Be Dressed in Readiness 2
2 Thessalonians 2.1-13
July 9, 2016
All right. We know that Paul wrote this letter and of course the first letter to the church there at Thessalonica. He sent that first letter probably with his young assistant, Timothy. I imagine them warmly walking Timothy. He brought the answers to their questions about the last day and the encouragement from Paul, of course, to be spiritually alert and spiritually sober but when Timothy returned form that trip he brought some disturbing news for Paul. And that is that the church there at Thessalonica might have somehow got wind or got word or somehow they got the idea that the day of the Lord is already coming.
They were already living in the middle of it. See, you have to think about the context here. The church in Thessalonica was born in tremendous difficulty and trouble. In fact a mob riot ensued shortly after it was started and so the pressures and persecutions and difficulties just continued hard upon them. So, it would be very easy for someone to come and said "Yes. Well, that's because the day of the Lord is already come and we're living in the middle of that." Remember now, the church is so young. I mean, it would be easy for them to misunderstand things. They don't have the full New Testament that we have. And they were living in difficult times. It would be very easy to misunderstand. In fact, it's helpful for us to understand the gospel itself is very young. All this was written maybe only 20 years after the resurrection of Christ. So this is why having the New Testament that we do is such a huge blessing for us. These letters and all the other letters that Paul wrote to the churches and gospel accounts by the disciples and those of Luke and Mark. It strengthens our faith to have these things. They didn't. And so, therefore, Paul had to write the second letter which gives to them, of course, answers to their question, "No. The day of the Lord has not already come." And he begins to share with them the things that must take first place.
And here, he's going to give us more details about the anti-Christ and frankly, any other place that we're going to see in the Bible although there are many other references that we would put together and books could be written in regards to the anti-Christ. But we get some great detail here. He calls him the man of lawlessness, the son or perdition or the son of destruction. And so, we need ourselves to understand these things because we are living in days that are growing more dangerous by the hour, it seems. Look at what's happening in the world today. We can understand the sense of urgency that must happen upon us because the world is changing right before our eyes. Everything is changing. Nothing will ever be the same again. And so we have to understand there's a sense of urgency about these things. The world's getting more dangerous and the signs of the times are being revealed before our eyes. All right, let's read it.
2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 Verse 1. Now, we request you brethren with regard to the coming of the Lord Jesus and our gathering together to him that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as here from us to the effect that the day of the Lord has already come. Let no one in any way deceive you for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first. And we're going to look at that. And then, the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He is referring to the anti-Christ. He will oppose and exult himself above every so-called God or object of worship so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you I was telling you these things and you know what restraints him even now.
All right, so the Holy Spirit is the restraining effect or influence that holds this back. That is, until the time that he is to be revealed. There is a time for this. Or, the mystery of lawlessness or the spirit of lawlessness, you might say, is already at work, already influencing the world right now. Only he who now restraints will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of his mouth and will bring to an end by the appearance of His coming at the end of the years. That is, again, about the anti-Christ, the one who is coming is in accordance or with accord with the activity of Satan. The power and the pressure behind him will be Satan himself with all power and signs and false wonders and all the deception of wickedness for those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be said. And for this reason, God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but to pleasure in wickedness. But we should always give thanks to God for you, brother and beloved by the Lord because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the spirit and faith in the truth. You are distinctly different than that which he is describing in the world.
