Tribulation; Jesus Returns (Gathers Up/Raptures Believers); God’s Wrath Rewritten 5/7/17

Apostle Paul in 2Thess 2:1-4 dispels replacement and pretribulation theories

 

Intro: Paul tells the congregation in Thessalonica;

A. Jesus will not gather us up into the clouds (Rapture) until certain events happen

B. Paul introduces us to man of lawlessness; same person as the antichrist or beast

#1. Jesus will not return until; God’s Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt

1a. man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast will claim to be god in God’s Temple at Jerusalem

#2. Jesus will not return until; 3½ year rule of man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast begins

2a. No 2nd chances when man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast rules; if knew Jesus; did not accept Him

#3. Jesus will not return until; 2 prophets, 144,000 of Israel given glorified bodies

3a. First Jews, then Gentiles; order first given glorified bodies, taken to Heaven

3b. 2 prophets of Israel when killed; first after Jesus to receive glorified bodies, taken to Heaven

3c. 144,000 of Israel; first taken to Heaven with glorified bodies without physically dying

#4. Jesus will not return until; harvest ready, correct number of Gentiles to fill up Heaven

#5. Jesus will not return until; antichrist’s 3½ year rule is over

5a. World becomes Kingdom our Father and Jesus; Jesus can gather (Rapture) us up to Him    

#6. Jesus will return as the 7th and last trumpet of Revelation sounds

6a. Jesus will return twice; once for God’s Children, then in power to rule this world.

6b. Jesus will first return in the clouds to gather us up to Him; to be with Him forever 

6c. We will be given glorified bodies in the “twinkling of an eye”

7. All God’s children, around His Throne in Heaven from Old and New Covenants

7a. Jesus told John; order God’s children seen in Heaven

8. 7 cups of God’s wrath poured out on sinners

9. Jesus comes in power; destroys man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast; establishes His 1,000 year Kingdom on earth

9a. “All Israel” + remnant Gentiles who accept Jesus; come with regular (not glorified) physical bodies into Jesus’ Kingdom

10. Brief timeline; to finish up God’s plan for us

11. Understanding tribulation; understanding great tribulation; understanding trials and tests

12. Understanding God’s wrath

 

War of Ps 83, War of Gog before Temple is built; here we started with New Testament prophecies. See End Time Possibilities C. 

 

Intro: Paul tells congregation in Thessalonica;

A. Jesus will not gather us up into the clouds (Rapture) until certain events happen

The congregation in Thessalonica had contacted Paul because were very worried over some information they believed had been sent from Paul; telling them that Jesus had already returned in the clouds and gathered up all believers to Him (the rapture); and they had missed this event. Paul did not know how the church had received this false information; but assured them it was not from Him, and told them certain events must still take place before Jesus would return in the Clouds to gather us up to Him. Paul would later find out that some men who had been associated with him had strayed from the truth and were telling these lies.

*Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 2Thess 2:1-2 NASB+

*and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetusmen who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 2Ti 2:17-18 NASB+

 

2Thess 2:2: ESV+ and NASB+ “has come”; NKJV+ “had come”; NIV+ “already has come”; ASV and KJV “just at hand”

 

It is clear that “the day of the Lord” which the Thessalonians were told they had missed, is referring to Jesus’ first return when He will gather us up to Him in the clouds. While giving us glorified bodies, and then take us home to be with Him forever.

*Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Co 1:7-8 NIV+

*For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6 NASB+

 

For this congregation knew all people would see Jesus when He comes down in power, in flaming fire from Heaven with His angels.

*and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 2Thess 1:7-8 NASB+

 

B. Paul introduces man of lawlessness; same person as the antichrist or beast 

Paul tells us about the “man of lawlessness” (ESV+;NASB+;NIV+) or sin (NKJV+;ASV;KJV), the son of destruction (ESV+;NASB+;NIV+) or perdition (NKJV+;ASV;KJV). Later John would use the name the “antichrist,” and Jesus uses the name the “beast” in Revelation, for this same man who will rule over this earth for 42 months (1260 days, 3 ½ years). We will call him the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast.

*Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 2Thess 2:3 ESV+

*Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 1Jn 2:18 NKJV+

*The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. Rev 13:5 NIV+

 

The man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast will be a demon who will come out of the deepest part of the Abyss (where certain demons are kept), and possess a man who will over the world for 3½ years (42 months, 1260 days).  

*When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. Rev 11:7 NASB+

 

Paul tells us the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast will come with the activity of satan; with power to do counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders.

*The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 2 Thess 2:9 NASB+

 

Jesus tells us the beast/man of lawlessness/antichrist) will receive the authority of satan (dragon); the power to do great signs, make fire come down from heaven on the earth. The beast (man of lawlessness/antichrist) will allow the 2nd beast, the false prophet; to use his power when he is present and perform many great signs for him.

*they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" Rev 13:4 NASB+

*Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. Rev 13:11-13 NKJV+

 

John tells us when the man who is the antichrist/man of lawlessness/beast comes into the world he will be controlled by an evil spirit which is not from God (a demon). Evil spirits are eternal, and the antichrist’s demonic spirit was already in the world at John’s time; turning people away from Jesus. This demonic spirit will later be united with a man who will be called the antichrist/man of lawlessness/beast.

*and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 1Jn 4:3 NASB+

 

Paul tells us the power of lawlessness, the demonic power of the demon who will control the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast, was already at work as Paul wrote this epistle; but this demon is held back by someone so he cannot take over the body of the man of lawlessness (antichrist/beast) until the proper time comes.

*For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 2Thess 2:7 NIV+

 

Jesus tells us the demon who will possess the beast (man of lawlessness/antichrist) will come up out of the Abyss, the deepest part of hades; where only demons are held by God for certain offenses. Jesus has the keys to (Hades/Abyss), will be the one His Father will take out of the way at the proper time; so the demon can come into the physical mind and rule over the man who will be the beast (man of lawlessness/antichrist) when he begins his 1260 day reign over earth.

*When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. Rev 11:7 NASB+

* I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Rev 1:18 NKJV+

 

Paul tells us the man of lawlessness (antichrist/beast) when he comes to power will claim to be God in the Temple of God.

*who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 2Thess 2:3-4 ESV+

 

Jesus tells us the beast (man of lawlessness/antichrist) when he comes to power will blaspheme (swear and curse) against God, His name, His tabernacle (temple), and those who have died in Christ and their spiritual beings (souls + spirits) are now living in Heaven.   

*Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. Rev 13:6 NKJV+

 

Paul tells us that Jesus will overthrow the man of lawlessness (antichrist/beast) by the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming to earth.

*And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming 2Thess 2:8 NIV+

 

Jesus tells us He will come again in power to defeat the armies of the beast (man of lawlessness/antichrist) with a sharp sword which comes out of His mouth (words) and will then destroy forever the beast (man of lawlessness/antichrist) by throwing him into the eternal Lake of Fire.

*Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev 19:15-16 NKJV+

*Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. Rev 19:20 NKJV+

 

#1. Jesus will not return until; God’s Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt

Paul clearly tells us that the Temple in Jerusalem will have to be rebuilt; for the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast will reveal himself by taking his seat in the Temple of God and proclaiming himself to be god.

*Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 2Thess 2:3-4 ESV+

 

In the new covenant of Christ’s grace, our bodies are the temple of our God when we receive the indwelling of the Spirit; and no other physical church or temple is needed. The only temple our God will require to be built for Him will be in Jerusalem; so the 2 witnesses/prophets can bring Israel back to their God.  

*Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple. 1Co 3:16-17 NIV+

*Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." Rev 11:1-3 NKJV+

 

#2. Jesus will not return until; 3½ year rule of man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast begins

 

The day of the Lord, the day of Christ, His gathering us up to Him will not happen until the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast) begins his 3½ year (42 month, 1260 day) rule over the world. The man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast reign will bring great tribulation upon the world; of being persecuted, tortured, and killed for our love of our God. 

*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. 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. 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. 2Thess 2:2-4 NIV+

*So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Rev 13:4-7 NKJV+

 

2a. No 2nd chances when man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast rules; if knew Jesus; did not accept Him

Paul tells us that when the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast comes to power our God will delude all who have heard the truth, but will not believe it. There are and will continue to be many who have heard, some even taught the truth about our God; but will never surrender their human will to accept Him as their God. Our God will delude them into believing a lie, believing the lawlessness one/antichrist/beast is god and they will take his mark, be part of his evil kingdom; and will be condemned to Hell. This may include some in your congregation, some in your family, who will turn you in for not taking the mark of the beast; and you will need the Spirit’s help to remain strong enough to be killed for our Lord.

*The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2Thess 2:10-12 NKJV+

*Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. Rev 14:9-10 NASB+

*And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. Matt 24:10-12 ESV+

 

As the 6th trumpet begins, the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast will proclaim to be god in God’s Temple; beginning his 3½ year rule over the world. See Trumpets 2a.

 

#3. Jesus will not return for us until; 2 prophets, 144,000 of Israel given glorified bodies

 

3a. First Jews, then Gentiles; order first given glorified bodies, taken to Heaven

Jewish believers will always be the first to receive the glory, honor, and peace of God; including some Jewish believers being the first to receive glorified bodies and taken to Heaven. Just as the spiritual beings (souls and spirits) of believers in Abraham’s Bosom were the first to come into Heaven; after Christ’s grace on the cross made them spiritually holy. See Spiritually Happened on Cross

*There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Ro 2:9-10 NIV+

*This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." Eph 4:8 NIV+

 

3b. 2 prophets of Israel when killed; first after Jesus to receive glorified bodies, taken to Heaven

We believe the 2 prophets/witnesses come during the silence between the 7 seal and the 1st trumpet of Revelation. They will bring Israel back to their God at the new Temple in Jerusalem. The 2 prophets/witnesses will be killed by the antichrist right after he begins his 3½ year reign over the earth.

