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Busting the Pre-tribulation Rapture Myth! April 18, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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As I read the scriptures the more I find evidence which completely destroys the pre-tribulation rapture “theory”. Though I would not call myself a student of eschatology nor have I conducted much study on the subject, my excursions into this area has opened me up to certain truths that have been missed by students who have been studying this subject area for years. One of those simple truth is that if there were going to be a pre-tribulation rapture or even a mid-tribulation rapture then the disciples doesn’t seem to have been aware of it. The Apostle Peter for example, who was with Jesus from the time of His early ministry doesn’t seem to have any knowledge of a pre-tribulation rapture when he wrote the following passage:

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:10-16)

What do we learn from this passage then? From verse 10 we learn that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night (Matt 24:43, 1 Thess 5:20). It should be noted here that pre-tribulation supporters are agreed that “the Lord coming as a thief in the night” is the same day of the rapture which the unsaved will not be aware of due to the fact that Jesus comes hidden in the clouds and only those that are caught up with Him will see Him. As a result everyone else that are “Left Behind” will be here to face the tribulation during the anti-christ’s reign. However we also learn from verse 10 of the above passage that at the day when the Lord comes as a thief in the night, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” John describes the same event though in slightly different language in Revelations 6:12-17. This picture therefore does not fit with the pre-tribulation rapture theory then because every one on earth will be able to see that the heavens have dissolved and departed. So then it is either this day which Peter speaks of is the day when Jesus visibly returns to earth or there is another separate day in which Jesus comes to perform the pre-tribulation rapture then comes visibly to earth. However, there is no such day that can be found in scripture anywhere. From the prophets of old through to the present the day of the Lord has been spoken of as a single day and not two days. Here is the clincher. Peter says in verse 12 that “we” should be “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God”.

Question: If the rapture takes place before the day of God, a day in which the heavens are dissolved or depart as a scroll why is Peter admonishing “us” to look for and haste unto the coming of this day? This of course would be irrelevant if the church would not be around (on earth) to witness this day. So what he should have said then is that “we” should be looking for and hasting unto the coming of the rapture – but he did not say that.

Question: If “we” (the church) are looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, will this day happen before the tribulation or after the tribulation spoken by Jesus in Matt 24:21? The answer can be found here in the following scripture:

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matt 24:29-31)

In conclusion, we have therefore learn that the day of the Lord, which comes as a thief in the night will occur “immediately after the tribulation of those days”. This is the same day spoken of by Paul in I Thess 5:2. So in spite of Peter being privy to all the epistles which Paul had written to the church (see verses 15-16); privy to the Olivet Discourse prophesies since he was there in person; privy to the scriptures of Daniel; he seems to demonstrate a distinct lack of knowledge concerning a pre-tribulation rapture. The implication then is that neither Paul’s epistles nor the scriptures in Luke or even Daniel can be used to support the pre-tribulation rapture position. Where then is the evidence for the pre-tribulation or even mid-tribulation position?

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Comments»

1. reverendrichard - April 18, 2010

I disagree. The early church taught pretrib. You need to read church history and the church fathers.

2. Paul Bortolazzo - April 18, 2010

Jesus never places the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the gathering up of believers
from earth, before, in the middle, or at the end of the 70th week. Think of the countless hours of research, preaching, articles, and books by believers vainly trying to prove a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation rapture. These interpretations are not in scripture. Let’s remember, the 70th week of Daniel is never called the tribulation period (Dan. 9:24). When Jesus says ‘after the tribulation of these days’, He is referring to the first five seals on the outside of the heavenly scroll. Jesus will open the 4th seal in the middle of the 70th week (Rev. 6:7-8, Mat. 24:9-15). The Son of Man will come back after He opens the 6th seal (Mark 13:24-27). This proves the gathering up of the elect at His coming must happen sometime in the second half of the 70th week; no man knows the exact day or hour (Mat. 24:36).

“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth…” (Rev. 6:12-13a)

3. Paul Bortolazzo - April 18, 2010

“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10)

What is the spiritual temperature of the body of Christ today (2 Tim. 4:3)? Why are so many not concerned about living holy lives (2 Tim. 2:19)? Why do most pastors admit we are living in the last days but aren’t preparing the saints to overcome (Rev. 2:11)? Instead of obeying the warnings from the Holy Spirit most ministers would rather teach on prosperity, family relationships, emotional healing, even worship. It’s because they’re coveting the approval of man. Such compromise will never produce the genuine unity Christians are yearning for. Most shepherds have given up seeking after an authentic revival that changes hearts (Phil. 1:10). Their focus has become a numbers game. How many attend their church? How big is their youth group? How big is their choir? How many tithe? A major priority is to be positive and not judge. Such feel good messages are producing some of the fastest growing churches in America. Such veiled rebellion gravitates toward pleasing man rather than God. This is why sin is running rampant. Paul warns no one can be a man pleaser and serve Christ.

4. Henry - April 18, 2010

Reverend Richard,
Welcome and thanks for your comment. Which early church and which church fathers are you referring to? The “church” of Constantine’s day practised and taught many things that are clearly unscriptural so are you saying that we should teach and practise these things just because they were so done by people of old? In any event is our doctrine based on what men practised and taught or is it based in scripture? I would rather you show me where the pre-tribulation rapture is founded in scripture rather than refer me to read church history. If it is founded in scripture I will humbly stand corrected but if not we should reject those that are taught by men though they are not found in scripture. Thanks.

5. paul bortolazzo - April 18, 2010

Richard,
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand.” (Mat. 24:15)

The Abomination of Desolation (Antichrist) is going to defile the Holy Place in Jerusalem before the elect are gathered to heaven. This is what the early church believed concerning the timing of the Antichrist (Mat. 24:15; 30-31). The saints victorious over the Beast will be delivered to heaven by the Lord (Rev. 7:9-14; 15:2). This doesn’t faze the author of the Left Behind Series, Tim LaHaye. He isn’t worried about the persecution by the Antichrist because He believes the church will be gone. [1. The Rachel Maddow Show-Apocalypse Now, T. 6:08-6:23] Pastor John Hagee also believes the church will not be here. [2. John Hagee-Glen Beck Bible Prophesies 4, T. 0:32-1:10] LaHaye and Hagee teach Jesus can come at any moment. They insist there isn’t another event that has to happen for the rapture to take place. Is this what our Lord taught? Why should believers be watching for the Abomination of Desolation if Jesus could come at any moment? Many say it doesn’t matter; let’s just be ready. So how does one know they are ready for His coming? If you died today and your sins are washed away by His blood (Rev. 1:5), then you’re ready to join the Lord in heaven. You’re not necessarily ready for His coming. If being saved meant you were ready for His coming then the warning by Jesus to repent and watch would be meaningless.

6. paul bortolazzo - April 18, 2010

In this late hour, prophecy teachers in America have convinced millions of Christians they will never face the Antichrist. According to Jesus, believers should be watching for the invasion of Jerusalem by the Abomination of Desolation before the Son of Man gathers His elect (Luke 21:20-27). Paul also taught the Man of Sin must be revealed before the Lord gathers His elect (2 Thes. 2:1-4). Such respected leaders from the early church, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Hippolytus, taught the Antichrist would war against the saints (Rev. 13:7). This is why anyone teaching the saints will be raptured first is taking away from the prophecy of Revelation.
“And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.” (Rev. 15:2)
Today, many believe it’s impossible to deny the Lord once you’re spiritually saved. Yet in the first century, in order to escape horrific persecution, thousands denied the Lord by worshiping Caesar as God. Paul warned believers if we endure, we will reign with Him. If we choose to deny Jesus, He will deny us.

7. Jean - April 19, 2010

(Spotted the following on the web. Jean)

FAMOUS RAPTURE WATCHERS – Addendum

by Dave MacPherson

(The statements in my “Famous Rapture Watchers” web article appeared in my 1983 book “The Great Rapture Hoax” and quoted only past leaders. The following names include other leaders who were quoted in that original printing.)

Oswald J. Smith: “…I am absolutely convinced that there will be no rapture before the Tribulation, but that the Church will undoubtedly be called upon to face the Antichrist…” (Tribulation or Rapture – Which?, p. 2).

Paul B. Smith: “You are perfectly free to quote me as believing rather emphatically in the post-tribulation teaching of the Bible” (letter dated June 9, 1976).

S. I. McMillen: “…Christians will suffer in the Great Tribulation” (Discern These Times, p. 55).

Norman F. Douty: “…all of the evidence of history runs one way – in favor of Post-tribulationism” (Has Christ’s Return Two Stages?, p. 113).

Leonard Ravenhill: “There is a cowardly Christianity which…still comforts its fainting heart with the hope that there will be a rapture – perhaps today – to catch us away from coming tribulation” (Sodom Had No Bible, p. 94).

William Hendriksen: “…the one and only second coming of Christ to judgment” (Israel in Prophecy, p. 29).

Loraine Boettner: “Hence we conclude that nowhere in Scripture does it teach a secret or pre-tribulation Rapture” (The Millennium, p. 168).

J. Sidlow Baxter: “…believers of the last days (there is only one small part of the total Church on earth at any given moment) will be on earth during the so-called ‘Great Tribulation’ ” (Explore the Book, Vol. 6, p. 345).

Merrill C. Tenney: “There is no convincing reason why the seer’s being ‘in the Spirit’ and being called into heaven [Revelation 4:1-2] typifies the rapture of the church…” (Interpreting Revelation, p. 141).

James R. Graham: “…there is not a line of the N.T. that declares a pre-tribulation rapture, so its advocates are compelled to read it into certain indeterminate texts…” (Watchman, What of the Night?, p. 79).

Ralph Earle: “The teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture seems first to have been emphasized widely about 100 years ago by John Darby of the Plymouth Brethren” (Behold, I Come, p. 74).

Clarence B. Bass: “…I most strongly believe dispensationalism to be a departure from the historic faith…” (Backgrounds to Dispensationalism, p. 155).

William C. Thomas: “The return of Jesus Christ, described by parousia, revelation, and epiphany, is one single, glorious, triumphant event for which we all wait with great eagerness!” (The Blessed Hope in the Thessalonian Epistles of Paul, p. 42).

Harold J. Ockenga: “No exegetical justification exists for the arbitrary separation of the ‘coming of Christ’ and the ‘day of the Lord.’ It is one ‘day of the Lord Jesus Christ’ ” (Christian Life, February, 1955).

Duane Edward Spencer: “Paul makes it very clear that the Church will pass through the Great Tribulation” (“Rapture-Tribulation” cassette).

J. C. Maris: “Nowhere the Bible teaches that the Church of Jesus Christ is heading for world dominion. On the contrary – there will be no place for her, save in ‘the wilderness,’ where God will take care of her (Rev. 12:13-17)” (I.C.C.C. leaflet “The Danger of the Ecumenical Movement,” p. 2).

F. F. Bruce: “To meet the Lord [I Thessalonians 4:17]…on the final stage of…[Christ’s] journey…to the earth…” (New Bible Commentary: Revised, p. 1159).

G. Christian Weiss: “Some people say that this [‘gospel of the kingdom’ in Matthew 24:14] is not the gospel of grace but is a special aspect of the gospel to be preached some time in the future. But there is nothing in the context to indicate this” (“Back to the Bible” broadcast, February 9, 1976).

Pat Brooks: “Soon we, in the Body of Christ, will be confronted by millions of people disillusioned by such false teaching [Pre-Tribism]” (Hear, O Israel, p. 186).

Herman Hoeksema: “…the time of Antichrist, when days so terrible are still to arrive for the church…” (Behold, He Cometh!, p. 131).

Ray Summers: “Because they [Philadelphia] have been faithful, he promises his sustaining grace in the tribulation…” (Worthy Is the Lamb, p. 123).

George E. Ladd: “[Pretribulationism] may be guilty of the positive danger of leaving the Church unprepared for tribulation when Antichrist appears…” (The Blessed Hope, p. 164).

Peter Beyerhaus: “The Christian Church on earth [will face] the final, almost superhuman test of being confronted with the apocalyptical temptation by Antichrist” (Christianity Today, April 13, 1973).

Leon Morris: “The early Christians…looked for the Christ to come as Judge” (Apocalyptic, p. 84).

Dale Moody: “There is not a passage in the New Testament to support Scofield. The call to John to ‘come up hither’ has reference to mystical ecstasy, not to a pretribulation rapture” (Spirit of the Living God, p. 203).

John R. W. Stott: “He would not spare them from the suffering [Revelation 3:10]; but He would uphold them in it” (What Christ Thinks of the Church, p. 104).

G. R. Beasley-Murray: “…the woman, i.e., the Church…flees for refuge into the wilderness [Revelation 12:14]…” (The New Bible Commentary, p. 1184).

Bernard L. Ramm: “…as the Church moves to meet her Lord at the parousia world history is also moving to meet its Judge at the same parousia” (Leo Eddleman’s Last Things, p. 41).

J. Barton Payne: “…the twentieth century has indeed witnessed a progressively rising revolt against pre-tribulationism” (The Imminent Appearing of Christ, p. 38).

Robert H. Gundry: “Divine wrath does not blanket the entire seventieth week…but concentrates at the close” (The Church and the Tribulation, p. 63).

C. S. Lovett: “Frankly I favor a post-trib rapture…I no longer teach Christians that they will NOT have to go through the tribulation” (PC, January, 1974).

Walter R. Martin: “Walter Martin finally said…’Yes, I’m a post-trib’ ” (Lovett’s PC, December, 1976).

Jay Adams: “Today’s trend is…from pre- to posttribulationism” (The Time Is at Hand, p. 2).

Jim McKeever: “Nowhere do the Scriptures say that the Rapture will precede the Tribulation” (Christians Will Go Through the Tribulation, p. 55).

Arthur Katz: “I think it fair to tell you that I do not subscribe to the happy and convenient theology which says that God’s people are going to be raptured and lifted up when a time of tribulation and trial comes” (Reality, p. 8).

Billy Graham: “Perhaps the Holy Spirit is getting His Church ready for a trial and tribulation such as the world has never known” (Sam Shoemaker’s Under New Management, p. 72).

W. J. Grier: “The Scofield Bible makes a rather desperate effort…it tries to get in the ‘rapture’ of the saints before the appearing of Antichrist” (The Momentous Event, p. 58).

Pat Robertson: “Jesus Christ is going to come back to earth again to deliver Israel and at the same time to rapture His Church; it’s going to be one moment, but it’s going to be a glorious time” (“700 Club” telecast, May 14, 1975).

Ben Kinchlow: “Any wrath [during the Tribulation] that comes upon us – any difficulty – will not be induced by God, but it’ll be like the people are saying, ‘The cause of our problems are those Christians in our midst; we need to get rid of them’ ” (“700 Club” telecast, August 28, 1979).

Daniel P. Fuller: “It is thus concluded that Dispensationalism fails to pass the test of an adequate system of Biblical Interpretation” (The Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism, p. 369).

Corrie ten Boom: “The Bible prophesies that the time will come when we cannot buy or sell, unless we bear the sign of the Antichrist…” (Tramp for the Lord, p. 187).

Francis Nigel Lee (eleven earned doctorates!): “Dave MacPherson, in his various books, has made a major contribution toward vindicating Historic Christian Eschatology. The 1830 innovations of the disturbed Margaret Macdonald documented by MacPherson – in part or in whole – immediately spread to Edward Irving and his followers, then to J. N. Darby and Plymouth Brethrenism, and were later popularized by the dispensationalistic Scofield Reference Bible, by Classic Pentecostalism, and by latter-day pretribulationists like J. F. Walvoord and Hal Lindsey.”

(In light of II Tim. 3:14 which says that we can’t know too much about Bible teachers (Dave MacVersion), I invite you to read my article “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” which can be found on the “Powered by Christ Ministries” site. For the most accurate account of pretribulation rapture history to be found anywhere, obtain my highly endorsed and massively documented book “The Rapture Plot” via online stores such as Armageddon Books. BTW, all of my royalties have always gone to a nonprofit group which has never paid salary to anyone.)
(Recent News: For a rare look at pretribism’s earliest document, Google “Miss Macdonald’s Vision Located” and “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines” – both featured on Joe Ortiz’s “End Times Passover” blog of Mar. 9 & Mar. 27.)

8. dmcal52 - April 19, 2010

Greetings Henry,

Greetings Don, I have decided to superimpose my corrections to some of your assertions for the benefit of other readers although I wrote a separate post to you concerning some of the issues I have highlighted. My comments are therefore in bold.
The pre-Tribulation belief has not been busted. In fact, you missed the point in some of things that you yourself listed as proof against it that I have listed below. Please consider the following:

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. Now, brothers, about the times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that [the day of the Lord] will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety.” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should suprise you like a thief.

The first thing to notice is that from verses 4:13-18, Paul is describing the resurrection and catching away. (Don, I am glad you are saying here that Paul is describing the resurrection and catching away. So then is this not the first resurrection? Does scripture not tell us that the first resurection occurs after the so-called “tribulation saints” where killed in Rev 20:4-6)? Then, in verse 5:2, he refers to it as “The day of the Lord”, which throughout God’s word is always associated with the time of the wrath of God.

There are in fact two phases to the day of the Lord. As we can see from the verses above, the first phase is the resurrection and catching away of all who are in Christ, dead and alive, which is followed by the wrath of God (Don, this testimony is true but a distinction should be made between the “tribulation of those days” and God’s wrath. I have demonstrated above that the first resurrection occurs after the saints were killed by the beast in Rev 20:4-6). Paul demonstrates this when in verse 5:2, in referring to the resurrection and catching away, he says:

“For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

Then he says:

“While people are saying ‘peace and safety’, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

So, here we have the two phases, ”The resurrection and the catching away” and then “sudden destruction”, which follows. (Don, what does Rev 15:1-2 says? Lets read: 1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. Aren’t these the “tribulation saints” who are seen in heaven when the seven last plagues are about to be poured. Isn’t it therefore clear that these saints were part of the catching away which is why since they are in heaven they are escaping the wrath about to be poured out?)

Lets look at the entire verse:

“While people are saying, ’Peace and safety’, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.”

Notice in regards to those of the destruction that it says “they will not escape.” and then he goes on to say, “But you brothers.” Now, even without reading the rest of the verse, by Paul saying ”but you brothers” immediately infers the opposite of those who are not escaping, that is, that they (the brothers) will escape. Which brings us to the question, how will they escape the destruction just mentioned, where as those others do not? The answer is in the first phase of what Paul first wrote about and that being the resurrection and catching away. That is, the day of the Lord is initiated by the resurrection and catching away and for those who remain on the earth, the wrath of God (destruction), which are comprised in the form of the seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowl judgments, which are given in detail in the book of Revelation. (Don, see my point above! The contradiction you make here is that the “tribulation saints” are at the mercy of the “sudden destruction” or wrath, which is clearly not true).

For anyone who doesn’t agree that the seals, trumpets and bowls are all designated as the wrath of God, please not the following Scriptures:

6th Seal: (1st mention of God’s wrath)
“They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of thier wrath has come and who can stand?’ ”

The phrase “For the great day of their wrath has come” does not mean that the wrath is to begin immediately after that annoucement. What it does mean is that “it has already begun and and will continue.” Anyone who doesn’t believe that, just needs to look at the results of the first four seals that took place prior to the announcement, which results in 25% of the earth’s population being decimated by war, famine, disease and the wild beasts of the earth in a very short time period. (Don, it is not about what you suppose but what scripture states. If the antichrist is revealed some time after the first seal then the ressurection and catching away could not have occured before the first seal because we know that the first resurrection occurs after the saints were descimated by the anti-christ, Rev 20:4-6. Hence the period where the anti-christ rules could not be God’s wrath if the church is not appointed to wrath, 1 Thess 5:7)

7th Trumpet: (2nd Mention of God’s wrath)
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have begun to reign. The nations were angry and [your wrath has come].”
(Rev. 11:17-18)

Here is another good illustration, that the phrase “Your wrath has come” is representing God’s wrath having already begun and is on-going, especialy seeing that the same announcement was made at the 6th Seal. So, anyone who would want to make the claim that the wrath begins following the announcemnet, would then have to use the same determination here, that is, that the wrath follows the announcement, which of course wouldn’t make any sense seeing that the same thing was said in the 6th Seal. (Don, by what I have demonstrated so far, what you state here is conjecture at best.)

By the way, the 6th trumpet mentions that 1/3 of the earth’s population is killed by this plague alone. Combine that with the 25% who are killed at the 4th seal and you have 50% of the earth’s population decimated. But in actuality, that number is way off, as it is much more than 50%, which is the mistake most people make, because they fail to add in the fatalities that will take place as a result of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trumpets. I would put the number at more like 75 to 80% of the people killed by the time the 6th trumpet is blown.

Seven Bowls: (3rd mention of God’s wrath)
“I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven [last] plagues–last, because with them God’s wrath is completed.”

First of all, it is important to notice that, the seven bowls are treated as a unit, that is, all seven complete the wrath of God. Therefore, If the bowls complete the wrath of God, then something before them had to initiate his wrath. Also, since is stated that they are the “last plagues” completing God’s wrath, this would infer that other wrath had to be first before them, that is, before the bowls. So, what was the wrath of God prior to the seven bowls? The answer is of course, the seals and trumpets, which preceded them. (Don, I have already shown why the seals cannot be God’s wrath. But it is not what we suppose but what scripture states. The scripture makes clear that the 7th seal is when God’s wrath is poured out, see Rev 8)

The point that I am making is that, since Scripture demonstrates that we, individuals of faith in Jesus Christ during the current, on-going church period, are not appointed to the wrath of God and that Jesus rescues us from the coming wrath and since we have seen that the wrath begins with the Seals (Don, I have shown that the seals cannot commence God’s wrath because the saints that are martyred during the tribulation were caught up to heaven during the first ressurection. See Rev 15:1-2 and Rev 20:4-6) and ends with the bowls, we must be resurrected and caught up prior to the seals being opened.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elemnets will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy lives as you [look forward to the day of God] and [speed its coming]. (2 Pet. 10-12)

What demands attention in this verse, is what I have enclosed in brackets. Peter is describing the results of the the wrath of God being poured upon the earth, then he says “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

Why would Peter, after describing these terrible events of destruction that are going to come upon the earth during that time period and then say to ” look forward to the day of God and speed its coming?”

The answer again is, just as Paul explained that the resurrection and the catching away takes place prior to the wrath of God, Peter is also privey to the same information being that Paul may have revealed it to him or the Lord may have directly revealed it to Peter as well. In other words, Peter in saying “as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming”, he is referring to the first phase of the day of the Lord, which is the resurrection and catching away. Let’s look at some other verses that point to this same conclusion found in I Thessalonians 2:1-2

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.”

Here, Paul is responding to the concerns of the Thessalonians because it had been said among them by some, that the day of the Lord had already come. The reason for their concern is that, in regards to the day of the Lord, they also knew from Paul’s teaching that the resurrection and catching away would take place first and then the wrath of God would follow and therefore, since they were still on earth, that is, since they had not been caught up, they wrote Paul because they were concerned that they had missed the resurrection and catching away and were now going to be caught in the wrath of God. And of course Paul sets them straight and comforts them by reaffirming that that day would not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (Don, which goes back to my point that the resurrection and catching away occurs after the antichrist is already in full swing but you stated elsewhere that the church would not even see the antichrist. The opperative word here is “until”.) In other words, Paul is saying, have seen the rebellion or the man of lawlessness yet? No, then the wrath will not until these things take place. Paul is very clear, first the resurrection and catching away, then the wrath to follow.

I believe that the book of Revelation also reveals when the resurrection and catching away will take place in relation to the seals, trumpets and bowls, which represent the wrath of God. We have John being told in Rev. 1:19:

“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.”

This divides the book of Revelation up into three parts, 1) what you have seen, 2) what is now and 3) what will take place later. In regards to what John had seen, which was first of all his vision of Christs coming to earth to set up his millennial kingdom Rev. 1:7

“Look he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him . So shall it be! Amen.”

(Don, but is Jesus not seen sitting on a cloud from which he thrusted in His sickle to reap the earth after which time the clusters of the vine are gathered and thrown into the winepress of God’s wrath, Rev 14:14-20? So does this not relate to the catching up to meet Jesus in the air with the dead who were raised first as per 1 Thess 4:13-18?)

Then John hears a voice behind him that sounds like [a trumpet] and when he turns around, he sees the glorified Christ and writes the description of him, which completed what John had [seen]. Then, immediately following what John had seen, he was commanded to write the letters to the seven churches, which are not only representing the actual churches of that time, but represent the entire church period, which is [what is now]. That being said, we are currently still in the [now], being that the church age has not yet come to its completion. After the last letter is written we move into Rev. 4:1 which is [what will take place later], which is given to the majority of the book of Revelation. The [what will take place later] begins with the following found in Rev. 4:1 –

“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like [a trumpet] said, [come up here] and I will show you what must take place [after this].

There are, I believe, three clues (Don, I am not interested in clues but biblical facts.) here that point to John representing the church being resurrected and caught up. The first clue is that from chapter 1 through the very end of chapter 3, the word [Ekklesia] translated [church] has been continually used up to the very end of chapter 3 and then the word is never used again, it’s missing, which would suggest that the church is missing (Don, this argument does not make any sense. Are you telling me that the word “churches” isn’t mentioned in Rev 22 v 16?). The next references found to describe anyone who is in Christ is the word ‘Hagios’, translated ‘Saint’, which is used from then on. (Don, this clue is baseless. Aren’t saints synonymous with the church? What does it say in these scriptures: Eph 1:1, Philippians 1:1, and elsewhere? Is it not the saints that Paul is addressing? So what does it prove by arguing that only the word “saint” appears after Rev 3?)

