THE GREAT MYSTERY
                                                                                 PART 2

                                          THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
                                                                                (Matthew 13:11)


Christ spoke several parables concerning the Kingdom of God.  Christ gave
these parables – often explaining them – as revelations concerning the
mysteries* of the Kingdom of God to the disciples.  These mysteries are not
identical with The Great Mystery**.  However, these mysteries were also
unrevealed from the foundation of the world***.

*Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given
to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has
not been given.

Mark 4:11 And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the
mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things
come in parables,

Luke 8:10 And He said, "To you it has been given to know the mysteries of
the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they
may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’

**The Mysteries of the Kingdom and The Great Mystery concerning Christ
and the Church are not identical.  However, the two perspectives of the
Mysteries of God dovetail together.  God is preparing the Church for the
Kingdom of God: Revelation 5:10 And have made us kings and priests to our
God; And we shall reign on the earth."  We cannot isolate these two
mysteries into two separate spheres, as though they do not relate.  The
Body of Christ comes first while man is still a physical being; the Kingdom of
God comes second, after the resurrection, when the Saints will be spirit
beings.  Christ gave the disciples knowledge and understanding concerning
the Mysteries of the Kingdom because they were the foundation of the
Church – the Body of Christ – and after their marriage to Christ§ they will
reign with Him in the Kingdom of God: Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy [is]
he who has part in the first resurrection.  Over such the second death has
no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with
Him a thousand years.

***NKJ Matthew 13:35 that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the
prophet, saying: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept
secret (unrevealed) from the foundation of the world."

                               The Marriage of the Church to Christ

§Romans 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law
(of your marriage to Yahweh – the law according to the letter) through the
body [death] of Christ, that you may be married to another––to Him who was
raised from the dead [Yahshua, Mashiach], that we should bear fruit to God
[in accordance to the law of our anticipated marriage to Him – the law
according to the spirit].


                                                              “THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY”
                                                                      (2THESSALONIANS 2:7)

The mystery of iniquity, in Paul’s context of 2Thessalonians 2:1-12 has to do
with “the man of sin”* and Satan’s effort to destroy the plan of God, during
the Ephesian era of the Church.  The mystery of lawlessness was already
working in relationship to the Church of God almost from its inception on the
Day of Pentecost.  Early examples mentioned in the bible include Ananias,
Sapphira, and Simon Magus (a magician); it also includes antagonism from
the leaders of Judah.  However, the mystery of iniquity itself originated – in
an organized way – as the Babylonian Mystery Religion, which began, in this
present age, at the Tower of Babel and will continue until Christ has Satan
bound, for a thousand years, just before the beginning of the Kingdom of
God on the earth.

*2Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for [that Day will
not come] unless the falling away comes first and the man of sin be
revealed, the son of perdition,

NKJ 2Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;
only He who now restrains [will do so] until He is taken out of the way.

PARAPHRASE JRR 2Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness
already works; One alone is presently restraining [it, and He will continue to
restrain it] until God directs Him to step aside.

The Man of Sin – the False Prophet of Revelation – will be revealed at the
midpoint of Jacob’s seven years of trouble***.  In other words, the Beast and
the False Prophet continue for 3.5 years and then the resurrection.  For
details see The Seven Days of Sabbath:
Daniel’s Seventy Heptads Prophecy.

*NKJ Jeremiah 30:7 Alas!  For that day [is] great, So that none [is] like it;
And it [is] the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.

**Leviticus 26:28 then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I,
will chastise you seven times for your sins.

God will manifest the Man of Sin, in his appointed time as the Son of
Perdition.  However, God tells us through the Apostle Paul that even now –
at the time when Paul was relating the information in 2Thessalonians 2:7 –
the mystery of lawlessness was already at work, in correlation to the
Ephesian era of the Church of God.  The seventh trumpet concludes the
revelation of the mystery/prophecy of the resurrection and the beginning of
the revelation of the mystery/prophecy of the Day of the Lord.  Moreover, it
concludes the revelation of the prophecy/mystery of Daniel’s Seventy
Heptads Prophecy*.

*NKJ Revelation 10:7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel,
when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He
declared to His servants the prophets.

