Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #1176 MP3 Audio File Video File

The Rebellion and Man of Lawlessness

2 Thessalonians 2:3

Delivered 07/23/23

Good morning, Bereans. We are continuing our study of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 this morning. In our last study we looked at the first two verses of this chapter.

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Yeshua Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 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. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 ESV

In these two verses, we see the big three of eschatology: the Parousia, the Resurrection and the Judgment. These are synchronous events. If the Day of the Lord had come, so did the Resurrection and the Judgment.

We saw that the Thessalonians were upset because some were teaching that the Day of the Lord had come. They were shaken by this because Paul had promised them relief from their persecution at the Parousia.

since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Yeshua is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7 ESV

Paul responds to the teaching that the Day of the Lord had come, not by telling them to look out their window and see that the earth was still there. And if the Day of the Lord, the Resurrection, and the Judgment were physical events, then that is how he should have responded to their thinking it already happened. But what Paul in fact does is tell them not to be deceived because there were things that needed to happen before the Day of the Lord would come. They viewed the Day of the Lord differently than most Christians today do.

Strangely, even partial preterist Gentry thinks these two verses are talking about a judgment coming in AD 70. Kenneth Gentry writes, "Verses 1-2. Paul's reference 'concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him' (2 Thessalonians 2:1) is the crux interpretum of this passage. Paul is here speaking of the A.D. 70 judgment on the Jews - the very judgment given emphasis in the first portion of the Olivet Discourse, the Book of Revelation, and several other passages of Scripture." (Kenneth Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion, p. 386).

As we said, these two verses talk about the Parousia, the Resurrection, and the Judgment. So, if as Gentry says, "Paul is here speaking of the A.D. 70 judgment on the Jews" then all eschatology was complete in A.D. 70. But Gentry does not believe that.

For our study this morning we are going to be looking at verse 3. Practically every modern teacher or writer who deals with this text assigns the fulfillment of this passage to our future. That would mean that Paul lied to the Thessalonians. If they would get relief at the coming of the Lord and he still hasn't come, how will his coming be relief for the first-century Thessalonians? For the Thessalonians to get relief at the Second Coming, it would have had to happen in their lifetime. And we know it did. That means that all the things this passage talks about happened by A.D. 70. None of this is future to us. These are historical events.

John Bray writes, "This passage of Scripture dealing with the "man of sin" who would be revealed before the day of Christ, has been one of the most difficult passages in the Bible for Bible scholars."

This text is difficult because the things we see in it are only found here in the Bible. Here's what we have to try to figure out. What is the rebellion? Who is the man of lawlessness? What is the temple of God? Who or what is the restrainer? If we can figure these things out, we'll know exactly what this was and when this happened.

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, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 ESV

The verb "revealed" stands in the emphatic position in the aorist tense which points to a definite time when he's revealed. And it would read like this, "The rebellion comes first, revealed is the man of lawlessness."

"The Day of the Lord will not come unless the rebellion comes first." And what is that? "It's the man of lawlessness who is revealed." The rebellion is associated with the revealing of the man of lawlessness. Whatever this event is it involves someone called the man of lawlessness. If you know the key person, you can find the key event.

"Let no one deceive you in any way"who is the "you" that was being deceived? It was the first-century Thessalonians. This is a strong double negative with an aorist active subjunctive plustis, implying a personal agency. A purposeful deception was occurring.

This serves both as a warning or note of caution and a summary of what was said in verse 2. "Deceive"—is a compound verb,exapatao, a strengthened form ofapatao. It means "to deceive completely" or perhaps "deceive successfully." It is used of Satan's deception of Eve in 2 Corinthians 11:3 and 1 Timothy 2:14.

The call not to be deceived was a relatively common exhortation in ancient literature. Anyone who is not properly grounded in the truth of God's Word tends to be gullible, but the sad fact is that all people, including Christians, are too easily misled by impressive personalities and spectacular appeals. The antidote to false teaching is knowing the Word of God. And the key to knowing the Word of God is spending time daily in it. Believers, we need to be reading the Bible cover to cover at least once a year.

"For that day will not come unless""that day" is the Day of the Lord. This is a third-class conditional sentence. Some events must happen first. In other words, the Second Coming was not imminent. In this context, two events are mentioned: (1) the rebellion and (2) the revealing of "the man of Lawlessness."

"Unless the rebellion comes first"rebellion is from the Greek word apostasia. Thayer has: 1) a falling away, defection, apostasy. The New American Exhaustive Concordance has apostasia; defection, revolt, forsake. BDAG (Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich), Greek lexicon has; "defiance," "rebellion," "abandonment," "breach of faith" (like a betrayal).

