When are believers in Messiah Jesus "gathered unto him"?

2 Th 2:1-2 (KJV 2009)

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Aside from the question of "when?", one needs perhaps first clarify the "what?" of this "gathering unto him" ... is this talking about the type "physically disappear in the air" as some bumper stickers suggest ("at the gathering together, this car will be without a driver") ??

Which details does the context provide for understanding the passage correctly? When was the text written? to whom is it written? does it apply to Christians in general today? if so, to what degree and how?

Text based input will be appreciated.

Comments

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,050
    edited September 4


    @Wolfgang said:

    Which details does the context provide for understanding the passage correctly? When was the text written? to whom is it written? does it apply to Christians in general today? if so, to what degree and how?

    I. Thanks, Wolfgang,, for the biblical questions. Let's address the context first.

    Here are a few more questions to get a fuller understanding. You may want the answers to the following questions:

    1. Who wrote this book?
    2. What kind of person was he?
    3. When did he write it?
    4. Where was he?
    5. What was the situation which prompted him to write?
    6. Who were his intended readers?
    7. Does history or archaeology contribute anything which would help me understand the background of this book?

    Thessalonians, the thirteenth and fourteenth books of the New Testament, generally considered the two earliest canonical Pauline letters (though some scholars consider Galatians to be earlier).

    Paul’s first letter apparently did not produce the desired effect, for the believers in Thessalonica still had such questions as whether the Day of the Lord had already come and gone. They were also perhaps confounded by a message unjustly attributed to Paul (2 Thess. 2:1–2). 2 Thessalonians is the apostle’s attempt to clarify further his views on the return of Christ.

    This letter also starts with a salutation (2 Thess. 1:1–2) and thanksgiving on behalf of the Church (vv. 3–12). At 2:1–12 the apostle further clarifies his position on Christ’s return, warning that the Thessalonian believers should not be too easily swayed by any rumor that Christ has already returned.

    The second letter to the Thessalonians begins much like the first, with greetings from Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy (1:1). The theme of this letter is practical godliness and serves to further explain some questions raised by Paul's first letter to the Thessalonian church.

    There have always been a small number of commentators who have argued that 2 Thessalonians was written first.

    -- Wanamaker, Charles A. “1 Thessalonians.” In Theological Interpretation of the New Testament, edited by Kevin J. Vanhoozer, 148-54. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008.


    -- Wanamaker, Thessalonians, 37-45, whose arguments build on those of Thomas. W. Manson, Studies in the Gospels and Epistles (Manchester: Manchester University, 1962), 259-78.

    The traditional chronology of 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians:

    • Jewett, Robert. The Thessalonian Correspondence. Philadelphia, PN: Fortress, 1986, pp 26-30
    • Malherbe, Abraham J. “Did the Thessalonians Write to Paul?” In The Conversation Continues: Studies in Paul and John in Honour of J. Louis Martyn, edited by Robert T. Fortna, & Beverly R. Gaventa, 246-257. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1990, pp 361-4


    II. Unlike 1 Thessalonians, however, there is considerable debate regarding the authenticity of 2 Thessalonians. Mainly because they contained the apocalyptic passage in 2:1-12.

    • See Fee, Gordon D. The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians. NICNT. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009, p 238

    Who wrote 2 Thessalonians? Paul was the author of 2 Thessalonians. See the following reasons:

    • 1) There is more external evidence in early Christian literature to support the Pauline authorship of 2 Thessalonians than for 1 Thessalonians.
    • 2) The internal evidence not only refers to an earlier letter (2:15), the author claims that it is genuine (3:17). It's most lightly that false letters had apparently been circulating under Paul’s name (2.2).
    • 3) Thessalonians would have been rejected if it was written under a false name.
    • 4) Contrary to much scholarly opinion, pseudonymity was not a well-accepted way of writing letters in early Christian communities. Pseudonymity is based on questionable assumptions.
    • 5) The differences in tone and style make good sense within the historical context since it appears that Paul’s initial relief had turned to frustration.
    • 6) The differences in eschatology are also better explained within the historical situation, as far as it can be reconstructed.


