Truth Seekers Ministries Presents...
The Rapture of the Church
I can almost hear the trumpet blast! I feel safe in stating that we are now living in the last few years before the Great Tribulation. The Seventieth week of Daniel, Jacob's time of trouble. The seven year climax in world history, that will usher in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, is about to begin.
What about the True Church?
All of my life, I have learned about and then taught others, that the rapture of the Church was a Pre-Tribulation, or (Pre-Trib.) event. I’ve learned all the ways to explain my perspective, and it truly made sense to me. As of late though, I have changed my mind regarding this viewpoint. If you have read my old rapture letter, then you must read this one. If you believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, then you must read this letter. Your Spirit will confirm to you the truth of what I am writing, so hear me out and don’t write me off just yet.
A few days ago, a fellow servant of Christ presented me with a perspective that I had not fully come to realize prior. Once he got over himself, and saw that we two were very much on the same page, he was then able to share with me, what he had come to learn regarding the timing of the Rapture of the Church. As a Truth Seeker, I have to seek the truth in everything, and before an hour was up, in the presentation of the information, I knew that this view had to be truly the only answer. You see, the current views of the rapture are a pre-trib, a mid-trib, and a post trib, on when the timing of the rapture occurs. When I first learned of the other views, as they were presented to me a long time ago, nothing but the pre-trib view made any sense. This new view really takes the place of the old mid-trib viewpoint, called the Pre-Wrath view of the rapture. Both the Pre-Trib view and the Post-Trib viewpoints have merit in their postulations, however a more melding of these views, into the Pre-Wrath view, will give you a clearer understanding of the truth, and God’s Word will confirm it.
The true followers of Jesus Christ will not be on the earth when God’s Wrath is poured out on the Antichrist and all who follow him. We are the Body of Christ and as such we are not appointed unto wrath. I Thess. 5:9. The antichrist comes on the scene as a man of peace, the white horse rider of Revelation 6:1,2. He begins as a man of peace, orchestrating the signing of a seven year peace treaty between Israel and other nations, probably their neighbors. The temple will be rebuilt and sacrificing will begin again. This signing of the peace treaty begins that last week of years, Jacobs time of trouble spoken of in Daniel. Exactly three and one-half years later he steps back in, rejects the peace accord and stops the sacrificing. He then sets up an image in the temple and exalts himself as God. Empowered by Satan, who was just cast down to earth by Michael, he then starts to furiously persecute the Saints. After some time of this persecution, signs in the heavens are seen, the rapture of the faithful takes place and then the wrath of Almighty God is poured out at what is called the Day of the Lord. Then at the end of that time, the Day of the Lord, the vengeance of our God, Jesus returns with all the Saints, including the true church, at the Battle of Armageddon. He destroys the army's of the earth and sets up his Kingdom that will last for one thousand years.
At the present time the antichrist can't come on the scene because of a restraining force that is preventing him. The man that will be possessed, may already be in position, but that man of sin can't be revealed until he that “Letteth” or “restraineth” him, is taken out of the way, then the true colors of the wicked one will be revealed. Then this world leader will be possessed by the spirit of the antichrist. 2 Thess.2:7,8. I used to believe that the Holy Spirit is the only thing that could prevent the antichrist from being revealed. I now know that Michael, the Archangel, has in the past, and probably is now, restraining the true Spirit of the Antichrist, from coming to dwell in the person that will be Antichrist. Before Satan is cast out of the heavens by Michael, down to earth, he, Michael, is the restraining force keeping that wicked one from being revealed. Michael is called back to heaven, so he “stands up”, or he backs off of his restraint of that man of sin, the antichrist, so he can go back to heaven to throw Satan down to earth. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, not a restrainer, and although being God, with plenty enough power for the job, it would be a bit overkill if He was used to restrain the antichrist.
