Friday, August 15, 2014

Spiritual Seduction

Videos are now posted online about the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm that we have been writing about the past few years on this blog. 

Several months ago Dr. Martin Erdmann of the Verax Institute, and a member of our Discernment Research Group, filmed interviews with Pastor Larry DeBruyn, Gaylene Goodroad and Sarah Leslie, discussing the many controversial issues raised by the Nephilim Eschatology that is emerging in the evangelical world.

To view these videos use this link. Note that there are 2 pages: 




Below is a compilation of some of the articles on this topic in the multiple series that have run on Herescope:


INTRODUCTORY ARTICLES
Part 1: APOCALYPSE, PLANETARY BIRTH OR DECEPTION?
Part 2: THE NEW AGE AND 2012: A PLANETARY BIRTH
AFTERWORD by Dr. Martin Erdmann


ARTICLE SERIES
A New Cosmology for the Church
Alien Encounters: A Book Review by Sarah H. Leslie
·      Part 1: Alien Encounters
·      Part 4: Quantum Metaphysics
·      Part 5: Entertaining ET
·      Part 6: Nephilim Subhumans


The Rise of End-Time Occultism 
·      Part 1: Homo Nephilus 
·      Part 4: The Second Coming of Apollo
·      Part 7: Resurrection of Pagan Gods
·      more articles in this series....


Nephilim Eschatology: A Crash Course in the Emerging Endtime Prophecy Heresy
·      Part 2: The Serpent Seed & the Nephilim


COSMS, CODES, AND CRYPTOLOGIES:
·      Part 1: QUANTUM MYSTICISM IN THE CHURCH
·      Part 2: COSMIC CRYPTOLOGY IN THE CHURCH
·      Part 3: The Emerging ENIGMA Bible
·      Part 4: False Eschatology Arising!
·      Part 5: Quantum Teleporting Through Time
·      Part 7: Quantum Prophecy
·      Part 8: A Quantum Cosmic Christ
·      Part 9: Quantum Mysticism Goes to Market


SUPPORTIVE ARTICLES


SUPPORTIVE ARTICLES BY OTHERS
·      Doctrines of Demons by Pastor Anton Bosch
·      Shhh... It's a Secret God Told Me to Tell You! by Pastor Danny Isom
·      The NEPHILIM According to Plain Scripture by Pastor Anton Bosch

Monday, August 04, 2014

That Wicked Be Revealed

Part 3: Bible Prophecy, Circa 1600

Excerpted and adapted from Matthew Poole’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12*
Read Part 1 

Read Part 2


For many decades the evangelical world has been caught up in trying to figure it out: who is the antichrist? Multitudes of books have sold, all purporting to identify a man, or offering elaborate formulas to decode hidden messages to supposedly assist in identifying this man of sin.

But Matthew Poole, writing in the earlier years after the Reformation, identifies the man of sin as someone who is thought to be genuinely devout, and only later reveals his terrible nature.

This viewpoint offers food for thought, especially in our current era with its focus on alien "monsters of sin" invading earth, rather than warning about the subtle deceptions of the coming "man of sin" in an increasingly apostate church. Poole warns that those who will be most susceptible to being deceived by the antichrist do not hold to a love of the Truth; i.e. doctrine, Scripture, the Gospel.


VERSE 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:” 

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed.” This revealing I think differs from that mentioned before (verse 3). He is first revealed… when he comes into being, and then… when he comes to be discovered. And this I suppose is meant here, because his destruction is mentioned as following upon it. For the discovering of him is the first step to his ruin…. At his first rising he is a man of sin; but after he has violated the laws of God and the laws of Christ by setting up his own, he is well called “Wicked” (ἄνομος anomos, Gk), that lawless one. And now he that pretended so highly for Christ is discovered to be antichrist. The mystery of iniquity (verse 7) that before lay hid comes to be revealed, God enlightening the eyes of many learned ministers and princes, yea, and of multitudes of people herein….

The stone cut out of the mountain without hands (Dan. 2:34) smites the image in the time of the fourth monarchy, when Christ came into the world, and in the latter end of it, under the antichristian state, it is broken in pieces.

“With the spirit of his mouth,” as was prophesied of him (Is. 11:4: “With the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked”), even this wicked one here in the text…. And this, as some interpret, He shall do with ease, as by a word speaking, or by a word of command…. Or, as we may read it, with the spirit of His lips, because of the power or spirit that goes along with His Word.

This mystery of iniquity (verse 7) will be unveiled by the clear preaching of the Word, and the primitive pure institutions of Christ, and doctrines of the Gospel, will be vindicated from the antichristian corruptions and innovations. And the spirit of Christ going forth with the Gospel will make it effectual hereunto….

