Some Thoughts on the Rapture, the Great Tribulation and Wrath of Elohim

Matthew 24:29, 31, Immediately after the tribulation … gather the elect. If no other verse disproves the pre-trib rapture theory, this one does. Here Yeshua clearly states that the gathering of the saints to meet Yeshua as he is coming in the clouds occurs not only after the tribulation, but after the great tribulation (v. 21). The tribulation and great tribulation are separate events from the wrath of Elohim, which John describes as being part of the seven trumpet and seven bowl judgments (Rev 6:17; 11:18; 15:1; 16:1).

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Matthew 24:29, 30, Sun will be darkened … sign of the Son of Man. Here Yeshua tells us that certain harbingers of his second coming will occur first. These include phenomenon occurring in the heavens involving the sun, moon and the stars. After this, a miraculous sign in the heavens will occur, and then Yeshua will come. Between the signs of the sun, moon and stars and the final miraculous sign of his coming there’s a gap in time. Yeshua later revealed to John the cosmic disturbances involving the sun, moon and stars would correspond with the sixth seal (as part of the great tribulation that occurs before Elohim pours out his wrath on the earth) of Revelation 6:12–17. After this, Elohim pours out his wrath upon the earth (Rev 6:17; 11:18; 15:1; 16:1), and then the second advent of Yeshua occurs.

Does the sign of the Son of Man coming (Matt 24:30lp) occur before or after the wrath of Elohim? That’s hard to say, but since Yeshua states that between the two events that all men will mourn, perhaps this is a veiled reference to the wrath of Elohim that is to be poured out on unregenerate men during the seven trumpets, seven thunders and seven bowl judgments described in the Book of Revelation. Why else would men be mourning? The intervening time between the cosmic disturbances (the sixth seal of Rev 6:12–17) and Yeshua’s second coming during which Elohim pours out his wrath could be a year or more, since the Scriptures speak of the day (or a period of time) of YHVH’s wrath. The Hebrew word for day (Heb. yom) can mean both a day and a period of time.

The prophet Isaiah speaks in several places about “the day of YHVH’s vengeance” (or words to this effect). This is the time period when YHVH will judge the nations including Babylon the Great, which occurs at Yeshua’s second coming (see Rev 18 and 19). In three places, Isaiah indicates that the day of YHVH will last for one year (Isa 34:8; 61:2 and 63:4). Interestingly, in Isaiah 63:4, the prophet couples the idea of the day of YHVH’s vengeance being a year long with the jubilee year — “the year of my redeemed has come.” This occurs as the Messiah (the subject of Isa 63:1–6) judges the enemies of Israel (notably Edom) as he is at the same time about to redeem (i.e., regather and return scattered Israel to its Promised Land inheritance). It appears that while Yeshua is judging Israel’s enemies at his second coming, he will at the same time be regathering the lost and scattered 12 tribes of Israel. Yeshua seems to allude to this in Matthew 24:31.

 

Matthew 24 and Revelation Synced

Integrating the End-Times Scenarios of the Olivet Prophecy and the Book of Revelation

The General Tribulation Period

Certain aspects of the prophetic scenario that Yeshua lays out in Matthew 24 were fulfilled in A.D. 70 with Jerusalem’s destruction. Discussing the events around A.D. 70 is beyond the scope of this work, so I’ll pass over this subject and focus on those prophecies that are clearly eschatological (i.e., those that deal with end-times events) in nature.

Revelation 1

The time period of the Olivet Prophecy started in the first century A.D. and continues until the second coming.

Matthew 24:4–8 describes conditions that existed on earth at A.D. 70, and that would continue and intensify up until the second coming. These include:

  • Religious deception — the spirit of Antimessiah. (John talks about this spirit in his first epistle, and says that it was active in his day, 1 John 2:18–19.)
  • Wars and rumors of wars.
  • Famines.
  • Pestilence.

These four conditions answer the disciples’ question about what would be the signs of the end times (Matt 24:3), and they also correlate one-to-one with the first four seals (commonly known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse) of Revelation 6.

Religious deception corresponds to the first horse (Rev 6:2).

Wars and rumors of wars corresponds to the second horse (Rev 6:3).

Famines corresponds to the third horse (Rev 6:5).

Pestilence corresponds to the fourth horse (Rev 6:7).

Next in Matthew 24 comes the martyrdom of the saints — something that has been happening since the death of Stephen in the Book of Acts to this present day (Matt 24:9–14). This martyrdom corresponds with the fifth seal of Revelation 6:9–11.

There are two groups of martyred saints: those who are killed before the end of the tribulation period and just before the beginning of the great tribulation, and those who are martyred afterwards. This second martyrdom completes the martyrdom of saints that has been going on over the ages (Rev 6:11lp).

The great end-times martyrdom of saints corresponds with the worldwide preaching of the gospel (Matt 24:14). This prophecy of Yeshua about the gospel being preached to all the world has only been fulfilled recently. Continue reading