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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Who Is "He Who Now Restrains"?, #4
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)
Jesus did not come to make us comfortable and happy. Jesus came to bring into being the Kingdom of God. Bringing into being the Kingdom of God requires that we be crucified with Christ. The way to glory is through our personal cross. The way to rulership is through suffering. The way to the crown is through the cross. The church fathers knew this. The contemporary Christians are in deception.
The decrease of holy spiritual power in the last days will enable Antichrist to expand his influence in the world, forcing the remnant of true saints to flee from the centers of civilization. The Christian testimony will be "killed" for a season, permitting the setting in of the worldwide revolt against authority.
. . . it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter [shatter] the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. (Daniel 12:7)
The verses in Daniel concerning Antichrist provide the foundation for Paul's teaching in II Thessalonians 2:3-8. Paul understood that God would diminish the power of the Spirit-inspired testimony, resulting in the weakening of the influence of the saints—the "mighty and the holy people"—and the revealing of the man of sin.
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (Revelation 11:7)
The Antichrist will overcome the saints with "Sodom" (the lust of the flesh), "Egypt" (the lust of the eyes), and "Jerusalem" (the pride of life)—Revelation 11:8. Many believers who had been able to restrain themselves to a certain extent will find their resistance to sin is being overcome. They no longer have the strength to stand. Also, Antichrist will frighten the believers with economic penalties and in some cases with physical terror.
When the Christian churches of the earth have been overcome by the deceiving ability of Antichrist, are worshiping him, yielding to the evil that is in the world economic system, receiving the mark of his name, not having prepared themselves to stand in the evil day, the wicked of the earth will "rejoice over them, and make merry." Those who are evil will always rejoice over a fallen saint.
The Spirit-filled churches of the first half of the prophetic "week" had been a strong rebuke to the practices of the world. They had possessed the power of the Spirit of God to bring judgment on the wicked. Now it is obvious that they no longer are able to wield the power the wicked had come to fear.
All that is left is the "dead bodies" of the Christian institutions. The deceived Christians have joined the ranks of those who are seeking the welfare of people. These seduced believers will join with Antichrist in expelling the true saints, who are continuing to warn the churches and the world of what is taking place. The saints will seem as the most disgusting and unenlightened of people, not being willing to participate in the "wonderful" new age that has come to the earth.
To be continued.