*And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." Rev 11:3 NKJV+

*When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. Rev 11:7 NASB+

 

These 2 prophets/witnesses will be the first after Jesus to have their dead physical bodies resurrected, glorified and taken to Heaven for they pleased God. It will always be glory, honor, and peace first for the Jew (those of Israel), then for the Gentile.

*But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. Rev 11:11-12 NIV+

 

We believe these 2 prophets to be Elijah and Enoch, because they never physically died on earth; but were kept in Abraham’s Bosom (a rest in the earthly realm) until God brings them back to guide Israel in the end times.

*“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  Mal 4:5 ESV+

*By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Heb 11:5 NKJV+

 

3c. 144,000 of Israel; first taken to Heaven with glorified bodies, without physically dying

God will take 144,000 servants from all the tribes of Israel to do His work during the 1st through the 5th trumpets of Revelation; and protect them from all adversities which will happen in this period.

*And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: Rev 7:4 ESV+

Before 1st trumpet started

*saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads." Rev 7:3 NASB+

5th trumpet

*Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Rev 9:3-4 ESV+

 

God will only protect the 144,000 through the 5th seal and not in the 6th seal. The 6th seal is the 3½ year period the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast will rule; and he will have complete physical control over the world, over the physical bodies of all who live on the earth (except the elect of Israel protected by God). We believe 144,000 are taken to Heaven as they receive glorified bodies without physically dying; right after the 2 prophets have been resurrected from the dead, given glorified bodies and taken to Heaven. Before the 144,000 would have to endure the reign of the antichrist, and might be killed; and are shown in Heaven before Jesus returns in #4 below. 

 

The 144,000 are the firstfruits of the children of God who will never have to physically die; but will be given eternal glorified bodies as they are gathered to Heaven to be with Jesus forever. They will be redeemed by our Father and Jesus (Lamb); will have both the names of God and Jesus written on their foreheads. They will be pure, devoted to Jesus, like a chaste woman is devoted to her husband.

* It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb. Rev 14:4 ESV+

*Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. Rev 14:1 ESV+

 

Jesus was the firstfruits of all who will physically die, have their spiritual being taken to Heaven; then have their spiritual being brought down from Heaven and united with their physical body which will be glorified. Then the Jews would be the next to receive the glory of God; then the Gentiles. The only firstfruits the 144,000 Jewish servants shown in Heaven can be, are those who will be the first given glorified bodies, gathered up to Heaven; while they are still physically living on the earth; firstfruits of those will never physically die. For the 144,000 servants to be firstfruits; they must be taken to Heaven before Jesus returns in the clouds, to give all believers living on earth glorified bodies, and take them to Heaven before they physically die; otherwise they would be the firstfruits.

*But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 1Co 15:20

* It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb. Rev 14:4 ESV+

*There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Ro 2:9-10 NIV+

 

The 144,000 will be able to sing a new song when they come into Heaven, before Jesus returns for us at the 7th trumpet; which no others could sing. The 144,000 will be the only ones who have come into Heaven at this time; without having to physically die.

*And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, Rev 14:2 ESV+

*And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earthRev 14:3NASB+

 

#4., #5., and #6 will happen in conjunction with each other; the correct number of Gentiles needed to fill out Heaven; the antichrist 3½ years of rule will be over; and the 7th trumpet of Revelation will have sounded making earth the Kingdom of God and Christ. Then Jesus will come in the clouds to gather us up (Rapture) give us glorified bodies and take us to Heaven to be with Him.

 

#4. Jesus will not return until; harvest ready, correct number of Gentiles to fill up Heaven

Our Father knew from the beginning how many children He wanted; how many Gentiles along with a remnant of Israel would be given glorified bodies and taken to Heaven when Jesus will return in the clouds. 

*We should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 2Thess 2:13 NASB+

*But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 1Co 15:23-24 ESV+

 

Paul tells us our God has and will blind the majority of Israel from accepting Jesus as their Savior, until the “fullness of the Gentiles” has been saved. After the correct number of Gentiles who have accepted Jesus has been reached, Jesus will return to gather up (Rapture) these Gentiles (and remnant of Israel), give them glorified bodies, and take them to Heaven. This will fill up Heaven with all of the Gentiles who will be saved. Then “all Israel” will be saved, all who will accept Jesus as the Deliverer, when Jesus comes in power (6a. below); and our Father takes their sins away (9a. below).

*For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Ro 11:25-27 NKJV+

*And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins." Ro 11:25-27 NKJV+

 

“Fullness of Gentiles”; will include a remnant from Israel who will accept Jesus, be chosen by grace and will be part of the first resurrection; when Jesus returns in the clouds to gather us up to Heaven. See 9a. below

“All Israel”; will also include a remnant of Gentiles who will call upon the name of Jesus when He comes in power.

