Thursday, April 28, 2016

What is the "falling away" of 2 Thes. 2:3?

There is some debate over what the "falling away" is that Paul mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Bible correctors say that it is referring to the rapture of the Body of Christ (obviously not true, though I am "pre trib") and others say it is a reference to apostasy of the Body of Christ in the last days. I believe both views are wrong. 

I think when we look at 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 and then go back to Daniel where the Man of Sin and the 70th week are talked about extensively, we will have a good understanding of what the falling away is. 

2 Thessalonians 2:
[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

Daniel 11:
[33] And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
[34] Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
[35] And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
[36] And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
[37] Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
[38] But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things

The falling away that precedes the Son of Perdition exalting himself is referring to the Jews falling by the sword, by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. This falling is the judgment that God will bring on them to "to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end".

Remember in Zechariah 13:9 God said "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."

And in Malachi 2:2-3 it says "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifer of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness."

Daniel's 70th Week, the time of Jacob's trouble, is a refining process that God will use to judge Israel and purge their sins. This is God's wrath, which is why we know that the Church the Body of Christ will not be in Daniel's 70th Week (1 Thes. 1:10, 5:9, Rom. 5:9).

Psalms 79:
[1] O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.
[2] The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.
[3] Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.
[4] We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.
[5] How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?
[6] Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.
[7] For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.
[8] O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.
[9] Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.
[10] Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.
[11] Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;
[12] And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.
[13] So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations

God will purge Israel by the spirit of judgment. This is the purpose of the time of Jacob's trouble.

Isaiah 4:
[1] And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
[2] In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
[3] And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
[4] When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
[5] And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.
[6] And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.

Ezekiel 22:
[14] Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it.
[15] And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee.
[Remember Jesus said under the gospel of the kingdom that they will have to endure to the end to be saved in Matthew 10:22, 24:13-14, Mark 13:13.]

Isaiah 1:
[24] Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:
[25] And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
[26] And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellers as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.
[27] Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
[28] And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
[29] For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.
[30] For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.
[31] And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.

After this refining and purifying, God will gather the believing remnant of Israel back to Jerusalem and will reign 1,000 years (Rev. 19-20). 

Ezekiel 20:
[33] As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:
[34] And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
[35] And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
[36] Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.
[37] And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
[38] And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
[39] As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.
[40] For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
[41] I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.
[42] And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.

The falling away that is found in Daniel 11:33-38 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (that precedes the Son of Perdition exalting himself) is referring to the Jews falling by the sword, by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. This falling is the judgment that God will bring on them to "to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end". The falling away is not apostasy in the grace age, it is the fall of the nation of Israel into God's judgment. (He will use the Man of Sin to do this) There is no reason to believe that believers under grace must go apostate before the Day of the Lord will come, you don't have to do much reading before you realize that most believers throughout history have been apostates. Even in Paul's day....

The chuches of Galatia

Galatians 1:6-7 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 

The churches of Asia

2 Timothy 1:15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 

And we all know Corinth's situation. The Bible does not teach that believers under grace must reach a certain level of apostasy before the Day of the Lord begins.

--Eli Caldwell

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