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My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 3 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 3 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 3 )

The 70th Week Of Daniel

This is the last seven years of the 70 weeks or 490 years appointed by God for Israel to finish the transgression, make an end of sin, make reconciliation for iniquity, bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” ( Daniel‬ ‭9:24‬ ‭). The starting point of this period is the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and the leader of the Eighth And Final Beast Empire of Satan, the leader of the most powerful empire in the history of man on Earth. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” ( Daniel‬ ‭9:27‬ ).

This leader of a powerful confederacy of ten nations will enforce a false peace agreement between Israel and her Arab and Islamic neighbours who are part of the ten nation confederation. This leader will pose as the Saviour of Israel from her surrounding enemy nations who would want her driven into the Mediterranean Sea. Jesus told the Jewish leaders, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” ( John‬ ‭5:43‬ ‭). It is most probable that many from within Israel, especially the scornful leaders ( Isa.28:14-19 ) of the nation will see this great and powerful emperor of a consortium of ten nations as the Messiah of Israel. This period is divided into two equal halves of 1, 260 days, 42 months or three and one-half years.

( a ) The Tribulation Period

Pretribs call the whole of this 7-year period the Tribulation Period. Obviously it will be a time of trouble. But does that warrant it being designated as the Tribulation Period? We must bear in mind that this period relates to Israel. It is the last 7-year period appointed for her to finish the transgression, and bring in everlasting righteousness. For the first three and one-half years, Israel enjoys relative peace under the protection of the this powerful leader of ten nation confederation. He will probably station a protection force in Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem, as did the United States in South Korea and Japan, and Russia in East Germany, Poland, etc., after the Second World War. Although this leader is the antiChrist, he is as yet veiled. Apart from the saints who understand the end times, and some members of his inner circle who know his mission, the large majority of the inhabitants of the Earth, including the leadership of Israel will see him as the answer to humanity’s myriads of problems. He will enjoy wide acceptance. Designating the 70th week of Daniel as the Tribulation Period builds an a priori case for the Pretrib Rapture Position. There are no Scriptures that gives warrant to this designation. It is better to refer to it as simply the 70th week of Daniel.

( b ) The Time Of Jacob’s Trouble

Another error the pretribs commit which is like the first is the designation of the whole of the 70th Week as the time of Jacob’s trouble. “And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” ( Jere.30:4-7‬ ‭). Although not all pretribs share this view ( Dr. Ronald E. Showers ), the large majority do. Like the previous one mentioned above it builds an a priori case for the Pretrib Rapture Position. If the whole of the 70th week is the time of Jacob’s trouble, then the Church is exempt from it. After all, God is dealing with Israel and no the Church.
But the whole of the 70th week cannot be the time of Jacob’s trouble because Israel enjoys relative peace during the first three and one-half years of the 70th week under the protection of the antiChrist prior to his unveiling at the midpoint of the 70th week.

The antiChrist will enforce this false peace agreement for the first half of the 70th week. He will ensure that none of the surrounding hostile Arab and Islamic nations attack Israel during the first half of the 70th week. This is to give Israel a false sense of security. He will deal with Israel himself. Until the midpoint of the 70th week when he abrogates the False Covenant of peace, he does not attack Israel. It is precisely in the middle of the 70th week when the antiChrist breaks his Covenant with Israel, and surrounds Jerusalem with his armies in what is called the Jerusalem Campaign by Robert Van Camden of blessed memory that every Jewish Israeli will put his hands on his loins, and face turned into paleness as a result of fear. “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” ( Luke‬ ‭21:20‬ ‭). At the same time he surrounds Jerusalem with his armies, he also desecrates the temple, and abrogates daily animal and grain offerings began at the ratification of the false peace agreement. This is the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet ( Dan.9:27, Matt.24:15 ). Therefore the time of Jacob’s trouble begins at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel. It does not include the first half of the 70th week of Daniel.

( c ) The Time Of God’s Wrath

It obvious from the Scriptures that the Church is exempt from the wrath of God: for God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus the Christ ( 1 Thess.1:10, 5:9 ). If it can be established or proven from the Scriptures that the wrath of God begins at the commencement of the 70th week, hurrah, the game is over, the Church cannot go through any part of the 70th week. But are there any Scriptures that teach explicitly or implicitly that the wrath of God begins at the beginning of the 70th week? Pretribs teach that the whole of the 70th week is the period of God’s wrath, thusly building an a priori case for Pretrib Rapture Position inasmuch as the Church is exempt from the wrath of God. But the Scriptures are unequivocal in teaching that the day of the Lord is preceded by cosmic and celestial disturbances, and that the wrath of God occurs in the day of the Lord.

The prophet Joel announced that the day of the Lord shall be heralded by the darkening of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, and the appearance of the blood Moon.

“The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.” ( Joel‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭).

“And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” ( Joel‬ ‭2:30-31‬ ‭).

The prophet Isaiah spoke of the same. “Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” ( Isaiah‬ ‭24:23‬ ‭).

John the revelator told us that this event occurs at the breaking of the sixth seal, after the breaking of the fourth and fifth seals which signal the Great Tribulation and the martyrdom of the saints. The Great Tribulation begins at the midpoint of the 70th week. The sixth seal therefore is broken way into the second half of the 70th week. “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” ( Rev.6:12-14‬ ‭). It is obvious therefore that the wrath of God which occurs in the day of the Lord begins in the second half of the 70th week.

The cosmic and celestial disturbances shall send men scurrying for non-existent refuge under the rocks and mountains in fear of the wrath of God which is about to begin. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:15-17‬ ‭).

In the Olivet Discourse, our Lord Jesus told His disciples that the darkening of the Sun, Moon, and Stars shall be preceded by the tribulation of those days. “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:” ( Matt.24:29‬ ‭). The tribulation of those days is the Great Tribulation spoken of earlier in verse 21.

In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established. “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” ( 2 Cor.13:1‬ ‭). We have established from the Scriptures that the day of the Lord is preceded by cosmic and celestial disturbances, and that this phenomenon is preceded by the Great Tribulation which begins at the middle of the 70th week. It is evident therefore that the wrath of God does not begin at the commencement of the 70th week but rather begins way into the second half of the 70th week after the Great Tribulation which begins at the midpoint of the 70th week.

( d ) The Tribulation

Pretribs generally label the first three and one-half years of the 70th week of Daniel as the Tribulation. Is this designation biblically accurate? Admittedly, the first three and one-half years of the 70th week of Daniel is a period of trouble. Apart from the emergence of false christs, prophets, and teachers, and of course the ultimate false christ, the antiChrist, there are wars, commotions, rumors, and threats of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. These are troubles no doubt, but is there any biblical warrant to label it the Tribulation? Believers are not specifically targeted for genocide. The troubles are such as arise from attempt by the antiChrist to gain world domination. In the Olivet Discourse our Lord Jesus calls this period the beginning of birth pains. “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” ( Mat.24:5-8‬ ).

It is better therefore to stick to the biblical label or simply call it the first three and one-half years. If we designate it as the Tribulation, is it in relation to Israel or the Church. During this period the antiChrist protects Israel. So Israel enjoys relative peace, tranquility, and prosperity during this period. And because the notorious world leader has not yet declared himself God, nor has demanded worship by all mortals, the saints are not specifically targeted for genocide because of their refusal to worship the Beast and to give him allegiance. Who is persecuting who? Nations are at war with one another, jockeying for power and prominence, and there is realignment of nations. On top of that are famines, pestilences, and national disasters like earthquakes which are the natural consequences of war. There is utter chaos. The rules of engagement enshrined in the Geneva convention will be rubbished. International NGOs like Medicine Sans Frontier and WHO will not be able to function. The essence of the second horse and rider is to take away peace from the Earth in order that men shall kill one another ( Rev.6:3,4 ). This is not particularly against Christians and the Jews. But that is not to say it will be easy for the believers and Jews. Not at all. But this is the narrow window of opportunity for both Jews and Christians who understand the end times to abandon the cities and towns, move into villages, forests, and wildernesses to prepare safe havens, store away food, medicine, and other supplies. It will be extremely difficult to do these things once the Great Tribulation has begone, and the Christians and Jews, and any other persons who refuse to give allegiance to the antiChrist are targeted for genocide.

Avraham Shallom.

The Prewrath Rapture Of The Church

The Prewrath Rapture Of The Church

The Prewrath Rapture Of The Church

Before Christ’s First Advent, the Scripture told us when He would come. “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” ( Dan.9:26‬ ‭). It is evident from the above scripture that the Messiah would come after the expiry of the 69th week of Daniel’s 70-week Prophecy but before the destruction of the Second Temple by the Roman general Titus in 70 AD. Therefore any Messiah that showed up for the first time after the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah, Jerusalem, in 70 AD is a pseudomessiah. And there have been a catologue of them. There are some believers that believe and teach that the Second Coming of Christ is very important, but that when He comes is immaterial. This view appears to be pious on the surface, but a closure examination reveals that it, like other views that improperly Time the Rapture, in contradiction to the Scriptures, is very deceitful. If the Scripture told us when the First Advent occurred and it was fulfilled to the letter, it is also expected that the Scriptures will also reveal when the Second Advent would occur, and it shall be fulfilled to the letter.

Dispensationalism And The Rapture

Classical Dispensationalism ( CD ) also called Traditional Dispensationalism ( TD ), makes a distinction between Israel and the Church. In principle, this view is biblically accurate. However, in practice, Classical Dispensationalism teaches that God does not work with Israel and the Church at the same time. It teaches that in the 70 weeks God is dealing with Israel. In the first 69 weeks, the Church did not exist on Earth. The New Covenant was enacted by Christ with His twelve Apostles who were representative of Israel in the Upper Room on Mount Zion at the expiration of the 69th week in 32 AD. The inception of the Church occurred on the Day Of Pentecost, in the gap of time between the 69th and the 70th week of Daniel. For this reason they name this timeless period the Church Age. In this Gentile interlude, God’s prophetic clock in relation to Israel is at a standstill. In the 70th week, God begins to deal with Israel again, and logically according to them, the Church will no longer be needed on Earth, and will cease to exist. This view necessitates that the Church be raptured prior to the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel. Some proponents of the Pretrib Rapture view concede that it is not an explicit teaching of the Scriptures as is also the Posttrib Rapture view. The Bible does not in some many words state either ( J. F. Valwoord ). Another Pretrib concedes that the proof is logically invalid, or at least unconvincing ( Richard Mayhue ). If the Pretrib Rapture view is not an explicit teaching of the Scriptures, then what is it? It is based on a man made theological system opsonized with Scriptures to make it palatable to swallow. The Scriptures must be bent to fit into their preconceived theological mold.