    RESOURCES:

    • Green, Gene L. The Letters to the Thessalonians. PNTC. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002., 59
    • Karl P. Donfried, Paul, Thessalonica, and Early Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002), 66
    • Terry L. Wilder, Pseudonymity, the New Testament, and Deception (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2004).
    • Jeremy N. Duff, A Reconsideration of Pseudepigraphy in Early Christianity (D.Phil. Thesis; University of Oxford, 1998).
    • Still, Todd D. Conflict at Thessalonica. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1999, p 53
    • Dunn, James D. G. The Theology of Paul the Apostle. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006, p 298 n. 23
    • Ford, Desmond. The Abomination of Desolation in Biblical Eschatology. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1979, 195-7.
    • Nicholl, Colin R. From Hope to Dispair in Thessalonica: Situating 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2004, pp 205-8


    To whom the Book was written? Answer: The Book was to the believers at Thessalonica.

    • Thessalonica was one of several capitals in the Roman province of Macedonia. A bustling seaport in Paul's day.
    • A major attraction in the first century A.D. was the celebrated amphitheater where gladiators fought to the death for the amusement of citizens and their guests.
    • Paul first visited Thessalonica during his second missionary journey, which is thought to have occupied the years from A.D. 49 to 52. While visiting Asia Minor he received the divine call to minister in Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10). At Philippi he was bitterly opposed and, in fact, jailed. When released he departed to Thessalonica (Acts 17:1).
    • Today the city is named Saloniki. Although it is no longer a major trade center, ships from many nations still come and go with cargos of oil, food, and animals. Ninety-seven percent of the population is Christian (Greek Orthodox).
    • The letters of Paul to the church at Thessalonica, probably written between A.D. 50 and 52, give us in clear, concise language the apostle's concerns for the church, which he had only recently established.
    • Paul's Epistles addressed the particular spiritual needs of his target group. The written message to the Ephesians, the Galatians or the Philippians, Colossians would not fit the needs of the congregation in Thessalonica. Paul's message to them was trailored-made to Thessalonians.
    • The general theme of Paul's two Epistles to the Thessalonians is the need for consistent practical godliness on the part of those who are living for Christ's return.
    • The personality, the triumphs, and the travails of the Thessalonian Christians parallel closely our present experiences and needs.

    Does it apply to Christians in general today? if so, to what degree and how? When was the text written? to whom is it written? does it apply to Christians in general today? if so, to what degree and how?

    We are looking for the return of Christ. Many people in many places have been martyed, perscuted, and died Christ. The main message of the passage you cited has to do with" the day". John mentions twice the day of judgment and Christ’s coming, and in each instance, he uses a somewhat different expression:

    • “The great day of Godtes hemeras megales tou theou” (Rev. 16:14).
    • “The great day of wrath— he hemera he megale tes orges” ((Rev. 6:17).

    These variations in the designation of the day of Christ’s coming indicate that the event was of such great importance that it could be designated in a great variety of ways without the risk of being misunderstood. No less than thirty times John refers explicitly to it in his book. See for example: Rev. 4:8; 6:10, 17; 11:15; 14:14; 16:15, 20; 19:7, 17; 20:11; 21; 22:7, 17.

