The Antichrist & the Falling Away (2 Thessalonians 2)
by Patrick Heron | Page 1 of 5
I would like to take an in-depth look at the second chapter of the second epistle of Paul to the saints at Thessalonica. This is very important in assessing the timing of the emergence of the Beast from the Abyss into the world and when the gathering together of the Church will happen. I could spend a lot of time presenting definitions of Greek words and quoting from learned scholars who have done much research on this section. But too much technical information can overburden the reader. So I shall distil the research and provide enough evidence to prove our conclusions are accurate and true. I will dissect this chapter verse by verse and then tie it all together in a conclusion at the end, with the help of God. We begin at 2 Thessalonians 2:1
"Now we beseech you brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him."
Paul is addressing two issues here in this first sentence. First, 'the coming of our Lord
,' and secondly, 'our gathering together unto Him
.' These are two separate events and must be distinguished as such. The coming of Jesus Christ back to earth to rule is going to occur at the end of the Apocalypse, which culminates at Armageddon. After this, Jesus will establish His millennial Kingdom where He will rule this earth for one thousand years.
The gathering together, on the other hand, will occur before the events of the Great Tribulation begin and this will become clearer as we advance through this chapter.
Paul uses the word ‘beseech’ in his opening line. This is a very strong word in the Greek and means to ‘earnestly beg’ or ‘to implore.’ It is an extreme use of ‘beg.’ So what is Paul earnestly begging of the believers in Thessalonica?
“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.”
Here Paul explains what he is referring to. He is talking about ‘the Day of Christ.’ As was explained at the beginning of this opus, the ‘Day of Christ’ is another phrase meaning the ‘Day of Wrath’ or the ‘Day of Judgement’ or the ‘Day of the Lord.’ In other words, it is talking about the Great Tribulation and the incidents, which are to occur during this awful time.
Paul says they are not to be shaken in mind or troubled. Again these are very extreme words, which illustrate that the believers were terrified and their minds and hearts were under extreme pressure as a result of something they had heard. What it was that had them in this frightened state of mind which caused them undue pressure was that, ‘the the day of Christ is at hand.’ In the Greek, ‘at hand’ means, ‘present.’ That is, they were terrified because they thought the time of the Apocalypse was present or had begun, and they were to go through it.
Scholars agree that the NASB has the most accurate translation of this verse:
“That you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or by a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the Day of the Lord has come.”