The Ascendancy Of Evil

Commentary by Jack Kelley

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 (2 Thes 2:7).

The number of emails I receive from people who are discouraged, frustrated, even despondent, is steadily increasing. They point to current conditions in the world and wonder how much worse things can get.

You no longer have to be an astute observer to notice how rapidly our world is changing. It wasn’t that long ago when the standard measure was a comparison between what was acceptable to people in their time with what was acceptable in their grandparents’ time. Now we only have to compare what’s currently acceptable with what was acceptable just a few years ago to see measurable change. Not only are things changing, but the rate of change is accelerating.

A person with discernment can’t help but see a supernatural component in all this. It’s true that the heart of man is incurably wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) but these days society seems to be under a compulsion to see just how wicked they can become. All around us we see God’s Laws being conspicuously broken, His word being stifled, and His people, both Jewish and Christian, being persecuted. It’s like it doesn’t matter how twisted something is, as long as it’s a slap in God’s face, it’s bound to catch on.

This obviously couldn’t be happening without man’s active participation, but I’m becoming convinced there’s more to it than a natural progression of things. I think there’s growing evidence of a malevolent power accelerating this and to me that means the time during which the restrainer holds back the secret power of lawlessness (2 Thes. 2:7) is rapidly drawing to a close.

That Day Should Not Surprise You

If you keep up with Christian or even conservative news instead of just relying on the main stream media, none of what I’m describing is new to you. You’ve already seen the increase in frequency and intensity of the the things Jesus called “birth pangs” in Matt. 24:4-8. And you’re aware of the same kind of destructive changes taking place in society.

As one example among many, our country was founded primarily on principles of religious freedom, but today, of all the religions practiced in America, only Christians are seeing their freedom of expression restricted.  Laws have already been passed that limit our right to adhere to Biblical principles and more are coming. These laws began with prohibiting school prayer, then municipalities were made to stop erecting Christmas displays. These laws have gotten progressively more restrictive until now individual Christians risk being prosecuted simply for living according to their beliefs.

The Bible tells us we can expect these trends to continue. Speaking of the time before the rapture, Jesus had this to say to the Church,

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name”(Rev. 3:8).

At the end of the Age the commendation Jesus will have for the Church is even though we have little strength, we have kept His word and have not denied His name. The Greek word translated “strength” also means “power, or ability.” As the end of our time here approaches we will no longer have much influence in the world, but we will have kept His word and not denied His name. For that He promised two blessings for us.

I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you (Rev. 3:9).

A large component of Christianity believes that when Israel rejected the Messiah they gave up any right to the future promises God had made to them, and those promises were transferred to the Church. This belief is called supersessionism or replacement theology, and is the reason why many Christians believe the Church is now spiritual Israel, heirs to Israel’s destiny. Supersessionists believe the very existence of Israel in our time is in defiance of God’s word.

But Jesus said these people are liars and He would make them bow down at our feet and admit that He loves us.

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth (Rev. 3:10).

The Lord also promised that because we’ve kept His command to endure patiently, He will keep us from the hour of trial that’s coming upon the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

The hour of trial refers to the end times judgments of Daniel’s 70th Week, the only time since the Great Flood when the Lord will subject the whole world to a judgment. And right now is the only time since He said that when all the signs we’ve been given to alert us to this coming judgment are in some stage of fulfillment. The Greek word translated “from” in Rev. 3:10 means “out of the time, place, or cause” of the end times judgments. We won’t be here when they happen and we won’t be here where they happen, because we’re not the reason they’ll be happening.

This Too Shall Pass?

Many people see the times in which we live as a temporary situation. They think if we just humble ourselves and pray, the Lord will preserve us through them and then everything will go back to being OK again.

But the Bible speaks of a time when that won’t be the case. At the end of the age the world will be subject to a series of judgments unlike any other and if the Lord didn’t return at the appointed time not a single human would survive them (Matt. 24:22). All indications are that we aren’t approaching one of the temporary periods of hard times we’re used to, but literally the end of the world as we know it.

One of the signs that this is true is that the world will suddenly become more rebellious toward God and the love of people toward one another will turn cold. Paul said, “There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim. 3:1-5)

This alone tells us that evil is on the ascendancy and we’re not just going through a temporary rough patch but are headed straight for the time of judgment.

