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The Man of Sin Is Being Withheld
Paul spoke of "what withholdeth" the Man of Sin, and said
"he who letteth will let until he be taken out of the way."
Who withholds the Man of Sin?
Who will be taken out of the way?
By Ken Raggio
No discussion of the coming Man of Sin is complete without understanding Paul's teaching to the Thessalonians. Look at this very important text found in II Thessalonians 2:3-8:
"Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day [the rapture] shall not come,
except there come a falling away first,
and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God,
or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God,
shewing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
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.
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."
We can know at least SIX things about the Man of Sin from these verses.
1. What most people call the Antichrist is called the Man of Sin and the Son of Perdition (perdition means "destruction").
2. The Man of Sin will oppose and exalt himself above all that is called or worshipped as God.
3. The Man of Sin will sit in the Temple of God showing himself to be God.
(This will take place in the newly-built Third Temple in Jerusalem, which will be constructed before Jesus returns.)
4. Something WITHHOLDS the Man of Sin from appearing, so that he can only be revealed at the divinely appointed time.
5. He who now LETTETH will LET, until he be TAKEN out of the way. (Explained below.)
6. After this mysterious one is taken away, THEN the Man of Sin will be revealed, (whom Jesus Christ will consume and destroy).
Most of the points above are very plain and easily understood. However, many people do not understand what is meant by the terms WITHHOLDETH and LETTETH.
Let us take another look at points 4 and 5 above.
Something or somebody WITHHOLDS the Man of Sin, and somebody LETS things remain as they are. That mysterious one will be removed.
Who or what is it?
Does the Church withhold the Man of Sin?
Does the Holy Spirit?
Do the angels withhold the Man of Sin?
The Man of Sin cannot be revealed until this MYSTERIOUS ONE is removed!
Some people think the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the earth so the Man of Sin can rise. I have a serious problem with that idea. There are certainly NO scriptures in the Bible that support that idea. I cannot imagine where such a notion came from, although I am sure that somebody, somewhere purported it to be a fact, or it would not have so much traction in Christian thought. However, if the Holy Spirit vacates the earth, that would mean that God is nowhere in the earth. That is a preposterous notion.
Others say that the Church prevents the Man of Sin from rising. They argue that the Church must be "raptured" or "caught away" BEFORE the Man of Sin can rise. However, 1 John 4:3 says that "the spirit of antichrist" is already in the world. If the Church did not prevent the spirit of Antichrist from already being in the world, then why should I believe that the Church is preventing the Antichrist from rising? They do not even know who the Antichrist is. What is the Church doing specifically that prevents the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition from rising? I cannot think of anything.
The scriptures do not support any notion that either the Church or the Holy Ghost prevents the Man of Sin from being revealed. To hold to such an idea is mere conjecture and unfounded guesswork.
"Until HE be taken out of the way."
This MYSTERIOUS ONE who withholds the Man of Sin is a "HE." This may sound like a weak argument, but it is nevertheless valid. The Church is not a "HE." The Church is the Bride of Christ, referred to in the scripture in the feminine form. The Church is not a HE, but SHE - the Bride of Christ.
There is a solid explanation.
The Man of Sin will be revealed IN HIS TIME (verse 6). Historical divine precedents show us exactly how it will happen.
Kingdoms have risen and fallen throughout history, and Almighty God has orchestrated each and every one.
"He changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings," Daniel 2:21.
How did God set up and remove kings in ancient times? He will do it again the way He did it before.
The Man of Sin will rise to be a powerful ruler. He will come into his position in the time and place and method by which God has ordained.
Here is an example of how the Man of Sin will rise:
Consider the six "world" empires that have ruled over the nation of Israel in its 3400-year history. All are mentioned in the Bible.
