Revelation of the Seven Seals

A Revelation of the War on the Saints in the Seven Scrolls of Revelation

The Purpose and Timeline of the Seven Sealed Scroll Explained

The answer to the age-old question of when the Rapture will occur is revealed in the Seals in the Book of Revelation.

A reprint of chapters 7-9 from the book “The Glorious Battle” by Gregory Eddolls.

We welcome Brother Greg Eddolls to The Joseph Plan as a contributing writer.

The Seven Scrolls were given to Apostle John as prophetic words for all those alive during the Tribulation period, the times of the end. Most of us alive today will be living through and experiencing the times and events described in Revelations Five and Six.

God has made every born again true believer promises of protection. Do Not Fear is His command. For all those that keep the faith, when it is tested, will be saved.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
In the original language the term “endure” means “to maintain ones Faith”!

Beginning in Chapter Seven of The Glorious Battle.

The scroll tells us the order of events which will take place in a very
simple, high overview fashion. The events which occur in the seven seals
are directly related to a mapping of God’s plan for the last days. When
comparing the text of the seven seals to other scriptures it can be
discerned that the events of the seven seals include various references
to scripture within Revelation and other prophetic scriptures such as
Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Matthew, Luke and many others.

God’s Word gives so much prophetic information about these events
that it appears repetitious in its continuous hammering of such. This is
profitable for us and ingenious on God’s part so that the message is
delivered in a consistent fashion, but for the human mind to link all of
these references together in a cohesive picture it requires years of study
and familiarity with a great bulk of the Bible.

For this same reason, many students have fallen short of grasping the
multitude of references to these critical events and instead relied on
logical constructs that do not agree and harmonize all the words of
scripture.

All this to say, that studying the “order of events” in the last days, which
is so vast a subject debated by so many brilliant (but perhaps impatient)
minds of scholars, has led to a fractious multitude of interpretations
which on the surface may first appear logical, but once they are
thoroughly investigated emerge with great inconsistencies.

It is not at once obvious as to the importance of some of these errors
how they affect the overall doctrines of eschatology and believers, but it
becomes apparent to the true seeker that rightly dividing God’s Word
and establishing the absolutely sure interpretation of prophecy can
have very dramatic effect on how one views the world, both in respect
to Christ’s return and to how we should be preparing for His return.

Considering just the fact that Christ is going to return and that we will
have to endure hardships and persecution makes us consider what that
might look like and how we will react or not react. Christ has told us
that we should be watching and that we should not be taken by surprise
because we are children of the light. We should be setting our faces like
flint in anticipation of the coming times and resolving to make our faith
sure as is fitting of the patience and endurance of the saints of God.

It is not simply enough for those moved by God’s Spirit to accept as
some do, the “pan-theory” regarding the last days. “Not to worry,“ says
the pan-theorist, “it will eventually just all pan out.” This is usually
followed by a hearty if not ignorant and embarrassing chuckle from the
soul who has just spoken his or her lack of care and lack of knowledge
about scripture, prophecy, and the last days. So the task of interpreting
prophetic scripture falls to those whom God has given an interest and
passion for His return.

It is my humble task and undertaking to write this in such a fashion as
God has impassioned my heart, that the reader will understand the
urgency of the message; not for fear but for the acquiring of wisdom in

a time of need and perhaps a little motivation to start them on the road
to preparing their own hearts, minds, and bodies for the coming times.

The Mid-Point of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.

It is appropriate to take a pause here and reflect on the details of what
happens at the mid-point of Daniel’s Seventieth Week. Jesus gives us an
indication about the events we should be expecting to see as a clear
confirmation that God’s prophetic calendar is in full swing.

The Great Tribulation

The Great Tribulation begins when antichrist stands in the temple noted
as the “Abomination of Desolation” in Daniel 9 and Matthew 24 while at
the same time Jerusalem is surrounded by armies as told by Jesus in
Luke 21.

We are about to look at scripture and connect two events that create a
perfect picture of the time and season which Jesus calls “great distress”
or “great tribulation”. This is a critical element of prophetic scripture
from the mouth of Jesus which defines the timing of the “great
tribulation”.

Many students of prophecy have been taught a “pre-tribulation
rapture” view which in essence declares that the “tribulation” is a
period of time that lasts seven years, or the entire seventieth week and
that believers will be removed from the scene before the seven year
period even begins. To assert such an idea as fact goes against scripture
itself, inserting into scripture a false premise, a premise on which false
doctrine has been built.

Within the seven year period there are distinct seasons of affliction
from Satan via antichrist which are very different in purpose and scope
from God’s wrath. Jesus distinguishes between the satanic persecution
by antichrist of Christians and the wrath of God to which believers are
not appointed.

While it cannot be denied that there are plenty of legitimate believing
saints that hold the erroneous doctrinal position of a “pre-seventieth
week” rapture, it might come as quite a surprise to many believers how
dramatically a change in this position will affect their outlook on life and
doctrine. Although this is not a doctrine related to the salvation of the
believer by the profession of faith, it may have a detrimental effect on “pre-trib rapture” believers who are surprised by the events they will see unfolding in the great tribulation.

The major issue with a “pre-trib” or more correctly stated “pre-
seventieth week” rapture is that many believers will not understand
why they are seeing antichrist come onto the world stage while they are
still here on earth. This will cause many to fall away who were expecting
to be out of the way before any serious persecution of the church saints
comes to their doorstep.

It is certain that God already knows who are His and who will fall away
when their faith is tested and tried, but it is paramount to the journey of
some believers to be prepared for the last days, that they may be a light
in the darkness and a supplier of instruction and wisdom when the dark
times come. The primary error of the “pre-tribulation rapture”
interpretation becomes apparent when we deal with the following two
scriptures. Luke 21:20-24 and Matthew 24:15-21

The Desolation of Jerusalem – Luke 21

Luke 21:20-24
“20 ‘When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know
that its desolation is near.
21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the
city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.
22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been
written.
23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and
nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath
against this people.
24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the
nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of
the Gentiles are fulfilled.’”

It’s interesting to note that even though this event is happening at the
midpoint of the seven years, it could be an example of historical
fulfillment and a yet future fulfillment as well, which you will see
illustrated below with agreement in scripture. The event is involving
Jerusalem and Jesus talks about the times of the Gentiles as not yet
being fulfilled. This could be Jesus reference to 70 A.D. as well as a

future reference to the last days. As of now we are still in the times of
the gentiles. Stick with me as we continue.

The Abomination of Desolation – Matthew 24

Matthew 24: 15-21
“15 ’So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that
causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader
understand—
16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17 Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of
the house.
18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.
19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and
nursing mothers!
20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.
21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of
the world until now—and never to be equaled again.”

What these scriptures show us is one distinct event (the beginning of
the great tribulation) which includes Jerusalem being surrounded by
armies (when its desolation is nigh) and the antichrist standing in the
temple proclaiming himself to be God.

The beginning of the Great Tribulation is shown to happen at the
midpoint of the seven years. This demonstrable fact of scripture shows
that this period of great tribulation is most certainly not the entire
duration of the last seven years.

In both scriptures Jesus says, “then let those who are in Judea flee to
the mountains…for then there will be great distress.” This pinpoints
and connects these two events together. This is a critical portion of
scripture in agreement that indicates a more robust picture of when the
great tribulation begins. We will continue to explore the details of the
great tribulation. Read on.

In particular the reference in Luke 21 also gives us a brand new
understanding of what is happening in Israel at this time. We will see
later how this “Jerusalem surrounded by armies” relates to other

prophetic scriptures, primarily Ezekiel 38’s Gog and Magog invasion.
Let’s get back to the roadmap of the seven seals.

The Timing of the Seven Seals

If you begin to research the seven seals of Revelation on the internet or
in many bookstores, you will come across a plethora of funky
interpretations and claims that perhaps one of the seals has already
taken place. It is these kinds of wild claims that make the subject of
Revelation and eschatology seem like the study of kooks and whackos. It
is critical again to remind the reader that all of these events are
Jerusalem centric and central to the Jewish people.

Here are some questions we should be asking as we study the seven seals.
* To what time period(s) do the seven seals make reference?
* Do some of the seals precede the last seven years?
* Have we seen any of the seals occur yet?
* Are the seven seals talking about birth pangs as Jesus described
in Matthew 24:6-8?

We see the actions of conquering, war, famine and death all in the first
four seals of Revelation chapter 6, but is this the same as Matthew 24?
What Jesus describes in Matthew 24 is the beginning of birth pains. To
be clear this author says no, they are not the same. Let’s review birth
pains.