The next clue is what John mentions twice, once in verse 1:10 and the other in 4:1 that the voice he hears sounds like [a trumpet], which takes me back to Paul’s description of the resurrection and catching away in I Thes. 4:16 which says:

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the [trumpet call] of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”

I believe that this [trumpet call] mentioned here in I Thes. 4:16 is synonymous with the voice that John hears speaking to him like [a trumpet]. The third clue is that the voice that sounds like a trumpet is saying [Come up here], which is exatly what happens at the resurrection and catching away. (Don, this doesn’t prove anything outside of what I have previously highlighted in addressing some of your arguments above.)
The wrath of God, also designated “The day of the Lord”, is a time period that will take place prior to Christs return to the earth when at that time, He will establish His millennial kingdom. (Don, wonderful!) This wrath, according to the book of Revelation, will be poured out in the form of a seven sealed scroll, which leads into seven trumpets, and then into seven bowl judgments. These judgments will take place within those last seven years and the worst specifically taking place during the last 3 1/2 years which is referred to as “The great tribulation.” Of this time period Jesus said the following:

Matthew 24:21-22 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. (Don, here is where you make a confusing point. Are you saying that the wrath of God will be cut short? Because what you have done here is to say that the great tribulation is in effect God’s wrath and we know that the tribulation is cut short for the elects sake otherwise no flesh would have been saved. Here is a point! If the elect were all killed before the wrath was cut short then why is it being cut short? Because we know from Rev 9:20 that those who were remaining alive and were not killed by the plagues repented not of their deads. So then the tribulation and the wrath are two different things hence we have elect saints during the tribulation but none during the wrath.)

Regarding this time of wrath, for those who are in Christ Paul said the following:

I Thessalonians 5:9 – For God did not appoint us to [suffer wrath], but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

And he also said the following when speaking to the Thessalonians:

I Thessalonians 1:10 – and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead — [Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath].

So, as can be seen from the two verses above, those who are in Christ will not go through or be exposed to the wrath of God, which will be taking place during the seven years prior to Christs return to set up His kingdom. (Don, we are agreed that the saints do not go through wrath however the “tribulation of those days” is not God’s wrath – the tribulation of those days being the reign of the anti-christ.)

In regards to our being rescued from this wrath, Jesus said to the church of Philadelphia:

Revelation 3: 10 – “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also [keep you from] the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”

The mention of the “hour of trial” is another designation used to describe that time of wrath that is going to come upon the world. Jesus says that He will “keep us from” that hour of trial. (Don, I am glad you say the hour of trial is the time of wrath. But the truth is the “tribulation of those days” occurs before this time of wrath.) To be kept from it means that we will not even enter into or be exposed to it.

The following is yet another verse of scripture that points to the resurrection and catching away as taking place prior to the wrath of God.

II Timothy 2:16-18 “Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.”

First of all, to recap, the resurrection mentioned here has to do specifically with those who have died in Christ. The word resurrection is translated from the Greek word ’Anastasis’, which denotes “A raising up from the dead.” According to Paul’s outline of the resurrection in I Thessalonians 4:16 and I Corinthians 15:52, those who are still alive when the resurrection takes place will immediately afterwards be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye and caught up with those just resurrected to meet the Lord in the air and therefore, the ‘catching away’ is included here when referring to the Resurrection.

Notice that Paul labels Hymenaeus and Philetus as those who had wandered away from the truth because they were teaching that the resurrection had already taken place. Paul also stated that by this teaching they were destroying the faith of some, which begs the question, why would the teaching that the resurrection having already taken place destroy anyone’s faith? The answer again can be found in Paul’s outline in I Thessalonians 4:16, where Paul describes the dead in Christ rising first, then those who are still alive being changed in a moment and being caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Therefore, as these men where going about teaching that the resurrection had already taken place, that also meant that the ‘catching away’ had taken place as well and so they would naturally be concerned because they were still here on earth and hadn’t been caught up, which was their hope, which would destroy their faith because they now had nothing to look forward to but the wrath of God, which according to Paul follows the resurrection and catching away.

The resurrection and catching away could not have taken place already as the Preterist proclaim because Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” The idea is that, Christ began to build His church and the apostle’s continued in the building and up to this very day the church continues to be built upon and will continue until the very last person whom God forknew, predestined and called, responds. Once the church has been completed, all the dead in Christ from the beginning of the church up until the event of the resurrection, as well as those who are still living at the time that the resurrection takes place, will immediately be changed and caught up, so that the entire church, from the beginning to the end, dead and alive, will be present in the air together at the same time. What follows, will be the revealing of the man of lawlessness and the out-pouring of God’s wrath leading up to Christs return, which ushers in the end of the age. (Don, I have shown already why your last statement here cannot be true. I have demonstrated that the first resurrection occurs after the beast had overcame the saints and beheaded them as per Rev 20:4-6 and also Rev 15:1-2. So therefore the man of lawlessness [the anti-christ] cannot come after the church been raptured but before. So therefore this period of persecution by the anti-christ’s beast system cannot be God’s wrath because the church is in it, not “tribulation saints”, and it is after they are killed that the first resurrection takes place. Then the wrath of God is poured out.)

You have written extensively but most of what you have written is contradictory and confusing so I would advise you to revisit what you said in light of the points and scriptures which I have presented. This is not about points-scoring either but about establishing the truth of God’s word. There is no pre-tribulation rapture BUT there is a pre-wrath rapture. That is what the scripture says and that is what I have outlined in my corrections.

9. Paul Bortolazzo - April 19, 2010

Hi dmcal,

The 6th seal precedes the coming of the Son of Man and His gathering up of the elect out of the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:21-31). The GT is cut short by the rapture of the church(Luke 21:262-27). Once the Great Tribulation ends the day of the Lord against the wicked begins (Isa. 13:9-11). The Day of the Lord begins with the 1st trumpet and ends with the 7th bowl (Rev. 8:7, 16:17) Gods final wrath are the bowls. The wrath coming before the bowls are the trumpets. Satan’s wrath against the saints (church) is the Great Tribulation, the 4th and 5th seals. The beginning of sorrows are the first three seals. The 6th seal is the sign of the end of the age (Mat. 24:29). The sign of the coming of the Son of Man is lightening coming from the east to the west, Jesus coming in the glory of His Father (Mat. 24:27, 30)
According to the prophets and Jesus the day of the Lord cannot begin until after the 6th seal is opened. The 70th week begins with the 1st seal. This proves beyond any doubt there is no such thing as a resurrection of the elect coming before the 1st seal is opened. Actually mid and post trib are also not biblical. Bottom line, Jesus wants every believer to understand the Abomination of Desolation must invade Jerusalem in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel BEFORE the gathering up of the church. May the Holy Spirit bear witness.

10. dmcal52 - April 19, 2010

Hi Paul,

Please consider this, you continue to infer that the gathering up of the elect, that is, the resurrection and catching away, is what is being spoken of in Mt.24:31, which states:

“And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”

The problem with this is that, this is not representing the resurrection and catching away of the church, because angels do not resurrect or catch us up. The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first, the we which remain and are alive will be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air, where we will then return to the Father’s house.

The people that are in view here as being gathered from one end of heavens to the to the other, are those who will be left of the “one taken, one left” parable, where after the weeds are collected “first” and killed by the double-edged sword that procedes from the mouth of Jesus, then afterwards, the angels go and gather the “Wheat,” that is, those who were left and bring them to Christ. These are who are in view regarding the gathering in Mt.24:31.

Also, as I have demonstrated from Scripture, we are not appointed to take part in the wrath of God, which is carried out by the seals, trumpets and bowl judgments and therefore, we must be caught up before the first seal is opened.

Our attitude should always be one of to be prepared to go through persecution and even death for his name sake and the word of God, but we should also understand that his promise is to keep us from his wrath, which is different from general tribulation and persecution, as these come from men and the powers of darkness, where the wrath of God comes directly from God himself. Therefore, God is not going to send his church through his wrath.

Also, you said “According to the prophets and Jesus the day of the Lord cannot begin until after the 6th seal is opened.” As I have shown in my previous response, the “day of the Lord” is two fold as shown in 1Thes.4:13-18; 5:1-12, where Paul outlines the resurrection and catching away and then he refers to it as the “Day of the Lord,” which is then followed by the wrath of God.

Further more, I would like to point out that, regarding the 6th seal, there is nowhere in the verse that has Jesus coming to the earth. The sky receeds like a scroll and they are seeing the Father and the Son, which is why they are calling to the mountains and the rocks to hide them from the face of him who sits on the thone and from the wrath of the Lamb, but nowhere does it state that he is returning to the earth at that point, only that their wrath has come, which they can perform from heaven by the opening of the 7th seal, the blowing of the trumpets and the pouring out of the bowls. It is an assumption to have him return to the earth at the 6th seal. Jesus will not return to the earth until after the 7th bowl has been poured out, which completes God’s wrath. At the time of his return, he will have the beast and the false prophet thrown alive into the lake of fire, the kings of the world and their armies, which will have been gathered together by the three demonic spirits that come out of the mouths of the dragon, beast and the false prophet, will then be killed by the double-edged sword that procedes from Christs mouth, which also includes the “One taken” that the angels will have gathered together and they will all be killed. Then, the birds that will have been previously gathered together by the angel will gorge themselves on all their flesh. Satan will be cast into the Abyss and the Lord will set up his millennial kingdom.

11. Paul Bortolazzo - April 19, 2010

Hey dmcal,

Jesus doesn’t touch the earth at His coming when He gathers His elect from heaven first then earth (Mark 13:26-27, 1 Thes. 4:15-17). The Word of God doesn’t touch the earth in Rev. 19:11-21 at Armageddon either. The Messiah’s return to earth to fulfill the mystery of God is between the 6th and 7th trumpets at the end of the 70th week during the day of Atonement. His 2nd coming ends when the Bride returns inside the Holy City with her groom. the Lamb of God. All four events, the coming of the Son of Man, Messiah, Word of God, and Lamb of God play a part in His 2nd coming. Each event happens at different times, for different reasons, each having different results. Gbu bro.

12. Paul Bortolazzo - April 19, 2010

“Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live… Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life…” (John 5:25, 28-29)
At His coming, all who hear the voice of the Son of God will come forth (Dan. 12:2). This is the resurrection of physical bodies. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet blown by God, the Lord will descend with a shout (1 Cor. 15:50-52, 1 Thes. 4:15-17). The dead in Christ will hear the voice of the Son of God and their bodies will be raised unto eternal life (1 Thes. 4:14).
“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:13-14)
Those who helped the poor will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. This will take place at the coming of the Son of Man. There will also be a resurrection of condemnation.
“…And those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:29)
In his vision Daniel saw this resurrection of everlasting contempt. It involves those who did evil (Mat. 13:41; 7:23).
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Dan. 12:2)
Many, not all, shall awake at this resurrection. Which means this can’t be referring to all who ever lived. For those who awake some will receive everlasting life; others will receive everlasting contempt. Which means this can’t be referring to all who are presently saved. At
this resurrection some will receive everlasting life and some won’t. Clearly the many who awake are all who were ever saved!
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
Jesus is warning believers. We are to pray and watch that they may be counted worthy to escape the falling away during the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:21-22, 2 Thes. 2:3). Let me ask you, on what day will believers stand before the Son of Man? Exactly what day will believers receive incorruptible bodies? Jesus promised to raise those believing in Him on the last day. The last day is the day of the Lord (John 12:48). The only day believers will be rewarded for their works will be in heaven at the judgment seat of Christ (Mat. 16:27, 2 Cor. 5:10). The just will be repaid after they’re resurrected and stand before the Son of Man (John 11:24, Luke 14:14, Mark 13:27).
“All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet…’I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.'” (Mat. 13:34-35)
Jesus taught parables to reveal truths kept secret from the foundation of the world. A parable is a story with a spiritual meaning. The Lord taught three parables during His Olivet Discourse (Mat. 24:45-51; 25:1-13, 14-30). Each tells us what happens after He comes back with His angels (Mat. 16:27; 24:30-31; 25:31).

13. dmcal52 - April 20, 2010

Rev.19:11 is when Christ finally does come to earth to set up his millennial kingdom, rulling from Jerusalem. It is at the resurrection and catching away that he does not come to the earth, but meets the church in the air.

14. Henry - April 20, 2010

dmcal52,

So when are the “elect” gathered since by your reckoning the “elect” aren’t part of the church but tribulation saints? Is there a second rapture for them too since the great multitude which came out of great tribulation can be seen in heaven at the opening of the 6th seal? This is getting really interesting.

15. Henry - April 20, 2010

Don,

Greetings. I have read your response but most have what you said are similar to our previous discourse so I wont go over all of the points again. However, there are a few problems with what you have said which I want to highlight.

Problem 1
The first problem we have is that although the disciples explicitly asked Jesus, “When shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?” we do not see any reference to a pre-tribulation rapture in Jesus’ reply. We have three witnesses in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 and none of these explicitly state or imply that there will be a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. One is then left to somehow assume then impose the view on the text – and this amounts to speculation. But what do we actually know from the scripture that is plainly stated? We read from Matt 24:

26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

It should be clear from these verses that Jesus is assuring the disciples not to believe in the false christs that will appear on the seen but rather that they will know Him (the true Christ) by His sign which will appear in the heaves as the lighting flashes from east to west. Now the rapture by your reckoning would have had to occur before this sign (which is the same sign at the 6th seal) since you argued that the church is raptured before the 1st seal. However, this point Jesus made would be redundant if the church will not witness this sign by virtue of the rapture.

Problem 2

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (Rev 7)

By your reckoning this great multitude which no man could number are not the church but “tribulation saints” – saints that overcame the beast. I want to examine this closely in light of what you have said. According to you the church will have been gathered sometime before the 1st seal is opened. But here at the 6th seal we find the “tribulation saints” being gathered. The implication therefore is that there are “two raptures”. In other words Jesus came in the clouds two times, first before the 1st seal and then here at the 6th seal and He hasn’t even come to earth yet! And that should be clear from the point of view that these “tribulation saints” are seen with Him in heaven and around the throne. So what then are there at least two “raptures”? Because one is left with no other conclusion based on what you have said! But is such a “two rapture” position supported in scripture? Noting that you have stated that Christ will return to earth after the 7th bowl during the 7th seal is poured out and you cited Rev 19:11 to point to when He actually “lands” on earth.

Scripture points to a single day or event in which Jesus appears in the clouds yet you are suggesting that actually there are two days? How do you reconcile that? It is either that the multitude which cam out of great tribulation is the church or there are at least two raptures or catching away or whatever name may be applied.

Again you have stated that the word Ecclesia does not appear after Revelations 3 but yet you can say with certainty that it is because the church is raptured. Of course this means again that the rapture is neither implicit nor explicit by anything written in the text but the reader has to assume it and impose it on the text.

I still cannot find any evidence for the pre-trib rapture in all of what you have said.

Paul Bortolazzo - April 20, 2010

dmcal,

Respectfully, in Revelation 19:11-21:
1. Where does it say the word, “coming”?
2. Where is the Bride or Church even mentioned?
2. Where does it say the Word touches the earth?
3. Where does it say it sets up His kingdom?

16. Paul Bortolazzo - April 20, 2010

Saints,

The resurrection of the dead in Christ (1 Thes. 4:16, John 5:28-29) and those alive on earth (1 Thes. 4:17, Rev. 7:9-14), according to Jesus, will take place between the opening of the 6th and 7th seals (Rev. 7:9-14).
According to Jesus, believers washed in the blood of the Lamb will be caught up out the Great Tribulation before the throne of God (Mat. 24:21-22, Rev. 7:14)
According to Jesus, our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) will cut short the persecution of the saints by the Beast by gathering them up to Himself (2 Thes. 2:1, Mat. 24:29-31, Mark 13:26-27)
According to Jesus, the Son of Man will not gather up His elect to Himself at the last trumpet blown by God, in the clouds, with angels, UNTIL the Abomination of Desolation (Antichrist) invades Jerusalem in the middle of the 70th week (Luke 21:20, Mat. 24:15, Dan.9:27)
According to Jesus, at the coming of the Son of Man the righteous will be taken to heaven; the wicked left to suffer the day of the Lord, Gods wrath, like Noah and Lot deliverance then wrath (Mat. 24:37-41).
According to Jesus, no one knows the exact day or hour of the coming of the Son of Man. Yet Jesus exhorts to watch for the events He gave John on the Mount of Olives (AD 32) and again in AD 96 on the island of Patmos (Rev. 6:1-17)
Saints, no one will be eating and drinking, getting married, proclaiming peace and safety at Armageddon, the entire world will be destroyed! There is no resurrection at Armageddon. In Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, Jesus is explaining the resurrection of the elect before the day of the Lord Gods wrath is poured out at the sounding of the 1st trumpet.

17. Henry - April 20, 2010

Paul,

I have always said that if one should use just Matthew 24 alone we can learn the order of events concerning the end times and we can never go wrong if we use it as our guide. But by the mouths of two or three every word shall be established so we have Mark and Luke as well. However what is written in “plain site” is what is often hard to see by some and I mean this with all due respect to Don (dmcal) and others.

18. paul bortolazzo - April 20, 2010

Henry,

i agree with you. After many years of studying this specific truth I believe the pre tribers have problems with Matthew 24 being the rapture because of Matthew 25. They insist the coming of the Son of Man with His angels can’t be rapture because the sheep and goats are separated on earth not in heaven. The fact is, Jesus promised believers would be rewarded for their works in heaven at the Bema Seat (judgment seat of Christ) immediately following the Son of Man coming in the glory of His Father and His angels (Mat. 16:27). There is ONLY ONE coming of the Son of Man. This coming happens after the 6th seal (Mat. 24:29-31) Henry, Jesus doesn’t sit on the earth after the 6th seal. The separation of the wheat and tares, sheep and goats, takes place at the judgment seat. The parables in Matthew 24 and 25 are about the judgment seat of Christ. May the Holy Spirit bear witness.

19. dmcal52 - April 21, 2010

Hello Henry,

You said:

“So when are the “elect” gathered since by your reckoning the “elect” aren’t part of the church but tribulation saints? Is there a second rapture for them too since the great multitude which came out of great tribulation can be seen in heaven at the opening of the 6th seal? This is getting really interesting.”

The seventieth seven, that is, that last seven year period, is divided up into two 3 1/2 year periods. The first 3 1/2 years begins from the time that the ruler (antichrist) makes his covenant with many for one seven and the second
3 1/2 year period begins from the middle of the seven, which is initiated by the setting up of that image of the first beast that the false prophet orders the inhabitants of the earth to make and is set up in the holy place within the temple. (Dan.9:27; Rev.13:14-15)

The second 3 1/2 years are identified as the “Great Tribulation” as found in Dan.7:25 and Rev.13:5-8, where the beast is given authority to make war against the saints and to conquer them for a time, times and a half of time, where time=1 year, Times=2 years and half a time=half a year, for a total of 3 1/2 years.

Therefore, this mention of the great tribulation saints in
Rev.7:9-17 that John is being shown, is a parenthic pause, that is, he is seeing a vision of those who will eventually be resurrected out of that time period, where said resurrection doesn’t take place until after the Lord returns as seen in Rev.20:4.

These great tribulation saints are mentioned by description in the 5th seal where, the martyrs under the altar ask:

“How long Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood. Then each of them was give a white robe, and they were told to wait alittle while longer, until their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.”

These fellow servants and brothers, he speaks of, are those great tribulation saints who are described as being beheaded from the middle of the seven year period, until the end when Jesus returns to set up his millennial kingdom (Rev.20:4).

The fact that they come out of the great tribulation can be seen be seen from the following:

“Never again will they hunger, never again will they thrist. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.”
(Rev.7:16)

The mention of them never being hungry, thirsting, the sun not beating down on them nor any scorching heat is because these are the things that they will be exposed to as part of God’s wrath being poured out upon the earth as well as the persecution of the beast. For example, the mention of the sun never again beating down on them nor any scotching heat is in regards to the 4th bowl judgment, where that angel pours out his bowl upon the sun and the sun scorches the inhabitants of the earth with fire and they are seared with intense heat. These great tribulation saints are going to be here on earth durng that time period and that is why the mention of them not having any heat beating upon them nor any scorching heat ever again.

To make a correction, these great tribulation saints are resurrected and not raptured as you mentioned in your response. The majority of these great tribulation saints are beheaded throughout the last 3 1/2 years and according to the word of the Lord, “Except those days were shortened, no one would survive, ” but since the time period is shortened to 3 1/2 years, there will be some who make through to the end. These who make it through to the end, when Christ returns, are the wheat. At the time that Jesus returns to the earth, he will send his angels out and “first” collect the Weeds (one taken), where they are taken to be killed by the double-edged sword that procedes from his mouth and where the birds will eat their flesh, along with the kings, generals and their armies that will have been gathered at Megiddo (Rev.19:17-18).

Then, after those weeds are taken and killed, the Lord sends out his angels who gather together the wheat, those who were left of the (one taken, one left) group. These are those who will have kept the testmony of Jesus and the word of God and who will have not worshiped the beast or his image nor will they have received his mark. These are those who will repopulate the earth in their mortal bodies during the millennial period. Those of the great tribulatioin saints that will be beheaded, are those who are seen in Rev.20:4 as being resurrected.
(Mt. 13:24:30, 37-43)

Further more, there are only two groups that are caught up (raptured) mentioned in Revelation, which are those who are still alive in Christ after the resurrection takes place and are immediately changed right where they stand and are caught up to meet those just resurrected in the clouds and where we all meet the Lord in the air. The other group is the male child, who is caught up to God and to his throne before the dragon can devour him, which I believe is a collective designation for the 144,000. (Rev.12:5)

Those mentioned in Mt.24:31, that Pastor Paul keeps referring to as the raptured church, are not the church, but are those great tribulation saints who were left of the “one take, one left” group being collected by the angels alive. Reason being is that, in the verse it states that Jesus will send out his angels and gather together his elect, but angels do not resurrect nor do they come and change us in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. The Lord does this when he comes to resurrect the dead in Christ and changes the living in moment, in the twinkling of an eye, where the entire church, dead and alive meet him in the air and are taken back to the Father’s house (John 14:1-3).

I hope that this clears some things up. The important thing is that no matter when the resurrection and catching away of the church takes place in scheme of things, that we as believers should always be ready to be persecuted and even to be put to death for his name sake and for the word of God. That way, no matter what the timing of things are, we are always ready, antisipating his promise.

20. Don - April 21, 2010

Hello again Henry,

To respond to your first listed problem as stated below:

“The first problem we have is that although the disciples explicitly asked Jesus, “When shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?” we do not see any reference to a pre-tribulation rapture in Jesus’ reply. We have three witnesses in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 and none of these explicitly state or imply that there will be a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. ”

Something to remember is that, Jesus did not reveal everything to his disciples as can be seen in the following Scripture:

“So when they met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ and he said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” (Acts 1:6-7)

Also, some things were not revealed until after Jesus ascended. Below is a case in point:

“Listen, I tell you a [mystery]: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (1Cor.15:51-52)

The word translated “Mystery” is from the Greek “Mysterion,” which according to Strong’s is defined as the following:

1) hidden thing, secret, mystery

a) generally mysteries, religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals

b) a hidden or secret thing, not obvious to the understanding

c) a hidden purpose or counsel

Therefore, here in 1Cor.15:51-52, Paul is revealing something that had previously not been revealed, except to him by direct revelation from the Lord, which is also mentioned in 1Thes.4:16. Everyone had understanding in regards to the resurrection of the dead, but here, for the first time, Paul introduces to them what is going to happen to those who are still alive immediately after the resurrection occurs, which is that, the living will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye and caught up with the those who were just resurrected to meet the Lord in the air.

You are correct in that the catching away, it is not mentioned in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 because, Jesus had not yet revealed it to them, but did directly to Paul. Although, Jesus did give a hint of it in Luke 21:34-36 when he said:

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighted down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to [escape] all that is about to happen, and you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

So here, without going into detail, Jesus introduces a way of escaping those things that are going to come upon all those who live on the face of the [whole earth] and it is not by remaining on the earth that we could escape, because the whole earth will be involved, ergo the catching away.

============================================

2nd Problem:
“But here at the 6th seal we find the “tribulation saints” being gathered. The implication therefore is that there are “two raptures”. In other words Jesus came in the clouds two times, first before the 1st seal and then here at the 6th seal and He hasn’t even come to earth yet! And that should be clear from the point of view that these “tribulation saints” are seen with Him in heaven and around the throne. So what then are there at least two “raptures”? Because one is left with no other conclusion based on what you have said! But is such a “two rapture” position supported in scripture? Noting that you have stated that Christ will return to earth after the 7th
> bowl during the 7th seal is poured out and you cited Rev 19:11 to point to when He actually “lands” on earth.”

As I pointed out in a previous reponse, this vision of the great tribulation saints in Rev.7:9-17 is just that, a vision of them at a future time in heaven after they have been resurrected. As I also stated, none of the great tribulation saints are raptured, but are shown to be resurrected in Rev.20:4. The ones who are left by the time the Lord returns to set up his millennial kingdom, are those that the angels gather together after the “weeds” have been taken first. Both of these groups are alive when the angels gather them, except that, the ones take of the “one taken, one left) group are taken to be killed by the double-edged sword that procedes from the mouth of Christ and those that are left of the “one take, one left) group are the righteous, that is, the “Wheat,” who will make it throught the great tribulation alive and will repopulate the earth during the thousand year reign of Christ.

The main point to remember is this:

1. We are currently still in the church period (The now).

2. At some point the ruler will make his seven year covenant.

3. The wrath of God will commence via seals, trumpets, bowls.

4. We who are in Christ are not appointed to God’s wrath and
therefore, we cannot be here when it begins.

5. The wrath of God continues right up until Jesus returns to
the earth to set up his millennial kingdom, which is
completed by the 7th bowl being poured out.

Don - April 21, 2010

Hi Paul,

You said:
Respectfully, in Revelation 19:11-21:
1. Where does it say the word, “coming”?

It doesn’t use the word “Coming.” but describes his descent in the following way:

“The armies of heaven were [following him], riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.” (19:14)

All of Rev.19:11-21 describes his coming to the earth to make war against the kings, generals and mighty men that have been gathered there in the valley of Megiddo for that very purpose. Since it is stated that the armies in heaven are following him on white horses, where else would they be following him to, mars? It doesn’t take much reasoning here to see that the Lord is returning to the earth. The beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire alive, all those people gathered in the valley of Megiddo are being killed by the double-edged sword that procedes from his mouth.

Satan is taken and thown into the Abyss and locked up and it is stated that the great tribulation saints are ruling with Jesus for that thousand years (Rev.20:4).

===========================================

You said:
“2. Where is the Bride or Church even mentioned?”

I’m glad that you asked that, for if you look at the previous scripture you will read the following:

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his “bride” has made herself ready.”
(Rev.19:6-8)

The church along with the great tribulation saints are the ones who are heading to earth and are riding behind Jesus on white horses, where we will rule with him during his millennial reign.

