February 2, 2012
Plainer Words since 1968
PLAINER WORDS ONLINE …WAS THE DAY OF CHRIST AT HAND?
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the COMING (Parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him” (2 Thess. 2:1).
The Apostle Paul penned 2 Thessalonians not long after he had written 1 Thessalonians. It is believed that the First Epistle to Thessalonica was written in late 52 A.D. and followed, shortly afterwards, with the Second Epistle in early 53 A.D. The context of both epistles is set forth in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 as, “For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” Here, we realize that the Day of the Lord is associated with the Coming (the Parousia) of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(2) “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the Day of Christ is at hand. (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;” (2 Thess. 2:2-3). KJV
The “Day of Christ” was not “at hand” when Paul wrote the two Thessalonian Epistles.
As students who endeavor to “rightly divide the Word of Truth,” I am sure you recognize that something is amiss in the two verses we have just quoted. Your studies, if like mine, have probably brought to light that the “Day of Christ” is the Dispensation that follows the Dispensation of the Grace of God. As such, the “Day of Christ” is the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. But, the third verse states that the “Day of Christ” shall not come until there comes a falling away. The “falling away” is an apostasy; the Greek is “apostasía.” Not only that, but the 3rd verse further says that, then, “the man of sin” will be revealed.
Rightly dividing the Word of Truth clearly shows that this is not how the “Day of
Christ” begins. Something is wrong with Verse 3. We’ll back up and take a closer look at how the “Day of Christ” becomes a reality.
The “Day of Christ” dawns with mankind being Divinely enlightened (Ps. 97:4, Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17). Every human being will learn Who Jesus Christ is—He is Lord [Kurios] to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:11). This is the world being enlightened. After hundreds of years of all of mankind being illuminated, much of the world, especially in what is today’s middle-east, abandons the enlightenment. This is the “falling away” from Revealed Truth.
With the dawning of Christ’s Day, “the quick [living] and the dead” will be judged by our Lord Jesus Christ. This universal judgment takes place at “His Appearing [Epiphaniea] and His Kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1). Christ first judges the living. This judgment encompasses Jesus Christ remaining in the heavens while He reviews and considers who, among “the living,” will be permitted continuance in, or exclusion from, the Kingdom of God. He will, also, determine at this time the station, the place, the privileges, the honors, and the glory of all who are to continue to live under the Government of God.
We are given no indication as to how much time, in human reckoning, it will take for Him to make this decisive decision of who will have life in the Kingdom of God. Following the judgment of the living, there will be Christ’s review of all of the dead. He will review the entire life of everyone who has ever lived and died to determine if, in their life, there is anything that qualifies them to be raised from the dead to enjoy the Era of Christ’s Day. The number of the dead is incomprehensible, but not to Him. This includes everyone from Adam until His judgment begins. Everyone will be given a fair and impartial review while they remain in the state of death. Those who He adjudicates to be worthy to begin life, anew, will be resurrected into a world governed by Jesus Christ—which is to say, His world-wide-Government.
In fact, during the last days of the Dispensation of the Grace of God, there is not a single event that initiates the “Day of Christ,” such as “the falling away and the man of sin” being revealed. This is reserved for the end of the Day of Christ [the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God]. Today’s era of the Great Mystery, which was made known to Paul (Ephesians 3:3), was ushered in at the close of “The Acts of the Apostles” and will end when the LORD speaks from Heaven. Moses described this event in his song; as he sang to the Congregation of Israel about 1451 B.C. Moses gave a magnificent description of this:, “And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, …” (Deuteronomy 31:30).
“Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass” (Deuteronomy 32:1-2).
It should, also, be noted that throughout the Kingdom of God, He will speak, audibly, from Heaven. His doctrine (principles of governing) shall drop down “as the rain,” and His speech “shall distil as the dew.” The earth’s inhabitants are likened to the tender herb upon whom “the small rain” shall fall. This distilling is like “showers upon the grass.” This is majestic language which describes the gentle effect God’s Words will have upon men all through the Day of Christ. He will not be speaking in wrath.
THE “DAY OF CHRIST” IS NOT THE SAME AS THE “DAY OF THE LORD”
The enterprising workmen who labor to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) see two future dispensations. And, they are downright different from one another. Not only that, but the “Day of Christ” comes before the “Day of the Lord.” They are not the same, even though a vast body of Christian Scholars believe they are the same. They teach that the “Day of Christ” is the same as the “Day of the Lord.” To teach that they are the same is Scriptural Robbery! “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?”
A distinction must be made in order to assemble the Truth of each. When the evidence is presented, we believe it will be fair to say that failure to distinguish between the two Days perpetuates a Biblical Crime of the highest order—it robs Jesus Christ of HIS DAY (John 8:56).
The Day of Christ will provide the earth’s inhabitants with a pristine environment, comparable to the Garden of Eden—a virtual paradise. There will be a world-wide-restoration [“restitution of all things” – Acts 3:21]. A world-wide environment in which there will be no disease, sickness, crime, corruption, natural disasters, accidents, still-births, birth defects, untimely deaths, lies, and no overt sin; just to mention a few of the magnificent marvels of the world-to-come. On top of all of this, the world’s Government will be divine—Jesus Christ will be the King of kings, and all of His ministers will be changed from natural men to immortal men─from corruptible to incorruptible men! There are not enough pages available to list all of the grand provisions for mankind.
The Holy Spirit will be so pervasive in the world that He will be actively restraining evil. Sin will not prevail. But, after hundreds of years of Truth, Righteousness, and Godly Government, the Spirit’s restraints will be gradually lifted. This results in Sin raising its ugly head in the affairs of men. The consequences of this will be the “falling away’ from revealed Truth—apostasy—and followed by rebellion against the established Government of Jesus Christ. This ushers in the “Day of the Lord.” This will be a Day of Darkness; the Lie will be exchanged for the Truth. A time of Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world (Matt. 24:21). An appearing of false prophets and false Christs, signs and wonders which are false, and deceptions of immense magnitude.
Now, an examination of 2 Thessalonians 2 is called for in order to understand what the Apostle Paul really wrote in Verse 2.
“That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Kurios is at hand.”
The Greek word, “Kurios,” is found in Nestle’s Greek and in the Greek of the Textus Receptus. “Kurios” means; Lord, master, and sir. Not only is this pertinent, but, even more so, the word, “kurios,” is found 751 times in the Greek New Testament. Only once is it translated “Christ.” It is only rendered, “Christ,” in our text of 2 Thessalonians 2:2.
If you were asked to translate “kurios” in the 2nd verse of 2 Thessalonians 2, how would you do it? Would you translate “kurios” as “Christ,” or as “Lord?”
The name, or title of “Christ” is “christos” in the Greek dictionary. Yet, many Bible students are willing to ignore this Biblical fact. Are they resting their eternal “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8) upon a translation which is fatally flawed?
Check any concordance, and you will find that “kurios” is “Lord, “master,” or “sir” 750 times. Only once is it translated as “Christ.”
Further checking the truth of the matter of the New Testament Greek word, which is Strong’s Number 2962, “kurios” is used 751 times in the New Testament according to “The Englishman’s Concordance.” The further check finds that “kurios” is translated as “master,” 11 times, and “sir,” 4 times. “Kurios” is translated as “lord, or Lord” 735 times. “Kurios” is only translated as “Christ,” ONCE.
I am a rank amateur in Hebrew and Greek. This incorrect translation, of making “kurios” to be “Christ,” has baffled many dispensationalists. Many apologists who defend this translation say, “Christ” is the “Lord,” and the “Lord” is “Christ,” so it doesn’t make any difference at all. WRONG!
The context is found in Verse One of this Second Chapter. Keep in mind that the “Day of the Lord” is associated with the “Parousia” [Second Coming] of Christ, not the “Day of Christ.”
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the Coming [Parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him” (2 Thess. 2:1).
If we recognize that two dispensations are not one, then, we can see through the “smoke-screen” of this incorrect rendering of the word, “kurios.” Graphically, the 751 usages of “kurios” are translated as:
Lord or lord … 735
Master ……… 11
Sir ………….. 4
Christ ………. 1
A sincere student of right division has every right to ask, “WHY was “kurios” translated as “Christ” in 2 Thessalonians 2:2?” Thus, making the phrase read, “… that the Day of Christ is at hand.” The Bible NEVER says that the Day of Christ is AT HAND!
The theme of the two epistles is the “Day of the Lord” in 1Thessalonians 5:2 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1. But, as we read our KJV, it is discovered that the theme mysteriously changes in 2 Thessalonians 2:2 and becomes the “Day of Christ.”
Notice how different versions of the Bible translate the Greek word, “kurios” (#2962), in 2 Thessalonians 2:2.
Versions of the Bible
KJV – the day of Christ * NAS – the day of the Lord
NIV – the day of the Lord RSV – the day of the Lord
NKJV – the day of Christ * Amp. - the day of the Lord
NASB – the day of the Lord Young’s – the day of Christ *
ASV – the day of the Lord TLB – the day of the Lord
Emphasized – the day of the Lord Darby’s –the day of the Lord
Green’s – the day of Christ * CJB – the day of the Lord
Wuest’s – the day of the Lord Wesley’s – the day of the Lord
Wycliffe (1395) – the day of the Lord Weymouth’s – the day of the Lord
We have listed eighteen translations of the Bible and how they translated “kurios.” Sixteen translations rendered the day of kurios as “the day of the Lord.” The only four times it was translated as “the day of Christ”* are in the KJV, NKJV, Green’s, and Young’s.
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From Plainer Words
Was the Day of Christ at Hand?
Posted in: 2012
By Tom L. Ballinger
Feb 5, 2012 - 6:47:22 PM
Feb 5, 2012 - 6:47:22 PM
© Copyright 2012 by Plainer Words