Birth Pains

Matthew 24:6-8
“6 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. 7
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will
be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the
beginning of birth pains.”

We are seeing even now conquering, war, famines and earthquakes in
greater frequency. To be sure these things can be happening at ever
increasing levels of intensity until the end is reached, but Jesus says,
“the end is still to come”.

Are the seven seals referring to the entire seven years of Daniel’s
Seventieth Week or to the time of great tribulation? Is there a
difference? Many “pre-trib” rapture proponents assume that the “great
tribulation” is the period of the last seven years, but nowhere in
scripture does it indicate that the “great tribulation” lasts the entire
seven years.

Most authors do not address the timeline of the seals, or they simply
assume that the seven seals somehow happen alongside the seven
years. However it may be surprising to the reader to understand that
the seals are all strong references to the events which occur
immediately after the abomination of desolation at the mid-point of the
seven year “covenant”. To clarify, this indicates that the seven seals
occur during the last three and one half years of the Seventieth Week of
Daniel; a surprising conclusion perhaps, but bear with me as we
continue to explore supporting scripture.

The First Four Seals

Revelation 6:1
“1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it
were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come all

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Literal or Symbolic?
Let’s look at the first four seals of the scroll and see what we can glean
from the language within.

Should these visions of the four horsemen of the apocalypse be taken
literally as men riding horses? This author says no. The horses and their
riders in the first four seals do not necessarily need to represent an
individual who is performing each literal action (i.e. there is not an
actual horse and rider), but rather the circumstance which is occurring
at the time.

We tend to think that because John the apostle sees a rider on each
horse that it must be a reference to different individuals each
performing the indicated action, but it is rather referring to a symbolic
circumstance of doom which is unleashed at each seal.

It is quite certain that the action or chaos unleashed by each rider has a
direct causal relationship to the antichrist’s actions on the world scene.
Without a doubt it can be said that the spirit of antichrist which takes
peace from, and brings war, famine and death to the world, is merely an
outpouring of this relationship. The spirit of antichrist is ruling during
this time; and the spirit of antichrist is Satan himself.

So what are the seals? What do they represent? Each seal reveals the
types of events that will occur at the hands of antichrist; war, famine,
pestilence, death…etc. Let’s take a look at the first four seals to see
what each one reveals.

The First Seal – The White Horse

The Rise of Antichrist and Conquest

Revelation 6:1-2
“1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it
were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a
bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering,
and to conquer.”

In the First Seal John sees a white horse,”…and he that sat on him had
a bow; and a crown was given unto him; and he went forth conquering
and to conquer.” First of all, we know this is not Jesus. Jesus may arrive
riding on a white horse but He fights with the sword of his mouth which

is the Word of God. The timing is all wrong as well. Jesus rides in on the
white horse in judgment at the battle of Armageddon to conclude bowls
of wrath and the end of the age, while the first seal rider shows up
before all of this. Additionally the rider on the white horse carries a
bow. So we can rule this out as a reference to Christ.

Some of the simplest imagery and symbolism in scripture can give us
amazing revelation. In Ephesians 6 when we are told to put on the
armor, one of the pieces of armor is a shield which is used to extinguish
the flaming arrows of the evil one. This is a spiritual reference to
Satan’s attacks on believers.

Ephesians 6:16
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can
extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

It seems apparent from this imagery that Satan “the evil one” (the rider
on the white horse) holds a bow. We all know that a bow shoots
arrows. So the reference is certainly to a satanic type of figure and the
bow is an offensive weapon with which to engage in war and conquest.

He is also given a crown which shows that this rider will have leadership
as a king. The verb here is “given”, which implies that someone else
gave the crown to him. Who gives him the crown? It does not say here,
but it must be God who allows it. God is the one who appoints the
rulers and powers of the land and uses them according to His purpose
and will.

The rider on the white horse goes out conquering and to conquer. Who
is he to conquer? The antichrist known as the beast is also “given”
authority for only forty-two months or three and a half years to make
war against the saints and to conquer them. Let’s keep reading and put
these scriptures together about who the rider on the white horse
conquers and his appointed times of authority.

Revelation 13:5-6
“5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies
and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his
mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling
place and those who live in heaven.”
Daniel 7:25 puts this authority another way; speaking of the king that
will come out of the beast and the ten kings.

Daniel 7:25
“25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try
to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be ‘handed over’ to
him for a time, times and half a time.”

The key words here are “a time, times and half a time.” This is another
way of saying three and a half years or forty-two months. Antichrist is
also given authority, which would be the same as being “handed over”.
The classic interpretation of the first seal is that this is the antichrist, a
literal physical human empowered or possessed by the spirit of Satan,
but not literally riding in on a horse with a bow. He is the king, or small
horn, that comes out of the ten kings or ten horns of the beast in Daniel
7.
We can understand that the antichrist king will conquer because he is
“given” authority for forty-two months. Given that antichrist’s
authority only lasts forty two months and he is revealed at the mid-
point of the seven years, we have a basis for considering that the seven
seals may not even begin until antichrist officially begins his short reign
of 1260 days (or a time, times, and half a time).

It is possible that antichrist’s conquering could begin when he first rises
to power by the confirmation of the covenant for seven years and as he
begins to subdue three of the ten kings (ten horns of the beast),
However, we cannot be dogmatic on this point.

The question we must ask to relate all these scriptures to one another
is; who does antichrist conquer? The First Seal does not tell us who the
rider intends to conquer, but having connected that the white horse
rider and antichrist are one in the same and that he is “given
authority”, we learn who he conquers in Revelation 13:7-8.

Revelation 13:7-8
“7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer
them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language
and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all
whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the
Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”

Antichrist will conquer not only the saints but all the inhabitants of the
earth. Whether by force or by choice the people of earth will be ruled
by the antichrist king for forty-two months. This period of forty-two
months of authority “given” to antichrist will prove to be very
important to a detailed understanding of the last days.

Nowhere in scripture do we find that antichrist reigns the entire seven
years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week. The beginning of his God-given
authority will start with the second half of this seven year period. He
will be going forth to conquer for forty two months beginning when his
short duration of authority is appointed by God at the midpoint of the
Seventieth Week of Daniel.

In addition to “conquering” authority in the first seal, the lawless one is
given authority and power in the second, third and fourth seals, to kill
by means of sword, famine and pestilence.

The Second Seal – The Red Horse

Revelation 6:3-4
“3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living
creature say, “Come!” 4 Then 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.”

Wars
War will be the natural outpouring of antichrist’s attempts to conquer
the world. The rider of this red horse is given power to take peace from
the earth and to make men slay each other; he is given a large sword.

Here is where the literal interpretation of horse and rider breaks down.
Does the antichrist first ride the white horse and then the red horse? It
does not tell us who the rider is. It makes more sense that the rider is
merely representing the next phase of antichrist’s rule. In this case the
action is to make men slay each other. We would call this war. It could
also be that antichrist has so much power that he is turning family
against family as Jesus said would happen in Matthew 24:10.

Matthew 24:10
“10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and
hate each other,”
Jesus also says in Luke 21:16-17

Luke 21:16-17
“16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends,
and they will put some of you to death. 17 All men will hate you because
of me.“

During a time where social order is breaking down all over the world,
there will be a breaking away from law and order as well. Where society
has been kept in order by the law for so long, they will be quite
distressed when they find that no one is enforcing the law. When right
and wrong are turned upside down, and the fear of death by a new evil
authority is on the doorstep of every household, many will give in to the
pressure of turning in their own family to the authorities in order to
secure their own safety.

The Third Seal – The Black Horse

Revelation 6:5-6
“5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature
say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider
was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded
like a voice among the four living creatures, 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!”

Is this yet another rider and another horse? But who is it? It should be
obvious by now that the rider is an extension of the horror which the
spirit of antichrist is bringing upon the earth.

Famine
The third seal has wide agreement among scholars to be symbolic of
famine. The measure of dry goods in this setting as applied to wheat
and barley indicates a measure suitable to feed one man for one day.
This indicates a dire famine where a man would not be able to feed
anyone but himself; where whole families will be starving and unable to
get sufficient supplies of food.

An even more dramatic possibility is that oil and wine will be so valuable
that they should not be used for anything but critical needs. In other
words, deep fried “anything” would be out of the question as oil would
be not available in large quantities. Wine would be of similar
importance due to its scarcity. An overall famine will be taking place on
a global scale.

It’s also possible that the reference to oil pertains to our times in the
21st century in regard to the price of a barrel of crude oil (which directly
influences the price of gasoline) and it’s availability during times of
scarcity.

