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A Secret Rapture?
Trumpets and Vials - Testing and Wrath
I have explained why I do not agree with Darby, that “the church” will be raptured to Heaven, seven years before Jesus returns in glory. Now let’s look more closely at the final “time, times, and a part” - the final period of great persecution.
The last period of persecution before Christ returns.
Daniel 7:25-27 “He (the little horn Antichrist power) shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change time law. Then the saints will be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But the court will be seated, and they shall take away his dominion to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
Notice. “The saints” are persecuted by the “little horn”Antichrist power for three and a part years. At the END of this time period (1260 days, 42 months), the kingdom is “given to the saints of the Most High” by the Heavenly Court. The prophecy of Revelation sounds very similar.
Revelation 13:4-5 [The deadly wound was healed and after that] “So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he [the beast] was given authority to continue for forty-two months” (v. 7-8). “And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
Obviously rule of “the Beast” power, will extend far beyond Jews. The Beast will rule over the entire earth. Those persons, whose names are written in the Book of Life, will NOT worship the Beast image. Does that mean they will NOT BE PRESENT on the earth? No!
A Time of Anguish
Daniel 12:1 “At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book” (NRS).
This time will bring the greatest anguish since nations came into existence, because it will be worldwide. Nations first came into existence after diverse languages divided the people. That division began at the Tower of Babel, which followed the flood of Noah. The terrible Beast power will unite the nations into a One World Government - once again, and this is what will allow the “great tribulation” (Matt 24:21) - because there will be nowhere to run, and no one to help. The “little horn” will be the controlling visible head of the Beast empire (Dan. 7:7-8).
Matthew 24:21-22 [Jesus quotes Daniel] “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-- and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (NIV).
Jeremiah 30:7 “How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it” (NIV).
The days of persecution are “cut short” for Jacob (Israel - the redeemed people of God). How? The will be “saved out of it”. They will be removed from this earth! They will go with Jesus when He returns in glory.
THE TIME PERIODS
forty-two months (Rev. 11:2, Rev. 13:5) ----------------- 3 and a half years.
1260 days (Rev. 11:3, Rev. 12:6) ----------------------- 3 and a half years.
half a “seven” (Dan. 9:27 ) --------------------------- 3 and a half years.
time, times, and a part (Dan 7:25, Dan. 12:7, Rev. 12:14) ----- 3 and a part years
1290 days (Dan. 12:11) ------------------------- would still fall within 3 and a part years
1335 days (Dan. 12:12) ------------------------ would still fall within 3 and a part years
70 “weeks” (Daniel Cpt 9)
2300 evening/morning (Daniel 8:14)
Each of the first four prophecies listed above, is describing the same period of time.
Only one prophecy, Daniel 12:11, adds 30 days. This could be a reference to the “second Passover” which one could keep if he was “on a journey” or had “touched a dead body” and was not able to observe the Passover in the first month (Numbers 9:10).
NOTE: All prophecy is given in Sanctuary time units. It must fit the ancient calendar given to Israel by the LORD. Months were 30 days. One year equaled 360 days, not 365 as in our present calendar.
The 2300 evening mornings can be understood in at least two ways. Two sacrifices were performed as “the daily” (or continual) burnt offering - one in the evening, and one in the morning. One evening-morning pair, would then represent one day. And 2300 of those (2 sacrifice) days would cover a period of 6 years, 4 months and 20 days. In Hebrew inclusive reckoning, this would be counted as a “week” of seven years.
Inclusive reckoning always rounds up to the nearest whole. Our custom in the West is to count more precisely, to the exact number. Because of this, we may miss the meaning of the Hebrew numbering customs.
Alternatively, if we count every evening sacrifice as ONE sacrifice, and every morning sacrifice as ONE sacrifice, then 2300 individual sacrifices would be offered within a period of 1150 days (3 years, 2 months, and 10 days). This period would fall within the “time, times, and a part”.
Let me just mention here, that “signs in the heavens” and great “earthquakes” will precede the return of our Savior (Matt. Cpt 24). The earth is said to be “moved out of its place” (Isa. 13:13). It is possible that this earth may be pulled back into a 360 day orbit around the sun, by a large “near earth” object, passing between earth and the sun. The prophetic time periods would then FIT with the actual time periods.