On the other hand, Progrssive Dispensationalism ( PD ) does not emphasize the distinction between Israel and the Church. To a very dangerous extent, it obscures and blurs this distinction to the point of extinction and obliteration or teaches that the Church has replaced Israel which fosters antisemitism in the Church. Supersessesionism is anti-Judaism and anti-Israel. This view is also dangerous. But because they do not insist that the Church must be on AWOL before the 70th week, some of them hold the Prewrath Rapture Position.

The Church And Israel

A closer examination of the Scriptures reveals that although the Church did not exist in the first 69 weeks of Daniel, for a period of 38 years from the crucifixion of Christ in 32 AD to the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem in 70 AD, God was working with both Israel and the Church at the same time. The Church and The Temple co-existed. Biblical scholars are agreed that either Apostle Paul or one of his associates wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews. It was addressed to Jews who believed in Jesus but under the Old Covenant System prior to the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem in 70 AD. He told them to get out of the Old House, and get into the New House. The Old House was about to be destroyed.

In the Acts Of The Apostles, the kingdom was reoffered to Israel which it rejected. Had Israel received Jesus as its Messiah, the Roman Empire would have metamorphosed into the Eighth And Final Beast Empire and the Kingdom Of God on Earth established immediately. There would have been no need for such a long gap of time between the 69th and the 70th week. However the kingdom was postponed and The Temple was destroyed. Israel went into exile. Thus began the long Diaspora which continues to this day. Between 70 AD and 1948, Israel did not exist as a independent nation. In 1948, Israel was reconstituted from the ashes of the Holocaust as an independent state. For the past 70 years since Israel’s independence, God has being working with both Israel and the Church. Anyone who denies that has denied a self-evident fact. To teach therefore that God does not work with Israel and the Church at the same time is a blatant lie that contradicts the Scriptures. In the Olivet Discourse, Christ addresssed His disciples not only as representatives of the nation of Israel but as also foundation members of the yet to be established body of Christ. Therefore we cannot relegate the Olivet Discourse and the Gospel of Matthew to the Jewish Waste Paper Basket. We concede that the New Covenant was established with Israel, not with the Church. The Church is the product of the New Covenant which God promised and established with Israel. One cannot establish a covenant with a non-existent entity. The Church is a fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the twelve patriarchs of Israel as well as the Davidic Covenant ( 2 Sam.7 ).

The Church, The Rapture And The 70th Week Of Daniel

The Pretrib Rapture Position designates the whole of the 70th week of Daniel as the period of God’s wrath. It also labels it the Tribulation Period and equates it with Time Of Jacob’s Trouble ( Jere.30:7 ). It divides the 70th week into two equal halves of three and one-half years each which is biblical. The first three and one-half years it labels the Tribulation, and the second three and one-half years it labels the Great Tribulation, none of which is biblical accurate. It rightly points out that the Church is exempt from the Wrath Of God, but wrongly concludes contrary to the Scriptures that the Church must be raptured before the commencement of the 70th week inasmuch as it is exempt from the wrath of God ( 1 Thess.1:10, 5:9 ). Do the Scriptures teach that the whole of the 70th week is the period of God’s wrath? The Pretrib Rapture Position makes no distinction between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan. ( Rev.6:17, 12:12 ). Reading through any Pretrib writing one would be at a loss as to which is God’s wrath and which constitutes the wrath of Satan.

It rightly concedes that Israel enjoys relative peace during the first three and one-half years due to protection from the antiChrist ( Meno Kalisher ), the most powerful ruler of the most powerful empire in history due to the peace agreement which probably involves other Arab and Islamic nations like Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and Turkey which are part of the ten nation confederation of The Eighth And Final Beast Empire of Satan ruled by the antiChrist, based on the tenor of the words in Hebrew. Events that occur during the first three and one-half years are the emergence of false christs, wars, commotions, threats and rumours of wars. It concludes with famines, pestilences, and earthquakes which are the natural consequences of war. Meanwhile Israel enjoys relative peace stemming from the protection offered her by the antiChrist, and the resumption of animal and grain offerings in the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Why then do pretribs regard the first three and one half-years as part of the time of Jacob’s Trouble when Israel is peaceful all this while and prospers, and freely sacrifices in the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple? The first half of the 70th Week will be Israel’s best period since independence in 1948, although the lull will lead it off its guards.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” ( Dan.9:27‬ ‭).

The antiChrist does not interfere with Jewish worship in the temple until the middle of the 70th week when he receives power and authority from Satan ( Rev.13:2b ), relocates his headquarters to Jerusalem from somewhere in the land of Magog ( Dan.11:45 ), makes his debut at the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah, desecrates the Third Jewish Temple by threading on its sacred precincts forbidden to Gentiles, erecting an image of himself in the Holy Of Holies, and demanding worship of all mortals.

“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” ( 2 Thess.2:4‬ ‭). It therefore follows that the time of Jacob’s Trouble does not begin until the midpoint of the 70th week when the antiChrist makes his debut at the temple. At the same time, he sorrounds Jerusalem with his armies. Jesus taught his disciples in the Olivet Discourse that the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet is coincident with the surrounding of Jerusalem with the armies of the antiMessiah.

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” ( Matt.24:15-21‬; cp. Mk.13:14-19 ).

Luke equated the same situation with the surrounding of Jerusalem with the armies of the antiChrist. “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” ( Luk.21:20-24‬ ‭).

It is explicitly clear from the Scriptures that the first three and one-half years of the 70th week of Daniel is not part of the time of Jacob’s Trouble. The time of Jacob’s Trouble begins at the midpoint of the 70th week and corresponds with the whole of the second half of the 70th week which is the time allotted to the antiMessiah to reign in Jerusalem. “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”( Rev.13:5‬ ‭).

Why then do pretribs designate the first half of the 70th week as part of the time of Jacob’s Trouble? Because they want to keep the Church out of it. Do they truly succeed? No. They concede there are believers in the 70th who are not strictly Jewish. These they label Tribulation saints. But they have not been able to provide Scriptures that prove that so many millions or perhaps even billions of believers came to the saving knowledge of Christ in so short a period, three and one-half years after the Rapture of the Church, at a time when all the good pastors and believers are gone and there is no formal worship inasmuch as the first half of the 70th week consists of the emergence of false christs, wars and rumors of wars, famines pestilences and earthquakes. Is it the time for mass crusades, revival, evangelism, missions, and soul winning? Is this a good time for new converts to Christianity or old ones who missed the rapture because they were spiritual weak or indolent to acquire so much knowledge and inner fortitude to face the horrors of the Great Tribulation which begins at the midpoint of the 70th week whilst the seasoned saints are whisked away to heaven before the antiMessiah hangs out his shingles?

In 2 Thess.2:1, our Brother Apostle Paul linked our gathering together unto Him ( Rapture ) with the Parousia ( the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ ); “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,”: as also did our Lord Jesus in the Olivet Discourse; “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: 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. 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 ‭). Pretribs break this link in order to keep the Church out of the 70th week of Daniel, place the Rapture before the commencement of the 70th week, and the Second Coming at the end of the 70th week. They teach that those who are gathered are gathered into the Millennium at the end of Armageddon. But there is no reference to Armageddon in this segment of the Olivet Discourse quoted above. Our Lord Jesus Christ stated very clearly that the sign of His Coming which is the Shekinah in the heavens occurs after the Tribulation of those days and is preceded by the darkening of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. This event occurs in the second half of the 70th week, a significant amount of time before Armageddon which occurs towards the end of the 30-day Reclamation Period that follows the expiry of the 70th week of Daniel.

Secret And Silent Rapture

Pretribs also teach that the Rapture shall be secret and silent. But we see here that the Rapture is linked with cosmic and celestial disturbances and the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens. Every eye will see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and with an entourage of angels ( Rev.1:7 ). The tribes of the Earth shall mourn. Men’s heart shall fail them for fear of the raging of the waves and roiling of the sees, and those things that are coming upon the Earth. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” ( Luke‬ ‭21:25-27‬ ‭). It is at this point in The 70th week that Christ instructs His disciples to look up; for their redemption draweth near. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” ( Luke‬ ‭21:28‬ ‭). The trumpet shall sound, and the angels shall be dispatched to gather His elect from one end of heaven to the other.

Imminency

Pretribs teach that no prophesied event shall occur before the Rapture can take place. This is their pet doctrine of imminence which teaches that the Rapture can occur at any moment and will be signless. But we see here that the Rapture is preceded by the Great Tribulation, the cosmic and celestial disturbances and the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens. The Rapture cannot be signless inasmuch as it is preceded by these events: the Great Tribulation and the cosmic and celestial disturbances, and the sign of the coming of the Son Of Man in the heavens.

Will The Rapture Be Sudden?

Pretribs teach that the Rapture will occur suddenly, like a thief in the night. Yes, the Bible teaches that, but it relates it to the unbelievers who are in darkness, the children of the night who have no knowledge of the times and epochs. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” ( 1 Thess.5:1-8 ). On the contrary, believers are the children of the day and light. They are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore that day cannot come upon them unawares.