I. Apostasy Comes First
Now, let's go back over these verses. I particularly want to start with Verse 3 which tells us that these things must take place first and he speaks about an apostasy. An apostasy must come first. Verse 3. The day of the Lord will not come unless these comes first, the great falling away. Now, he mentions this in another place very, very clearly. He writes to his young assistant, Timothy, in 1 Timothy Chapter 4 Verse 1. The spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith paying attention to deceitful spirits and the doctrine of demons. Now, this great falling away is very important for us to discern but let's contrast that a bit to what Matthew 24 tells us because Jesus is talking about the events of the last days in Matthew 24 and He said that the gospel will be preached in the whole world and then the end will come. Now, I need someone to listen to those words and say, "Ah, the gospel is going to be preached in the whole world and then the end will come. Must mean then that there is going to be some great revival before the end." Well, Jesus said that the gospel would be preached in the whole world for a witness. It's not just a witness to the nations but also a witness against the nations. As we know that when God sends forth the gospel it is the heart of God that He sends. And it is a witness to them of the heart of God but they are to receive it. God expects them to receive it, to receive the love of the truth but when they do not, then it becomes a witness against the nations because they rejected that which God sent out of the love o his heart. One of the key examples of that would be Israel itself. Now, here's Israel, the beloved nation of Israel that God calls the apple of his eye and He sends forth His son, the only begotten son, the living Messiah is sent to them. He brings the gospel and it's a witness, of course, of God's heart to them but they did not receive it. So, therefore, it became a witness against them.
Let me give you a great verse.
This is Luke 19 Verses 41 to 44. Jesus is descending from the mount of Olives. There's a beautiful that unfolds. And when you go to Israel, hope that you have an opportunity, you always go to the Mount of Olives and descend in that same way and there's Jerusalem. You can see the whole city. Can you imagine Jesus. Here is the city of Jerusalem and the temple of Solomon, brilliant in white, marble and gold. Beautiful, brilliant in the sun. He begins to weep and the word in the Greek suggest deep sobbing kind of weeping. Jesus saw the city and wept over it saying, "If you have known, in this day, even you, the things which make for peace, for the days will come upon you when your enemies will surround you and hem you in on every side and they will not leave in you once stone upon another because you did not recognize the time of your visitation." Jesus confronted them at another point and said "You can't discern the times of the times? You can look at the sky and discern the weather." But the signs of the times were all around them. The blind received their sight, the lame walk, the deaf could hear. He could speak a word of power and lepers were healed. The dead were being raised. In fact, Lazarus was raised shortly before. He could speak the word of power and the wind and the waves obey the authority of His voice. You cannot discern the signs of the times? Not only that but they had Daniel 9 which is a very clear prophecy of scripture that indicates the exact timing of the Messiah's presentation to Israel.
They could have simply taken out their calendar and abacus and they could have known. It now became a witness against them. Yes, the gospel is going to be preached in the whole world but there will also be a great apostasy, a great falling away. In fact, if you looked and noticed a trend, there is a growing trend. Is it towards the Lord or away from the Lord? I suggest to you that this world is moving away from the Lord. In fact, there is a growing trend to mock God, there's a growing trend to mock the Christianity and the things of the Lord. What should our response be to these things? I think our response should be the same as it was at the church of Thessalonica. Difficulty, persecution, trouble, many falling away but they are persevering through the difficulty and growing stronger in their faith.
A. You be found faithful
See, in other words, here's the application. What about you? See, there's going to be a great apostasy. There's going to be a great falling away. He tells us that. What about you? He said, "You will be found faithful." Last week, we were reading in 1 Thessalonians that Paul said that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. All right, that's a famous phrase, Jesus taught us the same thing. In other words when he is not expected. The world will be seeing peace and safety and going about their business and all will seem to be going well in that regard, living their lives but then destruction will come upon them suddenly and then they will not escape. But, He also said that it will not come like a thief in the night for you because you are in the day. You are in the light. You have the gospel. You have the scripture. You have the prophecy. See, He gives us the signs of the times, the indication that the end of the age is drawing near that we might be spiritually alert and spiritually sober. He doesn't give us the year, the month, the day or the hour and I believe He doesn't do that for a reason. In fact, let me give you what Jesus says about it in Matthew 24 Verses 48 and 49. Jesus says, "If that evil servant says in his heart, "My master's not coming for a long time." Then he shall be ended, be his fellow servants. In other words, he's going to treat people badly around them because there's no accountability after all. The Lord's a long way off. And he is going to eat and drink with drunkards. Hey, let's party it up. Why not? The Lord's way off. And then that master of that servant will come on the day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know. He's telling us to be alert, be spiritually sober. Be ready. While you were waiting notice and discern the signs of the times but you, be find faithful. Be spiritually sober. He says in Matthew 24. Who then is that faithful and sensible servant whom his master put in charge of his house? Blessed is that servant whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Will he find you faithful? Will he find you about his father's business? How are you be living your life while you're waiting?
