My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational(4)
(e) The Great Tribulation
Pretribs designate the second half of the 70th week the Great Tribulation. This designation flies in the face of Scriptures. The Scriptures make it clear that the Great Tribulation does not last the whole length of the second half of the 70th week which is the three and one-half years allotted to the antiChrist to reign because the Great Tribulation is cut short by the cosmic and celestial disturbances associated with the breaking of sixth seal. “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). At the breaking of the sixth seal, the Sun, Moon, and Stars are darkened, thusly throwing the Earth and the starry Heavens into utter darkness and cold which make it impossible for the antiChrist and his acolytes to continue their killing spree. “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). This heavenly phenomenon frightens the unrighteous wicked out of their pants. They take to the rocks and the mountains to seek non-existent refuge. The dark and frozen Earth, the massive worldwide earthquakes, with meteorites, comets, and asteroids flying across the sky to the Earth make it impossible for the antiMessiah and his acolytes to continue their persecution of the saints. “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). This is how the Great Tribulation is amputated.
The essence of the amputation of The Great Tribulation is to save some saints alive for rapture because some saints of the last generation that shall enter the 70th week of Daniel to experience the horrors of the Great Tribulation shall be raptured alive(translated) without passage through the intermediate process of death. If the Great Tribulation is not cut short, no believing flesh will be saved alive. With the technology available to the antiMessiah, if the Great Tribulation is permitted to go on, he will be able to ferret out all believers on Earth, coerce them to recant and take the mark of allegiance to him or be killed on refusal to recant. The Great Tribulation must be distinguished from the Day Of The Lord which also begins in the second half of the 70th week at the breaking of the seventh seal. The Great Tribulation is not the same as the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord. The wrath of God consists of the seven trumpets and seven bowls. The seventh trumpet opens into the seven bowls just as the seventh seal opens into the seven trumpets. The first six trumpets occur within the second half of the 70th week of Daniel abutting on the end of the 70th week with the death of the two witnesses. Therefore, the Great Tribulation must be distinguished from the eschatological Day Of The Lord. Pretribs do not make any distinction between the Great Tribulation and the eschatological Day Of The Lord, just as much as they do not make any distinction between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan(Rev.6:17; 12:12).
(f) The Seals, Trumpets, And Bowls
The occurrence of the seals, trumpets, and bowls are consecutive and progressive. They are not simultaneous or coincident, except for the fourth and fifth seals. The fifth seal being a heavenly event is superimposed on the fourth. It does not advance the chronology of the end time narrative. The fifth seal is a heavenly reflection of the killings going on Earth under the fourth seal. There are no overlaps between the seals, trumpets, and bowls. There is an interlude between the end of sixth seal and the breaking of the seventh to enable certain events to transpire. The length of this interlude is not specified. These events are the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens which dispels the darkness and frigidity precipitated by the breaking of the sixth seal, the sealing of the 144,000, and the rapture of the dead saints and the translation of the living saints. The same day the saints are raptured, the seventh seal is broken, and the wrath of God begins. This interlude is represented by the Rev.7. Rev.6.17 is the end of the cosmic disturbances associated with the breaking of the sixth seal. Rev.8:1 marks the breaking of the seventh seal which inaugurates the day of the Lord in Rev.8 & 9.
There is also an interlude between the end of the sixth trumpet(Rev.9:21) and the sounding of the seventh(Rev.10:7). Unlike the length of the interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals which is not specified, the length of this interlude is about seven days. This is the first seven days of the 30-day Reclamation period which follows the end of the second three and one-half years of the 70th week of Daniel. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”(Dan.12:11). This interlude enables certain events to occur between the end of the sixth trumpet and the sounding of the seventh. Within this interlude of seven days, the two witnesses are killed on the first day and raised on the fourth(Rev.11:1-13), and the surviving remnants of Israel are reconciled to the God of Israel on the third day. “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”(Hosea 6:1-3). Shortly before the blowing of the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God is finished, and His spiritual kingdom complete as the surviving remnants of Israel are brought in. On the fifth day, God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth. “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).