===========================================

You said:
2. Where does it say the Word touches the earth?

Paul, just by reading the context, one can see that the Lord, with his armies, are returning to the earth by reason of what is said in the context. But, another reason that I know that he comes to the earth and touches it is from the word of Isaiah 63:1-6, which says:

“Who is is coming from Edom, from Bazrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strenth? It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. For the day of vengeance was in my heart and the year of my redemption has come. I looked, but there was not one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured out their blood on the ground.”

Compare the above with Rev.14:19-20:

“The angel swung his sharp sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 statia.” (180 miles)

If we are to rule with Jesus for that thousand years, then he must be here on earth and we with him.
============================================

You said:
“4. Where does it say it sets up His kingdom?”

Paul, this doesn’t even need any explanation, since the context of chapter 19 is describing his coming to the earth to pour out his wrath upon all the kings of the whole world, where he gathers them for the battle for the great day of God Almighty.

Chapter 20:1-3 has Satan being thrown into the Abyss so that he is unable to deceive the nations during the thousand year of Christ on earth, as well as the mention of the great tribulation saints in Rev.20:4 being resurrected and it being mentioned that they rule with Christ on earth for that thousand years.

Then, in Rev. 20:7, you have Satan being released from the Abyss at the end of the thousand years to deceive the nations, God and Magog, at which point God wipes them out when they march against Jersalem.

After that, Satan is thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet will have previously been thrown a thousand years earlier.

Heaven and earth pass away.

Then you have the resurrection of the lost dead from out of Hades and those also who will have lived during the millennium standing before God at the Great White Throne Judgment, where anyone whose name is not found written in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire, which is the second death.

What follows that is, a New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem. The new earth has no sun or moon nor any oceans.

Don - April 21, 2010

Paul, Rev. 7:9-14 does not have the church in view, but the great tribulation saints.

Also, you keep mentioning those days that will be shortened. We know how long it has been shortened to, that being 3 1/2 years. In other words, if the great tribulation was allowed to go beyond the 3 1/2 years that it has been shortened to, then no one would survive.

Also, you said:

“According to Jesus, the Son of Man will not gather up His elect to Himself at the last trumpet blown by God, in the clouds, with angels, UNTIL the Abomination of Desolation (Antichrist) invades Jerusalem in the middle of the 70th week (Luke 21:20, Mat. 24:15, Dan.9:27)”

As I have stated before and which can be easily proven, the abomination that causes the desolation is not the beast himself, but is an image that is made in honor of him by the inhabitants of the earth by the order of the false prophet. This image is what is set up in the holy place within the temple, which is what causes the desolation of Jerusalem.
Rev.13:14-15 describe this image that is made of the first beast whose fatal head wound had been healed. Even in
Dan.9:27 the abomination is spoken of as an object and not a person:

“And on a wing of the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

It would be improper, speaking of person, to say that he is “Set up” on a wing of the temple. The abomination is an image of the beast, that is, the antichrist.

You said:
“Saints, no one will be eating and drinking, getting married, proclaiming peace and safety at Armageddon, the entire world will be destroyed! There is no resurrection at Armageddon. In Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, Jesus is explaining the resurrection of the elect before the day of the Lord Gods wrath is poured out at the sounding of the 1st trumpet.”

Yes, they will be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage right up to the middle of the seven years, just before the setting up of that abomination of desolation, then will come the “sudden destruction.”

21. Paul Bortolazzo - April 21, 2010

Don,
Revelation 19:11-21 has nothing to do with Matthew 24:3-31. In Rev. 19 the Lord doesn’t come in the clouds, no trumpet is blown, and the Bride of Christ is not with Him. The bride doesn’t return twice with the Lord. In Rev. 21:9-10 the Lamb descends on the first day of the millennium with His bride to reign for a thousand years. No one will getting married, eating and drinking having fun, proclaiming peace and safety at Armageddon. The world will be doing all the things when the Son of Man comes with angels at the 6th seal. The wars, famines, and earthquakes have stopped. The Great Tribulation (Satan’s wrath) has begun after the opening of the 4th seal. Jesus will be coming like a thief in the night at the 6th seal; not after the 7th bowl when the world is demolished. Where you are missing it is you make no difference between the Great Tribulation and the day of the Lord. Lets make it simple. The 1st seal initiates the beginning of sorrows (Mat. 24:4-8, Rev. 6:1-6) The 4th seal initiates the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:9-26, Rev. 6:7-11), and the 6th seal precedes the coming of the Lord for His elect followed by the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:30-31, Isa. 13:9-11, Mat. 24:29, Rev. 6:12-14)
The seals are never called Gods wrath. The trumpets and bowls are Gods wrath against the wicked during the day of the Lord. The church wont suffer such wrath. But because of widespread compromise she will be persecuted to bring about a loving faithful bride.

THis is an expert from my book answering your statement lets just be ready.

The Abomination of Desolation (Antichrist) is going to defile the Holy Place in Jerusalem before the elect are gathered to heaven. This is what the early church believed concerning the timing of the Antichrist (Mat. 24:15; 30-31). The saints victorious over the Beast will be delivered to heaven by the Lord (Rev. 7:9-14; 15:2). This doesn’t faze the author of the Left Behind Series, Tim LaHaye. He isn’t worried about the persecution by the Antichrist because He believes the church will be gone. [1. The Rachel Maddow Show-Apocalypse Now, T. 6:08-6:23] Pastor John Hagee also believes the church will not be here. [2. John Hagee-Glen Beck Bible Prophesies 4, T. 0:32-1:10] LaHaye and Hagee teach Jesus can come at any moment. They insist there isn’t another event that has to happen for the rapture to take place. Is this what our Lord taught? Why should believers be watching for the Abomination of Desolation if Jesus could come at any moment? Many say it doesn’t matter; let’s just be ready. So how does one know they are ready for His coming? If you died today and your sins are washed away by His blood (Rev. 1:5), then you’re ready to join the Lord in heaven. You’re not necessarily ready for His coming. If being saved meant you were ready for His coming then the warning by Jesus to repent and watch would be meaningless.
“Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” (Rev. 3:3)

22. wabd - April 21, 2010

Hi Guys,

Just finished reading this very insightful and very interesting discussion. God be praised in all things.

1st : Paul has claimed “The wrath coming before the bowls are the trumpets. Satan’s wrath against the saints (church) is the Great Tribulation, the 4th and 5th seals.”

2nd: There seems to be some confusion as to what exactly is God’s wrath – is it the seals, trumpets and bowl judgments, or the trumpets and bowls or the bowls or even from the 6th seal forward?

3rd: Don has cited scriptures that points to a pre-tribulation rapture while both Henry and Paul have cited, for the most part, different scriptures that point to the rapture occurring at the 6th seal.

4th: It is unclear who the ‘elect’ is as well as the ‘church saints’ and ‘tribulation saints.’

5th: There seems to be some interpretation issues regarding ‘rapture’ and ‘resurrection’, as well as when they occur.

6th: Henry has said, “I have always said that if one should use just Matthew 24 alone we can learn the order of events concerning the end times and we can never go wrong if we use it as our guide.” I wish Henry would do just that because I am curious about the timing as well. Hope you consider it Henry.

Allow me to ask the following:

1. Presuming that the rapture takes place at the 6th seal and the previous seals are the beginning of sorrows then wouldn’t this qualify the 6th seal rapture as the pre-trib rapture? (Wabd, now I can see where your confusion is coming from. You seem to believe that the wrath of God is the same as the great tribulation mentioned in Matt 24 but let me assure you that satan’s wrath which is the great tribulation comes prior to the rapture and after the rapture comes God’s wrath. Satan’s wrath manifest itself in the form of the beast which beheads the saints in Rev 13. But is it not written in Rev 20:4-6 that the first resurrection included those who overcame the beast and his image. Is this first resurrection therefore not the same resurrection which occurs at the rapture as per 1 Thess 4:14-17? So when is the beast set up before the 1st seal or some time after. If it is after does this not mean that the first 5 seals are not Gods wrath. Again in Rev 15:1-2 are the so-called tribulation saints not in heaven at the time when the angels were about to pour out the 7 last plagues? So again here the tribulation of those days as per Matt 24 cannot be the same as the wrath can it?)

In His Grace

Wes

23. Paul Bortolazzo - April 21, 2010

Don,
Here are the answers to the four questions I asked you above about Rev. 19:11-21.

Q1) The word “coming” isn’t even found in Rev. 19:11-21. When coming is used in other places its mostly referring to the resurrection of the elect at the 6th seal.

Q2) The bride or the church or the elect or believers are not mentioned in Rev. 19:11-21. The armies dressed in fine linen following the Word are angels.

Q3) In Rev. 19:11-21 it never says the Word touches the earth. It says He appears in heaven.

Q4) No where does it say that the Word sets up His millennial kingdom during the battle of Armageddon, the supper of the great God. The bride returns with the Lamb of God on the first day of the millennium (Rev. 21;9-10). This is when His kingdom is set up, not in Rev 19.

24. Paul Bortolazzo - April 21, 2010

Wes,

The resurrection of the dead in Christ and believers that are alive on earth after the opening of the 6th seal would make this a pre-wrath rapture. The wrath of God (the day of the Lord) begins with the first trumpet. The coming of the Son of Man and the day of the Lord are back to back events, deliverance then wrath just like Noah and Lot. There is no evidence of the resurrection/rapture taking place before the tribulation begins, exactly in the middle, or at the end. All three positions are unbiblical.

25. Paul Bortolazzo - April 21, 2010

Don,

You said, “Also, you keep mentioning those days that will be shortened. We know how long it has been shortened to, that being 3 1/2 years. In other words, if the great tribulation was allowed to go beyond the 3 1/2 years that it has been shortened to, then no one would survive.”

This of course makes no sense it all. The correct interpretation is the Great Tribulation will not be allowed to go 3 1/2 years or the church would not survive. The GT will be cut short (amputated) by the rapture of the church at the 6th seal, no man knows the exact day or hour. The object of the persecution (the church) is taken (removed) to heaven. There is no more great tribulation. The day of the Lord has begun against the wicked that are left. Our Blessed Hope has delivered us, PTL.

wabd - April 21, 2010

Thank you Paul for answering my question. “Pre-wrath Rapture” interesting 🙂

(Mat 24:29) But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

The above states, “But immediately after the tribulation of those days…..”, I am presuming then that the seals 1-5 are opened before the 6th seal, and, I am presuming that these 5 seals are synonymous with “the tribulation of those days.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, the scripture says “tribulation” not “wrath” doesn’t it? Wouldn’t that make the rapture then, from your explanation and Matt 24:29 a post trib/pre-wrath rapture?

The 7th seal opens the trumpet judgments which you have stated as, “The wrath of God (the day of the Lord) begins with the first trumpet.”

In His Grace,

Wes

26. Paul Bortolazzo - April 21, 2010

Hey Wes,

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory…For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (Mat. 24:30; 16:27)

The sun, moon, and stars, will lose their light immediately after the tribulation of those days. The Lord describes this persecution in Matthew 24:4-26. John also saw these same events in Revelation 6:1-17. After the opening of the 1st seal, teachers coming in Christ’s name will be deceiving many believers (Rev. 6:1-2, Mat. 24:4-5). After the 2nd seal, there will be wars and rumors of wars (Rev. 6:3-4, Mat 24:6-7). After the 3rd seal, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes will spread (Rev. 6:5-6, Mat. 24:7). After the 4th seal, the worldwide persecution of the elect will erupt (Rev. 6:7-8; 13:7, Mat. 24:9-22). After the 5th seal, many saints will be killed (Rev. 6:9-11, Mat. 24:9). After the days of this tribulation (persecution), the Lamb will open the 6th seal.
Mark this down and pray over it. Jesus never places the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the gathering up of believers
from earth, before, in the middle, or at the end of the 70th week. Think of the countless hours of research, preaching, articles, and books by believers vainly trying to prove a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation rapture. These interpretations are not in scripture. Let’s remember, the 70th week of Daniel is never called the tribulation period (Dan. 9:24). When Jesus says ‘after the tribulation of these days’, He is referring to the first five seals on the outside of the heavenly scroll. Jesus will open the 4th seal in the middle of the 70th week (Rev. 6:7-8, Mat. 24:9-15). The Son of Man will come back after He opens the 6th seal (Mark 13:24-27). This proves the gathering up of the elect at His coming must happen sometime in the second half of the 70th week; no man knows the exact day or hour (Mat. 24:36).

wabd - April 22, 2010

Once again Paul, thanks for taking the time to answer. As you are well aware this subject brings many interpretations and there is need to look at the texts with a ‘microscope’ so to speak.

I did an exercise by extrapolating the scriptures that you cited relative to the seal judgments and pulled out my fine tooth comb. Just gleaning over the scriptures one can readily determine how your interpretations were derived, but as I said, I used a fine tooth comb and here are some of my concerns:

1st seal – [Matt 24:4-5 parallel to Rev 6:1-2] Matthew speaks of many Antichrists while Revelations speak of the Beast who is also an Antichrist but radically different from the ‘average’ Antichrists. This particular Antichrist (Beast) is coming to a seat of world power. So I’m not too sure that the texts are parallel.

2nd seal: [Matt 24:6-7 parallel to Rev 6:3-4] Matthew speaks of small scale conflicts in divers places while Rev speaks of World War 3. In Matthew it seems to me a description of conflicts as a woman in travail (birth pains at the early stages) and Rev seems to describe the child being born or full scale war. Again the texts do not seem to mirror each other.

3rd seal: [Matt 24:7 parallel to Rev 6:5-6] Matthew describes a natural consequence of war, as we can see from the many conflicts that are going on in divers places famine is suffered in these ‘regions’ but Rev heightens this natural consequence and the famine to come is going to have a global impact. Although the texts bear similarities they also detail what seems to be different intensities, the parallel cannot be discerned.

4th seal: [Matt 24:9-22 parallel to Rev 6:7-8, 13:7] This is little more complicated with your reference to Rev 13:7 as we shall see a bit later, but first, Matthew details a broad spectrum of events surrounding the transition of the Church into an apostate entity, the rise of false prophets as we all know exists for centuries but are definitely increasing, persecution is meted out but I don’t think that this is referenced to Rev 13:7. I believe it is particular to the disciples and the early church era and perhaps into our present day. The gospel being preached to the whole world takes us into yet another era of time which is in the present as it is only possible for this to happen now. The text then transports us to the future where the true nature of the Beast (1st seal) is revealed and the abomination of desolation (an image) of the slain/resurrected beast is set up. The warnings to flee follow as well as the encouragement to endure given to the early church saints hold true at this point. Rev is this instance describes diseases and death being executed in different forms – through war, famine, wild animals and it is important to note that this will be concentrated on a fourth part of the earth and not on a global scale. The beast war on the saints (Rev 13:7) is not in view here as the rider (4th horseman) is different from the (1st horseman) and their assigned tasks are also different, the latter will increase in power and eventually be killed and rise again. These things happen when the third woe begins which is a trumpet judgment, the parallel cannot be found here either.

It therefore stands to reason that the interpretation of the 5th and 6th seals are also possibly wrong. I pray that you will revisit these scriptures with an open mind and heart. I am in no way doubting your love for the Lord and His word nor am I pushing some dispensationalist theology on you. I’m looking at the scriptures (your citations) literally and I am unable to see the parallels. I know they are somehow connected but I believe one is a stepping stone for the other.

Your thoughts are welcomed but I will humbly ask that you don’t veer into different discussions, let’s focus if you are willing to the texts cited.

In His Grace,

Wes

27. Paul Bortolazzo - April 22, 2010

Wes,

Now this is the Lord. God bless you, Wes. I so much appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness in the above post. If we could talk in person this is the way our sharing would go. Its so easy for me to be way to harsh in a blog. Please forgive me for the times Ive offended you. I will strive to Christlike in my blogs from now on. Til He comes back, Paul

wabd - April 22, 2010

God bless you too Paul, I would also welcome the opportunity to talk in person, if it is God’s will it would happen. Honestly I don’t think you are way too harsh on blogs but I do think that you are extremely passionate and that may sometimes lead to comments that are frustrating rather than open minded.

I would wager that 1 in 3 persons share different views about scriptures and at times we are all guilty of being a bit stubborn when we should be making a concerted effort to see the other persons point of view and mutually working towards are common understanding. It may result in both our views being wrong or being able to scripturally discern why we view the texts in a particular way.

Look up my friend for our redemption draws near.

In His Grace,

Wes

28. Henry - April 22, 2010

Greetings Don and to everyone else out there,

I have gone over some of your replies again and will say one thing. Whilst some of what you say is biblical there are other points where you sound contradictory and a bit confusing. I will look at some of these points here but I want to also keep it brief.

On one point we agree scripturally is on the point that the church is caught up first then God’s wrath is poured out so let us be clear on that. According to the scriptures God did not appoint the church unto wrath (1 Thess 5:9). Consequently the church has to be taken out of the way before the wrath of God is poured out into the winepress of His indignation.

One of the first mistakes that pre-tribbers make however is to designate some saints that are on the earth through the tribulation reign of the anti-christ as “tribulation saints”, and which are somehow different from the main body of the church saints. The result therefore suits their purpose in supposing that the saints seen in Heaven at the 6th seal are merely “tribulation saints”. But here is the Bible truth folks: all saints from the inception of the church are in essence “tribulation saints”. Why? According to Paul, “through much tribulation must we enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Acts 14:22). This is why John also wrote in Rev 1:9 “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.” Who is John addressing here saying he is a companion of them in tribulation and in the kingdom? The seven churches! If we understand therefore that all church saints are in effect “tribulation saints” then we can get over the problem of designating the saints in Rev 7:14 as those who came out of “the great tribulation” (whether 7 years or 3 and ½ years) which precedes Christ coming, as per Matt 24:21. We should note that Rev 7:14 did not use the word “the” in reference to “great tribulation” but simply says, “these are they which came out of great tribulation”. So then since we know that the church will go through much tribulation to enter the kingdom of heaven why should this great multitude of Rev 7:14 not be the church? Of course some of these multitude will have come out of the great tribulation mentioned in Matt 24:21 but all these must necessarily be the church.

Here is one contradiction in regards to the so-called “tribulation saints”. The scriptures say that the elect, the church saints are not appointed unto wrath – yet Don you insist that the 1st seal which commences the tribulation period is God’s wrath. However, weren’t these saints predestined also from the foundation of the world to receive salvation and are they not very much a part of the body of Christ and have His testimony? So how do you put them at the mercy of God’s wrath? I suggested to you also that these “tribulation saints” seen at the sixth seal must have been raptured also meaning there is at least two raptures but according to you they were not raptured but resurrected. Yet aren’t they seen in heaven and around the throne of Christ? How did they get there if they were not caught up as well? Do you want to know how I know they were in heaven? Look at Rev 15:2 and conflate with Rev 4:6. They were seen standing on the sea of glass around the throne. (Not that I am advocating two raptures but this is the implication of what you have said in relation to the scriptures)

In any event let us look on the “key” verse you use to support your pre-trib theory. It should be noted however that 1 Thess 4 does not relate the event of the catching up in terms of a tribulation period (because tribulation is not mentioned there). What you have done however is to impose your (own) timing in relation to the tribulation of Matt 24:21 on the text by wrongly designating the 1st seal as part of God’s wrath. Lets look at the text:

1 Thess 4
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first [First resurrection?]: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

If the dead in Christ rise first isn’t this a resurrection which takes place as part of the catching away? So this resurrection where the dead in Christ rises first must necessarily be the “first resurrection” isn’t it. And when does the first resurrection take place, before the anti-christ beast system or after? According to your reckoning the first resurrection takes place before the 1st seal and you claim therefore that the church will not even see the anti-christ. But yet the tribulation church saints sees the antichrist don’t they? But in any event here is what scripture says concerning the timing of the first resurrection.

Rev 20
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

So clearly then, since we know that it is after the 1st seal that the antichrist is revealed, the rapture (which would have included the first resurrection) could not have taken place prior to the 1st seal. However this scripture [Rev 20:4-5] points clearly to the fact that the first resurrection occurs after the saints had gotten victory over the beast and his image. It is clear then that the 1st seal does NOT begin God’s wrath. So going back to the point which we agreed on before, the rapture takes place before the wrath is poured out. The scripture makes it clear though that it occurs at the 6th seal after which time the wrath is poured out. This is why we see in Rev 15 where the so-called “tribulation saints” [who overcame the beast and his image] were seen in heaven standing on the sea of glass when the 7 angels were about to pour out the seven last plagues.

One question for you to ponder. When God’s wrath is being poured out does the scripture not say that “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands?” (Isa 9:13, Rev 9:20)

There is a lot more points which I find problematic in your responses but I will leave off here for now. One thing I ask though is unless you are bringing some new thoughts on the matter please do not reproduce the same stuff that you have already posted because it is not getting us anwhere [and I have dealt with them scripturally].

dmcal52 - April 23, 2010

Paul,

Please read the following verse:

“Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.”

Now Paul, do you see the word “Abomination of Desolation” anywhere in the verse above? The is answer is no, you don’t. Is it describing the abombination of desolatioin, without a doubt.

Just because the word “Coming” isn’t found in Rev.19:11-21, doesn’t mean he isn’t coming. All of Rev. 19:11-21 is describing his coming to the earth, without the use of the word “coming.” Where do you think the armies of heaven are following him out of heaven to?

The word “Bride” is found just before he decends to the earth in Rev.19:6-8.

You said:
“Q2) The bride or the church or the elect or believers are not mentioned in Rev. 19:11-21. The armies dressed in fine linen following the Word are angels”

Compare the two following verses:

“Let us be rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his “Bride” has made herself ready. FINE LINEN, BRIGHT AND CLEAN, WAS GIVEN HER TO WEAR.” (Rev.19:6-7)

“The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and DRESSED IN FINE LINEN, WHITE AND CLEAN.” (Rev.19:14)

So, as you can plainly see, in Rev.19:6-7, the bride was given fine linen, bright and clean to wear and then following that, the armies of heaven are following behind Jesus on white horses dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

You said that those following Jesus are angels, but I will use your own erroneous reasoning against you. Do you see the word “Angels” anywhere in verse 19:14 identifying those who are dressed in fine linen, bright and clean? No, you don’t. But, you do see that just previously, the “Bride” was given fine linen, white and clean to wear. So, the context shows that the bride are the armies following Jesus from heaven.

Jesus return to the earth to set up his millennial kingdom is the grand finale of the book of Revelation. He is making war against all of the nations that he gathered there in Megiddo for the battle of Armegeddon to wipe them out with the double-edge sword that procedes from his mouth. He is fullinging what was prophecied in Daniel 2:34-35:

“While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.”

The rock is Jesus and the statue represents all of the world ruling empires from the beginning to the end of the age. The rock (Jesus) strikes the statue on its feet, which represents the beast empire of iron and clay and the statue is broken into peices, that is, human government is abolished and Jesus millennial kingdom begins.

“It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to and end, but it will itself endure forever.”

You need to stop looking for specific words and start reading between the spiritual lines Paul.

dmcal52 - April 23, 2010

Paul, your’re making this like shooting fish in a barrell now and your the fish, he, he….

I think that you all will agree that, whatever is written in the word of God has to take place. For example, when we are told that there will be a 144,000 sealed from the 12 tribes of Israel, that being, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes, then you can be sure that will be the amount sealed.

When we read that, from the 6th Trumpet that there will be mounted troops equaling 200 million, you can bet there will be 200 million that kill 1/3 of those left on the earth and that also, 1/3 of the earth’s population at that time will be killed.

If we read that there is going to be a covenant of seven years made with many, then you can bet your life that, there will be seven years, which can’t be altered, because that would make God’s word untrue.

If we read that, at the middle of the seven, that ruler (antichrist) will break his covenant and set up the abomination in the temple, then you can bet your life that, the abomination is going to be set up in the middle of the seven year3, which means that it will be set up 3 1/2 years after the covenant was made.

If you can read that, from the time that the abomination is set up from the middle of the seven, that the woman (Israel) will be cared for in the wilderness for 1,260 days, also referred to as a time, times and a half a time, which equals, (you guessed it), 3 1/2 years, then you can bet that it will be 3 1/2 years, otherwise, it could not be written in the word of God.

If we read that, the beast is given authority over the saints for 42 months (3 1/2 years), which is from the middle of the seven up until Jesus returns to set up his millennial kingdom, then you can bet that it will be 3 1/2 years from the middle of the seven to the end, otherwise God’s word would not be correct.

What you are not understanding is that, when Jesus says: “Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved,” he is speaking from the middle of the seven, when the abomination is set up until the end of the age, when he returns 3 1/2 years later. When he says “except those days were shortened” he means, if it was allowed to go on any longer than the already prophecied time of 3 1/2 years, no one would survive. It has already been shortened to 3 1/2 years, that is, 3 1/2 years from the time that the abomination is set up until the time he returns will be 3 1/2 years.

The time period for this is already written in the word of God and cannot be changed or altered, because it is already written and God’s word must be fulfilled. He would not write 3 1/2 years and then have it shortened to 3 or 2 1/2 half years or any other number.

God is not a man to lie, not the Son of Man to repent.

Don,
In the same breath that you are saying that these things are written, is it not also written, “whe ye shall see the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not” (Matt 24:15)? Who is Jesus talking to here, isn’t it His Disciples and consequently the church? We know this because He says in another place, “what I say unto you I say unto all” (Mark 13:37) But according to you the church will not even see the antichrist yet is it not also written that the beast was in power first when the false prophet made an image to the beast (Rev 13:14-15)? So then if this same image to the beast is the same as the abomination of desolation, does Jesus not say that the church saints would see it as per Matt 24:15?

29. Paul Bortolazzo - April 23, 2010

Don,
The Bride of Christ doesn’t return from heaven to earth twice. The Word of God and His armies of angels dressed in fine linen descend from heaven in Rev. 19:11-21. The appear at the supper of the great God, the battle of Armageddon. According to Daniel 12:11, the Abomination of Desolation will become desolate thirty days after the end of the 70th week of Daniel (Dan. 9:27). The beast will be cast alive into the lake of fire during this battle. Forty-five days on the first day of the Millennium (Dan. 12:12), the Lamb of God returns to earth with His bride to rule over a new (restored) earth. They are inside the new heaven, the Holy Jerusalem.
At the supper of the Great God in Rev 19:11-21, it never says the bride is with the Lord and it never says He touches the earth. During the 45 day period between Armageddon and the Millennium there are four major events that must take place, Jerusalem becoming highest mountain on the earth, the return of saved Jews and Gentiles from the nations, and Jesus rebuilding the final Temple. After these events are completed, the Son of Man will return to heaven to receive a kingdom to rule over and to get His bride. The Bride of Christ doesn’t return twice Don. The only time the bride returns from heaven to earth is on the first day of the millennium.

