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The Prewrath Position Teachers Manual

The Prewrath Position Teachers Manual

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Published by Mike Rogers
The Prewrath Position Teachers Manaul is designed in outline format and can be used as a study guide as well as a teaching manual. It is a systimatic outline of the Prewrath Rapture Position bring you step by step through a Biblical Exegeses of the Rapture of the Church, the Day of The Lord and the Signs associated with these events.
The Prewrath Position Teachers Manaul is designed in outline format and can be used as a study guide as well as a teaching manual. It is a systimatic outline of the Prewrath Rapture Position bring you step by step through a Biblical Exegeses of the Rapture of the Church, the Day of The Lord and the Signs associated with these events.

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Closing Stages The Prewrath Rapture Position

Teachers Manual By Michael E. Rogers
All scripture references are from the New King James Bible version unless otherwise indicated.

Copyright © 2008, Reign Scent Ministries, All rights reserved.

Reign Scent Ministries

Defining the Prewrath Rapture Views of Eschatology That’s Greek To Me The Great Persecution Cosmic Disturbance The Parousia of Jesus Christ The Day of the Lord Matthew 24 Charts Notes

1 10 15 24 34 40 50 55 60 Back of Manual

are found in the back of the teacher’s manual to give the teacher a broader understanding of the topic in discussion. These notes are not provided on the student syllabus. The notes are not exhaustive and some self study may be required on the part of the teacher. Words underlined in the teacher’s manual are provided for the teacher identifying the blank areas on the student syllabus.

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Defining The Prewrath Position
“The fact is that neither postribulationalism nor pretribulationalism is an explicit teaching of Scripture. The Bible does not in so many words state either.” Dr. John F. Walvoord; Bsac V112, #448 Oct. 1955, 303 ALLEGORICAL METHOD ~ The reader determines what Scriptures teach FACE VALUE METHOD ~ The reader discovers what Scriptures teach.

Hermeneutics

The authors of the Scripture (Paul, Peter etc.) knew the meaning of the Scripture when writing it. Our job as modern interpreters is to discern i.e. discover that meaning. KEYS TO A FACE VALUE HERMENEUTIC 1. Accept the meaning of Scripture in its most normal, natural, customary sense. 2. Take Scripture in context. a) The text meant something at the time it was written, our job is to get to that normal, natural meaning, i.e. what did the words mean at the time they were written? a) What precedes and follows is the best clue to what a particular verse or word or paragraph means. b) Consider the impact of the context. a) The compounding of the individual passages of Scripture dealing with the same subject highlights our understanding on any particular subject or text. a) Until all apparent contradictions are dispelled, truth has not been discovered. b) If there is a contradiction it is on the part of the interpreter not on the text. The Word of God has no contradictions. c) Contradictions require more time and study to discover the meaning.

3. Compare Scripture with Scripture.

4. Refute all Scriptural contradictions.

2 5. Watch for Near/Far prophetic applications in Scripture. a) Luke 21 is an example with the destruction of the temple. 1st in 70 A.D. and then when Christ comes again it will be on a much broader scale.

6. NEVER ASSUME: Assumption is the fault line of interpretation! Assumption leads to insertion. Genetics can be described as a segment of DNA that is inserted into a gene sequence, the result is cloning. A lack of understanding of any biblical text leads one to assume, which in turn channels them to insert one’s own opinion. Injecting man’s opinion into the Word of God only produces a mutated result.

7. NEVER SPIRITUALIZE OR ALLEGORIZE SCRIPTURE: Spiritualizing Scripture is simply reading into the text and then adding to it something that otherwise is not there. It's adding a spiritual meaning to the text with no biblical support. Allegorizing Scripture is giving a symbolic representation of the text. It's painting a picture, turning the text into a storyline, generalizing or giving a broad view by turning the text into a narrative account instead of a face value understanding. I. THE PREWRATH POSITION The Parousia of Christ, which begins with the translation of the Church, and finishes with God’s “Day of the Lord” wrath against the wicked (which culminates at Armageddon), will be initiated sometime after the persecution by Satan/Antichrist (which begins at the midpoint of Daniel’s Seventieth Week). Charles Cooper; Defining the Prewrath Rapture

1. PAROUSIA ~

a) The term parousia is a word that covers an entire event, i.e. a series of events. b) Parousia involves more than a single event.

1) The first parousia of Christ (2 Peter 1:16-17) involves everything from His birth to His death, burial and resurrection and ultimate ascension into heaven. 3) There is only one parousia (coming) found in Scripture, Scripture does not support the theory of Christ first coming for His saints, then coming with His saints.

2) The second parousia of Christ is an event made up of multiple events, it culminates at Armageddon but it begins with the translation of the Church to glory. It begins with the rapture of the church and ends with Christ coming with His army to put the wicked away at Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-20)

3 4) Scripture teaches one parousia that has a beginning and an end with multiple events in between.

2. THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF PREWRATH

a) The church will experience the persecution by Satan/Antichrist.

5) *The parousia is explicitly the object of the believers expectation ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; James 5:7-8; 1 John 2:28.

b) Satan will empower Antichrist who will become the instrument of the persecution of God’s elect ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:9.

3. FOUR COMPARISIONS

c) The persecution of Satan/Antichrist will be cut short by the parousia of Christ, translating the church to glory and thereby rendering Antichrist helpless ~ Matthew 24:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:8. A. The Prewrath Rapture View is a balanced and biblical synthesis of pre-, mid-, and posttribulationalism with a refinement of the timing issue that brings harmony to all the Rapture passages in question. B. The Prewrath Rapture Position reveals that the unquestionable truths of each of the three positions are kept while the errors that divide them are discarded.

C. All four tribulationial positions (Pre-trib, Mid-trib, Post-trib, Prewrath) fundamentally have one common belief, that is, the Wrath of God immediately follows the translation/rapture. D. All Rapture positions believe that the Church is to be raptured before the Wrath of God comes. 1. Pre-Tribulation Position ~ Truths with biblical support ~

E. All four positions believe that the rapture is directly related to the 70th Week of Daniel. a) The pre-trib position says they don’t know when Jesus is going to come, but when he does everything that follows is the Wrath of God. b) The question mark is based on Matthew 24:36a “Of that day and hour no one knows…” Note: It is interesting that pre-tribbers will use this verse although they say the rest of the chapter applies only to Israel ~ You can’t have it both ways. You can’t except a portion of Scripture making it pliable to the church while excluding the rest.

4 c) God has promised that the church would be evacuated from the earth before the wrath of God comes ~ 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9. 2. Mid-Tribulation Position ~ Truths with biblical support ~

d) The Prewrath Rapture Position believes that this is an explicit teaching of Scripture therefore it is included in the Prewrath Rapture View.

a. Mid-Tribulationalist believe that there is a fundamental difference between the Wrath of God and the wrath of Satan ~ Rev. 12:12. c. The Prewrath Rapture Position believes that this is an explicit teaching of Scripture therefore it is included in the Prewrath Rapture View.

b. Satan is thrown down at the mid point, empowers the antichrist, and begins the persecution of God’s elect. 3. Post-Tribulation Position ~ Truths with biblical support ~

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a. Post-Tribulationalist believe that Matthew 24:29-31 is a reference to the rapture which immediately follows the tribulation/persecution of those days. b. The Prewrath Rapture Position believes that this is an explicit teaching of Scripture therefore it is included in the Prewrath Rapture View.

4. Prewrath Rapture Position ~

A. The Four Legs of the Prewrath Position 1. 2. 3. 4. Like the Pre-Trib view, the Prewrath position believes that the Saints will not experience the eschatological Wrath of God. Like the Mid-Trib view, the Prewrath position sees a distinction between the Wrath of God and the wrath of Satan/Antichrist. Like the Post-Trib view, the Prewrath position believes that the Wrath of God will be evidenced only after the persecution of Antichrist is finished. In addition to the previous views, the Prewrath position teaches that the persecution of Antichrist will be cut short (Matthew 24:22) by removing the object (the church) of his persecution.

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B. The Five Columns of the Prewrath Position.

1. The Rapture and Day of the Lord begin at the Same Time. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-5:2; Luke 17:27,29)

2. Darkened Sun and Moon Signal’s (Sign) the Day of the Lord. (Joel 2:31; Isaiah 13:9-11; Matthew 24:29; Revelation 6:12)

3. Darkened Sun and Moon Signal’s (Sign) the Gathering of the Elect. (Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27) 4. Apostasy and Antichrist are events that precede the Rapture. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3) 5. Tribulation Martyrs are Part of the 1st Resurrection. (Revelation 20:4-6) (Christ the firstfruits 1 Cor. 15:23); (Paradise saints Matt. 27:51-53); (Rapture saints at his coming (See rapture passages); (martyred tribulation saints Rev. 20:4-6.)

7 C. Two Conditions for the Timing of the Rapture.

A. Before the wrath of God comes. B. After the persecution by Satan/Antichrist begins.

1. There is a fundamental difference between the Wrath of God and the wrath of Satan. 2. In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 these two biblical conditions are indicated. 3. The Wrath of God is the explicit biblical reference that defines the timing of the rapture. 4. The eschatological Wrath of God begins when the eschatological Day of the Lord begins. 5. There are four important clearly defined elements to the coming of God’s eschatological wrath.

a. The eschatological day of the Lord is God’s Wrath is against the wicked. 1 Thess 5:1-10 b. The eschatological day of the Lord follows the persecution by Antichrist Matt 24:29. The great tribulation is going to be cut short because God is going to evacuate the righteous and begin the punishment of the wicked Matt 24:22,30-31. c. The eschatological day of the Lord follows the beginning of the ministry of Elijah. Malachi 4:5-6

D. Sequence of Events.

E. Six Scriptural factors that the Rapture will occur after the Tribulation, but before the Day of the Lord. b. c. d. e. The TIMING of “The Day of the LORD” The CHRONOLOGY of Matthew 24 The SHORTINING of “The Great Tribulation” for the Elect (Matt. 24:22) The CONDITIONS that precede “The Day of Christ” ~ 2 Thess. 2:1-3

a) First the exploitation and persecution of the people of God. b) Then the evacuation of the people of God (Rapture). c) Then the execution of the Wrath of God against the wicked.

d. The eschatological day of the Lord follows the sign in the sun, moon, and stars. Joel 2:30-31; Matt 24:29-31; Acts 2:17-21; Revelation 6:12-17

8 f. The HARVEST of the Righteous before the Winepress of God’s Wrath (Rev. 14:14-20) g. The PEOPLE included in “The First Resurrection” (Rev. 20:4-6) A. The word “rapture” is a derivative of the Latin word “rapere”. This word occurs in the Latin translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which translates the Greek expression “caught up.” II. WHAT IS THE RAPTURE B. For key passages describing this important event.

1. Matthew 24:22, 31, 40-42 ~ The Rapture is a time when Christ will deliver His Elect saints. (The Rapture = Deliverance from Divine Wrath)

2. John 14:1-3 ~ The Rapture is a time when Christ will receive His Elect saints. (The Rapture = Reception unto Christ) 3. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 ~ The Rapture is a time when Christ will resurrect His Elect saints. (The Rapture = Transformation from corruptible mortality) 4. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ~ The Rapture is a time when Christ will reunite His Elect saints. (The Rapture = Reunion with the dead in Christ) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Watch for His coming ~ Matthew 24:42 Wait for His coming ~ 1 Corinthians 1:7 Look for His coming ~ Titus 2:13 Hope for His coming ~ 1 Peter 1:13 Love his coming ~ 2 Timothy 4:8 Be faithful until His coming ~ 1 Timothy 6:14 Remain patient until His coming ~ James 5:7-8

C. Scripture teaches that believers are to:

Early Church Fathers. Justin Martyr: (100-168) The man of apostasy (Antichrist), who speaks things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians…” (Dialogue With Trypho, 110)

9 Irenaeus: (140-202) And they (the ten kings who shall arise) shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the church to flight. (Against Heresies, V. 26) Tertullian: (150-220) “The souls of the martyrs are taught to wait (Rev. 6)...that the beast Antichrist with his false prophets may wage war on the Church of God…” (On the Resurrection of the Flesh, 25).

Hippolytus: (160-240) And when he has conquered all, he will prove himself a terrible and savage tyrant, and will cause tribulation and persecution to the saints, exalting himself against them. “And the dragon,” he says,“saw and persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child. And to the woman were given two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” 1538 That refers to the one thousand two hundred and threescore days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church.

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Views of Eschatology
I. Terminology and Definitions of Millennial Views 1. Premillennial – Face-Value hermeneutic method of interpretation. a) There will be a literal thousand year reign of Christ over a literal kingdom on earth that He will establish after the events associated with His second coming. b) Revelation chapter 20 refers no less than six times to this thousand year reign of Christ. c) Premillennialism holds that Christ will return to earth before (pre-) His thousand year (millennial) reign over the earth.

2. Amillennial – Allegorical method of interpretation.

d) Just prior to the thousand year reign of Christ there will be a seven-year period of trouble (tribulation), on earth, beginning mildly and increasing in intensity as this period progresses – Matthew 24:3-31; Daniel 11:36-12:13; Book of Revelation. a) Amillennialist believe that the thousand year kingdom would be the period of time between the first and second advents of Christ. b) The Second Coming of Christ will be a single event. Amillennialists find no scriptural basis for the dispensationalist division of the Second Coming into two phases (sometimes called the parousia and the revelation), with a seven-year period in between. Amillennialists understand Christ’s return as being a single event. c) The millennial kingdom is a spiritual kingdom – in the hearts of faithful men, not an actual literal kingdom on the earth over which Christ would one day rule. d) In the Ammillenial view the last days were no longer the last days, Israel was no longer Israel, Jerusalem was no longer Jerusalem.

e) Almillennialism teaches that the Kingdom of God will not be physically established on earth throughout the “millennium,” but rather: 1) That Jesus is presently reigning from heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father,

2) That Jesus also is and will remain with the church until the end of the world, as he promised at the Ascension,

f) Under this system of interpretation, the Bible becomes a subjective patchwork which could be made to say whatever one wanted it to say.

3. That at Pentecost, the millennium began, as is shown by Peter using the prophecies of Joel, about the coming of the kingdom, to explain what was happening, 4. And that, therefore the church and its spread of the good news is Christ's kingdom.

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g) By allegorizing the Scriptures, it allows the church to become the new Israel and, as such, acquire all of the blessings promised to the sons of Jacob while, at the same time, allocating to literal Israel all the divine cursings. h) There are two conflicting views within the Amillennial camp concerning the believers’ 1000-year reign with Christ spoken of in Revelation 20:4-6. 1. One group sees this as speaking of the intermediate state of believers between death and resurrection. It refers to “the reign of the souls of the blessed dead with Christ in the intermediate state.

5. Postmillennial – Allegorical hermeneutic method of interpretation.

a) Postmillennialist are convinced that the gospel, like leaven (yeast), would permeate the entire world. b) As the gospel has its purifying effects on men’s hearts, things will get better.

2. The second group holds that the entire church age, from the first coming of Christ until His second coming, is to be equated with the Millennium and that “the church militant on earth… is now reigning with Christ in the sense that we are now living in the midst of the millennium

c) The effect of the gospel, will bring in the millennial kingdom, then when everything was right, after a thousand years of man’s progressive improvement, Christ would return. d) Man will bring in the Kingdom through the spread of the gospel, Christ will return after (post) its universal acceptance to sit upon His throne.

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II. Terminology and Definitions of Tribulation Views a) Christ will come for His church before the seven-year tribulation period begins.

1. Pretribulation Rapture

b) The church will not experience the persecution by Antichrist during the Great Tribulation. d) The pretribulationial school of thought is that the “Antichrist” cannot be revealed until the church is raptured, then he appears on the world scene initiating the seven year tribulation by establishing a covenant with Israel. a) Christ will rapture the church in the middle of the tribulation period.

c) The rapture of the church can occur at any moment – what is referred to as imminency.

2. Midtribulation Rapture

b) The church will experience the less severe problems associated with the first half of the tribulation period.

c) The church will be raptured immediately prior to the Great Tribulation and escape the persecution of the Antichrist. 3. Posttribulation Rapture d) The wrath of God is associated only with the Great Tribulation and God’s Wrath will be triggered by the opening of the seventh trumpet judgment (Rev 11). b) The church will undergo persecution at the hands of Antichrist. a) The rapture of the saints will not occur until the very end of the 70th week of Daniel. c) The wrath of God will begin very near the end of the tribulation period and will include the bowl judgments and the battle of Armageddon. d) The Rapture is a translation of the saints to meet Christ in the air and then immediately return with Him to the earth.

