Who is the Man of Sin? The Man of Sin is Papacy – the Roman Catholic system and the position of Pope, but not the particular individual in that position. This might seem harsh and judgmental, however, Papacy is a falsifier which sought to take the honor of the true anointed, the true Christ and is therefore called the Antichrist, a counterfeit. Ferraris’ Ecclesiastical Dictionary, a standard Roman Catholic authority, writes that the pope “is of such great dignity and power that he occupies one and the same tribunal with Christ; so that whatsoever the pope does seems to proceed from the mouth of God…The pope is, as it were, God on earth…to whom the government of the earthly and heavenly kingdom is entrusted.” Pope Boniface VIII decreed, “We declare, say, define, pronounce it necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff.” Another Catholic doctrine is the infallibility of the pope and many popes have claimed infallibility (Pope Leo XIII most notably). Papacy has taken the scriptures of the Bible that refer to Christ and applied these scriptures to themselves. By claiming Christ’s honor, Papacy exalted itself and opposed the true God.
During the time span of the Dark Ages, papacy’s persecutions were severe. They included confiscation of property, prison, torture, and burning at the stake whenever Catholic teachings weren’t being followed. A small sampling includes the following: in Lavaur (1211), four hundred were burned alive; in Languedoc over 100,000 were killed in one day. Grotius lists 100,000 Belgic people as being martyred. There were the massacres of Merindol (thousands of men, women and children murdered and 24 towns were destroyed), and Orange in 1562 (more thousands were slain with sword, thrown on the points of hooks and daggers, roasted over slow fires and tortured). It was a criminal offense to possess or read the Bible. Noted reformer John Huss and others were burned at the stake. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 says, “To those involved in this dying world he will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused to love the truth which could have saved them.” (Phillips Translation)
2 Thessalonians 2:11 teaches us that God will send strong delusions. Religious systems that teach error are certainly a strong delusion. We cannot just swallow whatever is told to us from the pulpit. We need to search the scriptures to determine whether what we are being told/taught is true (See John 5:39, Acts 17:11).