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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 22, 2023

The Bible Edge

Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge

2 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.

According to Websters 1828 dictionary “Let” means: “To permit; to allow; to suffer; to give leave or power by a positive act, or negatively, to withhold restraint; not to prevent.” This definition must be understood to grasp that which Paul tells the church of Thessalonica. The context of this chapter is easily learned in the very first verse of the chapter; Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him. Once again, the Apostle Paul is relating details about the physical return of our Savior Jesus Christ to earth.

The major question that this verse prompts is “who is the who?” Who is he that “letteth”? A key to the answer of this question is found in the verse. That key is that the one who letteth will someday be taken out of the way. Now, today, the one that letteth is in the way. Someday he will be taken away. Remember, one of the descriptions found in the definition of the word “let” is “to withhold restraint: not to prevent.” Today he that letteth is letting certain things take place. But, in this process of letting he is also restraining. Perhaps a Bible illustration will help.

Consider the beginning of the book of Job. Satan came before God desiring to destroy Job. God allowed Satan’s attack on the man but put restraints on that attack. At the first Satan told God that God had put an hedge about Job’s life. Then the Lord told the attacker not to put a hand on Job’s body. God restrained Satan’s attack. In round two, Satan wanted to attack Job physically. Again, God allowed this, but put a restraint on Satan which was that he could not kill Job. God restrained Satan. In this situation God was the one who letteth, and he let Satan have some power but put restraints on him.

Today God is in the world in the form of the Holy Spirit. That Spirit of God has many works, one big one is that he is the one that letteth, and he will let (which indicates he has the power to restrain by not letting) until He is taken away. Now, since God’s Word promises that He will be in us, through His Spirit, and will never leave us nor forsake us, if the Holy Spirit is removed from earth this means two things. The one who letteth will no longer be here to let. There will be no restrainer on earth. Two, those who have the Holy Spirit in them will be taken away also, given that He can never leave us nor forsake us. The one who letteth is the Holy Spirit of God. He will let, or not let, until he is removed.

Dear reader, for the sake of brevity this devotion has been written in a narrative form, much more detail is needful and deeper study is always recommended. Many other aspects of this “taking away” and the return of Christ have not been considered here although they are worthy of much consideration. This devotion is simply on the word “let.” It was with this theme that the above information was given. Suffice it to say that the surface of this great topic has not even been scratched. For this I apologize, but again the brief nature of these devotions prohibits a full discussion of this or any other topic for that matter. Think about these short reports as simple seeds for thought and further study.

William Howe, Ph.D.

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