Re: K.S. Wuest on 2 Thes 2:3

From: Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Date: Sun Jan 26 1997 - 20:55:54 EST

On Sun, 26 Jan 1997 wrote:
> In a message dated 1/25/1997 5:19:55 AM, (Paul Dixon - Ladd
> Hill Bible Church) wrote:
> <<The Day of the Lord in scripture can be traced at least from Joel 2:28-31
> to Mt 24:29-31 and to Rev 6:12 ff, as well as 2 Thess 2:1 ff.
> 1) Joel says before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes
> the son will be darkened and the moon turned into blood,
> 2) Christ says immediately after the tribulation of those days
> (an obvious reference to the great tribulation) the sun will be darkened
> and the moon shall not give its light (Joel 2:28ff), Mt 24:29ff.
> 3) Rev 6:12 adds that when the 6th seal is opened then the sun is
> darkened and the moon became as blood (Joel 2:28ff).
> The result of this, at least from a futurists point of view, is the
> following necessary chronology (combining all these passages): the
> abomination of desolation and the great tribulation period occur, after
> which the sun and moon are darkened, followed by the coming of the day of
> the Lord which is apparently precipitated by the coming of the Lord and
> our gathering together unto Him (Mt 24:30-31), that is, the rapture of the
> church.
> That the day of the Lord does not precede, nor include, the great
> tribulation is clear. Christ says, immediately after the tribulation of
> those days the events of Joel occur which necessarily precede the coming
> of the day of the Lord.
> Why didn't Paul say something here about the sun and moon being darkened
> as necessary precursors? Simply because he didn't have to. The apostasy
> and abomination of desolation (revelation of the man of lawlessness) were
> sufficient. The point is the rapture in this scheme necessarily is what
> starts the day of the Lord (so, Mt 24:29-31, Rev 6:12 ff).
> >>
> The one problem passage for the pretribulational view is Joel 2:31: "The sun
> will be turned to darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and
> awesome day of the Lord comes." In Rev 6:12, these events mark the opening of
> the sixth seal. Although this does not necessarily support a
> posttribulational rapture, it does sound as if the Day of the Lord begins
> just before the midpoint of the Tribulation (in a premillennial scheme).
> However, what seems significant is that if the Day of the Lord begins as late
> as just prior to the midway point of the Tribulation, the post-tribulational
> view that the Day of the Lord will not take place until after the Antichrist
> is manifested when he enters the temple is proven false. However Joel 2:31
> could be taken to mean that the heavenly catastrophes will take place before
> the Day of the Lord comes to completion.

The big thing you are overlooking is that Mt 24:29-31 forces the coming of
the day of the Lord to a post-tribulational setting, not to a mid-trib
one. Note Christ says, "but immediately after the tribulation of those
days" (v. 29, indicating the great tribulation has run its course and is
over), "the sun shall be darkened and the moon will not give its light."
Since this occurs before the day of the Lord begins (Joel 2:28ff), then
the day of the Lord does not come, arrive, begin, start (call it what you
will), until after the great tribulation is complete.

> >>I said nothing about the Granville Sharp rule and would never even attempt
> an argument from that highly suspect rule. I have already argued my case,
> that is, that the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto Him
> refer to one and the same event.<<
> But the Granville Sharp construction is very significant here. This is an
> impersonal construction which does not fit the structural requirements of the
> rule, which is not highly suspect. It is valid for every personal, singular,
> non proper name construction in the NT. The semantics for impersonal
> constructions are more complex. As I stated before, the "coming" and
> "gathering" referring to the same event is the least likely possibility,
> statistically speaking. The most likely possibility is that the "gathering"
> is a subset of the "coming." This could have the same temporal ramifications
> as the identity view, but not necessarily. The construction implies that the
> "gathering" is a smaller event with in the larger event, the "coming."

The Granville Sharp rule came under serious criticism early on, and
serious questions seem to have plagued it for years. It does seem that so
many have abused it that its legitimacy or practicality is still under
question. Show me where it really has made a difference. In proving the
deity of Christ? Ha. We hardly need the rule to demonstrate that.
Besides, the Granville Sharp rule, if applied to
our discussion, would only support my contention, i.e., that the coming of
the Lord and our gathering together unto Him are one and the same event.
You notice, however, I never appealed to it, although you seem to assume I
snip, snip
> I interacted with your article in my thesis (along with Giblin, Krodel, Best,
> Wanamaker, and others) and there is a brief reference to it in my forthcoming
> article. I have toyed with the idea of doing a paper or article critiquing
> the hostile KATECWN view, but right now I'm immersed in my dissertation on
> the semantic relationships between the protasis and apodosis of NT
> conditional constructions.

Interesting. You might find my paper, "Negative Inference Fallacies in
Acts 2:38, Mt 19:9, and 1 Cor 11:5" interesting. It would seem to relate
to your work.

Let me know. Thanks for the interaction.

Paul Dixon

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