See, in Matthew 25, the next chapter, Jesus gives an analogy of that sense of anticipation and readiness and He uses a marriage as that illustration. He says "just like a bride waiting for her groom". Now, we need a little understanding of Jewish wedding to get that analogy because in Western culture a couple get engaged and then the first thing they do is to set the date. "Will you marry me?" "Oh, yes. You're so wonderful." "Okay. When do you want to get married?" "October, whatever." and then we set the date and then everybody, we call our friends, everybody knows. Mark the date in your calendar and we know the day and the hour. But in Jewish culture that time, a couple will get engaged and then the groom will go away. Well, where will he go? He will go to prepare a house, to build the house. And how long does that take? When does it finish? The bride does not know. And in fact, very interesting in Jewish wedding, the groom himself doesn't determine the day. His father decides when the house is ready and when all is set and all is ready then the father fixes the time. Even the son does not know. Don't you find that interesting? The father fixes this by his authority as being the father and he tells when the day is so the bride doesn't know and neither does the son but the son is preparing. See, it's like when Jesus said I'd go to prepare a place for you and you will come where I am. So, there's this beautiful picture for us. See, in other words, what does that bride do while she's waiting? She should be preparing her life, preparing herself. She's got this longing, this expectation. There's a beautiful picture for us.
I remember applying that to myself. I remember back when I was young and single and looking forward to being married, you know. I didn't know who I was going to marry but I know I wanted to be married but what do I do? In the meantime, a friend of mine gave me this great advice. He said, "Listen. While you are single and young and you have time in your life, now is the time to do the things to get ready. I mean, do you want to be a good husband?" "Oh I do. I want to be a good husband." "Well, then now is the time. Take advance of the opportunity that you have to be ready." That, for me, get my education, get my career going and also, it meant for me getting spiritually in a better place. I wasn't in a very good place and I began to understand I need to be. If I want to be a good husband and a good father I have to be in a better place. I was living in another city, living by myself, had this apartment and I tell you when you're living in another city and you're all by yourself it would be very easy to fall off the cliff, spiritually. Frankly, it would be. But something happened and I started feeling this revival. I read the Bible but I never really read it all. Just start reading through it, chapter by chapter. And I started to read the Bible and I found this piano, it was a beautiful grand piano and I could go and play anytime I wanted and I would go and play for hours and write love songs for my wife when I will meet her someday. All these things are happening in my life I'm getting ready. Now, I don't want you to have the impression like I have everything together. I still have plenty of things to work on as my wife would know how to point out. For example, having to do with tidiness. Come on. How often do you need to change the sheets. Can I have a witness man? Come on. And I remember we meet and we engaged and so she comes over and she's going to the kitchen and looking at the kitchen. I'm thinking, "Oh boy". And she opens the pantry and I put some potatoes in there. I don't know. Some years or months before and there's like this alien life form growing out of it. Okay, I have things to work on.
B. Possess your own vessel in honor
But the point is what do you do while you are waiting is that you're anticipating and you are alert and you're watching for that which God wants you do in your life. For example, He says in 1 Thessalonians, while you're waiting, He says to possess your vessel in honor. That's a really interesting phrase. He means here, speaking of being spiritually ready and on the alert, to possess your vessel, which means your body in sanctification and be an honor in contrast to the world. 1 Thessalonians 4 Verse 5, not in lustful passion like the gentiles who do not know God. Now, that is an interesting phrase. See, you look at the world, He's referring there to the world, the world does not know God therefore the world is going to do all kinds of worldly things as we might expect because they don't know God. But you do know God. The more you know God then the more you want to posses your vessel, your body, in honor. There's a reason for that. See, the closer you are to God the more of His presence takes hold of your life. See, the idea of the vessel is a good picture. See, a vessel is a container. You hold something and in those days, in that culture, a vessel, typically, would be referring to a clay pot. As I mentioned Wednesday, the older you get the more your body looks like a clay pot so it's kind of an analogy but a clay pot contains something. It holds something. Well, what do we hold? What do we contain? The spirit of the living God. I will put this treasure in you, these vessels of clay, He says in another place. And this is an important picture for us. I'm putting that in you, in your vessel, you're the temple of the Holy Spirit, that which is honorable, that which is beautiful, that which is Godly. The presence of the spirit of himself is in dwelling in this vessel of yours. Therefore, possess this vessel honorably. After all, it contains that which is honorable.
