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Prophecy Series: "Pre-Pretribulation Rapture: Part 4" - Prophecy in the News


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Pre-Pretribulation Rapture: Part 4

By  on May 18, 2011

In our continuing discussion of the rapture of the church, we have proposed that in order for prophesied events to be fulfilled in a reasonable way, a considerable time gap between the rapture and the Tribulation is necessary. Malachi says that Elijah will come during this period, after the departure of the church, but before the Day of the Lord. Joel states that there will be geophysical upheavals in the same period; the Sun and Moon will somehow be affected. He is quoted in the first sermon to the infant church.

The Apostle Peter uses Joel’s prophecy to define both the opening and the closing of the church age. Micah speaks for latter-day Israel, after the church has departed, but before the wrath of the Day of the Lord breaks forth.

In the “days of Noah” portion of the Olivet discourse, Jesus tells his disciples that the horrors of the antediluvean era will be repeated before the Day of the Lord. Earlier in this study, we have pointed out many interpretational factors showing that Jesus used Noah as an example illustrating that the church would rise above the day of wrath just as Noah rose above the flood.

Furthermore, in Luke’s version of Christ’s discourse, Lot’s rapid departure from Sodom is used as a similar example, depicting the departure of a body of believers before judgment falls.

For these and many other reasons, we have sought to bring understanding to the indeterminate time before the Day of the Lord, when events must unfold in a certain order, to allow for the development of a global government, world war, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, the unveiling of the antichrist and Elijah’s appearance to the House of David.

The antichrist cannot simply show up one day with a cheery, “Here I am,” and expect to be accepted by Israel’s leaders. He must – and he will – earn the credentials that will allow him to stand up as the unifying force of the Middle East. He must first earn himself credibility and a name, just as Jesus once said, while speaking to the leaders of Israel:

“I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (Jn. 5:43).

A man cannot come “in his own name,” unless that name means something. In other words, the antichrist needs time to consolidate his forces and establish a reputation. It is impossible to point to a man alive today who would be readily accepted as Israel’s deliverer. And if this man tried to forge a covenant with Israel’s leaders, making it possible for them to begin Temple worship on Mount Zion, Islam would declare war upon Israel in thirty minutes.

But that is exactly what the antichrist does, and his covenant is received by the world. For his declaration to be accepted, something must happen that changes the world dramatically. In a word, he will have supernatural power, backed by “gods” from on high, who give him godlike powers:

“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Rev. 13:13).

The church, which acts as a restraining force in the world, must be taken away before this can happen.

On the basis of the foregoing, we have looked for indicators that might in some way clarify the important period of time that will elapse between the catching-away and the commencement of the actual seven-year Tribulation period.

The Ratification

The beginning of this period, as we now understand it, will take place in a single moment … that moment when the antichrist confirms (perhaps we should use the term “ratifies”) the covenant with Israel’s leaders. But even a brief review of this epoch-making event leads us to the firm conclusion that it can’t simply drop out of the clear blue sky. It requires antecedent developments.

Let’s look again at Daniel’s tightly-condensed statement of the matter:

“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Dan. 9:26,27).

What is really being said in these two verses? Scholars are virtually unanimous that the“prince” mentioned here is the offspring of those who destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70. This title speaks of him not as king, but as one rising to power … the coming prince. In a few brief words, Daniel’s prophecy encompasses two millennia – from Titus to the Tribulation.

Titus, Vespasian and Domitian were the three succeeding members of the Flavian household who burned the Temple, crushed the Jews and sent them to the outskirts of the world. These tyrants were descended not only from Roman stock, but the Seleucid Greeks, whose bloodline extended all the way back to Alexander the Great and the tribe of Dan. It seems very likely that “the prince” is alive today, probably occupying a leadership position in some government office. Everything is set for his unveiling in the near future.