Amputation Of The Great Tribulation

Pretribs label the whole of the second half of the 70th week the Great Tribulation. If the Great Tribulaion covers the whole of the 70th week, when do the trumpets occur? Between the end of the 70th week and the end of Armageddon is 30 days. The fifth trumpet alone lasts as long as five months. If the Great Tribulation covers the whole of the second half of the 70th week, then there is no time left for the trumpet and bowl judgments before the Millennium begins. Therefore, the Great Tribulation does not cover the whole of the second half of the 70th week. A distinction must be made between the Great Tribulation and the eschatological day of the Lord both of which occur during the second half of the 70th week of Daniel.

The Scriptures make it that the Great Tribulation is cut short by the cosmic and celestial disturbances in order to save some saints alive for rapture. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” ( Matt.24:22‬ , cp. Mk.13:20‭ ). The Greek word is ekolobothesan derived from koloboo which means to amputate. If the Great Tribulation were not cut short, the antiMessiah and his security apparatus would ferret out and kill everyone who repudiates the authority of the antiChrist by refusing to accept the mark of the Beast. Google has mapped the whole world including ocean floors. There would be no where to hide. But pretribs teach that the Great Tribulation is not cut short. That what is cut short is the second half of the 70th week. That God could have permitted to be longer. Would the 70th week be a week if it were made shorter? This is the position of Renauld E. Showers, a professor at the Institute Of Jewish Studies, Cairn University. This explanation is begging the question. It contradicts the clear teaching of the Scriptures.

The Fifth Seal Martyrs

Pretribs describe the fifth seal martyrs as feeble Christians who could not make the first round up who were made the bottom of the altar. But the Scripture does not say so. They were killed for the word of God and the testimony which they upheld. “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: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy andrue, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 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.” ( Rev.6:9-11‬ ‭). They should not be disparaged but honored. Even far more interesting is how did the fifth seal martyrs acquire so much inner fortitude in so short a time to withstand the horrors of the Great Tribulation if the rapture occurred before the terminus-a-quo of the 70th week?

The Teaching Of Christ

“And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” ( Luke‬ ‭17:22-30‬ ).

Because they would be in severe distress due to persecution, the disciples will desire to see the days of the Son Of Man, but will not see it. False teachers and false prophet who purportedly know His whereabouts will say to them, look here, see there. Christ warned His disciples not to follow them. This would be an attempt to lure them out of hiding in order that they maybe coerced to receive the mark of the Beast or be killed outright on refusal to accept it. His coming will not be to any secret chamber or in the desert. It will not be secret or silent. It will be like lightning that flashes from one part under the heaven to another with thunder and rumbling. Then He likened His Coming with the deluge in the days of Noah. They were eating and drinking, marrying and being giving in marriage, until Noah entered the Ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Christ taught His disciples that rescue ( Rapture ) and wrath occur the same day. The same day that Noah and family entered the Ark, rain deluged the heavens and the Earth. “In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;” ( Genesis‬ ‭7:13‬ ‭).

Christ also compared His Coming to the days of Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah. They were eating and drinking, buying and selling. They planted, they builded. But on the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. The teaching of Christ in the Olivet Discourse is very obvious. The same day that Christ is revealed, referring to Christ Coming like lightning, the saints shall be rescued ( raptured) and the judgment of God on the wicked will begin.

But this clear teaching of Christ has been turned into a controversy by the pretribs claiming that there was a gap of seven days between the entry of Noah and his family into the Ark and the beginning of the deluge. God warned Noah that there was seven days left and the deluge would begin. “For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.” ( Genesis‬ ‭7:4‬ ‭). Noah had to go in and out of the Ark to complete his job of bringing in the animals according to God’s instruction. On the seventh day he completed his job of bringing in the animals, and he and his family were safely shut in in the Ark. on the same day, the fountains of the deep were broken, the windows of heaven were opened, and the rain deluged the heavens. “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in.” ( Genesis‬ ‭7:11-16‬ ‭).

In their attempt to keep the Church out of the 70th week, they negated the clear teaching of Christ. Christ taught his disciples that the two events, the entry of Noah and his family into the Ark and the judgment of God on the ungodly occurred on the same day. On the seventh day, Noah and his family, and the animals were safely in the Ark, God shut them in, and the deluge began. The rescue of Noah and his family occurred on the same day that the judgment of fell. Jesus compared this to the day of the Son Of Man. So shall it be on the day when the Son Of Man is revealed ( Luk.17:30 ). The disciples understood this truth. It informed their question, “ when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of their coming and of the end of the ages?” ( Matt.24:3 ). The parts of the sign would be given in reverse order: the sign of the end of the ages will precede the sign of His Coming. The cosmic and celestial disturbances will occur before the appearance of The Shekinah, the Sign Of The Coming Of The Son Of Man in the heavens. Pretribulationism contradicted the teaching of Christ in the Olivet Discourse. Christ’s Coming to rapture the Church occurs at the end of the ages. The end of the ages initiated the day of the Lord.

The Teaching Of Apostle Peter

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” ( 2 Peter‬ ‭2:5-9‬ ‭).

Our brother Apostle Peter repeats the teaching of Christ that the righteous are rescued and then the punishment of the wicked follows. Noah’s rescue before the world was submerged in the waters of the deluge illustrates the back-to-back timing of the rapture of the Church and God’s judgment of the wicked that follows. Both events occur on the same day. Our Lord Jesus used the same illustration in His Olivet Discourse.

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as it was in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” ( Matt.24:37-39‬ ‭).

They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah and his family entered the Ark. And they knew not until the flood came and took them all away. So shall the Coming of the Son Of Man be. The same day the Church is rescued, then the judgment of the wicked begins. Christ gave another illustration saying the same thing all over again.

“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” ( Matt.24:40-41‬ ‭).

But the pretribs in order to defend their pet doctrine of imminence and to keep the Church out of the 70th week of Daniel have made Christ’s illustration applicable to the battle of Armageddon instead of the rapture of the Church. They say those who were taken were taken in judgment and those left were left to enter into the Millennial Kingdom Of Christ. But the question of the disciples pertains to the sign of His Coming and of the end of the ages. His coming will initiate the rapture of the Church and the wrath of God on the wicked earth-dwellers who remain. The meaning of the passage is very clear. Those who were taken were taken to be with the Lord when He comes to rescue the faithful. Those who were left will be the unrighteous wicked who remain after the rescue of the righteous. They were left to face the wrath of God as it was in the days of Noah. This is exactly how Peter understood it. The righteous are rescued, and the wicked are left for judgment.

The meaning of Christ teaching is made more glaringly obvious when we consider the meaning of the Greek word paralambano rendered taken. It means to receive near, to associate with oneself in a familiar or intimate act or relation. It is used six times by Christ in reference to future events. It is used twice in Matt.24:40,41, and three times in Luk.17:34-36. In each instance it refers to the one being taken and the other left behind. It is also used by Christ in Jon.14:1-4. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” In this passage also, it carries the meaning of being received by Christ. When the saints are received by Christ in clouds of heaven at the Rapture of the Church, it carries the notion of the angels of God gathering the wheat into the barn ( Matt.13:30 ). Christ will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other ( Matt.24:31 ). “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.4:17‬ ‭). A better rendering of paralambano is to receive intimately. So, those who are left behind will face the wrath of the Lord during the Day Of The Lord judgment of the wicked.

The Teaching Of Apostle Paul

As we have pointed out earlier, our brother Apostle Paul in His letter to the Thessalonians linked the coming of the Lord to our gathering together unto Him ( Rapture ). “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,”( 2 Thess.2:1‬ ‭). The classical rapture passage: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” ( 1 Thess.4:13-18‬ ‭); parallels the Second Coming passage in the Olivet Discourse: “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: 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. 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 ‭). Those of us who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord shall not go before those who are asleep. It is when Christ descends from heaven with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God that He will dispatch His angels to gather together His elect from one end of heaven to the other. This event occurs after the Great Tribulation of those days, after the cosmic disturbances asssociated with the darkening of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. The Church is raptured and God’s judgment of the unrighteous wicked begins.

God cannot begin to punish the wicked until their cup of iniquity is full. Their sin must pile up to heaven. It is a righteous thing with God to recompense Tribulation to them that trouble us. “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”( 2 Thess.1:6-10‬ ‭). They must trouble us during the Great Tribulation for God to trouble them during the day of the Lord. The rest to the righteous is given when Christ descends from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taken vengeance on them that know not God. He shall punish the unrighteous with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power. This event, the punishment of the wicked in perpetuity shall occur when He comes to be gloried in His saints, and to be admired in all those who believe in that day.

Apostle Paul also taught the Thessalonians believers that although Christ will come like a thief in the night, it is only in relation to the wicked and unrighteous who are of the night and of darkness. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,”( 1 Thess.5:1, 3-9‬ ‭). But believers are not of the night and darkness that that day should come upon them unawares. The day of sudden destruction cannot come upon believers like a thief in the night. We can know the general time period of His Coming but not the very day and the hour ( Matt.24:36 ). The believers are here until the day of the judgment of the wicked, but are delivered from it. The same day the saints are rescued, the judgment of the wicked commences. In all those passages of the Scriptures where Christ Coming is described as a thief in the night ( Luk.12:39,40; 2 Pet.3:10; Rev.3:3 ), the suddenness of His Coming is connected to the ignorance of the unrighteous wicked.

The Teaching Of Christ In The Scroll Of Revelation

The Scroll Of Revelation is highly organized and chronological. It is unique in the canon of the Scriptures being a direct communication from Christ to Apostle John the apocalyptist. It is the revelation ( unveiling ) of Jesus Christ which the Father gave to Him to reveal to the Church. It was revealed to Apostle John, the revelator through the mediation of an angel. In the first chapter, Christ, the risen Saviour is unveiled walking in the midst of the seven candlesticks which are the seven representative churches. Chapters two and three contain the letters to the seven churches. Chapters four and five unveil the Throne Room of God in the Temple of God in Heaven, a beehive of activities from where the events in the 70th week of Daniel in both heaven and on Earth are monitored and controlled. It is magic and hermeneutical jingoism, not biblical exegesis, to conjure up the Rapture in Rev.4:1 when John the revelator is invited into the Throne Room of the Temple Of God in Heaven to receive the revelation. The pretribs hold this unscholarly view in order to keep the Church out of the 70th week of Daniel and to sustain their doctrine of imminence. The first five chapters form the background to the Scroll Of Revelation.