An analogy might be this. Many years ago I was cooking something really special. Special dinner for whatever occasion. I like to cook and I wanted it really special. And so I made something really nice so I asked one of the kids to set the table. So, at some point I come out to check and he had set the table with plastic dishes. I'm like, "Woah! You don't... No, no, no. You do not use these plastic plates with a dinner like this." And he said, "Really? Why not?" Why not? Because it honors the food if you put it on an honorable plate. Well, really, it's a good picture of us. It honors the Lord to be contained in an honorable vessel. Are you holding... is the Lord possessing from pouring out, providing in you that which is glorious and honorable? Now, it tells us that this is in reference to being ready. See, in the latter days, there will a great falling away. There will be a great apostasy. People will be turning and mocking but God always has a remnant. He always has a remnant. He always has those even if you who are real and genuine and sincere. I want to be counted in that remnant. I want to be counted amongst those who are real and genuine and sincere. Though the world fall away, I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back. Choose you this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. The world may fall away. The world may fall into apostasy but as for me and my house we have made our mind. We have made our decision. Amen!
II. The Last Days are in God’s Time
This is the condition of the last days and then He says, "Then the lawless one will be revealed but he will not be revealed", it says, until his time. That's an interesting phrase and it suggest to use that the last days are in God's time. Jesus said something similar. No one knows the day or the hour. Not even the angels of heaven or sun. The father alone has fixed this by his own authority.
A. Antichrist will be restrained until his time
Having said that, there will be strong influences but Paul says will be in the world as we draw near to the end of days. One of these influences is the restrainer that he mentions in this chapter. The anti-Christ will be restrained until his time which is fixed by the father's authority. Notice in Verse 67. You know what restrains him even now so that in his time he may be revealed. This is the Holy Spirit. God is sovereign over all things. These are fixed by His authority and so he is restrained by the spirit. Why? Why would he hold? Why would he restrain? I'm convinced for a very important reason, reasons. But one of those would be, there's a phrase that we get in the scriptures that says "Until the fullness of the gentiles have come in." In other words, as the gospel is preached throughout the world and given as a witness, those who have a love of the truth, those who have a heart to hear, those who have ears to hear let them hear, will receive the gospel and then there's a point by which the end of fullness of gentiles has come in. Let me get you that phrase. It's at Romans Chapter 11 Verse 25. Paul's writing. I did not want you brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery so that you will not be wise in your own estimation but a partial hardening of Israel will happen until the fullness of the gentiles has come in.
B. The antichrist is a deluding influence
When that happens, he who restrains is taken out of the way and then the man of lawlessness is revealed. And the scripture suggests to us here in Verse 11 of 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 that the anti-Christ is a deluding influence. He says a deluding influence so that they may believe what's false. Why? Because they would not receive a love of the truth so they are going to get what they want. God will send upon them this deluding influence in order that all may be judged who do not believe of have a love of the truth. See, remember what he says here that he, the anti-Christ comes in the power and in accord with Satan. Verse 9. The one who is coming is in accord with the activity of Satan with all power and signs of false wonders. Now, one of the schemes of the enemy, of course, is deception. He's a liar. Jesus said, "He's a liar and the father of lies and a liar from the very beginning." One of his attacks is the scheme of deception. Therefore, it should not surprise us if the anti-Christ who himself is in dwell with Satan, is a great deceiver. And in fact, in 2 Corinthians Chapter 11 Verse 14, I kind of made mention of it last week, even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Of course, because it's a nature of deception. Therefore, it's not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Satan will be according to their deeds. So, the anti-Christ will be a deceiver, a deluding influence. And he will come and he will be a highly regarded and highly respected and it will be as though he were a genius of diplomacy, a genius at solving problems and regarded highly even by Israel. Now, he will not be revealed until his time but what's happening at the meantime? That's a very interesting question. Verse 7 says, the mystery of lawlessness or the spirit of lawlessness is already at work. The influence of the enemy which is called the mystery of lawlessness is actively at work in the kingdoms of the world. In fact, in another place Satan is called the prince and the power of the heir. Which suggests to us that he has influence over the nations.
