Also available as MP3: 2 Thessalonians 2:3 – Another Back to the Future Day
“Deceived” means to mislead someone down the wrong path, Satan’s MO since the beginning (ITim.2:14). He deceived Eve when God told her one thing and Satan told her another (Gen.2:17; 3:4). He deceived the Thessalo-nians when God told them they wouldn’t go through the Day of the Lord, Daniel’s 70th week, and Satan used false teachers to tell them another (IIThes.2:1,2).
After listing the means by which Satan had fooled them (2:2), Paul told them not to let him deceive them “by any means” (2:3). He revealed “a falling away” had to come before the Day of the Lord. Many good pastors say this is the Rapture, arguing the Greek word just means departure. But the Greek word is apostasia, from which we get apostasy, a departure from the truth. The only other place the Greek word is used bears this out (Acts 21:21). That’s the meaning here as well. “Falling away” in the Bible means to depart from the truth (Heb.6:4-6 cf. Jer. 37:13,14)
There is no need for Paul to introduce the Rapture at this point in his argument. He already begged them on the basis of the rapture not to let anyone deceive them, knowing it must come before the Day of the Lord. He’s already made that argument, now he is arguing that something else must come first, an apostasy. But there are two coming, one before the Rapture (ITim.4:1) and one after. Since this passage started by talking about the Rapture, this is speaking about an apostasy that will come after the Rapture
The Lord said at this apostasy “many” would be “deceived” (Mt.24:5), and when they do they will “fall away” (Lu.8: 13) at the “falling away”! This explains the warnings in the Tribulation epistles not to fall away (Heb.4:11; IIPe.3:17). Antichrist can’t be revealed until after the Rapture and this falling away. That means when you hear men say the president is the antichrist or the pope, this cannot be, for they are revealed before the Rapture.
When the man of sin confirms the covenant (Dan.9:26,27) with Israel, the only people made covenants with (Eph.2:12), it will reveal that he is the antichrist. The Abra-hamic Covenant he’ll confirm will give them a much great-er piece of land than apostate Israel has now, and a promise to protect Israel by cursing those that curse her (Gen.12:3).
Since Paul says he’ll be “revealed” then, some wonder if he’s already born, and maybe grown, and the stage is being set for the Tribulation. But there will be a gap of time after the Rapture, before the 70th week, of up to a generation in length. Daniel was told there’d be 490 years till the kingdom (9:24), the first 483 till Messiah (2:25,26). Then he was told Messiah would be “cut off” from the living (Isa.53:8) “after” the 69th week (Dan.9:26), before the 70th week (9:27). He died in a gap in the 70 weeks prophecy.
This gap is also seen when Israel’s first four feasts, Pass-over, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Pentecost, came in the first two months of the year, but her last three feasts, Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Tabernacles, came months later. The first four have been fulfilled in Christ the Holy Spirit, we’re living in the gap before the last three are fulfilled.This gap is not the mystery, that’s an unprophesied gap, this is a prophesied gap, but God put the unprophesied gap within the prophesied gap. God knew prophecy would be interrupted so put the gap in the 70 weeks prophecy.
But the Lord said His generation would see the Day of the Lord (Mt.24:34), a prophecy that was interrupted a year later (Lu.13:6-9). But that means after the rapture closes the unprophesied gap there is most of a generation left of prophesied gap before the 70th week, plenty of time for Antichrist be born and all the stage setting needed.
“Man of sin” (IITh.2:3) is Antichrist in the first half of the 70th week, but when he dies and rises (Rev.13:1-3) he becomes “the son of perdition.” He’ll be reanimated by Judas, the son of perdition (Jo.17:12) when he who was on the earth before that time, “was not” at that time, but who will rise out of the pit of hell (Rev.17:8). Hey, Elijah’s coming back (Mal.4:5), why not Judas? Psalm 55:12-14 describes Judas, 55:20:21 describes Antichrist, because he dies and rises in between (v.15).