Dr. Thomas Manton
AD70 IS A COMING OF CHRIST
II Thessalonians 2:2)
"There is some difference in the words, for
eggizo signifies it draweth near,
enistemi, it is begun already." (Works, vol. 3. p.15)
"The rust of them shall eat your flesh as it were fire, possibly there may be here some latent allusion to the manner of Jerusalem's ruin, in which many thousands perished by fire. Ye heaped treasure together for the last days, There is no cogent reason why we should take this in a metaphorical sense, especially since, with good leave from the context, scope of the apostle, and the state of those times, the literal may be retained. I should, therefore, simply understand the words as an intimation of their approaching judgments; and so the apostle seemeth to me to tax their vanity in hoarding and heaping up wealth when those scattering and fatal days to the Jewish commonwealth were even ready to overtake them." (in loc.)
"What is meant here? Any particular coming of Christ, or His solemn coming to general judgment? I answer, Both may be intended; the primitive Christians thought both would fall out together. 1. It may be meant of Christ's particular coming to judge these wicked men. This epistle was written about thirty years after Christ's death, and there was but little time between that and Jerusalem's last, so that unto the coming of the Lord is until the overwhelming of Jerusalem, which is also elsewhere expressed by coming, if we may believe Chrysostom and OEcumenius of John 21:22: "If I will that he tarry till I come," that is, say they, come to Jerusalem's destruction."
"Either, first, to them by a particular judgment; for there were but a few years, and then all was lost; and probably that may be it which the apostles mean when they speak so often of the nearness of Christ's coming. But you will say, How could this be propounded as an argument of patience to the godly Hebrews that Christ would come and destroy the temple and city? I answer, (1) The time of Christ's solemn judiciary process against the Jews was the time when He did acquit Himself with honour upon His adversaries, and the scandal and reproach of His death rolled away. (2) The approach of His general judgment ended the persecution; and when the godly were provided for at Pella, the unbelievers perished by the Roman sword."
(On James 5:9)
"He had said before, 'The coming of the Lord draweth nigh;' now he addeth that 'he is at the door,' a phrase that doth not only imply the sureness, but the suddenness, of judgment. See Matthew 24:33: 'Know that it is near, even at the door;' so that this phrase intendeth also the speediness of the Jewish ruin."
"The Scripture is a sufficient rule of Christian Faith, or a record of all necessary Christian doctrines, without any supplement of unwritten traditions, as containing any necessary matter of faith, and is thus far sufficient for the decision of all controversies." ("The Scripture Sufficient Without Unwritten Traditions")
ON THE ANTICHRIST:
16. Controv. How Antichrist is said to sit in the Temple of God.
1. Some doe understand it of the Temple of Jerusalem, which they say, Antichrist shall cause to be builded againe, and therein he shall sit to be worshipped as God: so Hyppolitus, Cyrillus and Chrysostome misliketh not this sense in his Commentarie upon the 2. of the 2. epistle of the Thessal. But this can not be the meaning:
1. because the Temple of Jerusalem shall never be builded againe, according to the saying of our Saviour, that one stone should not be left upon an other. The Jewes were licensed by Julian the Apostata to reedifie their Temple, but they could not goe forward: that which they built in the day, was cast downe in the night, and beside a strange fire came forth, which consumed the instruments and engines of the artificers.
2. And though that Temple should be builded againe, it could not be called the Temple of God, seeing it should be set up to revive the sacrifices and ceremonies of Moses law, which are abolished by Christ.
2. Theodoret and Damaseen understand it of the Temple of Christians which Antichrist shall command to be set up and erected to his worship: but thus he should sit in many temples, whereas the Apostle speaketh of Temple, in the singular: neither doth the Apostle call the Churches of Christians by the name of --temple.
3. Wherefore the Apostle meaneth hereby, not materiall temples, but by the Temple he understandeth the Church of God, as it is called, 1. Cor. 3. 16. Apoc. 3. 12. not that Antichrist shall in deede sit in the true Church of God, for he shall be an enemie to the Church of Christ: but he shall sit in the visible Church so reputed: and he shall style and title himselfe by the Church: As he taketh upon him to be Head of the Church, and to be Christs Vicar in earth: Melansth, Papp. Fulke annotate. 2 Thess. 2. v. 4. He sitteth also in the temple of mens consciences, taking upon him to have power to forgive sinnes, and to make lawes to binde the conscience. Bulling.
4. Some, that hold the Turke to be Antichrist, may by the Temple understand those places, where sometime was the Church of God: but the Apostle speaketh of the Temple, that shall then be so reputed and taken, at the time of Antichrists sitting therein."
4. Notwithstanding what is confidently averred by some, that in both Testaments, the Temple of God is intended of that Temple in Jerusalem, the contrary appears; and that the Christian Church is also in that pointed at in both Testaments. So in Zech. 6. 12, 13. ‘Behold the man whose name is the Branch’ (meant of Christ, Zech. 3. 8. Isa. 14, 1. Jer. 3, 8.33.15.) ‘he shall grow out of his place, and he shall build the Temple of the Lord, even he shall build the Temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne.’
In which is not intended the Temple of Jerusalem, as if built by Christ, whose destruction he declared; those dayes also of its destruction being the time of the Lord's coming to Judge that People, and then setting up his Temple of the Christian Church, where he would be worshipped in spirit and in truth; not any longer in Types and Sacrifices, as in Jerusalem (John 4. 20. 21.23.)
And the Christian Gospel-Church taken as Catholique, and of both Nations, is called ‘the houshold of God, built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an Holy Temple in the Lord, in whom they are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.’ (Ephes. 2.19,20,21.22.)
And as by the Temple, so by Jerusalem also is the Gospel-Church of Jew and Gentile signified, and that also, as the Church is Militant and Triumphant; Jerusalem which is above being mother of us all, (Gal. 4. 25, 26, 27.)
(Fourth on Antichrist)
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