THE MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS - P2
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is removed” (2 Thessalonians 2:7).
What is “the mystery of lawlessness”? Scripture addresses lawlessness clearly, but Paul is speaking about the mystery surrounding the Man of Lawlessness—the Antichrist.
What is different about this lawlessness? Well, in times past, God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth… that they would seek God, if perhaps they might feel around for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).
Aside from the Jews, mankind was largely ignorant about God’s plan to anoint a king for the world, but then “having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now proclaiming to mankind that all people everywhere are to repent, because He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all people by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). Through the Gospel, God is proclaiming to the entire world “I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain” (Ps. 2:6) - His Son, Jesus Christ.
And the knowledge of God’s anointed choice for King over all powers, tongues, and peoples has come to the nations through the Gospel in these 2,000 years of grace given to mankind to bow and “kiss the Son” (Ps. 2:12a) before He returns. Yet, a “mystery of lawlessness” has appeared and is “already at work”, working rebellion in those who say, “We do not want this man to reign over us” (Lk. 19:14b). And this is why “the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain...the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us’” (Ps. 2:1-3). This is “the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 Jn. 4:3). It “is coming” and is “new” in the world, because prior to the Gospel’s declaration, man was ignorant. But now that God has declared it, “even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour” (1 Jn. 2:18b).
This spirit has been working against Christ in the world, promoting rebellion against Him, culminating when “the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God...And you know what restrains him now, so that he will be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is removed. Then that lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will eliminate with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not accept the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness” (2 Thess. 2:3b-12).
This is the context for the days we are living in. The mystery of lawlessness, the spirit of Antichrist is gripping the globe. Behind every political and cultural stroke —the money, power, and secret deals—that drive the accelerating lawlessness emerging from every shadow in rebellion building against the inevitable return of God’s anointed King who WILL rule the World regardless. “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Lk. 21:28). “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:20b).