Thy Kingdom Come -The Sovereignty Of The Rapture – Part 4 – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

Thy Kingdom Come -The Sovereignty Of The Rapture – Part 4 – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

I. Introduction.

As was shown in the prior article, an unhealthy bias can do great harm to a study of God’s Word. In this article, I will show how such a bias can totally destroy the meaning of a vitally important passage of Scripture.

II. Consider the passage. 2 Thes 2:1-4 (NASB).

1. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit, or a message, or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. No one is to deceive you in any way! For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts 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.

III. Commentary.

A. Scripture has a great deal to say concerning the individual who will appear in the end time as the head of the Gentile powers in their ten kingdom federation. His person and work are presented in Ezekiel 28:1-10; Daniel 7:7-8, 20-26; 8:23-25; 9:26-27; 11:36- 45; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10; Revelation 13:1-10; 17:8-14. A synthesis of the truths in these passages will reveal the following facts concerning his activities: (1) He will appear on the scene in the “latter times” of Israel’s history (Dan. 8:23). (2) He will not appear until the Day of the Lord has begun (2 Thess. 2:2). (3) His manifestation is being hindered by the Restrainer (2 Thess. 2:6-7). (4) This appearance will be preceded by a departure (2 Thess. 2:3), of the saints to be with the Lord (2 Thess. 2:1).

B. The above passage is very simple to understand, except when an unhealthy bias enters the conversation. In (4) above, the context of the word “departure” has been destroyed, beyond comprehension. We will look at pieces of this puzzle and put them together in an understandable manner.

1. In today’s Bible translations “departure” has been translated in a number of ways, such as:

a. Rebellion: NIV, NLT, NET. Apostasy: NASB, CSB, NCSB. Falling away: KJV, NKJV, ASV,ERV.  Amplified Bible: “the apostasy comes first, that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians.”

b. In each of the above translations, the understanding is that God’s created beings, His church, will do something to make God act. But, the context of Scripture does not allow such to happen.

2. Consider God’s plan of redemption, which He announced after the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:15 NKJV). Notice that God said, “I will.” He did not say, “If you will, or if you do, then I will.” This is God’s determined and unalterable plan of redemption, based on His Sovereign plan.

“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

3. Consider that which must happen for the translated words of “apostasy, rebellion, falling away, or the abandonment of faith” to be the correct translation of 2 Thes 2:3. In order for such a rebellion to happen, God will have to cause His born again believers in Christ to rebel against Him (Father and Son). Let’s consider the translations that were used prior to the KJV in 1611.

4th Cen. Latin Vulgate departure
1384 Wycliffe Bible departure
1388 Wycliffe-Purvey Bible departure
1526 Tyndale Bible departure
1535 Coverdale Bible departure
1539 Cranmer Bible departure
1540 Great Bible departure
1560 Geneva Bible departing
1576 Breeches Bible departing
1582 Rheims Bible revolt (The Rheims Bible is a Catholic translation, suggests the revolt against the Roman Church by the reformers.)
1583 Beza Bible departing
1608 Geneva Bible departing

a. In each of the above translations (except the Rheims Bible), the meaning of apostasy (apostasia)  is clearly a departure from the earth, which will be the rapture, and not a rebellion of God’s people toward God’s Word. The purpose of the rapture is to remove the church from the earth so that God can deal with the nation of Israel, and to lead Jews to faith in Christ (God’s chosen king of Israel, Deu 17:15). In Matt 24:14 we see a tribulation ministry of the 144,000 Jewish missionaries (Rev 7:1-3, 4-8) to lead lost souls to faith in Christ.

b. Scripture shows the occurrence of the catching up of the saints in the following passages [rapio (Latin), herpazo (Greek), rapture (English]. Research has provided the year of each Biblical happening.

1. Genesis 5:24, Enoch. the seventh from Adam (4004 B.C.). 2. 2 Kings 2:11, Elijah, 896 B.C. 3. Isaiah 6:1, Isaiah, 758 B.C. 4.  John 14:2-3, 33 A.D. 5.  1 Thes 4:16-17, 54 A.D. 6. 2 Thes 2:3, 54 A.D. 7. 1 Cor 15:51-53, 59 A.D. 8. 2 Cor 12:2-4, 60 A.D.  9. Titus 2:13, 65 A.D.

