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Is The Antichrist Revealed Before The Rapture?

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“And then shall that Wicked be revealed..”2 Thessalonians 2:8.

 – Is The Man of Sin Revealed Before or After The Rapture? A Study of 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 –

2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 has been a major source of debate, question and confusion when it comes to discussion of the Rapture of the church and its timing. Many pastors, writers and Bible students cite this chapter as proof that the Rapture must occur after the Antichrist has been revealed, based on verse 3 of the chapter. But is this the case? This article will show a very simple interpretation of this much-debated verse and correct a common mistake in its interpretation that will show that in line with the timing outlined in the Beginning and End Rapture series, the Rapture of the Church indeed takes places before the Antichrist emerges on the global scene.
The Passage

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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. 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; 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. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5.

The verses in bold are where the Apostle Paul gives two clear “prophetic signposts”: the apostasy or falling away of many people in the church from the Christian faith and the revealing of “the man of sin”, a title for the Antichrist, the Satanically-empowered False Messiah who rule the world in the final years before the Second Coming of Christ.  The questions and debates arise over, what event comes after these 2 signs? What is Paul talking about? Is he saying that the Rapture will not happen until the falling away and the revealing of the Antichrist? Will the church be here to see the Antichrist in power before being Raptured? Or is there another meaning altogether? Let’s examine the Scriptures in detail.

The Context Of 2 Thessalonians

It is critical to understand the context of 2 Thessalonians 2.

It is always important to understand the context of a Biblical passage that one is interpreting. In the first letter written to the Church of Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul wrote a great deal about the end times. He explained the process of the Rapture, the end times gathering of the church, both dead and alive to meet The Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds and be taken into Heaven before the judgments of the end times:

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.

He also discussed the Day of The Lord, the end times pouring out of God’s wrath on the unbelieving world.

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6.

The Day of The Lord is a series of judgments detailed in the chapters of the Book of  Revelation’s seven trumpets and seven vials (for a more detailed discussion of the Day of The Lord, please see Part 1 of the Rapture series here). This period is also known Biblically as the Great Tribulation. In 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5, Paul assures the church that unlike the unbelieving world, they will not be surprised or overtaken by the Day of The Lord. He closes this passage writing:

God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11.

The “wrath” referred to in verse 9 is not just a reference to the wrath in the lake of fire. It is an assurance that Christians will not experience the wrath of God during the Day of The Lord, but will escape through Jesus Christ via the Rapture, which Paul had just described in the prior chapter. So Chapters 4 and 5 flow perfectly together: there will be a gathering of all believers, supernaturally, to meet Jesus in the air and be taken to Heaven as described in Chapter 4. Following this, there will be the Day of The Lord, where the unbelieving world will be shocked, overtaken and punished in God’s wrath (described in Chapter 5). But this is not something believers need to worry about, because they are not appointed to wrath. This is why Paul tells the church to “comfort” one another with this information as they share it. It was good news! And it is still good news for Christians today.

False Information Invades The Church

By the time 2 Thessalonians was written, false information had entered this church. Whether it was by an incorrect interpretation or prophecy, or by a false letter written by an imposter in Paul’s name, something had shaken the faith of this church in their belief about the end times. They were under the impression that due to the persecution they were suffering, that they were experiencing the end time wrath of God during the Great Tribulation at that time. Paul uses the book of 2 Thessalonians to reassure them that was not the case. It is very important to understand this background when reading chapter 2. With this understanding we can examine the verses in question.

 Dividing The Scriptures

The Book of 2 Thessalonians gives 2 important signs of the last days.

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.

This verse describes two distinct events: the Second Coming of Christ to Earth (“the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”) which occurs in Revelation 19 and the Rapture (“our gathering together unto him”), which occurs at the 6th Seal in Revelation 6. The description of the two events is consistent with the dual nature of “Christ’s Coming” as described in prophetic Scripture. He comes in the clouds at the Rapture to receive His Bride, the Church and return to Heaven. And He returns on a white horse with His Holy Angels and all His saints for the battle of Armageddon at His Second Coming. This is dual nature is supported by various Scriptures:

Two different world conditions (Matthew 24:37-42, Matthew 24:21).