At the beginning of the ministry of Jesus when He had, if you remember, fasted those 40 days in the desert. As he was completing that fast the devil had come and tempted Him. One of those was when Satan brought Him to a very high mountain and showed Him the kingdoms of the world. This is actually in Luke Chapter 4 Verse 6. The devil said to Him, now get this. I will give you all this domain and it's glory for it has been handed over to me and I give it to whomever I wish. So, he's offering it to Him in exchange that the Lord might bow down to Him. Jesus, of course, responded with authority of God where you shall worship God and God alone. One of the ways that the spirit restrains is through spiritual warfare. One of the aspects of spiritual warfare is the church. See, we need to understand the church is called to engage in spiritual battle. The Holy Spirit is moving upon the church and God uses the church. This is why we need to understand the church has a role in this latter days as we see the spiritual warfare aspect of what is happening in the world, the church has a role in this of spiritual battle and spiritual warfare. But when the church is removed, which is of course what we discovered last week in the rapture of the church, Chapter 4 Verse 17, then that influence of spiritual warfare is also taken out of the way. Let me give you Ephesians Chapter 6 Verses 11 to 12. He writes this. Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but it is against rulers and powers, against world forces of this darkness against this spiritual forces awaken us in the heavenly places. Church engaged. We are called to just not sit back passively and say "Oh my. Isn't this a terrible thing that's happening in the world." He says, now, you are called by the spirit to engage in this spiritual battle. To understand that, we have the Holy Spirit moving and there's the spiritual aspect upon us. But when he who's restrained is taken out of the way then the deluding influence of the anti-Christ is going to have a free reign. And the deluding influence will cause him to believe that which is false because they did not receive a love of the truth as to be said. So, the anti-Christ will come highly regarded, highly respected. He would be able to be a genius in solving problems that appeared to be unsolvable. Even be able to do that which no man has been able to do in modern times, bring peace to the Middle East. Scripture suggest that he will even be able to abdicate for or in behalf of Israel. That he will appear to be one who negotiates in behalf of Israel so that they might be able to rebuild the temple. Now, that is a remarkable thing to even consider how could anybody possibly bring that to be. I thought the dome on the rock is sitting on the foundation of the temple. But if you look on Google Earth you will actually see that there is a place. There's trees there now. But it's like a 10, 12 acre space in which this temple could be situated and it suggest to us that the anti-Christ advocates for Israel that they might rebuild their temple. In fact, there's an interesting prophecy in Ezekiel 42 Verse 20 where he is prophetically looking forward to a rebuilt temple but he says this, "He measured it on the four sides. It had a wall all around. The length 500, the width 500 to divide between the Holy and the Profeign. So, adjusting that the Holy and the Profeign will be built next to each other with a wall dividing between them. Says also that he will be able to default signs and false wonders even he will receive a mortal wound and miraculously recover. We see this in Revelations 13 Verses 3 to 4. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain and his fatal wound was healed and the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast and they worshiped the beast saying "Who is like the beast and who is able to wage war with him." In other words, who is able to stand against him. There is none.