4. After the church has been taken to heaven by Christ in the Rapture, the church will undergo the Bema judgment (2 Cor 5:10) for rewards, and will stay with Jesus in heaven (1 Thes 4:17-18) until the seven year tribulation ends. Jews that will be left behind from the rapture will enter the Day of the Lord in the Tribulation. We will discuss the details of the Day of the Lord in the following article.

IV. About This Series Of Articles.

This study is one of Bible Exposition, which extends from the first verse of Genesis through the last verse of Revelation. The key focus of the study relates to Matthew 6:10, where Jesus tells the Jews to pray for the Kingdom to Come; there was never such a prayer that was addressed to Gentiles. The kingdom did not come during the time that Jesus was on this earth, and has not come since He ascended to Heaven. The Kingdom does not enter people; people will enter the Kingdom, and will be physically here on earth, which will be a prophecy that fulfills 2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16-17. The Kingdom is unconditional, and applies only to Israel; Gentiles will benefit from God’s unconditional gift of the Davidic Kingdom to Israel (Genesis 12:1-3).

V. Article References. 

Lewis Sperry Chafer, Th. D. (1871-1952). J. Vernon McGee, Th. D. (1904-1988). Merrill F. Unger, Ph. D. (1909-1980). Charles L. Feinberg, Ph. D. (1909-1995). John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (1910-2002). J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (1915-2014). Charles C. Ryrie, Ph. D. (1925-2016). Robert L. Thomas, Th. D. (1928-2017). Stanley D. Toussaint, Th. D. (1928-2017). Robert P. Lightner, Th. D. (1931-2018). Harold W. Hoehner, Ph. D. (1935-2009). Thomas S. McCall, Th. D. (1936-2021). Edward E. Hindson, Ph. D. (1944-2022).

A. One of the most difficult and most important factors of writing an article is related to sources of information. A writer must ensure that such sources have a high degree of knowledge on the subjects that are being written, and also must have a high degree of respect from other writers. A second factor that must be considered relates to how to lawfully use material of other writers. In this web site, copyright statutes are not violated. Also, “public domain,” is to be considered.

B. In this article I have chosen, as references, theologians whom have proven themselves to be highly respected by others in the Biblical doctrine of eschatology (the study of what Scripture teaches about the end times), and other doctrines of scripture. All of the references for this article have a connection with Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) as graduate or instructor. By being an independent seminary, the faculty and staff of DTS are not beholden to any denomination who might “lord over them ” and withhold funds from the Seminary, should DTS not tow a particular denominational line of biased instruction. Consider the credentials of J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D., who taught at DTS for 58 years, close to his 100th birthday, and died, shortly thereafter. John F. Walvoord, Th. D., taught at DTS for 50 years, during which time he was President of DTS for 34 years, dying at age 92. Charles C. Ryrie, Ph. D., taught elsewhere for 40 years, and 20 years at DTS, dying shy of his 91st birthday. Many other examples of teaching longevity can be found in the bios of DTS instructors.

C.  For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following links show information about Dallas Theological Seminary; I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. It is important to understand that DTS is not a denominational seminary, and is totally independent of such.

D. About Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).

1. General Info.

2. Doctrinal Statement.

3. President.

a. Mark Yarbrough. Th. M., Ph. D.

b. Professor of Bible Exposition. Author. Church Pastor/Elder.

Meet Mark Yarbrough, DTS’s Sixth President


Author: Equipping

You may contact me by emailing me on my site's email address, as follows: The Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel. The Church did not replace Israel, and is not spiritual Israel. In the New Testament, “church” and “Israel” are mentioned as being separate entities. In the New Testament “church” is mentioned 112 times; Israel is mentioned 79 times; both are mentioned as being separate entities The Kingdom “has not yet come,” and will not come until the Jewish bloodline of Israel accepts God’s chosen king (Deuteronomy 17:15), which will take place at the end of the Tribulation when the nation of Israel faces decimation and calls on Messiah, Christ, in faith, to save them (Zechariah 12:10). Individual salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and comes through Christ (John 14:6). Things are discussed in this website that relate to God’s creation, from “eternity to eternity,” and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: “God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: “No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans.” The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22.21, as well as anything else that may relate to the Bible..

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