Guy Schwartz (30 Sep 2011)

Have you guys ever considered our translation or understanding of this verse, 2 Thess. 2:3 might be wrong or negative, therefore the cause of this misunderstanding?  Could this verse be saying the rapture has to happen first (not a falling away of faith, as so many teach)?  Check this out, and investigate it: The Greek noun apostasia comes from the root verb aphestimi, meaning "to go away, depart, to remove." The word aphestimi is used fifteen times in the Bible. Eleven times it is translated depart and refers only once to departing from faith. Eight times it is used as a departure from a person or a place, according to W.E. Vines Dictionary of Greek Words (page 297, number 20).

While the primary meaning of apostasia alludes to a rebellion from truth, there is a secondary meaning. According to the Liddell and Scott Classical Lexicon, the second meaning of apostasia is "a departing, or a disappearance."

Before the 1611 King James translation, most of the Bibles translated the phrase "falling away" as "the departing." The following men translated falling away as departure: Lineberry, B.A., Cloverdale (1535), Crammer (1539), Robert Baker (1615), Beza (1565), John Dawson, A.B. says "apostasia" means "a departure from any place." Robert Scott (1811-1887) gives the second meaning of apostasia as "departure, disappearance." And any of you who have done a serious study of translations know that the KJV is not 'perfect' in all it's Greek translations, as Chinese scholar Watchman Nee found out. 

Kenneth Wuest, world renowned Greek scholar translates 2 Thess. 2:3 as follows: "Do not allow anyone to lead you astray in any way, because that day shall not come (Second Coming of Christ) except the aforermentioned departure (rapture of the church to heaven) comes first, AND the man of lawlessness is disclosed (in his true identity), the man of perdition ..." (The New Testament - An Expanded Translation by Wuest)

The context of the scripture determines the meaning of the word. Wuest points out that if Paul were talking about doctrine in 2 Thess. 2, one could say he was alluding to a huge revolt or defection from the truth that would happen before the man of sin was revealed. Yet, Paul reminded them "when I was with you I told you these things." When Paul came back from Mt. Sinai (Arabia) and meeting Jesus in person (Gal. 1:12-17), he received the revelation directly from Jesus Christ (see this page) about the Rapture. He told the church of Thessalonica FIRST, of this previous mystery - the catching away (rapture) of the church. A mystery is something that was hidden to the people in the past (Old Testament crowd), but is NOW being revealed. The mystery of the Rapture, and salvation being offered to the Gentiles, was given to Paul to announce. A false letter was being circulated as to be from Paul, so he wrote again to that church to warn them - I didn't say that (that the Lord had already returned). His first letter (1 Thess. 4:16,17) contained the Rapture revelation. Wuest and other Greek scholars believe Paul was saying that this man of sin (antichrist) could not be revealed until there was first a departing of the church to heaven (rapture event)!

Read for more detail.

Shalom, Guy Schwartz

PS. The Rapture is MOST DEFINITELY a PRE-TRIB event, no doubt whatsoever! Why do people fight against this blessed hope, meant to encourage us to hang in there, and assure the believers that will not experience God's wrath - is that not what the Gospel message teaches - we have been reconciled to God thru our Lord Jesus Christ?