Michael F. Blume 

The Church passed through Great Tribulation and were protected.  This occurred in 70 AD.  Jesus told the Church to flee Jerusalem when they saw the Abomination of Deoslation occur.

Matthew 24:15-16  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
We read about the same warning to flee Jerusalem in another Gospel account of this discourse by Jesus.  However in Luke's account, we are told the same thing using different words.  Therefore, we can conclude that the two accounts are saying the same thing.
Luke 21:20-22  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
When you compare Matthew's account with Luke's account, we discover that the encompassing about Jerusalem by Rome's armies brought about the abomination of desolation.  It has to be so!  Luke said that the desolation would occur when Jerusalem was encompassed about with armies.  This is the abomination of desolation referred to in Matthew.

2 Thessalonians is one of the clearest passages which depict the Church passing through great tribulation in the entire Bible. According to history, the Church did indeed exist in the world during the great tribulation of 70 AD, for they took heed to GodChrist's word and in fact did flee Jerusalem in the siege by Rome, and were preserved.

When we come to 2 Thessalonians, popular opinion rises in many minds, teaching that 2 Thessalonians shows Paul writing to the Thessalonian believers to not be fooled, that the "day of Christ" had come. This day is commonly known to be the judgment day of the evil doers of the Earth. Paul says not to worry since this day "couldn't come until" the man of sin was revealed.

That is true. But what is included in the thought of "the day of the Lord"?

We must consider what 1 Thess. was written about in order to correctly interpret 2 Thess. After all, 2 Thess. was a letter written to the people after they were "troubled" due to 1 Thess.

It is unfortunate that chapter divisions have been put where they sometimes are found. In 1 Thess 4, Paul discusses the rapture. And then everybody thinks the issue has ended when 1 Thess 5 begins. But that is only an illusion due to the words "CHAPTER 5" standing between the two apparently separate issues, which are not separate at all.


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 Thess. 4:15-18
This is clearly the rapture. And we must keep reading as though the issue never stopped at verse 18, and include chapter 5 as a continuation of the thoughts already presented. You see, chapter divisions were not inspired by God but man-made for the sake of quick and easy reference. They were never meant to distinguish and separate points of thought, though the "chapter makers" tried using that function in many parts of the Bible... but not all.

Paul continues:

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1 Thess. 5:1
The seasons and times of what? The rapture of course. The very fact that the verse begins with "but" tells us that the next statement is referring to the previous statements in chapter 4 which deal with the rapture.
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1 Thess. 5:2
Paul answers a question when he begins saying "For..." In other words, it is like saying, "The above is true because...." So we can say Paul was writing to the effect, "The times and seasons of the rapture have no need to be written to you. And this is true because you already know that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night."

If everybody would read through into chapter 5 after reading chapter 4, there would be no pre-trib rapture theory! This is true because Paul connected the "day of the Lord" with the rapture.

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.
1 Thess.  5:3
Again Paul starts by saying "For". Or, "You have no need for me to explain the times and seasons when the rapture shall occur because He will come like a thief in the night. And this is true because sudden destruction shall come upon them when they say peace and safety."

And this still is connected to the thought of rapture.

And Paul really drive the point home when he says:

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1 Thess. 5:4
That day will not overtake us as a thief! What day? The day of the Lord. What is Paul saying? What does he mean that day will not overtake us as a thief? He is saying that we will expect it because we know the times and seasons! Read 5:1 again. Times and seasons of what? What do the "times and seasons" of 5:1 refer to? Rapture.

We expect the rapture to take place when we see these things come to pass. (Matt 24:33)

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 Thess. 5:5-6
Let us watch for what? The times and the seasons - signs - of which we are already aware. We know that when they say "peace and safety" that trouble shall come. We will be here when they say peace and safety. The reason it is a sign to us is due to the fact Jesus told us to watch for this. And that implies we will be here when this happens. And Paul said the Day of the Lord will occur then.
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thess. 5:6-9
We must be awake during this time. We who are of the day are "not in the dark", so to speak. We are well aware of what is happening. Wrath and rapture is fixing to occur the same day!!! Did not Paul say The Day of the Lord?

And we will not receive wrath on that day, but it will be a day of salvation for us! For the same day that wrath falls will be the same day the rapture occurs! Wrath for them, rapture for us!


That is why Jesus said:

For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:38-39
They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day  that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Luke 17:27-30
Apply that to Revelation 6, for all scripture must agree with the rest.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Revlation 6:15-17
The same day that Noah entered the safety of the ark, the wrath took away the sinners.

The same day  that Lot escaped Sodom, the wrath took away the sinners.

The same day of the Lord in which sudden destruction takes away the world will be the day we find salvation. This is true because the same day  will be to the world as wrath, but to the church as rapture.

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thess. 5:9
Noah was not appointed to wrath but salvation the same day the world experienced their appointment of wrath. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man!

