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Holding Back Iniquity

Incessant assaults against all that used to be considered saneness and biblical holiness brings into focus a particular end-times Scripture.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:12–13)

The word “iniquity” is defined as “lawlessness” in scriptural terms. Jesus Christ was saying in His Olivet Discourse that one of the primary markers of the very end of the age would be an increase in lawlessness.

Because of this, He said, the love of many inhabitants of earth would grow cold. But those who will endure to the end will be saved.

Now we have some serious dissecting to do to “rightfully divide” this truth, as God’s Word directs us to do.

We don’t have to go too much in-depth to understand the kind of lawlessness the Lord was warning about. We see it abounding within activity and actions no matter which direction we look.

However, the term “lawlessness” can, I believe, be broken down into both the physical realm and the spiritual. And the two often overlap. I will try to make clear my meaning.

A number of my great friends in prophecy ministry and I wrote a book in recent years that had at its heart the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 24:12–13. The book, perhaps you will remember, had the title LAWLESS: The End Times War Against the Spirit of Antichrist.

I can do no better than to recount what I wrote about the book effort those few years ago:

Today, chaos and turmoil inflame daily life within the fever of uncertainty. Geopolitical, cultural, and societal upheaval rip at the heart of America and the world.

Much of humanity is in a state of uncontrollable anger, while an infinitesimally small enemy—visible only under powerful microscopes—holds populations in its fear-paralyzing, pandemic grip.

LAWLESS: The End-Times War Against the Spirit of Antichrist is an intensely focused volume that answers questions about what’s really going on in these volatile, inexplicably strange times.

What does it all mean? Why such a divide? Why such anger and hatred? People want to know answers, and the answer is spiritual. It’s all there in Bible prophecy. The tumult altogether constitutes a major indicator of how near we are to the end of this age—the Age of Grace.

I said above that the term “lawlessness” can be broken down into both the physical realm and the spiritual. And the two often overlap. Again, as promised, I will try to make clear my meaning.

The iniquity–the lawlessness—abounding in every direction is physical. By that, I mean our very way of life is more and more affected by the insidious and more overt assaults.

For example, within cities governed by leftist officials, Christian groups have, while peacefully and legally protesting in authorized areas outside abortion clinics, been physically attacked by thugs–some paid by anti-God forces bent on changing America to fit their Marxist blueprint. Law enforcement and judicial offices have allowed these attacks in a growing number of cases –without action being taken against the attackers.

Additionally, the peaceful Right to Life protesters have themselves been prosecuted by the so-called justice system. This sort of lawlessness is taking place in an increasing number of instances, while violent protests by the likes of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa, as well as other lawless groups, perpetrate anarchic destruction without suffering consequences of their iniquitous actions.

On the spiritual side of the lawless equation, school boards in these leftist-run districts, for example, institute rules that go against biblical commands. These declare Christian values to have no place within today’s culture and society. They stack the school board panels with those who champion the LGTBQ+, etc., agenda. They even have managed to get the FBI involved in charging parents who oppose such anti-God activity with being domestic terrorists worthy of fines and even incarceration.

And this is where the physical and spiritual iniquity–the lawlessness—overlap. We see this in story after story of how not only older children, but very young ones as well, are affected and infected by the spirit of lawlessness –the Antichrist spirit, as John the apostle said was prevalent even in his time.

Iniquity is indeed abounding, and wickedness is bleeding from the governing authority into the religious entities that purport to represent Christianity. The following gives a clue as to what all this has wrought.

Pastor Andy OIiver…in a children’s sermon Oct. 2, 2022, with drag queen “Ms. Penny Cost” at Allendale United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida…

“We have a special guest,” Oliver told the children.

“Are you always dressed up like this?” the pastor asked.

“I wish!” replied the drag queen, Isaac Simmons, who is undergoing the process to become ordained in the United Methodist Church. (Art Moore, “Renewal of our minds: Church features drag queen in kids’ sermon; Pastor applies Romans 12:2 to approval of transvestism,” WND, October 12, 2022)

One can only imagine the lawlessness that will abound in the nation and world beginning the second after believers leave the planet when Christ calls (1 Corinthians 15: 51–55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; Revelation 4:1–2).

The Holy Spirit’s restraining influence is the glue holding together any civility and order the Lord is seeing fit to continue in this quickly darkening moment in human history. Can there be any doubt that love is disappearing as these wicked times continue to allow hatred for God and fellow man to intensify?

