|By: Dr. Renald Showers; ©1996|
|Bible Prophecy Questions Answered by Leading Christian Scholars.|
Dr. Renald Showers: What does Paul mean, in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, by the man of sin being revealed? How will he be revealed and when will that take place? Some hold the view that he won’t be revealed until the middle of the Tribulation period whenever he announces that he is God. According to the Scriptures, there are several other things that will transpire long before he announces he is God in the middle of the Tribulation period. Several other things will transpire that will indicate who the Antichrist is. According to Daniel 7 the Antichrist will be an eleventh ruler who will rise to power from within the revived Roman Empire that will have ten divisions with ten equal rulers, and as this eleventh ruler rises to power, he will overthrow three of the original ten rulers that were already there. Daniel 7 makes it very clear that’s who the Antichrist is: that eleventh ruler who overthrows three and thereby gains controlling authority over the revived Roman Empire.
Now again, he’s going to have to be in that position of authority in order to confirm a covenant with Israel and according to Daniel 9:27, the confirming of the covenant between Antichrist and Israel is the historic event that will officially begin the seven-year Tribulation period. It’s not the Rapture of the Church that begins the seven-year Tribulation period, it’s the confirming of this covenant between Antichrist and Israel that officially begins the seven-year Tribulation period. And, even that event, the confirming of the covenant, will identify who the Antichrist is three and a half years before he announces that he is God.
But some would say, "But wait a minute. The unsaved world isn’t going to recognize that he is an evil man until he announces that he is God in the middle of the Tribulation period." Paul’s not talking here about this man being recognized by the unsaved world. He’s talking about this man of sin being revealed, whether the world recognizes it or not. God has given a lot of revelation to the world and it’s here and it’s genuine but the world, the unsaved world won’t recognize the revelation God has given. We’re talking here about revealing the man of sin, and Daniel 7 and Daniel 9 points out some things that will transpire by the beginning of the Tribulation period that will reveal the Antichrist: his rising to power as an eleventh ruler within that ten division revived Roman Empire and overthrowing three of the original ten rulers and then once he’s in that position of authority, then at the very beginning of the Tribulation period confirming a covenant with the nation of Israel.