by Brett DOBSS
7 reasons why the rapture of the church is after the tribulation of those days.
1. As in the days of Lot.
Luke 17:28-29 (KJV) 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.
In the same day Lot and his family was removed, total destruction rained down and destroyed them all. I do not see how this can be referred to a pre trib rapture. But I do see the rapture. The church is taken out and then total destruction comes. Such as Christ destroying the beast and his army at his 2nd advent. The church goes up, and on the same day, we come back down with Christ and he destroys them all. Will the world really be in distress at this time? The saints will be because of the persecution from the anti christ. However the rest of the world won’t necessarily be. There will be many events taking place with the trumpet judgments and the breaking of the seals. But that won’t necessarily exclude the world from carrying on about its business. With careful study one can lay out a timeline and the seals and trumpets are not all at once. There is some time in between them. Also, we see the merchant ships mourning because of the destruction of Babylon in revelation 18. I would assume business was carrying on as usual until Babylon falls. Or how about the entire world celebrating and sending each other gifts after the two witnesses are killed in revelation 11. The ones who have taken the mark of the beast will indeed be living out life as normal. Also, let’s stop calling the 70th week the great tribulation. Jesus says after the abomination of desolation occurs, then there will be a great tribulation. A massive scale operation of persecution of all who believe in Jesus Christ. Unlike any persecution that has ever happened before. John 17:14-15 (KJV) 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
2. As in the Days of Noah.
Luke 17:22-27 (KJV) 22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see [it].
(I thought Jesus taught his disciples that his return was imminent)
23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after [them], nor follow [them]. 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one [part] under heaven, shineth unto the other [part] under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. 26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Did the flood of Noah gradually come and slowly destroy people? No. It was sudden. Jesus says just before this, that it will be like lightning.
Genesis 7:4-5 (NKJV) 4 “For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” 5 And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him.
Genesis 7:10-10 (NKJV) And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth.
Genesis 7:13-13 (NKJV) On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark–
Indeed this is a foreshadowing of Jesus’s 2nd coming and the rapture of the church.
A warning was given that in 7 days the event would occur. As soon as they entered the ark, sudden destruction came.
Much like how it will be in the 70th week.
The anti Christ will establish a covenant with many for 1 week aka 7 years. That will be our signal that it has begun. And at some point towards the end of that week, (after the tribulation of those days) the church will be called up and sudden destruction will come.
3. Part 1. The resurrection described in Isaiah.
Isaiah 26:19-21 (KJV) 19 Thy dead [men] shall live, [together with] my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew [is as] the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Until the indignation passes. Indignation can also mean, anger, rage, wrath. So who has indignation here? Let’s back up and get some context.
Isaiah 26:1-3 (KJV) 1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will [God] appoint [for] walls and bulwarks. 2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. 3 Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee.
Verse 1, In that day. What day? If we back up to chapter 25, within the context of the whole chapter we can see that chapters 24, 25, 26, 27, runs together speaking of judgement and restoration. 25 and 26 is a song that is describing events of “that day” and describes events leading up to “that day”. So lets take a peak at chapter 25.
Isaiah 25:1-3 (KJV) 1 O LORD, thou [art] my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful [things; thy] counsels of old [are] faithfulness [and] truth. 2 For thou hast made of a city an heap; [of] a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. 3 Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.
This sounds very similar to the destruction of Babylon described in Revelation 18.
Isaiah 25:6-6 (KJV) And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
This is an interesting passage. Maybe this referring to the marriage supper of the Lamb. One thing stuck out to me here. “A feast of fat things full of marrow. I have no clue what full of marrow means, so I looked it up. māḥâ is the Hebrew word. And it means to blot out, exterminate, destroy. So it could read like this. A feast of fat things to be blotted out or destroyed. Which is very interesting because of Revelation 19:17-18 where an Angel calls for the great supper of God to come and eat the flesh of all the people who gets obliterated at Christ 2nd coming. What about a “feast of wines on the lees”?
Wines on the lees is figurative way of saying maturing wine. Which makes me think of Jesus saying to “let the wheat and tares grow together before harvesting”. Or “when the fullness of the gentiles come in”.