And that means two things; 1) Born again Christians are going to become less and less comfortable here, and 2) the time of our departure is drawing near.

Jesus said His Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36) and that means we who are part of His kingdom are not of this world either. Paul said our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20). When Jesus comes for us, He won’t be coming to be with us here where we are, He will be coming to take us to be with him in His Father’s house where He is (John 14:2-3).

I believe one purpose of this ascendancy of evil is to divest us of all our misguided notions that this world is our home. It never has been our home, and it never will be. If it has been a pleasant place for us, that’s just a measure of God’s Grace. And if it’s steadily becoming less so, that’s an indication that our stay here is just about over. In the meantime our prayer should not be that God will make this world more comfortable for us, but that He would hasten to take us to our real home, where we will enjoy every conceivable comfort forever.

One of the Lord’s great promises to us is that when we see all these signs of the end times judgments begin to happen we should stand up and lift up our heads because our redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28). That means every advance of evil in the world brings the day of our departure that much closer.

I’m not saying that we should celebrate the ascendancy of evil in the world. But I am saying that it shouldn’t come as a surprise to us that all this is happening (1 Thes. 5:4). It’s something the Bible has warned us about and its arrival is one more sign that our time here is drawing to a close, and we’ll be going home soon. Therefore encourage one another with these words (1 Thes. 4:18). You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah 05-09-15.

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  • Pete Garcia

    Funny, I submitted my article this morning, and just now read yours tonight, but we both are on the same topic. Even using a lot of the same verses. This is confirmation in my spirit, that Gods warning is getting clearer.

  • Robert Gianamore

    Great article. I’ve been bothered by the increase in turmoil too and why He hasn’t dropped the hammer yet. He reminded me of His great patience and His purpose that no one should perish but that all should come to the knowledge of the saving grace of His Son. Minutes before I read your timely article, I read Jimmy DeYoung’s daily article and he used Rev 3:10 as the verse for discussion. No question in my mind that He is in control.

  • George

    Good morning Jack, Karen and I just finished our daily reading of you posts and as usual they are spot on. I have given the address to the members of my seniors Sunday school class, however some of them don’t have internet access. Do you mind if I print and share your wisdom with them? Again, thank you so much for your wonderful insight into the scriptures. George

  • What’s crazy is that the world feels they are not getting worse, but better. It seems everywhere I turn they are praising themselves for being themselves. There can never be a better you mentality. While us Christians can see clearly, they are twisted.

  • Ddenney1

    AMEN!!! The sooner the better for me!

  • mike

    I think more believers need to be reminded that this is not our home. Thank you.

  • winman18

    I fully agree, just led a Bible study making the exact same points.

  • PAorangeburg

    Yes if we are paying attention this article just affirms reality and is a no brainer.

  • jn31675

    I’m just so tired of living in fear! I imagine our brothers and sisters being persecuted in other countries feel the same way. I just read an article of a family with 10 kids being taken from their home in Kentucky, just for living “off the grid”. I just want to be in heaven with my kids where they are safe and have the Prince of Peace rule!

  • ProudVeteran

    As believers in God/Jesus, our road may have speed bumps to hit in life. But for the non-believer they are just driving blind with no real direction in life and inevitably will crash and burn for their rejection to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Very sad to even think of.

  • Jessica

    I think that a lot of Christians are having the same thoughts about the days becoming more wicked, yet we talk about the Rapture more and long for His return. As children we loved playing outdoors, going to the park, going to the local swimming pool, etc. Now we are no longer in love with this world but are more focused on the world that God promised us. I catch myself looking heavenly more often and wishing that I could see my Father soon. Come Father, we are waiting.

  • gracethrufaith

    Teach them the truth, because the truth is the antidote for discouragement.

  • c u @ d rapture…soon(er)

  • Misty Coplen

    It’s kinda crazy all this happening. I published a book called “Terrorist” that basically pins Christians as the new national threat and the very first line is John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you
    might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you
    ask in my name the Father will give you.” This is my favorite scripture. It is the one I hold on to these days because the world has become so cruel. I hold on to the fact that He has me. He chose me and that I was called to be His. And it’s interesting how the last words of my book are “Come Home.”

