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Those who teach the rapture most often quote 1 Thessalonians chapter 4:16-17. In this study, we are going to examine 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. There we will learn that the first letter had caused some confusion among the Thessalonians. Many had come to the conclusion that Christ could return at any moment to gather His church. Paul strongly refutes this in the second letter, and he will tell us exactly what we should look for before we can expect Christ to return. The rapture will not stand against these teachings. In order to protect their doctrine, those who teach the rapture have tweaked these scriptures to align with their teachings. We will show you where this is done and prove to you that they are deceiving you, whether intentional or not. On that same note, we will read where God warns us against teachers like these, and even against the rapture doctrine itself. God knew this would happen and He has provided us with the knowledge to overcome false teachers.

2 Thessalonians Chapter 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.

Paul is going to talk to us about the return of Jesus, and our gathering back to Him. He says, don't be troubled or doubtful, due to a (deceiving) spirit, some other teaching, or any letter we have written you (the first letter), as that the day of Christ is at hand. The day of Christ is not at hand, it will not happen, until the events are fulfilled that we will read about in the next verse.

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;

Paul makes it very clear that the day of Christ will not come, until there is a falling away first, and the man of sin, the son of perdition is revealed. Now how could any reasonable person read this and say that nothing has to happen before Christ returns? This is one of the places were teachers have taken a great liberty with the word. Some will tell you that this falling away is the rapture of the church. This is absolutely not true and can be easily disproven. If you have a Strong's Concordance you can look up this word falling, #646 apostasia:, it means deflection from the truth. If you have been taught this is the rapture, then you have been deceived. It actually means apostasy, which is to abandon one's religion. This is being fulfilled right now, in fact those who teach this are fulfilling it.

The second event that has to occur before that day, is the revealing of the man of sin, the son of perdition. To understand who this is we must examine both titles. We know that sin entered into the world when Eve was beguiled by the serpent, which is Satan, and took of the tree of knowledge, Genesis 3:6. So if sin entered into the world as a result of the deception of Satan, wouldn't it make sense if he was called the man of sin? The other title, "the son of perdition", #684 in the Greek, means to perish or die. Only one entity, (by name), has been sentenced to death by God at this time. Our (eternal) judgment, will not come until the white throne judgment in Rev. 20:11-12. You can read where God sentenced Satan to death in Eze. 28:13-19.

Now that we know who this is, we need to find out at what time he is revealed. As verse 3 plainly states, that day is not coming until he is revealed. Now in order to reveal something, it has to have been hidden. I have maintained throughout the studies on this site, that the antichrist will come to the earth playing Jesus. This is why it is hidden, and this is how he is able to deceive so many. In Rev. 12:9, it says he will deceive the whole world. If he was immediately revealed at the point he is thrown out of heaven, he wouldn't deceive anyone. Of course some would willingly follow him, but how many could he apostatize, that is, how many Christians would abandon Christ, to worship him. I dare say very few, but by playing Christ, and very well I might add, he will deceive them and they won't even know who they are worshipping.  

Rev. chapter 16 gives you the 7 vials, which are the seventh trump. There you will find, the vials are judgments from God upon the beast and his followers. Many that teach the rapture like to say God hath not appointed us to wrath, and for this reason the rapture is a valid teaching. Well, the tribulation can be broken down into two parts. The first part is the tribulation by Satan, and the second beginning with the seventh trump, is the tribulation by God. The tribulation by God is only for the beast and his followers. It is during this period of the seventh trump that Satan will be revealed for who he truly is. All those that followed him will be receiving these plagues, and there will be no doubt that they are not in good standing with God. They will realize they have been duped and the whole world will know he is a fake. After this, and only after this, does Christ return to reign on the earth. Every verse that deals with the return of Christ, has to do with His returning to reign on the earth. All you need do is take the time to read them in context.

2 Thessalonians Chapter 2

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.

