Answering  Your Questions


I have not received that many Bible questions, but the ones I have received are controversial. But, I can tell these are questions that were asked by sincere Christians who want to make sure that we are conducting ourselves in accordance with God’s Word. I will do my best to answer these questions logically and from the scriptures. If you think I missed the mark with my answers to these questions, then please come to me and explain to me how I answered them wrong and I promise I will examine what you have to say very closely and if I see that you are right, then I will have to revaluate my answer. A couple of these questions have to do with the role of women in the church. The first question that was given to me is really 3 questions in one and reads as follows.


The Bible tells us that women should remain silent in the church. Why is it okay then for women to speak out in Bible class? Is this not worship? Is there an example in the Bible that tells us this is okay or are we adding to what the Bible tells us?


These are great questions and again it shows me that whoever asked them wants to make sure that we are conducting ourselves according to God’s Word. The key to answering these questions is to see if there is difference between worship to God and being in a Bible Class.


The first thing I want to point out is that there are 6 different Greek words that are translated into the English word worship. Some of these are used in specific way of worshiping God as we do when we assemble and partake of the Lord’s Supper, Give, Sing, Pray and hear a lesson from God’s Word. Also some of these Greek words are simply used in the since of being reverent toward God and it is in this sense we can say that Bible class is worship to God. We have come together to learn about God and to discuss the Scriptures and we are going to do so in respectful manner.


You see, Bible class is not the same as when we assemble for our morning and evening worship because during this time we are assembling for the specific purpose to worship God through song, giving, partaking of the Lord’s Supper and praying. This specific worship to God has a beginning and an end. We should be able to understand this because we can understand this concept in other places.


For instance, when does a football game begin? It’s when they blow the whistle or shoot off one of those cap guns. When does the football game end? When the clock runs out the final whistles is blown and it ends.


This same concept can be seen in the Bible about worshipping God in both the Old and new Testament. For example notice what Abraham says to those that were with him when he was going to go sacrifice his son to God.


Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you."  


His worship was going to have a beginning and an end. From the NT Paul was giving his defense before Felix and He said,


Acts 24:11 "because you may ascertain that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship.


Again this shows that there would be a beginning and an end to his worship. This is the same thing that we need to realize about our worship service. It has a beginning and an end and it does not include our Bible class. Now I can understand why this could be confusing because after we are all gathered in the same building for the Bible class and for our specific worship to God.


What you have to do is realize that Bible class is a separate event even though we are in the same building. Now think about this one, if Bible class was the same as the worship service then we would be violating scriptures because the Bible teaches us that when the saints assembled for worship that they were all together. We do not have an example or authority to divide the congregation up in the worship assembly. So, this is why worship service and Bible class are two different events.


When the Bible talks about the women being silent in the church in 1 Cor. 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-14 it is specifically talking about the worship service. In our next question that we will get to in a minute, I am going to expand on what it means for the women to be silent in the church. But for now, I want you to think about this, if it is the case that Bible class is our specific worship to God and then we violate the Scriptures by dividing the assembly and then we have women teaching others during this time that is supposed to be our specific worship to God then the women are not being silent as instructed by the Scriptures. Again, this just shows once again that there is distinct difference between Bible class and the Worship service.


So, when we are involved in a Bible class I cannot see anything wrong with women making comments or asking question in that class. Well, let’s take this step further. If is the case that is acceptable for women to make comments in class, then shouldn’t it be the case that they could teach the class. If not why not? The answer to this question would be no because God has given us different roles. The man has been given the role of the spiritual leader in the home, Bible class and in the worship service and the women have been given a submissive role to the men.


1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.


Paul gives us two reason of why this is in,


1 Timothy 2:13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.


Now this does not mean that a man is more important than a woman because we are equal in the sight of God. Instead, these are just the roles that have been given to us by God. Peter also gives this advice to the Christian wife,


1 Peter 3:1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,  2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.


