Is 2 Thes. 2 About The Rapture? 2 Thes. 2:1 “Now we beseech you brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him. . .” What event is about “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him?” The only event that would include both, “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and “our gathering together unto Him,” is obviously The Rapture! It is not referring to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the Judgment of the Unbelievers, or the Reigning with Christ for a 1000 years during the Millennium. The sentence continues,“that you be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, either by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” Paul is trying to calm down some of the early Christians because many were mentally upset (shaken in mind) and troubled, concerning the coming of Jesus and our gathering together unto Him. Obviously, some thought the imminent return of Jesus was at hand, and others believed it wasn’t. This was creating confusion and a big conflict. Paul is stating “don’t get mentally shaken up or emotionally disturbed (troubled), whether someone gives a prophetic utterance (by spirit), or teaching (by word), or a letter that was supposed to have come from himself, that the day of Christ (the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him) is at hand (imminently to come).”
Paul, who was obviously inspired by the Spirit of God, then states in the very next verse, “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except . . .” The Bible is very clear, we are not to let anyone deceive us by any means (whether by eloquent prophecies, teachings, tapes, etc.) regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him. That includes an eloquent speaker, a Theologian, a gifted teacher, or anyone who teaches something contrary to the Word. Paul says “don’t be deceived,” that’s a very strong word, don’t consider it lightly. However, Christians during the time of Paul were being deceived regarding the timing of The Rapture. A Christian can be deceived, but no one needs to stay there. Today, Christians are also being deceived about The Rapture (whether by ignorance or false teachings), they are still being deceived! Paul then states in the 2nd half of verse 3, certain events that will precede The Rapture.
It should be understood from the context that, “that day” is “the day of Christ, or the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him.” Verses 1 and 2 are a single sentence, and the subject of verse 1 is clearly, “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him.” This is obviously The Rapture, and verse 2 refers to it as “the day of Christ.” Verse 3 clearly states 2 main events that precede “that day” (The Rapture).
In 2 Thes. 2- What Two Main Events That Precede The Rapture? This short chapter- primarily verses 1-4, provides the foundation to understanding The Rapture. A person doesn’t need to be a theologian or scholar to understand the details in it. These 4 verses may contain the most condensed and easy to understand facts about The Rapture, than any other 4 passages in the Bible! Will The Rapture take place before the Tribulation (Pre-Trib.), in the middle of the Tribulation (Mid-Trib.), after the Tribulation (Post Trib.), or another view? It’s very interesting that the word beseech is used. Beseech is a very strong word, it means, ” beg, entreat, implore, ask (someone) earnestly. Therefore, Paul is really stressing a very important point to what he will say. He could have used “regarding,” or “by the way.” However, because he uses such a strong word, it would be very wise to pay close attention, to give serious attention, and to heed what will follow.
Verse 3 of 2 Thes. 2 provides the answer, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (The Rapture- already explained in the previous chapter) shall not come except there come a falling away, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” Read verse 3 again. There are 2 worldwide events stated here that need to take place before The Rapture comes, and then afterwards The Rapture will come. “Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day (The Rapture) will not come except (1) there come a falling away, (the Greek word is apostasia, where we get the English word Apostasy), and (2) the man of lawlessness be revealed, the son of perdition.” In other words, these 2 worldwide events take place before The Rapture! In other words, The Rapture takes place after: (1) the falling away (the apostasy), (2) and after that man of sin be revealed- the son of perdition (the antichrist). The Rapture takes place after the Apostasy, and after the antichrist is revealed! That’s clearly what the Bible states; don’t think differently than what the Word says.
The Bible does not say The Rapture comes first, then the falling away, and then the man of sin be revealed! Be very careful, not to mix the order! Can you accept that, or do you want to say that’s not what the Bible states? Many Christians mix the order, and say the true Church of Christ, and those people who accept Jesus as Lord are Raptured before the man of sin is revealed. What does 2 Thes. 2:3 say? “Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day (The Rapture) shall not come there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” If someone teaches contrary to this, the Bible states they are deceived, and teaching deception! There are other events that also precede The Rapture- Matt. 24 covers many. However, of the 3 events covered in verses 1-3, The Rapture comes last. Some of the later chapters in the author’s book covers the other events.
Verse 3 is one of the single most fundamental key verses about the timing of The Rapture and the events leading up to The Rapture. Therefore, it would be wise to study it carefully. The following verses 4-8, basically expand on the order of events of verse 3. If you place a different order of events, whether someone teaches you or not, you are deceived- “Let no man deceive you by any means . . . ” However, many people get the order of events, out of order, and therefore the Bibles says they are deceived!
