Discourse 135 – The refutation of the Pretribulationist Rapture



The Great Tribulation: only for the godless and the Jews. / Commentary, Anonymous, 2019-03-20

The Second Coming and the Rapture in Pretribulationism.

The Second Coming and the Rapture in Posttribulationism.

The Revelation – classified by events.

Summary

The war in heaven. / Satan cast out of heaven (Rev 12,7–17) - Excursus, M. Seibel: Must Christians undergo the Great Tribulation?

The Wrath of God. / Christians are not exposed to the Wrath - Excursus, M. Seibel: Must Christians undergo the Great Tribulation?



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(The Great Tribulation: only for the godless and the Jews. / Commentary, Anonymous, 2019-03-20)

Hi there,
Just briefly as I’m short of time :-)
The most extensive argument I know proving that the faithful will be
raptured BEFORE the Tribulation is to be found here:
https://www.bibelkommentare.de/kommentare/k-4504/das-matthaeusevangelium-eine-auslegung/exkurs [German]
This is now also available as a book from CSV.
More on another occasion.
Best wishes,
Anonymous




Thank you for your visit to Immanuel.at and for your comments.

As you assure me that your view of a Pre-Rapture (Pretribulationism) finds the most extensive (and as I would hope, also the most accurate) support in the writings of Manuel Seibel, I have studied his interpretation in depth, and will be commenting on it below and contrasting it with the view that the Rapture takes place after the Great Tribulation (Posttribulationism).

In his exegesis "MUST CHRISTIANS UNDERGO THE GREAT TRIBULATION?" Seibel breaks down the discourse on the last days (discourse on the Mount of Olives) of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 and 25 into three parts:

"1. In the first part Jesus shows what fearful tribulations surviving Jewish believers will have to undergo.

2. In the second part of this discourse, the Lord is speaking about Christian times. He urges us here to wait for the Second Coming of our Lord.

3. In the third part the Lord points to the fact that the Gentiles as well will have to undergo the special tribulations which lie in wait for the Jews.

In order to answer our starting question, we need to know how these three parts are connected in terms of time, chronologically. Are these three groups living on earth in parallel? Do the tribulations referred to in the first and third parts also affect the Christians (second part)? Or do they only have to do with Jews and Gentiles? In other words, must the Christians likewise experience this time of tribulation, along with Jews and Gentiles? Or will Christ come first to rapture them into heaven?"


These introductory words already give us a short overview of what the author then goes on to explain in detail, over 1.5 megabytes. This is the doctrine of Pretribulationism, as it was handed down by John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), one of the founding fathers of the Plymouth Brethren and the inventor of Dispensationalism. But we don’t aim to go to such great lengths here. What we however cannot avoid is a short excursus on the question what this kind of Pretribulationism really amounts to.

As we have already mentioned, Pretribulationism is the doctrine that the Second Coming of Christ for the Rapture of Christian believers precedes the Great Tribulation. According to Darby and Seibel, what we have here is a first Second Coming and Rapture, which goes unnoticed by the mass of human beings. The subsequent Second Coming, the "appearance" of the Lord "in glory and power" and the judgments on the Day of the Lord are then correctly placed after the Great Tribulation.

And when Seibel writes, "The Day of the Lord – not a judgment for the Christians," that is perfectly correct. However he has overlooked the fact that the "Great Tribulation" and the "Day of the Lord" are two different events (see also table below). There are no two "Second Comings" of the Lord: one for the Rapture, and a second one, the "appearance", as Seibel calls it, for the conviction and judgment of the godless.

In fact the Day of the Lord is both the day of the Second Coming of the Lord for the Rapture of his faithful – which according to Paul (1Cor 15,52) will only last for a second – and also, subsequently, for the judgment on the godless nations. The event of the Rapture will not be perceptible to the godless world at all, but the same is certainly not the case with the coming of the Son of God in the clouds.

But immediately after the tribulation of those days they will see the Son of Man coming.

Mt 24,29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 24,30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 24,31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. Mt 24,29-31;


And this is precisely what Posttribulationism postulates – that both the Second Coming and Rapture, and the immediately following judgments on the Day of the Lord, will take place after the Great Tribulation. But there are also some interpretations, in the intermediate ground between Pretribulationism and Posttribulationism, which would like to place this event in the middle of the Great Tribulation.

But we are here concerned only with the Pretribulationism of the Plymouth Brethren, and with the Posttribulationism which we advocate here at Immanuel.at, as evidenced by the various biblical passages we quote.

The basis for the doctrine of the Rapture is to be found in the Revelation of John, as Seibel rightly describes it in the following passage:

"From the Book of Revelation we know that the Lord Jesus is going to come again. He tells us, right at the end of the Word of God: ‘He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus’ (Rev 22:20). This is the message that the Lord sent us through his apostle John, at the end of the first century AD. Not only that – he has also promised to come ‘quickly’."


Seibel then goes on to comment in considerable detail on the delay of the Parousia – that is to say, why we are told here that the Lord is coming "quickly" when it has been more than 2000 years already that Christians have had to wait. This too is explained – quite correctly, in biblical terms – by his referring to 2Pet 3:8, according to which one day with God is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

(See also table 20: "World history: A week with millennial days.")



