Home > Radical Islam, Theology and Eschatology > 2 Thessalonians 2:4 — A Rebuilt Jewish Temple, or Something Else?

2 Thessalonians 2:4 — A Rebuilt Jewish Temple, or Something Else?


By ICA

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [the Day of the Lord] 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.”

A thought came to me some time ago with respect to “the temple of God” and how many students of Biblical eschatology expect there to one day be a new Jewish temple built on the Temple Mount before the Second Coming of Christ, one in which the Antichrist himself would eventually stand in and literally claim “I am God.” While an effort does exist by some orthodox Jewish groups to rebuild the third temple, I think it would be wise for all students of Scripture to consider the possibility that this may not have been what the Holy Spirit was referring to in 2 Thessalonians 2 and Matthew 24.

The Temple of God in the New Testament

To understand why, we first need to keep in mind that the Apostle Paul and Jesus both pointed to a Last Days event that would take place just before the Day of the Lord (Christ’s post-trib Second Coming). Paul referred to it as the “man of sin” who sets himself up in “the temple of God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4), while Jesus described it as the “Abomination of Desolation” standing in “the holy place” (Matthew 24:15).  Many have assumed that the temple mentioned by Paul must be a physical temple in Jerusalem. But if we look a little more closely at the text we begin to notice something that we may not have noticed before: Each and every time the Apostle Paul speaks about the “temple of God” and uses the Greek word “naos” (G3485) in Scripture he is always referring to believers both individually and collectively. He is referring to the Church:

1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

1 Corinthians 3:17, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

2 Corinthians 6:16, “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God …”

Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

Even the Apostle Peter agrees in 1 Peter 2, the only time he ever refers to God’s temple:

1 Peter 2:4-5, “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

When Paul refers to the temple as the Church he uses the word “naos” (G3485) and always called the Church the temple of God or the temple of the Holy Spirit or an equivalent expression. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Paul again refers to the temple of God (“naos” ) which, as in each and every other usage of the expression, would in my opinion again be referring to the Church as it always had before, not a physical temple. According to those who believe that a future literal temple will be rebuilt, however, we are expected to believe that Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 suddenly changes what he consistently meant in previous epistles when speaking about the temple of God. But if Paul spoke of the Church each and every time before, then it only stands to reason that he was again referring to the Church when writing about the temple of God in his letter to the believers in Thessalonica:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, “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 [eis G1519 – or against] the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

The only other times Paul spoke about a physical temple were in 1 Corinthians 9:13, Acts 25:8 and Acts 17:24. In 1 Corinthians 9:13 and Acts 25:8 he uses the word “hieron” (G2411) specifically to refer to the physical temple in Jerusalem. In Acts 17:24, however, he is quoted as using the word “naos” to refer to physical temples in general, however his entire point was that it was no longer a physical temple in which God dwells. Why? Because the Church was now that temple. In these instances where Paul spoke about a physical temple he never referred to it as “the temple of God” or an equivalent expression.

Acts 17:24, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.”

The Temple of Revelation 11

With this thought in mind, let us now turn our attention to another portion of Scripture that many watchers of Biblical eschatology will often use to support the idea that we’re still waiting for a rebuilt Jewish temple. In the very first verse of Revelation 11 John writes:

Revelation 11:1, “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.'”

Many believe that if John could measure this temple using a physical tool like a reed, then the temple must itself be physical. This, however, need not be the case at all. Four quick reasons why:

1. The Angel who speaks to John uses the exact same expression in Revelation 11:1, saying, “Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.” Even the word “naos” is used when referring to the temple of God, the same word the Apostle Paul used when referring to the temple of God as the Church, not a temple made of stone.

2. The very first time we find the word “temple” in Revelation is in 3:12a regarding the Church in Philadelphia when Christ says, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.” To be made a pillar in the temple of God must mean that the temple in view here is not a physical temple made of stone, but rather one that is made of people.

3. Lampstands/candlesticks were important items that were found in the physical temple in the Old Testament, yet John shows us that this time the lampstands/candlesticks in the temple of God are represented by the two witnesses (11:4), which again would indicate that the temple in view is not a physical temple made of stone, but rather one of people.

4. In the Old Testament a priest was one who served within the physical temple. In Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 we are told that anyone who has been washed by the blood of Christ is a priest, and the Christian understanding of this according to 1 Peter 2:5 is that as priests we now “offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” We no longer offer animal sacrifices in a temple made of stone.

Indeed, we are being built together upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone, a building in which all of us as believers are being fitted together, growing into a holy temple in the Lord for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22). Considering all that we have just learned, could it not therefore stand to reason that when John speaks of the “holy city” being trampled under foot in 11:2 that he is referring directly to God’s people, and not a physical temple built in Jerusalem? In my opinion, definitely (cf. Revelation 21 and Psalm 46:4, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells”; also see Matthew 5:14).

The Prophet Daniel And The Time Of The End

Daniel’s prophecies often spoke about the last days leading up to the Second Coming of Christ. Some will point to these prophecies and assume that since Daniel appeared to speak of a physical temple and daily offerings that the last days temple must therefore be a literal temple in Jerusalem. As we can see from above, however, the New Testament is quite clear that today the “temple of God” is the Church and that we, as believers, now offer up the sacrifice of praise continually (cf. Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 2:5). Even if the prophet Daniel himself believed the prophecies he was given of the end times referred to a physical temple would not change this reality. The revelation that the Church would become the temple of God was progressive and prophets were evidently not always granted a full understanding of the prophecies they were given, which is quite apparent in Daniel 12 itself:

Daniel 12:8-10,Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, ‘My lord, what shall be the end of these things?’ And he said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.’”

Even though Daniel was not always granted full understanding, he was faithful in recording the prophecies he had received. Not knowing that the temple of God would one day be the people of God, however, would have conceivably been somewhat bewildering to Daniel if he had himself assumed that it was a physical temple that would be defiled during the time of the end. This could very well have been one of the reasons why Daniel did not understand all that he was seeing and hearing. According to the words of the Apostle Paul in Acts 17:24, a physical temple today would be little more than an empty building, void of the presence of God. I am sure that Christ would have known this and would in no way have been referring to a physical temple as the “holy place” in Matthew 24:15 when referring to the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel. A building absent of God is just another building. But the “holy temple” that is the Church in which God dwells, however, is another matter. This may have been why Jesus said “let the reader understand” in Matthew 24:15 — because Daniel did not:

Matthew 24:15, “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand–”

Ephesians 2:19-22, “… you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

If Jesus in Matthew 24 and the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 are referring to the holy place that is the new spiritual temple of God — the Church — then it may be that all we need to watch for in this respect is “someone” of significant importance made manifest and rise up against the Ekklesia of God.  This new spiritual offensive could even commence as a physical offensive against Jews and Christians at the Temple Mount itself whereby this “someone” would proclaim himself to be something that only the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can lay claim to. And what could that be?

Apart From Me There Is No …

The Muslim world — both the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam — is awaiting the arrival of a “messianic” figure whom they call “The Mahdi” or “The 12th Imam.” They believe that this figure will lead them into a new era of Islamic “justice” that would unite the Ummah (the false Islamic “church” as it were) and spread Islam throughout the earth (see here).  Of particular interest is the fact that Muslims view this man as “Savior” — not only for Muslims, but for all of humanity (see here and here).