30. Paul Bortolazzo - April 23, 2010

Don,
The shortening of the great tribulation by the coming of the Son of Man doesn’t effect the 70th week of Daniel (Mat. 24:21-22, 29-31, Rev. 7:9-14) The Great Tribulation ends when the object of the persecution is removed by our Blessed Hope. The day of the Lord begins after the church is delivered, like the days of Noah, deliverance then wrath on the same day (Luke 17:26-30). The Messiah is coming back at the end of the 70th week to fulfill the mystery of God, the salvation of Israel (Dan. 9:24, Rom. 11:25-27, Rev. 10:1-7) The resurrection of the elect after the 6th seal at the coming of the Son of Man takes place sometime in the second half of the 70th week no man knows the day or hour. The physical return to earth by the Messiah to fulfill the mystery of God, the salvation of Israel on the Day of Atonement takes place at the end of the 70th week. The Word of God appears in heaven 30 days later. Forty-days later His coming ends when the Lamb of God descends to earth with His bride. These four distinct events, Son of Man, Messiah, Word, and Lamb, all happen at different times, for different reasons, each having different results. We know when the Messiah, the Word, and the Lamb will return, what we don’t know is the day or hour of the coming of the Son of Man for His elect from the wrath to come, like the days of Noah.

dmcal52 - April 23, 2010

Hi Paul,

Forgive me, but do you even understand what the “Abomination of desolation” is?

The abomination of desolation is an image of the 1st beast, which is made by the inhabitants of the earth by order of the false prophet. (Rev.13:14-15)

The setting of this abomination (image) within the holy place in the temple is what causes the desolation.

The desolation is when Jesus says the following:

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel–let the reader understand–then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go be to get his cloak.”

Jesus warning is that, when they see the abomination standing in the holy place to get the heck out of there. Don’t stop to get anything, just get out! The desolation is caused by that image of the first beast being set up in their temple. The desolation is when everyone flees Jerusalem because of that image being set up.

This desolation takes place at the middle of the seven and not at the end, for how could the woman (Israel) be cared for 3 1/2 years in the wilderness until Christ comes if as you say, the desolation is taking place at the end of the seven years, which is when Christ returns?

The seven year period is divided up into two 3 1/2 year periods. This is made very clear in Scripture, as Daniel 9:27 concretely states seven years.

The division of the seven year period is this abomination that is set up, as spoken by Daniel:

“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of temple he will set up an abomination that cuases desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

So, as you can see, the time period is seven years in length. He causes the daily sacrifice to cease and sets up that abomination in the temple at the mid-way point of the seven, which is what causes the desolation of Jerusalem.

Also, you are correct, Jesus does not come to the earth twice. The first time is to meet us in the air and take his church back to the Father’s house, but does not physically come to the earth. This is the confussion, because people have made his coming to meet us in the air synonymous with his second coming instead of looking at these as two seperate events. The first is to meet us in the air to remove his church from the earth and then at the end of the seven years to return physically to make war against the nations and to abolish the human governments and to set up his kingdom.

31. Henry - April 24, 2010

Greetings one and all,

I have seen where this discussion has moved slightly off topic to dispute things that add much to confuse readers who may be struggling to get a grip with these issues. So as the moderator of this blog it is my duty to bring us back into line by summarising the issues that are of paramount importance here. Wabd your concerns will be addressed here although if you go back over the responses above you will note where I have inserted my comments directly in comments by both you and Don. Paul the reason you are having a tug of war with Don is because you make a distinction between “the tribulation of those days” and God’s wrath which follows but Don makes no distinction between the “tribulation of those days” and God’s wrath, which he sees as the same event. This is where Wabd’s confusion comes into play as well as per his last comment to me above.

The first thing we need to do then is to clarify whether or not “the tribulation of those days” which Jesus speaks of in Matt 24 is indeed the same thing as God’s wrath, i.e. the wrath being poured out after the rapture (the resurrection on catching away) has taken place.

We know from scripture, 1 Thess 5:9-10 that God has not appointed the church to wrath.

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (1 Thess 5:9-10)

Verse 10 makes it clear that the resurrection and catching away must come before the wrath and this is why it says that, “whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him”. This of course is a reference to 1 Thess 4:14-17 where it says, and to paraphrase, that those who are alive at the coming of the Lord will not prevent those that are asleep from obtaining the “blessed hope” but the dead will be raise first (in the first resurrection) and those who are alive will be caught up with them to meet Jesus in the air.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thess 4:14-17)

So then we have made it clear that the church (dead or living) will NOT see God’s wrath.
At this point I do not want to overcomplicate things by introducing certain other concepts but will ask one KEY question: Is the beast having seven heads and ten horns of Rev 13 which persecuted the saints to overcome them, part of God’s wrath? If we can answer this question then I think we will then be able to clarify whether or not the “tribulation of those days” and “God’s wrath being poured out after the resurrection and catching away” amounts to the same thing. Once we have come to the understanding of this issue then everything else will fall into place.

Now going back to the KEY question what do we know from scripture? We know that a beast will rise who will persecute and kill “the saints”:

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: (Rev 13:1, 7, 15-16)

However, do these events as mentioned here occur before the resurrection and catching away or after? To answer this we must turn to Rev 20:4-6:

4I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Rev 20:4-6, NIV)

From the above scripture then we know that those who were persecuted by the beast having the 7 heads and 10 horns were part of the first resurrection. Consequently, these same saints who overcame this beast and it’s mark and image must have been in heaven at the time of the resurrection and catching away of 1 Thess 4:14-17, after which the wrath was poured out. Do we have any scriptural evidence for this? Yes we do and this can be found in Rev 15:1-3:

1 I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. 2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: (Rev 15:1-3)

Of course the rest of this chapter is worth reading to see what happened next. It is also worth popping over to Rev 16 to see who were receiving the seven last plagues and the saints who were persecuted by the beast of Rev 13 were not present.

To summarize then, the period of the persecution by the beast having 7 heads and 10 horns CANNOT be God’s wrath to the extent that God’s wrath is poured out after the resurrection and catching away. It has been established that the saints who overcame the beast and his image were a part of the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6), which has to be the same as that spoken of by Paul in 1 Thess 4:14-17, which is referred to as the rapture. It has been further proven that these saints who overcame the beast and his image and mark were seen in heaven standing on the sea of glass which is before God’s throne, at a time when the 7 last plagues were about to be poured out (Rev 15:1-3). It is commonly agreed that the tribulation period, at least includes the rise of the antichrist and therefore the beast of Rev 13. The image that is raised up to this beast is associated with the “abomination of desolation” mentioned in Matt 24:15-21. It is after this “abomination of desolation” that the “great tribulation” occurs. To the extent therefore that the great tribulation here is the same as the period in which “the saints” overcame the persecution of this beast and its image and mark, then this period is clearly not a part of the coming wrath. The simple reason being the saints out of this period were caught up in the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6, Rev 15:1-3).

May the Lord bless you all and open your eyes to the truth. Amen.

32. paul bortolazzo - April 24, 2010

Hi Henry,

Your so right my brother spending precious time sharing the future events the church will experience is a waste of my time if each side has different designations for each event. The 70th week begins after the opening of the first seal when Satan comes down to conquer as many saints through the Beast (Rev. 13:7) The 6th seal, sun, moon, and stars losing their light, precedes the coming of the Lord for His elect followed by the day of the Lord, Gods wrath against the wicked. This leaves no doubt the 70th week of Daniel somehow represents the Day of the Lord. Satan’s wrath during the 4th and 5th seals cannot in any way be Gods wrath during the day of the Lord. The Great Tribulation must be cut short (amputated) for the sake of the overcoming saints (Mat. 24:21-22, 29-31, Rev. 7:9-14, 15:2)
I believe Don and Wabd are as convinced of a pre trib rapture as we are convinced the rapture must come after the Man of Sin reveals himself in the middle of the 70th week. We shall see. If we are raptured in the next five minutes you and are Henry are wrong and at the judgment seat of Christ will we tell the Lord we tried our best but were wrong. If a world leader brokers a false peace between Israel and the Muslims next year and we enter the 70th week of Daniel, then a pre trib rapture teaching was wrong. And we are going to face the greatest persecution in the history of the church. In my mind the time to debate is over. Lets draw closer to Jesus, disciple those around us to overcome, and lead people to Jesus.

33. Henry - April 25, 2010

Hi Paul,

Indeed any discussions are fruitless if we cannot agree on the correct designations as this brings about confusion. As I have demonstrated the wrath and the tribulation are two different things not because I say so but the weight of scriptures says so and I have demonstrated this. However pre-tribbers seems to assume a position then try to take scripture to fit hence the result is to change some designations in order to make the assumptions fit. There is not a single word of scripture which tells us that rapture occurs before the promised tribulation period.

I believe the problem with pre-tribbers (and Wabd is a classic example) is that they did not study this by themselves and came up with the pretrib view but that it was handed down to them by their pastors and teachers. They look up to these men and have great respect for them and so for them to accept any other view which contradicts these men would mean that they would have to accept that these men had deceived them – for them this position would be sacrilegious. The truth however is that one can receive the word in sincerity but the teacher can be sincerely wrong. We should not attach ourselves to pastors and teachers such that we are unable to adobt the Berean attitude to see whether what they preach were so. And I know this is the problem with Wabd because he has made mention of the person who he studied the pre-trib rapture with – there was an hint of admiration in his language.

The truth though is that there are pastors who have been studying and teaching this for 50 years and still they can’t get it right.

I agree with what you have said though. Time for debating is over.

34. Paul Bortolazzo - April 25, 2010

Hi Henry,

Wow, what an excellent post on why and how a pre-tribulation rapture has infiltrated so many hearts in the church. Ive been teaching on the last days full time since 1998 and it only gets worse. I saw a perfect example on TBN. Paul Crouches wife, Jan, was interviewing Franklin Graham on why he was removed by the Pentagon as their speaker for the National Day of Prayer. In one breath he says Jesus is the only way to salvation; not Islam. Franklin boldly teaches believers assurance (the heresy of once saved always saved) as well as Jesus can come at any moment (pre trib rapture). In the next breath he teaches this day of prayer is not about Islam or Christianity, its about getting the nation to ask God Almighty to forgive our nation. Excuse me? This day of prayer is only about Christianity! All other religious faiths that deny Jesus are not praying to God Almighty. We are on a slippery slope. The falling away of Christians jumping ship and not enduring sound doctrine anymore is increasing everyday.

35. Paul Bortolazzo - April 26, 2010

The second coming of Christ consists of four events. His second coming begins with the coming of the Son of Man. The resurrection of the dead in Christ and the overcomers on earth will take place sometime in the second half of the 70th week of Daniel; no man knows the exact day or hour (1 Thes. 4:15-17, Mat. 24:15-36). At the end of the second half of the 70th week, the Messiah will return to earth and fulfill the mystery of God; the salvation of Israel (Rev. 10:7, Rom. 11:25-27). Daniel 12:11-12 highlights the timing of the third and fourth events of Christ’s second coming. (Rev. 19:11-21; 21:9-10) Thirty days after the Messiah returns to earth (1290 days) the Word of God will appear in heaven to war against the Beast and his armies (Rev. 19:11-21, Dan. 12:11). We know this because the Abomination of Desolation (Beast) will become desolate on this day From Armageddon (1290 days) till the first day of Christ’s reign over the nations (1335 days) there will be forty-five days (Dan. 12:12). His coming will end when the Lamb returns with His bride (Rev. 21:9-10). Between Armageddon and the first day of the millennium the Lord will complete four events on earth (Isa. 2:2; 10:20-21; 65:17, Zech. 6:12-13).(Dan 9:27, Rev. 19:20).

36. wabd - April 27, 2010

Greetings Henry & Paul,

I see you gentlemen have taken the liberty of labeling me a hardline pre-tribber 🙂 Also I am supposed to be enamored of a teacher of the pre tribulation doctrine 🙂 :). Okay!

“I believe the problem with pre-tribbers (and Wabd is a classic example) is that they did not study this by themselves and came up with the pretrib view but that it was handed down to them by their pastors and teachers.

And I know this is the problem with Wabd because he has made mention of the person who he studied the pre-trib rapture with – there was an hint of admiration in his language.”

I should clarify though that my studies have been mostly in that area, I know all there is to know about the pre-trib doctrine, it’s what you have been blogging that’s new to me; hence the reason for my questions sometimes repeatedly for clarification on the timing and designation on the seal, trumpet and vial judgments.

Whenever I ask some probing questions, Paul either bows out or simply does not provide a straight enough answer. I would think if I am repeating the obvious questions its because the answers are ambiguous. (see exchanges on April 21 and 22). I do respect Paul’s opinions and even his candor but he needs to stand by his interpretations and try not to over complicate or divert from the questions.

Henry and I have been going at it for a while and I see this as a healthy discussion at least compared to some of the crap that are posted on other blogs. While Henry has focused a lot of attention on Matthew 24 and conflated, in particular the 6th seal and Matt 24: 29-31 he has neglected to give an account of the timing of the judgments.

Earlier you responded with some clarification on the great tribulation being Satan’s wrath while the wrath of God comes after with the rapture taking place before the latter. Given that the 6th seal by your reckoning is the time of the rapture, I am still waiting to know what happened to the trumpet judgments :). Believe me when I tell you that I look at your writings objectively, I do not meld my pre-trib knowledge with it. Again I am having difficulty with the timing of the judgments as well as the designations – which are wrath and which are not.

I am not asking you guys to respond, I was simply clarifying why I am unable to discern what you are writing. With God’s grace I will figure it out. Take care and God bless….

dmcal52 - April 27, 2010

Hello All!

In regards to Henry’s previous assumption, regarding protecting the views and interpretations of my teachers, the truth is exactly the opposite. I don’t have any teachers and never did, as most of my studies have been personal. I have read material by others such as Marvin Rosenthal (pre-Wrath), Missler, Walter Martin, Jeffrey Grant, Tim Lahaye, etc, etc. for the purpose of measuring up their findings to my 37 years of study and I find that I critique more than anything.

I get upset when these writers speak against those holding to a pre-trib resurrection and catching away and label them as “Darbyest’s,” only because Darby happened to be someone who came to the conclusion of that same timing of that event. I resent that because, I have never read anything by Darby or anyone else that affected my interpretation of any of God’s truth.

My stand is that, if someone can show me plausablity for a change regarding my stand on any event or issue within the word of God, then I will be willing to listen and dig in to find out if it holds water. Anything that I am not sure about, I put in what I call my “Spiritual cupboard” and it stays there until at later time God gives me the answer to it. My studies and interpretations are my own and I back up any claim that I make with Scripture.

What I can’t stand is that, when I do provide Scripture that is without refutation and the person never acknowledges that truth, then I see that they are set on either what someone taught them or that they are not willing to the possibility that, they are wrong. Case in point, Paul has continued to speak of the Abomination of Desolation as being the beast (antichrist) himself, when I have pointed out using Scripture that, the abomination mentioned in Daniel, Matthew and Revelation is an image, as in idolatry and not a human being. The Scripture points to this fact by what is written in the context and by the very definition of the word “Bdelugma,” which according to Vine’s, denotes an “object” of desgust. Further proof that this is an image and not a human being, is the description found in Rev.13:14-15. Though the phrase “abomination of desolation” does not appear in the context, the description of it does and in fact gives us more detail of exactly what Daniel was speaking of.

Now, when I corrected Paul on this, he should have at least have been honest enough to look at my Scriptural proof and say, “you know Don, your are correct, the beast himself is not that abomination, but it is an image of the 1st beast that the false prophet commands the inhabitants of the earth to make of him, which is then set up in the temple. After studying every aspect of the abomination of desolation, it becomes very apparent
that it is an image of the 1st beast and not the beast himself.

I can’t explain every issue of the timing of the resurrection and catching away in relation to the wrath of God and the Lord’s return to the earth, but after weighing all of Scripture, it is the most plausible interpretatation based on my studies.

For example, I read a book by Tim Lahaye titled “Revelation Unveiled,” but as I began to go through the book I found that it turned into a critigue, because the errors where unbelievable! To name a couple, because there is a group in Revelation 7, where the 144,000 are being marked and because there is another mention of 144,000 chapter 14, Tim Lahaye came the conclusion that there are two seperate groups of 144,000 (P.228). He also claimed that, because the Book of Life is referred to as the “Lamb’s Book of Life,” that there are two books of life (P.76). He even had Michael the archangel as the one who was detained by the prince of Persia mentioned in the book of Daniel, when it was clearly Gabriel who was the one that was detained and Michael was the one who made it possible for Gabriel to get to Daniel and many other such claims did he make in his book.

My point is that, my studies, are my mine and no one elses, that is, no one influences me. My interpreation of the word of God is not based on what anyone else believes, because I have no mentors. When I read someones book on any given subject, I am open minded and when I come to a conflict, I will go back and to everywhere that has to do with that subject and I will thouroughly investigate it. With the example of the Abomination of desolation, this is a no brainer and easy to prove.

Anyway, got to go to work now. So, I’ll talk with you all later.

yours in Christ

37. Henry - April 27, 2010

Wabd,
Greetings! Please do remember that with everything you have written, there is a record. Here is your comment in which you referred to the person you studied the pre-tribulation doctrine from and I quote:

“In fact the person that I studied the pre-trib rapture doctrine from said something similar to what you said in your opening statement which I quoted.” (Wabd A.D. 2010)

Here is the link to the comment: https://spiritofdiscernment.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/the-rapture-fact-or-fiction/#comment-27

So like I said you did not study this and came up with your conclusions yourself but you received the word from another and this generally applies to a lot of believers in the pre-trib doctrine. They receive it as it is handed down through the church from their pastors and teachers, as with any other heresy.

You say your main problem is placing the timing of the trumpet judgements but let me submit to you that you are taking the wrong approach here. But let me indulge you. In Rev 7 we read:

1And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

These four angels are the first 4 of the 7 angels having the seven trumpets because they are the ones given power to hurt the earth. However they could not hurt the earth till the servants of God (the 144,000) were sealed (bear in mind that these were the “first fruits” unto God and to the Lamb, Rev 14:4). The other 3 angels are referred to as the 3 woes so there is a distinction/separation between the first 4 and the 3 after.

The sealing of the servants of God took place at the 6th seal then on opening the 7th seal (See Rev 8:1) the first four angels begin to sound and as it were hurt the earth:

“6And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

7The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

8And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 9And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

10And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

12And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

13And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!”

So then after the “first fruits” are gathered and the great multitude are seen then trumpet judgements begin. If you read through to Rev 11 you will see when the three woes finished and thus completes the trumpet judgements. However, if you look at Rev 9:4-5 when the first woe is being performed by the 5 angel which had a trumpet you will see that the forces that were unleashed were given power to hurt only those men which did not have the seal of God. Recall that the servants of God were already sealed at the 6th seal back in Rev 7. [This should be a clear indication that there were no socalled “tribulation saints” that were receiving the wrath of the trumpet judgements, neither did the so-called tribulation saints suffer the bowl judgements because it was poured out on only those who had the mark and who worshiped the beast and its image – Rev 16]

You have to be careful with Rev 10 and 11 though because there is a pause after the second woe at the end of Chapter 9 through to verse 13 of Chapter 11 the prophesy regarding the woes then continue from verse 14 with the last angel having a trumpet.

Case in point: Some of the events of Revelation 12 occured at the time of Jesus’ birth when Herod issued a warrant to kill all the male children of about 2 years old. This is what is referenced by the beast standing before the woman (Israel) that was about to give birth to a man child.

I hope I have cleared up some of the confusion you are having with this subject. Feel free to fire any questions or points at me and we can look at them together “objectively”.

38. Henry - April 27, 2010

Hello Don,

If I have made any wrong assertions about you then I stand corrected and do sincerely apologise. However I was speaking in general terms and I am sure you would agree that a lot of church people know what they know not because they studied for themselves but because of what they were taught hence the reason why some heresies are still alive in the church today.

Nevertheless, whilst I do not want to wade into the issue with yourself and Paul what I would say is that this is an example of straining at a gnat. This main issue here is not about the abomination of desolation and what it is etc. The main issue is whether or not the WRATH and the TRIBULATION constitute the same thing. Resolve this then we can look at the timing of the other issues. You are on point concerning the fact that the church saints are gathered before the wrath of God. However where you make an error is to coincide the wrath with the tribulation and treating them as the same events. I have however put forward scriptures which says otherwise.

39. Paul Bortolazzo - April 27, 2010

Hi guys,

Henry, I first met Wabd and Don on other end time blogs. We have gone through the same points of contention over and over. The reason why I haven’t answered all their questions is because I just don’t have the time.
I once spent forty minutes typing replies for ten questions Wabd posted and when I asked him to respond, he curtly replied obviously you show no conclusive proof. I’ve asked Don questions before and he has done the same thing he accuses me of.
Clearly this is a waste of time. Now Henry is another matter. This godly man is a real witness for Christ.

In my new book, Til Eternity, I highlight the last seventy events until eternity begins in scriptural and chronological order. This includes the events coming before, during, and after Christs 2nd coming. Your welcome to read it, Don and Wabd. The question is, why would you?

wabd - April 27, 2010

Hi Henry,

Do you believe that the church is considered in today’s world as the enemy of peace by unbelievers and world leaders?

“church” the body of faithful believers that bear witness to the word of God and testimony of Jesus, not the fly by night money making ministries.

In His Grace

Wes

P.S. I took no offence to your previous comments, you can label me a pre-tribber as long as you don’t call me a heretic or an atheist we’ll grow together in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. 🙂

wabd - April 27, 2010

Paul,

I humbly apologise for being ‘curt’ in my response to your painstaking responses to my 10 questions (I remember it well), I have grown spiritually since I have engaged you, Henry and Don in these discussions that we are having.

As far as reading your book, I have no problem with that if it is available online I would welcome the opportunity. I do all my studies online as the fonts and background makes it easy on the aging eyes 🙂 as opposed to the fine print Bibles that are available. I can also reference the cited scriptures easier with tools like e-sword etc.

I have made no secret of my background in the pre-trib doctrine but that does not mean that I am not open to other views. Why would I constantly pester you and Henry with questions if I wasn’t interested.

40. Henry - April 27, 2010

Wabd,

In answer to your question yes I would agree that unbelievers regard Christianity and the gospel as the enemy of peace hence there is an all out attack to undermine Christianity, to ridicule Christians and even Jesus Christ Himself. The church is being attacked from inside and out to bring about a doctrine which embraces the world because true Christianity means to separate oneself from the world. The truth of the gospel therefore is antithetical to the global ideals of ecumenism, which is deemed the vehicle by which world peace may be achieve. This however is for another topic of discussion so let me end on that note.

PS. I hope I have not attached any labels to you. But between you seemed to have put my responses in your “spiritual cupboard” instead of responding to them.

wabd - April 28, 2010

Henry,

Please forgive me for not replying sooner to your responses, I needed to fully examine what they were to ensure that I came to an understanding.

To summarize:

The church is caught up and resurrected at the 6th seal (Rev 6:12-14), this conflates with (Matt 24: 29-31). Is it true that astronomical events such as what are detailed in the two reference scriptures signified judgment being handed down by God as we learn from (Isa 13:10-11, 34:4-5), (Ezek 32:7-9)?

Could it then be possible that conflating these two scriptures as it has been done is incorrect? In one instance we can clearly see the heavenly signs being related to a judgment from God upon the earth, then without a pause being read into the verses we see the gathering of the elect.

If we look up in Matt 24:9-14: (Mat 24:9) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

(Mat 24:10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

(Mat 24:11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

(Mat 24:12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

(Mat 24:13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

(Mat 24:14) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Here we have similar events occurring at different time periods; the disciples are being persecuted and told to endure to the end and receive salvation. The same instructions are for Christians of the last generation but the preaching of the gospel for all the world is only possible in the time of the last generation. Nonetheless the verse begins with “And” (Mat 24:14), clearly there is a time difference involved before this comes to pass.

Now if we look at (Mat 24:29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Judgment being handed down.

(Mat 24:30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Gentile unbelievers and non messianic Jews witness the Messiah’s return hence the reason for their mourning. I think if a saint or Christian is present at that time he would be rejoicing.

(Mat 24:31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The sound of a trumpet in the OT was commonly used to gather God’s people for war, (Zeph 1:16, Jer 4:5), and again on the day of the Lord (Isa 27:13, Zech 9:14-16) the trumpet shall sound for the final battle.

Just a thought my friend 🙂

41. wabd - April 29, 2010

Greetings Henry,

You wrote:
“We know from scripture, 1 Thess 5:9-10 that God has not appointed the church to wrath.

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (1 Thess 5:9-10)

Verse 10 makes it clear that the resurrection and catching away must come before the wrath and this is why it says that, “whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him”.

I AGREE WITH THE ABOVE

You wrote:
“Is the beast having seven heads and ten horns of Rev 13 which persecuted the saints to overcome them, part of God’s wrath? If we can answer this question then I think we will then be able to clarify whether or not the “tribulation of those days” and “God’s wrath being poured out after the resurrection and catching away” amounts to the same thing. Once we have come to the understanding of this issue then everything else will fall into place.”

NOW THIS IS NOT AS SIMPLE AS IT SEEMS and I’ll tell you why!

We know from the opening of the 1st seal IN HEAVEN an event takes place ON EARTH, the same can be said for all the judgments – seals, trumpets and bowls. In every instance the authority given stems from God’s instructions, we can see this in “7 And it WAS GIVEN UNTO him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and POWER WAS GIVEN him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Here we see the dragon giving the beast these authorities but the question still remains as to where the dragon’s authority came from. In my humble opinion ALL of creation is subject to God’s authority even the very actions of the dragon, this can be reflected in (Isa 45:5) I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

(Isa 45:6) That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

(Isa 45:7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Now to answer your question, “Is the beast having seven heads and ten horns of Rev 13 which persecuted the saints to overcome them, part of God’s wrath?” Based on God’s authority over ALL of His creation – YES! If we look at it in layman’s terms it’s the same – if a manager assigns a task to his worst subordinate, isn’t the manager still responsible for the final outcome?

