There is a a controversy going on in the Church today over the meaning of the phrase “falling away” as used in 2Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV). The word is Strong’s #G646 – Aposasia, and is used only twice in the Bible – here in Thessalonians and again in Acts 21:21
“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.” (2Th 2:3 KJV).
“And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs” (Ac 21:21 KJV).
The occurrence in 2Thes 2:3 is translated: departure (HNV); rebellion (RSV, NET, ESV, NIV, NLT); apostacy (NASB); falling away (KJV, NKJV).
In no case, can it be reasonably interpreted as “raptured.” To depart from the truth, as in Acts, is not a rapture in any sense.
Dispensationalists teach that the “Restrainer” is God’s Holy Spirit working through the Church in the world to hinder the progression of evil throughout the earth. Once the Church is removed – Raptured – evil will have free reign to rampage the earth. The ministry of God’s Spirit, working through the Church, is currently holding back, tapping down, evil in the world.
Contrary to what is being taught in our schools today, the United States is founded on Christian principles. This FACT can be verified by examining the founding documents of the nation as well as in the original founding documents and constitutions of most of the states (some have been changed in recent decades to obscure this truth – evil on the march). As late as 1957 congress voted to add “In God We Trust” to the U. S dollar. God’s hand in the founding, establishing, and blessings of this nation are detailed in “The Light and the Glory” by Peter Marshal & David Manuel (Also, their book “Form Sea To Shining Sea”).
Yes, Saints throughout the earth have restrained evil ever since the Church’s conception by Jesus Christ. However, today that Apostacy has come and the Church is falling away – the statistics are astounding. The influence Saints have had in the past on government, society, education, and entertainment has waned. Evil is beginning to have its day. The time has come when “. . . the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2Co 4:4 KJV). After millennia, we have arrived at the point in time of which Paul says, “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” (2Th 2:3 KJV).
The restrainer isn’t simply manifested in the Church. It is also evidenced in the political and military might empowered by the Church. In the history of the United States the military often went to battle led by the prayers of their political leaders and military generals. A study of history exposes how impossible battles were turned to victories by prayers from the troops to an Almighty God. He has shown His might through the United States time and again. But, alas, this nation’s leaders and court have forsaken Him.
If you question the fact that the United States is a formattable tool in the hands of the Restrainer, consider the chart below. Maintaining peace in the world and restraining evil (think about North Korea, China, Russia, &c), the United States has troops deployed in 177 countries of the 193 countries listed in the United Nations.
As you see in the daily news, although this country is a mighty force, and the only superpower on the planet, without a strong hand at the helm, without God fearing leadership, all that power is vain. Worse yet, God promised Israel long ago, “. . . I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Ge 12:3 KJV). Every nation that has come up against God’s people, Israel, has fallen from dominance, as has the British Empire, or been completely destroyed – like Babylon, Greece, and Rome, to name a few. Now, even the U. S. of A. has turned against the “apple of His eye” Zech 2:8 (KJV).
Concerning the nations, the Scripture says:
“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1Th 5:3 KJV).
To us, God’s word says:
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Tit 2:11-14 KJV)
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1Th 4:16-18 KJV).
Exploring Scripture~because it matters-it really does
The chart is a link to the article: