Is there a difference between a revelation and something that is revealed? I happened to come across this word “apokalupto” when reading 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the other day. The verse reads like this, “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;” This verse has been used by pre-tribbers to back their stance that they will be gone and ‘raptured’ out of this world before the 7 year tribulation starts. They say the falling away ‘apostasia’ is supposed to mean a ‘departure’ and not a ‘defection’ or how the English translates it, the falling away. Thomas Ice from http://www.raptureready.com says “The fact that apostasia most likely has the meaning of physical departure is a clear support for pretribulationism.” I personally think this man’s interpretation of this verse is so far off it’s not even funny. This way of thinking is treading on such thin ice, that I am not surprised that their own interpretations have not yet ‘fallin’ through and drowned.
This study is not based off of this apostasy that Paul mentions. But I will say this, that the day of the Lord, the apostasy and this man of sin being ‘revealed’ is all tied in together. This ‘apostasia’ is a ‘defection from the truth’ according to Strong’s and comes from the word ‘apastasion’ which means ‘properly something separative, that is, (specifically) divorce: – (writing of) divorcement”. A divorce is never represented as a good thing in the Bible. I would bet that Mr. Ice would defend this by saying something ridiculous like, this is the church divorcing the world i.e. the rapture. I am in no way putting words in his or any other pre-tribbers mouth, but I do know how they think, and it’s as ridiculous as that.
Now let’s get back to what this is about. In order for the day of the Lord to come, we will need to see a falling away or defecting from the Truth and the man of sin will need to be revealed. We are always told by teachers and ‘scholars’ that we will actually see this revealing of this man. It will be an outward sign, like when Paul says he will sit in the temple of God. Now remember, Paul says these things right after the other in his letter to the Thessalonians. When you study the word Paul uses for ‘temple’, you look at his letters to the Corinthians and take into account what Jesus says about His body being a temple, then you see it isn’t a literal temple that Paul talks about in 2nd Thessalonians 2:4. So is this ‘revealing’ Paul mentions about this man of sin a literal ‘revealing’?
Paul uses the word ‘apokalupto’ which means ‘to take off the cover, that is, disclose’. Variations of this word are used 32 times. It’s mostly used for divine revelations. “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” (Matthew 11:25). And Jesus says again “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17). We see in both of these verses Jesus uses this word ‘apokalupto’ as a divine revelation from the Father Himself. This ‘apokalupto’ does not come from man in this context. And Paul says in Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” And then again in Philippians 3:15 “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” These types of things that are revealed are from God to man, not man literally seeing it. These aren’t tangible things that we can hold or grab or touch in a literal sense.
Ernest deWitt Burton states “apokalupto has evidently come to be used especially of a subjective revelation, which either takes place wholly within the mind of the individual receiving it, or is subjective in the sense that it is accompanied by actual perception and results in knowledge on his part”. I like how Burton says that this revelation is accompanied in knowledge on our part. But it’s not really our knowledge is it? Not at all! It’s His knowledge of the truth for us that we receive through revelation. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation (apokalupsis; comes from apokalupto) in the knowledge (epignosis; full discernment) of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1:17-18) Fromdeathtolife.org says this about that Romans 1:17, “The use of the word apokalupto by Paul in Rom. 1:17 thus seems to place an emphasis on something happening to the individual receiving the revelation.” “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) We can obviously see, apokalupto is a divine revelation from God.
The other word that we will look at that contrasts apokalupto is ‘phaneroo’. Phaneroo means to “to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way”. Ernest deWitt Burton says “phaneroo throws emphasis on the fact that that which is manifested is objectively clear, open to perception. It is thus suitably used of an open and public announcement, disclosure or exhibition”. We can see in Mark 16:12-14 that this was a physical appearing or manifestation by Jesus after the Resurrection. “After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” Paul says in 1st Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” This word ‘phaneroo’ can be used as a physical manifestation of something that is revealed.
So now let’s go back and look at the original verse in question. 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 “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;” Was Paul speaking about a physical revealing that we will visibly see from this man of sin? I don’t believe he was. If he was, then he wouldn’t have used the word ‘apokalupto’, which we have seen by definition and context of the word, is used for a divine revelation. The ‘scholars’ and ‘teachers’ would like us to think that we will know when the antichrist comes. That it will be so obvious because we will LITERALLY see him sitting in the temple of God in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. It’s not that simple you see. This is part of the falling away. This is part of the apostasy. If you don’t receive the love of the Truth then you are in danger of missing it all. Now read the Chapter from verse 2 to 12 in context.
“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; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:3-12)
The three times ‘apokalupto’ is used in this chapter are all referring to revelations that will only come from God, not man. Don’t let any man beguile you by making a false impression and leading you astray. This will lead you to fall away. And if you already agree with Mr. Ice’s view of this falling away, well you are in worse shape than you think. Just by reading the plain English, you can see that this falling away is connected to this being deceived which in turn leads to the revelation of this man of sin being uncovered which is directly tied into the Second Coming of Jesus. And then you can see that when the Wicked is revealed (by revelation), it is connected to the Second Coming of the Jesus. The only way we will know when the man of sin is here is by God revealing it to us and this is through His Word through revelation. The world won’t physically know that he is even here. Remember, its business as usual and everybody keeps on doing their daily routine. This is all part of the great deception.