|Return to Part 1|
The greatest Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, likened the “day of the Lord” to a woman writhing in the most severe pains of hard labor
In another place, Isaiah gave a similar description of a woman writhing in labor pains
But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longerIn this special deliverance, a resurrection is described, followed by an entering by God’s people into their “rooms” (presumably the same “rooms,” “chambers,” or “mansions” described by Jesus as the ones He was going to prepare for them—
Paul noted that “God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”
Rather, I see the majority of the 70th Week as a time when God will remove His stabilizing, helping hand from the earth and mankind. As a result, there will be great instability in and on the earth itself—manifested by such things such as frequent, intense earthquakes, famines, plagues, and catastrophic weather, as well as chaos in societies worldwide, most likely including widespread economic collapse and horrific acts of terrorism. This will create a highly volatile environment in which the Antichrist (the “eleventh horn” of the first beast)—supported by bewildered, disoriented, panicked people everywhere—will rise to power.
In the Book of Revelation, the very first occurrences of the word “wrath” are found after the description of the cosmic disturbances and tumult (following the opening of the Sixth Seal). At this time, the people of the earth, from the great to the lowly, will flee to hide in caves in the rocks of the mountains, terrified of the visible appearance of the Lord
Thus, soon after the intense cosmic disturbances have begun to take place, the primary Rapture event will take place. Multitudes of believers who have died thoughout the centuries will be resurrected. Together with believers alive at the time, they will be transformed into glorified, immortal, imperishable forms, or changed bodies—each being clothed with his or her “heavenly dwelling”
Jesus noted, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”
Rosh haShanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at the new moon. Before methods were available to calculate the exact time of each new moon, no one knew the day or hour the new moon would occur until two witnesses, peering into the sky, detected the first tiny sliver of the waxing moon. Upon their announcement (just as the two witnesses of the future will prophesy and announce the appearance of Jesus in the clouds), Rosh haShanah officially would begin. As such, the phrase “we do not know the day or hour” came to be synonymous with Rosh HaShanah.
Thus, when Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour [of His appearance in the clouds]”
A series of trumpets (shofars) is sounded on Rosh haShanah (the Feast of Trumpets) each year. Just prior to Jesus’ appearance in the clouds, there evidently will be a series of trumpets blown in heaven and heard on earth as well. At the blowing of the last of these trumpets
Whenever it happens, though, this Feast of Trumpets, occurring shortly after the opening of the Sixth Seal, will be followed soon by the opening of the Seventh Seal—commencing God’s wrath upon the earth during the day of vengeance—and then the seven Trumpet Judgments. It is not until the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet
There is another possible rendering of the “day and hour unknown.” In case there happens to be a partial or firstfruits Mid-Tribulation Rapture (perhaps at
Following what I believe to be the (primary) Rapture event, after the cosmic disturbances and the shaking of the earth and sky during the Sixth Seal, John described the supernatural sealing of 144,000 from the tribes of Israel—12,000 from each tribe—for protection on earth, from that point forward
It is immediately after the sealing of the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel that John described what I believe is the great multitude of saints taken up into heaven in the Pre-Wrath Rapture. They will be “from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb,” holding palm branches (just as the great crowd had done during Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Passover—
John (the author of Revelation), who had a vision of this multitude of saved believers, was asked by an elder, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
The Day of the Lord will begin, as written chronologically in the Book of Revelation, after the opening of the Seventh Seal
The Pre-Wrath Rapture will be such an extraordinarily stupendous and unique event in human history that one certainly would have expected Jesus to have foreseen, and John to have viewed, its future happening. I believe Jesus did so when He described the coming of the Son of Man on the clouds of the sky
At the beginning of His Olivet Discourse, Jesus did not describe a great and awesome rapture event, nor did John see a great multitude of people in heaven at or just prior to the opening of the First Seal. These are merely two elements that call into question a “Pre-Tribulation” Rapture.
