The topic of the apostasy of the church is misunderstood because of two schools of thoughts: Those who believe and preach that “apostsy” means “rupture” versus those of us who understand that it actually means “falling away” of many believers in Christ before the actual rapture takes place.
So they refer to 2 Thes. 2:3, and preach that the “falling away” was the rapture of the Church. However, when we looked up “falling away” in the Strong’s concordance (http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html) and all bible dictionarires as well as wikipedia all agree that the word “Apostasia” means “falling away”.The Greek word for the phrase “falling away” is apostasia. A possible rendering of the Greek apostasia is “departure [of the church].” The Greek word for the phrase “falling away” is apostasia. A possible rendering of the Greek apostasia is therefore “departure [of the church].”
Let us take a look at what the bible says:
2 Thes. 2:3 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”.
Open your bibles and notice that 2 Thessalonians 2: 3 starts out saying; let no man deceive you. Why would Paul, through the Holy Spirit ad this emphasis?
We need to understand that, Lucifer, the enemy of God, has worked overtime to distort the truth which brings liberty and joy and replace it with deception so the Church and men in the world can be blinded to this truth about apostasy. The hope of satan is that, if many christians are blinded, they will obviously miss the rapture of the Church of Christ.
Let us do some deeper analysis of the Greek word apostasia. We notice that the word “apostasia (= Apostasy = falling away)” 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 defines apostasia 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 “depart from” 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 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 3:12). The word is used for departing from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19), from ungodly men (1 Timothy 6:5), from the temple (Luke 2:27), from the body (2 Corinthians 12:8), and from persons (Acts 12:10; Luke 4:13).
The Apostasy is driven by Lucifer, The Man of Lawlessness, The Antichrist.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 (NIV) says in verse 2, Concerning the (second) coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered (raptured) to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day (of the second coming and the rapture) will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?
The word apostasia is rendered as either “departure” or “departing in the following sources: Wycliffe Bible (1384); Tyndale Bible (1526); Coverdale Bible (1535); Cranmer Bible (1539); Breeches Bible (1576); Beza Bible (1583); Geneva Bible (1608). 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.'”
So 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” because many believed that apostasia meant the Rapture of the Church. Most English translators also have followed the KJV and Beza in departing from translating apostasia as “departure.”
As explained above, prior to the King James Translation of 1611, the Greek word “apostasia” was translated as departure, not falling away, and was thought to refer to the Rapture of the Church. This view was apparently taken from the root word “aphestemi” which can mean departure as well as falling away.
Even though falling away has been the preferred translation for over 500 years now, the earlier interpretation of “apostasia” translated as departure still clearly justify that Apostasy means departing from the Faith, which also shows evidence that Paul taught the Thessalonians a pre-rapture sign. This sign also precedes the second coming of the Christ.
Why did Paul teach the Thessalonians about the rapture?
The whole 2nd Thessalonians letter shows that thessalonians were horrified at being told that the Day of the Lord had already come. Such news meant that they had missed the Rapture, and that would mean that they weren’t saved. So 2 Thes. 2:2 shows how Paul explained that the Day of the Lord couldn’t come until three things take place. The falling away, or apostasy, the removal of the restraining power holding the anti-Christ back, and finally the anti-Christ’s official introduction.
The first of these three has been already here (and no longer underway), starting from the infiltration of antichrist agents in the Church communities and the splitting up of the Evangelical Church over environmental issues. This, for sure, is the greatest sign of the second coming of the Christ, the Rapture of his Church, and the official introduction of the Man of Sin and the Abomination of Desolation that Jesus also spoke of in Matt. 24:15.