In chapter six, the 70th week of Daniel begins with the breaking of the first seal which is the emergence of false christs, and of course the ultimate antiChrist who enters into a false peace pact with Israel for seven years ( Dan.9:27 ). He tries to form alliances with nations through subtle peace agreements. When this fails he resorts to war. This is the breaking of the second seal. Wars will naturally lead to famine, pestilences and natural disasters. This is the third seal which brings the first half of the 70th week to a close. In the middle of the 70th week, Satan is cast down to the Earth by archangels Michael with His hordes of fallen evil angels whose abode had been in the Dark Void and starry heavens. Satan is enraged ( Rev.12:7-9 ). He possesses the antiChrist, gives his power seat, and authority ( Rev.13:2 ). He relocates his headquarters to Jerusalem, surrounds Jerusalem with his armies, suspends temple worship and offerings, desecrates the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah by erecting a statue of himself in the Holy Of Holies, and demands worship of all mortals. This is the abomination that makes desolate spoken by Daniel the prophet. Those who repudiate his authority by refusing his mark of allegiance are executed. This is the Great Tribulation which begins at the midpoint of the 70th week at the breaking of the Fourth Seal ( Rev.6:7,8 ).

The fifth seal depicts the arrival of the saints in heaven martyred under the fourth seal taking place on Earth at that time ( Rev6:9-11 ). It is purely a heavenly scene. It does not advance the chronology of the Scroll Of Revelation. So, the fifth seal is concurrent with the fourth. There is a certain number of saints to be martyred. It is not revealed to us. It is a secret number known only to God ( Deut.29:29 ). When that number is complete, God cuts short the Great Tribulation with the cosmic and celestial disturbances associated with the breaking of the sixth seal. There is a great earthquake, the Sun is darkened, the Moon will not give it’s light, and Stars will fall from the heavens. At the breaking of the sixth seal ( Rev.6:12-17 ), the unbelieving world will realize God is about to punish them for their evils. They scurry for nonexistent refuge under the rocks and the mountains. The saints are looking up for their redemption draws near. But before God unleashes His wrath on the wicked earth-dwellers, He seals the 144,000, and raptures the Church to take them away from the scenes of His wrath ( Rev.7 ). The Church is not appointed to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus the Christ ( 1 Thess.1:10, 5:9 ). In Rev.8, the seventh seal is broken, and the wrath of God begins. There is no hint whatsoever of rapture before the commencement of the 70th week except that magically conjured up in Rev.4:1 by pretribs who are hell bent on getting the Church out of here before the 70th week begins.

The Rapture Occurs At The Parousia

The bane of the Pretribulational Rapture Position is the separation of the Rapture from the Second Coming Of Christ by a minimum of seven years. There is not a single verse of the Scriptures that clearly teaches or supports this separation. It is neither explicit nor implicit. Of all the passages of the Scriptures we have examined, there is none that makes this assertion. Until Christ descends from the heavens with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, there can be no rapture. And this event occurs after the Tribulation of those days and the attendant cosmic and celestial disturbances that cut short the Great Tribulation. It is witnessed by all and sundry ( Matt.24:30;Rev.1:7 ). It is neither secret nor silent. There is no evidence in the Scriptures that Christ descends from the heavens with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God twice, once to rapture the Church before the commencement of the 70th week, and another, at least seven years later at the end of Armageddon. Christ’s descent from the heavens to the sky with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God occurs at the interlude between the end sixth seal and the breaking of the seventh. This event occurs in the second half of the 70th week after the Tribulation of those days ( Matt.24:29 ). At this point, He descends from the heavens to the sky to rapture the Church and the punish the unrighteous wicked during the day of His wrath that follows the darkening of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. All the OT prophets that spoke of the Day Of The Lord are unanimous in their proclamation that the Day Of The Lord is preceded and heralded by the cosmic disturbances.

Christ’s descent at Armageddon with the raptured saints and holy angels is not accompanied with the blowing of the trumpet with voice of the archangel ( Rev.19:10-21 ). The sole purpose is to defeat the armies of the kingdoms of this age and to reclaim physical repossession of the Earth in the behalf of the Father. Christ’s descent with the voice of the archangel occurs inside the second half of the 70th week, whilst Armageddon ends at the end of the 30-day Reclamation Period that immediately follows the expiration of the second half of the 70th week. To teach rapture before the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel is to court disaster. It makes the Church vulnerable to deception by false prophets, false teachers, and false christs of whom there will be a preponderance beginning from the first half of the 70th week of Daniel. The commencement of the 70th week is marked by the emergence of false christs, and of course the ultimate antiChrist, the Son Of Destruction. It will make the Church unprepared to face the horrors of the Great Tribulation. A generation of believers that have been taught they shall be taken to heaven on the wings of a “silver bird” before the emergence of the antiChrist will be ill prepared to resist the allurement of the antiChrist especially in those nations where the citizenry are used to food stamps and government handouts. The antiChrist will promise to put a chicken in every pot, and he will certainly deliver, thusly making unprepared believers chickens in his own pot during the Great Tribulation.

The Parousia Occurs At The End Of The Ages

In the Olivet Discourse, the disciples asked,our Lord Jesus the Christ, “ what shall be the sign of the thy coming and of the end of the ages.” They linked His Coming with the end of the ages. The word semeion in Greek is singular. There is only one sign of His Coming And Of The End Of The Ages. Jesus answered this question by narrating a series of events that shall transpire within the 70th week beginning from the emergence of false christs, then wars and rumors of wars, famines pestilences and earthquakes that bring the first half of the 70th week to a close. From the midpoint of the 70th week the Great Tribulation begins. Jesus told His disciples that the sign they asked Him about would occur after the Tribulation of those days. “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: 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. 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 ). So the sign of His Coming and of the end of the ages occur back-to-back but in reverse order. First is the sign of the end of the ages which is the cosmic and celestial disturbances. This sign will switch off the natural lights of the universe. The Sun will be darkened, the Moon will not give her light, and the Stars will fall from the heavens. The darkened and frozen state of the Earth caused by the sign of the end of the ages will be reversed by the sign of His Coming which is the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens. There is only one sign but there are two components of this sign. When Christ appears in the heavens, He dispatches His angels to gather His elects from one end of the heavens to the other. Then and only after then shall the end of the ages begin which is the outpouring of the wrath of God on the unrighteous wicked who remain.

In His post resurrection message to His disciples, Jesus promised His disciples His presence with them till the end of the ages. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”( Matt.28:18-20‬ ‭). If His disciples will not be here till the end of the ages why would Jesus promise to be with them till the end of the ages? We see that the parousia occurs at the end of the ages. If the parousia occurs at the end of the ages, then the Rapture also occurs the the end of the ages because the Rapture occurs at the parousia. This conclusion is biblically accurate because Jesus told His disciples that he who endures unto the end ( of the ages ) shall be saved. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” ( Matt.10:22‬ ‭). This promise was made in relation to the Great Tribulation when the disciples shall be hated of of all nations on account of His name. Those who would be delivered from the Great Tribulation will be the faithful disciples who endure unto the end of the ages when the Great Tribulation will be amputated with the cosmic and celestial disturbances.

The End Of The Ages Occurs At The Breaking Of The Seventh Seal

The Olivet Discourse parallels the breaking of the seals in Rev.6-8. The fourth seal parallels the Great Tribulation. The fifth seal has no parallel in the Olivet Discourse because it is a heavenly scene. In the Olivet Discourse Christ was dealing with events on the Earth only. In the Scroll Of Revelation, He dealt with both earthly and heavenly events. The fifth seal is concurrent with the fourth seal. It is a heavenly reflection of the killings going here on Earth during the fourth seal, the Great Tribulation. The fifth seal will end when the number of saints destined to be martyred is complete. “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” ( Rev.13:10‬ ‭). The KJV translation is not helpful here. The correct translation would be “ If any man is destined to go into captivity, into captivity he goes: if any man is destined to be killed with the sword, with the sword , he shall be killed.” Those taken into captivity have been so destined, and those to be killed with the sword have also been so destined. Christ knows who they are. We do not know. Th secret things belong to God ( Deut.29:29 ).

The sixth seal corresponds with the cosmic and celestial disturbances, the sign of the end of the ages which indicates even to the unrighteous wicked earth-dwellers that God is about to punish them for the their evils. At the breaking of the sixth seal they seek non-existent refuge under the rocks and the mountains. “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the
rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:12-17‬ ‭). They know instinctively that the wrath of God to be poured out on them is about to begin.

There is an interlude between the sixth seal and the breaking of the seventh seal. This interlude in the Scroll Of Revelation corresponds with the appearance of the Shekinah in the Olivet Discourse. The appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens is not described in the Scroll Of Revelation. What is described is the appearance of the raptured saints in heaven in Rev.7:9-17. In the Olivet Discourse, Christ tells His disciples that at this juncture, the saints are gathered by the angelic reapers. In the Revelation account, He adds more details by revealing that the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed for protection during the impending wrath of God ( Rev.7:1-8 ). The innumerable multitude which no man could number from all tribes and nations are the raptured saints in heaven who came out of the Great Tribulation.

“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; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Rev.7:9-17‬ ‭).

This Great multitude who no one could number are the raptured saints in heaven. But the pretribs tell us they are Tribulation saints who are martyred for their faith. How this innumerable multitude will come to the faith in the time when their is no formal worship and all the good pastors and teachers, and saints are gone, develop the so great a faith and inner fortitude to resist the antiChrist and his killing machine, they profer no answer and the Scriptures are silent. But we can see that after this gathering in Heaven the wrath of God begins in Rev.8 after the breaking of the seventh seal. The same day the Church is raptured, the seventh seal is broken and the wrath of God begins. The seventh seal has no judgment of its own but opens into the seven trumpets. The seventh trumpet has no judgment of its own but opens in the seven bowls. The seven trumpets and seven bowls constitute the wrath of God. They begin at the breaking of the seventh seal.

