THE "MAN OF LAWLESSNESS" AMONG JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES!
Again, we say unequivocally, that the leaders of the Watchtower Society, particularly the Governing Body, have to be exposed as the "man of lawlessness," the one who "is set in opposition and lifts himself up over everyone who is called `god' or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple of The God, publicly showing himself to be a god." Now, we realize that this is a very, very bold statement indeed. However, it is one that we state with complete confidence, since we are sure we have ample proof from God's unerring Word of Truth. — 1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 2:4
First of all, let's examine the words of Paul at 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4 and see exactly what he said about this coming figure called the "man of lawlessness." It reads:
"Let no one seduce you in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. He is set in opposition and lifts himself up over everyone who is called "god" or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple of The God, publicly showing himself to be a god."
Some Jehovah's Witnesses may have a hard time believing that the Governing Body could indeed be the "man of lawlessness." They think in terms of the "man of lawlessness" actually getting his start in the "temple" or "House of God" perhaps in the first century. (1 Peter 4:17) And later, the "man of lawlessness" [clergy of Christendom] leads the congregation of Christians into apostasy. According to the Society, this great apostasy occurred in the 4th century during Constantine's day. (See God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached pg. 381-383 par.40-42.) The following comment explains their view of how the "man of lawlessness" got his start in the `temple' of The God.
"The `temple of The God' in which the `man of lawlessness' sits down, `showing himself to be a god,' is what professes to be the Church of God. To the true Christians of the first century the apostle Paul wrote: `Do you not know that you people are God's temple, and that the spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you people are.' (1 Corinthians 3:16,17; also 2 Corinthians 6:16) It was from this spiritual `temple' class that the founders of the `apostasy' first broke away. They refuse to recognize the original true `temple' class, and the apostate congregation that these apostates establish they call `the temple of God.' It is in this apostate `temple' that they sit down and maintain their seat as a `clergy' distinct from those whom they call `the laity.' " (See God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached pg. 384 par. 43.)
Therefore, they teach that the "man of lawlessness" does not preside over the `temple' of The God as the scriptures plainly say, but rather he presides over an `apostate temple of The God, namely Christendom.' Now, what do you think about that?
However, let us notice just how the Watchtower Society teaches this point. They begin with three surmises. First of all, they say that:
1) the "man of lawlessness" "broke away" from the original "spiritual temple."
2) Secondly, they say that the "man of lawlessness" "refused to recognize the original true temple class."
3) And finally, they said that the "man of lawlessness" "established his own apostate temple" and began presiding in it. And this all happened during the 4th century.
Therefore, the Watchtower Society states that before the "man of lawlessness" could begin his escapades of rebellion, he would first have to `break away,' yes, establish his own temple, so that he could preside over it. However, the Bible does not say that he must first `break away.' No, in fact, in the verses you have just read, there is no statement about the "man of lawlessness" abandoning the true church or temple so that he could build one over which he could preside as "god."
Therefore, we raise the question: which temple is led into "apostasy?" The true temple or the false temple — which? The answer is simple: No "false" or "apostate" temple could be led into Apostasy. It is, from inception, false or worthless. The only "temple" that could be led into apostasy is the true temple, one that is already on the proper course, then suddenly is misdirected. Now, doesn't that make more sense? Think about it.
And to make the matter completely clear, that is precisely what happened to the Christian congregation during the years after the apostles died. For the next three hundred years, the church deteriorated to the point that it became completely contaminated with pagan practices and teachings such as Trinity, hellfire, and pagan celebrations. They were completely destroyed from within by their leading bishops and teachers! There would therefore be no need for the so-called "man of lawlessness," who supposedly arose in the 4th century, to go anywhere to "establish" a counterfeit "temple."
No, he would not need to do this since he had already taken control of the "temple" that he presently presided in. History clearly proves this.
However, the Bible itself actually takes the mystery out of which "temple" is being talked about. In fact, if there is any question as to whose temple is being led into idolatry, notice the expression:
"The Temple of [THE] GOD."
Now, who would we consider to be "The God." Well, the footnote in the New World Translation Large-Print Reference Bible says "The True God." Which can only be Jehovah God, the Sovereign of the Universe. Therefore the "man of lawlessness" has "set himself up" as a "god" in among Christians. This composite "man," made up of individual Christians have proven false to their profession as Christians and have successfully misled the Christian congregation into creature worship of itself as this "god" in Jehovah's "temple." Yes, the true Temple, the Temple of The God, today, must represent the Jehovah's Witnesses as an organization. (Titus 1:16) Therefore, with these facts in mind, this wicked, nefarious, unscrupulous "god" called the "man of lawlessness," inescapably represents, then, the ruling structure and policy-forming body within the Jehovah's Witnesses Organization known as the Governing Body!
There is also the question of time. The Watchtower Society asserts that the "man of Lawlessness" makes his debut during the 4th century. That would, of course, make the Catholic Bishops, under the direction of Constantine, the real villains. These are the very ones who perpetrated the trinity doctrine upon the Christian congregation, are they not? Therefore, if the "man of lawlessness" is really the clergy of Christendom, then that means that he was "revealed" during the 4th century. However, ask yourself this question:
If the "man of lawlessness" was "revealed" during the 4th century, to whom was he "revealed?" Yes, who would be there, present in the 4th century to recognize him for what he was, the wicked leader of the "temple?"
Also, there is the matter of timing as to the "revealing" of the "man of lawlessness." Yes, again the account says that his `revealing' or exposure is in close association with the Lord's second "parousia." In fact, the Bible pointedly says that this villain is "revealed" just before the Lord's "parousia," or second "coming!" Therefore, he is caught in the act of presiding over Jehovah's Temple as "god" and destroyed by the "Lord." And we remember, these events are closely associated with the "time of the end." Now we ask the question: Did all of this take place in the 4th century? Think about it. — See the 1974 Watchtower pg. 253 par. 7