14 4. Prewrath Rapture a) The Rapture of the church will occur immediately prior to the beginning of the Day of the Lord.

b) The Day of the Lord commences sometime within the second half of the seventieth week of Daniel (tribulation period). c) The Celestial Cataclysm associated with the sixth seal will signal the approach of the Day of the Lord. d) The Day of the Lord will begin with the opening of the seventh seal (Rev. 8:1). e) The church will suffer at the hands of the antichrist’s persecution which is the Great Tribulation Period – “but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” – Matthew 24:22.

I. Words associated with Christ’s Coming 1. The Parousia of Christ.

That’s Greek to Me Understanding Greek Terms

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The Greek word “Parousia” (par-oo-see-a) is an essential word to understand when studying end time prophecy, largely because the word appears in every key passage of Scripture pertaining to the rapture of the Church. The Greek word parousia is translated “coming” in our English Bibles and is the technical term signifying the second advent (coming) of Jesus Christ. An “advent” can be described as the arrival of something or someone important or expected. For example, the coming of Christmas can be described as an advent because it involves more than just Christmas day but includes the four week period leading up to Christmas, which is way we call it the Christmas season. Jesus described His second coming with the parable of the fig tree, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the doors!” ~ Matt. 24:32-33. We know that Christmas is near when we see people putting Christmas lights on their houses and trees in their windows. For weeks we see people shopping for gifts, wrapping them and putting them under the Christmas tree, all in anticipation of the arrival of Christmas day. In the same manner, the events described by Jesus in Matthew 24:3-31 will be signs, much like the fig tree putting forth its leaves of Jesus’ parousia (Second Coming). When the events described by Jesus in Matthew 24 begin to happen and we witness them first hand, then we will know that His coming is near, at the door. The Greek word parousia was also the official term used to describe the arrival of a person of high rank, especially a king. It was an arrival that included a permanent presence from that coming onward. Peter uses this word when describing his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory; “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” ~ 2 Peter 1:16-17

The first advent or (coming) of Jesus Christ was with power as He was born King and Savior. He was salvation prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of the people Israel ~ Luke 2:10-11, 29-32; Matthew 2:1-6. Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection is in the context of the Greek

word parousia and His presence as Immanuel (God with us) changed the course of history. The light of Salvation provided by His substitutionary death still burns on through the Gospel message and the existence of the Church until He returns. Upon the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, the world will be met by the continued presence of Jesus Christ as He first raptures the church and then sets in motion the Day of the Lord, or Day of God’s wrath. Parousia is a noun, which carries the sense of an active presence; it is not a verb like the Greek word erchomai (coming) which will be discussed later. The Greek noun parousia refers to Christ’s second coming as an event, not as an activity. The prewrath rapture position only sees one (single) parousia of Christ in the New Testament that includes different activities occurring after the rapture of Christ’s Elect, i.e. the Wrath of God upon the wicked who remain after the rapture, the final battle of Armageddon, the salvation of Israel, and the establishment of the Millenial kingdom of Christ. The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon describes the parousia of Christ as “the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God.” Parousia marks the end of the age (Matthew 24:3) and gives prominence to the beginning of a new era, the Day of the Lord, including Christ’s 1,000 year reign on earth. The parousia of Christ is the pivot point between the conclusion of the Church age, that is, the age of Grace and the Day of the Lord’s Wrath when God punishes the wicked with His fiery judgment. 2. Erchomai Erchomai is a verb translated (coming or comes) and is always used of persons either coming or going from one point to another. It means to make one’s appearance, to come before the public. For example, parousia is a noun and describes an event while erchomai is a verb describing the appearance and movement one makes while the event is transpiring. Let’s say your favorite musical artist is scheduled to come to your town. You buy tickets in the anticipation of attending the concert, their coming would be in the context of parousia, the concert is an event you are going to attend. It’s on the day of their arrival that they make there appearance as they come before the public to perform, this would be in the context of erchomai. A verb is a word that denotes action, the artist’s coming is seen by their appearance on stage and by their performance. Simply put, the word parousia would be the event while erchomai demonstrates the actions taken once the event takes place. Parousia and erchomai include the entire series of events of the second coming of Christ. Erchomai emphasizes Christ’s movement during those separate by related events. What is substantially important is that erchomai, which always relates to movement, is so often mentioned with Christ’s coming “in” or “with” the clouds as He descends from heaven. (Matt. 24:30; 26:64; Mark 13:26; 14:62; Luke 21:27; Rev. 1:7.)1 Erchomai marks the purpose of ones arrival and the action taken by the individual, it signifies the act rather than the arrival. The primary distinction between

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Robert Van Kampen, The Rapture Question Answered Plain and Simple; Fleming H. Revel, a division of Baker Book House Company.

parousia and erchomai is that generally, parousia will refer to the event and erchomai to someone’s movement within the event. While parousia is directly related to the event of the Rapture of the church, it is the world collectively that witnesses his erchomai (coming), as Christ descends from heaven with power and great glory. A classic example is found in Revelation 1:7 – “Behold, His is coming – (erchomai) with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so Amen.” A further study reveals that this occurs some time between the sixth and seventh seals mentioned in Revelation 6:15-17—“the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves 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 who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb” For the great day of His wrath has come (erchomai), and who is able to stand?” What is ascribed to erchomai is the purpose of Christ’s coming, first to rapture the church – Matthew 24:30-31, secondly to initiate the Day of the Lord’s Wrath – 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10, and thirdly, to establish His Millennial Kingdom – Matthew 25:31. 3. Tribulation The Greek word translated “tribulation” is thlipsis, and is described as pressure, oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, and straits. It is the same word used in both Matthew 24:9,21,29 and in Revelation 7:14 referring to the great tribulation of God’s elect that will occur in the last days by the hand of the Antichrist. Another word which is used interchangeably is “persecution” as is done in Acts 11:19 – “Now those who were scattered after the persecution-(thlipsis) that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.” This being the case, it is not a violation to the Word of God to identify the “great tribulation” as the “great persecution” considering how the word thlipsis is used and it’s association to the context of Matthew chapter 24. The hour of testing – (peiramos: Rev. 3:10; 2 Peter 2:9) which is about to come upon the whole world can be identified as the Great Tribulation when studied in the context of Rev. 2:10 in the letter to the church of Smyrna. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested (peiramos), and you will have tribulation – (thlipsis) ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

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John was recording both present and future events, future events that would climax this present age. The seven churches of Revelation chapters 2-3 are representative of all churches of that time, as well as churches in all subsequent generations. The letters to the seven churches gives insight as to where they stand spiritually before the Lord. A prophetic application is given to the letters, the seven churches presented in John’s day describe the church age culminating with the end as described in Matthew chapter 24. The time of tribulation is not a persecution against the world in general, but a time of

4. The Rapture

The English word rapture comes from the Latin word raptus which in the Latin Bible is a translation of the Greek word harpazo. Our English Bibles translates the Greek word harpazo as “caught up.” So again, we use a generic term “rapture” to describe the Greek word “harpazo” translated as “caught up.” Harpazo means, “to snatch or catch away” and is used in Acts 8:39 when “the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away…But Philip was found at Azotus.” Another example given us in scripture is when Paul was “caught up” to paradise, into the third heaven - 2 Cor. 12:2, 4. Considering both texts just quoted, when Christ raptures the church it will be more than just a snatching away, it will be a transferring from one place to another. The model text used in the Bible is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.

persecution targeted specifically against the Nation of Israel, the elect of God (church), and any others who refuse to worship the Antichrist and receive his mark. The seven year tribulation period is a generic term that pretribulationist use to describe what the Word of God calls “the seventieth week” – Daniel 9:24-27. To call the entire seventieth week of Daniel “the tribulation period” is unwarranted and unbiblical. The seventieth week of Daniel is broken down into three parts – The first three and one half years is noted in Matthew 24:4-8 as the beginning of sorrows. It is initiated when Antichrist signs a covenant to protect Israel – Daniel 9:27. What marks the first half of Daniels seventieth week is the first three seals of Revelation 6:1-6. In the middle of the seventieth week of Daniel, Antichrist brake’s the covenant with Israel which initiates a period of severe persecution. It is the event known as the abomination of desolation – Daniel 9:27; 11:31; Matthew 24:15. The second part should be identified as the “great persecution” – (tribulation) played out by the opening of the forth and fifth seals of Revelation 6:7-11. This persecution will be unparallel to any in the history of the world. It will be of epic proportion for the Great Tribulation will be a global event. Matthew 24:9 – “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” I want you to get this, it’s important, after the beginning of sorrows mentioned in verse 8, “they will deliver you up to “TRIBULATION/ PERSECUTION”. You will be hated by ALL NATIONS, it doesn’t say some nations but all nations, the question is, why? The answer; “for my name’s sake.” Anyone claiming the name of Jesus will be marked for death, world wide. This brings up another question, who is it that professes the name of Jesus? It is the church, not Israel, who adheres to the name of Jesus. Point taken! One more point, to exclude the church as the “elect of God” – Matthew 24:21-22 and apply the Olivet Discourse to Israel only is just bad theology. But don’t just take my word for it, study Romans chapter 11 out. The third part of Daniels seventieth week is identified by scripture as the “Day of the Lord.” After the tribulation, signs in the sun, moon and stars will be manifest initiating the parousia (coming) of Christ to deliver/rapture his church. This is seen in the opening of the sixth seal of Revelation 6:12-17. This event cuts short the great tribulation by his appearing – Matthew 24:22 leading right into the day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is the final execution of God’s wrath beginning with the opening of the seventh seal of Revelation 8:1.

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19 “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

As Philip was translated or snatched away by the Spirit and moved to Azotus, and as Paul was caught up into the third heaven, the church will be snatched from the earth and translated into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. In the line of reasoning, and for the sake of argument, it is important to look at the central theme of this passage. In the heart of our rapture passage is the parousia of Christ in Vs. 15. Parousia is the keystone on which all rapture passages are built upon. In Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians he summarize the parousia of Christ and its correlation to the rapture of the Church. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 Now brethren, concerning the coming – “parousia” of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together – “episynagoge” to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

This is a critical passage to understand as it parallels Matthew 24:31 and uses the exact same language to describe Christ’s second coming to gather together His elect from one end of heaven to the other. The Greek word episynagoge “gathering together” is from the root of episunago. Both refer to an assembly, to gather together besides ones self, to bring together to others already assembled. What is important about these two words is the Greek preposition “epi” that comes before synagoge and sunago. The preposition “epi” gives direction to the assembly for “epi” means “on or upon” just as epidermis refers to the top layer of one’s skin. When this preposition is added to the verb sunago or to the noun synagoge, it gives an upward direction to the gathering. 2 When both Jesus and Paul used these words they were referring to the rapture of the church, “a gathering together in an upward direction,” that is “a taking up and assembling together in one place.” Paul built upon what he had written to the Thessalonians in his first letter concerning the Coming of Jesus Christ to remove the church by way of rapture. In his second letter he gives more of a background as to what will be happening when Christ returns. Paul expounded that Christ’s Coming to gather the church to Himself would not materialize until certain events came to pass, that is, first there would be “the falling away”
2

Robert Van Kampen, The Rapture Question Answered Plain and Simple; Fleming H. Revel, a division of Baker Book House Company.

– 2 Thess. 2:3, and secondly the man of sin (antichrist) would be revealed which is indicated by the Abomination of Desolation – 2 Thess. 2:4. This is exactly what Jesus told his disciples in the Olivet Discourse when they would see the Abomination of Desolation standing in the holy place. – Matthew 24:15. It is this event, “the Abomination of Desolation” that ignites the Great Persecution of both Israel and the Church as Antichrist blasphemies’ God, erects his image in the temple, declares himself God, demands the worship of the world, and persecutes God’s elect. – Matthew 24:15-22; Revelaton 7:13-14; 12:12-17; 13:4-9; 17:6; Daniel 7:21-22,25. If you follow Jesus’ thought in Matthew 24, the great persecution will be amputated (cut short) by the parousia of Christ to deliver the elect out from the midst of persecution, at which time Christ will send His angels upon his decent from heaven to gather together His elect from one end of heaven to the other – Matthew 24:22-31. Below is a chart with all the corresponding words and verses in the New Testament that are associated with the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Four words referring to the same event are listed, Revelation, Presence, Appearing, and Coming. However, there are two Greek words correlating the Coming of Jesus Christ, parousia a Greek noun and erchomai a Greek verb. The Second Advent of Jesus Christ will occur at the end of this present age with the physical return of Jesus Christ having the specific purpose of removing the church from the earth. The Day of the Lord’s Wrath upon the world will be inaugurated by the removal of the Church from the earth ending with the battle of Armageddon, the salvation of Israel and the beginning of the Millennial Reign of Christ.

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The Great Persecution
I. TRIBULATION A. The Greek word translated “tribulation” is thlipsis, and is described as pressure, oppression, affliction, trouble, persecution, distress, and dire straits. It is the same word used in both Matthew 24:9,21,29 and in Revelation 2:22; 7:14 referring to the great tribulation. Lamentations 1:3 Judah has gone into captivity, Under affliction and hard servitude; She dwells among the nations, She finds no rest; All her persecutors overtake her in dire straits.

B. The Hebrew word most commonly translated as tribulation in the Eng. Bible is ṣārā. The root meaning is ‘narrow’ or ‘compressed’ from which arises the figurative sense of straitened circumstances. The Septuagint (Gk. Version of OT) uses thlipsis to translate all the Hebrew terms within this area of meaning. The basic idea here is ‘severe constriction’, ‘narrowing’ or ‘pressing together’ (as of grapes) 3 1. The greatest bulk of biblical passages dealing with tribulation are to sufferings endured by the people of God. Acts 14:21-22 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

2. The tribulation of Christ is the pattern and norm for the experience of the Christian community. Tribulation is therefore inevitable and to be anticipated: (Mt. 13:21 ; Jn. 16:33 ; Acts 14:22 ; Rom. 8:35 ; 12:12 ; 1 Thes. 3:3; 2 Thes. 1:4 ; Rev. 1:9).

3. The tribulations of the people of God are a participation in the sufferings of Christ ~(Col. 1:24 ; 2 Cor. 1:5; 4:10; Phil. 3:10; 1 Pet. 4:13 ).
Eng. English 3 Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H. 1996. New Bible dictionary (3rd ed. /) . InterVarsity Press: Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill.

4. The tribulations of the people of God are active in promoting their moral transformation into the likeness of Christ ~ (Rom. 5:3; 2 Cor. 3:18 with 4:8–12,16). 5. The tribulations of the people of God are eschatological, it is a specific period of time pertaining to the Wrath of Satan/Man ~(Matt. 24:9-14; Rev. 1:9; 7:14). 6. An intensification of this tribulation precedes the return of Christ ~ (Matt. 24:21,2731; Mark 13:19,24-27; 2 Thess. 1:5-6; 2 Tim. 3:1). Now those who were scattered after the persecution (thlipsis) that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.

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C. A word used interchangeably to describe tribulation is “persecution” as is done in Acts 11:19.

1. Considering how the word thlipsis is used and its association to the context of Matthew chapter 24, it is not a violation to the Word of God to identify the “great tribulation” as the “great persecution.” a) Matthew 24:9 ~ Christians will be handed over to the authorities and be (thlipsis) persecuted and hated for Jesus’ name sake. b) Matthew 24:10 ~ The “many” who will be offended are so because of the name of Jesus vs. 9. These are those professing faith in Christ but are deceived vs.11, their professed love will diminish. The presence of false prophets and the fading away of the agape love of God place’s this betrayal within the religious community, the church.

2. Tribulation/persecution is a major theme in the Olivet Discourse vs. 9,21,29, having a beginning vs.9, intensifying with the Abomination of Desolation vs. 15,21, and an abrupt end vs. 22 as a Celestial Cataclysmic sign is given announcing the return of Jesus Christ vs. 29-30. 3. The time of great tribulation is not a time of persecution against the world in general, but a time of persecution targeted specifically against the elect (church) of God. a) Those betrayed because of the name of Jesus are admonished to endure to the end with the promise of deliverance ~ Matthew 24:13,29-31; Rev. 12:9-13:10. 1) b) The outline Jesus gives His disciples of this intense time is “beginning birth pangs” vs. 4-8, the “hard labor” that follows (persecution) vs. 9-12, followed by “deliverance” (Rapture) vs. 13-14.

For Israel this time of intense suffering is referred to by Jeremiah as “Jacob’s trouble” ~ (Jer. 30:7)

24 2) 3) For the Elect of God (the church), this time of intense suffering is referred to by Jesus as “Great Tribulation/Persecution” ~ Matt. 24:9,21,29.