    In the New Testament, in fact, the day of Christ’s coming, which is regarded as the foundation and consummation of the Christian faith, hope, and living, is described by a wide variety of expressions, such as:

    • “The day of judgment”-- Matt. 10:15; 12:36; Mark 6:11; 2 Pet. 2:9; 3:7; 1 John 4:17, Jude 6.
    • “The day” -- Luke 17:30; Matt. 25:13; Rom. 13:12.
    • “That day” -- Matt. 24:36; Mark 13:32; 14:25; Luke 10:12; 17:31; 21:34; 1 Tim. 1:12.
    • “The last day"  -- John 6:39-40; 11:24; 12:48.
    • “The great and notable day" -- Acts 2:20.
    • “The day of wrath and revelation" -- Rom. 2:5; Rev. 6:17.
    • “The day of our Lord Jesus Christ”; “The day of Christ" -- I Cor. 1:8; 2 Cor. 1:14; Phil. 1:6,10; 2 Thess. 2:2.
    • “The day of the Lord" -- __ Thess. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10.
    • “The great day" --  Rev. 6:17; Jude 6; Acts 2:20.
    • “The great day of God" -- Rev. 6:14.

    All these echos Scriptures of the past: Daniel 7 in 2 Thess 1:5-10 and an allusion to Daniel 11 in 2 Thess 2:3-4.

    Christ himself calls the day of His coming “his dayhemera autou” (Luke 17:24). The fact that such a broad diversity of expressions is used to name the day of Christ’s coming, and the fact that John himself refers to it with different titles, make it altogether plausible that “the Lord’s day” is simply one of the many different designations for the same event (See Gerhard Delling, “hemera” TDNT II, p. 952: “In Paul as in the Gospels, Christ is the Lord of this hemera [i.e., day of His parousia].”.

    III. "The last days" = In the Bible, it is often used for the entire period between the first and second advent [Heb. 1:1, 2]. Some were deceived by a pretended epistle from Paul (see 2 Thess. 2:1-3), which led Paul to repeat... that Christ would not come until after the Papacy had arisen and had run its course of persecution and blasphemy. Certainly, then, we have no chance to be deceived and to suppose that the immediate coming of the Lord was preached in the first century. It was true then that the coming of the Lord was 'at hand/ although not immediately.

    The apostle Paul made clear that Christians were not to expect the return of Christ until after the development of apostasy in the Christian church.

    "...as that the day of Christ is at hand. 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; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2 Thess. 2:1-4).

    God foretold that certain events would take place on the earth before the actual advent. The apostle Paul warned the church not to look for the coming of Christ in his day ... Not till after the great apostasy and the long period of the reign of the "man of sin", can we look for the advent of our Lord. The "man of sin", also reflects "the mystery of iniquity", "the son of perdition".

    The following expressions from 2 Thess. 2:3-9, as they appear in the RSV.

    • "The man of lawlessness" (2 Thess. 2:3).
    • "The mystery of lawlessness" (2 Thess. 2:7).
    • "The lawless one" (2 Thess. 2:8).
    • "The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan" (2 Thess. 2:9).

    The masculine form of "the abomination" in Mark 13:14 (hestekota, "standing") corresponds to Paul's "man of sin" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, K.J.V., that is, to the antichrist himself. 

    The apostle Paul warned the Thessalonians not to expect the advent of Christ until after the development of "the man of sin" within the church. Paul emphasizes the fact that the power, so clearly described by the prophet Daniel:

    "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time" (Dan. 7:25).

    Who or what is this "Little Horn power? (Another thread). It was yet to rise and wage war against God's people at the time Paul wrote. Until this power should have performed its deadly and blasphemous work, it would be in vain for the church to look for the coming of their Lord. Christ indicated human suffering would take place before Christians could expect His return. Matt. 24:21, 22.

    Jesus understood the future destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Matt. 24:15–20, Luke 21:20–22) as a fulfillment of Daniel 9:26, 27. Paul refers to several successive prophetic events to be fulfilled within history before the second coming of Christ (2 Thess. 2:1–12).

    I hope this helps in your quest for knowledge and understanding. CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552

    Paul’s first letter apparently did not produce the desired effect, for the believers in Thessalonica still had such questions as whether the Day of the Lord had already come and gone. They were also perhaps confounded by a message unjustly attributed to Paul (2 Thess. 2:1–2). 2 Thessalonians is the apostle’s attempt to clarify further his views on the return of Christ.

