Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

He Who Now Restrains

I was reading Glenn Chatfield's roundup in The Watchman's Bagpipes and something struck me. It was the article about the Bible not condemning soldiers or war and I was reflecting on my decades of service in the military. The military has always been a refuge for the Godly. Some of the most Godly men I know were senior ranking NCOs and many men I know went into the military not really caring one way or another and came out dedicated men of God. 

As an NCO I spent a huge amount of time training young troops because that's what an NCO does; prepare his future replacements. NCOs are immortal in some respect because I trained young troops using knowledge that was passed to me by old NCOs and those young troops are now training their subordinates using knowledge I passed on to them. The faithful were always easiest to train because they understood subordination to a higher authority. They had restraint because they understood what a higher authority is, and they understood the need to respect that authority. Kids who were raised in a "progressive" environment had trouble with the concepts of rank, respect, authority, subordination, submission, experience, and 'shut up and listen to your betters' (a very valuable skill to have in the military).

And that's when it struck me, this thought hit my brain and exploded, so I'm throwing this out to the world and if I'm wrong please please please please correct me (Pastor Paratus - I'll be in for the early tomorrow just in case) So here goes: 

As  I looked at the world around us the thought went thought my head, "they have no restraint"; Cities are burning, police are under attack, the military is openly attacking Christians within the ranks, churches are embracing sin, atheists are in the pulpit, Red Letter Christians are attacking people who read the whole bible, the "Christian left" is more in favor if infanticide than atheists, the Pope is espousing Rob Bell flavored heresy - they have no restraint. Any respect for the authority and majesty of God is gone. Feelings have replaced thought, and a feeling of "God is love so He'll love me when I do what ever I want" is sweeping a world that is egged on by false teachers who ignore repentance and preach warm fuzzies. And the words of a true teacher sprang to mind:
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. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7)
I capitalized He in verse 7 to differentiate it from the him/he in verse 6. Verse 6 is talking about the man of lawlessness described by John MacArthur as 
... the consummate lawless one; a blasphemous sinner, who will live in open defiance of God’s law. Of all the billions of godless, evil, lawless sinners in human history, his evil influence will be greater than any other’s. Even in the end times, when “lawlessness is increased” (Matt. 24:12), this Satan-energized leader will stand out as the one whose depraved, wicked, lawless leadership sweeps over the whole world—with influence never before seen.
Verse 7 was explained to me by Pastor Brimstone to mean that "He who now restrains" is the Holy Spirit and God removes the Holy Spirit's influence. I fully agree that "He" in verse 7 is God's Holy Spirit, but Pastor Brimstone's reading on this always seemed weird to me, Maybe I'm looking at this with uneducated eyes but why would God remove His spirit from His creation?  

I don't think God removes His Holy Spirit. 

I think we do.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 doesn't say that God removes his Holy Spirit, it just says that "He is taken out of the way". This verse also doesn't say who does it either. To understand how my thought process is going one needs to look at the unpardonable sin 
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him. (Luke 12:10)
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology defines Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit this way:
Blasphemy against the Spirit and apostasy are related. Apostasy, whether defined in the Calvinistic or Arminian sense, is committed by those who have had some relationship to God through Christ. Thus, apostasy is acceptance followed by repudiation of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:4-6 ; Hebrews 10:29-39 ; 1 John 5:16-17); blasphemy against the Spirit is not preceded by acceptance. It describes overt repudiation before any kind of commitment is made. While we may distinguish these two sins in this manner, it also needs to be observed that the two sins amount to largely the same stance. For both involve an overt repudiation of God's work in Christ. 
Repudiation = rejection of a proposal or idea, the denial of the truth or validity of something. So blasphemy against the Holy Spirit isn't just when you smack your thumb with a hammer and let fly with a string of expletives staring the Holy Spirit (honestly, I've never heard of someone doing that) or when you attribute false teachings and phoney 'miracles' to the Holy Spirit (honestly, I've heard of that happening 'way too often) but  it's complete and utter rejection of the Holy Spirit. Or as Got Questions defines blasphemy “defiant irreverence.”

My theory on why it's unpardonable is because you need to ask for forgiveness to be pardoned for your sins. How can you ask forgiveness from God if you have rejected Him? Here's the thing when you're dealing with a Triune God: when you reject one, you reject all three persons. This is a bad presidence because:
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not believe the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)
More and more people are turning their back on God, throngs of people are leaving the church and rejecting the Holy Spirit. False teachers like Tony Campolo, Joel Osteen, and Benny Hinn are teaching people to reject God's word and rely on sinful man's teachings. Groups like the Emergent Church, the NAR, the RCC and the LDS turning the worship of God into a man centered circus. Once devoutly Christian churches like the Presbyterian Church USA rejecting Gods word and substituting it with thier own. Combine all this with thousands of people ignoring God because they were raised by atheists. This is the Great Apostasy.

The great falling away is upon us meaning that the wrath of God abides upon more and more people every moment of every day while God is being allowed to protect fewer and fewer people every moment. God doesn't take away "He who restrains", we're shoving "He who restrains" out of the way with our arrogance and apostasy. We don't need a 'pre-tribulation rapture' to open the path for the antiChrist to come to power, we just have to let the Great Apostasy happen. And it's happening right now.

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