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April 24, 2008

Comments

Jeff

A couple questions:
Who is "he who now restrains"? Is that the "man of lawlessness" or God?
You mentioned that God has not yet released the great delusion. When he does, are the sides chosen? Is outreach at that point futile?

Jim Fleming

Jeff,
"He who now restrains" has been identified as Rome, God, the Holy Spirit, and the church. Although Paul says the identity of the restrainer is familiar to the Thessalonians, it is lost to us. It is perhaps unnecessary for us to know whom (or what) it is. Clearly it is NOT the "man of lawlessness" whose agenda would be "anti-restraint."

Once the great delusion has been unleashed, receptivity to the Gospel will plummet. Outreach is always in order, but the ground will be hard and declaring oneself for Christ will prove costly.

Jeff

Yeah, that was one thing I read and wasn't sure if there was a clear answer, about who restrains. When I read it, it read like Job, where he went from restraining Satan to allowing him to work on Job. But I understand that it doesn't matter who it is. It just matters that it's coming.

I like hard ground. It's easier to get past any offense I might feel by people bashing Christ if it's all I hear.

DE

Jim,
I've just read all "The Next Big Thing" articles. Excellent. It sounds like you and my dad have the same view point. I grew up hearing about this topic. I'm looking forward to future postings. My dad passed away several years ago, but he would be so delighted to think that someone saw it the way he did. He believed that the church will endure the end times ("tribulation") and will only be taken out when the lawless one is revealed. He was not afraid of what this meant for believers - pursecution, suffering, hiding away, etc. He was never one to look for a way out. I'll bet you and he have collected many of the same books.

ms

Now I'm confused. My understanding was that the lawless one would be revealed when he signed the covenant with Israel, which would be at the beginning of the tribulation. Surely we would have a clue whenever a 7-year treaty is signed between Israel and her enemies. Wouldn't we? I thought "end times" began with a ramping up of events leading to the tribulation.

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