Part 5: Nothing Is Removed In 2 Thessalonians 2:7
By Ed Tarkowski

The lie that the day of the Lord had come was trying to gain entry into the Thessalonian church and was part of the "working of error" that would one day grow into a full fledged apostasy. Since the Church is the only place in the world where the truth resides, lies have to enter the Church for an apostasy to come about. It is Satan who works this mystery of iniquity into the Church: "For the mystery of lawlessness already is working" with "all power and signs and lying wonders." The reason Satan does this working is to deceive Christians away from following Christ according to the truth and into following the man of sin according to the lie. It is necessary, then, that this working (power, signs, lying wonders, unchained deceit, a lying message) has to look to the Christian as though it is of God. If they fall for it, they increase the power of the apostasy to attain its goal: ushering in the man of sin with as little opposition as possible. In other words, to bring the apostasy to the point that the Church will be of little hindrance to the Antichrist. Scripture shows that things will reach that point in the future.

Now let's look at verse 7 in the various translations out of which I will use Green's translation:

GREEN - until it comes out of the midst. -

KJV - until he be taken out of the way.

NASB - until he is taken out of the way.

RSV - until he is out of the way.

WEYMOUTH - the man . . . . is removed,

WEBSTER - until he be taken out of the way.

Notice all but Green's translation uses words and phrases that indicate something or someone is taken out of the way. Why the difference? What has become clear to me after much research is that NOTHING SEEMS TO BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY.

Acknowledging that the word "until" means pointing to a future time at which something manifests, we will use the KJV and Green to look at the rest of the words. Looking at the definitions for ginomai, ek, and mesou from The Linked Word Project, we have:

Bible ginemai (1096) ek (1537) mesou (3319,3326)
KJV he be taken out of the way
Green it comes out of the midst
Greek 1096 ginomai {ghin'-om-ahee}

1) to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being
2) to become, i.e. to come to pass, happen
2a) of events

3) to arise, appear in history, come upon the stage
3a) of men appearing in public
4) to be made, finished
4a) of miracles, to be performed, wrought
5) to become, be made

1537 ek {ek} or ex {ex}

1) out of, from, by, away from

3319 mesos {mes'-os}; from 3326; adj

1) middle
2) the midst
3) in the midst of, amongst

3326 meta {met-ah'}

1) with, after, behind

In my Strong's concordance, there are 709 instances of verses containing Strong's number 1096, ginomai. Out of these 709 occurences, the word is translated as "taken" only one time by the King James translators, and that's in our study verse, 2 Thessalonians 2:7. Why they translated it this way I don't know because the REAL GREEK WORDS for "taken" and "way" ARE NOT LISTED IN THE VERSE. Yet, "taken out of the way" is used in quite a number of Bible translations besides the KJV. Those who use this phrase mention the phrase "until it comes out of the midst," but then always use the phrase "taken out of the way." Therefore, Green's translation seems quite favorable, using "until it comes out of the midst" instead of "taken out of the way." (See the Greek definitions above). Extremely useful in searching all of this out was a chapter from a book entitled, "Our Lord Cometh" by William Rowland. The chapter (or book) can be viewed and read at CHAPTER 6, "TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY," 2 THESSALONIANS 2:7. (If this book every becomes unavailable, I can send you the article by email.)

What we have heard for years is that something is removed or "taken out of the way," and that has been variously applied to the removal of a restrainer, such as the rapture of the Church before the tribulation, the Holy Spirit, and good government. Green's translation paints a totally different picture. I believe it is right because of the 709-1 ratio. What "until it comes out of the midst" means is that something comes to be, it becomes, or is birthed out of the midst of something else. In this case, the full-fledged apostasy would come on the scene out of the working of lawlessness, its secret goal. Notice the definitions for genomai. Its various shades of meaning point to something that comes into existence, begins to be, or receives being; something arises and so appears in history, coming upon the world stage, etc. The idea and implication of something being "taken away" or "being removed" is not present at all in this section of the verse. In fact, it depicts the opposite: it becomes and remains, i.e., until the Lord returns in the day of the Lord. If all this be true, then Michael could not be the restrainer.

So, Satan is working to bring forth a full-fledged apostasy until it is given birth, which in turn sets the scene for the man of sin, the Beast, to become, to come into existence, begin to be, receive being, arise and so appear in history, to come upon the world stage out of the apostasy. What Paul then tells us in verse 8 ("And then 'the Lawless One' will be revealed") flows out of verse 7. In 7, the apostasy is birthed and in verse 8, evolves to its full potential, the Antichrist is "revealed" as such and continues until the Lord, in the day of the Lord, returns and "slays" him:

2:8 And then "the Lawless One" will be revealed, "whom" "the Lord" "will consume" "by the spirit of His mouth," and will bring to nought by the brightness of His presence. [Isa. 11:4]

Paul is now done with his recapping of the first seven verses of 2 Thessalonians, and he goes on to describe the fate of those who continue to love the truth and those who don't:

2:9 [His] coming is according to the working of Satan in all power and [miraculous] signs and lying wonders,
2:10 and in all deceit of unrighteousness in those being lost, because they did not receive the love of the truth in order for them to be saved.
2:11 And because of this, God will send to them a working of error, for them to believe the lie,
2:12 that all may be judged, those not believing the truth, but who have delighted in unrighteousness.
2:13 But we ought to thank God always concerning you, brothers, beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to salvation in sanctification of [the] Spirit and belief of [the] truth,
2:14 to which He called you through our gospel, to obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is the Church maintained in truth that restrains the appearance of antichrist. The "signs and wonders" of the current apostasy are drawing members away from Christianity and this will continue until the apostasy is complete. Then the faithful will epxerience persecution as the Antichrist comes on the scene. I close this series by repeating the words of Cyril, Archbishop Of Jerusalem, Lecture Xv., On The Clause, And Shall Come In Glory To Judge The Quick And The Dead; Of Whose Kingdom There Shall Be No End, c. 384 AD:

"Thus wrote Paul, and now is the falling away. For men have fallen away from the right faith; and some preach the identity of the Son with the Father, and others dare to say that Christ was brought into being out of nothing. And formerly the heretics were manifest; but now the Church is filled with heretics in disguise. For men have fallen away from the truth, and have itching ears. Is it a plausible discourse? all listen to it gladly. Is it a word of correction? all turn away from it. Most have departed from right words, and rather choose the evil, than desire the good. This therefore is the falling away, and the enemy is soon to be looked for: and meanwhile he has in part begun to send forth his own forerunners, that he may then come prepared upon the prey. Look therefore to thyself, O man, and make safe thy soul. The Church now charges thee before the Living God; she declares to thee the things concerning Antichrist before they arrive. Whether they will happen in thy time we know not, or whether they will happen after thee we know not; but it is well that, knowing these things, thou shouldest make thyself secure beforehand."

Part 1: The Less Truth There Is, The More Apostasy Is Present
Part 2: The "What" Of 2 Thessalonians 2:6
Part 3: The "He" Of 2 Thessalonians 2:7
Part 4: That They Should Believe A Lie
Part 5: Nothing Is Removed In 2 Thessalonians 2:7
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