The Harvest Is The End Of The Ages And The Reapers Are The Angels

In the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus is the Master who showed the good seed ( Matt.13:37 ). The good seed are the children of the kingdom ( 38a ). The tares are the children of the wicked one ( 38b ). The wicked one is the Devil ( 39a ). Because in the early stages of growth, the tares look like the real wheat, it will be impossible for the angelic reapers to separate the tares from the wheat ( 29 ). Therefore they must be allowed to grow together until maturation when the tares are clearly distinguishable from the real wheat ( 30 ). When they are ripe, the farmer harvests the tares first, bundles them into heaps at the edges of the farm to be burned later after the harvest of the real wheat ( 42 ). Jesus makes it clear the harvest is the end of the ages, and the reapers are the angels ( 39b ). As we have shown, the end of the ages occurs after the Great Tribulation and the cosmic and celestial disturbances which interrupt the Great Tribulation. The wheat and the tares come to maturation during the Great Tribulation when the tares are marked for destruction with the mark of the Beast during the day of the Lord. Without the Great Tribulation, the angelic reapers cannot distinguish the tares from the wheat. The tares will be burned in the day of the Lord which occurs at the end of the ages. This is the message of the third angel: “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” ( Rev.14:9-12‬ ‭).

There is no separation before the Great Tribulation. As a matter of fact, the purpose of the Great Tribulation is to separate the wheat from the tares in order to enable the angelic reapers to conduct the harvest of the real wheat. When the marking of the tares is complete during the Great Tribulation, and the full complement of the saints to be martyred is reached, God cuts short the Great Tribulation with the sign given in the Sun, Moon, and Stars. Then the Shekinah appears in the heavens as Jesus descends to the sky from the Heaven with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. The angelic reapers can now do their job of reaping the real wheat, the true believers who not only believe in Jesus but have not the mark of the Beast. This is the Prewrath Rapture Of The Church. Thereafter, the wrath of God begins in the Day Of The Lord At The End Of The Ages which corresponds with the breaking of the seventh seal. This is the same sequence of events occurs in Rev.14. The third angel announces the wrath of God on those with the mark of the Beast. This is followed by the final harvest in two stages. First the real wheat are harvested into the barn ( Rev.14:14-16 ). This is followed by the second harvest which is the wrath of God on the unrighteous wicked ( Rev.14:17-20 ). It ends in a bloodbath at Armageddon. The height of blood reaches up to the horse bridle, about 1.5 meters, and covers a distance of about 188 kilometers. The Armageddon Campaign begins in the vicinity of Jerusalem with the remnants of the armies of the nations surrounding Israel who are part of the Eight Beast Empire involved in the Jehoshaphat Campaign which occurs shortly before the amputation of the Great Tribulation, and ends in a final bloodbath involving the armies of all the nations of the Earth on Mount Megiddo in the valley of Esdraelon.

The Pretrib Rapture Position teaches harvest before maturation which Jesus says is impossible. The Prewrath Rapture Of The Church is in consonance with the clear unforced interpretation of the parable of the wheat and the tares. Jesus interpreted this parable Himself. We have added nothing to His interpretation of the parable. We have simply analyzed His interpretation and applied it to the eschatological timeline. The result is obvious to any honest exegete of the word of God. For further clarification see my article on the parable of the wheat and the tares, https://mtzionheritage.com/the-parable-of-the-wheat-and-the-tares/.

Avraham Shallom.

‭‭

The Sign Of The End Of The Ages And Of His Coming

The Sign Of The End Of The Ages And Of His Coming

The Sign Of The End Of The Ages And Of His Coming

Some of the disciples of our Lord while with Him on the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Temple Mount, asked Him this question: “Tell us, when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of the thy coming, and of the end of the ages?” ( Matt.24:3 ). The first part of the question concerns the destruction of the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah which was accomplished in 70 AD by the Roman general Titus, and was witnessed by some of His disciples who were still alive at that time. Surprisingly, Jesus did not address that part of the question. To answer the second question, Our Lord started by enumerating a series of events in sequential order that shall unfold starting from the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel.

The 70th week of Daniel is divided into two equal halves of three and one-half years each. The first half shall begins when the antiChrist signs a seven-year peace treaty with Israel: ” and he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” ( Dan.9:27a ). Events that shall transpire within the first half of the 70th week of Daniel are the emergence of false christs ( Matt.24:4,5 ), wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. The first thing that Jesus did before he enumerated these events was to warn His disciples to take heed that no one deceives them no matter how holy his life and stellar his biblical scholarship; “For many shall come in My Name saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” These three events are the same as the first three seals of Rev.6:1-6.

Precisely at the midpoint of the 70th Seven, after the first three and one-half years, the antiChrist shall abolish his covenant with Israel, putting a stop to animal sacrifice and grain offering which were resumed at the beginning of the 70th Seven. ” And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” ( Dan.9:27b ). This shall happen when he relocates his headquarters to Jerusalem ( Dan.11:45 ), surrounds Jerusalem with his armies in what is called the Jerusalem Campaign ( Luk.21:20,21 ). At the same time, he withdraws the military protection he has offered Israel during the first three and one-half years of the 70th Seven of Daniel. He deifies himself, demands worship of all mortals by requiring everyone to take his mark of allegiance on the forehead or right hand ( Rev.13:16,17 ). The antiMessiah positioning himself as God in the Holy of Holies of the rebuilt third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah built only for the worship of Jehovah, the one true God, Yahweh of Israel, is the abomination that maketh desolate. The unveiling of the antiChrist as God and his demand to be worshipped shall spark the apostasy and the Great Tribulation ( 2Thess.2:3,4; Matt.24:15 ). The chief architect of the apostasy is the antiChrist himself, The eschatological antagonist. These events are the same as the fourth and fifth seals of Rev.6:8-11.

Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ, makes it clear in His Olivet Discourse that the Sign of His Coming And Of The End Of The Ages shall occur immediately after the Tribulation of those days: ” 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 heaven shall be shaken: and then shall appear the Sign Of The Son Of Man in heaven: and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son Of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” ( Matt.24:29,30 ). There is only one sign of His coming, but it consists of two parts. The Greek word translated sign is seimeon and is singular. This sign signals His coming and the End of The Ages. This sign is given in the Sun, Moon, and Stars. The two parts occur back-to-back: the cosmic disturbances and the appearance of the Son Of Man in the heavens. The Scroll of Revelation makes it clear that this sign shall be preceded by a great earthquake. This is necessary to halt the Jehoshaphat Campaign which the antiChrist shall embark upon with the armies of the ten nation confederation of the 8th and Final Beast Empire to ferret out and kill all in the land of Israel who have not accepted his mark of allegiance. When this great earthquake occurs, the sun shall become black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon as blood, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and every mountain and island shall move out of their locations. ” And I beheld when he has broken the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs when shaken of a mighty wind. And the Heaven departed as a Scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island moved out of their places ( Rev.6:12-14 ).

This earthquake shall be worldwide to have this kind of effect on the sun, moon, and stars, and every mountain and island. It will most probably be a series of earthquakes accompanied by tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, spewing lava and ash. Or do we suppose that this is limited to the land of Israel? Even if it were so, the effects on the sun, moon, and stars shall be worldwide. This great earthquake is different from the earthquakes associated with the third seal in the first half of the 70th week of Daniel ( Matt.24:7 ). The Earth itself and the elements shall be ashamed because the Almighty is about to punish the world for her evils. ” Then the moon shall be a confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion , and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously” ( Is.24:23 ). The darkening of the sun and the turning of the moon into blood are preludial to the coming of the Son Of Man in the heavens, and the outpouring of the Day Of The LORD Wrath ( Joel 3:31 ).

The eclipse of the sun and moon shall darken the heavens and frozen the earth. The stars shall fall from the heavens. We do not suppose that these are actual stars. The Sun is one of the smallest stars, and it is approximately 189 million km away from the Earth. If it gets closer, the earth shall melt away. If it gets farther away, the earth shall be frozen into one solid rock, and no flesh will survive. The prophets were using known terminology of their day to describe events in the last days. These are probably comets, asteroids, meteorites, or fragments of disintegrated novas and supernovas. Whatever they are, we can rest assured they are not actual stars; for one star impinging upon the earth shall pulverize it.

How will the inhabitants of the earth react to those cosmic and celestial disturbances? There are different kinds of people on earth at this time, and they react differently to the cosmic and celestial disturbances depending on their relationship to God and understanding and interpretation of what these celestial and cosmic phenomena portend.

By and large, the largest group of people on earth at that time shall be the unbelievers, both branded and unbranded. More or less their reaction shall be the same. At the breaking of the sixth seal, every man on earth shall acknowledge that there is God. Beyond that, they shall know that God is about to punish them for their evils. The atheists, the humanists, and all false religionists shall acknowledge that there is one and only true God, the God of Israel. This admission however does not bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ having sinned beyond repentance; for sin is a sicatrisant that sears the soul and deadens and hardens the conscience. ” And the kings of the earth, and all the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, every free man, hid themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand” ( Rev.6:15-17 ). They shall know automatically and instinctively that God is, and He is about to punish them for their evils, and their reaction shall be one of terror without true repentance.

Apart from the enlivened images of the Beast which shall be stationed at strategic locations for all to worship, the Second beast, the false prophet and enforcer shall instruct all worshippers of the Dragon and the First Beast to make images of the First Beast in gold, silver, precious stones, and wood to worship in the privacy of their homes, in their cars and offices, each according to what he can afford. “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the Beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”
‭‭Rev. ( 13:14‬ ‭).

At that time these branded worshippers of the image of the Beast shall cast their icons to the bats and to the moles to hide in the caves, rocks and mountains of the Earth.

“And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” ( Is.2:9-22 ).

