Today we will look at another topic linked to the pre-tribulation rapture of the Bride of Christ – that of the apostasia to see if this word has been correctly translated, or if it has been irresponsibly mistranslated.
The Word Apostasia
2 Thessalonians 2:3 – “The tribulation will not come until The Departure comes first . . .”
The word translated “the departure” is the Greek word apostasia [πoστασα apostasia G646], meaning departure. The Latin Vulgate (“ne quis vos seducat ullo modo quoniam nisi venerit discessio . . .”) uses the word “discessio” which also translates as: a withdrawal, a dispersal, a separation, or a departure.
Apostasia is made up of two words, apo and stasia.
• Apo [ἀπό G575] means: a motion away from a place or person, not from an ideology. Is a state of separation, that is of distance – either physical: of distance of place, or temporal: of distance of time.
• Stasia means: a standing away, to draw out, or to separate. It comes from the root word: Stasis [στσις G4714]. Together they mean: a standing away from, a drawing out from, a separation away from, or a going out from among. This fits exactly with the images of the great escape and the gathering together of scripture.
Apostasia is the feminine form of apostasion [ἀποστάσιον G647], which is a derivative form of aphistēmi [ἀφίστημι G868], all of which refer to a departure from someone or something. In other words, a separation of distance, either physical or temporal – never an apostasy, falling way, or rebellion.
Aphistēmi[G868] is translated “depart” 13 out of 16 times in the Newer Covenant scriptures. Below are a couple of examples:
Luke 2:37 – “Anna never departed the temple, serving night and day with fasting and prayer.”
Luke 13:27 – “And Yeshua will say, ‘Depart from me, all you evildoers’.”
Acts 12:10 – After the angel had released Peter from the prison, “immediately the angel departed from him.”
2 Corinthians 12:8 – “I implored Yeshua three times that the messenger of Satan might depart from me.”
Several translations of the Greek New Covenant scriptures into English prior to the King James Authorized version of 1611 translate apostasia as either the departure or the departing. Those translations are:
• The Tyndale Bible (1526 / 1534) a departynge fyrst
• The Coverdale Bible (1539) a departynge come firft
• The Cranmer Bible (1539) a departynge fyrst
• and The Geneva Bible (1557) a departing first
One newer translation that also translates apostasia as departure is the Hebrew Names Version (1997). The mistranslation of apostasia as apostasy, falling away, or rebellion only became used when the King James translators tried to use the English word apostasy for apostasia – a completely irresponsible mistranslation that has been duplicated by way too many modern versions.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 – “When our Lord Yeshua returns, we will be gathered up to meet him. So do not be easily upset or disturbed by people who claim that he has already come or that the Day of The Lord has begun . . . and do not let anyone in any way deceive you, for the tribulation will not come until The Departure comes first, and then the revealing of the Man of Lawlessness, the Son of Perdition, comes second.”
2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 – “He who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed.”
Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians describes the sequence of events regarding the gathering together of those in Mashiach (Christ) and confirms that that time had not yet happened – the Day of the Lord or tribulation period was still in the future. Paul admonishes the Thessalonians not to be deceived, and then goes on to describe the future sequence of events. Note the parallel sequences in both verse three and then verses seven and eight of Second Thessalonians! First, the Ruach Ha’Kodesh, who dwells within the Bride of Christ, must depart or be removed. Then, the Man of Lawlessness, the Son of Perdition, or as he is commonly known, the antichrist, is revealed. First – departure, second – revealing.
In no way does Paul indicate an apostasy, a falling way, or rebellion of faith. In context of the timing listed in Second Thessalonians, the apostasia is referring to the harpazō (the gathering together or departure) of the Bride of Christ as evidenced by earlier translations. The Bride of Christ is gathered first, then secondly the antichrist is revealed. This agrees fully with Matthew 16:18 which states that the Church cannot be overcome by Satan or the all powers of Hell. That the apostasia is the harpazō also agrees with First Thessalonians in which Paul states that the Bride of Christ is to wait for Yeshua who “who rescues us from the coming wrath” (1 Thessalonians 1:10) and also with Paul’s statement that “Yahweh did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Yeshua Ha’Mashiach” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Acts 21:21 – “They have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.
Neither First nor Second Thessalonians deals with a falling away from scriptural or doctrinal principles. However, the word apostasia could be interpreted in other circumstances to mean a falling away from pure exposition of scriptural or doctrinal principles, or to a falling away from the true church, if such was the context of the document being discussed, as may be the case in Acts 21:21. This passage could be interpreted to walk away from or to turn your back on Moses, himself, or to turn away from his teachings. Today we are seeing just such an apostasia from scripture and sound doctrine, as well as a falling away from (or turning of the back on) the church as the time of Yeshua’s return draws near.
Understanding the precise context of the scriptures in which the word apostasia is used clearly determines which meaning is being expressed. Paul’s first and second letters to the Thessalonians are both expressly dealing with the harpazō (or departure) of the Bride of Christ prior to the revealing of the antichrist and the tribulation period. Neither letter addressed the topic of a falling away from scriptural or doctrinal principles. The mistranslation of apostasia as apostasy, falling away, or rebellion only became used when a translator tried to use the English word apostasy for apostasia – a completely irresponsible mistranslation that has been duplicated by way too many modern versions, all of whom fail to understand the overall context of the passage.
Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew Prophets. Today we are one day closer to the return of Yeshua than we were yesterday and tomorrow we will be even one day closer. For almost two thousand years the Jews would proclaim “Next year in Jerusalem!” I now proclaim “Next Yom Teruah in the clouds!” Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – get busy reaching the lost.