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 the Apostle Paul speaks about a “man of sin” or “lawlessness” setting himself “eis” (in or against) the temple of God, seeking to defile it, and then being destroyed by God at the brightness of His coming. In 1 Corinthians 3:17 Paul stated the exact same thing, saying, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” In my view, this is certainly not a coincidence. Most translations say that before the “man of sin” is destroyed he will “sit” or “take his seat” in the temple of God. The Greek word for “sit” is “kathizō” (G2523) but it means more than to simply sit down physically, as one would sit on a chair. It also means to appoint, or to set or to confer a kingdom on someone. When we say that we have a sitting President or Head of State, for instance, it does not mean that they are physically sitting down. It means that they have taken their seat in office. According to the Greek, this “man of sin” will likewise be taking his seat or official position, which could possibly be referring to Islam’s Mahdi as he takes his seat as the proclaimed “Savior of Humanity” in defiance of Yahweh and His people. Thus the “man of sin” is called the “man of sin” for a very good reason: he sins against God and against His people — the Temple of God — whom he sets himself against once assuming the “office” as “Savior.” According to the Prophet Isaiah, this would be showing himself as God, for the Lord Himself declares in no uncertain terms that “apart from me there is no savior… I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 43:11, 46:9b).

If anyone of signifance in the Muslim world — the “Mahdi” or otherwise — proclaims themself to be the “Savior of Humanity” that all must follow, this would be a direct affront to God and His Temple. According to Scripture, anyone making such a claim or accepting such a title would be showing themself to be God by having a title/position that only God can hold attributed upon them. Additionally, demanding that Judaism and Christianity (and all other religions for that matter) be abolished and forcing all under his power to convert to Islam and worship none other than “Allah” would in effect be causing the “sacrifice and oblations (offerings) to cease” in today’s Temple according to the verses of Scripture below:

Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Hebrews 13:15, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.”

1 Peter 2:5, “And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please him because of Jesus Christ.”

With these thoughts in mind, we’re now beginning to see the text in a whole new light.

The Nation of Israel and Other Considerations

One obvious question, however, would be how does this affect Jews living in the nation of Israel if 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and Matthew 24:15 are referring to the spiritual temple of God? There are a couple of possibilities that we could deduce from this thought, especially if we accept the likelihood that the coming Antichrist will be Islam’s awaited Mahdi:

1. The Mahdi (according to Islamic teaching) will not only claim to be the “Savior of Humanity” but will also be the driving force behind uniting a coalition of Islamic nations that come up against the nation of Israel. He will also desire to subjugate the world into converting to Islam, according to Islamic teaching. In this way, it would definitely have much bearing on national/physical Israel even if this is only referring to the spiritual temple of God.

2. It will have a direct bearing on all Messianic Jews who would — along with Gentile Christians — recognize this “Abomination of Desolation.” I do not believe that the Olivet Discourse or even the Book of Matthew as a whole was for an “orthodox” Jewish audience only as some contend (who would never read the book anyway, I fail to see the point) but rather I believe that it was for Messianic Jews  and, by extension, all Gentile Christians. Matthew 24:9 says, “… ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” Orthodox Jews are not hated because of Jesus’ name, but Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians are. (In fact, even many orthodox Jews hate Messianics and Gentile Christians because they adhere to the faith of Jesus).

3. It is possible that there could be a dual fulfillment. Most translations render Matthew 24:15 as “standing IN the holy place” which causes those who read the English translation to envision a fully built temple. However, the word for “in” in the Greek is “en” (G1722) and is also translated as “on”, “by”, “at” or “with” in addition to “among”. Although some orthodox Jewish groups are actively seeking to rebuild the third temple, all that they require to offer sacrifices is an altar and an unblemished red heifer. (The alter began construction in July 29, 2009 and has been completed). This could be on the Temple Mount, or right beside the western wall (which I could see happening if they suddenly have a perfect red heifer but no rebuilt temple yet.) Perhaps this could be Christ’s reference to “standing in/on/by the holy place” and the reason why He did not mention a temple per se, whereas Paul could have been referencing the new spiritual temple of God comprised of Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians.

4.  There is also one final point that needs to be considered as well with respect to the “man of sin”.  We should not discount the possibility that the “man of sin” may not be pointing to one single person as it were, though the general consensus is precisely that, but could instead be pointing to one single entity or system.  The Ekklesia of God is comprised of a great multitude of believing Jews and Gentiles created as “one new man” in Christ who are marked by God (Eph. 2:15, Rev. 14:1) and described by John in Revelation 7 as the “multitude of the lamb”, ie, Jesus Christ. Conversely, the “man of sin” (2 Thess 2:3) could therefore be its direct antithesis comprised of those who have the Mark of the Beast and described by John in Revelation 13 as the “multitude of a man”, ie, the “prophet Mohammed.”  If this is the case, then we may be even closer to the cusp of prophetic fulfillment than many of us realize. In other words, Antichrist may not be a man at all, but rather all things entwined with the religion of Islam itself, a physical manifestation as it were of the spirit of Antichrist. Read the portion of this article subtitled “More Than Just A Man?” for more thoughts in this regard.

In conclusion, it is my belief that the intended meaning of the temple of God in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, keeping the overall context and teaching of the temple of God within the full counsel of the New Testament, is a direct reference to the Church, not a physical, rebuilt Jewish temple.  To show, declare or present himself as God does not necessitate that an “Islamic messiah” or the “man of sin” make an overt declaration of divinity. Jesus claimed to be God without telling the Sanhedrin “I am God”, for they understood the theological significance of His words and sought to kill Him because of them. Likewise, Antichrist could merely approach the temple mount where the Islamic Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque both stand and from there proclaim to be the world’s savior whom both Jews and Christians must follow. Not only would Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians recognize this as an affront to the faith of Christ and the significance of this event, even orthodox Jews would know that this would be a declaration of divinity, someone other than God showing himself to be God. They, too, understand Isaiah 43:11 where God makes it known that “I am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.” Indeed, “… I am God, and there is none like Me” (Isaiah 46:9).

  1. 08/29/2015 at 1:10 PM

    Considering the “man of sin” there are technically, in God’s eyes, only two men that have ever lived…Adam and Christ. All men are either in Adam, the man of sin, or in Christ, the man of righteousness. There is the old man Adam and the one new man in Christ, those who have been made new creations in Him.
    I have alway suspected that when John in told to measure the Temple that is is being told to give an appraisal of God’s people. The three compartments of the Temple symbolized the body, soul and spirit. Our spirits and aouls are safe, but our bodies will be trampled upon for a while, afterwhich the dead in Christ (the martyred) will rise, and we who are alive and remain (the Greek word means “survive”) will be caught up.
    Chapter 10 of Revelation talks about the seven thunders, which is followed by the Two Witnesses. In the Gospels, Jesus had three “favorite” disciples, Peter, James and John. James and John were known as the “sons of thunder.” Their mother came to Jesus asking that they be seated on Jesus’ left and right in the kingdom. Jesus said they would indeed be seated on thrones, but that it is the Father’s who would decide the seating arrangements. Peter, James and John were in the Garden during Jesus hour of trial. They seemed to have failed the “hour of trial,” unable to keep watch and stay awake. When the betrayer shows up, all the disciples flee in fear. Later, Peter, who boasts that he will never desert Jesus, but would die with Him, falls away and at the crowing of the cock (a type of last trumpet rapture/resurrection) he weeps bitterly.
    After Jesus death seven disciples (the seven churches of revelation) are in a boat on the Sea (the tribulation). They see a man on the shore who tells them to put their net on the right side of the boat (sheep and goats?) and they pull in a great harvest. John recognizes Jesus and Peter puts on his outer garment (robes of righteousness) and jumps in the Sea and swims to shore, while the rest row to shore. Peter climbs aboard and hauls the net ashore. Later, Peter and Jesus are talking and asks Peter if he loves Him. Then Jesus hints at the kind of death with which Peter would glorify God. Peter asks Jesus about John, and Jesus replies tht it is not Peter’s business whether Jesus wants John to be alive when He returns.
    Peter seems to be a type of the “dead in Christ” and John a type of “those who are alive and remain.” James and John seem to be a type of the Two Witnesses, sons of thunder, with John having to “prophesy again about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”
    In the Book of Acts, seven men are chosen, again a type of the seven churches. Stephen witnesses to the religious leaders and is martyred. Philip witnesses to the Eunuch and is raptured. The dead in Christ and they who are alive and remain.
    My point in all this…the Book of Revelation is about the Church, not about Israel and a physical Temple. Jesus told the religious leaders that their nation would be removed from them and given to a people who would produce its fruit. God is not finished with the Jewish people, for there will yet be a remnant saved, but they only become the people of God by being grafted back into Christ.

