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April 30, 2008

Comments

Jeff

I'm a little confused on the difference between the Apostacy and the Man of Lawlessness.

Jim Fleming

Jeff,
The apostasy and the revelation of the man of lawlessness are distinguishable events but occupy the same general time period. The apostasy is a cultural phenomenon: Society will find its purpose in opposing God. The revelation of the man of lawlessness is a political event, the public recognition of a dynamic leader for this apostate movement. He will be a messianic pretender who champions living in defiance of God's standards. Together these terms describe the man and his movement.

Jeff

Ahhhhhhh, ok. I was thinking that, but wasn't sure if it was the movement that made the man or the man started the movement. Sounds like it's the former.

Not made made, but made him "The Guy."

ms

How did you decide to keep the apostasy bubble out of the present?

Jeff

If I understand the diagram and the corresponding verses correctly, the mystery of lawlessness is where the apostasy is held back until whatever holds it back is taken away. Then, the apostasy and the man of lawlessness will both be revealed for what they are. Is that about right?

Jim Fleming

MS,
There is no doubt that we see the erosion of our society by apostasy today. "The Apostasy" is the crowning expression of this philosophy and it is described in 2 Thess. 2:1-12 as a definite future event. It either represents the first event in the "Day of the Lord" or immediately precedes it - so I have drawn my bubble to span both possibilities. It also seems to be accompanied by the "revelation of the man of lawlessness," which suggests that one is not present without the other. Until this man hits the stage, we are just dealing with apostasy warm-ups, not the main event. Note how my bubble kisses the present - 2 Thess. 2:1-12 suggests the apostasy and the revelation of the man of lawlessness are the first definitive and identifiable events to begin the count-down to Jesus' return.

Jim Fleming

Jeff,
Yes, you are correct - with this one modest correction. When "the restrainer" is removed, the apostasy will not just be revealed, it will grow unrestrained, like cancer. The world will enter a period where apostasy becomes its dominant and pervasive philosophy.

ms

Does the revelation of the man of lawlessness coincide with the 7-year treaty with Israel?

Jim Fleming

MC,
It seems reasonable to make such a connection since many of the descriptive features of 2 Thess. 1:1-12 could be made to fit with a scenario from Daniel that includes Dan. 9:27. BUT, we have no clear and compelling biblical basis for making this connection. So, I prefer to answer, "It is possible, but we cannot say with absolute certainty."

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