The overall indication here is that famine will be upon all of humanity.
This is surely a natural outpouring of the damage done by the previous
seal of war when the man-made distribution channels are disrupted by
total chaos. As a side note, it will be of great value to possess the ability
to grow food for one’s own consumption.

The Fourth Seal – The Pale Horse

Revelation 6:7-8
“7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the
fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 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.”

The rider’s name is Death. This is not referring to Satan who once had
the power of death, but rather an anthropomorphic rendering of Death
itself. Hades is more aptly identified as the place where the dead exist;
and in some very real sense, the portion of earth where Death is given
power to kill will be transformed into a place where the dead exist in
great numbers.

This fourth seal is an amplified version of its first three counterparts,
involving more killing by sword, more famine, and an even worse
accompaniment of plague or pestilence, which often accompanies war
and famine.

The whole list of woeful conditions and events expressed by the first
four seals are clearly the effects of what antichrist will bring to the earth
once his authority for forty-two months is “given” to him. I am not so
proud as to insist dogmatically that these events of the first four seals
could not happen before the 42 months of authority, i.e. the first three
and a half years. Anything is possible, but I am heavily leaning towards
the last three and a half years as the time frame in which these seals
occur.

In the next three chapters we will focus in more detail on the last three
seals and their supporting scriptures. We begin with the fifth seal,
where it is clear that the saints of God are enduring affliction,
persecution and death at the hands of antichrist.

The Fifth Seal
The Great Tribulation

Matthew 24:21-22
“21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the
beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be
saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

The Great Tribulation

Revelation 6:9-11
“9 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.
10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and
true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our
blood?”
11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to
wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and
brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.”

We see the roadmap unfolding before us. The first four seals deal with
the results of antichrist’s actions upon the earth. Now the fifth seal
begins to deal with specific persecution against the saints of God.
We can glean from this specific scripture that there exists a certain time
frame for which the slain saints must wait until “the number of their
fellow servants” are also killed in the same fashion as the souls under
the altar.

We can also see that these souls under the altar are actually in heaven,
for that is where the altar exists. So the slain souls will wait until the
timing of God is fulfilled.

This period of time through which the slain saints must wait is what
Jesus himself refers to as “great tribulation”. It is appropriate to remind
the reader here that this period of time known as the “great
tribulation” or persecution of the saints is cut short for the sake of the
elect. So the length of the persecution is a mystery to some degree, but
we know it will be cut short for the saints. We also know that it lasts
many days according to Daniel 11:33-35

Daniel 11:33-35
“33 Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to
the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by
plunder for many days. 34 Now when they fall they will be granted a
little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy. 35 Some of those
who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure
until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.”
So we see some detail about this difficult time of tribulation for the
saints of God. When the time appointed time comes for Jesus to return
and rescue the remnant of His people by rapture this tribulation and
time of refining will end.

The great tribulation has a twofold purpose in reference to Jews and
Gentiles. While it is true that “all are in Christ” and that “he is a Jew
who is one inwardly, circumcised of the heart”, God has a special
separate plan for the believing Messianic Jewish Christians which is
different from His plan for the gentile Christians. As we have seen
according to Daniel the plan of God deals with Daniel’s people (the
Jews) and the Holy City (Jerusalem). Regarding this period of
persecution against God’s people we will first focus on God’s plan for
the Jews and those who dwell in Jerusalem, and then we will deal with
the plan for the gentile believers.

Tribulation for the Jews
Jesus speaks directly to the fate of the Jews who dwell in Judaea and in
Jerusalem when His apostles ask about the signs of the end of the
world. As found in the King James Translation of the bible:

Matthew 24:15-22
“15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken
of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let
him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything
out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in
those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the
sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the
beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be
saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
Jesus tells the disciples about how terrible this period of time will be
and how they must flee into the mountains. He is specifically talking about
those who live in Judaea. It will not matter if someone is a Jew or
a Gentile because there will be great suffering for both groups in
Judaea, (specifically Jerusalem) where the temple of the Jews will exist
in the future. Although the circumstances of this judgment and
punishment of the Jews are specific to the prophecy in Daniel 9:24, all
those who are in the locality of Jerusalem and Judea will be affected by
the events which will come to pass.

The Future Temple of the Jews
The abomination of desolation occurs in a temple of the Jews which at
this day does not currently exist. The absence of the temple in which
this event occurs provides us part of the roadmap of prophecy that will
guide us in understanding the current status of our position in the last
seven years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.

When we begin to see the temple being rebuilt we will know indeed
that we are in the midst of the seven years. If you think about it right
now, knowing anything of the news and tension in the Middle East, we
must ask how it could ever be possible for a temple to be built in
Jerusalem on the temple mount. The Islamic world would absolutely
freak out about such an event coming to pass. This reality only shows
us that any individual capable of soothing the masses enough to allow
for Israel to peacefully build this temple would be hailed as a
magnanimous force of peace in the world, setting the stage perfectly for
the antichrist’s introduction to the world.

Even now many are aware of the effort to rebuild all the needed
elements to reinstitute temple worship for the Jews. The cornerstone
has already been hewn. The tools of the priests have already been
fashioned for use in the new temple. According to their own website,
“The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement” displays
their clear goals for the third temple.

The Temple Mount Faithful
“The goal of the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement is
the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in
our lifetime in accordance with the Word of G-d and all the Hebrew
prophets and the liberation of the Temple Mount from Arab (Islamic)
occupation so that it may be consecrated to the Name of G-d.” (13)

According to their website they have specific short term and long term
goals. As follows:

Long Term Objectives
Liberating the Temple Mount from Arab (Islamic) occupation.
* The Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque were placed on this
Jewish or Biblical holy site as a specific sign of Islamic conquest and
domination. The Temple Mount can never be consecrated to the
Name of G-d without removing these pagan shrines. It has been
suggested that they be removed, transferred to and rebuilt at
Mecca.
* Consecrating the Temple Mount to the Name of G-d so that it can
become the moral and spiritual center of Israel, of the Jewish people
and of the entire world according to the words of all the Hebrew
prophets. It is envisioned that the consecration of the Temple Mount
and the Temple itself will focus Israel on (a) fulfilling the vision and
mission given at Mt. Sinai for Israel to be a chosen people separate
unto G-d, a holy nation, and a nation of priests, and (b) becoming a
light unto all the nations (Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 42:6) so that the Name
of G-d may be revered by all nations and the Biblical way of life may
be propagated throughout the world.
* Rebuilding the Third Temple in accordance with the words of all the
Hebrew prophets. This temple will be a house of prayer for the
people of Israel and all nations.
* Providing a Biblical point of assembly in order that all Israel may
fulfill the commandment to assemble three times annually at the
times of G-d’s festivals and at the place where G-d established His
Name forever.
* Making Biblical Jerusalem the real, undivided capital of the state of
Israel.
* Rejecting false “peace talks” which will result in the dividing of Israel
and the breaking of G-d’s covenant. G-d promised to Abraham and
to his seed that the land and the borders of Israel are eternal and
cannot be divided and given to other people and nations.
* Supporting the settlements in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the
Golan Heights as they are holy. No one is allowed to break the Word
and the Will of G-d by commanding the settlers to leave. In the
Biblical era, G-d commanded the people of Israel to settle the land
completely. This command is applicable today. The holy connection
and covenant between G-d, the People of Israel and the Land of
Israel is eternal.

Short Term Objectives
* To strengthen the organizational structure of the movement in
Jerusalem in order to pursue its Long-Term objectives.
* To raise the awareness of the people of Israel to the significance of
their nation in G-d’s plan of redemption. This will be accomplished in
a number of ways including (a) youth education, (b) formation of
youth clubs, (c) publication and propagation of relevant educational
materials.
* To demonstrate the fulfillment of the TANACH to the people of
Israel.
* To publicly proclaim the message of the Temple Mount and Land of
Israel Movement in newspapers, flyers, posters, newsletters, radio
and television.
* To demonstrate publicly to raise awareness of Israel to the issue of
the Third Temple, the Temple Mount and the Land of Israel.
* To buy a house in the Old City (Biblical Jerusalem) near the Temple
Mount to establish a spiritual and educational center to be used by
everyone. The four-ton cornerstone will be stored and exhibited on
this site. This first stone of the Third Temple will soon be laid.
* To organize conferences for the study of the issues dealing with the
Temple Mount and the Third Temple.
You can see that the temple is important to the Jews, and that they
believe they will bring to pass the construction of a third temple. It is
this third temple that will be used by the antichrist to initiate the
beginning of his forty-two months of authority.