We need to discuss the last phrase of 2Thessalonians 2:7 because the
English Bibles have created two contradicting translations of this phrase.  
We will show that only one of these translations is correct.  The EMTV has
“until one comes out of the midst,” and the NKJ has “until he is taken out of
the way”.  The EMTV reference is to the man of sin and the NKJ reference is
to the One who restrains the man of sin.  In other words, we have
contrasting translations of this phrase – therefore, the need to study and
comprehend the truth.

EMTV 2Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;
only He who now restrains will continue until one comes out of the midst.

NKJ 2Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;
only He who now restrains [will do so] until He is taken out of the way.

JRR 2Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness already works; One
alone is presently restraining it, and He will continue to restrain it, until He is
directed to step aside.

Two schools of thought exist for the last phrase: 1) “until he (the man of sin
– or it, the system of lawlessness) shall appear out of the midst” or 2) “until
He (the restrainer of the mystery of iniquity) is taken out of the way”.  The
literal and the idiom of the Greek are at the core of these two different
translations: Some translators have chosen a literal version and some have
made the idiomatic choice.  In the Paraphrase above, we have favored the
idiomatic option because of the context of verses six, seven, and eight,
which we will discuss, presently.  E.W. Bullinger favored the idiom option, as
we have done.  Observe what he says in the following frame.  

Bullinger (Figures of Speech):
Ek-MES-os (2Thessalonians 2:7) must not be translated literally, arise or
become developed “out of the midst,” as is done by a certain school of
prophetic students; because it is a Greek idiom for being out of the way, and
always implies decisive action, either of the person’s own will or of force on
the part of others.

Fact 1) The English “arise” or “appear” in the literal option, does not
express the Greek idiom “out of the way”.  Fact 2) The Greek word
translated as, “arise” or “appear” implies decisive action on the part of the
lawless one, which leaves God’s will out of the equation.  One key to a
correct translation is that the lawless one will appear only when God allows
him to do so.  Therefore, we must reject the literal translation.  To put it
another way, the decisive action is on God’s part when He directs – “the
Restrainer” – to step aside, allowing the conclusion of human misrule on the
earth, which has its fulfillment through the Man of Sin.

The proposition of verse 7 is that, the “man of sin” can only begin his work,
unhindered, once “the Restrainer is out of the way” which happens
according to the Father’s will, who has all times and seasons in His own
authority*.  At that time, the lawless one will begin to fulfill his mission, as
continued in verse 8: And then the lawless one will be revealed**.  Recall the
story of Job where Satan had to get permission to harm Job or his property.  
Verse 7 has to do with God restraining Satan from abject deception of the
peoples of the earth through the “man of sin”: Before his time.  Verse 8 has
to do with the revealing of the “man of sin”: God then allows him to finish
his work.  Of course, “The Restrainer” ceases His restriction of Satan,
according to the Father’s will, so that prophecy concerning human rule on
the earth may conclude.  Once the “man of sin” has filled up his time (3.5
years), then the Day of the Lord begins, ending with Armageddon, and the
man of sin winds up in the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20***).  Then, Christ’s
rule begins upon the earth§.

*NKJ Acts 1:7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know [the] times or
seasons, which the Father has put in His own authority.

**NKJ 2Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, [silent
interval] whom the Lord (HaAdon – the Christ) will consume with the breath
of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming [with His saints].

***NKJ Revelation 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false
prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who
received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.  These
two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

§NKJ Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were
loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms (kingdom) of this world have
become [the kingdoms (kingdom)] of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall
reign forever and ever!"

[NOTE: JRR: The first mention of “kingdom” is singular in the Greek and the
second mention of kingdom is an ellipsis added to complete the sense in
English.]

RSV Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there
were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and
ever."

The Reason for Paul’s Teachings of 2Thessalonians Chapter 2:

The setting of 2Thessalonians, Chapter 2 is that some false ministers were
teaching, in Paul’s day, that the return of Christ had already occurred.  In
this passage, Paul gave the Church prophecy that must come to pass before
Christ’s return for the saints; this gave them a picture of the future in
enough detail to counterbalance the philosophy of these false teachers.  
Paul’s focal point is that the man of sin – the son of perdition – must first
appear and begin his work, before the return of Christ for His saints: (our
gathering together to Him)*.  Another point the New Testament Saints could
look for was that this “man of sin” “sits as God, in the Temple of God,
claiming to be God”**.  These events must take place before the resurrection.