“With the brightness of His coming”: the breath of His mouth wasted [this man of sin], and the brightness of His coming destroys him. Some interpret this of Christ’s personal coming to judgment, which will be with great brightness, as Matthew 24:27: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”… The apostle Paul here mentions nothing of a destruction by the material sword.… He will be destroyed… by the breath of Christ’s mouth, and the brightness of His coming. 

VERSE 9: “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,”

Christ’s coming is in power, and so is his. Christ comes with the Spirit of God, and his is with a spirit also, but it is of Satan…. [T]he spirit of Satan [works] with the man of sin in his coming….

The true church has the Holy Spirit, that forms it into a spiritual temple (Eph. 2:21-22). The false church has the spirit of the devil, forming it into the synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2:9). The dragon is said to give the beast his power seat, and great authority (Rev. 13:2)… His coming is like the working of Satan; either with great power and energy, as the word imports,… or by the same methods, by pretenses of piety and devotion, as Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. Or by keeping men in blindness and ignorance, so does Satan by setting before men secular grandeur, and the pomp of the world.… Or by suggesting lies instead of truth….

“With all power.” Besides that energy of Satan that works inwardly in this man of sin,… he has outward strength or power wherein he comes…. He has the secular power to assist him, the kings of the earth giving their power to the beast. And we read of ten horns upon his head, which are the emblems of strength and power (Rev. 13:1).


“And signs, and lying wonders.” Observe how Satan is God’s ape. God confirmed the Gospel with signs and wonders (Rom 15:19 and Heb. 2:4). And Satan brings this man of sin into the world in the same manner. God did it to confirm the truth, but Satan to countenance a falsehood. But though he comes with signs and wonders, yet not properly with “miracles” (as the Greek word is rendered in Hebrews 2:4), because though the devil can work the one, he cannot the other. He can by his great natural knowledge and experience improve natural causes to their utmost, but he cannot effect things above all possibility of nature, which is the same power as creating…..

All miracles are wonders, but all wonders are not miracles – [but] yet are esteemed miracles when their cause is not known. … A sign is anything that is used to make signification, whether it be a natural or artificial, an ordinary or extraordinary sign; used either for a good end, as those shown by Christ and the apostles, or for a bad end, as those used by this man of sin. People are apt to be affected with signs (1 Cor. 1:22)....

This man of sin comes with signs… called ψεῦδος (pseudos) τέρας (teras), or wonder of a lie, Hebrew. Though the Greek word is often used for a real miracles, yet not so here. For miracles are the effects of a Divine power only (Rom. 15:19, Heb 2:4), and not diabolical. And called “lying wonders” – either because they are used to confirm a lie, or because they are not real, but feigned wonders – impostures, to cheat the people, and make them wonder… And Christ foretells of false prophets that should “show great signs and wonders, to deceive, if possible, the very elect” (Matt. 24:24). See Deut 13:1-4; Rev. 13:13-14. 

Verse 10: “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” Or deceit of unrighteousness, unrighteous deceit, or deceitful unrighteousness. And it is universal, all.  It is unrighteousness managed with great subtlety to deceive. And so the same with the mystery of iniquity, mentioned before, or the mystery of unrighteousness as we may read it. All sin is unrighteousness whether against God or man…. The apostle here means unrighteousness so cloaked and covered that men discern it not, but are deceived by it.…

Thus comes this man of sin, and by such ways he has advanced himself.

“In them that perish.” This shows who they are that are deceived by him. Reprobates are often so described (2 Cor. 2:15; 14:3) and it is the same as elsewhere signifies damnation. The word signifies men that are lost (Matthew 18:11), or destroyed (2 Cor. 4:9). They are such as have not their names written in the book of life (Rev. 13: 8)….

“Because they received not the love of the truth.” And the apostle gives the reasons why they are thus deceived. He says not they had not received the truth, but the love of it, and so hold it not fast, but are carried away with the general apostasy. Truth is either natural, which the heathen had, and detained in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18), or supernatural, from Divine revelation. This is meant, but he speaks not of heathens, but Christians; not the world, but the church.

“That they might be saved.” And the truth here meant is saving truth as the Gospel is called “the word of truth” (Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5) for had they received it in love they might have been saved. But for want of that they perish. So that it is unsound, notional professors [i.e., people who profess the faith, ed.] that are carried away by the man of sin, and deceived by him. Truth if it be not received into the heart as well as the head, will not secure against apostasy or popery, nor prevent perishing. And the amiableness that is in the Gospel truth calls for love, as the certainty of its revelation calls for faith; and had they so received the truth they might have been saved. 