The “Elect” of God are faced with betrayal, hate, deception, death, imprisonment, and persecution.

The source of the believers endurance and victory in this time of Great Persecution/tribulation is: 4. In the verses above, the “word of Christ’s perseverance” (3:10) is directly associated with the “perseverance of the saints” (13:10 and 14:12) during the persecution at the hands of Antichrist (13:7 and 14:9). 1. The blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony ~ Rev. 12:11 2. The keeping of God’s commandments and possession of the testimony of Jesus Christ ~ Rev. 12:17 (See Rev. 6:9)

The time of Great Persecution against the elect of God is described by John in the Revelation as “the patience and the faith of saints” ~ Rev. 13:7,10; 14:9-10,12. This time of Great Persecution is also identified by John as the “hour of trial/test” ~ Rev. 2:10; 3:10. (See also 2 Peter 2:9)

II. SATAN’S WRATH

1. The time of testing refers specifically to that time associated with Antichrist’s persecution; the time of Satan’s wrath is distinctive in its self and should never be confused with the Wrath of God. 2. The wrath of Satan will be against the righteous children of God, when his minion, Antichrist, “exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God” ~ 2 Thess. 2:4 3. Antichrist’s persecution will be against the elect of God (Matt 24:21-22), against His saints (Rev. 13:7), against those “who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 12:17). a) In reference to Satan’s wrath (Rev. 12:12) he comes having great wrath followed by persecution (Rev. 12:13-17). b) In reference to Antichrist, who’s coming is according to the working of Satan (2 Thess. 2:9), his coming is followed by the persecution of the saints of God (Rev. 13:7 and 14:9,12-13). c) Revelation 3:10 ~ Test (peirasmos) means “a putting to the proof,” either for good or for evil.

d) When compared to other biblical passages the “hour of testing” cannot refer to the wrath of God but to the wrath of Satan. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt any one. ~ James 1:13 1) The Greek word for “tempted” is peirazo and comes from the same root peira, as does the noun peirasmos, translated “testing” in Rev. 3:10. 2) If God does not tempt (peirazo), the “hour of testing” (peirasmos) cannot be the wrath of God. 3) It is established by Scripture that “testing” (peirasmos) originates from Satan.
Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested (peirazo), and you will have tribulation ten days. ~ Rev. 2:10 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted (peirazo) you, and our labor might be in vain. ~ 1 Thess. 3:5

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4) Every form of the word tempt in the verses above comes from the root 5) The wrath of Satan occurs when Satan gives his authority and power to

Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt (peirazo) you because of your lack of self-control. ~ 1 Cor. 7:5

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (peirazo) by the devil. ~ Matthew 4:1 peirazo, which is derived from the same root word as peirasmos.

4. “Will keep you from” (Rev. 3:10) translates a form of the verb tereo, which is translated “keep you” meaning “to watch over, guard, or keep.” It carries the idea of protecting someone within the sphere of danger, not that of keeping him away from danger. 5. The Greek preposition ek is translated “from” speaking of deliverance out from within this sphere of danger.
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Antichrist at the midpoint of the seventieth week of Daniel, at which time the world will be made to choose whom they will serve (the test). ~ Rev. 12:12; 13:4,5,74

Robert Van Kampen, The Rapture Question Answerd Plain and Simple 1997 pp.175

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The line representing the preposition ek begins inside the circle and comes out of it, representing something that comes “out from the midst of.” If something is to come out of something, ek is the Greek preposition normally used. Rev. 3:10 “apo” means “kept out side of, or away from”

“epi” upon
Out side of

“apo”

“ ek”
out from “eis”

into
“en” inside

The line on the chart describing apo is alongside the circle but never enters it. If something is to be kept from something else, apo is normally the Greek preposition used. 1 Thess. 1:10

“Because you have kept My commandment to persevere, I also will keep you from (ek) the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Revelation 3:10

Each line represents a Greek preposition and how it is related to the Greek noun

If the circle represents God’s wrath the believer is kept from (apo), that is kept away or out side of God’s wrath. If the circle represents trial as in Rev. 3:10 the believer is then (tereo ek), guarded and protected while within the sphere of danger, then brought safely out from the midst of that danger.

“And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from (apo) the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10

III. The Woman, her Child and her offspring.

A. The episode here in Revelation 12 & 13 describes the persecution of the Nation Israel and the elect Church by Satan and the beast (Antichrist). C. The symbolism depicted in chapter twelve is interpreted for us by the context.

B. Genesis 37:9 implies that the woman represents the Nation of Israel. Rev. 12:5 informs us that the woman gives birth to Christ, and this symbolism points again to Israel ( Rom. 1:3 ; 9:4–5 ). 1. The Woman ~ symbolizes the remnant of Old Covenant Israel through whom the Messiah came forth (Gen. 37:9; Isa. 7:14; 26:17-18; 49:1-13; 66:7; Rev. 12:45)

a) The sun, moon and stars represent the twelve tribes of Israel ~ Gen. 37:9. b)

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c) There is a gap of at least 33 years between the first and second sentence of verse 5. Verse five centers on the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ climaxing with his ascension to the right hand of God.

The labor pains pictures Israel’s agony throughout history and her birthing Jesus Christ.

d) Between the fifth and sixth verse we have the entire church age up to the Great Tribulation. 2. The Child ~ The Child is Christ who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron (Ps. 2:9; Rev. 19:15). The Child was caught up to God and His throne 12:4-5.

e) Resuming from verse 6, verses 13-17 portrays the women (Israel) fleeing persecution where she finds help and protection for the last 3 ½ years of Daniels Seventieth week. Ezek. 20:34-35; Isa. 16:1-4; Obad. 12-15

3. The Dragon ~ of verse 3 is identified in verse 9 as “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan.

a) We are enabled to see the reality and meaning of the events described in chapter twelve in our historical experience, such as the birth of the Messiah, together with Satan’s continuous attempts to destroy Him before He completed His redemptive work, and His exaltation. ~ Rev. 12:4-5; Matthew 2:1-18; Luke 4:1-13. b) Jesus Christ was sent to shepherd with a rod of iron, a symbol of firmness, by not cruelty ~ Psalms 2:7-9; Dan. 7:13-14; Rev. 11:15; 12:5,10; 19:15. a) The expulsion of Satan and his angels from heaven provides the timing this event, placing it in the middle of Daniels Seventieth Week by the presence of Michael the archangel ~ Revelation 12:7-12; Dan. 12:1; 2 Thess. 2:6-7. c) Michael has a unique place in the destiny of national Israel, he is known as the chief prince who guards and protects God’s people ~ Dan. 10:10-14; 12:1.

b) The color red is associated with death (Rev. 6:4) and Satan is a murderer (John 8:44). The heads, horns, and crowns will appear again in Revelation 13:1 and 17:3. The heads represent mountains (Rev. 17:9), and the horns represent kings (Rev. 17:12).5 d) When comparing Revelation 12: 7 with Daniel 12:1 and 2 Thess. 2:6-7 it is evident that Michael is the restrainer who removes his protection allowing
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Wiersbe, W. W. 1996, c1989. The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"--Jkt. Victor Books: Wheaton, Ill.

4. The offspring ~ of verse 17 can only be identified as the Church, the body of Christ, who keeps the commandments of God and has the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Satan and his minion antichrist unhindered access to God’s people to test them through persecution, thus, the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

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a) The offspring of Israel (the remnant of her seed KJV) is distinct from the women herself and cannot be Israel, but is an offshoot identified by Scripture as the church (elect/saints) of God, both Jew and Gentile. Daniel 7:21-22

b) When the women (Israel) escapes into the wilderness, Satan rages (12:17) with a desire for revenge. The focus then shifts from Israel to her offspring executed by the antichrist as he makes war with the saints ~ Rev. 12:1713:10. I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.

D. The remnant of her seed/Offspring, can be established by Scripture as “Spiritual Israel, or, the Israel of God ~ Galatians 6:14-16. 1. Not all who draw their bodily descent from Israel are true Israelites, the true Jew are those whom God pronounces to be Israelites and has chosen to salvation. Romans 2:28-29
Old Covenant

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter whose praise is not from men but from God. Romans 4:16
New Covenant

Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. Romans 9:6-8

29 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but “In Issac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. Galatians 3:16,29

2. All true believers in Christ are the Israel of God, offspring of the Natural through whom the promises came.

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, and to seeds, as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ…And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

3. Because Scripture uses the language “the remnant of her seed/rest of her offspring” is because at this point in time of the Great Tribulation the Church in general has experienced “the Apostasy” leaving only the true bond servants of Christ constituting the true Church ~ Matt. 24:9-12; 2 Thess. 2:3. IV. The Natural and Wild Olive Tree. A. The Greek word for “remnant” in Revelation 12:17 is loipoy meaning “remaining, or, ‘the rest’.” In Romans 11:5 dealing with the “remnant according to the election of grace” the Greek word is leimma (lime-mah) meaning “a remnant.” Both Greek words are from the root of leipo meaning to leave behind. B. The connection between these two words strongly suggest that Revelation 12:17 and Romans 11:5 are referring to the same people. Revelation 12:17 identifies them as those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Romans 11:5 identifies them as those who are the “election of grace.” The word “of” is a function word to indicate their origin such as, “a man of noble birth.” There origin is from grace, not the works of the law vs.6. It is unmistakable that these Jews mentioned in Romans 11:5 constitutes the church ~ Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 1:16. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 1. Concerning the word "remnant," the subsidiary reference says "offspring." This is being used in the same sense as the woman giving birth to the Christ child. As Christ is born of Israel and is her offspring, so too, is the Church.

30 Ephesians 2:8-9

C. The natural Olive Tree in Romans 11 is a representation of the Nation of Israel. That Israel rejected her Messiah the nation has been left partially blinded ~ Rom 11:7,25; 2 Cor. 13:13-16.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

D. Any Jew or Gentile who receives Jesus Christ by faith is “the remnant according to the election of grace.” ~ Romans 11:11-16.
(The Gentile Believer) being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree” ~ Romans 11:17-19.

E. Observing the Olive Tree, the “part” that is in blindness has been “broken off, and you 1. The New Testament Church has been “birthed” from Israel. Israel is the national avenue by which the messianic blessing has come to mankind ~ Romans 9:4-5; 11:17 1. The purpose and program of God in this dispensation is the calling out from among Jew and Gentile a people for His name, the New Testament Church ~ Eph. 1:22-23; Acts 15:14.

F. The Olive Tree consisting of both the natural and wild olive branches constitutes the CHURCH and ELECT of God. G. National Israel, “the part which was broken off” will again be grafted in completing the kingdom of God at the end of Daniels Seventieth Week, after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in ~ Romans 11:25-27.

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Cosmic Disturbance
I. Defining The Cosmic Disturbance A. The cosmic disturbance described by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse is essential to the Great Tribulation and the parousia of the Lord Jesus Christ ~ Matt 24:29-30. C. The cosmic disturbance serves as an announcement to the world that God's Day of Wrath has come. D. The cosmic disturbance is a motif, a recurring theme in both the Old and New Testaments which provides valuable information regarding the Day of the Lord's wrath and the timing of the Rapture.

B. The cosmic disturbance stands as the water shed between the Great Tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ to rapture the church.

E. Sequential information is given when tracing key cosmic disturbance text, giving a clear picture of the end of the age, the return of Christ to deliver the elect, and the Day of the Lord. II. Describing The Cosmic Disturbance Joel 2:30-31 1. The Cosmic Disturbance precedes the Day of the Lord.

a) Our texts above place the cosmic disturbance BEFORE the Day of the Lord's Wrath. c) In this case, the eschatological Day of the Lord is contingent upon the cosmic disturbance.

"And I will show 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 coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD."

b) The word “before” is a spatial extension, a “marker,” it is the means by which one event makes another event possible. d) The word "before" represents the “front side” of God's approaching judgment, but the cosmic disturbance itself is not part of the eschatological Wrath of God.

2. The Cosmic Disturbance is Post-Tribulational Matthew 24:29

e) A “marker” serves as a sign that indicates the position or presence of something. Thus, the cosmic disturbance is the sign of God’s approaching wrath.

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a) That the cosmic disturbance occurs after the tribulation does not imply nor does it place this event at the end of the 70th week of Daniel. b) Matthew 24:21-22 reveals that the persecution at the hand of Antichrist is “cut short,” by the appearing of Christ’s parousia (vs. 27-28, 30-31). It is the great tribulation which is cut short, not the 70th week. c) The word "after" is a marker of association, again, the cosmic disturbance is a sign associated with (1) the parousia of Christ to rapture the church (Matt 24:2931), and (2) the initiation of the eschatological Day of the Lord (Matt 24:37-39). d) The Greek word for “then” ~ Vs. 30” is tote, which is a demonstrative adverb of time, meaning “at that time,” and is used of consequent events. The sign of the Son of Man appearing in heaven is the result or effect of the event which precedes it, in this case, the cosmic disturbance. 3. The Timing of The Cosmic Disturbance Revelation 6:12-17 e) The parousia of Christ (when Jesus comes to deliver the righteous and judge the wicked in the Day of the Lord), is contingent upon the cosmic disturbance.

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken."

"I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves 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 who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb? For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

A. When the sixth seal is opened several climatic events take place.

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B. As it has been already established, the eschatological Day of the Lord does not occur until after the cosmic disturbance, the sixth seal provides the timing to the Day of Lord’s Wrath placing it after the tribulation seen in the forth and fifth seals. Revelation 1:7

1. There is a "great earthquake," so large that every mountain and island is moved out of its place. This is a great shaking, not of a continent but of the entire earth. 2. The sun becomes blackened. 3. The moon becomes like blood. 4. The stars fall to the earth (possibly meteors or asteroids). 5. The sky recedes like a scroll. (Some contest this is nuclear). 6. Notice what the world will do as a response to this climatic event. They hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, why? For the great day of His (God's) wrath has come.

C. The response of the world in relationship to the cosmic disturbance is described in several other cosmic disturbance texts. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. Matthew 24:30 Luke 21:25-28 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars, and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up you heads, because your redemption draws near.

D. The cosmic disturbance is distinct and undeniable in itself. It will be strong enough, large enough, and definitive enough to be noticed by the entire world.

E. There are seven passages of Scripture that converge on common ground that the cosmic disturbance is the precursor to the Day of the Lord and conforms seamlessly with the chronology of Matthew 24—Isa. 13:10; Exek. 32:7-8; Joel 2:31; Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24-25; Luke 21:25; Acts 2:16-20.

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III. Evidence That Demands The Verdict

A. The first three seals of Revelation 6 illustrates the rise of Antichrist to world domination.

1. The first seal depicts antichrist as a conqueror through political and religious alliances. Here he makes his appearance on the world scene as deceiver ~ Rev. 6:16; 17:3-13

B. The forth seals marks the middle of the 70th week of Daniel, the rise of antichrist climax’s as he usurps authority over the nations, exalts himself in the place of God, is empowered by Satan, and begins his persecution of the elect/saints of God. Here he becomes a dictator ~ Rev. 6:7-8; 12:17; 13:5-10; 2 Thess. 2:3-4; Matt. 24:9,15,21-22. C. The fifth seal initiates a series of seals that are unlike the first four.

2. The second seal depicts antichrist as a military strategist through his ten nation alliance taking peace from the earth. Here he becomes a destroyer ~ Rev. 6:3-4. 3. The third seal depicts antichrist as an economic power where he is either in control of the world economy, disrupts it, or both ~ Rev. 6:5-6.

1. The relationship between the fifth, sixth, and seventh seal’s is the wrath of God:

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2. The timing and the nature of the fifth and sixth seal agree perfectly with our Lord's teaching: the persecution and martyrdom of believers will be followed by the Cosmic Disturbances.

a) The fifth seal demands it; the sixth seal announces it; and the seventh seal depicts it.6

D. Before the seventh seal is broken that contains the systematic wrath of God, Revelation 7 provides us with an interlude between the sixth and seventh seal being broken. 1. In this interlude there are two groups of people in view: a group of 144,000 Jews who are sealed on earth (Rev. 7:1-8), and the second group are a multitude of believers in heaven who are from every nation and have come out of the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:9-17).

3. In the fifth seal the martyred saints still see the wrath of God as future. In fact, they are told to wait a little longer because more persecution of believers is yet to come. 4. In the sixth seal the response of the ungodly unmistakably indicates that the wrath of God is impending with the precursor of his wrath being the Cosmic Disturbance.

