Amy VanGerpen (31 Jan 2011)
"RE: Suzi ~two steps forward, one step back"

Hi Suzi,
I think we do agree that if Jesus is doing the "smack down", that His children will be out of the way. :)  Since Jesus will be breaking each Seal with a resulting global consequence, then I also believe that the Church will be out of the way, because I see that He is doing the "smack down" with each Seal.   
          Jesus breaks 1st Seal - The world gets the conquering antichrist
          Jesus breaks 2nd Seal - Peace is taken from the world
          Jesus breaks 3rd Seal - Worldwide depression and scarcity
          Jesus breaks 4th Seal - Widespread death across the Earth - A quarter of the population dies
          Jesus breaks 5th Seal - Tribulation Saints allowed to be martyred
          Jesus breaks 6th Seal - Cosmic disturbances and an earthquake that affects the world 
I believe there is a difference between the "birthpangs" of the time leading up to Daniel's 70th week, and the Judgments that will begin in Daniel's 70th week.  The birthpangs occur on a regional scale, but the Seals and the rest of the Judgments in Revelation will have global consequences that will ultimately lead to destruction of the nations: 
Matthew 24:4-5&11, Mark 13:5-6, Luke 21:8 - Many false christs
Revelation 6:1-2 - 1st Seal - One ultimate false christ, the Antichrist
Matthew 24:6-7 , Mark 13:7-8, Luke 21:9 - Wars and rumors of wars
Revelation 6:3-4 - 2nd Seal - War worldwide
Matthew 24:7-8, Mark 13:8, Luke21:11 - Famine, pestilence and troubles in various places
Revelation 6:5-8 - 3rd & 4th Seal - Scarcity and death worldwide
Matthew 24:9&13, Mark 13:9-13 - Persecution and martyr of some Saints
Revelation 6:9-11 - 5th Seal - Martyrs of Saints worldwide

Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8, Luke 21:11 - Earthquakes in various places
Revelation 6:12-17 -6th Seal- Wrath of the Lamb earthquake that has global impact

As mothers, we know all about birthpangs. This is what I wrote in my Olivet Discourse study about this:
"Sorrows" is translated to "birth pangs" in some other Bible versions. In the original Greek, the literal translation is "travails", which is a term commonly used to describe child labor. In the natural birthing process, the mother experiences many birth pangs before the baby arrives. These birth pangs usually start out slow and manageable, but become more intense, closer together, and less manageable approaching the delivery of the baby.

As the birth pangs, described by Jesus, become greater and greater we will know that the end is getting closer and closer. It is obvious that the world has been having these "birth pangs" for quite some time. For the most part they have been manageable, however anybody can see they are getting worse, but we are definitely not in the Tribulation yet.

As many mothers will tell you, most birth pangs are manageable up until a certain point called transition. This is basically the "point-of-no-return" where the birth pangs become unbearable, usually for a short period of time, as the baby is about to be born.

Likewise, there will be a "transition" to specific Judgments given by Christ Himself in the Tribulation that will become unbearable to those receiving them. These birth pangs are the physical manifestations of the earth and people groaning under the increasing sin in the world in anticipation of redemption when Christ returns (Romans 8:22-23)

With my second child, I had what many might call false labor.  With my first baby, my water broke before the contractions started.  I wasn't sure what to expect the second time around, without the sure sign of the water breaking to determine if I was really in labor or not.  Five days before my second baby was due, I started having regular contractions.  For over five hours I had contractions that went from 8 minutes down to every 3 minutes and they were getting hard to breathe through.  My doula was getting ready to come over to assist me to the hospital, because we were sure this was it!  Then a wave of sleepiness came over me.  I fell asleep and woke up a few hours later with no more contractions!  Even though my water hadn't broke, from my previous experience it felt real!  Well, five days later my water did break, and a little more than four hours later I had my baby. 

The point here, is that the birthpangs that we are experiencing are very painful and are increasing, but they are still regional and bearable for the most part.  For most people it is still business as usual, but for an increasing number of people it is not.  To them it may feel like we are already in the Tribulation.  But at the rapture it will not be business as usual for anyone left behind.  There will be no doubt that God's Judgment is being poured out.   

Though we have global financial woes that will eventually lead to a global currency, we are not in a global depression as described in Revelation 6. We have many wars and rumors of wars, but no war or other devestation on a global scale that has killed a fourth of the population (I realize some of you see this as a "process" to that number, but really think about the numbers here.....over 1.5 billion people will be killed in the 4th Seal....we are no where close!).  In short, I believe we can hear the horses hoofbeats drawing near as we see the increasing birthpangs, but once we hit "transition" (after the rapture) these birthpangs will turn into unbearable Seal Judgments.  The horses will be here! 

I know that most believe that the rapture will be accompaned by an earthquake and perhaps some cosmic disturbances, so the 6th Seal would appear to fit the bill.  This is based on the fact that a great earthquake occured at the time of Christ's resurrection (Matthew 28:2).  But even if an earthquake accompanies our resurrection, we need to be careful to make the assumption that the two events are the same.  I believe in this case, since Jesus is breaking each Seal with global consequences resulting in each, that the sixth Seal is not the rapture.  
Amy Van Gerpen
P.S. - I believe that many of the birthpangs have been punishment (or chastisment, not Jugdment aka destruction) on the nations because of our dealings with Israel.  These articles are a great summary of the "curse for curse" clause in Genesis 12:3.
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -
Part 4 -
Suzi (29 Jan 2011)
"to Amy~ two steps forward, one step back..."

Just when I think I get a handle on something, I feel like my 'etch-a-sketch' has been shaken!

Okay, I thought I had things straight in my head, but then when you said I'd 'hit the nail' on saying that we'd be gone before the 'Wrath of God' came upon the earth, and went on to say, that you believed that we'd be gone before ANY of the Seals are broken...

But, I actually don't see it that way. *again, disclaimer...I'm seeking/learning here, so bear with me*....

Of all the Seals we see broken by Jesus in the story as related to us, it's not until the SIXTH SEAL that it is defined as the "Wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?".

So, maybe I don't have it 'on the head'...cuz I still think we will go through 'tribulations' as the Bible says and as evidenced throughout history...BUT, when that 6th Seal is Broken, some major changes take place...something much more beyond what is almost natural, something that happens between the 5th and 6th Seal is when I think the Rapture will take place. That is when the martyrs cry out and are told that when the number is reached, then it will all come down. Suddenly with Seal 6...whoa, major changes on earth and in the heavens...I think THAT is the simultaneous 'Rapture and Sudden Destruction'.

Again, just my thoughts/feelings. I welcome any clarification and's all a step closer to full understanding.

Thanks for getting my rusty brain to start moving again. :)



Amy VanGerpen (28 Jan 2011)
"RE: Suzi and the Seals"

Suzi you said:
"When the Wrath of God comes down on the world, He will make sure all his Children are out of harm's way. It will be undeniable that HE is the one putting the 'smack down' (as my kid would say) on those who have rejected Him."
I believe that you nailed it on the head.  It will be God doing the punishing.  We see that Jesus Himself, breaks each Seal, with a resulting Judgment on Earth.  This is why I believe the Chuch will not be here to see any of the Seal Judgments: