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Liberty Advocate

http://www.libertyadvocate.com

 

 

March 2015

 

 

My dear friend, 

 

The Swaggarts claim that "falling away" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 means the Rapture.

 

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.

 

Jimmy Swaggart’s The Expositor’s Study Bible states (Swaggart's comments are in blue):

 

Let no man deceive you by any means (in other words, don't listen to that which is Scripturally incorrect): for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (should have been translated, "for that day shall not come, except there come a departure first"; this speaks of the Rapture, which, in essence, says the Second Coming cannot take place until certain things happen), and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (this speaks of the Antichrist, who must come upon the world scene before the Second Coming);

 

I agree with Swaggart on one point:  Don't listen to that which is Scripturally incorrect. Since Swaggart's interpretation is Scripturally incorrect, don't listen to him. 

 

And Donnie recently claimed on Frances and Friends that most theologians agree with  the Swaggarts' interpretation meaning Rapture,  including the Geneva Bible.

 

This is a lie.

 

The Geneva Bible translation says:

 

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a departing first, and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition. 

And the Geneva Bible comment for verse 3 explains:

2:3 The Apostle foretelleth that before the coming of the Lord, there shall be a throne set up clean contrary to Christ's glory, wherein that wicked man shall sit, and transfer all things that appertain to God to himself, and many shall fall away from God to him. 

 

Irrefutably, the Geneva Bible interprets "departing first" as those who fall away from God to follow the antiChrist.  In other words, apostasy.  But the Swaggarts claim the Geneva Bible interprets "departing first" as Rapture.  

 

Undeniably, "departing first" means to "fall away" - to forsake your faith. It means apostasy, not Rapture. It does not mean a literal departing from this earth.

 

Matthew Henry comments:

I. A general apostasy, there would come a falling away first, v. 3. By this apostasy we are not to understand a defection in the state, or from civil government, but in spiritual or religious matters, from sound doctrine, instituted worship and church government, and a holy life. The apostle speaks of some very great apostasy, not only of some converted Jews or Gentiles, but such as should be very general, though gradual, and should give occasion to the revelation of rise of antichrist, that man of sin. This, he says (v. 5), he had told them of when he was with them, with design, no doubt, that they should not take offence nor be stumbled at it. And let us observe that no sooner was Christianity planted and rooted in the world than there began to be a defection in the Christian church. It was so in the Old-Testament church; presently after any considerable advance made in religion there followed a defection: soon after the promise there was revolting; for example, soon after men began to call upon the name of the Lord all flesh corrupted their way,-soon after the covenant with Noah the Babel-builders bade defiance to heaven,-soon after the covenant with Abraham his seed degenerated in Egypt,-soon after the Israelites were planted in Canaan, when the first generation was worn off, they forsook God and served Baal,-soon after God's covenant with David his seed revolted, and served other gods,-soon after the return out of captivity there was a general decay of piety, as appears by the story of Ezra and Nehemiah; and therefore it was no strange thing that after the planting of Christianity there should come a falling away.

II. A revelation of that man of sin, that is (v. 3), antichrist would take his rise from this general apostasy. The apostle afterwards speaks of the revelation of that wicked one (v. 8), intimating the discovery which should be made of his wickedness, in order to his ruin: here he seems to speak of his rise, which should be occasioned by the general apostasy he had mentioned, and to intimate that all sorts of false doctrines and corruptions should centre in him. Great disputes have been as to who or what is intended by this man of sin and son of perdition: and, if it be not certain that the papal power and tyranny are principally or only intended, yet this is plain, What is here said does very exactly agree thereto. For observe,

1. The names of this person, or rather the state and power here spoken of. He is called the man of sin, to denote his egregious wickedness; not only is he addicted to, and practises, wickedness himself, but he also promotes, countenances, and commands sin and wickedness in others; and he is the son of perdition, because he himself is devoted to certain destruction, and is the instrument of destroying many others both in soul and body. These names may properly be applied, for these reasons, to the papal state; and thereto agree also,
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/2Th/2Th_002.cfm

 

Moreover, every commentator in the scholarly The Pulpit Commentary explains that this "falling away" is apostasy.

 

The Swaggarts not only misinterpret 2 Thessalonians 2:3,  they also deliberately lie about how others interpret this scripture.

 

In Jimmy's own words: "Don't listen to that which is Scripturally incorrect."

So...

Don't listen to the Swaggarts' "Scripturally incorrect" - false interpretation - of 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

 

Grace and peace,

 

Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.

Liberty Advocate

http://www.libertyadvocate.com