What we must understand, is that the breaking of the seals, which ushers in the four-horsemen of the apocalypse, is not God’s Wrath being poured out on earth, but the Antichrist’s vengeance on the world, and especially Israel and the true followers of Christ. God’s Wrath is written within the scroll of Revelation, but until the seals are all broken and the scroll is opened, God’s wrath is held in check. The Pre-Tribulation view teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer, keeping that “Man of Sin” from being revealed. This however is not provable by scripture. God will not take our precious gift away and leave us to face the antichrist without the power that was already given to us as an earnest of our inheritance. The body of Christ can't be struck twice with the wrath of God. He was struck once for the sins of the world, and we as the body of Christ can't be struck by God the second time. We can and will however, undergo the wrath of Satan. We are told that we will go through tribulation, and scripture will prove that the saints of God, especially in the general area of the middle east, will go through some severe persecution. I see the seeds of this kind of persecution beginning now throughout the world.
Now, I will start comparing scripture with scripture, and prove to you that the church will be here during the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation period. The Church will also be here for at least a part of the last 3 1/2 years of the Great Tribulation, until just prior to God’s intervention, when He cuts that time short for the sake of the elect which will likely occur on the Feast of Trumpets, and He then starts pouring out His wrath on this ungodly world.
Hermeneutics, is the study of how to interpret writings, and in our case, sacred text and scripture. There are a few basic rules that most biblical scholars will agree on.
1: Always interpret the writing literally, unless there are obvious clues directing you to interpret the passages figuratively or spiritually. God wants us to understand scripture, and if we interpret a passage literally and are wrong in our interpretation, then God can’t be too upset about it.
2: Always use the context of scripture to determine the authors meaning. Text without context is error.
3: Try to determine the authors intended meaning. For instance, who he is writing to, the historical setting, location, cultural issues, and the relationships between the author and recipient. We also need to consider any other factors. including figures of speech, allegories , metaphors, similes, etc.
4: Always compare scripture to scripture and make sure that there is no contradiction. For instance, when talking about the rapture, one must take all relevant passages from even different authors in consideration to determine the authors intended meaning. If there is a contradiction, then the interpretation is not valid. Justin Martyr writing in the 2nd century states. “Since I am entirely convinced that no scripture contradicts another, I will rather acknowledge that I do not understand what is written”
5: In prophesies, God often provides for us a multi-level way to interpret things. We should always look for near and far applications in the fulfillment of prophesy.
Prior to the Nicene council in 325 AD, there was no Pre-tribulation concept of the Rapture. In fact, until the 1800’s this theory had not been widely considered at all. The early church believed that they would be persecuted by the antichrist. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, had to let them know that they had not missed the rapture. They thought that they were in the tribulation period, and were being persecuted by the antichrist, Paul had too convince them that there were some things that had to happen first, and that the believers would be delivered from their tribulation when the rapture did occur.
Paul taught that the “Catching Away” of the Saints, and the “Day of the Lord”, when the wrath of God is poured out on this ungodly world, are events that will occur back to back, not separated by a period of time. The term, “Day of the Lord” is not a literal day. It is at least 5 months, because of a time given for one aspect of God’s wrath in Revelation, however it is probably much longer considering the different events that have to happen during this time.
2 Thess. 1:6-10: “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 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”
Here, Paul shows us that God will end the persecution of the church, with his wrath.
1 Thess. 4:16-18: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and 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” Then Paul continues talking about this time in chapter 5: 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.”
Here Paul talks about the deliverance of the saints and the punishment of the wicked, and he is referring to this time as the “Day of the Lord”. To most of the world, that day will sneak up on them as a “thief in the night”, but for the truly faithful, we can know and expect his return.
2 Timothy 4:7-8: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me, a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me “at that day”; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his “appearing”.
Here, Paul, about to be executed, is still looking forward to “that day” and the Lord’s “Appearing”.
Titus 2:13: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious “appearing”’ of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ”
2 Thess. 2:8: “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming”
In the previous verses, the words “Appearing”, and “Coming” are used by Paul to refer to the rapture, and also the “Day of the Lord”. We will also see that it is used in Matthew 24. The Greek word is “Parousia” and means, “Presence”, “Coming”, “Arrival”, and is used to refer to all aspects of our Lords return, and includes His visible return from heaven, the raising of the dead, the last judgment, and for when Jesus comes to set up the kingdom of God formally and gloriously.
Even Jesus teaches us that the rapture will occur back to back with the wrath of God being poured out on the Day of the Lord.
Luke 17:26-30: ‘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.
Here Jesus tells us that on the very same day that Noah and his family went into the ark, God’s wrath came down. The very same day Lot was delivered out of Sodom, God’s wrath poured down on the wicked. So shall it be when the church is raptured. As soon as it happens, the Day of the Lord, God’s wrath on this world begins.
Some pre-trib teachers will say that Noah was in the ark for seven days before the flood came, by misinterpreting Genesis 7:4, and claim that this proves their pre-trib rapture, equating the seven days as the seven years tribulation, but this is not possible considering the context. Gen 7:11-13 says that on the very same day that Noah entered the ark, the flood came. The pre-tribulation rapture view assumes that the rapture and the day of the Lord are separated by time and are not back to back events, but this is no where proven by scripture. In fact the opposite is true. The rapture occurs, and immediately following this the Day of the Lord commences.
The doctrine of “Imminence”, used by pre-trib teachers, states that there is nothing else needed to transpire before the church is raptured. This also is an error, because there are still a few things that have to occur before the rapture takes place if the rapture and the Day of the Lord are back to back events which scripture proves true. There will be a time, however, when Jesus return is “Imminent”, which will be just after the signs in the sun, moon, and stars.
Mal. 4:5: I will send you Elijah before that great and dreadful Day of the Lord comes.
Daniel 9:27: Israel must be again a nation and back in their own land, which they are.
Thess. 2:3-4: Matt. 24: The “Apostasia” or falling away must occur. This is a spiritual falling away, which I believe is already occurring.
Thess. And Matthew both indicate that the “Man of Sin” must declare himself as God in the Temple at Jerusalem, so we know that the Temple must rebuilt.
Revelation 6:10-11; The number of souls under the altar must be completed.
Joel, Thess. And Revelation also gives us the signs in the sun, moon and stars, as events occurring just prior to the Day of the Lord.
There is nothing in scripture that suggests that “nothing” has to occur before that day of the Lord comes. All the evidence indicates that there are events that still have to occur. So, why then is the pre-tribulation idea of the rapture so prevalent, especially among the fundamentalists and the churches in the so called “Bible belt”? They just don’t want the church to have to go through tribulation and persecution. This idea, however, is unscriptural, and Jesus even said that we would go through tribulation. The early church fully expected to be persecuted by the antichrist. The pre-trib notion, causes people to have an “escapism” concept, and truly makes people unprepared for the truth, that there will in fact be a persecution. People need to prepare themselves spiritually and mentally, walking in faith daily, to be able to stand in faith when the extreme persecution comes, which I believe has already begun in some parts of the world.
Matthew 24, which if you take the pre-trib viewpoint, cannot have anything to do with the rapture, but with Armageddon. It is in fact the perfect rapture reference. If you compare Matt.24 with Rev. 19, the Armageddon passage, it is obvious that the two do not match up. Matt.24 has Angels doing the reaping, trumpets, and evacuation, an assembly, the sun, moon and stars signs, and the wrath of God beginning. Rev.19 has angels, but their role is not the same. There is no trumpet, no evacuation, no assembling, no sun, moon and star signs, and the wrath of God is ended, not beginning. These two do not match, so Matthew 24 cannot refer to Armageddon, but has to refer to the rapture. Even the first edition of the King James version in 1611, cross references Matthew 24 with the other rapture passages of 1 Thess. 4:16 and 1 Cor. 16:52. Matthew 24, understood properly as a rapture passage, will help us to understand both Revelation and Daniel.
Matthew 13:30: Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of Heaven in the parable of the tares and the wheat. The tares were sowed alongside the wheat, representing the church’s existence alongside wicked, and Jesus says, “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn” Here, Jesus is talking about Christians, living amongst the wicked, and they will be protected and gathered into God’s barn, while the wicked are gathered to be judged. This harvest of the righteous and the judgment of the wicked occurs at the same time.
Revelation 3:10 is a favorite of the pre-trib teachers, and is one of mine also, until I recognized the truth about it and it is now still a favorite, but instead of proving a pre-trib position, it proves true, the pre-wrath rapture. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth” This verse seems to indicate that the true followers of Jesus would not go through tribulation, but accurately understanding the words gives you a different picture. The word, “Kept”, comes from the Greek word, “Tereo”, which means, “To guard within a sphere of danger”. The accurate explanation has Jesus, keeping us safe, or guarding us, within the tribulation, and with the exception of the ones who will be martyred, the truly faithful will be kept safe, and then removed out of the tribulation at the rapture.
