Saturday, September 27, 2008

More on 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8

This is what the NRSV says:

(6) " And now you know what is now restraining (the lawless one), so that he may be revealed when his time comes. (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. (8) And then the lawless one will revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming."

The King James (which is what the NRSV is based on) only sounds different in verse 7: "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way."

And let's review what the NIV says in 7: "For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work: but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way."

Let's review the fact that the subject of a sentence in verse 7 is "mystery", and that "of lawlessness" is a prepositional phrase, and a prepositional phrase can NEVER contain the subjec. The "it" in the second half of the sentence MUST refer back to the subject "mystery". (Or, if you prefer, the "secret power" is refered to by "it" in the NIV...and with the archaic KJV, "letteth" must refer back to the "mystery.") Very possibly the major problem with interpreting or "rightly dividing" or "discerning" this passage is that most people do not "rightly divide" (grammatically) this passage! Most think that the "it" refers back to "lawlessness" or "iniquity".

Now then... not only must we discern who is restraining but WHAT is being restrained. Again, most people, and dispensationalists in particular, believe that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer and what is being restrained is either "iniquity" or "lawlessness"...because they don't realize that the subject of the sentence in verse 7 is "mystery" or "secret power". Further, most people, again because they don't realize that the subject of the sentence is "mystery" or "secret power", believe that what is being restrained is "iniquity" or "lawlessness".

So now that we know what the subject is, "mystery" or "secret power", lets "rewrite" verse 7 in all three versions again putting "mystery" or "secret power" as the subject and its reference...

NRSV: "For the mystery (of lawlessness) is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains the mystery is removed."

KJV: ""For the mystery (of iniquity) doth already work: only he who now letteth (the mystery) will let, until he be taken out of the way."

NIV: ""For the secret power (of lawlessness) is already at work: but the one who now holds the mystery back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way."

And who is "restraining" or "holding back" the mystery? In other words, who is the "he" at the end of the sentence in the KJV and the NIV? And who is "the one" in the NRSV? For this refers to who the "restrainer" and the "hold back-er" is.

What we are talking about here is WHO RESTRAINS OR HOLDS BACK THE MYSTERY. If we were talking about who holds back or restrains "lawlessness" or "iniquity" it is clear to every Christian that only the Holy Spirit representing God and Christ holds back lawlessness or iniquity. This is precisely why the rapture theory has such a toe-hold on many Christians. clearly is the Holy Spirit is removed all Christians would have to be removed because it is with Christians that the Holy Spirit resides. So I perfectly understand it when those who believe in the rapture make the claim that since the Holy Spirit is removed then all Christians MUST be taken "out of the way" or be "removed" from Earth in "the Rapture."

The thing is, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the purveyor of TRUTH, Christ, through the Holy Spirit, to "restrain" the truth, WHICH IS WHAT "MYSTERY" IS DEFINED AS--"A RELIGIOUS TRUTH DIVINELY REVEALED AND UNKNOWABLE THROUGH REASON." (Readers Digest Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary).

Okay, so now let's complete the sentences with everything in its proper context:

NRSV: "For the religious truth divinely revealed (of lawlessness) is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains the religious truth divinely revealed is removed."

KJV: "For the religious truth divinely revealed (of iniquity) doth already work: only he who now letteth truth be revealed will let, until he be taken out of the way."

NIV: "For the religious truth divinely revealed (of lawlessness) is already at work: but the one who now holds the religious truth divinely revealed back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way."

NOW, WHO HOLDS TRUTH BACK? WHO RESTRAINS THE TRUTH? "The man of lawlessness" (or in the KJV, the Son of Perdition".)

And now we have our final rewrite:

NRSV: "For the religious truth divinely revealed (of lawlessness) is already at work, but only until the man of lawlessness who now restrains the religious truth divinely revealed is removed."

KJV: "For the religious truth divinely revealed (of iniquity) doth already work: only he who now letteth truth be revealed will let, until the man of lawlessness be taken out of the way."

NIV: "For the religious truth divinely revealed (of lawlessness) is already at work: but the man of lawlessness who now holds the religious truth divinely revealed back will continue to do so till the man of lawlessness is taken out of the way."

So now, the Holy Spirit is not "taken out of the way" or "removed" from the Earth, and, ipso facto, neither are Christians! But what is taken out of the way or removed is the man of lawlessness or son of perdition...that is, the agency of Satan is removed from the believer.

