BEHOLD THE BEAST
The False Prophet
When thou art in tribulation,
and all these things are come upon thee,
even in the latter days,
if thou turn to the LORD thy God,
and shalt be obedient unto His voice;
(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God)
He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee,
nor forget the covenant of thy fathers
which He sware unto them..
But we are all going to be raptured out before the real bad times
come, right? Let's make a little agreement between you, the Lord,
and me. Let's take all our commentaries and set them aside for a
while. Then let's take the Bible, and only the Bible, and see what
it has to tell us about the final sequence of events.
Please be patient with me for making this a kind of nit-picking
chapter. The I's are dotted and the T's are crossed because if the
Scripture verses quoted below really mean what they say, then ALL
of our current end-time ideas will need rethinking. Let's begin
with a quote that is familiar to almost every Christian:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the
trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then
we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so
shall we ever be with the Lord.
All agree that those verses refer to the so-called "rapture" of the
Church.1 In fact, 1 Th 4:16-17 is one of the central passages in
Scripture that supports the physical return of the Lord Jesus to
this Earth. Note the WE. Paul was speaking to the Church of which
he was part and we have every scriptural reason to believe that we
also includes us. You and I and the rest of the church are the WE
of 1 Th 4:16-17. That.s relatively simple, isn't it?
Also note that Jesus is returning with the .trumpet of God..
Now the Bible is full of trumpets, including seven in Revelation, so
the next logical question is this: Which biblical trumpet is this
one? Of all the trumpets in the Bible, at which one is the Church
taken to be with the Lord?
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all
sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall
sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we
shall be changed.2
Ah, and there it is, the last trumpet! We are taken to be with
the Lord at the last trumpet. That trumpet is singular, so no other
trumpets are blown with it. Also, there are no modifiers such as,
"except the trumpets of judgment," or "except the trumpets in
Revelation." That needs to be emphasized:
There are NO exceptions! Not one Bible trumpet is left out!
1 "Rapture" is in quotes because the author does not find the return of the Lord for
the saints so characterized anywhere in Scripture. It is believed to have come from
the Latin Vulgate's "raptao" in reference to this event. By definition, the word "ra-
pture" seems more suitable for the mystery religions than it does for sober Chris-
tians looking forward to the most awesome event in all history, the return of Jesus.
The whole "Rapture" concept may have been brought into the church by the
publicists of Margaret Macdonald's vision. See Dave MacPherson, The Rapture Plot,
(Simpsonville, SC, Millennium III)
2 Compare this 1Co quote with the 1Th quote above it. In both, the dead in Christ
are raised, and in both, trumpets are blown. Notice also that there are three more
we's. Here is the point: If the we Paul was speaking of in 1Th 4:17 includes us, then
so do the we's in 1Co 15:51-52. Believe it or not, there are those who claim that
1Th 4:16-17 is for the Church, while 1Co 15:52 is for the great tribulation saints.
Nonsense! There are we's in both passages! Either both verses are for us, or neither
are. We can't go arbitrarily picking through the we's in the Bible on the basis of
some doctrine we wish to defend.
Recognizing that the church will be taken to be with the Lord
at the one and only last trumpet of all time simplifies a doctrinal
point the Church has been arguing about for over 100 years.
Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was
not since the beginning of the world to this time.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days ...
the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound
of a trumpet [a great trumpet, NASB], and they shall gather
together his elect from the four winds, from one end of
heaven to the other.
Note the sequence of events:
(2) After the tribulation.
(3) Great trumpet.
So isn't it obvious that the last trumpet comes after the
tribulation?1 Sure, and since the church is taken up at the last
trumpet, the only way to defend the pre-trib rapture is to rewrite
Scripture and put verse 31 before verse 21. 2
No matter what our doctrines may have been in the past, the
Bible states that our trumpet is the last, and the last trumpet does
not blow until Rev 11:15, after the six other trumpets in
Revelation have blown.3 So the last trumpet is solid scriptural
evidence that the Church will be on earth through the trumpets of
Revelation. Now Brethren, that isn't just another irrational
end-time theory. If we have ears to hear it, that is what the Word
of God proclaims, straight out.
The last Bible trumpet blows in Rev 11:15, but the conditions
surrounding that trumpet blast are described in chapter ten:
Rev 10:6-7 ... that there should be time no longer: But in the
days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin
to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath
declared to his servants the prophets.
What a tremendous verse. If there is a central Scripture about
the chronology of the Lord's return, Rev 10:6-7 is it. As is true of
every other creation of this present age, when the seventh
trumpet sounds, it also appears that time itself will come to an
1 Some believe the Church is "raptured" at the end of Rev 3 because "church" (the
Greek word X6680F\", usually rendered church), does not appear after Rev 3. Some
logic. That's like saying Esther didn't believe in God because the word "God," does
not appear in the book of Esther. But the main problems with their view are still
the seven trumpets of Revelation chapters 9 - 11.
2 Dave MacPherson writes, "Over the years I've privately contacted hundreds of the
best-known evangelical scholars in regards to their prophetic views. The vast
majority ... harmonizes 1 Thessalonians 4's coming with Matthew 24's coming, but
the general public doesn't know this. If just a minority ... were to publicly reveal
their positions, pretrib dispensationalism would receive a death blow." The Rapture
Plot (Simpsonville, SC, Millennium III Publishers), p.233
3 There are some denominational theologians who declare that this last trumpet
does not include the seven trumpets in Revelation. Unbelievable as it may sound,
they theorize that Revelation's seven trumpets are "special" trumpets of judgment
excluded from the firm mandate of 1Co 15:52. There is absolutely no Scripture for
their view, and it is counter to the plain testimony of the Bible: the declaration that
we are taken to be with the Lord at the last trumpet!
end.1 That's important, because understanding that time will come
to an end affects our end time doctrine.2
The "mystery of God" is the Church in Christ Jesus.3 So the
Church as a betrothed body of believers on Earth will be
concluded at this trumpet.