If you disagree with my analogy then I ask, where do we draw the line between God’s authority over ALL of His creation and Satan’s authority without God’s granting of it?

Don’t get me wrong, the wrath that dragon pours out through the beast on the saints (after God’s permit) may not necessarily be the wrath of God that qualifies the time prior to the rapture. It is in my humble opinion a time of great tribulation, after all the angel did say “(Rev 12:12) Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

My question to you is – the 6th seal qualifies as the rapture, is this at the same time of the 7th vial judgment? Are they occurring simultaneously?

Hope to hear from you soon.

42. Henry - April 29, 2010

Wabd,

What we need to remember is that all the Bible writers may write from a slightly different perspective though they speak of the same event. The prophets who receive these visions do not see them in exactly the same way though there is enough in the writings to enable us to understand that they are speaking of the same event. Therefore Matt 24:29-31 and Rev 6:12-14 speaks of the same “great and terrible day of the Lord” as is mentioned not just in Isaiah and Ezekiel but also in Malachi, Zachariah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, you name it. I therefore do not believe that it is wrong to conflate Matt 24:29-31 to Rev 6:12-14. By your reasoning then where would you put Joel 2:10 and Joel 3:15 (see also Acts 2:17-21)?

What you need to remember is from the outset the Disciples wanted to know what was to be the sign of Jesus’ coming. Jesus proceeded to respond. In His response Jesus warned the disciples not to believe anyone who said the Christ was seen at a particular place. He assured them however that as the lightening flashes from east to west so shall the appearance of the Son of Man be. So in essence we do not look for Jesus on the ground but we look for Him coming in the clouds of heaven and if we bore that in mind then we would not be deceived by anyone saying the Christ is here or there.

With regards to your point that the gospel could only be preached to all nations at a future time, let me remind you that Jesus sent the 12 to go into all the world and preached the gospel. So everyone from the inception of the church through to the last days must have an opportunity to here the gospel.

You said:

“Gentile unbelievers and non messianic Jews witness the Messiah’s return hence the reason for their mourning. I think if a saint or Christian is present at that time he would be rejoicing.”

But immediately after this you quoted Matt 24:31 in which it says that Jesus will send His angels to gather the elect. Aren’t the elect saints and therefore Christians? But the fact that the writer doesn’t say the elect were rejoicing doesn’t mean they were not present! I am sure you can see how this reasoning is faulty.

Your reasoning on the trumpet does not necessarily follow. When the trumpet is blown in Old Testament times it was not always about battle. For example, Jer 6:1 is quite the opposite: “O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.”

Here we see the trumpet being blown to warn the people to flee to safety. The trumpet (shofar) has also been used in many religious ceremonies/assemblies. I hope I have answered your concerns here.

43. paul bortolazzo - April 29, 2010

Wabd,

You asked, “My question to you is – the 6th seal qualifies as the rapture, is this at the same time of the 7th vial judgment? Are they occurring simultaneously?”

In his vision John saw twenty-one events taking place in chronological order. The seven seals are opened in Revelation 6:1-17 and 8:1. The seven trumpets sound in Revelation 8:1-13; 9:1-21; and 11:15. The seven bowls are poured out in Revelation 16:1-21. The seals, trumpets, and bowls take place one right after the other. Each event has different results. Jesus opens the seven seals of the heavenly scroll before the seven angels are given their trumpets (Rev. 6:1-17; 8:2). All seven trumpets sound before seven different angels are given the golden bowls full of God’s final wrath (Rev. 15:1-7). Which means the seals, trumpets, and bowls cannot be the same events. When you allow the Word of God to define itself, it proves His coming is much more than one visit (Rev. 7:9-14; 10:1-7; 19:11-21; 21:9-10).

44. Henry - April 29, 2010

Greetings Wabd,

I will try to address your concerns in your most recent reply to me here. Firstly, it would seem that you are of the view that it is the “act of opening the seals” in heaven which results in an act on the earth. But suppose you are looking at this wrong? What if the scroll upon which the seals are placed is “just” a record of future events that will occur up to the time of the end? Regardless of whether the seals were opened therefore these things were already destined to come to pass BUT the Lord in His mercy has decided to give us a preview via John’s vision which was to be written and sent to the seven churches? In other words the events that are witnessed aren’t an incidence of the opening of the seals. This would then help us to overcome the assertion that the seals are part of the wrath of God stored up to be poured out of the cup of His indignation in the great and terrible day of the Lord. If you noticed when the first 5 seals are opened nothing is actually sent from heaven to earth compared to the other judgements which are executed directly by the angels appointed to carry them out.

Indeed God is sovereign over all, whether it is powers in heaven, on earth or under the earth. But a distinction should be made between God pouring out His anger on sinful men and His allowing evil kingdoms to reign over the righteous for a time. Did God not allow Satan to inflict great pain and suffering on Job but was this God’s wrath? NO! Wrath signifies punishment and God had no reason to punish Job. So why then would you think that the reign of the antichrist and his persecution of the saints is God’s wrath? In any I have made clear that the wrath I am referring to is the wrath being poured out at the judgement after the saints have been gathered as opposed to anything that occurs before (tribulation). You must remember that the first resurrection included those that died at the hands of the beast (see Rev 20:4-6) so therefore IF the church is not appointed unto the wrath of the judgement then the period of persecution by the beast is not part of God’s wrath. What do I mean here? Pre-tribbers make the claim that the rapture takes place before the antichrist comes on the scene but Rev 20:4-6 makes it clear that beast must have been in place and killing the saints before the rapture takes place. Hence the period of persecution under the beast can be described as tribulation but NOT the wrath of God’s judgement. The church is appointed to tribulation but NOT God’s wrath. This is why there are no saints experiencing the trumpet and bowl judgements (see Rev 9 and 16).

It is interesting that you should introduce Rev 12:12. Please do note that earth is the dwelling place for all humans, not heaven!

Now to your final question regarding the timing of the trumpet judgements in conjunction with the vials (or bowls) they seem to be very similar if you compare them side by side but I think though they are directed towards the same targets the impact is different in each case which suggest that they do not run simultaneously but serially. I think the answer lies in Rev 17 though:

“6Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 7How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 8Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
9And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.”

45. wabd - April 29, 2010

Henry & Paul,

Firstly, thank you guys for taking the time to explain and reply to my comments and questions. Little by little it’s coming together for me – One day at a time sweet Jesus has deep meaning for me in the understanding of scriptures.

There is one more piece of the puzzle that would probably give me the full picture:

The 5th seal – (Rev 6:9) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

1. Who are the souls?

(Rev 6:11) And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

2. Who are the fellowservants?

When you graciously answer I will comment on all what you have submitted to ensure that I have not missed or misinterpreted anything…….

46. paul bortolazzo - April 29, 2010

Hi Wabd,

“And they cried… ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?'” (Rev. 6:10)

Souls slain for the word of God are under the altar in heaven. They are crying out to the Lord to judge those on earth who killed them. This isn’t about judging those who shed the blood of believers throughout history. These martyrs are specifically asking the Lord to avenge those who killed them that are currently dwelling on the earth. (Chart-The Second Coming of Christ) Which proves these Christians were slain for their testimony of Jesus after the opening of the 4th seal during the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:21-22, Rev. 6:7-8; 20:4b).

“Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” (Rev. 6:11)

These martyrs are given robes and are told to rest until the number of their brethren killed for the Word of God is completed. God is telling them the killing of saints by the Beast during the Great Tribulation is not over yet (Rev. 20:4b). Which means the wrath of God during the day of the Lord is still future.

47. paul bortolazzo - April 30, 2010

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6)

Everyone martyred by the Beast will join the Bride inside the New Jerusalem and become priests of God and of Christ (Rev. 21:9-10). Every believer who participates in the first resurrection will not be hurt by the second death. The second death is separation from God in the lake of fire for eternity (Rev. 20:14-15).

The first resurrection has four phases. Jesus is called the first fruits because He was the first to be resurrected and never die.

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:20-22)

The second phase of the resurrection will be the dead in Christ (1 Thes. 4:15-16, John 5:28-29) and the translation of believers on earth (1 Thes. 4:17, Rev 7:9-14). All believers in Christ shall be made alive.

“But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming…” (1 Cor. 15:3)

The third phase involves those killed by the Beast for their witness of Jesus during the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:9, Rev. 12:11; 14:13).

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” (Mat. 24:9)

Many will be killed for His name. If they will reign with Christ for a thousand years; this means their resurrection must take place on the first day of His reign over the nations (Rev. 12:5; 20:6).

“…And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4)

The final phase of the first resurrection involves people saved after the coming of the Son of Man (Mat. 24:30-31, Rev. 7:9-14; 21:24-27).

“And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s
Book of Life.” (Rev. 21:24-27)

There will be believers living among the nations when the New Jerusalem descends and hovers over Mount Zion (Rev 21:9-10). Anyone written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be given the opportunity to enter through the gates of the Holy City (Rev. 22:14). In fact, every believer on earth will eventually join the reigning Bride of Christ within the Holy Jerusalem before physical death is done away with at the white throne judgment (Rev. 22:1-5; 20:14, 1 Cor. 15:20-22). All believing in Christ shall be made spiritually alive for eternity. Blessed and holy are those the second death has no power over.

48. Henry - May 4, 2010

Hello Wabd,

I didn’t respond before now as I think Paul has done an excellent job but then I thought perhaps I should try and buttress what has already been said. I would agree with Paul that the souls seen at the 5th seal concerns those that died during the period of persecution by the anti-christ and the “fellow servants” were the remaining saints that were not yet killed by the antichrist beast system. This conclusion is made based on the fact that the prophesy of the seals are for a future time period and therefore those events highlighted by the seals will occur during that time period in which they were appointed. I think the answer also lies within the verse itself because the souls were asking God how long till He avenged those that dwelt on the earth – which would imply those that were currently alive and dwelling on the earth were the ones who had killed them and who were also going to kill the rest of those that were appointed to be killed in this way. I do not believe that this means that all the saints in the world will have been killed by the time of Christ’s arrival but the scripture does imply that only a certain number of saints would be killed and this was to be fulfilled before Christ returns to execute vengeance.

49. Paul Bortolazzo - May 4, 2010

Henry,
There are differences between these four specific events, Son of Man (6th seal), the Holy One (Messiah) (between the 6th and 7th trumpets),. the Word of God (after the 7th bowl) and the Lamb of God (first day of the Millennium). These events take place in Rev 7:9-14; 10:1-7;19:11-21; 21:9-10. Each is part of Christ’s second coming. When I post this truth most just ignore it.
On a typical Sunday morning in America, you will hear the catching up of the elect from the wrath to come has nothing to do with the second coming of Christ. So if this gathering isn’t part of the second coming then what is it? According to Jesus, His coming has a beginning and an ending (Mat. 24:30, Rev. 21:9-10). Let me give you an example. Let’s say last week I taught a prophecy seminar at a church in Nashville. I arrived on Friday and taught an evening session. The next day I taught a morning session. That afternoon I taped a radio show. Before returning home on Sunday I preached two services. There are several things I did in relation to my coming. When used as a noun, my coming to Nashville includes everything I did while I was there.
Here’s another example. Let’s review the events that took place during Christ’s first coming. The Word of God was born in a manger (John 1:14, Luke 2:16). The Messiah was twelve when He shared with teachers (Luke 2:46). At thirty, the Lamb of God was baptized by John (Mat. 3:13-16, John 1:29). After this, the Son of Man healed the sick, cast out demons, and proclaimed the gospel (Mark 1:34; 2:10). These events were all part of His first coming which began in a manger and ended when the Son ascended to His Father (John 20:17, Acts 1:9-11).

50. Henry - May 4, 2010

Paul,

I concur with what you have said. The problem for pre-tribbers though is that they think that Christ comes before the “great tribulation of those days” and as such they believe He comes hidden in the clouds from the view of the general public and only those that are in Christ will be “spiritually” whisked away to heaven. In this way they can get away from the problem of Christ coming twice. The implication then is that the tribulation becomes part of the wrath along with the trumpet and bowl judgements and therefore the elect of Matt 24:29-31 and the great multitude seen at the 6th seal becomes tribulation saints who are merely “invited guests” to the “marriage supper of the Lamb”. But none of this is supported in scripture.

51. Paul Bortolazzo - May 4, 2010

Henry,
I agree that the coming of the Son of Man is the gathering of the dead in Christ from heaven, then believers who are live on earth (Mark 13:26-27, 1 Thes 4:14-15). Its Jesus who places His coming for His elect after the Abomination of Desolation (the one who makes desolate) stands in the Temple in Jerusalem in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel (Dan. 9:27, Mat. 24:15, 29-31, 2 Thes. 2:-3-4)
Most ministers have a problem with this belief for another reason. There is only one coming of the Son of Man. when Jesus separates the saved from the unsaved at His coming in Mat. 25:31 they insist this must be on earth on the first day of the millennium. The problem is the Son doesn’t sit on His Bema Seat to judge at the Judgment Seat of Christ on earth following the 6th seal. The parables in Mat. 24 and 25 are about two events: His coming for His elect followed by the judgment seat in heaven.