The Second Coming and the Rapture in Pretribulationism.

Seibel then refers to 1Thess 4:13-18, and explains this text from Paul about the Rapture on similarly solid biblical foundations, and so at the same time quite in keeping with the Posttribulationist point of view:

"At the moment when Christ comes, the ‘dead in Christ’ will rise from the dead. We who are then alive will be transformed and raptured along with the faithful who have died already. We will join the Lord Jesus in the clouds of the air. Together with him, both groups of believers will ascend into heaven, the house of his Father. For all time we will be with our Savior and Master, and will abide with him. That is eternal happiness!"


So we might first of all be inclined to ask the question what the big difference is between Rapture before and Rapture after the Great Tribulation. But Pretribulationism as understood by Darby is somewhat more subtle than the commonly taught doctrine of the Second Coming of the Lord before the Great Tribulation.

(See also discourse 862: "18 Arguments for Placing Rapture before the Great Tribulation – and their Refutation.")


This is because Seibel claims, unlike others, that the Second Coming of the Lord is quite simply to be placed before the Great Tribulation. He separates the scriptural statements about the Second Coming, and assigns Paul’s prophecies in 1Cor 15,50-53 and 1The 4,13-18 to a first Second Coming of the Lord for the Rapture of the redeemed, prior to the Great Tribulation.

For the trumpet will sound, and we shall be changed.

1Cor 15,50 I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 15,51 Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15,52 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. 15,53 For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. 1Cor 15,50-53;

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with the trumpet of God, and we will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord.

1The 4,13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 4,14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 4,15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 4,16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 4,17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 4,18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1The 4,13-18;

But immediately after the tribulation of those days they will see the Son of Man coming.

Mt 24,29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 24,30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 24,31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. Mt 24,29-31;


The statements of the Lord himself, in the above passage (Mt 24,29-31), are however understood by Seibel as pointing to a subsequent Second Coming ("appearance") of Christ, on the Day of the Lord, after the Great Tribulation and in "power and glory", for a judgment on the "nominal Christians, unbelieving Gentiles and Jews".

"Who will have to undergo this tribulation? Daniel is told, "Your people". This shows clearly that we are concerned here with the people of Israel, especially the southern kingdom of Judah. That in turn fits with the meaning of the verses in Matthew 24:1–44. We have seen that there too it has to do with the Jewish people. We find repeated references to Jewish elements, which have nothing to do with the Christian era. Also the localization ‘Judea’ in verse 16 shows that it is about Israel, Jerusalem and the Jews, not about the Christians.

The end of this period is associated, in Daniel 12:2, with the resurrection of the dead. According to Revelation 20:4-5, this will take place at the beginning of the millennial kingdom of peace. This resurrection applies to those who are killed, as believing Jews, in the fearful tribulation. The Wrath itself which comes upon the people of the Jews, before the faithful who are remain ‘are saved’, is described by God in the Old Testament in many different ways. We even find occasional references to a national resurrection. As examples, I would mention Isaiah 26:14–20, Ezekiel 37:1–14 and Hosea 6:1-2 and 13:14. But all this applies neither to the Gentiles nor the assembly of the faithful (congregation, church) but solely to the people of Israel."


Yes, Dan 12,2 certainly has nothing to do with the congregation, but refers exclusively to Israel. But we will not consider the Jews in this connection any further. First of all, we are discussing here the Rapture of the Christian congregation, in which the Jews play no part. And secondly, although - or perhaps just because - Christianity is an insertion in the history of God with Israel, the Jews have borne the responsibility for the last two thousand years for the act of blood of their forefathers, who handed over their Messiah to death on the cross.

(See also discourse 121: "Christianity: an insertion in the history of God with Israel.")


Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Messiah of the Jews, prophesied to them while he was alive that they would die in their sins if they did not believe that he was the Messiah.

Unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins.

Jn 8,22 So the Jews were saying, "Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?" 8,23 And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 8,24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." Jn 8,22-24;


And all human beings who die in their sins – who have no forgiveness for their sins – will be condemned to eternal damnation at the Last Judgment. Since the Jews handed over their Messiah two thousand years ago to death on the cross, and even to the present day do not distance themselves from the guilt of their forefathers (but quite on the contrary see Jesus Christ as a blasphemer and impostor, so that even looking at a cross is forbidden to believing Jews – Israel Meir Lau, Grand Rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003), they have all been condemned to damnation for the last two thousand years.

But God has left open to the Jews the same alternative that is open to all other human beings: they can convert to Jesus Christ as their Savior. Then they will be Christians and – as Paul says: neither Jew nor Greek – our brothers and sisters in Christ. So much then for the Jews, in Christian eschatology.

But M. Seibel sees the matter differently, when he writes:

"But for the believing Jews who have been unable to flee from Jerusalem and Israel there will be a fearful time of trouble…
These believing Jews are then found in Revelation 14:1–5. …
At this time the believing Jews are urged to flee (cf. Mt 24:16–20)…
After this there is an admonitory passage addressed to the believing Jews (the verses Matthew 25:32–44). …
He liberates not only the believing Jews …"



In the time of grace and of Christianity – the last two thousand years – there is only one faith: faith in Jesus Christ. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ is saved. Anyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ is lost. Whether they are Jews following the faith of Moses, Indians who believe in Buddha, Chinese who believe in Confucius, Moslems who believe in Mohammed or whatever they may be – they are lost, because they are lacking the one thing that makes them acceptable to God: faith in his Son Jesus Christ.

