Already in the first century the church was faced with the question of how to understand the apostle Paul’s description of the coming apostasy and revelation of the man of lawlessness as recorded in II Thessalonians 2:1-12. Events continually surfaced that seemed to correspond to what Paul had described concerning a certain individual who would appear on the scene of history prior to Christ’s second return. In the mid 4th century, John Chrysostom (344-407) began asking questions that are still being asked to this very day. He wrote,
Here Paul discuses the Antichrist and discusses great mysteries. What is the “falling away”? He calls him Apostasy; so he will destroy many and make them fall away…And he calls him “the man of sin.”…But who is he? Satan? By no means. Rather he is a man in whom Satan fully works…He will abolish all the gods and will order men to worship him instead of God. He will be seated in the temple of God, not that in Jerusalem only, but also in every church.