More Details Concerning The Rapture And The Wrath Of God

Wrath-of-God
The wrath of God is coming

What clues does the Scripture give on the timing of the rapture? Do the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls start at the beginning of the Great Tribulation or in the middle? Does the Third Temple need to be constructed at the beginning of the Tribulation or at the midpoint? 

Let us start with the timing [season] of the rapture. 

In 2 Thessalonians 1-2, the church in Thessalonica was being told that the rapture had occurred already and they were left behind to endure the wrath of God that was going to be poured out upon the whole earth. Paul gave two criteria of which had to take place first before Jesus would come to rapture the church.

2 Thessalonians 2:3

“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.”

  • The Apostasy-There must be a great falling away from not only in believing in Jesus Christ and in sound doctrine. There are many people in churches today who claim to follow Jesus BUT in reality, are believing in a different gospel.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4

3 But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!

For a person to apostatize he/she has to believe in a different gospel that will give you a different Jesus that came to them by a demonic spirit [1 Timothy 4:1-2]. 

In my personal opinion, it might be a combination of a few things for the great falling away to occur in the future. Some of them we are seeing today the beginning of its infiltration in the churches. 

  1. Homosexuality is accepted in the churches as not sinful
  2. An abandonment of the inerrancy of Scripture, giving them the freedom to pick and choose what they like to follow in Scripture and disregarding the rest
  3. The mark of the beast being introduced early but not mandatory and many churches receiving it, departing from Christ in masses. As a warning, John Macarthur teaches that it is okay to receive the mark of the beast and still one can get saved. My brothers and sisters in Christ, Scripture teaches that if anyone receives the 666, they shall be thrown into the Lake of Fire and salvation will be off the table for those who do receive it [Revelation 14:9-12]

  • The man of lawlessness is revealed-The Antichrist has to come into the world stage. This is done by the peace treaty that he makes with the Jewish people in Israel. We see this in Daniel 9.

Daniel 9:27

27 He will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.”

So the Antichrist will be revealed in the signing of the peace document between Israel and the other nations that are hostile towards them which occurs at the very beginning of the first half of the 7 year Tribulation. 

When the great apostasy takes place then the Antichrist shows up, the rapture will come as a thief in the night. It does not mean that the rapture will come the next day but it will happen somewhere at the beginning of the first half. Saying that, another possibility is he could be revealed before the signing of the covenant, making the rapture happen before the 7 year Tribulation. 


Let’s tackle the next question.

Do the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls start at the beginning of the Great Tribulation or in the middle?

First of all, Jesus said that He will shorten the Tribulation for the sake of the elect.

Matthew 24:22

22 Unless those days were cut short, no one would be saved. But those days will be cut short because of the elect.

In Matthew 24, Jesus tells us that God’s wrath starts [the 2nd half] when the Antichrist sets up his image on the third temple.

Matthew 24:15-16

15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand), 16 “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.

It is obvious that the verses above refer to God’s wrath because if you keep reading in verse 21 it says, For at that time there will be great distress, the kind that hasn’t taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again.

Verses 15-16 are for the people who are living in Israel at the time. He is saying when you see that event happen, run into the wilderness for safety which they will be protected for 3.5 years according to Revelation 12:6 which says, “The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be nourished there for 1,260 days.” Because the Antichrist will demand the Jewish people to worship him as their god or else face death. Scripture also says, it will be demanded of the whole world as well but it will start with Israel. 

2 Thessalonians 2:4

4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s temple, proclaiming that he himself is God.

Revelation 13:15

15 It was permitted to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

Jesus quoted Daniel 9:27 which the second half of the verse says, “…but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.”

The Antichrist in the middle of the 7 year Tribulation, takes control of the city of Israel in the last 3 1/2 years. 

Revelation 11:1-2 [Emphasis Added]

Then I was given a measuring reed like a rod, with these words: “Go and measure the temple of God [the third templeand the altar, and count those who worship there. 2 But exclude the courtyard outside the temple. Don’t measure it, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months [the second half of the Great Tribulation].

When you see the events mentioned about the Antichrist above taking place, the first seal has been opened because he is the first seal.

How is the Antichrist the first seal? 

Revelation 6:1-2

6 Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there was a white horse. Its rider held a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a conqueror in order to conquer.

The rider on the white horse is shown as conquering nations which points to Revelation 13:5-7 which says,

5 The beast was given a mouth to utter boasts and blasphemies. It was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6 It began to speak blasphemies against God: to blaspheme his name and his dwelling—those who dwell in heaven. 7 And it was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. It was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.

To put it together: The wrath of God starts with the Antichrist demanding to be worshiped as God in the third temple which is the first seal. This happens in the 2nd half of the 7 year Tribulation [Jesus cutting it short]. The rapture has already occurred way before any of these events. So, from Revelation 6-19, the seals, Trumpets, and Bowls are poured out during the last 3 1/2 years. 