2. The statement, "these are they who have come out of the great tribulation" (vs. 14) is consistent with Jesus' teaching in Matthew 24 in which the deliverance of the saints from the Great Tribulation will take place at the Cosmic Disturbances when our Lord returns. E. The first six seals are not God's wrath but forerunners to the Day of the Lord. 3. There has been some question to whether the rapture saints are in view here or the resurrected dead in Christ, or both. This does not present a problem given that both the resurrection and the rapture occur back-to-back at his Coming (1Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52).

1. The Cosmic Disturbances of the sixth seal announce God's wrath upon the ungodly, "The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD." (Joel 2:31) 2. Both the responses from the martyrs in the fifth seal and the ungodly in the sixth seal reveal that God's wrath is soon to come--they have not viewed it already in the past, but future. 3. The fact that there are two groups of people, one group being sealed and the other delivered, just before the seventh seal suggests strongly that they are being sealed and delivered from something looming that will come upon the whole world.

6

(Sola Scriptura, Revelation Commentary).

4. The nature of the events in the first four seals are "natural" (but intense) catastrophes (wars, famines, etc.) carried out by "horsemen." This is in contrast to when the seventh seal (supernatural contents) is opened up and the unmistakable wrath of God is mediated directly by angels via the trumpet and bowl judgments against the ungodly. 5. The fifth seal is not God's wrath because it specifically speaks of the martyrdom of believers. And since believers are promised protection from the Day of the Lord's wrath, to argue that the fifth seal is God's wrath is contradictory. 6. When the seventh seal is opened, immediately it says that there was silence in heaven for about a half an hour. The most plausible explanation for this silence is for all the members of the heavenly court to observe the grave and profound significance of the event that is to follow: The Eschatological Day of the Lord's wrath. Immediately after this silence it says, "Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came pearls of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake."7

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7

The majority of the outline in this chapter is from articles written by Alan Kurschner with written permission. For more info visit www.prewrath rapture Dot Com

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6
The Parousia of Christ
I. Defining the parousia of Christ “The parousia of Christ is the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God.”8

A. The Greek noun parousia (translated “coming”) has the primary meaning of ‘presence,’ and often the derived connotations ‘coming or advent’—that is, of becoming present by ones arrival or appearance. B. The Greek noun parousia is used twenty four times in the New Testament. 1. Out of the twenty four times it is used, sixteen times the word is used as a direct reference to the Second Coming (Advent) of Jesus Christ. b)

a) Six times parousia is explicitly the object of the believers expectation ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 5:25; James 5:7-8; 1 John 2:28. c) Six times parousia is used and is unrelated to eschatology ~ 1 Cor. 16:17; 2 Cor. 7:6,7; 10:10; Phil 1:26; 2:12. Ten times parousia refers to the Second Advent of Christ and the events surrounding his coming i.e., to deliver the elect and judge the wicked ~ Matt. 24:3,27,37,39; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 4:13; 2 Thess. 2:1,8; 2 Peter 3:4,12

C. The "rapture" of the church and the second "advent" of Christ are not two different and unrelated events, but is one event covering a series of events.

d) Once parousia is used of the First Advent of Christ, His birth, ministry/life, death, resurrection and ascension ~ 1 Peter 1:16. e) Once parousia is used of the presence of Antichrist ~ 2 Thess. 2:9.

D. The parousia (coming) is a biblically precise (technical) term that in each and every usage concerning Christ's return, is referring to a general time span that is initiated by the rapture of the church, through to and including the final event of Christ's coming, the battle of Armageddon.
8

The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon

1. The Parousia of the Lord Jesus is a period with a beginning (rapture), a course (Day of the Lord), and a conclusion (Armageddon).9

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9

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. 1996. Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words . T. Nelson: Nashville

E. The New Testament writers including Jesus understood that the "Day of the Lord" and the "Coming" (Parousia) denoted the same events at Christ's Return

2. As a technical term, parousia would represent a multifaceted event each time beginning with the rapture of the church. Each passage containing the word “parousia” must be evaluated in light of this context.

(deliverance of the godly and judgment of the ungodly.) The two terms often emphasize different aspects of Christ's Return -- "Coming" with deliverance, and "Day of the Lord" with the judgment aspect.10 1. Peter provides us with an excellent example in which he freely interchanges these two terms denoting the same event of the conflagration of creation: But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming (parousia) of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat. 2Pet 3:10-12

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II. Evidence That Demands The Verdict

A. The Prewrath Rapture Position maintains that the Parousia of Christ begins with the translation of the righteous and is followed by the judgment of the wicked.

B. Since Parousia is an event covering a period of time, having a beginning, a course, and an end, each passage dealing with “parousia” must be evaluated in light of this perspective.

1. Rapture Then Wrath
1st) 1 Corinthians 15:23 Next phase of the first resurrection, Christ the firstfruits, who are Christ’s at His coming (parousia). RAPTURE 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 afterward those

2nd) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

“Then comes the end,” Christ puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. His last enemy to be destroyed is death. WRATH This is the classic rapture passage detailing the resurrection of the dead and translation of the living. RAPTURE

10

Alan Kurschner: Prewrath Rapture Dot Com

3rd) 2 Thessalonians 1:7

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3,9

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The Day of the Lord comes upon the wicked remaining suddenly and unexpected. WRATH 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10

The believer is promised rest when Christ is “revealed from heaven with His mighty angels.” RAPTURE The vengeance of Christ follows with flaming fire against those who do not know God nor obeys the gospel message. WRATH The believer is gathered together to Christ at His parousia. RAPTURE 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 ~

4th)

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2

5th)

2 Peter 2:9

The “Day of Christ” will not come unless 1. The Apostasy (of the church in general) comes first and 2. The revealing of Antichrist, this occurs in the middle of the 70th week placing the parousia vs. 8 after the Abomination of Desolation. WRATH

6th)

2 Peter 3:10-12 ~

The contrast of deliverance of the godly and punishment for the day of judgment of the wicked again flows with the theme. RAPTURE THEN WRATH.

7th) Matthew 24:27-31

The text strongly suggest that the believer is present up to the day of the Lord but removed prior to it, “looking for and hastening the coming (parousia) of the day of God. RAPTURE THEN WRATH In verse 27 & 28 Jesus describes His parousia first as lightning flashing from east to west, then secondly, a “gathering together” as eagles are gather to the corpse of a dead animal. Verses 29-31 give a chronological description of 1. the end of the great tribulation (cut short vs. 22), 2. of the cosmic disturbance announcing the approaching Wrath of God, 3. the coming of Christ to deliver/rapture the church. RAPTURE

Matthew 24:37-39

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Here Jesus describes His parousia as sudden and unexpected, with judgment, as in the days of Noah, as in the days before the flood. Because the parousia of Christ begins with the rapture, what we see here is the course (the progression and development of his parousia after the rapture) the Day of the Lord’s Wrath.

2. Sufficient ground of Parousia
Source of the Resurrection

2 Peter 2:4-9 describes the same detailed sequence.

1 Corinthians 15:22-23 (written A.D. 56)

A. Paul gives the infallible proof of Christ’s resurrection by the fact he had been seen by Cephas, the twelve disciples, over five hundred brethren, by James, by all the apostles, and by Paul himself ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. a) Paul lays a foundation by reiterating the role of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ in the gospel message and in his own conversion ~ vs. 3-4. b) The gospel is more than just the forgiveness of sin, it includes Christ’s resurrection as the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” ~ vs. 20,23.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order, Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (parousia).

B. Christ is the “firstfruits” of the resurrection which will bring about a sequence of resurrections, with the last and final resurrection abolishing death ~ vs. 26. 1) First Stage: associated with the “firstfruits” of Christ’s resurrection includes the resurrection of the Old Testament Saints who were given physical bodies ~ Matt. 27:50-53; Eph. 4:8.

c) The resurrection is a present possession rather than a future hope ~ Eph. 1:13. d) The resurrection of the dead and living at Christ’s return is consistent with Christ’s resurrection, it is an assurance to the believer which emerges out of His resurrection.

a) Scripture validates that the “resurrection of life” involves several stages (identified as the first resurrection Rev. 20:4-5), to the general resurrection of all believers “unto life.”

2) 3)

C. The timing of the resurrection and translation of believers is placed at the parousia (coming) of Christ, not before, not after, but immediately upon Christ’s coming ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 1 John 2:28. D. Immediately following the rapture, Christ puts an end to “all rule and all authority and power.” Satan’s dominion over the economic, political, cultural, social and religious systems of this world will come to an end ~ vs. 24-28. The Classic Rapture Passage (written A.D. 50) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

b) Christ’s resurrection becomes both the sample and the surety of the future resurrections.

Second Stage: At the “parousia” all believers (dead and alive) will be resurrected and translated. This includes the tribulation saints with the exception of those martyred ~ vs. 23,50-54. Third Stage: Those martyred by antichrist will be resurrected on the first day of the Millnnium ~ Revelation 20:4-5.

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A. The theme of this passage is the general resurrection and translation of all believers in this present dispensation: (God’s ordering and management of events relevant to the church in this age.)

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believer that Jesus did and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until to coming (parousia) of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

B. The topic of this passage is the parousia (coming) of Jesus Christ, the event which has special significance to the rapture issue, found at the heart of this episode. Vs. 15. C. The timing of this event is found when compared to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 which gives in sequence, the great apostasy and the emergence of the antichrist preceding the return of Christ.

D. The target or objective of this passage is the “catching away” to heaven of believers, dead and living, who have trusted in Christ and await His return. A. The Apostle Paul New Testament Writers 1. The end of each chapter in first Thessalonians ends with a reference to the Lord's return, four times the term “parousia is used ~ 1:9-10, 2:19, 3:13, 4:15, 5:23. a) The first example of the term parousia is in I Thessalonians 2:19, Paul informs the Thessalonians that they are his hope and joy in the presence of Christ at His parousia. b) Paul adds a prayer that Jesus will cause love to grow among the Thessalonians, "so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus with all His saints," (I Thess. 3:12-13).

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c) Paul is emphasizing the beginning of Christ's parousia, the preposition en, translated "in" denotes "the point of time when something occurs." e) The fourth example occurs in I Thess. 5:23. Paul prays that the Lord will preserve the Thessalonians blameless until the parousia of Christ. Again, Paul emphasizes an action connected with the beginning of Christ's parousia.

d) The third example of the term parousia occurs in I Thess. 4:15. Paul instructs the Thessalonians that those who survive until the time of Christ's parousia will be taken to be with the Lord when He comes from heaven.

2. The fifth example is found in II Thess. 2:1 and it reads, "Now brethren, concerning the coming (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you. . . “What Paul alludes to in I Thess. 4:15-17 in detail, he summarizes here. They will be gathered together at the parousia of Christ. Consistent with Paul's references in I Thessalonians, the emphasis is on the beginning of the event. a) After summarizing the parousia Paul gives a detailed sequence describing events that would precede the parousia of Christ ~ 1 Thess. 2:3-8.
i. “For that Day (day of Christ’s parousia to rapture then judge {Day of the Lord}

will not come UNLESS…”

45 …the falling away comes first (Apostasy) vs. 3

1st) 2nd) 3rd)

3. The sixth occurrence of parousia in the Thessalonian Letters is in 2 Thess. 2:8. Paul acknowledges that Jesus will slay the lawless one "with the breath of His mouth" and will destroy him "with the brightness of His coming," (parousia). a) The verb "consume" does not have its usual literal meaning. Rather, "the verb is frequently used to designate murder; the end of the lawless one will be as decisive as that of a man who is murdered." The literal translation is “to expend” or “to exhaust.” b) c) This makes sense considering that at the beginning of Christ’s parousia He removes the objects of Antichrist’s persecution (the church), rendering him useless. The verb “destroy” refers to the robbing of the Man of Lawlessness of all significance, rather than to his destruction, it renders him “useless.”

…whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming (parousia) vs. 8

…AND the man of sin is revealed (Abomination of Desolation) vs. 3-4

B. James usage of parousia.

4. The fifth occurrence where the term parousia occurs in found in 1 Cor. 15:23. Paul informs the Corinthians that the next phase of the resurrection will occur at the parousia of Christ.

d) A literal translation of Paul's intended meaning in II Thess. 2:8 would be, "And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and render insignificant by the appearance of His coming. . .”

1. The book of James is specifically addressed "to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad. . .1:1 " These Jewish Christians (the righteous remnant of Israel) are urged to exercise patience until the parousia of Christ ~ 5:7-8. 2. James is emphasizing the beginning of Christ's parousia as he comforts the suffering Jewish Christians with the knowledge that Jesus, "the Judge is standing at the door," (James 5:9). 3. James uses the Greek preposition heos which is translated "until" which in this context basically refers to the “period up to,” the parousia.

4. The very beginning of Christ's parousia spells relief for God's people because when Christ comes, the parousia referred to in this passage, will be initiated by the rapture of the church.

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5. While verses 7-8 refers to the deliverance/rapture, verse 9 reveals the intent of Christ’s coming, at which time God will fulfill His function as judge to reward the righteous and punish the wicked. a) The test of faith produces patience (the ability to endure), which is the hallmark of the mature believer. b) Only under the pressure of trials can the believer test the true depth of his faith in God. The established heart will not waver, but will rejoice in the knowledge of the goodness of God.11 C. Peters usage of parousia c) In this context, the believer is promised deliverance from the test/trial of the persecution by Antichrist. All the believer is exhorted to do is to exercise patience/endure until the parousia of the Lord. (SEE Matt. 24:14)

1. 1 Peter 1:16-19 contributes the parousia of Christ as the “prophetic word confirmed” foreshadowed in the Transfiguration. (Matthew 17:1-8) a) "The double terms (power and coming/parousia) have but one article: "the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and parousia," so that "power and Parousia" constitute one idea, "power" bringing out the thought of the omnipotent might involved in the Lord's second coming.” 12 b) Though 1 Peter 1:16 credits “parousia” to the first coming of Christ, it alludes to the Day of the Lord, speaking to the end result of the Day of the Lord, rather than emphasizing the beginning or the course of the Lord's parousia.

2. Peter’s second reference to parousia is 2 Peter 3:3-4, stating that "scoffers will come in the last days. . . saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming (parousia)?'" 3. Peter's final reference occurs in 2 Peter 3:12. In this verse, it is "the day of God" that is coming (parousia).
11 12

Spirit Life Bible; Jack W. Hayford, Truth in Action pp.1903 #1. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville

R.C.H. Lenski, The Epistles of St. Peter, St. John and St. Jude, (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1945), 285. See also Mare, "A Study of the New Testament Concept of the Parousia," 339.

a) The fact that Peter refers to the Day of the Lord in 3:10 with the same results as the day of God in 3:12, supports the conclusion that they are one and the same. c) The divine wrath that will destroy the created order follows the removal of the church at the beginning of Christ's parousia.

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b) Here we find a reference to events that will transpire during the course of our Lord's parousia.

The examples that Matthew 24 contain of the Parousia of Christ which describes the overall event of Christ's coming will be examined in the chapter outlining the Olivet Discourse.

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7
The Day of the Lord
I. What is the Day of the Lord? A. The phrase "the Day of the Lord" appears about twenty-one times in the Old Testament and six times in the New Testament.

