claim that "falling away" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 means the
Let no man
deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away
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
I agree with
Swaggart on one point: Don't listen to that which is Scripturally incorrect.
interpretation is Scripturally incorrect, don't listen to him.
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
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
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.
first" means to "fall away" - to forsake your faith. It
means apostasy, not Rapture. It does not mean a literal departing from
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,
every commentator in the scholarly The
Pulpit Commentary explains that this "falling away" is
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."
Don't listen to the Swaggarts'
"Scripturally incorrect" - false interpretation - of 2 Thessalonians 2:3.