Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Restrainer

2 Thess 2:7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.

As the days go by, it becomes more and more apparent to this writer that the Restrainer is hard at work, restraining the powers of hell that are so eager to flood this earth. For years now, this writer has watched what is happening in the world and thought "wow, at this rate, the time of Jacob's trouble will be here tomorrow!" And yet, it has not. This writer has no doubt that "what is being restrained" has planned to be let out of its cage years ago, and yet it has not been allowed to do what it wants to do.

This is all very encouraging news for us. Every day that the Restrainer is still restraining is a good day for this world. Satan would like to kill every man, woman and child on this earth as quickly as possible. That is what he would like to do, but that is *not* what he is allowed to do....Satan and his demonic hordes are on a chain. They are allowed to go so far and no farther.

We are witnessing days of restraint. These days are also known as "days before the flood (Matt 24:38)." Even today, people are eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage. As bad as some people think today is, this world hasn't seen bad yet. I believe that recently the Lord gave me a new way of looking at this scripture:

Matt 24:38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

When we look at this ^^ scripture in light of what is happening in the world today, we can see it in action clearly everywhere. This Word we read above has as much to say about the physical actions of the people (eating and drinking) as it does about the attitude and thinking of the people. On the surface, people are eating and drinking, planting and building, but a deeper meaning underneath the surface is that people all around us are living in *denial* at what is happening in the world. Birds and fish are dieing off by the millions, the weather has gone completely freaky, the sun is acting weird, in short, there are signs *everywhere* that things are not "business as usual" for the world, and yet people are desperate to pretend like they are.

I personally do not know a single person who knew about the massive fish and bird kills all over the world. I asked people at work, "hey, so what do you think about all these animal deaths" and they all looked at me funny and asked me what I was talking about. After explaining it briefly to one guy he said "its the end of the world!" then gave a sarcastic laugh and walked away. People are not watching, they are not ready. What we are seeing from people today is what people will see throughout the tribulation as well. People will live in denial, even while reality is kicking their front teeth in, they will deny and evade the truth as long as they possibly can.

When the truth is kicking people in the teeth, then some, a few will turn and repent. Most will recognize that what they are dealing with is an angry God and they will curse Him:

Rev 9:20The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

The really really good news is, as long as the Restrainer is still here, there is no reason to fear the "powers that be" also known as the "new world order" crowd. Those people do want to kill all of us off. They are trying to control the food supply, they are trying to collapse the financial system, they are trying to start WW3, but they have this wee problem and He is called the Restrainer. Apparently, "He who restrains" is not willing to allow the "powers that be" to kill off 4.5 billion people on this earth, at least not yet. As we read the early pages of Revelation, we see billions of people *are* dieing off, but not necessarily because the powers that be timed it that way.

It is good news that the Restrainer is still at work. It is also good news that there is an escape from what is coming on this world:

Luke 21:34“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

There is more good news, and that is that the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah and Lot. If the coming "escape" is anything like Noah's "escape" then we can all rejoice, wouldn't you agree? If our escape is anything like Lot's "escape" then we have reason to rejoice, wouldn't you agree? Physically, they *were not touched* by any of the "tribulation" of their day. In fact, we are told that the tribulation Lot suffered was living day in and day out with the filthy lawlessness in the world around him:

2 Peter 2:4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,a putting them into gloomy dungeonsb to be held for judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.c 10This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful natured and despise authority.

Here in 2 Peter 2, we find a specific warning addressed to us: God did not spare the angels, He did not spare the ancient world, He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly..That means they were an example to us, today, right here and now, and yet people act as though the Lord cannot see or hear. They act as though the Lord could care less about all the sin and wickedness in the world around us. They have forgotten and willfully ignored the warnings and examples we have been given. They don't want to know what's going to happen because today, their focus is on eating..and drinking..and planting..and building, and marrying, and giving in marriage, and the concerns and anxieties of this life. "Stop confronting us with the Holy One!" they say....."Tell us pleasant things!" they say...

Isaiah 30: 9These are rebellious people, deceitful children,

children unwilling to listen to the LORD’s instruction.

10They say to the seers,

“See no more visions!”

and to the prophets,

“Give us no more visions of what is right!

Tell us pleasant things,

prophesy illusions.

11Leave this way,

get off this path,

and stop confronting us

with the Holy One of Israel!”

The pleasant things that this writer can tell you today, is that we have an advocate in heaven who hears prayers today. We have a God who rules and reigns and restrains today. The hand of mercy and forgiveness is even now extended to this wicked and backslidden world. The door of the ark is still open, the escape from all can still be prayed for (Luke 21:36). The hell on earth, that will be days of vengeance, and wrath and punishment can still be avoided.

We were told very clearly that we are not destined for wrath:

1 Thessalonians 5:9

... For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain
salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

I could care less about the liars and thieves who tell us "but the sword and famine and death and disease are not God's wrath, so pony up so you can take all this wrath on the chin like a "good" christian!" The bible tells us what is, and is not God's wrath. When God tells us that plague, the sword, and famine are His wrath, then the argument is over, case is closed, issue settled:

Ezekiel 6:12 He that is far away will die of the plague, and he that is near will fall by the sword, and he that survives and is spared will die of famine. So will I spend my wrath upon them.

Rev 6:3When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.

5When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quarta of wheat for a day’s wages,b and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages,c and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

If the bible interprets the bible (and we know it does) then if God's wrath is sword, famine and plague in Ezekiel 6, it can also be God's wrath in Revelation 6, a direct and irrefutable rebuke to all the "other tribbers" who do not believe a pre-tribulation rapture/escape will take place.

We are not destined for wrath, which means we are not destined for the sword, famine and plague listed in Rev 6, seals 2,3,4. That is good news, and it is the truth. I hope that these words encourage you. Our Lord sent His word to encourage us:

1 Thess 4:16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.

We are told very clearly that these words^^, rapture words...escape words....were meant to encourage us...So, if I were to tell you that there is an escape from all the hell on earth events about to take place, would that encourage you? I hope so, because that's why the Word was written to you. If on the other hand I was to tell you that you could look forward to sword, famine, plague and beheading at the hands of the anti-christ, would that encourage you? I think not, so....which point of view is more consistent with the Word of God, that which encourages you, or that which does not encourage you?

The people who will tell you that any encouragement you get in believing the Lord's own Word regarding an escape from all rapture is a false encouragement, will also tell you not to pray that you may be counted worthy of an escape from all, because (they say) there will be no escape from all. Really? Jesus says there will be an escape from all and you tell me there will not be one...hmmmm, let me think about this real hard.....Yea, okay, I think I'll go with what Jesus said, but thanks for your opinion...

Jesus said:

Luke 21:36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Now, if there is no escape from all as the pre-wrath and post-tribbers would have us believe, then what does that make our Lord's statement in Luke 21:36? Insane? A lie? Does it make any sense at all for our Lord to command us to pray for escape if there is no escape?

Not only does the Lord tell us there will absolutely be an escape...from all...but He also gives us contextual clues as to when this escape will happen. These are the Lord's Words, not mine. The Lord will come back for us during a time of:

26“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27People were eating,


marrying and

being given in marriage

up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

28“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were


and drinking,

buying and


planting and


29But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

Now we know the words the Lord did use to clue us in to the time of His coming. What words did He not use? He did not use:





sea turned to blood

a third of the trees burned up

all the green grass burned up

a third of the ships in the sea destroyed

a third of the sea creatures destroyed

a third of the waters turned bitter

locusts tormenting the people of the earth

Nope....the Lord Himself uses those words in the book of Revelation, just not anywhere around where He describes when He is coming back to take us where He is....

That encourages you does it not? It certainly encourages me. Will people convert and become believers after the escape? Yes. Will they pay for that conversion with their life? Most likely. Are those believers who convert after the escape the ones we read about throughout the book of revelation? It is very very very likely since the Lord had every opportunity to call those believers "the church" and He did not. Why not? The only reason that makes any sense is that the church is in heaven.

The 24 elders seen in heaven in Rev 4 are redeemed men. They have crowns on their heads and are clothed in white linen. That is proof positive that something happened, before Rev 6 or any of the seals are opened to get those redeemed men into heaven. How did they get there? I recall seeing an open door in heaven in Rev 4.....The 24 elders are men, not angels. Angels do not get crowns, are not dressed in fine linen, and do not sit on thrones. The 24 elders are not just 24 because they come from every tribe, and tongue and language and nation. Have there been more than 24 tribes, tongues, languages and nations since the beginning of the world? do the math. The 24 represent more than 24..they are redeemed men, they are in heaven, and they got there somehow before any wrath seen in Rev 6 and onward shows up on the earth....

Do you think there is a reward for faith? I do. Do you think there is a reward for obedience? I do. Do you think there is a reward for patience? I do. Do you think there is a reward for watching? I do. Do you think the believers who are watching, faithful, obedient, patient are going to get the same treatment on earth that the unwashed, heathen, backslidden masses will get? No way.....not a chance. The Lord knows how "to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. "-2 Peter 2:9

You don't believe it? Well, time will tell who the wise and who the foolish are among us. I'm not calling anyone names, just reminding you of the Words our Lord used:

<< Matthew 25 >>

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

1“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

9“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11“Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’

12“But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

13“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Grace and peace