Dear friends, as you study Bible prophecy, have you stopped to consider why the tribulation has not yet begun? After all, we see apostasy, we see globalism, we see the makings of a new world religion and a new world order. This world is a mess!
In the very first century, Paul warned that the mystery of lawlessness is already at work in the world, and it continues to this day. In that passage (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12), he also provided many details about the coming of the lawless one (Antichrist), who will reign during the tribulation. Read that passage carefully and let’s do a little study together.
- Who is the passage written to, and what is it regarding? (verse 1)
- According to verses 2-3, what do you believe was the state of believers in Thessaloniki?
- Who do you believe is the man of lawlessness?
- Based on verse 4, what is his intent?
- Verse 6 is the “setup” verse, introducing us to the idea that a restrainer is at work and will be key in revealing the timing of the coming of the man of lawlessness. Before reading on, what are your thoughts about that?
- Now comes the deeper dive. Let’s begin that dive in verse 7. Paul wrote this passage in the 1st century. What was happening with the mystery of lawlessness at that time?
- Following on in verse 7, take a look at the word “He.” What is implied when you see that word with a capital letter? (Hint: If you are thinking “deity,” you are correct! But who is it?)
- This is reference to the Holy Spirit, part of the triune God.
- According to 1 Corinthians 6:19, where does the Holy Spirit live and dwell?
- That should be an “ah ha” moment, as Spirit-filled believers (the church, the body of Christ) are now drawn into the narrative of the coming of the Antichrist!
- Verse 8 confirms that the lawless one will be revealed. Because believers, in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, will be taken by the rapture PRIOR to the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10), what does that tell you about the lawless one and the tribulation. (Hint: we won’t be here!)
- What will happen to the lawless one, according to verse 8?
- Verse 9 reaffirms the identity of the lawless one, and tells us with whom he is associated. Who is that?
- Based on the end of verse 9 and all of verse 10, what will be the activity of the lawless one, once the restrainer (Holy Spirit living in us) is removed?
- When you read verses 11-12, can you associate any of that activity with what is happening on earth today?
- If so, be wary. Yes, we are seeing signs of those things, but it is NOT the full on wrath of God just yet. The tribulation will make today’s world seem like a picnic in the park.
- Don’t be fooled. We are not in the tribulation yet (because the lawless one has not yet been revealed). However, these are signs of the times to come!
So, why hasn’t the tribulation begun? Here is how Amir Tsarfati explains it:
The evil spirit is here, deception and confusion are here, the right technology is here, apostasy is here, globalism is here, the new world religion is here, BUT the church is also here. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the antichrist can’t be revealed and, thus, why the tribulation can’t begin.~Amir Tsarfati, Behold Israel Facebook, December 20, 2021
As long as the Lord leaves His restrainer in us on this planet, we have work to do! The tribulation hasn’t begun yet because we are still on mission! May that thought motivate us to be about our Father’s business until He sends His Son to take us out of this world!