The last question. 

Does the Third Temple need to be constructed at the beginning of the Tribulation or at the midpoint? 

In Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15 and Revelation 11:1-2, the third temple is mentioned as being constructed already. Either the Antichrist allows the Jews to build the temple through the signing of the peace document [the covenant] or it is already built right before the man of lawlessness is revealed. One thing for sure that according to Scripture the third temple will be standing and in use way before the midpoint of the Tribulation because the Antichrist will put a stop to the sacrifices being done there. 

 

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Is The Wrath Of The Antichrist And The Wrath Of God Both Considered God’s Wrath?

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This brother in Christ is the one who brought me to Jesus Christ. I will always be eternally grateful to him for telling me about Jesus. 

We had a really great discussion about the rapture and its timing. He believes that the wrath of the Antichrist is different from that of God’s and Christians will be spared from God’s wrath but not necessarily the Antichrist’s. Respectfully, I disagree with that position. I think it is pretty clear in Scripture that the wrath [persecution] of the Antichrist towards believers and God’s plagues [Seals, Bowls, and the Trumpets] are both God’s wrath on mankind.

Below is our exchange.


A????,

You’ve taken on a heavy topic brother! I encourage you to keep it up. This really motivates deeper study. I agree 100% that Christians will not face God’s wrath, neither on earth nor ever in hell.

Where my view might differ from yours is in the question of what exactly constitutes the wrath of God during the Great Tribulation and when exactly (during the Great Tribulation) that wrath begins. It seems to me that not all of the Great Tribulation is purely the wrath of God. Some of it is the wrath of Satan or the Antichrist against God’s people (12:12,17; 13:7; 20:4). Other parts are God’s wrath against the ungodly and against Satan himself (16:1; 18:8; 20:10).

So I think it’s possible for Christians to go through a part of the Great Tribulation yet not face God’s wrath.

Let’s keep the dialog going.

Your friend and brother,

An???


This was my response…

I appreciate the reply.

Luke 21:34-36

34 “Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly 35 like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.”

If you notice in Luke 21 [to escape all these things], it encompasses everything that is seen in Revelation from Chapter 6 and onward which suggests that those who are living a spiritual life in obedience to God’s Word are confirming that their faith in Christ is genuine and thus will be spared from the coming wrath of God [1 Thes. 1:10, 4:16-17, 5:9]

The seals reveal the Antichrist and his conquest [Revelation 6] and in Matthew 24:15-16 which says, 15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand), 16 “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. It shows that the Great Tribulation starts when the Antichrist puts his image in the corner of the third temple and claims to be God [2 Thes. 2:4] which tells the reader to flee for their lives which constitutes the start or the beginning of God’s wrath.

God’s wrath is poured out through many ways. For some examples: Ruthless men from Babylon, to punish the Israelites for their sins. God Himself throws hailstones at Israel’s enemies to destroy them.

God’s wrath is seen through both, human hands and His own.

I think that the Holy Scripture is pretty clear that the wrath of God starts with the seals [Antichrist coming out in the first seals] and forward.

 

 

The Rapture, Pre-Trib Or Post-Trib?

church-slider-rapture

Is the word Rapture in the Bible? No, but the meaning is. The word Rapture comes from the Latin Vulgate Bible Translation of Scripture which reads, RapiemurVulgate.org

The word Rapture in Greek is Harpazo which simply means caught up, catch up, seize by force, and snatch awayGr. Strong’s# 726.

The question then becomes, will the rapture of the church, the believers in Christ, happen before the Great Tribulation, in the middle [before the wrath of God is poured down on the earth] or after?

I am convinced through the aid of the Holy Spirit that all believers in Christ Jesus will be spared from the coming wrath that will come upon the unbelievers.

Matthew 24:29-31, seems to say that the rapture or the snatching away will occur after the Great Tribulation. These verses were hard for me to just disregard as all of Scripture is of God or better said, God-breathed. The Word of God cannot contradict itself so if we think that we find a contradiction, the problem does not lie with Scripture, but with our own understanding. It is imperative that we always start a bible study by asking the Lord to open up our mind for understanding through the aid of His Spirit. 

I will start by showing the verses that seem to say that we will go through the Great Tribulation and then show you the other verses that seem to say we are not. After showing you all those verses, I will bring them all together as if they came from 1 Chapter, to see it in a different angle. 

Going to go through the Great Tribulation

Matthew 24:29-31

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the peoples of the earth will mourn; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him: We ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be easily upset or troubled, either by a prophecy or by a message or by a letter supposedly from us, alleging that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s temple, proclaiming that he himself is God.

Not going to go through the Great Tribulation

1 Thessalonians 1:10

10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 

9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

Revelation 3:10 

10 Because you have kept my command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

Now, I will put them all together including other verses not mentioned above but, will be referenced at the bottom


Because you have kept my command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For we say this to you by a word from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor can corruption inherit incorruption.

