Bill Griese (14 May 2011)
"To Craig Opal"

Hi Craig,

You seem very nice and I'm sorry I must disagree with your premise so strongly. The Lord Jesus Christ was not "skipping around" in either Matthew 24 or Luke 21, if that means going back and forth so an order can't be determined. This was one discourse He gave that is retold by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In Matt 24:4-7, Mark 13:5-8 and Luke 21:8-11 The Lord describes the First Three Seals. Notice He says "For many will come in my name..." which I believe indicates these things have happened over and over again throughout history as many Antichrist types (i.e. Adolf Hitler) have arisen through the years as a warning of what is to come, with only the final occurrence actually being the First Three Seals of Revelation occurring inside the 70th week. Matt 24:8 indicates they're in the first half. Matt 24:9 NKJV says "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake." Indicating Antichrist's attack on Christians following the Abomination of Desolation. Matt 24:15 says "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place..." "Therefore" is referring back to what was introduced in verse 9 with the word "Then" and links the "abomination of desolation" in verse 15 to "tribulation and kill you" in verse 9 when the Great Tribulation begins at the midpoint of the 70th week. Therefore, Matthew is not written only to the Jews! Saying Matthew is written only to the Jews, and then ignoring what it says is what many do to get around Matt 24:29-31 where the Lord clearly puts the Sixth Seal signs and the "gathering together of the elect" after the "tribulation of those days." Fortunately, Mark 13:24-27 is a parallel passage that confirms Matt 24:29-31.

Matt 24:29-31 NKJV "Immediately after the tribulation of those days
the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

Mark 13:24-27 NKJV "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven."

Now in Luke 21:12-24 there's a clear parenthesis in the text, that starts with "But before all these things..." where He then goes into events that occur from that time until the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. In Luke 21:25-26 He moves to the end of the age and describes the signs of the Sixth Seal, and in verse 27 He says "Then..." indicating an order of events and goes onto describe His Second Coming in the sky, and adds in verse 28 "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, your redemption draws near." Which I believe we agree indicates a Rapture event. Now, if I understand your position correctly, you are saying that the First thru Fifth Seals have already been fulfilled in the distant past, and that this Rapture event after the Sixth Seal is at the beginning of the seven year 70th week, and not at the Second Coming. While I would contend, the Sixth Seal marks the beginning of the Second Coming in the sky, starting at the beginning of the seventh year, and lasting for about one year while the Wrath of God occurs. After the completion of the Daniel 12:7 prophecy of time, times and half-a-time from the Abomination of Desolation would come the actual touchdown of Christ on the earth. I'll re-post the verses I quoted in my previous post that made the case very strongly that the Wrath of God lasts for about one year, which therefore pinpoints the timing of  the beginning of the Second Coming and the Pre-wrath Rapture, which I believe is the Main Rapture event where the dead in Christ are raised first and all living believers are caught up together with them in the clouds to be with the Lord. This is called "the gathering together of the elect" in scripture. (As stated before, I do believe in a prior partial Rapture event near the midpoint, which I refer to as the "Open Door").

The Wrath of God is the 'Day of Vengeance' and lasts about one year: 

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 (The seven year 70th week has seven 'days' of one year each).

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 first day of the seventh year in the current Jewish cycle now in use by Israel is Rosh Hashanah 2014).

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.


Bill Griese