52. RICHARD SCHURZ - January 1, 2011
Dear brother in Jesus, God says, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times. what is still to come!…What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned that will I do!”  Isaiah 46:10a, 11b  This Bible study compares all the Scripture on each End-time topic and exposes over 12 absolute contradictions of God’s Word by dangerous and deceptive pre-trib doctrines. The next Bible study shows the 7 Bible clues which positively reveals the identity of 666. Then there is a Bible study which shows how Obama may qualify to be the very deceptive False Prophet of 666. And finally there are interesting Bible-based speculations on how close the Last Days may be. Would greatly appreciate any comments or Bible studies you may have on the Last Days.   Your eternal friend in Jesus,  Richard WE ARE ALL EAGERLY WAITING FOR OUR GLORIOUS ETERNAL RENDEZVOUS WITH JESUS!     I Peter 1:13: “Therefore, prepare your minds for ACTION, and set your hope *FULLY* on the grace to be given YOU when Jesus Christ is *REVEALED*. I Cor 1:7: “YOU do not lack any spiritual gift as YOU eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be *REVEALED*.” Now the pre-tribbers claim that this glorious *REVEALING or *REVELATION* of Jesus will be *CONCEALED* BEFORE the beginning of the Great Tribulation.  However, every other time the Word *REVEALED* {Greek-Apocalipsis} is used related to resurrection events it refers to the glorious REVEALING of Jesus on the *LAST DAY* of the Great Tribulation {See 2 Thess 1:7-10 & Luke 17:26-31}. And *CONCEALED* is the exact opposite of *REVEALED* and *APPEARED* according to every dictionary!  Titus 2:13: “*WE* wait for the *BLESSED HOPE*—the glorious *APPEARING* of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 9:28 “Jesus will *APPEAR* a 2nd time to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him!”  Matthew 24:29,30: Jesus says, “IMMEDIATELY AFTER the distress of those days {The Great Tribulation} the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will *APPEAR in the sky and the nations will *SEE* the Son of Man COMING on the clouds!!” I John 2:28: “Dear children, continue in Him, so that when He *APPEARS* WE may be confident and unashamed before Him at His COMING!” {See 2 Thess 1:7-10; I Tim 6:14; Heb 9:28 & Col 3:4}  2 Tim 4:8: Paul said, There is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on THAT DAY—and not only to me, but to *ALL who have longed for His *APPEARING*!!” A meeting at an appointed place and time is called a RENDEZVOUS. We have a RENDEZVOUS with eternity at the glorious *APPEARING and *REVEALING of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ *IMMEDIATELY AFTER the Great Tribulation. God has always allowed His people to suffer tribulation and trials because they purify and perfect their faith and will gain countless eternal rewards when Jesus Christ is *REVEALED. There are over 40,000 saints martyred every year and the main culprit is no longer just Islam and the RC Church. The Main culprits now are the 21 Muslim countries and Korea, China, Sudan, Venezuela, Nigeria and the RC Church. Millions of saints were martyred after 1917 in Russia and after 1948 in China. Romans 8:35-37: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?… For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!” I Peter 1:6-8:  “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is *REVEALED.”  I Peter 2:20b,21: “But if you suffer for doing good and endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow IN HIS STEPS.” I Peter 4:12,13: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But REJOICE that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is *REVEALED!” Read other persecution verses: Romans 5:3; Heb 13:35-40; 2 Tim 3:12; 2 Cor 1:7-10; I Thess 3:3,4; Phil 1:29; Phil 3:10; Rev 12:11; Rev 13:9,10 & Rev 14:13.        The courageous and faithful Tribulation saints will *NOT* be hurt by God’s *WRATH* as shown in Rev 14:9-11; 15:1,7; 16:1,19; or in any of the 7 trumpet or 7 bowl plagues as explained in Rev 9:4,20,21 and Rev 16:2,4-6,9,10,21; or in any of the plagues of God’s 2 witnesses as per Rev 11:6,10; or in *ETERNAL HELL*: Rev 14:9-11: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of *HIS WRATH*.  He will be tormented with burning sulfur and the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever.” The pre-tribs often confuse the wrath of God with the persecution from the antichrist. They are not the same thing. The wrath of God is intended for the ungodly and will be poured upon them and them only. The Lord knows His target and He never misses. Jesus warned in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” In Rev 18:1-24 we read about the plagues that will destroy the headquarters of 666 during the Great Triubulation. This evil city on 7 hills {See Rev 17:9} is called “Babylon” which Peter implied was the nicknmame for Rome in 2 Peter 5:13. In Rev 18:4 a voice from Heaven will order God’s saints to stay away from Babylon {Rome-That great seaport-Rev 18:17-19} so that they will not participate in her sins or be hurt by God’s wrath which will completely destroy Rome with many horrific plagues. There are 260 verses from Revelation chapters 6 thru 20 and 128 of these verses or 49% tell of the wrath of God to unbelievers, 666, his False Prophet and Rome. However, not even one of these verses tells of any wrath of God toward His courageous Tribulation saints.       However, in Matthew 24:3,9-13:  The disciples asked Jesus, “What will be the sign of your Coming and the end of the age?? Jesus answered….. {During the Great Tribulation} “Then *YOU* will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and *YOU will be hated by all nations because of Me.  At that time many will turn away from the Faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of *MOST* will grow cold,{THE GREAT APOSTASY} but he {The Called, Chosen & Faithful-Rev 17:14b} who stands firm to the End will be saved.” 2 Thess 2:1,3: “Concerning the Coming of our Lord Jesus and *OUR being gathered to Him…That day shall not come, except there come a falling away first!!” {NIV – Rebellion} It is estimated that there are about 800 million people who claim to be Christians out of the 7 billion people on earth. There are probably about 134 million saved evangelicals which leaves about 666 million who will fall away and follow 666. There will probably be about 6 billion 666 million people who will follow 666 so they can buy and sell everything; which leaves about 200 million that may be saved from every nation tribe and language as per Rev 7:9-14. Matt 7:13,14: Many follow the road to destruction and only a few find the road to life. These numbers are, of coarse, just a speculation. Read Revelation 12:11 & 13:10!! The pre-tribbers claim that the “YOU” in Matthew 24:9 above are Jews only and that much of Matthew was only written for Jews like Matthew chapters 5-7. Which is of course completely ridiculous since Jesus said to His 11 Apostles in Matthew 28:19,20 “Go and make disciples of *ALL NATIONS*…teaching them to obey *EVERYTHING* I commanded you!”  {Read John 12:48 & John 14:23}  I John 2:3,4,6:  “We know that we have come to know Him {Jesus} if we obey His  commands.  The man who says, ”I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him… Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” According to Rev 12:17 the Tribulation Saints will also “Hold to the testimony of Jesus!”   Now the pre-tribbers claim that the phrase “His elect” in Matt 24:31 & Mark 13:27 refers only to Jews which is, of course, ridiculous and is refuted in Romans 10:12: “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all.” Galatians 3:28,29: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise!!” Read Ephesians 2:11-22!! See “GOD’S ELECT” in 2 Tim 2:10, Titus 1:1 and 1 Peter 1:1,2. God will miraculously take care of His Faithful and Courageous Tribulation Saints {Just as he took care of the Israelites for 40 years in the Wilderness} even though they won’t be able to buy or sell anything as per Rev 13:17a. {See Matthew 6:25-34 where storing up items are forbidden}  This will come as a tremendous shock for those who teach the Prosperity Gospel and who are mainly seeking earthly treasures rather than eternal Heavenly Rewards. They teach: If you accept Jesus as your Savior you have a free pass to Heaven and God forbid that you should suffer any persecution or go through the Great Tribulation; which fits in with the pre-trib doctrines which are designed to increase church membership at the expense of the Truth. When is the last time you heard a sermon on the virtues and courage of the many thousands of present-day martyrs?? And this is probably why there will be a great FALLING AWAY {THE GREAT APOSTASY} at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. There are some pre-tribbers who wrongly teach that ALL of God’s Tribulation saints will be martyred during the Great Tribulation. This belief is refuted in Rev 13:9,10 & Mark 13:20: Revelation 13:9,10: “He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.” Mark 13:20: Jesus says, “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom He has chosen, He has shortened them.” How much the Great Tribulation will be shortened will be shown later. Rev 6:9-11: When He {Jesus} opened the 5th seal, I saw the souls of those who had been slain {Just like Jesus} because of the testimony they had maintained.  They called out in a loud voice, “How long until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”  The each of them was given a *WHITE ROBE*, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed. Rev 7:9,13,14,15a,17a:  “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from *EVERY* NATION, TRIBE, PEOPLE  AND LANGUAGE, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb {Jesus}.  They were wearing *WHITE ROBES*…Then one of the {24} elders {Rev 4:4} asked me, “These in *WHITE ROBES*—who are they and where did they come from?”… And he said, “These are they who have come out of the Great Tribulation; {Martyrs just like Jesus} they have washed their robes and made them WHITE in the *BLOOD OF THE LAMB* {Jesus}. They are before the throne of God and serve him day and night… The Lamb {Jesus} at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd.” {See Rev 12:11 & Rev 13:8-10}   This passage in Rev 7:9 above shows that the Great Tribulation will be mainly for Christians in *EVERY Gentile nation and not just Jacob’s Jewish trouble which absolutely contradicts the main thesis of the pre-trib fairy tale.   Revelation 14:13: Then I heard a voice from heaven say {During the Great Trib}, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” Rev 12:11: “They {THE TRIBULATION MARTYRS} overcame him {Satan} by the *BLOOD OF THE LAMB* and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” I Cor 15:20-24: “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the FIRSTFRUITS of those who have fallen asleep…For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ the FIRSTFRUITS {On the Day of Firstfruits}; then when He comes, those who belong to Him. {*THEN*} the {*END*} will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.” 2 Peter 7,10,13: “The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of judgement and destruction of ungodly men… But the Day of the Lord {See I Cor 1:7,8} will come like a thief.{To unbelievers} The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up… But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a NEW HEAVEN and a NEW EARTH, the Home of righteousness.” Dan 9:24:“70 7’s have been decreed to bring in everlasting righteousness.” {On the LAST DAY of the last 7} Rev 21 1:1-3: Then I saw a NEW HEAVEN and a NEW EARTH, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. {THEN} I saw the NEW JERUSALEM, coming down out of heaven from God…,And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them!!” You will note that the New Jerusalem will come only *AFTER the present heaven and earth have passed away on the DAY OF THE LORD! Read Hebrews 11:10, 14-16 & John 14:1-3. The pre-tribbers wrongly believe that THE DAY OF THE LORD is the entire Great Tribulation period. However, Acts 2:20 states “The sun will be trurned to darkness and the moon to blood {See Matt 24:29} **BEFORE** the coming of the great and glorious DAY OF THE LORD.” {See 2 Peter 3:10 above!!} Jesus says in Rev 2:17; 3:4, 5, 21: “To him who overcomes…I will give a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it…..He will walk with Me for he is worthy….. I will acknowledge his name before My Father and His angels…. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem…..I will write on him my New Name… and I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” According to Rev 22:3 these 2 thrones will be the only thrones in the Heavenly New Jerusalem!. Rev 19:14: We will ride Heavenly White horses. Dan 12:3: “Those who impart wisdom will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousneess like the stars for ever and ever.” Unfortunately most of the pre-tribbers actually believe that the tribulation saints will not be saved by the blood of Christ {See Rev 12:11 & Rev 7:14b!!} like the present church saints; and will not be in the LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE.  However, in Revelation 13:8 we read: “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the Beast {666}….*ALL* whose names have not been written in the *LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE*!”       2 Thess 1:1; 2:1,3,8”  “To the *CHURCH* of the Thessalonians…Concerning the *COMING* of our Lord Jesus Christ and *OUR* being gathered to Him…Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way for *THAT DAY* will not come *UNTIL* the man of lawlessness is revealed!!… Then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord Jesus Christ will destroy with the splendor of His *COMING*!” So anyone who claims that the church saints will be gathered *BEFORE* the coming of the lawless one {666} is absolutely contradicting God’s inspired words!!   This, of course, totally destroys the central pre-trib doctrine of the *IMMINENT* coming of Jesus! {That Jesus could come RIGHT NOW} Since the *COMING of Jesus in I Thess 2:8 is POST-TRIB then the *COMING of Jesus when *WE are gathered to Him in I Thess 2:3 must also be POST-TRIB since it is in the same context and obviously refers to the same day.       Mark 13:11: “When you are brought to trial {DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION} do not worry about what to say, for it is not you speaking, but the *HOLY SPIRIT*.” This of course contradicts the ridiculous pre-trib idea that the Holy Spirit will be removed from the saints during the Great Tribulation. Mark 13 is a Tribulation chapter. The only weapon we may use is the sword of the Spirit {Eph 6:17} which is the Word of God.        Matthew 24:29-31: Jesus says, “Immediately after the distress of those {1260} days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from the sky.” {Luke 21:28 adds “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”} Then the nations will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud {7TH & LAST} *TRUMPET* CALL and they will gather *His elect* from the 4 winds {Mark 13:27b adds:} “from the ends of the earth {Saints on earth} to  the ends of the Heavens {Saints in Heaven}!!” JESUS WILL COME AGAIN WHEN THE *7TH* ANGEL SOUNDS THE LOUD *7th* AND *LAST* TRUMPET CALL OF GOD.  Rev 11:15a, 18: “The *7TH* angel sounded his trumpet… and the time has come for judging the dead and for rewarding your servants the prophets and saints.”  Rev 10:7: “But in the days when the *7th* angel is about to sound his trumpet the *MYSTERY* of God will be accomplished!  I Cor 15:51:  “Listen, I tell you a *MYSTERY*!  We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in a twinkling of an eye, at the *LAST* {Or *7TH*} trumpet.”   There are only 7 trumpets in God’s Word during the Great Tribulation and the 7th TRUMP is of course the *LAST TRUMP when the *MYSTERY* of God will be accomplished, and is also the TRUMPET CALL OF GOD in I Thess 4:16. John 6:40” Jesus says, “For my Father’s will is that EVERYONE who looks to the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the *LAST DAY*!”  Pre-tribbers believe that the *LAST DAY* mentioned 6 times in John 6:39,40,44,54;11:24,12:48 refers to a CONCEALED RESURRECTION 7 years *BEFORE THE LAST DAY*.  However, John 12:48 shows that the lost will also be condemned on that same *LAST DAY*!  *WHEN WILL THE LOST BE JUDGED AND SENT TO HELL*? John 12:48: Jesus says, “There is a Judge for the one who rejects Me and does not accept My words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the *LAST DAY*!!”  2 Thess 1:1,6-10:  ‘To the *CHURCH* of the Thessalonians…God is just; He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.  This will happen *WHEN* the Lord Jesus is *REVEALED* {See I Peter 1:13} from heaven in blazing fire….  He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They will be punished with everlasting *DESTRUCTION* and shut out from the presence of the Lord *ON THE DAY HE COMES* to be glorified in His holy people!!” {THE LAST DAY-See Rev 20:11-15} Matt 25:31-33,41:  Jesus says, “*WHEN* the Son of Man comes in His glory,{On the Last Day} and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another……He will put His sheep on His right and the goats on the left…. Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire!”   John 5:28,29:  Jesus says, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming {The Last Day} when *ALL* {Both OT & NT Saints} who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”  Daniel 12:1b,2,7b:  “There will be a time of distress {The Great Tribulation} such as not happened from the beginning of nations until then.  But at that time {The Last Day} your people–*EVERYONE* whose name is found written in the book {Both OT & NT Saints}—will be delivered.  Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt…It will be for a time. times and half a time {1260 days-Rev 12:6,14, or 42  {30-day} months-Rev 13:5-{Not 7 years} *ALL* these things will be *COMPLETED.   The pre-tribbers wrongly believe that the OT saints will receive their eternal perfect heavenly bodies 7 years AFTER the Church saints. However, in Hebrews 11:39,40 we read “These {OT super saints mentioned in Heb 11:4-38} were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that ONLY TOGETHER WITH US {NT Saints} would they {OT Saints} be made perfect!”   By comparing Rev 12:7b and Rev 12:14b we find that 1260 Days and Time {360 Days} Times {720 Days} and ½ a Time {180 Days} are the exact same period of time.  Likewise, when we compare Rev 13:5b with Daniel 7:25b we learn that 42 {30-day Bible} MONTHS and Time {12 Months}, Times {24 Months} and ½ a Time {6 Months} are also the exact same period of time. And therefore 42 {30-Day Bible Months} and Time, Times and ½ a Time are the exact same period of time since 42 X 30 days equal exactly 1260 days.  12 Months = 360 Days = {1 Time}   24 Months = 720 Days = {2 Times}   6 Months = 180 Days = {Half a Time} and 42 Months = 1260 Days = 3 ½ Times.      NOTE: A BIBLE MONTH IS ALWAYS 30 DAYS!! The only other text where the Bible specifies the number of days in a month besides Rev 13:5b is Genesis 7:11 & Genesis 8:3,4: Where the 17th day of the 2nd Bible Month {Gen 7:11} to the 17th day of the 7th Bible Month {Gen 8:4} is EXACTLY 150 days which would be exactly five 30-day months {Gen 8:3 & Gen 7:34}. All Bible Years are 12 consecutive 30-day months followed by 5 or 6 days.  Pagan Babylonian Moon Months sinfully adopted by Israel during the Babylonian captivity have alternating 29 and 30-day months since there is a New Moon every 29½ days If God was using Babylonian Moon Months in the above passage he would have said that 5 Bible Months were 147 or 148 days and not EXACTLY 150 days!!       If you check your concordances you will find that there are 20 OT passages that are wrongly translated NEW MOON that should be translated NEW MONTH. In each case the INSPIRED Hebrew word for MONTH {CHODESH} is used, whereas the Hebrew word for MOON {YARAYACH} is not present. {See I Sam 20:5,18,24; II Kings 4:23; I Chron 23:31; II Chron 2:4; 8:12; 31:3; Ezra 3:5; Neh 10:33; Ps 81:3; Isa 1:13,14; 66:23 Ezek 45:17; 46:1,3,6; Hosea 2:11 & Amos 8:5} In the NT Col 2:16 should be translated NEW MONTH instead of NEW MOON since the INSPIRED Greek word for MONTH {MEN} is used, whereas the Greek word for MOON {SELENE} cannot be found. In Col 2:16 the Greek word used is NEOMENIA which should be translated NEW MONTH: For “NEOS” is the Greek word for NEW and “MEN” is the Greek word for MONTH. In May of AD 325 the Council of Nicea decided that starting in April, AD 326 the Resurrection Day of Jesus should be determined by the Babylonian Moon Calendar instead of April 5th, or the 16th day of first Bible month of Abib {See Ex 23:15 & Deut 16:1} The 1st Day of the 1st Bible month of Abib is always sundown Mar 20 to sundown Mar 21. The Nicean Council decided that our Lord’s Resurrection Day should be called EASTER beginning in April, AD 326. DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF EASTER: Easter from the old English Eastre, the name of Babylonian Mother Nature goddess: ISHTAR!! The Phoenician name for ISHTAR or EASTER is Ashtoreth or Asherah who was worshipped as a goddess and the female counterpart of the sun god Baal. She was regarded both as the goddess of war and destruction as well as the deity of love and fertility. Her licentious worship was condemned by God {See Deut 7:5;16:21,22; Judges 2:12,13} The KJV uses the word EASTER instead of Passover in Acts 12:4?  Rev 13:5,7: The beast will be given a mouth to utter blasphemies and to exercise his authority for 42 {30-day} months {Not 7 years}…He will be given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. [COMPARE Dan 7:25: “He will speak against the Most High and oppress His saints.  The saints will be handed over to him for time {12 months}, times {24 months} and ½ a time {6 months}. {Not 7 years} For example: If the coming of 666 will be on April 5th, 2011 then the 2nd coming of Jesus would occur 1260 days later on September 17th, 2014.            Now there are some who suggest that the Anti-Christ will exercise his authority for 7 years {Not 42 Months} and that the Great Tribulation will last 7 years {Not 1260 Days or 3 ½ Times}.  They have only **ONE** Bible verse {Daniel 9:27—which they grossly misinterpret} to support this idea which absolutely contradicts God’s Divine Time Periods as found in Rev 13:5b, Dan 7:25b & Dan 12:7b.           NOTE: About 280 years before the Dan 9:24-27 Prophecy God made this amazing prophecy in Isaiah 44:28: The Lord… says of *CYRUS*, “He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of JERUSALEM LET IT BE REBUILT!” This verse absolutely contradicts the Artaxerxes theory!   NOTE: According to Leviticus 25:8 a Sabbath ‘week’ or 7 is *7 YEARS and 7 times 7 YEARS or ‘weeks’ is a Jubilee or 49 years. Dan 9:24-27: “70 7’s {490 years} are decreed for your people to Anoint the Most Holy, TO ATONE FOR WICKEDNESS and to bring in everlasting righteousness… “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree {By Cyrus-Isa 44:28 above} to rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes {Oct 23, AD 29?} there will be 7 plus 62 7’s {Which is 69 7’s or 483 years}. “After the 62 7’s {actually 1260 days after on April 3-5 AD 33} the Anointed One will be cut off but not for Himself….. He {The Anointed One} will confirm a COVENANT with many for one ‘seven’.  In the middle of the ‘seven’ {After 1260 days} He {The Anointed One} will put an end to SACRIFICE {And then after a long pause} the abomination of Desolation {666} will come {for 1260 days} until the decreed end is poured out on him.” And so the first half of the last 7 has already been completed. Hebrews 9:15,26b-28: Christ is the mediator of a NEW COVENANT so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins commtted under the first covenant…But now He has APPEARED once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the SACRIFICE of Himself… so Christ was SACRIFICED ONCE to take away the sins of many people, and He will *APPEAR* a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. And so when the Anointed One came 69 7’s or 483 years were 100% completed [See Dan 9:25 above} leaving just one 7 in the future; which will be totally used by those who wrongly believe in a future 7-year Tribulation; which means that the Atonement for sin by Jesus about 3 ½ years after His Anointing can not be included in the 70 7’s Prophecy. However, God’s Word clearly states that 70 7’s are decreed …TO ATONE FOR WICKEDNESS which occurred about 3 ½ years after the end of the 69 7’s and therefore the first half of the last 7 has already been completed! And so the Great Tribulation and the rule of 666 will be 1260 days or 42 months or 3 ½ times which agrees which God’s Word in Dan 12:1,2,7b; Dan 7:25 & Rev 13:5. Mark 13:20: Jesus says, “If the Lord had not cut short those {Tribulation} days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom He has chosen, He has shortened them.”The first 69 7’s were 365-day years {7 years = 2557 days} but the Last 7 has been shortened to 360-day years and two 1260-day periods or 2520 days. And so God has shortened the last 7 of the 70 7’s from 2557 days to two 1260-day periods or 2520 days. And God has shortened the Great Tribulation from 3 ½ years or 1278 days to 3 ½ times or 1260 days.  IS THE 1,000 YEAR FIRST RESURRECTION IN REVELATION 20:4-6 FOR THE 24 ELDERS ON THRONES AND MARTYRS ONLY?? Jesus promised to 12 Apostles who followed Him {Including Paul?} that they would be given 12 thrones and the authority to JUDGE in Matthew 19:28 & Luke 22:30. In Revelation 4:4 Before the beginning of the Great Tribulation John saw exactly 24 thrones surrounding God’s Throne in Heaven. The other 12 thrones were most likely given to 12 prominent OT Elders such as Abraham, Joseph and Isaiah. One of these 24 Elders speaks in Rev 7:13-17 and after the 7TH angel sounds the 7TH and Last Trumpet in Rev 11:15 ONLY the 24 Elders state in Rev 11:16-18: “The time has come for JUDGING the dead and for rewarding your saints.”   It is completely obvious that the 1,000 year reign mentioned in Revelation 20:4-6 is for 24 ELDERS on Thrones and MARTYRS ONLY according to God’s Word in Revelation 20:4,5b,6a: “I saw Thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to JUDGE and I saw the SOULS of those who had been beheaded {Or martyred} because of their testimony for Jesus {NT Martyrs} and because of the Word of God {OT Martyrs}. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands {Tribulation Martyrs}. THEY {THE 24 ELDERS & MARTYRS} came to life and reigned with Christ for 1,000 years… This is the FIRST RESURRECTION… Blessed and holy are those who have part in the FIRST RESURRECTION. Rev 20:5a: “The rest of the dead {Those saints who are not martyrs or the 24 Elders on Thrones} did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ENDED.” Which, of course, would be the SECOND RESURRECTION at the 2nd Coming of Jesus. There are only TWO RESURRECTIONS for all saints mentioned in Rev 20:4-6: The FIRST RESURRECTION is for Martyrs and the 24 Elders only and INCLUDES the Tribulation Martyrs. And therefore the SECOND RESURRECTION must come on the Last Day of the Great Tribulation and must include all saints {Both OT & NT} who are not martyrs or the 24 Elders on thrones. The Heavenly rewards for the faithful and courageous *MARTYRS* is one of the most important central themes in the book of Revelation. For they will reign with Jesus in Heaven during the 1,000 years before His 2MD Coming; and according to Revelation 7:14-17: They are before the Throne of God and God will spread His tent over them. They will receive White Robes washed in the blood of the Lamb. Never again will they hunger or thirst and God Himself will wipe every tear from their eyes. Jesus will be their Shepherd and will lead them to springs of Living Water. Later, on the same Last Day, there will be only 2 thrones: for Jesus and His Father in the Heavenly New Jerusalem. See Rev 22:3 & Rev 3:21. FOR EXAMPLE: Let us suppose that the SECOND RESURRECTION takes place on September 17th, 2014; then the continuous 1,000 year FIRST RESURRECTION for MARTYRS AND 24 ELDERS ONLY would take place from September 17th, AD 1014 to Sepember 17th, 2014. The 24 Elders and all of the OT & NT saints martyred before September 17th, 1014 were awakened to reign with Jesus in Heaven and every Martyr martyred after September 17th, 1014 were and will be immediately awakened to reign with Jesus in the continuous 1,000 year FIRST RESURRECTION to be completed on September 17th, 2014 at the SECOND RESURRECTION when “The rest of the dead come to life when the thousand years are ENDED.” {Rev 20:5a} Rev 20:4b “I saw the *SOULS of those who had been martyred because of their testimony for Jesus… they came to life and reigned with Christ for 1,000 years. The Martyrs SOULS will only get their New Heavenly bodies when the 1,000 years are ENDED at the 2nd Coming of Jesus. This seems to contradict John 6:40: Jesus says, “EVERYONE who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life and I will raise him up at the LAST DAY.” However, the LAST DAY RESURRECTION could last 1,000 years for in 2 Pet 3:8 we read: “With the Lord a DAY is like 1,000 years, and 1,000 years are like a DAY!! WHEN WAS SATAN STOPPED FROM DECEIVING THE NATIONS SO THAT THE GOSPEL COULD BE PREACHED TO EVERY NATION IN THE WORLD AS PER MATTHEW 24:14 AND REVELATION..7:9??         Let us assume that the Great Tribulation will last 1260 days from April 5th, 2011 to Sept 17th, 2014.  As you know Satan was successful in stopping the Gospel from spreading past 5% of the earth; or southern Europe and Northern Africa for almost 1000 years. Suddenly the Gospel was being preached throughout the pagan kingdoms of Russia, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden around AD 1011.  And in the past 1000 years the Gospel has spread to all of Africa and Asia, North and South America, and all the remote islands of the earth.  As you know the gospel must be preached to every nation of the earth before the end can come as per Matthew 24:14 and Revelation 7:9.  And so about 95% of the world’s nations have heard the gospel for the first time during the past 1,000 years.        Rev 20:2,3: “He {The angel} seized the dragon, who is the devil or Satan and bound him for 1,000 years {FOR EXAMPLE: April 5th, AD 1011 to April 5th, 2011}.  He threw him into the Abyss to keep him from deceiving the nations until the 1,000 years were ended {April 5th, 2011}.  After that he must be set free for a short time.” Or 1260 days from April 5th, 2011 to Sept 17th, 2014 during the Great Tribulation when Satan will again deceive ALL the nations until the Last Day.      NOTE: The prophecies and time periods found in Daniel 8:1-27 {1150 days or 2300 morning and evening sacrifices} and Daniel 10:11 to 11:45 and Daniel 12:11,12 {1290 & 1335 Days} were all completely fulfilled during the evil reign of Antiochus Epiphanes IV from 172 BC to 164 BC {See Macabees 1:10,44-64; 4:52,53} and have absolutely nothing to do with the time periods and prophecies of the 1260-Day Great Tribulation or reign of 666; and are not mentioned or even implied in Revelation or anywhere in the New Testament. Daniel 12:1-10 was an End-Time Prophecy parenthesis { } which did not include Daniel 11:45 nor Daniel 12:11,12. Almost all of the prophecies in the OT are a parenthesis { } in a text which had nothing to do with the prophecy. The only End-Time verses in Daniel are Daniel 2:31-45; Daniel 7:7-28; Daniel 9:27b and Daniel 12:1-10.    Rev 3:1,3: Jesus says, “To the angel of the *CHURCH* in Sardis write…But *IF you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”  1 Thess 1:1, 5:4: “To the *CHURCH* of the Thessalonians…But you brothers, are not in darkness so that *THIS DAY*{Just Mentioned In I Thess 4:16,17} should surprise you like a thief.  You are all sons of the light and sons of the DAY.”  And so once the 1260-day Tribulation begins all of God’s saints will know the exact day that the Tribulation will end at the Second Coming of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the *LAST DAY*.  And so the resurrection day of I Thess 4:16 to I Thess 5:4 will not be a surprise to the saints resurrected in I Thess 4:16,17 just as the resurrection day at the end of the 1260-day Great Tribulation will not be a surprise to *ALL* of God’s saints which proves that the resurrection day mentioned in I Thess 4:16,17 will also come  on the LAST DAY of the Great Tribulation!!!       Also in the context of I Thess 4:16 to I Thess 5:4 is this interesting statement in I Thess 5:2,3:  “You know very well that the day of the Lord {Just mentioned in I Thess 4:16} will come like a thief in the night. {to unbelievers}  While people are saying ‘peace and safety,’ DESTRUCTION WILL COME ON THEM SUDDENLY… AND THEY WILL NOT ESCAPE!!” {See 2 Thess 1:6-10 and Matthew 25 :31-33,41-46}  After 6 of the last 7 bowl plagues of the Great Tribulation Jesus will make this statement in Rev 16:15: “Behold, I come like a thief!”{See 2 Pet 3:7,10 & Rev 3:3!!} Christ Himself says that He is coming like a thief at the end of the tribulation just before the battle of Armageddon!! This destruction of the lost in hell will occur on the LAST DAY of the Great Tribulation as shown above in Matt 25:31-33:41-46: John 5:28,29; 12:48; Daniel 12:1,2,7b & 2 Thess 1:6-10, which firmly places the resurrection mentioned in I Thess 4:16 to I Thess 5:4 on the Last day of the Great Tribulation and not a *CONCEALED* pre-trib rapture 1260 days or 7 years BEFORE the LAST DAY of the Great Tribulation!!   WHO WILL BE GOD’S TWO WITNESSES {REV 11:3} OR MEN {REV 11:6} OR PROPHETS {REV 11:10}?? Zechariah 4:11,14: “Then I asked the angel, ‘What are these *TWO* OLIVE TREES {See Rev 11:4 below} on the right and left of the lamp stand?’… the angel said, ‘These are the TWO who are anointed to serve the Lord of the earth!\'”  Rev 11:3-6: {God said to John} “I will give power to My *TWO* witnesses and they will prophesy for 1260 days clothed in sackcloth! These are the *TWO OLIVE TREES {See Zech 4:11,14 above} and the 2 lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire will come from their mouths to destroy their enemies. This is how anyone who tries to harm them must die {See 2 Kings 1:9-12; Num 16:31-35}. These *MEN* will have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying {See 1 Kings 17:1; Luke 4:25; James 5:17}; and they will have power to turn the waters into blood {See Exodus 7:15-23} and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish.”   Moses and Elijah witnessed to 3 Apostles on the mount of Transfiguration when Moses & Elijah spoke to Jesus about his departure or Ascension, which Jesus was to bring to fulfillment in Jerusalem 40 days after His resurrection. Luke 9:30,31: “TWO MEN Moses and Elijah, appeared in GLORIOUS SPLENDOR talking with Jesus.  They spoke about His Departure {Or Ascension} which He was about to bring to fulfillment in Jerusalem.” Moses and Elijah were most assuredly the *TWO MEN* dressed in white who witnessed at the Departure or Ascension of Jesus in Acts 1:10,11: “They looked up into the sky as He {Jesus} was going when suddenly *TWO MEN* dressed in WHITE stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into Heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into Heaven!”       And then in Luke 24:2b-6b we read: They did not find the body of Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly *TWO MEN*… stood beside them… And the *MEN* said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? HE IS NOT HERE; HE HAS RISEN!!”    Jesus says in John 8:17b: “The testimony of *TWO MEN IS VALID* and of course the testimony of Moses and Elijah is just about as valid as you can get.        And so the coming of God’s *TWO MEN* or witnesses to prophesy for 1260 days {See Rev 11:3-7} will be their FOURTH appearance as God’s 2 witnesses or MEN. And the reason that their names are not mentioned in Luke 24:3 and Acts 1:10 and Rev 11:3-12 is that the Father, Moses and Elijah want us to glorify *NO ONE ELSE BUT JESUS*!!     Moses and Elijah will most likely witness miraculously to people in the uttermost parts of the earth in all 6,000 languages. Presently the Bible has been translated into about 2,000 languages from the inspired Greek and Hebrew manuscripts and faith comes from hearing or reading the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God. The Bible still has not been translated into about 4,000 languages and Rev 5:9b and Rev 7:9,13,14 must be completely fulfilled.  Surely the courageous tribulation saints will help Moses and Elijah spread God’s Word. They will do a fantastic job since according to Rev 7:9,14 there will be a great multitude from EVERY TRIBE AND LANGUAGE who will be “washed in the Blood of the Lamb”. Moses & Elijah will be dressed in SACKCLOTH which is appropriate since the Tribulation saints will be very poor, for they will not be able to buy or sell anything as per Rev 13:17. Moses and Elijah will certainly speak the Word of God with great power and love. They will not add or take words away from the Prophetic Words of God {See Rev 22:18,19}; and they will encourage God’s courageous saints to adhere to *ALL* of the NT commandments {See Rev 12:13b; 14:12b; Matt 28:20a; John 14:15,21,23; I John 2:2-5} with love {See Matt 5:39-48 & Rom 12:17-21} in the face of severe and hostile persecution. Moses and Elijah will begin their 1260-day testimony {Rev 11:3} 3 ½ days before the coming of 666 & the 1260-day Great Tribulation and 1263 ½ days before the Last Day. {*THE FIRST END-TIME EVENT*} Moses and Elijah will warn us of the coming of 666 & his False Prophet.     It seems very appropriate that God will send His TWO PROPHETS {See Rev 11:10b} to warn and prepare His saints for the coming of Satan, 666 and the Great Tribulation for in Amos 3:7 we read: “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the PROPHETS!”  GOD’S PROPHETS are mentioned 8 times in Revelation: Revelation 10:7; 11:10; 11:18; 16:6; 18:20,24; 22:6 & 22:9. Whereas; preachers, pastors and evangelists are not even mentioned once in Revelation! God will allow 666 to martyr Moses and Elijah {See Rev 11:7,8} right where their Lord was crucified. {At the new *HOLY PLACE* where Jesus shed his blood for our sins} 3 ½ days later Moses and Elijah will rise to heaven just minutes before the 7th angel sounds the 7th Trump at the 2nd coming of Jesus.{See Rev 11:11-18} Mark 13:14: Jesus says, “When you see 666 standing where he does not belong {At the New Holy Place}….then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” {See Rev 11:7,8 & Rev 16:15} John 2:19: Jesus said, “Destroy this TEMPLE and I will raise it again in 3 days.” This HOLY PLACE is where Jesus became the chief cornerstone {Eph 2:20,21} and we are living stones {I Pet 2:5 & 2 Cor 6:16} in the LAST TEMPLE made without hands! {Acts 17:24}     Certainly, the old Jerusalem and the old Temple site are NO LONGER HOLY PLACES.   Hebrews 13:12-14: “Jesus suffered outside the city gate to make the people HOLY THROUGH HIS BLOOD. Let us, then, go to Him outside the city, bearing the disgrace He bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the CITY {THE NEW JERUSALEM} that is to come.” {See Heb 11:10,13-16; Heb 12:22; Rev 3:12b; 21:2,10-27; 22:1-5; 2 Pet 3:13} Gal 4:25,26: “Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem {Called Sodom in Rev 11:8} because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is ABOVE is free, and she is our mother.” {The New Jerusalem}         Some End-Time Groups who wrongly interpret Daniel 9:27a, and who believe in a 7-year Tribulation, {Starting with a New Jewish Temple} are now spreading false rumors that religious Jews are now building a Temple or are planning to tear down the Muslim Dome of the Rock in order to rebuild a Jewish Temple to Biblical specifications and will then REINSTITUTE animal sacrifices??? However there are several big problems with this scenario: All 21 Arab Muslim nations including Pakistan which has many nuclear bombs would then immediately declare an all-out Holy War on Israel, and the Israeli government fully understands this. I know this for I was a missionary in Israel.  A Jewish Temple built to Biblical specifications would then take at least 7 years to build during this continuous war with the 21 Muslim nations. Most of these same End-Time Groups also teach that a pre-trib rapture could occur TODAY {Not at least 7 years from today} which of course makes the ridiculous *IMMINENT* pre-trib belief {That Jesus could come TODAY} a big joke. Now all those who believe in a 7-year Tribulation only because of the wrong interpretation of Daniel 9:27a also believe that immediately following a CONCEALED pre-trib rapture of the Church saints that the Anti-Christ will make a Covenant with Israel; allowing the Jews to make animal sacrifices in a Jewish Temple built to Biblical specifications. They believe that at the end of 3 1/2 years in the middle of the 7 years the antichrist will put an end to all animal sacrifices in this Jewish Temple. However, for over 1,000 years religious Jews have believed that when their Messiah comes He will bring with him the New Jewish Temple and the required Ark of the Covenant. And then the Messiah will re-establish the Levitical priesthood; who will then offer animal sacrifices according to OT Law. For according to OT Law {See Numbers 3:5-10} all Jewish Priests must prove that they are direct descendants of Levi and these Levitical genealogies were completely destroyed when the last Jewish Temple was destroyed in AD 70. Therefore, no Scriptural OT animal sacrifices could possibly occur before then; since no Jew can now prove that he is a Levite!! And so if you are waiting for this Jewish Temple to be built to Biblical specifications by Jews who will then offer animal sacrifices; you are going to have to wait until this bogus Jewish messiah comes.  Please do not hold your breath until this time!        Did Herod the Great completely destroy the 2nd Temple including its foundations around 17 BC?? The following is a quote from “Antiquities of the Jews” by Josephus, Page 334, Para 1 & 3:  “And now Herod, in the 18th year of his reign undertook a very great work, that is, to build of himself the temple of God and make it LARGER in compass, and to raise it to a most significant altitude, as esteeming it to be the most glorious of all his actions and this would be sufficient for an everlasting memorial to him….so Herod TOOK AWAY THE OLD FOUNDATIONS AND LAID OTHERS, and erected the temple upon them. Herod’s 3rd Temple was 100 cubits {150 feet} long.” {The first two Jewish temples were both 60 cubits {90 feet} long as per 2 Chronicles 3:3 & Ezra 6:3.}  So then Herod’s Temple was the 3RD TEMPLE which according to John 2:20 took “46 years to build”.  There are some who believe that a {4th} Jewish Temple built to Biblical specifications will appear during the End-Times and is suggested in Revelation 11:1.  The TEMPLE IN HEAVEN is mentioned 12 times in Revelation where worshippers are present: Rev 3:12;7:15;11:19(2X);14:15,17;15:5,6,8(2x); & Rev 16:1,17. The only other time that a temple is mentioned is in Rev 11:1; where worshippers are present; so this could also be a reference to the TEMPLE IN HEAVEN. Let us compare Rev 11:1 with Rev 7:15 and Rev 8:3-5:  Revelation 11:1: I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the TEMPLE OF GOD and the ALTAR, and count the worshippers there.” Rev 7:15:”They {martyrs as per Rev 7:9-14} are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in HIS TEMPLE.” Rev 8:3-5: Another angel, who had a golden censor, came and stood at the ALTAR. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden ALTAR before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.  Ephesians 2:19b-22:  “You are members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself as the chief cornerstone {Of the 4th and LAST TEMPLE}.  In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a HOLY TEMPLE in the Lord.  And in Him you too are being built {Living Stones-1 Pet 2:5} together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.  2 Cor 6:16 “For *WE are the TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD!”{See Revelation 11:1 above!!} Acts 17:24: The God who made the world and everything in it …does not live in temples built by hands. The “outer court” of the TEMPLE OF GOD in Rev 11:2 would be the saints on earth who are also the TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD.       Revelation 1:7:  “Look, He is coming with the *CLOUDS*, and *EVERY EYE* will see Him, even those who pierced Him!” This 2nd Coming of Jesus with the *CLOUDS* is also mentioned in Matt 24:30 and I Thess 4:17 and in Matthew 26:64: Jesus replied, “But I say to all of you:  In the future you {Unsaved Jews at His trial} will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty one and coming on the *CLOUDS* of heaven!”    There will be 2 Comings of Jesus on the same Last Day.  The First Coming will be *FOR* His saints and His second Coming will be *WITH* His saints on Heavenly White Horses right after they celebrate the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. {Read Rev 19:7-9 & Rev 17:11,14} They will conqer 666 and his 10 armies {See Rev 17:19-21}. This then explains the resurrection of God’s saints in Luke 17:30,35: Jesus says, “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is *REVEALED….two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” All of the lost who are left behind when Jesus is *REVEALED; will later be judged and then sent to hell on that same Last Day. {See 2 Thess 6-10; John 5:28,29; 12:48; Daniel 12:1,2,7b & Matt 25:31-33;41-46}        Jesus {See Rev 1:10,18} said to John in Rev 1:19: “Write what you have seen, what is now {Rev chapters 2 & 3} and *WHAT WILL TAKE PLACE LATER*.” {Rev chapters 6-22}  Events that will occur on the Last Day are recorded in Rev 6:12-17; Rev 11:15-19; Rev 14:14-20; Rev 16:17-21; Rev 19:1-21 & Rev 20:9b-15.  Question: How many words in Revelation, chapters 6-22 are devoted to a rapture before the beginning of the Great Tribulation??  Answer: *ZERO*!! In Rev 4:1 Jesus invited John to come up to Heaven in AD 96 so that he could write what he saw.  Rev 4:1b: Jesus said to John in AD 96, “Come up here, and I will show you *WHAT MUST TAKE PLACE.”  Unfortunately, there are some pre-tribbers who teach that Rev 4:1 actually proves a *CONCEALED* rapture of the church saints before the beginning of the Great Tribulation; which shows a *NEW LOW in honest Bible exegesis. The Olivet discourse by Jesus about the End-Times are recorded in Matt 24 & 25, Mark 13 and Luke 21.  Events which will occur on the Last Day of the Tribulation including the 2nd Coming are recorded in Matt 24:29-31; Matt 25:31-46; Mark 13:24-27 & Luke 21:25-28.  How many words in the Olivet discourse are devoted to a rapture before the Great Tribulation?  Answer: *ZERO*!! Rev 22:16,18,19: Jesus says, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give *YOU* {The Greek for YOU is plural} this testimony {ALL OF REVELATION} *FOR* the CHURCHES.” This contradicts the ridiculous pre-trib idea that Revelation, chapters 4-19, was not written *FOR* the CHURCHES! The word “CHURCH”is also not mentioned in 9 books of the NT: John, Mark, Luke, 2 Tim, 1 John, 2 John, 1 Peter, 2 Peter and Jude; and is not mentioned in the first 15 chapters of Romans and yet every word in all these NT books are “FOR THE CHURCHES”….. “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book.  If anyone *ADDS anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.  And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city which are described in this book.” It is time for all pre-trib *ADDERS* to repent; and all CLOSET Post-Tribbers to come out of their closets and teach ALL of God’s Word as per 2 Tim 4:1-8 since the End-Times are very near. Paul was inspired to write in 2 Timothy 4:8: “There is in store for me the Crown of Righteousness which the Lord will award to me on *THAT DAY*—and not only to me, but to *ALL who have longed for *HIS APPEARING*.” THE ETERNAL RENDEZVOUS  WHAT ARE THE 7 BIBLE CLUES WHICH REVEAL THE IDENTITY OF 666???      Revelation 13:17b,18: “The mark of the beast {Or antichrist} is the *NAME* of the Beast or the number of *HIS NAME*. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, *LET HIM* calculate the number of the Beast {Even in AD 96 when Revelation was written}, for it is a man’s number {Or “Number of a MAN”}. *HIS* number is *666*.” God has promised in the above inspired passage that any saint {Even in AD 96–which implies that the name was known in AD 96} with spiritual wisdom and insight may calculate the name of the beast which is a *MAN’S NAME* and adds up to 666.        In Thess 2:3 the Beast of the End-Times is called a “*MAN* of sin or lawlessness” or very SINFUL MAN and therefore the name of the Beast which adds up to 666 is a *MAN’S* name which is also confirmed in Rev 13:17b,18 above. Therefore, the NAME of the Beast which adds up to 666 is a sinful *MAN’S NAME* and could not be the name of a woman or a city, country, computer or Satan, etc..  666 is also identified with a MASCULINE pronoun 28 times in God’s Word which we will show later. Rev 13:16,17: “He {The False Prophet} forced everyone… to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead. No one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name {666}. The antichrist is called a “BEAST” 36 {6×6} times in Revelation. The BEAST is a much better name than antichrist since antichrist is mentioned 5 times in God’s Word {I John 2:18{2X}, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7} and each time the word encompasses all who are against Christ.  I John 2:18: “Even now many antichrists have come.”        666 is referred to in the MASCULINE gender 28 times and the Beast is never referred to in the feminine or neuter gender.  It is interesting to note that if the Beast of the end-times will be a religious organization, country or city it would be referred to in the female or neuter gender!!!  The masculine pronouns used for the Beast are “HIS” 11 times: Rev 13:1, 5,16b,18b; 14:9,11; 17:7b; 19:2; 20:4(2X) & Daniel 7:26.  “HE” 10 times: Rev 13:1;6a,7a,7; 17:8b; 17:11; 2 Thess 2:6; Daniel 7:24,25 & Daniel 9:27.   “HIM” 5 times: Rev 13:4b; 19:20; 2 Thess 2:6; Daniel 7:25 & Daniel 9:27.  “HIMSELF” 2 times in 2 Thess 2:4.       Actually there are **7 BIBLE CLUES** that show who the BEAST of the future 1260-day Tribulation will be. By an amazing coincidence all 7 Bible clues can be applied to Nero Caesar!!  {{1}}  The BEAST will be a “MAN OF SIN” or very sinful MAN as per 2 Thess 2:3 above. {{2}}  The number of this sinful man’s name is 666 as per Rev 13:16-18.  The Bible was written by 40 Divinely inspired Hebrews in Hebrew and Greek so then it is highly probable that this man’s name adds up to 666 in Hebrew or Greek.  Nero Caesar’s name adds up to 666 in Hebrew which we will show later in this Bible study. {{3}}  This sinful man whose name adds up to 666 DIED BEFORE AD 96 when Revelation was written.{See Rev 17:8 below} We will show later why Revelation was written between Sept AD 95 and Sept AD 96. Nero Caesar lived from December 15th, AD 37 to June 9th AD 68. {{4}} This sinful man who was alive and then died before AD 96 was FATALLY WOUNDED by a sword wound to his head. Nero Caesar committed suicide with a sword wound to his head on June 9th, AD 68. {See Rev 13:3 and Rev 13:14 below} {{5}}  This very sinful man who died before AD 96 was a KING in the Roman Empire as per Daniel 7:24. There were 11 Roman Kings or Caesars who died before AD 96 including the 6th Caesar {Nero Caesar} who killed Paul and Peter in AD 66; and whose name adds up to 666 in Hebrew. Domitian Caesar was the 12th Roman Caesar who was alive when Revelation was written in AD 96. {{6}}  The beast is also called an 8th KING who ruled before AD 96 as one of 7 evil KINGS crowned by the city on 7 hills. {See Rev 17:9-11} {{7}}  This very sinful ROMAN KING whose name adds up to 666 and who was fatally wounded by a sword before AD 96, will “COME UP FROM THE *ABYSS* or *HELL* as per Rev 11:7 & Rev 17:8. We know that the ABYSS is HELL by comparing 2 Peter 2:4 with Luke 8:30b,31. We can be sure that Nero Caesar is now in the Abyss or Hell since he killed Paul and Peter and thousands of Christians and sent Vespasian {the father of Titus and Domitian Caesar} to kill the Jews and destroy their Temple. The MAN OF SIN or Nero also killed his own mother and killed his pregnant wife by kicking her in the stomach.   Inscriptions have been found in Ephesus in which Nero is called “Almighty God” and “Savior”.   In Revelation 13:8a we learn that all the unsaved inhabitants of the world will worship the Beast.  Nero and Caligula “abandoned all reserve” in promoting emperor worship – they were the only two Roman Caesars who demanded divine honors while still alive. Nero claimed to be the sun-god Apollo.  In 2 Thess 2:4 we read that the “Man of Sin” will proclaim that he is God!       Revelation 17:8: The beast, which you saw, once was {alive}, Now {in AD 96} is not {alive} and will come up out of the ABYSS and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book life. … will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was {Alive before AD 96}, now {In AD 96} is not {Alive} and yet will come. Rev 13:14: He {The False Prophet} will order the inhabitants of the earth to set up an image in honor of the beast who was {FATALLY-Rev 13:3} wounded by the sword and yet lived.”  Rev 13:3: “One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been HEALED!! The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. “ During the last year of his rule Domitian Caesar decreed that everyone in the Roman Empire must worship idols of former Roman Caesar’s or else they would be killed or put in prison. Historical documents show us that the Apostle John {Who then lived in Ephesus} lived to about AD 100 and therefore would have been alive during Domitian’s evil decree of September AD 95 to September of AD 96.  Since we can be sure that the Apostle John would never worship an idol of a Roman Caesar it is then highly probable that John was put in prison on Patmos Isle sometime during Domitian’s evil decree from September AD 95 to September AD 96.       When I was a missionary in Israel I studied the Hebrew language.  One of the first things that you learn when you study the OT Ancient Hebrew language {Which is also the language of Israel today!} is that the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet ALSO represent 22 numbers! When you read Psalm 119 you will note that the 176 sentences are divided into 22 sections; each section with 8 sentences or verses praising the Word of God. These 22 sections are each headed by one of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet in the exact same order as shown below. The ancient Hebrew language {Which is exactly the same as the modern Hebrew language} frequently used the letters of their alphabet to designate numbers in the OT as follows:  ALEPH=1. BETH=2. GIMEL=3. DALET=4. HE=5. VAV=6. ZAYIN=7. CHETH=8. TETH=9. YODH=10. KAPH=20. LAMED=30. MEM=40. NUN=50. SAMEKH=60. AYIN=70. PE=80. TSADHE=90. KOPH=100. RESH=200. SHIN=300. TAV=400.       NOTE: Most vowel sounds except “O” {VAV} are not used as letters in Hebrew. These vowel sounds are designated by dots and dashes under their *PRECEDING* consonants. In Hebrew “N” is added on the end of all foreign names ending in “O”. Therefore, the foreign name of Nero would be “NERON” in Hebrew. The name Nero Caesar would be pronounced Neron Kaysar in Hebrew. The “E” in Neron and the 2 “A” sounds in Kaysar {There is no “C” in Hebrew} are designated by dots and dashes under their preceding consonants and therefore are not letters in the 22 letter Hebrew alphabet, and so have no numerical value.       Neron in Hebrew would use 4 letters with numerical value: N-R-O-N and Kaysar in Hebrew would use 3 letters with numerical value: K-S-R. There would be a dot under the first N to show the “E” sound in NEron There would also be 2 dots under the “K” to show the “AY” sound in KAYsar and a dash under the “S” to show the “AH” sound in KaySAHr.  The 4 letters with numerical value in NERON would be {SEE TABLE ABOVE} N = NUN = 50; R = RESH = 200; O = VAV = 6; and N = NUN = 50 and 50+20+6+50 equals 306. The 3 letters with numerical value in “KAYSAR would be K = KOPH = 100; S = SAMEKH = 60; and R = RESH =200 and 100+60+200 equals 360. And so the numerical value of Nero in Hebrew is 306 and the numerical value of Caesar in Hebrew is 360, and therefore the numerical value of Nero Caesar is 306+360 or exactly *666*!       There is a very interesting footnote in the revised Standard Version concerning the number 666 which states that some ancient manuscripts have the number **616** which *DOUBLY* confirms that Nero Caesar may be the future Anti-Christ!! You will note that the Hebrew language adds an “N” to all foreign names ending in “O”. Now “N” or “NUN” in Hebrew has a numerical value of **50**!! and so if you decided not to add the last “N” in NERON then Nero Caesar would add up to exactly *616* in Hebrew. This is an absolutely amazing coincidence!       Any honest Hebrew language scholar will confirm that the letters of Nero Caesar’s name add up to 666 in the Hebrew language whose 22 letters are also 22 numbers as shown above, and the Bible was written by 40 Jews. Since all of the prophecies concerning the antichrist are written in OT Hebrew {Like Daniel 7:8-25} or NT Koine Greek it would then seem logical that God would use one of these 2 Bible languages to identify the Name of the Beast whose letters add up to 666. One of the problems of doing this in NT Koine Greek is that the letters of their alphabet are not also numbers. And therefore you can only assign a numerical value of 22 to the 22nd letter, etc.. Using this formula you could not get any name to add up to over 250, let alone 666. You have the same problem with English & all other languages other than the Hebrew language! The 3 different Greek words used in Rev 13:18b to arrive at the number 666 are the 3 different Greek words for 600 and 60 and 6 and not 6 +6 + 6.      And so the *6th Caesar {Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius & the *6th* was NERO} ordered the execution of Paul & Peter in AD *66*. NERO fulfilled *ALL 7 BIBLE CLUES as to the identity of *666 and will be the Beast who comes up from the Abyss {Or Hell-See Rev 11:7 & Rev 17:8} in the coming Great Tribulation!!   WHAT CITY WILL BE THE HEADQUARTERS OF 666 OR NERO CAESAR?? Most Bible scholars believe that the book of First Peter was written shortly after the beginning of Nero’s Roman persecution of Christians in AD 64 because of I Peter 4:12,13 & 5:8,9. We know that Peter and his wife were living in Rome at this time. Peter was inspired to write in I Peter 5:13: “She {Peter’s wife} who is in *BABYLON* {Nickname for *ROME*!} sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.” Apparently some Christians including Peter were inspired to call ROME “BABYLON” after Nero’s terrible persecution of Christians starting in AD 64. This is very interesting since the evil city of the End-Times is called “BABYLON” 6 times in Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2,10,21. All encyclopedias agree that Babylon was completely evacuated in 275 BC and completely destroyed by 141 BC. The Wikipedia encyclopedia states, “By 141 BC, when the Parthian Empire took over the region, Babylon was in complete desolation and obscurity.” The only question that remains is: Was Babylon rebuilt so that there could be people living in Babylon around AD 65 when Peter wrote 1 Peter 5:13??? Which leads us to the promises of God in Jeremiah 50:1-3,13: This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah concerning Babylon..”Babylon will be captured… A nation from the north will attack her and lay waste her land. No one will live in it; both men and animals will flee away!” Also read Jeremiah 52:52:61-64: And God ALWAYS keeps His promises. If you check out the latest Iraqi Tour Guides you will notice the following statement: “Today, Babylon lies CO
53. dmcal - January 1, 2011

