26 Feb 2024

This Thing Called Iniquity

The finiteness of the human brain can be most frustrating. Infinite questions sometimes rumble around in fruitless searches and, of course, find no answers.

One such imponderable question, comprising several others that encircle that primary quandary, is: From whence comes the thing called iniquity?

Yes. There is, of course, a definition of the term, as there is for all other words within dictionaries of the world. But we don’t ask: “What” is iniquity? We are living through it! We can see it manifest in every direction we look on today’s horizon of egregious activity. We know “what” it is. What we want to know is: “From where does all that evil, that wickedness that the term defines come?”

As believers in the inerrant Word of God, the Bible, we look there to find out the only information there is about this infinite term and the question posed that befuddles the finite apparatus of human thinking –the brain. We look here for ultimate answers to life because the Word of God –the Bible—comes from the Mind of the Creator of all things. His Answers ARE the answers we desire and the ones we can absolutely take as 100% Truth.

Therefore, we have to look at the thing called iniquity through the Perfect Prism, which is the Word of God.

God, the Creator of all that is, Created everything Perfectly. God cannot make mistakes, just like He cannot tell a lie. He is Absolute Truth. His Son, Who Created all that is, is the Way, the Truth, and the Life…

So, if God can do no wrong and Creates only Perfectly, from where comes this most perplexing thing God’s Word calls iniquity? Here is where that blasphemous evil term first appears, disrupting God’s Perfection.

“Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyros, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:12-15).

Isaiah the prophet next describes the mind-boggling moment iniquity was found in Lucifer.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isa 14:12-14).

Iniquity was possibly first found in Lucifer, maybe the Apex Angel of God’s Creation, in considering Heaven’s Angelic Order. I say “possibly” and “maybe” because there are things of the Eternal Sphere that the finite mind is neither privy to nor can grasp. I.e., the thing called iniquity could have been interjected into being earlier, and there might be an Angel above Lucifer’s Heavenly Status; we just can’t know at this time. We can know only what God’s Word illumines for now. We might know at some time in the Eternal future when we will be like Him.

“Thou wast perfect in thy ways,” Ezekiel tells in speaking to Lucifer. He was blameless, as given for the term perfect in other translations. Repeatedly, the designation perfect is translated as “without defect” (Leviticus 1:3, 10; 3:1, 6, 4:3, 23, 28, 32; 5:15, 18, etc.) The word perfect or blameless is used to describe God once, but the majority of the time, it describes humans. The perfect God created all beings, angelic and human, in perfection. God’s inerrant Word clearly shows that God created everything that was created only in Perfect order.

This Truth magnifies the thing called iniquity and its strange, inexplicable entrance into that perfect order. It is a thing beyond finite understanding or explanation.

To begin, we acknowledge God’s absolute Sovereignty. That is, He is Omnipotent and Omniscient, and, of course, Omnipresent. He answers to no one and is governed only by His Own Holy Righteousness.

However, our finite minds are equipped with fertile imagination, and I think it is not counter to God’s Holy Will to use imagination to pose a possible, even most likely, probability regarding this thing called iniquity.

He has chosen to let us know that the evil that is now saturating His once Perfect Creation came to be through the thing called iniquity. It first entered, so far as He has chosen to let us know, when it entered the perfectly created Majestic Angel Lucifer.

The manifestation of iniquitous behavior was in the form of Pride that welled within this glorious creature, who determined that he was equal or even greater than his Creator. Lucifer, then, obviously was Granted by God the Creator, the ability to choose. He was given volition.

The most likely reason for granting this, considering the matters involved from this weak, finite brain function, is that God wants His Creation –whether Angels or humankind, to have the freedom and the ability to have free will…volition. He didn’t want robots that had no choice in the matter of obeying Him.

Obedience, in God’s Order of things, equates to love. Jesus, Who is God, said to those who would follow Him: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

In Jonathan Brentner’s and my new book, HEREAFTER: It’s Far Better Than You Imagine, we scripturally document that Eternity in Heaven with God Forever will be populated only by those who love Him. There will be no more sin infection from which came into God’s Perfect Creation this mysterious evil called iniquity.

