Saturday, March 5, 2011

WHEN DOES GOD'S WRATH START?

First of all, a brief reminder of WHY I’m offering this SERIES of teachings.  It’s for the purpose of REFUTING some FALSE TEACHINGS which claim that the CHURCH will experience--at least--“PART” of the TRIBULATION.  One of those teachings is called the PRE-WRATH RAPTURE (others are MID-TRIB and POST-TRIB positions).  ALL of these RAPTURE beliefs PUT the CHURCH in the MIDDLE of a JUDGMENT which is SET to FALL upon ISRAEL, and upon the WORLD.  But this CANNOT be true!-- according to PROMISES given to the CHURCH.  I’m LABORING to SHOW you the REASONS WHY!

In this FOURTH installment, I’ll FOCUS upon what we see in the book of Revelation, and in some parallel scriptures. I’ll be answering THESE questions.

(1.) WHEN does THE WRATH of God START?

(2.) WHY does the WRATH of God FALL?

(3.) Who PERFORMS the WRATH of God?

SOME OF THE ANSWERS MIGHT SURPRISE YOU:  We’re ABOUT to EMBARK upon a JOURNEY, where we’ll eventually SEE a PICTURE of our SAVIOR, JESUS, in a ROLE we DON’T usually ASSOCIATE with Him.

We CAN be ASSURED that we’ll NEVER face Jesus as He performs THIS ROLE--IF we RECOGNIZE the WORK He COMPLETED for us at THE CROSS, IF we SEE our NEED of Him, CONFESS our sins, and INVITE Him to LIVE INSIDE our hearts.  “Born again” Christians are COMFORTED by the PEACE we have WITH GOD through THE WORK of Jesus.  We ARE NOT terrified concerning His righteous JUDGMENTS.

We MUST UNDERSTAND, however, that IN ORDER for Jesus to return and ESTABLISH His KINGDOM on earth, an AWESOME purging of a SINFUL world must happen.  Jesus will be INSTRUMENTAL in doing THAT CLEANSING.  We see THIS PICTURE all through the book of Revelation and in portions of Old Testament prophecies.  This is GOD’S JUDGMENT--and BEFORE God POURS out HIS WRATH, He REMOVES His RIGHTEOUS BELIEVERS.  ALWAYS!!!

I’m NOT WATCHING for the START of the TRIBULATION (that time of “Jacob’s trouble”--see Jeremiah 30:7).  I DON’T EXPECT to see the Antichrist when he’s REVEALED as He signs the SEVEN YEAR peace TREATY with Israel, the EVENT which STARTS the SEVENTIETH WEEK.

Instead, I EXPECT to SEE JESUS at ANY INSTANT as He appears and RAPTURES His TRUE CHURCH “before” that TERRIBLE TIME begins.  I write these blogs, with the HOPES that you may have the same JOY and ANTICIPATION.  Yes, indeed, THIS is our BLESSED HOPE.

When does the WRATH of God START? 

The book of Revelation shows that the WRATH begins WHEN Jesus rips off the FIRST SEAL on a seven-sealed SCROLL in Revelation 6.  The opening of the FIRST SEAL reveals the Antichrist.  It is PARALLEL to the RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE in Matthew 24.  It FULFILLS a SENTENCE from Daniel’s prophecy--“And he (the prince that shall come) shall CONFIRM the COVENANT with many (Israel) for ONE WEEK (SEVEN YEARS).”

People who adhere to a PRE-WRATH RAPTURE theory, say that the Antichrist is NOT revealed until he BREAKS the COVENANT with Israel, performs the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, and starts THE GREAT TRIBULATION.  They also claim that the FIRST three and a half years will be a TIME of RELATIVE PEACE under the Antichrist so therefore, the WRATH of God has NOT yet appeared.  They claim that the WRATH of God BEGINS with the SEVEN BOWLS in Revelation 16.  Are these assumptions true?  NO! AND HERE’S WHY:

First, I’ll mention Revelation 15:1.  “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, SEVEN ANGELS having the SEVEN last PLAGUES, for IN THEM is FILLED UP the WRATH OF GOD.”

What is the MEANING of “FILLED UP”?  The word, in the Greek, is defined as COMPLETE.  If the WRATH is COMPLETED in those bowls, how can it be STARTING?  The definition also INCLUDES ideas of CONCLUDING, of ACCOMPLISHING and being FINISHED, of SUMMING UP, of MAKING AN END, of TO THE LIMIT, of being FINAL and UTTERMOST.  THE BOWLS are NOT a BEGINNING of God’s WRATH--it’s a POURING out of God’s WRATH which IS FULL to the BRIM, COMPLETE and FINAL!

WHEN is the Antichrist revealed?

Is he REVEALED WHEN he performs the ABOMINATION of DESOLATION after three and a half years of the TRIBULATION?  NO!  At “the abomination which makes desolate,” Israel will RECOGNIZE that they’ve been FOOLED, and they’ll be required to run for their lives.

The Antichrist is REVEALED when he SIGNS the PEACE TREATY with Israel, at the START of the SEVEN YEARS--NOT MID-WAY through the trouble.  His confirming the COVENANT with Israel “BEGINS” the WRATH of God and the SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION.  It STARTS the 70th Week, a time to which the Church is NOT appointed. 

This SUMS UP the ANSWER to question number ONE at the top of this blog--“WHEN does THE WRATH of God START?”  CLEARLY, the wrath BEGINS at the START of the SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION!  It’s the BEGINNING of Jacob’s Trouble, known elsewhere in scripture as THE DAY OF THE LORD--that time of God’s WRATH, TROUBLE, DISTRESS, WASTENESS and DESOLATION. (Zephaniah 1:14 to 17).

[When I started writing this blog, I listed THREE questions, and thought I could answer them QUICKLY within ONE short article. Once I proceeded into this subject, drawing PARALLELS from OTHER SCRIPTURES, I discovered this WILL NOT be a brief essay!  THEREFORE, I’ve sub-divided the topic again.]

I’ll ALLOW this installment to SUFFICE for now, having answered question number ONE at the top of this installment.  “WHEN does the WRATH of God START?”

In the NEXT segment, I’ll FOCUS upon question TWO.  “WHY does the WRATH of God FALL?”

Be sure to return and see that teaching. I pray you’re learning much, and that you’re blessed and edified by this.

Have a most glorious day in Jesus, our REDEEMER, our LORD, the SON of God--Who SAVES us from the WRATH to come.

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