*EMTV 2Thessalonians 2:1 Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our
Lord Jesus, Christ (Adonay, Yahshua, Mashiach) and our gathering together
to Him, we beseech you,
2 not to be quickly shaken from (in) your mind, nor be disturbed, neither by
spirit nor by word nor by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ
has come.
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless
the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is unveiled, the son of
perdition,

**2Thessalonians 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called
God, or every object of worship, so that he sits as God in the Temple of
God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these
things?
6 And now you know that which (Who) is restraining, that he (the man of sin)
may be revealed in his own (appointed) time.  [JRR: Although Paul did not
directly reveal who the restrainer was in his written words, it is self-evident.  
The man of sin was an instrument of Satan and the only force that could
restrain him was God.  Moreover, the only figure in the Godhead that would
direct another member of the Godhead to step aside would have to be the
Father.  As the end of the Man of Sin is imperative before the Kingdom of
God can begin on the earth, and as Christ is the One who puts down all the
governing powers of the earth*, Christ must be the Restrainer.]

*KJV 1Corinthians 15:24 Then [cometh] the end, when He (Christ) shall have
delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when (after) He (Christ)
shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

RSV 1Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom
to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

Observe how verse 7 dovetails with verse 8, when we take the idiomatic
option and keep in mind the context of verse 6.  Once the one who restrains
steps aside, then the lawless one shall appear.  If we take the literal option,
“He who now restrains will continue...” until the appearance of the lawless
one: In other words, in the literal option, the Restrainer (God) is subject to
the appearance of the lawless one (Satan).  However, verse six sets up the
context of verse seven; and verse seven sets up the context of verse eight.  
One should study these three verses together to comprehend the intent of
the Greek, in this passage.  

In verse six, Paul’s proposition is, “Now you know that God is restraining the
man of sin so that he may not be revealed until his appointed time”.  The
man of sin would appear before God’s appointed time for him – unless God
prevented this from happening: Therefore, God hinders the Son of Perdition
from accession to a position of absolute power – before his time – by means
of “The Restrainer”.  In other words, God prevents the man of sin from
coming to full power – without opposition – by restraining him.  Verse 7 adds
to verse six “the mystery of lawlessness (the Babylonian Mysteries) already
works” – it began in the Garden of Eden, and has continued ever since.  
However, in the prophecy that Paul refers to here – “the revealing of the man
of sin” – the mystery of lawlessness officially began after the restoration of
Rome, by Justinian, which was to have seven resurrections.  Here Paul
refers to the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire –
centuries before the first resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire had
appeared!  We know this because he is relating prophecies that occur just
before the resurrection of the saints.  Recall that his purpose here is to warn
and inform the saints concerning those who were teaching that the
resurrection had already occurred.

The Old Roman Empire did not fall until 476AD, and the restoration of Rome
under Justinian – the first of the seven revivals, as the Holy Roman Empire,
did not begin until 554AD.  According to Archbishop Ussher, Paul wrote his
epistle to the Thessalonians in 56AD.  If James Ussher is correct, Paul gave
the Church prophecy 498 years before the first restoration of Rome, referred
to as, “The Holy Roman Empire” under the Mystery-of-Lawlessness System:
A continuation of the Babylonian Religion that began at the tower of Babel
soon after the Noachian flood, in the present age.  However, keep in mind
that Paul was combating a current erroneous doctrine that Christ had
already returned.  Paul’s teaching is that the resurrection will coincide with
the return of Christ.  Therefore, Christ’s return has not occurred unless the
resurrection has taken place.

It has now been 1461 years since the establishment of the first restoration of
Rome – known as the Holy Roman Empire.  Six of the seven revivals have
come and gone and we are now – in this generation – coming to the time for
God to remove His restraint and allow the man of sin to begin his final,
unrestricted work.  In other words, Christ restrains or controls the system of
lawlessness until the time of the end when He allows it 3.5 years of
unrepressed dominance.  [See, “The Seven Days of Sabbath”:
Daniel’s
Seventy Heptads Prophecy for details.]