Two different approaches of Christ to the Earth ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Revelation 19:11, 14-15, 21).

Two different scenarios regarding the predictability of Christ’s return (Matthew 24:36, Daniel 12:11).

Two very different descriptions of his return (Revelation 16:15, Matthew 24-26-27).

(B&E: The careful Bible student is strongly encouraged to check those passages and see the confirmation of the author’s point for themselves).

The Day of Christ

It takes careful Bible study to make sure we do not skip over any key phrases in Scripture.

Continuing in the passage we get to the critical verses for understanding the timing of the revealing of the “man of sin”, or the Antichrist:

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. 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; -2 Thessalonians 2:2-3.

Verse 2 is where much of the confusion arises. Many articles and commentaries skip over the phrase “the day of Christ is at hand” and jump to the two signs given in verse 3 (the falling away in the church and the revealing of the Antichrist). However, this phrase cannot be overlooked. When Paul is giving the signs in verse 3 he is mentioning them with respect to the “day of Christ.” The “day of Christ” is a term for the Second Coming of Christ to Earth as described in Revelation 19. Even in the first chapter of 2 Thessalonians Paul described the Second Coming as “that day”:

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: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10.

Jesus returns to take vengeance on the Antichrist and the unbelieving world at Armageddon. This passage is clearly referencing the Second Coming. We also  see the specific term “Day of Christ” used by the Apostle Paul in several other instances:

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:9-11.

Paul’s exhortation in this passage is that the Christians in this church remain in Christ until the Second Coming, which is the end of this world (as the Kingdom of Christ will then begin). So from the context the phrase “the day of Christ” is referring to the Second Coming.

Some have argued that the Day of Christ and the Day of The Lord are the same event. However, Paul dispels that notion in the following verse:

Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. – Philippians 2:16.

When interpreting the Bible, God instructs us that Scripture defines Scripture. Clearly Paul would not be rejoicing in the midst of the devastating end times judgments poured out during The Day of The Lord. Instead he is writing that he will rejoice at the Second Coming knowing that this moment, when Christ returns to Earth to establish His Kingdom, will make all of Paul’s work and labor in spreading the Gospel not be in vain. The Second Coming is the full glorification of Jesus Christ and His Church on Earth for all to see. Thus it will be a time of great rejoicing.
By the context of the passage and other Scripture confirmations, the Day of Christ refers to the Second Coming. So when Paul is addressing the Thessalonians he is telling them not to be shaken or scared to think the Second Coming was “at hand” and thus they missed the Rapture and were in the middle of experiencing the Great Tribulation.
For some reason, many have interpreted “that day” in verse 3 to mean the Rapture and wrongly teach: “So what Paul is saying is that the Rapture will not happen until the apostasy and the Antichrist is revealed.” But we can know from basic Scriptural interpretation and looking at the context of the verses that  Paul is clearly talking about the “day of Christ”, just described in the prior verse.

Remembering the context of this book (the Thessalonian church based on false information thought they were experiencing the Great Tribulation and thus missed the Rapture)  we can see that Paul’s correction makes sense. In short he is telling them that the Second Coming of Christ will not take place until there is the falling away in the church and the Antichrist is revealed. These 2 major signs were proof to the Thessalonians that they were NOT experiencing the Great Tribulation. This is the correction to their belief that Paul is trying to drive home.
In giving the context of this passage, Bible commentator Jonathan Gill wrote:

“In this chapter the apostle guards against a notion, as if the second coming of Christ was at hand; declares that, previous to it, there must be a great apostasy, and a revelation of antichrist; comforts the saints against fears of being included in this defection; exhorts them to stand fast in the faith, and closes this chapter with petitions for them.” (source).

