Revelation and Matthew After this takes place, Matthew tells us that the Son of Man will appear in heaven and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. Jesus will come on the clouds to fetch His bride. In the rapture, Jesus sends out angels to fetch His bride, the ,, from all corners of the earth. Revelation 7, Matthew and 1 Thessalonians Even though we know the events leading up to this point, Jesus also says that no one will know the day or hour.
The Great Tribulation
Revelation The beast no longer wants to listen to any form of Christianity or even false Christianity or any form of religion. The seventh and final seal will then be broken. In Revelation we see that seven angels are given seven trumpets and in verse 6 they are preparing to sound them. The seven angels mentioned in the breaking of the seventh seal in Revelation were given seven trumpets.
Each trumpet blown brings a new wave of disaster to the earth. These will not be counted in the firstfruits, the bride of Christ, but will have the opportunity to repent and become martyrs for their faith. Since the Bride has been raptured there is no longer anything holding back the beast and the Antichrist from taking full power. The Antichrist spirit that has been present since the days of the apostles 1 John will finally take a physical form and the man Antichrist, the lawless one, will rule over the whole earth and persecute those who were left behind but still serve God.
He will try to force everyone to take the mark of the beast Revelation which shows that the bearer has rejected God and worships the beast. Without this mark nobody will be able to buy or sell. The first four trumpets sounded will herald the destruction of a third of the trees and all the grass, a third of the sea, a third of the sea creatures and a third of all ships.
A third of the fresh water on the earth will become poisonous and bitter and a third of the sun, stars, and moon will be darkened. Revelation The fifth trumpet unleashes hellish locusts from the bottomless pit to torment mankind. At the sound of the sixth trumpet four angels are released to go over the earth and kill a third of mankind by fire, smoke, and brimstone.
Unfortunately, it is written that the rest of mankind still do not repent of their sin — meaning they had yet another opportunity to do so! Revelation God also sends two witnesses to earth to prophecy. They will be killed for their testimony and then resurrected by God and taken up to heaven. This includes the bride of Christ, the martyrs, and the heroes of the Old Covenant.
The next chapter in Revelation describes a war in heaven. The angel Michael and his angels cast Satan and his angels out of heaven and down to the earth, once and for all. Now that God has gathered all His servants from the earth and placed them in heaven there is no place for Satan and his evil hosts anymore. They are banished to the earth with all those sinners who refused to repent time and time again.
Now God is in a position to empty out His wrath and judgment over the earth, against the beast and all those who have worshiped the beast. Seven angels are given seven bowls of wrath, each of which unleashes a plague on the earth. The first bowl sends out loathsome sores to all who have the mark of the beast.
Revelation The second and third bowls turn the seas and the waters to blood. Revelation The fourth bowl gives power to the sun to scorch men Revelation and the fifth bowl fills the world with darkness and pain. The emptying of the sixth bowl causes the river Euphrates to dry up to prepare the way for armies from the East.
The beast and the Antichrist begin to gather their armies together at the place in Israel called Armageddon, in preparation for war with God and His people, the Jews in Israel. Revelation , Ezekiel 38 and 39 They will war against Israel and they will seem to be winning. Quite simply, when people reject God, satan is always there to pick up the remnants to construct an oppressive perverted extreme on every level. Then comes tribulation. People who want to live in a world without God or satan are living in a sleepy dream world.
We can choose either good or evil. There is no possibility of something in between. If a people's heart is against God, then the appointed kingdom which rules over them will be against those people. These two previous paragraphs can be summed up by Jeremiah 5 - 8. God, through Scriptures, has given us many signs precluding the Great Tribulation. There are reasons for these things to come to pass. The main reason is simply through rejecting God. However, the sign which stands out the most in my mind is given in Ezekiel 7: 10 regarding the end- times. The budding of pride is a benchmark preceding the end- time.
