Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way.
For the Day will not come until after the Apostasy has come and the man who separates himself from Torah has been revealed, the one destined for doom.
(2 Thessalonians 2:3 (CJB))
There are times that I wish that I could read the scriptures in the original Hebrew or Greek with a full understanding of those original languages. There are subtleties and nuances in these words that have baffled translators for countless years. For example, the word translated as “Apostasy” comes from the original Greek word “apostasia.” The Liddell and Scott Greek Lexicon defines apostasia first as “defection, revolt;” then secondly as “departure, disappearance.” Depending on which definition you use, the whole meaning of this passage can change.
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
(2 Thessalonians 2:3 (NIV))
Most translations use the first definition, but since we don’t truly know what Paul intended, and the possibility that the definitions may have shifted over the years, the best that anyone can do is make an educated guess based on the context of the passage. If we simply use a word substitution, you begin to see the conundrum. One speaks of a rebellion while the other speaks of the Rapture.
…that day will not come until the revolt occurs
…that day will not come until the disappearance occurs
It is in these situations that I rely on a different source than human translations. I seek the Lord in prayer and prayerfully ask for discernment and understanding. As is the case for this passage, I often have to wait for the Lord’s timing. We know that we cannot know the hour or the day, but we can know the season. I venture that this also applies to God giving us insight into the clarity of passages such as this. If you think about it, people have been debating over the meanings of Scripture passages for a very long time. Only as the events described within the passage come into focus does the true meaning come to light.
Something just made my whole body tingle. We know that God’s Word often has a short term and a long term meaning. Is it possible that Paul’s choice of the word “apostasia” and the two very distinct meanings was intentional? Let’s try one more word substitution in order to convey what just came to mind.
…that day will not come until the revolt and the disappearance occur
Does this make sense? Humanity has to cross a line of no return in their rebellion against God AND the true church has to be taken out of the picture before the man of lawlessness will come on the scene. Does this indicate that God will judge the world’s rebellion and then remove the church based on His judgment? In many of my readings, this coincides with what many people believe will happen. Is it possible that the translators picked a single definition when Paul meant that both definitions were to be applied?
No matter how you choose to translate that word, one thing is certain. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived. We MUST keep our eyes focused on Jesus.
Are you watching and waiting with high expectations?