Prophetic Fulfillment: Is the Restrainer Being Pulled Away Now?
Is The Restrainer Being Pulled Away Now?
By R.A. Coombes
Our initial text for consideration of this article is:
II Thessalonians 2:1-8,11. (NASV)
1. Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
2. that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come
3. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
4. who opposes and exalts himself above [fn]every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
5. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?
6. And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.
7. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
8. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
In recent days, it has come to my attention certain facts and elements that are developing in the American Church and in my personal ministry along with other ministries focusing on Biblical Prophecy and its imminent fulfillment.
There are indications developing that perhaps we are seeing the fulfillment of prophetic statements in Paul’s writings. This is particularly so with his second epistle to the believers at Thessalonica.
In Paul’s second letter to the believers in Thessalonica, Paul confronts a problem. The problem was that some members of the local Chirch were being misled by outside teachers from elsewhere who asserted that the “Day of the Lord” had come and believers were living in that time of mega-judgment.
Now we should remember that Paul’s had spent some amount of time in Thessalonica, teaching the local assembly on a variety of subjects and issues, including prophecy. Yet not long after Paul had left, false teachers came into the city and were teaching the Day of the Lord was underway. The implication was that the Thessalonicans had “missed” the Rapture of the Church. They were in a panic.
The purpose of Pauls’ writing to epistles to the Thessalonican church were part of an effort to remind and convince these believers that the Day of the Lord had not yet come. They had NOT missed out on the Rapture. In point of fact, Paul had been teaching that there was to be a Rapture of the Church – BEFORE – the Second Coming of Christ. Yes, this is textual evidence to support the idea that there is a Pre-Tribulation Rapture Event and that it was taught in the First Century by the Apostle Paul.
In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul reiterates his teaching concerning the Rapture, with particular details coming near the end of the epistle. In chapter 4 he describes the Rapture event in some detail. It begins with a “shout of command” from the heavens. The dead in Christ are resurrected first, then those who are alive
are bodily transformed into ‘resurrection’ body and meet up with the dead in Christ in the air.
Now in chapter 2 of Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul reminds them of what he had previously taught. In verse 2 he states his surprise at how quickly they had forgotten what he had taught them concerning prophetic events. He then lists the order of events that are yet to unfold. Before the Day of the Lord comes, Pauls says in verse 3, that there must first be an “apostasia” or a “falling away” or “turning away” from truth, by those living at that time.
Paul then states that the “apostasia” is followed by the revealing of the “man of anomia” (Greek word) translated here as “lawlessness” in the KJV. A more literal rendering of the word would be “chaos.” or “Man of Chaos.” So that, the “man of chaos” must be revealed before the Day of the Lord, but not before the Rapture.
In verse 4, Paul further describes this “man of chaos” in a nutshell regarding false claims of divinity.
In verse 5, Paul stops to ask them again by way of a question whether or not they remembered what he’d taught them. He marvels at their lack of memory.
In verse 6, we are told that someone is restraining the arrival of this “man of chaos” but eventually he will be revealed. Surprisingly though, in verse 7 Paul states that the “mystery of Chaos (lawlessness) is ALREADY at work – in the first century. The term “mystery” insinuates it’s origin is linked to a “mystery religion” and no doubt can be traced back to ancient Babylon and most likely the cult that worshiped the chief Babylonian goddess known as Ishtar (Inanna in Sumerian dialect).
This goddess religion was steeped in various “mystery” doctrines and dogmas, among which was “chaos.” It’s also a chief element to the Illuminati strategy for creating a New World Order that brings about the government of the Antichrist. On this basis, I think its safe to conclude that Satan’s forces have been working towards the arrival of the Antichrist since at least the Tower of Babel if not pre-flood.
Also, remember that this “goddess” known as “Ishtar” is in reality a fallen angel of very high rank if not an actual partner (spouse) with Satan. This strongly suggests that the Antichrist movement is supervised by non-human entities – fallen angels. Believers should keep all of this in mind as we observe the globalist’s one-world government agenda.
In the latter half of verse 7, we learn that “he who now restrains will continue to restrain until he is taken out of the way. Once he is taken out of the way, verse 8 tells us that the Antichrist will then be revealed. Most conservative interpreters of this text believe that the “he” who restrains is none other than the Holy Spirit. It is beyond the scope of this article to delve into the deeper hermeneutics of this interpretation, but it is the only interpretation that makes any sense.
