Hello everyone, and thanks for coming back. We left off last post, with William Bradford writing about Christians fighting amongst themselves, and we covered the Arians and their doctrine. So here I will continue on, starting back with the Arians.
To recap, the Arians did not believe that Jesus was a deity, like the Father, and by the “church” this was found to be a heresy. This all occurred during the time of Constantine in the 4th century. So then when we read the forth paragraph of chapter 1 in the book Of Plymouth Plantation, it is not a conclusion to paragraph 3 as much as it is a introduction to the next few paragraphs that follow. What’s interesting and important to note is, that the first persecutions came to the early congregation of believers, by the emperors, before the man made institution of the “church” came into being. It just wasn’t there yet, the early congregation was pure, and consisted of Jewish, and Gentile believers, together. But we see that after the formation of the “church”, Christians began to argue, fight, and even persecute one another. What I want to do is start with paragraph 4, then hit some highlights in the proceeding paragraphs, to try and figure out what William was writing about when he mentions Antichrist. Let’s go now to Chapter 1, paragraph 4, in Of Plymouth Plantation.
The like method Satan hath seemed to hold in these later times, since the truth began to spring and spread after the great defection made by Antichrist, that man of sin.
“To hold in these later times”. So here William is now taking us to his present time. “Since the truth began to spring and spread”. This is something right here we need to focus on a bit. During the days of the Apostles and the early congregation of believers, the truth of the gospel and doctrines were pure, unadulterated by mans theologies, and was protected against satan’s infiltration of lies. This came after the formation of the “church,” and church leaders were telling the people what they should believe, and the people having no other means of knowing the truth, because the truth was hidden in writings that were not accessible to them, to read and understand themselves, the truth began to slowly be replaced with lies, and heresies. Even the Apostle Paul spoke a lot about how everywhere he would preach the gospel, these so-called super apostles would come right in behind him, and immediately distort the truth. Peter, Paul, John, James, and Jude all warned of this very thing, and after their deaths, it did not take long for satan to take hold of the newly formed “church” and to start replacing truth with lies. In a nut shell, and I will be covering this later as we will be studying the history of the early church, the Jews slipped back into Judaism, and the Gentiles formed the Roman Catholic Church, and all the apostasy, heresy, and blasphemy that came with it. The Congregation was split the truth hidden away, Satan got his way. Yes I understand their were other sects, but like I said in a nut shell, this is what happened, and the people found it hard to resist because they didn’t have access to scripture the way we do now. Something great happened centuries later, man began to translate the original text, into a language they could read, namely English, and once again they had access to the truth, and satan’s lies, and deceit began to show through. And just like in the early days of the Congregation of Jesus, when the truth shined like a light, like a candle that sits upon a table, that lights the darkness of a room, so it was, when the truth once again shined forth, it caused the darkness of the “church” to be exposed, and the light of the Congregation begin to shine. Satan did not like this, he did not like this at all, so you know what’s going to come next, persecutions. Then William goes somewhere that is very interesting, and whether he intended this, or it was the Spirit of God writing through him, he goes on to write this.
“After the great defection made by Antichrist, that man of sin.”
When I read this at first, I read it wrong, and it didn’t make sense to me. So I slowed down, like I often have to, and I had to pick apart the words, and define them, much like how I study scripture, I slow down and pick apart each word of each verse, so I know and fully understand what is being said. What threw me off was, William made a reference that is in scripture, of the future antichrist, but that’s still future, so being not the intelligent man that I’am, it just went right over my head, and I’m not ashamed to say that at all. I will be honest with all of you, some of these guys I read, and some of the articles I read, the writers are so intelligent, it (the way they write) goes right over my head. When this happens I just have to slow way down, and get the dictionary out, and then eventually I will finally understand what they are saying. I’m just an everyday average Joe, definitely not a brainiac. Anyway I looked up the word after and this is what I found
After – 1. In the time following (an event or another period of time)
This is the most common definition right? Well if you go down to the sixth definition you will find this in the New Oxford American Dictionary. 6. Concerning or about
Then William goes on to write “the great defection”
defection – the desertion of one’s country or cause in favor of an opposing one:
Then William goes on to write “made by the Antichrist, that man of sin”
Here he names him, that man of sin, we can find this in 2 Thessalonians 2:3
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
So is this the future Antichrist that William is speaking about, or is it a Spirit of Antichrist, that he is mentioning. This my friends is where this gets very interesting. So in essence what William was saying in the fourth paragraph is something like this, concerning the great future desertion made by Antichrist, that man of sin. The method Satan is using, is a method of falling away from the truth, the desertion spoken, is a desertion away from the truth, and pulling those he (satan) can, away from the truth. The entire subject here is the truth, once we know the subject, we can really pick this apart. So now we will continue on with paragraph 5, and hit highlights, and let William explain paragraph 4 to us, and then we are going to the Bible and have Paul explain to us what William was saying about this future man of sin, the son of perdition. Until next time, may the Lord bless your search for truth, leaving no stone unturned.