To be among that population, Perfected like those Reconciled with God the Father through God the Son, you and I must obey the instructions given by Jesus, Who is the very Word of God (John 1:1). Here is what that Word commands/instructs in order to be in Glory Forever:

“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).



Countdown to the Tribulation

As a lifelong student of Bible prophecy and a close observer of current events, I’m surprised that the Rapture has not yet happened. So many signs point to the nearness of the Tribulation and conditions described in Revelation 6:1-8 with the release of the riders of the apocalypse. However, we still wait for the time when we will meet Jesus in the air.

Even a secular organization, which goes by the name of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, recognizes the nearness of the catastrophic events of the Day of the Lord. On January 23, 2024, they reset their “Doomsday Clock” at ninety seconds to midnight.

As a young child, I loved watching rockets take off, carrying their occupants to outer space. I remember the disappointment I felt when the countdown paused or even stopped to another day.

I believe that from our limited perspective, the countdown to the Day of the Lord has paused. In spite of the myriad of signs pointing to the start of the seven-year Tribulation, it seems as though time stands still for those of us excitedly awaiting Jesus’ appearing.

For the world, the seconds on the “Doomsday Clock” remain fixed at ninety seconds.

As we wait, it’s important to keep in mind at least a couple of things:

  1. The Restrainer

With each passing month, the words of 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 become increasingly relevant to our day:

“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. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.”

The Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, and His presence within true believers is currently holding back the full expression of evil and lawlessness, which will happen when the antichrist appears on the world scene. This doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit will cease to be active on the earth after the Rapture, only that His current work of restraining the “man of lawlessness” will end.

For the past several decades, world leaders have expressed their earnest desire to establish a two-state solution to the turmoil in the Middle East. Past U.S. presidents have promoted the faulty notion that giving the Palestinians a nation of their own will establish peace. Currently, rumors abound that the Biden administration might seek a UN resolution to force such a solution upon Israel.

Other world leaders have also offered similar proposals, but there’s never been a time when both sides have agreed to any resolution, and does it seem likely to happen any time soon?

Why have all these attempts failed? 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 gives us the answer. The ultimate peace accord cannot happen until after the Rapture and the antichrist brokers the deal. Daniel 9:27 tells us that he will succeed in establishing peace for Israel, albeit for a brief time.

I suspect that Israel’s current war, which shows no sign of ending, may later play a role in Israel’s willingness to accept the covenant offered by the man of lawlessness. Perhaps he will allow the rebuilding of the third temple to make his offer all the more alluring. The Bible tells us that Israel will have this temple by the midpoint of the Tribulation period.

Although at times I am tempted to think that things cannot get any worse, the Bible reveals that conditions on the earth will rapidly deteriorate after the Rapture.

  1. The Lord’s Patient Warnings Regarding the Future

A realistic examination of how the Old Testament prophets described the Day of the Lord, along with the judgments described by the Apostle John in the book of Revelation, tells us that the Tribulation period will be far more horrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

Because of the many terrors that lie ahead for planet Earth, God is giving people more time to heed the warnings of what’s coming (see 2 Peter 3:8-10). Despite the tragic silence in most pulpits, the Lord is not silent today regarding the terrors that lie on the horizon for those who don’t know Him as their Savior.

I believe God intends for the symbolism behind the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse completing an X upon the U.S. to alert America to the nearness of His judgment not only upon America but the entire world. The fact that it will pass over seven U.S. cities named Nineveh only adds to the drama unfolding this Spring.

The coming solar eclipse does not tell us when God’s wrath will arrive, but it surely points to the dire consequences that surely lie ahead if America continues on its current path.

From the Father’s perspective, the clock is still ticking toward the time when He sends Jesus to take His children out of the world. He knows the very moment when He will send His Son to bring us up to glory.

Our reality, however, resembles the “Doomsday Clock” that remains paused at ninety seconds. We know that once the second hand on this clock starts moving, it will be too late for the world. Although they don’t believe the Bible, the “doomsday” that the atomic scientists have in mind eerily resembles the Day of the Lord wrath described in Scripture.

For now, we wait in eager anticipation of His appearing to take us home (John 14:1-3; Philippians 3:20-21), knowing that the Lord is currently restraining the appearing of the antichrist as He gives more time for people to heed the warnings of doom that abound all around us.