So, for a woman to teach the Bible class or to dominate it would go beyond this basic principle that has been established since the time of Adam and Eve. Now the Bible does teach that women can teach women in Titus 2 and they are called upon to teach their children and grandchildren like Lois and Eunice did with Timothy.


The only example in the New Testament that we have where a woman is involved in teaching a man was in a private setting along with her husband.


Acts 18:24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.  25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.  26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.


The text is easy to understand. Apollos only had a limited knowledge of things because he was not aware of the baptism commanded by Jesus. Here we have this husband and wife who takes him to the side that is to a private area and they teach him the information he is missing. I realize this is a private setting, but it still in a sense a Bible class between this husband and wife and Apollos  and this woman was playing a part in this discussion.


Now to be completely fair with this text I cannot tell you how much Priscilla participated in the discussion because it’s possible that she said nothing and it’s also possible that she said a lot. Based on how the Bible portrays this husband and wife as being godly people who were doing the will of the Father, I feel confident is saying that whatever part she took in this discussion that she did so in a submissive and humble way so that she didn’t violate her God given role.


So, as far I can tell I can’t find any valid reason that would prohibit a woman from speaking out in Bible class to add to the discussion as long as she doesn’t try to dominate or take over the class.


Now our next question has to do with the role of a woman as well and reads as follows:


What do you think about woman saying amen to a prayer in the worship service?


The first thing I want to do is to look at the verses that talk about the women being silent.


1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.  35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.


In context Paul is giving instruction to this church at Corinth on how they are to conduct their worship service in an orderly manner. One of the instructions is for the women to be silent. What is meant by silent? This one word is going to help determine the answer to our question. The Greek word behind silent is Siago and it can mean to stop talking or to keep something a secret. However, the word by itself cannot tell you what kind of silence it is referring to it by itself because the context has to reveal it to you. So using this word does not mean that a person is to be absolutely silent. For example after the transfiguration Luke records this, 


Luke 9:36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.


Here we have our same word of keeping quite or keeping silent and it obvious that these disciples were not going to remain completely silent, but they were only going to remain silent about what they had saw on this occasion. Back in 1 Cor. 14 we find out that Paul uses our Greek word Siago 3 times. The first two times are found in the following verses.


1 Corinthians 14:27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.  28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.  29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.  30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.  31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.


In both of the instance they are to be silent only in regards to speaking in tongues and prophesying before the congregation under these circumstances. It did not mean that were to be completely silent in all regards.


In similar way when Paul uses the our Greek word Siago for the silence of the women in this context, he is saying that in the worship service the women are not to be the ones that speaking before the congregation as the preacher or leading the service in someway. This verse is not saying that they have to be absolutely silent.


No think about this for a minute, if the word did means absolute silence, then a woman could not correct her child, sneeze or cough without violating this passage. If this means absolute silence then guess what the women are going to have to stop singing in the assembly and this would also cause a contradiction with Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19 because the grammar of these verses commands that all are to sing, which would include the women. If it means absolute silence then a woman could not confess Christ as a part of becoming a Christians if the saints are assembled.


Those who try and make this mean absolute silence also try and say that this applies to every time Christians are assembled. Now think about that. This would mean that every time we come together for a fellowship event under the same roof that the women would always have to be quite. Finally, Paul clarifies what he means about the women keeping silent in the church.


1 Timothy 2:11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.  12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.


This is the sense that a woman is to be silent. She is not to teach over the man in the worship assembly taking the leading role over the men. This is why when it comes to becoming an elder woman are excluded from holding this position because it would put them in position of having authority over the man. This is why Paul says in,


1 Timothy 2:8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;


Paul is teaching us that men are to pray everywhere and the Greek word behind men means men exclusively. Again the reason for this is because men are to be the spiritual leaders.  However, this does not exclude women from singing, coughing or sneezing or correcting her children or whispering to her friend or husband telling them they have to go to bathroom or something along these lines.