The Christian Perspective
If the Rapture was supposed to take place after the Great Tribulation, why would the Thessalonians be troubled or shaken? Wouldn’t they have been excited and thrilled to know that they were just years away from being raptured, the Second Coming and the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ? Christians, especially in the first century, were eagerly awaiting the Second Coming and the Kingdom of Christ on Earth. If it were just years away there would be no concern or fear on their parts. But since they wrongly believed they had missed the Rapture of all believers and were experiencing the wrath of God on Earth with unbelievers, Paul assured them with two clear prophetic “sign posts” that would mark the time of Day of The Lord: the falling away of the church from Biblical Christianity and the revealing of the Antichrist.

There is an escape from the massive persecution and judgments of the end times: the Rapture. And this is why Paul  “comforts” the Thessalonians by informing them that they had not missed the Rapture because it had not occurred yet.  If they were destined to experience the entire end times, Paul would have stated so plainly and encouraged them to “get ready” for it.  Instead he wrote  to correct their misunderstanding and comfort them from their fears.

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. – 2 Thessalonians 2:15-17.

Conclusion – The Rapture Precedes The Revealing of The Antichrist

Lord willing this article provides some clarification on a verse that has been widely misinterpreted in much of prophetic research today. When understood in context, 2 Thessalonians 2 confirms that the Rapture of the church will indeed take place before the revealing of the Antichrist. And when Paul speaks of “that day” he is referring to the Second Coming of Christ and not the Rapture.



Source:


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    Total 26 comments
    • Louis

      There is not going to be any pre-trib “rapture.” There is no theological consensus that such an event will take place — except among certain Protestant heretics who — in the realm of theology — are nobodies whose opinions carry no weight.

    • 3AM

      The “son of perdition” is only mentioned twice in the Bible and it refers in the one instance to the one who betrayed Jesus with a kiss .., one of His disciples and friends.

      In the other instance it refers to the anti-christ power. The one who is also going to betray Jesus with a kiss.

      THIS PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE THEORY COMES STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOWELS OF HELL. IT IS JESUITICAL AND FALSE…

      What happened in Egypt with the plagues? How many were there? Who was affected by the first 3?

      WHY ONLY 7 PLAGUES AT THE END?

    • ExposingTheTruth

      Like the bible, the “rapture” is false. Christianity is nothing more than a bunch of pagan religions mixed together. The creation myth of the bible was taken from the sumerian genesis ENUMA ELISH. The bible never contradicts itself and Jesus was copied from Horus.

      Not to mention, things like the dead sea scrolls confirm that the bible has hardly been modified.

    • ExposingTheTruth

      Banning Christianity would solve most of the world’s problems.

      • yes2truth

        It all depends on what you mean by Christianity. If you mean The Christian Religion I would agree with you.

        • no2lies

          yes2truth, let me make it a little clearer for you… Jesus Christ never existed.

          There you go. Don’t know why you had to make this more difficult than it had to be

        • yes2truth

          Precisely, and I don’t know why you had to repsond with a lie, for He did exist and it’s provable if YOU WANT TO RESEARCH IT and therein lies the problem, for lost people love to be lied to.

      • Pix

        Banning organised religion and the ruling elite would solve all of them.

        “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”.
        Denis Diderot (1713 – 1784)

    • patriot156

      No rapture for shadrack meshak and abendigo went through the fire wasnt saved from. Daniel went into the lions pit wasnt saved from xercxis didnt make a last minute desiscioun to not let him go in. Now Daniel did get saved from being eaten and shadrack meshak and abendigo were saved from being burnt, but still had to go throught thier tribulation. With that being said I do wish for one because things are going to heat up soon, and wouldn’t it be cool to disapear.
      To the one below beware that statement and it’s been said many times before, and more and more these days. But that fullfills prophecy as well.

