PART 1: The Rapture and the Lord’s day (written Nov. 2016)
PART 2: End-time misinterpretations (written Oct. 2020)
The prophecy of Daniel 9
Defining the beginning of prophecy
Two alternative explanations of Daniel 9’s prophecy
The traditional interpretation of the last episode
Why is the traditional interpretation of Dan 9:24 wrong?
End time – last days
Will the rapture take place before the coming of the Antichrist and the times of tribulation?
Section 1: Johan Malan’s interpretation
The one who restrains
Section 2: I comment on the above in my own view
Great apostasy, what is it?
The Antichrist and the Day of the Lord
Will the rapture take place before the coming of the Antichrist and the times of tribulation?
When Is the Rapture going to take place?
Then we who remain alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to a meeting with the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. (1 The 4:17)
… in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the sound of the last trumpet. Indeed, that trumpet will sound, and then the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed (1 Cor 15:52)
The rapture is related to both the first resurrection and the second coming of Jesus. 1 Cor 15:52 “In a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet, for a trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.
1 The 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
The dead rise up in the spirit body and change with the living resurrected into angel-like spirits. Both groups are gathered in the clouds to meet Christ, and they will always be with the Lord Jesus. However, Jesus does not yet come to earth right away. The Bible does not specify the exact date but describes the earth’s conditions where the resurrection takes place.
Only when the 7th trumpet is sounding the resurrection occurs – it follows that the believers will have to be on the earth for a long time, waiting for the rapture. The resurrection/rapture takes place according to the Corinthians and the Thessalonians close to Jesus’ coming:1 Cor 15:52″in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
1 The 4:16 “Because the Lord Himself shall come down from Heaven with a commanding shout of an archangel’s voice, and with God’s trumpet. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Matthew also writes about what happens after the days of the great tribulation: the sun is darkened, the powers of the heavens are shaken and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in Heaven and people see Jesus coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory (Mat 24:30 KJV).
Mat 24:29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon not give her light, and the stars shall fall from Heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
30 And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in the heavens. And then all the tribes of the land will wail. And they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory.
31 And He will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of Heaven to another.
Verse 29 fixes the time of these events in time after the tribulation. Then in the sky happen something which all people see: the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky … Then the sign of Christ appears in the sky, and people will see Christ coming in the clouds of Heaven in glory. The cry is loud. Jesus sends his angels when the seventh, i.e., the last trump sounds, then his angel compile previously selected survivors from all over the world. Even before them, dead in Christ have risen, and these living ones are combined. All the resurrected have changed and have received their new spirit bodies.
Is the great trumpet of Mat 24:31, the same and final trumpet, of which is spoken of in Cor 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. – The seventh and final trumpet (Hebr. Zophar) is the one and the same. The Bible does not speak of the eighth trumpet. When we consider what happens when the last i.e. seventh trumpet is sounding loud, the answer is:
1) The dead referred to by the Cor. letter rise, and immediately with Christ, the living ones on earth will be transformed into spiritual bodies, and they will rise (together) up to meet Jesus.
2) When the resurrected are meeting Jesus in the clouds, Jesus sends his angels down to the earth to assemble the chosen Christians, the so-called great multitude of saved ones. Many of them are spared at the very last moment. They shall continue living on the earth, and they shall be gathered in mount Zion in Jerusalem.
The Great Tribulation.
The Great Tribulation, which Christ tells in Matthew 24th, precedes his second coming. World Wars, Natural Disasters, and False Prophets are all Satan’s accomplishments. The punishment for mankind, to which all this culminates, is God’s punishment for the sins of mankind.
Mat 24:3: “As he [Jesus] was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying: Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.
6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
9 Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.
11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.
13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
15 Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
27 For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
It is described, for example, by Daniel, who connects it to the last week in the 70 weeks. A “week” in the prophetic time count means seven years, i.e., each day of the week corresponds to one year. The last, i.e., the seventieth week in Daniel’s terminology, begins when The Antichrist makes an alliance with Israel for seven years. The time of the tribulation is divided into two periods of three and a half years. These calculations use a so-called prophetic year, which has 360 days a year. For example, this is well demonstrated in Rev 11:2, “But don’t measure the courtyard outside the temple. Leave that out, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the Holy City [Jerusalem] for forty-two months. 3 I will give my two witnesses who wear sackcloth the authority to prophesy for 1,260 days.” – 1260 days = 3 ½ years.
The first part is the tribulation period and is affected by Satan and his deputies; power is in the world with the beasts described in the Revelation: the Dragon [Satan] and the people who serve him, the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
Eph 6:12 tells us clearly against whom Christians must fight: “For our struggle is not against a human opponent, [Lit. flesh and blood] but against rulers, against authorities, against cosmic powers in the darkness around us, against evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm.”
During tribulation time, the world is influenced by the Dragon (the devil), who gives power to the beast. Who is this beast? There are a lot of opinions and guesswork about this. The beast, probably a governmental organization (confederation of ten), is the biggest policymaker in the near future for all the worst. The Bible describes the beast with symbolic words: Rev 13:1 “And I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten diadems, and on its heads names of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and its feet as of a bear, and its mouth as a lion’s mouth. And the Dragon gave its power to it, and its throne, and great authority.”
Daniel explains what the beast is: Dan 7:23 “And He said: The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour all the earth, and shall trample it down and crush it.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings; they shall rise, and another shall rise after them. And he shall be different from the first, and he shall humble three kings.
25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and he shall wear out the saints of the Most High. And he intends to change times and law. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and one half time [42 months].
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his rulership, to cut off and to destroy until the end.
27 And the kingdom and rulership, and the greatness of the kingdom under all the heavens shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. And all kingdoms shall serve and obey Him.“
Dan 12:1: “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.”
Rev 13: “And they worshiped the Dragon [Satan] who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast; who is able to make war with it?
