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Does Apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Refer to a ‘Physical Departure’

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Does Apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Refer to a ‘Physical Departure’ (i.e. the Rapture)

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;....2 Thes 2:3

 

Second Thessalonians chapter two has been the nemesis for pretribulationism. Or what I refer to as the 800-pound gorilla in the Bible of the pretribulationist.

This biblical passage has convinced more ex-pretribulationists that their pretrib theology is wrong than any other Bible passage. The reason for this is straightforward: The fundamental premise of pretribulationism is that there cannot be any prophesied events that will take place before the rapture, and consequently they believe in the novel idea of what has come to be called the “any moment” rapture (a.k.a. imminence).

Paul, however, gives an unambiguous statement in v. 3 that has lead many to reject imminence and thereby understand that there will be in fact at least a couple of key monumental events that will happen before the rapture.

Several pretrib teachers have attempted to get around the plain meaning of this Biblical text, but there has been one in particular that is indeed the most strained.

A few years back at a Bible prophecy  Conference I gave a series of lectures on Thessalonians. One of them was focused particularly on the pretrib argument that the Greek word behind “rebellion” (apostasia, ἀποστασία) can carry the meaning of a “physical and spatial departure,” thereby suggesting that Paul has the rapture in mind when he uses this word in this verse.

Some pretribulationists, such as Thomas Ice, argue that the word “rebellion” (apostasia, ἀποστασία) means “physical departure”and not a “religious departure,” thus denoting the rapture.

This view was first introduced in 1895 by J. S. Mabie and  popularized by E. Schuyler English in 1949

In their first appeal they try to support this argument by noting earlier versions

Pretrib proponents have pointed out that early English Bibles such as Tyndale, Coverdale, and Geneva have rendered rebellion in v. 3 as “departing.”

The implication of the English word “depart” is suppose to suggest a “physical departing” and thus the concept of the rapture was in the mind of these English translators.

But this is not correct for a couple of reasons:

Appealing to sixteenth-century English versions to understand the meaning of a Greek word is naïve at best and only pushes the question back a step further: What did the sixteenth-century English word “departing” mean? Since the English word can be spatial or non-spatial in meaning.

These same early English versions use “departing” at Hebrews 3:12. For example the KJV reads, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

Here “departing” is clearly non-spatial.

Further, there is no evidence that these translators on this verse understood apostasia as a “spatial departure.”

A second appeal is to lexical evidence. But which side is the lexical evidence on?

Here is where the rubber meets the road.

Is there any lexical evidence that would prove that apostasia can carry the meaning of “physical departing,” let alone in 2 Thessalonians 2:3?

Word studies always begin with proximity and works its way outward:

Author -> NT -> Septuagint -> Koine (Pseudepigrapha Josephus, Philo) -> Classical Greek -> Patristic

New Testament:

The term is used only one other time in the New Testament, which means a religious departure:

and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake [religious apostasy] Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. –Acts 21:21

Septuagint:

Four Times: Joshua 22:22; 2 Chronicles 29:19; 1 Maccabees 2:15; Jeremiah 2:19.

Every time it means apostasy or rebellion in a religious or political sense—never used as a spatial or physical sense.

Koine Greek Literature:

In Moulton and Milligan’s, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament Illustrated from the Papyri and Other Non-Literary Sources, it is demonstrated that this term is only used in the political or religious defection sense—again, never used in a spatial departure sense (pp. 68–9).

Further, even pretribulationist scholar Paul Feinberg admits, “If one searches for the uses of the noun “apostasy” in the 355 occurrences over the 300-year period between the second century B.C. and the first century A.D., one will not find a single instance where this word refers to a physical departure.”

He is correct.

Classical Greek:

The classical Greek Liddell and Scott lexicon lists the primary meaning of apostasia as “defection, revolt”; and “departure, disappearance” as a secondary meaning.

The only example of this secondary meaning of spatial departure is found five centuries later after the New Testament. It is sloppy and simply fallacious to read back, not only an obscure meaning but one that is five centuries after the New Testament!