I’ll now do a comparison between Matthew 24, and Revelation. The disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, what would be the sign of His coming, His “Parousia”, and the “End of the Age”. Here again Matthew connects the rapture with the Day of the Lord. Remember, “Parousia” refers to the presence of Jesus, the rapture, the judgment, and the setting up of His kingdom.
Matthew 24:4-5: “Take heed that no man deceive you, for many shall come in my name, saying “I am the Christ”, and shall deceive many.
Revelation 6:1-2 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals...And I saw and behold a white horse, and he that sat on him had a bow, and a crown was given unto him, and he went forth conquering and to conquer.”
Here in Matthew, you have antichrist’s appearance, which many have already come, however when Jesus cracks this first seal, Michael is called back into heaven, and the Antichrist himself, will come on the scene to deceive many.
Matthew 24:6: And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom..
Revelation 6:3,4: And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, come and see; And there went out another horse that was red, and power was given unto him that sat thereon, to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another, and there was given unto him a great sword.
Here, we have the indication of wars, brought about by the Antichrist and his cohorts. So far, these passages are lining up with each other, so lets see if they continue to do so.
Matthew 24:7,8: And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places, all these things are the beginnings of sorrows.
Revelation 6:5,6: And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Here we see the beginning of famines, pestilences and earthquakes. Recognize also that the literal meaning, equates to about a days wages for a loaf of bread. I would call that famine.
Matthew 24:9-14: And then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated of all nations for my names sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another...but he that shall endure to the end shall be saved…
Revelation 6:7,8: And when he opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth beast say, come and see. And I looked and behold, a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto him over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
The correlation between these passages is obvious. One thing I need to elaborate on here, is about the “Beasts” of the earth. 38 of the 39 times that this term is used in Revelation, John is referring to the Antichrist, the False Prophet, or the image of the beast. All three are given power to kill with the sword, with famine, and death. What the Greek words mean here, is that “Under or By the Authority” of these “beasts”, Death and Hell are operating. Here begins the great persecution of the saints. These beasts use orchestrated famines, pestilences or maybe super viruses, and will be able to kill over a fourth part of the earth. That don’t necessarily mean that 1/4 of the population of the world will die here, but these beasts will operate over a fourth part of the earth, or probably the middle east, Europe and North Africa.
Matthew 24:15 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…v22: For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor shall ever be.
Revelation 6:9: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony for 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 the number of their fellow servants also, and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
This is the mid point of the seven year tribulation, or the beginning of what is called the Great Tribulation. It is not known how long this “Great Tribulation” will last, but God says that he will cut that time short for the sake of the elect. Persecution of the church is destined, and at this mid point, three and a half years into the tribulation, the persecution becomes a lot worse. You see, Michael, who kept the antichrist at bay, is called back into heaven to fight with Satan. The antichrist starts his power grab, and initially starts out as a man of peace, but when Michael casts Satan down to earth, he will fully enable the antichrist with his power, and will cause this severe persecution of the saints, the elect of God. This Great Tribulation of Satan’s wrath will continue until the next seal and signs.
Matthew 24:29: Immediately after the tribulation of those days, shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
Revelation 6:12-17: 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?
Here we finally have the signs that the followers of Christ have been waiting on. These signs indicate that our redemption is nigh, and that we are to look up and get ready. In a vision God gave me back in 86’ I saw “Stars Fall” or a pole shift. I always wondered why God showed me this, since as a pre-trib believer, I wasn’t supposed to be here then, but I now know, that I probably will experience and be a witness to, this event that God gave me a glimpse of years ago.
Matthew 24:30:; And then, shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 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. V 33: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the door..
Here is the Rapture. Now in Revelation 7, we have a parenthetical happening, when the angels seal the 144,000 out of the tribes of Israel. These are sealed, so that they will be protected during God’s wrath, and they are not a part of the church, but are the Firstfruits of the Israelites to accept the messiah. Israelites, that are right now, believers, are part of the church, but these apparently do not believe until they see the sign of the Son of Man in the clouds. Then in verse 9, we continue.
Revelation 7:9-17: After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred's, 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...V14: ..These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb...They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more...and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
These verses are about the rapture of the true believers. Jesus sends his angels as reapers, to harvest the faithful followers just before God’s wrath is poured out, which is coming up next. When we are raptured out, we will meet the Lord in the air, and then gather around the Throne of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Matthew 24:37: But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days of Noah they were eating...until the day that Noah entered 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.
Revelation 8: And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angels hand. And the angel took the censer and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth, and there were voices, and thundering, and lightning's, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Here then begins the Day of the Lord. The silence in heaven is truly deafening. Such a silent silence, you just know that something tremendous is about to happen. The Sh** is about to hit the fan. Then God finally has had enough, and answering the prayers of the saints, begins pouring out His wrath on the wicked. The following trumpet, and bowl judgments, make the seal judgments pale in comparison. There is no mistaking “The Wrath of God”.
The comparison between these scriptures, not only proves that the church will be here during the first part of the tribulation, but also helps us to understand Revelation, and the timing of the Rapture. It should be obvious to you by now, that the signs in Matthew 24, and the breaking of the seals of the scroll of Revelation, are in fact, one and the same.
I hope that you don’t think that I have just jumped ships on a whim, with no basis for the new thoughts regarding the rapture, because I really have given it much thought. Letting God’s Word speak to me on it’s own merit and after dwelling on this for sometime and trying to get God’s Word to divulge to me the truth, this is what I have come up with.
In Revelation, God speaks to us in several timescales, he speaks to us parenthetically within a liner timeline, and refers to events in the past, present and future. God shows to John how the local churches existed in his (John’s) day, He shows us their tendencies throughout history, in order, and He shows us how the churches are in this day overall. There are attributes of the church that exists in this day and age that parallels the conditions that existed in the church that John originally wrote the letters to. There is truly one faithful church, existing among the rest, the rest of which do in fact exist in varying degrees of apostasy away from the truth. Since God speaks to us sometimes in a non-linear format, then the pre-wrath view on Revelation still makes more sense than the pre or post tribulation views.
When John is caught up in Revelation 4:1, I believe that he experienced, what we call the rapture. He sees things in heaven, the throne, the 24 elders, the beasts, and the Lamb of God. I do believe that the elders represent the 12 old testament patriarchs, and the 12 disciple/apostles. The same as the zodiac represents the 12 OT Patriarchs, the 12 Tribes of Israel, and probably also the 12 apostles, whose names are written on the New Jerusalem. So the pre-trib view seems on the surface as more accurate, since we experience the rapture before the seals are broken. But if we look at things in a non-linear format then Revelation may be speaking to us in a pre-wrath format still. When the Lamb takes the scroll, worthy of opening it, what He is taking is the title deed, the payment for the sins of the world, the writing on it is in fact the wrath of God. John see’s this, and then Jesus starts with the first seal. This is not God’s Wrath, for the souls under the altar are still wanting God to repay for the sins done to them, and he says for them to wait. This is the antichrist’s wrath, or Satan’s wrath on the earth. What Jesus could very easily be saying is this, “This first seal are things that we have gone through, this second seal is past, the third seal has been finished, the fourth, etc. Then he finished with opening up the scroll and showing John that what has been already done, is now being recompensed. Because of what you, as the church have gone through, because the number of those that have been martyred is complete, now watch what I am about to do.
So the rapture of the church, and what John experienced when he was caught up are one and the same, then Jesus breaks the seals to reveal to John the things that have to exist just prior to His return, and the seals represent the last things that the true church or God are going to go through just before the rapture occurs and God’s wrath is poured out on this ungodly world. Scripture doesn’t demand that what is shown to John is totally linear, and with this in mind the pre-wrath view still makes more sense. Also, Michael the Archangel resisted that “prince of Persia”, who would become the “prince of Grecia” in Daniels day so that Gabriel could deliver a message to him. Why wouldn’t he be used to restrain the antichrist today? Why does it have to be the Holy Spirit that restrains? It doesn’t, and when you make Michael, or another unnamed archangel the restraining force, then the pre wrath view still makes more sense. We are not appointed unto God’s wrath, that is true, but we are supposed to experience tribulation, some of it great, until the Lord as He is protecting his elect through the tribulation, takes us out of it so that God’s Wrath can be unleashed.
Now, all you pre-tribulation teachers listen. Please don’t think that I don’t get where you are coming from. I’ve been a follower of, and have taught, the pre-trib view of the rapture for about 30 years. I do get it, and I do desire for the pre-trib view to be correct, however all of your comments still don’t negate the fact that I believe the pre-wrath view as more feasible view than any other. And, yes, I may be speculating in regards to Jesus showing us the seals in Revelation as things that have just happened, with God’s Wrath, being written in the scroll, and released after we are raptured. However, are not the pre-tribbers doing the same thing with the gospels in the “Olivet Discourse” and in Paul’s letters? In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we have the same discourse given. To defend the pre-trib view, Jesus, although being asked about His return from His disciples, who were to establish the church, you must assume that Jesus is not answering them as Christians, but as the Jews left here during the tribulation. Also in all three versions, Jesus never steps on the earth, but we are gathered by angels to meet Jesus at, the last place indicated, in the air. When Paul is talking to the Christians, for the pre-trib view, you have to assume that Paul is not addressing the question posed by Christians, but whomever is left behind after the rapture. There is no indication by scripture that we should assume these things. Another curious thing, if the pre-trib view is correct, then why does Jesus tell them not to worry about what they are going to say, for the “Holy Spirit” will give them the words to say. If your restrainer is taken away, what is He doing back here influencing the words of the faithful. In the pre-wrath view, you just read the scripture as literal, and don’t have to assume anything with the exception of Jesus breaking the seals showing John what has occurred leading up to God’s wrath, as being before the rapture. This is a very feasible way to interpret these seals. And, why wouldn’t the church be oppressed by Satan, he’s been doing it since it’s inception. Satan is not stuck in heaven now, he has access to heaven, but he is the prince of the power of the air on earth now. One last thing, which is probably one of the main reasons that this pre-wrath view makes more sense to me, is that in 1986 God gave me several visions. The first ones were of the last days, and events leading up to God’s wrath. I saw stars fall, I experienced this as I was standing in my back yard. I was miraculously protected from the electrical storm, I felt my balance off as I looked into the stars and felt this earth go through a pole shift. I have been asked why I would see such things, that is if the pre-trib view is correct, and the church was raptured out by then. Being a pre-trib believer, I had no answer for them. But, now I know why God showed me this, because I will see this event. I don’t know, but if you are so sure of the pre-trib rapture, then maybe you guys will be up in heaven while I am here witnessing these things. Look, I don’t know why God showed me these things, but I do know that because of these visions, I chose to leave the organized church altogether, Dr. Scott became my mentor, my domata, and these visions put me on the course that I have been on for the last 26 years or so. I am just a guy, with only a HS education plus some technical college. I was licensed as a minister in 1994 by an old pastor in Lagrange, Ga. who ran a library. He saw the call of God on my life, and ordained me. There is no local church I could go into and be ordained, or supported, by them, especially with the subjects that I teach on. I have not been to seminary, I am not a pastor, and I have no real following with the exception of a few faithful souls that listen to me and learn from me the things that I have taught. I am just trying to spread truth to anyone who will listen, and right now in my walk, the pre-wrath view is much more believable and viable than any other view of the rapture. It just makes more sense than the other views. I don’t necessarily like it, and I understand why the pre-trib view is more appealing, for no one wants to be persecuted. Those facts do not establish the pre-trib view though, they only confirm our desire for a pre-trib rapture.
All the Jewish Feasts are Fulfilled in Christ:
Paul states that Jesus is the substance, or the type and shadow, that all the OT Feasts pointed to, and He has fulfilled several of the Feasts already. The part that I want to drive home is that he fulfilled them on the exact day of the feast. if God sticks to the plan, and uses the "Set Times" for his dealing's with this world, the remaining feasts will be fulfilled on the appropriate feast day.
Feast of Passover: Christ was our Passover Lamb- The perfect sacrifice was shown to us and instituted by Jesus himself at the Last Supper. Fulfilled on that Feast Day .