Or how about in revelation 14:17-20 when the earth is reaped. “Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe”
Revelation 14:19-20 (KJV) 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.
As in the days of Noah, the flood swept them away. So will the coming of the son of man be. One will be taken and the other one will be left. “Where Lord” where will they be taken? To where the eagles are gathered. The great fouls of the air. At the supper of our great God.
And the very next few verses of what also happens in that day. On the same day before all the destruction comes. To save us out of the path of the wrath of God.
Isaiah 25:7-9 (KJV) 7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.
The Lord will destroy or take away a vail or covering that was covering all the nations. That thing that was over all nations is death.
8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it]. 9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (KJV) 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (KJV) 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? 1 Corinthians 15:57-57 (KJV) But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul who knew the scriptures probably better then most, was referencing Isaiah when Paul revealed the mystery that not all should sleep, but shall be changed while still alive. The resurrection itself wasn’t as much of a mystery. But the rapture of the living was a mystery. And there is no unique distinction to this event occurring before any kind of tribulation occurs. To the contrary, they’re being saved out of the great tribulation. Which is the latter end of the 2nd half of the 70th week. Or can one prove that Isaiah and Paul was speaking of two different resurrections though they used similar language? I think not. Let’s continue on into Isaiah 26 regarding “in that day”.
3. Pt2. Isaiah 26:1-2 (KJV) 1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will [God] appoint [for] walls and bulwarks. 2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
This is a description of the beginning of the millennium kingdom. We must note that this song is basically telling a story of two themes. “The day of Christ” and “The day of the Lord”. It’s basically the same event. It’s the day of Christ for believers but it’s the day of the Lord for the unbelievers.
Isaiah 26:9-18 (NKJV) 9 With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments [are] in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. 10 Let grace be shown to the wicked, [Yet] he will not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, And will not behold the majesty of the LORD.
Verse 10 stands out here. Showing grace toward the wicked, but they refuse to learn the way of righteousness, they refuse to behold the majesty of the Lord. What is the overall purpose of the trumpet judgments in Revelation?
Revelation 9:20-21 (KJV) 20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
They repented not, they refused to learn the way of righteousness. Their refusal of repentance shows that grace is still being given because they still have the opportunity to repent. These judgments coming from the trumpets show the majesty of God in attempt to get the wicked to repent and seek the Lord.
11 LORD, [when] Your hand is lifted up, they will not see. But they will see and be ashamed For [their] envy of people; Yes, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them.
12 LORD, You will establish peace for us, For You have also done all our works in us. 13 O LORD our God, masters besides You Have had dominion over us; [But] by You only we make mention of Your name.
Verse 13- Rulers other than you have had dominion over us. The Beast system from Revelation 13 forcing the mark of the beast. But the saints only claim Jesus Christ and are killed for it. They refuse the mark.
14 [They are] dead, they will not live; [They are] deceased, they will not rise. Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, And made all their memory to perish.
Speaking of the rulers who had power over the saints. The beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 19:20)
15 You have increased the nation, O LORD, You have increased the nation; You are glorified; You have expanded all the borders of the land.
(Verses 14-15 is speaking of after Jesus returns. New millennium kingdom)
16 LORD, in trouble they have visited You, They poured out a prayer [when] Your chastening [was] upon them. 17 As a woman with child Is in pain and cries out in her pangs, [When] she draws near the time of her delivery, So have we been in Your sight, O LORD.
Chastening is going on. A women in birth pains. But even through it all God is with them. Sounds like a refining of the Jewish people and a refining of the church. For the Jews: Zechariah 13:8-9. And Peter mentions in 1 Peter 4:12-17 to not think of it a strange thing to suffer a fiery trial that will come. It’s a glorious thing to suffer for Christ. And that judgement will begin at the house of God aka the church.
Matthew 24:8 Jesus mentions nations rising up against nations etc.. and these are the beginning of sorrows or birth pains. Those birth pains continue until the resurrection. And then those who caused so much pain upon the saints will be paid back what they have coming.