Jerusalem Surrounded by Armies of Antichrist
Furthermore we can understand even more detail from Jesus about this
period of persecution over which antichrist and his armies will preside.
We will now look at Luke 21:20-24 where we see a horrible fate to come
for those who live in Jerusalem.

Luke 21:20-24
“20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know
that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let
them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in
the countries enter thereinto.
22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written
may be fulfilled.
23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in
those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon
this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away
captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the
Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
If you notice the timing of this event, Luke makes reference to the
comments of Jesus that are very similar to Matthew 24 when Jesus says,
“Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains;”, Luke adds
more in verse 21, “and let them which are in the midst of it (Jerusalem)
depart out.” (Emphasis mine).

Jesus is quoted here by Matthew and Luke about the same period of
distress, and the gospel writers give us different details for the same
period of time.

In Matthew 24:15 the “abomination of desolation” is emphasized by
Christ as He mentions this event, “as spoken of by Daniel the Prophet”,
and then we see a note (whoso readeth, let him understand). What is
the reader to understand?

Perhaps the reader should understand that this is a defining moment at
the midpoint of the seven years, or perhaps the reader should take
careful note to observe what is spoken by Daniel the prophet as well as
all other prophetic passages concerning this critical moment in the
prophetic calendar.

What we learn in Luke regarding the armies which will surround
Jerusalem gives us a very important clue to how the last days are going
to play out. We can see that because of the word of Jesus regarding the
events happening at the time of great tribulation, that there will be
armies surrounding Jerusalem at just about the same time that the
antichrist is standing in the temple to perform the “abomination of
desolation”.

It’s about to get really ugly for those who live in Jerusalem. The
persecution begins as antichrist takes control of his armies and
demands to be worshipped in the rebuilt temple of the Jews.

Who are the armies of the antichrist? Well it only makes sense to refer
to other prophetic scripture to understand what God has already
foretold in His Word!

Question: Where else in the Bible do we find reference to a yet future
event of armies surrounding Jerusalem?
Answer: Zechariah 13:1-5

Notice within this portion of Zechariah God addresses the residents of
Jerusalem, telling them that they will be captured, houses ransacked,
and the women raped, half of the city going into exile, but then the Lord
will go out and fight against those nations! We see a judgment brought
by God with the attacking nations.

Of course we then see a prophetic forecast that reaches far beyond this
event including a powerful move of God to destroy those whom He sent
against Israel. We also see specifically God’s plan of escape for the
remnant of Israel.

Zechariah 13:1-5
“1 A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among
you.
2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will
be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the
city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from
the city.
3 Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights
in the day of battle.
4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of
Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west,
forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half
moving south.
5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will
flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.”

Fleeing to Azel

This is a horrible realization that once again Israel will be judged, but it
is also a glorious reminder that God will fight for and protect a remnant
of His people, the 144,000 sealed Jews. Very likely we see here a past
fulfillment and also a future fulfillment.

Beginning in verse 4 the text says, “On that day his feet will stand on the
Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split
in two from east to west, forming a great valley…” This will be a
tremendous day when God is protecting His people, it says, “You will
flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as
you fled from the earthquake in the day of Uzziah king of Judah.” Where
is Azel? Was or is Azel a real place? If so where is it? This map from
jewish-history.com (15) shows the boundaries of the Promised Land
described in Joshua 15 and the location of Azel or Azal. Azel is in close
proximity to Jerusalem.

Notice in the map illustration on the following page the proximity of The
Mount of Olives, Jerusalem and Azal. If the Mount of Olives is cleaved
horizontally from East to West and it creates a great valley with half of
the mountain removed to the South and half of the mountain removed
to the North it will create a path directly from Jerusalem in to Azal and
follow the Kidron Valley to the East.

Fleeing To Azel Through The Mountain Valley

This seems to indicate that the people of Israel will be protected as they
flee from Jerusalem through the mountain pass created by God. This
ties in very well with Revelation Chapter 12 which deals with the overall
picture of antichrist (the dragon) persecuting the woman (Israel). We
will cover that subject in greater detail later in the book.

It is clear that the valley, which God provides for His remnant to protect
them, will not exist until He creates that place by physically moving the
Mount of Olives. He will keep His promise to Israel’s remnant, to protect
them from the persecution of antichrist and from His own wrath that is
poured out upon the earth dwellers.

An interesting note: From Strong’s Hebrew reference we can assess the
meaning of the word Azel. What does the name mean and from where
does it get its meaning?

Azel – Strongs – 680 ‘atsal aw-tsal’
A primitive root; properly, to join; used only as a denominative from
”etsel’ (681); to separate; hence, to select, refuse, contract:–keep,
reserve, straiten, take.
Is God trying to tell us something here from His Word?
Separate, select, (Elect?), contract, keep, reserve, straiten, take.

It seems clear that the word Azel is referencing the process of reserving
or keeping the elect or remnant of Israel in safety

So when will the Lord’s feet touch the Mt. of Olives and cleave it into a
great valley for the Jews to escape? If we simply read the scripture in
the order it was written and compare it to other scriptures that give us
more information, we can glean the timing of these events by putting
together all the pieces.

We know from Revelation 12 that God protects the woman (Israel) in
the wilderness for three and a half years or for “a time, times, and half
a time”, as described in Revelation 12:6 and 12:13-16. It is a place that
God prepares at the beginning of the “great tribulation” to protect the
Jews for 1260 days.

This would require that Jesus Christ sets His feet down on the Mt. of
Olives in the middle of the seven years, when antichrist begins His
persecution against the Jews in Jerusalem. The period of 1260 days
must refer to the second half of the seven years as this is the time when
the persecution by antichrist takes place.

Revelation 12:6
“6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God,
where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.”

Revelation 12:13-16
“13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he
pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she
might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be
taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s
reach.
15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to
overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent.
16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and
swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.”

If we dissect the scripture Zechariah 13:1-5 as given a few pages back,
we see that a day of great tribulation begins with the attack of the
nations against Jerusalem, followed by the Lord going out and fighting
against those nations, and it says specifically “on that day His feet will
stand on the Mt of Olives.”

The next section talks about how they will flee through the valley that is
created. We can assume that this will take some time for them to flee,
and that they are fleeing to the place that God prepared for them for
1260 days. Then the word “THEN” follows in verse 5 when it says, “then
the Lord my God will come and all the holy ones with Him.”

This is a reference to the end of the seven years of Daniel’s Seventieth
Week in the phrase, “Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy
ones with him.” This is a scene that comes to pass when Jesus rides
upon the white horse in Revelation 19:11-14.

Revelation 19:11-14.
“11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse,
whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes
war.
12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He
has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.
13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of
God.
14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and
dressed in fine linen, white and clean.”

This is the same scene in which antichrist has gathered up the armies of
the earth to make war against Jesus Christ. It ends very badly for the
antichrist and his armies. This is nothing less than the final battle of
Armageddon, when the holy ones ride in to battle behind Jesus Christ.
So we are approximating or assuming that from the time that Jesus
steps down onto the Mt. of Olives to the time when the “holy ones”
come riding in behind Jesus, is at least three and a half years. Do you
see yet how God makes statements in the scriptures that cover large
periods of time in a just a few short sentences? This is why we must
compare and contrast different scriptures against each other to gain a
clear understanding of the order in which events occur.

In the overall picture here we see a pattern that is used by God over and
over throughout the history of His people Israel. God judges His people
by bringing other nations against them such as he did with the
Babylonian captivity, He keeps a remnant according to grace, and then
God redeems the situation after His people turn back to Him and call on
His name. This pattern will hold true for the last days as well.

Ezekiel 38 – Jerusalem Attacked by Gog and Magog

Question: Where else in the Bible do we see a yet future attack on
Jerusalem and then the redeeming hand of God?
The Answer: Ezekiel 38

This gem of prophetic scripture tells us about the many nations that will
come against Israel in the “latter days”. It also tells us how God will
punish those whom He brings against Israel once their purpose is
fulfilled. God uses other nations just as He has in the past to punish His
people Israel for their hard hearts towards him; the same way in which
He will use Gog and Magog and all the nations with them to come
against Israel again in the last days. Let’s read it.

Ezekiel 38
“1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief
prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,
the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring
thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed
with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and
shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and
helmet:
6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north
quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company
that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt
come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered
out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been
always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall
dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to
cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same
time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil
thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will
go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling
without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the
desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are
gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that
dwell in the midst of the land.
13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young
lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast
thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and
gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the
Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt
thou not know it?
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and
many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company,
and a mighty army:
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to
cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against
my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in
thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old
time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those
days many years that I would bring thee against them?
18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come
against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up
in my face.
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in
that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the
beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth,
and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my
presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places
shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains,
saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.
22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are
with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in
the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.”