Now that I have established what it means for women to be silent in the church I can now answer the question about women saying amen in the assembly. First let define what amen means.


It can mean surely, truly and it can mean so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled. Saying amen to a prayer means that you agree with it. Thayer Lexicon adds this,


It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues into the Christian assemblies, that when he who had read or discoursed had offered up a solemn prayer to God, the others in attendance responded Amen, and thus made the substance of what was uttered their own:   


Not only was saying Amen done in the New Testament time it was done in the OT as well.


Deuteronomy 27:15 'Cursed is the one who makes a carved or molded image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.' And all the people shall answer and say, 'Amen!'


So for a woman to say amen at the end of prayer simply means that she is agreeing with that prayer and she is in no way is taking away from the authority of the man who is  leading the prayer. So, whether she says amen in her head silently or says it out loud doesn’t violate the scripture of keeping silent.


We have one more controversial question to deal this morning that again relates to the Bible class. The question reads as follows:


Is it okay for a young boy who is not a Christian to lead the closing prayer? If not, why is it okay for them to lead singing?


Now I am assuming this question is talking about what takes place on Wednesday night and not during our worship service on Sunday Morning and night. If this question is directed toward the worship service itself, I would quickly say no they can’t lead the closing prayer nor should they be leading the singing.


However, my answer to this question in regards to the Bible class situation is completely different. The first thing I want to point out is that Bible class is not a specific command in the Bible, but falls under the generic command to teach.  To help you understand what I talking about let me give you a few examples.


Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you ….


Please notice that this is generic command to teach. The how is not supplied. This means it has been left up to us on how to teach which means it can be done individual or in bible classes or through a radio program or even through a TV program and the list can go on and on. Another example comes from,


Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,  25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some


Here the specific command is not to forsake the assembly. However the time that we assemble and the place that we assemble is left up to us or more specifically the eldership. Now notice our next passage.  


Acts 20:28 "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.


Here we learn that the elders of a congregation are responsible for it members and making sure that are trained in the way of the Lord and this would certainly include those young children who are not yet Christians. The eldership has the authority to make decisions of when we meet, how we meet and how to best train up the church. The Bible teaches that we as the flock are supposed to obey them in these matters.


Hebrews 13:17  Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.


This is where the authority for Bible classes comes into play. The Eldership realizes that you can’t effectively teach those between the ages of 3 years to 100 years old in the same room. Common sense tells you that you need to teach one way for the young so they can understand things better and another way for those who already know the basics and can understand deeper matters. This is why we have Bible class on Wednesday night and Sunday morning. We are pretty lax compared to the first century because we learn in Act 5:42 that they meet together on a daily basis to teach about Jesus.


You have to understand that the Elders are using the Bible classes for the young children to train them and get them ready for when they do become Christians. Now I don’t think anybody would bat an eye at a young boy leading an opening or closing prayer in their class room because we can all see that this good training for them on how to say prayers.


However, when we come back together on Wednesday night we need to realize that we are still in Bible class mode. So, when these young boys lead singing for us on Wednesday night it is simply to help train them to learn to pitch a song and to have the courage to stand before the congregation. Just as side note, having a song leader is not a specific command in the Bible either, but is falls under the generic command of conducting a service in an orderly manner. Since Wednesday night is Bible class and not the worship assembly there is nothing wrong that I can see with training these young men to lead songs during this time.  


Now based on the foundation I have built, I would have to say technically it would be acceptable for a young man to say the closing prayer as a part of his training after the invitation song has been song since its acceptable for them to say a prayer in their individual classes. However, it would not be practical for them to do so because in their class room their praying for the class and other various things, but when we pray to close out our Bible class for Wednesday night, we have specific people that need to prayed for and specific things and this would be beyond the ability of young child and that is why it would not be appropriate or practical for a young boy to say the closing prayer as we dismiss from the building.


Well there you have it. I have answered the questions to the best of my ability and I hope what I have said has helped. Of course the key to answering most of these questions revolve around the idea of you and I understanding the difference between our specific worship to God and our Bible classes.





