Why do you believe that the majority of God's wrath will be poured out over the final year of the 70th Week and that the rapture will occur before that?

Email Received:

As described at my website, Lastday.net, I believe that all of God's wrath upon unbelievers will be dispensed on the day that Jesus returns. I also believe that the rapture will occur on that day as well. Why do you believe that the majority of God's wrath will be poured out over the final year of the 70th Week and that the rapture will take place just prior to that?

You indicate that each of the first six seal events need not last a year each, so why should the events of the seventh seal last a year? I see no contradiction whatsoever that the two witnesses, the 144,000 Israelites, and all believers who overcome to the end will be caught up in the rapture on the very 24-hour day that Jesus returns to earth.

Ted’s Response:

I believe that the main Rapture event will take place within one 24-hour day, and that Jesus will return to earth on one 24-hour day. However, nothing I've ever seen, proposed mostly by some who embrace the Post-tribulation view of the Rapture, has persuaded me to believe that both of these events must take place on the same day, nor that the day of vengeance or the day of the Lord must be restricted and limited to being one solar day in length.

When the blazing, flaming objects (perhaps an asteroid and/or a comet) of the second and third trumpet judgments (Revelation 9:8-11) hit the earth, it will take at least a few days, probably weeks, for a third of the sea to turn into blood and a third of the rivers and springs to turn bitter. These are not things that will happen instantaneously, nor merely over a few hours. Furthermore, the fifth trumpet judgment, alone, will last for five months (9:5,10). Thus, the period during which God's wrath will be dispensed upon an unrepentant world must last longer than that. The wrath will not be doled out only on the 24-hour day Jesus returns.

In Scripture, God has emphasized the importance of a "week" of seven units, whether applying to Him in the process of creating (Exodus 20:11a), to people (16:23-30, 20:9,10, 21:2), or even to land (Leviticus 25:2-4). Pertaining to a given person's work in any given week, some tasks will take less than a day, while others will take more than a day. Some tasks and projects often will overlap with others, so that maybe one or two have not been completed before another is begun.

During the 70th Week of seven years, Jesus will be opening the seven seals of the heavenly scroll (Revelation 5:1-7). Although the seals will be opened consecutively, there is nothing indicating that the events associated with each seal must transpire for exactly one year (or "day" of that week of years). The Sabbath "day" of any given week, though, is set apart from the other days and always lasts for exactly one-seventh or one "day" of that week.

It is seen that the events following the opening of the Seventh Seal will be set apart from the events of the other seals by a period of silence in heaven for about half an hour (Revelation 8:1). Perhaps this is what will separate that seventh "day" from the other "days" of the 70th Week. In any case, it seems plausible, if not sensible, that this final unit of the "week" of seven years will encompass only the events of the seventh and final seal. Jesus will "rest" from His task of opening the seven seals after He opens the final seal, immediately before the onset of that seventh "day." Moreover, it will be angels who will be administering the judgments; God/Jesus will be "resting" from His work, until He treads the winepress of God's wrath (Isaiah 63:1-6; Joel 3:13; Revelation 14:19,20, 19:15) on the day He returns.

The main objective of God's wrath, initially dispensed via the trumpet judgments (and later via the bowl judgments), will be to avenge the shed blood of the saints slain after the opening of the fifth seal (Revelation 6:9,10). This "day of wrath" or "day of vengeance" will be imminently forthcoming after the events associated with the sixth seal (6:12-17). Isaiah, repeatedly, seems to have equated this "day of vengeance" with a year of time (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4). Jeremiah may have done the same (Jeremiah 23:12). Further details are included on my Seventh Year page.

I see no problem or contradiction in considering that the two witnesses and the 144,000 Israelites possibly might be caught up on the same day that Jesus returns to earth, at the end of the 70th Week. In fact, I actually do believe that there will be a catching up of believers on that last day. That is, I believe in multiple rapture events. This can be seen in the secondary rapture events section of my Rapture commentary, as well as in my Is it possible that there will be multiple Rapture events? email response.

However, I definitely do not believe that the primary rapture will take place on the day that Jesus returns to earth. Many will come to a saving knowledge of Christ after the initial, Pre-wrath Rapture event (just prior to the opening of the seventh seal), and they also will be caught up and away as Jesus is returning to earth (Revelation 14:14-16), about a year later I believe.

It seems apparent that Matthew 24:29 parallels the Sixth Seal passage in Revelation 6:12,13. Matthew 24:30,31 is a depiction of the rapture event, but nothing was stated by Jesus in the passage pertaining to God's wrath after that point. That probably is because He was talking to believers (His disciples), and the main thing He knew that they would be concerned about was His next coming in the clouds to resurrect them and take them away, not the wrath of God which subsequently would come upon the rest of mankind. When they asked Him about the "end of the age," they were not specifically inquiring about the very last day of the age.

Revelation 7:9-17 shows the great multitude of raptured saints in heaven, following the earthquake and cosmic disturbances of the sixth seal. After that, chronologically, is when the seventh seal will be opened (8:1), beginning the "day of wrath (vengeance)" dreaded by those who will have been left behind (6:15-17). Thus, within Jesus' Olivet Discourse is a description of the 70th Week up through the events of the sixth seal (including the rapture)—but no further, since believers will not be engaged in the events encompassing God's wrath during the final "day" (year) of the 70th "week" of years.

The chronology of Revelation is vitally important. From the opening of the first seal (Revelation 6:1), presumably at the beginning of the 70th Week, the chronology continues, uninterrupted, all the way to the point where the seventh trumpet is about to be sounded (10:7), which will be at the end of the 70th Week. Thus, John gave a continuous overview of the 70th Week from 6:1 through 10:7. You may not have time to read my complete Chronology of Revelation commentary; however, this sequence of events is encapsulated on my Brief Chronology of Revelation page.

In the very last verse of Revelation chapter 10, John was told to "prophesy again" (10:11), meaning again regarding something about which he already had prophesied. So he proceeded to give a review of the most important segment of the 70th Week—the last half (1,260 days = 42 months)—in chapter 11. Logically, he ended, again, with the Seventh Trumpet, this time providing more details, such as making it clear that this is when Jesus will return to earth and begin to reign (11:15-17).

As far as "overcoming" goes, I believe that the messages to the churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3—about repentance, endurance, and overcoming—had a dual application, both to the churches of that time and to the believers living during the Great Tribulation near the very end of the age. My description of this is in my repentance, endurance, and overcoming section.

I agree with one of the objectives you have included at your website, and that is to dispel the notion of the Pre-tribulation Rapture, which I believe is a bogus fantasy which has deceived and placated much of Christendom today. I feel that pointing out the flawed nature of the pre-tribulation rapture is very important.

I have much more in common with post-tribbers than I do with pre-tribbers. However, I do not agree with the assertion that Matthew 24:30,31 is a depiction of Jesus' return to earth, although I do agree that these two verses describe the rapture event. I also do not agree with the assertion that the "day" of God's wrath/vengeance will take place on only one 24-hour day, nor during only a few hours of that single day. More details can be found in another of my email responses here: Why do you believe that the Rapture will take place a year before the end of the 70th Week?

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