Again we should make clear here that in the end of this account from
verses 17 – 23 God is speaking about the plagues that occur in His wrath
which begin as soon as the trumpets of God’s wrath and as late as the
final bowls of wrath known as the “consummation” which follow the
completion of the seven years; specifically as in verse 22 “with
pestilence and with blood, and I will rain upon him, and upon his
bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing
rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.”

This is important to note because scripture often moves through a
period of time where God allows a judgment of Israel His people,
followed by occupation or captivity, and then He redeems His people
when they turn towards Him to glorify and magnify His name. What
we are seeing in Ezekiel is the time frame from the midpoint of the seven years coinciding with the abomination of desolation and the surrounding of Jerusalem with armies, to the end of the seven years coinciding with God’s wrath upon the enemies of Israel, namely
antichrist and his armies.

While God uses Gog and Magog (the armies of antichrist) to punish His
people, it is also clear that God has a plan to save a remnant of Israel to
inherit the promises given to Abraham. Thus we see in scripture a
continuous repetition of this pattern. God judges His people, but He
saves a remnant to fulfill His promises.

What’s exciting about the time we live in is that God has told us in
scripture about the events that are yet to come. God labels these as
“the latter days”. We can look at history and realize that these events
have not yet come to pass. Then we can look at current events and
realize that the fulfillment of these events seems very close. At the very
least we are confident that “the latter days” have not been completely
fulfilled and we have more to look for in regards to signs of the coming
tribulation of the saints both Jew and Gentile.

We will be looking into more detail about the Ezekiel scriptures and the
identity of the nations that come against Israel. For now we need to
address the time of tribulation and what it means for the gentiles.

Tribulation for the Gentiles
We have just given extensive information regarding the tribulation that
the Jews will undergo when antichrist reveals himself, and we have also
briefly covered that God will prepare a place in the wilderness for the
remnant of the Jews.

Now we can focus on what happens to the gentile Christians during this
time of tribulation. We know from Revelation 12 that the primary focus
of persecution is on the Jews until God protects them in the wilderness.
When the dragon (Satan) realizes that he cannot get to the woman
(Israel) he turns his attention to the gentile Christians.

Revelation 12:17
“17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make
war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s
commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

In order to put the entire picture into perspective, let’s read Revelation
12. It’s a short chapter. Consider this key. The woman is Israel. The
twelve stars are the twelve tribes of Israel. The dragon is
Satan/Antichrist. The child to be born is Jesus Christ.

Revelation 12
1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with
the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on
her head.
2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with
seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.
4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the
earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give
birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.
5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with
an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.
6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God,
where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against
the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.
8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the
devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the
earth, and his angels with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the
salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority
of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before
our God day and night, has been hurled down.
11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their
testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe
to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is
filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he
pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she
might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be
taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s
reach.
15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to
overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent.
16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and
swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make
war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s
commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

Is there any doubt that “those who obey God’s commandments and
hold to the testimony of Jesus” could mean anything other than simply
the saints of God in the church? This reference in Revelation 12:17 is
perhaps one of the strongest arguments for the saints being present
through persecution by antichrist, otherwise referred to by Jesus as
“great tribulation”.

In Revelation 12 we read about the dragon which is clearly the
personification of Satan as antichrist. He is also referred to as the beast.
This can cause some confusion until we realize that antichrist, Satan, the
dragon, and the beast are all references to the same entity. The purpose
of antichrist in all its forms is to destroy the creation of God, namely the
saints of God.

It might clarify things more if we understand that the beast who
personifies antichrist as in Revelation 13:5-10 below is actually the
culmination of all the kingdoms and antichrists of Satan which make up
the beast of seven heads and ten horns. The terrible kingdom that
Daniel sees in his visions is the same as the antichrist represented in
John’s vision in Revelation as the eighth king, which belongs to the
seven. The beast is given authority as antichrist (eighth king) to rule
during these forty-two months, while representing every form of
antichrist that has existed in the past; and during this time the antichrist
exists in his truest and most raw form of evil that he will ever take on
the earth. It is this beast under which the saints will suffer persecution,
captivity and death.

Revelation 13:5-10
“5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies
and to exercise his authority for forty-two months.

6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and
his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.
7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer
them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and
nation.
8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names
have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was
slain from the creation of the world.
9 He who has an ear, let him hear.
10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is
to be killed with the sword,with the sword he will be killed. This calls for
patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.”

The final sentence in Revelation 13:10 tells it all. This verse calls out to
the believer in Christ as a sign of encouragement to endure and be
faithful whether they endure captivity or whether they will be killed in
this final glorious battle. It is a battle of faith that takes its final form in
the testing of the believer in this life.

As I spoke with a friend about this verse I made the statement that it is
not our purpose as believers to be struck and paralyzed with fear about
these terrible things that are coming to pass. He responded by asking,
“What is our purpose as Christians then?”.

It’s a good question and it addresses a critical component of our
attitude, heart and behavior in regard to these terrible events of
persecution that will take place against the church of God who holds the
testimony of Jesus. Saints of God have a choice to make in the last days.
That choice could come with a knock at the door and a forced search of
your home. Perhaps you have been identified as someone who appears
to buck the authority of the antichrist system.

Is it our job to fight the New World Order? Can we stop these events
from happening? I think not. However, if we do fight, then we can
expect to die by fighting. If we intend to go into captivity and not put up
a fight, that is also a choice.

Jesus tells us in Luke 17:30-33 regarding the day the Son of Man (Jesus)
is revealed.

Luke 17:30-33
“30 It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
31 On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods
inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should
go back for anything.
32 Remember Lot’s wife!
33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life
will preserve it.”

The choice will be made. Jesus is very clear here, that we should not be
looking back to the burning destruction of our homes or the things of
this world but pushing forward into the provision that God makes for us
in these difficult times of persecution. As mature Christians we should
be realizing that we may have to lose our life for Jesus sake.

It is interesting to note that John’s vision in Revelation covers events as
if they have already taken place. When John sees the saints in heaven
who have come from the tribulation and not loved their lives unto
death, it’s already a done deal. Let’s read.

We see the saints in heaven as “an innumerable multitude” in
Revelation 7:9 and Revelation 7:13-14

Revelation 7:9
“9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no
one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language,
standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing
white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”

Revelation 7:13-14
“13 Then one of the elders asked me, ‘These in white robes—who are
they, and where did they come from?’
14 I answered, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said, ‘These are they who have
come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and
made them white in the blood of the Lamb…’”
In the midst of Revelation 12 we see verse 10 and 11 making reference
to this same scene in heaven talking about those who overcame “the
accuser” by the blood of the Lamb, and they did not shrink from death.
A loud voice proclaims.

Revelation 12:10-11
“10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our
God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who
accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their
testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

The reference to “they” in this verse is clear. It is the saints who
overcame the accuser, who is Satan, by the blood of the Lamb and by
the word of their testimony. This reference is written by John as if it has
already happened, as a past event in which he has witnessed the
outcome of those whose faith was tested to the ultimate sacrifice.
“They” did not shrink from death. “They” did not fail to testify that Jesus
Christ is Lord and Savior. This testimony is what the glorious battle is all
about!

We have shown here by just a few scriptures that the saints (that is you
and I who believe and testify that Jesus Christ is Lord) endure great
affliction and tribulation during the persecution of antichrist.

Tribulation Saints Or Pre-Wrath Saints?

For those stuck between the two ideas of a Pre-Trib Rapture and a Pre-
Wrath Rapture there is a confusing matter that seems to continue
coming up regarding the actual identity of these saints. Are these
tribulation saints as proposed by a pre-trib rapture view? Since we are
talking about the tribulation let’s explore the meaning of the Word in
context of scripture.

The problem with this idea of “pre-tribulation rapture” and “tribulation
saints” is an incorrect definition of the word tribulation. Those who
would propose that the saints we are talking about are called
“tribulation saints” also hold that there is a group of saints that
somehow escapes the tribulation (through a Pre-Trib Rapture) which
Jesus told us we would have to endure. This would include being
removed before the Seventieth Week of Daniel even begins. There is no
solid argument that Christians will avoid persecution. In fact the
opposite is true.

