26 Jan Great Apostasy or Great Departing?
A simple mistranslation of a word in 2 Thessalonians 2 could make this chapter confusing and rob us of hope, get it right and the whole chapter makes sense and purifies us with hope.
This is how most modern English translations read as here in the New King James;
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
‘Apostasia’ in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 has not always been translated this way, earlier translations read like this;
Geneva Bible (GNV); Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition.
And a recent translation that is still in draft form reads;
World English Bible (WEB); Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the departure comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction,
One of the very first translations into English is;
Wycliffe Bible (WYC) [That] No man deceive you in any manner. For but dissension come first [For no but departing away, or dissension, shall come first], and the man of sin be showed, the son of perdition,
This falling away gives a sense of turning away from God. The word in Greek here is apostasia which is where we get our word apostasy from. Are we talking about departing from God? In fact once sealed (2 Corinthians 1:22), can one actually depart from God? Or is it talking about a departing but not actually from God but from the world? Greek scholars say that the word can be used for just departing, and not a departing from faith in God.
A google search brought me here biblefood.com/apostasia.com and the author explains; The Greek word “Apostasia” is a compound of two Greek words: “Apo” = “to move away”, “stasis” means “standing or state”, or “to stand”. “Literally, from its basic definition, “apostasia” means “to go away from”, or “depart”, or “change state or standing from one state to another”.
Reading it as a great apostasy is not encouraging, and does not sit well with scripture. The church withering away and the saints jumping like rats from a sinking ship does not sound like a bride without spot or wrinkle or that we as the called out ones are not secure in Christ.
- Jesus said that the gates of hell will not withstand the church (Matthew 16:18) this does not sound like a defeated sorry lot waiting to be kicked by the antichrist.
- We are, according to 1 Peter 1:5, kept by the power of God.
- In the last days there will and there are now mockers, religious people but no Jesus, people that say they are one of us but do not believe and no Holy Spirit. There have always been unbelievers in the church, all through church history and maybe there will be more so in the last days but I do not see this as a falling away of the church. Now God says He will keep us from stumbling and present us faultless (Jude 24).
- All generations are to the glory of Jesus (Ephesians 3:20-21)
- Jesus will personally present to Himself a glorious church, a Holy church (Ephesians 5:27).
The other important ingredient is always to read in context. The opening sentence in 2 Thessalonians 2;
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,”
The context here is Jesus coming for His Church. That sounds like the rapture, the catching away, or departing from where we were standing.
Now if we would read 2 Thessalonians 2:3 in light of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (See also 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). We will see that if we are alive and in Christ when the Lord receives us to Himself, we will meet the Lord with those that have already passed away in the air, the clouds. This is plain speaking, not falling away from faith, but a falling away from earth or a departing upwards. Even a changing from one state to another.
Now when we read the rest of the chapter it begins to make sense.
2 Thessalonians 2:6-8; And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, ….
Who restrains? Who will be taken out of the way? It is He who is in the church and the church is in Him, The head over the Church, we will come to Him where He is, the Church and the Holy Spirit together with Him.
This is our heavenly calendar, the next event, the great disappearing and I am looking forward to it. It is our great Hope, and this hope purifies us. In my New King James Bible there is a heading in big black type “The Great Apostasy” I blacked out Apostasy with my big black pen and wrote “Departing” and I feel very good about that.
So to finish off, let us see what purifies us, is it not the hope that we will see Him and be like Him.
1 John 3 New King James Version (NKJV); Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
I first came across this in a Pastor Joseph Prince teaching “Fear Not! Death is Conquered”, you can go to his website and download it here; Fear Not! Death Is Conquered!
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