Furthermore, because 2 Thes. 2 doesn’t say that the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him takes place immediately after the man of sin is revealed, we must not presume that. Instead, we can conclude The Rapture doesn’t take place immediately after the antichrist is revealed. Also, the Bible doesn’t say that the two preceding events of 2 Thes. 2 before The Rapture, are the only events that precede The Rapture. It is very interesting that the Bible does state in Matt. 24, other events that precede The Rapture.
Many Bible scholars, and many Christians recognize The Rapture is an End Time event. Many Bible scholars also recognize that it was not until Israel was reborn as a Nation in 1948, could we say that we were near the End-times or Latter Days. We are living in the End-times, or the Latter Days, and great wickedness is abounding. However, the man of lawlessness has not yet been revealed, and the Apostasy hasn’t taken place yet. Therefore, don’t be deceived! The following chapter explains what the Bible states is the “key sign” that tells how we will know when the “man of sin is revealed.”
Does “Taken Out Of The Way” Imply Raptured? Many Christans use 2 Thes 2:6-8 as a primary explanation for the Pre Tribulation. Rapture. “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. v7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. v8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” The basic interpretation of this passage by many Christians is, “when the Holy Spirit is taken out, all Christians are raptured, and then the antichrist is revealed. Also, that The Raptured saints will then not go through the Tribulation Period, but only those people who did not go up in The Rapture.” Naturally, we all want to be raptured away and not go through the “dreaded Tribulation Period.”
However, did you ever look up what the word “taken out,” means? Taken out does not mean rapture, or any other term as “snatched away, caught-up, etc.” Taken out in verse 7 means simply taken out of the way from restraining any longer. In other words, the Holy Spirit “takes off” His restraining power from the antichrist. The Holy Spirit and Christians aren’t raptured away to heaven! The exact word for taken out in this verse is “ginomai,” (Strong’s Conc. ref #1096). It has a very broad range of meaning, (too many to list), but nowhere does it mean anything similar to caught-up, snatched away, etc.
The single word for caught-up or snatched away in Strong’s Concordance is “harpazo,” (Strong’s Conc. ref #726). Harpazo is a very specific word, and the meaning is “to be caught-up or snatched away.” Rapture, or Raptured is not mentioned in the Bible, but the word which implies the same thing is “snatched, or caught up.” The only verses in the New Testament which are referring to raptured, snatched, or caught-up are: 2 Cor,12:2,4, 1 Thes. 4:17, Acts 8:39; Rev. 12:5; not any verses in 2 Thes. 2! If one looks up the passages for “taken out, it simply does not indicate or infer caught-up or snatched away!
This is a big surprise, and a major let down to many Christians, but it’s better to be surprised now, than surprised when The Rapture hasn’t taken place and the antichrist and the Abomination of Desolation starts, and you are crying you thought that The Rapture was supposed to have taken place before this. We are not to be deceived, or let anyone in anyway deceive us! Unfortunately, too many Christians are deceived, and being deceived, and they will not be prepared. Some at that time will even betray family members to death (Matt 24:9-11), this will be part of the Apostasy.
Furthermore, had the word caught-up, or snatched away, been used instead of taken out, that would have created another and greater problem; verse 7 would have then contradicted verse 3 in regards to the order of events of when The Rapture takes place. Verse 7 would then mean the taken out or Rapture comes before the antichrist is revealed. However, verse 3 clearly says that before The Rapture can occur, first the Apostasy needs to come, and second the man of lawlessness needs to be first revealed.
The Bible, God’s inspired Word can’t contradict itself, and that’s why the word for “taken out,” is not the same word for snatched away, caught-up, or any other similar” word! My wife and I had used taken out and all of 2 Thes. 2 as one of the key cornerstones for the Pre Tribulation. Rapture. Through much prayer and studying, it became very clear that, 2 Thes. 2, instead of strongly supporting the Pre Tribulation Rapture, is actually one of the strongest passages against it! When someone says The Rapture takes place before the antichrist has been revealed, he or she is the one who is contradicting what the Bible says in verse 3 of 2 Thes. 2, and is, or has been deceived! Therefore, The Rapture doesn’t come before the Apostasy, and before the antichrist is revealed; The Rapture comes after these events! Many people say there are other scriptures that fit the Pre Tribulation view better than the Mid Tribulation view, or the Post Tribulation Pre Wrath view. Let’s take a careful look at these scriptures.
The 3 Events of 2 Thes. 2:1-3
|1. v1 “The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him.” This is The Rapture; also referred as, “The Day of Christ.”|
|2. v2 “The Falling Away.” This is The Apostasy.|
|3. v2 “That man of sin be revealed.” The antichrist being revealed.|
|Possible Different Orders of the 3 Events- Would need to be 1 of the following: 1,2,3; 1,3,2; 2,1,3; 2,3,1; 3,1,2; or 3,2,1. However, the Bible provides the answer.|
|The Answer: Is clearly stated in verse 3, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”|