The Rapture Will Protect God’s Saints From The Tribulation!

The Rapture Will Protect God’s Saints From The Tribulation!

 

 

 

The Rapture will protect God’s saints from the Tribulation—the seven years of judgment that will be poured out on earth between the Rapture and the Second Coming.

There are some who argue the Tribulation period will begin before the Rapture. However, the Bible says that “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1), which suggests the Church will not experience God’s judgment during the Tribulation.

There are others who teach the church will go through part or all of the Tribulation. But it’s clear that God’s wrath begins at the start of the Tribulation when Jesus opens the seals and sends forth the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

In Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians, he teaches on the topic of the Rapture in every chapter and gives instruction for the church…

to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 1:9

Seven years after the Rapture, Jesus will return to earth to rescue Israel at His Second Coming. His return will be entirely different from His first coming in Bethlehem as a humble Child.

When Christ returns, He will appear as the exalted King of the universe, surrounded by His saints and angels. The powers of evil will be quickly defeated, and Christ will establish His glorious millennial kingdom on earth.

Why Vote In America? Last Week To Vote Early! Beat The Crowd! See Early Voting Locations!

Why Vote In America? Last Week To Vote Early! Beat The Crowd! See Early Voting Locations!

 

 

 

The United States has been going through a particularly difficult time. Some of the problems have been out of our control. But some were brought on by bad choices made by elected officials. Elected officials — that means people we had a hand in choosing. And make no mistake, if you did not vote, you also had a hand in choosing them. Staying home is also a choice — a devastating one.

We all complain when we think the government makes a mistake. But during election season, we can do more than complain. We can act on behalf of our country. We can make a direct difference for our lives and the lives of our children.

For the Christian, voting is more than a privilege. It is a responsibility before God. Churches often talk about stewardship as it relates to money. And they should. That’s an important part of stewardship. But the fact is, we are to be stewards over all the gifts God has given us — including the right to vote. God gave us this precious gift and now we can either throw it in the trash or use it for the good of all.

America stands at a crossroads. Every election becomes more crucial than the last. The dangers grow and the stakes get higher. If you have not voted yet, I urge you to do so. In America, we have no king. We are not ruled by a bloodline. Instead, we are ruled by the choices made during elections. We choose our nation’s direction. That makes the right to vote an enormous responsibility.

If you care about America’s falling morals, its schools, borders, national security, health care, taxes, abortion laws, supporting Israel, the physical environment, or the regulatory environment… you need to vote. If you think voting is too much trouble, remember those who gave their lives to secure and preserve that right. From Valley Forge to Afghanistan, some Americans paid the ultimate price for our right to vote. It is a priceless gift that should not be taken lightly. In fact, if you take it lightly, the radicals in Washington could soon take it away.

Nobody’s asking you to give your life — just some time. Is it really so important? A few years ago, Venezuela was one of the most prosperous nations on earth. They were poised for even greater prosperity. Today, they are a trainwreck. A couple of years ago they had an inflation rate of at least 100,000%. Think about what that does to family savings or to retirement plans. It wipes them out almost instantly. It destroys lives and livelihoods.

What happened to Venezuela? Some people didn’t vote, and many of those who did, allowed themselves to be swayed by selfish desires instead of moral imperatives and love of country.

Rights to free speech are under attack. Rights to freedom of religion are under attack. Rights to assemble are under attack. Vote? Of course we must vote! We must vote prayerfully and thoughtfully, as caring citizens. Your children are worth the trouble. Children yet unborn are worth the trouble.

It would be hard to overstate the importance of our national choices during this election. So, please, for the sake of God and country, for your own sake and that of your loved ones… vote.

Don’t Fear Death Or The Rapture!

Don’t Fear Death Or The Rapture!

Don’t Fear Death
or the Rapture

Illustrated by Elijah & Enoch

10/27/22 By Tim Buck
Fotet.org

O Death, where is your sting? O Grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-56

Elijah – 2 Kings 2:9-12
(9) And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
(10) So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”
(11) Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
(12) And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.

Enoch – Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5; Jude 1:14-15
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

The Rapture was a mystery, unknown to the Old Testament saints and prophets. God illustrated it in the two prophets of Enoch and Elijah, to assure us of its certainty.

