The Coming Antichrist and the rapture of the church. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10

Chapter one

I had recently written, once again, a study on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10, and thought I did a fairly good job of making my point, that the rapture comes first and then Antichrist arrives, along with God’s wrath, but things change.

What changed you might ask?

First, there was the COVID 19 virus, that put the world in a panic. We, as a nation, also got put in quarantine. That quarantine turned into something of a joke as it got extended, first by the President, then by our California Governor multiple times, to the point that we were under quarantine for three months. During that quarantine, we were told that the church was non-essential, and churches were ordered closed. Surprisingly, our government, namely our California Governor, seems to have forgotten that we had a First Amendment to the constitution.

It reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

After a reasonable amount of time, many Pastors began to push back against the California Governor. Our own President Trump even got involved on behalf of the churches by demanding that the dictatorial Governors reopen churches because they are essential. In case you had not heard, here in California, by the end of the three months, we had more people die from suicide than from the COVID 19. My own church, did not take assertive action along with the others, but we did, in time, institute a drive-up/or sit in the parking lot church, and that was fine. All this initiated in early March of 2020.

As I look back, I am thankful that this seclusion led me to find other pastors on the internet. I found bold men, such as Pastor JD Farag, in Hawaii; Pastor Tom Hughes, from San Jacinto California; Pastor Jack Hibbs, of Chino Hills California, and James Kaddis, the Pastor of Signal Hill Church in Long Beach, California. These men preach a powerful, fearless gospel, and most opened their churches early. But the best of it was the messages that they brought and how they pulled no punches.

This time with these pastors, and the messages about the end times, was one of the biggest changes for me.

Here it is mid-June of 2020 and Pastor JD Farag recently stated,

after years of teaching, he still found himself struggling to sort out the timing of the rapture and Antichrist’s entrance into the end times scenario based upon 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3. (This struggle to understand the chronology of what is going to happen, is all to common in the church.)

But then, as he said, I settled it. (That means he got the facts straight in his thinking, applied some faith to the subject, and settled it; never to struggle with it again.)

It is my belief that settling the timing associated with the rapture and the Antichrist has become pivotal to me, since March of 2020; because, since the beginning of March, we, the church, have submitted to:

fear; quarantines; a voluntary loss of our rights; the loss of our ability to assemble at church; the mandatory wearing of face masks, and soon, a mandatory “vaccination,” which we have learned will do nothing outside of marking you with a scannable nanodot. Many of us, are alarmed at how rapidly these changes have altered not only our world but us. If it goes the way the globalists want, we will not be able to work, shop, or go anywhere without this “vaccination.” And, if you are not aware, this is all meant to show you your need for a centralized government under one leader – a one-world government.

Does anyone else see the biblical themes running through the current events we are dealing with here?

What does this all mean?

It means that the emergence of the Antichrist and a one-world government is right around the corner. Thus, I implore you to settle these details about the catching away of the church and the coming of the lawless one in your heart and mind as well. And no, this is not just about you, although you should be capable of expressing and explaining to others this hope that we rest upon.

Why did Paul write this letter to the church in Thessalonica?

Because a fraudulent letter had at minimum, been distributed, to the church in Thessalonica; the effect of which, disturbed their peace, and filled many in the church with fear, as they thought had been left behind.

How did Paul respond to this fraud?

By reestablishing truth with them. He wrote them a second time, in an effort to refresh their thinking, and by reexamining a vital truth without rehashing all the details he previously taught. An example was given of a college professor who gives a lecture, upon which the students will be tested. Several weeks later, days before the exam, he reexamines many of the vital points he made. Does he, once again, give the entire lecture? No, because they should have gone over those notes themselves. He is merely reestablishing in them, what is coming. And thus Paul begins to write, now, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 ESV  Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,  (2)  not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

“Now concerning the coming.” Coming is the Greek word parousía and means to be present. It also implies a coming to a place or an arrival. 

Eugene Peterson in his version of the Bible expresses this about verse one.the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him.”

Other translations read like this: The CJB states- “in connection with”; the NASB reads – “in regard to,”; and the Amplified Bible declares, “But relative to the coming.” As long as the terminology conveys the association and immediacy of His coming, we should be good.

The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is interpreted in one of several ways:

Primarily, “The day of the Lord” is one of those interpretations and pertains to several events, all of which are associated with the seven-years of God’s wrath. The Word of God also speaks of this in terms of a day

If you do a search for the phrase, “the day of the Lord” and it shows up over 22 times across the Bible. In the book of the Prophet Joel, we get this.

“Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.” (Joel 1:15 NASB)

And He also addresses it as a week of years. For example, in Daniel we see –

“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. (Daniel 9:24 NASB)

If God were talking about actual weeks, to the Jews that would be about a year-and-a-half. It is actually 70, seven-year periods of time, and it took us up to Jesus’ resurrection. However, that only covered 69 of those time periods. The seventieth has been on hold, waiting for its moment to arrive that is described as “when the fullness of the Gentiles has come.

