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There is coming a time when the world will change dramatically. That time will be the Rapture and history will reveal the mystery of iniquity and the world will see real evil first hand. Thus far we, the world and history, have not yet seen the full extent of real evil.
There are two real mystery revealing’s. The first is the revealing of the first advent of Jesus Christ. The second is the revealing of the anti-christ.
The first revealing came after about four hundred years of indifference and straying from the path by the Jewish people, who then held custody of the original scriptures and were bound to evangelize the world. In that, they failed. This revealing of Godliness, came without fanfare and was witnessed by few.
The second revealing, that of the anti-christ, and iniquity, will occur after a similar spiritual gap in history, wherein the gentiles, who now have the obligation to evangelize the world, will likewise fail. We can see this trend occurring in the attitudes of society and governments who turn their backs on people in need of help across the world, in favor of political correctness and more importantly, in the turning away from Christianity. This second revealing will be seen by the entire world.
This final gap, is known as the Great Apostasy, which will occur near the end of our current dispensation, which we call the Church Age. Our dispensation has other descriptive names, the Age of the Bride of Christ, the Age of the Royal Family, and similar terms, all of which are synonymous.
From all other era’s of apostasy in history, each was followed by a recovery of sorts, following the terrible disasters that accompanied each period of spiritual low. Often times the recovery required a huge period of disaster in order to wake up people and get them to return back to truth.
But, there will come a time when that natural recovery, will not occur, thus requiring a much greater set of events, needed to get the attention of people. That event will be the Rapture, followed by the events in the seven years of the Tribulation.
But before that all happens, two things will occur. Actually there are four things that will occur.
The first, is really a series of events, namely historical trends, described as dramatic increases in a variety of things, such as earthquakes, population, science or knowledge, and such. And these are dramatic increases that will occur over an extended period of time, which we have already witnessed during these past decades and most certainly this past century.
The second is the placement of various pieces of the historical puzzle, which will be in place when the rapture finally occurs. These puzzle pieces are the worldwide availability of the gospel and evangelism, the worldwide existence of the population of humanity, the development of the four spheres of power, namely north, south, east, and west. And finally the existence of a national entity of Israel, which occurred in 1948. When the Tribulation begins, the nation of Israel already exists, which of course it now does, as a result of the events of World War Two.
The third event that needs to occur is the Great Apostasy. Apostasy is a falling away from truth, which simply means a straying away from Bible doctrine, from God, from Christ, from all legitimate spirituality.
This falling away, whether to other religions, other beliefs, other philosophies, other secular priorities and such, will result in a falling away from the numbers of people who normally turn to Christ and faith in times trouble in their lives, to virtually no one turning to Christ.
Apostasy does not mean poverty, for prosperity can occur in times of economic growth, regardless of the spiritual attitude of society.
But, all apostasy, being a departure from truth, will eventually lead to disaster of every kind.
And in the final days, which means years, decades, even over the course of a generation, a great turning away from truth, will occur.
That Great Apostasy, will be such as the world has never seen before and from which the world will not naturally recover, unless something extremely dramatic occurs to change it.
And then there will be the final event, which will be the removal of the restraint which has been preventing the revealing of the anti-christ.
That restraint is the Holy Spirit.
And the Holy Spirit is not completely removed, per se, for the Holy Spirit is God and as such is omnipresent. What this removal means is that the restraint is set aside, thus allowing the evil one to be revealed.
Likewise, with this removal, the Christians are also removed from the world. This event is known as the Rapture.
As Christians in this dispensation, we are also Royal Family, and we are also ambassadors.
As ambassadors, we are representatives from heaven, our true country.
When a conflict arises between enemy countries, diplomacy is attempted first and then if that does not resolve differences, then violence increases and war is usually declared. Just prior to the declaration of war, all ambassadors are called home. That is the Rapture.
We are both called home, but also as royalty, we are removed from the battle field, and allowed to stand aside from direct involvement in battle, as is the privilege of royalty.
In this case, the battle will wage here on earth, during those seven years of the Tribulation, and we in heaven will be engaged in our evaluation, rewards, marriage ceremonies and such things.
When He who restrains is removed.
1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
The Apostle Paul spoke of both a mystery of godliness and a mystery of iniquity.
