Biblical Theology 4: Inaugurated Eschatology 4

The Great Tribulation: when does it begin and what difference does it make? Contd

Links between 2 Thes 2 and 1 John 2:18
  • both develop what Daniel 7-12 says in the light of Jesus' teachings
  • 2 Thes 2 talks about a man of lawlessness that will be revealed in the end time. In John 'sin is lawlessness'
  • both passages are set in an end time context 
  • Both contain deception
  • 2 Thes 2:4 is a clear illusion  to Daniel 11:36
2 Thes 2
  • Some thought the end had already come. Paul corrects in v3. The falling away comes first and the man of lawlessness needs to be revealed
  • v4 'temple of God' is found ten times in the NT. Every time with one exception the phrase refers to a non-literal temple. The exception is when Christ talks about his body as a temple.The temple of God in Paul is always the church. 
  • The man of lawlessness will have substantial influence in the church of God.
  • v3 the falling away (apostasy) comes in the church before the end and then the appearance of the end time opponent comes in the flesh. 
    • Parallel text: Rev 20:8. The devil is released from the pit able to deceive nations
    • Rev 7 talks about the beast and two witnesses. The witnesses are the church- 2 because there are 2 faithful churches in Revelation. 2 is the number for witness. The beast is the anti-Christ who kills the church. This relates to physical persecution and death. 
  • v6 the restrainer is an angel as in Rev 20. 
  • 'the mystery of lawlessness is already at work' the idea that he is coming and already at work is similar to the way John describes the anti-christ in 1 John 2:18. 
    • Not making the word central in every area of life is having 'the mystery of lawlessness at work'. 
    • The mark of a true believer is desiring the word of God
    • The 'spirit of the time' is whatever the world does to make sin acceptable
    • We are involved in the fight of our lives
    • Part of sanctification is becoming sure of our election. Grievous sin should take away assurance of salvation. When we compromise significantly our soul is at steak. 
To not think that we re in the great tribulation is to be deceived. We are not fighting personal battles. We are always fighting a fight that is a cosmic and redemptive battle. 

Redemptive Historical Patterns: how God works to save His people
  • The trial and temptation of this age is that Christians are always undergoing deceptive influence against them (Eph 4:14, 6:11-12)
    • we must wear the armour in Eph 6. Isaiah prohpecies about Christians winning the end time battle with armour
    • the influence is not to believe in Christ and his precepts
      • covenant community apostasy is to not make a big deal about disobeying God's word
      • Mark 13:11 speaks of love growing cold towards God
  • The deception of Satan used on Adam is used again at the end of the age
    • epistle of Barnabas 6:13 (95 AD) 'I make the last things like the first things'- based on a phrase in Isaiah
    • 1 John 3:8 John says that sinning is being like the devil because he has been sinning from the beginning
    • John talks about 'seed abiding in him'. Idea from Genesis 3
    • 1 John 3:12 'love one another not as a Cain'. John is making parallels from the early world to the last days
    • The better we understand Satan's first temptation, the more we'll understand how he operates now
      • he dislodged their loyalty to God by saying 'has God really said?
      • Eve misquotes God by minimising the judgement ('surely die'[die die in Hebrew] reduces to 'die') and maximising the prohibition (says that God has said that they couldn't touch the food)
        • this implies not being committed to the word- they don't remember it. They should have been helping each other to know it. 
      • Adam and Eve call each other liars- this reflects the father of lies. The marriage is hurt. 
      • Satan makes evil seem good
    • If we don't think this is a highly-charged time we will be less committed to the word of God
The Son of Man in the gospels as a beginning fulfillment of the great tribulation prophecy in Daniel 7
  • 4 beasts that are oppressed- Kings are called beasts when they don't do what Adam is meant to do. Kings are sons of Adam who should rule the world like Adam ruled the garden. 
  • The son of man receives authority from an eternal King. v11 the beasts are destroyed.
  • The son of man is set up as the second Adam who will rule well
  • v15-28 is the interpretation but doesn't feature the 'son of man'. 
    • Instead the phrase 'saints of the most high' is used(7:18, 7:27)- implies that the son of man is a collective term for Israel. 
    • the 'son of man' reigning should be Israel reigning
  • Christ identifies as Israel by talking about himself as the son of man in three groups of sayings:
    • the son of man will come
    • the son of man will suffer
    • the son of man will come again
      • Jesus fulfills the son of man prophecies by experiencing the start of the great tribulation through his sufferings
      • When we reign over sin we reign in the messianic kingdom


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