B. Adding together all the synonymous phrases such as "that day," "the Day of Christ," and "the Day of God," there are over 100 references that refer to a future time when God will intervene in history. D. In the O.T. the Day of the Lord will be: 2. A day of desperation ~ Isa. 2:19

C. Every reference to the Day of the Lord describes unparalleled terror, panic and judgment, not concurring with a major portion of the early stages of Daniels 70 th week. 1. A day when only the Lord will be exalted (not the Antichrist) ~ Isa. 2:17. 3. A day when God shakes the earth ~ Isa. 2:21 5. A day of shocking pain ~ Isa. 13:8 8. A day of destruction ~ Joel 1:15 9. A day of torment ~ Joel 2:1-6 13. A day of wrath ~ Zeph. 1:15 11. A day of darkness ~ Amos 5:20 14. A day of no hope ~ Zeph. 1:17 6. A day of signs in the sky ~ Isa. 13:10 10. A day of no escape ~ Amos 5:18-19 7. A day of no deliverance ~ Ezek. 7:19 4. A day of fainting hands and melting hearts ~ Isa. 13:7

12. A day of judgment on the wicked ~ Obad. 15 E. In the N.T. the Day of the Lord will be: 15. A day of cosmic disturbances ~ Zech. 14:6-7

1. A day the world will not expect ~ 2 Thess. 5:1-3a 2. A day the world will not escape ~ 2 Thess. 5:3b 3. A day true believers will expect ~ 2 Thess. 5:4-7

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4. A day true believers will escape ~ 2 Thess. 5:8-11

5. A day when the wicked will expire ~ 2 Peter 3:3-7

F. The Day of the LORD for the believer is a day of deliverance.

6. A day of the destruction of the earth ~ 2 Peter 3:10

7. A day of fire and destruction of the elements ~ 2 Peter 3:12

1. Believers have the promise to be delivered from the wrath to come ( Romans 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10, 5:9). 2. Deliverance for the believer will come just as deliverance came to Noah and Lot ~ Luke 17 26-30. Genesis 19:22-24

a) God cannot do anything in the way of judgment until His people are secured from his wrath. “Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens.

b)

We will be rescued in what we call the rapture, and then the day of the Lord's wrath will be poured out on this old world. "The most prophesied event in the Old Testament concerning the last days, the Day of the Lord is marked by God’s fiery, judgmental wrath against the earth’s wicked. Also called the “end of the age,” the “final harvest,” and the “seventh seal.” The Day of the Lord will be initiated by the second coming of Christ to rescue the faithful, after which the wicked who remain (Satan’s kingdom of darkness) will be destroyed by God’s Day-of-the-Lord’s wrath. This time of great judgment will begin with the seventh seal, will include the seven trumpet judgments and the seven bowl judgments, culminating in the final Battle of Armageddon. This time of great wrath will be immediately preceded by a sign divinely displayed in the heavens, in the sun, moon, and stars, after which the entire world will see the sign of Christ’s second coming, and the deliverance of God’s elect.”13

13

Robert Van Kampen; THE SIGN: Glossary (Day of the Lord) pp.491

50 c) A secondary purpose of the day of the Lord will be to refine the third part of the nation of Israel who will survive the great tribulation by Antichrist, in preparation for the salvation of the surviving remnant of the nation.

II. When Will the Day of the LORD Be?

A. The timing of “The Day of the LORD”

1. Every reference to the Day of the Lord points to a time period occurring in the latter half of Daniels 70th week. 2. The Bible teaches that Elijah must appear before "The Day of the LORD" (Mal. 4:5). 3. The Bible teaches that signs in the sky will occur just before (prior to) the beginning of "The Day of the LORD" (Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20; Rev. 6:17). 4. The Bible identifies the beginning signs of "The Day of the LORD" with the opening of the sixth seal (Rev 6:12-17). 1. AFTER the apostasy and revealing of the man of lawlessness. 2. AFTER the persecution of Antichrist (Great Tribulation). 3. AFTER the opening of the 6th Seal. 4. AFTER the rapture of the Church. 6. AFTER the coming of Elijah. 5. AFTER the “last trump” the “trump of God” is blown. [Is. 2:12, 13:6, 9; Ezek. 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1, 11, 3:14; Amos 5:18, 20; Obadiah 1:15; Zeph. 1:7, 14; Zech. 14:1; Jer. 46:10; Mal. 4:5; Acts 2:20; II Pet. 3:10; cp. Zeph. 1:18, 2:2, 3]

B. The conditions that precede the Day of the Lord, it comes:

III. Two Fold Judgment

A. In the Revelation the number seven is the predomination number, not only used as a numeral, but in the occurrences of important words. 1. “Jesus” occurs 14 times (2x7), seven times alone, and seven times as “Jesus Christ.” 2. “Spirit” is used 14 times (2x7)

B. The first is the series of God's trumpet judgments against the earth's wicked, seven in all, the second part is the series of bowl judgments, seven in all, "which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished." (Revelation 16:17) 1. Fourteen is a multiple of seven (2x7) = 14, meaning a “double measure.” 2. The number two with which the number seven is combined (2x7) brings its own significance into its meaning to the “Wrath of God” in the apocalypse. b)

3. “Blessed” is used seven times.

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4. “Wrath” (thumos) {God’s Wrath} is used seven times ~ Rev. 14:10, 19; 15:1,7; 16:1, 19; 19:15.

a) The number 2 is associated with “incarnation,” for example; Matthew 1 gives the genealogy of Jesus and is divided up and given in sets of 14 (2x7) generations. c) Coupled to the Wrath of God are the seven trumpet and seven bowls which are a “double measure” of His Wrath poured out upon the wicked.

The number seven is a number associated with “perfection” and/or “completion.”

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8
Matthew 24
I. Four Critical Passages 1. Daniel Chapter 9 & 12 ~ Jewish, gives the timeline of the 70th week.

2. Matthew 24 ~ The four Gospels are transitional ~ Gives a grand overview of end time events. 3. 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 & 5; 2 Thessalonians 1 & 2 ~ Instruction to the Church. 1)Christ’s coming is to rapture the church. 2)Christ’s coming is to initiate the Day of the Lord. 4. The book of Revelation ~ Gives the details concerning the 70 th week of Daniel. 1. God’s dealings with the Jews (Israel) are concluded. 2. God’s dealings with the Church are concluded. 3. God’s dealings with mankind (this world system) are concluded. 4. God’s dealings with Satan/Antichrist are concluded. II. The Chronology of Matthew 24 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” ~ Matthew 24:3 B. The one event (the parousia of Christ to Rapture the Church) will initiate the other (the Day of the Lord.) A. The Old and New Testaments are pulled together and the Revelation concludes everything. A. The two letters to the Thessalonians teaches there are two parts to the Second Coming of Christ.

In Matthew 24:4-14 Jesus uses the metaphor of a woman in the last stages of pregnancy to describe the events which signal the end times.

Matthew 24:8 ~ “Beginning of Sorrows” is a term meaning, “labor pains,” which were expected to precede the end, marking the transition from this age to the Age to Come. The severe “labor pains” followed by delivery are also a signpost of the end and of the joy at the time of “delivery.”

53 Matthew 24:4-8 describe the beginning “birth pains,” which are mild in comparison to the “hard labor” which follows ~ Matthew 24:9-28. Vs.9-12 detail the great tribulation when Antichrist persecutes God’s Elect. Vs.13,30-31 portrays the “delivery” when Christ evacuates the church from the earth. Vs. 14,37-39 describes the end of the age as the Day of the Lord begins. Vs. 4-8 ~ “Beginning Birth Pains” (first 3 ½ years of Daniels 70th week). Vs. 9-28 ~ “Hard Labor”: Tribulation and Persecution of Antichrist. Vs. 13,27-31 ~ “Delivery”/Rapture of the Church. Vs. 14,37-39 ~ “Wrath” Day of the Lord.

1. The disciples question (concern Christ’s coming and the end of the age) ties the two events (His coming and His judgment) together. They were asking: 2. The disciples question is answered in the Olivet Discourse by Jesus in the reverse order asked, providing the order and sequence in which the events will occur. First the sign of the end of the age vs.29 will be given (sun, moon & stars), followed by the sign of Christ’s coming vs. 27,30-31. a) “THE SIGN” ~ The sign of Christ’s coming is given in vv. 29-30. This sign, which T occurs when the sixth seal is loosed in Rev. 6:12, will fulfill Joel 2:31, which foretold that the “sign” in the sun, moon & stars will come immediately before the Day of the LORD. c) “THE END OF THE AGE” ~ The end of the age is not the end of the world but T rather the completion of the age. The end of the age will end the age of “man” and will commence the Day of the Lord. 1) (1) The term “the end” is used three times in the Olivet Discourse. a) What will be the sign of your coming? {parousia} ~ (Rapture/Deliverance) b) What will be the sign of the end of the age? ~ (Judgment/Day of the Lord)

b) “YOUR COMING” ~ The parousia of Christ seen in vv.27-28 & 30-31 will follow Y the sign in the sun, moon, & stars as Christ appears in heaven and is seen on the clouds to gather together his Elect (the church). The term, "end of the age," is used 4 times in the New Testament besides e here in Matthew 24. All of the references are in Matthew's gospel. Matt. 13:39,40,49; 24:3; 28:20. Matthew 24:6 “but the end is not yet” Matthew 24:13 “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” Matthew 24:14 “and then the end will come”

54 (2) The Greek word for “end” is telos meaning the limit at which a thing ceases to be and is always speaking of the end of some act or state.

(3) The End of the Age: synteleia signifies a bringing to completion of the age. The word end here does not denote a termination, but the heading up of events to the appointed climax. 2) In the parable of the wheat and tares the end of the age is the time of the final harvest. The righteous (wheat) and wicked (tares) will be separated; the wheat goes into the barns and the tares are bundled for burning. And He said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age" (Matt 13:37-40). The present church age, identified as the “dispensation of grace” (Eph. 3:2) will end the moment Christ returns to rapture the church. It is this single event which ushers in the end of the age.

3)

a) The reaping of the Earth’s Harvest is described in Revelation 14:14-20. Evidence of the Rapture “White Cloud” ~ Corresponds to the Rapture (Matthew 24:30; 1 Thess 4:17) “Son of Man” ~ Jesus Christ (cp. Rev. 1:13) “Angel…loud voice” ~ Evidently the “shout”…”the voice of the archangel” of the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:16)

b) The harvest of the righteous is reaped by the Son of Man~ Rev.14:14-16 (Rapture)

“A golden Crown” ~ (Greek stephanon”— Singular) (Rev. 19:12) The harvest of the wicked is reaped by the Angels ~ Rev. 14:17-20.

This gathering is describing a gathering of the world’s armies to Israel for the Battle of Armageddon, not a removal from the earth ~ Zech. 14:1; Joel 3:1-3,13; Isa. 63:1-6; Rev. 19:11-16. 4) In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus told His disciples that He will be with them until the end of the age. That is, the worldwide ministry of evangelism and

3. The context within the verses 9-29 require that the tribulation of verse 21 is the same tribulation of verse 9, and that it begins at the midpoint of the 70th week.

discipleship will continue until the end of the age. Thus the end of the age includes the time when Christ returns to rapture His bride, and begin His judgment of the wicked.

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a) In the verses following v. 9, Jesus explains the nature of the tribulation. At v. 15, the word "therefore," must be taken in connection with the tribulation of v. 9. And then at v. 21, the word "for," must be taken as an amplification of v.15-20. Thus, the whole section from v.9 through 29 is referring to the same period of time. b) In v. 9, it is called tribulation (or "a"), in v. 21, it is called great (or a great) tribulation, and in v. 29, it is called, THE tribulation of those days. c) At v.15, the period of tribulation is identified as beginning with the abomination of desolation, which we already know to take place at the mid-point of Daniel's 70th week (Dan. 9:27 and 12:11). d) According to Jesus, the tribulation period is not 7 years in length but begins in the middle of the 70th week and according to v. 22, shall be “cut short” so that it does not even last for the remaining 3 1/2 years of the week.

III.

Detailed description of events prior to the parousia.

a. Matthew 24:4-31 parallels the six seals of Revelation 6, while vv.4-14 is a general overview vv. 15-31 gives the narrative of the second half.

THE HARMONY OF MATTHEW 24 & REVELATION 6 Matthew 24 Revelation 6
Seal # 1 Deception Seal # 2 War Seal # 3 Famine Seal # 4 Death & Destruction

v.4-5 Deception v.6-7a War v.7b Famine v.7 Death & Destruction v.8 Beginning of Sorrows Abomination of Desolation v.9-22 Persecution (Innocent Bloodshed) v.29 Cosmic Signs (Sun & Moon Altered) v.30-31 Second Coming (Rapture) v.36-39 Day of the Lord/Descriptive by flood

b. Daniel 9:27 tells us of a future 7 year period divided into two 3 ½ year periods. The event that divides this time period is described as follows by the angel

Begins with 4th Seal through 5th Seal Seal # 5 Persecution (Innocent Bloodshed) Seal # 6 Cosmic Signs (Sun & Moon altered) Interlude: Between 6th & 7th Seals: Church in heaven Seal # 7 Trumpet & Bowl Judgments

c. This 3-1/2 year period of tribulation is referred to in the Bible as "time, times and half a time", "1260 days", and "42 months." All of these references refer to the second half of Daniel's Seventieth Week. 1) The Restrainer is removed ~ 2 Thess. 2:6-8; Daniel 12:1. 4) Beginning of the Great Tribulation ~ Revelation 13:3-7.

iii. The apostle John refers to this same event in the Revelation (Rev. 13:6-10).

ii. The apostle Paul refers to this same event in his second letter to the Thessalonians. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)

Gabriel: "…but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate…" i. This event Jesus calls the "abomination of desolation" in Matthew 24:15.

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d. There are several events that happen at or near the midpoint of Daniel's Seventieth Week. Here is a listing of the events with the corresponding Scriptures: 2) War in Heaven and the expulsion of Satan ~ Revelation 12:7-12. 3) Abomination of Desolation ~ Daniel 9:27; Matt. 24:15,21.

5) Woman (faithful Israel) is hidden in wilderness ~ Rev. 12:1, 6, 14. 7) The Apostasy ~ Matt 24:9-10; 2 Thess. 2:3-4.

e. Proofs that the coming of Christ described in Matt 24:31-42 is the Rapture. iii. The day and hour is unknown (v. 36, 42, 44) ii. The elect are gathered (v. 31; cp. v. 22) i. The trumpet sounds (v. 31; cp. I Cor. 15:52; I Thes. 4:16)

6) The Remnant of her seed/Offspring (the Church) is persecuted ~ Rev. 12:17; 13:7-10.

iv. Certain individuals are seized away (v. 40-41)

(if the timing of those taken away referred to the end of the Tribulation [as pretribulationists suggest], the timing would be known)

("taken" = “paralambano” - to receive unto oneself, to take along with - This same word is used in John 14:3- “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you (“paralambano”) unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

vii. The phrases that link this context together, joining it to verses 30-31: V. 33 - "It is near" (referring to the Lord's coming in v. 30-31) V. 36 - "That day" (referring to the Lord's coming in v. 30-31) V. 40 - "Then shall (referring immediately to the days like Noah's day [v. 36-39] and ultimately to the Lord's coming [v. 30-31]

vi. The "peaceful" conditions on the earth (v. 36-39) experienced by the unsaved prior to the "coming of the Son of man" unquestionably point to the Rapture.

v. Those gathered are taken to the wedding (context: Mt.25:10; cp. Rev. 19:7-9)

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The Prewrath Rapture Position

Charts

Overview & comparison of the signs of the end of the age
MATTHEW 24
False Christ’s (v.4-5) Wars & Rumors of Wars (v.6-7a) Famine, Disease, Earthquakes (v.7b-8) Persecution of God’s people & Deception (v.9-28) God’s people – hated (v.9) God’s people – betrayed (v.10) Abomination of Desolation by Antichrist (v.15) 1. Sever persecution (v.16-22) 2. False signs & wonders to deceive (v.24) Cosmic Disturbance (v.29-30) Second Coming of Christ (v.30-44 Some taken ~ Rapture Some left ~ Wrath

REVELATION 6
Rise of Antichrist (v.2) Wars & Bloodshed (v.5-8) Famine, Death (v.5-8)

LUKE 17

LUKE 21
False Christ’s (v.8) Wars & Commotions (v.910) Earthquakes, Famines, pestilences (v.11) Persecution of God’s people (v.12-24) God’s people betrayed (v.16) God’s people hated (v.17) Abomination of Desolation by Antichrist (v.20)

Martyrdom of God’s people

Trouble that will cause God’s people to long for Christ’s Return & Deception (v.22-23)

Cosmic Disturbances (v.12-14) The Wrath of the Lamb (v.15-17) The Second Coming of Christ (v.24-37) Some taken – Rapture Some left – Immediate Wrath

Cosmic Disturbances (v.25-26) Second Coming of Christ (v.27-36)

THE DAY OF THE LORD Trumpet Judgments (Rev. 8-9, 11:15-19) Bowl Judgments (Rev. 15:15-16

The Prewrath Rapture Position

Charts

Sequence of Matthew 24
1. The Warning: “See to it that no one misleads you” (v.4) 2. False Christ’s: “many will come in My name, saying I am the Christ” (v.5) 3. Wars: “there will be wars and rumors of wars,” but that is not yet the end of the age. (v.6) 4. Famines and earthquakes: “but all these are merely the beginning of birth pangs (vv. 7-8) 5. The Abomination of Desolation will be seen “standing in the holy place” (v. 15) 6. Great Tribulation: (vv. 9,21) 7. Then they will “kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name” (vv. 10-12) 8. Apostasy: “many will fall away…most people’s love will grow cold” (vv. 10-12) 9. Deliverance: “the one who endures to the end…shall be saved (delivered)” (v.13) 10. But not before the “gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations” (v. 14) 11. The End: “Then the end shall come” (vs. 14), the day of God’s great wrath. Christ gives specific information concerning the sequence of events that will “cut short” the days of Antichrist’s great persecution against the elect of God (vv. 22,29) 1. Cosmic Disturbance: “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky” (v. 29) 2. Sign of Christ’s Coming: “the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky” (v. 30), “as lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west” (v. 27) 3. Visible Appearance: “you will “see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory” (v. 30) 4. Visible Rapture: Christ’s angels will “gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other” (v.31; cf. v.13) Thus removing the target of Antichrist’s Satanic-inspired wrath against God’s elect abruptly ending his persecution. 5. T he Day of the Lord: Finally, the day of God’s wrath—the end of the age—will come (vv.14,37-39)