5 The beast was allowed to speak arrogant and blasphemous things, and it was given authority for forty-two months.
6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God and to blaspheme his name and his residence, [Lit. tent], that is, those who are living in Heaven.
7 It was allowed to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. It was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.
There are God’s chosen ones in all nations around the world. In verse 13:7, it is told how the beast will conquer the chosen ones and the saints of God. The beast will have under his authority, all the tribes, peoples, all tongues, i.e., the entire world. This is a remarkable announcement that should be kept in mind when examining the beast’s kingdom’s extent and the beast’s grip on people’s lives.
A similar expression is used in Rev. 5:9 “They sang a new song: You [Christ] are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered. With your blood you purchased people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation.“ – We also know that Christ bought all people with his blood. All people means all people around the world who ask to be part of Christ’s redemption work. Does the kingdom of the beast, in the same way, force the subjects to take the mark of a beast in their hands or foreheads, and do all people have to make homage in front of the image of the beast? An interpretation is expressed that the beast’s realm, although broad in scope and massive in population, is confined to the Middle East. I’ll revert to this a bit later.
Dan 7:25 states the same as Revelation: “And he shall speak words against the Most High, and he shall wear out the saints of the Most High. And he intends to change times and law. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and one half time [42 months].” – The beast has the power to dispose of Christ’s own during the three and a half years. Believers will suffer the persecution of the beast during the end before being raptured. This would suggest that, at least not before the tribulation period, no rapture occurs. In verse 7:25, Daniel states that he (the Antichrist) wears down the Saints of the Most High; Antichrist has 3½ years for this work. After this time given to him, the heavenly court will take away his power, and all power will be given to the Most High people. The saints have to suffer the Antichrist’s persecution on earth half of the whole tribulation time. They are therefore not raptured away, at least not before the start of the tribulation.
It is, in my view, the first period of three and a half years of anxiety. After that, the time of God’s wrath begins; the Antichrist has made an agreement, but he then eats his word after 3½ years, and then he [in the reconstructed Temple of Jerusalem?] proclaims that he is God. 2 The 2:4 “the one opposing and exalting himself over everything being called God, or object of worship, so as for him “to sit in the temple of God” as God, proclaiming that he himself is God.”
The breach of the contract will take place three and a half years after its commencement, and as a result, “the Gentiles will tread the sacred city for forty-two months” (Rev 11:2).
The time of God’s wrath begins, and the coming of Jesus is approaching. Once again, the Bible resembles the timetable; Satan has only 42 months left.
The Lord’s Day of Wrath.
Behold, the day of Jehovah comes, cruel and with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land waste. And He shall destroy its sinners out of it. (Isa 13:9)
For when they say, peace and safety! Then suddenly destruction comes upon them, like travail to the pregnant woman, and they shall not at all escape. (1 The 5:3)
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with rushing sound, and having burned the elements will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be burned up. (2 Pet 3:10)
Here the penalty of mankind is told and is warned in many Old Testament prophecies.
Lam 2:22 “You have called my terrors all around, as in a day of appointment; and there was not an escaped one or a survivor in the day of the anger of Jehovah. Those whom I have nursed and multiplied, my enemy has consumed.”
Zep 1: “That day is a day of wrath, a day of adversity and distress, a day of waste and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, 1:18 Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of Jehovah. But all the earth shall be consumed by the fire of His jealousy. He shall make a full, yea, a speedy end of all the inhabitants of the earth.“
2:3 “Seek Jehovah, all the meek of the earth who have done His justice; seek righteousness; seek meekness. It may be you shall be hidden in the day of the anger of Jehovah.“
3:8 “… For My judgment is to gather the nations, for me to gather the kingdoms, to pour my fury out on them, all my hot anger. For all the earth shall be burned up with the fire of my jealousy.“
Joel 1:15 “Alas for the day! For the day of Jehovah is at hand. And it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. 2:1 … Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble. For the day of Jehovah approaches; it is near,
2 a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the dawn spread out on the mountains, a great and a strong people. There has never been the like, nor shall there ever be again to the years of many generations;
3 a fire devours before it, and a flame burns behind it. The land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them is a desolate wilderness; yea, also, there is no escape to them.
12 Yet even now turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning, declares Jehovah.
13 Yea, tear your heart, and not your robes; and turn to Jehovah your God. For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He pities concerning the evil.
31 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Jehovah.
32 For it shall be, all who shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved. For salvation shall be in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, as Jehovah has said, and among the saved whom Jehovah shall call.”
Rev 9:4 “And it was said to them [locusts] that they should not harm the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”
God’s judgment is severe; the wicked sinners will be destroyed. Who has the opportunity to belong to the few who are saved?
Joel prophesies in the same way as Act 2:21: “And everyone who calls the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Among those who are saved are those who are chosen by God. The Greek text Act 2:21 translates the word of the Lord as Kyrios, which refers to Jesus Christ. Joel 2:32 says that Yĕhovah is the name in which there is salvation. I believe that both are eligible. – The phrase of Joel is exactly the same, but the Lord is Jehovah. For a reason understandable, the Prophet Joel could not write Christ or Messiah in the Old Testament. In Acts, it could read Jehovah, but when it reads Kyrios, i.e. Lord Jesus, both names will do for a man in distress.
This involves pressing a seal on the foreheads of God’s servants. They are safe from the plagues of the Lord’s Day.
What is the point in time that people rejoice “Peace and safety”? (1 The 5:3) It is a period at the end of the first period of the tribulation, when people believe “all is well.” However, it means the beginning of the last three and a half years of the Lord’s Day (or Lord’s wrath).
Rom 1:18 “For God’s wrath is being revealed from Heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth. … the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night“ (1 The 5:2).
