2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Excludes the Pretribulation Rapture

pretribulation rapture

1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
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, (2 Thess. 2:1-3 NKJ)

As Paul writes concerning the coming of Christ and the rapture which pretribulationalists insist cannot occur on the “Day of the Lord”, the “Majority Text” [Robinson-Pierpont; Hodges-Farstad; Orthodox Church; Textus Receptus; Complutensian Polyglot; F35 Pickering] “Day of Christ” reading is “doubtless correct”:

Instead of “Christ” [in 2 Thess. 2:2], some 15% of the Greek manuscripts have ‘Lord’ (as in NIV, NASB, LB, TEV, etc.); the 85% that have “Christ” (including the best line of transmission) are doubtless correct.- Pickering ThM. PhD., Dr. Wilbur. THE SOVEREIGN CREATOR HAS SPOKEN — New Testament Translation with Commentary Second Edition (Kindle Locations 22142). Kindle Edition.

The “coming” [3952 παρουσία parousia] of Christ and “our gathering [rapture] together to Him” occur on the “Day of Christ”, AFTER the “falling away” [646 ἀποστασία apostasia] and Antichrist-Beast “come first”.

Some point to the secondary meaning of ἡ ἀποστασία “the departure” (Tyndale, Coverdale, Cranmer, Geneva Bible, Beza, World English Bible, Revised Patriarchal Greek Orthodox NT) for support this means “the rapture”. That contradicts the passive nature of the rapture, it is not something the church does, God does it to the church.. “Our gathering together to Him” is an act of God—He seizes (726 ἁρπάζω harpazo) the church, taking it to Himself (1 Thess. 4:17). God is active, the church passive as He “seizes” the church without any effort on their part. Therefore, even where ἡ ἀποστασία is rendered “the departure” (active), it cannot refer to “the rapture” (passive).

Even Pretribber John Walvoord admits:

In this instance Gundry, seconded by Ladd, is probably right: the word probably refers to doctrinal [“departure”] defection of the special character that will be revealed in the day of the Lord.”-Walvoord, John F.. The Rapture Question . Zondervan. Kindle Edition.[Bracketed material mine]

The “resurrection-rapture” (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 5:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; Rev. 14:12-16; 7:9, 14) cannot happen before the Antichrist persecutes the Church so severely it is called the “Great Tribulation” (Matt. 24:15, 21-22; Rev. 13:7). Therefore, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 excludes the possibility of a pretribulation rapture.

Paul is compelled to write this chapter because the mystery of lawlessness was “already at work” (2 Thess. 2:7) shaking the mind and troubling Thessalonians by “spirit…word…letter” “the day of Christ had come” (2 Thess. 2:2) and the “gathering” [resurrection-rapture 1 Thess. 4:13-18] had left them behind. False prophets armed with fake apostolic “word…letter” were spreading the Gnostic lies of Hymenaeus and Philetus “the resurrection is already past” (2 Tim. 2:17-18) “shaking the mind and troubling” the Thessalonians, overthrowing “the faith of some”.

5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. (2 Thess. 2:5-6 NKJ)

Paul is surprised the Thessalonians forgot what he told them about the End-Time apostasy (2 Thess. 2:5), how a Satanic “working” (1753 ἐνέργεια energeia) with all power, signs and wonders will “authenticate lie to be truth” (2 Thess. 2:9-12) inspiring a “lawless revolt” against “all called God or that is worshiped” (2 Thess. 2:3-4) once God’s decree restraining Satanic manifestation on earth was “taken out of the way” (2 Thess. 2:6-7). Then the “lawless one” is revealed (601 ἀποκαλύπτω apokalupto).

A sign and wonder working evangelist named Adonikam (Ezra 2:13; Neh. 7:18; Rev. 13:18) is hailed as the Christ by the “fallen away church”. When Satan the Dragon and his Nephilim (Gen. 6:4; Rev. 12:3-4) appear on earth (Rev. 12:7-9) disguised as mankind’s “Elohim-Designers”, the False Christ “man of sin” Adonikam hails their arrival as the coming of the kingdom of God. For the next 42 months the strong delusion of “ancient alien theory/scientific Atheism” causes a global revolt against all called God or worshiped. Times and law of human society are overthrown (Dan. 7:25).

The Dragon chooses Adonikam to be “Chancellor” of the new Grecian-Roman Beast Government (Rev. 13:1-2) that will rule over the earth (Dan. 7:7-8; 8:9-12; 9:27; 12:11; Mat. 24:15). The earth reluctantly submits to the new world order (Rev. 6:2). The city of Babylon is rebuilt as its capital.

Just as in the days of Noah, Nephilim fallen angels (Gen. 6:2, 4) again walked among men (Lk. 17:26; Gen. 6:4). Elohim and human scientists did genetic experiments and marriages searching for a “workaround” YHWH’s prohibiting “immortality” (Gen. 3:24) to man.