The Prewrath Rapture Position

Charts

Sequence of Matthew 24 & Thessalonians

1. Both accounts give the direct instruction of Christ (Matt.24:3-4a; cf. 1 Thess. 4:15) 2. Both accounts begin with a severe warning to Christians about what is being taught (Matt. 24:4; cf. 2 Thess. 2:3) 3. Both accounts refer to the coming (parousia) of Christ (Matt. 24:3,27,37,39; cf. 1 Thess. 4:15; 2 Thess. 2:1,8) 4. Both accounts connect the Day of the Lord with the coming of Christ (Matt. 24:3, 29-30, 37-39; cf. 1 Thess. 4:15-5:2; 2 Thess. 2:1-2) 5. Both accounts refer to the revealing of Antichrist, which will occur in the temple, in the holy place (Matt. 24:15; cf. 2 Thess. 2:4) 6. Both accounts make reference to the apostasy, the specific falling away that occurs when Antichrist is revealed, demanding the worship of the world (Matt. 24:9-12; cf. 2 Thess. 2:3-4) 7. Both accounts teach that at Christ’s coming (parousia) He will “cut short” or “bring to an end”—render useless—the hostile activities of Antichrist (Matt. 24:22; cf. 2 Thess. 2:8) 8. Both accounts teach that at Christ’s coming (parousia) the day of the Lord’s wrath will begin (Matt. 24:29-30, 36-39; cf. 1 Thess. 5:1-2; 2 Thess. 2:1-2; cf. v.8) 9. Both accounts teach that when the Day of the Lord begins, God’s elect, His saints, will be gathered together (Matt. 24:31; cf. 1 Thess. 4:17-5:2; 2 Thess. 2:1-2)

The Prewrath Rapture Position

Charts

SEQUENCE OF END TIME EVENTS COMPARISON

The Prewrath Rapture Position

Charts

SEQUENCE OF END TIME EVENTS COMPARISON

Sequence of Matthew 24 & Revelation
1. Both accounts are given in the context of Christ’s specific warning that what is revealed in those passages must be taken seriously by His followers (Matt. 24:4; cf. Rev. 22:19) 2. Both accounts begin their descriptions of the last days with a reference to false Christ’s—The First Seal (Matt. 24:5; cf. Rev. 6:1-2) 3. Both accounts warn of wars and rumors of wars—The Second Seal (Matt. 24:7; cf. Rev. 6:3-4) 4. Both accounts warn of a great time of famine—The Third Seal (Matt. 24:7; cf. Rev. 6:5-6) 5. Both accounts warn of a time of intense persecution of God’s elect—The Fourth Seal (Matt. 24:9,21; cf. Rev. 6:7-8) 6. Both accounts make reference to the martyrdom of the elect, God’s saints—The Fifth Seal (Matt. 24:9,22; cf. Rev. 6:9) 7. Both accounts show that Antichrist’s persecution will be limited—The Fifth Seal (Matt. 24:22; cf. Rev. 6:11) 8. Both accounts show that sometime during Antichrist’s persecution of God’s elect, a sign will be given in the sun, moon, and stars, announcing the Day of the Lord’s wrath—The Sixth Seal (Matt. 24:29; cf. Rev. 6:12-17) 9. Both accounts show the rapture—deliverance—of God’s elect from out of the midst of the “great tribulation,” abruptly terminating Antichrist’s persecution of God’s elect just before the wrath of God begins—The Interlude between the sixth and seventh seal (Matt. 24:29-31; cf. Rev. 7:9-14) 10. Both accounts show the commencement of God’s wrath, the Day of the Lord—The Seventh Seal (Matt. 24:37-39; cf. Rev. 8:1-7)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

VanKampen, Robert. The Prewrath Rapture Position Explained Plain & Simple. Grand Haven, MI: Sola Scriptura, 1999. VanKampen, Robert. The Sign. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1992. Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H. 1996. New Bible dictionary (3rd ed. /) . InterVarsity Press: Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill. Wiersbe, W. W. 1996, c1989. The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"--Jkt. Victor Books: Wheaton, Ill. (Sola Scriptura, Revelation Commentary). Articles written by Alan Kurschner with written permission; www.prewrath rapture Dot Com The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. 1996. Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words . T. Nelson: Nashville Spirit Life Bible; Jack W. Hayford, Truth in Action pp.1903 #1. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville R.C.H. Lenski, The Epistles of St. Peter, St. John and St. Jude, (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1945), 285. See also Mare, "A Study of the New Testament Concept of the Parousia," 339. WHAT IS THE PRE-WRATH RAPTURE? And can a Fundamentalist believe it? Vincent Sawyer, Pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Corona, NY Wikipedia; Free Encyclopedia

NOTES
TEACHER’S NOTES Allegorical: used in or characteristic of or containing allegory; “allegorical stories.” Symbolic: Standing for something else; “the bald eagle is representative of the United States” Allegorizing: Searching for a hidden or secret meaning underlying but remote from and unrelated in reality to the more obvious meaning of a text. In other words the literal reading is a sort of code, which needs to be deciphered to determine the more significant and hidden meaning. In this approach the literal is superficial; the allegorical is the true meaning. Example: Revelation 4:1 After these thing I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Allegorically this verse is interpreted by pre-tribulationalist as a type, or picture of the Rapture of the Church. There reasoning is that because the word “church” is not used after Rev. 4:1 it is symbolic of the Rapture.

~ FAVE VALUE HERMENEUTIC
One’s hermeneutic refers to how one understands something that is written or spoken. The normal method we use every day is what is referred to as “face-value hermeneutic”. We understand what we read or hear by taking what is said to us at face value—or, by taking it literally, in its most natural, normal, customary sense. “Face value” is simply an interpretation based on the exact wording of something written. That does not mean that we are to ignore the many obvious figures of speech and expressions that are found in Scripture, but it does eliminate:

1. Spiritualization (substituting the literal sense for a deeper, spiritual meaning). 2. Allegorization (abandoning the literal sense for what the reader considers to be a more meaningful understanding). 3. Culturalization (limiting unnecessaritly the literal sense to the culture of the day in which it was written). Example: Revelation 4:1 ~ The door standing open in heaven is the door of prophetic revelation. The Lord summoned John to “come up here” in order that he might receive the “Revelation” and get a heavenly perspective of things which must take place on Earth, (Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this).

Use some metaphors to bring out the concept of the one “single” parousia. The Parousia of Jesus Christ is a period with a beginning (rapture), a course (Day of the Lord), and a conclusion (Armageddon). A hurtle race is a good example to bring this truth out. The runner is Jesus; the start of the race begins with the Rapture. Between the start line and the finish line are several hurtles representing the Day of the Lord. Each hurtle represents a part of the series of events played out during the Day of the Lord. For Example, there are seven trumpet and seven bowl judgments. There is also God’s dealing with the Nation of Israel and her restoration to favor becoming God’s primary Nation. The Salvation of Israel at the end of Daniels 70 th week is seen in Romans 11:25-27. The finish line represents the Battle of Armageddon, when Jesus captures the Beast and False Prophet casting them into the lake of fire, and destroys the armies who have assembled against Him in Jerusalem. Another fact concerning the parousia is that in Matthew 24:30-31, Jesus is seen coming on the clouds to gather His elect (the church) unto Himself. This is the beginning of His parousia. The end (Armageddon) is described in Revelation 19:11-20. These are not two comings, but one coming, just as a hurtle race has a beginning, a course, and a finish, Christ’s parousia is a single event made up of multiple events. ~ The Pre-Tribulation Rapture View: Originated by the writings of J.N. Darby (1830) Popularized by the footnotes in the Scofield Bible Systematized by the faculty of Dallas Seminary (Charles C. Ryrie, John F. Walvoord, Dwight Pentecost

Dave MacPherson in “The Incredible Cover-up” and “Rapture?” strongly contends that the Pretribulation view actually started by a “revelation” in 1830 to a Scottish woman named Margaret Mac Donald. He argues that prior to 1830 on one in church history held to a Pretribulationial rapture. A key proof text for the pretribulational view is: Rev. 3:10 “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.” (Prewrath Response to Rev.3:10: “Keep” does not mean removal from the hour of trial by means of rapture but protection through that hour) The Lord Jesus makes a deliberate point by using the same Greek word “Kept” two times in one verse. Therefore, the way in which one interprets the word “kept” in the first part of Revelation 3:10 must be the way in which God wanted that same word to be understood in the second part of that verse. The Lord Jesus said: “Because thou hast kept (tereo) the word of my patience, I also will keep (tereo) thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Jesus’ deliberate point is this: “Because you guarded my word,… I will guard you” He certainly didn’t intend to mean: “Because you removed my word, …I will remove you.” J.H. Thayer (1828-1901) in commenting on Rev. 3:10 understood the word “Keep” to mean “by guarding” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the N.T., p. 622). Matthew Henry (1662-1714) observed that “those who keep the gospel in a time of peace shall be kept by Christ in an hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10]” (Commentary, VI, p. 1134). The only other time the Greek construction – tereo …ek (“Keep…from”) occurs in the N.T. is John 17:15 in which Jesus said “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” (Here Jesus obviously did not have special removal in mind, but spiritual protection.) (Above Notes taken form “What is the prewrath rapture and can a Fundamentalist believe” it.) by Vincent Sawyer, Pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Corona N.Y ~ The Mid-Tribulation Rapture View The Proponents of the Mid-Tribulation View are: J. Oliver Buswell Jr.—Author of A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion. Gleason L. Archer

~ The Post-Tribulation Rapture View The proponents of the Post-Tribulation Rapture are:

Dr. Robert Gundry—Author of First, The Antichrist W.E. Blackstone—Author of Jesus Is Coming George E. Ladd Alexander Reese Roland Rasmussen—Author of The Post-Trib, Prewrath Rapture The Post Trib. Believe the Rapture and Second Coming are not distinguished in Scripture (the words "parousia" [coming or presence - I Th. 4:15; Mt. 24:27] and "apokalupsis" [revealing - I Cor. 1:7; I Pet. 1:7, 4:13] -- both are used to describe the same event. The Problems; Prewrath Response: This view would contradict Jesus' statement that no man can know the exact day and hour (Mt. 24:42, 25:13). This view would pinpoint the timing of Christ’s Return. If the Rapture occurs at the end of the Tribulation, the Trumpet & Bowl Judgments would extend past the 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation. The judgments would also extend beyond the 1,335 days of Daniel 12:11-13. The 1,335 days start their countdown at the middle of the 70 week. This view does not allow for the days of the Tribulation to be "cut short" for the Elect as Jesus stated in Matthew 24.

~ The Prewrath Rapture Position

Although some minor details of this view were not spelled out, the basic arguments for the fact that the church would have to face the Antichrist in the Tribulation and the fact that the Rapture would take place before the Wrath of God was poured out was held by such men as: J.C. Ryle; C.H. Spurgeon (A continuation of Spurgeon's viewpoints are being published by Banner Ministries Box 23, Belpur, Derbys DE561QR UK. They recently published an article titled: "A Fearless Look at the Rapture Debate," which shows that Spurgeon held to many tenants of the Pre-wrath view). This view has been largely systematized by Marvin J. Rosenthal (Author of the Book The Pre-wrath Rapture of the Church Nelson Pub.) Other contemporary proponents of this view include: Robert VanKampen – Author of The Sign and The Prewrath Rapture Position Examined; H. L. Nigro – Author of Before God’s Wrath; and Charles Cooper – Author of God’s Elect and the Great Tribulation. Use a Chair as a metaphor when describing the truths of the four rapture views. Show how the Prewrath View adds the fourth leg.

The view that the true Church will be raptured during the great tribulation (persecution) of Antichrist, that this persecution of God’s elect that begins at the midpoint of the seventieth week of Daniel is the wrath of Satan, not the wrath of God, that this time of persecution will be cut short at Christ’s second coming, the rapture of the faithful initiating the wrath of God (the Day of the Lord) against the wicked who remain. This event will occur following the sixth seal and before the seventh seal of Revelation. ~ Robert Van Kampen; The SIGN, Glossary pp.505 The Prewrath Rapture Position is supported by a face value method of interpretation, accepting the meaning of Scripture in its most normal, natural, customary sense. Some of the reasons are as follows: ALL Old Testament prophecy dealing with the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was fulfilled precisely as predicted by the prophets. God providently fulfilled ALL Old Testament prophecies concerning Christ ~ Matthew 1:22-23; Acts 13:29; Jesus intentionally and carefully fulfilled Old Testament prophecy exactly as it was written ~ Matthew 3:13-15; *5:17-18; Luke 4:16-21; 18:31; John 5:39 John the Baptist fulfilled Old Testament prophecy concerning Christ exactly as the prophets said. ~ Matthew 3:3; Luke 24:27; John 1:22-23; 7:42; Paul taught that the Scriptures are the basic historical facts on which the Gospel stands, and which the Scripture, pertaining to the sacrificial system in the Old Testament pointed to the sacrifice of Christ as our substitute. The reality of Christ’s sacrifice was verified by the Scriptures ~ (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Ps. 16:10; Isa. 53:8-10). ~ Rapture and Wrath, Same Day! 1. In every passage dealing with the timing of the Rapture and God’s Wrath, these events are found to be tied together. 2. The Disciples question, “What will be the Sign of your coming and of the end of the age” itself connects the Rapture and God’s wrath together when one understands that first, Christ’s coming is to rapture the church v.30-31 and second, the “end of the age” is a reference to the Day of the Lord v.36-39. 3. Christ taught that these two back-to-back events would occur on the same day ~ Luke 17:22,26-30; Matthew 24:36-39.

4. It is an explicit teaching of Scripture that the “Great Tribulation (Matt 24:9-12; 1522)” will be “cut short (Matt 24:22)” when Christ returns to rapture the church (Matt 24:30-31), thus, ending the tribulation(Matt 24:29), the rapture initiating the Day of the Lord (Matt 24:36-39). Four clear necessary events that must happen before the Coming of Christ and the Day of the Lord. 1. Joel 2:31 "The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD." 2. Mal. 4:5 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes." 3. Israel must be a nation and thus back in its land since much of the Day of the Lord's wrath is in the context of national Israel and the nations who oppose Israel. As well, some temple-like complex must be built. 4. (1) A specific apostasy must occur, and (2) the man of lawlessness (Antichrist) must be revealed. 2Th 2:1-3. There is no gap between the deliverance of the righteous in the rapture, and the judgment of the ungodly in the Day of the Lord—they are back-to-back events. Luke 17:22-27 compare Genesis 7:11-13; Luke 17:28-35 compare to Genesis 19:22-28.

Premillennialism in Christian eschatology is the belief that Christ will literally reign on the earth for 1,000 years at his second coming. The doctrine is called premillennialism because it views the current age as prior to Christ’s kingdom. It is distinct from the other forms of Christian eschatology such as amillennialism or postmillennialism, which view the millennial rule as either figurative and nontemporal, or as occurring prior to the second coming. Premillennialism is largely based upon a literal interpretation of Revelation 20:1-6 in the New Testament which describes Christ’s coming to the earth and subsequent reign at the end of an apocalyptic period of tribulation. It views this future age as a time of fulfillment for the prophetic hope of God’s people as given in the Old Testament. The concept of a temporary earthly messianic kingdom at the Messiah's coming was not an invention of Christianity. Instead it was a theological interpretation developed within the apocalyptic literature of early Judaism.[2] In intertestamental Judaism there was a basic distinction between the current age and the “age to come.” The “age to come” was commonly viewed as a nationalistic golden age in which the hopes of the prophets would become a reality for the nation of Israel.

Amillennialism (Latin: a- "not" + mille "thousand" + annum "year") is a view in Christian eschatology named for its denial of a future, thousand-year, physical reign of Jesus Christ on the earth, as espoused in the premillennial and some postmillennial views of the Book of Revelation, chapter 20. By contrast, the amillennial view holds that the number of years in Revelation 20 is a symbolic number, not a literal description; that the millennium has already begun and is identical with the church age (or more rarely, that it ended with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70; and that while Christ's reign is spiritual in nature during the millennium, at the end of the church age, Christ will return in final judgment and establish permanent physical reign.

