Who is the ‘man of sin’? What do claimed COG groups teach?


Who is the ‘man of sin,’ also called the ‘son of perdition’ in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4? Some believe that he is the King of the North of Daniel 11, as the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-10. Yet others believe that he is the two-horned beast of Revelation 13:11, also known as the false prophet (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10). Are either of these positions right? What does the Bible actually teach?

The Continuing Church of God has a video on our YouTube channel called Bible New Prophecy.   It is titled Who is the ‘Man of Sin’?

About a year ago, LCG’s Roderick C. Meredith sent out a letter that claimed the following:

One of the most vital yet neglected prophecies in all of the Bible is found in 2 Thessalonians 2…

In verse 8, Paul revealed that the “lawless one”—who obviously has various religious teachings that in fact do not involve obedience to the Ten Commandments—will be revealed, “whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the workings of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders” (vv. 8-9). So no local “apostasy” in anychurch or small group of churches could possibly fulfill this awesome prophecy—and certainly not without the one who is in charge showing great power, signs and lying wonders.

For those of you who understand prophecy, it becomes obvious that this great “man of sin,” or “man of lawlessness,” ties in directly with the “second beast” of Revelation 13. For obviously describing the coming military/political leader of the final revival of the Roman Empire in Revelation 13:1-10, the Apostle John goes on to describe another “beast” who comes out of the earth and “he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon” (v. 11). So this man looks like the “lamb,” Jesus Christ. Yet His message is that of the “dragon” identified in Revelation 12:9 as Satan the Devil! This coming powerful religious leader “exercises” all of the authority of the first “beast” and causes the revived Roman Empire to persecute the true saints…the great false religious leader—the “ false prophet” (Meredith RC. LCG co-worker letter, April 17, 2013)

The above suggests that if one does not agree with the conclusion that the false prophet is the “man of sin” of 2 Thessalonians 2, then one does not understand prophecy. But is the man of sin the false prophet, the second beast of Revelation 13, or not?

Interestingly, in his The Falling Away sermon (recorded on June 1, 2012), Dr. Winnail taught that the Beast, the King of the North, may be the son of perdition in 2 Thessalonians 2. But that view apparently changed once Dr. Meredith clearly took another position.

Dr. Meredith is basically stating that those who have prophetic understanding know the identity of the man of sin, yet his identification is not consistent with scripture.

David Pack of the Restored Church of God (RCG) teaches:

This two-horned beast gives “power” to the first beast…So this beast, then, appears to be religious…Remember also, this two-horned beast possesses such awesome power that it inspires the world to worship the beast…

The second beast is able to perform miracles. He does this “in the sight of” the first beast—the Holy Roman Empire. These miracles are so extraordinary—so mesmerizing—that they allow him to deceive the whole earth! Finally, the beast is worshipped as a result. This future religious leader will lead the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire alongside a great civil leader.

In II Thessalonians 2:3, this same religious leader is called the “man of sin.” Revelation 19:20 refers to him as a “false prophet.”

(Pack, David C. Who or What Is the Beast of Revelation? http://rcg.org/books/wowitbor.html viewed 05/05/13)

But, as the Bible teaches, the two-horned beast is NOT the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2.

PCG’s Gerald Flurry, in a chapter titled ‘Man of Sin’ in one of his books, no later than 1995 wrote:

Mr. Tkach was an innermost disciple—more so than other Church leaders—in those last seven years of Mr. Armstrong’s life. The leadership discussed in 2 Thessalonians 2 must be in Pasadena today (Flurry G. Malachi’s Message. 1990, 1995, p. 99).

Gerald Flurry was referring to the Tkach Administration of the old Worldwide Church of God. This is wrong for many reasons, including the fact that J. Tkach , Sr. died without Jesus’ return which is when the ‘man of sin’ is eliminated per 2 Thessalonians 2:8–nor have any members of the Tkach Administration been accompanied by the type of signs and lying wonders that the ‘man of sin’ would be. More on PCG can be found in the article Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God.

Like certain other groups, the United Church of God teaches that the false prophet is the man of sin:

So, some have speculated that Antichrist had become the popular terminology for what this prophesy was talking about. In fact an interesting prophecy over in of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 talks about this. It says, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day”–talking about the Day of Christ’s return–“that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition…who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God.”

That’s interesting because the word translated “opposes” literally means to be against, to be contrary to, or anti. No wonder this is why the man of sin that’s mentioned here, is most often associated with the Antichrist. This end time False Prophet is a deceiver. (Meters S. Who is the Antichrist? http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/news-and-prophecy/who-antichrist/ May 2011, viewed 05/18/13)

But this, like the positions of LCG and RCG, appears mainly to be based upon tradition. I should mention that Aaron Dean, who is with UCG and on its Council of Elders agrees with my position on this that the ‘man of sin’ here is the Beast, the final King of the North, and not the false prophet as he has told me that personally.

The New Testament teaches that the man of sin “exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

The Old Testament teaches that the King of the North “shall exalt and magnify himself above every god” (Daniel 11:36).

The New Testament teaches that “All who dwell on the earth will worship” (Revelation 13:8) the first Beast, the ten-horned beast (Revelation 13:1).

This worship is not directed towards the false prophet. And the Bible teaches that the false prophet, the second beast of Revelation 13 “causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast” (Revelation 13:12).

Read it for yourself in your own Bible.

Even though people will likely worship both beasts, the descriptions in the Bible that describe the ten-horned beast/King of the North are much closer to the man of sin discussed in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 than any about descriptions the false prophet.

Those who truly understand prophecy and who prayfully study the word of God for doctrine should realize this.

Will you rely on traditions of men or what the Bible really teaches? Who really understands end time prophecy?
Since the Continuing Church of God is biblically correct about this will you support it?

Some items of related interest may include:

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 link to a related YouTube video titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they?
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God.
Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God Several have speculated reasons, but here is the truth. (En el idioma español: ¿Por qué Bob Thiel dejó la Iglesia del Dios Viviente?)
Journal Report on Continuing Church of God Leader Bob Thiel Bob Thiel was interviewed by The Journal News of the Churches of God related to him being a prophet, the proclamation goals of the Continuing Church of God, and why he left LCG.
What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? This article explains some information and doctrines of the Living Church of God as led by Roderick C. Meredith and some concerns about them.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.

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