Is Vespasian the Lawless One?

Could Vespasian be the Lawless One? After all Vespasian’s death correlates with the manifestation of the Glory Cloud, the sign of the coming of God on the clouds (see The Historical Appearance of Christ at the Death of the Beast Fulfills 2 Thessalonians 2:8 and Revelation 19:19-20).  Vespasian’s image was also set up in the Temple and worshiped as a God (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12: A Preterist Commentary–The Man of Lawlessness Revealed!).  Also Vespasian is said to have miraculously healed a blind man and a cripple prior to his triumphal entry into Rome in fulfillment of 2 Thessalonians 2:9: “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie.”

2 Thessalonians 2:4 reads, “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”  If Vespasian was not present in the Temple, how could he “proclaim himself to be God.”  Of course, Vespasian could not physically make this declaration. But it is important to remember that in Revelation 19:20 Vespasian is the beast and Titus, the false prophet.  In Revelation 13: A Preterist Commentary I explain that Titus is the “mouth” of the beast (Revelation 13:6) just as Aaron is the “mouth” of Moses (Exodus 4:16).  It is Titus who led the Roman army into the Temple and presumably order his soldiers to set up the images of his father on the ensigns by the eastern gate of the Temple to be worshipped (Wars 6.6.1.) As the “mouth” of Vespasian, Titus speaks on his father’s behalf proclaiming him to be god.

Revelation 19:20 says, “But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf.”  Here we see the false prophet performing the signs on the beast’s behalf. And that is certainly true. The fire from heaven in Revelation 13:13 was performed by the false prophet, Titus.  The fact that the false prophet performs the signs on the behalf of the beast could be evidence that Titus is the Lawless One, but remember Vespasian also performed miracles himself prior to his entry into Rome.  And the fact that Titus performed some of these signs himself could be a consequence of Revelation 13:12: “It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf.”

Perhaps the biggest problem with Vespasian being the Lawless One is the fact that the term Lawless One is an epithet meant to call to mind Antiochus Epiphanies, the original Lawless One of Psalms of Solomon 17:9-16.  Antiochus Epiphanies is also called the “Little Horn” in Dan 8, a title also given to Titus in Daniel 7.  The fact that Vespasian would be the Lawless One while Titus is the Little Horn is inconsistent unless the seeming unification of the beast and false prophet implied in Titus being the “mouth” (Revelation 13:6)  and “image” of the beast (Revelation 13:14-15) fixes this inconsistency?