Humanism is the philosophy behind the rise of the antiChrist. Humanistic evolution says man was not created, he evolved. If man was not created, then, there is no God. If there is no God, then there is no standard for morality. Then every man is a law unto himself. If there is no God, man is god unto himself. But all that forsake God are cursed, and all that seek Him shall be blessed.

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” ( Rev.14:9-13‬ ‭).

Any man that bows to the image of the Beast shall never receive forgiveness from the Lord. The wrath of God abides on Him.

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool. A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.” ( Jer. ( 17:5-14‬ ‭).

Let us look at the 144, 000. They are perhaps the fewest of all the groups on earth at this time. The Scriptures do not tell us how they shall react in the face of the cosmic and celestial disturbances. Unlike the believers, they shall not be taken away from the Earth before the wrath of God is poured out on the living wicked Earth-dwellers. But they shall be sealed for protection with the seal of God ( Rev.7:1-8 ). Their reaction shall be probably more or less like those of believers. They shall be looking up for their deliverance from the antiChrist by the coming of the Messiah of Israel.

The next group of people we shall look at are the believers who do not take the mark of the Beast. They are probably one of the fewer groups, the Great Tribulation having taken its toll on them. The Scriptures tell us exactly how they shall react when they see the sign given in the sun, moon, and stars from their hiding places from the security agents of the antiChrist. ‭‭“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” ( Luk.21:25-28 ). The believers shall not be frightened by these signs in the sun, moon, and stars, accompanied by the Son Of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. It portends deliverance. They know they are about to be rescued from the earth, the scene of their persecution by the antiChrist and his cronies. They shall look up, for their redemption draweth nigh. Immediately after the tribulation of those days, there shall be cosmic and celestial disturbances, and there shall appear the sign of the Son Of Man in the heavens, and all the tribes of the Earth shall mourn, and then shall He dispatch His angels with the sound of a great trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four corners of the Earth, from one end of heaven to the other ( Matt.24:29-31 ). The elect, the saints of the Most High, the unbranded believers who did not bow to the image of the Beast shall be raptured after the cosmic disturbances which interrupt the Great Tribulation, and the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, and the subsequent dispatch of the angels with the sound of a great trumpet to gather them from all corners of the Earth ( 1Thess.4:15-18 ).

The other group of people we shall examine their reaction are the unbranded Jewish remnants other than the 144,000. These also are being hounded by the antiMessiah and his acolytes. They are in hiding in Jerusalem, and the whole land of Israel, and other parts of the world. They are also waiting for the coming of the Messiah to rescue them from the persecution of the antiChrist. However they do not believe that the Messiah is Jesus. When they see the sign in the sun, moon, and stars, and the other wonders God will show in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke, the seas roiling, and the waves roaring ( Joel 3:30; Luk.21:25-28 ) which are reminiscent of the presence of God at the dividing of the Sea of Reeds ( Exod.14:19,20 ), at the giving of the Ten Commamdments on Mount Sinai ( Exod.19:16-18 ), at the rearing up of the Tabernacle in the wilderness ( Exod.40:34,35 ), and God’s presence amongst the children of Israel in their wilderness journeys ( Exod.40:36-38; Numb.10:11-13 ), and the dedication of the temple built by Solomon ( 2Chron.7:1-3 ), and the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal ( 1Kin.18:38,39 ); they will begin to rejoice, saying: “peace and safety” ( 1Thess.5:3 ). But they do not know they are not exempt from the trumpet judgments of the wrath of God. Their rejoicing is premature. Whereas the Great Tribulation is sufficient to purify the Church to appear before God, the unbranded Jewish remnants shall go through the trumpet judgments in order to be adequately purified, purged and cleansed to meet the Messiah of Israel. Therefore when they shall say peace and safety, sudden destruction shall come upon them as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape ( 1Thess.5:3 ). They are the only ones on Earth at that time who can say peace and safety. The branded Beast worshipers are cowering in the dens, caves and rocks of the mountains for fear of the Lord and The Glory of His Majesty ( Is.2:21; Rev.6:15-17 ). The unbranded unbelievers are also in hiding. Who wouldn’t anyway! Besides they know nothing of God’s protection. The surviving unbranded believers are looking up for their redemption draweth nigh. The believers are not longing for the day of the Lord’s wrath. They are exempt from the wrath of God ( 1Thess.1:10; 5:9 ). They will be raptured on that day before the wrath of God begins. The unbranded Jewish remnants are the only ones longing for the day of the Lord. They know nothing about the rapture, and are not expecting to be raptured. But they do not know that they are not totally exempt from the day of the Lord wrath. The prophet Amos chided them saying: “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” ( Amos 5:18-20 ).

The prophet Amos here speaks of the children of Israel who are under siege by the forces of the antiChrist in the Jehoshaphat campaign during the terminal stages of the Great Tribulation. They long for the day of the LORD. They shall take comfort in the Scroll Of the prophet Joel. When they see the sun darkened and the moon turned into blood, and the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, they begin to rejoice, saying: peace and safety, not knowing that the day of the LORD portends first of all wrath for them in the trumpet judgments before being exempted from the bowls which target specifically those with the mark of the Beast. The beast marked unbelievers cannot be the ones saying peace and safety because they know they are doomed once the sun is darkened and the moon turned into blood inasmuch as the wrath of God is about to fall on them, and they have to hide from the Shekinah in the heavens which no mortal man in sinful flesh can behold ( Rev.6:15-17 ).

As I have pointed out, those who are beast branded cannot be the ones invoking peace and safety; for they know they are doomed once the Shekinah appears in the heavens following the earthly and celestial disturbances. The unbelievers who are not beast marked, know nothing about the day of the LORD. They like the branded beast worshippers are cowering in fear in the caves and mountains. The ones on Earth at this time who know something about the day of the LORD are the unbranded observant remnant of Israel who have not the mark of the beast. They are the ones under seige by the forces of the antiChrist in the Jehoshaphat campaign which is an attempt by the antiChrist to once and for all put a period to Jewish opposition to his rule in the land of Israel during the final stages of the Great Tribulation shortly before the breaking of the sixth seal which is associated with the cosmic disturbances and the appearance of the coming of the Son Of Man, the Shekinah in the heavens. Once the sixth seal is broken, the sun is darkened, and the moon turned into blood, and the Shekinah appears in the heavens, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed for protection from the day of the Lord’s wrath having being brought into a saving relationship with the God of Israel, and the Church is raptured from the Earth, physically removed from the scene of the Great Tribulation and the impending wrath of God.

This leaves only the observant remnants of Israel who have rejected the mark of the Beast, who have knowledge of the day of the LORD. They are the ones the prophet Amos chided, saying, why do you desire the day of the LORD? It is darkness and not light. You are fleeing from the lion ( the Great Tribulation ), but a bear ( the day of the LORD ) is going to meet you. You are fleeing from a lion ( the Great Tribulation ), you are going to get into the house, and lean your hand on the wall, but a serpent ( the day of the LORD ) shall bite you. This is so because while the Great Tribulation was sufficient to purify the Church to stand before the presence of the Lord, Israel, with the exception of the 144,000, would need go through the trumpet judgments in order to be purged, purified and cleansed to stand before God. The bowls specifically destroy those with mark of the Beast, culminating in the war of Armageddon. The unbelieving Gentiles who have not the mark of the Beast, though not specifically targeted may suffer collateral damages, shall be further purified in the Sheep and Goat judgment, to determine eligibility for entry into the Millennium to repopulate the renovated Earth.

Finally, when Jesus appears in glory, all the Earth shall mourn.

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the Earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
‭‭Rev. ( 1:7‬ ).

This of course excludes the 144,000 who shall be sealed for protection during the Day Of The LORD Wrath, and the unbranded believers who shall be raptured. The rest of the inhabitants of the Earth shall mourn. The branded worshippers of the Dragon-Beast because they shall face the unmitigated wrath of God. The unbranded unbelievers because of their unbelief. The unbranded Jewish remnants because of their rejection of the Messiah of Israel whom thy shall discover to be the Christian Jesus with nail-pierced hands. Jesus Himself corroborated these words in His Olivet Discourse that all the tribes of the Earth shall mourn when the see the Son Of Man coming in glory:

“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.”
‭‭Matt. ( 24:30‬ ‭).

The prophet Zechariah declared that the whole house of Israel, that is the unbranded remnants of Israel shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only begotten son when they look upon Him whom they pierced.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” Zech. ( 12:10-14‬ ‭).

Having been purified through the Great Tribulation and the trumpet judgments, the unbranded remnants of Israel, shall receive from the Lord the Spirit of grace and of supplication, and they shall look upon Him who they pierced. “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”
‭‭( Zech.13:1‬ ‭).

They shall mourn and repent as a nation for their betrayal of the Messiah of Israel. Even those that pierced Him shall wail because of Him. The Scripture makes it clear here that the whole house of Israel shall be involved, the royal family of David, the High priestly family, members of the house of Aaron, the prophets as represented by the house of Nathan the prophet, the levites, the priests, the remnants of the tribe of Levi, and the house of Shimei, the remnants of the other tribes of Israel, the Am Ha’ aretz, the ordinary people of the land. All the tribes of Israel shall be represented.

As we have pointed out, this event shall occur at the expiry of the 70th Week when Israel have been purified, purged, and cleansed from sin by the six trumpet judgments. Three of the six purposes of God to be accomplished within the 70 weeks allotted to the Gentiles to persecute Israel would have been fulfilled. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” ‭‭( Dan.9:24 ). The transgression of Israel would be finished, her sin brought to and end, and reconciliation made for her iniquity. This is the reason why Israel must go through the Great Tribulation and the six trumpet judgments. The seventh trumpet has no judgment of its own, but opens into the seven bowls which specifically target the branded Beast worshippers. At the sounding of the seventh trumpet, God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth. Thereafter, the other three purposes shall be accomplished, the sealing of the vision and the prophecy, the bringing in of everlasting righteousness, and the anointing of the Most Holy.

“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” ‭‭( Zech.13:8-9‬ ‭).

As we have pointed out, Israel shall be relatively quiet and peaceful during the first half of the 70th week, enjoying the protection offered her by the antiMessiah secured through the 7-year peace treaty. But from the midpoint of the 70th week, trouble begins. After passing through the Jerusalem Campaign, the Great Tribulation, the Jehoshaphat Campaign, two parts of the Jewish population especially in the land of Israel would have been decimated, leaving only a third part. It is this third part that shall pass through the fires of the six trumpet judgments in order to be purified, purged, and cleansed from the defilement of sin. They are the ones that shall be reconciled to God when the nation’s transgression is finished and her sin brought to an end.

“Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the Earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” ‭‭( Is.66:8‬ ‭). This shall be the national salvation of Israel.
“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:” ( ‭‭Rom.11:26‬ ‭). This event shall occur on top of Mount Zion on the third day of the 30-day reclamation period, shortly before the sounding of the Seventh trumpet on the 5th day. On this day, the mystery of God shall be finished, as God completes His spiritual kingdom by bringing in the purified and saved and reconciled remnants of Israel. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” ( Rev.10:7‬ ). Once the seventh trumpet is blown on the 5th day of the 30-day reclamation period, God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth, and begins His final purging and cleansing of the Earth from the defilement of Sin culminating in the war of Armageddon. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” ( Rev.11:15‬ ‭).

One more important point to note. There shall be no secret appearance of the Lord to rapture the Church. The events spoken of here are worldwide phenomena, to be witnessed by all living earth-dwellers. “Every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him. Even so. Amen.” ( Rev.1:7 ).

Avraham Shallom.

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 2 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 2 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 2 )

The Fifth Seal: Martyrs Under The Altar

“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: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 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.” ( Rev.6:9-11‬ ‭).

Biblical scholars have long recognized the parallelism between the Olivet Discourse in Matt.24, and Rev.6. But when we examine the Olivet Prophecy in Matt.24, we observe that there is no segment of it parallel to the Fifth Seal ( Rev.6:9-11 ). The reason is simply because the Fifth Seal is in its entirety a heavenly scene. Christ is the author of both the Olivet Discourse and the Scroll Of Revelation. In the Olivet Discourse, Christ tells us what is going on here on Earth during the 70th Week of Daniel. In the Scroll Of Revelation, He gives more light by showing what is going on Earth as well as in heaven. He wants us to know that He is in sovereign control of the events both on Earth as well as in heaven. This does not mean however, that He is responsible for the activities of wicked men. God permits evil, but does not approve of it, neither does He perpetrate it.

The first four seals of Rev.6 are sequential, consecutive and progressive. But the Fifth Seal is concurrent, coincident, and simultaneous with the fourth seal. The Fifth Seal does not advance the chronology of events here on Earth in the 70th week of Daniel. It occurs in heaven during the fourth seal. In consonance with the parallelism of the Olivet Discourse and Rev.6, the fourth seal is the Great Tribulation. During the Great Tribulaion, believers are being hounded, ferreted out and killed, and some taken captive. Our Lord Jesus told us in the Olivet Discourse believers shall be led captive into all nations ( Luk.21:24 ). The Scroll Of Revelation tells us that those who will be taken captive were so destined. “He that is destined to go into captivity, into captivity he goes; and the he that is destined to be killed with the sword, with the sword the one shall be killed.” ( Rev.13:10 ). The Great Tribulation shall be worldwide but the epicenter shall be the Land of Israel and its capital city, Jerusalem.

During the Great Tribulation, the fourth seal, believers are being killed, and their disembodied spirits and souls are arriving in heaven. There is no distance in the realm of the spirit. As soon as these believers are killed, their disembodied spirits and souls arrive in heaven and are quartered under the golden altar of incense in the Holy Place in the Temple Of God in Heaven. Remember that the Tabernacle in the wilderness was patterned after the Temple of God in Heaven. God reminded Moses: “ see that thou do everything according to the pattern shown thee on the Holy Mount.” ( Exod.29:9,40; Heb.8:5b ). No Israelite who is not of the High priestly family of Aaron has access into the Holy Place, not even the Levites. In like manner, no Israelite who is not the High Priest, and of the family of Aaron has access into the Holy Of Holies, and that once a year, only on the Day Of Atonement, and after he has offered sacrifices for himself and the errors of the people of Israel ( Heb.9:6,7 ). Any violations of these ordinances attracted the death penalty.

That the Fifth Seal martyrs merited to be quartered under the Golden Altar Of Incense in the Holy Place Of The Temple in Heaven indicates that they were priests. And Christ has made us kings and priests. “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” ( Rev.‭1:4-6‬ ‭).

The Fifth Seal martyrs asked God how long it would be before He avenges their death on their murderers. If the wrath of God has already begun in the Day Of The Lord from the commencement of the 70th week as pretribs teach, would it not have been proper for God to tell them:

“ Can’t you see, I have already begun to punish those wicked murderers: the antiChrist has emerged on the World Stage, he has formed a coalition of ten nations. He has also tried to win the rest of the nations of the world to his side through subtle peace diplomacy. That has failed, and he has now resorted to war. There are wars and commotions, rumors and threats of wars. Nations have risen up against nations and kingdom against kingdom, and as a result, there are famines, pestilences and earthquakes in diverse places. My servant Michael has cast down my enemy Satan to the Earth. He is now angry with the inhabitants of the Earth, knowing that he has but a short time. He has possessed the antiChrist who has moved his headquarters to Jerusalem. He has desecrated my Temple, and is demanding that men worship him in place of Me. He is killing my saints who refuse to worship him, and that is how your souls come to be under the altar in my temple in heaven?” ( Rev.6,12,13 ).

Ridiculous you would say, and you are right. How can the antiChrist come to power in the Day Of The Lord and complish all these things including the martyrdom of the Fifth Seal martyrs at a time when God alone is to be exalted, in the day no man shall be exalted and the haughtiness of men brought low, in the Day when the idols shall be abolished, and the gods that had not made the heavens and the Earth perish from under the Earth and under these heavens? ( Isa.2:18-22; Jere.10:11 ).

If the wrath of God had already begun, they did not need to wait: in fact, there would have been no need for their question how long. God admonished them to wait until their fellow saints to be martyred had been accomplished. There is a certain number of saints to be martyred. It is a secret number known only to God. The secret things belong to God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and our children ( Deut.29:29 ). Those to be martyred were so destined, and those to be taken captive were also so destined. This is the patience and faith of the saints ( Rev.13:10 ). It is a display of ignorance to denigrate and cast aspersions on the Fifth Seal martyrs, and to make them the butt of a joke of being made the “bottom” of the altar. The Scripture did not say they were made the “bottom” of the altar, but that they were kept under the altar pending the completion of the number of the saints to be martyred during the Great Tribulation that was going on at that time.

If the Great Tribulation were allowed to run throughout the whole length of the three and one-half years allotted to the antiChrist, no believer will be left alive to be raptured. But because some believers must be raptured alive, God will cut short the Great Tribulation ( Matt.24:22 ). Also no Jew or Gentile who did not take the Mark of the Beast will survive the second half of the 70th week. But some Jews will survive and be reconciled to God on the 3rd day of the 30-day Reclamation Period when the Mystery Of God is finished and His spiritual kingdom complete ( Rev.10:7 ). And some Gentiles will survive the second half of the 70th week to appear at the Sheep And Goat Judgment ( Matt.25:31-46 ). The Sheep will be justified to enter the Millennium in their mortal bodies to repopulate the Earth alongside their Jewish counterpart.

God will cut short the Great Tribulation with cosmic and celestial disturbances ( Matt.24:29-31 ). This is the sixth seal which will send all the wicked scurrying for non-existent cover and protection under the rocks and mountains in lieu of the wrath of the Lamb before which no man shall be able to stand, abruptly bringing the Great Tribulation to a halt ( Rev.6:12-17 ). The Fifth Seal martyrs were executed for the word of God and the testimony which they held. They should be admired and congratulated not denigrated and disparaged.

We must distinguish the wrath of God from the wrath of Satan ( Rev.6:16; 12:12 ). The wrath of Satan comes first and is directed against the saints of the Most High. “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. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” ( Rev.13:7-10‬ ‭).

The wrath of God comes last and is directed against the wicked Earth-dwellers who worship the antiChrist and the Great Dragon and have murdered the saints of the Most High during the Great Tribulation. This is the theology of the second. Carnal things first before spiritual things. “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” ( 1 Cor.15:46-49‬ ). The saints must be tested first to purify them before the sinners shall be subjected to the wrath of God.

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” ( Eph.5:3-8‬ ).

Apart from the sins listed in the above quoted segment of the Scriptures, the other reason anyone would be subjected to God’s wrath is to take the mark of allegiance to the antiChrist. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” ( Rev.14:9-12‬ ‭).

God will recompense tribulation ( the wrath of God ) to those who have troubled us the saints during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist ( 2 Thess.1:6 ). It takes time for sin to pile up to heaven. God cannot punish the wicked until their cup of iniquity is full. Until they have killed the saints in a rage that reaches up to heaven, God cannot begin to punish them for their evils. The wrath of God does not begin until after the breaking of the sixth seal.

The first four seals have nothing to do with the wrath of God, but have everything to do with the wrath of Satan; in fact, the Great Tribulation is the Great wrath of Satan which does not begin until Satan is cast down to the Earth at the midpoint of the 70th week and possesses the antiChrist ceding his power and authority unto him to act on his behalf, and the Restrainer is removed. As Christ is God’s representative on Earth to administer His wrath against the wicked Earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, so also is the antiChrist Satan’s representative on Earth to administer his wrath against the saints of the Most High, the Jews and Gentiles, who reject his Mark of allegiance.

