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revelation of “that man of sin," existed in the time of his ministry and apostleship in the Gospel of the grace of God to the Gentiles. This declaration of Paul is sufficient to convince me, that the spiritual dominion of satan is the bindrance to a revelation of the personal anti Messiah, whose coming or rising up out of the bottomless pit must precede the Day of Christ. It is evident that a creature in the rm and style of man, even a single individual member of Adam's race, will develope parts and degrees of the mystery of iniquity, which disembodied spirits would not do; and this is in contradistinction to the mystery of Godliness, which was hid from ages and generations, as a treasure concealed in sacred grounds (PRev. 5. 3, 6, 7) of which the Holy Spirit is sole proprietor till Christ buys the field, and pays for it with His own precious blood. Then He had power to manifest the riches of the glory of this mystery by the Spirit in children of light, who confessed His person, acknowledged His resurrection, and testified that He is the Man Christ Jesus and Lord of Glory. (See our Lord's declaration to Peter. Matt. 16. 17; look at His word. Matt. 11. 25—27.) To His chosen disciples the Blessed Master said, “Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.” Luke 8. 10. Examine the testimonies of Peter, James, and Paul. Acts 2. 36; 3. 13; 4. 10. E. James 2. 1. E. Cor. 2; especially compare Paul's work (verse 7) among the converted, with his labour for carnal builders on Christ;* and you may discover that the mystery of godliness is centred in Christ Jesus, the Man who stood before Pilate, who was mocked and scourged, crowned with thorns and crucified, raised from the dead the third day, and glorified by His
* See 1 E. Cor. second, third, and fourth chapters.
ascension to heaven, and sending the Holy Ghost from the Father, to testify of His second appearing upon earth, and that He shall be known by the judgment which He executeth, (see Psalm 9. 16;) for he takes vengeance against them that forget God;—and may rest assured that the mystery of iniquity centres in “that man of sin,” who shall be revealed, when “he," who hindered his coming (Note Rev. 13. “deadly wound”) in Paul's day, as well as in later times, is taken out of the way"until he be taken out of the way”—I can discover no other application for this mysterious "he,” than to the dragon, against whom Michael raises battle in heaven; nor can I conceive how the devil should hinder the working of the mystery of iniquity, except it is the hiding his head of the mystery “from ages and from generations,” in the bosom of the Serpent, (his first NAME, Gen. 3. 7,) "that he might be revealed in his time," (Note 2 E. Thess. 2. 6, compare with Rev. 12. 12, "SHORT TIME,”) which time appears to be the result of “a falling away,” (v. 3,) that makes ready a people to worship his son, i. e. “that man of sin, the son of perdition," and his head also, because of opposition to God and His Christ; for satan claims the kingdom, and the dominion of the kingdom (see Luke 4. 6) that belongs to the Son of man; and desires the homage to be paid to him, which is only due to the Lord God of hosts, and Israel's Great King. (See v. 7.) The bold attempt of satan to corrupt the lowly Jesus, (who had recently been proclaimed by a voice from heaven, the Son of God, see Luke 3. 22, while the Holy Ghost sat upon Him “in a bodily shape like a dove,'') fully illustrates the doctrine of a literal, or personal reign of the mystery of iniquity; for he offered all the power and glory of all the kingdoms of the age, (or Gospel era in
Gentile times, to him, who (see Luke 3. 23) “was supposed to be the son of Joseph; and satan does not
appear to recognise our Blessed Saviour's Divinity at that time; for in his first and last proposition, he says, “if thou be the Son of God;" and in the second, manifests that he desires to be worshipped by the man who shall inherit the glory and power of David's throne, which is Mount Zion; for the “Righteous Branch" of Judah satan envied yet more than he did the first ruler upon earth, Adam, (male and female, Gen. 5. 2,) on account of the redemption that was promised in the latter day, by which all satan's wisdom is proclaimed foolishness, , and all his works destroyed.
That saying of our blessed Lord, “now shall the prince of this world be cast out,” compared with Gothe Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even the Lord which hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee,” (see Zech. 3. 2.) throws light upon the tenth verse of the twelfth chap. of Rev.; and the words, "he was cast out into the earth,” v. 9. compared with the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me,” (John 14. 30.) also “the strong man armed” spoiled by a stronger than he” (Matt. 12. 29. Luke 11. 21, 22.) exhibits the literality of the words the devil is come down unto you’-Rev. 12. 12. even, that he becomes incarnate in human shape, and is indeed “that man of sin,” the strong man, armed with satan's power, who will prosper till the end of the indignation against Jerusalem, be accomplished; and then be judged to the lake of fire, kindled by the command of a stronger than he, for the reproof of the age that believed not on Jesus Christ the Lord, and a manifest token of their everlasting ruin, even by the second death, which succeeds a resurrection to shame and everlasting contempt. N.B. The Beast and false prophet are taken; and
“these both are cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." This judgment is literal upon the chief prince of the age of trouble, as Gog, or covering of the spiritual power, which is named “Belzebub, the prince of the devils.” The declaration “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence, a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him," agrees with the testimony of Paul concerning the destruction of “that Wicked," who in the Apocalypse is called the Beast; and from these united “that Wicked," and bothe Beast,” with the coming of God, the Lord, to destroy his power by the brightness of the epiphany of JESUS Christ, and consume his person (“that man of sin”) by command of "the man who is Captain of the Lord's host," see Joshua 5. 13, 14. we may safely conclude that Satan "the chief of the ways of God,” as personified by anti Christ, is judged in the latter; "the prince who cometh and hath nothing in Jesus”—but is gifted with all the power of Satan, for the space of three years and a half, or the devil's short time in the earth; and that this awful judgment upon the Beast, is the bruising of Satan's head by the promised seed which is Christ. I do not discern one particle of live coal for the spiritualizers of holy prophecy to warm at, who reject the doctrine of Christ's personal coming to judge the quick, and reign the King of Israel; and they seem like foolish virgins that have no oil, and where this darkness and cold exist, the soul oppressed and weary, is unfit, and unprepared to meet any exigency of the day of the Lord; for to them it is a day of darkness and not of light: their case must be “as if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house and leaned his hand upon the wall, and a serpent bit him.” It is not so with the humble believers in literal scripture truth. They
are not afraid in the evil day; for they hold the
this very ground; for He crowns them in the
The last wicked kingdom that shall exist upon the