Tonight’s lesson has to do with the man of sin. The person who wrote the question wants to know Is 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and 1 Tim. 4:1-5 are referring to the Catholic Church? 


The first thing I want to point out before we even get into the text is that no matter what conclusion we come to of who the man of sin is or even if we differ in opinion on who he is it won’t add or take away one wit from our salvation. There have been countless speculations of who this referring to because there have been many of those throughout history who have had some of these Characteristics, but my job tonight is to show who best fits with all the characteristics given in these verses. So, that we can have the verses fresh on our mind I want to read them in their entirety first and then we will begin to dig into the text. First, I want to begin with,


1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,  2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,  3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;  5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.


2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,  2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  3 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,  4 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.  5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.  7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,  10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,  12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


I will primarily be dealing with our text in 2 Thessalonians 2. First, let’s take a look at the background behind Paul’s letter. Paul established the church at Thessalonica in Acts 17 during his second missionary journey. Apparently, while he was there, he taught them about Jesus second coming, but some of them got confused and thought that those that died before Jesus came back again would lose their reward. However, Paul corrected them in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11. Some of them had also become idle and were just waiting around for Jesus to come back because they thought His return would be very soon. Again, Paul corrects them and tells them not to be idle, but to work in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 and in his second letter he lets them know that Christ’s return is not going to happen immediately because the great falling away from the faith must occur first. 


2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,  2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  3 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,


Here we learn that someone either by word or letter had been teaching these Christians that the Lord had already come. In 2 Timothy 2, Paul was teaching Timothy that he should study word of God so that he could rightly divide it and then he was told this.


2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.  17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,  18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.


We learn from this that there were some that were teaching this false doctrine that the Lord had already returned and you can understand why this would shake the faith of some because they will feel like they were overlooked and that Christ return was meaningless. Those who teach the 70 A.D. doctrine try and use this and say that the second coming of Christ must be spiritual in nature because that is the only way these people could have been confused on this topic. However, that is not true because we have already seen that they were confused on many things in regards to Jesus second coming and even if they were convinced that Jesus coming was a spiritual one, does not mean that is what was meant by Paul. In 2 Peter 3, Peter makes it clear that when Jesus comes again that the earth will be dissolved and will be no more. Then he points out that Paul had written about Jesus’ second coming in his letters and how some had twisted his words to their destruction.


Those who teach the 70 AD doctrine would say that spiritual coming of Jesus occurred at the destruction of Jerusalem. However, there is one major problem with this idea and that is Paul said that the great falling away from the faith had to occur before the second coming of Christ could ever come about. When you consider that no great falling away occurred from the time of this letter written around 51 A.D. to 70 A.D proves that the destruction of Jerusalem could not be the second coming that Paul was talking about. In just about everyone of the epistles that Paul wrote, he warned over and over again of how there would be false teachers who would come from the church that would try and corrupt the Christians and make them fall away and we see that really take place after the first century. Also Paul said it was the falling away and not a falling away. We will examine this falling away from the faith in more detail later.


Next we find Paul giving us more details about this man of sin.


2 Thessalonians 2:3  and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,  4 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.


We learn that this man of sin would ultimately come from the falling away from the faith. This phrase “falling away” comes from the Greek word “apostasia” from which we get our English word apostasy. This word is used in the Bible to describe those who are no longer following God’s commands. Since this man of sin had not yet been revealed, those in the first century would not be able to identify who this was because more time would have to pass by before the falling away occurred.


The only time we see the phrase “man of sin” used, is found in this chapter and he is also identified as the son of perdition as Judas was designated and he is called the lawless one in verse 8 because he is not concerned about the Law of God. However, Paul never refers to him as the antichrist.


He may pretend to be religious or to follow after God, but the reality is his working is after Satan (9) and he exalts himself above all that is called God.


