Study of the “Day of the Lord” in the Scriptures, Part 11 :: By Ron Ferguson

It was mentioned in Part 10 that it was a difficult place to have ended PART 10, but not to have done so would have made a very long Part. We will continue from Part 10.

Wuest points out that the word “apostasia” is derived from the root verb “afistami,” which means to remove, withdraw, depart, go away, etc. Of its 15 occurrences in the New Testament, it is 11 times translated “depart,” and Wuest accordingly argues that the substantive must mean “departure,” and since the Greek text has the definite article [o = THE] then a particular departure is in view. There is one, and that departure is the removal of the Church, THE Rapture.

These are the references to the use of “apostasia/afistami.” (NASB) ))

Here are 13 references.

Luke 8:13 “And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, and these have no firm root. They believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.” (That is, they depart their position, go away from it.)

Luke 13:27 “and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from. Depart from Me, all you evildoers.'” (That is, they will go away, leave, depart to another place.)

Luke 2:37 “and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four, and she never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers.” (That is, disappeared from the temple, went to another place, went away.)

Luke 4:13 “And when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.” (Went away, departed elsewhere.)

Acts 12:10 “And when they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself, and they went out and went along one street; and immediately the angel departed from him.” (Disappeared from his presence, went to another place.)

Acts 15:38 “But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.” (Left their presence, went to another location.)

Acts 19:9 “But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.” (Went away from their presence, left the scene.)

Acts 22:29 “Therefore those who were about to examine him immediately let go of him, and the commander also was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had put him in chains.” (Went away from him, removed from his presence.)

2Cor. 12:8 “Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” (Go away from, to leave.)

1Timothy 6:5 “and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.” (Departed from truth, left it.)

1Timothy 4:1 “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” (The departure of the last days, leave. This is more like leaving correct faith.)

2Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness.'” (Depart from it, leave, go away.)

Heb. 3:12 “Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God.” (Going away from, leaving, departing.)

NOTE – THE FIRST REASON IS BACK IN PART 10. HERE IS THE SECOND. The second reason they can’t be in The Day of the LORD – It is very clear that the Day of the LORD cannot come until the Church is taken out of the way, and until the Restrainer is removed, that being the Holy Spirit who is currently restraining the onslaught of evil that will break out in the vacuum left behind after the Rapture.

Paul explains that the Rapture (the apostasia) must happen before the man of lawlessness can be revealed, and that is why we will not see this man rise to power while the Church is still here. Yes, he may be alive today and may even hold a political or executive position, but the world will not know him or know of his revealing just yet. He comes on a white horse conquering in a bloodless rise (or coup) but only after the first seal is broken, which can’t happen until the great heavenly scene of Revelation 4 and 5, and that can’t happen until the Lord calls all His own home to heaven, “COME UP HERE” of Revelation 4:1. The Restrainer is connected with the passage below (2Thessalonians 2:3-7).


2Thessalonians 2:1-2 “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.”

Without expanding this further, it is fairly easy to understand from the passage here that the persecuted Thessalonians were deeply troubled because they thought the terrors that had come upon them were those of the Great Tribulation Paul had taught them of. They knew they were to be caught up to be with the Lord before that event. See 1 Thess 1 v 9 and 10. Jesus is the Deliverer from the coming wrath. Because they thought the wrath had come, they were shaken and thought they had missed the Rapture, identifying their troubles with the Great Tribulation. Paul had to explain to them that Jesus is the One who will deliver “out of” the coming wrath (our versions translate as “from,” but the Greek is “ek” meaning “out of” – “away from it”). Verse 2 here should read, “Day of Jehovah.”

Paul now goes on to tell them that certain things must happen before that Day can come. As those things were not present then, there was no way that Day of Jehovah had come, and they could not be in the Great Tribulation. That was the assurance to the Thessalonians.

2Thessalonians 2:3-7Let 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, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.”

In verses 7-8, it is revealed that there is One here who is hindering (holding back) the full release and revelation of iniquity. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of that. This, of course, means He is holding back the revelation of this lawless one (world leader/Antichrist). This one, the Restrainer, is the Holy Spirit, and only when He goes can iniquity become fully matured. The Holy Spirit WILL and CAN ONLY go when the true Church departs. And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth (seven years after his appearing) and bring this evil one to an end by the appearance of His Coming at Armageddon.

The Church WILL NOT go through the Tribulation. Neither is there only one appearing that false teachers teach. Nor is the Rapture and Second Coming connected together as some try to teach.

NOAH. I hope it can be seen that “the departure of the Church” must occur before any release of judgment upon the earth. Surely Noah is a pertinent lesson here. He was raised from the earth while the judgment raged below. He was removed from judgment. So shall the Church be removed from judgment. When the wrath of God was completed on the earth, then Noah returned to the earth for the new age. The Church will be lifted up out of judgment which will run its course on the earth, and then will return with the Lord to the earth, to the new age of the Millennium.

[3]. 2Peter 3:10–13 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

We look at the last New Testament reference to “The Day of the LORD,” though many other inferences and suggestions are contained in the scriptures. The passage begins with the same simile we have seen before, that of a thief who comes in the night to destroy and to undertake his activities outside the planning of man (for it is the Lord). We say it over and over that the thief analogy does not relate to the Rapture, so stop using it that way. It is false to do so. Some keep insisting on doing it. That is the mark of the false teacher who will not learn. It connects with the Second Coming, not with the glorious hope of the Rapture. What glorious hope is it when a thief strikes? People need to think better into the scriptures and start comparing scripture with scripture as did the Bereans. In this passage, Peter speaks of the Second Coming and beyond, and none of the imagery here can be applied to the Rapture.

The rapture is called “the blessed hope,” and it is not hope when you know a thief is ready to strike you. It is terrifying and can only apply to those coming events that happen to a sinful world when there will be dread and chaos. This is why the word “thief” is used in Matthew 24 because all of Matthew 24 is in the Tribulation, NOT our current world with the Rapture looming. Matthew 24 is NOT the Rapture but the Second Coming.

There is a problem with this passage, and the chronology appears to be wrong if each part is taken sequentially. Peter seems to lump a few thoughts and facts together in no particular order. He appears to think that at the Second Coming all this happens, but we know from Revelation that it does not. The Second Coming happens at the end of the Tribulation when the world’s armies are destroyed at Armageddon, and then the Jews return to their land, and the Millennial Kingdom is set up with Messiah reigning as King over the whole earth. One thousand years pass, and then all human activity is wrapped up; the great white throne judgment occurs, and then comes this proclamation at the start of chapter 21 – verse 1 “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.”

It is only Peter who talks about the earth melting and the fervent heat.

This is the only place in all the New Testament where “melt” is used. It means to burn with great heat in the fire. Holman translates the verse as, “But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed.” I think what Peter is doing is using apocalyptic language to show the intensity of the Lord’s Coming, not necessarily the order of events. There is no way the earth will disappear or be dissolved or melt in the intense heat as life exists on the earth, such as Israel redeemed in her own land. Peter was used, inspired to use this whole embracing statement, but the Holy Spirit used John to define the parts of it. That is not uncommon in scripture.

Peter says we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth, and this is true, but I wonder if it really is our first focus (I think Peter does that in a general sense, a forward look). For me, it is the Rapture we are looking out for, and all those other things will follow on.

When the Rapture occurs, or if we die, then we will forever be in righteousness. It will be wonderful when way in the future, righteousness will dwell in the new heavens and earth. It is only when we have that installed that the New Jerusalem descends from heaven.

This is the eternal state. I believe the New Jerusalem is the eternal home for the Church.

People say we are going to heaven forever, but that is not the case. Heaven is not our eternal home. It is temporary. For those alive when the Rapture happens, they are taken to heaven but only for 7 years, and at the end of that, the Bride (The Church) returns to earth with Christ, and we live and reign with Him for 1,000 years. The Bible says we judge angels (the demons), so we are present with the Lord also at the great white throne when He judges the unsaved mass of mankind. Following that, we will have the new heavens and earth and then the New Jerusalem, where we will dwell forever. Amen!

PART 12 will follow.

It is the last Part.