Please read that chapter in Ezekiel to gain a better understanding ]. Today we see some of the most ignorant punk kids boasting themselves to be preeminent above all others. The evil imaginations of their heart are portrayed as confidence and happiness, but, this is not entirely by age distinction.
Better yet, picture two children quarreling. If one child is overcome with rage and strikes out at the other child, what happens? We can see these characteristics in adults also. Look at the nature of the way some public officials behave; since verse 4 in Isaiah chapter 3 mentions rulers, it is a sure bet that the mind of a child is at play much of the time in the order of the day. To be fair, I have in mind those in the public view who are beacons of stability - the same ones I give thanks to God for.
The following verse portrays a side effect of pride. When the haughty ones feel they do not receive enough respect, they become offended and offensive. One thing which causes love for others to grow cold is self pride, that means to love ones self above others, including above God. The miserable description above of those who reject God can be plainly seen anywhere in the world today. Loving to please the flesh more than pleasing God is one of the most captivating and painstaking paths in the world.
This type of pleasure has no joy or peace associated with it - a true emptiness without equal. This leads us to the following section concerning rejection of God. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. Choosing anything whatsoever in this world above God will lead to a blindingly fast moral decay.
Thereafter, each and every step taken is away from God, until a nation becomes utterly lost and void of understanding. America is a splendid example of how this effect comes about. Not only are misguided forces set at destroying this nation from within, but they are teaching other nations to follow the same ill examples. Baby- fied punks have set themselves to great heights in their own minds because they have been turned away from the most basic set of instructions for a happy and prosperous life - The Ten Commandments of God. Rebelling also against parents sets one at odds with God and leads to a downward slope into the ill- escaped path of perpetual sin.
I do understand there is such a thing as horrible parents, but they too have been many times the beneficiary of a decadent society. This problem is compounded with each successive generation until the only affordable remedy is the horror of a great tribulation. Knowledge and Wisdom are divided into different categories. By design, Wisdom and Understanding are akin.
The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes expound the definitions and origins of each. Suffice it to say there is knowledge of God and there is worldly knowledge. Of that type there is no regard for Truth. Knowledge obtained cannot be properly implemented without the wisdom to cautiously proceed - and only after carefully envisioning all possible related scenarios. Thank God, however, for the wisdom of those in the field of nuclear energy to require back- up generators be in place to cool the core temperature in the event of a system failure, but their predecessors should have had their heads examined for polluting our lands with nuclear technology to begin with.
Had they have opted to develop an alternative technology based upon the principals applied through uranium nuclear fusion, we would have seen their wisdom, but instead, their foolishness echoes around the world and drifts in the winds and currents. Let us now look to the book of Daniel for the sign given of knowledge; in Daniel 4. Through the fulfillment of this prophecy, we clearly understand that we are in the end times. The Internet has certainly played a great part in spreading knowledge. Anyone who cares to, can now extract hydrogen fuel from water while sitting on their back porch.
Again, thanks to the Internet, we can virtually visit any place we desire. Why does the wisdom of the wise perish? All of these things are inseparable, including Godly wisdom ]? How can there be a famine for hearing the Word of God when there are Christian broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Well, what is actually heard during those broadcasts? I spent quite a lot of time on- line watching a well known world- wide Christian based broadcast the other day.
Story after story was presented of how people were blessed after sending money to this ministry. Okay, the heads of this ministry are now billionaires. They report how they feed the hungry and send aid to different parts of the world after a catastrophe. That is good; patting oneself on the back a little, but surely better than nothing. Thank God for it, but that is not Bible teaching.
Bible teaching helps people eventually feed themselves with the Bible and equips them to help others. It is the coming of the Lord to reign in manifested power on the earth. We will deal with this under the heading of Luke , which deals with the same incident. There is no Rapture here. Here we find the Lord sending His angels to gather His elect from the four quarters of the earth.