    It seems more that the believers there did in fact respond rather well to the exhortation and teaching of Paul,but there were some who showed up there teaching wrongly that the day of judgment had already come ... and Paul clarifies that it was still in their near future. Obviously, Paul's teaching and what the early church rightfully believed was that this day of the Lord, the day of the Lord's judgment was going to happen while some of them would still be alive (cp 1Th 4:13ff). If the teaching had been that that day was in an unknown future, those folks claiming it had come would not have deceived or been a danger to anyone's faithfulness.

    The apostle Paul made clear that Christians were not to expect the return of Christ until after the development of apostasy in the Christian church.

    There is absolutely NO such idea in any of Paul's writings or teachings ... such ideas did not even exist during the time of the epistles.

    The apostle Paul warned the Thessalonians not to expect the advent of Christ until after the development of "the man of sin" within the church.

    Nothing about a "development 'of the man of sin' within the church" in Paul's teaching either ... Paul makes reference to the still existing temple at the time ... thus his reference to "falling away" or "revolt" would not be to an apostasy in the church either.

    Jesus understood the future destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Matt. 24:15–20, Luke 21:20–22as a fulfillment of Daniel 9:26, 27. Paul refers to several successive prophetic events to be fulfilled within history before the second coming of Christ(2 Thess. 2:1–12).

    Again, nothing in Paul's teachings found about placing the day of the Lord, etc. before the second coming of Christ ... seems far more that what nowadays is termed "second coming of Christ" is identical to what Christ and the apostles referred to as his coming in judgement at the end of the then biblical aeon (=> the OT age), which Christ clearly linked to the judgement over apostate Israel in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,050

    @Wolfgang said:

    Nothing about a "development 'of the man of sin' within the church" in Paul's teaching either ... Paul makes reference to the still existing temple at the time ... thus his reference to "falling away" or "revolt" would not be to an apostasy in the church either.

    Have you considered this text?

    'Now we beseech you, brethren, by (concerning) the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by (concerning) our gathering together unto Him that ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither by spirit nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand (at any moment), let no man deceive you, for that day shall not come except there come, a falling away first and the Man of Sin be revealed.' II Thess. 2:13

    Better yet, who is the "man of sin"? This should help you reconsider your response above. CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552
    edited September 5

    Have you considered this text?

    'Now we beseech you, brethren, by (concerning) the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by (concerning) our gathering together unto Him that ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither by spirit nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand (at any moment), let no man deceive you, for that day shall not come except there come, a falling away first and the Man of Sin be revealed.' II Thess. 2:13

    Yes, I have ... why would anyone be shaken by such a talk IF the coming of the Lord had been taught and believed as not happening until some undefined time in the future? The danger was real because that day was indeed imminent and near (soon), but it had not happend because certain events surrounding the temple needed to first happen (such ass the revolt of the Judaizers against Rome, such as the siege of Jerusalem, etc. ... cp. Jesus' teaching about this in Mt 24, Mk 13, Lk 21)

    Better yet, who is the "man of sin"? This should help you reconsider your response above. CM

    See my earlier post. Obviously, since the temple was still in existence, this "man of sin" must have been someone living at the time who was terribly evil and caused havoc at Jerusalem during that time and especially the disaster during the siege of Jerusalem. From reading up on those times in Josephus work on the Jewish war, my best guess is that a certain John Levi of Gishala (p.215 , chapter 21) would qualify as a possible and plausible candidate.

    I think a big problem seems to be that "Christendom" at large has been mistaken for centuries by expecting the fulfillment to happen a certain way, and since it has not happened that specific expected way, they then try and explain statements away as if all "must therefore still today be in our future" ... In addition, many seem to want tp understand the biblical records from today's reader's perspective whereas one always must understand text from the writer's / author's time frame and perspective in order to get a correct understanding.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,050

    @C Mc said,

    Better yet, who is the "man of sin"? This should help you reconsider your response above. CM

    @Wolfgang

    See my earlier post. Obviously, since the temple was still in existence, this "man of sin" must have been someone living at the time who was terribly evil and caused havoc at Jerusalem during that time and especially the disaster during the siege of Jerusalem. From reading up on those times in Josephus [ Josephus's] work on the Jewish war, my best guess is that a certain John Levi of Gishala (p.215 , chapter 21) would qualify as a possible and plausible candidate.

    1. The Apostle Paul makes it absolutely clear that the "Man of Sin" was already working in his day.
    2. How could this be a literal person, if he was alive in Paul’s day and yet is not destroyed until Jesus comes?
    3. Is this one literal man who has lived over 2000 years? Come on, Wolgang, reason with me and the Scriptures.
    4. The inevitable conclusion is that the Man of Sin cannot be a literal man nor can his period of dominion be literal time. (See II Thes. 2:1-13).
    5. Please note: Paul is getting his picture of the "Man of Sin" from the little horn of Daniel 7, the little horn of Daniel 8, and the King of the North in Daniel 11.
    6. This being the case, the little horn and the King of the North must have ruled for centuries, not for a few literal days.

    There is a connection between "the man of sin" in 2 Thess 2 and "the little horn" of Dan 7. Don't you agree? if not, Why not? In view of the above points, your "John Levi of Gishala [Gischala]" (p.215, chapter 21) COULD NOT "qualify as a possible and plausible candidate". CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552
    edited September 6

    Technical side note:

    I can't seem to reply in between your various points with quotes of your list with bold print parts ... text is "eaten up" by this forum software,

    The Apostle Paul makes it absolutely clear that the "Man of Sin" was

    How could this be a literal person, and ?

    Is this one literal man who has lived over 2000 years? Come on, Wolgang, reason with me and the Scriptures.

    The inevitable conclusion is that the Man of Sin nor can. (See ).

    Please note: Paul is getting his , the little horn of and .

    This being the case, the little horn and the King of the North must have ruled for centuries, not for a few literal days.

    My tolerance level with these types of flaws in the forum software is currently rather low. Thus, no reply on your above post at this time ....

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,394

    @Wolfgang posted:

    I can't seem to reply in between your various points with quotes of your list with bold print parts ... text is "eaten up" by this forum software,

    I agree with you that the forums' software leave much to be desired in the way it handle quoting formatted text, Wolfgang. In my experience, I haven't been able to maintain either bullet point numbers or bolded portions when pasting bulleted text into my replies. And I, too, have experienced lost text in reply and/or pasting processes. Frustrating! HOWEVER, I have been able to insert responses in between lines of bulleted text and return bolded text to them via the following process:

    1 - Paste the bulleted text into your reply, then delete any of the pasted lines to which you don't intend to reply.

    2 - Mouse select the first line(s) to which you want to respond, then click the three horizontal lines formatting icon to the left of the selection, and click the "Paragraph" option (last option on the right).

    3 - Position the cursor at the end of the newly formatted line, then hit Enter to move to a new line. Compose your response to that/those line(s).

    4 - Select the quoted line(s) to which you have just responded and from the formatting options choose the quotation mark, then "Quote."

    5 - Add back any bold-face print to the quoted lines, if you so choose.

    6 - Repeat for all other line(s) to which you wish to reply.

    YES, that's cumbersome process, but it works and per selection, it only takes 15-20 seconds, so I don't see it as a great imposition on the reply process.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552
    edited September 6

    The Apostle Paul makes it absolutely clear that the "Man of Sin" was already working in his day.

    It was someone who would be living in Paul's day, in particular he would be active with his evil at Jerusalem, rising to veryprominent position in his evil deeds.

    How could this be a literal person, if he was alive in Paul’s day and yet is not destroyed until Jesus comes?

    Is this one literal man who has lived over 2000 years? Come on, Wolgang, reason with me and the Scriptures.