So clearly, the day of the Lord occurs the same day as the rapture occurs. That day is salvation to us but wrath to "them". We will hear "them" say peace and safety, but we know better. We know what is coming any day.

Paul and Jesus both stressed suddenness and unexpectancy when they discussed the day of the Lord. The flood was so unexpected, that the people were eating and drinking until the very day the flood came! No visible signs. No forewarning outside of God's Word, which they would not believe. Same went with Lot's "day." No warning in visible indication that fire and brimstone would fall. Just a Word given from God. And it was so sudden and unexpected that Sodom's citizens were living it up until the very day it happened. And this perfectly lines up with 1 Thess. 4:15 - 5:9 which relays to us one discussion. Not two. So, when we read about Day of the Lord in 2 Thess. 2, we must realize that Paul is implying both the day of wrath and the day of rapture for they occur the same day. So, while the world is hiding in the sixth seal, for the day of the Lord has come, we are shooting up in the skies in rapture glory! Hallelujah!

This is supported by the following:

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 Thess. 1:7-10
The Lord shall come in flaming vengeance the same day he is revealed to the Church in rapture - the same day He is glorified in the saints.

The Thessalonians thought they were already in the day of the Lord! Now the error that the day of the Lord included the tribulation was in their minds. And Paul had to correct them in 2 Thess. Because, when they thought the Day of the Lord was upon them due to their tribulation (see 2 Thess 1:4), they thought the rapture would take place, for they knew the day of the Lord and the Rapture were simultaneous. Wrath of the world but rapture for the church.

The Thessalonians were thinking of quitting their jobs due to their thought that the day of the Lord and Rapture was nigh. That is why he exhorted them to not do so in 2 Thess 3:6-15. The Thessalonian were not fearing nor sorrowing, but merely agitated.

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.
2 Thess. 2:2
"Shaken in mind" implies loss of composure. Troubled implies agitated. They began to think about quitting work, and Paul had to correct this error.

Some people also teach that the Holy Ghost in the Church is holding back the revelation of the "antichrist" .

This is not true at all. The church is never said to be that which withholds. That is another paradigm of many pretribulationist paradigms.

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, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2 Thess. 2:3-7
We cannot make blunt statements without proof. We cannot say the Church withholds the antichrist without proof, since 2 Thess. does not explicitly say what the withholding factor is. It merely says "he". Now the church is never called a "he" for one thing. It is a "she". The Bride. Many believe that which restrains is God's power, some think Satan's power, some think Antichrist's self-restraint. But no foundation exists for it to be the church.

And the restrainer cannot be Jesus in the church because what difference would Jesus in the Church make to Jesus withholding.

Some say verse 6 plainly tells us that the time element is the restrainer. For the reason that antichrist "might be revealed in his time," he is withheld from appearing. But the church? Not at all.

Proponents of the idea that Christ in the Church, or the Spirit in the Church, withholds the revelation of an antichrist cannot prove that thought by using this chapter since it does not say anything about Jesus in the Church restraining anything. But that very verse does say the restraint is the fact that time is not right! Time was not right when Babel was built and God restrained events in Gen. 11:6. That was antichrist spirit. But time was the factor which withheld the antichrist spirit from manifesting in full force.

The truth of the matter of 2 Thessalonians is that each believer is a "temple" of the Holy Ghost. And each believer is saved at different times in history. For each believer, the old man is cast down and destroyed at different times.

It is antichrist all right, but there is not "the Antichrist" in the Bible. Just "many antichrists". It almost seems as though John was correcting that false idea that the antichrist shall come, when he wrote:

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
1 John 2:18
It is like saying, "You have heard the incorrect idea that the antichrist shall come, and then you will know it is the end. Let me correct you by saying there are many antichrists, and that is why we know we are in the last days."
..."whereby we know that it is the last time."
You see, the "last days" to the apostles were not the "last days" that "classic" prophecy teaching has assumed them to be. The last days began with the Church's birth!
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,
Hebrews 1:1
So not only is Great Tribulation a misnomer, but so is the modern idea of "last days".

Many feel the antichrist will propose the lie that he is God, and that will be the strong delusion the Lord allowed those who do not love truth to believe. That is again supposition. It simply says a lie. Eve believed she could be like the "gods", and was said to believe a lie.

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Genesis 3:5-6
Thus, the lie that she could exalt herself in her "temple" which was intended to be filled with God's life rather than self-exaltation Adam was to contain life, as a temple contains God, not knowledge of good and evil. And Knowledge puffs self up. 1 Cor 8:1. And that is linked to idolatry in the context of 1 Cor 8! Connect that thought with 2 Thess 2 and you see the connection quite clearly. That is the advantage that cross referencing has over "paradigmal" assumption.

Connect this clear cross reference with 2 Thess 2 and believing a lie.

Clearly rapture is after tribulation and "the Day of the Lord" is the same time the rapture takes place. Wrath for "them" -- rapture for "us". When we read through 1 Thess. 4 and 5 together this becomes plain. And then we can properly interpret 2 Thess. 2.