Apostasy and II Thessalonians 2:3
II Thess. 2:3 states, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” What ‘day is being spoken of here? What is the ‘falling away’ that is being spoken of? How can this be reconciled with our view of end time revival if this speaks of a great end time apostasy?
The ‘man of sin’ here is the antichrist. So the ‘day’ here is in reference to the 7 year tribulation. The ‘falling away’ is the apostasy we are NOW experiencing. But while the world as a whole is in a backslidden state, the church can have revival. The ‘latter end’ shall be greater than the former (Haggai 2:9).
The day is the day of Christ. (vs. 2) This is the day of the coming of the Lord and our gathering unto him. (vs. 1) This will happen after the great falling away and the man of sin being revealed. (vs. 3) I believe the great falling away describes the deception that will lead people to trust in and follow the Anti-Christ. This is why Paul prefaces his statement about that day by telling the saints not to allow men to deceive them. I believe verses 8-12 describe the cause of the falling away from true faith. 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 (King James Version):
8. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Evangelist/Pastor Charles V. Stansell
Well in other words don’t allow yourself or your family to follow nor listen to that which is not sound doctrine nor scripturally correct. By this you can not be deceived nor caught up in a so called church on the way. The only way they are going is out in left field and in the darkness of the day the scripture here is declaring you won’t fall away if your faith is deeply rooted into the true Word of God as a tap root of a tree.
As far as end time, there is no need to wait for that. It could come to any of us any day and the day of our passing will be an end time. No time to ask for forgiveness from God or man. No time to make our lives right, for today is the day of salvation and apostasy is already upon us. Look at our Apostolic churches today verses our forefathers of Pentecost. Look at the worldliness in our mega churches. Look at out attire we wear right down to the hair cuts and styles. Apostasy is already here, deception is already here, falling away is already here. Jesus is on his way here.
1. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him….
2. …as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come…”
“That day” refers to the rapture. Falling away has been since the beginning of mankind. One cannot fall away unless they have first tasted of the Heavenly Gift of salvation. The Bible speaks of the righteous scarcely being saved and a remnant. It is sad everyone speaks of a revival in the “last days”, and we the church believe in Acts 2:38 yet cannot comprehend that Jesus poured out his Spirit in Acts 2 and THAT ushered in the LAST DAYS.
We have been living in the last days for 2,000 years. There has been a falling away for 2,000 years. He is not willing that any perish but that all come to repentance. He has been in the saving business for a long time, not just before He raptures His church. Jesus is not partial to just the ones living during the time of His coming; granting only them to experience a “great revival” But has called all to repentance since He created man and poured out His spirit (Acts 2) in the last days.
Pastor T. Griffin
Personally, I feel like the answer to your question is 2-fold. Firstly, “that day” references the time when Christ will call His bride out of this world to forever be with Him. Secondly, there already exists a great falling away of pure truth in the world that we live.
But that pales in comparison to what will take place in the not to distant future when literally only the “wise” will hold to the pure truth and everyone else will begin to follow the Antichrist (or son of perdition). As Daniel wrote prophecy and asked for the interpretation thereof, God instructed him that it was “sealed” until the end. Meaning, significantly that these things would not be revealed until the days that approached the end of all time, which we are in now. He also stated that those that understood would be wise, and truly the wise will see a great end time revival as we continue to preach, teach, and testify about the one true living God. The un-wise will be those that follow the pattern of lies and deceit expounded on by the enemy of truth.
Evangelist Michael Haner
“That day shall not come…” could be the rapture or Armageddon, the man of sin is clearly the Anti-Christ. Although we have had several men of sin in the history of man, that man which the Scripture is referring to is special in deed. Why we feel the need to point to some one in particular, is really quite interesting in it’s self. We are to be watching for Jesus to return in the same manner that He left. The falling away was once preached that it could also be a “catching away” either way the status qua will change. A great revival along side a great backsliding, what side of the church are you on? When the shaking takes place some will fall away and some will lighten the load. Let’s look closer at, “He that endures to the end, the same shall be saved.”
Well when we say a revival I would say yes there will be a revival, but what kind? I believe within Christianity there will be a revival but that this revival will actually be the great apostasy. Deception will be what triggers the revival. It will be accompanied with signs and wonders performed with the help of the devil and his demon’s lying signs and wonders. I am not ruling out a true revival in the hearts of God’s true believers but this won’t necessarily be a world revival; just the church standing up for truth.
