WHAT IS THE PRE-WRATH RAPTURE
OF THE CHURCH
The pre-wrath rapture position, based on a more literally defined terminology,
places the rapture of the church at the Day of the LORD which occurs after
the man of lawlessness is revealed (2 Thes. 2:3) and after the tribulation
of those days is interrupted and cut short by that Day of the LORD return
The primary adjustments in terminology are as follows:
1. The tribulation is never defined in scripture as being 7 years long.
Jesus defines it at Mt. 24:9-29 as a period
of time, beginning at the mid-point of Daniel's 70th week, when man will
oppress man. He
further indicates that the time period will be cut
short at some unknown day and hour before the
end of the 70th week by His return in the clouds.
2. The tribulation is man's wrath and Satan's
wrath poured out on the world. It is not God's
wrath. God's wrath is poured out after the Day
of the LORD arrives.
3. The seals are chronological except that numbers 3, 4 and 5 are concurrent
oppression from the man of lawlessness.
4. The first seal corresponds with the little horn
of Daniel 7:24, when he conquers the 10 nation
European (Roman) confederacy by taking control
of 3 of them.
5. The 7 year covenant of Dan. 9:27 will take place shortly after that
and officially begin the
70th week of Daniel.
6. The second seal corresponds with the
revelation of the man of lawlessness as he breaks
the covenant and takes THE peace from the
earth. This begins the tribulation of Mt. 24:9-29.
7. The third, fourth and fifth seals are
concurrent during the great tribulation and are
the results of man's oppression on man.
8. The sixth seal is the return of Jesus at the Day
of the LORD and parallels Mt. 24:29-31 and Joel
2:30-31. It is the announcement of God's wrath
which will come upon the world and is
represented by the 7th seal from where come
both the trumpets and bowls.
9. Rev. 7:9-17 sees the raptured church in
heaven having been taken out of the great
tribulation just as Jesus taught would happen
at Mt. 24:22, 29-31.
10.The seventh trumpet occurs 3 1/2 days after
the end of the 70th week of Daniel and announces
the final outpouring of God's wrath via the seven
bowls. Rev. 11:1-19
11.The seven bowls of God's final wrath will
take place during the 30 days after the end of the
70th week culminating with the final battle at
Armageddon. Dan. 12:11 with Rev. 11 & 16.
12.There will then be 45 days of preparation for
the Messiah to begin His formal 1000 year reign
upon the earth. Dan. 12:12.
Comments on the interpretive system applied to the book of
the Revelation. Although there may be slight differences
even among others who hold to a pre-wrath position, the
operative factor will be the Golden Rule of Interpretation,
for knowledge of which I am indebted to D.L. Cooper.
When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense,
seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its
primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the
facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of
related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths,
indicate clearly otherwise.
Accordingly, I view the book of the Revelation to be
chronological except in those places where it is clearly
indicated to be retrospect.
The seals produce the trumpets and the trumpets the bowls.
These do not overlap in the least but are chronological,
beginning with the start of the 70th week (or slightly
before it) and progressing through the 70th week and to the end of the
30 day period which follows the 70th week.
The book itself obviously begins with the church on the
earth prior to the start of the 70th week and progresses through Messiah`s
1000 year physical reign on the earth, to the last judgment and into the
eternal state. Throughout, there are chapters that give a retrospect for
amplification and it is imperative to recognize these as retrospective in
order to retain the true focus and intent of the vision.
The pre-wrath rapture position, though recently so titled, was indeed the
view of the early church and the Ante-Nicene Fathers (those
Christian leaders from John until the Council of Nicea in 325 AD) who
clearly believed in a "post-tribulation" rapture of the church.
That is, a deliverance of the church which would follow the
persecutions from the beast against the church. Although
citations from these ancient witnesses will show us a
few different theological viewpoints, yet they are in certain
agreement that the church would experience the great tribulation.
What has been missed throughout history, is the precise definition of that
tribulation period and the Day of the LORD. It is that precision that the
pre-wrath position seeks
ADDITIONAL OVERVIEW AND COMMENTS:
The 70th week of Daniel begins when a dynamic European leader, arrogant
and skilled in intrigue, will establish peace in the middle east and confirm
a 7 year covenant with Israel which will allow them to have a sanctuary
on Mt. Moriah and to offer animal sacrifices.
This is represented by the 1st seal of Revelation 6.
By the way, this 7 year period is never designated in scripture as the
tribulation or the time of Jacob's distress.
In the middle of the week, 3 1/2 years later, this leader will be revealed
as the man of lawlessness, indwelled by Satan, who will break the covenant
by putting a stop to sacrifice and grain offering and by taking his seat
in the sanctuary (temple) of God, displaying himself as God. This of course,
destroys the peace which began the week.
It is represented by the 2nd seal of Revelation 6.
This then begins the great oppression of this man of lawlessness who is
the beast out of the sea.
1. His rigid economic control through the mark will produce great hardship
on the whole world.
Represented by the 3rd seal of Revelation 6.
2. His reign will result in total chaos over 1/4 of the earth and that
will result in death by weapons, famine, disease and wild animals.
Represented by the 4th seal.
3. His massive persecution of believers is represented at the 5th seal
where we see those who have been killed for their faith.
Jesus calls this the great tribulation at Matthew 24:15-21.
Jeremiah calls it the time of Jacob's distress, Jer. 30:5-7.
And I must say again, that this is not 7 years long.
Now, all of this that we see in the first 5 seals takes place because of
the oppressive reign of the beast. It is not God's wrath on the world,
but God allowing man to be oppressive.
The wrath of God begins at the Day of the Lord.
This is Christ's coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
Represented at seal #6, Revelation 6:12-17
At 2 Thes. 2, Paul EQUATES the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our
gathering together to Him (in v. 1) WITH the Day of the Lord (in v. 2).
He then indicates that the Day of the Lord will not occur until "the
apostasy" takes place and "the man of lawlessness. is revealed.
Now with a proper DEFINITION for the Day of the Lord, we realize that Christ's
return for the church must take place AFTER the mid point of the week.
Joel 2:30-31, says that the Day of the Lord WILL BE PRECEDED by the same
celestial signs as mentioned in Revelation 6:12 and at Matthew 24:29.
But Mt. 24:29 tells us it is immediately AFTER the tribulation of those
days, which began at the mid-point of the week and goes, not for the remaining
3 1/2 years of the week, but for an indeterminate amount of time because
it will be CUT SHORT in order to deliver the elect (church age believers)
from the earth before the WRATH of God is poured out.
How are they delivered?
Matthew 24:31 - after the Day of the Lord arrives, the angels are sent
out to gather His elect from the earth.
And then in Matthew 24:36-44, Jesus describes this "gathering"
in language which we all recognize as the rapture.
Now, how short is the tribulation cut?
We are not told. Why? Matthew 24:36, we don't know the day or the hour.
But we can know the times and the epochs:
1. Acts 1:7 is not contradicted when we compare it with all the apostolic
revelation given later
2. And even Jesus gave them the answer when he taught the parable of the
"trees" (not just a fig tree) at Matthew 24:32ff and Luke 21:29.
Now, at the Day of the Lord, after the church is taken out, and BEFORE
the 7th seal which initiates the 7 trumpets of God's wrath, is opened,
We see in v. 1-8,
on the earth, Israel's remnant sealed and protected by God as His "servants"
for a special work in the remaining short time.
And we see in v. 9-17
A large multitude of believers in heaven who have come out of the great
tribulation just as Jesus taught it at Matthew 24:29-31.
Then in Revelation 8, the 7 trumpets which announce God's judgments on
the world, etc., with some chronological twists and turns which will be
developed as articles continue.
This then is an overview without much detail, but let me say, that the
whole crux of the issue lies in seeing the proper definition for the Day
of the Lord.
Traditional pre-trib has the Day of the Lord beginning the 7 year Daniel's
70th week. Scripturally, that is impossible. There are events within that
70th week which must take place BEFORE the Day of the Lord.
When all the passages concerning the Day of the Lord are considered, we
find that the Day begins at some point after the mid-point of the 70th
week and continues through Christ's 1000 year reign on the earth and ends
renovation of the universe which takes place just prior to the Great White
Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15.
Furthermore, it is imperative that we let scripture define for us the length
of time allotted to the great tribulation and not assign it to the entire
7 years of Daniel's 70th week.
The following is an updated "official" definition from the
Prewrath Only Yahoo discussion group:
The prewrath rapture position, which takes the scriptures
in their normative, literal sense unless clearly identified in the scriptural
context as figurative, associates the rapture of the church with the sixth
seal of Revelation. It is at this time that the Day of the Lord begins,
during which period of time, God will administrate his divine judgment
and wrath upon those unbelievers who remain on the earth (1 Thessalonians
5:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; Revelation 6:16-17; 8:5). This position sees
the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven bowls of the book of
The Revelation, as consecutive. The sixth seal signs are the same signs
mentioned at Matthew 24:29-31 and Joel 2:30-31, and announce the Second
Coming of Jesus at some unknown time during the second half of Daniel's
70th week. This arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky is the "official"
parousia (coming) of Christ, cuts short the great tribulation from its
expected 3 1/2 year duration (Matthew 24:22, 29) and delivers living Christians
from the beast's oppression (2 Thessalonians 1:7) by gathering them into
the sky with Jesus along with all other believers who had died throughout
history (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). The Day of the Lord judgments are represented
by the trumpets and bowls of the book of The Revelation and culminate with
the Battle of Armageddon. The arrival of Jesus at Armageddon is not the
"official" second coming, but is instead, the physical descent
of Jesus to the earth with His army of angels for this final, climactic
battle. At this descent, Jesus will destroy the armies surrounding Jerusalem
and make final preparations for His literal 1000-year reign upon the throne
Many more details are provided in the following articles and especially
the book, The Day of the LORD. Any questions are certainly welcome.
Discussion should be encouraged on this issue so that whether we can all
agree or not, we can at least encourage individual preparation in order
to fulfill our
responsibility as ambassadors for Christ.
and questions are always welcome!
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