The definite article is used in the Greek—the "rebellion." It was a rebellion which the Christians knew would take place. "First" is prōton; that is, before the day of the Lord, two events will occur: the rebellion occurs, and the man of lawlessness is revealed.

This word apostasia is only used one other time in the New Testament.

and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs. Acts 21:21 ESV

I think that Paul was saying that the rebellion would violate the Law of Moses. This connects with the man of lawlessness' sitting in the Temple. The Temple was central to the practice of the Mosaic Law. And his lawlessness was against the Mosaic Law.

This word apostasia was used in Greek literature (Plutarch) of political or military rebellion, but in the Septuagint (cf. Joshua 22:22) and Apocrypha, it often refers to spiritual rebellion. Part of the Jewish eschatological expectation was that before the end there would be apostasy against God (1 Enoch 93:9; 90:26; 4 Ezra 5:1–13; 2 Bar. 41:3; 42:4).

Some see this rebellion as spiritual because Paul predicted a spiritual falling away.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 1 Timothy 4:1 ESV

Paul here says that only "some" will depart. This is not talking about a large-scale rebellion. And this happened in the "later times" which ended in AD 70.

Some see this as the apostasy of the Christian church, especially in the time of Constantine, which then gave rise to the papacy in the Roman Catholic church.

The futurists have generally associated the idea with a present or future apostasy among Christians from the Christian faith. Some more modern-day futurists have associated the idea of "falling away" with a "departure" of the church from the earth at a Rapture. Translations like the Amplified Bible don't help at all.

Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed], 2 Thessalonians 2:3 AMP

This is more of a commentary than a translation.

G.K. Beal writes, "Furthermore, that 2:3 is about a massive apostate movement toward the end of history in the church and not in Israel is apparent from the phrase God's temple in 2:4. This reference to the temple shows that the church community is the place where end-time prophecies about Israel and its temple will take place."

What? These are "end-time prophecies about Israel and its temple" but they take place in the Church? So, the Temple that Paul refers to is the church? Let me just say here that ALL eschatology is Israel's eschatology. The Church has no last days, no end times. The end times refer to Israel and the Old Covenant.

Beal goes on to say, "Consequently, 2:3-4 teaches that the latter-day assailant will come into the midst of the church and cause it to become predominantly apostate and unbelieving." So, Beal believes that this is in our future and the Church is going to "become predominantly apostate and unbelieving?" That's a depressing thought. Is Paul telling the Thessalonians that the Day of the Lord is thousands of years in their future? Why would they care about that? How would that give them relief?

Does the Bible predict a massive apostate movement for the Church? What about Matthew 24:10?

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. Matthew 24:10 ESV

Because of the great persecution of those days, many apostatized from the faith. This all happened before the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, just as the Lord told them it would.

This all happened in that generation.

There is another viewpoint on this and that is that this is a reference to a Jewish rebellion. It's possible that this is what Paul had in mind rather than a falling away from the faith. Notice how the ESV translates apostasia.

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, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 ESV

BDAG (Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich), Greek lexicon has; "defiance," "rebellion," "abandonment," "breach of faith" (like a betrayal).

Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield, who was professor of Systematic Theology in Princeton Theological Seminary (1886-1921), believed the "falling away" mentioned here was that of the Jewish apostasy. He said,

"Finally, in this interpretation, the apostasy is obviously the great apostasy of the Jews, gradually filling up all these years and hastening to its completion in their destruction. That the Apostle certainly had this rapidly completing apostasy in his mind in the severe arraignment that he makes of the Jews in I Thess. ii. 14-16, which reached its climax in the declaration that they were continually filling up more and more full the measure of their sins, until already the measure of God's wrath was prematurely….filled up against them and was hanging over them like some laden thunder-cloud ready to burst and overwhelm them, - adds an additional reason for supposing his reference to be to this apostasy - above all others, 'the' apostasy - in this passage." (Warfield, p. 474).

The nation of Israel and Jerusalem were certainly revolting, or rebelling, against Rome at this time. This was the apostasy. The rebellion was growing stronger, conflict and confrontation were the order of the day, and war was inevitable.

We know from the Jewish historian, Josephus, and other sources that in AD 66 a large-scale rebellion rose up in Israel through the efforts of the Zealots, leading to Rome declaring war on Israel. I think that what Paul is saying here is that Christ's coming in judgment against Israel would not take place before the great rebellion led by the Zealots had already begun.

