2 THESSALONIANS 2
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;
...he set himself up as the VICAR OF CHRIST; that is, the Divinely deputed substitute of Christ, as indicated by the word Antichristos, from anti, in the place of, christos, the Anointed One, or Christ
... the Man of Sin substitute for Christ ... an order of ecclesiastical rulers, a Name, or Body, with its Eyes, Mouth, and subordinate members. Being an imperial spiritual human power, its chief ruler would be a man, the supreme representative for the period of his reign... "the god of the earth"... whom they create they worship.
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.
This in few words is highly descriptive of the popes. "God" in the passage signifies a ruler of whatever kind, for "God" in the Scriptures is applied to angels, magistrates, and the whole nation of Israel; as,
"I said, ye are gods; but ye shall die as one of the princes;" and, "worship him ye gods;"
the former being addressed to Israel, the latter, to the angels concerning Jesus. The "temple of the god" is St. Peter's at Rome. Now, the history of the papacy shows the applicability of the description to the popes, and to them exclusively.
They have systematically opposed and exalted themselves above every ruler, whether emperors, or kings, and above all bishops and priests; so that they have sat in St. Peter's as gods, exhibiting themselves thus, because they claim to be gods upon earth. The incarnate devilism of these blasphemers of God's name, and of His people (Rev. 13:6, 7; 18:24), and murderers of His saints, cannot be surpassed by any power that could possibly arise.
They are essentially sin corporealized in human shape, and therefore most emphatically the order of the man of sin; as "the holy, apostolic, and Roman Catholic Church" is the "mother of harlots, and of all the abominations of the earth."
Paul styles this dynastic order, the lawless one; and because of its destiny,
"the son of perdition."
In the apocalypse, it is represented by an eighth head (Rev. 17:11) of the beast, which divides "the habitable" with the dragon. Of this head, the Spirit saith, "it goeth to perdition."
It is a head, which exercised both civil and pontifical dominion over the west; and when resolved into other symbol, its conjoint dominion is represented by a two-horned beast (Rev. 13:11, 14, 15), and an image of the sixth head of the seven-headed beast (Rev. 17:3); the former symbolizing the Austrian power; and the latter his ally, the lawless one.
Elpis Israel 1.3.
That he would set himself up above all that is called god, or a power to which homage is paid; and that as a supreme power he would sit in the Temple of the Power, showing himself that he is a supreme power or god. The nucleus of this power had just been born [AD 313], as the Man-child of the Catholic Woman; and, although an unbaptized emperor, sat in the temple and exhibited himself there as the supreme power, or god.
He presided in the Nicene and other Councils, and made laws for his church; and punished with severe pains and penalties those who conscientiously refused submission to his decrees. He was constituted "Head of the Church," and determined all matters of discipline; and acted in all respects as the spiritual vicegerent of the Deity.
... He ordered the observance of martyr-festivals; dedicated churches with great solemnity; preached discourses in them; ordered the sacred observance of Sunday, to which he added that of Friday also, as the week-day of the crucifixion; and taught the soldiers of his army to pray by a form made for their use.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
The Gentiles did not gladly and modestly enjoy the privilege brought to them by the ministry of the apostles, and Paul foretold that, for this cause, God would send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie.
The principle illustrated in this general and large way, is without doubt, of individual application. Where men despise the goodness of God, or arrogantly make use of the powers bestowed upon them, whether of faculty or of control of means, sooner or later, God may work against them and impel them into courses that will bring about their own destruction, after the example of the seven nations of Canaan, utterly destroyed by the sword of Joshua.
The Ways of Providence ch 12.
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
It is the truth that will save us, not error, however innocently held. Paul says so:
...What is the truth? The answer is: The teaching of the inspired apostles and prophets of God (Ephes. 1:20). Is it needful for us to know the whole of their teaching in order to become the children of God or heirs of salvation? No, otherwise there would be no room for growing in knowledge, which is the life-long duty of saints (Phil. 1:9; 2 Pet. 3:18). What, then, have we to believe at the start? We are told:
"The first principles of the oracles of God" (Heb. 5:12: 6:1).
What are the first principles? We have no formal statement of them, but a very small amount of research will reveal them. The references to the apostolic presentment to the Gentiles of the gospel supply the information.
The preaching comprised the things concerning the only true and living God (Acts 17:23-28: 14:15; 1 Thes. 1:9); Jesus Christ, his death for sin, his resurrection, and temporary absence from the earth (Acts 18:28: 26:23; Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 1:18: 15:3-4; 1 Thes. 1:10; 2 Tim. 2:8); the kingdom of God (Acts 28:31); Repentance (Acts 26:20); Resurrection and Judgment (Acts 10:42; Rom. 2:16); Eternal life (Acts 13:46, 48: 11:18); Baptism (Acts 8:12); the extension of Israelitish promises to the Gentiles (Ephes. 6:19).
Let the comprehensiveness of all this doctrine be intelligently grasped, and there will be little complaint about the Christadelphians requiring too much in the way of knowledge from candidates for immersion.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Sept 1900
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
Inspiration a First Principle
-The doctrine of the Inspiration of the Bible is a question naturally the very first of first principles. It is of no modern origin. It is an apostolic tradition that "all scripture is given by inspiration," and it is an apostolic command to withdraw from every man who refuses submission to apostolic teaching whether delivered by word or epistle-(2 Thess. 3:14.)
The Christadelphian, Feb 1886