This verse clearly states the son of perdition will portray himself as God. This is how he deceives the whole world. It's not complicated, it's not made up, it's simply what the Word of God tells us. What is the temple of God? Is it not the body of Christ, the church? He will stand in the midst of them, making this claim, and sadly many will believe him.

6) And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

In order to understand this verse we need to understand who or what is being referred to. The word withholdeth, means "holds fast", and the he is Satan, as we learned from verse 3. So this should read "now ye know what holds fast that the man of sin, the son of perdition, might be revealed in his time". I know those who teach the rapture say the church is the what, that is holding fast in this verse. This is incorrect, the Greek word that is translated "what", which acts like an English pronoun, is #3588, and it is singular and neutral. Meaning it can only be speaking of a place and not a person or people. If we go to Rev. 12:7, we find that that the beast rises out of the bottomless pit. So this has to be the what that is holding him. We also find, that before Satan comes to the earth as antichrist, there is war in heaven,  and he is kicked out of heaven by Michael. No place is found in heaven for him anymore. We can easily draw from these verses that Satan is being kept in a bottomless pit somewhere in heaven.

7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

We have just covered the what, now we will clarify who is holding Satan. The he that is holding fast, "letteth" in this verse, can only be Michael. Since it is Michael which casts him to the earth, it must be Michael who is holding him. It makes no sense to say the church is holding Satan, it's clear Satan is being held in a bottomless pit. To say that this is spiritual makes no sense either because his spirit is already at work on the earth (iniquity doth already work). If we can't hold his spirit from working on the earth, how can we hold him de facto from coming to the earth? This business about the church being the great restrainers will not hold water.

8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

The one that holds fast, Michael, will hold fast, to Satan, until he (Michael), is taken out of the way. Then shall that Wicked be revealed, (Satan), whom the Lord shall consume and destroy. Why is Satan revealed after (Michael) is taken out of the way? Once Michael stops holding him, he makes his way to the earth, and at the seventh trump, God's judgments make it clear he is a fake. Deception is receiving him as Christ, when you receive the rapture as truth you are in danger of receiving the antichrist as Christ. The antichrist comes first, be ready!

9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Notice those who perish do so because of a lack of truth, not because they didn't want to, but because they were deceived into believing a lie. Don't be one of those, this is not hard. Let the Bible be your authority and not man. This is the great falling away - the deflection from the truth, (apostasy), we read about in verse 3.

11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

God will send those who would not receive the truth strong delusion, in the form of the antichrist. This is the lie, he's coming playing God and many have been taught that Christ comes first. This makes it really easy, much of the deception is already here, iniquity is already working.

12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness

The last place we will go is Ezekiel chapter 13. This chapter is about false teachers and how they make up their own salvation rather than teaching God's word. That is what the rapture is doing today. The doctrine that is being discussed in these verses will line up perfectly with what the rapture teaches, and in my opinion it is the rapture. You can decide for yourself. We will only cover a few verses but I urge you to read the whole chapter.

Ezekiel 13

18) And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?

What we have here is very interesting. This sew pillows to all armholes and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature, simply means a one size fits all doctrine. For instance they may say "All you have to do is believe". God expects more from you than that. In the book of James 2:19 we are told even the devils believe and tremble. You want to do more for God than that don't you? God says "You are preying upon my people by teaching lies" and furthermore He asks, can you save my people with your manmade religion?

19) And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?

These teachers are polluting God's truth for payment. If you tell people what they want to hear, they will likely keep coming back again and again. That's a steady flow of money. They are condemning those who are of a pure heart and those who are hypocrites believe they are saved.

20) Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly.

These pillows are covering up the truth and polluting the word of God. This is the rapture foreseen by God and He is warning them, as well as you, don't teach it and don't believe it. I'm sure you have heard hymns about flying away, coincidence? God is very good to us and he will tear away the lies and deception during the millennium. At that time, we will have one church, instead of numerous denominations, and false doctrines like the rapture. We can do better right now though, if we pray for knowledge, and listen to God's word instead of man. I hope you enjoyed this study. God Bless!



 

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