Enoch served as a prophet for over three centuries preaching future “unwelcome judgment” according to Jude 1:14-15. He was out on his daily routine of walking with God one day and without warning he was caught up and disappeared from off the earth.

The Hebrew word “walked with God” in Genesis 5:24 is “hithaleich.” It’s the same word used of God walking in the garden of Eden. It emphasizes “fellowship and communion.” The phrase “walked with God” and “pleased God” means the same thing. That was the point of the Hebrews writer – without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Methuselah was the oldest man to have ever lived. He died at the age of 969! However, you could say that his father outlived him. How? Because his father, Enoch, never died!

Elijah’s rapture is the most dramatic rapture in scripture with a chariot of fire and horses of fire sent to pick him up. I would have loved to have seen it! From these thrilling details, his rapture gives us a taste of how much God enjoys rapturing his children. What a ride! It’s exciting, rare and something the church should be looking forward to as much as Elijah was!

Just as we’re told in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Enoch and Elijah did not taste death but were translated and snatched up into the air. God includes the accounts of these two raptures to give us a baseline as to how the rapture is possible and to show us how glorious of an event it will be.

These are two of the greatest Old Testament saints in the Bible who were raptured. Can there be any greater experience than having this happen?

Their rapture illustrates how wonderful the status of the church is in the eyes of God. We stand as a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle as the bride of Christ and the only GROUP ever chosen by God to collectively be raptured together enabling us to enjoy the trip to heaven together, with Jesus as our tour guide!

There’s nothing to fear about death or the rapture for God’s children.  God has it all planned and ready for you on the other side. Neither the believer’s death or the rapture will be a surprise to God!

Let me offer a surprising suggestion as to why we should not fear death. Instead of fearing death, we should anticipate the incredible trip.

At death or at the rapture, we begin a trip like we’ve never experienced before. We become other-worldly travelers through the universe to heaven!

When you die, you’re not going to be alone in some dark realm. Death isn’t like you’re on your own and you have to search for a map to get to heaven.

God will dispatch His angels at just the right time, and they’ll meet us at the moment of death and carry us to the heights of His glory.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
Psalms 91:11

Imagine being on your trip to heaven and discussing it with angels who are sent to keep you informed as you travel together to heaven. The Apostle John spoke often with angels and asked them questions during his tour of heaven recorded in Revelation. Upon arrival at heaven, our angel-guides will escort us into God’s Throne Room, to meet Jesus.
Angels are commissioned by God to care for His children and God’s archangel will accompany Jesus to meet us in the air at the rapture (1 Thess. 4:16).

Though we don’t often see them, our lives are surrounded by angels; and they have more to do with our daily progress and protection than we realize.

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
Hebrews 1:14
What do we do with all this? There are some principles from Enoch and Elijah to consider. They both walked in faith and pleased God. Something we should be doing in the last days. We also know they warned that future judgment was coming to the world. It’s our responsibility to warn of the coming Tribulation period.

Lastly, they were removed so that they wouldn’t see death – an allusion to our rapture. The rapture will occur unannounced and is imminent. Our spiritual responsibility today is to be watching, warning and praying to be ready.

Maranatha,
Even So Come Lord Jesus!
Enoch, A Beautiful Picture Of The Rapture!

Enoch, A Beautiful Picture Of The Rapture!

Enoch, Beautiful Picture
of the Rapture

10/25/22 By Tim Buck
Fotet.org

Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. 
Genesis 5:22-24

Enoch is a beautiful picture of believers (Jew & Gentile) who will be taken up directly to heaven when our LORD returns for His Bride, the church.

Just as Enoch was translated to heaven without seeing death, so also will those of God’s people be translated, who are alive at the rapture.

Please know that the Bible assures us that the Lord will come for us before the start of the seven-year Tribulation, which begins the moment Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel to divide the land. This has not yet happened!

Join us in 2 weeks to learn more about the Rapture!

17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17

 

This Week’s News Of Prophetic Interest.

This Week’s News Of Prophetic Interest.

Vladimir Putin and his new strong man, the butcher in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on October 10 his country will deploy a regional group of military forces with Russia in response to Poland allegedly militarizing its border with Belarus.