So we have the Holy Spirit restraining the “forces of chaos” in humanity down through the ages. As we approach the point on God’s time line for the Antichrist to be revealed, it appears that the restrainer is doing less restraining. Why would that be so?
Please do not misunderstand my statement. The less restraining by the Holy Spirit is not so much that the Holy Spirit’s power diminishes, but rather that the 3rd person of the Trinity chooses to work through born-again believers who are willing to be directed by Him. As we approach the time for the rise of the Antichrist we also see that Churches have changed. Church congregations began to grow bored of sound doctrine and sound teaching. It’s really nothing new. This type of rejection began in the first century. It had a field day once the Roman Catholic Church took control.
The Reformation temporarily altered the spiritual landscape for the past 400 years or so and the peak point for greater spiritual maturity in the Church (at least in America) was probably a period from the Dwight L. Moody period of the 19th century up until about the middle of the 20th Century, probably just after the end of WW2 when the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches began to influence and control the Church. Those organizations began to influence and control the Seminaries and create a spirit of dumbing down textual scholarship of scripture. From there, sound doctrinal teaching began to wane. In turn, spiritual knowledge deteriorated and spiritual maturity diminished.
Today the Church has become like a spiritual baby, as Paul once described the 3 types of human beings. In his first letter to the Church at Corinth, Paul stated that there were 3 types of human beings. The most common type of human was spiritually “dead.” The second type of human was reborn and made spiritual alive in Christ and was maturing. In other words this type was “growing up” – making progress in learning spiritual knowledge and putting it into practice in living his life daily. The third type of human was also reborn and made spiritually alive in Christ, but was not maturing. Instead this type of individual was like a newborn baby, and only capable of taking the “milk” of God’s Word and having difficulty in application of that milk to daily life.
With that background understanding in mind, we can realize that the Church became infantile in the past 60 years or so. There is very little spiritual maturity left within the genuine body of Christ as most churches are populated by unbelievers pretending to be believing Christians but who do not understand salvation is by grace through faith alone, not by works or not by human effort. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
In 60 years, the teaching of scripture and sound doctrine began to vanish from the churches. Instead, preaching sermons of “christian psychology” or “liberalism” and turning to a faith + human effort = salvation approach became the fashion in the orthodox protestant denominations. In the more conservative denominations and independent and or charismatic groups, hell-fire and brimstone preaching became more common. Such an approach gutted salvation by grace through faith alone and added the subtle, but fatal touch of human effort to the salvation equation, so that Faith + works = salvation was the new, but false gospel.
The rise of both liberalism and the reactionary conservative false gospel amounted to nothing less than “humanism.” This humanism then further killed scholarship of scripture and sound doctrine within the Church. Over the course of 60 years, the Holy Spirit’s restraining ministry has had fewer believers to work with. Thus, the restraining power is minimized by a lack of believers. This has enabled the forces of the Antichrist to make the inroads in society so necessary to bring about the rise of the Antichrist.
The sad situation of the Church is nothing less than prophetic fulfillment. Jesus advised us on this in his parables, particularly the 10 foolish virgins waiting on the bridegroom. He also made it a point blank warning about His return when he asked this question: “Will I find any faith” This statement is found in Luke 18:8.
The context of Luke 18:8 is that in verse 7, Jesus had finished a short parable of a woman seeking justice from an ungodly judge who had no respect for God or humanity. In verses 7 and 8 Jesus applies the parable to God the Father who will most certainly avenge the very ‘elect’ who are being persecuted.
In the latter part of verse 8, Jesus shifts the focus slightly by asking the question about the conditions on earth when He returns. Here is how he states it in the latter part of verse 8:
“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Something that I find interesting in Christ’s statement is the absence of the word “any” in front of the word “faith.” In my modern-English thinking, I would think that Jesus would have said “will He find “any” faith on the earth?
Stop and think. Is there any faith on earth now? The answer is of course yes. But think of ‘faith’ in the generic sense, unrelated to faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ – of salvation by Grace through faith alone, not by works, (human effort). There are plenty of ‘faiths’ around. In reality, there are a number of just “any” old faiths around such as: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, etc. etc. To apply the word “any” to the word “faith” would be imprecise. Instead, Jesus used the article “tan” or “the” but most translators ignore it because its found again in before the word “earth.”