C. Wait in confidence in Christ
There is no power sufficient to overtake him, to overcome the great power that he has assembled on the earth. Well, that will be true except for one thing. The Lord Jesus himself returns and will be the one to defeat him when he comes at the end of the age. See, therefore, our response should be to take confidence. Wait in confidence in Christ. Our king is the champion. And he will come and he would defeat. Notice, for example, in Verse 8. The lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming. So, we understand now the anti-Christ, a genius of diplomacy, is able to forge a covenant of peace between the nations and Israel, even able to advocate in behalf of Israel to re-build the temple but three and a half years after this covenant is initiated and signed, he betrays Israel. He betrays all that he had negotiated and he then takes hold of the temple himself and he sets himself up to be worshiped in it. Verse 4 is so clear. He exposes and exults himself above every so-called God or object of worship so that he takes his seat in the temple of God displaying himself as being God. Can you imagine the response of Israel. Absolute outrage. And there is that literally, all hell breaks loose as then the nations come against Israel in the great battle of Armageddon at the valley of Megiddo. Now, Israel has a reputation for defeating enemies of much large forces. You go back over the recent history starting in May 14, 1948. This is the day that Israel declared that they, once again, are a state. State of Israel is born May 14, 1948. Now, six Arab nations around them had also made a declaration. The day you do that is the day that we will all declare a war upon you on that very same day. Now, on the side note, what was the response of the United States to this declaration that Israel was going to be a state. If you remember in your history, the president at the time was Harry Truman. And Harry Truman was a Christian and a supporter of Israel and believed that it was essential for the United States to be the very first to recognize Israel as a nation, as a state. So he instructed his staff. I don't care what time of the day or the night it is. You alert me immediately because I want to go down to the White House and make a statement for the world to hear. And in fact, they woke him up at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning and he raced down there. He wanted to be absolutely sure he was the first. United States must recognize Israel. It was the right and good beginning the United States had if only we could complete it and continue to support them.
But anyway, on May 14th, 1948, those six Arab nations were good on their word and they all attacked Israel. Can you imagine six nations, all in coordinated attack attacking this thin little strip of a land. They have no standing army. They have no air force. Their air force consisted of like, four piper cub Cessna planes that they have altered it with some guns and hired some pilots in America that have fought in World War 2. But the Arab nations called it the Alnakhba, the great disaster. Because to the astonishment of the world, Israel not only survived but defeated them and took great slabs of land and increased the foothold that Israel had. And then of course, there is the Sinai war against Egypt. So successful. The overtook the Sinai and were threatening to invade Egypt until the United States called them back and said, "Don't you do it." Amazing. And there was the six-day war of 1967. The young Kapul war and many smaller battles but none have defeated Israel. But this will be different. By all appearances, Israel will be defeated but Christ will return in power and will save the nation of Israel in that great battle of Armageddon. Scripture tells us, he will slay the anti-Christ with the breath of His mouth and he will defeat him. Let me give you another scripture out of Zachariah 14. The prophecy of scripture fold together beautifully like a beautiful tapestry. Zachariah 14 Verses 2 to 5 and Verse 9. He says, "I will gather the nations against Jerusalem to battle and the city will be captured. Then the Lord will go forth and will fight against those nations as well as when He fights on the day of battle. On that day, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olive, which is in front of Jerusalem on the East. And then the Lord, my God, will come. And all the Holy ones with him. And the Lord will be king overall the earth. And on that day, the Lord will be the only one and His name will be the only one."
See, our response should be to have confidence because our King is the champion. So, when you see the world changing before our eyes and you see the rise of Islamic militarism all over the world you're like, "Oh my goodness, what are we to do?" Have faith. Arise in faith, oh church. Our king is the champion and these things are fixed by His authority. We're not to be overtaken by fear. God wants us to live in the confidence that He is sovereign over all the nations that are all times in His hands and that our king is the champion. See, in 2 Timothy 1 Verse 7 He writes it this way, God has not given us a spirit of fear. Fear is not given to us by God. He gives us the spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. Here is Jesus in Matthew 24 Verse 6 speaking of the last days. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See, to it that you are not frightened. See to it. Make sure of it. Do not be frightened? You say, well, how is it possible I'm not afraid. Look at the world arise in your faith. Our king is the champion.
I like what David... David understood this. David understood this very well which is why he stood in such great spring against vast armies and opponents against them. Psalm 27 Verse 1. The Lord is my light and the Lord is my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life, whom shall I dread? Beautiful and powerful, our king is the champion. Our response should be strength of faith in these days and be spiritually sober and to be ready. Let's pray.