Before starting the day of God’s wrath, there is a short period of peace, when people are carefree and confident that peace will remain. 2 The 2:3 tells what must happen before God launches His anger: “Let not anyone deceive you in any manner, because it will not be unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the Son of perdition; [Antichrist]. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called God and object of worship. As a result, he seats himself in the temple of God and declares himself to be God.” – God’s “day of vengeance” comes when, the force blocking the Antichrist – “the man of sin”– exits.
2 The 2:7 “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” – Before the rapture of the saints living on earth, God does not pour out his revenge on the planet. What is that force that prevents the Antichrist from appearing? What else could it be except the power of the Holy Spirit of God that protects God’s own? As soon as the saints are taken out of the earth, the Antichrist can control the world.
The latter period is the day of the Lord and called the day of God’s wrath and the Lamb (Rev 6:16). Then the Lord God will retaliate against those people who work for Satan; most of mankind belongs to this group deceived by Satan. Rev 6:16 describes these judgments of God. People groan piteously to the mountains and the rocks; they said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb.”
– So far, I have written of the wrath of God. However, this Scripture states that the wrath comes from the one who sits on the Throne [God the Father] and from the Wrath of the Lamb [Christ]. It shows that Christ acts as the leader of God’s angelic hosts.
This great tribulation touches the whole world, although Israel and the Middle East are at the focus of events.
Rev 6:12 “And I saw when he opened the sixth seal. And behold, a great earthquake occurred. And the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair; and the moon became as blood;
13 The stars in the sky fell to the earth like a fig tree drops its fruit when it is shaken by a strong wind.
14 The sky vanished like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place.
15 Then the kings of the earth, the important people, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and all the slaves and free people hid themselves in caves and among the rocks in the mountains.
They said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb.”
17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
From verse 6:12 forward, the Bible tells how the powers of the sky are shaken when the six seals are broken:
• There is a great earthquake.
• The sun is darkened.
• The whole moon turns into blood.
• The stars of the sky fall to the ground.
• The sky itself has split apart like a scroll rolled up, and every mountain and island moved away.
Are these earthly trials and events in the skies concrete or figurative – or both? We can imagine great earthquakes in our minds. These happen all the time. We also know that the earth’s surface has risen and fallen; the sea has swallowed the land into the depths, and for the second time, the bottom of the sea has risen sharply upwards. We understand solar eclipse happening from time to time, which was a couple of thousand years ago unexplainable events for the people of that time. Such events are very understandable for modern people.
Then, what about verse 13 telling you that” stars of the sky fell to the earth”; how the stars far away there in space could fly and hit the ground from the distance of millions of light-years? Space is expanding and not narrowing, so the stars and planets are not approaching us, quite the opposite. It seems that this must be a figurative expression.
One of the explanations I have read is that in a nuclear war, the intercontinental missiles fly from space to the earth, and when they reached their target, they would loosen the nuclear warheads, and these fly around the target area. Thus, even in the video, wherein this was described, the warheads glittered like stars as they burned against the night sky. They seemed to fall in the ground like brightly shining stars. Such a threat from the future could also be possible.
These stars falling from the sky may mean those Satan troops expelled from Heaven to Earth upon their loss of the war in Heaven. The Bible confirms Satan’s defeat and his angels, and they are being thrown over the earth. The Bible does not tell when this happens. The Book of Revelation, which says the event is a prophecy that describes what will happen in the future. Therefore, Satan’s deportation is for John, an event in the future. This is also evidenced by Rev 12:10:” the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come” (perfect tense). War in Heaven and casting Satan’s forces on the earth is the Prophecy of the Bible. When will it happen? I will reflect a little later.
When Satan tempted Adam and Eve to break God’s only command, God punished them by deporting them from paradise. However, God did not immediately punish Satan as you could imagine. Satan was allowed to continue as an accuser; This we can read from Job’s book. God plans that Satan tries to attract mankind to his side within the time limit given to him. He is called in the Bible, “God of this world.” His power ends when Christ comes for the second time, and Satan with his troops is bound for a thousand years. Until then, Satan’s victory continues …
1 The 5:3 “When people say, “There is peace and security,” destruction will strike them as suddenly as labor pains come to a pregnant woman, and they will not be able to escape.” Rom 1:18 “For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth.” – It is about the beginning of the last three and a half years of the Lord’s Day; … the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. (1 The 5:2).
Before the start of God’s day of wrath, therefore, there is a time of peace, when people are carefree and confident in maintaining peace. 2 The 2:3 tells what needs to happen before God launches his wrath: “Let not anyone deceive you in any manner, because it will not be unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the Son of perdition; 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called God and object of worship. As a result, he seats himself in the temple of God and declares himself to be God.” – This great tribulation affects the whole world.
Are Christ’s own still on earth during the Lord’s Day?
During Lord’s Day, God’s wrath is poured out over the inhabitants of the earth. After the sixth trumpet, one-third of humanity dies, and only after the 7th trumpet follows the resurrection – this means that believers will have to be on the earth for a long time, waiting for the rapture. The seventh trumpet is the last of the trumpets!
The resurrection/rapture takes place according to the Corinthians and the Thessalonians in the coming of Jesus: 1 Cor 15:52 “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.“
1 The 4:16 “Because the Lord Himself shall come down from Heaven with a commanding shout of an archangel’s voice, and with God’s trumpet. And the dead in Christ will rise again first.”
Rev 9:13 And the sixth angel sounded. And I heard one voice out of the four horns of the golden altar before God,
14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet: Release the four angels, those having been bound at the great river Euphrates.
15 And the four angels were released, those having been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, that they should kill the third part of men
The sixth trumpet sounds, and the four angels are ready to kill one-third of the people. Only four angels are needed to execute God’s will – killing one-third of humanity. How great are the forces of Heaven in power! When the next, i.e., the 7th trumpet sounds, Christ comes with his angels. One of the trumpet sounds separates the saints and the living Christ’s own from the first resurrection and rapture to meet Jesus in the clouds.
