Years ago, at the ranch, many of the ranch hands were standing around after lunch complaining about the ranch foreman. One of the hands couldn’t speak English or Spanish well, so he didn’t participate in the discussion. However, when the complaints died down, he finally spoke. He said, “Die one, comin’ two more.” In other words, if you get rid of this foreman, the next two behind him will be just like him.
I was in a communist country visiting with a friend of mine. He said that communism controls the people by fear. In his country, the people had begun to lose their fear of the communists. Citizens were beginning to rebel in hopes of getting the communists out. He told me that if they succeed, what they end up with will be far worse than what they currently have. When he tells people this, they don’t believe him.
In Is 14:29 we read that Israel was not to rejoice when the rod that smote them was broken. Out of the serpent’s root comes forth a cockatrice and from him a fiery flying serpent. As you can see, things are going to get much worse before they get better. When they kill the antichrist, for instance, out comes the devil.
You see other examples of this increasing apostasy in the Bible. Notice the beasts in Dan 7. Beginning in Dan 7:3 we find a lion, then a bear, and then a leopard. These three beasts are followed by a “dreadful and terrible” beast that breaks in pieces and stamps the residue with its feet. It has ten horns. Then a little horn with eyes and a mouth speaking great things comes up. The interpretation of this vision is in Dan 7:17-27. These beasts are four kings. The little horn that comes up on the fourth beast will make war with the saints and prevail. He will wear them out until Jesus comes and takes away his dominion and destroys him to set up his everlasting kingdom.
In Dan 8:3-12, we find a ram that conquers everything in its path. Then a he goat arises and overthrows the ram and takes his kingdom. The he goat eventually has a little horn that becomes exceeding great. He magnifies himself against the host of heaven, casting some of them to the ground. He also magnifies himself against the Lord and the daily sacrifice and he casts the truth down to the ground. According to the interpretation in Dan 8:19-25, the ram represents the kings of Media and Persia, the he goat represents the king of Grecia, and the little horn is a king of fierce countenance. He shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. He stands up against the Prince of princes (Jesus) but he will be broken without hand.
The pattern is the same. The first kings are great and powerful. But they are followed by more powerful and more dreadful kings who eventually take their fight directly to the Lord. As the ranch hand said, “Die one, comin’ two more.” You can’t do anything to stop this pattern.
In 2 Thes 2:3-10, the mystery of iniquity is currently at work. The revelation of the man of sin who is behind this iniquity is being withheld by the men who are currently in power. As you should expect, these rulers are becoming increasingly powerful and dreadful. They flatter with their lips and speak of peace. But they are “terrible.” As things get worse and worse, “that Wicked” will eventually “be revealed” and he will shew “himself that he is God.” He takes his fight directly to God. He will work with all power and signs and lying wonders. And he will deceive all those who love not the truth.
So, take a lesson from this study. Until Jesus comes, if you get rid of one wicked ruler, the ruler who takes his place will be worse. You are completely powerless to stop this progression. We don’t mean to discourage you. As Paul said in 2 Thes 2:2, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled.” However, we must recognize the truth, “Die one, comin’ two more.” That’s just the way it is.