    I’m not going to lie. This scares me greatly, knowing how bad the world is going to get. I think of my family that doesn’t believe and I think of how unworthy I am. This article made me cry. It simply reminds me as I am sure it reminds a lot of us, that we don’t belong here. Jesus said it himself “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” John 15:18 – I want to thank you for your articles. They help me and speak to my heart giving me the confirmation I need- Thank you Jack Kelley

  • Marcos_Brazil

    Satan is actively promoting the gnostic lie that there is a better world just around the corner. Many people are believing in him. Transhumanism, people living forever, free energy, trips to Mars, mind power…it is amazing what people will believe, even when everything is falling apart all around them.

    • John Byde

      Good point. It really struck me with all the blurb about the Mars trip being planned. Another form of escapism. People really are deluded.

  • Child of the Risen King

    Amen, brother Edwin! The exact thing has happened to me and my husband. The Lord “woke” us up about 6 months ago. We’ve been believers for a while, but were sadly slumbering in the world. We meant well by going to church, praising God in an orchestrated way, going home and admiring our meticulously beautifully decorated home, watching taped entertainment shows on DVR.
    Well, to cut a long story short, God led us down a path that opened our eyes to the world (matrix) we were really living in, and there’s been no turning back ever since. The more we shed our materials desires/idols (we’ve literally begun selling our lovely house decor), the more we see and grow closer to Him. We’re praying constantly and in the Word daily now. We go about our days looking up because He’s coming soon. We desire Him so much that we can barely contain our excitement at the thought of seeing Him. Thank you for sharing your testimony. I pray that other members of the Bride will be inspired to stop conforming, and start sanctifying themselves for our coming Savior. I praise His holy name, forever and ever!
    In Christ,

    • Edwin Roman

      Thanks for the reply, Leonie. My situation is a little different because my wife is still trying to live the good things the we have in this life. The biggest is our 2 girls. She still hasn’t realized that not being able to see them grow up and accomplish everything that they can be is a tiny price to pay for being in His presence. I’m looking forward to meet them in heaven and see how they turn out. I guess that I’m more practical. On the other hand, she has been evangelizing much longer than I have, so I know that she will be ecstatic when we find ourselves “up there”. We may not know when it will happen but it will happen. That is what keeps me going. See you and your husband there.

      • Child of the Risen King

        Hi Brother Edwin, I sent up a word of prayer to our Father that He would completely open your wife’s spiritual eyes, so she will see that all our treasures are in the Kingdom of Heaven. Praise God that she already redeemed. Hallelujah!
        Jesus is calling and plucking His bride out of the world. When He awakened me, the story of Lot’s wife came strongly to my mind, and I did not want to end up like her.
        The end of the 6th millennium is just around the corner, so He’s coming real soon to pick us up. That is no longer just a cliche

    • Keyosha Holmes

      Praise Jesus! God bless you!

      • Child of the Risen King

        Yes, yes Keyosha… Praise His Holy Precious Name! May the Almighty bless you too…Hallelujah!

  • Ron

    Have faith, David. I too sense a tremendous evil that is growing stronger. Three times recently, I have had a presence enter my bedroom and threaten my spirit with its’ malevolence. I called upon our Savior, who is always with us and the evil fled. The Lord is our mighty God.

  • Keyosha Holmes

    Everytime I see or hear about all the chaos and terrible things happening, I always say the Bible is being fulfilled and that the signs are evident…Jesus is on His way…glory to God!

    • John Byde

      You’re right, Keyosha! We’re human and get scared, but we have to remember that all this has to pass before the Great Day. Blessings to you!

  • D. Kalley

    I don’t enjoy going out anymore, people are unfriendly and if you look at anybody for a second to long, a fight may ensue over nothing.
    I feel sorry for girls and women, MTV and the movies have sold them out – they are being portayed as women who are gagging for it, if that’s not enough there are plenty of websites that will help you hook up for a 1 night stand with no strings attached, thus promoting new sexually transmitted diseases.
    As if all this isn’t bad enough, our news services are trying to say that all religions are the same, there’s no difference between, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddism etc.

    P.S. Ireland recently passed a loaw recognizing same sex marriages.

  • John Byde

    Caryn, yes, having kids can seem like having hostages to fortune in this child-hating world. We’ve got 4 and counting. However, I think there is no need for parents to be down. Children are an absolute blessing and a daily reminder of the grace God bestows on us. We try and bring ours up in the ways of God, have a lot of fun together and pray all the time. We face the future with great confidence and know that Jesus will look after us. Bring it on!