Also, Matthew writes about what happens after the days of tribulation: the sun is darkened, the powers of the heavens are shaken, and the sign of the Son of Man can be seen in the sky, and people see Jesus come with great power and glory.
The Marriage of the Lamb.
Rev 19:6 “And I heard as a sound of a numerous crowd, and as a sound of many waters, and as a sound of strong thunders, saying, Hallelujah! Because the Lord God Almighty reigned.
7 Let us rejoice and let us exult, and we will give glory to Him, because the marriage of the Lamb came, and His wife prepared herself.
8 And it was given to her that she be clothed in fine linen, pure and bright; for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints.
9 And he says to me, Write: Blessed are the ones having been called to the supper of the marriage of the Lamb. And he says to me, These words of God are true.”
When is the wedding banquet to be celebrated?
These verses of the Revelation (19:6) conclude that” the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.” Governance means that the kingdom of God is established, and Christ rules it with his saints. The next verse, 19:7, states that the Lamb’s wedding has come. I think this means that the wedding is not directly related to the resurrection and the rapture. Some seem to believe that the wedding would be straight after the rapture and the Jewish wedding celebration would last as long as 7 days. That is to say, the celebration might last throughout the tribulation and the wrath of God. If the wedding is held after Christ and the saints have begun to rule, the wedding is not an event to take place immediately after the rapture. A long wedding celebration would require the rapture to take place “pre-trib” and last throughout God’s day. It will not be possible if resurrection and rapture happen as I understand, only very close to Jesus’ second coming.
PART 2: End-time misinterpretations (written Oct. 2020)
The Prophecy of Daniel 9
Although I have written about the events of the end times and the people involved, I have not written about the Prophecy in the book of Daniel, which involves a difficult problem of interpretation; whether the last week of Daniel’s Prophecy of events have already realized, as I have interpreted, or whether they are still ahead of us, as most think. Getting an answer was behind complicated investigation and deliberation.
I show that the traditional interpretation of moving the last seven weeks of the Prophecy to over two thousand years is a misinterpretation of the Bible.
Defining the beginning of Prophecy
The reign of King Artahsastan (Artakserkses) of Persia began in 465 BC; in the seventh year of the king’s reign, the Israelites left to reconstruct Jerusalem. Thus says Ezra 7:7 “There went up some of the children of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.. 8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, in the seventh year of the king’s reign. – The reconstruction of Jerusalem thus began in 458 BC.
The Israelites’ return from the captivity of Babylon enabled the reconstruction of Jerusalem’s destroyed city and which is most important, the temple. Ezra 7:7-8 confirms the beginning of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Daniel’s Prophecy begins at this moment and lasts 490 years. The Prophecy divides it into three parts: 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and the culmination of 1 week, for a total of 70 weeks. As the name implies, the week lasts 7 years.
I just wrote an article titled “The Incomprehensible God.” In it, I asked why God did not ensure that the word of the Bible was unambiguous and easy to understand. Daniel’s Prophecy is an example of the most difficult word in the Bible. Many points are easily misunderstood. The Antichrist seeks to appear as Christ. Read my reasoning carefully and open-mindedly, considering what is at stake in Prophecy.
Two alternative explanations of Daniel 9’s Prophecy.
Dan 9:24 “Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.” – Verse 24 states that a prophecy was given to Israel and the holy city, Jerusalem. So, it does not apply to Gentiles or other enemies of God and Christ. Part of the holy city is to be occupied and destroyed by the Roman Empire. Until now, sin has always resulted in death, but now people have the opportunity to break out of the power of sin and partake of eternal righteousness.
25 “Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, shall be seven’ sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troubled times.“ – Jerusalem will be rebuilt, but soon it will be destroyed by the invader.
26 “After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One shall be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end of it shall be with a flood, and even to the end shall be war; desolations are determined.”
– 62 weeks [plus in the past seven declared seven weeks], and three and a half years, God’s anointed Jesus Christ has fulfilled the task given to him by God. The ‘anointed’ described in this verse is Jesus Christ, who else in the Bible would be called anointed, who will be destroyed. The destruction took place by crucifixion. Roman legions in 70 AD will destroy the temple of Jerusalem and the entire city.
27 “He shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out on the desolate.“
– Until now, people’s sins had been atoned for by sacrifice. From now on, it was not necessary to sacrifice animals for the remission of sins, but the sacrifice of Christ’s own life was enough as a one-time sacrifice to forgive the sins of all people. The destroyer will be “on the wing of abominations” has been interpreted as referring to the legions of the Roman Empire and the symbol of an eagle with expanding wings. The whole week of the year, seven years is a difficult time for both the Church, which is being persecuted, and Christ himself, crucified in the middle of the week.
’70 weeks’ means seventy weeks each week being seven years. It is divided into three parts.
Part 1: 7 weeks (49 years) means when the Israelites got out of Babylonian captivity to rebuild Jerusalem. Another temple is being built.
Part 2: 62 weeks (434 years) means the time when Jerusalem and its destroyed temple will be rebuilt. Towards the end of this period, Jesus Christ will be born and ready to begin his three-and-a-half-year public ministry. At the end of this period, we are in the year 26 AD.
There are now 7 years left of Daniel’s Prophecy. 490-year prophecy has been fulfilled for 483 years. Has the rest of the Prophecy been carried over to the distant future, as is very commonly claimed? No, everything projected will happen without interruption in 1 week (7 years).
So, what would happen in the last week of seven years?
Part 3: 1 week (7 years), from 26 to 33 AD. Christ was crucified in the middle of this period, in 30 AD.
The traditional interpretation of the last episode.
According to the traditional and generally accepted interpretation, God has postponed realizing this last period (i.e., from 26 to 33) to a later time, and now we are just waiting for it to be completed.
The content of this section, according to the traditional interpretation, essentially includes the coming of the Antichrist and his activities. The Antichrist has not yet appeared, so the last episode of 7 years has not yet begun to materialize.
There may be another way of fulfilling Daniel’s Prophecy. Why would God not have included in the fulfillment of the Prophecy the activity of his Son, Jesus Christ, who is essentially related to it? That is why God sent him into the world. There is time left for the fulfilment of Prophecy, so why omit from Prophecy the description of the most important event in Christianity? Why make the cut of two thousand years by omitting the action of Christ and bring to the Prophecy an explanation of the deceptive act of the Antichrist in the end times. The coming of the Antichrist and his actions are described in detail elsewhere in the Bible. Why should it be included in Daniel’s Prophecy?
With this reasoning, I understand that few scholars interpret the last part of the Prophecy, that is, one week (7 years) as a direct continuation after 69 weeks: Christ has accomplished the mission God has given him. This means that the death of Christ on the cross in 30 AD is included in the Prophecy. Central to Christianity is the remission of sins of the entire mankind through Christ’s death and redemption. The end of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New Covenant, proclaimed by Christ, are also included in Prophecy.
At the end of the Prophecy in 33 AD, there is also Holy Spirit poured out on Pentecost to a large crowd. Jesus had previously stated to his disciples that he had been sent only for Israel’s lost sheep. Still, now that he has died and been resurrected, a mission commissioned by Christ has begun with the goal of taking the gospel from the kingdom of God to the whole world. If these significant events of Christianity are left out of the last week of Prophecy, it means that they will never be brought up in Daniel’s Prophecy!
Many argue against such an interpretation. Why? Suppose a description of the work of the Antichrist is offered in its place. In that case, it is, in my view, very insignificant in comparison with the realization of Christ’s redemptive work and its description as the culmination of 490 years of Prophecy. The Apostles have reported Antichrist’s actions, and I do not think the Antichrist deserves a place in the culmination of Daniel’s Prophecy. The Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks has been fulfilled in an intact and logical manner for Christ’s death and with it the redemption of sins.
Why is the traditional interpretation of Dan 9:24 wrong?
Verse 24 includes the following items; pay particular attention to the last-listed “most holy anointed.” That alone is sufficient to prove the erroneous interpretation of the traditional interpretation and that the last week’s share of 490 years of Prophecy has been fully fulfilled.
- Wickedness ends; With the preaching of the gospel of Christ and the kingdom of God, it will come to an end
- Sin comes to an end; the commission of sin does not end. It will not end until the last judgment has been given, and all sins have been atoned for, and the saved people in God’s new world will no longer sin.
- Evil deeds are reconciled; After all, Jesus already reconciled the evil deeds of mankind with his blood. There is no need to reconcile them.
- Eternal justice is enforced; this, too, has been brought about by the death of Christ.
- vision and Prophecy are sealed; What is this seal that confirms vision and Prophecy? Would it be God’s anointing of Christ?
- the most holy one is anointed.
Who is this most holy one who is anointed? Would he be anointed sometime in the future as part of the events of the last week? If it is Christ, he is the only holy anointed of God who can come into question. But, Christ has already been anointed! Will Christ be anointed for the second time sometime soon? That must be the case if we believe that the last week’s events will be in the future.
Wasn’t Christ anointed while he lived? The Bible speaks of God’s anointing in Acts 10:38, “Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” The apostles were also anointed: 2 Cor 1:21 “He who is confirming you with us into Christ, and did anoint us, is God.”
End time – last days
The last days have already begun in the time of Jesus. This we can conclude because Hebrews 1:2 says that God has spoken “in these last days” through the Son. The “last days” have continued for two thousand years, even though Jesus promised to come back soon.
Heb 1:1 “God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds.”
Heb 1:2 uses the same word ἔσχατος eschatos for these two slightly different expressions; In Heb 1:1 and 1:2, “Last days” and “end of these days” is expressed by the same Greek word, ἔσχατος eschatos. In these last days, he has spoken to us… This does not exclude the possibility of interpretation, that ‘the end time’ or ‘the end times’ are an expression of the time of later ‘tribulation’ and the ‘day of the Lord.’
The “last days” refer to the time when Christ was on earth and proclaimed his gospel and also the time after that, but the “end time” especially describes the short period of time from which Daniel used the term “last week,” which is seven years.
From the end of time, a couple of examples that show that it refers specifically to the very last times, the day of the Lord:
Dan 11:35 “Some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white, “even to the time of the end” because it is yet for the time appointed.”
Dan 12: “He said, go your way, Daniel; for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.”
End time means time at the end of this world age. For example, Dan 12:13 can also be translated… “and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.” (NASB) On the NT side, John 6:40 says, “For it is the will of my Father that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” “…and I will raise him up at the last day.” which could just as well have been translated as above.
These last times are traditionally divided into two parts: a) the time of great tribulation, and b) the day of the Lord. After the day of the Lord comes the resurrection of the rest of the dead and the final judgment.
Will the rapture take place before the coming of the Antichrist and the times of tribulation?
Section 1: Johan Malan’s interpretation (abbreviated)
Johan Malan, University of the North, South Africa, has written an article “The Great Falling Away after the Departure of the Church.” The Church’s departure means the first resurrection to those who are resurrected from the dead who have been Christ’s own at death. Another group allowed to participate in the first resurrection is those of Christ who are currently alive. These are drawn up into the clouds to receive Christ when he arrives a second time.
Johan Malan treats the issue as a translation problem, but he also believes that believers will be saved out of the way of the Antichrist before he comes. I ponder the same questions and present my arguments based on the word of the Bible.
The appearance of the Antichrist (the man of lawlessness) can take place only after the first resurrection. The Bible says, “Not until the apostasy first occurs.” Some speak of the departure of the Church of Christ as if it was an escape from the persecution. 2 Thes 2:3 says clearly: “Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the departure comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction,” What does departure or apostasy, or rebellion or mean?