This Week’s News of Prophetic Interest

10/15/22 by Tim Buck
Fotet.org

Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Ezekiel 37:9-10

This has been an earth-shaking week, and it seems we are on the verge of an escalation that may evolve into a third world war with nuclear weapons.

Please remember to pray for the US and Israeli elections in November as both will have a huge bearing on the decisions that are being made in Washington, Jerusalem, and through much of Europe, Ukraine, Moscow and the Middle East. The U.S. President and Congress affect the State of Israel more than any other entity on earth! So the enemy has a vested interest on election outcomes in America and Israel especially as we approach the Tribulation.

The world watched in awe as the Kerch Strait bridge erupted in a fireball on Saturday. The four-year-old, 12-mile bridge was a vital road and rail link to Crimea for Russia’s military. Though still unresolved, the blast was likely a missile that took out the bridge. Some feel that it occurred when a semi-truck full of explosives detonated as it was driving across. Russian authorities announced that they have arrested eight people – five Russians and three Ukrainians and Armenians – for the attack.

Russia was quick to retaliate,
targeting civilians, energy, and water. Hundreds have been killed in many of the major cities, including Kyiv, and the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy announced Tuesday that one third of its electricity production facilities were wiped out in just two days. The EU will partially pay the price for Russia’s energy targeting. Ukraine announced on Monday that it will stop exporting electricity to the EU because they need to keep for themselves everything they produce.

Also, in the post-bridge-bombing fallout, Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Sergei Surovikin as the commander of the forces in Ukraine. It was immediately following this appointment that the intentional killing of civilians began across Ukraine. Surovikin has the reputation of being a butcher in his military role. He was greatly condemned for opening fire on pro-democracy demonstrators in Moscow in 1991, and, in his role as commander of Russian forces in Syria, he oversaw the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. This is an ominous turn of events for Ukraine

The threat against Ukraine from Belarus continues to grow. This puppet state of Moscow already serves as a military launching point for Russian missiles. Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, who seems to spend much of his time fruitlessly trying to prove that he is just as tough as his buddy Vladimir Putin, is accusing Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine of training radicals in his country to carry out terrorist attacks. As a result, he is making threats against Ukraine and is amassing his troops along the border. Ukraine watches this with great trepidation, fearing another front opening in this war.

The weak government of Israel caved to Hezbollah’s threats this week regarding disputed gas fields with Lebanon. In the US-brokered agreement with the terrorist-controlled Lebanese government, Israel gave up their established maritime border with Lebanon, opening the door for Hezbollah and Iran’s IRGC forces to operate even more dangerously close to Israel’s northern border. The agreement also gave Lebanon veto rights when it comes to further border accords. This is not strength; it is appeasement. As Winston Churchill chastised Neville Chamberlain when the latter appeased Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich after the annexation of the Sudetenland, “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

The political victory over Israel is one of the few positive recent events for Lebanon.  Lebanese banks closed their doors beginning last Thursday due to the extreme number of robberies by customers demanding to take their own money out of the institutions. This is just further evidence of the freefall of the country’s economy. Then, the Lebanese parliament postponed their election of a new president until October 20 after failing to secure a quorum at the session. The underlying cause of the problem is that there is no candidate that is acceptable to Iran and Hezbollah and its allies. The Lebanese people deserve so much better than they are getting.

In a sad move that shocked no one, the Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster have both expressed “profound concern” over the potential move of the British embassy to Jerusalem. This is just part of the weak-willed, anti-Israel ramifications of a Replacement Theology that says that God is done with Israel.

Iran informed the IAEA that it was implementing three new cascades of the high-level IR-2M centrifuges used for enriching uranium. This, along with other centrifuge cascades, are being installed at the Natanz nuclear plant.

While their nuclear enrichment is going well, Iran’s iron-grip control on their people is being tested. Not surprisingly, the only two who believed the coroner’s report that the cause of death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died while in custody of the morality police for not fully covering her hair, was “underlying disease” and not police brutality were the coroner and Ayatollah Khameini – and even they were a bit iffy. As the number of people who are taking to the streets grows, more are losing their lives.

In new development,
Iranian oil workers have begun to protest putting Iran’s largest industry in jeopardy.