*So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. Ro 11:5 ESV+

*For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 1Co 12:13 NKJV+

*Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. Zech 14:16

 

The time when the “fullness of Gentiles” is reached, is symbolized as a grain crop which has become ripe. Jesus will harvest this crop of believers when He returns in a cloud to gather (Rapture) believers up to Him, giving them glorified bodies and take them to Heaven.  

*Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. Rev 14:14-16 NKJV+

*And He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. "The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. "But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." Mk 4:26-29 NASB+

 

Then when Jesus later comes down in power (See 9. below) the angels will harvest grapes; a crop which comes later than the grain and symbolizes all who are evil; and throws all who have rejected Jesus into the winepress of God’s wrath. 

*And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Rev 14:18-19 ESV+

*Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is greatJoel 3:13-14 ESV+

 

Some believe that since an angel told what “looked like the Son of Man” to begin the harvest; it could not have been Jesus, for angels would not tell Jesus when to begin His harvest. Yet this does not change the timing, for those who believe these verse refer to the same 4 angels who came riding horses in Rev 6:1-8. The angel riding the white horse came to offer the crown of life to all who would believe; after him came the 3 other angels who will bring death and destruction upon the earth.

 

#5. Jesus will not return until; antichrist’s 3½ year rule is over

 

God gave the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast for 3½ years (42 months, 1260 days) to physically rule over the world, have physical control over all the people on the earth (except chosen of Israel); though our Father will always have control over our spiritual beings (our soul and spirit), if the Holy Spirit lives within them.

*So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two monthsRev 13:4-5 NKJV+

 

Only the chosen of Israel will be protected by God through the 3½ year (42 month, 1260 day) reign of the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast. They are symbolized as the woman (nation from which Jesus came) who had a crown of 12 stars (12 tribes of Israel); who God will protect in the desert through the 1260 day rule of the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast.

*A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; Rev 12:1 NASB+

*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. Rev 12:6 NIV+

 

God’s Heavenly Court (council) will rule when our Father’s agreement with satan to allow the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast to rule over the world is over. The man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast will try to extend the time he can rule; but it will be limited to 3½ years. And Jesus cannot gather up (Rapture) any believers from earth until the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast rule is over, until he has no more physical control over the world.

*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"'But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Da 7:25-26 NIV+

 

The time of the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast reign over the world cannot be shortened; for we already know the Heavenly Court will allow for him to rule 3½ years; during the 6th trumpet of Revelation. Our Father will cut short the great tribulation of the 7 thunders, which would have happened after the 7th trumpet, when believers are gathered up to Heaven. So when Jesus comes in power, there will still be humans living on earth, who will call on His name and be saved. They will live in the same physical body which they now have, and will be part of Christ’s 1,000 year Kingdom. See 9a. below

*For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Matt 24:21-22

*Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them." The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, Rev 10:4-6 NKJV+

 

Great tribulation refers to anytime believers face severe persecution, tortured or killed for our God; in any time period in which this happens. See 12.

 

5a. World becomes Kingdom our Father and Jesus; Jesus can gather (Rapture) us up to Him    

*Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" Rev 11:15 NKJV+

 

#6. Jesus will return as the 7th and last trumpet of Revelation sounds

 

Paul was told a mystery by our Heavenly Father, when Jesus would return in the clouds to gather us up; that Jesus will return at the last trumpet, when the 7th angel of Revelation sounds his trumpet. Then the mystery of God will be fulfilled, just as He had announced to Paul, just as He had announced to His servants who were prophets. At this time the kingdoms of the world will once more become the Kingdoms of our Lord and His Son; and believers would gathered up to Jesus in glorified bodies, and know all of the mysteries of God. 

*Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 1Co 15:51-52 ESV+

*but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets. Rev 10:7 ESV+

 

6a. Jesus will return twice; once for God’s Children, then in power to rule this world.

Paul tells us Jesus will return two times, the first time in the clouds to gather believers up to Him. The second time Jesus will come is in power to rule over this world, and He will destroy every evil authority and power on earth; taking out vengeance on those who have not accepted God and who do not obey the gospel of Jesus. Then Jesus will deliver this earthly Kingdom to His Father.

*But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 1Co 15:23-24 ESV+

*and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Thess 1:7-8 NKJV+

 

6b. Jesus will first return in the clouds to gather us up to Him; to be with Him forever 

Jesus will bring down with Him all the spiritual beings (soul and spirit) of those who have physically died in Christ and are living in Heaven into the clouds over this earth; raise up their physical bodies from the dead, and unite them with their spiritual being from Heaven. Then He will gather up (Rapture) all believers who are still living on earth up to Him in the clouds.

*Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, 2Thess 2:1 ESV+

*For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise firstThen we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1Thess 4:16-17 NKJV+

 

6c. We will be given glorified bodies in the “twinkling of an eye”

Then Jesus will glorify all believers’ bodies, both those which have been resurrected from the dead and united with their spiritual being, and those which have been gathered up (Raptured) while still physically alive; in the twinkling of an eye. And Jesus will then take all the believers back to Heaven with eternal glorified bodies to be with Him forever.

*Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 1Co 15:51-52 ESV+

*who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Phil 3:21 NKJV+

*that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth--in Him. Eph 1:10 NKJV+

 

7. All God’s children, around His Throne in Heaven from Old and New Covenants

Our first glimpse of God’s throne in Heaven in Revelation showed something which was like a sea of glass (maybe pavement made of sapphire Ex 24:10).  Later we are given a glimpse of all of God’s children standing around this sea at God’s throne in Heaven; all who are taken to Heaven when Jesus returns in the clouds for us after the 7th trumpet, at the first resurrection. We do not have to worry about the second resurrection and condemnation of the White Throne Judgment.

*and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. Rev 4:6 NASB+

*And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. Rev 15:2 NASB+

*Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. Rev 20:6 ESV+

 

All of God’s children include those from the Old Testament, who had to wait until Christ’s grace atoned for their sins so their spiritual beings could come into Heaven; they will sing the song of Moses. It includes all who lived under Christ’s grace on earth, who will sing the song of the Lamb.

*They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Rev 15:3 NKJV+

 

7a. Jesus told John; order God’s children seen in Heaven

Jesus dictated to John the order in which end time events would happen.

*Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. Rev 1:19 ESV+

 

Rev:      Who was shown to be In Heaven

6:9-7 - Who: Martyrs gave life for Christ, until enough killed in Christ’s name to defeat satan; dressed in white 5th Seal.

7:9-17 – In Heaven: Their spiritual beings (souls+spirits) are the great multitude in white robes who have come out of great tribulation”

11:3 + 11 - Who: 2 prophets/witnesses prophesy 1260 days; then killed by antichrist

11:11-12 – In Heaven:  went up in a cloud;

 

7:1 + 9:4 - Who: 144,000 of Israel protected through 1st- 5th Trumpet

14:1-5 - In Heaven: As Firstfruits of God + Jesus; sang song only they could sing, only ones at this time taken to Heaven with glorified body without physically dying 

 

11:15 – When this happens: All God’s children in Heaven and earth are taken to Heaven by Jesus when He returns in the clouds to give us a glorified body

14:14-16 - Who: All God’s children are shown as the main harvest being taken by Jesus from the earth to Heaven

15:2 - In Heaven: All God’s children are shown at God’s Throne, standing on the sea of glass

 

8. 7 cups of God’s wrath poured out on sinners

God’s 7 cups of wrath will be poured out for 30 days on all the sinners who remain on earth, including the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast; for Jesus has gathered all children of God up to Him in the clouds and taken them to Heaven. All believers will miss the wrath of God; for we will been gathered up (Raptured) to Heaven.

*Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God." Rev 16:1 NASB+

 

9. Jesus comes in power; destroys man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast; establishes His 1,000 year Kingdom on earth

Jesus will first return in the clouds to gather His brothers and sisters up to Him. Then after God’s pours out His 7 bowls of wrath on the earth; Jesus will come in power to destroy the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast, his army at Armageddon, and judge those who are living on earth. 

*Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. Rev 16:16 NIV+

*Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. Rev 19:11-14 ESV+

 

Jesus will defeat the antichrist, his army, the nations who despise God with words from His mouth; like a sharp sword. And throw the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast and his prophet into the Lake of Fire; an eternity in Hell.

*Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 2Thess 2:9 NASB+

*From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. Rev 19:15

*And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. Rev 19:19-20 ESV+

 

Jesus and His angels will destroy all the ungodly in the winepress of God’s wrath; and and there will be so many that their blood will come up to a horse’s bridle for 1600 furlongs; 200 miles.

*Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves there. Bring down your warriors, O Lord. Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great. Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:11-14 ESV+

*So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs. Rev 14:19-20 NKJV+

 

9a. “All Israel” + remnant Gentiles who accept Jesus; come with regular (not glorified) physical bodies into Jesus’ Kingdom

God promised Israel it will always be a special nation before God, until the sun and moon no longer shine; and this will only happen when God creates a new Heaven and earth and provides the light for them. Until this time Israel would always be a separate people, a separate nation, even when not living within the land God gave them. See Israel will always be a nation

*This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-- the Lord Almighty is his name: "Only if these decrees vanish from my sight," declares the Lord, "will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me. Jer 31:35-36 NIV+

*There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Rev 22:5 NKJV+

 

“All Israel” is predominantly Jewish believers with a few Gentile believers included. They will come into Christ’s beautiful 1,000 year Kingdom on earth in their physical bodies; which will not be glorified until after the White Throne Judgment.

*And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from

Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins." Ro 11:25-27 NKJV+

*I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. Isa 65:19-20 NIV+

*They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the Lord. Isa 65:24-25 NIV+

 

This includes:

 

The chosen of Israel (including Gentile proselytes); who will be protected by our Father through the great tribulation of the lawless man/antichrist/beast: are symbolized by the woman with the crown of 12 stars represent (12 tribes of Israel).

*A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; Rev 12:1 NASB+

*Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. Rev 12:6 NASB+

 

Those of Israel who are still living on earth, who have gone through the great tribulation of end times, the 7 cups of God’s wrath, and will call upon Jesus to save them and will have their sins forgiven.

*And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. Joel 2:32 ESV+

*"From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. "How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days! - 1260 days man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast reigns over earth – 30 days God’s wrath – 45 days Jesus set up His new kingdom on earth

 

Those of Israel who have not heard of God, have been spared through the tribulation of end times, the wrath of God and will come to worship our God at His Temple in Jerusalem 

*"I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations--to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. Isa 66:19 NIV+

*And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord--on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels," says the Lord. "They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels. And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites," says the Lord. Isa 66:20-21 NIV+

 

A remnant of Gentiles, just like the fullness of Gentiles included a remnant from Israel. This remnant will even include some who will come to fight against Jesus; yet will cry out to Him when they see Him and are saved.

*Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. Zech 14:16

 

10. Brief timeline; to finish up God’s plan for us

For an extensive Timeline See 7 Seals; 7 Trumpets; Then 7 bowls God’s Wrath or Where We Are in End Times

 

End of 7th seal; during quiet period in Heaven, the 1260 days of the 2 prophets/witnesses begins

2 prophets/witnesses come to bring Israel back to God at the Temple in Jerusalem

144,000 are chosen to bring a remnant of Israel into the body of Christ; maybe some Gentiles also

 

1st through the 5th trumpet

2 prophets/witnesses are given power to protect themselves in Israel from other nations and people; and those of Israel worshipping with them.

144,000 are protected by God’s seal on their forehead from these tribulations

 

Then comes the 1335 days of Da 12:11-12

*"From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. Da 12:11-12 NIV+

 

1335 days = 1260 days man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast rules world; 30 days wrath of God is poured out; 45 days Jesus establishes His Kingdom on earth 

 

6th trumpet; for 1260 days (3½ years) the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast will rule over the world

Begins his reign when he claims to be god at God’s Temple in Jerusalem

Then he kills 2 prophets/witnesses

 

2 prophets/witnesses:

When killed by the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast, their spiritual beings (soul and spirit) are taken to Heaven by God.

First to have their spiritual beings reunited with their resurrected body from the dead; which is glorified, made eternal; and then taken to Heaven.

 

144,000:

Will be taken to Heaven after the 2 prophets/witnesses; as firstsfruits to our Father and Jesus of those who will be alive on earth and never physically die; but are given an eternal glorified body as they are taken into Heaven to live with our God forever.

 

Man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast 1260 days to rule over earth are completed; his power will be taken from him.

 

7th trumpet Gathered up to Jesus in the clouds (Raptured)

Jesus returns in the clouds with the spiritual beings of those in Heaven, resurrects their physical bodies; gathers all God’s children living on earth; and gives all of them eternal glorified bodies and takes them to Heaven to be with Him forever. 

 

30 days of God’s wrath is poured out

At this time only sinners remain on earth; plus those of Israel whom God protects

7 bowls of God’s wrath are poured out on the earth

 

45 days Jesus establishes His 1,000 year Kingdom on earth

Jesus comes in all of His power to defeat the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast

satan chained up 1,000 years

Jesus judges those left; who will come into His Kingdom, who will face the winepress of His wrath

Earth is cleansed for the 1,000 year kingdom

 

After the 1,000 years of Christ’s Kingdom are completed

satan is set free – brings army against God- is defeated and thrown into the Lake of Fire forever

2nd resurrection of all in Hades; together with all who have not been given glorified bodies, will be judged at the White Throne Judgment. To determine whether they will come into our Father’s new Kingdom; or are thrown into the Lake of Fire, the second death

 

God makes new a new heaven and earth where He will live with His children forever

 

11. Understanding tribulation, great tribulation, trials and tests

 

Tribulation: when any believer faces something which will cause great mental or physical pain to them or someone they love; whether persecution, torture or being killed (martyred). Tribulation shows our God what is in our hearts; whether we love our God more than our own lives, and are His children. Or are children of satan, need tribulation to turn back to God; or be lost forever.

Tribulation does not specifically refer to any previous or future time period; unless there is a definition of which tribulation is being talked about with it; but believers will be faced with tribulation until Jesus returns in the clouds to take us home to Heaven. 