But in 1 Thessalonians 4, the Lord HIMSELF descends from heaven with a shout, and the dead rise and the living are changed; and as it Corinthians 15 tells us, it will all take place in the twinkling of an eye. The two parts of the Coming are distinct. Reese fails to observe this. This is the same incident as Matthew We had better give Mr. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken taken home , received , and the other left left alone , left unprotected. What right has Mr. The word, taken , is the ordinary word for taken.
What Is the Great Tribulation?
Other words in some passages may bring in the thought of home, but it is not in this passage remotely. Of course there can be instances where people are left alone and unprotected, but the word leave in itself does not convey that idea. It would need added words to convey that thought. But here is a case where it looks as if Mr. Reese has given a meaning to words to suit his own interpretation It is just what we have said more than once. Get a wrong interpretation, and you have to twist and mangle and accommodate other texts bearing on the subject.
What confidence can we have in expositions that are given to suit the ideas of the expositor? And when we examine Luke , we find it takes up the details of the Lord coming to this earth to reign, and does not mention the catching up of the saints to the air, the Rapture, at all. The illustrations that the Lord gives are right against Mr. We have the illustration of Noah and the flood. Noah was LEFT for blessing. There lies the stinking putrid body. The eagles, the scavengers of the air, come and pick the flesh off the bones, and carry away their horrid meal.
So will it be in the last days. The righteous go into life eternal, that is they are LEFT for blessing on the renewed earth, for the millennial reign of Christ, a pledge of their everlasting blessing. Reese a leg to stand upon. It is singular how Mr. Reese persists in reading meanings into words that are foreign to them. The use of this word in the N.
So much for Mr. The fact is Mr. Reese apparently thinks that modifying words at his own pleasure proves what the word by itself means. If we did this with the above Scriptures, we should say dogmatically that the word has only a bad meaning, that would be as mistaken as when Mr. Reese says dogmatically it has only a good meaning. It is the ordinary work for take , and it depends upon modifying words, whether the taking is for good or evil.
One would have thought that twenty years of preparation on the part of Mr. Reese was sufficient time for him to avoid making such egregious blunders. In fact to pursue all he tells us of this nature would extend this pamphlet to the size of a volume. Reese explains away the dispensational teaching of our Lord in Matthew An explanation that is far-fetched and beneath the surface takes precedence over one that is simple, obvious and pedestrian. We meet it everywhere—in the Gospels, the Epistles, the Apocalypse. In answer to this we say that this passage—Matthew —is not a parable. Reese seems to refuse to see the obvious, if it does not fit in with his scheme.
It certainly fits in with all we have been seeking to present as the plain honest meaning of Scripture. Let any Christian, who is prepared to believe the plain surface teaching of this passage, read it as it stands, and he will see that it tells us when the Son of Man shall come in His glory, He will gather all nations before His judgment seat.
Then He will separate those who have received the Gospel of the Kingdom the sheep , from those who have refused it the goats. Surely Mr.
The Truth About The Great Tribulation
Reese must see that this is not a parable, and a mere incitement to philanthropy, but has plain prophetic teaching. One can understand somewhat Mr. He is an accredited minister of a denomination, which is generally post-millennial in doctrine, and believes in one general resurrection in spite of Revelation , 7, 12 , and is leavened with Modernism. His position in that body might be untenable, if he taught that the Church might be raptured to glory at any moment.
We have known more than one minister, who was forced to break his connection with the body he was connected with because he held such views. Again there is not a word about the Rapture. Those alluded to in this passage are already set for judgment in connection with the earth. They are seen sitting on thrones. There is nothing whatever about the Rapture in this passage. The harvest is a harvest of blessing on the earth; the vintage that follows speaks of judgment.
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So much for seven passages that speak of the Rapture. We have seen that six out of the seven do not allude to the Rapture in any way. On the same page as these seven passages are given, we have another instance of Mr. Reese imparting a meaning into an ordinary word that it does not bear.
