By Tom L. Ballinger

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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. 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, 2:1-3).

For many years, we have made a distinction between the “Day of Christ” and the “Day of the Lord.” Admittedly, most students and teachers of the Word do not do so. They, superficially, declare the two days to be the same.

Our understanding of the future events in God's prophetic program demanded that we take a long, hard look at the phrase in verse 2; the “Day of Christ.” The “Day of Christ” doesn't fit the context in 2 Thessalonians. The “Day of the Lord” does.

As we pondered the “Day of Christ” in the King James Version, we saw the necessity to check other translations of the Bible; six in fact. The six (NIV, NASU, ASU, NAS, RSV, and TLB) all rendered the phrase as “the Day of the Lord;” not “the Day of Christ.” Upon what authority did these other translations substitute the “Day of the Lord” for the “Day of “Christ”? The answer is simple. According to the Interlinear Bible – New Testament, the Greek word for Christ is Christou, and it is not in the text. The Greek word which the King James translators translated for “Christ” was “Kuriou.” Kuriou is the Greek word for “Lord.” Why did the King James translators render Kuriou as Christ? For thinking people this is food for thought.

The pre-millennial Kingdom of God is another term for the “Day of Christ.”

The Thessalonian believers were shook-up because a false apostle, or false teacher, informed them that the “Day of the Lord” was “at hand.” The Apostle Paul assured those at Thessalonica that the “Day of the Lord” could not come until two things were accomplished: (1) There must be a “falling away,” and (2) the “man of sin” must be revealed. Then, will come “the Day of the Lord.”


“Except there come a falling away first” has been a most difficult passage for many Bible students to handle. Some teach that the “falling away” is the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. This interpretation doesn’t stand the test of right division. The Church which is His Body was not in view when Paul wrote this epistle. Not only that, but the “falling away” will be a falling away from the Divine enlightenment of all men which will occur when the “Day of Jesus Christ” is ushered in.

The Greek word translated “falling away,” is “apostasia.” A casual look at the word clearly gives the meaning of the word—apostasy. [See Strong’s number 646; “a defection from truth.”] An enlightened world, over time, as the Restrainer loosens His restraints, will apostatize. Not everyone, but there will be those who do. The Scripture clearly indicates that the center of the apostasy will be in the former City of God, Jerusalem. The apostasy will be found among many of the Jewish leaders (Dan. 9:27). At the height of her apostasy, she takes on the character of Babylon and is called “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:5).

Those who fail to consider the “Day of Christ” as a long period of time prior to the 2nd Coming (Parousia) of Jesus Christ do not allow, in their interpretation, the Lord Jesus Christ to reign from Heaven over an enlightened world. As a result of failing, spiritually, to see the “Day of Christ” as being pre-millennial, many teachers of “right division” admit that they don’t really know how the Dispensation of Grace ends. “I am not absolutely sure as to how the church will end,” was an honest answer by a writer of dispensational truth. Honesty is appreciated. However, many who recognize that the Kingdom comes before Jesus Christ does are not left in the dark as to how the “church will end.”

2 Timothy 4:1 signals the end of the Dispensation of Grace, and the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head will be manifested as being intimately identified with the Glory of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13); for He is our life and when He appears, we shall also appear in His Glory (Col. 3:4).

The “Day of the Lord” is to be feared ─ not the “Day of Christ.”

“Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty” (Isa.13:6). “The day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger” (Isa. 13:9). When the Day of the LORD comes, Joel 2:1 says, “let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,” and verse two states that it will be “a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness.”

Amos 5:18 says; “ the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.” Amos repeats this in verse twenty but adds; “even very dark, and no brightness in it.” By contrast, the “Day of Christ” is light, joy, and righteousness.

The “Day of the Lord” begins after there is a falling away; a “falling away” from what? As we stated earlier, the “falling away” is to be from the universal enlightenment of mankind which would have taken place at the dawn of the “Day of Christ.”

This falling away is not the apostasy of the church as orthodoxy teaches. It is a world-wide apostasy that occurs toward the end of the “Day of Christ.” But, the center of apostasy is Jerusalem, the City of God, which apostatized and became Bablyon the Great, the mother of harlots.

When the glory of Christ is revealed at His appearing (epiphany) and His Kingdom (2 Tim. 4:1), He speaks audibly from Heaven to all of mankind, to nations, and to individuals. This is when Psalm 97:4 becomes a reality; “His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth (meaning-the earth's inhabitants) saw, and trembled.”

Deut. 32:1-4 will be fulfilled during Christ's Day, “Give ear, O ye heavens (meaning-the heavenly hosts), and I will speak; and hear, O earth (meaning-the earth's inhabitants), 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: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment (meaning-right): a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Did you notice how tender His speech will be as He enlightens the world to the doctrine by which He will rule the world from the Heavens?

Isaiah writes about God audibly speaking to all of mankind in Isa. 45:22-23; “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth (meaning-mankind universally): for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Paul refers to this in Romans 14:11; “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow (meaning-in submission) to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

The “Day of Christ” ushers in His day of exaltation. Mankind will exalt Christ being enlightened to the fact that, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven (meaning-the heavenly hosts), and things in earth (meaning-every living human being), and things under the earth (meaning-all of the dead will be raised); And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11).

There will be a universal illumination of Who Jesus Christ is, and What He is, in the estimation of God the Father. This illumination goes from pole to pole and from the east to the west. The population of the world will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.

This will be such a wonder, such a marvelous miracle that praise will even be perfected “out of the mouths of babes and sucklings” (Matt. 21:16). With God, all things are possible.

All during the “Day of Christ,” as He rules as the Sovereign King of the universe from His heavenly throne, mankind will be informed as to His will and purpose for the age. He will speak to the world all at once, or to nations, or to individuals, one at a time, providing Divine direction, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isa.30:21).


The “Day of the Lord” will not come until two things take place during the last days of the Kingdom of God (i.e. the “Day of Christ”). The “falling away” comes first, and then, the “man of sin” will be revealed. The unveiling of the “man of sin” reveals that he is the anti-Christ, and he is the Satanic leader: “a king of fierce countenance” (Dan. 8:23), who leads the rebellion against the Government of Jesus Christ.

The kings of the nations surrounding Israel, and their people, are the ones “who imagine a vain thing” (Ps. 2:1); that is, they take counsel together against the Lord Jesus Christ and His anointed, King David, saying …(Ps. 2:2), “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords (restraints) from us” (Ps. 2:3).

As they imagine a vain thing, the Lord Jesus, Who sits in Heaven, shall laugh at their folly, and He “shall have them in derision” (Ps. 2:4).

2 Thessalonians 2:4 gives more information concerning the “man of sin.”

“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” (2 Thess. 2:4) NASU.

Notice, that the Temple of God has been rebuilt during the “ Day of Christ.” There is no way the “man of sin” can be revealed during the era of today because there is no Temple, nor will there be one until the Lord Jesus Christ creates a “Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy” (Isaiah 65:17), and the Temple and Sanctuary is built on Mount Zion.

The “man of sin,” the “son of perdition,” invades Israel and conquers Jerusalem. He forms a league with apostate Jews who allow him to sit upon the throne in the Temple and declare himself to be God.

The anti-Christ’s coming to the Temple is accomplished with power, signs, and lying wonders wrought by Satan through his devilish agent (2 Thess. 2:9). The apostate Jews will be deceived because they had no love for the truth in order that they might be saved (2 Thess. 2:10).

And, because of this, “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” (2 Thess. 2:11-12).

It has been pointed out that the “Day of the Lord” was in view, not the “Day of Christ.” It was impossible for the “Day of the Lord” to come because there must FIRST COME the “falling away” (i.e. the apostasy) and, then, the “revealing of the man of sin.” After these two future events take place is when the “DAY OF THE LORD” BEGINS!

The “DAY OF CHRIST” BEGINS WITH THE APPEARING (i.e. the Epiphany of 2 Timothy 4:1); perhaps, as many as 700 years elapses before the events mentioned in 2 Thessalonians: 2 take place.

Tom L. Ballinger