Two billion dollar Iranian oil refinery at Gulf port of Bandar-Abbas

Social media footage shows Iranian oil workers out on strike in support of the nationwide protests. Iranian President Raisi is heckled as protests enter fourth week.

Iranian Oil Workers Strike is Most Serious Threat Yet to the Regime

In what could be an ominous development for the regime in Iran, oil and petrochemical workers are reported to have come out on strike in solidarity with the protesters who have mounted fierce street demonstrations across the country for approaching a month.

More than 1,000 workers at the Bushehr and Damavand petrochemical plants carried out a threat to go on strike, blocking streets and chanting “death to the dictator”, according to Radio Farda. Social media indicated the walkouts then spread to the Kangan refinery.

The oil workers have threatened to “destroy everything they’ve built” if the government forces don’t lay down their weapons against the protestors. Because of the nation’s oil economy, this is a powerful block of individuals who had a huge impact in the fall of the shah’s government back in 1979.

Tension continues to build between the US and Saudi Arabia over oil. After President Biden told the Saudis that there “will be consequences” following the OPEC+ decision to cut production, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that their decision has no political motives. “It’s an economic decision. We will not accept dictates.”

A recent launch of missiles by Kim Jong Un’s military was a simulation of a nuclear attack against South Korea, North Korean government officials said. The intention of the exercise was to show both the South Koreans and the US that they are vulnerable to the Hermit Kingdom’s nuclear weapons.

______________________

FOTET Ministry

Equipping Christians
Waking Up The Sleeping Church 

Unfortunately, Ministries like Focus On The End Times are few and far between. Bible prophecy is shunned by the majority of Churches and Ministries, at the expense of one-third of the Bible and individual believers who desperately need the Blessed Hope that it provides.

Bible Prophecy is a profound witnessing tool, which is especially significant and unique to our generation. Jesus explained the power of prophecy as a way to open people’s eyes to the validity of the Gospel, saying, “I have told you before it comes to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe” (John 14:29).

The world news of today attests to the validity of Scripture because our world is reflective of what God’s Word describes about the time prior to Jesus’ Return and foreshadows many events the Bible states will take place during the Tribulation (Luke 21:28).

Equipping Christians with this reality not only provides them with a profound witnessing tool, but it also serves as a wake-up call for the sleeping church. Romans 13 states that “knowing the time” in which we live, and the nearness of Jesus coming for His Bride, should prompt the sleeping church to understand that “now it is high time to awake out of sleep” (Romans 13:11).

Since we began, it’s been a priority of FOTET to reach as many as possible in the sleeping church and wake them up to an urgency of the hour, the need to take a stand for truth, and sound doctrine.

We would like to thank all of you for your prayers, letters and support in 2022. Your dedication to speaking up for the Truth, our Blessed Hope, and the Gospel is critical in a time in which deception reins and laborers for His Kingdom are so few.

Please pray for our upcoming event. The title and theme of our upcoming special evening on November 8 is “Normal Isn’t Coming Back. JESUS IS.”

Jesus may come today… Are You Ready?

The Rapture Comes First – Another Look At The “Falling Away” In 2 Thessalonians 2:3!

The Rapture Comes First – Another Look At The “Falling Away” In 2 Thessalonians 2:3!

The Rapture Comes First

Another Look At The “Falling Away”
2 Thessalonians 2:3

10/14/22 By Tim Buck
Fotet.org

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (rapture) COMES FIRST, and the man of sin is revealed (Antichrist), the son of perdition.
2 Thessalonians 2:3

As the world moves closer to another world war, which may include nuclear weapons, some speculate that the Tribulation period has already begun.

Others grow weary of waiting for the Lord’s return. How much longer will Jesus keep us on earth before He comes for us? Is He really going to keep us out of the time of the Lord’s wrath that’s rapidly approaching our world?

Please know that the Bible assures us that the Lord will come for us before the start of the seven-year Tribulation, which begins the moment that Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel. This has not yet happened!

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 provides encouragement regarding our hope in Jesus’ soon appearing. In this passage, the Lord promises that His followers will miss the wrath of the coming Day of the Lord, which includes the whole Tribulation period.

Many Bible students also see 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as verse that confirms the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the church:

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (departure/rapture) COMES FIRST, and the man of sin is revealed (Antichrist), the son of perdition.