In order to defend this idea, “pre-trib rapture” theorists lean on a few
specific scriptures. One of the primary scriptures is Revelation 3:10.
This is a favorite argument of Pre-tribulation rapture proponents; that
God will not allow us to go through the “temptation” that will come
upon the whole earth as is noted in scripture below. The “temptation”

is supposedly “being subject to participate bodily in any part of the last
seven years where the mark of the beast is instituted and the choice
must be made to take or not take the mark.” This is a subtle, slippery,
and incorrect interpretation. Here is the verse.

Revelation 3:10
“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.”
The actual meaning of the word temptation here is not a temptation
which causes someone to fall or even to be tested, but rather the
endurance of adversity, affliction, or sorrow.

Here are Strong’s concordance references to the key words used in this
scripture. From the Greek definitions:
* Keep = 5083 tereo = to keep, store, guard
* From = 1537 ek = out of (something) not in it.
* Hour = 5610 hora = literally an hour or delineation of time
or a specific time of day
* Temptation = 3986 = adversity, affliction or sorrow.

From Spiros Zodhiates Th.D “The Complete Word Study Dictionary”, it is
made clear that the word temptation as used in Revelation 3:10 is more
accurately translated as adversity, affliction, or sorrow instead of
“temptation to do something”. Examples below which use the same
form of the word in different scriptures give context to the intended
definition. Pay attention to the subtle way that this word is used in the
next few verses. Understand that this is a way in which the word was
used to describe exactly, affliction, adversity or sorrow, rather than
some kind of temptation that would cause one to stumble and sin.

Luke 22:28
“28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.”
(Afflictions, Adversity, sorrows) (Emphasis mine)

Acts 20:19
“19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears,
and temptations (Afflictions, Adversity, Sorrows), which befell me by
the lying in wait of the Jews:” (Emphasis mine)

Galatians 4:14
“14 And my temptation (Affliction, Adversity, Sorrow) which was in my
flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God,
even as Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis mine)
It makes sense to not interpret this word as “temptation” in these
verses but instead as affliction, adversity, or sorrow, does it not? That is
because it is the intended definition within the context of each verse.

Now we can read again Revelation 3:10 in this new light of Old English
context.

Revelation 3:10
“10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep
thee from the hour of temptation (Affliction, Adversity, Sorrow), which
shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
(Emphasis mine)

If the logic of a Pre-tribulational rapture based on this verse is that God
will keep us from the hour of temptation, such as the mark of the beast,
then this logic breaks down when the word temptation is clearly
translated as adversity, affliction or sorrow.

This time of “temptation, adversity, affliction, sorrow” can only mean
the Wrath of God, from which we are certainly spared for we surely do
not have promise from Jesus that we shall be spared the persecution
from antichrist against the saints.

This is one of those arguments of doctrine that can only be understood
by taking the whole counsel of God’s Word together. There are not
contradictions in God’s Word, so the logical conclusion must match His
Word, not some framework or fanciful idea of men, such as a pre-
tribulation (pre-seven year) rapture.

If the terms were redefined as we understand them now, then “pre-
tribulation rapture” should be redefined as “pre-persecution rapture”
because that is essentially what “pre-trib” proponents are saying. In so
speaking, they speak against the words of Christ himself.

Question: Where in scripture does it say whether or not the saints will
be here for the mark of the beast?
Answer: Revelation 14:9-13 when the third angel flies through the sky
and gives a grave warning to the inhabitants of the earth with special
emphasis on verse 12 noting the patient endurance of the saints who
remain faithful to Jesus.

Revelation 14:9-13
“9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone
worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead
or on the hand,
10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured
full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning
sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
11 And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no
rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for
anyone who receives the mark of his name.”
12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey
God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.
“13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead
who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will
follow them.”

It says clearly here in verse 12 that “this calls for patient endurance on
the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain
faithful to Jesus.”

Could it be made any clearer that the saints of God will endure the
persecution of antichrist? Sure. Not only we will endure the
persecution but according to Daniel 11: 31-34 we (who know our God)
will firmly resist him (antichrist), we will instruct many, and for a time
we will fall by the sword and be burned, captured or plundered.
We will be afflicted by false believers who flatter us in order to get close
to us during this time. We will be helped when we fall, and some of the
wise will stumble, so that we may be refined, purified and made
spotless until the time of the end. Go ahead and read it yourself.

Daniel 11: 31-35
31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and
will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination
that causes desolation.
32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant,
but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.
33 “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will
fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered.

34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not
sincere will join them.
35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified
and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the
appointed time.
These sure sounds to me like a time of affliction, adversity, and sorrow,
but let’s look at a few more verses about this period of time.

The False Prophet Enforces the Mark of the Beast

Revelation 13:15-17
“15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the
image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would
not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth
all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark
in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy
or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the
number of his name.”

Regarding the antichrist persecuting and oppressing the saints Daniel
7:25 says,

Daniel 7:25
“25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try
to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to
him for a time, times and half a time.”

Now we can see that according to the angel who spoke this to Daniel
that we (the saints) will be handed over to him (antichrist) for a time,
times, and half a time. (Three and a half years). There it is again. Will
the saints be here for three and half years? This is the period of
tribulation about which Christ spoke, but remember dear reader, that
Jesus said that this tribulation would be cut short, for the sake of the
elect.

The three and a half years is a reference to the completion of the period
of antichrist’s authority which is forty-two months as mentioned in
other scripture. This period of antichrist authority is not cut short, but
the tribulation of the saints is cut short. (Matthew 24:22)
The remainder of these three and a half years, after the saints are
removed, will be filled with the wrath of God through the trumpets until
the appointed end.

The Sixth Seal

Daniel 9:27
“Desolations are determined even until the consummation when that
which is determined will be poured upon the desolate.

The Signs of Jesus Coming

The breaking of the sixth seal unleashes the signs that are to precede
the coming of Christ and the beginning of the wrath of God, also
indicating the reaction of those on the earth who realize that the Day of
Judgment has finally come and they cannot withstand it. These
descriptions also fit closely with what is termed the Day of the Lord.

Revelation 6:12-17
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a
great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and
the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth
her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and
every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and
the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every
free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the
face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to
stand?

In many places in scripture we see that the signs “in the sun, moon and
stars” represent the coming Judgment of God on the unbelievers.
These signs precede the appearance of Jesus on the clouds of heaven.
Among the signs of Jesus return we see a great earthquake, the sun
becomes black, the moon becomes like blood, and the stars of heaven
fall unto the earth. Let’s take these scriptures nice and slow so we can
analyze the details.

Revelation 6:12:13
“12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a
great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and
the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the
earth…”

As the road map of the seals unfolds let’s see how Jesus uses these signs
to make a connection between the ending of the “great tribulation” of
the saints to the beginning of His wrath upon the earth. Jesus himself
tells His disciples about this day in Matthew 24:29-31;

Matthew 24:29-30
“29 “Immediately after the distress 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 will be shaken.’
30 “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 says , ”Immediately after the distress of those days.” Of what
distress is Jesus speaking? If we go back a little bit in the context of
Matthew 24 we can understand that when Jesus is referring to the
“distress of those days” He is talking about the days of Great Tribulation
and persecution of the saints. In Matthew 24:21 Jesus states;

Matthew 24:21
“21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning
of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.”
Jesus also talks about this “distress” in Luke 21:23

Luke 21:23
“…There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.
So we are dealing with the Great Tribulation of which Jesus himself
spoke. This is the same “great tribulation” or “time of distress” that
will be cut short for the sake of the elect.

If we read on to Luke 21:25-28 we see the same signs appearing which
were mentioned in Matthew 24 and in Revelation 6 above. Jesus gives
us even more detail about the order in which these things will happen.

Luke 21:25-28
“25 There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations
will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.
26 Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the
world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with
power and great glory.
28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your
heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
We can see that Luke gives us the same account of and the same order
of the signs which will occur before Christ comes; but then he adds a
few more of Jesus’ words. First we see the signs, and then we see that
Jesus comes with the clouds of heaven, and then we see the admonition
to believers, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift
your heads because your redemption is drawing near.”

What does Jesus mean when he says “lift up your heads, because your
redemption is drawing near.”? It seems very simple that Jesus must be
talking about rapture. After we have just determined that the saints will
be undergoing persecution and great tribulation enduring the “distress
of those days”, Jesus says that our redemption draws near. That’s good
news brothers and sisters in Christ! So let’s discuss a little more about
the timing of the rapture, why it is important, and the predominant
views of the church today regarding the subject.

The Critical Timeline to Rapture

Essentially Pre-Wrath Rapture breaks the current paradigm. Does it
matter if the rapture happens before the seven years, after the seven
years, or somewhere in the middle? To this question I would ask, “Did
Jesus tell us to watch for His coming?” The obvious answer is yes. So it
follows that we should understand the times and seasons for which
Christ warned us to watch and be vigilant, so that we will not be caught
unaware of His return. Why else would he give this warning?