"As He hath declared to His servants the prophets." Which
prophets is the Lord speaking of? We don't see any excluded, so
these prophets are all the prophets in the Bible, both Old
Testament and New. All prophecy will be fulfilled at this trumpet.
Of course, this does not include those few verses which refer to
the eternal Kingdom of God. That timeless state continues into
Let's look at the verse where that trumpet blast sounds. The
7th trumpet is blown right in the middle of Revelation, after the
Seven Churches, after the Seven Seals, after six other trumpets,
and after the Two Witnesses:
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were
great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world
are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and
he shall reign for ever and ever.
1 The correct definition of the Gr. PD`<@l (chronos) is "time," and it is so translated
in the KJV. The modern translation of chronos as "delay" is invalid. Greek has
several words for delay, including PD@<\.T (chronizo), which is from the same root.
If the Lord had intended delay, then He chose the wrong Greek word to express it.
Though chronos appears 53 times in the NT, only in Rev 10:6 have modern
translators taken the liberty of rendering chronos as delay. Strong defines PD`<@l
G5550, as a space of time, season, space, time, while. Chronos represents "delay"
only by implication.
2 If there is no more time after the 7th trumpet, there isn't any more time for
another trumpet to blow. So our trumpet couldn't come after this 7th trumpet.
Second, our trumpet can't come before this 7th trumpet either, or our trumpet
would not be the last. So the 7th trumpet of Revelation is our last trumpet. It is the
very trumpet at which we, the Church, are taken to be with the Lord!
Neither is the last trumpet going to sound over several years. The phrase "when he
shall begin to sound" tells us so. At the very first peep out of that trumpet, there
will be no more time! Time as a natural phenomenon will cease to exist, and we
will be in the eternal Kingdom of God. This puts to rest the idea that the seventh
trumpet could be blowing throughout a seven-year tribulation.
3 Rom 16:25, Eph 1:9, 3:4, 3:9, 5:32, Col:1:27, 2:2.
The 7th angel sounds, and the Lord reigns forever. Right then,
forever! After that trumpet blows, there won't be time for a tribu-
lation, or for a 1000-year millennium. We will be going straight
into the eternal Kingdom of God when that last trumpet sounds.
Despite differing doctrines, that is the chronological picture as
declared in the Bible.
So when is the great tribulation? Matthew 24:21 tells us there
was going to be one. Well, the Greek word for tribulation is
thlipsis, also translated affliction and trouble. Thlipsis, used 37
times in the New Testament, almost always refers to the suffering
of the saints. Here are a couple of very familiar verses:
Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me
ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have [thlipsis]
tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the
Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in [thlipsis]
tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.
2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of
God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and
[thlipsis] tribulations that ye endure.
Generally speaking, the unsaved don't go through thlipsis;
they are destined for orgy or thumos, God's wrath.1 Orgy and
thumos are the two Greek words for wrath. So we saints will
suffer tribulation during the Christian Era, but we are not destined
unto a final wrath, but unto eternal salvation.2 The wicked are
destined unto final wrath, the judgment of the Great White
Throne, and the second death. So when is "the great tribulation"?
John tells us:
Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion
in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus
Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of
God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
The tribulation of the saints began during John's time. May
God forgive us for forgetting the terrible suffering the saints of the
past have endured. Between two and twenty million Christians
were killed by the Roman Empire in tortures unimaginable. The
Catholic church killed up to twelve million more during the
middle ages. In our own generation alone, the Nazis murdered six
million Jews, and several million Christians. The Moslems have
killed millions as well. We don't read The Pilgrim Church, Fox's
Book of Martyrs, or Martyrs Mirror anymore, so we have lost our
sense of history. We have lost all memory of sufferings of our
1 Rom 9:22, Eph 5:6, 1Th 1:10, Rev 16:19.
2 The "but unto salvation" of 1Th 5:9 is much beloved by pre-trib rapturists as
proof of their position. However, that phrase is not about a tribulation period at all,
but about the eternal salvation of the saints. The verse must be read carefully if we
are to grasp what it really teaches.
Matthew 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and
he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall
be taken away even that which he hath.
The Lord has permitted the enemy to blind our eyes and we
have lost sight of God's big spiritual picture. The Great Tribulation
of the Church began with the stoning of Stephen, and continued
until the time of the Gentiles ended. From the Scriptures we have
been looking at, it is obvious that all defined biblical times have
been fulfilled in new Israel. As a result, the Great Tribulation is
probably an epochal time that has been running throughout the
Christian Era. In fact, since the true saints have suffered terribly
ever since the cross, the "Great Tribulation" that Jesus spoke of
may be His name for the Christian Era.
Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio, 11/12/2001, 1.09pm
Aaron Ussishkin, 50, the security officer of Moshav Kfar
Hess, was shot dead by an Arab terrorist last night. He was
alerted to the presence of a suspicious man at the entrance
to the community, within pre-1967 Israel, about six
kilometers northwest of PA-controlled Kalkilye and six
kilometers northeast of Raanana. He ran to the site, and
managed only to ask the Arab what he was doing there
before the man shot him. Two other Israelis were wounded
in the attack, and the murderer escaped.
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