Bill Griese (19 May 2011)
"To Lyle Cooper: Regarding the Sixth Seal Rapture"

To Lyle Cooper: Regarding the Sixth Seal Rapture

Hi Coop,

The premise that the Sixth Seal and the "gathering together of the elect" occur at the beginning of the 70th week violates Matt 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-27, and 2 Thess 2:1-4.

The "gathering together of the elect" mentioned in Matthew and Mark, occurs "after the tribulation of those days" in Matt 24:29-31, and "after that tribulation" in Mark 13:24-27. 

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."

The Lord Jesus Christ puts the "gathering together of the elect" after both the tribulation and the signs in the sky matching the Sixth Seal in Revelation 6:12-17. A great multitude appears in heaven following the Sixth Seal, but preceding His wrath.

Rev 6:12-17 NKJV
 "I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!' 'For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'"

Rev 7:9-14 NKJV "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation [belongs] to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, [Be] to our God forever and ever. Amen." Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

The Wrath of God is the "Day of Vengeance" and lasts about One year according to Isaiah 34:8 and 63:4, and the illustration the Lord Jesus Christ gives of Noah's Flood.

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 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.

The Apostle Paul links together the 2nd Coming and the "gathering together" and then gives the abomination of desolation as a precursor to their occurrence.

2 Thess 2:1-4 NKJV "
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for [that Day will not come] unless the falling away (from the faith; i.e. apostasy g646) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."

Coop, I believe that Matt 24:9 begins the midpoint, with the Fourth Seal and World War 3, and fulfills Rev 12:17 "And the dragon was enraged with the woman (Israel), and he went to make War with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." World Wars 1 & 2 were only types of the Fourth Seal, WW3. 

All this is more than enough evidence to disprove the Sixth Seal Rapture at the beginning of the 70th week Theory. The Sixth Seal Rapture is the 2nd Rapture event occurring at the beginning of the Second Coming in the Sky, followed by the Wrath of God which lasts about one year. Then Christ's touchdown on the earth portion of the Second Coming occurs after completion of the time, times and half-a-time from the Abomination of Desolation according to Daniel 12:7. Equating the entire 70th week of Daniel as the Wrath of God has absolutely no basis in scripture. I personally don't even believe in a Seven-year tribulation period. The 70th week of Daniel is for seven years, but Satan doesn't indwell the Antichrist until the midpoint and that's when the tribulation starts with the Abomination of Desolation. There is no indwelt Antichrist until Satan is cast out of heaven at the midpoint and indwells him. Read Revelation chapter 12. I do believe in a midpoint partial Rapture event for those who follow the Lord's instructions in Revelation chapters 2 & 3 to Repent, and Luke 21:36 to Watch and Pray. This "open door" event is not the same as the "gathering together of the elect" at the Sixth Seal where all believers are Raptured. Only Philadelphia and Smyrna don't need to Repent, and the rest are told that they will be left behind, if they don't Repent. I believe this "open door" will occur soon (Smyrna's ten days?) after the Abomination of Desolation, because I also believe 2 Thess 2:1-4 was written by Paul as a precursor to all Rapture events, not just the "gathering together" which he mentioned. Otherwise he could have used the Sixth Seal as the precursor, which is closer to the "gathering together" itself. The "open door" is to escape the tribulation and persecution of Antichrist for those who are worthy to escape. Sardis is the only unsaved "Dead" Church. Look at "Lukewarm" Laodicea, doesn't that fit the majority of our fellow American believers? I just don't buy the everyone is a Philadelphian teaching based on the Historical Time Period Theory. I believe Christ's letters to the Seven Churches are meant to have a Near/Far fulfillment, as many scriptures do. Fortunately, the "gathering together of the elect" is for all believers to escape the Wrath of God.

Mark 13:33-37 NKJV "Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. [It is] like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning--lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"

Luke 21:34-36 NKJV "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." (I believe All means escaping the tribulation as well as the Wrath of God for those who Repent, Watch and Pray always).


Bill Griese