Verse 11: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:”

“strong delusion.” We had account in the former verse of such as are deceived by the man of sin, of their sin, and here of their punishment.
  • They were first deluded, which was their sin; and God sends them strong delusion, and that is their punishment. 
  • They did not receive the truth in the love of it, which was their sin; and therefore are given up to believe a lie, which is their punishment. 
  • Had they received the truth aright, they might have been saved; but not receiving it, they are damned. 

And they were said to be such as perish, and their perishing is here called damnation. So that though God is not the author of sin or falsehood.... Yet He may in justice give men up to them,… which implies either:
  1. Tradition, delivering men to Satan to tempt and deceive 
  2. Desertion, withholding or withdrawing that grace that might preserve them. 
  3. A judicial permission, God purposing not to hinder men to fall into that sin or delusion which He sees their own hearts incline them to….

God in Scripture is often said to do what which He permits to be done…. And it is not a bare permission for what evil God permits, He decreed to permit it, and He decreed the circumstances attending it, and the end to which He would order and dispose it, and the degree to which it should break forth. They were deceived into error, and God gave them up to it. And it did work with great efficacy; which either relates to the man of sin, that did lead them strongly into sin, or to them that were led by him.

When error doth vitiate the life, and one error begets another, and makes men violent against the truth, then it is the efficacy of error. And thus God doth judicially punish sin with win, and delusion with delusion; and then they are always most operative, and most incurable. But men fall not presently under these judicial acts. Men first refuse to see, before God sends blindness, and first harden their own hearts before God hardens them. These in the text first refused to receive the truth, before they were given up to believe a lie (see Romans 1:24).

“That they should believe a lie.” And the lie they were  given up to believe is a doctrinal lie. False speaking is a lie in words, hypocrisy is a lie in fact, and error is a lie in doctrine. (Hos. 11:12, Acts 5:3). Some by “lie” here suppose is meant the lying wonders before mentioned; and this sense need not be excluded, but I rather interpret it of false doctrine, as that which stands opposite to the truth….

Verse 12: “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 

“That they all might be damned,” or condemned…. It is true a man may be judged and not condemned. But the judgment of the wicked is condemnation. And damnation is here mentioned either as the event, or the effect of their believing lies, or as the purpose of God in sending them strong delusions. They are firstly punished with spiritual judgment, and then eternal, and God is just in both. Whence we see that there are some errors in judgment which are damnable. As we read of “damnable heresies” (2 Peter 2:1) or herseies of destruction.

“Who believed not the truth.” Where we have a further description of these person who are to be damned, which is added by the apostle – either to clear God’s justice, as in sending them strong delusions to believe a lie, so also in their condemnation – or to assign the cause why they believed a lie, because they “believed not the truth.” Those will easily be brought to believe a lie who believe not the truth….

“But had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Did not only practice but had great complacence and contentment of mind in it, as the Greek word imports, and so had rather believe a false doctrine which will countenance their practice, then the truth which does condemn it (see (Prov. 10:23; Rom 1:32). By “unrighteousness” some expositors understand false doctrine, or error, because it is set in opposition here to truth, as sin is set in opposition to it (John 8:46)…. So that we see here an erroneous mind and a vicious life going together. And when sin is come to this height, that men take pleasures in it, it makes them ripe for damnation.

And how well these things agree to the antichristian church, let men consider and judge.
*From A Commentary on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole, Volume III: Matthew-Revelation (Hendrickson Publishers), p. 758-759. These excerpts have been amended, abridged, and reformatted for blog usage, along with some updated punctuation, spelling and word usage.


Note to reader: This excerpt from Matthew Poole’s Commentary, circa 1600, is an example of what evangelical prophecy leaders and organizations used to teach 20-40 years ago. Not so long ago, before the postmodern prophecy paradigm era, this sort of article was commonplace. Writings such as this served as an encouragement to the reader to 1) expect the Lord's imminent return and 2) be ready to meet the Lord "here, there or in the air." Believers exhorted one another that He could return at any time because all events on earth were coinciding to fulfill Bible prophecy, and that before the end the Gospel of salvation should be shared far and wide, especially to family and friends. As yet another sign of the times we note that publishing such an article today, especially with this eschatology, is likely to be met with scoffings (2 Pet. 3:2), even open disbelief (2 Pet. 3:4). For some of you, this may be the first time you have ever encountered this (now) old-fashioned Bible prophecy teaching. Read and consider: what if it is true?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Peer-Driven Church

To watch this video, click on this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTezdMLJoyE



"Woe unto them that call evil good, 
and good evil; 
that put darkness for light,
and light for darkness;
that put bitter for sweet,
and sweet for bitter!

(Isaiah 5:20)

Peer Pressure is the easiest way to manipulate people. This piece of comedy satire in the video vividly explains what is happening to to people in our churches and across our society.

As you watch the above video, note the self-doubt. The confusion. The pressure to conform. How the pressure is ramped up by calling upon an "authority." The high stakes! The emotional appeals!

In 1972 when I was a student in an Educational Psychology class we were put through a similar group psychological experiment. We were positioned in a large circle. One person was designated as the first person and given a message to deliver. A group of approximately 8-10 people after them were given the same message.

But the rest of us didn't know that they had been given this message. We only knew that we were given the assignment to find group consensus.

These first people had been secretly told to assert strongly that "Black Is White." As the people began go around the circle, more and more pressure was brought to bear. Each secretly-informed person would more assertively and authoritatively state, "Black Is White."

There were only a handful of the rest of us at the end who were not privy to the secret. So by the time it got to our last section of the circle we were puzzled and confused. We were supposed to say "Black Is White" in order to accomplish group agreement.

What happened to us? We did the same thing you see happen on the video!

This comedy routine, even though a satire, is the most perfect example I've ever seen of how this peer-driven process works.

Peer-driven is a sophisticated psycho-social marketing technique. It is used in the evangelical church world to pressure people into conforming to new norms, beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors. It is a very effective method employed by trained leaders to cause people in the pews to change, to follow new teachings and new teachers, to believe new doctrines, to read new books, to join new groups, to adopt new behaviors, etc.

Have you ever wondered why evangelical leaders shifted the focus to "relationships" and "community" over the past few decades? It was to institute a peer-driven culture. What is the final authority? It isn't the Bible anymore. It is whatever the group says. "Black is White."

For example, peer-driven can resemble a phenomena called "Groupthink":

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking.
[Source, links removed]

There is a reason that the Bible compares people to sheep. We are prone to follow the leaders, and we like to follow our peers.  

Watch and weep!


"My sheep hear My voice,
and I know them,
and they follow Me."

(John 10:27)
By Sarah H. Leslie

[Note: This comedy group's routines are posted all over YouTube, but beware that it originated with BYU TV.]

Monday, July 21, 2014

“Let no man deceive you…”

Bible Prophecy, Circa 1600

Excerpted and adapted from Matthew Poole’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2:3-7*

Read Part 1


When this commentary was written The Reformation was in its earlier years. There was much speculation about the popes being the antichrist (or, at least, antichrists). Poole himself indulges in some of the ideas swirling around about how these Scriptures might be fulfilled. These speculations are not included in the portions excerpted below since they are situation specific to his historical age. 

One thing is noticeably different in our era. We now have Jews restored to their native land of Israel. It is clear that this possibility was nearly inconceivable to the early Reformers. Therefore, things that we might take more literally in interpreting prophecy Scriptures in our day, were formerly viewed as allegorical or as a mystery. 

Interestingly, Poole believed that the man of sin arises in the context of the environment of a corporate apostasy of the entire church world. His comments, therefore, are very relevant to our postmodern prophecy era when there are many attempts being made to deceive the saints about the Second Coming of Christ, and by the same means  and methods as specifically warned about by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. 



VERSE 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;”

“Let no man deceive you.” Here the Apostle Paul urges again his charge against this error, though in other words, and begins his arguments to refute it. He had adjured the Thessalonians not to be shaken (vs. 2), and here he cautions them against being deceived, for the one makes way for the other. So also not to be troubled (vs. 2), for troubled minds are apt to be made a prey to seducers.

And the caution in the text proves that their shaking and trouble did arise from some deceivers that were among them, rather than any misunderstanding of their own of what he wrote in the former Epistle [1 Thessalonians] about Christ’s coming.

To be shaken in mind is bad, but to be deceived is worse, for it is a going out of the path, as the word signifies. And therefore Paul’s caution against it is universal, both as to persons and ways. Let no man deceive you, though he pretend to revelations, or be of the greatest reputation in the church.

“By any means.” Either of craft [this includes the idea of witchcraft, ed.], flattery, pretending love, or plausible arguments, or misrepresenting the Apostle’s words, or forging of letters, or misinterpreting Paul’s Epistle or any other part of Scripture, or feigned miracles, etc.