The Zealots were a group of Jewish revolutionaries. They were zealous in their resolve to eliminate, exterminate, and extricate the Romans. Hence, the name Zealots. The Zealots fought against the Roman occupation of Israel.

As a biblical basis for their rebellion, the Zealots used the Biblical prophecies of the crushing of the enemies of Israel by the Messiah. The Zealots were sincere, enthusiastic, and dedicated but were at the same time very wrong in what they were doing. Notice what Daniel tells us.

And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. Daniel 9:26 ESV

The nearest antecedent for the coming prince in verse 26 would carry us back to the "Messiah the Prince" (verse 25), who was cut off (verse 26). Therefore, Christ becomes the one and only "Prince" in the whole context. The"people of the prince" speaks of the Jewish people who were responsible for the destruction of the city Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.

Rome did not initiate the war against Jerusalem. The zealots in Jerusalem had incited the Jews to rebel against Rome and to quit paying their taxes. Josephus records the regular high priest, Ananus, as saying, "Certainly, it had been good for me to die before I had seen the house of God full of so many abominations." The wickedness within the city was great, the city was in civil war.

So, I see the "rebellion" here as a rebellion led by the Jewish zealots against Rome.

This would fit in the time line that Paul gives.

"And the man of lawlessness is revealed"—

There is a Greek manuscript problem here. "Lawlessness" is found in the Greek uncial manuscripts א, B, the Coptic and Armenian translations, and the Greek texts used by Origen and Marcion, according to Tertullian, while "sin" is found in manuscripts A, D, F, G. K, L, P, and the Vulgate and Syriac translations and was known by most early church fathers. "Lawlessness" (anomias) is rare in Paul's writings (cf.Rom. 4:7; 6:19;Titus 2:14) and scribes may have substituted the more familiar term "sin" (hamartias). The term "lawlessness" is also used in vv. 7 and 8. The UBS4 which is A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament rates "lawlessness" as "almost certain" (B).

The verb "revealed" is an aorist passive subjunctive. The passive voice implies an outside agent. The subjunctive mood does not imply that it may not occur, but confirms the ambiguous, but future, time of the revelation (cf. vv. 6,8).

So, who is the man of lawlessness?

John Bray writes, "During the days of the Reformation, all of the Reformers (without exception) believed the Pope to be the man of sin."

G.K. Beal writes, "A second reason the readers should not be misled in believing that Christ has already come is because the eschatological appearance of the antichrist must also precede the Messiah's last advent."

Commenting on this verse, John MacArthur writes, "We're embarking upon a fascinating text of Scripture in this chapter, one that presents to us a man who is known by the title Antichrist. The most fiendish, the most wicked, the most powerfully destructive human ever to walk the earth is a man that the Bible calls Antichrist. He will be the culmination of all those who hate God and all those who hate Jesus Christ." He goes on to say, "By the way, this chapter gives us more specifics about the Antichrist than any other chapter in the New Testament."

Do you see any mention of Antichrist in this text? I don't, but the Reformers did.

The Westminster Confession of Faith says: "There is no other Head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ, nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof, but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and Son of Perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ and all that is called God."

Most commentators call this person the Antichrist. But the Bible never does. Who is the antichrist? The word "antichrist" is found only five times in the entire New Testament. Let's look at them.

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore, we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2:18 ESV

"It is the last hour"—the last hour closes a succession of hours. It is the end of the last day which was an end of the last days of the Old Covenant and the last days of the nation Israel. The last days ran from Pentecost to AD 70 and the destruction of Jerusalem.

Almost all scholars interpret John's "the last hour" as a reference to the entire period between Yeshua's ascension and a still future-to-us return of Christ. So, for them, this last hour has lasted nearly two thousand years. That's a long hour.

Antichrist is a term that has become very familiar to Christians. It is a somewhat ominous word that carries with it certain apocalyptic visions. In this verse, it is both singular and plural. Both usages lack the article. Moulton and Milligan cite examples to show that the Greek prefix, anti- when added to some person's name or title can mean either (i) the claim to be that person, or (ii) opposition to, equivalence to, or substitution for that person. Antichrists are those who oppose Yeshua and His teachings. John is the only New Testament writer to use this word, and it only occurs five times in four verses. The following is its third use:

Who is the liar but he who denies that Yeshua is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22 ESV

Clearly antichrist is one who openly and overtly denies that Yeshua is the Christ. That is to say, he speaks lies concerning Christ. He denies that Yeshua is the Christ which is fundamentally a denial of the nature, identity, and work of Yeshua.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Yeshua Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Yeshua is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 1 John 4:1-3 ESV

Confess here ishomologeo which means "to say the same thing." Confessing Yeshua, therefore, means saying about Him what God says about Him—he is equal to the Father in every way. So, anyone who doesn't say the same thing about Yeshua as God does possesses the antichrist spirit.