About the prophetic statement within Matthew 24:12–13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”: I believe it might have dual meaning. First, that those alive at the end of the Age of Grace (Church Age) who are believers will be saved (physically) from entering the Tribulation to come. Second, those who accept Christ during the Tribulation and live to the end of that seven years of horror will be brought safely (physically) into the Millennium at Christ’s return.

You don’t want to be on this judgment-bound sphere when the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit) –and all Christians He indwells—departs the earth in that spectacular event called the Rapture.

Here is how to avoid being left behind.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9–10)


  1. Ed Wood says:

    Isaiah {5:20} Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! {5:21} Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! {5:22} Woe unto [them that are] mighty to drink
    wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: {5:23} Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

    Let’s see . . . sexual perversion legalized and praised, even to kids in churches and schools; cops de-funded and disrespected while violent criminals are paroled and suspects of serious crimes are released without bail; churches adopting, with open arms, the doctrines of men and demons, while repudiating the doctrines of God; various types of drug use legalized; graft, corruption, and fraud becoming standard operating procedure in politics; people forced into taking experimental vaccines of questionable effectiveness and safety without informed consent (a direct violation of the Nuremberg Code) . . . yep, it looks to me like the world of 2022 is a perfect match for Isaiah’s vision of a society in total moral inversion, as well as replicating the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:26-36).

    I think that what Jesus said in Luke {21:28} can apply to our present situation along with all the other signs he listed earlier in Chapter 21 of Luke’s gospel:

    “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

  2. Dave Michaelson says:

    Ed Wood hit the nail on the head with Isaiah 5:20 verses. Regarding Terry James commentary on Mathew 24; I think of the Apostle John in Revelation given a glimpse of future events during the Tribulation-maybe even the last 3.5 yrs when things are most trying on men’s heart and soul. And his astonishment at the innumerable souls he sees coming out of the Tribulation, then asking who are these people? That alone tells me how great will be those who confess outwardly the name of Jesus-whom they either ignored heretofore or were simply not believers! It must be in the hundreds of million-perhaps even more than a billion people will be those Tribulation Saints. How astounding is that- I mean think about it, that is a significant portion of those people that probably will die from 1 sort or another the Bible describes as the Bowls & Judgements poured out on the inhabitants of the earth. I personally don’t think the majority of these Saints are ‘survivors’ from the Tribulation, but rather those who were beheaded for Christ’s witnessing, or died from some plague, famine, nuclear annihilation etc. Simply because we are told of the incredible numbers of those who will lose their life in Tribulation-something like one-quarter, then one-third of the earth’s population will have died!

    • Ed Wood says:

      Thanks, Dave.

      Unfortunately, how many even of “church goers” ever read Isaiah, or would even believe him if they did?

      I liked your reflections regarding the vast number of Trib saints who were willing to give their very lives for their faith in Jesus. Really, how many believers would go that far today? But, then again, how many stood with Jesus when he was being hauled away after Judas betrayed him? Of course, they all did so later at the cost of their lives, except John, to whom Jesus’ Revelation was revealed while he was at the penal colony of Patmos.

      As I consider all of this, I honestly have to wonder if I would make the ultimate sacrifice myself if it came down to that. I’d like to think so. But no sense fooling myself, in the face of death, would I really have courage enough to make my stand for Jesus at that time?

      Based on the vast numbers of them in heaven that John saw, most of those who do come to Christ post-Trib will themselves face that very thing and WILL have that courage to make their stand.

  3. Dave Michaelson says:

    I agree Ed! I don’t think I would have had the internal fortititude(you know what I mean)to publicly protest Christ’s crucifixion if I were alive then! We all are concerned more with our mortal security than risk humiliation, much less death! Rather we should all be more concerned with our Spiritual security otherwise known as our future eternity and where we will spend it! But most, I think, don’t ‘rationalize’ it that way. In fact, so many believe this is all there is-our earthly realm-so live your best life today as they say. Sad, so many are of this philosophy and thus have NO Hope!

    • Ed Wood says:

      Never could understand why people don’t believe in God just don’t find a cliff to jump off. I mean, what’s the point to living if when you’re just gonna end up being recycled back into the environment, anyway? Maybe for them, it is just for the “pleasures of the moment,” but based on my observations, there are a lot more un-pleasurable times down here than the opposite.

      Personally, that cliff has even looked pretty tempting to me more than once over the past nearly 70 years, even though I am a believer. Only that has kept me from taking the leap because I know that, ultimately, the situation is not hopeless, maybe there’s still something left God wants me to accomplish (I still have no idea what THAT might be!), and that there is a future more wondrous than I can imagine up ahead.

      So, be it the Rapture or natural causes, at my age I suspect I won’t have that long a wait.

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