    How could he not be a literal man?? Especially so, since the son of man DID COME in that day /time, just as Jesus had prophesied!! Your seeming problem is self-made by making your current faith belief of Christ comes a still future event even 2000 years later the basis for your interpretation ...

    The inevitable conclusion is that the Man of Sin cannot be a literal man nor can his period of dominion be literal time. (See II Thes. 2:1-13).

    Not at all ... that's only the problem when basing interpretation not on biblical text but on wide spread faith belief dogma.

    Please note: Paul is getting his picture of the "Man of Sin" from the little horn of Daniel 7, the little horn of Daniel 8, and the King of the North in Daniel 11

    Who says so? Does Paul say so anywhere in the text? Or are you falsely taking what some interpreter claimed about Paul as Paul did so ??

    This being the case, the little horn and the King of the North must have ruled for centuries, not for a few literal days

    See above ... this is actually not the case. It is only part of your current interpretation and belief.


    PS. Thanks to @Bill_Coley for some technical advice!

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,050

    @Wolfgang said:

    -- How could he not be a literal man?? Especially so, since the son of man DID COME in that day /time, just as Jesus had prophesied!! Your seeming problem is self-made by making your current faith belief of Christ comes a still future event even 2000 years later the basis for your interpretation ...


    -- Not at all ... that's only the problem when basing interpretation not on biblical text but on widespread faith belief dogma.


    -- Does Paul say so anywhere in the text? Or are you falsely taking what some interpreter claimed about Paul as Paul did so ??

    Let's step back for a moment:

    Note: Both Paul in 2 Thess 2 and Jesus in Matt 24 are reading from the same script (Daniel).

    • Jesus, alluding to Dan 11:31, emphasizes the Desolation.
      • Jesus had said, "False Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible" (Matt 24:24).
    • Paul, alluding to Dan 11:36, emphasizes the Desolator, or "man of lawlessness."
      • Paul narrows the focus down from many false Christs to a single miracle-working Antichrist who has both an apokalypsis (2 Thess 2:3, 8) and a parousia (2:9), like the true Christ (1:7, 2:8) that he impersonates.

    Was Paul’s description colored somewhat by the messianic impostors cataloged by Josephus? Note his mention of

    • A "rebellion" (vs. 3).
    • The fact that "the secret power of lawlessness is already at work" (vs. 7).
    • The "counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders" (vs. 9).
    • That deceive "those who are perishing" (vs. 10).

    This also explains the view of the early church fathers that vs. 6 ("you know what is holding him back") is a reference to the civil government (which at the time was the Roman Empire), an agency of God (Rom 13), which brutally suppressed such "lawless" messianic rebellions. But while Paul’s "man of lawlessness" may contain a trace of these outlaw messiahs, he also differs in being more successful in his deceptions and more hostile to Christianity.

    1. Wolfgang, you don't see that the prophecy of Dan 11-12 provides the pattern for Jesus’ use of the phrase "the end" in Matt 24/Mark 13 and that Dan 12:1-7 influenced Jesus’ eschatology?
    2. Daniel’s prophecy also explains why Jesus cites the abomination of desolation as a sign to flee Jerusalem (Matt 24:15-16): The abomination of desolation in Dan 11:31 is a precursor of the great tribulation of 12:1.
    3. Can you accept the prophecy of Simeon at the dedication of Jesus, "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel" (Luke 2:34), is probably an implied or indirect reference to Dan 11, which repeatedly mentions the "fall" and "rise" of "many," including the "wise," which first fall (Dan. 11:33-35), then rise (Dan. 12:2-3)? From His birth, Jesus’ destiny was set by Daniel. e.g
    • The fall: Dan 11:19, 26, 33-35, 41.
    • The rise: Dan. 11: 14, 23, 31; 12:1-3.
    • The many: Dan 11:14, 26, 33, 34, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 12:3, 4, 10.