This added meaning he uses as strengthening his argument. We refer to the word, parousia , generally translated coming. It is the ordinary word for coming. Of course if a King comes the word, parousia , is used just as it is when a Stephanas or a Titus arrives. But we have not done with 2 Thessalonians 2. The Day of Christ refers to the Day when Christ shall give character to everything. It is connected with the thought of blessing. The Day of the Lord is connected with judgment.
We will quote a few Scriptures to prove what we say. It will be readily seen that the Day of the Lord is connected with judgment and wrath, and the winding up of things, till evil is confined once and forever in the lake of fire Rev. Evidently from 2 Thessalonians 2, it was dreaded, and well it might be, for we are told that the apostasy of Christendom, more frightful in bitter consequence than we can faintly imagine, and the rise of that sinister Man of Sin, the Antichrist, must take place before that day comes.
This passage tells us there is some POWER in this world, sufficient to restrain the whole tide of iniquity, till in the ways of God this influence is removed. Who is that Person? That an impersonal influence is holding back the Man of Sin, commonly identified with Antichrist. That a person is also holding back his arrival. That with the removal of this influence and this person the Antichrist would be revealed. Second, Mr. Reese allows that this influence is wielded by a person.
What then does Mr. An influence apart from a person is an impossibility. Who then is this person? How can a person come in, if the influence is impersonal, that is, not personal? The impersonal influence was the magnificent system of law and justice throughout the Roman world; this held lawlessness and the Man of lawlessness in check. Government is largely influence by the rulers and leading statesmen of the countries in question. Next Mr. Reese tells us that a person is holding back the arrival of the Antichrist.
Why does he not name a particular person , when he tells us all are agreed as to this? Next, this influence must last from the time that Paul wrote till Antichrist appears on the scene. Where is the Roman Empire today? Where was it in the Middle Ages, in the day when Napoleon overran Italy? We know that Rome became enervated, debauched, and corrupt, at the end there were more slaves by far than freemen; the emperors, monsters of debauchery and wickedness, claiming divine honours, as the Antichrist will do in the last days.
We know that the Huns and Goths smashed up the Roman Empire. Reese tells us that the Roman Empire was swept away, not to be revived, that this was foretold by Paul and John, following Daniel 7. We believe the restraining influence is personal, and that Person is the Holy Spirit. Indeed persecution after persecution against the Christians broke out.
No; there must be a personal influence, a Person, who is mighty enough to hinder the working of the mystery of iniquity. Who can wield that power? He must be omnipresent, he must abide. Generation may succeed generation, but this influence, this Person must abide. Is it ingenious, is it conjectural to be guided by what Scripture says to the only sane, sensible conclusion that the only Person, who can possibly answer to the description given is none less than a Divine Person, the Holy Spirit?
Scripture confirms this thought. When He came His mission was, and still is, to reprove, to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment John He came to indwell the believers and to unite them to Christ in glory and to each other on earth, forming the one body of Christ. We can therefore understand how the Spirit and the Bride the Church are linked up together in Scripture in connection with the Rapture.
The nameless servant of Abraham, type of the Holy Spirit, went to the distant land to seek a bride for Isaac. The servant did not allow Rebekah to journey to Isaac alone, but went every step of the homeward journey. His mission was over in that connection. Of course the Spirit will continue to operate in this world, after His removal as indwelling the church which is taken to glory. Just as He operated in Old Testament times, so will He operate in the days to come. Now in 2 Thessalonians we see that this influence, this Person, hinders evil in the world, was hindering it when Paul wrote, prophesying it would continue to hinder till its removal opens the way for the Antichrist to arrive upon the scene.
In the wisdom of God this is so, in view of the development of evil in the last days, so that judgment may bring things to a head in view of the advent of our Lord to reign upon the earth. Is the assertion of this ingenious, conjectural and precarious as Mr. Reese suggests, or is it a fact that the only influence, the only Power, who could take up such a stupendous task, and abide down the centuries to the coming of Antichrist is the Holy Spirit, who is God as the Father is God, and the Son is God?