 

When Revelation was written John was in the tribulation of the Roman Empire, who was actively persecuting, torturing, and killing Christians; and would continue to kill Christians after John wrote Revelation. This was just as Jesus said it would happen; and all believers must be willing to stand up to tribulation, be willing to give up our physical lives on earth for Jesus and spreading the gospel; to obtain eternal life in Heaven.

*I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. Rev 1:9 ESV+

*For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sakeMatt NKJV+

*For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. Mk 8:35 NIV+

 

Christians must be able to conquer tribulation; to enter the Kingdom of God; and now where in the Word does it say Jesus will take us out of the world so we do not have to fight tribulation; even great tribulation (see 11a. below).

*Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Ro 8:35-37 NKJV+

*And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God." Ac 14:21-22 NKJV+

 

Jesus tells us He would give the crown of life to those who had been cast into tribulation by the devil; yet were faithful unto death in Smyrna. Symbolic for all Christians to come.

*'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Rev 2:9-10 NASB+

 

And today more Christians are being martyred than at any other time in history (including in China, India, North Korea, many 3rd world nations, Moslem nations, radical Islamic terrorists, and other groups and individuals who hate us). We in the U.S. and many other modern nations are just now beginning to experience very minor tribulation because we love our God, especially by radical Islamic terrorists. Yet there is going to be tribulation all over the world, for all people; from now until Jesus returns for us after the rule of the man of lawlessness, antichrist, beast rule is over.

 

Understanding great tribulation

 

Great tribulation refers to anytime believers face severe tribulation, or tribulation of mass proportion, mass numbers. Tribulation being when any believer faces something which will cause great mental or physical pain to them or someone they love; whether persecution, torture or being killed (martyred). Tribulation shows our God what is in our hearts; whether we love our God more than our own lives, and are His children. Or are children of satan, need tribulation to turn us back to God; or be lost forever.

Tribulation does not specifically refer to any previous or future time period; unless there is a definition of which tribulation is being talked about with it; but believers will be faced with tribulation until Jesus returns in the clouds to take us home to Heaven. 

 

There are only three times the words “great tribulation” are used together in God’s Word. Each time with different word(s) before them: into great tribulation; came out of great tribulation; be great tribulation.

 

(1) Into great tribulation; Jesus is trying to bring Thyatira church members who commit adultery with Jezebel, back to God; by threatening to throw them into great tribulation, unless they repent of their sexual sins. Jesus will put them under great tribulation, so they would ask for His help to get through it and repent, be saved to continue their physical life on earth as children of God. Or have their spiritual being condemned eternally to Hell, when they physically die, if they refuse to repent and come back to our God.   

*Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, Rev 2:22 ESV+

*"Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:28 NASB+

 

(2) Came out of great tribulation refers to those who came out of great tribulation, being slain for believing the Word of God before the 3½ year (42 month, 1260 day) reign of the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast. They were given white robes to wear, were told to wait a little longer, until the correct number of their fellow brothers to be martyred (killed) for Christ had been completed. Only white robes worn; by those slain before man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast antichrist comes into power; by those who stood before throne; are the same spiritual beings (soul + spirit) in Heaven. See

*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. 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?" 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. Rev 6:9-11 NIV+

*After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, Rev 7:9 NKJV

*And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Rev 7:14 KJV

 

We believe the KJV translation is the best, “came out of great tribulation”; though the other 5 bibles we use, NASB+, NKJV+, ESV+, NIV+, ASV; all have, “came out of the great tribulation”. For if one uses “came out of the great tribulation” as the 3½ years (42 months, 1260 days) time period in which the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast rules over the world; it is completely out of context with the following events in Revelation below.

 

The martyrs who were given the white robes for dying for Christ’s sake, were in Heaven wearing white robes; before satan was cast down to the earth. And only when satan is cast down to earth will he give his authority to the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast to begin his 3½ year (42 month, 1260 day) reign. These martyrs were not part of any great tribulation during the time of the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast; their spiritual beings were in Heaven with our Lord.

*So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Rev 12:9-11 NKJV+

*And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. Rev 13:4-5 ESV+

 

We believe Revelation should be read and used in the order it was given; generally there is first a list of what will happen, then a description of how it will happened. We do not believe we should be moving verses and events around, but put them in the order and context Jesus told John. Look at the order of verses above for (2) above; Rev 6:9-11, 7:9, 7:14, 12:9-11, 13:4-5; in order of happening, with correct context.  

 

(3) Be great tribulation; there will be great tribulation, which will kill the greatest number of those who love our God, and will not deny Him. This will happen in the future, during the time the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast will rule over this physical world for 3½ years (42 months, 1260 days).

*For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. Matt 24:21 NKJV+

 

We have used “the great tribulation” to refer to the time when the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast will rule over the world; but now believe it is better to refer to it as describing the severe events which will happen any time believers are under great tribulation. Hopefully we will soon have the time to change our other messages to reflect this. 

