Posts filed under ‘Judaism’
The problem of course is that, while some choose to believe that Paul’s reference to the “man of sin” is a metaphor that refers to the Christian and the fact that our body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit, this stretches the credulity of the text itself. They believe that the “man of sin” is an appellation for the spiritual man created by the Holy Spirit. They do not see Paul’s words as being literal, but merely figurative. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the text that supports this. Paul seems to be clearly pointing ahead to a time still in front of us when a man will walk onto the scene and will surrender himself to Satan. Satan will then give him his authority and enabling (supernaturally). This man will be known as the Antichrist, or “man of sin.” Paul’s use of the singular here is very important. He is speaking of ONE specific individual.
I believe since then, Satan has been busy attempting to rebuild a Tower of Babel, but not in the physical sense. I believe Satan has spent thousands of years bringing people together as “one” in thought, religion, government, and societal structure. This will make it much easier for him to completely indwell one coming individual who will be offered the same thing Jesus was offered in Matthew 4. There, Jesus was offered all the kingdoms of the world if only He would bow down to Satan and worship him alone. We know that Jesus rejected without consideration Satan’s temptation. We also know according to 2 Thessalonians 2, the coming “man of sin” (which is not a metaphor), will likely face the same temptation and, unlike Jesus, will succumb to Satan. At that point, Satan will supernaturally endow this coming “man of sin” with all of Satan’s ability. We learn this in Revelation 13:3-4, which states, “And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast.”
This part of Daniel has no literal fulfillment in all of history yet. Even many liberal scholars believe that this is unfulfilled prophecy. While it might be argued that Antiochus Epiphanes may have fulfilled some of what is described in this section of Daniel (11:36-39), he did not fulfill all of them. Paul also speaks of future events when the “man of sin” will sit in the Jewish temple that will be built during the Tribulation (2 Thessalonians 2). While some allegorize that portion of Scripture to mean the physical body of the Christian, it really does not have any follow through. Paul, like Jesus, referred to a future event that was very reminiscent of the act performed by Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 BC where he physically went into the existing Jewish temple and defiled it. Jesus emphasized this in His Olivet Discourse to underscore the fact that the coming “man of sin” (Antichrist, a physical human being) will do the same thing that was done in 168 BC. Of course, this means that another Jewish temple will be built in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. How that will happen is anyone’s guess, but it most likely tied into the confirmation of the covenant that Antichrist brokers with Israel’s leaders (Daniel 9:27). This is the exact event that starts the Tribulation.
There is much in Daniel that we seem to understand very well today. We understand all the empires mentioned in Daniel 2, 7, and 8. Scholars are also in agreement (with few exceptions) as to the identities of the individuals mentioned in Daniel 11. While people still argue about the meaning of Daniel 9, it also seems as though the meaning of that chapter is clearly evident. So as a whole, the book of Daniel is not so mysterious (from our vantage point in 2015) as it most certainly was during Daniel’s day. Yet, even Daniel understood a good deal of what he wrote down.
The first part of the above text promises that the “day of the LORD upon all nations is near.” Clearly, this is a reference to God’s final, work of judgment when He will pour out His wrath upon all nations and will finalize these judgments in the Sheep and the Goats judgment (Matthew 25:31-46), just prior to the start of the Millennial Reign of Jesus, physically on earth.
It is also noteworthy to learn that God says in Obadiah 1:17 that the house of Jacob will possess the Land (including Edom) and this points to the future. In fact, Obadiah 1:15-21 speaks clearly of the results of the coming “day of the Lord,” the judgments that will occur and the rewards that will be given. It is clearly futuristic because this portion of Scripture has not yet been fulfilled.
But think of Zechariah and everyone who came after the prophet and read his scroll. To them, they saw NO GAP OF TIME. They never saw that the Messiah would come the first time and then come back again, the second time. To those people, Messiah would come and immediately set things right. He would set up His rule and rein in power, dominion, peace, and humility, carrying salvation on His shoulders.
It is also important to note that “The partial deliverance at Babylon’s downfall prefigures the final, complete deliverance of Israel, literal and spiritual, at the downfall of the mystical Babylon (Revelation 18:1-19:21′).” I think we can all agree that even though the Jewish captives were freed from Babylon after the appointed 70 years noted by Jeremiah, the reality is that the kingdom of Babylon simply began the “times of the Gentiles” (Daniel 2), in which Gentiles would maintain control over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. This disposition continues to this day.