Malan has picked word choices from old translations: “But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:27). You can read more examples here.
Malan interprets it as follows: The primary meaning of the word ‘apostasia’ is “departure,” which in this verse refers to the rapture of the Church of the first resurrection. Already many hundred years ago, the word apostasy was translated to leave, and the word used was, according to Malan, ‘departure.‘ He interprets it as meaning to refer to the rapture described in the Bible.
When a large number of believers are taken up to meet Christ in the clouds along with believers who have died before and are now ascended, an even greater apostasy will follow on earth, and the Antichrist will have a free field to act to present Christ. After all, the Antichrist signifies the substitute for Christ, and the Antichrist makes every effort to believe that he is Christ. At the same time, the Antichrist will enforce its illegal and exceedingly sinful reforms. That time is characterized by a worldwide moral and spiritual apostasy.
Definition of Srong’s:
ἀποστασία apostasía, feminine of the same as G647; defection from truth (properly, the state) (“apostasy”): – falling away, forsake. From this it is derived, e.g., KJV-version depart -word, in Greek ἀφίστημι aphístēmi, to go away, to depart from anyone from G575 and G2476; to remove, i.e. (actively) instigate to revolt; usually (reflexively) to desist, desert, etc.:—depart, draw (fall) away, refrain, withdraw self.
Luke 8:13 “Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who for a time believe, and in time of temptation fall away. (aphistemi)
According to Malan, translating the word apostasy with the words “rebellion,” “apostasy,” or “falling away” in most English Bibles is unfortunate, he says, because these are secondary, or derived, meanings of the word. There is a great deal of speculation regarding the rapture and the appearance of the Antichrist. Some spiritualize these concepts; others accept both events but place them in the wrong chronological order, while many deny them altogether or claim that the Antichrist was some figure in history. These conflicting opinions cause great uncertainty and confusion among Christians. However, this is not the first time in the church’s history that conflicting perceptions and false teachings about the end times have caused believers to worry. It happened as early as the first century in the church of Thessaloniki. In his first letter, Paul taught the church that the Lord Jesus would, at the end of the church dispensation, take the true believers to Heaven: “For the Lord himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 The 4:16-18).
The word rapture comes from the Greek word harpazo. According to Malan, there is a clear promise in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians and also in his later letter to them that the Lord Jesus will take away Christians before the appearance of the Antichrist and the beginning of the judgments of the Lord’s Day during the great tribulation. He encouraged them in “1 Thessalonians 1:10,” and to wait for his Son from Heaven, whom he raised from the dead- Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.” “For God has not destined us for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes 5: 9).
Christians are saved from the moment of God’s wrath over the sinful world. They will flee the time of judgment through rapture, as Jesus promised in his speech at Mount of Olives, “Therefore be watchful all the time, asking that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36).
For when they are saying, “Peace and safety,” then sudden destruction will come on them, like birth pains on a pregnant woman; and they will in no way escape. (1 Thes 5:3). The congregation in Thessaloniki believed this explanation of the events of the end times. They eagerly awaited the salvation that the Lord Jesus promised them through the rapture. False Teachings The persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire caused considerable concern among believers and raised many end-time questions — including in Thessalonica. These false teachings claimed that the day of the Lord (a time of judgment and tribulation) had already begun and that Christians would have to go through it.
Paul wrote, “But as for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him, we beseech you, brethren, that ye be not given any spirit, nor any word, nor any letter, which we have sent; let them be dismayed, as though the day of the Lord were at hand. That day will not come until the apostasy first occurs and the man of lawlessness appears, the child of perdition, that adversary who exalts himself above all that is called God or to be worshiped, so that he settles in the temple of God and declares himself to be God.”
2 The 2:3-12: 3 “Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the departure comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God. 6 Now you know what is restraining him, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only there is one who restrains now, until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nothing by the brightness of his coming; 9 even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 and with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they didn’t receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 Because of this, God sends them a working of error, that they should believe a lie; 12 that they all might be judged who didn’t believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
It was believed among Christians that the Roman emperor who proclaimed God was the Antichrist. The persecution of Christians was easy to see as part of the anguish and suffering of the day of the Lord. Paul had a full job in correcting misconceptions. According to 2 The 2: 3-4, he assured that “Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day cannot come unless the rebellion [Or apostasy] takes place first and the man of sin, who is destined for destruction, is revealed.”
The word apostasy translated “falling away” in the KJV translation, is problematic for many. Based on this translation, it is assumed that Christians will not only experience the apostasy of the last days, but they will also be here when the Antichrist appears. A careful explanation of this verse shows that these assumptions are unfounded.
The Greek word apostasy means departure, withdrawal, or resignation. Spiritual and moral apostasy can be read in this word only in a secondary sense. Apostasis is derived from the particle apo, which means loose or away (from something close) in different meanings of time, place, or relationship. It means resignation, departure, or cessation. The verb corresponding to the word apostasy is aphistemi, which according to the Strongs dictionary means to leave, to withdraw, to pull away, to remove.
Even in cases where the word aphistemi has been used to mean spiritual apostasy (e.g., Luke 8:13, “Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who believe for a while, then fall away in time of temptation.” 1 Tim 4:1 “But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away (ἀφίστημι aphistēmi) from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons,”
Heb. 3:12 “Beware, brothers, lest perhaps there be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God.”