Also, for the (verse 9), "coming of the lawless one is apparent in the workings of Satan (the lawless one works through the agency of Satan, who is permitted by God to work his "agent", lawlessness), who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." Verse 10: "For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false"

And if you don't believe that God uses Satan to work his agency "lawlessness" on the Earth, then you need to read Job Chapter 2. And if you don't believe that God creates evil, then you need to read Isaiah 45:7--"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things." (KJV)

And, speaking of Isaiah 45, verses 22-23 (NRSV) says "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: 'To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." (see also Philippians 2: 9-11)

So that even those under "strong delusion" (KJV) and all unbelievers will be saved, because God has sworn by Himself that this will be so.

3 comments:

Kathryn Graves--Hudson, WI said...

Hi, Deb~

Thanks for your blog.

I do not see the "rapture" in the Scriptures either.

Any idea where I can locate other Christians who are aware of this?

It is difficult to find fellowship since this rapture thing has taken over Bible groups.

This is also one of the reasons I prefer to be "unchurched". False doctrines today have corrupted the Church.

However, I do love to spend time with other Christians who also get their instruction from the Word via the Holy Spirit and who heed the warning of Jesus to "beware the doctrines of men".

Thanks.
K

Hennis de Klerk said...

Got it from a website;

Isn't it true that the word "rapture" is not found in the Bible?


I've always been totally amazed at how some folks write me and try use the fact that the word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible as an argument against its validity. The issue should be whether or not the concept of the rapture appears in the Bible.

With 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 giving us such a clear description of the rapture, you would have to conclude some people are just playing games with the Word of God. I could change the name of my site to “Catching-Up Ready” to satisfy these folks, but I hardly think that would improve things.

Their logic runs very thin because a huge number of words don't appear in the Bible, including the word “Bible.” Because God's Word was originally written in Hebrew and Greek, one could truthfully say that no English words are found in the Bible. Let's take a look at 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 in the original Greek:



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4:16 oti autos o kurios en keleusmati en fwnh arcaggelou kai en salpiggi qeou katabhsetai ap ouranou kai oi nekroi en cristw anasthsontai prwton 4:17 epeita hmeis oi zwntes oi perileipomenoi ama sun autois arpaghsomeqa en nefelais eis apanthsin tou kuriou eis aera kai outws pantote sun kuriw esomeqa 4:18 wste parakaleite allhlous en tois logois toutois


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I don't see the dead in Christ rising, Jesus descending from Heaven, or us meeting Him in the air. They're right; the word “rapture” is nowhere to be found. All I see is gobbledygook.

For the record, the word “rapture” comes from the Latin word rapturo, which is a translation of the Greek verb "caught up" that’s found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. You can call it the “pre-trib rapture,” the “pre-trib rapturo,” or the “pre-trib caught up” - it's all the same thing.

Hennis de Klerk said...

You should not speak against the Body of Christ, very dangereous;

Got this from a website;



Isn't it true that the word "rapture" is not found in the Bible?


I've always been totally amazed at how some folks write me and try use the fact that the word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible as an argument against its validity. The issue should be whether or not the concept of the rapture appears in the Bible.

With 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 giving us such a clear description of the rapture, you would have to conclude some people are just playing games with the Word of God. I could change the name of my site to “Catching-Up Ready” to satisfy these folks, but I hardly think that would improve things.

Their logic runs very thin because a huge number of words don't appear in the Bible, including the word “Bible.” Because God's Word was originally written in Hebrew and Greek, one could truthfully say that no English words are found in the Bible. Let's take a look at 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 in the original Greek:



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4:16 oti autos o kurios en keleusmati en fwnh arcaggelou kai en salpiggi qeou katabhsetai ap ouranou kai oi nekroi en cristw anasthsontai prwton 4:17 epeita hmeis oi zwntes oi perileipomenoi ama sun autois arpaghsomeqa en nefelais eis apanthsin tou kuriou eis aera kai outws pantote sun kuriw esomeqa 4:18 wste parakaleite allhlous en tois logois toutois


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't see the dead in Christ rising, Jesus descending from Heaven, or us meeting Him in the air. They're right; the word “rapture” is nowhere to be found. All I see is gobbledygook.

For the record, the word “rapture” comes from the Latin word rapturo, which is a translation of the Greek verb "caught up" that’s found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. You can call it the “pre-trib rapture,” the “pre-trib rapturo,” or the “pre-trib caught up” - it's all the same thing.