(Please note that the numbers besides the words being studied are taken from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and the definitions are from Strong’s Greek/Hebrew Definitions) 1.
Many in the Church at Thessolonica were being told that Jesus had already returned and they were living in the Tribulation. , 2 Thess 2:1-2 “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand”.
First let’s look at the words: “gathering together”. This comes from the translation of the single Greek word, episunagoge [NT:1996 episunago (ep-ee-soon-ag’-o); from NT:1909 and NT:4863; to collect upon the same place:] KJV – gather (together). No where in the New Testament is the word “episunagoge” translated church. So does this “gathering together” speak of the return of the Jews to their homeland. We are certainly seeing this starting with the Balfour Declaration in 1917, then On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first premier. Since then persons of Jewish heritage have been returning to their homeland by the millions.
[Do not confuse this with the Greek word for Church ekklesia NT:1577 ekklesia (ek-klay-see’-ah); from a compound of NT:1537 and a derivative of NT:2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): KJV – assembly, church.]
Paul goes on to say, :2 Thess 2:3-8 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 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: ” KJV
There is a lot of debate on translation of the word “falling away”. In the Greek text it is translated from the word “apostasia” – falling away, forsake. Some want to say it means a “catching away” but following is what Strong’s Concordance says: NT:646 apostasia (ap-os-tas-ee’-ah); feminine of the same as NT:647; defection from truth (properly, the state) [“apostasy”]: KJV – falling away, forsake.
NT:647 apostasion (ap-os-tas’-ee-on); neuter of a (presumed) adj. from a derivative of NT:868; properly, something separative, i.e. (specially) divorce:
Are we not seeing a tremendous forsaking of traditional Christian values and morals among those who call themselves Christians. Even the value of life that is created in God’s image, marriage, sexuality, honesty and integrity, etc. are being devalued and those who still hold to those values are called judgmental, bigots and haters Previously traditional, Christian based, organizations have divorced themselves from any mention of Christ. Have you been to a AA or Al-Anon meeting lately? Participants are no longer supposed to use the name Jesus, now it is “my higher power” or “the god of my understanding”. Bible verses are not to be quoted but it is o.k. to quote Buddha or Confucius. God and Christ have been booed at the Democratic National Convention. Schools can’t even use Nativity songs during Christmas Concerts. Pope Francis says we all worship the “same god”. I challenge him to ask any Muslim if Jesus is the son of Allah. What do you think the answer will be? You can probably name many more activities that are either distorted or missing altogether in our Churches and pulpits. Is this not all Apostasy?
So, does this mean that the prerequisites for Christ’s return to earth as King, have or are being fulfilled today? I would think so.
Later, we will study the “man of perdition” and perhaps the “Rapture” of the Church.
1.(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)