In light of these examples, it is clear that the word apostasy’s basic meaning and verb form aphistemi are to leave. For this reason, the word apostasy in 2 Thes 2: 3 was first translated as a starting point in the following seven English Bible translations before the KJV translation: Wycliffe Bible (1384), Tyndale Bible (1526), Coverdale Bible (1535), Cranmer Bible (1539), Breeches Bible ), Beza Bible (1583) and Geneva Bible (1608). The Amplified Bible makes the following remark in footnote 2 of 2 The 2:3: “A possible interpretation of the word apostasy is the departure of [the church].” In its true sense, this verse reads: “Let no man deceive you in any way: for the day [of the Lord] shall not come, except there come first the departure of [the church], and that man of sin [the Antichrist], the child of perdition, shall be revealed…
Rather than ignorance, dogmatic prejudice may explain the conflicting views that still prevail regarding the word apostasy’s true meaning in this verse. In their blind allegiance to their church’s theologians, many refuse to believe in the pretribulation rapture. It is more acceptable for them to cling to the word apostasy in a narrow secondary sense, interpreting it as a mere spiritual decline in the last days following the appearance of the Antichrist.
If the context of verse 2 The 2:3 is taken into account, it is evident that the word apostasy is meant here to cover its full meaning – both departing and spiritual falling away.
One of the main consequences of this departure is that great spiritual darkness will reign on earth – when the world’s light is taken away. It allows the Antichrist to appear. Sin and evil will multiply very rapidly during his reign, leading to the most significant abandonment of biblical norms and Christian models in all of human history.
The one who restrains
Negative perceptions of the pretribulation rapture also lead to distorted views of what holds the Antichrist. Clearly, there is only one power that is greater than Satan and the Antichrist, and that is the power of God. No earthly or human force could effectively resist the devil or defeat it. In the present dispensation, before Christ and the Antichrist’s appearance, there is a spiritual struggle to control the world. The Spirit of God and the deceptive spirits of Satan work through men to achieve their goal. John says, “We are of God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:6). The phrase “he who now restrains” in 2 The 2:7 refers to the church as the body of Christ on earth. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we arrest the appearance of the Antichrist. The subsequent rise to power. Only when the true church is taken out of the way in the rapture can the Antichrist personally reveal himself. Then deceived and spiritually dead, humanity will accept him without opposition as the universal Messiah and world leader. Millions will be saved during the seven-year tribulation (Rev 7:9>), and that is possible only through the Spirit of God (1 Cor 12:3).
Before the public coming of Jesus at the end of the seven years, there is even a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Israel to prepare them for reconciliation with His Messiah: “I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn.” (Zec 12:10)
Section 2: I comment on the above in my own view:
Now we are on the crucial matter of interpretation: is “apostasy” merely a renunciation of true doctrine, or did Paul also assure that before the arrival of the Antichrist, there will be a rapture of departed believers.
Great apostasy, what is it?
Above, we read John saying that “the spirit of the antichrist that ye have heard is coming, and it is already in the world.” The Antichrist’s spirit has manifested for hundreds and thousands of years as an influence on human behavior by the master of the Antichrist, Satan, who is called the king of this world.
2 The 2:3 “Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day cannot come, unless the departure comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction,” What is “that day?” Surely it means the day of the Lord, which is the culmination of the end times’ horrific events.
Apostasy should also happen! What does apostasy entail? By spiritual apostasy, I mean massive apostasy (fall away) from the Christian faith. We are right in front of it, and it is this apostasy that will make it possible for the Antichrist to emerge in the end times. Secular life and its temptations occupy people’s minds and fill people’s lives. Remember how a few generations ago it was customary to go to church every Sunday. Often the church was far away, and on the way, it was sometimes even overnight. It was not always about love for God and his word, but it was also about the church intimidating with going to hell. Since Christianity had been strengthened, society has not seen such secularization as it does today, living according to the way of ‘god of this world.’
The apostasy from the Christian faith accelerates as the time given to Satan decreases. If the rapture occurs, renunciation will be facilitated by removing the core of believers from the earth. One would think that if the rest of the population realized this had happened, people would gain a testimony and an impetus to improve their faith and connection with God and Christ. However, I am terribly afraid that it would allow the action of the Antichrist to intensify and the world to plunge deeper and deeper into spiritual darkness.
However, I believe that religions’ ecumenical unification is intensifying; soon, the great world religion will accept anything and everything within its circle. It will be led by Satan’s closest assistant, the Antichrist, and his assistant in religion, the false Prophet. 2 The 2:4 tells the culmination of the future: “He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called God and object of worship. As a result, he seats himself in the sanctuary of God and declares himself to be God.” Does this require the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem? In principle, all churches are dedicated to God.
A few years ago, I wrote about the future like this: Satan wants to become the whole world’s ruler. Therefore, I believe that he is not content with declaring himself God of Christians through the Antichrist but wants all religions to recognize him as God. Could the growing ecumenical movement be so advanced that it would include the gods of all religions? One possibility I haven’t noticed anyone offering to declare the Antichrist God: The Antichrist could name a mosque in Jerusalem, say, a Temple of God. When he makes his proclamation there, he may proclaim in this way. “All you that believe in one God, believe me, I am. I am Jehovah, and I am Allah. When you believe in me and do my will, I will give you heavenly peace and earthly abundance.” If the timing is right, and people are worried about how the world will stand. But, then such a proclamation will come along with great miracles – for example, a large number of angels will testify the declaration – the declaration of the Antichrist will unite the faith of billions of people. People will be excited about the coming divine peace and worldly time of happiness. Such a horrifying vision of the future can come true if the world has matured into “sufficiently ecumenical.”
If a third temple is to be built in Jerusalem, technically, it can happen quickly. Political obstacles only need to be overcome first. There would be room at the Temple Mount, but Muslims do not easily swallow this. I do not consider this impossible at all during political trading.
If one speaks of the great apostasy, most will understand the apostasy from true faith by apostasy. Usually, apostasy does not mean conversion to another religion but a complete renunciation of faith; faith is left in the background of people’s lives and the secularization of life. Jesus promised to take the believers with him, out of the tribulation of the world. John 14:3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.” To this, I say this: Were people and scholars at the time completely wrong, or have we fallen off the carts at some point? The conclusion of John 14:3 is: first, “Jesus will come back,” and secondly, “I will take you to me.”
The Antichrist and the Day of the Lord.
Although the Bible said that the end times began as early as the time of Jesus, the real Antichrist has not yet appeared. 2 The 2:8 says, “Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nothing by the brightness of his coming;” John, for his part, said in 1 John 2:18, “Little children, it is the last hour. Just as you heard that an antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. This is how we know it is the last hour.” – Did you notice John say that “now is the last hour.” Even then, 2,000 years ago, at the beginning of the end of time, many “little antichrists” had appeared.
Instead, Jesus’ statement, “When, therefore, you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), — then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains …” is a warning related to the coming of the Roman army to destruct Jerusalem and the Temple (realized in 70 AD). (Matthew 24:15-16) – Statements should always be verified what time they refer to.
Revelation 19:19-20, On that day, the Antichrist and the false prophet will be destroyed: “I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, and against his army. The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked the signs in his sight, with which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.” – The prophecies of the appearance of the ‘true’ Antichrist are therefore still in the future.
Matthew 24:21-31 tells of the coming great tribulation
21 For there shall be then great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world till now, no, nor may be. 22 Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened. 23 At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’, don’t believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will appear and display great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 Remember, I have told you this beforehand. 26 So if they say to you, ‘Look! He’s in the wilderness,’ don’t go out looking for him. And if they say, ‘Look! He’s in the storeroom,’ don’t believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes forth from the east, and is seen even to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there’s a dead body, there the vultures will gather. 29 But immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Will the rapture take place before the coming of the Antichrist and the times of tribulation?
It is generally believed that the Lord will draw believers to Heaven to be saved from the persecution of the Antichrist. I don’t think that’s the question. It is a question of a vast resurrection rather than believers’ salvation from the Antichrist’s persecution. First, those who have died in Christ over millennia are raised from the dead. After them, the angels gather the living elect of Christ (see verse 31 above) from all over the world.
If it were only a matter of protecting the elect on earth from the wrath of the Antichrist, the angels could have protected them on earth. Rev 89:3 “Locusts came out of the smoke onto the earth, and they were given power like the power of earthly scorpions.”
After all, all the believers went to mark the seal of God with the seal of God, and the flocks of locusts sent could not stab them. Revelation 9:4 “They were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only those people who don’t have God’s seal on their foreheads. 9:7 The shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for war. On their heads were something like golden crowns, and their faces were like people’s faces. 8 They had hair like women’s hair and teeth like lions’ teeth. 9 They had breastplates like iron, and the noise of their wings was like the roar of chariots with many horses rushing into battle. “- From the Bible’s description, it is evident that these locusts were not ordinary insects.
The seal of God could have protected believers from the wrath of the Antichrist, no matter how long a time the congregation needed.
The seal of God.
Ephesians 4:30 “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, by whom you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.” Earlier, Paul says, e.g., 4:5, “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all. 7 But to each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” 2 Cor 1:21 “Now he who establishes us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; 22 who also sealed us, and gave us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts.“
Ephesians 1:13 “You, too, have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed in him you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,”
Christ’s own are secured by the Holy Spirit’s seal in our hearts. So why try to escape by rapture? The greatest joy of the rapture comes from seeing Jesus Christ as he is. 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.” We know we will be like Christ, like the essence of His glory. Therefore, Christians seek Christ when he comes the second time.
When Matthew says that for the sake of the elect, these days of tribulation will be shortened, why is this? Are not the elect raptured to meet Christ? Instead, this mention of “for the elect’s sake” would suggest that the elect remain on earth during the tribulation. If the elect were with Christ, there would be only sinful people on earth, and there would be no need to shorten the days of tribulation. Verse Mat 24:31 also states that “when Christ comes, he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another.”
These couple verses seem to refute the theory of the rapture of the entire church. The church will remain on earth, but the time of tribulation will be shortened for their sake. Let us return to interpretation.
We might still consider the question of who is “chosen?” Are they the same as “Christ’s own?” 1 Cor 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s, at his coming.” – Christ was ‘made alive’ by God the Father, who gave his son eternal life. This verse of 1 Corinthians testifies and provides hope to those who have the spirit of Christ, to receive the gift of eternal life, to be made alive, in the coming of Christ. When Christ comes:
- The days of tribulation have been shortened for the sake of the elect.
- All of Christ’s own will be made alive (receive eternal life) when Christ comes. Christ’s own are his elect, those who have the faith of Christ, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
These concluding statements could be interpreted as meaning that the elect of Christ receive eternal salvation and eternal life, even though they are on earth during the tribulation.
1 The 1:9 “For they themselves report concerning us what kind of a reception we had from you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son whom he raised from the dead to come back from Heaven. This Jesus is the one who rescues us from the coming wrath.” – According to verse 10, believers are saved from future anger. Coming anger means the Day of the Lord (Lord’s wrath).
However, Revelation’s book says: 2:10, “Don’t be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life.” – Satan, or probably his assistant, the Antichrist, will cast some of Christ’s elect into captivity. For them, tribulation lasts for “ten days,” which means a short time. This is the last test of the chosen ones.
The Thessalonians letter continues:
1 The 4:16 “For the Lord himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, 17 then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever.”
Therefore, it is true that in connection with the second coming of Christ, the first resurrection takes place (the so-called resurrection of the church, the rapture). The first to rise are those who once died in the faith of Christ. Immediately afterward, the living ones of Christ, his elect, will rise, or be caught, up in the clouds against Christ.
The resurrection does not occur so that Christ’s own would be saved from the Antichrist’s clutches. The resurrection also does not take place in Heaven, but in the clouds, in the upper air. The resurrection affects the elect of Christ who are alive on earth and some of the dead. If one wanted only to protect the elect from the destruction of the Antichrist, there would be no need to raise any of the dead at this point.