Second Thessalonians 3 Declares that the Rapture Must Happen Before the Antichrist Will Appear … Is This a Reference to the Falling Away that Must Come Before the Antichrist Is Revealed?

Welcome to Prophecy Q & A with Jimmy DeYoung!

The KJV translators of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 used the phrase “a falling away” to translate the Greek word ἀποστασία (apostasia). This is unfortunate because “a falling away” is not the true translation of ἀποστασία.  “Apostasia” does not mean apostacy.  The author of 2 Thessalonians was the Apostle Paul. He had a couple of partners in his ministry: Titus and Timothy.  Paul gave Titus and Timothy the qualifications for leadership of the church (the elders, deacons, etc.) as seen in the books of Titus and Timothy.  He sent these men to the churches that he had established throughout all of Asia Minor.  They were to go to the churches and make sure that the leadership was proper, and make sure that the leadership was doing what they were supposed to do.  A church leader has the responsibility of protecting and projecting the doctrine of the Word of God.  They need to be teaching those things to their people and protecting them from any delusion, or anything that would cause a misunderstanding of what God’s Word is calling for doctrinally.  The reason Paul sent Titus and Timothy out was because in the early years (first 20-30 years) of the church, apostacy was running rampant during Pentecost.  If apostacy is evidence before the antichrist is to come, the antichrist would have come about 2,000 years ago!

The classic interpretation of the word ἀποστασία (apostasia) means “leaving (departing) one place and going to another.”  The word is used only once more in the New Testament: once in Luke and once in 2 Thessalonians.  I believe this is teaching the rapture, i.e. departing from the earth and going into the heavenlies to be with Jesus.  The translation in the King James and other translations is incorrect. It is not “a falling away” from the faith but a departing from one place and going to another.  Remember, Paul started writing to the people of Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 4. He had been there three weeks before, and now he is teaching them about the rapture of the church. In chapter 5, he was answering their questions by saying that we are not in the Tribulation period, and the rapture hasn’t happened yet. The rapture takes place before the Day of the Lord. He continues this in 2 Thessalonians 1 and 2. 

The rapture takes place and then the wicked one, the son of perdition or the man of sin (three names of the antichrist), appears.  There will be a period of time after the rapture in which three things will happen.  The ten horns of Daniel 7:7 must appear.  Then the little horn (another name for the antichrist) of Daniel 7:8 must come out of those ten horns. Then, thirdly, in Daniel 9:27, the antichrist must confirm a peace treaty between the Jewish people and her neighbors for one week in the seven-year period of time.  With the confirmation of the peace treaty, the clock starts ticking on the Tribulation period. 

Jimmy DeYoung was a prophecy teacher and journalist who travelled the country and the world educating the Body of Christ of the future events foretold in God’s prophetic Word. His goal was to equip Christians with the knowledge and understanding of what God’s Word says will happen someday soon, so that they can make better decisions today. Dr. DeYoung went home to be with his Savior on August 15, 2021.

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