Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4
December 6, 2015
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way.
8 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:
9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
1901 ASV Translation:
6 And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.
7 For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only [there is] one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming;
9 [even he], whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie:
12 that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
- I. The Restrainer.
- A. The word translated "restrain" is used multiple times in the New Testament with one underlying concept and several extension concepts.
- 1. The underlying concept seems to be "to take such a firm grip that effective control is the result".
- 2. The extension concepts.
- a. In Matthew 21:38 the murderers "seized" the inheritance so that they took control over it.
- b. In Luke 4:42 the people attempted to keep Jesus from leaving their territory (i.e., to "restrain" His plans to move on).
- c. In Luke 8:15 those with a good heart "take the Word into their possession so that it brings forth fruit".
- d. In Luke 14:9 the self-promoter is reduced to "taking the lowest place at the feast".
- e. In John 5:4 a person "has" a disease that is ruining his health.
- f. In Acts 27:40 the sail "took the wind" so that they could sail to land.
- g. In Romans 1:18 men "control the truth so that it cannot produce righteousness".
- h. In Romans 7:6 we were "held" by the Law in death.
- i. There are 11 further uses in the New Testament that continue to give examples of "taking such a grip on something that it is under one's control".
- B. The word translated "restrain" is a participle that is cast in the "neuter" gender instead of a masculine or feminine gender.
- 1. This immediately allows "to pneuma" to take first consideration as to meaning, not only grammatically, but also theologically, and rationally.
- a. The Holy Spirit is "to pneuma", a neuter gender noun.
- b. The Holy Spirit is the only effective opponent of Satan and his power.
- c. All other "restrainers" depend heavily upon the undergirding of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit to accomplish their "restraining" abilities.
- d. In 2:7 Paul switches genders so that the "restrainer" is identified with a masculine noun. This is consistent with the New Testament using "to pneuma", as a neuter gender noun in reference to the Holy Spirit and then switching to a masculine form of description to keep people from thinking the Spirit is a "thing" rather than a Person.
- 2. The chief adversary of God is Satan and The Man of The Lawlessness is specifically declared to "come" "after the working of Satan" in our context (2:9). Satan is declared, by Paul, to be "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2). Thus, the adversarial entities are both "spirit" and none can restrain either of them except by spiritual power.
- C. The "restraint" is "unto the revelation of him (the man of the lawlessness) in his own "season" (that portion of "time" that is known for its "fruit production"; as in the "season of figs" -- the portion of time that involves figs coming to harvest).
- 1. That "the man of the lawlessness" will be revealed in "his own season" is clearly a reference to the divine plan to take the creation through multiple "times", each with its own "season", and this indicates that the "restraint" is under divine dominion. Jesus, Paul declared, was "made of a woman" when "the fulness of the time was come" (Galatians 4:4). Jesus said of the "times" and the "seasons" that they were "put under the authority of the Father by the Father" (Acts 1:7). Thus, the Father is the One Who determines who/what will "restrain" anything until its own "season". That the Holy Spirit is one with the Father simply implies that the restraint is in the capable hands of the Spirit of God.
- 2. Nowhere in the Scriptures are we told that the "seasons" are determined by anyone other than God.
- II. The Mystery of The Lawlessness.
- A. That there is a "mystery" surrounding "the lawlessness" is here declared. This indicates something that people do not readily realize.
- B. That the "mystery" is regarding "the Lawlessness" indicates that a special concept (lawlessness) has been in play for a long time. It appears that the heavenly rebellion of Satan began something that will play out in human history until its "season".
- C. The only hindrance to the dominance of the first principles of "The Lawlessness" is "He that restrains". When He is "taken out of the way" the man of this lawlessness will rise quickly to the position of prominence that will allow him to be the "little horn" of the dreadful beast of Daniel's prophecy.
- D. That the mystery is already at work indicates that the nature of the "restraint" is only partial; the "restrainer" allows a progressive development of "the lawlessness" at a pace that fits the plans of the "times" and will allow this until the development has reached a tipping point. At that point in time, the restrainer will be removed "out of the midst". That the Holy Spirit's main activity is in the Church indicates that His "removal" will be simultaneous to the "disappearance" of the Church is strongly implied.