The Evil of Our Times and The Mystery of Lawlessness

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On this very day alone, there are numerous disturbing, trending news articles detailing acts that can only be described as pure evil, the Bible talks about the mystery of lawlessness which may offer insight into these events.

The evil of our times: Today’s headlines

Here is a sampling of headlines that were trending in news around the world on the day of this writing.

  • California man fatally stomped on girlfriend’s 3-year-old son/ New York Post.
  • Baby killer who murdered girlfriend’s 13-month-old son after weeks of abuse found dead in prison/ Daily Mail.
  • Cruel kids set puppy on FIRE ‘for social media likes’ and then laugh as it is engulfed in flames and runs away in terror / The Sun.
  • Mo. Boy, 5, Allegedly Beaten to Death by Mom’s Boyfriend / People.
  • BABY KILLING Dad, 23, hurled his 11-month-old baby to his death into freezing cold river / The Sun.
  • Wash. Boy, 11, Is Allegedly Fatally Stabbed by His 22-Year-Old Brother / People.
  • Chicago shooting: Girl, 11, shot while in bedroom of Greater Grand Crossing home / ABC.

The last above is a frequent type of headline we see almost daily now. And when we think about 2020, we have seen months and months of worldwide protests, rioting, looting, random violence, stabbings, and shootings.

In recent months US Marshals have arrested hundreds of people related to human and child sex trafficking. Crime and murder is up all across the United States.

The mystery of lawlessness: A time of evil

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”

–2 Thessalonians 2:7 (King James Version)

For comparison, is helpful to consider other translations of this verse.

“For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.”

(New International Version)

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.”

(English Standard Version)

The late Catholic priest Malachi Martin (d.1999), who worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and was a prolific author of fact-based religious fiction, spoke about the mystery of iniquity during an interview with the late Art Bell (d.2018) on Coast to Coast AM, in the late 1990s. The interview can be found on YouTube.

Martin said that from time to time, God allows the actions of evil people to take its course. Martin says this explains why we see people do horrible, unthinkable things, more depraved than we have seen before in our society.

What we see in today’s headlines certainly seems to reflect Martin’s thoughts.

Understanding the mystery of iniquity and lawlessness

In the above translation of 2 Thessalonians 2:7, Bible scholar Ellicott tells us that lawlessness is a more literal translation than the word iniquity. It tells us that lawlessness is already at work in the world.

The man of lawlessness is the Antichrist. The one who holds back Satan’s complete power until the end times is God. The lawlessness is the evil and the mystery is that the evil is coming under the influence of Satan and his demons.

Ellicott refers us to another related biblical verse:

2 Thessalonians 2:3

“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” (New International version)

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” (King James version)

The man doomed to destruction, that man of sin is the Antichrist. Ellicott tells us that it is “impossible to doubt that this great opponent is the same as the ‘little horn’ of Daniel 7,” the Antichrist.

The falling away here refers to the latter times when people will abandon religion.

1 Timothy 4:1

“Now the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will abandon the faith to follow deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons.”

Putting these verses together, a time in the world where people abandon religion, rebellion and lawlessness occur, brings about the chaos that must happen prior to the entry onto the world stage of the “man of lawlessness” – the Antichrist.

And with calls to defund and take away police departments, it only furthers the ease in which evil can multiply and exacerbate.

Are we in these times described in Thessalonians and in Timothy? We might need to look no further than today’s headlines for evidence.