Here now are a few biblical passages which prove what today’s biblical Christian faith is really about. It is not about "believing Jews" in the faith of Moses, as repeatedly emphasized by M. Seibel in his excursus. Nor are the 144,000 from every tribe of Israel believers in the faith of Moses, seeing that they are – according to the interpretation offered here at Immanuel.at – the "Bride of the Lamb", and "these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes" (Rev 14,4). So they have Christ as the foundation of their faith and not Moses.

(See also discourse 15: "Who is the ‘bride of the Lamb’?")


The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand.

Jn 3,35 "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. 3,36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. Jn 3,35-36;

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Mt 28,18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Mt 28,18;

For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.

Jn 5,22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 5,23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Jn 5,22-23;

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father.

Mt 11,27 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Mt 11,27;

He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.

Jn 12,44 And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 12,45 "He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. Jn 12,44-45;

So that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.

Jn 10,37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 10,38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father." Jn 10,37-38;

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Mt 28,17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 28,18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Mt 28,17-18;

No one comes to the Father but through Me.

Jn 14,6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 14,7 "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." 14,8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jn 14, 6- 8;

Biblical Christianity and its claim to sole representation.


God is attainable for every single person who desires it.
However, not in different religions, but in his son Jesus Christ.

Any religion which does not place Jesus Christ, as the Son of God and sole mediator between God and human beings, at the center of its faith is a false religion
(Jn 3:35-36; Jn 5:22-23; Jn 14:6; Mt 11:27; Mt 28:18; 1Tim 2:5).

-- o --

Every prayer which is not exclusively addressed to Jesus Christ or the God of the Bible is addressed to idols and is an abomination to God
(Jer 10:2-5).

-- o --

It follows that the Christian faith, with the Bible as the sole foundation of faith and without any random additions invented by human beings, is the only possibility in this world which brings people to faith in the redeeming sacrifice of the Son of God on the cross, and thus through the forgiveness of sins allows them access to the one and only God of the Bible
(1Jn 2:23).

-- o --

Since there is only this one and only God and His Son Jesus Christ, any tolerance of other, invented gods, is a scam for the creatures truly seeking their Creator, and therefore has to be severely condemned.

Do not believe any of these false preachers. They are bad fruits from bad trees. Their gods are idols, their prayers go empty and their blessing is worth nothing! (Mt 7:16-18)




A further conclusion that M. Seibel comes to in the above passage, that the first resurrection before the Millennium in Rev 20,4-6 "applies to those who are killed, as believing Jews, in the fearful tribulation", now falls rather short of the facts. In this first resurrection the faithful are mentioned "who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand." But the idea that these are only Jews is nowhere to be found in the text, and is probably to be put down to the special Dispensationalist background to M. Seibel’s interpretation. Of course these people include both Jews and Christians.

Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Rev 20,4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 20,5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 20,6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. Rev 20,4-6;


And in the text preceding, in Rev 20,4, John speaks of those "who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God". And here naturally he is referring to Jews and Christians who have died as martyrs. With "the word of God" he refers to the Jewish martyrs of the Old Testament, and with the "testimony of Jesus" to the Christian martyrs of the New Testament who have been killed because of their faith. And those Christians too who in the time of the Antichrist did not worship the beast or receive his mark – and so were immediately killed by the image of the beast – take part in this first resurrection and become co-rulers with Christ.

The image of the beast would cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

Rev 13,15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. Rev 13,15;


So these are the saints of all times and all nations who have had to lay down their lives because of their faith in the one and only God and in his Son Jesus Christ. They – the martyrs and not those Christian believers who have lived out their life to its end – are granted the singular honor in the Millennium of reigning as priests with their Lord Jesus Christ.

And yet Seibel, by this separation of the biblical texts in 1Cor 5,50-53 and 1The 4,13-18 for the Second Coming and Rapture of the Christian congregation on the one hand, and Mt 24,29-31 for the Second Coming ("appearance") in power and glory for the Jews and nations on the other, has drawn the most dangerous – because most evident – sting in the argument of his Posttribulationist opponent. After all the statement in Mt 24,29, "But immediately after the tribulation of those days…" is regarded as the killer argument that disproves a Second Coming before the Great Tribulation.

Now Seibel of course derives the Second Coming and the Rapture before the Great Tribulation from Paul’s statements in 1The 4,13-18 and 1Cor 15,50-53 (see above). And it is just here that we actually find the second strong counterargument against Pretribulationism – against the idea, that is, that the Rapture occurs before the Great Tribulation.



The Second Coming and the Rapture in Posttribulationism.

This chapter 4 of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, which the Pretribulationists adduce as a proof, is actually an injunction to sanctification. It begins in 1The 4,1 by urging the Thessalonians to walk in perfection: "Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that just as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more," and then ends, in 1The 4,13-18, with this prophecy of the Second Coming of the Lord with which we are concerned.

In the next two verses immediately following, in chapter 5, 1-2, Paul then also tells the Thessalonians that it is not necessary to write to them about the time of this Second Coming of the Lord – which he has prophesied to them in 1The 4,16-17 – because they themselves are well aware "that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night."

For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.

1The 5,1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 5,2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 5,3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 5,4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5,5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 5,6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 1The 5, 1- 6;


Peter too, in his second letter, refers to the fact that this day of the Lord will come like a thief:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar.

2Ptr 3,7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 3,8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 3,9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 3,10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 2Pet 3, 7–10;


The "Day of the Lord" which comes like a thief in the night – in this part of the discussion we are in agreement – is this day of the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ in power and glory after the Great Tribulation. The difference between our views relates only to the fact that this, as understood here at Immanuel.at, is at the same time the day of the Raising and the Rapture of the faithful, whereas Seibel here – as also in Mt 24,29-31 – wants to see it as being merely the judgment on the "nominal Christians, unbelieving Gentiles and Jews".

And that now is actually wrong. Because if the faithful have already been raptured before the Great Tribulation, Paul would not be warning them here, in 1The 5,4, of the Day of the Lord at the end of the Great Tribulation: "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief.".

So there can be no doubt about it: this is the Day of the Lord and of the Wrath of God, "the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men", as Peter prophesies in 2Pet 3,7. But it is also the day of the Second Coming of the Lord for the Rapture of the congregation!

This Rapture of the Christians occurs "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye", as Paul writes in 1Cor 15,52, and so it will not be noticed at all by the godless world – especially when the judgment starts almost simultaneously, the sun and moon are darkened and the sky is rolled up like a scroll.

And all the host of heaven will wear away, And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll.

Isa 34,2 For the LORD’S indignation is against all the nations, and His wrath against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to slaughter. 34,3 So their slain will be thrown out, And their corpses will give off their stench, And the mountains will be drenched with their blood. 34,4 And all the host of heaven will wear away, And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll; All their hosts will also wither away As a leaf withers from the vine, Or as one withers from the fig tree. Isa 34, 2– 4;

The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Mt 24,29 "But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 24,30 "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 24,31 "And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. Mt 24,29-31;

The sun became black, and the whole moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up.

Rev 6,12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 6,13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 6,14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

6,15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 6,16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 6,17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" Rev 6,12-17;


This transition from the Great Tribulation (the judgments of seals 1 to 5) and the day of the Second Coming and the Rapture (judgment of the 6th seal) to the Day of the Lord and of the Wrath of God (7th seal and following), with its judgments of trumpets and bowls, can be clearly seen if we look at Table 14 below:



Table 14 - The Revelation - classified by events.

The seventieth week: seal #1:  The Antichrist / 2, 3: The begin of the birth pangs / 4, 5: The Great Tribulation /                                 6: The Rapture

Begin Day of the Lord
< 1st seal >
(Rev 6:1-2;)

White horse: rider has a
bow. A crown is given
to him, he goes out con-
quering and to conquer.
< 2nd seal >
(Rev 6:3-4;)

Red horse: takes peace
from the earth. A great
sword is given to him,
men slay one another
< 3rd seal >
(Rev 6:5-6;)

Black horse: a pair of
scales in his hand, wheat
and barley expensive but
oil and wine not damaged.
< 4th seal >
(Rev 6:7-8;)

Ashen horse: Death, and
Hades follow. Authority
over 1/4 of the earth, wild
beasts, famine, pestilence
< 5th seal >
(Rev 6:9-11;)

Underneath of the altar:
martyrs call for judgment.They wear a white robe, rest until their brethren are killed too
< 6th seal >
(Rev 6:12-17;)

Great earthquake: sun is
black, moon is like blood,
stars fall, sky is rolled up,
mountains, islands moved
a6th
sel

< 7th> seal >
(Rev 8:1-6;)

Silence in heaven 1/2 hour
Incense on the altar
7 angels with 7 trumpets
thunder, sounds, lightning
The two witnesses of God prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days clothed in sackcloth (?)


< 1st trumpet >
(Rev 8:7;)

Hail, fire, mixed with blood
1/3 of the earth burned up
1/3 of the trees burned up
all green grass burned up
< 2nd trumpet >
(Rev 8:8-9;)

Mountain burning falls into
sea, 1/3 of the sea blood
1/3 of sea-creatures died
1/3 of ships destroyed
< 3rd trumpet >
(Rev 8:10-11;)

Torch-star from heaven
1/3 of rivers wormwood
1/3 of springs worm-
wood, many men died.
< 4th trumpet >
(Rev 8:12-13;)

Sun, moon, stars:
1/3 of them darkened
for 1/3 of the day
and 1/3 of the night
< 5th trumpet / 1stwoe >
(Rev 9:1-12;)

Star with the key of the pit:
smoke darkens the sun,
locusts hurt only the men
without the seal for 5 months.
< 6th trumpet / 2ndwoe >
(Rev 9:13-21;)

Angels from Euphrates:
fire smoke and brimstone killed 1/3 of mankind, the rest
of mankind did not repent.
a6th
trp

< 7th trumpet / 3rdwoe >
(Rev 11:15-19;)

World's kingdom is God's.
God's wrath has come.
Time for judging the dead.
Thunder, sounds, lightning
The day of the wrath of God - The 42 month of the demonic Antichrist: His rising / Death of the 2 witnesses / The nations tread Jerusalem under foot


<a7th trp>
< 1st bowl >
(Rev 16:1-2;)

Poured out in the earth:
a loathsome, malignant
sore on the people who
had the mark of the beast.
< 2nd bowl >
(Rev 16:3;)

Poured out into the sea:
becomes blood like that of
a dead man, every living
thing in the sea died.
< 3rd bowl >
(Rev 16:4-7;)

Into rivers and springs: the waters became blood. They poured out blood of saints: they now have blood to drink
< 4th bowl >
(Rev 16:8-9;)

Poured out upon the sun:
men scorched with heath
they blasphemed the name
of God and did not repent.
< 5th bowl >
(Rev 16:10-11;)

On the throne of the beast:
kingdom became darkened,
EEEmen have pain blasphemed
God and did not repent.
< 6th bowl >
(Rev 16:12;)

On the river Euphrates:
its water was dried up so
the way is prepared for
the kings from the east.
a6th
bwl

< 7th bowl >
(Rev 16:17-21;)

Poured out upon the air: light- ning, sounds, thunder great earthquake as ever before, no islands, no mountains

===================================================================================================================

==
<a7th bwl>
===================


The returned Antichrist: death of the two witnesses



a6th sel
after 6th seal
(Rev 7:1-17;)
No harm to earth, sea and
trees, until the 144'000
are sealed. Those out of
the Great Tribulation
before the throne. The
Lamb will guide them to
springs of water of live.
God will wipe every tear
from their eyes
a6th trp
after 6th trumpet
(Rev 10:1-11; 11:1-14;)
A mighty angel in a
cloud. At the sound of
the 7th trumpet the
mystery of God is
finished. There will
be delay no longer. The
two witnesses will be
killed by the beast.
Earthquake in Jerusalem
a7th trp
after 7th trumpet
(Rev 12:1-17; 13:1-18; 14:1-20; 15:1-8;)
The woman and the dragon, the fall of Satan and his angels.
The beast out of the sea overcomes the saints.
Antichrist and false prophet: the dominion of the two beasts.
The Lamb and the 144'000 standing on Mount Zion.
Three angels: gospel, judgment has come, Babylon is fallen. Blessed who dies
Begin of the judgment, the Son of Man reaps the earth.
Those who had been victorious over the beast and its image sing Moses' song
The 7 angels with the 7 bowls of the wrath of God.
No one was able to enter the temple until the 7 plagues were finished.
a6th bwl
after 6th bowl
(Rev 16:13-16;)
Satan, Antichrist and
false prophet send spirits
of demons performing
signs to the kings of the
whole world to gather
them together for the war
on the great Day of God to
the place which is called
Armageddon.


a7th bwl
after 7th bowl
(Rev 17:1-18; 18:1-24;)
The fall of Babylon
(Rev 19:1-21; 20:1-15;)
Battle of Armageddon
Antichrist and the false
prophet in the lake of fire
Judgment 1st Resurrection
Last fight, Last Judgment
(Rev 21:1-27; 22:1-21;)
The New Creation

(See also discourse 05: "The parallel course of events of Mt 24 and Rev 6 and 7.")



So as we can see, there is no "secret Second Coming", and no "secret Rapture" either. The Lord comes with trumpet sound" (1Cor 15,52) and then everything happens "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye", so that the world does not perceive this event of the Rapture at all. – Especially when at the same time the Day of the Lord and of the Wrath of God dawns, the sun and moon lose their light and the sky is rolled up like a scroll.

But there is yet another text which lends the fullest support to the above Posttribulationist interpretation. This is the second letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, where Paul writes that the day of the coming (Second Coming) of our Lord and our gathering together to him (Rapture) will not happen unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed.

The man of lawlessness (Antichrist) and the apostasy (Great Tribulation) come before the day of the coming of our Lord an our gathering to Him.

2The 2,1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2,2 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. 2,3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 2,4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

2,5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 2,6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 2,7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 2,8 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; 2,9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 2,10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 2The 2, 1-10;


So if the coming, or Second Coming, of the Lord and our gathering together to him (Rapture) must be preceded by the apostasy (Great Tribulation) and the man of lawlessness (the Antichrist), then this Second Coming and the Rapture must obviously happen afterwards, after the Great Tribulation.

But there is a third argument as well, which is a whole lot more compelling than all the rest. In Rev 7,9-17 John sees a great multitude in heaven, before the throne:

These who come out of the great tribulation, they will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore.

Rev 7,9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 7,10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

7,11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 7,12 saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." 7,13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?" 7,14 I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of he great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

7,15 "For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.7,16 "They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 7,17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes." Rev 7, 9-17;


It is one of the twenty-four elders who here reveals to John that this great multitude before the throne, "from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues", are those "who come out of the Great Tribulation." As they are standing before the throne, come from all nations and are wearing the white robe of the just, they must be Christians.

So these are Christian faithful who have either died in the Great Tribulation or have had to go through the Great Tribulation. And so these Christians too can only have been raptured after the Great Tribulation. The one group, the dead, have been raised by the Lord; the other, the living, have been "further clothed", as Paul puts it in 2Cor 5,2-4, to be raptured then along with the dead.

We long to put on our heavenly dwelling.

2Cor 5,1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 5,2 Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, 5,3 so that by putting it on we may not be found naked. 5,4 For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 2Cor 5, 1- 4;

He will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Rom 8,10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 8,11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Rom 8,10-11;


Even if it remains an open question why the rest of the congregation of Christ are not mentioned here – those brothers and sisters, that is to say, who have died in the time before the Great Tribulation, the following facts are uncontestable:

– they are an uncountable multitude from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues,

– they come from the Great Tribulation,

– they are Christians,

– they are in heaven, before the throne,

– and so they must have been raptured,

– and this necessarily must have happened after the Great Tribulation,

– but all this is exactly what the Lord Jesus will do on his Second Coming.


And if we look at this text in Revelation a little more closely, we recognize that in the Great Tribulation human beings will evidently suffer above all from hunger, thirst and intense heat or solar radiation. This confirms the view advocated here at Immanuel.at that the Great Tribulation is identical with the judgments of the seals, and these in turn are not yet the judgments of God, but just humanly caused factors detrimental to the conditions of life on this planet.

The judgments of God then begin with the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ after the Great Tribulation, on the Day of the Lord (and of the Wrath of God), hence with the 6th and 7th seals, and continue with the following judgments of the trumpets and the bowls (see the table above).

So to sum it all up::



Summary.

o  In 1The 5,4 Paul warns the Thessalonians that the Day of the Lord (at the end of the Great Tribulation) should not come upon them like a thief. Here he means that they should take care not to fall away from their faith, and then have no time left for repentance and conversion. So Paul must be assuming that the Thessalonians, as Christians, on the Day of the Lord, at the end of the Great Tribulation, will still be on earth, and will, at the end of the Great Tribulation, be raptured by the Lord Jesus on his Second Coming.

o  Likewise in his second letter to the Thessalonians, in 2The 2,1-4, Paul warns them, in connection with this day of the coming of our Lord and our gathering together to him (Second Coming and Rapture), not to be led astray into thinking this day has already arrived. Only when the man of lawlessness (Antichrist) and the apostasy (Great Tribulation) have come will the Day of the Lord and the Second Coming of Christ, with their Rapture, then finally – after this tribulation – occur.

o  And finally in Rev 7,9-14 the elder shows John an uncountable multitude of Christians of every nation standing in heaven before the throne, and explains to him that this uncountable multitude all come out of the Great Tribulation. If these brethren in Christ are standing in heaven before the throne, it follows that they must – whether dead or alive – have been raptured. And if they – as the elder says – come out of the Great Tribulation and have been raptured, then it can only have been after the Great Tribulation.

o  As we can now be certain, based on this demonstration, that the Second Coming of the Lord and the Rapture will take place after the Great Tribulation, at the beginning of the judgment of the godless, we can now revisit that statement of the Lord’s which we initially set aside because of the uncertainty of the interpretation: in Mt 24,29-31 the Lord prophesies that immediately after the affliction / tribulation of those days the darkening of the heavenly bodies (Day of the Lord) will take place, and then the Lord will come on the clouds and his angels will gather his chosen ones. So: after the Tribulation the Day of the Lord, with the Second Coming of Christ and the Rapture.

With this interpretation, however, another uncertainty remains. The statement by M. Seibel that we here have to do with Jews could be a further possibility. Not of course "believing Jews" of the faith of Moses, but it could be the 144,000 Israelites, 12,000 from each tribe of Israel. Because these, following the 6th seal in Rev 7,3-8, with the "Second Coming" as interpreted here at Immanuel.at, are sealed on their foreheads. And in the very next verse we then have the above text about the great multitude before the throne – the raptured Christians, in other words. Since at Immanuel.at these 144,000 Israelites are interpreted as the "Bride of the Lamb", their being sealed at the same time as the Rapture of the congregation of Christ to the throne would make sense.

(See also discourse 15: "Who is the ‘bride of the Lamb’?")


In what follows we will take a look at a few more statements in M. Seibel’s document, which we must not leave uncontested in this discourse.


The war in heaven.

(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Satan cast out of heaven (Rev 12,7–17) / M. Seibel: Must Christians undergo the Great Tribulation?)

There is another passage in Revelation which shows us that the Great Tribulation does not take place in our day. In Revelation 12:9 we read that the devil, that is to say Satan, has been thrown down to earth. This then triggers the most frightful torments and persecutions on the earth (verse 12 ff.).

But from Ephesians 6:11 ff. we know that Satan and his demons are still dwelling in the heavenly realm and active there today. There is no suggestion of Satan’s leaving these heavenly regions, the heavens. In the time of the Tribulation, on the other hand, the devil is resident on earth, while today he acts in the heavenly realm of the first creation. Today too he acts on the earth. But his seat of government is still in heaven. This is going to change in future.

Bibelkommentare.de



It was the "war in heaven", where the angelic world – though this happened two thousand years ago, took this decision. A third of all the angels decided for the tempter Satan and so against God. There then followed a war in heaven, in which Satan and his angels fought and lost against the remaining two thirds of the angels, under the leadership of the Archangel Michael. Satan, the "dragon" was then thrown down to the earth, where the fallen angels continue to exist – though invisible to human beings – in the spaces of the air.

