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The Persecuted Church




Pt.2 Words in their context and their meaning

Some portray any apostasy as an inconclusive sign. Why? They claim there has always been doctrinal/ spiritual departures by individuals leaving the faith since the beginning of the Church. “THE Apostasy” in the latter days is not applied to an individual’s departure because we are told about the time of the end where a significant rise of false teachers, prophets increasing with doctrines of demons are being taught to the church. This departure is describing what is abnormal. There is always a faithful remnant among the faithless. And there has also been tares among the wheat since the beginning of the church, unbelievers and believers but this is not what it is speaking of. All through history we have had faithlessness, those who fall away, but this apostasy will become the most serious and dangerous at the end because that is when Scripture tells us false teachers and prophets increase. It is an accumulation of unchecked false teaching that enlarges to become an overwhelming factor at the end of the age. The apostasy increases inside the church because a mass amount of people want to listen to false teachers, who receive their teaching from fallen spirits (demons) (1 Tim. 4:2). Therefore, The falling away does not mean they will always openly deny Christ, or stop using His name.

This is not about individuals leaving the faith but a mass abandonment of one’s former commitment. Clearly the cause is from a widespread deception. The apostasy is a progressive event wherein many depart from the Word; however only those who are faithful to the Word will notice. The apostasy separates the faithless from the faithful.

2 Peter 3:16-17 warns of the ‘untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked”

We need to take notice of it for our own good; for our protection. Before the deception deepens, God wants people to be aware and to be given the chance of separating from it before it is so strong that they are swept away in it.

In the early church they often left because they were exposed, in the last days they stay, causing division because they are ignored and are followed causing an apostasy from within.

1 John 2:19 they went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”

All through Scripture we are warned of the latter time being different than any time before, this can’t be contested.

“Among the parables of the kingdom in Matthew 13 is the parable of the leaven (Matthew 13:33), which depicts the course of this present Church age. It describes a progression of apostasy that radically escalates in the end. Jesus describes a woman putting leaven into three measures of meal, “until the whole was leavened.” The church is to be like unleavened bread, Paul said, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump,” get rid of it. Leaven can do several things, the most obvious–it puffs up; it represents pride, it does the opposite of what the gospel does which humbles man and makes us God-reliant. Leaven in Scripture also stands for sin and false teaching (1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9). The woman in the parable represents the Church. She did something God prohibits; she hid the leaven in the meal, mingling a foreign ingredient into the body. Leaven in this case is false teaching. This is speaking of a corrupting influence that would infiltrate all parts of the Church body. As a little yeast is hidden in the flour, it works silently until all the mass is affected. What began small, will gradually increase through the centuries until, at the end, it is completed. By this characterization of leaven in the meal, believers are warned that false teaching will gradually increase through time until the entire church has been affected in some way.” (Excerpt from the Empty Pulpit)

The rapture, the tribulation does have an event preceding them, to be known among those who are awake. The last state of Christianity contains the APOSTASY or everything that is said is contradictory.

What is The Apostasy?

THE Apostasy is not referring to people who are unbelievers who attend church, it is not pertaining to someone’s doctrinal misunderstanding, though it may contribute. It is describing those who turn from trusting Jesus Christ, by abandoning His Word. It is described in many ways as a rebellion, a leaving, a withdrawal, a defection, “to stand away from.”

Those involved can reject Christ, abandon Scripture completely or they can substitute it with another belief, mix it so that it is no longer valid. An example is the many that do not believe in a rapture or tribulation but instead believe in Church dominionism takes place in the end which reshapes their Christian view of the last days.

In Revelation Jesus commends those who have kept My word, and have not denied My name. (Rv. 3:8; Jn. 20:31) preceding the tribulation period. Two important elements, His Word and His Name. John 5:43)

2 Thessalonians 2

BEFORE the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered up together unto Him, The ‘falling away’ (apostasy) comes FIRST.

What Paul is describing is not good, emphasized by the article THE before it. “That day” will not come until THE departure comes first. If this departure actually refers to the rapture of the Church it does not fit the context. Paul is not saying that a departure will come before the same departure happens; he is saying that the falling away (departure from the faith) will happen before the gathering, which is the rapture.

The Departure is not a reference to our being GATHERED TOGETHER UP TO CHRIST by the command of the Lord (as referred to in 1 Thess. 4 the rapture). Paul places the departure before the Rapture. They are not the same, one takes place before the other.

rebellion ἀποστασία (apostasia)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 646: Defection, apostasy, revolt. Feminine of the same as apostasion; defection from truth.

Called THE definitive article.




that day shall not come, except




there come




a falling away





ap-os-tas-ee'-ah; feminine of the same as (647) (ἀποστάσιον); defection from truth (properly the state) ["apostasy"]: — falling away, forsake.

Same exact word used in Act 21:21.

In Acts 21:21, departure is translated to ‘forsake.’ You teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying … nor to walk according to the customs .’ Greek: 646. ἀποστασία (apostasia) same word in 2 Thess. 2:3 for [it will not come] unless the apostasy comes (NAS).

They are apostasizing from Moses, his teachings. In 2 Thessalonians 2, the same word, construct and principle, they are apostasizing from Christ, his teachings (As Paul later extrapolates in 1 Tim. 4:2-3).

