Are you watching and waiting with high expectations?

October 25, 2022


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?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Have you put on your armor?

September 4, 2020


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
(Romans 13:12 (NIV))

I’m feeling weary tonight!

I’m sure that you have felt this way at some point in this last year. There is more worldly uncertainty and pressure than any of us have ever experienced before. I don’t need to tell you that we are living in and through very unusual times. We are seeing good being called evil and evil being called good. We are seeing lawlessness. We are seeing saber rattling and wars. We are seeing peace treaties that are foretold in prophecy. We are seeing what the world labels as racial tensions. We are told that nation will rise against nation. The original Greek could actually be translated as ethnicity groups.

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
(Matthew 24:7 (NIV))

And the one thing that is on everyone’s mind, whether you believe that it is a true risk or greatly exaggerated, is COVID-19. I’ve even read that the suicide rate is up for a group of people that should know where to turn for their strength. Perhaps you have seen this as well. The reports are saying that pastors are committing suicide at an alarmingly high rate. Why has faith disappeared? Why are people who should be encouraging the Body of Christ to look up now doing such a thing as what is being reported? The Body of Christ should recognize the signs and dress for battle for our Savior will soon be here!

When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
(Luke 21:28 (NIV))

With everything that is going on in the world, who can you turn to in order to get an unbiased and honest perspective on events? We are to look up! We are to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. We are to prepare for what is coming. We are to arm ourselves with His Word, for when we know God’s Word, we don’t lose site of the promises that God is unfolding before us.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
(Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV))

Have you put on your armor?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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