Jesus is addressing believers and all those who live upon the face of the
earth. It’s completely obvious from a straight read of the following text
that this warning to “be always on the watch” is for everyone,
therefore it must be before the church is removed from the earth.

Luke 21:34-36
“34 Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation,
drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you
unexpectedly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all those who live on
the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that
you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may
be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

The critical nature of this fact is simple. The difference between those
who ascribe to the “pre-tribulation rapture” view and those who
ascribe to the “pre-wrath rapture” view is that each group will interpret
these events in two very different ways. These two views seem to be
the most popular of the day.

Pre-tribulation rapture asserts that Jesus could come back at any time
from now until the beginning of the seven years, which is defined by
“pre-tribbers” as the Great Tribulation. Those who propose this view
assert that the entire seven years is the “great tribulation” from which
Christians will be saved.

Pre-wrath rapture asserts that the Great Tribulation will not take place
until after the middle of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, and that the Great
Tribulation (persecution of Christians) will not last more than three and
a half years. Critically important are the indications by Jesus that we
will suffer persecution at the hands of antichrist and that the great
tribulation will be cut short for the sake of the elect.

It is this author’s view that a “pre-tribulation rapture” aka “pre-seven
year rapture” is not only incorrect doctrinally, but also dangerous to the
believer, giving them a false sense of security and leaving them ill
prepared for the shock their faith will endure when they realize they are
living through the persecution of antichrist.

What’s really strange about the “pre-trib” point of view is that many
who hold this view seem to be intractably committed to a view that
does not line up with the whole counsel of scripture. Ultimately it is not
important whether we live or die in the great tribulation, but wouldn’t
you like to see Jesus come back? Wouldn’t you want to be prepared to
live through that difficult period of time before Jesus comes? Wouldn’t
you want to help other people through this time?

Those who hold to the convenience of a “pre-trib” rapture view will find
it incredibly inconvenient when persecution comes upon them and they
will be woefully unprepared to help themselves or anyone else
spiritually, mentally, scripturally or physically.

I personally feel that if someone has not taken the time to study enough
and realize that persecution is the most likely future scenario that they
are not taking their studies or their faith very seriously in this area of
eschatology. I might be perceived as overly critical on this point, but if
you have not considered the conclusions of the “pre-wrath” rapture
point of view then you cannot or will not understand the seriousness of
the coming times. Therefore it is possible to be of those who fall prey to
being “weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness, and anxieties of
life” in the here and now, and not concerned with any future
inconvenience. If this is you, then heed the warning of Jesus.

I find it interesting as well that early Christians from Thessalonica found
it quite possible that they had missed the coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ and the gathering together unto Him (rapture). Paul reassured
them that this day could not come for two reasons. Jesus will not come
back until there is a rebellion or apostasy and also not until after the
man of lawlessness (antichrist) is revealed. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 says,
regarding the day of The Lord and our being gathered to him;

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
“1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being
gathered to him, we ask you, brothers,
2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or
letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord
has already come.
3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come)
until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the
man doomed to destruction.
4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God
or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming
himself to be God.”

We know from Daniel that the “abomination of desolation” in God’s
Temple, where antichrist proclaims himself God, occurs at the midpoint
of the seven years. Thessalonians clearly says that the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ will not happen until after the antichrist is revealed in
the temple during the “abomination of desolation”. Daniel 11:31 tells
us that it will be antichrist’s armed forces that rise up and desecrate the
temple.

Daniel 11:31
“31“His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and
will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination
that causes desolation.”

As a bible believing Christian if we have been taught by our pastors that
we will not endure the persecution of antichrist, we would surely be the
recipients of great but false comfort. What a dangerous doctrine this is
to teach, and these teachers will be held to account for the
consequences of their actions and words.

I don’t hold any ill will towards such Christians. I feel great sorrow for
them, for when that time of satanic wrath does come upon the saints,
as it surely will, how many will be part of the falling away or “rebellion”
spoken of in Thessalonians when they realize they are not prepared to
endure the persecution of antichrist? Of course I will want to help any
brother or sister that needs assistance during that time.

Perhaps it is not even worth considering because God knows those who
are His faithful children; and after all if they were going to leave the
faith (rebellion or apostasy) and become an apostate at such a time,
perhaps they never would have stayed in the first place. This is a sad
commentary on the state of our current “church”. But I think it fair to
warn those who will listen that we will indeed suffer the persecution of
antichrist and we had better be prepared for it.

First, one has to prepare one’s heart for the ultimate sacrifice in this life,
to give one’s life away for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Once one has
accepted this reality, and that we will be here through the darkest of
times, there is no shame in making preparations in mind, soul, and body
to be here for the hopeful eventuality that we will see Jesus Christ
return to earth. It is not a “doomer and gloomer” situation but rather a
careful and intentional attitude of preparation to care for oneself, one’s
family and the rest of the household of faith.

There is no shame in wanting to be among those who have lived
through the worst tribulation in the history of earth to attain that which
will be the most glorious and blessed hope of the believer in Christ; that
is to be caught up into the clouds at His coming to be with Christ, in the
most astonishing confirmation of our faith that could ever possibly exist.
In the meantime, down here on earth, there must be a time of
preparation for the believer and this message must be communicated in
urgency for the sake of clarity and love of the brethren as these last
days are approaching in haste.

Never before have we been able to see so clearly so many signs that the
last days are upon us. Even those who do not understand with clarity
about what will happen soon still have urgency in their spirits that times
are changing. It is our job as wise believers to instruct many. As Daniel
11:32-33 puts it,

Daniel 11:32-33
“…but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do
exploits. 33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct
many:” (King James Bible)
Who do you suppose this scripture is talking about? Those people “that
do know their God shall be strong”. That’s exciting! I plan to be among
those people who “know their God”. This is clearly talking about the
saints. Who else could it possibly be but the saints? I want to be
counted among those saints who Jesus talks about in Matthew 24:45

Matthew 24:45
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in
charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the
proper time?”
This is why Jesus gave the warning in the verses preceding this one.

Matthew 24:42-44
“42 Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord
is coming. 43 But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had
known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have
been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken
into. 44 For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is
coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

To address further this issue of the timing of the rapture in relation to
the wrath of God let’s review some more scripture. We read in Matthew
24:30 about how the Son of Man (Jesus) will be coming on the clouds of
the sky…so let’s review.

Matthew 24:30
“30 “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.”
Great! So now all the people see Jesus. What happens next?
In Matthew 24:31 Jesus indicates that another event will take place, the
gathering of the elect; in reference to the saints; the true believers, who
hold the testimony of Jesus Christ. In other words this is the moment of
the rapture, when God removes His saints from the earth to make way
for His terrible wrath which will begin very shortly thereafter. Jesus says
in Matthew 24:31

Matthew 24:31
“31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will
gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the
other.”

And if this was not enough to indicate a rapture event at the time of
Jesus coming, we can jump forward in Revelation 14 to another image
of this series of events which I call The Two Reapings.

John is witness to the gathering up or reaping of the earth in Revelation
14:14 where the first reaping takes place, by none other than Jesus
Christ

The First Reaping

Revelation 14:14
“14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the
cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and
a sharp sickle in his hand.”
We have to make some connections here with other portions of God’s
Word as well. Do you remember how Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
describes the moment of rapture? Specifically he mentions the phrases,
“the Lord himself”, “with a loud command”, and “with the voice of the
archangel”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud
command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of
God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up
together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

Next we see, down to the very details about the voice of the archangel,
in Revelation 14:15, “Another angel came out of the temple and called
in a loud voice”. This sure seems like a reference to the “loud
command” and “the voice of the archangel” in Thessalonians 4:16.
Let’s finish the verses to get the full context.

Revelation 14:14-16
“14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the
cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and
a sharp sickle in his hand.
15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice
to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because
the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth,
and the earth was harvested.”

I would be remiss if I did not make the connection to the portion of this
text that says “him who was sitting on the cloud” as none other than
Jesus Christ himself. Verse 14 says the one seated on the cloud was one
“like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head…” That sure seems
like a description of Jesus coming with the clouds of heaven!

The end result here is that the earth is harvested. What does this mean
though? What was harvested? Well people of course! The souls of the
saints! How do we know they were saints though? We compare this
scripture to Matthew 24:30-31 which we just read. Jesus comes with
the clouds and then he sends out his angels to gather the elect (saints).
In the case of Revelation 14:14-16 as we just read, the angels are
involved in making this reaping happen. This is where it gets exciting.
Not only does God give us a clear picture in His Word that these are
saints, but by contrasting it with what we find next we can understand
three things.

