I've mentioned how the Word of God is an offense to many. Well, last week I was kicked out of someones home, who I care for very much by the way, over them becoming very offended by the Truth of what the Bible actually says, in comparison to what they were telling me. I've said before, that one's beliefs are very important to them, and I try to keep that at the forefront of my mind when trying to share things with people. But we cannot disregard the Truth to appease even those we love.

Religion and many doctrines have become so woven and intertwined within the Word of God that if we do not know the Word ourselves, we come to a place where we accept doctrine as Gospel. It amazes me sometimes in talking with pastors and preachers at how many of them have become so headstrong in their beliefs, that they look at me as a false teacher, or against the Church, for quoting the Word of God to them.
To give an example of this, take 2 Thessalonians 2:7. "For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way." (NIV) I like the NIV's version of this because it is very clear and accurate in translation from the Greek. Many have used this verse to constitute a pre tribulation rapture. But study it, and seek it out. Reference it to other scriptures. "Line upon line, and precept upon precept" is how we are to seek the Word of God, and if we do that with this verse, it has nothing to do with the rapture at all. But if you tell someone that, they get offensive very quickly. But here is the thing, besides someone telling you that this verse has to do with the rapture, where is one supporting verse to uphold this belief? I personally can't find one, and believe me I've tried, because I have been taught that my whole life. I have been taught that the "The One who holds back" in this verse is the Church. The NIV uses the term "The One" to describe this, and the King James says "He". The Church is never described as a "He", it is always described as a "She" as we are the "Bride of Christ." On the other hand, every time God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit is referenced to, they are always a "He". We know that God and Christ are no longer in this world, but there is one who is, and that is the Holy Spirit, and "He" is "The One" being referred to in this verse. Let's look at it piece by piece.
The first part says, "For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work." We know from the Word of God that "The secret power of lawlessness" is the spirit of antichrist. Paul talks about it a lot and tells us that the spirit of antichrist is already at work even in his time. The second part of the verse then tells us what is at work against the spirit of antichrist. "But the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way." There's that word "He" again. "Till He is taken out of the way." So this verse could literally read, "The spirit of antichrist is already at work, but the Holy Spirit who holds it back will continue to hold it back until He is taken out of the way." This is where it get's a little sticky. Even though the Holy Spirit dwells in believers, He is not confined exclusively within the Body of believers. He is a part of God and just like in Genesis as He flowed upon the face of the waters, He is a independent entity but part of God Himself. He also worked independently in the conception of Christ in Mary, so we know that He is not confined within the four walls of the temple of the believer. He is omnipresent, and working to draw the unbeliever to God outside the Body of Christ, as well as from within. I say all this because many believe that the Holy Spirit only lives within the believer, but once again, the Bible never says that or implies it.
Soooo.... This verse is simply warning us that the spirit of antichrist is at work in this world, BUT, the Spirit of God is at work as well and will hold the antichrist at bay, until He is taken out of the way. The book of Revelation directly references this in Revelation 13.
"5The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7IT WAS GIVEN POWER TO WAGE WAR AGAINST GOD'S HOLY PEOPLE and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world."
The beast is the spirit of antichrist and empowers the antichrist. This is the "Secret power of lawlessness". The beast is then given authority. What would allow the beast this authority? "But the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way." When the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way, the beast then has the authority to do what the Bibles speaks of in Revelation 13. As long as the Holy Spirit stands in his way, he has no authority to harm us. (Some of you are starting to see this now. I can feel it.)
When I started putting this together, the Lord gave me two examples of this in the history of His Word. The first was the story of Job, the second was the death of Christ on the Cross. How could death ever be imposed upon the Son of God, if the hedge had not been removed from around Him. How do you think Christ endured the pain and suffering of being beaten half to death and then being hung upon the Cross. No man would have ever been able to even endure the beating, much less the Cross. God kept Him from dying until every Word had been fulfilled, and when, "It was finished", the Father removed His hedge from about Christ, and Christ acknowledged this when He said, "My God, my God, why hath thou forsaken me?" That word forsaken means abandoned. In other words, "My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?" Christ new when His Father's Spirit had left Him alone to die as a man. Wow...... thank you Lord....

Job felt the same thing during his time of persecution. The Word says, "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil." (Job 1:1) What was he?.... Perfect.
" 8And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD."
Right here God removed His hedge of protection from around Job and allowed him to be persecuted of the devil. I won't go into all the similarities of Job and Christ, I'd have to write a book. But Job was a picture of the "Suffering Servant" Jesus Christ through and through. Once again, picture after picture of Christ throughout the Old Testament.

This is just one example of how we have taken a verse and have made it something it is not and have taught it to people over and over again. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is not a picture of a pre tribulation rapture, it is almost the opposite. It is a picture of the last days persecution of the Believers of Christ when the beast is given the authority to overcome us, and God's hedge of protection is removed from around us to allow the plan of God to take it's course, and for the Word of God to be fulfilled. Some of you may say I'm splitting hairs, but there is a grave danger in these things, this verse in particular. If believers have been taught they will never have to endure a single day of the tribulation, and the time comes and it has begun, how many will fall by the wayside because of fear and unbelief? Will they not feel abandoned as well?
"25And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:25-28)
 


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