Could the ‘man of sin’ sit in the building attached to the original Church of God on Jerusalem’s western hill?


Attached to the remains of some ancient bricks of the remains of the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill is a building that is often called the Cenacle.

Could this possibly be the location that the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2 will sit in?

Several years ago, on November 26, 2008, in a paper submitted to evangelists in my former association, I wrote that the ancient building known as the Cenacle was a possible building for the man of sin to sit in:

If a Jewish temple is not being discussed in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, then where might the “man of sin” sit?

… if Revelation 11:1-2 allows for it (which it may not, see further below), there is an ancient building, usually now referred to as the Cenacle (the word is a derivative of the Latin word “cena,” which means dinner), that may be the possible location.  It is believed to have been used by the original Christians in Jerusalem until the Greco-Romans took it through with Imperial support in the fourth century.

Michael P. Germano wrote:

In Jerusalem, just outside the Zion Gate of the Old City near the crest of Mount Sion, lie the partial remains of an ancient synagogue consisting of a niche, walls, floors, and foundations, incorporated into a dilapidated building…

Do these ancient ruins belong to the first-century Judeo-Christian synagogue seen by Roman emperor Hadrian on his grand progress? Are these the remnants of the building on Mt. Sion…called the Church of the Apostles and the Holy Church of God? These are the traditions…tradition suggests this is also the site of the Upper Room where Jesus of Nazareth observed his last Passover with his followers and where his disciples resided following his Crucifixion awaiting the Day of Pentecost…

The Cenacle

In this work its identity and title is simply “the ancient synagogue” or the Ancient Church of the Apostles. In the fourth and fifth centuries, however, orthodox…referred to the building in a variety of ways.

For Eusebius it was the “Holy Church of God” (Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel 6.18; Ferrar 1920b:30-31). Cyril said it was the “Upper Church of the Apostles” (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 16.4; Schaff and Wace 1989a:116). Egeria often referred to it as “On Sion” (Wilkinson 1971:294). Epiphanius, alluding to it in its second century context, said when Hadrian visited Aelia Capitolina it was a small “Church of God” (Epiphanius, De Mensuris 14; Koester 1989:93). Theodosius said it was “Holy Sion which is the Mother of all Churches” (Wilkinson 1977:66)…

On July 30, 381, following the First Council of Constantinople, emperor Theodosius I issued an edict authorizing  the seizure of the properties of all non-orthodox churches. This resulted in the ancient synagogue, then in possession of Judeo-Christians, passing into Greco-Roman Christian control.  The surrender was made to the orthodox bishops. (The Ancient Church of the Apostles. Copyright © 2002 by Michael P. Germano, pp. 1-4).

Notice also the following report:

Even though the original Christians who used that location for nearly four centuries held to what are most often known as Judeo-Christian (as opposed to Greco-Roman) practices, there have been reports that the Catholics of Rome would like to expand their presence and basically takeover the Cenacle (Owen R. Vatican offers swap deal to regain site of Last Supper. The Times, October 13, 2005)…

Thus, it may be that what was possibly the first and original church building location of the original apostles could appear to be a potential location of the “temple of God”…the Bible shows plans for Jerusalem apparently for eternity (cf. Revelation 21:2-3), perhaps it may be that the ancient location of where the apostles themselves (who became part of  “the temple of God”) may possibly be what God had in mind when He inspired Paul’s writings.

But irrespective of which building is referred to in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, it would not seem to be possible for it to be a Jewish, non-Christian, temple in Jerusalem.

As I have done more research on the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill, it appears that it is more likely to be the place that could fulfill 2 Thessalonians 2:4 than I originally thought. But I am still not certain.  But I continue to research this.

One of the concerns is whether or not the western hill, which is known as Mt. Zion, is actually Mt. Zion of the Bible.  Some say that it is, yet most modern archaeologists say that it is not.  Whether it is or not, it still hold prophetic potential.

The Bible seems to teach that the son of perdition will sit in some type of place that Christians worshipped at:

3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

If this is referring to an ancient site, then perhaps it could be referring to one the “Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill” (though only a relatively few original bricks remain).

Even though much of the site is impacted by Greco-Romans, is it possible that God could possibly consider that the area is sufficiently related to the temple that it could possibly fulfill 2 Thessalonians 2:4?

Although this is not yet clear, there are some reasons to think that it might. Here is one news report:

The Cenacle, the building on Mt. Zion…will once again be open for Catholic worship, it has been announced by spokesmen for the Vatican, the Israeli government and the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.The agreement, which is part of overall negotiations over the use of land owned by the church in Israel allows for Franciscan administrative control of the site, while ownership will remain with Israel, according to Fr. Peter Vasko, president of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land (FFHL).