Patristic Greek:

The standard Greek lexicon for Patristic Greek Lampe has the primary meaning of apostasia as “revolt, defection” and gives only one example of a spatial departure.

This one instance is found in a NT apocryphal work on the tradition of the Assumption of Mary. Again, outside of the Koine period dated to the later 5th century A.D.

So what do we make of all this lexical evidence?

Here are the documented lexical facts:

There were five Greek sources examined. The most weighty and important sources are in the Koine period, the New Testament and the Septuagint–not a single instance does apostasia carry the meaning of “physical departure.” Instead, every instance has the meaning of religious or political departure.

The last two sources—Classical and Patristic Greek—are the least weighty and important because they are the furthest removed from the New Testament.

There were only two instances from these  sources that have a physical departure meaning—and both of these examples are dated late well into the 5th-6th century.

This is why one will not find the “physical” (i.e. spatial) meaning in standard New Testament lexicons.

BDAG defines this word as “defiance of established system or authority, rebellion, abandonment, breach of faith”

BDAG‘s predecessor Thayer

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Kittel)

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Brown)

Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Balz)

A third appeal to the cognate verb

So how does the pretribber respond to these lexical facts? This is where the desperate leap takes place.

We have done a responsible thorough examination of the noun apostasia demonstrating that the term does not carry a “physical-spatial” meaning in the Koine period.

The pretribber will make the leap by pointing to the cognate verb form of apostasia, which is aphistemi, which means “to withdraw, remove, depart, leave.” It is used 14 times in the NT and is used both in a spatial and non-spatial sense. This is where the leap happens by assuming that the verb meaning carries over to the noun meaning.

E. S. English succinctly states the pretrib reasoning: “since a noun takes its meaning from the verb, the noun, too, may have such a broad connotation.”

Davey goes further saying, “Since the root verb has this meaning of ‘departure’ from a person or place in a geographical sense, would not its derivatives have the same foundational word meaning.”

Enter the cognate and root fallacy.

Cognates and roots is not the way any responsible exegete determines word meanings (Imagine reading the newspaper this way. Or love letters!)

Instead, word meanings are determined by semantic range and its usage in context.

Even Feinberg rejects this naïve method when he comments on this specific word: “the meaning of derivative nouns must be established through their usage.” (emphasis his)

Perfect case in point: aphistemi

Apostasion is a cognate noun to this verb, which only means “divorce or some other legal act of separation.”

Apostater another cognate noun which means “one who has power to dissolve an assembly” or “to decide a question.”

Since these derivative nouns do not contain the meaning of a spatial or physical departure (as the pretribber will not argue), there is absolutely no basis to assume that our target noun apostasia does as well. In other words, the pretrib cannot have their lexical cake and eat it too. It is first rank special pleading.

The fourth appeal: context

Since the semantic range does not include “physical or spatial departure” it is moot to even evaluate context—unless someone wants to argue that this is the only instance within 500 years that the term means a “physical departure”!

Nevertheless, let’s argue context.

To interpret the word “rebellion” in v. 3 as the “rapture” does not comport with the context, and as we will see it makes Paul unintelligible, even humorous.

First, Paul is making a contrast of what precedes and what follows. The “gathering” (rapture) and parousia/day of the Lord is what follows (“For that day will not come unless”) the rebellion and revelation of the man of lawlessness. The pretrib view would have Paul in essence saying, “The rapture cannot happen until the rapture happens” But Paul is clearly marking certain events as signs or conditions that must take place before Christ’s return.

Second, Paul does not simply mention “rebellion” (apostasy) and leave it at that. But the verse begins with Paul’s exhortation, “Let no one deceive you in any way.” This is followed by “For,” which in this case is called an “explanatory hoti (ὅτι).” That is to say, Paul is connecting the exhortation not to be deceived with the fact of rebellion and the man of lawlessness being revealed.

In addition, some pretrib teachers have attempted to argue that since there is an article “the” before “rebellion” it indicates that the Thessalonians were familiar with some previous teaching by Paul. This is baseless, since they have to assume that it refers to the rapture. It is classic begging the question.

But what does the context show us?

Since this word in the Koine period always meant a “religious or political departure” should we then not be surprised that Paul makes references in this very context to “the truth” and “the Christian faith”?

Indeed, he does:

v. 2 “not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed”
v. 3 “Let no one deceive you in any way”
v. 10 “they refused to love the truth”
v. 11 “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false”
v. 13 “through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth”
v. 15 “stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”

In addition, the rebellion and the revealing of the man of lawlessness are not two disconnected or unrelated events, but should be seen as a two-fold unifying event: “first” refers to both of the events that must happen before the day of the Lord.

And what is the connection between Antichrist and the apostasy/rebellion?

“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9–11.

I recognize that there are other viewpoints of who actually apostatizes:

(1) A conspicuous increase in godlessness (or rebellion) within the world? (but the definite article before “rebellion” would suggest a more specific discernible event)
(2) A significant apostasy within the professing church?
(3) True believers lose their salvation? (but see 2 Thess 2:13).
(4) Jewish in scope? (but the context here includes Gentiles)

My own position is #2 because I believe the immediate context in chapter 2 of the Antichrist’s activity informs us of the identity of the rebellion. Nevertheless, this is not particularly essential to my point in this article.

Here is the big picture: The pretribulational “Physical Departure” argument fails on all four levels:

It fails on appealing to early English versions
It fails on appealing to five bodies of Greek literature
It fails on appealing to its verbal cognate form
It fails on appealing to context.

Even the most noted pretibulational scholar John F. Walvoord did not take this “physical departure” interpretation:

In the first edition of his popular book The Rapture Question (1957) he defended the “Physical Departure” argument. But after considering some of these arguments put forth by Robert H. Gundry, Walvoord rejected this common pretrib argument which he notes in his second edition of The Rapture Question (1979).

Also, noted pretrib scholar Paul Feinberg writes, “there is no reason to understand Paul’s use of apostasia as a reference to the rapture” (When the Trumpet Sounds, 311).

https://www.alankurschner.com/2015/09/11/does-apostasia-in-2-thessalonians-23-refer-to-a-physical-departure-i-e-the-rapture/

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The scriptures have multiple meanings and it's only those who don't listen to the Author who get into trouble. Why can't it mean both? We're seeing a great departure of the faith right now, today, especially on this site. And we will be taken out of the way. Those against the rapture reject the word of God. It's not their fault, it's the devil's work with all those date- setters that bring about the "second coming fatigued" prophesied about 2 Peter 3:4. He'll come when the time is appointed. The Lord came and the year He started His ministry was exactly 4,000 from creation.

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2 hours ago, Abdicate said:

The scriptures have multiple meanings and it's only those who don't listen to the Author who get into trouble. Why can't it mean both? We're seeing a great departure of the faith right now, today, especially on this site. And we will be taken out of the way. Those against the rapture reject the word of God. It's not their fault, it's the devil's work with all those date- setters that bring about the "second coming fatigued" prophesied about 2 Peter 3:4. He'll come when the time is appointed. The Lord came and the year He started His ministry was exactly 4,000 from creation.

Hi Abdicate,

Not sure what you mean by...."Why can't it mean both?" If it's about "apostacy" in 2 Thes 2:3, it can't be both a "falling away from the truth" and a "rapture". That would make no sense. I do see a rapture of the righteous along with a resurrection of the dead in Christ happening  after the great trib, between the 6th and 7th seal, just before the Lord's Wrath begins against all the ungodly of this world. 

I agree that there is a great departure from the faith happening right now. These "feel good mega-church preachers" are doing great harm to the body of Christ. And then there's the Pope, trying to meld the RCC with Islam and the Protestant Churches. "UNITY" he claims..... blah humbug! I'm shocked at what I'm seeing happening today. And it's only going to get worse. 

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4 hours ago, JoeCanada said:

Does Apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Refer to a ‘Physical Departure’ (i.e. the Rapture)

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;....2 Thes 2:3

 

Second Thessalonians chapter two has been the nemesis for pretribulationism. Or what I refer to as the 800-pound gorilla in the Bible of the pretribulationist.

