2 THESSALONIANS AND THE RAPTURE
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.
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.
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.
But of the times and the seasons, brethren,
ye have no need that I write unto you.
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
1 Thess. 5:1
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."
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the
Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1 Thess. 5:2
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.
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."
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
And this still is connected to the thought of rapture.
And Paul really drive the point home when he says:
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.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that
day should overtake you as a thief.
1 Thess. 5:4
We expect the rapture to take place when we see these things come
to pass. (Matt 24:33)
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
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
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?
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
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
will be the same day the rapture occurs! Wrath for them, rapture for us!
IN ONE DAY!
That is why Jesus said:
Apply that to Revelation 6, for all scripture must agree with the rest.
For as in the days that were before the flood they
were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the
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.
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.
The same day that Noah entered the safety of the ark, the wrath
took away the sinners.
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?
The same day that Lot escaped Sodom, the wrath took away
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
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!
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain
salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thess. 5:9
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:
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.
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
2 Thess. 1:7-10
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.
"Shaken in mind" implies loss of composure. Troubled implies agitated.
They began to think about quitting work, and Paul had to correct this error.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
why we know we are in the last days."
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
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!
..."whereby we know that it is the last time."
So not only is Great Tribulation a misnomer, but so is the modern
idea of "last days".
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,
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
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.
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.
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.