Look Ye Not Outside!

And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time,
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:
only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
(2 Thessalonians 2: 6-72 Thessalonians 2: 6-7
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6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. withholdeth: or, holdeth 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  

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Paul’s letters to the church in Thessalonika are definitely favorites, especially among Christians wishing to catch a glimpse of the future through that dark veil of prophecy.

In the modern and post-modern age, the traditional view of the appearance of Antichrist and the rapture come from interpretations from authors such as Hal Lindsey (“Late Great Planet Earth”) and Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (the “Left Behind” series,) which views these verses like so:

The Antichrist (the Man of Perdition, “that Wicked” from v8)

is being withheld (“katechō,”  SG 2722, to hold back, restrain)

at this moment (“He who now” is “arti,” SG 737, “just now,” from v7)

by a specific individual personality whom we as Christians now know –

And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time.” (v6)

and is the person of the Holy Spirit:

but if I depart, I will send him unto you; 

“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…” (John 16:7-8John 16:7-8
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7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: reprove: or, convince  

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Since the Holy Spirit indwells believers in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:191 Corinthians 6:19
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19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  

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,) then one would assume that, in order to remove the Hinderer, one must remove the Holy Spirit – and to remove the Holy Spirit, that One must also remove the Christians in whom He dwells.

Indeed, there are many verses speaking of the snatching up of living believers (such as 1 Thessalonians 4:15-171 Thessalonians 4:15-17
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15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. prevent: or, come before, or, anticipate, or, precede 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  

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) – and it is not my intent to stir up an argument amongst brothers and sisters with respect to the whens and hows and ifs and whys.

Instead, I wish to give a secondary reading for your consideration, and I want to focus on verse 7 in particular.

Let’s go to the Greek!

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:
only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

“Mystery” is “mystērion” (SG3466) and means “hidden thing, secret, mystery.”

“Iniquity” is “anomia” (SG458) and means “the condition of without law (1) because being ignorant of it, (2) because of violating it.”

“Doth already” is “ēdē” (SG2235) and is an adverb meaning “now, already.”

“Work” is “energeō” (SG1754) and means “to be operative, be at work, put forth power.”

“Only” is “monon” (SG3440) and means “only, alone, but.”

“He who now” is “arti” (SG737) and means “just now, this moment.”

“Letteth” is “katechō” (SG2722) and means “to hold back, detain, retain.”

“Until” is “heōs” (SG2193) and means “till, until.”

“He be taken” is “ginomai” (SG1096) and means “to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being.”

“Out of” is “ek” (SG1537) and means “out of, from, by, away from.”

“The way” is “mesos” (SG3319) and means “middle, the midst, in the midst of, amongst.”

 

So we read:

For that hidden thing, the active violation of the Law of God, is already putting forth power! But – just at this moment! – it is held back until it comes to pass that the Holder goes away from amongst you.

Do you understand?

We Christians see the removal of the Holy Spirit in tandem with a glorious event such as the Rapture. But will that be the case? Consider:

For many shall come in my name (onoma = “office, authority”,) saying, ‘I am Christ;’ and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:5Matthew 24:5
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5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.  

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For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” (Acts 20:29Acts 20:29
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29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  

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As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:9Galatians 1:9
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9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.  

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Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith…” (1 Timothy 4:11 Timothy 4:1
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4 1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;  

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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;” (2 Thessalonians 2:32 Thessalonians 2:3
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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;  

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For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance…” (Hebrews 6:4-6Hebrews 6:4-6
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4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.  

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For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-42 Timothy 4:3-4
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3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  

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But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (2 Peter 2:1-22 Peter 2:1-2
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2 1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. pernicious ways: or, lascivious ways, as some copies read  

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For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” (2 Peter 2:212 Peter 2:21
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21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  

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Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” (2 Peter 3:172 Peter 3:17
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17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  

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For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4Jude 1:4
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4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  

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Do you not see, brethren?

 

The Holy Spirit shall not be removed because God has removed the Christians –

The Holy Spirit shall be removed because Christians have removed themselves from God!

 

There shall be a church in these days – but Christ shall not be in it!!

 

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:52 Timothy 3:5
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5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  

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“Form” is “morphōsis” (SG3446) and means “the mere form, semblance.”

“Godliness” is “eusebeia” (SG2150) and means “reverence, respect.”

The church will resemble a respectful, reverent, pious Church – but is Christ there?

Do you really think so?

Tell me then, why does the Lord ask for *any* man to open up the door and let Him inside, when He speaks to the church?

Behold!! I stand at the door, and knock!! If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20Revelation 3:20
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20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  

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Some have noticed that the condition of the Seven Churches in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation often mirror the progression of the Church through the ages. If, then, we picture Laodicea as the Church at the end, is it not clear that Christ is not among them?

Have not all the verses above convinced you that the Church shall fall away from Christ?

Shall not Great Apostasy be defined by the lack of the very thing that gives the Church Power, the “dunamis,” as we see in the verse from 2 Timothy?

Brothers and sisters, the Church of that Day will be

Populous

Vibrant

Reverent

Active

Working in the Name of the Lord (See Matthew 7:22Matthew 7:22
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22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  

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!)

 

and they will be UTTERLY WITHOUT CHRIST.

 

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:23Matthew 7:23
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23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  

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Look ye not outside for the Lord to withdraw the Holy Spirit from the world! Nay, brethren – look around your pews!!

Are there any with hearts towards God’s sovereignty?

Are there men and women on their knees weeping with tears or repentance, asking for His mercy – and tears of joy at receiving it?

Are you celebrating because you have found One Who:

is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy“? (Jude 1:24Jude 1:24
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24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,  

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…. or are you just fired up because your “praise band” played some rock n’ roll?

If you understand the Gospel, you need nothing more to cause you to wish to Praise God!!

 

If these things are *not* in your congregation, you have two choices:

 

Flee With All Haste!!

from such turn away” (2 Tim 3:52 Tim 3:5
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5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  

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Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor 6:17-182 Cor 6:17-18
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17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  

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When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation… Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” (Matthew 24:15-18Matthew 24:15-18
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15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.  

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Or….

You can wait, and sit amongst the soiled (Rev 3:4Rev 3:4
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4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.  

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,) hoping to avoid their corruption (1 Cor. 15:331 Cor. 15:33
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33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.  

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) and getting your ears tickled (2 Tim 4:32 Tim 4:3
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3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  

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) while you patiently wait to hear Him knocking at the door.

But you run a risk: are you within – or without?

unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 

That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” (Mark 4:11-12Mark 4:11-12
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11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.  

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The removal of the Hinderer is not a blessing…

…it’s a Judgment!!

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” – (1 Corinthians 10:11-121 Corinthians 10:11-12
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11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. ensamples: or, types 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  

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Find strong, sober-minded brothers and sisters! Pray unceasingly! And look always towards that Day…

but don’t be fooled by that Worldly Carnival which poses as Christ’s abode – *especially* if it claims to be of Him!

Wise as serpents, brothers and sisters!

May our Lord bless and keep you!