Listen, I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the peoples of the earth will mourn; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him: We ask you, brothers and sisters, not to be easily upset or troubled, either by a prophecy or by a message or by a letter supposedly from us, alleging that the day of the Lord has come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s temple, proclaiming that he himself is God. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way, and then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of his mouth and will bring him to nothing at the appearance of his coming. Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels of heaven nor the Son —except the Father alone.

About the times and the seasons: Brothers and sisters, you do not need anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

In order, Revelation 3:10, 1 Thes. 1:10, 1 Thes. 4:14-15, 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, 1 Thes. 4:16-17, Matthew 24:29-31, 2 Thes. 2:1-4, 7-8, Matthew 24:36, 1 Thes. 5:1-3, 1 Thes. 5:9-10


If you noticed, the Lord has promised the believers that He will keep them from His wrath. That statement is very clear and cannot be ignored. In Revelation 3:10, which says, 10 Because you have kept my command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

Jesus tells the church in Philadelphia that they will not go through the Tribulation, even though it will be 2000 years into the future. Why would Jesus say this to a church, knowing full well that they will never make it to that dreadful day? Because it was a statement of faithfulness in keeping His Word that those who follow suit, it would apply to them. Meaning, every believer in Jesus Christ who is faithful to the Word of God and endure all temptation without falling away proving the genuineness of their faith will be kept from the Great Tribulation.

The promise to keep us away from the Great Tribulation continues in 1 Thes. 1:10, 5:9-10. The word wrath does not mean hell as the topic in 1 Thessalonians refers to sudden destruction which is mentioned in 1 Thes. 5:2-3 which says, For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape

How can we put together the verses that seem to say we do like Matthew 24:29-31? 

Another problem would be that the Scriptures does not appear to mention two comings of Christ.

First of all, let’s start with what we do know. 

  1. Jesus has promised to keep us from the Great Tribulation/Wrath/Testing [1 Thes.1:10, 5:9-10, Revelation 3:10].
  2. Jesus will appear at the end of the Great Tribulation [Matthew 24:29].
  3. His wrath is for the unbelievers [1 Thes 5:2-3].

Another thing to notice is in Revelation 19:11-16, His 2nd coming, Jesus returns with the saints but a rapture or a snatching away is not mentioned to connect that with Matthew 24 or for that matter at all in the whole Book. In Matthew 24:31, Jesus sends His angels to gather the elect, but in Revelation 19, that event is not seen. The question then becomes, why isn’t the rapture mentioned in the main Book about the end times? The answer would be because the event had to have taken place already.

Let’s go back to Matthew 24, it is a concise or summary of the whole Book of Revelation. In Matthew 24, Jesus never mentions an Antichrist, leaves a lot of the Seals, Bowls, and Trumpets [the plagues which are His wrath] out. He does mention, however, the image of the beast but, not his mark [666]. The reason being, it was reserved for the Apostle John to write down. Jesus gave His disciples a small taste of what was going to come in the end times without revealing everything, but He wanted to show John the end through visions. To be able for one to grasp what was going to be unfolded, it had to be seen rather than told.

Saying that, it seems that Jesus left out the rapture in Matthew 24 and the meaning of this verse, “31 He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other” might refer to the gathering of all believers from the four winds, those who became Christians during the Great Tribulation and of the sky [or heaven, those returning with Christ] to be at Jerusalem with Him. If we say that the rapture occurs in Matthew 24, that will contradict 1-2 Thessalonians.

Just because the Bible does not mention a word or a phrase, does not mean it is not there. For an example: A verse saying the exact words-The Trinity, we know it does not say it but, the concept is there and it is strong. For further study on the Trinity click here: The Trinity

The reason I am convinced of two comings, one without Jesus touching the ground [in the clouds] and the other when He comes to reign for 1000 years is that the Scriptures testify to our being kept from His wrath or sudden destruction that is coming upon the whole world. It does say though that we will see the Antichrist [ 2 Thes. 2] but, before God’s judgment is poured out, we will be rescued. Another thing, the church after chapter 5 of Revelation is not even mentioned once. It just focuses on Israel. Where is the church? Gone.

As believers, we cannot ignore any verses regardless if we don’t understand them or how they fit into one’s theology. Remember, all verses talking about the same topic will be in agreement with each other and we shouldn’t be afraid of putting them together. Our understanding does not come from us, but from the Holy Spirit. 

In conclusion, the coming of the Lord is like a thief in the night. We will not know the day or hour, but we can know the season, so be ready. Certain things must take place first-the falling away/apostasy, and the man of lawlessness must appear. Most likely with the false peace he brings to Israel, the third Temple will be built. The Great Tribulation won’t start until the removal of God’s children. This is certain [1 Thes. 4:14-17].

Be Ready…