The Fifth Seal martyrs were not feeble saints who missed the first round up, for the Rapture has not yet occurred. The Scriptures make it clear in both the Olivet Discourse and the Scroll Of Revelation that the Rapture occurs after the Tribulation of those days, after the breaking of the sixth seal with the attendant cosmic and celestial disturbances, shortly before the breaking of the seventh seal. The same day the Shekinah ( the appearance of the Son Of Man ) appears in the heavens, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed for protection, and the saints raptured to take them away from the scene of the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God which is about to begin at the breaking of the seventh seal ( Matt.24:29-31; Mk.13:24-27; Rev.7:1-17 ).

Avraham Shallom.

My Objections To   A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 1 )

There is not a single verse in both 1 & 2 Thessalonians that teaches either explicitly or implicitly that some Christians shall be raptured and receive glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies pretribulationally before the antiChrist is revealed. Rather it teaches that that day in which the rapture will take place will not occur until two events take place ( 2 Thess.2:3 ). First, the Man Of Sin, the Son Of Perdition, the antiChrist must be revealed ( unveiled ). Second, there shall be an apostasia ( Hellenistic, Classical Greek: apostasis ), a falling away from the Faith. The massive abandonment of the Christian Faith will be precipitated by the unveiling of the antiChrist as a dead man who ruled over one of the seven previous Beast Empires of Satan, was killed with a military weapon in battle, descended into the abyss, and ascends from there to rule over the Eighth And Final Beast Empire of Satan ( Rev.13:3, 17:8 ). He will demand to be worshipped by all mortals. He will use food and commerce as bargaining chips ( Rev.13:17 ). His unveiling will take place in the yet to be rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. This is the abomination of desolation which will occur at the midpoint of the 70th week ( Dan.9:27; Matt.24:15; Mk.13:14 ). It is concurrent and coincident with the invasion of Jerusalem by the armies of the antiChrist ( Luk.21: 20-24 ). For clarity, consult this article: https://mtzionheritage.com/?s=Two+critical+events.

The Holy Spirit as the restrainer is another pretrib mantra. It is not revealed any where in the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer. The Holy Spirit cannot hitchhike with the Church at the Rapture. The Holy Spirit as the Third Person Of The Godhead, the Trinity, has always been here. He was here at the Creation. He glided over the waters ( Gen.1:1-2 ). He anointed Moses and the prophets of Israel. Jesus was anointed of the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil Act.10:38 ). That was before Pentecost. At Pentecost, a new relationship between man and God was created within the framework of a new order, the New Covenant. After the Rapture, the Holy Spirit will still be here. As God He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. The two witnesses will be uniquely and extraordinarily anointed of the Holy Spirit ( Rev.11 ).

The restrainer is not an NT doctrine. It is Christian scholars who debate about his identity. The restrainer is an OT doctrine. His identity has been known in Judaism for hundreds of years before Christianity. His identity has been revealed by jewish scholars like Rashi. He is archangel Michael who stands for the people of God ( Dan.12:1 ). His identity is known to Paul’s immediate audience in 2 Thess.2:6-8. That is why Paul did not bother to name him in that passage. After he casts Satan down to the Earth at the midpoint of the 70th week, he shall “amad,” that is stop doing what he normally does which is restraining the Devil. Then there shall be Great Tribulation ( Rev.12:7-9 ). When Satan is cast down to the Earth, he shall possess the antiChrist who shall declare himself God ( Rev.13:2 ). Satan has Great wrath when cast down to the Earth because he knows he has a short time. He will go to make war with the remnant of the seed of the woman who keep the commandment of God ( observant Jews who repudiate his authority by refusal to bear his Mark of allegiance, the Mark of the Beast ), and those who have the testimony of Jesus ( the believers who refuse to take the Mark of the Beast ). Who are those who have the testimony of Jesus? Are they not believers in Jesus The Christ? They are some of the greats of the saints at this momentous hour of history. How can they be feeble saints left behind to bear the brunt of the antiChrist’s reign of terror?

There are no Scriptures that teach that there are two phases of the Christ’s Second Advent. The Greek word Parousia translated coming is a compound word consisting of para and ousia which mean coming and subsequent presence with. Like the First Advent, there is a series of events like the annunciation, the birth of Christ, the presentation in the Temple, His temptation, His three year Ministry, arrest, trial and condemnation, crucifixion, burial, resurrection, appearances to His disciples, ascension and session and intercessary ministry at the right hand of the Throne Of The Father at the Throne Room in the Temple in Heaven ( Heb.7:25 ). The Second Advent begins with the breaking of the 6th seal which begins with a massive earthquake, followed by cosmic disturbances that darkens the heavens and freezes the Earth ( Rev.6:12,13 ). This shall be followed by the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, which is the sign of the coming of the Son of Man in the heavens ( Matt.24:29,30 ). When the Shekinah appears in the heavens, the saints are advised to look up, for their redemption draweth nigh ( Luk.21:28 ). If the rapture had already taken place, what is their redemption at this time? The Shekinah is the visible manifestation of the Yahweh of Israel. Every eye shall see Him when He appears in the darkened heavens with an entourage of angels who will blow the trumpet and gather His elect from one end of the heavens to the other to meet the Lord in the air ( 1 Thess.4:14-17 ). So the Rapture annot be silent, quiet or secret as pretribs teach. Quite the opposite, the heavens shall blaze it forth.

The trumpet will be blown. Christ will dispatch His angels to gather His elect from the fours corners of the Earth. But before then, the 144,000 must be reconciled to God and sealed for protection with the name of God ( Rev.7:1-8, 14:1 ). God will not leave Himself without a witness. It is like the handing over of a baton in a relay race. The Church will be taken away in the Rapture, and the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel will become God’s witness on Earth. Then the 7th seal shall be broken and the wrath of God begins. After the wrath of God which ends at Armageddon at the end of the 30-day Reclamation Period, the whole Earth will be renovated during the 45-day Restoration Period, and Christ coronated by the Father in Heaven to reign over the Earth in the Millenium. These series of events constitute the Second Coming Of The Lord. There is no silent or secret rapture anywhere in the Scriptures. That is a pretrib concoction and fabrication. The people of the Earth who see His appearance like lightning in the heavens shall mourn ( Matt.24:29-31; Rev.1:7 ). See article on The Tribulation The Great: https://mtzionheritage.com/?s=The+Great+Tribulation.

The Sheep and the Goats are not Christians as you have rightly pointed out. They are Gentiles unbelievers who did not take the Mark of the Beast who survived the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God. The basis of their judgment is how they treated the Lord’s brethren ( Jews and believers ) during the Great Tribulation ( Matt.25:31-46 ). The Sheep shall be justified to enter and repopulate the Earth in the Millennium alongside their Jewish counterpart who survive the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God, specifically the first six trumpet judgments.

Your view of and comment on the 5th seal matters is both fallacious and egregious at the same time ( Rev.6:9-11 ). The pretribs have always denigrated these wonderful saints as spiritual weaklings who could not make the first round up. This is totally false. These were martyred for “the word of God and the testimony which they held.” They were quartered under the the golden altar of incense in the Holy Place in the Temple in heaven from where they make their plea of vengeance to God. They are referred to as souls because they have not received their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies because the Rapture has not yet taken place. They were instructed by God to wait until their fellow believers who were to killed is complete. There is certain number of believers to be martyred before God can interrupt the Great Tribulation with cosmic and celestial disturbances. This number is not revealed to us. The secret things belong to God ( Deut.29:29 ).

The patience of the saints during the Great Tribulation is that if anyone is destined to killed with the sword, with the sword, the one shall be killed; and if anyone is destined to go into captivity, the one shall be taken into captivity ( Rev.13:10 ). The KJV translation of this verse is faulty, and does not reflect the original meaning of the Greek. At the time these saints made their plea to God, the killing was still going on here on Earth under the 4th seal which is the Great Tribulation. The 5th seal is entirely a heavenly scene, a reflection of the killings going here on Earth. It is therefore concurrent, coincident, and simultaneous with the 4th seal. The other seals are progressive and consecutive. There is no distance in the real of the spirit. The souls and spirits of the 5th seal martyrs arrive in heaven as soon as they killed here on Earth. Whatever happens to the saints who are taken captive if the rapture has already taken place? The 5th seal martyrs are raptured with the others in Rev.7:9-17. They are not inferior to the other saints at all. If anything, they are highly honored. If the wrath of God has begun at the commencement of the 70th week as pretribs teach, then God should be held accountable for the death of the 5th seal martyrs. This is utter nonsense. Please read my refutation, a critique and rebuttal of Dr. Dave Williams 20 pieces of counsel or advice to those left behind after the Rapture: https://mtzionheritage.com/?s=Critique+and+rebuttal.

Christ will come as a thief for those who do not known the times and the seasons. Those who are in darkness. We the saints are not in darkness. We are of the day being children of light, not of night nor of darkness. That day cannot come upon us unawares ( 1 Thess.5:1-13 ). We cannot know the day and the hour of His coming but we can know the general time period. The Fig tree is a sign of approximation not the symbol of Israel as you taught in your book ( Matt.24:32-35 ). In the Lukan account ( Luk.2129-33 ), it says “and all the trees.” All the trees cannot be the symbol of Israel. When those in the temperate region see the Fig tree and all the trees begin to sprout after the Fall and the Winter and the rain in the Spring, they know that Summer is near. Likewise when we see the events of the 70th week of Daniel begin to unfold, we know that the coming of the Lord draws near. This generation shall not pass till these things be fulfilled ( Matt.24:34 ). The generation of believers that shall enter the 70th week, experience the horrors of the Great Tribulation perpetrated by the antiChrist and his acolytes shall be the generation of believers that shall be raptured alive. That generation shall witness the end of the Ages at which point in the eschatological timeline that the rapture occurs. The end of the Ages is the point of transition from this age to the age to come which is the Millennial reign of Christ. For details, see my article on the Fig Tree: https://mtzionheritage.com/123-2/. See also the article on the parable Of The Wheat And The Tares: https://mtzionheritage.com/the-parable-of-the-wheat-and-the-tares/.

Avraham Shallom.