A New Look At II Thessalonians 2:7
II Thessalonians 2:7---“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”
This verse is used by many to validate a certain theological stance. That is not its purpose. This verse was written as part of a comforting message to the Christians in Thessalonica.
In the KJV, “letteth” means to restrain. And among some, “he who now letteth” is the Holy Spirit.
The teaching is that the one who lets or restrains (the Holy Spirit) will be “taken out of the way” when the Church is raptured in the pre-tribulation Rapture.
The Rapture teaching also says that during the tribulation period when the Holy Spirit is no longer on the earth, however despite that some will be saved. That group is known as tribulation saints.
Without the Holy Spirit to convict people of their sins, repentance and salvation are impossible. The pre-tribulation rapture invalidates much biblical teaching.
The fact is that none of us may be saved without the work of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:3b---“no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” (NKJV)
There is another major problem we must address. The Holy Spirit does not restrain or “let” evil.
Look around! Do you honestly think that evil is being restrained?
The Holy Spirit was sent to comfort those chosen by God to follow Christ.
The Holy Spirit comforts those chosen to follow Christ (John 14:16, 26; John 15:26; John 16:7).
The Holy Spirit seals those chosen to follow Christ (Eph. 4:30).
The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin in order to draw some out for the sake of Christ (John 16:8-10).
The Holy Spirit teaches us (John 14:26).
However, the Holy Spirit does not restrain evil!
In fact, the Holy Spirit does not restrain us from anything. Instead, He leads us into God’s righteousness (Romans 8:14).
II Thessalonians 2:7 is a difficult verse, because we must throw out traditional thought in order to find the actual meaning.
The problem is compounded, because the phrase “will let” is not in the Greek text. The addition of that phrase as compounded the misunderstanding.
In II Thessalonians 2:7 the Greek phrase translated “he be taken out of the way” is ek mesou geneetai-ek mesou genhtai. Ek denotes the origin. Mesou indicates the middle, midst or among. Geneetai means to be, to become, and speaks of a birth, or coming into being.
Another key to understanding II Thessalonians 2:7 is found in the word translated “letteth” (Gr. katechoon-katecwn). That Greek word may indicate one who restrains, BUT it also speaks of one who is in firm control by grasping an opponent.
In wresting, one controls his opponent by the way in which he grasps him. Police may use so-called “come along” techniques in which they control a prisoner by grasping him in a certain manner. Paul told us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph 6:12).
Wrestling is a struggle in which the victor is determined by which opponent controls the other by means of his grasp. Christ has gained control (Gr. katechoon-katecwn) of Lucifer.
Christ Jesus has won the victory! Christ Jesus is Lord! Christ Jesus is in control!
II Thessalonians does not refer to the Holy Spirit at all. Instead, that verse points to Christ Jesus! It is the return of Christ that is the focus of this section of Scripture.
Personal translation: “For the mystery of lawlessness works only until He who has firm control comes into the midst.” It will be at that time that the lawless one, Anti-Christ will be revealed and consumed by Christ’s sword of the Spirit.
Let’s fit it into the context of the KJV.
II Thessalonians 2:5-8
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 “And now you are aware that the One who is controlling so that He might be revealed in his due time.”
7 “For the mystery of lawlessness works only until He [Christ Jesus] who has firm control comes into the midst.”
8 And then [at the time of Christ’s appearance] shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
II Thessalonians 2:5-8 (personal translation)
5 Don’t you remember that, when I was with you, I told you these things?
6 So that you are now aware that the Controller [Christ Jesus] will be revealed in His due time.
7 Because, the mystery of lawlessness works only until He [Christ Jesus] who has firm control comes into the midst.
8 It is at that time that the wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.
Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (KJV/emphasis mine)
In case nobody has told you, Revelation focuses of the revelation of Jesus Christ, and not the revelation of Lucifer.
God’s plan calls for all of Jesus’ enemies to be made His “footstool” (Matt. 22:44), indicating that all things will be subject to His control and authority.
Christ shall completely and utterly destroy the power of the Anti-Christ with the brightness of His coming!