It is "a willful falling away from, or a rebellion against Moses and against Christ.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament also says of Acts 21:21 apostasian (NT:640) (our apostasy), a late form (1 Macc. 2:15) for the earlier [apostasis] (cf. 2 Thess 2:3 for apostasia (NT:640).

Verb form of apostasia comes from the Greek verb aphistemi, which literally means, “to depart” or “revolt.”

Of the 9 times mentioned only 2 times does it mean a spiritual departure (the other times it is a physical). Does this mean that we should then discount the 2 and make it 1, or none because it is sometimes applied differently?

The words for being taken by Christ, (raptured), and departing are not the same. Our gathering together unto Him are more accurately translated to our being gathered up into Him .’ The Greek word Epi-synagoges, EPI- means “above”, and SUNAGOGES means “housed, or gathered”. It carries the meaning of being assembled together before him who has called us up.

V.3 “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the (departure) falling away comes firs t. The word departure implies that the one leaving does so of his own accord, this is not the same with the catching away of the church which is Christ’s action to bring us to himself. Depart is our doing, it cannot be the rapture, for we do not rapture ourselves.

I personally believe the rapture is pre tribulation, and I also believe the falling away is pre rapture. One before the other just as Jesus said.

The falling awaythe departure Paul is speaking of does not refer to the rapture of the Church, it does not fit the context. Here is why, Paul is saying that the falling away (departure from the faith) will happen before our gathering to Christ, the rapture, and before the Tribulation.

It is so obvious these are two events, not one, the falling away being the rapture. The APOSTASY does not begin with The Tribulation, it begins BEFORE it. This Present time, the end of the Age ends with THE TRIBULATION. Jesus returns physically with his church to end the tribulation and establish his kingdom, the millennial reign on earth.

Prophecy revealed

The angel says to Daniel, “I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come ." (Dan. 10:14)

Dan 12:4 all through his book he is given knowledge to understand, the word understand[ing] is used 23 times in his book. The prophet Daniel spoke of the time of the end” (12:4) seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. He is referring not to worldly knowledge (though that too will increase) but increased knowledge of God, thatprophecy would be better understood. It is at the time of the end we can understand. In other words the Church could not understand much prophecy in the beginning as it was withheld for those who lived at that time.

Dan. 12:9-11 “ for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand .” Who is wise? Those who know the Scriptures.

In v. 5 of 2 Thess. 2 Paul states “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? The rapture which he spoke in detail of in 1 Thess. 4 and the Tribulation in chapt.5 of which Paul had already explained to them in person to which we have some of what is written.

Supportive points

Why can’t Paul be speaking of a departure of the faith in 2 Thess. 2:3 as he does later in 1 Tim.4:1?

1 Tim 4:1 In the latter times en (NT:1697) husterois (NT:5244) kairois (NT:2505). The phrase only here. For kairos (NT:2505) "particular season or juncture," see the notes at Matt 12:1; Acts 1:7. Not the same as en (NT:1697) eschatais (NT:2047) heemerais (NT:2216) "in the last days," 2 Tim 3:1, which denotes the period closing the present aeon, and immediately preceding the parousia; signifying a time that is future to the writer. Paul does not think of his present as "the latter days."

1 Tim 4:1 Some shall fall away aposteesontai (NT:862 a) tines (NT:5043). Future middle of afisteemi (NT:862 a), intransitive use, shall stand off from, to fall away, apostatize (2 Cor 12:8) .(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament)

The word “some” means the possibility of any person. It is the same meaning Jesus gave in Matt 24:24-25 for false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect .”

Paul further explains the departure of faith in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, " For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. "

Lest look at the words together in 2 Thess.2:3

for [it will not come] ὅτι ( hoti ) Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3754: Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.

The ἡ ( ) Article - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

rebellion ἀποστασία ( apostasia ) Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 646: Defection, apostasy, revolt. Feminine of the same as apostasion; defection from truth.

A related noun is used for a divorce (Matthew 5:31;19:7; Mark 10:4 ). In a slightly modified form, ‘apostasion’, this word means ‘bill of divorce.’ The word apostasia means the unlawful and willful abandonment of a prior commitment.

The word APOSTASY in the New testament is the same word used for DIVORCE; in The Last Days, there are those in Christianity will divorce themselves from (leave, renounce) Jesus Christ.

Another way to explain this is the Church, His body is likened unto the Bride of Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:22-32). At the same time of the apostasy taking place God is gathering a remnant without spot or blemish.

Other words used for forsaken

Physical meaning

2 Tim 4:10 Demas has forsaken me,

Heb. 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,

Spiritual meaning

2 Peter 2:15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray,

Matt 27:46-47 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

Heb. 13:5-6 "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Other similarities found are Israel described at the end of the book of Judges, when everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

We have these promises 2 Tim 2:17-21 “Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”

Many times Israel left God, yet God had mercy saying,

"I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from them, " (Hosea 14:4).

2 Tim. 2:12-13 “ If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself .

With the Lord there is always hope.

Pt.3  2 Thessalonians 2:3- the Early church and Bible translations


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