Greetings Richard and Happy New Year!

First of all, I want to dispel this claim that I continually see from people who are not in agreement with a pre-tribulation resurrection and catching away, also called by many as the rapture, but since I hate that word, I will call it for what it is “Harpazo,” that is, the catching away.

Speaking for myself and others who study and are truly seeking the truth of God’s word, I can tell you that our faith is not based on when the ressurection and catching away takes place, whether it be pre, mid or post. Our faith is based on Jesus Christ crucified, buried and resurrected.
People have got this idea in their heads that, if the resurrection and catching doesn’t take place prior to the wrath of God, that this causes us to fall away, which is rediculous, because in our studies we know everything there is to know in God’s word regarding this last-day ruler, the beast, man of lawlessness, that antichrist. And so, for argument sake, if we were to be here and one day see a man on CNN who makes a seven year covenant with Israel and the Muslim community, then we would say,

“Ah ha! There is the antichrist! Well, I guess we were wrong in the timing of the resurrection and catching away!”

Would I then be lost? No! Why? Because, my faith is in Jesus Christ and not in regards to when the resurrection takes place. I would then go into my room and pray the same thing that I do now and that is “Father, give me a spirit that will not love life so much as to shrink away from death.”

And then I would prepare myself for what I know would be coming regarding all that I had studied about this time period. So now tell me Richard, how have I been deceived by believing a pre-tribulation resurrection and catching away? The timing of the resurrection and catching away is not going to interfer with my faith and willingness to be persecuted, for there would be no greater honor than to be able die for his name sake and the gospel. Furthermore, the reason for those who will be turning away from the faith, betraying and hating one another is mentioned in the previous verse, which will be because of persecution and the threat of being put to death (Mt.24:9-10).

Currently and for the most part, we live in a world of freedom of faith, with some exceptions of course, but a time is coming when that will be gone from the earth completely and that because that man who will be proclaiming himself to be God or anything that is called God or worshiped will step onto the stage of history
(2 Thes.2:4). When his mark is made manditory at the middle of that last seven years, that is what will cause the division and that because, the other methods of buying and selling will be removed, that is, cash, checks, credit and debit will be made obsolete so that only his mark will remain to be able to perform any type of financial computer transaction. In other words, if you don’t have the mark, then you can’t access your bank account, wihch means you can’t buy food or pay your bills or even have a job. The people who will not worship the beast, his image or receive his mark are those great tribulaiton saints, most of who will be beheaded (Rev.20:4). The people who will betray and hate one another will be those who will be astonished, that is, in admiration of the beast, they being those whose names that were not written in the book of life before the world began (Rev.13:8; 17:8).

Now, regarding the timing of the resurrection and catching away and the wrath of God, Paul outlined their sequence. First the resurrection and catching away will take place and then the wrath of God is to follow. The resurrection and catching way and the wrath of God both fall under the same designation and that is “The Day of the Lord.” According to Paul’s outline, the resurrection and catching is what initiates the day of the Lord, with the wrath of God to follow. The Thessalonians wrote Paul about this very subject because there were some among them who were saying that the resurrection had already taken place and the Thessalonians were understandibly concerned because if the resurrection had taken place, then the catching away would have also taken place leaving only the wrath of God to follow.

Now, as I stated earlier, Paul outlined the sequence of events, that being, the resurrection and catching taking place first, then the wrath of God to follow:

Resurrection and Catching away (1 Thes.4:13-18)
Wrath of God (1 Thes.5:1-11)

Resurrection and catching away referred to as “The Day of the Lord” (1 Thes.5:1-2)

The reason why I bring this up is because, prior to this verse, the day of the Lord was only known by the prophets as “a cruel day, a day of darkness with wrath and fierce anger.” But, here in 1 Thessalonians Paul describes the resurrection and catching away and then refers to it as the day of the Lord. So, the resurrection and catching away takes place first with the wrath of God to follow both falling under the banner of the “Day of the Lord.” Now, to answer one of Henry’s questions:

Question: If the rapture takes place before the day of God, a day in which the heavens are dissolved or depart as a scroll why is Peter admonishing “us” to look for and haste unto the coming of this day?

Answer: First of all, many people confuse what Peter is saying here with the complete destruction of the world at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ with the destuction that is going to take place during the tribulation/great tribulation period, i.e. that last seven years. Peter is privy to the same information that Paul was, that is, Peter knew that the first event that was going to take place is the resurrection and catching away, which as I have shown is also referred to as the “Day of the Lord.” So, when Peter says “You ought to live holy lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” he is referring to the coming of the first part of the day of the Lord, which is the resurrection and catching away, which precedes the wrath of God. Peter is not saying to look forward and speed the coming of God’s wrath, because that wouldn’t make any sense. Peter also knew that the resurrection and catching away must take place first and this is what he was saying that we should look for and speed its coming. Many people read over what Paul says in the Thessalonian verse and fail to make the connection that the resurrection and catching away is considered as part of the day of the Lord and is in fact what starts everything in motion.

Now, regarding that time of wrath, Paul says that we as believers are not appointed to suffer the wrath of God
(1 Thes. 5:9)

Regarding that time of wrath, Jesus also said the following:

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the WHOLE EARTH. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to ESCAPE ALL THAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN, and you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Lk. 21:34-35)

Pray that you may be able to escape? Jesus certainly wasn’t speaking about escaping while remaining upon the earth, because there would be no place for the church to escape to, seeing that, as Jesus said, “It will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.”

In the letter to the church in Philadelphia Jesus also said,
“Since you have kept my commnad to endure patiently, I will also KEEP YOU FROM THE HOUR OF TRIAL that is going to come upon the WHOLE WORLD to test those who live on the earth. (Rev.3:10)

In the verse above, Jesus did not say that he would keep us through it or in it, but FROM the hour of trial, which means that we would not even enter into to that time period. The “Hour of Trial” is another designation describing “Day of the Lord.”

The question regarding the timing of the resurrection and catching away in relation to that last seven year period is and has always been the controversey. Since, we are not appointed to suffer the wrath of God, then the question becomes, where does the wrath of God begin in relation to that seven year period? To answer that, according to my studies, the wrath of God is meted out in the form of the seven seals, trumpets and bowl judgments, as they are all mentioned as belonging to the wrath of God:

6th Seal: For the great day of their WRATH has come and who can stand? (Rev.6:12-17)

7th Trumpet: The nations were angry; and your WRATH has come. (Rev.11:18)

Seven Bowls: I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues–last, becasue with them God’s WRATH is completed.
(Rev.15:1)

Oh I know, people say, “The wrath of God doesn’t begin until after the announcement is made, which is after the 6th seal. Wrong! The phrase “For the great day of their wrath has come” does not infer that the wrath immediately follows that announcement. What it does mean is that the wrath has already begun and will continue, for a fourth or 25% of the earth’s population will have just previously been killed at the 4th seal, which is included as part of the annoucement that thier wrath has come.

Another probelm that exists is that people don’t differenciate between general tribualation and persecutions which come at the hands evil men with the powers of darkness orchestrating in the background, opposed to the wrath of God. The wrath of God covers the entire seven year period and overlaps when the beast makes war and conquers the saints, which takes place from the middle of the seven up til the return of Christ. And since we are not appointed to suffer the wrath of God, we must be taken off of this earth prior to that wrath being poured out. Jesus is not going to build his church and then pour his wrath out upon it! And since the entire world will be exposed to God’s wrath, we cannot be here. The only people of God that will be here, will be the Woman/Israel where she will be cared for out in the wilderness for 3 1/2 years starting from the middle of the seven up to the return of Christ to the earth and the great tribulation saints, which are those who will have become believers during that last seven year period.

By the way, the entire period is seven years in length (Dan.9:27), but from the middle of the seven up until Christ returns will be shortened to 3 1/2 years. If it was allowed to go on beyond that last 3 1/2 years, then no one would be left on the earth and therefore, there would be no one left to go into the millennial period in their mortal bodies to repopulate it, but for the elects sake, those days will be shortened.

Here is another point to be made. The word “Ekklesia” translated “Church” is used throughout chapters 1 through 3 in the book of Revelation. In fact, the very last word in chapter 3 is “Ekklesia,” but then it disappears, that is, it is never seen again within the narrative, it’s gone! The next word used to describe a believer upon the earth is “Hagios” translated “Saint,” its first ocurrance is found in
Rev. 5:8, but you will not see the word “Church” used to describe a believer after the end of chapter 3. The next and only time that the word “Church” appears is outside of the narrative in Rev.22:16. Coincidence? I think not. There is a reason why John no longer used the word “Ekklesia” and that I believe is because the “Ekklesia” is gone prior to the first seal being opened.

The belief in a pre seven year resurrection and catching away was not casually arrived at. After continually studying the word of God and this subject in particular, this is the best case seniario that we have come up with. In general, I cannot believe in a mid or post resurrection and catching away because it would put the church on earth during the time of God’s wrath, which we are not appointed to.

Also regarding what you posted:

“They teach: If you accept Jesus as your Savior you have a free pass to Heaven”

I certainly don’t believe in a free pass, but that we are saved by grace through faith. The word of God is clear on this matter, for God is not mocked, if anyone is sowing to the flesh, then of the flesh he will reap destruction, but whoever sows to the spirit, he will reap eternal life. We must continue striving to walk as Jesus walked, being transformed into his image. Anyone who thinks that because they have the grace of God that it gives them the freedom to continue wilfully in sin has the wrong spirit to begin with.

Yours in Christ!

54. Henry - January 4, 2011

Dmcal aka Don,
Greetings! Why do you insist on reposting the same stuff you have already posted on numerous occassions? The problem for me though is not that you are reposting the same thoughts but that you keep answering the wrong questions and ignoring key points that I have already presented to you.

