The Thessalonian saints were apparently confused mixing up a separate split-second event—the Rapture—with our gathering together to Him with the coming of our Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2   1Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

The Thessalonian saints were apparently confused concerning two different periods of time—they were mixing up a separate split-second event—the Raptureour gathering together to Him with the coming of our Lord Jesus. The instantaneous Rapture happens first. Then the period of time begins. This period of time is called the “Tribulation.” Immediately, or nearly so, following our being raptured, the church age ends, and a period of judgment begins—a Day of the Lord—begins. The first event of the period of time is the seven-year Tribulation Period. Those seven years are given over to the false trinity to rule on earth. The first half of the seven years (3 ½ years) is a time of deception, and the second half of the seven years will be the Great Tribulation. At the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period, the next quick-as-lightening event is the Lord’s Second Coming. Immediately after that is our Lord’s 1,000 year millennial reign. That time will be followed by the destruction of this earth and heavens, and the Lord’s creation of a new heaven and earth. The words our gathering together to Him are referring to the Rapture.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17   16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them [with those believers who’ve already died] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The reason for concern in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 is because the saints were confused by false teachers who had troubled their minds relating to the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ. Verse 2:2 tells us here that either by spirit or by word or by letter—some false teachers were apparently impersonating Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We see this by the words as if from us. The believers’ minds were being deceived to think that they had somehow missed out on being raptured and were already in the beginning of the Tribulation Period. They must have been falsely told that Paul had a special revelation by spirit, or that he was teaching in Corinth by word, or that a letter with Paul’s forged signature informing them {falsely} that the Tribulation period had begun. Therefore, Paul explains and sets their minds at ease by displaying his own signature at the end of this letter in 3:17 and by further explanation in 2:3.

2 Thessalonians 3:17   The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4   3Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [the Tribulation Period] will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition [Antichrist: son of destruction], 4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

After the Rapture, John was given visions in the Book of Revelation that other things must take place—after the instantaneous Rapture—at the end of the church age.

Revelation 4:1   After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” [After the Church age]

One of the things that would take place as the Church is raptured would be the falling away {v.3}. A great and final apostasy—the end of the church age—the deep-seated denial of the Christian faith would occur at the appearing of the man of sin—the Antichrist. This is also another of the things that would take place: the man of sin would be revealed. Daniel prophesied the coming of the son of perdition—son of Satan.

Daniel 7:25   He shall speak pompous words [boastfully, grandeur, splendid, magnificent words] against the Most High [against Almighty God], shall persecute the saints of the Most high, and shall intend to change times and law [will intend to revise history]. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time [2nd ½ of the 7 year Tribulation Period].       

But Daniel also tells us the Antichrist will be judged.

Daniel 7:26   But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever.

Daniel prophesied this bad news for the Antichrist and his followers again in the next chapter.

Daniel 8:25   Through his [the Antichrist’s] cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes [against the Lord Jesus Christ and all His saints in the battle of Armageddon]; but he shall be broken without human means.

[Without humans: Judges 7:22; 2 Chronicles 20:22-23; Ezekiel 38:21; Revelation 19:14-15]

Who was the very first prophet in the Bible? He was Enoch who prophesied the second coming.

Jude 14-15   14Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Interesting, also with these things that must take place, to note the very last quote of the Lord Jesus Christ in the next to last verse of the Bible.

Revelation 22:20b   “Surely I am coming quickly.”

How easy is it to be deceived especially in today’s world?

All Scripture quoted is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Author: Mike and Elfriede

For the past 15 years Michael Copple has studiously devoted his life to the Lord by preaching the Gospel and moderating Bible studies. He is a 1958 Eagle Scout, holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, and achieved the highest US Air Force enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant with over 26 years service, one year of which was with Forward Air Control duties in Vietnam. For three years he was the senior enlisted member of the US Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Team; he has performed over 2,000 parachute jumps and accumulated over 15 hours of freefall. During his parachuting years Mike experienced a mishap of being a “hung jumper” outside the aircraft, and serious parachute malfunctions like a deadly seesaw night jump entanglement with another jumper, and an 85 mph wind shear which almost took his life. This experience inspired and qualified him to author the novel Calling from the Sky. A former world-wide electronic service engineer for 16 years with a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, he and his wife Elfriede currently live in the Canadian Rockies surrounded by 6 National Parks. Besides studying God's Word, they both like to exercise, cross country ski, hike, garden, and walk their dog Kansas. Visit him at https://www.michaelcopple.com/

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