 

Trials, tests: All believers of every generation will have to face trials and tests because we are children of God; to strengthen our faith, to prove our faith is genuine.

 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trialsThese have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1Pe 1:6-7 NIV+

 

Yet there are different thoughts about what Jesus meant in Rev 3-10. When He promised to keep some of the faithful believers in the church in Philadelphia from the hour of trial which is going to come upon all the world; to test whether all who live on the world; whether we love our God above all things and are His children; or if we follow the world and are children of satan.

Jesus did not promise to keep the faithful in Philadelphia from tribulation like He did to some in Smyrna (Rev 2:9), or promise to keep them from great tribulation, like He did to some in Thyatira (Rev 2:22); or He would have said so. We believe Jesus was trying to protect them from satan and those who were following him in the church in Philadelphia.

*I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. Rev 3-10 NIV+

 

All believers will face trials from satan, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms; they know our weaknesses, how to use others who do not follow God, be able to test and tempt us so we sin. Jesus did not pray that His Father would take us out of this world to protect us from satan’s tactics; but to keep us from the evil one, satan and his demons, so we can remain children of God.

*For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12 NIV+

*I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the worldI do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. Jn 17:12-15 NKJV+

 

Jesus could also be referring to His Father keeping the elect of Israel completely safe during the 3½ hour year (42 month, 1260 day) rule of the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast. For our Father will completely take care of the chosen of Israel (and remnant of Gentile proselytes), keep them from any trials or temptations by bringing them out into the desert (wilderness), and caring for all of their needs during this time. This would especially be true if this church was a predominantly a Jewish congregation. Greek word translated for church in Revelation was assembly, which could also mean Tabernacle; where some early Jewish Christian congregations met.

*A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; Rev 12:1 NASB+

*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. Rev 12:6 NIV+

 

12. Understanding God’s wrath

 

The wrath of God refers to His anger; His worst wrath will be on those who will not love Him above all things, will not obey His commands; those who will worship the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast, take his mark when he comes to rule over us.

*For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Eph 5:5-6 NKJV+

*The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. Jn 3:35-36 ESV+

*And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. Rev 14:9-10 ESV+

 

God will condemn them to eternal death in Hell; the lake of fire.

*And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:28 NKJV+

*Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Rev 20:14-15 ESV+

 

We were not made for wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus’ atoning grace on the cross; and Jesus alone can save us from God’s wrath.

*For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 1Thess 5:9-10 ESV+

 

10 times God’s wrath is mentioned in Revelation; and those in Christ will not have to endure any of them.  

(1) Rev 6:16; 6th seal, wrath of God and the Lamb (Jesus) poured out in the War of Gog in a specific place, mountains of Israel; on specific sinners, Gog and those who come with him. May include Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Ethiopia, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, Tunisia  

(2) Rev 6:17; same as above.

 

Jesus saves us from all God’s wrath in the end times of Revelation when He returns to gather us up (Raptured) to Him in the clouds, gives us glorified bodies and takes us to Heaven before God’s wrath is poured out.  

*Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! Ro 5:9 NIV+

*and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1Thess 1:10 ESV+

 

Rev 11:15 7th trumpet sounds, and Jesus will return in clouds to take us to Heaven to be with Him.

 

All other wraths of God occur after this

(3) 11:18; wrath of God on nations

(4) 14:10; God’s wrath of being thrown into the eternal Lake of Fire, on any who takes the mark of the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast

(5) 14:19; great winepress of God’s wrath on the sinners on earth

(6) 15:17; 7 bowls of God’s wrath poured out on sinners

(7) 16:1; same as above

(8) 16:17; same as above

(9) 16:19 wine of fury of God’s wrath poured out on Babylon

(10) 19:15 fury of the wrath of God Almighty against nations who fought against Jesus

 

From the above we can see the wrath of our God in the end times comes after the reign of the man of lawlessness, antichrist, beast. And we must be prepared to go through the great tribulation the man of lawlessness, antichrist, beast will put us through without denying our God, if we want to be gathered up (Raptured) when Jesus returns in the clouds. And avoid have to face the wrath of our God.  

 

We understand our brothers and sisters in Christ will have different ideas about what will happen in end times; when and how Jesus will return for us. We all hope Jesus will come sooner, but must be prepared if He comes later; we should be prepared for the great deception of the man of lawlessness/antichrist/beast and being killed for Christ by him if we are alive when he rules over this world. Then we must unite together as brothers and sisters in Christ; to fight the evil which is now trying to dominate this world. 

 

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Copyright 6/26/16, amended 2017 by Ron Borkey

+ ESV “Scripture quotations marked [ESV] are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version,” copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good New Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

+ NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (1995 Update) Copyright © 1981, 1998 The Lockman Foundation, A Corporation Not for Profit, La Habra, California. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

Some words in the verses from these Bibles may be emphasized with bold letters.