By Terry James
When looking at the black-and-white films the Allies shot within the Nazi death camps following victory over Hitler’s Germany in World War II, it is difficult to comprehend that evil had the tethers of restraint during the time of that horrendous regime. The images of walking skeletons that were the Jewish “survivors” of those camps remain etched in the memory of anyone who has seen those videos.
The same level of pictorial record doesn’t exist for the genocidal rampages inflicted on their own people by Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and the murderers of the other despotic regimes in modern times. However, eyewitness accounts and some photographic evidence make it hard to fathom that those beastly tyrants were restrained in their butchery.
The Bible nonetheless bears witness that God the Holy Spirit governs the consciences of human beings. In biblically prophetic terms, this truth is most evident in Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8).
Paul the apostle was saying in this prophecy that evil was at work in a big way even at the time he was writing the letter. Still, the Holy Spirit would continue to restrain that evil until He removes His Intervening Action as restrainer of evil. Then all hell will break loose as the Antichrist is revealed. The spirit of Antichrist is already present in the world–and was manifest even during John’s day (read 1 John 4:1-3). The mystery of iniquity about which Paul prophesied and this spirit of Antichrist are intertwined and interlinked in the ancient web of lawlessness we call evil.
Jesus foretold what will happen once the restrainer (the Holy Spirit) removes from governing the wickedness that is in the hearts and minds of people of the post-Rapture world: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).
The Lord prophesied just how bad things would become: “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
God will shorten the days of that time of great Tribulation, because if He let things go on to their ultimate conclusion, without the return of Christ, every being of flesh and blood on the planet would be destroyed. Such is the mystery of iniquity that exists today, and will become exponentially worse once the restraint on evil is no longer in place. Then, the ultimately evolved man–as evolution would have it—will step to the forefront of fallen human history. Antichrist will inflict horrors on the people of earth in ways Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and the rest of history’s madmen could not have even imagined. His regime will be the most bloodthirsty of all time.
Lawlessness is everywhere we look today. Whether considering the Middle East madness, the union thugs of Greece who not too long ago threatened to destroy all civility because of the austerity measures voted, or thinking on America and the on-going, unbridled so-called protesters organized by thugs in places like Ferguson, Missouri, baltimore, Maryland and Chicago, the evil the Bible deems the mystery of iniquity is swelling like a great caldera that is about to explode across the world.
The youth, particularly within the inner cities, have been taught by cultural inculcation that they have been held down by the affluent, so their actions are justified. It is no more than simply–the inference is–Robin Hood robbing the evil sheriff of Nottingham.
Can there be much doubt that if they will commit such bold acts now, when the Holy Spirit is no longer restraining such evil thinking and actions, America will quickly become a hellish existence in which anything goes? There are growing concerns that a breakdown of society within the U.S. is inevitable. Such concerns were once voiced by –of all sources— a Russian diplomat. Imagine! The Russians are worried about America becoming a tyrant state because of the signs of coming anarchy.
With the demonstrated ineptitude –or intentional actions– of this president that is swiftly taking the United States down the path to who knows where, it seems the Restrainer’s Hand might already be in process of removing God’s Protection. That removal will be total and complete when Christ Calls the Church Home in the Rapture (Rev. 4: 1).