The Franciscan Friars owned the site during the 14th and 15th centuries, but were expelled by the Ottoman Empire in 1550…

Negotiations between the Vatican and Israel began 20 years ago with a “Fundamental Agreement” designed to open the way to Vatican recognition of Israel. Negotiations halted for several years until the United States intervened and talks were resumed in 2004, Vasko said. (Sontag R. Upper Room on Mt. Zion To Open for Catholic Worship. Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, June 18, 2013. viewed 06/22/13)

Ultimately, I suspect that the Vatican will more directly own/control it. Yet, because of the possible connection to the tomb of King David, various Israelis have said that will not happen as they will not give up control (Cohen S. Elkin: Israel Not Negotiating with Vatican on King David’s Tomb. July 18, 2013–but according to biblical property, they will be wrong as Israel will give up all it has for a time.

The fact that the Church of Rome now has at least tentative permission for the Pope (and others) to have a seat there (as well as now their church services) suggests there is a chance the man of sin (the Beast of Revelation 13 and King of the North of Daniel 11, see Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?) might. There is also a report from December 2013 that the USA has proposed something that possibly could give the Vatican more control over this or other buildings in Jerusalem (WND: Kerry proposed deal to give Vatican control of at least one ‘holy site’ in Jerusalem).

If this building area is considered as the physical remnant of the Christian Temple and/or it is on Mt. Zion, might the following apply?:

28 The voice of those who flee and escape from the land of Babylon Declares in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, The vengeance of His temple. (Jeremiah 50:28)

Thus, it may be that God does consider this location to be important to Him.  God will not be pleased with the man of sin attempting to show that he is god.

It should also be noted that the Church of Rome has a variety of ideas about this location and they do tie their version of Mary into it. The Hagia Maria Sion Abbey, also known as the ‘Dormition Abby,’ is also on that hill.  It  has responsibilities for the church that is called Basilica of the Assumption (or Dormition).

Also notice that the Church of Rome has a religious society connecting Mary to the Cenacle:

The Society of Our Lady of the Cenacle was founded in 1826, at La Louvesc in France, near the tomb of St. John Francis Regis, the Jesuit apostle of the poor, by Jean-Pierre-Etienne Terme, a holy and zealous missionary priest of the Diocese of Viviers, and Marie-Victoire-Therese Couderc…The Society of Our Lady of the Cenacle honours particularly, and proposes to itself for its model, the retirement of the Blessed Virgin in the Cenacle, after the Ascension of our Lord, while the whole Church, expecting the Holy Ghost, “were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus” (Acts 1:14). (Zimmerman, Benedict. “Religious of the Cenacle.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 30 May 2013 <>)

I should also add the following from the website of the Marian Movement of Priests:

“Cenacle” is a word for the upper room where Jesus’ apostles gathered together in prayer with his Mother Mary, and the Holy Spirit powerfully descended upon them. It was during this original Pentecost that the Catholic Church was born. Two thousand years later, Our Lady renews the call to gather together with her in cenacle of prayer in anticipation of the Holy Spirit…Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the first commitment for belonging to Our Lady’s Movement. By this Act of Consecration we put our life into her hands, completely and without reserve, so that she may transform us into the image and likeness of her Son, Jesus. (Marian Movement of Priests.

The ‘Marian Movement of Priests’ is interested in promoting Mary and historically has been involved with a lot of claimed Marian apparitions.

But, might it be possible that an apparition that many will think is Mary could show up in the area of the ancient Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill? Perhaps could it be that a Marian statue/apparition will the “‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (Matthew 24:15) or have at least some connection to it?

Currently I am doing some research related to the building, its location, and its possible role in end time prophecy. I have attempted to contact various scholars about it and keep updating a paper I am writing on it as I put together more information (see also Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill).

Here is a close up of some of the original bricks of the building (most of the bricks shown in the previous photo were added, as are the smaller ones below):

It is believed that the original bricks (the large ones above, also called ashlars) were not only part of the first Christian church building (which was called a synagogue then), but that they also may have come from the second temple in Jerusalem.

Anyway, because of various biblical prophecies, it is possible that this is a location that the prophesied ‘man of sin’ will come to.  My investigations are continuing.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, which is located on a Mount Zion, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building? There is also a video titled Does the ‘Cenacle’ deal have prophetic ramifications?
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén?
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.

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