If you do some research, you will find that calendars world-wide, were changed about the year 800BC, to accommodate 5.25 additional days. This was the time of King Hezekiah, who saw the sundial move backwards.
The people of God will be present on the earth during six of the trumpet judgments.
They will be rescued when the 7th trumpet sounds.
The 7 vial plagues are poured out WHEN the 7th trumpet sounds.
The vial plagues will destroy all life on earth.
(Please see the study “Millennium” for more details.)
Revelation 9:4 [During the 5th trumpet judgment] “They (the demons) were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”
Revelation 7:1-8 tells of the judgments held back until the servants of God are sealed.
The fact that the demons are commanded not to harm anyone with this seal, implies the presence of such persons during the trumpet judgments. Darby said these people - with the seal of God - will be obedient Jews. I disagree. I believe they will be the last generation of God’s faithful people.
As the seventh trumpet sounds, “the kingdoms of this world, have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ” (Rev. 11:15). I believe that this is the day when Christ will return for His people. Paul wrote that the redeemed would be changed “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. The living are “changed” and the dead are “raised incorruptible” when the last trumpet sounds. There are only 7 trumpets. The “last” trumpet is the 7th trumpet.
I Corinthians 15:52 “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
GOD’S SERVANTS WILL BE SPARED THE “WRATH” TO COME
The “bowl” or “vial” plagues of Revelation Chapter 16, are “poured out without mercy”. They are “the great winepress of the wrath of God (Rev 14:20). “In them, the wrath of God is complete (Rev 15:1).
There is no mention of any servant of God on this earth during these last wrath plagues. In fact, just before these plagues are poured out, John the Revelator sees “those who have gotten the victory over the Beast and over his image” standing on the sea of glass, which is before the thrown of God in Heaven (Rev. 15:2, Rev. 4:6).
1 Thessalonians 1:10 “... wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
1 Thessalonians 5:9 “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
There is a DIFFERENCE between the time of testing, and the time of wrath.
The testing time, is 42 months - “time, times, and a part” - 1260 days.
It is the final call to repentance.
The “time of His wrath” - FOLLOWS this testing time.
The time of wrath begins with the 7th trumpet - the “last trump”.
Darby taught that the “vials” of wrath, will be poured out DURING the last 3.5 years.
I believe the warning trumpet plagues, will take place DURING the last 3.5 years.
I believe the “two witnesses” of Revelation Cpt Eleven will testify during this time.
I believe the people of God will be persecuted during this time.
I believe this period will be “the time of Jacob’s trouble”.
The 1260 days (42 months, 3.5 years) lead up to the Second Coming in glory.
The fireballs did not fall upon Sodom and Gomorrah until the angels had rescued Lot (a man in covenant with God). The rain did not fall until Noah and his family were safe inside the ark. The destroying angel did not pass through Egypt until God’s children were safe behind the doors painted with the blood of the Lamb.
The stubble of last year’s fields is not burned until the harvest has been safely gathered into the barn. God cannot completely withdraw His spirit from this world, so long as His servants are here. He cannot then pour out His final wrath, until those servants are safe with Him. The Church is to expect trial, but not “the wrath of God unmixed with mercy.”
The Testing Time
The 1260 days of persecution, is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” because Jacob was the father of Israel. I believe that all who believe in Jesus as the Son of God, are “grafted in” to Israel, therefore this persecution will affect all believers. The Beast will rule the entire world, not just the Jews. This persecution will fall upon those who “keep the commandments of God, and hold fast to the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12 NRS).
Jeremiah 30:7 “Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”
To be sure, it will be an awful time. Do we then give up?
On the very border of Canaan, the Children of Israel were afraid of the “giants in the land”. They were afraid to cross over the Jordan, because of the obstacles they must face. They did not believe the LORD would give them the victory, and so they died in the wilderness. We must not repeat their failure. We must believe that Jesus will give us strength to overcome. He will give us the victory. Our deliverance will come at the 7th trumpet. The saints will be translated, and then the vials of wrath will be poured out.
Revelation 18:8 [Speaking of the great harlot] “Therefore her plagues will come in one day-- death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.” (NKJ)
In “The Seventy Weeks” we will consider the things to be finished or accomplished, by THE END of Daniel’s “seventy weeks”. Are these things a clue to THE DAY?
Click here to go back to Part Two.
We pray this study will prove a blessing.
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