To that question there is only one plain answer. No other person is sufficient for such a work. In 2 Thessalonians we have a passage that fits in with all we have been advancing. In this passage we read of two tribulations—the tribulation that the believer passes through in this dispensation, and the tribulation that the world will pass through when the Day of the Lord begins. It is helpful to see the difference between the source and character of these tribulations. What is the source and character of these tribulations?
The tribulation, that is to come, will come from GOD. But, says Mr. Reese, there will be no rest for the Church of God, for she is to go through the awful trials of the Great Tribulation. No, says Mr. The Tribulation, he says, has to be faced with all its horrors by the Church of God.
We prefer to believe what the Word of God plainly teaches. The only way REST can be the portion of the believer in that day is by being taken to be with the Lord at the Rapture. There have been horrors in this sad world, but nothing like what is to come. How one Scripture fits into another in a most confirmatory way! Suppose a father with ten children instructs them how to behave in his absence. Seven of them determine to kick over the traces, and do what they like. The seven children make the life of the three children almost unbearable.
The father returns home. He learns of the insubordination of the seven children and the fidelity of the other three. He determines to chastise the erring children. Would this be righteous? And yet what Mr. Reese teaches is on a par with this. Now it is not the world at large in its godlessness that will apostatize.
It will be that which professes the name of Christ. Is it possible for the Church of God with its millions of true believers to apostatize? We must surely answer in the negative, or else admit that the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Seal of God, is not able to keep that which is committed to Him, and has altogether failed in His mission. If the Church of God is on earth when the Man of Sin appears, it will mean that the Church has apostized. But that cannot be. One can understand that if all true believers are raptured to Heaven, and that merely empty professors, worldly Christians, Modernists, are left, that it will be easy, when once the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit is removed, as our chapter states, and the presence of godly Christians on earth is no longer a fact, for the apostasy to take place.
That there may be no mistake as to the meaning of apostasy we quote two of Mr. Now what is the apostacy? Reese would face Scripture as it stands he would return once more to his early belief.
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The assumptions and mis-statements are Mr. It is the unfolding of judgment as set forth in the seals, trumpets and vials, as prophesied from Revelation 4 to We ask, Where do these judgments come from? Who breaks the seven-sealed book? Does Satan? Surely it is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, as a Lamb that had been slain, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only One who can break these seven seals of judgment.
Who sound the seven trumpets that bespeak the wrath of heaven being poured out upon this earth? Surely not, the angels of GOD sound the trumpets.
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Who pour out the seven vials, setting forth more intensive woes upon this earth? Is it Satan?
Surely not, they are the seven angels of GOD. Whose is the army that shall fight at the battle of Armageddon? Satan and his hosts shall be on one side, but who is the Victor? Surely the One, who comes out of Heaven, followed by the armies of heaven? What is His name?
And these judgments will not close till the Great Tribulation ends, and the Son of Man is triumphant over His enemies. That time of trouble then includes the period of the Great Tribulation. We need to see clearly that there is a tribulation within a tribulation. When the judgments of Heaven fall, men will wreak their rage on the people of God. For instance, Mr. Reese overstates his case very shockingly here. He certainly has drawn on his imagination. To make false charges is a serious matter. He speaks of half-converted Jews , and then contradicts himself by saying that they have no life, no forgiveness, no Holy Ghost.
How can they be even half-converted? We challenge Mr. Reese to show a line from the writing of Mr. Darby or Mr. Then why fix on 1, days, that is the three and a half years of the Great Tribulation? The fact is, there is need to see when the three and a half years begin. The seals, trumpets and vials up to the sixth of the two last series take up a period whose duration is not stated in Scripture.
We read of the Prince that shall come, a prince of the people—the Romans—that was to destroy the city and the sanctuary—a prophecy which was fulfilled when Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in A. In the middle of the week, that is three and a half years before the end, the Great Tribulation will break out. Then, and not till then, will anyone know how long it will be till the end comes.