PLAINER WORDS ONLINE …
AWAY AND REBELLION
By Tom L. Ballinger
“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. 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”(2 Thess,
For many years, we have made a distinction between the “Day of Christ”
and the “Day of the Lord.” Admittedly, most students and teachers of the
Word do not do so. They, superficially, declare the two days to be the
Our understanding of the future events in God's prophetic program
demanded that we take a long, hard look at the phrase in verse 2; the
“Day of Christ.” The “Day of Christ” doesn't fit the context in 2
Thessalonians. The “Day of the Lord” does.
As we pondered the “Day of Christ” in the King James Version, we saw the
necessity to check other translations of the Bible; six in fact. The six
(NIV, NASU, ASU, NAS, RSV, and TLB) all rendered the phrase as “the Day
of the Lord;” not “the Day of Christ.” Upon what authority did these
other translations substitute the “Day of the Lord” for the “Day of
“Christ”? The answer is simple. According to the Interlinear Bible – New
Testament, the Greek word for Christ is Christou, and it is not in the
text. The Greek word which the King James translators translated for
“Christ” was “Kuriou.” Kuriou is the Greek word for “Lord.” Why did the
King James translators render Kuriou as Christ? For thinking people this
is food for thought.
The pre-millennial Kingdom of God is another term for the “Day of
The Thessalonian believers were shook-up because a false apostle, or
false teacher, informed them that the “Day of the Lord” was “at hand.”
The Apostle Paul assured those at Thessalonica that the “Day of the
Lord” could not come until two things were accomplished: (1) There must
be a “falling away,” and (2) the “man of sin” must be revealed. Then,
will come “the Day of the Lord.”
THE FALLING AWAY
“Except there come a falling away first” has been a most difficult
passage for many Bible students to handle. Some teach that the “falling
away” is the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. This interpretation
doesn’t stand the test of right division. The Church which is His Body
was not in view when Paul wrote this epistle. Not only that, but the
“falling away” will be a falling away from the Divine enlightenment of
all men which will occur when the “Day of Jesus Christ” is ushered in.
The Greek word translated “falling away,” is “apostasia.” A casual look
at the word clearly gives the meaning of the word—apostasy. [See
Strong’s number 646; “a defection from truth.”] An enlightened world,
over time, as the Restrainer loosens His restraints, will apostatize.
Not everyone, but there will be those who do. The Scripture clearly
indicates that the center of the apostasy will be in the former City of
God, Jerusalem. The apostasy will be found among many of the Jewish
leaders (Dan. 9:27). At the height of her apostasy, she takes on the
character of Babylon and is called “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF
HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:5).
Those who fail to consider the “Day of Christ” as a long period of time
prior to the 2nd Coming (Parousia) of Jesus Christ do not allow, in
their interpretation, the Lord Jesus Christ to reign from Heaven over an
enlightened world. As a result of failing, spiritually, to see the “Day
of Christ” as being pre-millennial, many teachers of “right division”
admit that they don’t really know how the Dispensation of Grace ends. “I
am not absolutely sure as to how the church will end,” was an honest
answer by a writer of dispensational truth. Honesty is appreciated.
However, many who recognize that the Kingdom comes before Jesus Christ
does are not left in the dark as to how the “church will end.”
2 Timothy 4:1 signals the end of the Dispensation of Grace, and the
Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head will be manifested as being
intimately identified with the Glory of our Great God and Savior, Jesus
Christ (Titus 2:13); for He is our life and when He appears, we shall
also appear in His Glory (Col. 3:4).
The “Day of the Lord” is to be feared ─ not the “Day of Christ.”
“Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as
destruction from the Almighty” (Isa.13:6). “The day of the LORD cometh,
cruel both with wrath and fierce anger” (Isa. 13:9). When the Day of the
LORD comes, Joel 2:1 says, “let all the inhabitants of the land
tremble,” and verse two states that it will be “a day of darkness and
gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness.”
Amos 5:18 says; “ the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.” Amos
repeats this in verse twenty but adds; “even very dark, and no
brightness in it.” By contrast, the “Day of Christ” is light, joy, and
The “Day of the Lord” begins after there is a falling away; a “falling
away” from what? As we stated earlier, the “falling away” is to be from
the universal enlightenment of mankind which would have taken place at
the dawn of the “Day of Christ.”
