by Shawn Brasseaux
For some Christians, the close of a year and the beginning of a new one can be extremely depressing. We tend to say, “Well, the Lord still never came, so I am stuck here another year!” We get the nasty feeling of wanting to give up “fighting the good fight of faith”—cast that thought aside, because our work in the Lord is not done in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58)! Be ye not weary, for our beloved brother Paul sitting in prison wrote 18 times about his “rejoicing” and “joy,” in the four chapters of Philippians.
We should be looking for that Blessed Hope, when the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ will appear and rapture us, the Church that is His Body (Titus 2:13). However, we also need to remember that the rapture cannot happen “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25). Once that last believer is placed into the Body of Christ, the Dispensation of Grace is completed, and then God can deal with the unbelieving world and Israel in Daniel’s 70th week, the seven-year Tribulation. Until that last person gets saved, the Lord is tarrying, deliberately waiting; we cannot rush it.
Although the prophetic program is inactive today, we can see our world preparing for the day when it will resume. The day when the man of sin, the antichrist, will come in Satan’s power to set up his global empire. The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:6,7 KJV: “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.”
For the true Christian, it can be quite discouraging to see the corruption, greed, scandals, and violence in our world (especially in America). As Paul wrote, the present world is “evil” (Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 5:16)—but how much worse off the planet will be after the Body of Christ is raptured! Still, notice what 2 Thessalonians 2:7 says: “the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” Under God’s sovereign authority, Satan has been granted permission to carry out his own work, preparing the world for the coming Tribulation.
Today, in the mystery program, the Holy Spirit is holding back the prophetic program by means of the Body of Christ. The Tribulation will begin when the antichrist is revealed, but this cannot happen until after the rapture. Once the Body of Christ is “taken out of the way,” or raptured, then the antichrist’s (and the devil’s) global regime can be established. Right now, we are simply seeing the “stage being set.”
In this past year’s news, we have seen more evidence of the “mystery of iniquity” working. Many changes have occurred these past twelve months; and most of these changes in the world (and in America) have been for the worst, and not for the better. The devil has been active in the realms of religion, politics, economics, and society these past 6,000 years, but especially these last 2,000 years in the Dispensation of the Grace of God. As we approach the time of the rapture, we come closer to the Tribulation, and finally the Millennial Kingdom (the 1000 years when Satan is confined to the bottomless pit; Revelation 20:1-3). Because Satan knows his time is short, he is seeking to confuse as many people as he can, especially the Church Body of Christ.
The whole scenario of the “mystery of iniquity” is this: Satan has devised and distributed corrupt Bible translations to confuse even the Christians (hence, making it more difficult to establish what is and what is not God’s Word). Using the pre-existing false teaching, new false teachers are promoting their own useless philosophical and traditional nonsense. Whenever the antichrist will come with his flattering lies, the world will gobble it all up!! Like the Bible says, “the mystery of iniquity [crookedness, evil] doth already work!”
The devil uses the widespread violence to discourage the true Christians: intimidation, which may eventually come identical to the torture used during the Inquisition. While the Body of Christ will never go through the Tribulation, we will experience persecution when serving the Lord. Paul wrote, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12 KJV). The world already hates the Christian voice—especially the voice of the King James Bible Pauline dispensationalist! Who knows what 2010 will be like for the world… or even what the Christian will face this upcoming year (jail? death?).
Remember the great apostasy prophesied in 2 Timothy 3:13, when “evil men shall wax [or grow] worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived,” and 2 Timothy 4:3,4 when it says that people will turn from the truth to embrace fables and foolishness: “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.” We have been living in these days for several years, and it will only grow worse….
As your brother in the Lord, I strongly encourage you to get ready for the coming year. Know what the Bible says, and to whom does its various passages address, so you will not be misled with all the false teaching that will be coming upon the world in the next twelve months. Pray for the Lord’s soon return; pray for the Christian brethren, that they be not deceived. Stand fast in the sound doctrine of grace, and waver not. The Lord will be with us, fellow ambassadors, so let us contend for the faith in 2010! If you want a New Year’s resolution, try this one: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)!
The Lord may have not come in 2009, and He may not come in 2010… that is not to say He has forgotten His promise. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming one day, and never forget that!