    Please note this Wolfgang: Did you know Dan 11 also helps us understand 2 Thess 2?

    • Paul in 2 Thess 2:3 says the man of lawlessness must precede the Parousia. I believe the antichrist figure of Dan 11:21-45 comes before the great tribulation and resurrection of Dan 12:1 and beyond.

    In fact, the arrangement of events of Dan 11:21-45 provides several interesting parallels to 2 Thess 2 and Matt 24, including possible parallels to Paul’s puzzling "restrainer:"


    Wars and rumors of war: ------------------- Dan 11:21-45 --------------- Matt 24:6-7

    Deception ------------------------------------------ Dan 11:23, 27, 32 ---------- Matt 24: 4, 5, 11, 23 ------------------ 2 Th 2:3, 9-11

    Lawless one restrained ----------------------- Dan 11:30, 32, 40? -------------------------------------------------------- 2 Th 2:6-7

    Faithlessness, apostasy ---------------------- Dan 11:30, 32 --------------- Matt 24:10 ------------------------------ 2 Th 2:4?

    Abomination in the temple ----------------- Dan 11:31 ------------------- Matt 24:15 ----------------------------- 2 Th 2:4

    Lawless one exalts himself ----------------- Dan 11:36-37 ------------------------------------------------------------- 2 Th 2:4

    Lawless less one’s demise _____________ Dan 11:45 -------------------------------------------------------------------- 2 Th 2:3, 8

    Unprecedented tribulation ____________ Dan 12:1 --------------------- Matt 24:21

    Resurrection ___________________________ Dan 12:2 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Th 4:13-18

    "All things completed" ________________ Dan 12:7 -------------------- Matt 24:34


    Paul in 2 Thess 2 is saying that the Second Coming cannot occur until the prophecy of Daniel and Jesus about the abomination of desolation is fulfilled—which had not happened yet when he wrote. But by the time John wrote his epistles near the end of the first century, the antichrist, too, had become realized eschatology:

    "Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour (1 John 2:18).


    "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. . . . Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world (1 John 4:1-3).

    Oh, say, Wolfgang, can you see? CM


    For sources and further reading on 2 Thess. 2:10–12:

    • McGinn, Bernard. Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1994, 60.
    • --  Irenaeus of Lyons. (1885). Irenæus against Heresies. In A. Roberts, J. Donaldson, & A. C. Coxe (Eds.), The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (Vol. 1, p. 557). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.
      • -- 5.25.3 (ANF 1:553, 554).
      • --5.30.4 (ANF 1:560).
    • Hippolytus of Rome. (1886). Treatise on Christ and Antichrist. In A. Roberts, J. Donaldson, & A. C. Coxe (Eds.), S. D. F. Salmond (Trans.), Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Novatian, Appendix (Vol. 5, p. 218). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, ANF 5:218.
  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552

    Oh, say, Wolfgang, can you see? CM

    Yes, I can .... after 2 decades of being blinded by dispensational type of theology interpreting scriptures as you do above, linking sections of scripture in most complicated ways in order to maintain a pre-set dogma ...

    Note: Both Paul in 2 Thess 2 and Jesus in Matt 24 are reading from the same script (Daniel).

    I note that Jesus was talking about the same events related to "the end of the age (OT age)" ... which he prophesied as being imminent and to be fulfilled rather soon and even within the time span of his generation. Yes, Paul and the apostles also referred to the same imminent end of the age judgment events. NEITHER were speaking about the end of the NT age nor about an end of the world (kosmos, universe, planet earth)

    YOU claim such notion based on your current faith belief ... but what does biblical text in context and overall scope actually tell and teach?

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552

    Paul in 2 Thess 2 is saying that the Second Coming cannot occur until the prophecy of Daniel and Jesus about the abomination of desolation is fulfilled—which had not happened yet when he wrote.