Feast of Unleavened Bread: The sacrifice was made, the price was paid. As he lay in the tomb, He became our unleavened bread. Fulfilled on that Feast Day.
Feast of Firstfruits: He was the Firstfruits of the resurrection. This was also fulfilled on that Feast Day.
Feast of Pentecost: Exactly fifty days after the resurrection, Jesus sent to us our comforter, the Holy Spirit. This also, fulfilled on that Feast Day.
Feast of Trumpets: Rosh Hashanah, the 1st day of the 1st month of the Civil year. Also the 1st day of the 7th Month of the Sacred year. (see below).
Day of Atonement: Partially fulfilled as Jesus atoned for the sins of the world, the future fulfillment will possibly be when Israel will see He whom they have pierced.
Feast of Tabernacles: Enforced by Jesus himself for one thousand years during his millennial reign.
Rosh Hashanah: The Feast of Trumpets. The ancient New Years Day. "A day of new beginnings," The Feast of the "Ingathering". The Feast of Harvest. The Wedding of the Messiah. All of the meanings associated with the Feast of Trumpets are symbolic of Christ's first and second comings. Israel blew two silver Shofar horns all day long. Silver always means redemption in God's word. Christ came once to redeem the world of sin, he comes a second time to redeem the true church, all of the true followers of Jesus to begin the Day of the Lord. An accurate study of God's word shows that Christ was born in September, not December. More accurately on the Feast of Trumpets, as the angelic beings proclaimed this age of grace saying, "Peace on earth, good will toward men."
Israel had two calendar years, a civil and a sacred year. So the Feast of Trumpets is on the first day of the first month on one calendar, and the first day of the seventh month on their other one. Here are some scriptures that show that Christ's first and second comings are seen as the "Former and Latter rain on the earth", but they are both stated that they would occur in the first month. If the writers were referring to literal “rain” on the earth, both of the rains would be in two different months, spring and fall.
Hosea 6:1-3: “Come let us return to the Lord, for he bath torn and he will heal us. He bath smitten and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us. (2000 years from birth?) In the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his sight. (during the millennial reign with Christ) Then we shall know if we follow on to the Lord, his going forth is prepared as the morning, and he shall come to us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”
Proverbs 16:15: "In the light of the King's countenance is life, and his favor is as a cloud of the Latter Rain.”
Joel 2:23: “Be glad then ye children of Zion and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he bath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you, the rain the former rain and the latter rain in the first month.”
James 5:7: “Be patient therefore brethren unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth and hath long patience for it until he receive the early and the latter rain.”
Psalms 102:13: “Thou shalt arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yea, the "Set Time" (Feast) is come.”
The rapture is always associated with a trumpet blast. I'm not trying to set a date. No man knows the day or the hour. Even now, Rosh Hashanah is not always on the new moon on our calendars. God has always used these Feasts as patterns and he will continue to do so in the future. So unless God changes his mind, which is up to him, the Rapture will take place on the Feast of Trumpets one year soon. The two prophetical days after his birth are up in 1999. The antichrist will come on the scene as a man of peace, signing a seven year peace treaty with Israel, and allowing the temple to be rebuilt and the sacrificing to commence. Exactly three and one-half years later, he will break his treaty with Israel. He will set up the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of in Daniel. He will stop the sacrificing and claim himself to be God. Then, after a time of great persecution of the Saints, God will cut that last 3 1/2 years short, and pour out his fury on the Day of the Lord. Then at the Feast of Trumpets, or maybe at a different time if God cuts that time short from the front end, Christ has his angels go and gather up the elect of God at the rapture. When God cuts that time short for the sake of the elect, because of His omniscience, He can still make it align with the feast of trumpets. We then receive our glorified bodies, and then we return for the Battle of Armageddon, watch our Lord defeat his enemies and He then sets up his kingdom on this earth. The feast of trumpets is definitely a type for the rapture of the church. The Feast of Trumpets in the next few years could very possibly see the fulfillment of prophesy regarding this Feast, and then the next Feast in line is due for fulfillment.