In regards to this man of sin sitting in the temple of God, Wayne Jackson says this,


In some sense, the Man of Sin will “sit in the temple of God” (v. 4). The “temple” is not a reference to the Jewish house of worship. The Greek word is naos, used by Paul eight times; never does he employ the term of the Jewish temple. In fact, after the death of Christ, the Jewish temple is never again called the temple of God (Newton, p. 441). Rather it is used of the Christian’s body (1 Cor. 6:19), or of the church as God’s spiritual house (1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:21). The suggestion is this: this unholy being is viewed as a “church” character.

The expression “sitteth” may hint of unparalleled arrogance (Ellicott, pp. 119-120). Mason notes that the language describes the Man of Sin as attempting to exact “divine homage” from people (p. 169). Moreover, this Son of Perdition “sets himself forth as God.” The present participle (“sets forth continually”) reveals that this presumptive posture is characteristic of the Man of Sin. This person represents himself as God, either: (a) by making claims that belong only to deity; (b) by receiving adoration reserved exclusively for God; or, (c) by usurping prerogatives which only God can accomplish. Clearly, the Man of Sin is an ecclesiastical character.

2 Thessalonians 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.

Here is one the reasons there is so much controversy about who this passage is talking about. In this letter Paul only gives us the characteristics of the man of sin and all we told is that some opposing force is restraining the man of sin. However, as we read Paul had already told them exactly who this restraining force was when he had visited them. So, they knew who this force was and this also teaches us that this force that was restraining was there in the first century and is not a statement of some future restrainer. The purpose of this restrainer was to eventually play a key role of when the man of sin would be revealed.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  

Even though the man of sin cannot be identified by those in the first century the foundation of him being revealed has already started to be laid. That force that is restraining him will only do so for a period time until that force is taken away. At that point the lawless or the man of sin will be revealed. This man of sin will remain in power in one form or another until Jesus comes again and destroys Him with word of Mouth, which would be the judgment against him from the Word of God. Please note that nothing in our text indicates a certain length of time that will transpire between the man of sin being revealed and Jesus second coming. Again it only shows that Jesus would not come until after the man of sin was revealed and that he would still be in power until Jesus does come again.

With this in mind, this shows us that the man of sin cannot be some past persecutor who no longer has power and it also shows that the man of sin is not just one man, but would point to a succession of men under the same rule or power because as we will see in a minute that which restrained the revealing of the man of sin has long been taken out of the way.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,  10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,  12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Again we can see that the man of sin is one that will deceive and pretend to be someone great and even claim to work signs and wonders. Notice our text says lying wonders. I am reminded of the Egyptian magicians who used lying wonders to deceive the people into believing they could work the works of Moses, but of course we learn that they were only able to emulate some of the things that Moses did because they had no real power. As Wayne Jackson notes,


Bloomfield calls these “pretended miracles” (p. 345). These “wonders” are not in the category of Christ’s miracles. Lenski has well commented: “So many are ready to attribute real miracles to Satan and to his agents; the Scriptures never do” (p. 426). In identifying the Man of Sin, one must thus look for a post-apostolic movement that claims to prove its authenticity by miracles.

Now that we have taken a look at these verses I want to quickly show you some of the different thoughts on who people have claimed the man of sin is.

Those who want to make the Bible into being nothing more than mythology will quickly say that Christians simply adapted pagan mythology and that the man of sin is not a reality. Hopefully all Christians would reject such a false notion.

Some think it Satan himself, but this cannot be the case because the man if sin would come in according to the work of Satan and would not be Satan himself.

Some think that the man of sin is just the principle of evil and does not refer to any specific power or persons. So they conclude that it includes all those in history who have opposed God such as Isalm or communism. While this is an interesting idea it doesn’t seems to fit with our text again Wayne Jackson makes a great point on this,

The text tells of a particular movement, “the falling away” (v. 3). How does that refer to Communism, etc.? Moreover, there are too many personal references within the narrative to dismiss it as mere personification. Finally, it is “the man of sin,” with the article pointing to a definite influence, rather than a generic one.  