Continuing Isaiah 26:
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain; We have, as it were, brought forth wind; We have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
It sounds like to me the saints were keeping the commandments of Jesus Christ. They were trying to spread the gospel. Trying to warn the inhabitants of the earth for what was coming.
19 Thy dead [men] shall live, [together with] my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew [is as] the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
And now comes Revelation 16.
Overall from the context of Isaiah 25 & 26, it appears to me that the faithful ones who are calling out to God (both believing Jews and Gentiles) are going through tribulation up until the resurrection. There is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles once they are in Christ. And also due to the full context of both chapters it is very clear that resurrection and rapture is towards the end of the great tribulation. None of the scriptures here can honestly point to a resurrection occurring before the 70th week.
4. Luke 21 The Olivet discourse.
Luke 21:25-28 (KJV) 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
I don’t think the Bible could get any clearer than this. When we see these things come to pass then look up. We look up because Jesus will be coming in the clouds to call us up. Jesus says that there will be signs in the sun and In the moon. Jesus gives a description of events that matches up with John’s description in Revelation 6.
Revelation 6:12-14 (KJV) 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.
Revelation 6:16-16 (KJV) 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:
Luke’s account mentions these things coming to pass and redemption drawing near. John gives the same description of things coming to pass but wrath is drawing near. Perhaps we can come to the same conclusion as mentioned in point #3. That the day of Christ is redemption and at the same time or on the same day, is the day of the Lord which is wrath for all those who aren’t redeemed. Just because Rev. 6 doesn’t mention a resurrection or rapture here does not exclude it from occurring. In fact the verse that says heaven departed as a scroll and the following verse that says “hide us from the face of Jesus should give us a clue. Revelation 1:7-7 (KJV) Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
We will see Jesus and we go up to him. The ones who rejected him will also see him. And they will wail as Gods wrath pours out onto them described in Rev 16 with the finality Jesus coming down with us saints in the 7th vile, the 7th seal. And this description lines up perfectly also with Matthew 24.
Matthew 24:29-31 (KJV) 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Where is the resurrection here? As I’ve been asked many of times. One has to line everything up. Proverbs 25:2-2 (KJV) [It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.
Revelation 7 is a interlude description of what occurs on the Day of Christ just before the day of the Lord. John hears of the 144,000 that was sealed by angels. And then John sees a multitude that no man could number. The saints who came out of the great tribulation. From every tongue tribe and nation. These were called up when they saw the sign of the son of man. One may claim that the elect who are gathered by angels In Matthew 24:31 are the saints who are already in heaven. And that they are being called together in preparation to come down out of heaven with Jesus. Technically that is true. The saints who have died in Christ are with Christ in heaven. As Paul says,
1 Thessalonians 4:14-16 (KJV) 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
However this does not exclude the resurrection occurring here in Matthew 24:31 timeline.
Mark 13:24-27 (KJV) 24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
Those on Earth and heaven are gathered together. After the tribulation of those days. Which tribulation?
Mark 13:14-14 (KJV) But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
Mark 13:19-20 (KJV) 19 For [in] those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. 20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
Matthew 24:21-22 (KJV) 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.
It’s clear to me that Jesus is only referring to one tribulation. And that is the great tribulation. And there is only one resurrection and one rapture.
When Jesus comes in the clouds, he calls up all that are his. One time only. All at the same time.
John 6:39-40 (KJV) 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Even though Matthew 24:31 doesn’t use the word “resurrection” to describe that event, doesn’t not set the resurrection on a separate timeline. There is not a separate resurrection for gentile believers, Jewish believers, and the 144,000. It is all at the same time.
5. The day of the Lord will not take you as a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 (KJV) 1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
We should be watching so that the Day of the Lord doesn’t take us like a thief in the night. Paul says of the times and seasons that there is no need for him to mention it because they already know. So they already know the things to be watching for. As discussed in Luke 21, “when you see these things come to pass then look up”. Those things coming to pass In Matthew 24:6-35 and Luke 21:7-38, are not speaking of the Day of the Lord. But are the events leading up to the day of the Lord. Even the events in Revelation chapter 6 is not the day of the Lord. Now technically those events are leading up to the day of the lord, in which the day of the Lord actually does occur at verse 14 which revelation Ch 16 gives the full details surrounding that scripture.
