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For the past 4 days I have had someone email concerning the “Rapture of the Church” I have a chapter in my book on the rapture and have written a piece on it entitled: “A Thief In The Night”. There are some who teach the rapture isn’t found in the Bible but is the untrue. The RAPTURE is clearly found in the Word of God as you will see. I also want to present a piece written by another author by the name of Dr. Thomas Ice. It is a must read for pre trib Rapture. To begin with I want you to see that although the literal word (rapture) is not seen in English the Rapture is there. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and you will see. “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” From the phrase “caught up” we get the Greek verb Harpazo, a violent snatching away. The word ‘rapture’ comes from the Latin word rapturo. The Latin Vulgate is where this term originated, which is when the Bible was translated from Greek into Latin so you can see that the rapture is there.
Before I get to Dr. Ice's write up on the rapture let me just say that there is a day coming that will change the course of this planet and those who live on it like we have never seen before. I am not talking about some huge earthquake or some other natural disaster. I am referring to that day the Lord Jesus talked about. That one day I allude to is found in the Bible verse in the photo above. Most of the world doesn't believe there will ever be a day as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Fact is there is also a growing number of Christians who also believe there will be no rapture of the Church. The day is coming and I can assure you of this, that day will be the most horrified day the world will see before the man of sin comes. The people who refuse Jesus' warning and choose to deflect His wisdom concerning these matters will pay a very heavy price for the sin of unbelief. If you are not sealed with the Holy Spirit as a BIELIEVER I will also assure you, you have never heard or seen panic as you will see on this Earth on the day of the Lord.
Before Jesus allowed himself to be killed for our sins, Jesus gave us instructions and commands. One of those commands was to Keep on the watch. Watch for what? Christ gave us specific signs to watch for that would happen in the last days just before He would come for His Church. Just about all the signs Christ told us were going to take place has already been fulfilled. There are still some prophecies that Christ warned us about but most of those prophecies will take place during the 7 year tribulation when the Church has already gone home to be with the Lord on THAT DAY. Here are a few places where we see this command by Jesus to keep on the watch.
Keep Watch and Watch and Pray
This next verse is my favorite. Luke 21:36 Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Christ made it clear concerning all the signs He wanted us to watch for. This is what my book “The Last Chronicles of Planet Earth” is all about. Is breaks my heart to know that most of the world has not followed Jesus’ command to keep on the watch. Fact is, most of the world doesn’t have a clue what is about to happen and most of the world knows nothing about (THAT DAY). Most of the world is sleeping and will be shocked when THAT DAY takes place. Speaking about the last day signs and seeing THAT DAY coming Paul wrote: "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed" (Romans 13:11And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. See All..., emphasis added throughout).
In other words, the closer we draw to the second coming of Christ, the more urgent it is that we awake out of spiritual sleep! Indeed, we have entered the fearful end-time years that are the grand climax of human civilization. If ever there was a time to pay attention and get prepared, it is now ! Furthermore, none of us knows when he or she will die. Being spiritually prepared for the end of life should be our top priority. THAT DAY is coming soon, and for all of us who have followed Christ you can rest in what Jesus said in Luke 21:36 as seen above because, Christ is coming for you to bring you home. To the rest, all I can say is may Jesus have mercy on your soul. Church, wake up and for those of you who seek your sleep, you had better read A THIEF IN THE NIGHT to prepare yourself for THAT DAY. Link: http://frankdimora.typepad.com/files/a-thief-in-the-night-by-frank-dimora-
Now on to Mr. Ices work on the RAPTURE.
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, - 2 Thessalonians 2:3
I believe that there is a strong possibility that 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is speaking of the rapture. What do I mean? Some pretribulationists, like myself, think that the Greek noun apostasia, usually translated " apostasy," is a reference to the rapture and should be translated " departure." Thus, this passage would be saying that the day of the Lord will not come until the rapture comes before it. If apostasia is a reference to a physical departure, then 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is strong evidence for pretribulationism.
The Meaning of Apostasia
The Greek noun apostasia is only used twice in the New Testament. In addition to 2 Thessalonians 2:3, it occurs in Acts 21:21 where, speaking of Paul, it is said, " that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake (apostasia)Moses." The word is a Greek compound of apo " from" and istemi " stand." Thus, it has the core meaning of " away from" or " departure." The Liddell and Scott Greek Lexicon definesapostasia first as " defection, revolt;" then secondly as " departure, disappearance." Gordon Lewis explains how the verb from which the noun apostasia is derived supports the basic meaning of departure in the following:
The verb may mean to remove spatially. There is little reason then to deny that the noun can mean such a spatial removal or departure. Since the noun is used only one other time in the New Testament of apostasy from Moses (Acts 21:21), we can hardly conclude that its Biblical meaning is necessarily determined. The verb is used fifteen times in the New Testament. Of these fifteen, only three have anything to do with a departure from the faith (Luke 8;13; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb 3:12). The word is used for departing from iniquity (2 Tim. 2:19), from ungodly men(1 Tim. 6:5), from the temple (Luke 2:27), from the body (2 Cor. 12:8), and from persons (Acts 12:10; Luke 4:13).
