“Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?” (2 Thessalonians 2:5 NASB) Apostasy comes first, then the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NASB)
“And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 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.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 NASB)
The mystery of lawlessness has been active since the fall from grace. Thankfully, Satan has been restrained in his activities, and will be restrained until the one who is doing the restraining is removed. Then it is “his time.” Now some would say the Holy Spirit in believers is restraining Satan from doing his worst. When the church is raptured the “son of destruction” will no longer be restrained.
Who removed Satan’s restrictions and set a limit when Job was being tested? God. The day will come when God decides Satan will no longer be restrained. And as far as an early rapture being valid, that is contrary to Paul’s teaching in 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10. “The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him” will be the same event. Until then, Scripture tells us what “his time” will be like for both the saved and the unrepentant.
“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” Revelation 12:11-13 NASB)
To be continued