At “mid-week” or 3.5 years into the End, the “man of sin” morphs into “the Son of Destruction” claiming to be the hybrid seed of Satan (Gen. 3:15) and declares his nature above even the Elohim (2 Thess. 2:4). He blasphemes YHWH God and His heavenly Host and all who dwell in heaven (Rev. 13:5-6) as an inferior faction of Elohim (Dan. 7:8; 8:9-12). He sits down in the Church the Temple of God, with Satanic energeia power working signs showing he is God (2 Thess. 2:4).

Just as God permitted Pharaoh’s magicians work wonders (Ex. 7:11), so YHWH permits some of His Army be cast down to the earth (Dan. 8:10), sending a strong delusion (2 Thess. 2:11) God could be resisted, just as He did to Pharaoh.

Fueling the apostasy, disillusioned Pretribulationists will become mockers:

3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Pet. 3:1-4 NKJ)

Scoffers exist in every generation, but their arguments usually concern other things, not the “coming of Christ”. What “tips the scale” indicating these scoffers are disillusioned believers who have “departed from the faith” and not secular objectors? Peter’s observation they “walk according to their own lusts”. It isn’t noteworthy unbelievers walk according to their own lusts, ONLY IF these are former believers does “walking according to their own lusts” become pertinent, material to the context, genuine revelation.

[Not just pretribbers fall away, the entire earth will fall away from all called God because few warned them Satan and the Nephilim would return disguised as the Elohim designers of mankind.]

The Great Tribulation begins:

7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. (Rev. 13:7 NKJ)

When Adonikam declared himself God, the religious services of Harlot Babylon are redundant, so the ten kings of the Empire burn her with fire (Rev. 17:16). The Harlot gave a measure of political protection from the crazed globalists (Dan. 12:7; Rev. 12:6) even if inhospitable (Rev. 11:1-2). But now their political power is shattered, and the Church must flee Babylon (Dan. 7:25; 8:24; 12:7; Jer. 51:6, 44-45; Rev. 18:4-5).

After Adonikam slays God’s two Witnesses (Rev. 11:7) he begins persecuting the Church and the Great Tribulation begins. Russia-Iran-Turkey resist the Beast and nuke rebuilt Babylon. Then Britain and America “two horned beast” (Rev. 13:11) unite under one called “the False Prophet” and they come to the aid of the “wounded Empire of the Beast.” Russia-Iran-Turkey and allies stand down and reluctantly submit to Adonikam. The military of the Anglo-American “False Prophet” has “fallen angel technology” far superior to anything Russia or others have. Formerly free market Christian nations the Two horned Beast now speaks like a Dragon for central planning and the Seed of Satan (Gen. 3:15; 2 Thess. 2:3-4). They create the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Abomination of Desolation for the Desolator Adonikam to enforce his 666 membership only economy . It is a living image of the Beast . Everything connected allows Adonikam see and hear in real time and kill all who try to disconnect or harm the network in any way. At 1,290 days the Beast Adonikam is fully interfaced with the network image (Dan. 12:11; Mat. 24:15-22; Rev. 13:15-17).

The church will be raptured during the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:14; 14:13-16) about 1,335 days counting from the beginning of the End Time “week” when Adonikam was received as “the Christ” and that apostasy took away the Church’s Daily Sacrifice (Dan. 12:11-12). We cannot know the “day and hour” (Mat. 24:36) because symbolic times may be approximate (Mat. 24:22), but these events inform us when He is near (Mat. 24:32-34). Only evil servants say in their heart “my master is delaying his coming” (Mat. 24:48-51), Christ’s disciples will eagerly wait for His appearing and keep on watch (Mat. 24:41-47).

This is the “pre-wrath rapture”, before the bowls of God’s wrath are poured out (Rom. 5:9; Rev. 15:1-7; 14:17-20). Upon seeing the rapture many become believers, many Jews convert, and Christ sends His angels to gather them from the four corners of the earth (Mat. 24:29-31; Dan. 12:1).

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matt. 24:29-31 NKJ)

In the End Time, all who follow signs and wonders rather than God’s Word of Truth will be deceived (2 Thess. 2:9-12). Only those energized by the mystery of Godliness, God the Holy Spirit inspiring lawfulness and love for God’s truth the Bible, will be saved:

13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,
14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,
17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. (2 Thess. 2:13-17 NKJ)

END NOTE
It is commonly believed the 666 Mark will be something the unsuspecting might accept as if people are deceived thinking they received something else. That is against the revelation of Scripture. The Beast Adonikam will reveal he is the “seed of Satan” (2 Thess. 2:3; Gen. 3:15) and brag about it (Dan. 7:11; 8:11; Rev. 13:5). All accepting his mark know they are choosing Satan’s child over YHWH God. Just as the Swastika was everywhere, 666 will become the symbol of the Rebels fighting against YHWH God. No one is deceived; they all accepted the Mark of the Beast in full knowledge, that is why they merit Eternal Torment (Rev. 14:9-11) because they knowingly chose Satan over God. If they did not have full awareness, then they would merit lessor punishment (cf. Luke 12:47-48).

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Mystery of Lawlessness
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