1 Tim. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh.
II Thess. 2:3-8 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
The mystery of iniquity is the mystery of sin and its influence. It is brought to a completion in the Tribulation period. This one who restrains, is holding back the revealing of the son of perdition and the spirit of iniquity. Just as the mystery of godliness came in a single man so will the mystery of iniquity come in a single man.
Paul is speaking specifically about the Antichrist coming though his spirit has been at work for centuries. The mystery that was operating in power throughout the world in Paul’s day will increase. He is talking about the Antichrist and the spirit of anti-Christ as well. There is coming a leader that opposes Jesus in every way and he is a religious leader not an atheist and he will claim to be God bringing about the destruction of millions of souls through his teachings.
The Mystery of Iniquity is still hidden.
2 Thess. 2:6 the Apostle Paul writes, and you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
The word for time here is not chronos, the normal word used for time. The word for time here is kairos, which is translated to mean, the time of opportunity. The man of sin is withheld from appearing in the world until a particular time. This restraining force opposes evil and holds back the growth of wickedness preventing the man of sin from coming into his time of power.
As long as the restrainer continues to do His work in the world this false Christ cannot come into his position of power. Once the restraint that held back this mystery of iniquity is removed, the man of sin then comes forward with all power. The Antichrist will finally have the opportunity for self-exaltation and rule unhindered for a short time. It is at this time he will be revealed.
This, he, 2 Thessalonians 2:6 is the son of perdition.
Unrestrained, the fallen nature of man can repeat the same inhumane acts that brought judgment on the antediluvian world and those we have seen throughout history. Violence is increasing today and sweeping throughout the world. Jesus says in the end lawlessness will abound. John writes, Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness, 1 John 3:4.
This is why the he that is restrained is called the man of sin.
II Thess. 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.
We have been told that, before, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ that the man of sin will be revealed.
First comes the falling away, apostasy, then royalty is removed, Rapture, and restraint is simultaneously set aside, then the Great Tribulation will begin.
We do not know the precise timing of these things. We can only see the historical pieces being put in their place from our current perspective.
However, when the iniquity is revealed, that means that real evil will accompany it also.
Today we see evil on various scales, from simple white lies to national genocides and everything in between. And we have in place today, a restraint on evil.
But, when that restraint is removed, then the evils of the world will shoot off the charts, and the world will know what really happens when God is removed from the picture. Evils so horrendous, that the Bible does not even begin to describe them. We know that in the very first three-and-a-half years of the Tribulation, that literally one-half of the worlds population will die.
That alone should be a huge eye opening experience, that people should take notice of, but won’t.
These things are given to us, not for entertainment but to wake us up to the very real realities of life that we do not and cannot even begin to know about.
That is why a daily Bible study is so important.
The things that are on the line and the risks of failure are so great, that for anyone who ignores them, life for them will be really sad and bad.
When this will happen, we do not know. Could be in a few years or a century away.
Apostasy can take hold of a people so fast, that society can plunge into a negative mode very quickly.
With the population growth on the rise, in just under a century the population could very well go over fifty billion, a huge increase from our seven billion approaching eight, of today. That could likewise contribute to the failure of humanity.
But then, in the Millennium, prosperity will abound even if the then population goes well over a trillion. Far more than anything we will see in this pre-millennial age.
So the answer is not in people numbers, or resources, but in attitude toward Christ.
Pursuing a daily Bible study, is paramount. It prepares you for life now and for life in eternity.
The worst of humanity is yet to come, and there is nothing that you can do to prevent it. Things could very well not occur for another generation or two. But what is important, is that you, prepare yourself now. Something that no one else can do for you.
Priorities need to be for your spiritual self, and not for worldly things. Spiritual growth extends into the temporal life where responsibilities and obligations of life exist. But spiritual growth is also a construction of the soul, which is your eternal possession and preparation for eternity.
Watch, listen and observe the things of the world as they slowly unfold over the course of years and decades and generations, but more important, pursue your own preparation. The problems of the world will rise and fall as is the nature of humanity, but the world is never in control over its own destiny. Jesus Christ controls history.
God has a plan for you, and He has a plan for history. You take care of your plan, and God will deal with the world.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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