If Christ’s baptism (26AD) was the beginning of the last 2000 years, we are
only 11 years (as of the autumn of 2015) away from the Day of the Lord – fall
to fall reckoning, Hebrew Calendar.  One portion of the Church will be in the
wilderness for 3.5 years; and the other portion of the Church will suffer the
persecution of the Great Tribulations during the same period: Then, the
Resurrection of the Righteous will occur.  The year before Armageddon, the
whole Church will be in heaven.  Satan’s time will be finished when God has
him bound (for a thousand years) at the beginning of or just before the
battle of Armageddon.  The Day of the Lord is a one-year period when God
puts super restraints on the evil efforts that Satan accomplishes through the
world governments of the earth.  From one perspective, we can observe the
Day of the Lord as a one-year gap between the resurrection and the
beginning of the Kingdom of God on the earth; this could explain some of
the seemingly incongruous timeline perspectives of prophecy.  In any case,
the 3.5 years of unrestrained rule for the “man of sin” end at the
resurrection of the saints, which beings the Day of the Lord.  The beast will
have slaughtered all of those within his power, who remain faithful, by the
time of the resurrection.  Moreover, after the resurrection, no righteous
saints will exist on the earth, for the space of one-year.

Below, we include 2Thessalonians 2:6-8, with ellipsis and paraphrase options
to enhance the essence of the Greek and exegesis according to the nuance
of the biblical context.

NKJ 2Thessalonians 2:6 And now you know what (who) is restraining, that
he (the man of sin) may be revealed in his own (appointed) time.

ESV 2Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work*.  
Only He (God) who now restrains it (the mystery of lawlessness) will do so
until He is out of the way].

*[Note: While the mystery of lawlessness presently works, it does so with
restraint, until God allows it full reign in the 3.5 years just before the
resurrection of the saints].

NKJ 2Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, silent
interval whom the Lord (HaAdon – the Christ) will consume with the breath of
His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming [with His saints].

Now, after the phrase, “And then the lawless one will be revealed” we have a
silent interval.  Paul goes directly to the destruction of the lawless one
returning to his original thought of giving the people an indication of
prophecy – support they needed to combat the heresy: “That Christ had
returned already”.  Paul had given some idea concerning Christ’s return for
His saints earlier; and here he gives some idea what will happen at the point
of Christ’s return with His saints.  Thus, Paul instructed the Church that if
Christ had already returned, as some in Paul’s day were saying, either the
saints would be in heaven or Christ’s rule would have already begun and the
kingdoms of the world would now be subject to His rule.  Therefore, the
Ephesian Church of God could observe that neither situation had occurred
providing them with the wisdom to keep these false teachers from leading
them away from the truth.  The main problem must have been with the
Thessalonians, as Paul initiated his comments to them concerning this
matter; however, it probably plagued the whole Ephesus era of the Church
of God, just as any false doctrine today spreads throughout the entire
community of believers.

For the perceptive reader, Paul mentions, in this passage, both the terminus
a quo [concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Adonay, Yahshua,
Mashiach) and our gathering together to Him] and the terminus ad quem
[whom the Lord (HaAdon – the Christ) will consume with the breath of His
mouth, and will destroy by the brightness of His coming (with the saints)].  In
this passage, Paul includes the return for the saints and the return with the
saints: The two returns being a year apart: The interlude of “The Day of the
Lord”.  The chronological order is:

1) Lawless one revealed and rules unrestrained for 3.5 years
2) Resurrection occurs and Day of the Lord begins
3) Day of the Lord continues for 1 year
4) Christ returns with His Saints
5) Satan restrained
6) Battle of Armageddon in which Christ destroys the lawless-one and all the
armies of the world
7) Christ’s Rule begins