From Mount Zion, Jesus hops over to the Mount of Olives with his retinue of 144,000 and the surviving remnant of Israel, in fulfillment of the promise made to His disciples after His resurrection from the dead. “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.”(Acts 1:9-12).
When Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives, it splits into two halves from the East to the West. One half shall move up North, and the other half shall move down South, creating a roadway that shall reach unto Azal. “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”(Zech.14:1-4).
On the sixth day, the surviving Jewish remnants which includes the 144,000 are sent into protective custody in Azel. “And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.”(Zech.14:5). On the seventh day, the final seven bowl judgments begin to be poured out by the seven avenging angelic reapers on the unrighteous wicked who bear the mark of the Beast(Rev.16:1).
Anyone who has read the works of the pretribs would quickly notice, they make no distinction between the wrath of Satan and the wrath of God. The seals, trumpets, and bowls are treated as concurrent and simultaneous. But there is a distinction between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan. The wrath of Satan contained in the first four seals precede the wrath of God which is contained in the seventh seal. The first five seals have nothing to do with the wrath of God. Until the breaking of the sixth seal associated with the cosmic and celestial disturbances which interrupt the Great Tribulation, the wrath of God is not in view. The wrath of God begins with the breaking of the seventh seal.
(g) The Day Of The Lord
The pretribs conflate the day of the Lord with the whole length of the end time beginning from the commencement of the 70th week and including the Millennium. This is absurd. How could the Day Of The Lord possibly include the Millennium when it is clearly stated in the Scripture that the Day Of The Lord is darkness, not light. “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). Here the prophet Amos upbraided the Jews who rejected the Mark of the Beast, who believe in the Messiah of Israel, but do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, who are in expectation of the Day Of The Lord as a day of deliverance for the whole house of Israel, who are ignorant of the fact that the remnant of Israel who survive the Great Tribulation without the mark of the Beast must be purified and broken in spirit by going through the first six trumpet judgments in order to accept Jesus as their Messiah who has nail pierced hands.
“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).
After they accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour, they shall be taken into protective custody in Azel while the remaining wrath of God in the seven bowls is meted out on the Beast marked unrighteous wicked. “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.”(Zech.14:3-5). The national repentance of Israel will precede the coming of the Lord with the raptured saints at Armageddon.
We have unequivocally proven from the Scriptures that the day of the Lord is synonymous with the day of His wrath, and that it does not start at the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel, neither does it encompass the whole length of the second half of the 70th week. We have also shown that the wrath of God must be distinguished from the wrath of Satan, and that the Great Tribulation which is the Great Wrath Of Satan does not cover the whole length of the second half of the 70th week of Daniel which is three and one-half years in duration. Both the Great Tribulation and the day of the Lord occur within the second half of the 70th week of Daniel with the latter extending to the end of the 30-day Reclamation Period. The major part of the second half of the 70th week of Daniel is taken over by the wrath of God. For example, the fifth trumpet alone lasts as long as five months(Rev.9:10). The sixth trumpet may even be longer. We have also shown that the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord is contained in the seventh seal which is broken the very same day the saints are raptured. It opens into the seven trumpets. The seventh trumpet opens into the seven bowls. The first six trumpets occur within the remaining part of the second half of the 70th week which ends with the death of the two witnesses whose ministry runs concurrent with the time period allotted to the reign of the antiChrist which is the whole length of the second half of the 70th week. The period of the reign of the antiChrist is not the same as the Great Tribulation, although the Great Tribulation occurs within it. Although the antiChrist is incapacitated by the terrestrial and celestial disturbances associated with the breaking of the sixth seal, he does not totally lose power and authority and the seat of his government which is the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem until defeated at Armageddon.
The day of the Lord which begins with the breaking of the seventh seal during the second half of the 70th week ends at Armageddon 30 days after the expiration of the 70th week of Daniel. The extra 45 days that follows the battle of Armageddon is solely for the renovation of the Earth damaged by the wicked reign of the antiChrist and the fires of the wrath of God on the unrighteous wicked, the final ingathering of the Jewish exiles in Diaspora, and the Sheep And Goat Judgment of the Gentiles survivors of the Day Of The Lord Wrath(Matt.25:31-46), preparatory to The Millennial reign of Christ and the resurrected saints in their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies.