Reply to "Lyle" (27 June 2011)
I believe we can establish some common ground before going any further. I believe we agree on the following: That the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls are all in numerical order (I don't rearrange these, I have always maintained this order, however I don't hold to Craig Opal's chapter theory). That the Main Rapture event is Pre-wrath, where the dead in Christ are raised first and then all living believers are caught up with them together in the sky, in full public view, at the Sixth Seal. That the Wrath of God then begins with the Seventh Seal, after the silence in heaven for half-an-hour. That all the Trumpets and Bowls are the Wrath of God, and all follow the Seventh Seal. That the first Five Seals all precede the Wrath of God.
I believe our main disagreement is the duration of the Wrath of God. You contend that the Wrath of God lasts for the whole 70th week, therefore placing the first Five Seals prior to the 70th week. Since you believe that the Sixth Seal Rapture is imminent, you must have the first Five Seals as already having occurred in the distant past.
You are right when you said we would continue to disagree. I believe that the Wrath of God lasts for about one year, placing the first Five Seals inside the 70th week, taking up about the first six years of the 70th week. I believe the Fourth Seal occurs near the Midpoint of the 70th week and will be a nuclear and biological World War 3. This event must cause a massive loss of life not seen before in history to fulfill the description of the Fourth Seal in Rev 6:7-8. The Fifth Seal is the persecution of the elect by the satanically indwelt Antichrist, who enforces the 'Mark of the Beast' and if allowed to continue unabated for his 42 months, he would see that no believers survive until the Second Coming per Matt 24:22.
I believe the Lord Jesus Christ cuts short the 'great tribulation' by His Second Coming in the sky at the Sixth Seal, then 'gathers together His elect', and then pours out His Wrath for the remaining time of about one year before His physical return when He touches down on the earth on Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement, and announces a Jubilee year.
Regarding the words 'great tribulation' in Rev 2:22: I don't hold the Historical Time Period View of the Seven Churches. I believe the letters to the Seven Churches are a Near/Far prophecy. The 'great tribulation' mentioned here was not a period of time in the past, but this is an actual threat to leave in the 'great tribulation' those at the end of the age who fit the description of the church at Thyatira, and who don't repent. The 'great tribulation' is the persecution of Satan thru the satanically indwelt Antichrist, corresponds to the Fourth and Fifth Seals, and occurs before the Wrath of God. The Wrath of God will follow the Sixth Seal, and all born again believers will be delivered from it by the Pre-Wrath Rapture.
As far as the differences in the Moons per Joel 2:31 and Joel 3:14-15, they make my point that the scriptures see no difference in the moon turning 'into blood', 'growing dark' or 'not giving her light' because these verses are all given as signs that the 'Day of the Lord' (Wrath) is near. The 'Day of the Lord' is the Wrath of God, and shouldn't be mistaken with the 'great tribulation'.
In spite of your objections, I believe scripture supports a one year Wrath of God per my previous post.
Isaiah 34:8 "For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion." A "day of the Lord's vengeance" refers to the wrath of God, and "a year of recompences" indicates that this period will last for about one year, the seventh 'day' of the 70th Week.
Isaiah 63:4 "For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed has come." The "day of vengeance" is linked here to "the year of my redeemed". During this year, God will take vengeance on unbelievers, but all believers will be raptured beforehand at the Pre-Wrath Rapture, which follows the opening of the Sixth Seal. This tells us when the Sixth Seal is opened. The 70th week has seven 'days' of one year each.
Isaiah 61:2 "To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;" The "year of the Lord" and "day of vengeance" are connected again here, indicating they are synonymous.
The Lord Jesus Christ also linked Noah's Flood, which lasted for about one year, and was the Wrath of God in it's time, to the end time events immediately preceding the Second Coming, further illustrating that the Wrath of God lasts for about one year.
Matt 24:37-39 "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
I also believe in an earlier 'Open Door' Rapture event that occurs near the Midpoint of the 70th week, for born again believers who follow the Lord's instructions in Revelation Chapters 2 & 3 to Repent. Those who don't Repent won't go thru the 'Open Door'.
Luke 21:33-36 KJV "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
Please see my previous post: http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/june2011/billg626-1.htm