The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and were thrown down to the earth.

Rev 12,7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 12,8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.

12,9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Rev 12, 7- 9;


The biblical fact that this war in heaven took place when our Lord Jesus Christ was still alive is confirmed by numerous passages in the Bible:

I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Lk 10,17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." 10,18 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Lk 10,17-18;

Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath.

Rev 12,12 "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time." Rev 12,12;

How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning.

Isa 14,12 "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! Isa 14,12;

And the tail of the dragon swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.

Rev 12,3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 12,4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. Rev 12, 3- 4;

Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

Jn 12,28 "Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." 12,29 So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, "An angel has spoken to Him." 12,30 Jesus answered and said, "This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. 12,31 "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. Jn 12,28-31;

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming.

Jn 14,28 You heard me say to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. 14,29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe. 14,30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 14,31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go hence. Jn 14,28-31;

He will convict the world concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

Jn 16,7 "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 16,8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 16,9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 16,10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 16,11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. Jn 16, 7-11;

(See also excursus 06: "From the face of God into the lake of fire - the four stages of Satan.")


And the information that Satan and his angels continue to exist in this world today in the spaces of the air, and that God has given Satan power over the kingdoms of this world, has been handed down to us by the apostle Paul.

The prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

Eph 2,1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2,2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Eph 2, 1- 2;

The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers.

2Cor 4,3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4,4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. 2Cor 4, 3- 4

The world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness under the heavenly places. (not in heaven!)

Eph 6,12 For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness under the heavenly places. Eph 6,12;

(See also discourse 1042: "Are all governments of the world ordained by God?")


So it looks as if God created Satan for this purpose, or else from a certain point of time, in the development of this angel, assigned him the role of tempting human beings – from Adam and Eve right through to the Last Day – and so giving them the possibility of using their God-given freedom of the will in order to decide for or against God. Satan was thus intended to separate the "chaff" from the "wheat". And just that was the purpose for which God actually gave him, two thousand years ago, power over "all the kingdoms of the world".

Consistently enough, he at once proceeded to try to lead astray his greatest antagonist, the Son of God, who was living as a human being on earth, and offered him "all this authority" provided that Jesus would worship him, the devil.

To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me.

Lk 4,5 And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 4,6 and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 4,7 If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours." 4,8 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’" Lk 4, 5- 8;


But yet another consequence of this text should not be overlooked. The fact that Satan points to here – that all power over the kingdoms of this world had been assigned him by God – was not called in doubt by the Son of God. As with the other temptations, here too the Lord only referred to the relevant biblical commandment: "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve". If the devil had been lying here – and it is his job, after all – the Lord would undoubtedly have refuted him.

But this makes it clear that the world has been directed by the devil for two thousand years. As we can understand from this biblical passage, it is he who appoints all the governments of nations – including the Vatican State. Since the Roman empire all those exercising power – whether they are emperors, kings, Popes or dictators (and democratically elected statesmen and stateswomen are no exception) – have been influenced and kept in leading strings by the devil.

It may be that some of these people were able to withstand Satan’s influence, but then they cannot have remained for long in responsible positions. And when we look at world history over the last two thousand years – from the emperor Nero, through the sinister Middle Ages to Hitler, Hiroshima and Nagasaki – we can see that this biblical prophecy has come to pass indeed, in all its tragic aspects. God has given humanity freedom of decision, and human beings have taken this world right into the arms of the devil.

But in the end Satan will take large parts of the human world into damnation in the same way – just as he seduced and led astray a third of the angels and led them to perdition. And we have reason to fear that in the human world – by contrast with the angelic world – less than two thirds will escape the clutches of the devil. The Bible speaks of some four billion people who will be destroyed by the wrath of God, on the Day of his Wrath alone (Rev 6:8; Rev 9:15).

(See also discourse 65: "The two men in the field (Mt 24,40): who will be taken, and who will be left?" )


So that is the biblical reality of Satan and the angels. And as we can see, all this started with the war in heaven in Jesus’ lifetime (Rev 12:7-9), seeing that he, after all, was the one who said:

Lk 10,18 "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."

And as we have likewise seen, there are of course prophecies which point to this unique event in heaven (e.g. Isa 14:12; Rev 12:12).

(See also excursus 06: "From the face of God into the lake of fire - the four stages of Satan.")




The Wrath of God.

(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Christians are not exposed to the Wrath / M. Seibel: Must Christians undergo the Great Tribulation?)

In 1 Thessalonians 5:9 we then read that the redeemed of today will actually not be exposed to the Wrath. Instead they will be saved from this judgment of God, the judgment He is going to bring upon this earth.

Christians will be saved from the coming Wrath
Right at the start of his letter the apostle insists that the redeemed in Thessalonica will be saved, through their conversion, from the coming Wrath. This Wrath cannot refer to hell, the eternal wrath of God, for it is not stated here that Jesus "has saved" us from the coming Wrath (past), but that He saves us (present). Through his work of redemption, we have long since been saved (past) from hell and eternal separation from God. This liberation is credited to us on our conversion (for the redeemed, likewise in the past). So this cannot be what Paul is saying here.

