“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 KJV
Our subject for the past few weeks has been the acts of violence which are seemingly becoming an almost weekly occurrence throughout the world. Something we can also observe are the struggles many are having in trying to explain these events, and the motivations behind which produce them. Simply turn on any news channel or read any commentary in the secular news and you will find numerous attempts at an explanation, and generally speaking, no agreement at all concerning why violence around the world is increasing. Fortunately for we as believers, the answer is clear and spelled out for us in the prophetic Word from our Father in heaven.
Most students of prophecy, or even those who only passingly familiar with what the Bible teaches about the tribulation period which is soon to come upon the earth, will recognize the passage above from Thessalonians as referring to the coming world leader, most often called the antichrist. Yet many miss the one word which helps to explain exactly what we are seeing in the world today, and the reason for the violence which seems to be evolving into an almost daily occurrence. The word I am referring to is found in verse 9, and it is the word “after”.
You see, we as believers are told, and most are willing to accept, that the individual behind the evil we are seeing today is none other than Satan. Of course, some might well ask the question why it is all of a sudden increasing to the extent we are seeing with signs of only getting worse and not better. Personally, I see a parallel between what Satan is doing, and what a conductor of a symphony does as he conducts an orchestra. I have had the opportunity to watch many performances by some of the world’s greatest conductors and it is always amazing to me to watch the intensity build as the conductor leads the orchestra to where he wants them to go, the grand finale.
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 2:7 NKJV
Did you notice Paul’s comment, “already at work”? Of course, Satan has been working against our Father since the Garden of Eden, but in the context of the preparation for the appearing of his minion the antichrist, Satan is now creating the conditions which will allow the antichrist to take power as easily as he will. It seems a simple premise, but many miss the fact that in order for one man to become the world’s “Mr. Fixit”, the world has to be broken. What we are seeing now with such an increase in violence is Satan leading the world to the finale which will usher in the reign of his chosen one.
All these are the beginning of birth pains. Matthew 24:8 NIV
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. Mark 13:8 NIV
When Jesus spoke to his disciples in the garden concerning the point in time that we have so obviously arrived at, He chose to use the example of a woman in labor to illustrate how events would unfold. Although some might argue that the events Jesus was referring to occur exclusively within the seven year tribulation, I believe the picture we are given is enlightening in the fact that for nine months of a pregnancy it is painfully obvious that a woman is preparing to give birth. Not only do I believe some of the events Jesus referred to can occur before the beginning of the tribulation, I am certain what we are witnessing today in this world and the dramatic increase in violence is a sign the labor is upon us.
As I watch the world attempt to explain away the increasing level of violence we are witnessing and place the blame for it on something or someone, I often hear things like the New World Order, the Illuminati, the Bilderburg Group, and even George Soros, one of the world’s richest men. While not disagreeing with any speculation for the possibility of some or all of these entities having a hand in the violence we are seeing, my question for you today is rather simple. Who do you think is behind them? You see although the world looks for an easy, explainable scapegoat, as believers we understand that the presence of evil in this world lies at the feet of only one source, Satan. Men are simply the tool he uses to accomplish his goals.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV
Satan is orchestrating the evil we see today and is using it to lead an unbelieving world to the point in time where they will gladly embrace the appearance of Satan’s handpicked world leader who will usher in the period of time which will eventually threaten the very existence of the world we know. How bad will things get?
“men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Luke 21:26 NKJV
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matthew 24:21-22 NKJV
As believers we are told that the violence during tribulation period will be so bad that not only will men die simply from the fear they experience, if God did not intervene and stop the tribulation at seven years every man, woman, and child on earth would die. This is Satan’s plan for this world, and what we are seeing now is Satan orchestrating events to bring his plan to fruition. I believe the labor pains are only going to get worse, and according to the Word of God, they will not stop until He comes to put an end to it. Our responsibility today as the church, the body of Christ, is to recognize the enemy, resist the enemy, and reveal the enemy. When an unbelieving world wonders at the violence we are seeing, we as believers are afforded the perfect opportunity to share the hope of our deliverance.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
Of course, while the deliverance from the evil of this world is available to all, it’s guaranteed only to those who choose to accept it by believing on the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you are reading this today and have never made that decision, you can do it right now wherever you might be by simply praying a prayer like this; Jesus I know that I am a sinner, and have sinned against you. I believe you loved me enough to send your Son Jesus to die for my sins, and that He rose from the dead so that I can live. Forgive me of my sins and come into my life and help me to live for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10 NKJV