Postmillennialism, in Christian eschatology, is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ's second coming as occurring after (Latin post-) the "Millennium", a Golden Age or era of Christian prosperity and dominance. The term subsumes several similar views of the end times, and it stands in contrast to premillennialism and, to a lesser extent, amillennialism. Although some postmillennialists hold to a literal millennium of 1,000 years, most postmillennialists see the thousand years more as a figurative term for a long period of time (similar in that respect to amillennialism). Among those holding to a non-literal "millennium" it is usually understood to have already begun, which implies a less obvious and less dramatic kind of millennium than that typically envisioned by premillennialists, as well as a more unexpected return of Christ. Postmillennialism also teaches that the forces of Satan will gradually be defeated by the expansion of the Kingdom of God throughout history up until the second coming of Christ. This belief that good will gradually triumph over evil has led proponents of postmillennialism to label themselves "optimillennialists" in contrast to "pessimillennial" premillennialists and amillennialists. Many postmillennialists also adopt some form of preterism, which holds that many of the end times prophecies in the Bible have already been fulfilled.

Some Pre-Tribulation proponents maintain that the earliest known extra-Biblical reference to the "Pre-Tribulation" rapture is from a sermon falsely attributed to the fourth-century Church Father Ephraem the Syrian, which says, "For all the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins."

However, the interpretation of this writing, as supporting Pre-Tribulation rapture, is debated. There exists at least one 18th century and two 19th century Pre-Tribulation references, in a book published in 1788, in the writings of a Catholic priest Emmanuel Lacunza in 1812, and by John Darby himself in 1827. However, both the book published in 1788 and the writings of Lacunza have opposing views regarding their interpretations, as well. The rise in belief in the "Pre-Tribulation" rapture is sometimes attributed to a 15year old Scottish-Irish girl named Margaret McDonald (a follower of Edward Irving), who in 1830 had a vision that was later published in 1861. The popularization of the term is associated with teaching of John Nelson Darby, prominent among the Plymouth Brethren, and the rise of premillennialism and dispensationalism in English-speaking churches at the end of the 19th century. In 1908, the doctrine of the rapture was further popularized by an evangelist named William Eugene Blackstone, whose book, Jesus Is Coming, sold more than one million copies. The first known appearance of the theological use of the word "rapture" in print occurs with the Scofield Reference Bible of 1909. In 1957, Dr. John Walvoord, a theologian at Dallas Theological Seminary, authored a book, "The Rapture Question," that gave theological support to the Pre-Tribulation rapture; this book eventually sold over 65,000 copies. In 1958, J. Dwight Pentecost authored another book supporting the Pre-Tribulation rapture, Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology, that sold 215,000 copies.

Midtribulationists believe that the rapture of the faithful will occur halfway through the Tribulation, but before the worst part of it occurs. The seven year period is divided into half - the "beginning of sorrows" and the "great tribulation" proper. In pretribulationism and midtribulationism, the rapture and the Second Coming (or Greek, par[a]ousia) of Christ are separate events; while in post-tribulationism the two events are identical or simultaneous. Another feature of the pre- and mid-tribulation beliefs are the idea that after the Rapture, Christ will return still again (a third coming), to set up his kingdom on the earth.

In Christian eschatology, the Post Tribulation Rapture doctrine is the belief in a combined Resurrection and Rapture (eg., Resurrection-Rapture) of all believers coming after the Great Tribulation. This doctrine holds that there is a Resurrection-Rapture of living believers in Jesus Christ at the end of the age (or the "End times"). Posttribulationists believe that Christians won't be taken up into (the 3rd) Heaven at the rapture, but will be gathered by the angels to meet Christ in the air, then return with

him to enter the millennium on earth. This is usually understood as being in line with historic premillennialism. Key difference between the pre-, mid-, and post-tribulation lines of theology is the number of times that Jesus Christ must return.

The prewrath rapture (also “pre-wrath” rapture) is one of many different views on the timing of end-times events among evangelical Christians. The prewrath view is that the tribulation of the church begins towards the latter part of the seven-year period, being Daniel's 70th week, when the Antichrist is revealed in the temple. The great Tribulation, according to this view, is of the Antichrist against the church at this time. The duration of this tribulation is unknown, except that it begins and ends during the second half of Daniel's 70th week. According to Jesus (in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21), this tribulation will be cut short by the second coming of Christ to deliver the righteous by means of rapture, which will occur after the sixth seal is opened and the moon is turned to blood. All these events occur just before God's wrath of trumpets and bowls (a.k.a. "the Day of the Lord") begins, hence the term prewrath. The Day of the Lord's wrath against the ungodly will follow for the remainder of the seven years. Although the prewrath rapture was formally named and publicized in the 1990s, the nature of this approach to interpreting the end-times scriptures is such that it was held by believers long before it had a name. A common denominator among all prewrath adherents is the belief that the endtimes scriptures are to be taken literally and by comparing end-times scriptures side by side, the prophecies can be put together like a jig-saw puzzle. When this occurs, the scriptures fall into a clear time-line and a logical picture of the end-times events begins to emerge. Primary tenets common to the prewrath view: In Matthew 24, Jesus gives believers a timeline for when the Second Coming and the rapture of the Church will occur. 1. First, Jesus describes the “abomination of desolation,” when the Antichrist reveals himself in the temple (Matthew 24:15). 2. Jesus then describes the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), 3. the signs in the heavens that precede His return (Matthew 24:29), 4. then His return itself, along with the corresponding rapture of the Church (Matthew 24:30-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52), which occurs as part of the same event. Adherents to the prewrath view hold that the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments in Revelation are chronological. Prewrath also holds that a side-by-side comparison of the wording of the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12-13) and the signs in Matthew 24:29 that announce the Second

Coming of Jesus and the rapture of the Church indicate that they are the same event. Therefore, the rapture described in Matthew 24:29-31 can be placed after the sixth seal of Revelation. This timing is confirmed in Revelation 6:17, when immediately after the sixth seal, the people of the earth cry, "hide us from the face of the Lamb!” [a scriptural reference to the Lamb of God, or Jesus Christ], indicating that they are viewing Jesus Himself in the clouds of the heavens. This event is followed by a description of the raptured Church in heaven (Revelation 7:1 ff.), which is stated to have “come out of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-11). The seventh seal brings the trumpet and the bowl judgments, which comprise Christ’s judgment during the Day of the Lord, which contains God’s wrath. Since the Second Coming and the rapture of the Church occur immediately before the Day of the Lord, they occur before God’s wrath — hence, the “prewrath rapture” of the Church. 14

1. In the parallel account of the Olivet Discourse recorded by Mark, the believer undergoing this time of persecution is promised help: “And when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit” Mark 13:11. 2. The personal pronoun “you” identifies those the Spirit will help during this time of persecution, You! It becomes apparent that the beginning 3. birth pangs will affect everyone in the world, including those who profess the name of Christ, but the time of tribulation, the hard labor, will primarily affect only those who truly honor the name of Christ, YOU! 4. The falling away in Matthew 24:10-12 will be a very specific falling away that will occur during the great tribulation. The Greek word behind “fall away” is skandalizo, its original meaning was “to be ensnared, as in a trap.” The use of this word that best fits this context is the idea of cowering away in shame. The verb is passive, which means that the subject is caught in a position that leads to a denial of Christ. 5. The immediate context of those who “fall away” and those who’s “love will grow cold” are those who will be threatened by persecution “on account of My name.” Because you (who claim the name of Christ) will face hatred and death on account of that name, many professing Christians will fall away from the faith. John calls this time of intense persecution “the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10). Paul refers to this time when “many will fall away,” as “the apostasy” (2 Thess. 2:3)

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Wikipedia; Free Encylopedia

A waning love is the picture given here which decreases gradually in intensity like that of the moon which shows a decreasing illuminated surface between a full moon and a new moon. The agape (Christian) love for Christ and each other will be reduced to the infidelity of the faith and the absence of belief itself. It will be because of the name of Jesus that many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. A shadow of this waning love can be seen in the church today. Never before has the church been as divided as it is today. In spite of the Bible’s teaching that there should be no schism (division) in the body, that the members should have the same care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25), denominational and doctrinal lines have been established that have partitioned the body of Christ into neat little groups all opposing one another.

Daniel 11:39 describes the Antichrist as one who will “give great honor to those who acknowledge him.” At the mid point of Daniels 70th week Antichrist will begin to consolidate the remaining peoples that will comprise his empire. The institution of his mark that “no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or his name (Rev 13:16-17)” on there right hand or forehead will flag out the Christian community. Clearly, ALL the world will marvel and follow the Antichrist, and the nations will give their power to him (Rev. 13:1-4). Once he has conquered all and his demand for the world’s worship is executed he will launch his campaign of persecution against the saints of God (Rev. 13:6-10). The Two Fold Test Antichrist, the first beast will be revealed as a dead man come back to life at the midpoint of the 70th week, where he will enthrone himself in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, clain to be divine, and demand the worship of the world. He will then initiate a twofold test to identify those who do, and those who do not truly worship him. This test will be administered by the second beast who is Antichrist’s enforcer and “exercises all the authority of the firs beast (Rev. 13:12). The test will consist of two specific things: 1. Everyone will be required to “worship the image of the beast or be killed (Rev. 13:15). 2. Everyone will be required to take the mark of the beast or they will be unable to buy or sell anything.

Satan will, use this twofold test to try to identify and kill all who refuse to submit to his lordship, seeking to prevent Israel’s salvation as a nation, preventing the completion of the Kingdom of God. When Satan attempts to deceive the world and Antichrist demands it’s worship and requires everyone to take the mark, mankind will be confronted with a monumental choice with eternal consequences—the choice between allegiance to the only true and Holy God, at the cost of physical death, or allegiance to Antichrist, at the cost of eternal death.

During the time of persecution by the Antichrist “the perseverance and the faith of the saints (Rev 13:10; 14:12)” will be tested as never before in the history of the church. The contrast between those who do not persevere, that is, “fall away,” and those who do is made clear in Rev 14:9-12. This is why the church is instructed to “abide in Him (Jesus) so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming” (1 John 2:28). For the true believer’s who do persevere they will be called blessed and find eternal rest (Rev. 14:12-13)

The phrase “the time of Jacob’s trouble” is quoted by Jeremiah when the Lord was speaking to Jeremiah about Judah and Israel (30:3-4). In 30:3 the Lord promises that in the future He will bring Judah and Israel back to the land He had promised their forefathers. Evidence is given when compared to other Day of the Lord verses that the time of Jacob’s trouble is referring to the Day of the Lord. 1. Verse 5 describes a time of great fear and trembling. 2. Verse 6 describes this time in a way that pictures men going through the pains of childbirth, again indicating a time of fear and pain. 3. There is hope for Judah and Israel, for though this is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble,’ the Lord promises He will save Jacob (referring to Israel) out of this time of great distress (30:7). 4. 30:10-11 describes the restoration of Israel from their exile, Israel will again have peace and security. 5. This time is a time when God Himself will “make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you”

6. THAT DAY (v.8) is the day when God intervenes in the affairs of men. It is when Israel will be exalted above the other nations. THAT DAY is used in an eschatological context. 7. Paul describes the Day of the Lord as birth pains. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 says, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” This event follows the rapture and removal of the Church, 4:13-18. In 5:9, Paul reemphasizes the absence of the Church during the Day of the Lord by saying “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The wrath spoken of here is God’s judgment on the unbelieving world and His discipline of Israel during the Day of the Lord.

Election is God’s eternal decree to choose from sinners deserving condemnation those whom He will save providing salvation through Christ. The most common New Testament reference to election is God’s eternal election of people to salvation in Jesus Christ. The subject is dealt with comprehensively in Ephesians 1:3-11 and Romans 8:2811:36. Election is defined as “the unchangeable purpose of God, before the foundation of the world, out of the whole human race, which had fallen by its own fault out of its original integrity into sin and ruin, He has, according to the most free good pleasure of His will, out of mere grace, chosen in Christ to salvation specific people, neither better nor more worthy than another, but with them involved a common misery and need for salvation” Ephesians 1:7. Election is “election in Christ,” it involves rescue from sin and guilt and receiving the gracious gifts of salvation. Election in Christ is evident in Ephesians 1:4-1,11 and Romans 8:29. Christ is not merely a subsequent means to effectuate a decree of election, election is completely in Christ and through Christ. God chose the elect “to be holy and blameless in His sight…to be adopted as his sons (Eph. 1:4-5). The elect are those whom God “foreknew…predestined…called…justified…and glorified (Eph 1:4-5). God chose the elect “to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and through belief in the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13).

As Satan is cast to the earth, “having great wrath” (Rev. 12:12), his strategy will take two main directions: 1. Satan will, through Antichrist, initiate a “time of distress such has never occurred since there was a nation until that time (Dan. 12:1), as he attempts to prevent the national salvation of Israel. 2. He will try to destroy the citizens of the Kingdom of God, when “there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved, but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short” (Matt. 24:2122). Here we see unequivocally that the great tribulation is not an expression of the wrath of God, but of the “great wrath” of the devil and his persecution carried out through Antichrist. It is God’s wrath that will bring Satan’s wrath to an end, when God rescues His church from Antichrist’s persecution and then begins His destruction of the wicked ~ SEE (Daniel 7:21-22, 23-27). The question that needs to be asked is, “If the entire 70th week of Daniel is the wrath of God (as the pretribulationalists insist), why are believers who are promised exemption from the Day of the Lord’s wrath (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9 ‘ALL’ believers of any age) present during this time?” (cf. Rev. 12:17; 13:7) A. In Revelation 12 the reader is in an interlude that begins with chapter 12:1 and concludes with chapter 15:4. The focus for this interlude is the midpoint of the 70th week. In Rev. 12:12, we are instructed regarding the casting out of heaven of the devil who "has come down...having great wrath". In 12:17 and 13:7, we are clearly told that the wrath of Satan is subsequently poured out on the "saints", those "who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." In other words, during the time of Satan's wrath when Antichrist exalts himself, he persecutes the saints. Clearly, there are two wraths spoken of (during the 70th week of Daniel) and it's during the wrath of Satan (through Antichrist) when believers are persecuted. Satan's wrath is depicted in the fourth and fifth seals and prior to the Day of the Lord's wrath which begins with the breaking of the seventh seal. B. If the entire 70th week of Daniel is the wrath of God (as the pretribulationalists insist), God would be responsible for the martyrdom of countless believers within the fifth seal. Clearly, there are two wraths spoken of (during the 70th week of Daniel). C. It is clear by the context of Revelation 6:9-11 that God is not responsible for those martyred. They are crying out to God saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

They were asking when the Day of the Lord would begin, when would God’s justice be poured out on the wicked in repayment for their affliction. Cleary the Day of the Lord and the first six seals can not be synonymous. 3. It is unequivocally clear that the first five seals are describing events contributed to the wrath of man/Antichrist. The Sixth Seal itself reveals that the final Day of the Lord, the great day of His wrath “has come (Rev. 6:17).” In other words, up to this point the wrath of God has been absent and is now beginning when the Seventh Seal is broken (Rev. 8:1).