Then Paul enters into arguments to confute it, which are:
  1. The general apostasy.
  2. The revelation of the man of sin.
“For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first….” or an apostasy, a recession, a departing, or a standing off, as the word imports…

[Apostasy] is either civil or spiritual.… But the Apostle writing to the church speaks not of civil government, and the affairs of state, and speaks of such an apostasy which would give rise to the man of sin, and the revelation of him. And this man of sin rises up in the church, not in the civil state; and the consequence of this apostasy is giving men up to strong delusions to believe a lie, and then follows their damnation. And the cause of it is said to be, not receiving the truth in the love of it, so that it is not a civil, but a spiritual apostasy….

And it is not of a particular person, or a particular church, but a general apostasy of the church (though not of every individual). That [apostate] church is afterwards called the temple of God, where the man of sin sits, and is exalted above all that is called God, which cannot be any particular church. And would not the Apostle have specified a particular church?

Neither is it some lesser apostasy which may befall the best church, but such as would be eminent, that greater apostasy.... [T]he Apostle says not apostate, but apostasy, else a man of sin could not rise out of it, and exalt himself above all that is called God, and worshipped. It is an apostasy from sound doctrine, instituted worship, church government, and true holiness of life…. Neither is the apostasy all at once, but gradual: for out of it arises a man of sin, who grows up to this manhood by degrees, and sin and wickedness are not completed at first, as well as holiness….

“And that man of sin be revealed.” The next argument is from the revelation of the man of sin. This is also to precede Christ’s last coming. It is a Hebraism. A warlike man is styled a man of war; a bloody man, a man of bloods; a deceitful man, a man of deceit, etc. So a man eminent in sin is here called a man of sin. Not only personally so, but who promotes sin, propagates it, countenances it, commands it.
  • In sins of omission, forbidding what God requires.
  • In sins of commission, requiring or allowing what God has forbidden.

In sins of the first table [first 5 Ten Commandments, ed.], corrupting God’s worship by superstition and idolatry, taking God’s name in vain by heartless devotion, dissembling piety, dispensing with perjury and false oaths, taking away the Second Commandment and the morality of the Fourth Commandment, and making men’s faith and obedience to rest upon a human authority, etc.

In sins of the second table [second 5 Ten Commandments, ed.], to dispense with duties belonging to superiors and inferiors; with murder, adultery, fornication, incest, robbery, lying, equivocation, etc. And besides all these, promoting a false religion, and destroying the true, by fines, imprisonments, banishments, tortures, poisons, massacre, fire and faggot….

But as this apostasy brings forth this man of sin, so as he rises he helps it forward, so that he both causes it, and is caused by it. As corruption in doctrine, worship, discipline and manners brought him forth, so he was active in corrupting them more and more.

“The son of perdition.” (Another Hebraism....) He is so either
  • actively, as he brings others to destruction, and so may be called Apollyon (Rev. 9:11), or rather
  • passively, as devoted to perdition (as Rev. 19:20), the beast and false prophet are both cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, and the beast that was, and is not, it said to go into perdition (Rev. 17:11).

The destroyer of others both in soul and body will be destroyed himself. First, morally, by the Word and Spirit (2 Thess. 2:8), and then judicially, by God’s revenging justice in this world, and that to come. The Apostle, at the very first mentioning him, declares his destiny. At his first rising and revealing, mentions his fall and ruin.

VERSE 4: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

“Who opposeth,” [Poole here describes the Greek ἀντίκειμαι (antikeimai)]. A further description of this man of sin, by his opposition and exaltation. The oppose, or rather, opposing, expressed in the participle of the present tense, denoting a continued act, or that which he bends himself strongly to.

But against what?... [W]e may well conceive, it is Christ Himself whom he opposes, and his name given him by the Apostle John doth evidence, when he is called antichrist, or the antichrist, one that is against Christ. Not that he openly and professedly opposes Him, but as Judas kissed his Master, and betrayed Him…. It is iniquity in a mystery. He serves Christ, but it is to serve himself upon Him. He acknowledges Him in all His offices, and yet doth virtually deny and oppose Him in all.

Called antichrist, as opposite the unction of Christ. Christ signifies anointed, and so he opposes Him in the offices to which He is anointed, while he owns His natures. He professes himself a “servant of the servants of God,” and yet persecutes, curses, proscribes, and kills them, opposing Christ in his members. He makes war with the saints (Rev. 13:7). He hath two horns like a lamb and speaks as a dragon (Rev. 13:11), and speaks lies in hypocrisy (1 Tim. 4:2).

