The Men (and Women) of Lawlessness are a diverse group that share a common goal: lawlessness.
Don't be deceived, lawlessness doesn't necessarily mean "no laws." Lawlessness can also be a state of such restrictive or burdensome laws that the laws are not followed.
The Men (and Women) of Lawlessness do not like the straight and narrow, a path that is simple and not confusing, a level playing field. The Men (and Women) of Lawlessness prefer the extremes:
- No laws (or regulations)
- Too many, too complex, and/or too strict laws (or regulations)
Why do these people like the lawless state? Typically it's because they have a conflict of interest. Most often it's because they have financial interests they wish to protect.
In a state of no laws or regulations, they can act as they please. There is no oversight. They are their own law and can bully anyone in any way they wish. Some are bullies (think Thug Addicts), but some Men (and Women) of Lawlessness are not physical bullies, they're more like psychological bullies, or they have others do their dirty work.
On the other hand there is a state of too many, too complex, and/or too strict laws or regulations. In this state there could be oversight, but often those who are in charge of enforcement and regulation are either overburdened or easily corrupted. Another reason the Men (and Women) of Lawlessness opt for Byzantine laws is it presents huge hurdles which can keep out competition; also known as barriers to entry.
How Does This Relate to Prohibition?
Simple, drug prohibition is the latter which leads to the former. In other words, drug prohibition is so restrictive, the laws are ignored by many people, thus leading to the black market which is a state of no laws.
Similar to the situation with Thug Addicts, those pressing for this lawless state are on both sides. There are some (percentages currently unknown) in law enforcement who hate the thought of prohibition going away; through prohibition they hold jobs where they can act above the law and get paid for it!
Cartels, dealers, gangs, and some others, are also members of the Men (and Women) of Lawlessness. Since they enjoy obscene profits from selling drugs they have no interest in prohibition being repealed and replaced with a system of legalization and regulation, where drugs are not dispensed by gangs or dealers, but are in the hands of responsible adults. Many of them love skulking around, the feeling of being outside the law, the cat and mouse games, gun fights, car chases, etc… Thus this group strongly overlaps with Thug Addicts. But not all Men (and Women) of Lawlessness are Thug Addicts. And I am pretty sure that not all cartel members, drug dealers, or gang members are Men (and Women) of Lawlessness, but my guess is a significant portion is.
There is historical basis for this group, and it's been mentioned in prophecy. In the New Testament a guy named Paul points to just one "Man of Lawlessness," but both Peter and John refer to multiple persons. So what should you believe? Well, you have to figure that out for yourself. :-) But my perspective is even if there is a principal "Man of Lawlessness," for sure there are lots of Men (and Women) of Lawlessness accomplices.
Here is a sampling of relevant texts.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 (NIV)
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?
And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.
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. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
2 Peter 3:3-4, 17 (NIV)
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.
1 John 3:1-11 (NIV)
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
Then there's the book called Revelation. Without going into too much detail, there are a handful of nasties specifically mentioned. It's not really clear which one, if any, is what Paul refers to as the Man of Lawlessness. Check out Revelation 13 and you'll find 3 or 4 (depending on how you count) evil beings. First there's a dragon by a sea. There's the beast that comes out of the sea. Then there's the beast that comes out of the earth. That beast sets up an image, and idol, and makes it appear to be alive. Then in Revelation 17 there is a woman who is mentioned.
A Quick Look at a Paragraph of Paul
Let's take another look at this paragraph:
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. — 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (NIV).
It's totally obvious to me that I will be accused of being a rebel by some Men (and Women) of Lawlessness, some High Priests of Assigning Permanent Shame, some of the Holier-Than-Thou-Congregation, and the False Prophets of Prohibition. But the facts are that those who've made and cling to the Damn God to HELL for Making These Plants list — which is just one of the fruit of the Drug War Tree — are the rebels. It is they who are forcing a recent, and man-made tradition on humanity and destroying the planet. It is us drug policy reformers who are working to bring healing, remove shame, and set the captives free; the prohibitionists are the ones whose tactics spread HIV/AIDs, shame, and imprison others for man-made reasons. Read about the differences yourself.
There is still time to repent. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!