    Like

    • Ivy
      06/15/2016 at 10:03 AM

      Very much here I agree with. Thank you for putting it in words.

      Like

  2. 01/29/2016 at 9:04 AM

    ICA, I have recently finished (and made public) a commentary on 2 Thess 2:1-12. In the 12 verses being exposited over 41 pages, I presented an historical case for Paul and the Thessalonians to which he was writing, all believed their day was the last day, the time of the end, the time of Jesus’ return. I showed that they knew what the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ was, but that they likely did not know what the ‘man of lawlessness’ was, since it/they had not been revealed yet. This gap in their eschatology suggests that they had incomplete knowledge of the end time.

    The second portion of the commentary on the first twelve verses of chapter 2 pertain to identifying the ‘man of lawlessness’, by comparing other scriptures of the end time leading to Jesus’ return. I provide textual evidence that supports the hypothesis that the ‘man of lawlessness’ is a form of Christianity that has syncretized to Islam, a result of the spiritual deception originating in ‘Muslim interfaith’ dialogue. You or others may find this interesting.

    An Historical & Eschatological Commentary On 2 Thess 2:1-12

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ICA
    02/01/2016 at 12:45 PM

    infidelsrising, “I presented an historical case for Paul and the Thessalonians to which he was writing, all believed their day was the last day, the time of the end, the time of Jesus’ return.”

    Hi brother, thank you for sharing your article. The disciples already witnessed the Son of Man coming in His “mediatorial kingdom” [Christ is our King] but many early Christians, with an incomplete knowledge, evidently believed they would live to see the physical Second Coming of Christ as well. In my view, the Apostles did not necessarily believe they would see the physical Second Coming [In John 21 Jesus prophesied that Peter would die an old man and the others seemed to believe they would die before Peter and before Christ’s return]. I agree that they would have likely had an incomplete knowledge themselves with respect to eschatological fulfillment, but this would have been by Design. [Even the Prophets of Old were not always told when the prophecies they were given would come to pass, nor did they always understand them.] However, since all of Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Tim 3:16-17), the Spirit evidently moved the Apostles to write in an ambiguous or indeterminate manner. To this end, I would surmise that this was to ensure that all followers of Christ were always ready for His glorious Epiphany, His physical return in power and great glory. But even if, for the sake of argument, the Apostles thought Jesus would return in their day, this would not diminish the authority of the words they were moved by the Spirit to pen, however, any more than Daniel’s lack of understanding concerning the visions he saw would diminish his.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 02/03/2016 at 7:35 PM

      Hi ICA. It’s true, John did die an old man, but I think in John 21, Jesus is not teaching that John will die an old man. As others did in that day, it’s easy to read into Jesus’ statement a declaration of the timing of John’s death. The following verse (23) shows how easy it was for Jesus’ statement to be exaggerated, and it is to this day. But Jesus’ statement was hypothetical, evidenced by the use of the word “IF”.

      (Joh 21:22) Jesus *said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”

      Jesus was using a hypothetical situation to emphasize that the other disciples should being following Him, not the martyrdom of the others.

