Matthew Henry on the man of sin


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2 Thessalonians 2

NKJV

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

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The Biblical commentaries written by Matthew Henry, credit - Pete unseth, Wikimedia

The Biblical commentaries written by Matthew Henry, credit – Pete unseth, Wikimedia

Matthew Henry (1662 – 1714)

“Verses 1-3 In these words the apostle confutes the error against which he had cautioned them, and gives the reasons why they should not expect the coming of Christ as just at hand. There were several events previous to the second coming of Christ; in particular, he tells them there would be, I. A general apostasy, there would come a falling away first, v. 3. By this apostasy we are not to understand a defection in the state, or from civil government, but in spiritual or religious matters, from sound doctrine, instituted worship and church government, and a holy life. The apostle speaks of some very great apostasy, not only of some converted Jews or Gentiles, but such as should be very general, though gradual, and should give occasion to the revelation of [the] rise of antichrist, that man of sin. This, he says (v. 5), he had told them of when he was with them, with design, no doubt, that they should not take offence nor be stumbled at it. And let us observe that no sooner was Christianity planted and rooted in the world than there began to be a defection in the Christian church. It was so in the Old-Testament church; presently after any considerable advance made in religion there followed a defection: soon after the promise there was revolting; for example, soon after men began to call upon the name of the Lord all flesh corrupted their way,—soon after the covenant with Noah the Babel-builders bade defiance to heaven,—soon after the covenant with Abraham his seed degenerated in Egypt,—soon after the Israelites were planted in Canaan, when the first generation was worn off, they forsook God and served Baal,—soon after God’s covenant with David his seed revolted, and served other gods,—soon after the return out of captivity there was a general decay of piety, as appears by the story of Ezra and Nehemiah; and therefore it was no strange thing that after the planting of Christianity there should come a falling away. II. A revelation of that man of sin, that is (v. 3), antichrist would take his rise from this general apostasy. The apostle afterwards speaks of the revelation of that wicked one (v. 8), intimating the discovery which should be made of his wickedness, in order to his ruin: here he seems to speak of his rise, which should be occasioned by the general apostasy he had mentioned, and to intimate that all sorts of false doctrines and corruptions should centre in him. Great disputes have been as to who or what is intended by this man of sin and son of perdition: and, if it be not certain that the papal power and tyranny are principally or only intended, yet this is plain, What is here said does very exactly agree thereto. For observe, 1…” 

To finish reading, go to Bible Study Tools

HT: Carlos Gonzalez, THE POPE = THE MAN OF SIN (PART 3),  COVENANTER REFORMATION

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Please note,

The other passage in which the term “the son of perdition” appears is in John’s Gospel, where the Lord is praying and refers to Judas Iscariot, though not by name:

John 17:12

NKJV

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

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13 thoughts on “Matthew Henry on the man of sin

  1. I wonder…am I the only dispy who believes this man of sin is the Pope? Strangely, it was a dispy who said, Satan has always had his man of sin at the ready throughout the age of the Church. So true! In Paul’s day, and until Constantine’s conversion there was Gnosticism that pervaded the Church (and it always has to this day!) and then there came the popes who eventually usurped God’s authority and person with the apostate believers.

    Now, I know that you believe the man of sin sits in the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in all of us who believes Christ Jesus and His work for our salvation but, can the unbeliever, or apostate, have that very temple within them?
    So many Christians have abandoned pointing the finger at the Pope as the man of sin yet, how else will we know who the man of sin is before the Rapture happens? And how can anything else compare with so great an apostasy from the Christian faith as Roman Catholicism?

    Have a blessed day, maria!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sherry! Here is the best I can manage to explain, for I don’t believe that ” the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in all of us who believes Christ Jesus and His work for our salvation.” What this teaching is: Antichrist sits in the temple of God (that is, among Christians) in the visible church. The kingdom of God is within us, the Spirit of Christ lives in believers – our bodies are His temple, but the kingdom of Antichrist is something in the world that came from within us, departing from us. There, in a sham kingdom of this world, he proclaims that He bears the Lord’s titles and authority.

      I’m glad you mentioned Gnosticism. Is believing that Christ is among us – not in the flesh but in the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass, the Eucharist – a way of denying His coming in the flesh?

      Sherry, obviously I’m not an expert in this or in historicism, just a person who believes the truth, “and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2), first in the Bible and then in history, in the dynasty of the Papacy.

      The future unfulfilled things are coming. J.L. Haynes, the pastor who is the administrator of the website Historicism.com, believes in the ingathering and redemption of the Jews – Israel – before a real Millennium.

      I’m praying that our brothers and sisters – however they see the Last Days, whatever kind of tribber or milly they are – will recognize our enemy and pray for the Lord to bring about His will expressed in Rev. 18. Spurgeon was someone who said we should pray for this. “They kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sherry, I don’t know any other dispy who believe this about the papacy except for our brothers and sisters who are with the Lord. Maybe I’ve forgotten that I’ve noticed other dispensationalists and (except for Bennett and Mencarow) other nondispensationalists who believe this. It’s pretty rare and perhaps has been dropped as it was from the Westminster Confession of Faith as something from the days of the Reformation.
      ?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “By this apostasy we are not to understand a defection in the state, or from civil government, but in spiritual or religious matters, from sound doctrine, instituted worship and church government, and a holy life.” I do love Matthew Henry.

    Liked by 1 person

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