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June 21, 2012
What About II Thessalonians Chapter 2?
This chapter is referring to the coming of the Lord (even though it mentions other topics), but which coming? It's talking about the Rapture. It's not talking about the Day of the Lord that Joel and the other Old Testament writers wrote about, though some may think it is.
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him (Jesus)," (II Thes. 2: 1)
Our gathering together unto Him! When the Revelation/Second Coming takes place we will not be gathering together unto Him because we will already be there with Him.
Zechariah chapter 14 verse 5 says,
This verse in Zechariah chapter 14 is in reference to the Revelation/Second Coming. We are already with Jesus at that point so we will not need to be gathered together unto Him. When the Revelation/Second Coming happens we will simply come back with Him. When the Rapture takes place, which happens before the Revelation/Second Coming, we will go up to meet Him (Jesus) in the clouds, in the air (I Thes. 4: 17). II Thessalonians 2: 1 tells us about the gathering together in the Rapture, which actually takes place in Revelation 4: 1. However, there are other passages where the Bible writers gave us additional information on the subject.
(By the way, do not place the gathering of II Thessalonians 2: 1, with the gathering of Matthew 24: 31. (See also Matthew 25: 32.). If you do, this will be wrong. II Thessalonians 2: 1 - 2 is referring to the Rapture. Whereas, Matthew 24: 30 - 31 and 25: 31 - 33 will take place on the very day Jesus comes back to earth in Revelation 19: 11. This is the Revelation/Second Coming of Christ, which is also called the Second Advent of Christ.).
Let's continue with II Thessalonians chapter 2, verse 2.
"That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand."
These early Christians were confused about this subject (the Rapture), and the order of the event (as to who would be caught up first, and so forth) in I Thessalonians 4: 13 - 18. Perhaps these believers, whom Paul was ministering to, were confused about the details concerning this event (the Rapture, the day of the Lord) in I Thessalonians 5 and in II Thessalonians chapter 2 as well, which is also referring to the Rapture, the day of Christ. ("The day of the Lord" in I Thessalonians 5: 2, and "The day of Christ" in II Thessalonians 2: 2, is the same event.). (Read also Phil. 1: 6, 10, 2: 16, 4: 5, I Cor. 1: 7 - 8.).
This "day of Christ" in the above verses, and "the day of the Lord" in I Thessalonians 5: 2, are not the same Day of the Lord that Joel, and the other Old Testament writers, mentioned. And it would be wrong to put them ("the day of Christ" and the Old Testament "Day of the Lord") together because you would be taking the day of Christ out of its context. So don't do that. Just because a verse or verses say words like "thief", or phrases such as: "the day of the Lord", "the day of Christ", "in that day", or any other words or phrases, does not give us the right to put them altogether. They must stay within their context. If they are referring to the same event then it's okay to use them with each other.
Now, let's look at verses 3 - 5 in the book of II Thessalonians chapter 2.
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the day of Christ, the Rapture) shall not come, except there come a falling away first (that's apostasy), and [then] that man of sin (the Antichrist, wicked one) [will] be revealed, the son of perdition;" (II Thes. 2: 3)
Paul will clarify what actually happens in verses 7 and 8. But now, Paul continues by telling us more details concerning the Antichrist, the wicked one, and what he will do during the 70th week of Daniel.
"Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (II Thes. 2: 4)
Paul is not moving into the tribulation period at this point. He is only mentioning this tribulation material so that we can understand who he was referring to. Namely, the wicked one (Antichrist), which is the first beast of Revelation 13. He is also called the little horn in Daniel 7.
Then Paul said,
Now, the apostasy has to do with turning away from the truth, God's Word (the Bible), and from one's faith in God. (Read I Thes. 2: 13. See also II Tim. 3: 15 - 16, Acts 17: 11, Eph. 6: 16 - 17.). There are some individuals who are denying the essentials of the faith and that's apostasy. Here are a few examples of these essentials that they're turning from, thus denying: Jesus' deity, His coming in the flesh, the virgin birth, His shedding of His blood for us, His death, His burial, His bodily resurrection, His bodily ascension, and His coming again. And denying any of these things is apostasy. Here are some examples of apostasies in today's world: following the sins of the world and the false way of living that our society is teaching and doing today such as homosexuality, free sex, abortion, euthanasia, legal suicide, accepting lies, etc... (Isa. 5: 20 - 21).
Paul tells us here in II Thessalonians 2: 3 that the Rapture will not happen until after the apostasy has set in. And, of course, the apostasy is happening today as never before in all history, along with all the other signs that point to Jesus' coming. We know that we are in those last days when we see apostasy taking place at a rapid pace. Increasingly people are turning away from the Bible (the Word of God). Paul, in his letters to Timothy, had a lot to say about those days to come when apostasy would take place. And I'm telling you, that is happening right now. We are in the last days when we see apostasy happening on a wide scale, and we are in those last days when we anticipate that the Rapture will happen very soon. The falling away (the apostasy), that Paul mentioned, must come first. It may appear to some people that the apostasy and the Antichrist come first, but that's not the case. The apostasy (falling away) will come first; then the Holy Spirit will leave in the same manner that He came on the day of Pentecost (the birth of Christianity, Acts 2: 1 - 8). Then the wicked one will be revealed (II Thes. 2: 7 - 8), not before that. Later on, in II Thessalonians 2, verse 8, Paul tells us that the Antichrist (the wicked one) comes after the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way. First of all, John tells us that the Father and Jesus will send the Holy Spirit after Jesus had gone back to Heaven to be with His Father. Here are some verses that deal with this subject. Read them for yourself.