First we understand that the first reaping is the rapture of elect saints.
Second we understand that the second reaping is the wrath of God
upon unbelievers. Third we understand the order in which these events
take place. (Rapture then wrath) Let’s read on.

The Second Reaping

Right after the “earth was harvested” John is witness to another event
of great importance, that is another reaping of another harvest, but this
harvest is a little different. This harvest is handled exclusively by the
angels and the scripture tells us that this harvest is the harvest of wrath.
Notice as you read below, we have first “another angel” who comes out
of the temple in heaven…he is the harvester with a sharp sickle. Then
we have “still another angel, who had charge over fire” usually
representing of judgment. This angel comes from the altar and calls in a
loud voice to the other angel who has the sickle.

Revelation 14:17-20
“17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a
sharp sickle.
18 Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar
and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your
sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine,
because its grapes are ripe.”
19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and
threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.
20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood
flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a
distance of 1,600 stadia”.

What happens with this reaping? The reaping is cast into the winepress
of God’s Wrath. This is a clear reference to God’s Wrath against
unbelievers. We can see from the previous reaping and harvest that the
believers have already been removed. God gives us several pictures like
this throughout His Word to show us the order in which these things will
happen.

To those who are believers, called and chosen, this is the day of Christ, a
day of redemption and salvation and rapture; but to those who have
refused to believe and refused to receive salvation it will be a day of
great terror and fear as God unleashes His wrath on those who remain
on the earth.

We have explored now in detail some proofs of scripture which indicate
the timing, order, and details of the great tribulation and persecution of
saints, the rapture of the saints, and the wrath which follows the
removal of the elect saints.

Before we move on from the sixth seal we must touch on Chapter 7 of
Revelation. This chapter deals with John’s vision of the 144,000 Jews
who are sealed, 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel. Chapter 7 also
deals with the innumerable multitude that appears in heaven. Here is
another example of the order in which these events happen.
John just saw the vision of two reapings; one of the raptured saints and
one of the wrath of God. Now we will see that the wrath is about to
begin upon the earth, but stops to allow the angels to seal the 144,000
Jews; the remnant according to the election of grace. This gives us an
accurate time table to understand that the innumerable multitude was
just removed from earth and is standing before the throne having been
taken out of the great tribulation. Let’s read the whole chapter to get
context and understanding.

A brief timeline would be stated as: rapture, sealing the Jews, multitude
in heaven, wrath. The Jews are sealed and protected from the wrath
that is to come. I believe that because the Jews are sealed and
protected from both the antichrist (Dragon of Revelation 12) and the
Wrath of God following it that the sealing happens at the midpoint to
protect those Jews for 1260 days. The action of this sealing becomes
apparent when the Jews are protected in the wilderness and also when
the trumpets of Wrath begin sometime in the midst of the latter half of
Daniel’s Seventieth Week.

The 144,000 Sealed Jews

Revelation 7:1-8
“1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth,
holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from
blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.
2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of
the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had
been given power to harm the land and the sea:
3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the
foreheads of the servants of our God.”
4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all
the tribes of Israel.
5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben
12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from
the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from
the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from
the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

So why do the angels seal the 144,000 Jews in their foreheads? We find
a partial answer in the text of verse 3, “Do not harm the land or the sea
or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our
God.” This sealing has something to do with what the angels are about
to do, namely the wrath that is coming shortly in the trumpets of wrath.

The angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea had
to wait until the 144,000 were sealed. We have discussed already about
the 144,000 thousand Jews, how they are God’s remnant according to
grace, how they will be protected from God’s Wrath, and from the
wrath of Satan (antichrist persecution), while they dwell in the
wilderness for three and a half years.

The Innumerable Multitude in Heaven

Next we see the in Revelation 7:9-17 the innumerable multitude (of
raptured saints) in heaven. It even says that this multitude came out of
the great tribulation! To make this innumerable multitude any other
than the raptured saints is simply wrong. To assume that these saints
are “tribulation saints” that were “left behind” is not scripturally
supported.

Revelation 7:9-17
“9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no
one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language,
standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing
white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God,who
sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders
and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the
throne and worshiped God,
12 saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are
they, and where did they come from?”
14 I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have
come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and
made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and
night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent
over them.
16 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will
not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he
will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every
tear from their eyes.”

God is good. Can you see how he has laid out the details for us in
order? We just finished reading about the rapture of the saints, and
here they are in heaven, having just come out of the “great
tribulation”. Do we need to say any more? I think not.’
Next the seventh seal is opened. We have just learned from scripture
that Jesus will rapture His saints, and then bring wrath upon the
unbelievers who dwell on the earth. Can you guess what the seventh
seal shows us?

It explains the final Wrath of God being poured out on all of humanity!

God has made all Saints, saved born again Christians, promises.
Once again, God has made every born again true believer promises of protection. Do Not Fear is His command. For all those that keep the faith, when it is tested, will be saved.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
In the original language the term “endure” means “to maintain ones Faith”!
A strong faith in the power of the One True Living God to guide, sustain and protect us needs to be each of our goal. In Psalm 91 God promises all who are faithful:

Psa 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psa 91:2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Psa 91:3  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
Psa 91:4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Psa 91:5  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Psa 91:6  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
Psa 91:7  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Psa 91:8  Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Psa 91:9  Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
Psa 91:10  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
Psa 91:11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
See my complete study on Psalm 91 here. Place it on your heart and always  remember,

“Fear Not”, says the Lord! For He will be there for all who believe and are obedient to His ways.

Do Not Fear is His command. For all those that keep the faith, when it is tested, will be saved.

We have the POWER to overcome all EVIL and FEAR!
Rev 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Are you one of the Saints that will be spared God’s wrath?
Are you sure? IF so, how do you know? Are you confident where you are going to spend eternity when this all ends? There is an end for all of us some day. Some of us maybe today.

There is only one way to know and be assured– Ask our Father in heaven in Jesus Christs’ name in prayer today!

Are You Saved from damnation, the eternal fate of so many? Are you sure? Are you questioning? Ask Him. Find out and be assured. God has made promises to all of His Saints that we will endure all that is to come. He provides us with the protection and guidance to overcome all the evil that is and will be coming against us.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that  we are the children of God.

When we ask the Lord, in Jesus Christ’s name, He assures us with His peace and understanding. If for any reason you question your salvation, go to a quiet place, alone, and talk to Jesus. Repent of your sins and commit your life to Him. Then go to a bible believing church and get baptized.

He is faithful! He always listens and always responds!

The Salvation Prayer (click here) is in the Blog in the right column of this page. You can walk without fear. Start nurturing An Enduring Faith, today.

You can be an overcomer over all evil. Promise! IF, you are willing to learn how.

I invite you to take our free Spiritual Warfare Training available by email from the blue bar at the top of this page.

God Bless,
Pastor Thomas

About the Author– Greg Eddolls

Greg Eddolls is a born-again believer in Jesus. Husband of 1 wife. Father of 4. He works primarily as an Information Technology Consultant and Computer Repair Shop Owner. Greg is passionate about Bible Prophecy. “Around 19 years of age I got all tangled up in New Age beliefs and primarily prophecy because I believe anyone who has the ability to foretell the future of the entire world; certainly demonstrates the mastery of more than our physical dimensions of time.”, says Greg. “It turns out that (as a believer in Christ might expect) that New Age Prophecy was sorely disappointing and false. That is when God saw fit to guide me into the book of Revelation. It’s prophecy I thought…I like prophecy. Whoa what a difference our GOD makes compared to the cheap imitations of New Age doctrine. I was invited to a Bible Study in 1993 on the Book of Revelation and I thought I would go and “educate”l the teacher about “prophecy”…little did I know that I would be giving my life to Jesus that night. The Holy Spirit got my attention for sure and I became enthralled and fascinated with all of the prophetic scriptures in God’s Word. In particular I was fascinated with the rapture…so this led me to spend the next 20 years studying and 9 of those years writing The Glorious Battle: Road Map To Armageddon. Prophecy is of no private interpretation and I am always open to correction from the pure TRUTH of God’s Word. My primary objective was to obtain understanding of the order of events of Biblical Prophecy. Based on a blueprint from Daniel 9:24-27 we can fill in the details with the rest of the God Breathed prophetic scriptures. These scriptures agree with one another to harmonize the TRUTH of GOD’s Word.