But it must be quickly stated that this cannot happen as long as the body of Christ – the church – is still present in the world. His revealing is to be accompanied by great miracles, and the appearance of powerful alien spirits, in much the same manner as the heroic demigods appeared to the despots of old.

Furthermore, Daniel’s mention of the “flood” and the “war” refers to the cataclysms later detailed in the book of Revelation at the middle of the Tribulation period, long after the rapture.

The “he” mentioned twice in verse 27 is the prince on his latter-day rise to power, in the persona of the New Testament “antichrist.” He is shown acting to “confirm the covenant” In the Authorized Version’s translation of this phrase, the definite article (“the”) suggests that reference is being made to a specific covenant that is already in existence, such as the Mosaic Law, which established the sacrifices, offerings and protocols of the Tabernacle. In other words, his confirmation makes it possible for Israel to resume their long-dormant Temple sacrifices, which he subsequently suspends three and a half years later.

However, in the original Hebrew of Daniel, there is no definite article. More accurately, the text would read, “…he shall confirm a covenant.” In other words, he confirms or ratifies an agreement with Israel, the terms of which have something to do with Israel’s sovereignty and their right to function in terms of their ancient system of worship.

To make this guarantee, he must have much earlier developed a high reputation in the eyes of the world. Any attempt to guarantee Israel this right today would meet with immediate condemnation from the Western nations, the United Nations and the Arab world. As earlier stated, the latter would no doubt declare war upon Israel.

The fact that he pulls off this feat makes him a very powerful and important man, indeed. Without supernatural backing, how would one convince both the Jews and Muslims that he was the expected one … both and Imam Mahdi and the Messiah?

The Four Horsemen – When?

This being the case, we must investigate what the Bible has to say about his rise to power before the Tribulation. In the New Testament, the book of Revelation goes a long way toward providing the answer.

There, we have the scene of the Lamb who takes the scroll. As He breaks its seals, He acts as the great Judge of the world system, opening a sealed indictment against the godless autocrats who have controlled it for thousands of years.

His actions constitute the prelude to what the Old Testament refers to as the Day of the Lord. Four riders upon four famous horses are soon to ride forth as harbingers of the coming Tribulation. Together, they form the most gripping possible picture of the chaos and catastrophe that is about to sweep across the earth. The four horses are launched by the action of four seals.

As the first seal is opened, the evil one begins his rise to power, symbolized by the man on the white horse:

“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

“And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see”(Reb. 6:1-3).

Virtually all dispensational commentators agree that this first rider is the antichrist. He wears the stephanos crown of the victor or conqueror, not the diadema crown of the royal sovereign king.

He carries a bow, both a symbol of weaponry and of his intent to rule by force, though he seems to be far more a political manipulator than a general.

By far, the most important thing to observe here is that the language used to describe his action clearly reveals that at the time of the opening of this seal, antichrist is at the very beginning of his climb to power. Here he is (in the sense of the original Greek) “conquering, with the intention to further conquer.”  The Greek verb is nikao, used to describe the acts of one who desires to prevail over others. In this case, it is intention to be completely victorious in the future sense that is most obvious.

He has not yet accomplished that intent.

He rides forth within the context of global war, red being the universal color displayed by conquerors, Russia and China being two good examples. And in our era, red is also the color of the international communist revolution. Thus, we have the red horse of war:

“And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword” (Rev. 6:4).

This horse is the symbol of a future war … war in the truest sense, meaning that there are no rules, and that conventions are ignored. This horse typifies the old saying that, “all is fair in love and war.” Today, media and financial ministers drive sham “wars,” limited by “conventions” and decrees. Tomorrow’s war will be inconceivably devastating, which brings up the next point. Even men of finance will be unable to save their treasure. This is seen in the next, black horse:

“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. (Rev. 6:5,6).