Romans 11:25 NASB “… a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

In the Revelation we see many martyred saints getting this answer from Jesus.

Revelation 6:11 NASB And there was given to each of them a white robe, and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

That seventieth, seven-year period is the time of God’s wrath upon the earth, and you see that in Daniel 9:24 (which I have shown you above.) This time is what we refer to as the tribulation, however, the tribulation is a highly inappropriate term as tribulations are what Jesus described would be a daily aspect of our lives. There is, however, a segment of time, within the seven-years, which will become so deadly that Jesus calls it a time of great tribulation and points out how God has to bring it to an end or no one would survive. This scenario is associated with Matthew 24:15, however, Daniel 9 tells us, another one will cause the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. At this point, if you are in Israel, run for your lives.

for then shall be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21-22 MKJV)

I wish I could tell you that this ugliness will be confined to Israel, but I cannot.

Secondarily, there is another advent associated with Christ, which is frequently thought of as the day of the Lord, and that is when Jesus returns to earth as the warring Messiah.

Revelation 19:11-15 NASB (11) And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and wages war. (12) His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. (13) He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (14) And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. (15) From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

His coming back in this manner is at the end of the seven-years.

If you were one of the survivors I would think you would be screaming Hallelujah because all sufferings are about to end, as we enter the thousand years of peace that takes place right before eternity and the total elimination of Satan.

3. The third and most vital interpretation, as concerns the church in relationship to God’s wrath, is what we call the rapture.

When it comes to the catching away of the church, we, the church, are looking for Him to come in the clouds, but He, at this point, will NOT physically return to earth and will merely gather us back to Himself. Scripturally, we have this:

They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11 NASB)

This was not said to the disciples to clarify the day of the Lord; this was said to strengthen and encourage hope in the disciples who saw the most amazing man, die, come back to life, and leave them. They had a hope that He was the one who would save them, but standing there watching Him ascend into the clouds must have stripped the hope right out of them. They needed more hope – a hope that He would return for us.

Another passage that speaks of this time is 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

“and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10 NASB)

Since we know that the wrath, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10, comes almost immediately after the church has been removed, then what we see in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 is indicative of His gathering of His church; and, the church is not included in “the day of the Lord,” which includes His wrath.

Having a clear understanding that this “day of the Lord” and what so many call The Tribulation, are the same thing, is essential.

Continued: See chapter two. omharris.com

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6 Responses to The Coming Antichrist and the rapture of the church. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10

  1. Shofar/Liz says:

    You said regarding 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: ‘His coming back in this manner is at the end of the 7 years’. This being ‘caught up in the clouds’ event is not the same as when Jesus returns in the clouds and every eye will see Him. Perhaps you have confused the secret Rapture with the public return of the Lord which takes place after the 7 years. Anyway, I don’t follow what you’re trying to say. I don’t think Pastor Farag is confused about the scriptures? Please clarify.

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  2. overcomingthetribulation says:

    Greetings, brother.

    I’ve heard one of J.D. Farag’s sermons before, and in the whole sermon, almost every verse he took out of context to teach Pre-Tribulation Rapture. I grew up being taught and believing in Pre-Tribulation Rapture from the Baptist churches my family attended when I was a child. As a teenager, an answered prayer to understand Lk 17:37 caused me to doubt Pre-Tribulation Rapture. I searched carefully to see if Pre-Tribulation Rapture was taught anywhere, until I was convinced it is Biblically impossible. Would you be willing to read my research and prayerfully consider it? You can find my two-part testimony in the Foundations section of my website, https://overcomingthetribulation.com. Also, my article on 2 Th 2 (titled according to the common Pre-Trib assertion I am responding to) is https://overcomingthetribulation.com/church-gone-before/.

    Blessings,

    Annette

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    • remso says:

      We used to have a friend sit with us. He too, believed that the church must go through the time of wrath. He refused to consider anything other than the verses he took out of context.
      I looked at Luke 17:37, which you referred to, from many translations to see if there was something there that would move me to adjust my understanding and accept that God wants the church to be a mid or post-tribulation body. Here is the Complete Jewish Bible version of that verse.  “They asked him, “Where, Lord?” He answered, “Wherever there’s a dead body, that’s where the vultures gather.”” So, if I were to hold to context, I would have to be asking what is the context here as well. The context is Luke’s perception of what someone else told him, about what Matthew tells us in chapter 24:3.
      Jesus disciples asked Him three Jewish oriented questions – “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of Your coming and (what will be the sign) of the end of the age?”  So, Jesus is talking here, even as He is in Luke’s gospel, about the end of the age. Those events happen during the time of God’s wrath, which we errantly call, the tribulation. The predominant events, such as a horrendous slaughter of “saints” happens at and after the three-and-one-half year mark.
      Did Lot have to go through God’s wrath? No, he was spared by direct intervention and removal.
      Did Noah and his family have to go through God’s wrath? No, as God placed them in the ark and shut the door, saving them.
      As Pastor JD Farag pointed out, in Daniel chapter two, Daniel is a typology of the church, and while we see the three Hebrew children, a type of Israel, go through the wrath (and were saved), Daniel, who was not there, was spared by being removed.
      That friend who demanded that we must endure the “tribulation” made the same mistake so many others make, as he merely called the entirety of the time of wrath, “the tribulation,” not accepting that the term tribulation is something Jesus said would a daily part of our lives as followers of Christ. Just because we haven’t yet been firebombed for attending church, or that our daily tribulation is not extreme, does not mean we are not going through what Jesus said we would. Why would anyone, in their right mind, cry out for torture and death? They would not.
      Is God bringing the wrath during this time we call the tribulation? Certainly, and since Paul tells us that Jesus took all the wrath we deserve, and we are in Him, and forgiven, then there is NO MORE wrath coming to us.

      I have settled all this in my mind, and I am not going to change my mind.
      Will I look at your post? I already have.

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      • overcomingthetribulation says:

        You didn’t follow what I was saying. The taken cannot be the Christians being raptured when Jesus was talking about the wicked who died (“the Flood came and took them all -away”, Mt 24:39) and saying it will be like this at His coming. The Tribulation is not all God’s wrath—just the last year (Is 34:8), during which time He is powerful enough to shield those of His who are still alive and abide in Him (Rv 9:4, 16:15). The real issue that feeds Pre-Trib Rapture idea is not fear of God’s wrath, but Satan’s (Rv 12:12-17, 13:7, etc.). If your heart is not open to changing your mind, you will not see.

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      • remso says:

        Luke 17:37 gives you no clue as to an explanation unless you try to associate the scavenging actions of the eagle, with the assumption that these are dead bodies He is talking about.
        There is, however, a context, and it has everything to do with this verse:
        Luke 17:30 NET. It will be the same on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

        Jesus is not coming in the clouds with the intent of revealing Himself, He is coming to gather His church. We make the assumption that for Christ to be revealed, He must, without any question, make Himself known to humanity. The problem with that thinking is that He already has made Himself known. We see this in Romans.
        Romans 1:20 NASB For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

        So, once again, He has made Himself known.
        The Revelation also talks of His making Himself known, and that will be rather dramatic.
        Revelation 1:7 NASB BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

          Lukes gospel also says this:

        Luke 21:20-22 NASB “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. (21) “Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; (22) because these are days of vengeance so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.

        As I might have told you, I, years ago, staggering to understand when Christ would come back for His church, searched the scriptures for myself. I did this because I too sat in church and had to learn, as people told me what I was supposed to believe and think. As a youth, my parents did not allow me to question or defend myself. Thank God, I gained some sanity as I grew older and began to read the Bible on my own. In reading on my own, I made notes and challenged God frequently with my questions. Scripture always seemed to answer scripture, and yet there were the times that the Holy Spirit would say to me, just be quiet and keep reading, the answer will come; and it did.

        Oh, and by the way, one of the reasons I read the scriptures for myself, was that I was taught that God was nothing more than an angry God who would be delighted to send virtually everyone to hell. What I found is the complete opposite. He is full of grace and mercy and does not want anyone to perish; and, I found all that by looking at Jesus, the same one who told the disciples, in the manner that you are seeing me leave, I will come back for you (the church) in the same manner. He is coming back, and soon; the signs are everywhere and all around us.

        There is no escaping the fact that the seven-years is God’s wrath. Want some proof? Joel 1:15 NASB Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, And it will come as destruction from the Almighty. You think that God is giving Satan one last chance to display his wrath, during this seven-year period. That’s foolishness. Satan, since the garden, has been displaying his wrath. What do you think that was when Herod had all the boys, age two and under, killed. It was Satan’s attempt at murdering Jesus. Did his attempts stop there? No, as you see the pompous religious try to throw Him off a cliff. That did not happen, as Jesus “somehow” slipped through their fingers. Revelation 12 defines Satan’s attempts to kill the child born of the woman. Jesus was obviously that child, but then, so was Israel. So, NO, while Satan continues unrestrained through the seven-years of God’s wrath, it is not his turn, for NOTHING is happening outside of God’s will and plan.

        Jump all around, throw fits, and curse if it makes you feel better, but it won’t change the Word of God.

        Thanks for your interactions,

          I am not changing my mind. My heart is settled,

        and I am not buying what you are selling.

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