No, we are not saved from hell, massive as that may be, but we will actually be saved from the time of Tribulation. For this we have the glorified Lord to thank, who today is active on our behalf in heaven. He will see to it that we do not have to experience the Wrath which He is going to bring upon this earth in the time of Tribulation. He will rapture us before it happens – for which be eternal thanks to Him.

Bibelkommentare.de




In the above sentence of Mr. Seibel’s, "He will see to it that we do not have to experience the Wrath which He is going to bring upon this earth in the time of Tribulation," the faulty interpretation of the Pretribulationists is plain to be seen. The time of Tribulation is not the Day of the Wrath of God. Here is an attempt to clarify matters in the light of the Bible:

This time of Tribulation, or "Great Tribulation", is also mentioned by the Lord in Mt 24,29-31:

But immediately after the tribulation of those days they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky.

Mt 24,29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 24,30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 24,31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. Mt 24,29-31;


So the Lord is speaking here of the day of his Coming. If we now look at the signs which the Lord himself prophesies for the day of his Coming – the darkening of the heavenly bodies, that is to say, and the stars falling from the sky – and look for indications in scripture, we find a parallel passage first of all in Revelation. This makes it possible for us to localize this event of the Second Coming of the Lord and the Rapture (and also, in particular, the beginning of the Day of the Lord) at a precise point in Revelation:

The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth-

Rev 6,12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 6,13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 6,14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Rev 6,12-14;

(See also table 14: "The Revelation – classified by events.")


And when we look further, we also find an important statement in Acts:

The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord shall come.

Apg 2,19 ‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. 2,20 The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the LORD shall come. 2,21 And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Acts 2,19-21;


Here Peter is quoting the prophet Joel (Joel 2:30-32), who prophesies these very same signs which the Lord associates with his Coming in connection with the "Day of the Lord". And the prophet Amos also describes this day, namely in Amos 5,18-20:

The day of the LORD will be darkness instead of light.

Amos 5,18 Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, For what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be darkness and not light; 5,19 As when a man flees from a lion And a bear meets him, Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall And a snake bites him. 5,20 Will not the day of the LORD be darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it. Amos 5,18-20;


And we have yet more passages in the Old Testament which describe this "Day of the Lord":

For the LORD of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty.

Isa 2,10 Enter the rock and hide in the dust From the terror of the LORD and from the splendor of His majesty. 2,11 The proud look of man will be abased And the loftiness of man will be humbled, And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
2,12 For the LORD of hosts will have a day of reckoning Against everyone who is proud and lofty And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased. 2,13 And it will be against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up, Against all the oaks of Bashan, 2,14 Against all the lofty mountains, Against all the hills that are lifted up, 2,15 Against every high tower, Against every fortified wall, 2,16 Against all the ships of Tarshish And against all the beautiful craft. 2,17 The pride of man will be humbled And the loftiness of men will be abased; And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, 2,18 But the idols will completely vanish. 2,19 Men will go into caves of the rocks And into holes of the ground Before the terror of the LORD And the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble. Isa 2,10-19;

The day of the LORD - the day of the wrath of God.

Zeph 1,14 Near is the great day of the LORD, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. 1,15 A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, 1,16 A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers. 1,17 I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the LORD; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung.1,18 Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the LORD’S wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth. Zeph 1,14-18;


As Zephaniah prophesies in the above passage, in Zeph 1,18, the "Day of the Lord" is also the "day of the Lord’s wrath". And we find other references to the "Day of the Wrath of God" in the Old Testament:

The earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.

Isa 13,13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger. Isa 13,13;

Their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD.

Eze 7,19 ‘They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will become an abhorrent thing; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD. They cannot satisfy their appetite nor can they fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become an occasion of stumbling. Eze 7,19;

Although there are still more parallel passages, we would like to leave it at that and just come to a conclusion. Immediately AFTER the affliction / Great Tribulation the heavenly bodies will be darkened and the Day of the Lord (= Day of the Wrath of God) dawns, with the Second Coming of the Son of God first for the Rapture of the congregation – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1Cor 15,52) – and immediately after that for the judgment of the godless.

Finally, M. Seibel also writes:



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(List of reasons for placing the Rapture before the time of Tribulation / M. Seibel: Must Christians undergo the Great Tribulation?)

In Revelation 3:10 the church in Philadelphia is expressly told that they will be kept from the hour of testing which is about to come upon the whole world. This cannot be referring to trials and persecutions of the present day, as all the faithful have to undergo these (2Tim 3:12). And these sufferings are summed up in the letter to the faithful in Philadelphia under the term "perseverance". The Greek preposition "ek" (out of) in Revelation 3:10 cannot be translated as "saved out of the hour of temptation". Linguistically and in terms of content, that makes no sense (compare John 17:15, Acts 15:29). It must mean "to preserve from". And just that is what happens with the Rapture: we will be with Christ before the time of trial comes upon the earth.

Bibelkommentare.de



"We will be with Christ before the time of trial comes upon the earth." – Yes, that is just how it is! Not before the Tribulation, however, but before the Day of the Lord and of the Wrath of God, after the Great Tribulation  (see also table above).