This biblical passage has convinced more ex-pretribulationists that their pretrib theology is wrong than any other Bible passage. The reason for this is straightforward: The fundamental premise of pretribulationism is that there cannot be any prophesied events that will take place before the rapture, and consequently they believe in the novel idea of what has come to be called the “any moment” rapture (a.k.a. imminence).

Paul, however, gives an unambiguous statement in v. 3 that has lead many to reject imminence and thereby understand that there will be in fact at least a couple of key monumental events that will happen before the rapture.

Several pretrib teachers have attempted to get around the plain meaning of this Biblical text, but there has been one in particular that is indeed the most strained.

A few years back at a Bible prophecy  Conference I gave a series of lectures on Thessalonians. One of them was focused particularly on the pretrib argument that the Greek word behind “rebellion” (apostasia, ἀποστασία) can carry the meaning of a “physical and spatial departure,” thereby suggesting that Paul has the rapture in mind when he uses this word in this verse.

Some pretribulationists, such as Thomas Ice, argue that the word “rebellion” (apostasia, ἀποστασία) means “physical departure”and not a “religious departure,” thus denoting the rapture.

This view was first introduced in 1895 by J. S. Mabie and  popularized by E. Schuyler English in 1949

In their first appeal they try to support this argument by noting earlier versions

Pretrib proponents have pointed out that early English Bibles such as Tyndale, Coverdale, and Geneva have rendered rebellion in v. 3 as “departing.”

The implication of the English word “depart” is suppose to suggest a “physical departing” and thus the concept of the rapture was in the mind of these English translators.

But this is not correct for a couple of reasons:

Appealing to sixteenth-century English versions to understand the meaning of a Greek word is naïve at best and only pushes the question back a step further: What did the sixteenth-century English word “departing” mean? Since the English word can be spatial or non-spatial in meaning.

These same early English versions use “departing” at Hebrews 3:12. For example the KJV reads, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

Here “departing” is clearly non-spatial.

Further, there is no evidence that these translators on this verse understood apostasia as a “spatial departure.”

A second appeal is to lexical evidence. But which side is the lexical evidence on?

Here is where the rubber meets the road.

Is there any lexical evidence that would prove that apostasia can carry the meaning of “physical departing,” let alone in 2 Thessalonians 2:3?

Word studies always begin with proximity and works its way outward:

Author -> NT -> Septuagint -> Koine (Pseudepigrapha Josephus, Philo) -> Classical Greek -> Patristic

New Testament:

The term is used only one other time in the New Testament, which means a religious departure:

and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake [religious apostasy] Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. –Acts 21:21

Septuagint:

Four Times: Joshua 22:22; 2 Chronicles 29:19; 1 Maccabees 2:15; Jeremiah 2:19.

Every time it means apostasy or rebellion in a religious or political sense—never used as a spatial or physical sense.

Koine Greek Literature:

In Moulton and Milligan’s, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament Illustrated from the Papyri and Other Non-Literary Sources, it is demonstrated that this term is only used in the political or religious defection sense—again, never used in a spatial departure sense (pp. 68–9).

Further, even pretribulationist scholar Paul Feinberg admits, “If one searches for the uses of the noun “apostasy” in the 355 occurrences over the 300-year period between the second century B.C. and the first century A.D., one will not find a single instance where this word refers to a physical departure.”

He is correct.

Classical Greek:

The classical Greek Liddell and Scott lexicon lists the primary meaning of apostasia as “defection, revolt”; and “departure, disappearance” as a secondary meaning.

The only example of this secondary meaning of spatial departure is found five centuries later after the New Testament. It is sloppy and simply fallacious to read back, not only an obscure meaning but one that is five centuries after the New Testament!

Patristic Greek:

The standard Greek lexicon for Patristic Greek Lampe has the primary meaning of apostasia as “revolt, defection” and gives only one example of a spatial departure.

This one instance is found in a NT apocryphal work on the tradition of the Assumption of Mary. Again, outside of the Koine period dated to the later 5th century A.D.

So what do we make of all this lexical evidence?

Here are the documented lexical facts:

There were five Greek sources examined. The most weighty and important sources are in the Koine period, the New Testament and the Septuagint–not a single instance does apostasia carry the meaning of “physical departure.” Instead, every instance has the meaning of religious or political departure.

The last two sources—Classical and Patristic Greek—are the least weighty and important because they are the furthest removed from the New Testament.

There were only two instances from these  sources that have a physical departure meaning—and both of these examples are dated late well into the 5th-6th century.

This is why one will not find the “physical” (i.e. spatial) meaning in standard New Testament lexicons.

BDAG defines this word as “defiance of established system or authority, rebellion, abandonment, breach of faith”

BDAG‘s predecessor Thayer

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Kittel)

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Brown)

Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Balz)

A third appeal to the cognate verb

So how does the pretribber respond to these lexical facts? This is where the desperate leap takes place.

We have done a responsible thorough examination of the noun apostasia demonstrating that the term does not carry a “physical-spatial” meaning in the Koine period.

The pretribber will make the leap by pointing to the cognate verb form of apostasia, which is aphistemi, which means “to withdraw, remove, depart, leave.” It is used 14 times in the NT and is used both in a spatial and non-spatial sense. This is where the leap happens by assuming that the verb meaning carries over to the noun meaning.

E. S. English succinctly states the pretrib reasoning: “since a noun takes its meaning from the verb, the noun, too, may have such a broad connotation.”

Davey goes further saying, “Since the root verb has this meaning of ‘departure’ from a person or place in a geographical sense, would not its derivatives have the same foundational word meaning.”

Enter the cognate and root fallacy.

Cognates and roots is not the way any responsible exegete determines word meanings (Imagine reading the newspaper this way. Or love letters!)

Instead, word meanings are determined by semantic range and its usage in context.

Even Feinberg rejects this naïve method when he comments on this specific word: “the meaning of derivative nouns must be established through their usage.” (emphasis his)

Perfect case in point: aphistemi

Apostasion is a cognate noun to this verb, which only means “divorce or some other legal act of separation.”

Apostater another cognate noun which means “one who has power to dissolve an assembly” or “to decide a question.”

Since these derivative nouns do not contain the meaning of a spatial or physical departure (as the pretribber will not argue), there is absolutely no basis to assume that our target noun apostasia does as well. In other words, the pretrib cannot have their lexical cake and eat it too. It is first rank special pleading.

The fourth appeal: context

Since the semantic range does not include “physical or spatial departure” it is moot to even evaluate context—unless someone wants to argue that this is the only instance within 500 years that the term means a “physical departure”!

Nevertheless, let’s argue context.

To interpret the word “rebellion” in v. 3 as the “rapture” does not comport with the context, and as we will see it makes Paul unintelligible, even humorous.

First, Paul is making a contrast of what precedes and what follows. The “gathering” (rapture) and parousia/day of the Lord is what follows (“For that day will not come unless”) the rebellion and revelation of the man of lawlessness. The pretrib view would have Paul in essence saying, “The rapture cannot happen until the rapture happens” But Paul is clearly marking certain events as signs or conditions that must take place before Christ’s return.

Second, Paul does not simply mention “rebellion” (apostasy) and leave it at that. But the verse begins with Paul’s exhortation, “Let no one deceive you in any way.” This is followed by “For,” which in this case is called an “explanatory hoti (ὅτι).” That is to say, Paul is connecting the exhortation not to be deceived with the fact of rebellion and the man of lawlessness being revealed.

In addition, some pretrib teachers have attempted to argue that since there is an article “the” before “rebellion” it indicates that the Thessalonians were familiar with some previous teaching by Paul. This is baseless, since they have to assume that it refers to the rapture. It is classic begging the question.

But what does the context show us?

Since this word in the Koine period always meant a “religious or political departure” should we then not be surprised that Paul makes references in this very context to “the truth” and “the Christian faith”?

