Summary: This concerns the increase of iniquity in the end times.
The Mystery of Iniquity
Rev. John W. Gerald
I. THE FALLING AWAY
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
The falling away began very subtilty with the watering down of the gospel. Soft preaching left people with uncertain convictions. Then the Word came under attack. Agnostics and Athiests began to boldly challenge the Word of God. New translations began coming out, to make the word easier to understand; then new revisions, and revisions of revisions. All this seemed to question the Word of God. Which of these is the Word of God?
The secular world was not far behind in their challenge of God. When anything religious was portrayed at all, it was in a very negative light.
Then the government got involved. Judges took it upon themselves to rule out anything Christian. This left our children without moral compass. Youth today are following the former president’s example. That is catching on at a furious rate.
A Harris Interactive poll of 2,306 adults shows that 10% of Protestants, 21% of Roman Catholics and 52% of Jews do not believe in God. It is my opinion that the percentage of unbelievers is rapidly increasing.
The church is not able to keep pace with the gains posted against righteousness by the wicked. We certainly need the power of the HOLY SPIRIT in this battle.
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
The man of sin opposes all that is good and righteous. All men who stand for Godliness are objects of his wrath. Because he covets worship, all who oppose him become his enemies. The spirit of Antichrist is powerful in the world today. Christianity is generally under attack. All Christian elements come under attack, from the influence of parents at home, to the schools, to the entertainment they get and to Christian training.
The man of sin uses religious institutions for his advancement. The forces of Antichrist first got into the schools and seminaries through unbelieving professors. Atheism began to filter down to the general population through the teachings of students of atheistic professors. Children in the schools were influenced by it through those who drew up the philosophy of education years ago. This powerful spirit of Antichrist has infiltrated all of society. It will know no restraints when the church and the Holy Spirit are removed.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
The what in this verse is probably the CHURCH. The he is probably the Antichrist. The true church is the influence for righteousness and Godliness in the world today. The number one enemy of the secularists is evangelical Christians. They stand in the way of the progress the New Worlders’ hope to gain in their downward plunge to an amoral society. They are seeking ways to eliminate Christians with all their power. The NEW WORLD ORDER awaits their demise. The time of Antichrist must be soon.
II. THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
The mystery of iniquity has been at work in the world from ancient times. The he in this verse probably represents the HOLY GHOST. He has always restrained the world powers of iniquity. He will prevent a total collapse of moral restraints until he steps aside at the rapture of the true church. When Satan is turned loose, the world will see such a surge of unrestrained wickedness that it will saturate the whole of society. Even now, Good Men must constantly be on guard, and exercise the greatest diligence to keep wickedness from taking over our world. We petition our legislators constantly to prevent evil laws from being passed, and to encourage good ones to be passed. We try to encourage our president to make wise and Godly decisions because he is under constant and unnatural pressures to make bad ones. If we do not try to influence our society for good, evil will overwhelm us.
III. THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR
8 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:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
That Wicked (one) will be revealed when the church and the Holy Spirit are taken out of the way. The Holy Spirit will not be holding him back any longer. Then the world will be totally given to wickedness. The prince of the power of the air - Satan - has been hard at work throughout the history of man on the earth. He viciously attacked our LORD at His most vulnerable points: while he was fasting 40 days in the wilderness, and while he was hanging on the cross. Satan knew that while he was here on the earth was his best time to attack Him.