Those that teach the 70 A.D. doctrine like to say that the man of sin was Judaism and that Christ came and destroyed them at the destruction of Jerusalem. I have already showed earlier that this cannot be a reality. Besides this Judaism was already revealed since the days of Moses and how could Judaism be called the great falling away from the faith when they never accepted Christianity to begin with. Finally, we can know that this 70 A.D. thought cannot be true because Christians were not gathered to the Lord in the air to be with him forever as stated by 1Thess. 4:14 ff, which will happen when Jesus comes again.

Some say it was a Roman ruler like Nero. However this does not fit because the Rome has long been gone and the text demands that the man of sin still be in existence when Jesus returns.

As Raymond Kelcy observed: “Paul contemplates the man of lawlessness being in existence and waging opposition at the time the Lord returns; the Roman empire has long ago ceased to be” (p. 161). 

One of the most popular views among those who believe in the rapture is that the man of sin will be the future AntiChrist that will rise to power.

Millennialists (and some others) contend that the Man of Sin “is an individual embodying anti-God power who is still to arise before the future day of the Lord” (Mare, p. 1073).

If you remember Paul never calls the man of sin the AntiChirst and he says the work of the man of sin was already happening in the first century and shows that the man of sin is not going to be some future individual person in our day and Newton says,

“As this evil began in the apostles’ days, and was to continue in the world till the second coming of Christ in power and great glory: it necessarily follows, that it was to be carried on not by one man, but by a succession of men in several ages” (p. 453).

Now that we have eliminated these suggestions, I want to tell you who I believe best fits the traits and timeline of the man of sin. It’s the papal dynasty of the apostate church of Rome.

As Barnes says: “Most Protestant commentators have referred it to the great apostasy under the Papacy …” (p. 80).

To show you why this organization fits best as the man of sin. I want to revisit those characteristics of the man of sin and show you how the Papacy fits perfectly with it.

The apostasy

 The Roman Catholic Church didn’t just suddenly appear at some point in history. Instead, it gradual grew out of the church and became an apostasy. Back in our verses in 1 Tim. 4:1-5 we learned that in later times some shall fall away from the faith and some of those traits that were listed were forbidding to marry an abstaining from certain meats. Please keep in mind this would be individuals that fall away from the Christian faith and so this could not refer to the Jews even though they did have food restrictions and marriage restrictions based on the Law of God. The Gnostics were a group that was active during this time as well and John seems to right against some of their false practices in his Gospel. These Gnostics did come of the church and some of them did forbid certain foods and marriage in some cases. However this group does not relate to the man of sin because these Gnostics were known in the first century and could be identified. Paul taught this would be happing in later times and this did happen in the Catholic Church. At one point they made Friday a day you couldn’t eat meat and they also promoted celibacy and that is why they have nunneries and the priests were not to marry and especially not the pope. They would not conduct a marriage service during lent.

So these verses fit the Catholic church perfectly. Of course this was just some of the ways the committed apostasy from God.

The many corruptions of the divine economy—changes in the plan of redemption (e.g., sprinkling, infant baptism, etc.), alteration of worship (e.g., the mass, the veneration of Mary, etc.)—were progressively implemented. Catholicism evolved as a defection from the original faith. This history has been graphically detailed in John F. Rowe’s, The History of Apostasies (1958, Rosemead, CA: Old Paths Publishing Co.).

Not Revealed in the First Century

The apostasy of the Catholic church was just beginning in the first century and was not  fully “revealed” until centuries later.



The Catholic Church has its own agenda and has stood against God’s Word over and over again. Notice the following quotes that show just how lawless they are.


“The pope doeth whatsoever he listeth [wills], even things unlawful, and is more than God” (quoted by Newton, p. 456).


Attwater, a Catholic writer, has shown that, according to Roman Catholicism, “Tradition,” i.e., the voice of the church, is superior to the Scriptures (pp. 41-42).