“Exalteth.” And then he is described by his exaltation [Poole describes the Greek word]. He exalteth himself: it is not from God. He exalteth himself, or lifts himself above all that is called God, though not really and essentially God. The Apostle knew that in the Old Testament magistrates were called gods (Ps. 82:1,6), and 1 Cor. 8:5: “There be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth.” Magistrates and rules are of several degrees, some inferior, some superior, some above them all—and that not only in spirituals, by excommunications, but in civils, by deposing kings, disposing kingdoms, yea, making emperors to wait at his gate, hold his stirrup, prostrate themselves to kiss his toe, and then to tread upon their neck…. So that by these two words in the text (opposeth and exalteth), the Apostle describes him both in his enmity and pride, opposition and exaltation.

  • First, he assumes to himself a higher power than those that are only called gods. Theirs is human, his is Divine; theirs on the bodies or estates of men, his over the conscience; theirs only to the living, his to men’s souls after death.
  • Next he makes himself like God, and is as God, as the king of old Babylon said, “I will be like the Most High” (Is. 14:14). As God’s residence of old was in the temple of Jerusalem, so he, as God, sits in the temple of God. Not that temple that was built by Solomon, and afterwards rebuilt, and to be built again… for it is now destroyed, and if it be built again by this man of sin,… would the Apostle call it “the temple of God”? (2 Cor. 6:16, Rev. 3:12, etc.). But it is a spiritual temple, as the church is called (1 Cor. 3:16-17)….. He sitteth in the temple, the church of God, not that it can be the true church where he thus sits and acts, but rather the synagogue of Satan….
  • [Then] “Showing himself that he is God.” Not saying it with his mouth… but making such a show before men…. He shows himself as a God before men, and claims a power to be judged of no men, and to be a judge of all men. 

VERSE 5: “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

The Apostle Paul tacitly upbraids them for their forgetfulness. To forget the things that have been taught us is a great evil. Solomon often cautions against it (Prov. 3:1; 4:5) and it is often reproved (Heb.12:5; James 1:24) and the contrary required (Mal. 4:4; John 16:4; Jude 17; Rev. 3:3).

David hid the Word in his heart (Ps. 119:19). The Apostles did take care to tell the churches of the apostasy that could come, and of false prophets and teachers that would arise, as Paul the elders of Ephesus (Acts 20: 29-30) and Peter (2 Pet. 2:1) and of the coming of antichrist (1 John 2:18). And more fully, although obscurely, in the book of Revelation.

And the Apostle here in this verse minds these Thessalonians that he told them of the coming of the man of sin before the coming of Christ, so that they should not have been shaken in their minds about Christ’s coming in that present age. And they told the churches of these things, that they might not be surprised by them, or offended at them, when they came.

VERSE 6: “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.”

“And now ye know what withholdeth.” The Apostle it seems had told them, as of His coming, so of what at present withheld the revealing of him….
  1. It was something that the Apostle thought not safe openly to declare in writing; else he would not have written of it so obscurely.
  2. It was both a thing, and a person; a thing in this verse that which withholdeth; and a person, as in the next verse (verse 7) he who letteth. [There is an exposition of the Greek κατέχω (katechō) at this point, ed.]
  3. It was also such a thing and such a person as were to be removed out of the way, not totally, but as they were hindrances of this revelation….
“That he might be revealed in his time.” As God appoints seasons for all His works, so for the revealing of him, as also for his ruin.

VERSE 7: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” The way was prepared by degrees for the man of sin. Before he came actually to be revealed, or constituted in his complete existence, and this was by the working of the mystery of iniquity.

A mystery is something in general which is abstruse, intricate, and not easily discerned. And there are mysteries in doctrine, and in practice; mysteries of godliness and mysteries of iniquity, mysteries of the kingdom of God, and of the devil’s kingdom. So there are the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10) and the depths of Satan (Rev. 2:24).

The mystery ushering in the man of sin is a mystery of iniquity. It is not open sin and wickedness, but dissembled piety, specious errors, wickedness under a form of godliness cunningly managed that is here meant…. And it is a mystery that works. It doth and exert and put forth itself, but secretly, as a mole which works underground. And its working is not against the being, providence, and attributes of God, or natural religion; but is to undermine Christianity in the peculiar doctrines, worship, and practice of it.
  • In doctrines are brought in privily damnable heresies (2 Pet 2:1.
  • In worship, inventions and commandments of men, under pretense of greater reverence, devotion, and humility (Col 2:22-23).
  • In practice, dispensations to moral impieties under color of service to the church.
And this mystery, says our Apostle, already works;
  • in the false doctrines of the false teachers of his time,
  • in the traditions and inventions of men obtruding themselves into the worship of God in his time,
  • in the affectation of pre-eminence in the church in his time,
  • and making merchandise of the Gospel in his time,
  • and gain godliness;
  • and in mingling philosophical notions with the simplicity of the Gospel,
  • and gratifying the flesh under a form of godliness and pretense of Gospel liberty.