That day will not overtake us like a thief because we will watching for the Day of the Lord/Christ to come. Watching the events unfold before us. We won’t be taken by surprise. Those taken after us, are taken by surprise to their death.
Luke 21:34-35 (KJV) 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Matthew 24:42-51 (KJV) 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite [his] fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus is not telling us that he would come back at any moment. He’s warning us to be spiritually prepared to stand fast in the faith for when things get tough. To not be troubled to the point of leaving the faith. It is going to be tough. As Peter said, it will be a time of trial. Not to be confused with the other trial that is coming with the day of the Lord. That trial is total vengeance upon the behalf of the saints who were getting persecuted. So stand fast in the faith through all things.
6. Two things must comes first.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (KJV) 1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Regardless of how anyone wants to translate the word apostasia, it and the man of sin must be revealed before the church can be called up.
Why did the Thessalonians think they missed the resurrection? As if a letter came from someone else possibly claiming to be from Paul.
2 Timothy 2:16-18 (KJV) 16 But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
This might possibly be it. Perhaps they were told they are being persecuted because they missed the resurrection.
2 Thessalonians 1:4-11 (KJV) 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 [Which is] a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
So it’s actually a glorious thing to suffer for the gospel. That is something that pre tribulationers doesn’t teach. They teach us that suffering is Gods wrath. But in fact it’s what will make us worthy to escape the wrath of God. It will make us worthy to enter into the new kingdom.
6 Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power:
So when will Jesus come with vengeance, in flaming fire, and sending them to everlasting punishment?
The true wrath that isn’t for us.
Revelation 16:15-15 (KJV) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Revelation 6:14-17 (KJV) 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?
Revelation 16:20-21 (KJV) 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
Revelation 19:20-21 (KJV) 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
7. The servant is not greater then his master.
John 15:20-20 (KJV) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Some may say that Jesus suffered so that we wouldn’t have to suffer. In retrospect that is true. Jesus died for our sins. We cannot atone for our own sins. Jesus died at the hands of the religious. They hung him on the cross because they accused him of blasphemy and called an innocent man guilty. They thought they were honoring God. And Like wise, John 16:2-2 (KJV) They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
But something much much more happened on the cross. Something that only Jesus could feel in his most inner soul. He felt the wrath of God. Paying the price for our sins. Taking our place of the punishment that is due to us. Glory be to God for his mercy and grace.
So many in the history of the church have been martyred for their faith. But more than likely during the great tribulation the numbers of those martyred will exceed all those combined from the past. And there is no promise of escaping that. But perhaps a few may be deemed worthy enough to escape.
Luke 21:36-36 (KJV) Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Revelation 3:10-10 (KJV) 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.
But Jesus also says:
Luke 21:28-28 (KJV) And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Revelation 2:10-11 (KJV) 10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
All of these statements are true and we must remain consistent. So why must the church in Smyrna suffer the tribulation and get cast into prison but the church of Philadelphia get a free pass?
Does being kept, or escaping mean being raptured? Here are some ways to escape and be kept.
Death- those who perish before the 70th week begins.
Isaiah 57:1-2 (KJV) 1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth [it] to heart: and merciful men [are] taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil [to come]. 2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, [each one] walking [in] his uprightness.
Escape- when the abomination of desolation occurs in Judea, Jesus tells them to flee to the mountains. And in Revelation 12 we see the women fleeing into the wilderness where she will be nourished or kept for a time.
There is no guarantee, but it’s possible that some of the church saints who are worthy could be protected as well.
We also need to consider the idea of church ages. Throughout the church age, some scholars have lined up the 7 letters to the churches to church ages. If this is true, the last church would be the last of the churches. Laodicea is that last church. If we are the final church before the coming of our Lord, then we are in the age of Loadicea. Jesus has nothing good to say about this church. And to be Frank, this describes the American Church very well. We should be very concerned. A lot of repentance needs to occur with this church. But however we view the letters to the churches, who are we to say, I belong to this church or that church? Christ is our judge. I truly fear the body of Christ today is weak and unprepared. May the Lord have mercy on us all.