"Like two sacred rivers flowing from paradise, the Bible and Divine Tradition contain the Word of God. . .of the two, tradition is to us more clear and safe." (Catholic Belief, by J. Faa Di Bruno, p. 33.)


These 3 quotes speak volumes of how they hold their oral traditions above the Word of God and how the Pope can do whatever he wants. If this is not lawless then nothing is.


God opposing

Anyone who claims to be more than God and who puts their oral tradition before the Word of God is obviously opposing God.


Sitting in the temple of God and making himself out to be God.

This is exactly what the Pope does because he represents the highest authority in the church and their teaching claims that the Pope is the head of the church on earth and Jesus is the head of the church in heaven.


Yet Jesus said after His resurrection that He had “all authority … in heaven and on earth” (Mt. 28:18). Paul stated that Christ is “the head [singular] of the body, the church” (Col. 1:18). The Bible teaches us that only Jesus is the head of the church and he does not share that with anyone especial the pope.


Let’s look at some other ways that the Pope and the Catholic systems puts themselves in the position of God.


  1. Making claims that belong only to deity—”Our Lord God the pope; another God upon the earth, king of kings, and lord of lords” (Newton, p. 456).
  2. Accepting adoration not proper for a man. Men bow before the papal dignitary, kiss his feet, ring, etc.

The Catholic church claims that the church was built upon Peter and that he was the first Pope, yet we find Peter refusing to allow Cornelius to bow before him and worship him and tells him that he only a man (Acts 10:25, 26). Also when John tried to bow down before the angle that was before him he would not let John to do this and told him that only God deserved such worship (Rev. 22:8-9). Yet, the Pope allows and expects such adoration.

3. Pope Boniface VIII, in the bull "Unam Sanctum" issued in 1302,

stated that outside the Catholic Church, "there is neither salvation nor

remission of sins." He further said: ". . .it is altogether necessary to

salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

(Eternal Kingdom, p. 196.)


Again, we can see how the Pope is making himself stand as the gateway that a person must go through before they have access to the Father. Yet Jesus said,


John 14:6  "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.


4. Their doctrine also gives their priest the power to forgive sins,


For example, in Catholic doctrine, Absolution is a “judicial act whereby a priest remits the sins of a penitent who has contrition, has made confession and promises satisfaction” (Attwater, p. 3).


Only God has the ability to forgive sins, yet they take on this attribute as well. These are enough example to show how the Pope makes himself out to be God since he had decided to make claims that only belong to God.


Claims of miracles


The history of the Catholics is full of claims of miracles.


Conway, a Catholic apologist, states that God “has allowed His saints to work miracles to prove their divine commission to speak in His name, and to give the world a clear proof of their eminent sanctity. The Church always requires four, or in some instances six, miracles before she proceeds to beatify or canonize a saint” (p. 44).


I am sure we have all heard of statues of Pictures of Mary crying and other false miracles that happened in regards to the Catholic church. Now in our quote we just looked at it said they required 4 to 6 to six miracles claimed in the name of a person that has passed away before they are made a saint, but this apparently has changed because now it only takes two. Mother Teresa as she is called has had one supposed miracle claimed where a woman in India claimed that a tumor was healed in her abdomen by putting a picture of Mother Teresa in a locket on her abdomen and beam of light came from the picture and removed the tumor. However, her husband and the medical staff that were treating her say that the routine medical treatment is what got rid of the tumor. They say that Mother Teresa just needs one more miracle attributed to her to make a saint according to the Catholic Church. More examples could be given, but this shows the Catholic Church fits the false wonder and miracles.


