2 THESSALONIANS 2
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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.
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