" It is with full assurance of proper exegetical study and with complete confidence in the original languages," concludes Daniel Davey, " that the word meaning of apostasia is defined as departure."  Paul Lee Tan adds the following:
What precisely does Paul mean when he says that " the falling away" (2:3) must come before the tribulation? The definite article " the" denotes that this will be a definite event, an event distinct from the appearance of the Man of Sin. The Greek word for " falling away" , taken by itself, does not mean religious apostasy or defection. Neither does the word mean " to fall," as the Greeks have another word for that. [pipto, I fall; TDI] The best translation of the word is " to depart." The apostle Paul refers here to a definite event which he calls " the departure," and which will occur just before the start of the tribulation. This is the rapture of the church.
So the word has the core meaning of departure and it depends upon the context to determine whether it is used to mean physical departure or an abstract departure such as departure from the faith.
The first seven English translations of apostasia all rendered the noun as either " departure" or " departing." They are as follows: Wycliffe Bible (1384); Tyndale Bible (1526); Coverdale Bible (1535); Cranmer Bible (1539); Breeches Bible (1576); Beza Bible (1583); Geneva Bible (1608). This supports the notion that the word truly means " departure." In fact, Jerome' s Latin translation known as the Vulgate from around the time of a.d. 400 renders apostasia with the " word discessio, meaning ' departure.' "  Why was the King James Version the first to depart from the established translation of " departure" ?
Theodore Beza, the Swiss reformer was the first to transliterate apostasia and create a new word, rather than translate it as others had done. The translators of the King James Version were the first to introduce the new rendering of apostasia as " falling away." Most English translators have followed the KJV and Beza in departing from translating apostasiaas " departure." No good reason was ever given.
The Use of the Article
It is important to note that Paul uses a definite article with the noun apostasia. What does this mean? Davey notes the following:
Since the Greek language does not need an article to make the noun definite, it becomes clear that with the usage of the article reference is being made to something in particular. In II Thessalonians 2:3 the word apostasia is prefaced by the definite article which means that Paul is pointing to a particular type of departure clearly known to the Thessalonian church.
Dr. Lewis provides a likely answer when he notes that the definite article serves to make a word distinct and draw attention to it. In this instance he believes that its purpose is " to denote a previous reference." " The departure Paul previously referred to was ' our being gathered to him' (v. 1) and our being ' caught up' with the Lord and the raptured dead in the clouds (1 Thess. 4:17)," notes Dr. Lewis. The " departure" was something that Paul and his readers clearly had a mutual understanding about. Paul says in verse 5, " Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?"
The use of the definite article would also support the notion that Paul spoke of a clear, discernable event. A physical departure, like the rapture would fit just such a notion. However, the New Testament teaches that apostasy had already arrived in the first century (cf. Acts 20:27- 32; 1 Tim. 4:1- 5; 2 Tim. 3:1- 9; 2 Pet. 2:1- 3; Jude 3- 4, 17- 21) and thus, such a process would not denote a clear event as demanded by the language of this passage. Understanding departure as the rapture would satisfy the nuance of this text. E. Schuyler English explains as follows:
Again, how would the Thessalonians, or Christians in any century since, be qualified to recognize the apostasy when it should come, assuming, simply for the sake of this inquiry, that the Church might be on earth when it does come? There has been apostasy from God, rebellion against Him, since time began.
Whatever Paul is referring to in his reference to " the departure," was something that both the Thessalonian believers and he had discussed in-depth previously. When we examine Paul' s first letter to the Thessalonians, he never mentions the doctrine of apostasy, however, virtually every chapter in that epistle speaks of the rapture (cf. 1:9- 10; 2:19; probably 3:13; 4:13- 17; 5:1- 11). In these passages, Paul has used a variety of Greek terms to describe the rapture. It should not be surprising that he uses another term to reference the rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Dr. House tells us:
Remember, the Thessalonians had been led astray by the false teaching (2:2- 3) that the Day of the Lord had already come. This was confusing because Paul offered great hope, in the first letter, of a departure to be with Christ and a rescue from god' s wrath. Now a letter purporting to be from Paul seems to say that they would first have to go through the Day of the Lord. Paul then clarified his prior teaching by emphasizing that they had no need to worry. They could again be comforted because the departure he had discussed in his first letter, and in his teaching while with them, was still the truth. The departure of Christians to be with Christ, and the subsequent revelation of the lawless one, Paul argues, is proof that the Day of the Lord had not begun as they had thought. This understanding of apostasiamakes much more sense than the view that they are to be comforted (v. 2) because a defection from the faith must precede the Day of the Lord. The entire second chapter (as well as 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11) serves to comfort (see vv. 2, 3, 17), supplied by a reassurance of Christ' s coming as taught in his first letter.