    • yes2truth

      There is no single anti-Christ. There is The Beast; The Whore that rides the Beast; The False Prophet and the son of Perdition.

      Anti-Christ is a spirit and there are many anti-Christs. Read 1 John chapter 2.

      Trinity believers and worshippers are anti-Christs just to give you an idea of how many anti-Christs there are.

    • Pix

      The bible claims many anti Christ’s and warns not to believe them. There is no ‘the’ anti Christ. There is no ‘Rapture’ in the bible. It says the dead will come out of their memorial tombs and caught up in the air, along with the still alive believers, to meet Christ coming in the clouds.

      To be ‘caught up with’ something means to be involved with it. And ‘sky’ is ALWAYS a reference to the mind in allegory. So it’s true interpretation is ‘caught up with an idea’.

      Honestly how would a physical ‘caught up in the sky’ work? The giant invisible fairy story character is going to get out IT’s giant invisible vacuum cleaner to suck up all the Christians?

      Now that I would love to see… good riddance to bad rubbish, the meek inherit the Earth… Atheists.

      :lol:

    • Intelharvest

      We’ll know exactly who he is, the rapture doesn’t happen until just before the return (Mat 24:29-31) which starts with “immediately after the tribulation…”, and within the vicinity of Revelation 16:15 just before the fall of Babylon.

      • yes2truth

        The rapture doesn’t happen – period.

        • Mayhem

          On this we agree, Crosby. There will be no Rapture, we all face Tribulation.

        • yes2truth

          @ the demonic spirit known as Beef or Dib or Mayhem

          No, we do not all face tribulation. There is a place of safety for most of the saints for three and a half years in the wilderness having been carried off on the wings of a great eagle.

          Rev 12:14 (KJV) And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

        • Mayhem

          Absolutely Crosby, the placing out of harms way is not to be equated with this Rapture nonsense though. Thank you for your fellowship.

    • am123

      If you are a novice Christian, do not fall for the trap of a pre-tribulation rapture. While all hell is literally about to break loose, the trap is thinking you will have an easy way out of it. It is in Satan’s interest to have you fall for this trap. Thinking that Jesus will rapture you out of here before all hell breaks loose will only make you cannon fodder for the Devil and his forces when all hell does break loose. Is the so-called Church ready for martyrdom today? No they are not. They are not ready to stand in their faith against the ravages of the beast. Do not be misled by what someone says the Bible says. Read the Bible for yourself. Read the 24th chapter of Matthew and you’ll see that Jesus comes for the Church AFTER the tribulation period. Read the Book of Revelation and you’ll see that Jesus calls us to a patient and enduring faith during the time of the antichrist. We are entering the time period the Bible warned us about, the time the world of the dead will open its mouth wide for. The body of Christ should be in boot camp bracing and strengthening themselves in the LORD, preparing for all-out war, the war of all wars. But instead, the so-called Church is ill prepared for what will soon envelop the whole world because of this false hope of being raptured out of here before the tribulation period. They are oblivious to the sounds of war in the heavenlies and prepare not for what is about to happen. Because they have not studied the Scriptures, they will be sitting ducks for the enemy to take out. They will fall pitifully short in their destinies, to what God has called them to.

      Do not listen to these false teachers who unwittingly lay a trap for you. For the truth about the rapture, see:

      /alternative/2013/02/rapture-alert-millions-of-christians-have-been-deceived-2561260.html

      • AnRev

        Well put. People have been lead to believe they will not endure what is prophesied to happen, and yet the bible clearly says they will. There are many sitting ducks, and easy targets.

    • David

      Lot of antichrist blogging on this story! Any man or woman that would deny and reject JESUS after what has been done for them is worse than satan and his rebel angels!
      Repent why you still have time, you can say there is no GOD if you want doesn’t change the fact there is!
      And on that day you stand before GOD ashamed and very afraid, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!
      He’ll is a real prison! Good luck to you I pray your eyes are opened that you can truly see the truth!
      GOD Speed JESUS!