Some more interesting scripture regarding the rapture comes from the apocryphal book of 2 Esdras. This book was in the Septuagint version of Jesus' day and was in even the first edition of the King James. It was taken out of canon in the 1885 because of the pressure from the Puritans. Remember that the date of the writing of this book was around 556 B.C. which is important. In chapter 5 Esra begins, "Now concerning the signs; lo, the days are coming when those who inhabit the earth shall be seized with great terror, and the way of truth shall be hidden, i.e. the Rapture, and the land shall be barren of faith. unrighteousness shall be increased beyond what you yourself see, and beyond what you heard of formerly. And the land that you now see ruling shall be a trackless waste, and people shall see it desolate....",then in chap 6:18 he goes again, but from a different point of view.
"The days are coming when I draw near to visit the inhabitants of the earth, and when I require from the doers of iniquity the penalty of their iniquity, and when the humiliation of Zion is complete. When the seal is placed upon the age that is about to pass away, then I will show these signs:" Scene in Heaven at the rapture, "the books shall be opened before the face of the Firmament, and all shall see my judgment together. Children a year old shall speak with their voices, and pregnant women shall give birth to premature children at three or four months, and these shall live and leap about". Now, the scene on earth at the time of the rapture, "Sown places still suddenly appear unsown, and full storehouses shall suddenly be found to be empty, the Trumpet shall sound aloud, and when all hear it, they shall suddenly be terrified At that time friends will make war on friends like enemies, the earth and those who inhabit it shall be terrified". Here, we have the beginning of the Day of the Lord, then at the end of the Day of the Lord, when Jesus returns with us as the armies of heaven : "they shall see those who were taken up, who from their birth had not tasted death, and the heart of the earth's inhabitants shall be changed and converted to a different spirit. For evil shall be blotted out and deceit shall be quenched, faithfulness shall flourish, and corruption shall be overcome, and the Truth, which has been so long without fruit, shall be revealed".
Then in chapter 9 he explains again "Measure carefully in your mind, and when you see the that some of the predicted signs have occurred, then you will know that it is the very time when the Most High is about to visit the world that he has made. So when there shall appear in the world earthquakes, tumult of peoples, intrigues of nations wavering of leaders confusion of princes then you will know that it was of these days that the Most High spoke from the days that were of old, from the beginning"...Again Ezra pleads with the angel and he answers, Chap 13:29. "the days are coming when the Most High will deliver those who are on the earth ", The Body of Christ at the Rapture, "And bewilderment of mind shall come over those who inhabit the earth They shall plan to make war against one another, city against city, place against place, people against people, and Kingdom against Kingdom. When these things take place and the signs occur that I showed you before, then my Son will be revealed". Christ's return at Armageddon.
Then in Chap. 14: 1 1, "For the age is divided into twelve parts", Twelve thousand years, 10,000 BC, when Atlantis was destroyed and a new age began, "and nine of it's parts have already passed, as well as half the tenth part, so two of its parts remain, besides half of the tenth part". 2500 years after the angel spoke these things, the two times and other half of the tenth, are already passed The time is at hand now.
Chap. 16:74 says, "Listen, my elect ones, says the Lord, the days of tribulation are at hand, but I will deliver you FROM them. We are in the tribulation, kept or guarded by God, and then delivered by the Lord. Do not fear or doubt, for God is your guide. You who keep my commandments and precepts, says the Lord God must not let your sins weigh you down or your iniquities prevail over you
Over and over, scripture proves itself and God’s Word will not fail. It is the traditions of men that fail God, and we need to throw off all of the crap that most churches pedal as “God’s Word”, and seek truth no matter what, reread God’s Word in the light of the truths that we learn, and come to know this God we profess to love, and our most precious gift the Lord Jesus Christ. He will not give up on you, so don’t you give up on Him.
Whenever he comes, only God knows, I can only say that we are coming down to the end, and things are about to get tough on the earth. This world is heading to a final climax of the battle between good and evil, and we are going to have a front row seat. All the true followers of Jesus need to be excited and anxious for his return. There will be some that are destined for martyrdom, but many will be miraculously protected. We have no need to fear or worry for God’s Grace is Sufficient. We as the body of Christ are not appointed unto God’s wrath. But Satan hates every believer and will persecute them while he can. Cheer up Saints, it may get rough, but it is almost time for us to hear that Last Great Trump of God.
Come Lord Jesus quickly,
Patrick Robinson 3/15/95