      Pertaining to 2 Thessalonians, it’s clear that Paul joins the Thessalonian believers (among others) in the expectation of Jesus’ return in their lifetime, what they considered to be the end time. This was shown in the opening paragraph of the commentary with abundant scripture references (Heb 1:2, 1 Peter 1:20, 1 John 2:18-19 among others).

      It’s also true that the Thessalonians were being deceived about the time of Jesus’ return, evidenced from 2 Thess 2:2-3, linking their persecution with Jesus’ return. Though they had that correct in principle, their timing was incorrect. Likewise, we see a deception pertaining to the time of the resurrection, in Paul’s epistle to Timothy…

      (2Ti 2:18) men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.

      Those who were afflicting the Thessalonians with both deception and persecution were the Jews, evidenced by many scriptures showing the influence (or intended influence) of Judaizers in Galatians, to Paul’s stinging indictment of them in Romans not being the ‘true circumcision’ to John’s calling them the ‘synagogue of satan’ and ‘those who say they are Jews but are not’.. in the Revelation. So from a Thessalonian perspective, Judaizers were their chief obstacle and responsible in the early 50’s AD for much persecution violence.

      The fact that the Thessalonians (and others) were mistaken about their view of their generation being the last generation before Jesus’ return, I think does not jeopardize the divine Authorship of the New Testament. There’s simply no need to rush to its defense on account of their mistake. It’s just that we should read 2 Thessalonians from an historical context and through the lens of a first century believer tempted with apostasy as a relief from persecution.

      I agree that their incomplete eschatology was by design, for even Jesus said that

      (Mat 24:36) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

      If you made it through the first few pages, thank you. The part that pertains to Islam picks up around the middle, evidencing the ‘man of lawlessness’ relating to Islam. Thanks for your reply and grace and peace to you brother, in the name of the Son of God and soon coming King, Jesus.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ICA
    02/04/2016 at 10:49 AM

    infidelsrising, “It’s true, John did die an old man, but I think in John 21, Jesus is not teaching that John will die an old man. As others did in that day, it’s easy to read into Jesus’ statement a declaration of the timing of John’s death.”

    Some of the disciples falsely believed for a moment that John wouldn’t die before Christ’s return (which seems to imply that all the others understood that they would pass away – cf. John 21:23). It was Peter specifically, however, that Jesus was addressing with respect to who among them would die an old man:

    John 21:18-19a, “‘Most assuredly, I say to you [Simon Peter], when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.’ This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God.”

    I agree with you regarding the Thessalonian believers. Error begets error, and Paul corrected them. Blessings!

    Like

    • 02/04/2016 at 5:55 PM

      Hi ICA. Yes okay, I understand what you’re referring to now. I thought you were talking about John, but it was actually Peter. Yes, Peter was martyred between AD64-67, which at that time and culture, would have made him an ‘old man’ of sorts.

      What is odd though, is that Peter himself believed his generation would see the end when he said in 1 Peter 1:20…[caps mine for emphasis]

      Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest IN THESE LAST TIMES for you…

      Other translations have it as “these last days” and “end of days”, “the end of time”,

      Though Peter is referring to Jesus being manifested to them in their generation, he clearly refers to it as the final, end time. Unless one considers Peter’s ‘end time’ to be the end of the Jewish temple and religion, one can only conclude that Peter and the others had incomplete information or perhaps had misinterpreted the information they had for the final, end time to come.

      Today, we have more information and resources to put the pieces together to form a picture of possibly final, end time scenarios. I know you agree, that Islam is the foremost, most plausible scenario in view prior to the Lord’s return.

      Mark 13:37 What I say to you, I say to all. Watch!

      Like

  5. ICA
    02/08/2016 at 1:55 PM

    infidelsrising, “What is odd though, is that Peter himself believed his generation would see the end when he said in 1 Peter 1:20…[caps mine for emphasis]

    Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest IN THESE LAST TIMES for you…

    Other translations have it as ‘these last days’ and ‘end of days’, ‘the end of time’ …”

    To be consistent with what the New Testament teaches elsewhere, 1 Peter 1:20 is likely best understood as the times of the “last days” (cf. Acts 2:17, 2 Timothy 3:1, Hebrews 1:2, James 5:3, 2 Peter 3:3). Since I am a young-earth Creationist, I have a slightly different take on what is meant by “last days.” Using the Biblical model of Creation’s week we know that there were ~ 4,000 years from Creation to Christ. These are the first “four days” of the “week.” Since the death of Christ, the next 2,000 years are days “five and six” and these two days are what I view to be the “last days.” We are now nearing the end of the two last days of the “creation week” and are approaching the “third day” after Christ’s death, the time when God is about to complete the work He had planned since the beginning of time, the “Sabbath Rest” of the Millennial Kingdom … day “seven.”

    2 Peter 3:8, “… beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

    In this light, it need not be that Peter believed that his generation would see the end. Peter may have simply understood, particularly in light of his words in 2 Peter 3:8, that in God’s Creation plan, the Lord was to accomplished His work in the first six days (6,000 years) and that they had now begun the “last days” of the creation week (days 5 and 6) which would be followed by one day of rest (1,000 years). And then by a new Heaven and New Earth. To quote Buzz Lightyear, “To infinity, and beyond!”

    Like

  6. Anonymous
    02/10/2016 at 1:06 PM

    Hmmm that’s a very interesting perspective ICA.

    Like

  7. ICA
    02/10/2016 at 1:38 PM

    Here’s a quick little read: The Last Days by Grace and Truth Ministries.

    2 Peter 3:8-9, “… beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

    Hosea 6:2, “After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.”

    Like

    • 02/12/2016 at 8:56 PM

      I read the article you posted. It’s interesting, but I think insufficient to establish an entire eschatology. I will take a “wait and see” position on it.

      Like

  8. ICA
    02/12/2016 at 10:47 PM

    Yes, chew on it, meditate on it, test it. Here are a few links from a quick Google search on the topic. Remember, always keep the meat and spit out the bones…

    * The 7,000 Year Plan of God (Includes Millennial Reign)
    * How the “Last Days” Fit When 1000 Year Days are Understood

    Like

  9. 11/06/2016 at 7:40 AM

    Regarding our Lord’s caution “Let the reader understand”
    . Dr. Blaney thinks, that our Saviour did not intend to cite from Daniel any more than the two words, which signify the abomination of desolation, because he has annexed the mark of citation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, to those words; whereas, if the rest had been a part of the citation, it ought rather to have been expressed thus, when ye shall see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, or where it ought not, as spoken of, or foretold by Daniel the prophet. But it does not seem, that our Saviour on this occasion intended merely to quote the prophecy of Daniel, but to deliver a prophecy himself, and that he cited the words of Daniel only to shew that he spake of the same subjects standing in the same place as that prophet-Stonard, J. (1825). A Dissertation on the Seventy Weeks of Daniel the Prophet (pp. 29–37). London: C. and J. Rivington.

    Like

  10. 12/14/2017 at 10:48 AM

    I agree with much of what you have shared–but there is one mistake in the logic. You write, “According to those who believe that a future literal temple will be rebuilt, however, we are expected to believe that Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 suddenly changes what he consistently meant in previous epistles when speaking about the temple of God.” The problem is, the other epistles were not “previous” to the letters written to the Thessalonians. These were considered Paul’s earliest writings. It can be shown that Paul does change how he handles terms over time (e.g. Paul’s use of κεφαλή in Corinthians versus Ephesians) . . . but here I think it would be a stretch to assume “temple” is not literal simply because of what Paul writes later.

    Like

Comment pages
  1. 09/01/2022 at 12:13 AM

The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of MidnightWatcher's Blogspot. Although differences of opinion are welcomed, please refrain from personal attacks and inappropriate language. This blog reserves the right to edit or delete any comments that fail to do so.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: