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#9.02 WHO OR WHAT IS TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY (2 Thessalonians 2:7)?

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601 || ἀποκαλύπτω || apokalupto || to reveal.
602 || ἀποκάλυψις || apokalupsis || revelation.
2347 || θλῖψις || thlipsis || tribulation.
3952 || παρουσία || parousia || coming.

Introduction 9.02

τὸ γὰρ μυστήριον ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται τῆς ἀνομίας μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι ἕως ἐκ μέσου γένηται 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

τὸ γὰρ μυστήριον ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται τῆς ἀνομίας μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι ἕως ἐκ μέσου γένηται 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already working: only there is he who now restrains, until he comes into being out of the midst.

This scripture has caused much controversy concerning the last days. The King James translation is really very poor in this verse. The word translated "iniquity" (KJV), and "lawlessness" (RPT) (Gr. ἀνομία, Gtr. anomia) is made up from two parts, "α" which is a negative, and νόμος (Gtr. nomos) which means "law". It literally means "not law", "no law", or "lawlessness", and refers to things done which are contrary to the law of God, namely, a transgression or a breaking of the law. The word translated "letteth" (KJV) and "restrains" (RPT) is a present participle of the Greek verb κατέχω (Gtr. katecho) "to hold down", "to hinder", or "to restrain". The KJV "letteth" seems to mean the opposite to this. Most people seem to recognize these errors, and the New King James version translates as follows:

(2 Thessalonians 2:7) "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."

However, it is the last part of this verse which causes the problem, because as we can see the New King James agrees with the Old King James, with the translation, "until he is taken out of the way." There are some who say that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit working through the church, and that this scripture proves a rapture of the church before the Antichrist is revealed.

(Gerald B. Stanton KEPT FROM THE HOUR p102) "Even so, just prior to the Tribulation judgment, the restraining hand of the Holy Spirit shall be removed from the earth. Then shall the wrath of God be poured out and the Man of Sin be revealed."
(GBS p106) "He who now restrains and will be taken away before the manifestation of the Man of Sin is undoubtedly the Holy Spirit."
(GBS p107) "When the Spirit is removed, then the church must also be snatched away."
(GBS p107) "The removal of the Spirit takes place before the Wicked One shall be revealed, and this removal sets the time for the rapture of the church."

This is one of the strongest arguments by the pre-tribulation teachers, but it contradicts the words of Jesus.

(Matthew 28:20) "And lo, I am with you all the days until the completion of the age."
(John 14:16) "And I will ask the father, and he will give you another helper, that he may remain with you for the age. The spirit of truth ..."

Jesus said that neither he nor the Holy Spirit would leave us until the end of the age, but this age does not end until Jesus comes back for Armageddon and the Antichrist is removed from power. (Revelation 19:11-21). This denies that the Holy Spirit can be removed from the earth as has been stated, as long as there are Christians here.

Now let us examine the scripture, which literally reads like this:

ἕωςἐκ μέσουγένηται
untilout ofmidsthe comes into being

The Greek word μέσου is the Genitive of μέσος (Gtr. mesos) which occurs 61 times in the New Testament, and is variously translated "midst" (41x), "among" (6x), "from among + ἐκ" (5x), "midnight + νύξ = night" (2x) etc. Only in this one scripture is it translated "way". If Paul had meant "way" here he had a perfectly good Greek word for it, which is ὁδός (Gtr. hodos). This word means "a way", "a road", "a path", and occurs 102 times in the New Testament. It is variously translated "way" (83x), "way side" (8x), "journey" (6x), "highway" (3x), etc. The fact is that "hodos" means "way", and "mesos" means "midst", and there is no need to confuse these words as some translators have done. As we can see there is no word for "taken" in the Greek text, and the idea that something is "taken" away here has been inserted by the translators, and has no basis in the original Greek.

#9.021 Translations of the the Greek word γίνομαι, 'ginomai' in the New Testament

The Greek word translated "he be taken" (KJV) and "he comes into being" (RPT) is the word γένηται (Gtr. genetai). It is a second aorist, middle, deponent, subjunctive, of the Greek verb γίνομαι (Gtr. ginomai) which has the basic meaning of "to come into existence", "to be created", "to be born", or "to be produced". The verb γίνομαι occurs 678 times in the New Testament, and is used with great latitude in the KJV. Translations include "be" (255x), "come to pass" (82x), "be made" (69x), "be done" (63x), "come" (52x), "become" (47x), "God forbid + μή" (15x) lit. "may it not come to be", "arise" (13x), "have" (5x), "be fulfilled" (3x) etc. It is mistranslated "being ended" (John 13:2), where a literal translation would be "having come into being", but nowhere does it have the sense of anything being "taken" away, unless there are other words with it to indicate it. The Greek verb γίνομαι (Gtr. ginomai) is translated in the sense of "arise" in the following scriptures:

(Matthew 8:24) "there arose a great tempest in the sea."
(Matthew 13:21) "when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word,"
(Mark 4:17) "when affliction or persecution arises for the word’s sake,"
(Mark 4:37) "And there arose a great storm of wind,"
(Luke 6:48) "and when the flood arose,"
(Luke 15:14) "there arose a mighty famine in that land;"
(John 3:25) "Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews"
(Acts 6:1) "there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews,"
(Acts 11:19) "the persecution that arose about Stephen"
(Acts 19:23) "there arose no small stir about that way."
(Acts 23:7) "there arose a dissention between the Pharisees and the Sadducees;"
(Acts 23:9) "And there arose a great cry;"
(Acts 23:10) "And when there arose a great dissention,"

In every one of these cases the word "arose" could be replaced by "came into being" or "came to pass" without and change of meaning. The word "arises" could be replaced by "comes into being" or "comes to pass" without any change of meaning. There is no thought of anything being "taken away" in any of these scriptures, and the verb "ginomai" should never be translated with any idea or thought of anything being "taken" away, unless it is clearly specified by other words, which in this case it is not.

#9.022 Translations of the Greek word γένηται, 'genetai' in the New Testament

Note 2: The exact same Greek word γένηται (Gtr. genetai) is used in 46 places in the New Testament, so compare how it is translated there.

17 translations of γένηται in the New Testament
Scripture ReferenceLiteral Greek IdiomKing James VersionNew King James Version
Matthew 5:18until all may come to pass.till all be fulfilled.till all is fulfilled.
Matthew 10:25that he may become as his teacherthat he be as his masterthat he be like his teacher
Matthew 18:12If there may be belonging to any man a hundred sheepIf a man have an hundred sheepIf a man has a hundred sheep
Matthew 18:13if he may come to find itif so be that he find itif he should find it
Matthew 21:19No more may there be fruit of youLet no fruit grow on theeLet no fruit grow on you
Matthew 23:15when he has become sowhen he is madewhen he is won
Matthew 23:26that may become also the outside of them cleanthe outside of them may be clean alsothe outside of them may be clean also
Matthew 24:20not may be the flight of you in winteryour flight be not in winteryour flight may not be in winter
Matthew 24:21no, certainly not shall beno, nor ever shall beno, nor ever shall be
Matthew 24:32the branch of her may become tenderhis branch is yet tenderits branch has ... become tender
Matthew 24:34until all these things may have taken placetill all these things be fulfilledtill all these things are fulfilled
Matthew 26:5that not a tumult comes into being among the peoplelest there be an uproar among the peoplelest there be an uproar among the people
Mark 9:50if the salt becomes without saltinessif the salt have lost his saltnessif the salt loses its flavour
Mark 13:18that may not be your flight in winterthat your flight be not in winterthat your flight may not be in winter
Mark 13:19and certainly not shall beneither shall benor ever shall be
Mark 13:28the branch of her becomes tenderher branch is yet tenderits branch has ... become tender
Mark 13:30all these things shall have taken placeall these things be doneall these things take place

Now look at all of these translations and ask yourself, "Where is anything taken out of the way?" Nowhere? Some may point to Mark 9:50 where salt loses its saltiness, but here the Greek idiom is, "it becomes" or "comes to be without saltiness". The fact that there is something lost is not indicated by γένηται but by the Greek word ἄναλον which means "without saltiness" or "unsalted". The other scripture references for γένηται you can check for yourself.
Luke 1:20, 4:3, 14:12, 20:14, 21:32, 23:31, John 5:14, 9:22, 13:19, 14:29, Acts 20:16, Romans 3:19, 7:3, 7:13, 15:16, 15:31, and 1 Corinthians 3:18, 8:9, 9:15, 16:10; 2 Corinthians 8:14 (twice), Galatians 3:14, Ephesians 6:3, Colossians 1:18; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:7, Philemon 1:6, Hebrews 2:17.

#9.023 Conclusion - Nothing is taken out of the way in 2 Thessalonians 2:7

What then does this scripture (2 Thessalonians 2:7) mean? Look at the context from verse 3. "Who" and "he" (v4), "he" (v6), "he" (v7) except for "he who restrains", "whom" (v8), "whose" (v9); all these pronouns refer to the "man of sin" (v3), also called "that Wicked" (v8). This is none other than the Antichrist. It is technically possible to translate "it comes into being" (v7), which could refer to a state of complete lawlessness, but the context really indicates that "he" is correct, and refers to the Antichrist. Therefore sin and lawlessness are being restrained at present, and will continue to be restrained until "transgressors have come to the full" (Daniel 8:23), then the Antichrist will be revealed. God will then send the world a "strong delusion" (2 Thessalonians 2:11) and the unsaved Gentile world will be cut off from salvation.
We have made no plea for any special translation here, but only that which is obvious from the meaning of the words, so we cannot be accused of twisting the scripture to support our own beliefs. This bible study proves that neither the church nor the Holy Spirit are taken out of the way in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 before the Antichrist appears. The idea that this verse refers to a pre-tribulation rapture of the church has been thoroughly refuted.

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