Jesus is speaking and He said,
"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come." (John 16: 13) (See also John 14: 26, 15: 26.).
Did the Spirit of God come on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1 - 8) as the Bible says He did, (see the verses above), or is the Bible wrong? You have to make a choice. Yes, He did, or No, He did not. Did He come or didn't He? If your answer is "No", then you are calling God a liar. Yes, it's true that the Holy Spirit was always present, but yet the Spirit of God was revealed in a very special way by coming the way He did on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1 - 8). And did you notice it says, "...He will reprove (convict) the world of sin... etc...". Now read II Thessalonians 2: 6.
"And now ye (you) know what withholdeth..."
Would the people of Paul's day, the Thessalonians, (these are Gentiles remember,) have known who Paul was referring to when he said in the above statement, "And now ye know what withholdeth...", if Paul were not referring to the Holy Spirit in II Thessalonians 2: 6? I don't think so. I feel sure that they were not educated in the Hebrew laws, Scriptures, and so forth, and would not assume that this was referring to Michael, the archangel, as being taught by some individuals today, instead of the Holy Spirit.
Besides, Paul never wrote or even hinted in any of his scripture that Michael was the one who restrains or holds back the Antichrist from being revealed. Surely if Michael were the one who keeps the Antichrist from making his appearance, Paul would have mentioned it in one of his many books. It is true that Paul, in I Thessalonians 4: 16, tells us about "...the voice of the archangel...". But that is not referring to Michael holding back or restraining the Antichrist from being revealed. That verse is in reference to what will happen at the time of the Rapture, not what is happening now. For I Thessalonians 4: 16 to be in connection with what is taking place today it would have to be referring to something that is happening now, in our present day, and it's not. Michael is not the one who holds back or keeps the Antichrist from being revealed. Read "Who Holds Back (Keeps) the Antichrist/the Wicked One From Being Revealed?".
I believe that II Thessalonians 2: 6 - 8 is referring to the Holy Spirit who withholdeth, or we would say, holds back, the powers of darkness, not Michael, the archangel, as some think. The Antichrist cannot make his appearance until the One who holds back the powers of darkness, and that is the Holy Spirit, is taken out of the way in the same manner that He came on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 8). Jesus sent His Spirit, the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit), who is also called the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8: 9). He came in a special way on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1 - 8). (See also I Pet. 1: 12, John 14: 26, 15: 26, 16: 7.). Then, at the time of the Rapture, when the Church (the believers) leaves, goes to Heaven, the Holy Spirit will leave in the same special way that He came in Acts 2. However, He will still be present on earth in the same way that He was in Old Testament times. He came at Pentecost (Acts 2: 1 - 8), and yet He was already here. And He is the One who convicts the world of sin, holds back the powers of darkness, and keeps sin under control up to a point. But when He takes the Church out by presenting her to the Lord in the sky in the Rapture, then the Antichrist will be revealed and not before that.
The Holy Spirit lives in us and He cannot leave (be taken out of the way) until after the believers (Christians) are taken out of this world in the Rapture. Otherwise, we would all be lost (unsaved).
So it says,
"And then shall that Wicked [One] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:"
Jesus does not destroy the beast (Antichrist) at this time when he is first revealed. Jesus does that at a later time. The Lord will destroy the Antichrist and his helper, the false prophet, when He comes back in the Revelation/Second Coming (I Thes. 2: 8, Rev. 19: 11). And that takes place in Revelation 19: 20. That's when Jesus destroys the wicked one (the Antichrist) and his helper (the false prophet) also, with the brightness of His coming.
The last of these verses in II Thessalonians 2 refer to a different subject. They do not talk about the Rapture. They tell us about the people who did not receive Jesus as Savior when they had the chance. Once the tribulation period starts they will be lost (unsaved) forever.
"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, (that's Jesus and His Word, the Bible), that they might be saved."
Before the Rapture happens, there will be a lot of individuals who have heard the truth concerning salvation, who have heard how to be saved, but then did nothing about it. In spite of hearing the truth they still rejected Jesus Christ as Savior. And sometime after the tribulation period (the 70th week of Daniel) starts, God will send them a strong delusion so that they will believe a lie; and that lie is: they will think the Antichrist is God Himself when indeed he is not. He, instead, is the devil's christ, the false messiah, the beast of Revelation 13. Due to those individuals not receiving Jesus, who is the truth (John 14: 6), as their Savior, God (Jesus) will turn them over to Satan. There are more verses, but you can read them on your own. See II Thessalonians 2: 13 - 17. Read Nathan M. Meyer's book called No Guillotine For The Bride. He explains it very well. (It's a Pre-tribulation View. It gives us a lot of reasons why we will not go through the tribulation period.).
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