Pastor Charles V. Stansell
I feel its now and we need more focus on prayer and I am not talking about 30 minutes of prayer. I mean prayer that lasts like the old days that have passed that we need again that will change the people and cause them to repent and be saved and not to focus on the times before now. The same message was being preached and it was and still is to be, repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand. The same message preached in acts 2:38. So let’s pray and not play. For I have found many of our oneness churches, claiming to be Apostolic in all ways, are not as they say. There is disunity towards those that are not UPC, date lines or date sheets found in the magazines passed out, and looking like the world in all things as well as in our music. I feel the falling away has been and is getting worse and we need to stop it in our churches. It starts with the Pastor and the leaders as well as our homes. We are worldly and it will bring a great judgment upon the real church.
The “Day” spoken of here is the day of the rapture. (See verse 1 & 2 of this same chapter.) The words “a falling away” here mean apostasia or deflection from the Truth. How can the world that has not obeyed the Truth fall away from what they do not have?
Matthew brings more light to who these people are:
Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
Mat 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
The word “Love” in verse 12 is “Agape” or the love of God. Romans 5:5 makes it clear that the Spirit of God gives us the love of God; the same Spirit that places us in the church (1 Cor. 12:13). Thus, this is a backsliding from the Truth. How can this happen? Easy, when the Mark of the Beast arrives and no one can buy or sell without it. The deception and danger will be so great that many will be “shaken” from their faith. Will the church still be here for the Mark? (See Rev. 13:8)
As far as the whole world having a witness of the Gospel before the rapture, that appears to be what happened at Pentecost. Act 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
As far as end time revival, we get that from….
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Act 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Act 2:19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Act 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
This all happens BEFORE the day of the Lord (Rapture) but it could rightly be said that God began pouring out His Spirit at Pentecost. However it does say in the “last days” so it appears to happen in a greater degree right before the Lord returns. This could be expected when prophecy, wars, the Antichrist, and the Mark are happening! Surely many will run to Truth. Even so come Lord Jesus.
God’s people “shall be strong and do exploits” because they KNOW THEIR GOD! There was a time when the public majority lived in a God fearing way. The fear of God came, if not through having the Spirit of Truth within, then it was from regular study of the Word of God. With this influence and the “Christian mindset” being once the mainstream, at least for the western hemisphere, there was a period of time when it seemed the majority supported living according to Godly ways. We have seen in recent decades an intense “falling away” from the very basic Biblical teachings.
While there have always been the Atheists, Deists and even Satanists, the majority that ruled adhered to and upheld or at least respected the authority of the Word of God. We have watched that Word become banned from governmental institutions and now see that the Ten Commandments are no longer welcome. With the Interfaith movement we see that even salvation through Jesus is NOT the norm of the majority anymore. I feel “the great falling away” could be the effects we are experiencing in this day of the laws and times being changed to remove any influence of God’s Word from the hearts and minds of the general people. There is even threat for those who try to continue raising their families in Biblical living because this is seen as “abusive”. A falling away from allowing religious freedoms would be the ultimate. Those sincere and strong in the faith would be strengthened during such persecution, but those who did not KNOW THEIR GOD would be deceived into a godless mindset and would remain in a hopeless fallen state.
Rather than see scripture from the base foundation of just “the church” it may be best to see the world as God does knowing that he is not finished with it yet. Falling away could include our “backsliders”, but because it is dealing with a “whole world plan”, it could mean that MAN as a whole turns away from God in the hearts of its courts and laws. Whereas, it seems in “the east” there has always been idolatry, now “the (Christian) west” is “falling away” leaving our current world further from God than ever. Such a “mindset of the world” would be a perfect MUST for the antichrist to be able to do his deception. The Lord will come on “that great day” when the world (and Israel) are in its most hopeless/godless state. Scripture also says that the gospel will be preached in all the earth THEN the end will come. The true church will be gloriously strong no matter what the number.
This scripture proves my personal belief that we are going through the Tribulation. “That Day” is the second coming of Christ at the battle of Armageddon and before that day can come there will be a great apostasy or backsliding of believers and the Antichrist will take world control. The idea of ‘end time revival’ is false. When the scriptures talk about ‘the latter rain being greater than the former rain’ it is speaking of the Millennial Kingdom – Israel’s glory will be greater during this 1,000 year reign then it was even during Solomon’s and David’s reign. That’s how I see it! Will someone please show me where in the Bible it talks about an ‘end time revival?’ All I find is an end time ‘falling away!’
I think this is clearly talking about the end times in which we now live. We are living in the spirit of Laodicea when ‘all that can be shaken will be shaken.’ Personally I don’t think this has to be ‘either – or’ but can be both. We will have an end time revival along with a great falling away.
This article “Apostasy and II Thessalonians 2:3” is by various authors and is from: www.ibcperspectives.com web site. June 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.