The Greek word [apostasia] is found twice in the New Testament. In Acts 21:21 a charge is brought against St. Paul of teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles 'to forsake Moses' [lit. 'apostasy from Moses']. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 St. Paul assures the Thessalonian disciples that the day of the Lord shall not come 'except the falling away [lit. " the apostasy'] come first, and the man of sin [ with better textual justification, 'lawlessness'] be revealed. It is sometimes assumed that the word 'first' indicates that the revelation of the Man of Sin must be preceded in time by the apostasy. In any case the Apostle's reference is to the wide-spread expectation in the primitive Church [ Matt.24:24, 1 John 2:18; Daniel 12:11] that the return of Christ would be preceded by such a revelation of the power of the Anichrist as would lead to apostasy from the faith on the part of may professing Christians.