By Ronald Graham
"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." 2 Thessalonians 2:7. The Greek word translated into English for "letteth" is "katecho-" and the definition of this Greek word is somewhat different than the definition of our English word let, which means to allow or permit. The Greek word is actually just the opposite, it means to restrain, to hold back, detain, retain. What we must ask ourselves is "Who is the ‘He' that Paul is referring to in this verse"? First of all we find the Apostle referring to the "who now letteth" as a "He", and secondly this "He" is currently holding back a flood of wickedness which is straining at the bit to be loosed. Who could be so powerful to be able to hold back worldwide wickedness? The Holy Spirit. Who is it that removes this "Restrainer"? The Holy Spirit is sealed within every Christian, and we will soon be Raptured. What happens when "He" is taken out of the way? This is what will occur when the Restrainer is removed. Earth's citizenry will watch in horror as the floodgates of the lair of Satan and his horde of demonic miscreants, once securely blocked, will be supernaturally loosed – have you ever heard the old adage Hell on earth?
The Apostle Paul speaks of the Holy Spirit as being the One who letteth – the Restrainer. There will come a time (which will not encroach on the seventieth week prophesied of by Daniel chapter 9, and spoken of by our Lord Jesus in Matthew chapter 24) when the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the way so that iniquity (wickedness-evil-sin-crime, you name it) will have unfettered access to humankind. The word "iniquity" is translated from the Greek word "anomia" which refers to a situation without law where pervasive wickedness is the norm.
The mystery of iniquity is already at work. What mystery? Is it a mystery to anyone who has eyes to see that this world is engulfed in wickedness? Hardly. What is Paul speaking about when he incorporates the Greek word "myste-rion" within his statement "already at work"? The Greek word "myste-rion" does not speak of mysteries such as we would understand the English word, but of knowledge withheld by God, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel 12:4, yet in the last days such knowledge will be illuminated by God's Spirit and given to those who deeply desire to discern the true meaning of scripture.
The mystery which Paul expounds on is one of supernatural origin. God's truth is becoming more and more revealed, made known, or manifest in these last days. Those who have been born again have the ability to comprehend God's truths. Those who don't have the Spirit of God within them have no such ability. The Holy Spirit is our source of understanding and our teacher. Everything we learn from the word of God is either of the Holy Spirit or of man. Personally, I prefer the Holy Spirit's instruction.
So who is going to remove this Restrainer's influence from planet earth? The very same personage who placed Him here in the first place. The One who letteth (the Restrainer) is the Comforter that Jesus told His disciples He would send to them after He left earth. "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:" John 15:26. Jesus was adamant about the Comforter being with His disciples and thus with all of His followers while they were on earth.
Now we are told that the Restrainer/Comforter will be taken out of the way. What of His disciples – what of the body of Christ? Are we now to fend for ourselves with no protection from the malevolent supernatural beings (who are only bent on destruction) after the One who restrains them is gone? Impossible!
The Holy Spirit cannot be taken out of the way so that unbridled wickedness can achieve maximum worldwide influence without all the born again also being removed. Why? Because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit at the moment we first believe. "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:13-14. The Greek word "sphragizo-" means to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal. That seal has been placed on each believer by the Creator of the universe and cannot be broken or removed by man or beast (the realm of the malevolent supernatural). God is in control of that seal and no one dare even attempt to break it and take one of His children from Him. Sure, Satan and his human followers can lie to us and tell us we can lose our salvation (anyone who tells you that is doing Satan's bidding), but God says we, His born again children, are secure in His hands. So, the question is who are you going to believe?
What Paul is telling us is that when the One who is holding back the tide of wickedness, which will be loosed upon the whole world, is removed that mystery will no longer be a mystery. When the malevolent supernatural realm is no longer restrained and the brutality of evil is finally unleashed upon a Christ rejecting world, then will begin the most horrifying episode in earth's history. This world has never seen such evil as will be present when God removes His Restrainer and His Ekklesia. There will be such immorality, depravity, corruption, malice, hatred, and every form of evil known and unknown to mankind, some of which has not been seen since before the flood of Noah. "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:37. The evil that surpassed all human understanding which overwhelmed the entire world prior to the flood is still unbelievable to most professing Christians today. But the intrusion of fallen angels into the realm of man did occur and it is stated by our Lord Jesus Himself that just prior to His return the days will be the same as were the days of Noah – the horrible antediluvian evil will return to mingle with humans one more time.
"Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:18. In this chapter of first Thessalonians, Paul gives these Thessalonian believers a rundown of how the progression of things will unfold at the "snatching away" of Christ's Ekklesia. "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:17. We are to be comforted as we dwell on the fact that we will soon be with the Lord in the air as we meet and assemble in the clouds, together with all the saints who died before us. The Greek word used in the above instance for comfort is the same Greek word Jesus used when addressing His disciples telling them about the Comforter He would send them. The meaning is the same in both instances: to call to one's side for the purpose of encouragement, to strengthen, for exhorting and comforting, to instruct, teach. We are to comfort one another with the Greek word "Harpazo-", translated "caught up", "snatched away", or "rapture" as well as "meet the Lord in the air", just as the Holy Spirit was sent to comfort, encourage, instruct, and teach all of us.
When we are called to meet the Lord in the air it will be a complete surprise to the horde of malevolent supernatural beings currently in a holding pattern over earth. But make no mistake, these soon to be marauding misfits of Satan's are readying themselves for a mighty intrusion. But it won't take them long to discover what has happened and they will be fully prepared to invade earth with one purpose in mind. To mercilessly kill, steal, and destroy. Sadly, most of earth's remaining population won't even know what's happening. Since they don't believe in the supernatural realm or God, they will think they've been invaded by space aliens or some such oddity. The main thing is that the Restrainer will no longer "katecho-" (hold back) the wickedness of the hordes of supernatural beings waiting in their own dimension. No one in their right mind would want to physically be on Earth when the scenario I've just laid out unfolds.
Here's the crux of the matter. No one needs to remain behind. The simple fact of the matter is this. The gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ, is free. God is the giver of life and He gave His life so you and I wouldn't have to. All that is necessary to avoid the horrible end that awaits those who reject Christ is to say yes to Jesus today. Yes Lord Jesus I believe. I believe Lord, you are the Christ, the anointed One. Who was, Who is, Who is to come, the Almighty. I believe you died for my sins and for the sin of the world. I believe you were buried and rose from the grave three days later. I believe you are alive and are coming soon for your followers".
If you believe in your heart what I've just written above and you've confessed that belief to God, then you have nothing to worry about because you are one of those who Paul speaks to in the following verse "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Ephesians 1:13.
Refusing God's free gift of salvation will guarantee all Christ rejecters an eternity in Hell. Many of those folks will live to see the most horrible evil time of Earth's existence. Only the delusional of this world would want such a future. Your choice.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed
Ron Graham was called Home on March 14, 2013. He began writing this commentary before his death and had asked that I, Nathele Graham, continue his service to our Lord by finishing what he began.