This falling away is not the apostasy of the church as orthodoxy
teaches. It is a world-wide apostasy that occurs toward the end of the
“Day of Christ.” But, the center of apostasy is Jerusalem, the City of
God, which apostatized and became Bablyon the Great, the mother of
When the glory of Christ is revealed at His appearing (epiphany) and His
Kingdom (2 Tim. 4:1), He speaks audibly from Heaven to all of mankind,
to nations, and to individuals. This is when Psalm 97:4 becomes a
reality; “His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth (meaning-the
earth's inhabitants) saw, and trembled.”
Deut. 32:1-4 will be fulfilled during Christ's Day, “Give ear, O ye
heavens (meaning-the heavenly hosts), and I will speak; and hear, O
earth (meaning-the earth's inhabitants), the words of my mouth. My
doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as
the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto
our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are
judgment (meaning-right): a God of truth and without iniquity, just and
right is he.” Did you notice how tender His speech will be as He
enlightens the world to the doctrine by which He will rule the world
from the Heavens?
Isaiah writes about God audibly speaking to all of mankind in Isa.
45:22-23; “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth
(meaning-mankind universally): for I am God, and there is none else. I
have sworn by myself, the word has gone out of my mouth in
righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear.” Paul refers to this in Romans 14:11; “For it
is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow (meaning-in
submission) to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
The “Day of Christ” ushers in His day of exaltation. Mankind will exalt
Christ being enlightened to the fact that, “Wherefore God also hath
highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That
at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven
(meaning-the heavenly hosts), and things in earth (meaning-every living
human being), and things under the earth (meaning-all of the dead will
be raised); And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11).
There will be a universal illumination of Who Jesus Christ is, and What
He is, in the estimation of God the Father. This illumination goes from
pole to pole and from the east to the west. The population of the world
will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.
This will be such a wonder, such a marvelous miracle that praise will
even be perfected “out of the mouths of babes and sucklings” (Matt.
21:16). With God, all things are possible.
All during the “Day of Christ,” as He rules as the Sovereign King of the
universe from His heavenly throne, mankind will be informed as to His
will and purpose for the age. He will speak to the world all at once, or
to nations, or to individuals, one at a time, providing Divine
direction, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This
is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye
turn to the left” (Isa.30:21).
The “Day of the Lord” will not come until two things take place during
the last days of the Kingdom of God (i.e. the “Day of Christ”). The
“falling away” comes first, and then, the “man of sin” will be revealed.
The unveiling of the “man of sin” reveals that he is the anti-Christ,
and he is the Satanic leader: “a king of fierce countenance” (Dan.
8:23), who leads the rebellion against the Government of Jesus Christ.
The kings of the nations surrounding Israel, and their people, are the
ones “who imagine a vain thing” (Ps. 2:1); that is, they take counsel
together against the Lord Jesus Christ and His anointed, King David,
saying …(Ps. 2:2), “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away
their cords (restraints) from us” (Ps. 2:3).
As they imagine a vain thing, the Lord Jesus, Who sits in Heaven, shall
laugh at their folly, and He “shall have them in derision” (Ps. 2:4).
2 Thessalonians 2:4 gives more information concerning the “man of sin.”
“Who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of
worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying
himself as being God” (2 Thess. 2:4) NASU.
Notice, that the Temple of God has been rebuilt during the “ Day of
Christ.” There is no way the “man of sin” can be revealed during the era
of today because there is no Temple, nor will there be one until the
Lord Jesus Christ creates a “Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a
joy” (Isaiah 65:17), and the Temple and Sanctuary is built on Mount
The “man of sin,” the “son of perdition,” invades Israel and conquers
Jerusalem. He forms a league with apostate Jews who allow him to sit
upon the throne in the Temple and declare himself to be God.
The anti-Christ’s coming to the Temple is accomplished with power,
signs, and lying wonders wrought by Satan through his devilish agent (2
Thess. 2:9). The apostate Jews will be deceived because they had no love
for the truth in order that they might be saved (2 Thess. 2:10).
And, because of this, “God shall send them strong delusion, that they
should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the
truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:11-12).
It has been pointed out that the “Day of the Lord” was in view, not the
“Day of Christ.” It was impossible for the “Day of the Lord” to come
because there must FIRST COME the “falling away” (i.e. the
apostasy) and, then, the “revealing of the man of sin.” After these two
future events take place is when the “DAY OF THE LORD” BEGINS!
The “DAY OF CHRIST” BEGINS WITH THE APPEARING (i.e. the Epiphany
of 2 Timothy 4:1); perhaps, as many as 700 years elapses before the
events mentioned in 2 Thessalonians: 2 take place.
Tom L. Ballinger