Along with poverty and hunger comes disease. It is “pale” in color. In the Greek, this horse is a ghastly “pale green,” translated from the Greek word chloros. One has only to think of a dank sanitorium, with its walls painted institutional green, and overhead pipes dripping with condensed moldy vapors, to realize the meaning of this term. Think also of an incurable disease that kills in a few short days with no hope of cure (biological warfare). Or of the debilitation that follows radiation poisoning after a nuclear blast. Or imagine the sudden death of nerve gas in chemical warfare:

“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (Rev. 6:7,8).

Clearly, the antichrist rides forth on a wave of death and destruction. It is all-out, global war that brings him to the forefront. In the recent past, many Christians thought that the antichrist might rise out of the European war and financial chaos that raged across the continent in World Wars I and II. Looking at Revelation, they imagined that Hitler fit the description of the man on the white horse.

Had they fully realized his motives, they would have seen that he had no intention of making a covenant with the Jews in order to allow them to resume Temple worship. Rather, his “final solution” was designed to eradicate them forever.

In short, the prophecy they expected didn’t happen. But soon it will, most likely, in the next “world war,” which will certainly bring death and destruction on an unparalleled scale. That war is coming. Some say that it is inevitable within the next few months (or years at the most), as semi-literate warlords enhance their collections of nuclear toys.

All this begs an enormous question: When do the horsemen ride forth? In the context of Revelation, their surge almost certainly follows the rapture of the church, which dispensationalists place earlier, in the fourth and fifth chapters. There, the Apostle John ascends into heaven and into the future, where he sees the throne of God at the time of preparation for the judgments of the Day of the Lord.

The four horses represent a world war, which is most likely the one that those alive on this planet will call “World War Three.”

In Old Testament Prophecy, the only war that fits this description is that of Ezekiel 38, in which an allied force invades Israel in a lightning war. Ezekiel’s description of the Israel that will exist at the time of this invasion resembles nothing quite so much as today’s Israel. Here are a few examples:

“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them” (Ezek. 38:8).

Here, in the “latter years,” regathered Israel has returned from the sword, i.e., the Holocaust of World War II. And concerning the assessment of Israel’s strength made by the invading enemy, Ezekiel goes on to say:

“And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

“To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land” (Ezek. 38:11,12).

The foregoing two verses perfectly describe today’s Israel, dwelling in the hope of peace, reconstruction and the coming Messiah. They also live in close proximity to their beloved Temple Mount, symbol of the coming Kingdom.

This situation cannot remain stable for more than a few years. Something has to give. Every pundit, commentator and statesman alive today has at least said under his breath that a Mideast war is inevitable. The participants – Russia, Persia, Turkey and others – are constantly named as the chief participants.

Almost certainly, this is the war seen in the warhorses of Revelation 6. And we must not forget that at its outbreak, the church will have already departed. And the antichrist will only have begun his rise to power. It is the war, itself, that gives him the opportunity to realize his mission, that of “conquering and to conquer.”

At present, Israel exists in a tentative condition of peace, remaining a cultural, manufacturing and agricultural dynamo in the midst of an Arab world that has only one thing on its mind: conquest. It awaits the northern visitation of Gog and its allies.

Ezekiel says one very interesting thing about the invasion:

“And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face” (Ezek. 38:18).

Here, we have one of the few places in Scripture where a time marker is placed upon a prophetic event. The Lord’s righteous anger will break forth precisely at the time of the invasion.

A reading of Ezekiel 38 in its entirety reveals that what begins as an assault upon Israel, expands into a global conflict that spreads a “fire” back upon the land of the invader and  upon the distant continents as well.

Following the defeat of Gog, there is a transition into the second, global, stage. Here, the world transitions into the prophetic period known as the Day of the Lord. Ezekiel’s prophecy says it clearly:

“Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken” (Ezek. 39:8)

Thus, Ezekiel’s battle, viewed through the lens of Revelation 6, commences after the rapture, but before the manifestation of the antichrist and the initiation of the Tribulation. It is the time that the Lord’s anger first shows itself. In the second, global stage of the battle, the stage is set for the Tribulation.

How Long?

Returning to Revelation 6, we find corroboration for this interpretation. After the horsemen have gone forth, the fifth seal – the testimony of the righteous martyrs who accept Christ after the rapture – reveals that the Tribulation has not yet risen to its fulness:

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

“And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” (Rev. 6:9-11).

This scene follows the war, but the slain saints are asking the same question that Christians ask today: “How long, Lord?” They are asking this question after the great battle, but beforethe judgments of the Tribulation. In other words, at this point, the Lord’s judgment of the world system is still in the future.

And what of the antichrist? Revelation draws a veil over his activities until the midpoint of the Tribulation in the 11th chapter, but we may infer that his rise to power after the opening of the first seal is quick and assertive.

Apparently, the great war opens a Pandora’s box of revolutionary developments, including the dark forces from beyond the veil.

The Prince Becomes King

Daniel speaks of the antichrist three times.

First, Daniel reveals precisely how he gains power and influence. He becomes great through alien power:

“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people” (Dan. 8:23,24).

From this, we learn that there will be an unveiling of dark powers, sorceries, and spiritism. An alien presence will stand behind him. Of course, this can’t happen with the church on earth and the Holy Spirit acting as He does today, to restrain such power.

Second, and already referenced, he is shown signing the covenant with the leaders of Israel. It is this act that initiates the Tribulation period.

Third, and finally, Daniel speaks of antichrist as “The Willful King.” In the following passage, he is shown consolidating his rule. It is quite obvious that this speaks of the period in his rule when he has achieved royal status and the backing of false gods who confer upon him the ability to perform supernatural acts. Yet he is still vulnerable, and is attacked by many in the consortium of world powers who wish to bring his reign to an end:

“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.

“But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

“Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.

“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

“But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.

“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Dan. 11:36-45).

From the above, the antichrist’s power is in question, yet he finally manages to establish himself in Jerusalem, the dream of Gentile kings for ages past. He is even said to reside upon the “holy mountain.” That would be the Temple Mount.

The “willful king” – the antichrist – may boast supernatural powers, but he faces continual opposition. Nothing about his reach for power is simple or easy. It is our belief that when the antichrist makes a name for himself, it is a long and complex process.

Ironically, just as he achieves his goal, he is opposed by the forces of the Lord. At the middle of the Tribulation, the antichrist is forced to the realization that those battling on God’s side are much more powerful than the alien gods and financial powers who have backed him up to this point. That is when the Archangel Michael stands to defeat him:

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Dan. 12:1).


Today’s Jews

Today in Israel, Jews range from the completely secular, socialist to a variety of religious sects. Modern Israel was founded upon the idea of communal idealism, in virtual unbelief.

Yet, at the core of their very being, Jews realize that they have been chosen to play the most significant of all roles in world history. They were literally chosen for this purpose.

God spoke through them and came to them. He will come again for them. The religious among them long for the coming of the man they call Moshiach, the Messiah. They are often heard making the statement, “Moshiach is coming soon!”

They are hoping for the soon arrival of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Day of the Lord, the Temple and the Kingdom.

As dispensational Christians, we agree with the general terms of their premise. But we also realize that when that man is first recognized and accepted in Israel, he will be a false messiah, with false signs and wonders. In addition, he will emerge from the smoke of a major war that is only the beginning of a series of wars.

For us, there is a certain sadness in the study of this time period, for we know what they will endure through the Tribulation years … wars, famine, pestilence, economic crisis, shame and demonic harassment … before He comes.

And our modern perception of this horrific scenario is not at all new. In the 8th century, B.C., the ancient prophet Amos declared the same sentiments, in one of the Bible’s most emphatic Day of the Lord prophecies:

“Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.

“And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD.

Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:16-18)

Amos perfectly describes the torments of the Tribulation. Certainly, Israel will be victorious over the invading enemy in Ezekiel’s battle. But later, they will have to face the rigors of judgment.

