious system in it's hatred for the true Body of Christ.

Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Satan makes war with the Body of Christ, by manifesting through his body, his members.

I think this is when the restraint is lifted:
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

 2015/10/9 21:57

Joined: 2008/8/13
Posts: 643


Indeed, one of the most pernicious endtime deception will be about Israel, the blood remnant of Jacob, the branch that was cut off and subjected to partial hardening but which God has declared that will be grafted back again to their own olive tree when the fullness of the gentiles has come in.

 2015/10/10 5:39Profile


by passerby on 2015/10/10 5:39:00

Indeed, one of the most pernicious endtime deception will be about Israel, the blood remnant of Jacob, the branch that was cut off and subjected to partial hardening but which God has declared that will be grafted back again to their own olive tree when the fullness of the gentiles has come in.

Peter Cohen has a great article on Romans 11 and expounds on what "ALL Israel shall be saved", means.

"However, there has, particularly over the last one hundred years, been a strange development in this mysterious truth of God’s mercy revealed in Jesus Christ.

God showed mercy to Israel’s enemies because Israel too was handed over to disobedience – (that is their disobedience to the old covenant Law) – not their disobedience to Jesus Christ.

But there are now professing Christians who are really quite unfaithful and disobedient to Jesus Christ and the new covenant – and yet they are also very sympathetic to unbelieving Jews in spite of their complete unbelief – and to that part of Israel which is cut off in their unbelief, – but they are sympathetic to the point of compromising the gospel and almost excusing their unbelief and rebellion – implying that God will still show mercy, even to them while they persist in rejecting Jesus Christ – and even if they persist to the second coming.
They suggest that many Jews will be saved at the second coming because they suggest that it will be then that they will look upon him whom they pierced.

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great,…” (Zechariah 12:10-11).

However, this prophecy is fulfilled when they are cut to the heart through hearing the gospel – and they repent and look with the eyes of faith to Jesus who was crucified for their sins – for today is the day of God’s salvation.

Such people have also suggested that if God does not show mercy to unbelieving Israel in spite of their persistent rejection of Christ and their unbelief – then how and why should they and other unfaithful Christians expect that God should show mercy to the church – (in spite of its many failings and even unfaithfulness).
But we are shown mercy – and we are justified by faith – and faith (and faithfulness) comes through not only hearing the word of God spoken through Jesus Christ, but also through obediently acting upon that word.
We are all called to the obedience that comes from faith – and without repentance and obedience, there is – and can be – no evidence of true and genuine faith.

However, there are some teachers who want to bring comfort and assurance of salvation, by teaching that we are justified by faith alone – but by their asserting that it is by faith alone, they are often in danger of suggesting that genuine faith can be evident completely alone and apart from the works prepared by God for us – which are the result of faith, in other words, they suggest that we are justified simply by passively believing that Jesus is Lord but not by submitting to and obeying his teaching.

Such teaching – which tries to completely divorce absolutely all works – and not only the works of the Law, from genuine faith, end up by actually implying that our salvation is really by God’s sovereign election alone – and that he then gives faith to those whom he elects.

However, I believe that God chooses us in Christ, in other words by our response of faith in Christ through our hearing and believing the message – and those who believe are – according to those whom God foreknew.

We are chosen in Christ – and even under the old covenant, Israel was chosen for the purpose of the revelation of Christ – the failure of some to be made righteous through such faith, also thereby forfeits their calling and election for salvation, but as Paul also taught, their election was not only for salvation, but for the purpose of demonstrating that it is in and through Jesus Christ alone that we are shown mercy and saved.

Those, even who are natural descendants of Israel, but who reject Jesus Christ, are cut off – and as Paul taught, they will remain cut off even until the end of the age unless they repent and believe the gospel.

The fact that only a remnant are saved – is a fact which Paul said would remain even until the close of the present age – but some people take the word “until” in verse 25 – to mean that a part of Israel will only remain blinded until – and after – the full number of the gentiles have come in, then the whole of Israel will be saved.
However, Paul said – inverse 26: And so all Israel will be saved,… which means: – and “so – in this manner”, i.e. through the gospel of Jesus Christ which he has been expounding from chapter 1, the all of the redeemed Israel of God, will be saved – for there is no other way for men to be saved.

To this day, the Rabbis teach that: “all Israel have a part in the world to come” – in other words that all Jews will be justified through their having been born to the chosen nation, however, Paul has already clarified (in chapter 9 verse 6) – that that the redeemed and faithful Israel of God is not inclusive of all who are descended from Israel.

It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.
Paul also affirms that believing Gentiles, who are circumcised by the Holy Spirit though their faith in Jesus Christ and by receiving the promised Holy Spirit, are engrafted into the Israel of God so that through their being born of the Spirit – it is, as the Psalmist described, as if they were actually born in Zion. Their faith in Christ – is similar to the faith of Ruth, the Moabitess, the God of Israel has become their Lord and King – and the redeemed people of Israel, their people.

VERSES 13-15 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?"

For the entire commentary on Romans 11 -

 2015/10/10 6:59

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