Unlike those who believe in a “Pre-Tribulation” Rapture, I do not see the Rapture as being a “silent, unexpected” event at all. Jesus’ disciples specifically had asked Him what would be the “sign” of His coming and of the “end of the age”
I feel that the Son of Man’s brilliant, dazzling Shekinah Glory, exploding from the Sixth Seal’s cosmic darkness like a blinding light, will get the immediate attention of the entire world. Jesus said, “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man”
Jesus said that His appearance in the sky one day would be the definitive “sign” of His coming: “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory”
Jesus likened His next coming, in the future, to lightning flashing from the east to the west
The people of the nations will mourn, I believe, because
However, Paul indicated that the people for whom Jesus will appear unexpectedly are those in spiritual darkness, for whom sudden destruction will come “as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape”
This does not mean that believers should not be self-controlled in their actions, as Paul advised that they should be
A belief by many who embrace the notion of a “Pre-Tribulation” Rapture feel that the people saying “peace and safety” in the following passage will be experiencing tranquility and security around them until God’s wrath and destruction suddenly comes upon them:
While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escapeOn the contrary, I suggest that they will be yearning and intensely crying out for “peace and safety,” due to all of the great distress, hardship and suffering that they have been undergoing, during the Great Tribulation, and due to their tremendous fear and apprehension that God’s wrath is about to be dispensed upon the whole world, including them.
(1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Being convinced that the Pre-Wrath Rapture is the main “catching-up” event for believers, and that it is not preceded by any other major rapture events, one phrase written by Paul concerns me. He spoke of the “rebellion” or “apostasy” which would take place, prior to the revelation of the man of lawlessness (Antichrist) in the midst of the
I believe it is quite possible that some people, perhaps a great many of them, will apostasize (fall away) from the Christian faith after realizing that the 70th Week—particularly the Great Tribulation—has begun but that they have not yet been caught up from the earth to be with Jesus. It could be that a significant number of these disenchanted individuals, having been led to believe that a “Pre-Tribulation” (that is, a pre-70th-Week) catching-up event would occur, but suddenly finding themselves facing insurmountable trials and hardships, will think something like this: “Hey! We had been assured that Jesus would be coming for us before this point, but it hasn’t happened! Maybe Jesus has abandoned us—or maybe there is no Jesus after all!” Perhaps this even could cause many marginal Christians to join the ranks of Islam, which views Christians as infidels and heathens.
Considering this possibility, I believe that it is important for those who embrace a “Pre-Tribulation” (or even a “Mid-Tribulation”) Rapture view to make sure they understand all aspects of the Pre-Wrath Rapture view. Whether or not they wish to embrace the Pre-Wrath view now, at least they will know Jesus has not abandoned them when they realize that the 70th Week is progressing, while they still remain on the earth.
I believe that the Pre-Wrath Rapture, occurring after the opening of the Sixth Seal described by John in the Book of Revelation, will be the principal and most important Rapture event during the
As noted before, the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel will be sealed for protection
The two witnesses clothed in sackcloth, who will prophesy for 1,260 days during the second half of the 70th Week
Atpossibly the very same time that the two witnesses are ascending to heaven, there will be those who will be caught up (“harvested”) at the end of the 70th Week
At the initial, Pre-Wrath Rapture, angels will be the ones who will gather the elect
Once the main Pre-Wrath Rapture event has been placed at
It already has been shown that the cosmic disturbance descriptions by both Jesus
Below, I will indicate what John saw when, in the future, the first six seals of the heavenly scroll will be opened
First Seal: I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. ... I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest
Jesus: Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many
Second Seal: When the Lamb opened the second seal,...another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword
Jesus: You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
Third Seal: When the Lamb opened the third seal,...there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard...a voice...saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
Jesus: There will be great earthquakes, famines...
Fourth Seal: When the Lamb opened the fourth seal,...I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth
Fifth Seal: When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained
Jesus: Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. ... For then there will be great distress [great tribulation], unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened
Sixth Seal (part 1): I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place
Jesus: Immediately after the distress [great tribulation] of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies [powers of the heavens] will be shaken
Sixth Seal (part 2): Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the 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 their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
Jesus: At that time the sign of the Son of Man [Jesus, the Lamb] will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet [shofar] call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other
|Return to Part 1|
|Summary of Commentaries|
|Who Is God?|
| The Rapture
|The Final Battles||The Beasts||The Creation|
|God’s Covenant: with
Israel or the Church?
Delayed 1-3 Years?
|My Beliefs and Faith|
|Bible Question Emails
and Ted’s Responses
|The Holy Bible
(a novel by Ted)
of the Human Eye
Comments or questions? Email Me.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.