Indeed, he does:

v. 2 “not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed”
v. 3 “Let no one deceive you in any way”
v. 10 “they refused to love the truth”
v. 11 “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false”
v. 13 “through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth”
v. 15 “stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”

In addition, the rebellion and the revealing of the man of lawlessness are not two disconnected or unrelated events, but should be seen as a two-fold unifying event: “first” refers to both of the events that must happen before the day of the Lord.

And what is the connection between Antichrist and the apostasy/rebellion?

“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9–11.

I recognize that there are other viewpoints of who actually apostatizes:

(1) A conspicuous increase in godlessness (or rebellion) within the world? (but the definite article before “rebellion” would suggest a more specific discernible event)
(2) A significant apostasy within the professing church?
(3) True believers lose their salvation? (but see 2 Thess 2:13).
(4) Jewish in scope? (but the context here includes Gentiles)

My own position is #2 because I believe the immediate context in chapter 2 of the Antichrist’s activity informs us of the identity of the rebellion. Nevertheless, this is not particularly essential to my point in this article.

Here is the big picture: The pretribulational “Physical Departure” argument fails on all four levels:

It fails on appealing to early English versions
It fails on appealing to five bodies of Greek literature
It fails on appealing to its verbal cognate form
It fails on appealing to context.

Even the most noted pretibulational scholar John F. Walvoord did not take this “physical departure” interpretation:

In the first edition of his popular book The Rapture Question (1957) he defended the “Physical Departure” argument. But after considering some of these arguments put forth by Robert H. Gundry, Walvoord rejected this common pretrib argument which he notes in his second edition of The Rapture Question (1979).

Also, noted pretrib scholar Paul Feinberg writes, “there is no reason to understand Paul’s use of apostasia as a reference to the rapture” (When the Trumpet Sounds, 311).

https://www.alankurschner.com/2015/09/11/does-apostasia-in-2-thessalonians-23-refer-to-a-physical-departure-i-e-the-rapture/

Another point that is (contextually) missed is when Paul says,  "that the day of Christ is present".   The words "is present" conveys an ongoing issue.   I hear of at least two ways that pre-tribbers view those words. 

1.  The rapture is imminent,  

2. They missed the rapture and that they are in the days of Christ's ensuing wrath. 

Either way implies that it is not a single day that he is referring to,  but a period of days.   To choose option 1, means that Paul is trying to tell them that the rapture is NOT imminent, which would be contrary to pretrib theology that the rapture IS imminent.   And even if he was implying that the Thessalonians DIDN'T think the rapture was imminent,  means that the revealing of the man of sin is what is preventing the rapture from happening.   From there you would have to contradict the timing of the revealing of the man of sin to take place before the final 7 years and not at the midpoint found in the book of revelation [if you actually did think it was an imminency issue].

If you choose option 2, then you are admitting that the "day of Christ" is actually about days of his vengeance,  as referred to in 2 Thess 1:4ff.  If "day of Christ" refers to a single day,  then it could only be the rapture or the 2nd advent.   In which case you are back to a faulty imminency belief,  OR , as you pointed out,  "the rapture can't happen until the rapture takes place".  In which case, this takes us back to the day of Christ being an ongoing issue,  and therefore refers to a period of days and not a single day.   

If,  the "day of Christ",  is in fact,  a single day,  then THAT day is not the rapture,  but must be referring to a specific day of falling away that occurs,  OR,  it refers to the day that the man of sin is revealed.   Either "day" causes problems for pretrib.   

I personally see that day referring to a great falling away associated with the great day of tribulation associated with the 6th seal.   Others see it as the revealing day of the man of sin.   The falling away would refer to both Jews and Christians.   To Christians,  in accordance with the principles of the parable of the sower.   To Jews,  in accordance with Romans 11 when the Deliverer turns away (caused to depart from the truths of the law)  ungodliness from Jacob.   This would agree with Isaiah 6 when it speaks of a great forsaking taking place in the land of Israel. 

