| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 202 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
(2) The Holy Spirit. Some evangelical expositors adopt this view, but when one asks
what Scriptural support exists for it, one is met with a blank, for there is none. It is
assumed that when the Church is raptured, the Holy Spirit departs from the earth, but if
this is true, it means that believer such as the faithful Jewish remnant, who will have to
live through this dread period, are left without the Holy Spirit's aid! The Lord Jesus
described it as a time of `great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of
the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days had been shortened, no
flesh would have been saved' (Matt. 24: 21, 22 R.V). In other words, it is the most
terrible and desperate time of trouble in all the world's history. If ever those who
determine to be faithful whatever the cost, even life itself, will need the Holy Spirit, it is
at such a time. We reject such an interpretation as completely lacking in Scriptural
support and unthinkable.
(3) The Jewish State. B. B. Warfield adopts this view. He writes:
"So soon as the Jewish apostasy was complete and Jerusalem given over to the
Gentiles . . . . . the separation of Christianity from Judaism, which had already begun,
became evident to every eye; the conflict between the new faith and heathenism,
culminating in and now alive almost only in Emperor-worship, became intense; and the
persecuting power of the empire was inevitably let loose." (Biblical and Theological
But, as we have seen, the bulk of the Jewish nation was no restrainer of evil, very
much the opposite, `All the day long did I spread out my hands unto a disobedient and
gainsaying people' (Rom. 10: 21 R.V.) is God's comment on Israel's attitude to him and
His attitude to them during the Acts period.
There is yet another interpretation of this difficult passage which has the merit of
finding the explanation in the words of Scripture, which after all is the only safe way.
First of all let us note that the verb translated `withhold' in verse 6 and `let' in verse 7 is
the same in the Greek and is katecho. The R.V. renders it in each case `restrain'.
Katecho means `to hold firmly, to hold fast', and occurs nineteen times in the N.T. We
have not space to quote in full each of these references, but we give a representative
selection, leaving it to the searcher for truth to investigate all of them by means of a
"Who hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1: 18).
"Being dead wherein we were held" (Rom. 7: 6).
"And yet possessing all things" (II Cor. 6: 10).
"Hold fast that which is good" (I Thess. 5: 21).
"Whom I would have retained with me" (Philemon 13).
"If we hold fast the confidence" (Heb. 3: 6).
"If we hold the beginning" (Heb. 3: 14).
"Let us hold fast the profession" (Heb. 10: 23).
"Hold fast" is therefore a good rendering of this Greek word. But we may ask `what
is it that holds fast the man of sin, and who is it that holds something fast' (verse 7), for
katecho is a transitive verb and must have an object. It is omitted by the Figure Ellipsis