Departure and The Restrainer
Since pretribulationists believe that the restrainer mentioned in verses 6 and 7 is the Holy Spirit and teaches a pre-trib rapture, then it should not be surprising to see that there is a similar progression of thought in the progression of verse 3. Allan MacRae, president of Faith Theological Seminary in a letter to Schuyler English has said the following concerning this matter:
I wonder if you have noticed the striking parallel between this verse and verses 7- 8, a little further down. According to your suggestion verse 3 mentions the departure of the church as coming first, and then tells of the revealing of the man of sin. In verses 7 and 8 we find the identical sequence. Verse 7 tells of the removal of the Church; verse 8 says: " And then shall that Wicked be revealed." Thus close examination of the passage shows an inner unity and coherence, if we take the word apostasia in its general sense of " departure," while a superficial examination would easily lead to an erroneous interpretation as " falling away" because of the proximity of the mention of the man of sin.
Kenneth Wuest, a Greek scholar from Moody Bible Institute added the following contextual support to taking apostasia as a physical departure:
But then hee apostasia of which Paul is speaking, precedes the revelation of Antichrist in his true identity, and is to katechon that which holds back his revelation (2:6). The heeapostasia, therefore, cannot be either a general apostasy in Christendom which does precede the coming of Antichrist, nor can it be the particular apostasy which is the result of his activities in making himself the alone object of worship. Furthermore, that which holds back his revelation (vs. 3) is vitally connected with hoo katechoon (vs. 7), He who holds back the same event. The latter is, in my opinion, the Holy Spirit and His activities in the Church. All of which means that I am driven to the inescapable conclusion that the heeapostasia (vs. 3) refers to the Rapture of the Church which precedes the Day of the Lord, and holds back the revelation of the Man of Sin who ushers in the world-aspect of that period.
The fact that apostasia most likely has the meaning of physical departure is a clear support for pretribulationism. If this is true, (Dr. Tim LaHaye and I believe that it is), then it means that a clear prophetic sequence is laid out by Paul early in his Apostolic ministry. Paul teaches in 2 Thessalonians 2 that the rapture will occur first, before the Day of the Lord commences. It is not until after the beginning of the Day of the Lord that the Antichrist is released, resulting in the events described by him in chapter 2 of 2 Thessalonians. This is the only interpretation that provides hope for a discomforted people. Maranatha!
 Henry George Liddell and Henry Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, Revised with a Supplement  by Sir Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick McKenzie (Oxford, Eng.: Oxford University Press, 1940), p. 218.
 Gordon R. Lewis, " Biblical Evidence for Pretribulationism," Bibliotheca Sacra (vol. 125, no. 499; July 1968), p. 218.
 Daniel K. Davey, " The ' Apostesia' of II Thessalonians 2:3," Th.M. thesis, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, May 1982, p. 27.
 Paul Lee Tan, The Interpretation of Prophecy (Winona Lake, IN: Assurance Publishers, 1974), p. 341.
 H. Wayne House, " Apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: Apostasy or Rapture?" in Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, eds., When the Trumpet Sounds: Today' s Foremost Authorities Speak Out on End-Time Controversies (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995), p. 270.
 House, " Apostesia" , p. 270.
 Davey, " Apostesia" , p. 47.
 Gordon R. Lewis & Bruce A. Demarest, Integrative Theology 3 vols in 1 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), vol. 3, p. 420.
 E. Schuyler English, Re-Thinking the Rapture (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1954), p. 70.
 House, " Apostesia" , pp. 275- 76.
 Allan A. MacRae, Letter to E. Schuyler English, published in " Let the Prophets Speak," Our Hope, (vol. LVI, num. 12; June 1950), p. 725.
 Kenneth S. Wuest, Letter to E. Schuyler English, published in " Let the Prophets Speak," Our Hope, (vol. LVI, num. 12; June 1950), p. 731.
Side note: Please understand why I am emphasizing a rapture before the appearance of the Antichrist, rather, than a an apostasy, before the appearance of the Antichrist. It is correct to divide the word in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as departing first, and then after we rapture, the Antichrist appears. I am worried about the babies in Christ who don't know the difference. The difference boils down to they will be watching for the appearance of Christ, and the rapture, then the Antichrist...Or, they will be watching for the Antichrist, after an apostasy. It is clear to me, on authorities, and the Holy Spirit that it is the rapture, and when we are gone the Antichrist appears. That being said, the rapture question has become a issue Satan is using to divide up the Lord’s children. The rapture is not a salvation issue. Your salvation is not based on whether you believe in the rapture or for that matter when it will happen. Fact is, if you are a Christian you shouldn’t even be looking for the Antichrist! You are to be looking for Jesus Christ! Yes you should know the signs of his coming but, we are going home before the Antichrist is revealed and that is GOOD NEWS. Those who are looking for the Lord have peace. Those who are waiting for the Antichrist have no peace all they have is fear. I leave you with the Lords words. Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Are you really searching to know the truth? Jesus will show it to you!
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Frank DiMora, P.O. Box 732, Lompoc Ca. 93438
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Jesus has blessed me but sending me Christians who took the time out to translate A Thief In The Night into their own language. So far these are the different languages which the Lord has directed people to send me.
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