Friday, March 25, 2011

How long is God's Wrath?

 Just the other day I posted a comment about being "pre-wrath" as opposed to "pre-trib", and I got a response that perplexed me. The response basically said that "pre-wrath" was the same as "mid-trib".
I'm not sure where that idea came from, but in my mind that doesn't fit at all.  
Because this comment came from a leader in my church I thought I should explain the difference to others out there that may think the same thing.
There are those that think of the Tribulation as being 7 years, and those who think of it as being 3 1/2 years. I am fine with both of these thoughts, because the Tribulation is not revealed clearly until the 3 1/2 year mark.  
I personally think we are in the first part of the seven years now, but I will not know for a fact until I see the 3 1/2 mark come to pass. At that mid-way point there are many things mentioned specifically; not the least of which is "the abomination that causes desolation". Then Israel being cared for miraculously, while the Anti-Christ turns his attention to Christians who are then be-headed, plundered, etc. while the two witnesses pour out plagues on the people who are loyal to the Anti-Christ.  All of these things are in the last 3 1/2 years.  
Then, according to my beliefs, the church will be raptured and there will be a brief time of God's Wrath starting at the temple in Jerusalem, and circling out from there.  The angel of death will kill everyone without the seal of God on them. These sealed individuals will be the people (mainly Jews, I assume) that receive salvation directly following the rapture of the church. 
Ezekiel 9:3-6 talks about this:
 “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple."
And in Revelation if you go through the chapters you'll notice that in earlier chapters it talks about a third of everything dying, or turning to blood, then in chapter 16 on, it says "every living thing in the sea" died, and so on.
There is clearly a distinction between His 'Wrath" and the just the 'Tribulation".
The talk about a third of things dying etc. goes right along with all the verses about the three and a half years.

But why do I think that the wrath only lasts weeks and not months or years?  That is simple. I look at the Fall Feasts, and I look at history.
In the Fall Feasts (that I've already talked about in previous posts) we see that The Feast of Trumpets speaks of the rapture (the Feast where "no one knows the day or hour") and wedding of the Lamb and all that.  We see that The Feast of Tabernacles speaks of God coming to dwell with us, happiness, and a time for explaining the scriptures.  In between these two feasts we have the Day of Atonement: a day when the veil is lifted and the priest goes into the Holy of Holies; a perfect time for Jews to clearly see their Messiah.
There are two weeks between the two feasts; plenty of time for the Wrath of God.

If you doubt that that is enough time for the Wrath of God, let me point you to history...
2 Samuel 24, when David took a census.  He wasn't supposed to, and God gave him three options:
vs 12. "I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you."“Shall there come on you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land?"
David said to Gad, the prophet of God, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite."  (Which is where David ended up telling Solomon to build the temple).  It is no coincidence that this is the same site that God's Wrath starts at the end.
Three days was the time allotted for God to plague Israel in the time of David.  Seventy thousand died, but God stopped the angel before he stretched his hand out toward Jerusalem.
  Two weeks is plenty of time!
..and that's all I have to say about that.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for you post. I do not know what source the person was using, but prewrath is all about different than mid-trib. I suspect that this person has not read any primary prewrath literature. But here is an article that explains the differences:



moo said...

You have spelled out quite a bit on the site you linked.
I do see a little I disagree with.
One main point being where you point out that in "Matthew 25:31-45 (it)indicates that only believers will enter the millennial kingdom." I do agree with your next statement that "Isaiah 19:18-25 clearly indicates that Gentiles along with Jews will populate the millennial kingdom in nonglorified bodies." But I don't see how Matthew has anything to say about "only believers in the millennium". I imagine that at least a large portion of non-believers will be destroyed in His Wrath, but then I imagine us following Christ on our white horses (as is portrayed in Rev 19) to battle those who oppose him. We, in our glorified bodies will reign with him, over all people (believers and non)still alive after the Wrath is complete. It says people will live to be as old as trees, and those who die before 100 will be thought of as cursed. (Isaiah 65) When Satan is loosed for a short time at the end of the thousand years he summons a huge army... so at least we have to concede that their will be those who's faith in God is shallow enough to be over turned at the end.