On this point, Amos uses an amazing metaphor for Israel’s plight:

“As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him” (Amos 5:19).

In its struggle for survival, Israel will be in conflict with three symbolic animals. More accurately, they have already faced the first and must soon confront two more.

It is fascinating that in the Twentieth Century, Israel was given leave to return to their ancient land in the 1917 Balfour declaration. The great British lion, having granted them the right to resettle there, subsequently reneged on practically every promise in a series of diplomatic perfidies that reduced their land to a sliver.

Despite that, Israel became a state. Next, they must face the northern invader … the Russian bear. And after defeating him, they will then confront the worst challenge of all, namely, the old Serpent in the guise of the antichrist. It will be just as Amos predicted. Seeking rest in their own land, they will be beset by a variety of beasts.

Amos continues in an obvious reference to the Tribulation Temple, where sacrifices and gifts, when brought as offerings will be flatly refused by the Lord:

“Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

“I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.

“Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

“Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

“But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:20-24).

Amos uses the metaphor of the summer harvest as an illustration of the coming judgment: 

“Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.

“And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.

“And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence. (Amos 8:1-3).

Here, we recall the words of Micah, whose prophecy we have often quoted. Speaking for latter-day Israel, he says that the righteous have disappeared from the earth. Like Amos, he times his prophecy with the ending of the summer harvest, which Jesus later used as a metaphor for the end of the age:

“Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.

“The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net” (Mic. 7:2).

As we have stated in the past, Micah shows us that the righteous will have disappeared from the earth before the coming of the Day of the Lord. Only after Micah laments the fallen moral condition of Israel does he begin to refer to what he calls “the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation” (Mic. 7:4). First comes the spiritual collapse, then comes the war. To state it a different way, the rapture of the church comes well before the invasion of Israel. This pattern is repeated so often that it is easily understood.

We find the same pretribulational scenario in a clear prophecy from Zephaniah. The prophet urges latter-day Israel to prepare for what is coming. He addresses his people, calling them a nation “not desired.” Surely, this describes the plight of present-day Israel in the eyes of the world. The tiny nation is constantly named as the source of all trouble. It remains a diplomatic problem for the entire world. Even worse, it is about to face the Lord’s judgment, for its lack of faith.

In the following passage, the inference is strong that Zephaniah is talking about the same prophetic period as Micah. Israel’s friends are gone. There is no one in Gentile society to stand on their behalf. They are “not desired:”

“Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;

“Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’s anger come upon you.

“Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’s anger”(Zeph. 2:1-3).

Could it be more clear? Israel is warned to strengthen and unify itself for the tumultuous time that will precede the Tribulation period. They are urged to watch the warning signs and recognize that it is coming.

To Sum Up

Looking at the end of the church age, a clear pattern emerges. As the Day of the Lord approaches, global political systems grow more and more powerful. Daniel and the book of Revelation both address this trend. At the same time, the world’s spiritual condition rapidly declines. At the end, the church is represented by the Laodicean period, in which wealth and worldly success dominate the thinking of the congregation. On a global scale, the spiritual power of the church becomes greatly diminished.

At the same time, Israel becomes a focal point of conflict among global planners. This, in turn, precipitates a war in the Middle East. Zechariah says it best:

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

“In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness” (Zech. 12:2-4).

As earlier stated, it is out of this war that the antichrist emerges to begin his climb to power. At the inception of this war, which is identical with both the battle of Gog and the Red Horse of Revelation, the church has already been taken out of the world. The prize is Jerusalem. Ultimately, the antichrist temporarily establishes it as his headquarters.

We have demonstrated that there is a discernable order of pretribulational events. And there is a sizeable gap between the rapture and the Tribulation. In our next installment of this study, we intend to define the length of that time gap. It appears to be much longer than is commonly thought.

Pray that many will receive Christ. A period of great instability lies just ahead.










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