So, we see here that whatever the spirit of antichrist was—which was part of the false prophets of that day—it was already present in the day that John wrote this epistle. That was the spirit that denied that Yeshua the Christ had come in the flesh.

We see its final use 2 John.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Yeshua Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7 ESV

Anyone who has an aberrant view of the nature of Christ, of the deity of Christ, and of the humanity of Christ is an antichrist. He is anyone who attacks Christ. Any person who is against Christ, any person who attacks the deity of Yeshua, and any person who is hostile to the true work of Christ and the true nature of Christ (i.e., His deity and His humanity) possesses the spirit of antichrist.

The general concept of a powerful end-time figure opposed to God is found in Jewish apocalyptic writings. Many see antichrist here as the end-time figure spoken of as the "little horn" of Daniel 7 and "the Beast" and "false prophet" of Revelation 13. These have been popular representations of the Antichrist. They have other names but, they are never called "Antichrists." Church leaders in the second and third centuries CE attempted to merge these texts from Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 with the Antichrist tradition. Also added to this list is the man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. Again, this being is never called "the Antichrist," but, instead, is referred to as "the man of lawlessness" or "the Man of Sin."

Now the Bible does not specifically say that antichrist is any of these figures, but we can say that all these figures were antichrist. They are not said to be the antichrist, but they are anti - Christ. It is also possible that the author merely has in mind the secessionist as opposing Christ. John does refer to the spirit of the Antichrist in 4:3 as the controlling force behind the secessionist opponents.

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore, we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2:18 ESV

"So, now many antichrists have come. Therefore, we know that it is the last hour." "Have come"—is a perfect active indicative. The "anti"-Christ spirit was already present and active in John's day. Some commentators understand this to refer to the Roman Empire of that time frame, while others see it as a yet-future world empire of the last day.

Notice that the arrival of the last hour is signaled by the appearance of the many antichrists. There couldn't be antichrists until there was Christ. And in the first century after Christ, there arose many antichrists signifying that it was the last hour. That hour ended in AD 70, but there have been antichrists ever since that time. John saw his adversaries as the Antichrist. A century later, Tertullian would see his adversaries as the Antichrist, and many centuries later the Reformers would see their enemy (the Pope) as the Antichrist.

From looking at the Scripture we see that antichrist doesn't appear to refer to a singular, apocalyptic being. Interestingly, 1 John 2:18 doesn't even employ a definite article; it just uses "antichrist" to describe someone. In fact, the author sounds like he has a specific group in mind because 1 John 2:18 says that there may be many antichrists.

The bottom line here is that the "antichrist" was not initially some supernatural apocalyptic figure in the Bible—such figures are given different names and are described differently in Scripture. Antichrists in the Bible are simply those who deny that Yeshua was the Christ and that he came "in the flesh." Everything else is a much-later conflation of other words and verses into the concept of "antichrist" that was originally limited to the author of 1 and 2 John. So, the man of lawlessness is NOT the antichrist.

The man of Lawlessness is often equated with the beast of Revelation 13. David Chilton said, "St. Paul called Caesar 'the man of lawlessness'.'' (Chilton, Days of Vengeance, p. 328).

Gentry also believed that Nero was "the man of Lawlessness." He said, "The Man of Lawlessness is Nero Caesar, who also is the Beast of Revelation…" (Kenneth Gentry, The Man of Lawlessness, p. 14).

But Nero doesn't fit with what we see in verse 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. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 ESV

Nero was dead in AD 68, and the Parousia of Christ was not until AD 70. And Nero never was in the Temple, so how could it be said that he sat in the Temple? And this "man of lawlessness" was one who was destroyed "with the brightness of his coming" (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

Gary DeMar says that the "man of lawlessness" was the high priest who officiated at the Temple prior to its destruction in AD 70. He says: "The 'man of lawlessness' was the principal religious leader of Israel - the high priest who officiated over Jewish law and did not concern himself with using the law in a God-honoring way" (Matthew 26:57-69). (Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness, p. 344).

He goes on to say, "He [the high priest] was 'the man of lawlessness' as defined by the provisions of the New Covenant." (ibid., p. 341).

