CHRIST VS. THE MAN OF SIN
Babylon is the antithesis of Jerusalem in Bible symbolism;
so the man of sin, in all its manifestations, is the exact
opposite of the Son of man. The two are irreconcilable, and
yet the sin-power reveals purposeful likeness to its divine
opposite in many ways, with the result that the multitudes
are deceived, including some within the household itself.
At times it is nearly impossible to distinguish between the
real and the counterfeit - the true and the false - the legitimate
and the impostor. Some masterpiece paintings have been copied
by artists so precisely like the original that only the experts
can tell the difference. Some gemstones can be produced with
such authentic luster, that they are preferred over the original
and are often worn to foil the thief.
has this to do with Scripture? Consider the following. In
Revelation, chapter 12, the identity of Michael is key to
the understanding of this section of the book. If the man
child is in fact the Lord Jesus, then we are presented with
yet another vision of the exaltation of the Savior as in chapters
7 and 14, and we are left with no introduction to the 13th
chapter. On the other hand, if Michael, the man child, is
the emperor Constantine - depicted as overthrowing the dragon
of paganism and establishing Christianity as the State religion
- then chapter 13 becomes an extension of 12, with the Sea
Beast depicting the development of mainstream Christianity
in its full blown apostasy. The man child "rules with
a rod of iron" (Rev. 12: 5), and since the same is said
of Jesus (Rev. 2: 27), it is asserted that the two must be
the same. But this flies in the face of other facts which
are even more important.
when Michael is exalted to heaven and casts out the dragon,
the saints are described as being killed (Rev. 12: 11). Similarly,
when Michael is exalted, Satan is released in the earth (12:
12) to torment its inhabitants. However, when Jesus returns
to set up his kingdom, the saints will be immortalized and
Satan will be bound for a thousand years (Rev. 19:11-21; 20:2).
So the conclusion - that Michael, the man child, and Jesus
Christ are the same - appearing on the surface to be correct,
is in fact a hasty and inaccurate interpretation. The differences
between Jesus and the man child are seen, on closer observation,
to be greater than their similarities.
there similarities at all? Because the man child is claiming
to be a messenger and representative of the Son of God. 2
Thessalonians 2 is a parallel passage to Revelation 12 and
fills in the details of the "coming" or "revelation"
of the "man of sin". By using similar terms to describe
the system of sin and the Lord Jesus, the Spirit is telling
us that to outward appearance the apostasy and the Truth would
seem to be the same. Apart from "trying the spirits"
or testing the teaching, we may be misled and believe that
the Truth and the Church are reconcilable.
from recognizing the great apostasy, Catholic and Protestant,
as the system to which the prophet Daniel and the Lord Jesus
in the Revelation direct such vehement condemnation, there
would seem to be no justification for Christadelphians to
remain a separate community.
of comparative Bible phrases appearing on pages 71-73 will
establish the remarkable similarity between "the man
of sin" in his several guises, and the Lord Jesus Christ
and his Ecclesia. There are characteristic differences as
well, which will be recognized by those who can discern them.
Paul warned against "false apostles, deceitful workmen,
disguising themselves as apostles of Christ." "And
no wonder," he writes, "for even Satan disguises
himself as an angel of light."1
The claim to be able to enlighten is typical of the power
of sin - it began with the serpent in Eden. The serpent became
in Scripture the epitome of sin and deception. Notice that
in his conversation with the woman the serpent first contradicts
God and then presumes to speak for Him. "You will not
die", he insisted before offering further enlightenment,
pretending to be in the confidence of the Elohim. "God
knows", he reveals, "that when you eat of it (the
forbidden fruit) your eyes will be opened, and you will be
like God knowing good and evil." 2
of deception had its origin in Eden, and the apostle Paul
alludes to this in another warning. "I am afraid that
as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts
will be led astray from a sincere devotion to Christ."3
Paul uses the Greek word exapattao (to deceive greatly) in
this passage, as he refers to the original action of the serpent.
Sin itself deceives,4 we are
told, and the word "deceive" is from the Greek word
meaning "to lead astray" (Young). Paul again cautions
against those "who create dissentions and difficulties,
in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught ...
by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the
simple-minded."5 These figures
- sin, deceit, the serpent - are brought forward into the
Book of Revelation, where the ultimate power of deception
is described. 6
twenty-first century the Ecclesia again faces a crisis. For
more than a hundred years the apostolic truths have been maintained,
and the errors of Christendom have been stedfastly resisted.
