I was watching J.D. Farag the other day and he read from 2 Thessalonians 2:3, from the Geneva Bible, and I noted that they translated the word “apostasia” as departing. He didn’t comment on the passage, but I noted that this translation is a little ambiguous and could be taken as “a departing from this world” instead of “a departing from the faith”, which is what the original meant!
Since my last post about Servus Christi’s attack on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and the fact that he singled out J.D. Farag for this very reason, I thought that my readers would find this letter of some value, and it certainly is apropos to both Josh Chavez’ video and J.D. Farag’s!
After all, the things the Spirit shows us aren’t for us alone, but for the edification of the whole body of Christ. I was a little rushed when I wrote this, so I have added comments in (parenthesis) to make the meaning clearer.
J.D. Farag’s video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2W0hiPJzv8 and the part I am referring to is found at the 11:50 point in the video.
Here is my letter:
“(Dear) JD, I was a little disturbed by your reading of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 from the Geneva bible, the other day, especially their use of the word “departing” in place of the phrase “falling away”. It looked like you are playing with the error that this is saying that “before our gathering together unto Jesus in the Rapture, there will be a departure, in the Rapture from this earth first”.
(I know you said that “that day” is referring to the Tribulation, but Paul makes it clear in verse 1 that “that day” is “our gathering together unto Him” which is very clearly the Rapture!)
If ever there was a reason to look to the Greek this is it! The word in question is αποστασια which is transliterated as “apostasia” and is the root of our modern English word Apostasy! Thayer’s defines it as 1. a falling away, defection, apostasy. And, Strong’s defines it as: Feminine of the same as G647; defection from truth [properly the state],[“apostasy”], – falling away, forsake.
By the way G647 is “Apostasion” which means 1. divorce, repudiation 2. a bill of divorce… just for interest’s sake!
(In many ancient cultures women were considered property, without any rights, so in those cultures a woman could not divorce her husband, but they couldn’t stop her from walking away from him! I think this is the difference between apostasion [m] and apostasia [f]. Essentially most of the modern church, who should be the bride of Christ, is walking-away from Him!)
The Geneva bible is correct that this is a “departing from the faith” but the use of the word “departing” could imply “a departure from this world”! This is not what is in view here, and I know some prophecy “scholars” think it is, but they are (seriously) mistaken!
To read it this (your) way, it would sound like this: “concerning the rapture of the Church, and our gathering together unto Him; first must come the Rapture…”! This makes NO SENSE!
No, we are in the midst of a major falling away from the true faith, even as I write to you!
I am saying this as a (Dispensational) Pre-Trib Rapturist, and a friend!
When I started studying prophecy on my own, several years ago, this passage was one of the first things I noticed. What I noticed is that many dispensationalists focus on verses 5-8 because it teaches a pre-Tribulation Rapture, but they ignore verses 1-4!
I also noticed that many from the other camps, such as Amillennialists, ignore verses 5-8 and focus on verses 1-4, because they think it teaches that the Church will go through the Tribulation! Nothing could be further from the truth! (just because you might know who the Antichrist is does not mean you will go through the Great Tribulation!)
Here’s what I think this is saying; There are 2 revealings of the Antichrist; one before the Rapture, and another after the Rapture! These two different revealings are to two different groups of people! The first group is blood-bought-born-again-believers, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit! This goes along with Amos 3:7 ” Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
The second group is those who will be saved during the Tribulation, after the Rapture! They will see the sign of the Antichrist renewing a peace deal between the nations of the Gog and Magog war, and Israel! This is not his own peace deal, but a copy of the one which will have been put in place after the Psalm 83 war!
Certainly the Lord put much more in His word than most Christians suspect, but who is in the seat of the prophets today? There are no biblical prophets today, but in their place is the Born-Again Church of the Living God! (Among these are those who have been given the gift of prophecy) These will know who the Antichrist is, shortly before the Rapture, and the reason is that they will attempt to warn the world! Most professing Christians will say “you’re crazy! He’s a man of God!” and I can tell you that no professing Christian who identifies the Antichrist as a man of God will be going in the Rapture! [Unless he repents first!]
There are signs given in the Word, about the End Times, and even who the Antichrist is, but most professing Christians will miss them because they are too much influenced by this world! Too much influenced by western culture, which itself is too heavily influenced by the Roman Church! When the Reformers left Rome they should have left everything Roman behind them, but like Rachel, when she left her father, who took one of his idols with her, the Protestants clung to too much of Rome, for their own (detriment)!
So, now, dear brother, please go and read 2 Thes. 2:1-8 with this in mind, and see if what I am saying makes some sense?
The whole passage should always be read together, and it reads as follows:
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
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.
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;
4 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, shewing himself that he is God. 2 Thes.2:1-4
Really the rest of the chapter, especially verses 5-8 should be read at the same time, but I will let you read it on your own!
The “day of Christ” not only includes the Tribulation, but also the Rapture of the Bride! How you will view the “day of Christ” depends on where you are; for those on earth it will be the worst time in the history of the planet, Hell on earth, but for those in Heaven it will be the best time they have ever experienced!
If I could sum up what I am saying it is this, I believe that 1 Thess. 2:3 is saying “let no man deceive you by any means, for the day of our gathering together unto Jesus will not occur until the great falling away occurs, and the Antichrist will be revealed, the son of perdition”. The next 4 verses say that the Antichrist will be revealed when “he who hindereth”, the Holy Spirit indwelt Church, is taken out of the way”!
This is not a contradiction! The Antichrist will be revealed to two different groups of people at two different times; the first is the true Church, before the Rapture, and before he has power to harm them, and the second is to the Tribulation saints, after the Rapture!
Why would the Holy Spirit show the true Church who the Beast is before the Rapture? So they have a chance to warn the world! They won’t believe you when you tell them, and they might persecute you for what you are saying, but some of them will understand after the Rapture!
Are you looking for signs of imminent Rapture? The first revealing of the Antichrist is one of them, and the current apostasy in professing Christendom is another! A couple of other signs are the Psalm 83 war, and following it, the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39! When you see all of these things, look up, for your redemption draweth nigh!