    Indeed ... it had not happened yet, BUT it was about to happen only about 15 years later when the first revolt broke out and things relating to the prophecies of the coming judgment at the end of the Age began to unfold. It was then also, when that evil "man of lawlessness, the son of destruction" began to establish himself with his companions at Jerusalem and even overtook the temple rule getting rid of the Judaist high priest.

    But by the time John wrote his epistles near the end of the first century, the antichrist, too, had become realized eschatology:

    In recent time, more bible scholars have dated John's gospel, epistles and also the book of revelation to a date prior to the events of 70 AD.

  • There are a lot of ideas on this, but clearly, the Biblical description of when Jesus comes to gather His children home, has not yet occurred. It will occur when the time is right, and no man knows the day nor the hour.

    Those who claim special knowledge or insight are not to be trusted.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552

    There are a lot of ideas on this, but clearly, the Biblical description of when Jesus comes to gather His children home, has not yet occurred.

    How do you arrive at such an understanding ? Was Jesus not explicit and sufficiently clear about his coming being soon, in his generation during the lifetime of some in his audience? How about Paul's mention in his epistles to Corinthians and Thessalonians that not all of them would have died bur some would still be alive at the Lord's coming?

    It will occur when the time is right, and no man knows the day nor the hour.

    Indeed, nobody knew "day or hour", not even Jesus himself knew those specifics ... but obviously Jesus prophesied and taught on several occasions that it would be in the near future ... as also his allusion to a pregnant woman shows (she knows the approximate time frame of the expected birth, but she does not know the more exact details of the day or the hour.

    Those who claim special knowledge or insight are not to be trusted.

    It seems to me that one can surely trust Jesus and the apostles ... or was he mistaken? was Jesus a liar and false prophet prophesying things that did not occur as he had stated? what happened ?

  • Jesus was right. So was Paul. The things they said would happen did. The things they said would happen but have not yet happened are going to happen. Short of a dissertation, I think we all know full well that many things spoken of as future have not happened. Obviously, only the thing that have not happened, have not happened. We are still on earth and not in Heaven.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552

    Jesus was right. So was Paul. The things they said would happen did. The things they said would happen but have not yet happened are going to happen.

    So then, which things happened and which things did not happen ? Figuratively speaking, Did the pregnant woman have labor but birth did not happen? You give the impression as if the prophesied coming of the Lord only happened partly? or did Jesus prophesy two events / comings - one soon and another one an unknown thousands of years later?

    Short of a dissertation, I think we all know full well that many things spoken of as future have not happened.

    I know of events which were future and were spoken of as future at the time when spoken of ... but that doesn't mean they must still be in our future, does it? I do not know of many things Jesus prophesied that have not happened, especially so because I do not recall him making distinctions in his end of the age prophecies about what would be fulfilled soon and what later ... (cp. Lk 21:20-22 - " And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of zvengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled")

    Obviously, only the thing that have not happened, have not happened. We are still on earth and not in Heaven.

    Yes, we are still living on earth ... just as some believers at the mentioned coming of the Lord were alive ... and just as they were we will in one moment be changed and taken up into God's presence ... rather than go to Sheol or Hades as believers before the lord's coming did when they died.

  • byGeorgebyGeorge Posts: 60
    edited September 16

    So then, which things happened and which things did not happen ? Figuratively speaking, Did the pregnant woman have labor but birth did not happen?

    I probably can't answer with any more certainty than you can.

    What we do know is that some events have not yet occurred. Examples might be that time still exists, various judgments that have not occurred, multiple descriptions in Revelation, the devil is still alive and working, and that we are not currently in Heaven.

     did Jesus prophesy two events / comings - one soon and another one an unknown thousands of years later?

    That is a possibility. You and I have preferred ideas but nailing each one down may be as futile for us as it has been for good folks over the last couple thousand years.

    I know of events which were future and were spoken of as future at the time when spoken of ... but that doesn't mean they must still be in our future, does it? 

    No.

    Lk 21:20-22 may well have been fulfilled in AD 70. In part, or in full.

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