John of Gischala, The man of Lawlessness

Discussion in 'Revelation & Eschatology' started by Anton Bruckner, Jun 28, 2005.

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  1. Anton Bruckner

    Anton Bruckner Puritan Board Professor by John Noe
    excerpt from article.

    Josephus also records that before this John of Gischala, the son of Levi, was established as the Zealot leader in control of the Temple area (there were three Zealot factions), the power of Satan was already doing his deceitful and treacherous work. This John physically entered the Temple, presented himself to the Zealots as a God-sent ambassador; and persuaded them to defy the laws of Rome and go to war to gain independence. He also instigated the calling in the Idumaeans to keep the Jewish sympathizers from submitting to Rome. He ordered the death of Ananus and the removal of the priesthood. After these atrocities, he became the official leader of the Zealot group m control of theTemple area-john held the temple" and began disregarded the laws of Rome, God, and man, and promising deliverance from the Romans. Then he broke off from the Zealots and began "setting up a monarchial power." He "set on fire these houses that were full of corn, and of all other provision which would have been sufficient for a siege of many years" He deceived the Jews about the power of the Roman armies In possession of the Temple and the adjoining parts, he cut the throats of anyone suspected of going over to the Romans.13 He performed many sacrileges, such as melting down the sacred utensils used in Temple service, and defiled the Temple.

    In short, this John established himself in the Temple, the one standing when Paul wrote, and put himself above Rome and above God, thereby taking the place of God in the Temple. All this happened, right then and there, and exactly as Paul had said the "man of sin" would do.

    After the coming of the Lord and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70, John of Gischala was "condemned to perpetual imprisonment" by the Roman authorities. Thus was fulfilled Paul's prophetic and symbolic language that this man would be destroyed by "the spirit of his Jesus mouth and brightness of his [parousia] coming" (see Isa. 11:4; 30:27-33; Hos. 6:5; also Da. 7:8, 19-28).

    Verses 11-12. "For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but delighted In wickedness."

    Josephus records that the Roman General Titus had no intention of destroying the Temple. The Romans wanted to preserve it as a trophy and monument of their conquest. Even Josephus personally pleaded with John of Gischala to surrender. But such a "madness" swept through him and his Jewish followers that they taunted the powers of Rome and refused to listen. This man, John, through the power of Satan and the delusion sent by God upon the Jewish people, forced the Roman armies to act. Instead of accepting Jesus as Messiah, King, and Deliverer, the unbelieving Jews placed their hopes in this false messiah a man of deceit and wickedness. They looked to the "man of sin" to lead them to victory and independence. The priesthood, which stood in their way, had been removed. And by August or September of A.D. 70, Paul's entire "man of sin" prophecy of 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-12 was fulfilled. The city and the Temple were burned and destroyed. The covenant nation of Israel and biblical Judaism were forever destroyed.
  2. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I don't think Paul has Jerusalem or the destruction of the O.T. order in mind in 2 Thes. 2, myself.

    If that was what he was saying, then I think it would have been very natural for the Thessalonians to resume the same errors, thinking that the Final Judgment and resurrection had finally come once news of the Temple's destruction reached them. And that is exactly the full-preterist position--that the Day of the Lord is to be fully realized in the destruction of 70 AD.

    The particuar "man of sin" seems far larger a figure in Paul's description than some "John of Gischala" who is relatively obscure. And I say this as one who has leanings toward a partial-preterist, pre-AD 70 reckoning for dating the book of Revelation. So, my bias in this area is not automatically to discount references to the end of the OT age when they are suggested.
  3. Anton Bruckner

    Anton Bruckner Puritan Board Professor

    So it is necessary that the Beast in Revelation preceeds Paul's Man of Lawlessness?
  4. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    While God certainly used Rome to judge John of Gischala(?) I don't want to confuse Rome with the Parousia! Maybe that's not what anyone's saying in which case I apologize, but it kinda sounds that way...
  5. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Until convinced otherwise, I lean toward a Neronic identification of the Personified beast. I do not think Paul refers the Thessalonians to anything prior to the general time of the End.
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