John Bray writes, "There have been a thousand interpretations as to who the 'man of sin' was, or is, or will be. Now there will be 1,001. Perhaps we shall never know exactly who fulfilled this prophecy. He was the key man in the destruction of Jerusalem, the greatest instigator of the tribulation upon the Jews in the city, and an 'abomination' himself as he 'sat' in power in the Temple itself."

So, as you can see there are a lot of different ideas as to who the man of lawlessness was. It is my opinion that you will never figure out who he was without the help of Josephus the Jewish historian. So, let's look at a little history.

According to Josephus, Cestius Gallus attacked Jerusalem, being the first army sent by Nero the emperor of Rome to war against Jerusalem. The Jews won that battle, and Cestius pulled out. If Cestius had continued the siege a little longer, he would have taken the city. (Josephus, pp. 202-203) Josephus said, "he retired from the city, without any reason in the world" (Josephus, p. 204). But he did not hasten fast enough, and Jews everywhere took almost all of Cestius' army prisoners" (Josephus, p. 205). They killed 5,300 footmen and 380 horsemen. This was in the 12th year of Nero's reign, who reigned 13 years and eight months.

Josephus said, "he retired from the city, without any reason in the world." But I think we know why he retired from the city.

"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, Luke 21:20-21 ESV

This retreat was in the providence of God, for it allowed the Christian Jews in the city at that time an opportunity to leave and escape the tribulation that would come on the city.

Joseph said, "By complying with which those Jewish Christians fled to the mountains of Perea, and escaped this destruction" (Josephus, p. 204, footnote).

Speaking of one of the zealots Josephus writes:

…there arose a treacherous person, a man of Gischala, the son of Levi, whose name was John. His character was that of a very cunning, and very knavish person, beyond the ordinary rate of the other men of eminence there; and for wicked practices he had not his fellow anywhere. Poor he was at first, and for a long time his wants were a hindrance to him in his wicked designs. He was a ready liar, and yet very sharp in gaining credit to his fictions; he thought it a point of virtue to delude people, and delude even such as were dearest to him. He was a hypocritical pretender to humanity, but where he had hopes of gain, he spared not the shedding of blood: his desires were ever carried to greater things, and he encouraged his hopes from those mean wicked tricks which he was the author of. He got a band of 400 men together and laid waste all of Galilee. (Josephus, p. 211).

Josephus writes, "Then Nero the Roman emperor sent Vespasian to war in Judea following the ignominious defeat of Cestius Gallus who had tried and failed" (Josephus, p. 221).

He goes on to say, "Now this was the work of God, who therefore preserved this John, that he might bring on the destruction of Jerusalem." (Josephus, p. 289).

So, Josephus is blaming the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 on John of Gischala. Inside the city the Idumeans killed 8,500 of the people. They plundered every house and killed all they met. They killed the 28 high-priests including Ananus, and Josephus said, "I should not mistake if I said that the death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs." (Josephus, p. 313).

John "set on fire those houses that were full of com, and of all other provisions….which would have been sufficient for a siege of many years." (Josephus, p. 354).

Then Josephus writes this, "John took possession of the Temple and the adjoining parts. (Josephus, p. 380). John had the throats cut of anyone with the least suspicion of going over to the Romans. (Josephus, p. 401).

John Bray writes, "John Levi of Gischala was this 'man of sin' who Paul said would be 'revealed' before the 'day of Christ' should come. So, it was not the Romans, but John, who first defiled the Temple. Titus showed his concerns for the Temple in these words to John."

I appeal to the gods of my own country, and to every god that ever had any regard to this place (for I do not suppose it to be now regarded by any of them); I also appeal to my own army, and to those Jews that are now with me, and even to you yourselves, that I do not force you to defile this your sanctuary; and if you will but change the place whereon you will fight, no Roman shall either come near your sanctuary, or offer any affront to it; nay, I will endeavor to preserve you your holy house, whether you will or not. (Josephus, p. 434).

So, Bereans, I believe that the "man of lawlessness" is not a future beast or anti-Christ. He was a first-century zealot in Jerusalem and of the Temple itself which was in existence when Paul wrote those words. We know from Josephus and other sources that in AD 66 a large-scale rebellion rose up in Israel through the efforts of the Zealots, leading to Rome's declaring war on Israel.

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, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 ESV

I see the rebellion led by the zealots as that which started the Jewish war (AD 66 – AD 70). It was a three-and-a-half-year tribulation. And the man of lawlessness was one of the leading zealots. It could have been John Levi of Gischala or Eleazar ben Simon or possibly some other zealot. But I'm confident that it was one of the first-century zealots. More on this next week.

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