And it was not among the heathen, or the Jews, but among the professors of Christianity, that this mystery was then working…. And when the man of sin was fully revealed all these corruptions did center in him, as sinks in the common sewer; the lesser antichrists in the great antichrist.

“Only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” The idolatries and persecutions of the heathen emperors must be taken out of the way, to make way for those that arise under a Christian, or rather antichristian, state, the dragon giving his seat, spirit, and power to the beast. And the power that was in the Roman emperor, whether heathen or Christian, must be taken out of the way to make room for the exaltation of this man of sin. For notwithstanding all corruptions in doctrine, worship, or practice which might be introduced before, yet he is not fully revealed till he hath his jurisdiction and secular power also in his hand. And then this mystery of iniquity is arrived to its height, which John saw written in the forehead of the great whore (Rev. 17:5), Mystery, Babylon the great, etc….


To Be Continued….

*From A Commentary on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole, Volume III: Matthew-Revelation (Hendrickson Publishers), p. 758-759. These excerpts have been amended, abridged, and reformatted for blog usage, along with some updated punctuation, spelling and word usage. 
 
Note to reader: This excerpt from Matthew Poole’s Commentary, circa 1600, is an example of what evangelical prophecy leaders and organizations used to teach 20-40 years ago. Not so long ago, before the postmodern prophecy paradigm era, this sort of article was commonplace. Writings such as this served as an encouragement to the reader to 1) expect the Lord's imminent return and 2) be ready to meet the Lord "here, there or in the air." Believers exhorted one another that He could return at any time because all events on earth were coinciding to fulfill Bible prophecy, and that before the end the Gospel of salvation should be shared far and wide, especially to family and friends. As yet another sign of the times we note that publishing such an article today, especially with this eschatology, is likely to be met with scoffings (2 Pet. 3:2), even open disbelief (2 Pet. 3:4). For some of you, this may be the first time you have ever encountered this (now) old-fashioned Bible prophecy teaching. Read and consider: what if it is true?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bible Prophecy, Circa 1600

“The Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”

Excerpted and adapted from
Matthew Poole’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2:1,2*



VERSE 1: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him,” 

The Apostle Paul now comes to refute the opinion that some had received as if the day of Christ was near at hand. Having said, 1 Thess. 4:17, “We which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air,” etc., then some might think His coming would be in the Apostle’s time….

And because this mistake might be of dangerous consequence, therefore Paul is very vehement and particular in refuting it. For hereupon they might be brought to question the truth of the whole Gospel when this should not come to pass. They might be unprepared for the sufferings that were to come upon the church; their patience might fail in expecting this day, and their minds be doubting about the coming of Christ at all.

This opinion would also much narrow their thoughts about Christ’s kingdom, and the enlarging of the Gospel among other Gentiles. And the profane might abuse it to sensuality, as 1 Cor. 15:32, “Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.”

The coming of Christ was what they desired and rejoiced in, as that which would truly bring rest to them, and tribulation to their adversaries. And by this Paul doth therefore beseech or adjure them. And therefore we must understand this of Christ’s last coming, as the word παρουσία (parousia) in the text, is still applied to this coming (1Th 2:19; 1Th 3:13), and not of His coming to destroy the Jewish church and state, for that coming was at hand.

The phrase “by our gathering together unto Him”—at His last coming, when the whole body of Christ shall be gathered to Him, to meet Him in the air: 1 Thess. 4:17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” And then the sense is As ye hope ever to see such a blessed meeting, and to be of that number, so take heed of this opinion…. And so the Apostle Paul adjures them not to be soon shaken in mind, but to stand fast in the truth about the doctrine of Christ’s coming, which they had been taught. And therefore it was the greater evil to be soon shaken; as the apostle upbraids the Galatians (1:6)….

VERSE 2: “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” 

