By Dennis Huebshman
Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9, “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day (2nd. Coming) will not come unless the rebellion (tribulation) comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction (final antichrist). (4) Who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship (including allah), so that he takes his seat in the Temple of God. (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14) (5) Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you these things? (6) And you know what is restraining him now, so that he may be revealed in his time. (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. (1 John 2:18-19; 22-23) He who now restrains it will do so until He is out of the way. (8) And then, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of His mouth, and bring to nothing, by the appearance of His coming (touch-earth 2nd. Coming). (9) The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of satan, with all power (that God allows), and false signs and wonder.” (emphasis mine)
Paul explains how easy this transition is accomplished in 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, “Consequently, God sends them (all unbelievers) a deluding influence, so that they will believe what is false. (12) And so, all of them who have not believed the truth, but delighted in evil, will be condemned.”
Apparently, the ones that Paul was addressing had been enlightened with the knowledge of just who or what the “Restrainer” would be. (2 Thessalonians 2:6) However, the bible does not point-blank reveal this information for us. It’s my belief, there’s enough evidence that would lead us to believe that it is the Holy Spirit. There is no doubt that what is being restrained is the satan-filled final antichrist from appearing. (2 Thessalonians 2:9)
John 14:16-17, “And I, (Jesus) will ask the Father, and He will give you another “Helper” to be with you forever, (17) even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him or knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you.” John 16:7, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.”
When a person accepts Jesus, and asks Him to be their Savior, they receive (are immersed – baptized) the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:5, Jesus told His disciples, “for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” This event was completed at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). John the Baptist told the people who he was baptizing, that his was a baptism of water, but the One coming after him (Jesus) would baptize with the “Holy Spirit and fire.” (Luke 3:16)
We are told by Jesus in Matthew 12:31-32, “Therefore, I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. (32) And who ever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or the age to come.”
The Holy Spirit proclaims Jesus is God, and it is only through Jesus that we can be saved. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) To deny the Savior is to say the Holy Spirit is a liar. Jesus was ridiculed, scoffed and verbally abused, especially by the religious leaders, while He was on this earth. He was willing to forgive any and all of them, if they would have only repented. However, after He went to be with the Father, unbelief led to eternal condemnation, and still does
Consider Romans 2:6, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus, from the law of sin and death. (3) For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh; (4) in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (5) For those who live according to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (6) For to set the mind on the flesh is death; but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we are told, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (Born Again). The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”
The activities of this world today are going in the directions that were not out there in plain sight just a decade or so in the past. Isaiah 5:20 which tells of those who call evil good, and good as being evil, has arrived in full force. We are seeing Christianity, and anything to do with Jesus being attacked, while other false religions are being touted as the new way to go.
Even from the pulpits of some “evangelical” churches, alternate lifestyles are being given as suddenly not an abomination to God. They try to tell everyone He has changed His mind, which He will never do. Also, we’re being told “all religions are the same, and we all worship the same god.” Seems to me the very first of the Ten Commandments states, “I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have any other gods before Me!” (Exodus 20)
Jesus, Paul, John and others all spoke of what would take place right at the end of this age. Every sign given is present right now, and all at the same time. Yes, to some degree they have always been with us, but not with the magnitude that is present today. The Ezekiel 38 alliance of Russia, Iran and Turkey is in place; also for the first time ever. God is ready to set the “hook” for them to attack Israel. (Ezekiel 38:4) Be sure to keep a close eye on the Golan, which Israel has claimed as its own, and now confirmed by our President. We’re told the attack will come from the “North”.
Once 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 takes place (Rapture), there will be no need for a Restrainer, as all “indwelt believers” will be gone. That is not to say the Holy Spirit will no longer be active in this world; however, His purpose of being in every believer will have been completed. I believe He will be present to protect the 144,000 witness which are described in Revelation.
All who accept Jesus before the taking up, or Rapture of His Church (all believers), need not worry about events taking place right now. They’re troubling, without a doubt; but before the actual Tribulation/Wrath starts, we will be gone. Those who have not truly accepted Him will be in for a very miserable time.
A preventive measure is to accept and believe Jesus came to this earth to cover all sin-debt for whoever will call on Him. Romans 10:9-13 is a description of the process, and God will turn no one away that makes the call.
Time is getting short. Prophecy experts, far more qualified than I am, are saying it could be any moment. Also, one needs to make the call before the shout and trumpet are sounded, as it’s estimated the whole taking up process will be over in less than one second. (Twinkling of an eye.) No one can call out to be saved in that period of time.
For those who are already saved, we need to be in prayer for those who haven’t accepted Jesus yet. Our hope is that the Spirit will touch them. God will in no way force anyone, but He will give whatever support is needed for them to seek His Son. He wants no one to fail and be sent to eternal condemnation (2 Peter 3:9), but eventually will shut this age down, and the world will enter the next age – the Tribulation. (2 Peter 3:10)
Our merciful Lord and Savior is waiting for our call so He can send the Holy Spirit to be within us. It would be wise to make that call today.
Shalom! Come Lord Jesus!