So that, the Greek phrase should be more properly rendered:
“…shall he find ‘the’ faith upon the earth. “
Once we look at this precisely, we see that “the” renders this more precisely as “the” faith upon “the” Earth. He is referring specifically to “the” appropriate saving faith and not just any old kind of faith. Secondly, he limits it to “the” earth. After all, there is faith elsewhere beyond Earth, such as in Heaven and wherever angels tread.
So our Lord was being very specific in this statement. He raised the issue as to whether “the faith” could still be found. Of course, the context of the statement indicates the question to be at least somewhat rhetorical, but it does raise the idea that “the faith” will apparently have been ‘restrained’ or perhaps harder to find, numerically. Such a notion then meshes with Paul’s statement in Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 8 indicating that the restrainer’s restraint is being pulled back or lessened by the diminishing population of believers upon the earth.
Today’s Status of “The Faith”
I believe we have and are seeing a diminishing number of true believers who are spiritually maturing on Earth. Way too many churches hold to a false gospel, or have fallen away from sound doctrine. Many, and perhaps most Churches (particularly even in America) are no longer centers for teaching the knowledge of the scriptures. Instead, pastors give pleasant sermons to itching ears and churches have become “country clubs” for socializing.
Yes, it seems church attendance is more about social interaction within the congregation. Church leaders are more concerned about raising money and building bigger, more impressive physical buildings and attracting larger crowds under the false assumption that bigger is better and bigger is an indication of genuine success.
And of course, Churches are abandoning any focus on Biblical Prophecy and it is to the detriment to the congregation. Many of you who are A-O Report readers have become aware of this problem in your local areas and find it simply a waste of time and or even dangerous to attend any of the churches in your area because they are “all” dead.
Even in large metropolitan areas with hundreds of churches most are found to be ‘wanting’ in terms of actual, scholarly teaching and learning. Most are too busy and preoccupied with either paying the bills for impressive buildings and or being purpose-driven to evangelizing the lost, or positive counseling or preaching a prosperity gospel. Of course many proclaim a false gospel.
Add in to this mix the fact that many churches are not merely ignore Biblical Prophecy, there are pastors who are actually instructing their congregations to ignore scriptural prophecy and quit paying attention to current events in regards to prophecy.
This combination of various elements has resulted in a diminished interest within the church for learning and understanding Bible Prophecy. It has also impacted on those who minister to the body of Christ in regards to Bible Prophecy teaching and textual research publishing on Bible Prophecy.
Others Are Noticing This, Too
Dr. Ady cites a number of key prophecy experts who have been called home to be with the Lord and noting how few there are to step into those empty shoes. Both Dr. Ady and myself have corresponded back and forth on not only the loss of long-standing experts on prophecy, but also of current ministries who are experiencing severe testing, not only financially, but also in regards to physical factors, such as health, technical, legal, family or personal matters.
I’ve spoken in the past with a number of men and some women who have a ministry dealing with Bible Prophecy. Some are nationally known and recognized while others have small, more personal or local ministries and others simply have an internet presence but with small readership. Those whom I’ve interacted with in the past 10 years or so have been indicating that they too are also under pressures and testing. Perhaps the new norm for Prophecy ministries is pressure and testing. I suspect that this will spread and become common within the body of Christ as we progress even closer towards His impending Return.
Severe Pressures & Testing of Prophecy Ministries
I believe that the pressures and testing we are seeing now within the Prophecy ministries are in direct correlation to the prophecies given us by both Christ and Paul as we’ve cited earlier in this article. In other words, the diminished prophecy ministries is in fact a fulfillment of Bible Prophecy and an indicator of the closeness to His Return. In understanding this, I am even more excited about our near-term future and convinced that His Coming will be sooner rather than later.
Even so, The Alpha-Omega Report will continue to press onward in serving you as best as we are able with the limited resources available to us. We continue to operate under tremendous pressures that might collapse others.
To at least some extent, the pressures I now experience are due in part to enemy obstruction intended to prevent or minimize the impact of what we publish here at The Alpha-Omega Report. Satan really doesn’t want God’s Word to be rightly divided and available to you via this website. God is permitting this, as a means of being a learning experience and spiritual growth for myself, for I have NOT YET ARRIVED at spiritual maturity. Far from it.
It seems like I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of spiritual maturity yet, others may see that differently. What I can say is that I am stubborn enough to not let Satan win and close down this publishing ministry. It is my wish/desire to continue operations right until the moment we are given the “command” to “Come UP and OUT” into the heavens to meet our Savior face to face in the air, along with our brethren in Christ who have been resurrected and transformed with us.