 
The traditional way of regarding “falling away,” has been to regard this as reference to the last day apostasy in the church. The Greek word here, apostasia, normally makes one think of apostasy such as in a spiritual falling away.

I’ve always been uncomfortable with that interpretation for this prophecy because the text does not define what ‘falling away’ means.  How are we supposed to know how and when the falling away happens and what that means? Is this actually the only prophecy in the Bible with no further explanation?

Apostacy or defecting from the faith is not exclusive to the end times. Consider that the churches in Galatia whom the Apostle Paul wrote about leaving the faith (Gal. 1:6) and most of the 7 churches that the Apostle John writes about in Revelation 2-3 had already fallen away. The book of Jude is devoted exclusively to confronting “apostacy,” meaning defection from the true biblical faith (vs. 3, 17). In other words, there has been a “falling away” among individuals and churches since the first century. In fact, by the 7th century, Islam had conquered all the churches of Asia Minor in modern-day Turkey.

While preachers talk about some great apostacy that we’re supposed to be in today it’s worth noting that at this very moment, some of the largest revivals in church history are taking place in unexpected enemy strongholds like Iran, Afghanistan, India and China. And how do we take Christ’s promise that “the gates of hell will not prevail” against the church if this prophecy says otherwise? And what then did Jesus mean when He promised that He would be with us until the end of the age?

In recent years, apostasia has received heightened scrutiny from biblical scholars with many now regarding it as a reference to the Rapture when Jesus comes to take us home to heaven, the physical departure of the church from the earth.

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (departure/rapture) COMES FIRST, and the man of sin is revealed (Antichrist), the son of perdition.
2 Thessalonians 2:3

 
This aligns with the earliest English translations of the Bible, which often translated apostasia as a ‘departure’ such as a physical exit from a particular location.

Do sound reasons exist for such an interpretation?

I believe they do. Following are reasons to change the long-held viewpoint on this matter to that of regarding apostasia as a reference to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.

THE WORD APOSTASIA CAN REFER TO A PHYSICAL DEPARTURE AND POINT TO THE RAPTURE

The first question to ask is this: Is it possible for apostasia to refer to a physical departure such as the Rapture? Yes, it can.

In his book, The Falling Away, Dr. Andy Woods provides evidence regarding the use of the Greek word apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as a physical departure rather than a “falling away” from the faith. He wrote this regarding the basic meaning of the word:

“. . . apostasia simply means to ‘to stand away from’ or ‘to depart.’ Only by examining how this word is used in its immediate context will determine what the departure is from, whether it be a spiritual or physical departure.”

The root verb form apostasia confirms that it can refer to a physical departure from a location. New Testament writers used the verb form of apostasia fifteen times. As Dr. Woods points out:

“. . .  only three times does it mean a spiritual departure. The remaining twelve times, apostasia clearly means a physical departure. For example, Luke 2:37 says, ‘and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four, she never left (apostasia) the temple.”

Since apostasia can refer to either a physical departure or a spiritual falling away, we must rely on the context to determine the proper interpretation.

THE CONTEXT SUPPORTS A PHYSICAL DEPARTURE

Both the immediate and extended context of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 support a physical departure pointing to the Rapture. In fact, the Rapture is the main theme of the Thessalonian epistles.

2 Thessalonians 2 begins with these words, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him (Rapture) . . .” (v. 1). Here Paul introduces 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 with a reference to the Rapture. It seems unlikely that he would switch to a spiritual departure a couple verses later.

The usage of apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as our physical departure via the Rapture aligns with both the immediate and overall context of the verse. The context favors the interpretation of apostasia as a physical departure such as the Rapture of the church.

PAUL IS REFERRING TO A DEFINITE EVENT

Paul’s use of the definite article “the” in front of apostasia tells us he has a specific event in mind, either a particular instance of apostasy or a definite occasion such as the Rapture. Because he does not further explain the event, this indicates the apostle was referring to an event that his readers would readily recognize.

The only apostasia of which his readers would have been aware of is that of the Rapture. They had no framework leading them to assume it meant a spiritual departure or a falling away from the faith by the church in the last days. There is no evidence that Paul even talked about falling away from the faith until much later. At the time, he assumed he would be alive at the time of the Rapture for the church.

The apostle has a definite event in mind and “the departure,” as the Rapture, is something his readers would readily recognize. On the other hand, Paul never refers to spiritual apostasy in either of his epistles to the Thessalonians and offers no additional clarifying information in the text or anywhere else.

PAUL DOES NOT MENTION SPIRITUAL APOSTASY IN EITHER EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS

As we look at 1 and 2 Thessalonians, we see repeated references to the Rapture, but Paul never mentions a falling away from the faith.

Why would Paul cite a spiritual departure from the faith as a key indicator of the Day of the Lord with no other mention of it in either book that he wrote to his readers? And if he had not yet mentioned it to them, we would expect to see an explanation.
However, he provides no such background to his reference.

Paul does not specifically prophecy of any spiritual apostasy of the church in the latter days. The Apostle, when reaching the end of his life and realizing he may not see the Rapture in his lifetime, lays down signs of the world’s decline and the characteristics of depravity in the last days with much supporting detail in two locations (1 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Tim. 3:1-7).

THE SENSE OF PHYSICAL DEPARTURE IS CONSISTENT WITH VERSES 7-8

In 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 Paul writes,
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.”

These verses tell us that the revealing of Antichrist cannot happen until the Holy Spirit’s restraining power is taken out of the way. The ‘Restrainer’ points to the Holy Spirit and thus to the Rapture which is the time His special restraining work leaves the earth along with the church.

Notice the more consistent parallels with verse 3 if we assume apostasia refers to a physical departure. Let’s summarize:

  1. In verse 3, Jesus removes His church via the Rapture first and then we have the revealing of the “man of lawlessness.”
  2. In verse 7, the Lord takes away the restraining work of the Holy Spirit that keeps Antichrist from making himself known to the world.
  3. In both verses 3 and 7, Antichrist steps onto the world scene after a “departure” (Rapture) and after the removal of the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit through the church.
  4. On a side note… the Holy Spirit Himself does not leave the world only His restraint to allow the coming of Antichrist.

AN EXAMPLE FROM CHURCH HISTORY

We have an example from early church history as evidence of apostasia as a physical departure or the rapture. A key leader at the time referred to what we now call the Rapture as a “departure.” Cyprian, a bishop in the city of Carthage during the third century AD, wrote this:

We who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible. Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent?

Cyprian (AD 200–258) used the words “depart” and “early departure” to refer to the Lord’s appearing to take His church away before a time of “shipwrecks and disasters.” While this by itself doesn’t confirm the translation of apostasia as “departure,” it lends considerable support to our interpretation of the word as a reference to the Rapture.

Please also note that Cyprian believed the church would depart before a time of great trouble on the earth (the Tribulation).

THE RAPTURE IS CONSISTENT WITH THE EXPECTATION OF THE THESSALONIANS

The young believers in Thessalonica expected the Lord to come for them before the start of the day of the Lord. Their response to an errant message telling them this time had already begun confirms this. They panicked when they received the mistaken communication.

In response to their concerns, Paul told them “not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed” (2 Thess. 2:2).  To be “alarmed” signifies a feeling of “fright” with its usage here conveying a “state of alarm.”

Paul’s main purpose in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 was to comfort and assure the Thessalonian believers that the Day of the Lord (the Tribulation) had not yet started.

SINCE APOSTASIA REFERS TO A PHYSICAL DEPARTURE, THE RAPTURE MUST OCCUR BEFORE THE SEVEN-YEAR TRIBULATION

If apostasia refers to the Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, and we have many reasons to believe that it does, then we can know with certainty that Jesus will appear before the seven-year Tribulation to take us to heaven.

Paul is telling his readers that they could know that the Day of the Lord hadn’t yet started because they were still here on earth. This applies to the church today in that we cannot be in the Tribulation now because we are still here on earth.

This study and conclusion is not wishful thinking, but rather the result of a careful study of word usage as well as the context of 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

If apostasia signifies the physical departure of the church from the earth, then Paul is teaching the Rapture must occur before Antichrist arrives and before the start of the Tribulation.

Are YOU Ready?

The Rapture is the next event on God’s prophetic calendar.

Keep watching and enduring until the glorious day Jesus comes!

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
John 14:1-3