The Lord Jesus makes a deliberate point by using the same Greek word “Kept” two times in one verse. Therefore, the way in which one interprets the word “kept” in the first part of Revelation 3:10 must be the way in which God wanted that same word to be understood in the second part of that verse. The Lord Jesus said: “Because thou hast kept (tereo) the word of my patience, I also will keep (tereo) thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Jesus’ deliberate point is this: “Because you guarded my word,… I will guard you” He certainly didn’t intend to mean: “Because you removed my word, …I will remove you.” J.H. Thayer (1828-1901) in commenting on Rev. 3:10 understood the word “Keep” to mean “by guarding” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the N.T., p. 622). Matthew Henry (1662-1714) observed that “those who keep the gospel in a time of peace shall be kept by Christ in an hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10]” (Commentary, VI, p. 1134). The only other time the Greek construction – tereo …ek (“Keep…from”) occurs in the N.T. is John 17:15 in which Jesus said “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” (Here Jesus obviously did not have special removal in mind, but spiritual protection.) Tereo carries the idea of protection someone while he is within the sphere of danger, not that of keeping them away from the danger altogether. In Revelation 3:10, had the writer meant that those who followed the teaching of Christ concerning perseverance would be kept outside the hour of testing, the Greek preposition “apo” would have been used. The Greek preposition “ek” is the only preposition that pictures deliverance, out from within the sphere of danger, conveying the idea that “those” refers to the men and women who persevere under Antichrist’s persecution. Tereo ek, used in conjunction can only refer to guarding or protecting those who persevere while they are within the sphere of danger, and then bringing them safely out from the midst of that danger. The same thought is found in 2 Peter 2:9, the Greek preposition ek combined with the Greek noun peirasmos (the same Greek word used to describe the hour of testing

referred to in Rev. 3:10) are used together. Believers will not be kept away from the hour of testing, but will be rescued “out from the midst of (ek) this time of testing. SEE also Rev. 7:14. “”are the ones who come out of (ek) the great tribulation” Tereo ek should be translated, “a watchful protection within the sphere of danger, with a safe deliverance out from the midst of it.”15

Each line represents a Greek preposition and how it is related to the Greek noun. Some example texts are as follows. Revelation 2:10,22 the Greek preposition used for “into” in these verses is (eis), in verse 10 the devil will throw “some of you INTO prison” and you may be tested, and you will have tribulation…” In verse 22 Jesus warns the church that if they don’t repent He will cast them along with Jezebel “INTO Great Tribulation.” The Greek preposition “epi” is used in Matt 24:30 meaning “upon.” When combined with the Greek word sunago as it is done in this verse it gives direction to the gathering. “Gathering together” is the translation of “episunago,” describing the rapture when Christ returns. It’s an upward gathering into the clouds where Jesus is when He appears. Another word that gives this example is epidermis which is the top layer of the skin. Understanding the Greek prepositions and how they relate to the Greek nouns gives a clearer understanding of the verse in view when one is studying the Word of God. The differences between “apo” and “ek” are considerable. Both are translated from the Greek as “from” but each has a different relationship to the noun. Some examples of the preposition “ek” can be compared with 1 Cor. 10:13; Revelation 3:10.

1. Revelation 12:15: The water spewing out of Satan’s mouth to destroy Israel can be interpreted as peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues when compared with Revelation 17:15. 2. A strong argument is given when comparing Scripture with Scripture that Michael the Archangel is the restrainer of 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7. When it comes to the exact identity of the restrainer, we know only what is recorded in the Thessalonian letter. a) The Greek noun ekklesia (church) is feminine, and “restrainer” in verse 7 is masculine, so the restrainer cannot be the church.

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Robert Van Kampen; The Rapture Question Answered, Plain & Simple pp.175-177, Published by Fleming H. Revell a division of Baker Book House Company.

b) Likewise, the restrainer cannot be the Holy Spirit, like the elect of God, the Holy Spirit will still be on the earth after Antichrist begins his persecution of the elect ~ Mark 13:11; cf. Matt 24:21-22,31. c) We learn from the prophet Daniel that Michael’s work is to “stand firmly against” or “restrain” the forces of evil (Daniel 10:21), and later we are told that Michael will “arise” or “stand still” (Daniel 12:1), just prior to the great persecution of Antichrist. The Hebrew text is giving the idea that Michael, “who stands guard over the sons of your people,” must remove his protection, BEFORE “there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time” (Daniel 12:1). This passage parallels 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 and Revelation 12:7-12 as all three Scriptural references are dealing with the same event in the same time frame at the middle of the 70th week of Daniel. In the 2 Thessalonian passage we are told that the restrainer “is taken out of the way” before “the lawless one’ is revealed. Only after the restrainer (Michael) removes his protection can Antichrist have access to those who claim the name of Christ, to test the genuineness of their faith.

1. the remnant of her seed —distinct from the woman herself. Satan’s first effort is to root out the Nation of Israel, so that there should be no visible Nation. Foiled in this, he wars ( Rev 11:7 ; 13:7 ) against the Church, “those who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus” (A, B, and C omit “Christ”). These are “the remnant,” or rest of her seed, distinguished from her seed, “the man-child” ( Rev 12:5 ), on one hand, and from mere professors on the other. The Church, in her beauty is now manifested, Satan directs his enmity against true Christians, the elect remnant. 2. By definition, Satan’s intense persecution—his wrath—will be directed against all those who refuse to worship Antichrist, which will primarily be those from the faithful line of Israel (the woman), and when this attempt is thwarted, it will be directed against the saints (Rev. 13:7), the genuine bond-servants of the church at large (the rest of her “Israel’s” offspring who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.) 3. Any time one wants to reconcile a subject with Scripture, they have to do two things: 1. Compare Scripture with Scripture and 2. Find the common denominator. This means they have to look for words or phrases and compare them to other verses that contain the same phrase. Below is a list you can compare to that gives insight to who the “remnant” are in Revelation 12:17.

Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 1:2 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him to show His servants things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ to all things that he saw.” Revelation 6:9 “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the alter the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.” Revelation 12:10-11 “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation and strength, and the kingdom of or God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 11:7 “When they finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.” Revelation 13:7 “It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them .And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.” Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints, here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 19:10: “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus, Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Matthew 24:9: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”

Remnant 1. Jesus’ calling of disciples around himself to form the ‘little flock’ who were to receive the kingdom ( Lk. 12:32 ; cf. Dn. 7:22 , 27 ) marks him out as the founder of

cf. confer (Lat.), compare

the new Israel; he explicitly designated the twelve apostles as judges of ‘the twelve tribes of Israel’ in the new age ( Mt. 19:28 ; Lk. 22:30 ).16 2. The ‘little flock’ was to be increased by the succession of ‘other sheep’ who had never belonged to the Jewish fold ( Jn. 10:16 ). The reference to “other sheep” anticipates the mission to the Gentiles after Pentecost and their full incorporation into the one church of the Lord Jesus Christ. 3. The expression ‘the Israel of God’ in its one appearance in the NT ( Gal. 6:16 ) denotes believing Jews and Gentiles. Paul does not mention two groups of Christians but all true believers in Christ are the Israel of God. While the nucleus of this new Israel is Jewish ( Rom. 1:16; 11:18 ), God’s purpose as Paul teaches in Romans 11 is to incorporate the wild olive branch (Gentile believer) into the natural olive tree (believing Jews) forming one body in Christ. 4. Believing Israel within the new community is the remnant. The cutting away of merely natural Israel displays God’s judgment, but the preservation of a remnant of Jews among believing Gentiles displays his mercy and faithfulness. This remnant carries a promise of the future salvation of all Israel when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Romans 11:25-27). It may be small now, but it is not an unchangeable minority. At the end it will become the totality.17 5. “A remnant,” as used in Rom. 11:5 , “there is a remnant according to the election of grace,” i.e., there is a spiritual “remnant” saved by the gospel from the midst of apostate Israel does not nullify the Gentiles involvement as being “grafted in” among this remnant, and as such is part of the remnant. And if some of the branches were broken off (apostate Israel), and YOU (believing Gentile), being a wild olive tree, were grafted in AMONG THEM (the remnant according to the election of grace), and WITH THEM became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree ~ Romans 11:17.

The Cosmic Disturbance is in fact the “Sign of the End of the Age” when the cataclysmic changes in the sun, moon, and stars, occurs and all natural lights of the world will be
16

Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H. 1996. New Bible dictionary (3rd ed. /) . InterVarsity Press: Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill. NT New Testament 17 Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. 1995, c1985. Theological dictionary of the New Testament. Translation of: Theologisches Worterbuch zum Neuen Testament. W.B. Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, Mich.

extinguished, plunging the earth’s atmosphere into total darkness. This sign will be accompanied by worldwide earthquakes, most likely destroying all man-made light sources on earth, and will occur at the opening of the sixth seal, immediately before the sign of Christ’s second coming is seen by all the inhabitants of the world. The Cosmic Disturbance sparks a chain of events, events that are contingent upon the sign given in the sun, moon, and stars. First, the Cosmic Disturbance brings the Great Persecution of Antichrist against God’s Elect to and end, cutting it short (Matthew 24:22,29). Secondly, the Cosmic Disturbance is directly associated with the parousia of Jesus Christ as He visibly appears and is seen upon the clouds of the air to evacuate His Elect (church) out of the world (Matthew 24:30-31). Thirdly, the Cosmic Disturbance is an announcement to the Day of the Lord’s Wrath when Jesus Christ judges the wicked. The cosmic disturbance is seen as the “front side” of God’s approaching wrath. (Matthew 24:37-42; Rev. 6:12-17).

The effects on the sun, moon, and stars places this event in proximity to the coming of Jesus Christ. The “sky…rolled up” can be describing the scene of the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven. The moving of every mountain and island would cause seismic damage in excess of any recorded earthquake. It cannot be demonstrated by Scripture that the opening of the first six seals reflect the outpouring of God’s wrath. Only after the opening of the sixth seal, which initiates the cosmic disturbance, does God begin to actively intervene in the affairs of men. The narrative of Revelation 6:1-8:1 represents events prior to the outpouring of God’s judgment. The unsealing of the scroll follows the pattern of the signs called “the beginning of sorrows (Matt 24:8), followed by the “hard labor” of Great Tribulation (the persecution of God’s elect) Matthew 24:9-28, followed by the deliverance of the righteous (Rapture) when Christ appears in the clouds (Matthew 24:30-31). Only after Revelation 8:1 does God’s Wrath become evident.

HAS COME ~ In the Greek there is a common tense called the “aorist” which we do not have in English. The aorist tense is the least significant tense in Greek although many make a big deal about certain words which are in the “aorist.” The aorist does not denote “past time” as some commonly understand it. And it does not denote a “once-for-all-action.” Some wrongly believe that it is a past tense because it can often be in a past action context. Though it is commonly in past action, it can also be an action in the present, future, or it can just simply be timeless. Only the context—not the fact it is aorist—tells us what time the action occurs. The aorist is what is called the “indefinite” or “undefined” tense. It does not tell you the type of action such as specifying its duration, nor does it tell the time that the action takes place. The aorist is often known as the “background” or “snapshot” or “summary” tense. Sometimes it is thought of as the “default” tense in Greek, but that may be too much of an understatement of its function. An author would choose the aorist tense to represent the action of the verb as a complete whole – i.e . stating an undefined action without giving specific information of the type of action such as focusing on the beginning or ending of the action, its duration, or whether it is repeated or not.18 The critical phrase in Revelation 6:17 “has come,” is a translation of the Greek verb elthein. Elthein is in the aorist tense, indicative mood of erchomai, the most common Greek verb for “come.” The aorist tense is, generally speaking, timeless. In narration, it can be used to describe the simple past but another common use of the aorist tense is to describe the beginning of something. This is called the ingressive use of the aorist, and is clearly the use in this context. (Ingressive use of the aorist is simply relating to the entry into, or the entrance to a place). The reason “has come” is in the ingressive use of the aorist is because the word wrath is not mentioned in the book of revelation prior to the sixth seal, and because the signs in the sun, moon, and stars parallel the signs that will occur announcing the day of the Lord’s wrath (Joel 2:31; Matt. 24:29-31, 37-39). It is an event that is on the threshold of happening yet in the future. An excellent example to compare too is the identical Greek word, elthein, used by Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Like in Revelation 6:17, we see the ingressive use of the aorist, describing an event just about to occur.19 And He came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come (elthein); behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Arise, let us be going; behold the one who betrays Me is at hand! And immediately while He was speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. (Mark 14:41-43).

18 19

Articles written by Alan Kurschner with written permission; www.prewrath rapture Dot Com Robert Van Kampen; The Rapture Question Answered, pp. 153-54

In addition to NOTE 30 on page 34, further evidence is given that at opening of the sixth seal with the mergence of the cosmic disturbance, the mention of the four winds gives verification of God’s approaching Wrath. “After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree…When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour” ~ Revelation 7:1, 8:1 In Revelation 7:1-3, we see the earth sitting on the brink of devastating judgment. There are four angels stationed at the four corners of the earth holding the four winds of the earth. Currently, as concerning the future of the earth, the angels stationed at the four corners of the earth in Revelation 7:1-3, are given tremendous destructive power that will be violently unleashed as soon as the servants of God, 144,000 Jews, are sealed in their foreheads. Between Revelation 7:1 and 8:1 we find an interlude, 144,000 Jews from every tribe of Israel are sealed for protection during the Day of the Lord. There is another group of people seen in heaven standing before the throne of God. Here we see the resurrected/raptured church standing before God worshiping.

7:1–8 Jews Numbered—144,000 Sealed on earth

7:9–17 Gentiles from all nations Not numbered, nor could be Standing in heaven before God

What Revelation 7:1 & 8:1 describes is what I call, “The deep breath before the plunge.” Four angels were told to withhold judgment on the earth until the servants of ... God were sealed ( v. 3). The four angels are seen standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the “four winds” from blowing on the earth. At the same time the seventh seal is opened and there is silence in heaven for about a half hour. There is a parallel to Revelation 7:1-3 in Ezekiel 9:1-11. In Ezekiel we see a city sitting on the brink of judgment. We see angels with slaughter weapons in their hands. We also see an angel, clothed in linen, with a writer’s inkhorn in his hand. The angel with the inkhorn is commanded to set a mark [of protection] in the foreheads of all the servants of God in the city (them that sigh and cry over the sin surrounding them). The action taken by the angels here in Rev. 7:1 is in conjunction with the Olivet Discourse’s description of Jesus sending His angels to gather together His elect from the “four winds,” from one end of heaven to the other ~Matthew 24:31. In Matthew 24:31

and Mark 13:27 the “four winds” stand for the four cardinal points of the compass. The Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words states that the context signifies that this event is connected with the execution of divine judgment. At the parousia of Christ, the angels will gather together God’s elect from the four winds, simultaneously holding back the winds from blowing on the earth followed by silence in heaven. An act describing the commencement of the Day of the Lord’s Wrath. In Revelation 6:17 those left upon the earth acknowledge “the great day of His wrath has come,” after the Rapture of the church we find the first action taken connected to the Divine Wrath of God. The Day of the Lord then begins with Revelation 8:2, the trumpet judgments are the beginning while the bowls are the conclusion ending with Armageddon.

Deceiver ~The name “ANTICHRIST” means “against Christ,” he is the rival and arch enemy of Jesus Christ. He will appear on the world scene in the future as the Christ but will appose Him by misrepresenting Him. The name antichrist has been applied to the “false Christ’s” spoken of by our Lord in the Olivet Discourse ~ Matthew 24:5,23,24. His deception will be through his religious influence (Revelation 13; 17) which even now is already a danger to the church ~ (1 John 2:18-29; 4:1-6; 2 John 1:7-11). Deceivers are great manipulators able to undermine and overthrow the hearts and minds of people; such will be the ability of antichrist. Daniel 8:23-25a “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive, he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means.” Daniel 8:23-25 reveals several facts of the future antichrist. 1) He will have “fierce features” meaning he will be stern and will not spare. 2) He will understand “sinister schemes” which are enigmas, riddles, parables, signified in the Original Language as “double dealings.” These characteristics are the mechanics behind his deception. 3) He will achieve great power by subduing others, but not by his own power (v. 24); (2 Thess 2:9-10; Rev. 13:3-4). 4) He shall seek to destroy the holy people (v.24); In Revelation 12:13-13:10 Israel will be persecuted first but some will escape by fleeing into the wilderness.

The offspring of Israel, (the Church) will then be the focus of his rage as he attempts to wipe Christianity from the earth in the Great Tribulation. 5) He shall destroy many in their prosperity (v.25). He will either disrupt the economy or gain control over it or both. His demand that all receive his mark in Revelation 13:11-18 is strong evidence that he will control the world’s economy. 6) He will rise to power by promising false security (v. 25). 7) He will be intelligent and believable (v. 23). 8) He will be controlled by another (v. 24), that is, Satan (2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:2,4). 9) He will be the adversary of Israel and the church subjugating both to his authority (v. 24-25). 10)He will rise up in opposition to the Prince of princes, the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 25). 11)His rule will be terminated by divine judgment (v. 25) 12)Above we see the rise of antichrist as a deceiver, destroyer, economic disruptor, dictator, and desecrator who shall be consumed with the breath of Christ’s mouth and destroyed with the brightness of His coming ~ 2 Thess. 2:8. It must be understood that the word “destroy” in 2 Thess 2:8 means to render idle, useless. At the parousia of Christ the antichrist will be rendered useless as Jesus will remove the object of his persecution (rapture of the church) allowing antichrist’s 42 mouth rule to continue through too Armageddon. It’s at Armageddon we see antichrist rising against the Prince of princes being broken without human means. Christ is the “stone cut out without hands (Dan. 2:3234)” who shall destroy the kingdoms of the beast/antichrist at Armageddon.

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