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2 Thessalonians 2:4

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Bible Study Resources


- Nave's Topical Bible - Antichrist;   Blasphemy;   Self-Exaltation;   Temple;   Scofield Reference Index - Apostasy;   Beast (the);   Day (of Jehovah);   Thompson Chain Reference - Ambition;   Satanic;   Worldly;   The Topic Concordance - Antichrist;   Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ambition;   Presumption;  


- American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Temple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Day of the lord;   Millennium;   Providence;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Antichrist;   Exaltation;   Second Coming of Christ;   Sin;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Antichrist;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Man of Sin;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Acts of the Apostles;   Antichrist;   Daniel, the Book of;   Olive;   Thessalonians, the Epistles to the;   Tyre;   Zechariah, the Book of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Apocrypha, New Testament;   Jerusalem;   Time, Meaning of;   2 Thessalonians;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abomination of Desolation;   Antichrist;   Kingdom of God;   Man of Sin;   Thessalonians, Second Epistle to the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Abomination of Desolation ;   Adversary;   Antichrist ;   Apocalypse;   Apocalyptic Literature;   Ascension of Isaiah;   Eschatology;   Kingdom Kingdom of God;   Man of Sin;   Quotations;   Restoration;   Sin (2);   Temple (2);   Thessalonians Epistles to the;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Abomination of Desolation;   Antichrist;   Prophets, the;   Revelation, the;   Time, Times;   13 To Worship, Serve;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Thessalonians;  


- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Antichrist;   Eschatology of the New Testament;   Exalt;   Hebrews, Epistle to the;   Man of Sin;   Millennium: Premillennial View;   Thessalonians, the Second Epistle of Paul to the;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abomination of Desolation;   Antichrist;  

Contextual Overview

4who opposes and exalts himself [so proudly and so insolently] above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he [actually enters and] takes his seat in the temple of God, publicly proclaiming that he himself is God.4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God as God, declaring himself that he is God.4and exalts himself above, every so-called `god' or object of worship, and goes the length of taking his seat in the very temple of God, giving it out that he himself is God.4 He will stand against and put himself above everything that people worship or think is worthy of worship. He will even go into God's Temple and sit there, claiming that he is God. 4 that adversary that exalts it self above the divine authority of majesty: that is seated in the temple of God, pretending to be it self divine. 4The Anarchist Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don't go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him. Don't let anyone shake you up or get you excited over some breathless report or rumored letter from me that the day of the Master's arrival has come and gone. Don't fall for any line like that. Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan. He'll defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he'll then set himself up in God's Temple as "God Almighty." Don't you remember me going over all this in detail when I was with you? Are your memories that short? You'll also remember that I told you the Anarchist is being held back until just the right time. That doesn't mean that the spirit of anarchy is not now at work. It is, secretly and underground. But the time will come when the Anarchist will no longer be held back, but will be let loose. But don't worry. The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away. The Master appears and—puff!—the Anarchist is out of there. The Anarchist's coming is all Satan's work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake, evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them. And since they're so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it—gives them what they want. Since they refuse to trust truth, they're banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions. Meanwhile, we've got our hands full continually thanking God for you, our good friends—so loved by God! God picked you out as his from the very start. Think of it: included in God's original plan of salvation by the bond of faith in the living truth. This is the life of the Spirit he invited you to through the Message we delivered, in which you get in on the glory of our Master, Jesus Christ. So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 4 Which is an aduersarie, and exalteth him selfe against all that is called God, or that is worshipped: so that he doeth sit as God in the Temple of God, shewing him selfe that he is God. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God's sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God.

Bible Verse Review

Treasury of Scripure Knowledge

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
and exalteth Isaiah 14:13; Ezekiel 28:2,6,9; Daniel 7:8,25; 8:9-11; 11:36; Revelation 13:6
1 Corinthians 8:5
Daniel 8:12-14; 11:45; Revelation 13:6,7
Reciprocal: Genesis 3:5 - as gods;  2 Kings 18:29 - Let not;  2 Kings 19:22 - exalted thy voice;  Job 34:30 - GeneralPsalm 11:4 - The Lord;  Psalm 12:4 - who;  Proverbs 30:13 - GeneralIsaiah 14:14 - I will be;  Isaiah 31:3 - the Egyptians;  Isaiah 36:14 - GeneralIsaiah 37:23 - against whom;  Isaiah 47:8 - I am;  Jeremiah 48:26 - for he;  Jeremiah 48:42 - magnified;  Jeremiah 50:24 - because;  Jeremiah 50:29 - for she hath;  Lamentations 1:9 - for;  Ezekiel 28:14 - upon;  Daniel 8:11 - he magnified;  Daniel 11:37 - regard;  Habakkuk 2:4 - his;  Malachi 3:13 - Your;  Matthew 23:5 - all;  Mark 7:9 - Full;  Acts 8:9 - giving;  Acts 10:26 - Stand;  Acts 12:23 - because;  Acts 17:23 - devotions;  Romans 1:30 - boasters;  Romans 8:39 - height;  Romans 11:20 - Be;  2 Corinthians 10:5 - and every;  1 Timothy 6:4 - He;  2 Timothy 3:2 - boasters;  2 Peter 2:18 - they speak;  Revelation 13:1 - blasphemy;  Revelation 13:4 - and they;  Revelation 13:11 - and he spake;  Revelation 13:12 - causeth;  Revelation 13:14 - they;  Revelation 17:3 - full;  Revelation 18:7 - much she


Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1
In the bigynnyng God made of nouyt heuene and erthe.
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1
First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heauen and the earth.
Genesis 1:1
GOD created the heavens and the earth in the very beginning.
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the eretz.

Gill's Notes on the Bible

Who opposeth,.... Or is an opposer, an adversary of Christ, the antichrist; who opposes him in his kingly office, styling himself the head and spouse of the church, assuming to himself all power in heaven and in earth, taking upon him to dispense with the laws of Christ, and to make new ones; who opposes him in his priestly office, by pretending to offer him up again in the sacrifice of the mass, and by making angels and saints departed, intercessors and advocates; and also in his prophetic office, by teaching for doctrines the commandments of men, and setting up unwritten traditions before the word of God, requiring the worshipping of images, angels, and saints, when Christ requires that the Lord God only should be worshipped and served; and by introducing the doctrine of works and of merit instead of grace, and with a multitude of other things, in which he most manifestly appears to be diametrically opposite and contrary to Christ:

and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. The Syriac version renders the last clause, ודחלא, "and religion"; and the Greek word does signify religion, worship, or devotion, as it is translated, in Acts 17:23 but here the act of worship is put for the object, and is rightly rendered, "or that which is worshipped"; as it is in the Vulgate Latin version, and in the Arabic version, "or that which is to be worshipped"; and it was usual with the Jews to call God the object of worship, by the name of worship itself, and by which they used to swear: it is said of R. Benjamin the just, that he was appointed over the alms chest; one time a woman came to him and said, Rabbi, relieve me; he replied to her, העבודה, "by the worship" (that is, by God who is worshipped) there is nothing in the alms chest: and elsewhere it is said by one, concerning two that were fatherless, for whom the collectors of alms gathered, העבודה, "by the worship", they go before my daughter: and a little after, העבודה, "by the worship", these things are holy to thee; where the gloss says, it is an oath: and so here the word is to be understood of Deity itself; and the meaning is, that antichrist would exalt himself above all the gods of the Gentiles, who are only nominally, and not by nature, gods; to these were ascribed, some one thing, to some another; one had the government of heaven, another of hell, another of the seas, and an other of the winds, &c. but this haughty creature antichrist assumes to himself all power, both in heaven, earth, and hell. Angels are sometimes called gods, Psalm 8:4 because they are sent of God, and sometimes represent him; the popes of Rome have exalted themselves above these; Pope Clement VI. proclaimed a jubilee, and promised forgiveness of sins to all that should come to Rome; and in his bull for it says, that

"if any that was confessed should die by the way, he should be free from all his sins; "and we do command the angels", that they take such a soul out of purgatory entirely absolved, and introduce it into the glory of paradise:'

and in a manuscript in the library at Helmsted are these words,

"we command the angels that they carry such a soul into Abraham's bosom, as soon as it has left the body:'

kings and civil magistrates are called gods, Psalm 82:6 and this monster of iniquity and firstborn of Satan, the popes of Rome, have exalted themselves above these; they have not only took upon them to excommunicate emperors and kings, but to depose them, and take away their crowns from them, and give their kingdoms to others, and absolve their subjects from allegiance and fidelity to them; an emperor has held a pope's stirrup while he alighted from his horse, and was severely reprimanded for holding the left instead of the right stirrup; and the same emperor held another pope's stirrup while he got on his horse, and who set his foot upon his neck when he absolved him, being before excommunicated by him, using these words in Psalm 91:13 "thou shall tread upon the lion", &c. An emperor and an empress waited at a pope's gates three days barefoot; another emperor and empress were crowned by the Pope with his feet; he took the crown with his feet, and, they bowing down, put it upon their heads, and then kicked it off; and one of our own kings resigned his crown and the ensigns of his royalty to the Pope's legate, who kept them five days; and when he offered a sum of money to the legate as an earnest of his subjection, to show his master's grandeur, he spurned at it; a king was thrown under a pope's table to lick the bones like a dog, while he was eating: so truly has this passage had its accomplishment in that impious and insolent set of men. Rome is by the Jewish writers called "Magdiel", which signifies "magnifying itself"; the reason is, שיתגדל, "because it magnifies itself" above all these; that is, above all kingdoms and states: but what is worse, and most dreadfully blasphemous, follows,

so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God; not in the temple of Jerusalem, which was to be destroyed and never to be rebuilt more, and was destroyed before this man of sin was revealed; but in the church of God, so called, 1 Corinthians 3:16 the Ethiopic version renders it, "in the house of God"; for antichrist rose up out of, and in the midst of the church; and it was a true church in which he first appeared, and over which he usurped power and authority; though it has been so corrupted by him, as now to be only nominally so; here he sits, and has homage done him by his creatures, as if he was a god, and is not only styled Christ's vicar, but a god on earth, and our Lord God the Pope; so in the triumphal arch at the entry of Pope Sixtus IV, these lines were put, "oraculo vocis, mundi moderaris habenas, et merito in terris crederis esse Dens"; the sense is, that he governed the world by his word, and was deservedly believed to be God on earth; and their canon law says,

"it is clearly enough shown, that the Pope cannot be loosed or bound by any secular power; since it is evident that he is called God by that pious prince, Constantine, and it is manifest that God cannot be judged by men:'

and Pope John XXII is expressly called "our Lord God the Pope": the Ethiopic version reads, "he shall say to all, I am the Lord God"; see Ezekiel 28:2, the Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin version, leave out the phrase, "as God", but the Syriac retains it: however, the same blasphemy is expressed in the next clause,

shewing himself that he is God; by usurping a power over the consciences and souls of men; by dispensing with the laws of God and man; by assuming to himself all power in heaven and in earth; by taking upon him to open and shut the gates of heaven at pleasure; and by pardoning sin, which none but God can do; this is the mouth speaking blasphemies, Revelation 13:5.

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Who opposeth - That is, he is distinguished as an opposer of the great system which God has revealed for human salvation, and of those who would serve God in purity in the gospel of his Son. No Protestant will doubt that this has been the character of the papacy. The opposition of the general system to the gospel; the persecution of Wycliffe, of John Huss, of Jerome of Prague, of the Waldenses and the Reformers; the Inquisition, the cruelties in the reign of Mary (Queen of Scots), and the massacre of Bartholomew in France, are obvious illustrations of this.

And exalteth himself above all that is called God - That is, whether among the pagans or the Jews; above a false God, or the true God. This could be true only of one who set aside the divine laws; who undertook to legislate where God only has a right to legislate, and whose legislation was contrary to that of God. Any claim of a dominion over conscience; or any arrangement to set aside the divine laws, and to render them nugatory, would correspond with what is implied in this description. It cannot be supposed that any one would openly claim to be superior to God, but the sense must be, that the enactments and ordinances of the “man of sin” would pertain to the province in which God only can legislate, and that the ordinances made by him would be such as to render nugatory the divine laws, by appointing others in their place. No one can reasonably doubt that all that is here affirmed may be found in the claims of the Pope of Rome. The assumptions of the papacy have related to the following things:

(1) To authority above all the inferior orders of the priesthood - above all pastors, bishops, and primates.

(2) authority above all kings and emperors, “deposing some, and advancing others, obliging them to prostrate themselves before him, to kiss his toe, to hold his stirrup, to wait barefooted at his gate, treading even upon the neck, and kicking off the imperial crown with his foot” - Newton. Thus, Gregory VII made Henry IV wait barefooted at his gate. Thus, Alexander III trod upon the neck of Alexander I. Thus, Celestin kicked off the imperial crown of Henry VI. Thus, the right was claimed, and asserted, of laying nations under interdict, of deposing kings, and of absolving their subjects from their oaths of allegiance. And thus the Pope claimed the right over all unknown lands that might be discovered by Columbus, and apportioned the New World as he pleased - in all these things claiming prerogatives which can pertain only to God.

(3) to authority over the conscience, in matters which can pertain only to God himself, and where he only can legislate. Thus, it has been, and is, one of the claims set up for the Pope that he is infallible. Thus, he “forbids what God has commanded,” as the marriage of the clergy, communion in both kinds, the use of the Scriptures for the common people. Thus, he has set aside the second commandment by the appointment of image-worship; and thus he claims the power of the forgiveness of sins. Multitudes of things which Christ allows his people are forbidden by the papacy, and many things are enjoined, or allowed, directly contrary to the divine legislation.

Or that is worshipped - σέβασμα sebasmaThis word means “an object of worship;” see Acts 17:3, where it is rendered devotions. It may be applied to the worship of a pagan divinity, or of the true God. “It may refer to a person, an idol, or a place. Probably Paul refers here to the heroes and other subordinate divinities of the heathen mythology” - Oldshausen. No one can doubt that the Pope has claimed higher honors, as the vicegerent of Christ, than was ever rendered in the ancient “hero worship.”

So that he, as God - That is, claiming the honors due to God. This expression would not imply that he actually claimed to be the true God, but only that he sits in the temple, and manifests himself as if he were God. He claims such honors and such reverence as the true God would if he should appear in human form. It should be observed here, however, that there is much reason to doubt the genuineness of this phrase - “as God” - ὡς Θεον hōs TheonMill supposes that it was inserted from the context. It is marked with an asterisk in the Vulgate, the Coptic, and the Syriac, and is omitted by many of the fathers; see Mill and Wetstein. It is rejected by Griesbach and Lachmann, and marked as doubtful by Hahn. It is defended, however, by Matthaei, Koppe, Knapp, and Schott. The sense is not materially affected whether it be regarded as genuine or not.

Sitteth in the temple of God - That is, in the Christian church. It is by no means necessary to understand this of the temple at Jerusalem, which was standing at the time this Epistle was written, because:

(1) the phrase “the temple of God” is several times used with reference to the Christian church, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21; Revelation 3:12; and,

(2) the temple was the proper symbol of the church, and an apostle trained amidst the Hebrew institutions would naturally speak of the church as the temple of God. The temple at Jerusalem was regarded as the peculiar dwelling-place of God on earth. When the Christian church was founded, it was spoken of as the peculiar dwelling-place of God; see the passages referred to above. He dwelt among His people. He was with them, and walked with them, and manifested himself among them - as he had done in the ancient temple. The usage in the New Testament would not lead us to restrict this language to an edifice, or a “church,” as the word is now commonly used, but rather to suppose that it denotes the church as a society, and the idea is, that the Antichrist here referred to would present himself in the midst of that church as claiming the honors due to God alone. In the temple at Jerusalem, God himself presided. There he gave laws to his people; there he manifested himself as God; and there he was worshipped. The reign of the “man of sin” would be as if he should sit there. In the Christian church he would usurp the place which God had occupied in the temple. He would claim divine attributes and homage. He would give laws and responses as God did there. He would be regarded as the head of all ecclesiastical power; the source from which all authority emanated; the same in the Christian church which God himself was in the temple. This does not then refer primarily to the Pope as sitting in any particular church on any particular occasion, but to his claiming in the Church of Christ the authority and homage which God had in the temple at Jerusalem. In whatever place, whether in a cathedral or elsewhere, this authority should be exercised, all that the language here conveys would be fulfilled. No one can fail to see that the authority claimed by the Pope of Rome, meets the full force of the language used here by the apostle.

Showing himself that he is God - This does not necessarily mean that he actually, in so many words, claimed to be God; but that he usurped the place of God, and claimed the prerogatives of God. If the names of God are given to him, or are claimed by him; if he receives the honors due to God; if he asserts a dominion like that of God, then all that the language fairly implies will be fulfilled. The following expressions, applied to the Pope of Rome by Catholic writers, without any rebuke from the papacy, will show how entirely applicable this is to the pretended Head of the Church. He has been styled “Our Lord God the Pope; another God upon earth; king of kings and lord of lords. The same is the dominion of God and the Pope. To believe that our Lord God the Pope might not decree as he decreed is heresy. The power of the Pope is greater than all created power, and extends itself to things celestial, terrestrial, and infernal. The Pope doeth whatsoever he listeth, even things unlawful, and is more than God;” see the authority for these extraordinary declarations in Dr. Newton book on the Prophecies, Dissertations xxii. How can it be doubted that the reference here is to the papacy? Language could not be plainer, and it is not possible to conceive that anything can ever occur which would furnish a more manifest fulfillment of this prophecy. Indeed, interpreted by the claims of the papacy, it stands among the very clearest of all the predictions in the Sacred Scriptures.

Clarke's Notes on the Bible

Who opposeth and exalteth - He stands against and exalts himself above all Divine authority, and above every object of adoration, and every institution relative to Divine worship, σεβασμα, himself being the source, whence must originate all the doctrines of religion, and all its rites and ceremonies; so that sitting in the temple of God - having the highest place and authority in the Christian Church, he acts as God - taking upon himself God's titles and attributes, and arrogating to himself the authority that belongs to the Most High.

The words ως Θεον, as God, are wanting in ABD, many others, Erpen's Arabic, the Coptic, Sahidic, Ethiopic, Armenian, the Vulgate, some copies of the Itala, and the chief of the Greek fathers. Griesbach has left them out of the text, and Professor White says, Certissime delenda; "They should most certainly be erased." There is indeed no evidence of their being authentic, and the text reads much better with out them: So that he sitteth in the temple of God, etc.