*[[Isa 6:12]] KJV* And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

I personally think that the text of 2 Thess 2 that follows, is that the revealing of the man of sin is part of God's (Christ's) punishment for rejecting the gospel message.   This might appear to favor pretrib theology [that the revealing takes place after the rapture] but I don't think God will wait 3.5 after the rapture to begin punishing those that rejected the gospel.   The "day of Christ" is in fact the time of his vengeance.   "His vengeance" would be the distinguishable vengeance found with the 6th seal: 

*[[Rev 6:16]] KJV* And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

Blessings

The PuP 

Edited by Da Puppers
Added thought

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20 hours ago, JoeCanada said:

it can't be both

Sure it can. The Greek word just means departure. Today, we add to it "from the faith." So it can mean both: departure from the faith which is more true today with pseudo-mega churches, just as you said, and the departure of the saints from the planet. Departure is departure. Modern theology replaces a lot of out-of-the-box scriptural truths.

20 hours ago, JoeCanada said:

I'm shocked at what I'm seeing happening today. And it's only going to get worse.  

Amen! Once I quit attending these buildings called "church" and stopped listening to radio and TV wolves-in-sheep clothing, I was able to understand the word of God much better through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, the Author. So much of the scripture is clearer now since I've unlearned the garbage these wolves has been shoveling I understand how intricate it is and how much it interprets itself. No one talks about multiple raptures, but it's all there and explains why no one can agree. Think of it like this: before the Greek scriptures, debates raged for sure where the messiah would be born. One group showed from the scriptures "Bethlehem," another "Nazareth," and yet one more from "Egypt." They were all correct. Today we know how/why. The word of God is specific, but it doesn't give the nuances so it is still taken by trust in God and what He said He means and means what He says. The feudal tribalism of today is from the enemy within our midst and it's so bad that if you even believe in any rapture, you're almost branded a heretic from the devil. What do they call the harpazo event of 1 Thess 4? And how does it comfort if it's not what it implies? I find the vast majority of "Christians" don't do their own homework and rely on others to do it for themselves. Anyhow, get back to the originals, and you'll learn more than TV preachers who only want money. If I bought all the books/vidoes/DVDs of everyone I like, I'd have to build warehouses to keep all their junk and mortgage my house to the hilt and sell my children to pay for it all. How is that Godly? Yes, a workman is worth their hire, but how much is enough when all and I mean ALL want to build physical buildings on earth. Why would Jesus spend $400 million on a building to house more and more people? The internet can reach more for FREE - or like my site $100/year. I guess they still think like the world as Jesus Himself said in Luke 12:17-18. They have their reward.

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On 11/3/2018 at 9:55 AM, Abdicate said:

Sure it can. The Greek word just means departure. Today, we add to it "from the faith." So it can mean both: departure from the faith which is more true today with pseudo-mega churches, just as you said, and the departure of the saints from the planet. Departure is departure. Modern theology replaces a lot of out-of-the-box scriptural truths.

Except the pretrib mindset attempts to force a word into the scripture that is not used. Apostasia is the word that appears, not aphistemi. Don't need five pages of analysis to see this, if one is seeking the truth.

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If according to pretribers the rapture can happen at any moment,why must anything happen first?

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12 hours ago, Diaste said:

Except the pretrib mindset attempts to force a word into the scripture that is not used. Apostasia is the word that appears, not aphistemi. Don't need five pages of analysis to see this, if one is seeking the truth.

And to pretrib nay sayers, ignore its reality. Don't twist the word usage either:

ἀποστασία (Ancient Greek)

ἀποστασίας

defection, revolt, rebellion (especially in the religious sense: apostasy)

departure

Five pages? Nope, one definition is all I need. When the Bride is pulled out of harm's way, we rebel against this world. We defect to God. We depart from the world's sinful religion.

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How do get from the definition here:

10 hours ago, Abdicate said:

defection, revolt, rebellion (especially in the religious sense: apostasy)

To the below?

10 hours ago, Abdicate said:

departure

Nothing in the word 'apostasia' suggests or implies 'leaving from one place to go to another', which pretrib demands be the case.

Sorry, no pretrib anything here.

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