The Man of Lawlessness

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‘For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only that which now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way’ (2 Thess. 2:7).

Secular law provides what is called a ‘restraining order’ to prevent the possibility of a potential crime being committed. The fear of law’s retribution has a way of restraining the impulses of many who might otherwise perform unspeakable acts of crime. Outlaws are those who dismiss the law as a restraining order. The Antichrist is called “the man of lawlessness” (anomia).

For that man of lawlessness is to be revealed when, “what is restraining is taken out of the way*. In current times we are seeing a rapid disintegration and marginalization of biblical law in western society. Ten Commandments monuments (and crosses, Biblical quotes and displays, and prayer) have been declared unconstitutional on public property in the USA, and are virtually unknown to the minds of much of the younger generation. Those laws that restrain such behavior as adultery, theft, lying, murder, taking God’s name in vain, and encourage the honoring of parents, have been replaced by an increasing lawlessness among the populations, and the very opposite of those injunctions are encouraged by many leaders of the culture (including presidents), and are prime fare in films and on television programs in virtually every home. The Law of God has become a mockery and termed anachronistic by Humanism, where all behavior is measured by man and his shifting desires alone, and is the replacement of God, to where man becomes his own god and lawgiver.

In many churches the Law of God is discouraged as being replaced by ‘grace’ alone, erroneously claiming “the Law is done away”. This evolving lawlessness has led to many churches promoting homosexuality in both laity and clergy, and now even same-sex ‘Christian’ marriages. Many churches are thus splitting over such issues, leaving what may be termed the great falling away- apostasy- and becoming what may be termed the church of lawlessness- or Antichrist. The same word is used by the Messiah when he said to some doing deeds in his name, “I never knew you, depart from me you workers of lawlessness- anomia”- (Matthew 7:23).

A lawless society is one of chaos, confusion, and violence and, “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). When the Laws of God are eventually removed from place and consciousness, and replaced by lawlessness and ungodliness, the man of lawlessness- the Antichrist- may then fill the void.

‘Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God… And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but that which now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie, and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness- (2 Thess. 2).

*Some interpreters speculate this to be the Holy Spirit or the Rapture or God himself- none which seem viable.

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Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published five illustrated books of poetry, painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, and most recently produced THE JERUSALEM ILLUSTRATED BIBLE, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.