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2 Thessalonians: The Rapture of the Church at the Day of the Lord

Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, will return at the end of the age

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Thessalonians 1:4-8

Much has been written on Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonian church, and in particular it has been used to argue for a rapture of the church long before the end of the age and the kingdom of God on Earth. Often this is couched in the language of a pre-Tribulation Rapture when Christ returns to take His bride (those saved at that time, the living and the dead) up to heaven with Him. The idea is that He rescues the believers from any further trouble and tribulation as God’s wrath descends on the world.

This theology has several problems. One is that in the first chapter here Paul is talking to the 1st century Thessalonian church asking them to have patience in all their persecutions and tribulations. So why should the modern day church get any different treatment? The Apostle John recorded Jesus’ request to His Father:

I pray not that You [Father] should take them [disciples] out of the world, but that You [Father] should keep them from the evil.

John 17:15

Paul wrote his second letter to the Thessalonians to prepare the believers of all ages for what they are experiencing and for what they will experience in the future. He didn’t tell them (in the first chapter) that God was going to deliver them out of any trouble but that He would take vengeance on those that do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ. He also told us that He would seal us and protect us through all tribulation and persecution even though we may be alive through that time.

However I have been to churches where the preacher told his audience that there was nothing to worry about because we as believers will not suffer in the great tribulation which they mostly equate to the alleged 7 years following a pre-Tribulation rapture. They usually say that the church will be raptured / caught up from the Earth before the really bad tribulation period starts. And beside they say that we do not even see the beast system that is prophesied in the book of Revelation.

That I do not agree with. I can easily see that the beast system is already here. The globalist cabal has many antichrists and they are now rapidly implementing their global control systems on not only our ability to buy and sell, through programmable digital currencies, but also their carbon tax and ESG (environmental, social, governance) digital ID system. This is the digital prison and the global surveillance state.

Also I do not subscribe to pre-millennial eschatology or any last week of Daniel (7 years) being separated from the other 69 weeks of Daniel 9 prophecy. That doctrine is known as Futurism and unfortunately taught in many churches and denominations. The whole concept of Futurism and dispensationalism comes unstuck with a proper understanding of Daniel 9:27.

Often the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians is used to justify their pre-Trib rapture and futurist stance. So let’s have a look at this chapter.

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together to Him, 2 That you 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.

2 Thessalonians 2:1

There is only one event described here. It is the return of Jesus Christ in what the scriptures call the Day of the Lord (verse 2 says this explicitly). The coming of Jesus and our gathering together, or being caught up to Him as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, is one event. There aren’t 2 events here — the gathering or rapture first then followed by the return of Christ. If fact the order described is Jesus returns and then gathers us to Himself.

For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Many other scriptures describe the exact same thing. The Apostle John recorded it this way.

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.

John 5:28,29

Jesus described this scenario in more than one parable. The wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-30) for example. There the weeds were left to grow until the harvest, when the weeds were gathered and burned and the wheat was gathered into the garner/silo. The saved and the profane/wicked were all reaped in the final harvest and all appear at the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) together. There is no mention of separate reapings or harvests.

Then I have heard some preachers say that the next verse in 2 Thessalonians, verse 3, describes the rapture before their alleged 7-year tribulation.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasia = defection from truth ] first, and that man of sin [lawless one = an antichrist] be revealed, the son of perdition [Satan];

2 Thessalonians 2:3

They say that the phrase “falling away” from the Greek word “apostasia” means caught up. A falling away never means a fall up. Besides the Greek word is clear. Apostasia means “defection from truth” and it is from where we derive the English word “apostasy”. The meaning is without dispute, or it should be.

So, in fact, this verse is saying that great apostasy will occur, a falling away from God, and then the man of sin, who some call the antichrist, will be revealed. Considering this message has been for all believers through all generations, many antichrists have already been, and more are expected. I can easily name a few today.

Certainly the church system is apostate. It is very difficult to find a God honouring biblical assembly/church to day. Many promoted the COVID bioweapon. Some even saying it was a Christian’s duty to take a death shot. There is your great falling away.

The man of sin, the son of perdition, meaning the son of Satan will be revealed. In each generation Satan possesses the key leader who has the most power to influence his world. This is an antichrist (John 17:12). In Jesus time he was Judas Iscariot. The son of perdition today is already here. We know he has antichrist attributes. The word “antichrist” means not only opposes Christ but also is a humanist substitute for Christ.

Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called god, or that is worshipped; so that he as god sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is god.

2 Thessalonians 2:4

Satan himself would take the opportunity to possess the world leaders, the ruling elite, dictators, in all generations. Why wouldn’t he? Such a Satan possessed leader would exalt himself as god. In the past he has done this. Nimrod of the original Babylon is one prime example. But why not the Nebuchadnezzar, Greek Emperors, Alexander the Great, Roman Emperors, Nero, Domitian, Napoleon, the Papacy, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot and many more? This is what verse 5 means “revealed in his time”.

Some are saying Yuval Noah Harari, the homosexual Israeli Jewish vegan pagan protege of Klaus Schwab, is the modern day antichrist. His latest book is entitled “Homo Deus”, which means “man is God”. He is a believer in Darwinian evolution but more so in evolution by human intelligent design.

He said the following:

“Science is about transforming humans into gods. We even go beyond God. We try to go beyond God and create inorganic life.”

Blasphemy!

God is dead, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), who have also declared that “Jesus is fake news,” and that WEF leaders have “acquired divine powers” to rule over humanity! This is starting to sound like the Paul’s message here. The antichrists are declaring that they are gods, and that Jesus, our true God, is not God. That is how you can identify heresy.

Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholds that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only He [the Holy Spirit] who now lets [restrains] will let [restrain], until He be taken out of the way.

2 Thessalonians 2:5-7

It is the Holy Spirit that has a restraining power to hold back evil. And then, in God’s will, when He, the Holy Spirit, is taken out of the way, i.e. He no longer restrains the evil agents and the wicked ones are allowed to flourish. This includes the antichrists. They are used by God as His agents. Evil doers mean it for evil, but God manipulates their actions to accomplish good.

There is no indication that this process of the Holy Spirit letting unrestrained evil flourish occurs after the rapture of the believers. You cannot naively assume that a sequence of time is implied in a passage of scripture unless it explicitly states it. But here we do know for sure that after the restraint are lifted that the son of perdition (the wicked one, Satan possessed antichrist) shall be revealed and the Lord will consume with His coming.

And then shall that wicked one [Satan] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

2 Thessalonians 2:8-9

The wicked ones have already been revealed. The WEF and WHO elites like Schwab, Harari and Gates certainly qualify as antichrist. But so do pope Francis and the new king of England Charles III. They have adopted anti-God anti-Christian anti-human policies pushing for the WEF/UN global Great Reset.

And they have all power and produce signs and lying wonders. Holographic images now are almost indistinguishable from reality. These can be projected in real time in open spaces now. Deep fakes are able to fool many.

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

But because the nations have rejected God, God has sent them strong delusion. This also applies to many who identify themselves as Christian, though they are not the Lord’s. This is judgment time. God is using their deeds to judge them just as He turned the plagues back on Pharaoh in the time of Moses and the exodus from Egypt.

Because they followed Satan, whether he was possessing Pharaoh or the chief of the Pharisees, God judges them for their sins and especially for their rejection of Jesus Christ as God and Saviour. This is what Jesus said to them.

You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

John 8:44

To you who trust in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Paul wrote:

13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning [of the world] chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

God has chosen His own from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5), that is, before creation itself.

Therefore, brethren, stand fast [firmly], and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which has loved us, and has given us everlasting consolation [comfort] and good hope through grace, 17 Comfort [strengthen] your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.

2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

The Lord encouraged the Thessalonians back then because they did and would suffer persecution. But the Word is eternal and applies to us now. We are to be comforted even though we endure tribulation. We’ll come through as victors by the covering of Jesus Christ. There is no easy shortcut out of this world. We must endure until the end, until the Day of the Lord, when Jesus comes to take us unto Himself.

Comments welcome below.

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By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

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