“Shaken in mind” σαλεύω (from saleuō) is an allusion to the waves of the sea that are tossed with the winds, as false doctrines tend to unsettle the mind (Eph. 4:14, Heb 13:9). To be established in the truth is often commanded (1 Cor. 16:13, Phil. 4:1, Col. 1:23, etc.). And by mind here is either meant
  • The faculty itself. The Apostle Paul beseeches them to keep company with their understanding, not to be removed from their mind. False doctrine is said to betwitch men (Gal. 3:1) and to make men foolish (see verse 3). As madness is called dementia, as that which does unmind men, and corrupt the mind, and pervert the judgment (2 Tim. 3:8,9), as Jannes and Jambres deceived the people by their enchantments, as the Apostle there mentions.
  • The judgment of the mind. Paul beseeches them to hold fast the right judgment they had entertained about Christ’s coming, and not to hesitate and waver about it, so the word mind is taken in 1 Cor. 2:16.
“Or be troubled” θροέω (throeō), alludes to soldiers affrighted with a sudden alarm. We find the word [and similar allusion] in Matthew 24:6: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled—see also Mark 13:7. And the opinion of Christ’s coming to be at hand might occasion this trouble in them, either lest they might be surprised by it, and unprepared for it, or by judging themselves mistaken in their former apprehensions about it. And those false teachers that broach this opinion, did also perhaps so represent this coming in such terror as to cause this trouble, as false teachers in general are said to cause trouble, Gal. 1:7: “there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is in itself rather the saints’ hope and joy, than ground of trouble, as 1 Thess 1:10 (“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come”) and 4:18 (“Wherefore comfort one another with these words”), etc. And so it may be some did pretend this opinion was of the Spirit, or some letter from the Apostle Paul—either his former Epistle (1 Thessalonians) to them, or some letter that was forged, or some word he had spoken or preached….

“Neither by spirit”—some extraordinary revelation of the Spirit, which the false teachers pretended to (1 Cor. 14:6, Gal. 3:2,5). Some would pretend the Spirit that called Jesus accursed (1 Cor. 12:3) and therefore the Apostle bids them to “Try the spirits” (1 John 4:1)…. The man of sin pretends to this Spirit though it is in truth the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:3)….  It was foretold that in the last times there would arise “seducing spirits” (1 Tim. 4:1), just as there was in the times of the Old Testament false prophets that pretended to the Spirit (1 Kings 22:24, Micah 2:11). And the very heathen would pretend to divine oracles, inspirations, and revelations, especially their kings and lawgivers….; and still there are enthusiasts who make these pretences.

“Nor by word”— διά (dia) λόγος (logos) whereby some understand calculation by astrological rules, that the day of Christ was at hand. Others… from some natural causes reasoned that the dissolution of the world was night at hand. Some may have put words in the Apostle’s own mouth, which was pretended he had spoken or preached somewhere, though not written. Just as the church of Rome pretends to traditions, besides the written Word, upon which they ground many of their superstitions and idolatries, not warranted by Scripture. And as the Jews had a second Mishnah, and their Cabbala, collected in part from the sayings of Moses, or some other of their prophets, which they did not write. [These early examples are strikingly similar the postmodern prophecy paradigm teachings currently in vogue, ed.]

“Nor by letter”—some letter that was sent to them by some other hand, or else by some forged letter as if it were from the Apostle himself, or his former Epistle misunderstood.  [In other words, Letter may refer to the early extrabiblical pseudoepigraphical and apocryphal writings that had already begun to circulate at the time of the apostles, ed.]

“As that the day of Christ is at hand”—Objection: But is it not said that the day of the Lord, or the coming of the Lord, is at hand (1 Cor. 10:11; Phil. 4:5; James 5:7,8; 1 Peter 4:2)? Answer: The word used in those places differs from this in the text; for it signifies either that which is actually present, or very near it as Rom. 8:38; Gal. 1:4…. And in that sense Christ said, “Behold, I come quickly,” Rev. 22:7. But the error the apostle warns them of is, as if the coming of Christ would be in the age in which they lived. The apostles all said that the coming of the Lord was at hand, but their right meaning was perverted to a false sense, as seducers usually do.


To Be Continued….

*From A Commentary on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole, Volume III: Matthew-Revelation (Hendrickson Publishers), p. 758-759. These excerpts have been amended, abridged, and reformatted for blog usage, along with some updated punctuation, spelling and word usage. 

Note to reader: This excerpt from Matthew Poole’s Commentary, circa 1600, is an example of what evangelical prophecy leaders and organizations used to teach 20-40 years ago. Not so long ago, before the postmodern prophecy paradigm era, this sort of article was commonplace. Writings such as this served as an encouragement to the reader to 1) expect the Lord's imminent return and 2) be ready to meet the Lord "here, there or in the air." Believers exhorted one another that He could return at any time because all events on earth were coinciding to fulfill Bible prophecy, and that before the end the Gospel of salvation should be shared far and wide, especially to family and friends. As yet another sign of the times we note that publishing such an article today, especially with this eschatology, is likely to be met with scoffings (2 Pet. 3:2), even open disbelief (2 Pet. 3:4). For some of you, this may be the first time you have ever encountered this (now) old-fashioned Bible prophecy teaching. Read and consider: what if it is true?