1. Egypt - the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt.
2. Assyria - the Northern 10 tribes of Israel were captured.
3. Babylon - the Southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin were captured.
4. Medo-Persia - Jews in exile in days of Daniel the prophet.
5. Greece - Alexander the Great rules largest empire ever.
6. Rome - rose to power shortly before the time of Christ
If we examine the Biblical mechanism that brought about the rise and fall of those kings and kingdoms, then we can see how the Man of Sin will rise to power.
The Prophet Daniel showed us how these things take place, in the tenth chapter of Daniel.
After Daniel fasted and prayed for twenty-one days, an angel of the Lord came to visit him.
"Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words,
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that HOLDETH with me in these things, but Michael your prince," Daniel 10:12-14,20-21.
What does that story tell us?
MICHAEL and this angel were engaged in a heavenly WAR with demonic PRINCIPALITIES.
This reveals some fascinating truth about how kingdoms rise and fall.
GOD installs kings and kingdoms and GOD removes kings and kingdoms.
The WAY that God installs and removes kings is by the holy angels. The angels do spiritual warfare in the heavens with the demonic princes (or principalities).
How did God remove Nebuchadnezzar from his throne? A "watcher," a "holy one came down from heaven" saying "hew him down," (Daniel 4:13,23).
An angel of the Lord controlled the throne of Babylon.
Later, the angel told Daniel that he and Michael (the archangel) were at war with the Prince of Persia.
As long as GOD allowed the Prince of Persia to prevail, the angel and Michael were unable to defeat him. But IN THE APPOINTED TIME, the angel and Michael defeated the Prince of Persia. At THAT time, the Persian Empire fell.
The angel instructed Daniel that he ALREADY KNEW that the Prince of Grecia would be the next adversary, even before the fact.
Do you remember Alexander the Great? He was one of history’s most prolific conquerors, and he did it all in his twenties. I believe that Alexander was demon-possessed. Why? Because, according to Daniel's writing, "the Prince of Grecia" empowered him to lead the Grecian Empire.
Only when the angels of God came to defeat the demonic Prince of Grecia did Alexander’s empire fall.
Angels and Demons in the Heavenlies Determine the Rise and Fall of Earthly Principalities
So you see, there is a corresponding "ground prince," or earthly ruler, to every demonic heavenly prince. When the demon prince is allowed to prevail ("LET" to prevail, using the vernacular of 2 Thessalonians), the ground prince prevails. When the demon prince is HELD (WITHHOLDEN), the ground prince is HELD, WITHHOLDEN – defeated!
After the Prince of Grecia was defeated, history shows the rise of the Prince of Rome. We know this by Daniel 9:26, "the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." Since the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70 AD (fulfilling this prophecy), we know exactly who Daniel was prophesying would come -- the demon Prince of Rome!
The Bible has revealed that there was an angel controlling the throne of Babylon.
It showed us angels and demons contending for the throne of Persia.
It showed us angels and demons contending for the throne of Grecia (Greece).
It revealed the rise of the demon Prince of Rome.
Therefore, we can see that it is ANGELS and DEMONS that contend for control over the throne of Man of Sin.
When HE, the holy angel of God (probably Michael - prince of Israel), is taken out of the way, the demon Satan, (spirit of) the Man of Sin will be revealed in an earthly king or ruler.
When God no longer allows the holy angel of God to prevail over the evil antichrist spirits, the Man of Sin will rise.
This is the meaning of Paul’s teaching in 2 Thessalonians 2.
WHO WITHHOLDS THE MAN OF SIN? WHO LETTETH UNTIL HE IS TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY?
The angels of God, including the angel Michael who stands for the nation of Israel!
WHEN will this happen? When GOD decides! And that will surely be very soon.
Consequently, we can be sure, from these examples, that it is NOT the rapture of the Church, nor is it the removing of the Holy Ghost from the earth that precipitates the revealing of the Man of Sin.
The Church WILL STILL BE ON EARTH when the Man of Sin is revealed, as will the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will minister in and through the Church during that time.
(Please see my article WHEN IS THE RAPTURE?)
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