      • ExposingTheTruth

        Christianity is a mental disorder… and one of the worst.

        • yes2truth

          The real mental disorder is someone claiming to be an exposer of the truth calling Christianity a mental disorder. LOL

        • AxisOfEvil

          Someone called yes2truth defending Christianity IS the proof of a very advanced level of retardation.

        • yes2truth

          @ Axis of Evil – a very appropriate handle. LOL

          Real Christianity needs no defence, but plonkers like Exposing the Truth do.

          Are you here to hold his hand and wipe his botty? LOL

    • CrazyScorpio

      The “Falling Away” is scripture. The rapture is not. To clarify as simply as possible, the falling away is the 1/3 that Satan gets because they were deceived by the false doctrine of the end times. Rapture is nowhere in God’s word except when described as false doctrine and “God hates those that would teach his children to fly to save their souls”. We are not going to fly away from the tribulation, we are to testify and teach during that time. The one who stays in the field doing God’s work means the one who does not run to worship the false christ.—- The unforgivable sin is to NOT let the Spirit speak through us during the trials and tribulation. —-God’s Kingdom will be established here on Earth after the cleansing. Why would you want to go anywhere else. Where would you be going if Christ is here? Being “Caught up with Christ” in the air means to be ascended to our spirit form, not flying away from the battle between good and evil. —-The man of sin will be revealed to be the false christ after that 1/3 has been claimed by Satan. If he was revealed before that, then no-one would fall for his lies would they. We must remember that antichrist comes at the 6th trump and will be revealed BEFORE Christ establishes his Kingdom on Earth. Christ doesn’t return until the 7th trump. Read and learn God’s word for yourself and listen to him, not man.—- Beware of modern translations of the bible, they have clearly been written to fool Christians into falling for the rapture theory. Compare those scriptures that you believe prove rapture to the old bibles and you will clearly see the deception. God will bless those who are patient like he told us to be. May your studies be blessed with understanding of God’s truths and warnings.

    • AnRev

      There is no Pre-trib Rapture, largely because Jesus said he would not call for the resurrection until after the Tribulation is over. The ANTICHRIST is a spirit, leading many people away from basic truth and substituting it with simple lies and a false Christ. Satan is not the ANTICHRIST because he will roam the earth again after the millennium, the false prophit, or ANTICHRIST, will not be released again.

      As for the word “Rapture,” take notice that “Second Coming” is also not in the bible, yet it is perfectly acceptable for people to say second coming as opposed to Jesus returns. Rapture, is a coined phrase that refers to the resurrection(s), so get over it. And by the way, there are seven resurrections in the bible, not one like the ANTICHRIST spirit is teaching. 1-Jesus, 2-the 144,000, 3-the dead in christ, 4-those who are alive and REMAIN, 5-those who reject the mark of the beast, 6-the rest of the dead after the millennium, 7-the day of judgment.

      Now, do you see, or do you still reject the bible teachings and believe there is only one “Rapture?” The Man of Sin will be revealed before anyone is taken up, that is written, that’s the way it is. You can’t argue with what is written, we all see it.

      God is not Triune, therefore, there is no Trinity or Trinity God. The only “Trinity” found in the bible for those who want to argure about what is in the bible and what is not, is found in the book of Revelation, referring to Satan, the false Prophit, and the Beast. None of which is holly or associated with God. Therefore, the Trinity belief is also of the ANTICHIRIST spirit that is lead by Satan.

      As for a seven year tribulation, that is also a false teaching and has been for many years. The Tribulation started when Jesus left, and will end when he returns, making it a couple of thousand years long so far. That which makes desoalte, is the reign of Satan on earth until Jesus returns. The mid week crisis was when Jesus was killed, where he confirmed the life covenant with those who will follow him by his death and resurrection.

      Yes, yes, yes, there is much to learn and relearn for those who can’t seem to grasp the word of God. :neutral:

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