What is the “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3?


by Shawn Brasseaux

The King James Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: “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.” What is this “falling away?” Is it a reference to the Rapture, our being caught up into heaven as members of the Church the Body of Christ? Or, is it perhaps a reference to some other event? Beloved, let us be Bereans and compare verses, rather than simply shouting “Amen” to preachers’ sermons on the subject!

Unfortunately, some people—even in “Bible-loving” and “Bible-defending” circles—absolutely detest the King James Bible. Seminary or Bible College has so polluted their minds and hearts. These individuals whom Bible institutions corrupted, they “graduate” and pollute common church members with their “education.” They go on to produce “study Bibles,” “better” translations, commentaries, Hebrew and Greek grammars, and other worthless books parading as “Christian” literature. These very people—educated in error—currently lead and teach in most local assemblies and other “Bible” groups. Thus, today, the average church leader and the average church member alike view the King James Bible as anything but “scholarly” and “reliable.”

The Bible publishers make sure their advertisements report largely just enough information for you to have an “easy-to-read” contemporary perversion. To tell you the full story of the various versions of the “English Bible,” which they often do not know themselves (or knowingly and willfully withhold from the public), that information would cause you to use a King James Bible and you would never want to buy one of their 100 translations they want to $ell you! Many people—including Christians—have been educated to attack God’s preserved Word in English. If you believe in a perfect King James Bible, these “Bible-believers” will ridicule and slander you for disagreeing with their “scholarly” (ha!!) position. They have been poisoned by the pro-Roman-Catholic mentality that “educated clergy” must always interpret God’s Word. They have been polluted with the false idea that the Holy Spirit used Roman Catholic manuscripts as a repository for His precious Words. They assume that He sanctions the use of those manuscripts to “correct” the Protestant Bible Text of the Reformation. All in the name of “unbelieving scholarship” we are urged to toss out God’s precious Words and pick up the worthless teachings of men. Never! Never! Never! Again, I say, Never!

One brother in Christ, whom I love dearly, is nevertheless polluted because he always corrects 2 Thessalonians 2:3 in the King James Bible—he never picks on the modern English Bibles whose verse uses the same term that he dislikes!! (He refused to heed my advice on that subject many times so I have no further dealings with him.) A “scholar” had written something about the verse that appealed to him. Thus, ever since, this brother has repeated the error time and time again when teaching the verse. He always wants to change “a falling away” to “the departure,” claiming that “everybody does it” with that verse. (Of course, I do not do it, and I know plenty of people who do not do it, so not “everybody does it!”) According to this deceived brother, and those who agree with him, the verse should read: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come the departure first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” Is that a sound conclusion? Do not take my word for it! Notice the following research I have gathered especially for this study.

Strangely, while people often “run to the Greek” to “disprove” the King James Bible, I see why they do not “run to the Greek” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Whether the Textus Receptus (King James Greek New Testament) or the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (modern versions’ Greek New Testament), the word rendered “falling away” is apostasia. Of course, you need no theological degree to see that that term is where our English word “apostasy” originated. “Apostasy” simply means “a defection from truth, falling away, forsaking.” For the record, I quote Strong’s Greek Dictionary:

“G646 ἀποστασία
Pronounced ap-os-tas-ee’-ah
feminine of the same as 647; defection from truth (properly, the state) (“apostasy”):—falling away, forsake.”

As noted above, the word apostasia (G646) is the feminine form of apostasion (G647), which itself means “separative, i.e. (specially) divorce” or “(writing of) divorcement.” Apostasion appears twice in Matthew and once in Mark—Matthew 5:31, Matthew 19:7, and Mark 10:4 (Moses writing the “bill of divorcement” under the Law economy). The idea is one party leaving another. Now, carry that concept over into 2 Thessalonians 2:3, and it becomes clear.

Someone is leaving someone else in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. It is not the Body of Christ leaving Earth, but rather the nation Israel leaving Moses. Israel is so far removed from the divine revelation given to her through Moses. The Jews have been duped into accepting the Antichrist (“man of sin, son of perdition”). They have embraced the Antichrist and Baal worship, idolatry that the Law of Moses repeatedly warned against! Friends, remember, whenever God’s Word is ignored, a vacuum is left, and one’s heart and mind sucks up everything error. Spiritual light rejected (Psalm 119:130) becomes darkness. They have left Moses and the Jesus Christ he predicted (Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19; Acts 3:22-23). Now, they have nothing but the Antichrist, the false Messiah, the man Satan will use to doom them with a devilish religion.

Once Israel leaves the integrity of their Old Testament prophets, chiefly Moses’ writings, once they ignore Jesus as their Messiah/Christ, they will open themselves up to Satan’s will, and Satan will be more than eager to put the Antichrist into power and damn Israel. They have not heeded the ancient warning of the coming Antichrist (see Isaiah 10:5; Daniel 7:8,19-26; Daniel 8:9,22-25; Daniel 9:26-27; Daniel 11:21,36-38; Zechariah 11:17; et cetera). They have abandoned JEHOVAH God, the one true God, and now, they have nothing but Satan’s plan for them. God will give unbelieving Israel just what they want!

We read in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12: “[9] Even him [Antichrist], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, [10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: [12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

In conclusion, it should be pointed out that the Greek word translated “falling away” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is rendered in Acts 21:21 as “forsake.” Note, “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.” It had nothing to do with “departing from one place to another” (as in the Rapture, or some other physical relocation). It meant leaving the truth and going after other teaching. That is the meaning in Acts 21:21 and that is the meaning in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Israel will be so far led away from the truth God gave her through the Law and the Prophets (Old Testament). They did not want God’s truth so He will give them error instead (Romans 1:17-32).

Also see:
» How could ‘wise’ King Solomon let foreign women deceive him?
» Should the King James’ “Christ” actually be “Lord” in 2 Thessalonians 2:2?
» Does Hebrews 10:25 really teach we must attend church?