Early Stages at Work in Paul’s Day

Again  I want to quote from Wayne Jackson,


Newton says: “The seeds of popery were sown in the apostle’s time” (p. 457). Idolatry had invaded the church (1 Cor. 10:14), even in the worship of angels (Col. 2:18). Handling the word of God deceitfully (2 Cor. 4:2) had begun; strife and division were affecting the church (1 Cor. 3:3). Gospel truth was sacrificed for the sake of money (cf. 1 Tim. 6:5; Tit. 1:11)—compare the practice of “simony” in Catholicism, i.e., the purchase of church offices. Distinctions were made regarding meats (1 Cor. 8:8), and human traditions were creeping into the church (Col. 2:23). Certain men (such as Diotrephes) were beginning to exert preeminence and to flex their ecclesiastical muscles (3 Jn. 9,10). Out of these attitudes and actions, the papacy finally was born.


If the man of sin is the papal dynasty then what was restraining it from coming to power?


Remember this restraining force was known by the church which was an existence at the time of Paul’s writing and the best force that fits this verse historically is the Roman empire. As,


McClintock and Strong, citing numerous sources from the early “church fathers” (e.g., Tertullian, Chrysostom, Hippolytus, Jerome, etc.), said that the patristic writers “generally consider” the restraining force to be “the Roman empire” (p. 255).


Also lets notice this brief history given by Wilbur Fields


“During the first three hundred years of the history of Christianity it was a persecuted illegal religion. This fact hindered any power-hungry “Christian” bishop from assuming a lot of authority.

In the years that followed the adoption of Christianity as the state religion (325 AD),

emperors like Constantine and Theodosius considered themselves not only the head of the state, but head of the church as well. For example, Constantine called the council of Nicea to settle the dispute about the nature of Christ.

In the fourth century as the barbarians began to invade the Roman empire, it became weaker and weaker, and its emperors became less and less strong.

In those times many of the bishops of Rome were strong willed, capable men. Gradually the Roman bishops came to have more power and the emperors less. The Roman bishops were further strengthened when the capital of the Roman empire was transferred to Constantinople in the East.

Leo the Great, bishop of Rome 440-461 AD, greatly strengthened the authority of his office. On two occasions he saved Rome from being sacked, first by Atilla the Hun, and secondly by Genseric the Vandal. In return for such service the Roman emperor gave Leo authority over the bishops and churches in every province.

The Western Roman Empire fell in 486 AD, and this gave the Roman bishops almost a free hand in Europe. Bishop Gelasius (492-496) contended that although the king rules over men in the world, yet he is duty bound in spiritual things to submit to his religious prelates.

Later Roman bishops, such as Gregory the Great (590-604) formed alliances with civil rulers in the West, as well as emperors in the East.

While some strong emperors occasionally resisted the popes for many centuries, the

popes became so strong that kings (such as Charlemagne) received their crowns from the hands of popes, and the popes sometimes commanded people in various countries to disobey their kings when the kings would not submit to the authority of the Roman church.” (Thinking Through Thessalonians, Wilbur Fields, p. 202,203.)


All this history leads up to the first official Pope of the Catholic Church Boniface III

in 606 A.D. Again this fits perfectly with our verse because after the Roman empire was destroyed there was nothing left to restrain the Papal dynasty from being fully revealed. Again, I could give you more historical quotes that show how the Papal dynasty continued to grow in power and how it made or broke future kings that were put into place, but the information I supplied should be enough to show how well this history goes hand and hand with what Paul is teaching us.


The work of this man of sin is to continue to exist in one for or another until Christ comes again.


This apostate Catholic Church can be seen at work starting in the first century and we can see how it gradually moved away from the truth and how it still in existence today. Based on the information that Paul has given us in 2 Thess. 2 this is the only apostasy in history that I am aware of that fits Paul’s description of the man of sin in every way. I want to conclude with a quote Coffman,


“[T]he identification of the papacy and its religious apparatus with Paul’s words in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10 was the prevailing view for more than a thousand years, a view supported by the writings and interpretations of many of the most brilliant men who ever lived on earth; and, on that account, there is no way for this writer to accept the sneers and snickers with which this interpretation is greeted by many modern commentators, as being an effective refutation of the arguments upholding it” (p. 104).