This is a good example to keep in mind: Scripture often breaks off one
thought and introduces a new thought without informing us of what goes on
in between or how long the period may be between the two thoughts.  We
refer to these instances as silent intervals and must look elsewhere in the
bible to determine the time element between the two thoughts, as well as the
missing context; this is the principle that the bible refers to as “here a little
and there a little”.  Revelation 19:20* referring to the second thought – gives
us the terminus ad quem of the destruction of the lawless one of
2Thessalonians 2:8 where, by proposition, it refers to the coming of Christ
with His saints.  Anytime the bible speaks of the return of Christ, the reader
must determine from the context whether it refers to Christ returning for His
saints or Christ returning with His saints – otherwise, all is confusion from
the perspective of Christ’s Return.  These two returns are one year apart –
the interval of “The Day of the Lord” comes between them.  Isaiah 34:8 For
[it is] the day of the LORD’S (Yahweh’s) vengeance, The year of recompense
for the cause of Zion.

*NKJ Revelation 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false
prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who
received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.  These
two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Now we have one more detail to determine: Does Paul intend us to
understand the “man of sin” as the “civil beast” or as the “false prophet” of
Revelation 19:20?  2Thessalonians 2:9 reveals that it is the “false prophet”
because Paul says, “Whose coming is ... with all power, signs, and lying
wonders”.  Notice in Revelation 19:20* that it was the false prophet who
worked signs and deception or lying wonders (compare Revelation 13:11-
13**).  Paul does not mention the civil beast or its government in
2Thessalonians Chapter 2.  Paul addresses the Church and speaks to them
concerning religion and those within religion who would deceive them into
believing that Christ had already come so that they would surrender their
allegiance to a human being rather than to God.  In other words, the “man of
sin” in 2Thessalonians, Chapter 2 is the second beast of Revelation 13:11,
which has two horns like a lamb and speaks like a dragon – the religious side
of the final revival of the “Holy Roman Empire”.  Paul says in 2Thessalonians
2:4 that he (the lawless one) “sits as God in the Temple of God, showing
himself that he is God”*** – in other words, Paul speaks of the religious
beast rather than the civil beast of Revelation 19:20.

2Thessalonians 2:9 whose coming is according to the working of Satan, with
all power, signs, and lying wonders,
10 and in all deception of unrighteousness among those who perish,
because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And because of this, God will send them strong delusion, in order for
them to believe the lie,
12 so that they all might be damned who did not believe the truth, but
delighted in unrighteousness.

*NKJ Revelation 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false
prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who
received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.  These
two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

**NKJ Revelation 13:11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth,
and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and
causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose
deadly wound was healed.

KJV Revelation 13:13 And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire
come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

***2Thessalonians 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is
called God, or every object of worship, so that he sits as God in the Temple
of God, showing himself that he is God.

To Conclude: Based on the context and the Greek of Verses 6, 7, and 8, a
more accurate translation of the idiomatic phrase under consideration is,
“until He (The Restrainer) is caused to step aside”.  One could paraphrase
“until He stands aside” but the Greek for “to become” is subjunctive, which
indicates that The Restrainer does not personally make this decision;
therefore, the bible couches this phrase in “potential” language – Christ
leaves the absolute decision to the Father – who has all times and seasons
in His own authority.  Verse 8 then picks up the appearance of the man of
sin.  

The idiomatic option eliminates the gap and contradiction that the literal
option creates.  The removal of the Restrainer is not in the literal option, but
we know from our biblical study that Satan can do nothing unless God
allows him to do so.  In addition, the literal option repeats itself: Having
“until one comes out of the midst” in verse seven and “then the lawless one
will be unveiled” in verse eight.  Considering that verse six has already set
up the coming of the evil one, and that the literal option creates a
contradiction putting the power of when he will appear into the hands of the
man of sin, we cannot accept the literal option as correct.  Bearing in mind
that the Greek word is an idiom, we should carry it over into the English as
such rather than literally, as some translators have done.  In fact, the
idiomatic translation would be the literal translation from the perspective of
the meaning of the phrase.

In any case, the mystery of 2Thessalonians 2:7 does not directly inform us
concerning The Great Mystery.  The mystery of this chapter was information
for the Ephesus era of the Church of God and especially to those at
Thessalonica to help them avoid the deception of false teachers.  However,
we can use this same information today, to learn more about the structure of
end-time prophecies.  The revelation of this mystery helps us to understand
the times in which we live and how that God will bring about the end of
human misrule on the earth.

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