There is no question that the church will not incur God’s coming wrath. The question however is: Will the church be at the mercy of the anti-christ? My answer to that is YES though I am sure you do not agree. In your view the resurrection and catching away will come before the man of sin, the anti-christ, comes to the fore.

But here is a crucial point you keep overlooking – the first resurrection included those who were persecuted and beheaded by the beast. So isn’t the first resurrection the very said resurrection and catching away that you speak of citing the references to what Paul said? Weren’t the soc-called tribulation saints a part of the first resurrection and catching away? Isn’t this what scriptures clearly teach? This is the crucial points that you keep ignoring.

You keep stretching scriptures to fit your ideal scenario but you are overlooking clear scriptural teachings in order to arrive at your conclusions. Rev 20:4-5 makes clear that the first resurrection included those who were killed by the beast. Unless you are trying to tell me that Paul’s resurrection and catching away occurred before the first. But then we also have Rev 15 to throw what you have said into further confusion.

Rev 15
1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

If these so-called tribulation saints went through the wrath how is it that John is seeing them standing on a sea of glass before the last plagues were to be poured out? They must certainly have been part of the first resurrection isn’t it?

Please therefore do me a favour and order these scriptures into your scenario and show me where they fit in. Thanks in advance.

55. Don McAllister - January 5, 2011

The answer is simple Henry, the post was in response to Richard.

56. Don McAllister - January 5, 2011

Henry,

But, to answer questions:

Point: There is no question that the church will not incur God’s coming wrath. The question however is: Will the church be at the mercy of the anti-christ?

Counter Point: The church cannot be at the mercy of the anti-christ, because as I stated, the wrath of God will be running parallel to the time of the antichrists activities and therefore, the church cannot be here.

Point: But here is a crucial point you keep overlooking – the first resurrection included those who were persecuted and beheaded by the beast. So isn’t the first resurrection the very said resurrection and catching away that you speak of citing the references to what Paul said? Weren’t the soc-called tribulation saints a part of the first resurrection and catching away? Isn’t this what scriptures clearly teach? This is the crucial points that you keep ignoring.

Counter Point: The error is that you continue to assume that those who are beheaded are the church, when in fact, they are the great tribulation saints. The problem is that people read the phrase “First Resurrection” and get the number “1” stuck in their heads. There are a couple of resurrections that take place prior to the return of the Lord, Jesus being the first fruits of that first resurrection, then the church at his appearing, the male child who is caught up to his throne, the two witnesses, the great tribulation saints as mentioned in 20:4. The first resurrection does not equal the number “1.” As I said before, the first resurrection could be better understood as the resurrections that take place prior to the one at the end of the millennium, which is the resurrection of the unjust. If you apply the resurrection of Rev.20:4 as pertaining to the church, then you would have had them go through the seals, trumpets and bowls, which is the wrath of God, which is what we are not appointed to suffer.

Point: You keep stretching scriptures to fit your ideal scenario but you are overlooking clear scriptural teachings in order to arrive at your conclusions. Rev 20:4-5 makes clear that the first resurrection included those who were killed by the beast. Unless you are trying to tell me that Paul’s resurrection and catching away occurred before the first. But then we also have Rev 15 to throw what you have said into further confusion.

Counter Point: I assure you that I do no not stretch or overlook anything regarding the word of God, but I look at everything in detail. Again the problem, as mentioned above, is that you read the phrase “First resurrection” and you get the idea of “One” in your head. It would be impossible to fit in every resurrection and catching away mentioned into the resurrection of Rev.20:4-5. In fact, if you notice, the only event that is mentioned in that verse is a resurrection and there is no mention of the catching away of the living as in 1 Thes.4:16 and 1 Cor.15:51.

Point: And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

If these so-called tribulation saints went through the wrath how is it that John is seeing them standing on a sea of glass before the last plagues were to be poured out? They must certainly have been part of the first resurrection isn’t it

Counter Point: Do you think that all of the great tribulation saints are going to all be killed at the exact same time, right after the 7th bowl is poured out? The saints will be dying thoughout the entire period and not just after the 7th bowl. John is seeing a vision of those who had gotten the victory over the beast, his image and his mark, meaning that they died keeping their testimony of Jesus and the gospel and these are who John is seeing a vision of. And speaking of those last plagues, this proves what I have been saying, and that is, the church cannot be in view here, because as you notice, these seven last plagues complete the wrath of God. John is shown a vision of the entire group of the great tribulation saints in heaven in Rev.7:9-17.

As I have pointed out numerous times, there is a reason why we don’t see the word “Ekklesia,” translated “Church” after the end of chapter 3. Throughout chapter 1 through 3 the word “Church” is mentioned over an over again up until the end of chapter 3, then you never see it again. These types of clues cannot be ignored, for they are telling us something and that is, the word Ekklesia/Church is missing from print, ergo, the church is missing, as you will not find the word used again. As I said, the next word used to describe a believer after the end of chapter 3 is the word “Hagios” that is, “Saint.”

I can assure you Henry that my intentions are to find out the truths in God’s word. and not to just proclaim and protect my own personal interpretation as many do. That the church has to be gone prior to the first seal being opened is the best senario that I have come up with based on Scripture. I continue to search the word of God and in fact, for the last 3 months I have been in the process of doing a complete study in the book of Revelation, as well as documenting it.

Now, here are some questions for you regarding Scripture that I have listed that you seem to ignore:

In the letter to the Philadelphia church, Jesus makes the following promise:

“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” (Rev.3:10)

Question: Jesus is promising to keep them from the hour of trial, which is another designation for the wrath of God or the day of the Lord. Since we know that this promise could not be to the actual church of that time, mainly because they have been dead for 2000 years, he must then be speaking to those who would be here just prior to that hour of trial, which is meted out by the seals, trumpets and bowls. The question is, what is your explanation of being “Kept From” that our of trial, seeing that Jesus does not say, “I will keep you through it” or “I will keep you while in it,” but he says, “I wil keep you FROM it.”

Question: Regarding the same topic, in Luke 21:34-36, Jesus says the following regarding the wrath of God, which is coming upon the earth:

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Question: The fact that Jesus said that day would come upon [all those] who live on the face of the [whole earth] would infer that the entire earth and its inhabitants will be exposed to all that is going to take place. That being said, how would it be possible for us to escape that which is about to happen, if in fact those things will affect the entire earth and its inhabitants? Escaping would certainly not be by remaining upon the earth.

Question: Same subject, in 1 Thes.4:13-18 Paul outlines the resurrection and catching away, then in 1 Thes.5:1-2 Paul says regarding the dates and times of the reurrection and catching away, I do not need to write to you and then he refers to that event as the “Day of the Lord.” Then he says, while people are saying, “peace and safety” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you brothers are not in darkness so that this day should surpise you like a thief. The question then is, if those who are the unfaithful will not escape, how do the faithful escape? What would be the difference if both unbelievers and believers remained on the earth once that day closes like a trap. What benifit would believers have over unbelievers if both groups were to remain on the earth? The fact that the Scripture says, “They shall not escape,” which is immediately followed by “But you brothers,” would immediately infer the opposite of not escaping, that is, the brothers will escape.

Question: Regarding the same topic found in 1 Thes.1:10, Paul speaking to the Thessalonians says:

“They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead–Jesus, who rescues us fromt he coming wrath.”

Paul says the Thessalonians are waiting for his Son from heaven who will be rescuing them from the coming wrath, which is not only a promise to them, seeing as they are long dead, but to the entire church period. Again, since we know that the seals, trumpets and bowls are identified as the wrath of God, how can we be here if Jesus rescues us from that coming wrath? Again, do you think that he is rescuing us from it while keeping us on the earth, opposed to resurrecting and catching us away prior to this time of wrath taking place?

The other question would be, if you say that he is rescuing us while keeping us on the earth, then who are alll these saints being killed during that time mentioned here in Revelation, if in fact the church is rescued from all that is going to take place? It would not much of a rescue seeing that of that time period Jesus said, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” By the time Jesus returns to the earth to set up his millennial kingdom, the population of the earth will have been decimated, so that there will be roughly less than 500 million people left.

Then Paul’s words of comfort after he outlines the resurrection and catching away in 1 Thes 4:18, which says, “Therefore comfort one another with these words” would be of no comfort at all if the church was to remain on the earth during that time period, because they would be exposed to God’s wrath which overlaps the second 3 1/2 year period where the beast will be given authority over those saints to make war against them and to conquer them. In fact, Rev.20:4 has them as being beheaded and how could being rescued and escaping that time period be fulfilled if the church is being beheaded?

57. Henry - January 5, 2011

Don,
Like you all I want to do is to get to the truth of scriptures as well. So let us reason!

In my view the central basis of your argument surrounds the designation of the words “church” and “saints”. I think if we honestly take a look at this we can easily come to the truth. By you trying to use this “clue” about the word church no longer appearing in Revelations after Chapter 3, and that only the word saints appears, I think you are already going down the wrong path.

The fact of the matter is that “saints” has been used repeatedly throughout the New Testament to refer to the church so why should you suppose that it refers to a different group when used in Revelations? Here are some examples:

Eph 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Phi 1:1
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

1 Cor 6:2
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?

In all these cases Paul is referring to the church. Why then should you suppose that when used in Revelations the word is referring to a different group of people? This is crux of the problem in your argument. By trying to distinguish between church and saints you are then able to build an argument that since the saints go through the period of the anti-christ then the church must be a separate group which was taken out of the way before these events. Thus all your other “interpretations” fall into place around this false premise. Isn’t it true though that Rev 19:7 refers to the church as saints?

But here is another clue for you though. Since according to you one resurrection don’t mean a single one and that there is no “catching away” when the “saints” in revelation are resurrected (Rev 20: 4-5) then pray tell who are the “saints” that are seen riding out of heaven with Jesus? By your reasoning these saints are pre-tribulation saints that according to you were resurrected but were not caught up to heaven. How then did they get in to heaven?

Don McAllister - January 6, 2011

Hello Henry,

Yes, I am in agreement with you that throughout the NT that the word church and saints is used interchangeably, but I believe that it is specifically significant here in the book of revelation that the word Ekklesia/Church is specifically used and then never used again and switches soley to the word “Saints.” It wouldn’t be an issue if both church and saint were used interchangeably throughout revelation, but it is the complete absense of the word after chapter 3 that gets my attention. I believe that God has put this and many other clues in his word for this very purpose and that is, for us to discover.

The book of Revelation itself is divide up into 3 parts as described in chapter 1:19, which says:

Write, therefore, what you have “Seen,” what is “Now” and “What will take place later.”

What John had seen was everthing prior to him being told to write. What is “Now” is represented by the letters to the seven churches, which represent the actual churches of that time as well as to the churches and all believers throught the entire church period, which is the “Now.” Currenty, we are still in the “Now,” that is, we are still in the church period, which is represented by the letters. What I believe is that, the resurrection and catching away will end the church period, that is, “What is Now” and then in chapter 4 John is told to come up here and he will be shown “What must take place after this,” that is, after the “Now.” If I could paraphrase, “Come up up here John and I will show you what must take place after the church period.”

The other issue besides the word “Church” being absent from the rest of the book of revelation is the “wrath” issue. I evaluate the scenario in the following manner:

We are currently still in the church period “The Now”

We have a period of seven years as established in Dan.9:27, which ends with the return of the Lord to the earth.

We have a time period known as the “Day of the Lord” or the “wrath of God” or the “Day of Christ” or the “Day of God” or as “The hour of trial,” which are all referring to the same time period.

We have a detailed description of that time period of God’s wrath in the form of the seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls, which are three sets of seven judgments meted out upon the earth and its inhabitants.

We have a promise that we as believers are not appointed to suffer that wrath. (1 thes.5:9)

We also have a promise from Jesus that he will keep us from that time of wrath. (Rev.3:10)

So the question becomes, where does the resurrection and catching away takes place in relation to that seven year period and more specifically, where does the wrath of God begin within that time period? For the church must be removed prior to God’s wrath being poured out upon the earth.

In answer to your question:

“But here is another clue for you though. Since according to you one resurrection don’t mean a single one and that there is no “catching away” when the “saints” in revelation are resurrected (Rev 20: 4-5) then pray tell who are the “saints” that are seen riding out of heaven with Jesus? By your reasoning these saints are pre-tribulation saints that according to you were resurrected but were not caught up to heaven. How then did they get in to heaven?”

Answer: The saints that are following Jesus out of heaven as mentioned in 19:14 are the same group that are mention in 19:7-8, “His bride,” which is a designation for “The church” who are given fine linen, bright and clean to wear and then in 19:14, the armies that are following him are said to be wearing that same fine, white linen.

The great tribulation saints that will be killed because of their testimony for Jesus and who will not have worshiped the beast, his image or received his mark, are resurrected after the church returns with Christ as shown in Rev.20:4-5 “They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Those great tibulation saints and the woman (Israel) who will have made it through the entire seven years and more specifically that last 3 1/2 years, will go into the millennial kingdom in their mortal bodies and repopulate the earth. These are those who we the church, the male child (144,000) and the great tribulation saints will rule over during the millennium.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, because I don’t, but I am still searching and will continue to search until the Lord calls us. I have what is called my “Spiritual Cupboard” which is where I put the issues that I don’t have solid answers for. To be clear, this information is based on my studies and what I believe according to all the puzzle peices of Scripture that I have put together, but again, that does not make them abosolutely correct and so I tell people that this is according to my findings based on Scripture. Sometimes I wish that God’s word was written out as step 1, step 2, step 3, but then where would the fun and excitement be of putting together the puzzle of God’s word? And even if it was laid out in steps, there would still be people whould mess it up!

Anyway, I hope that all is well with you and I look forward to your thoughts and input.

58. Henry - February 16, 2011

Hello Don,
I know you have said you approach the scriptures in all sincerity but I would advise you to take a closer look at scripture without personal bias. If your mind is biased to a particular view then your whole interpretation will lean towards that view. Many of the issues you raised have already been explored in my previous responses to you so I don’t think it is worthwile going over them again but just to highlight a couple of points where you seem to be missing the mark, I will indulge you.

Why do you insist that the male child that was snatched up to heaven are the 144’000 virgin Jews (12’000 of each of the 12 tribes except Dan)? There are no other scriptures that you can rely on on in order to draw such a conclusion yet there are ample scriptures which supports the fact that the male child is none other than Jesus Christ. You can only arrive at such a conclusion if you pulled your interpretation out thin air rather than to apply proper exegisis of scripture.

Another point is to do with the fact that you change the designation of “church” and “saint” as it suits you in order to make your interpretations fit. According to you since the word church is absent in Revelation after chapter 3 this means the church was “raptured” at that point and any reference to “saint” refers not to the church but to the “tribulation saints” (those left behind). Yet it is convenient for you to then switch and say that the “saints” seeing riding out of Heaven with Christ are His bride the Church.

There is also one piece of crucial evidence that you are missing and it is Revelations 17:8

8The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

Note therefore that the beast which John saw existed in the past, then did not exist for a time but came unto the world scene again at a future time. This fact should not be ignored in interpreting these scriptures. How is it for example that the “saints” were not “raptured” before this beast first came on the scene? Yet you can confidently argue that the “saints” will be raptured before its second appearance? I will leave you with that one to ponder.

Best regards,

dmcal52 - February 17, 2011

Hello again Henry,

First of all, in regards to being bias, I contend for the word of God based on Scripture and do not subscribe to anyone elses teaching. If someone can show me Sciptural proof to change what I have garnered from the word of God regarding any given subject, then I will except it, otherwise, I will continue to proclaim and contend for what I know to be the truth. Furthermore, I cannot be bias because I am proclaiming his word and I have to answer to him and therefore, I must endeavor to be accurate.

Now, in regards to my claim that the male child is sysnonymous with the 144,000, I will provide Scriptural proof to back that up, which proof in fact can be found right in the Scripture itself. The reason that many don’t come to the same understanding is because they don’t pay close enough attention to the details.

In order to understand who the male child is, we must first understand who the “Woman” of chapter 12 is, because she is giving birth to him. Many erroneously interpret this woman as the church and that because instead of using God’s provided answer within his word to interpret the symbolism regarding her, they seek their own or some other teachers interpretation.

So, the woman is said to be clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and is wearing a crown of twelve stars. So, her characteristics are Sun, moon, twelve stars. God’s answer as to who the woman is, is found in Genesis 37:9-10 regarding Joseph’s dream where he told his brothers and his father Jabob that he had a dream where the Sun, moon and eleven stars came and bowed down to him. His father then rebukes him and says, “Will your mother and I and your brothers truly come and bow down before you?” Therefore, by Jacob’s response, we are given the meanings:

Sun = Jacoob

Moon = wive(s)

Stars = Joseph’s eleven brothers, Joseph being twelve.

So now, if we go back to Rev.12 and apply these meanings behind the sun, moon and stars, we can see that the “Woman” clothed with sun (Jacob) and the moon under her feet (Wives) and a crown of twelve stars
(Son’s of Jacob), the woman represents Israel as a whole.

So, now that we know that the woman is symbolic for literal Israel. It states that she is pregnant and is about to give birth. So, the nation Israel is going to be giving birth to a male child.

Next we are introduced to an enormous red dragon who is identified in chapter 12:9 as that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan and he is standing before the woman/Israel to devour (kill) her child the moment that it is born.

The woman/Israel gives birth to a “Male Child”, who will rule all nations with an iron scepter. The next event that takes place is that the male child is snatched up to God and to his throne, keeping the dragon/Satan from being able to devour (kill) it. The word “Harpazo” which denotes force suddenly exercised is the word used here translated as “Snatched up.” This is the same word used to describe Paul when he was “Caught up” to the third heaven, it is the same word used when the Spirit of the Lord suddenly “Caught away” Philip from the eunuch and is the same word describing the living church being caught up to meet Jesus in the air found in 1 Thes.4;16. Now, I listed this to show that, this male child is escaping from the dragon/Satan by being snatched up alive to God’s throne before Satan can kill him.

Now all tha being said, let’s see if Jesus fits the criteria of the male child. Jesus was born, lived a perfect, sinless life, meeting all the righteous requirments of the law and then began his ministry at about 30 years old. Jesus preached the gospel, did signs and miracles for 3 years or so and then was crucified according to God’s plan for our salvation.

So, since the male child is said to have escaped Satan by being caught up to God and to his throne without being devoured, that is killed and Jesus was crucified, how then is Jesus the male child? For the male child is caught up to God’s throne without any harm whatsoever as soon as it is born, but Jesus was killed according to prophecy.

The male child is not Jesus.

So, if the male child is not Jesus, then who is it? The male child is a collective name for the 144,000 who are said to be sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads out from the twelve tribes of Israel in chapter 7. The sealing of these 144,000 out of the twelve tribes of Israel are those who are chosen as the first fruits to God and who come to the knowledge that Jesus is in fact their Messiah, ergo, the woman gives birth to.

Another clue that these 144,000 are the male child, can be deduced from what is written about them as seen with Jesus after they were caught up:

“These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure.” (Rev.14:4)

The fact that it is said that, “They did not defile themselves with woman,” infers that this 144,000 are all males, ergo, the male child.

So, now do you still think that I pulled this information out of thin air or is it based on the truth of God’s word?

dmcal52 - February 17, 2011

Me again,

You said:

“Another point is to do with the fact that you change the designation of “church” and “saint” as it suits you in order to make your interpretations fit. According to you since the word church is absent in Revelation after chapter 3 this means the church was “raptured” at that point and any reference to “saint” refers not to the church but to the “tribulation saints” (those left behind). Yet it is convenient for you to then switch and say that the “saints” seeing riding out of Heaven with Christ are His bride the Church.

Though it is said that the fine linen, white and clean represents the righteous acts of the saints, here it is referring to the Church simply because those saints are further qualified as “The Bride,” and we know that the bride is without a doubt, the Church. the armies of heaven that are following behind the Word of God on white horses wearing fine linen, white and clean is the Church.

dmcal52 - February 17, 2011

Hello,

You said:

“8The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

Note therefore that the beast which John saw existed in the past, then did not exist for a time but came unto the world scene again at a future time. This fact should not be ignored in interpreting these scriptures. How is it for example that the “saints” were not “raptured” before this beast first came on the scene? Yet you can confidently argue that the “saints” will be raptured before its second appearance? I will leave you with that one to ponder.”

The phrase “Once was, now is not and yet will come is this:

Once was = The beast was at one time prior to John receiving this information, was out in the world.

Now is not = He is not in the world, but is in the Abyss

And yet will come = He will be coming back out of the Abyss at a future time (still future)

The error is that you are assuming that the “And yet will come” has already taken place, but it hasn’t and the following is why:

“Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up fron the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.” (Rev.11:7)

So in the verse above, as soon as the two witnesses have finished their 3 1/2 years of prophecy, the beast who comes up out of the Abyss will attack and kill them. Tell me, have you seen these two witnesses yet? No, they have not come upon the earth and fulfilled this prophecy yet and therefore, the prophecy that says, “And yet will come” has not yet taken place.

The other reason I know that the beast has not yet come back up out of the Abyss is because, he is let out at the 5th trumpet where the Abyss is opened and those demonic beings come out to torment mankind for 5 months with the stings of scorpions. It is said that, these demonic beings have a king over them who is the angel of the Abyss whose name is Abaddon and Apollyon in Hebrew and Greek respecively, which means “Destroyer.”
(5th Trumpet – Rev.9:1-11)

Have you seen any demonic beings that look like locusts with stingers like scorpions attacking people? No, we haven’t. And that is because the beast is still currently in the Abyss, as are his subjects, those demonic beings and we have yet to see the two witnesses revealed.

Currently, we are still in the church period (The Now) and the next event is the continuation of the first resurrection of which Christ initiated, the Church being next. Nothing from the beginning of Revelation chapter 4 has yet taken place, that is, it is still future.

I hope that this sheds some light on this subject.

Yours in Christ

59. Henry - February 17, 2011

Don,
Let us take this point by point:

Like I have said in previous postings – the male child cannot be the 144,000. Yes indeed the woman is Israel and I have acknowledged that before now – but the male child can only be Jesus Christ. Why? The scripture say:

Rev 12:5
5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Do you see anywhere in scripture that the 144,000 will rule all nations with a rod of iron? Yet look at this supporting scripture which refers to Christ:

Rev 19:5
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

I do not see a basis for referring to 144,000 men in the singular as scripture speaks of one male child. But lets put that aside and look at much more revealing evidence.

In verse 6 of Rev 12 does it not say that the woman brought forth a man child, which was then caught up to Heaven and after the child was caught up to heaven the woman fled from the dragon into the dessert? Note the sequence of events which are very clear. Now lets go back to Revelation 7. At what point in the sequence of events were the 144,000 sealed?

Rev 7
2And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
4And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Ah! Does it not say that the 144000 were sealed just before the four angels were about to hurt the earth? So we can conclude then that the 144000 were snatched up some time after they were sealed but before the 4 angels hurt the earth, Yes? So do you mean to tell me that the woman (Israel) fled into the dessert when the 4 angels were about to pour out God’s wrath upon the earth? Pray tell what would Israel be going into the dessert at this point to do? This is judgement day – and if the woman (Israel) was not saved before this then those that were not sealed at this point were doomed. But in Rev 12 we see that the woman fled into the dessert to be nourished in a place prepared for her by God.

The fleeing of the woman into the dessert therefore must occur before judgement day – and the man child must have been caught up prior to the woman fleeing into the dessert. This picture therefore clearly does not fit with the events of Revelations 7 and this is why the 144,000 cannot qualify to be the male child that is referred to in Chapter 12.

With regards to the beast of Revelation 17, I in no way stated that his second appearance has already occured. I did not make any such assumption. All I have said is that he once was on the seen and will appear on the scene at a future time period.

60. dmcal52 - February 17, 2011

Morning Henry,

Did you not read my comparison regarding the male child and the fact that the 144,000 are all males?

Did you not read my post that Jesus cannot be the male child because the male child was caught up to God and to his throne before the dragon/Satan could harm him and in contrast Jesus did not escape? At least you should be able to see that the male child escaped being devoured by the dragon, but Jesus was crucified. How then could Jesus be the male child on this point alone? The dragon couldn’t get the male child because it was snatched up to God’s throne and so he goes after the woman, but God helps her as well.

The woman/Israel gives birth to the male child/144,000 who are previously sealed and then she flees into the desert and is cared for by God because by that time the abomination of desolation will have been set up, which is sysnonymous with what Jesus said in Mt.24:15.

Furthermore, the statement that “He shall rule all nations with an iron scepter is stated three different times and is not exclusive to Jesus:

Of Jesus – 19:15
Of the Male Child – 12:5
Of Overcomers – 2:26-27

“Do you see anywhere in scripture that the 144,000 will rule all nations with a rod of iron?”

Yes, because as I have pointed out, the male child is synonymous with the 144,000, so yes it does say that they will rule with an iron scepter.

But, besides all of this, I can see that you are adamant about what you believe and I can respect that and so, let’s just agree not to agree.

Yours in Christ

61. Henry - February 18, 2011

Hi Don,
I do not like the idea of agreeing to disagree – but I would rather we come to the right conclusion of what scripture is saying. I have not ignored your comparisons but those were derived from logic rather than what scripture is saying. If the male child were the 144,000 then it is clear to me that the references to this male child in Rev 12 must conflate with the events of Revelations 7 at the opening of the 6th seal.

The problem you have though is that if you were to accept my explanations this would create a problem for your pre-tribulation rapture position and that is the main reason you are now saying to let us agree to disagree. The 144,000 were NOT sealed until the opening of the 6th Seal. Revelations 7 make clear they were still on the earth at that point as per the verse“3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”

Even if we should agree that the male child was not Jesus, your explanation is still problematic from the events of the 6th seal. At this point the Heavens had departed as a scroll – The angels were at the ready to pour out wrath upon the earth but before this the 144,000 were sealed. When we compare this to Rev 12 we see that after the male child was snatched up to God’s throne the woman fled into the dessert to a place prepared for her by God. So whilst everyone else including the so-called “Tribulation saints” were celebrating in heaven, you are telling me that Israel was still in the dessert? If I am to accept your position then this is clearly what you are saying and you know full well that this would go against the grain of scripture.

If I am to accept your conclusions on this point then you need to tidy up this “little” discrepancy for me. Thank you.

62. son of god - March 13, 2012

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