The Ecclesia has seen remarkable fulfillments of Bible prophecy
- as witness the miraculous return of the Jews to their ancient
homeland and the rebirth of a nation called Israel. So many
prophecies have been fulfilled that we tend to take them for
granted, but now the stage is set for the divine drama to
play itself out. As latter day prophecy is fulfilled, we see
that our brethren of the last century could not anticipate
all the details of unfolding events nor the length of time
that would be required for their fulfillment. Nevertheless,
the general theme of Bible prophecy, as it has been understood
in our community from its inception, remains unchanged.
the significant signs which we may overlook is the perpetuation
of the Roman system. The papacy survives intact to play out
its last scene, but its appearance in our day is so benign
that we are apt to disregard its ominous presence along with
its Protestant daughters. But the apostasy which was so distinctively
Roman persists in its influence today, not only in the papal
system itself, but in the spiritual darkness of our day in
all its forms. Brethren in Christ must continue to resist
its teachings and its influence. It is Daniel's fourth (Roman)
beast which speaks great words against the Most High and wears
out His saints ... until ... "the judgment shall sit,
and the saints shall take away his (the fourth beast's) dominion,
to consume and destroy it unto the end." 7
MAN OF SIN
= King of Kings Rev. 19: 16
= a king of kings Dan. 2: 37
Lord's is "the kingdom, power and glory." Matt.
6: 13 (Matt. 28: 18)
had "kingdom, power ... and glory." Dan. 2:
of heaven shall set up a kingdom ... it shall break in
pieces and consume all these kingdoms. Dan.2: 44
4th (iron, Roman) kingdom breaketh in pieces and subdueth
all things. Dan. 2: 40
of God is like a grain of mustard seed ... it grew, and
waxed a great tree and fowls of the air lodged in the
branches of it. Luke 13: 18, 19
grew ... strong ... leaves fair ... fruit meat for all:
beasts had shadow under it, fowls of heaven dwelt in boughs,
all flesh was fed of it. Dan. 4: 11, 12
... changeth the times and the seasons. Dan. 2: 21
horn ... thinks to change times and laws. Dan. 7: 25
Lord Jesus shall be revealed, (APOKA-LUPSIS) 2 Thess.
Wicked shall ...be revealed, (APOKA-LUPTO) 2Thess. 2:
3, 6, 8
has a coming, (PAROUSIA) 2 Thess. 2: 1
of Sin has a coming, (PAROUSIA) 2 Thess. 2: 9
of Nazareth, "a man approved by God among you by
miracles and wonders and signs."Acts 2: 22(Cp. Acts
2: 43 - apostles)(Cp. Rom. 15: 18-19 - Paul)
of Sin performs signs and lying wonders with power. 2
Thess. 2: 9(Cp. Matt. 24: 24)
has many crowns on his head. Rev.19: 12
has ten crowns on his horns.Rev. 13: 1
of man ... "given dominion, glory and a kingdom,
that all people, nations and languages should serve him.."Dan.
7: 14 (Compare Rev. 5: 10)
is given authority over every tribe, people and tongue
and nation. Rev. 13: 7
= Lamb on Mount Zion Rev. 14: 1
beast has two horns "like a lamb". Rev. 13:
healed of a wound. Gen. 3: 15
healed of a wound. Rev. 13: 12
came down from God out of heaven." Rev. 20: 9
beast makes a fire come down from heaven. Rev. 13: 13
has an image Rom. 8: 29
Beast has an image. Rev. 13: 14
Lord destroys with the sword of his mouth. Rev. 19: 15
of the beast speaks and kills those who do not worship
him. Rev. 13: 15
has diversified following - "Jew, Greek, bond and
free, male and female." Gal. 3:28
has diversified following -"small and great, rich
and poor, free and bond". Rev. 13: 16
144, 000 have the Father's name written in their foreheads.
Rev. 14: 1
worshippers have a mark on their foreheads. Rev. 13: 16
given a new name. Rev. 2-.17
of the Beast have his name. Rev. 13: 17
riding a horse clothed with a vesture dipped in blood.
Rev. 19: 11, 13
riding a beast clothed in purple and scarlet. Rev. 17:
City/New Jerusalem, city of pure gold, foundations of
precious stones, gates of pearls. Rev. 21
decked with gold, precious stones and pearls. Rev. 17:
is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom
of heaven." Matt. 13: 11
Babylon, The Great." Rev. 17: 5
... is, was and is to come. Rev. 1: 4
... was and is not and yet is. Rev. 17: 8
= King of Kings Rev. 19: 16
= a king of kings Dan. 2: 37
Thus it is
not inconsistent when we read ...
and the saints to rule with a rod of iron.Rev. 2:27; Rev.
to rule all nations with a rod of
iron." Rev. 12:5
1 2 Cor. 11: 13-14.
2 Gen. 3: 5.
3 2 Cor. 11: 3.
4 Rom. 7: 11; Heb. 3: 13.
5 Rom, 16: 17-18.
6 Rev. 13: 14; 18: 23.
Dan. 7: 26.