Lyle Cooper (27 June 2011)
"Answer to Bill Griese (26 June 2011)"

Bill's post to Lyle wrote;
"In Monday's post, you openly admitted that your 'Sixth Seal is Pre-70th week' view places the 'great tribulation' mentioned in Rev 7:14 prior to the whole 70th week. Matthew Chapter 24 clearly asserts that there is only one period of time called the 'great tribulation' and it follows the abomination of desolation."

Bill, you are reading into Matt. 24 what is NOT THERE. Yes, indeed, it does say, "for then shall be great tribulation." What it does NOT say is that this is the ONLY TIME there will be "great tribulation."  Many people believe Jesus put this title, "GREAT TRIBULATION" on the last half of the week - but it is simply not true. In fact, in the next verse, Jesus said, "except those days should be shortened..."  What days? It is understood, "those days" of "great tribulation."  Those days do not extend for the full 1260 days. But for sure, there will be "days" of great tribulation.

BUT: does this verse specify that those days is the ONLY period of great tribulation? Of course it does not. It does not speak of ANY OTHER TIME but those days in question.   Does God use these two words together anywhere else? Of course He does.

Jesus, speaking through John in the letter to Thyatira, speaking DIRECTLY to the false prophetess Jezebel, said "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds."  Please remember, Jezebel and those getting into her bed, were living in the time John wrote these letters, about 95 AD.  Therefore, there is at least ONE OTHER TIME mentioned in scripture where these two words together, "great tribulation," is NOT referring to those days following the abomination.

Since Rev. 7 comes before the 70th week even starts, that verse too, is referencing a time NOT SPEAKING of "those days" following the abomination.     Sorry, Bill, but I disagree with you here.

Bill went on to write:

 "21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (The Lord Jesus Christ makes it clear that there is only one 'great tribulation' and it follows the abomination of desolation)."

Bill, please let's read and understand exactly what Jesus said. First, the two words, "great tribulation" WERE NOT SUFFICIENT to describe "those days." So Jesus added, "such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."   Therefore, we do not have just "great tribulation," but we have it greater than any other time, including other times of "great tribulation."  Therefore, don't get so fixated on these two words that you miss the intent of other scriptures. Jesus was very plain that He could created days of "great tribulation" for those committing adultery with Jezebel, back in 95 AD. But those days, IF Jesus created them, would not be greater than any other days of GT ever on the earth. It is the same with the time of the rapture as seen in Rev. 7:  "“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation..."  There is really nothing at all here to tie this to the words of Jesus in Matthew 24, or that same time period. In truth, it is NOT the same time period that will come after the abomination, for John has not yet even started the 70th week - much less gotten to the midpoint where the abomination will happen.  So I will say again, Jesus did not say anywhere at anytime that there was to be only ONE PERIOD of time in all history that would be labled "great tribulation." In fact, there are two other places in scripture where these two words are used together, that certainly do NOT mean those days of great tribulation that will follow the abomination.

Therefore, my previous post did not contradict anything that Jesus said.  There will be days of GT greater than any other period of time ever, but there will also be great tribulation on earth (NOT greater than any other time) at or around the time of the rapture, as written by John.

Bill went on to write:

"29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days (great tribulation) shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (This is the Sixth Seal)"(emphasis added)

Bill, you are certainly not the first to proclaim that the signs written in Matthew 24 are the same as those at the 6th seal, but you are certainly wrong. They are not the same.  The signs at the 6th seal are the signs for the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The signs given in Matthew 24 are the signs for Jesus second coming. They are TWO DIFFERENT SIGNS GIVEN FOR TWO DIFFERENT EVENTS. And they will be seen about 7 years apart.  Please note, in the first, the moon appears as blood. (Perhaps a total eclipse.) But in the last (as seen in Matthew 24) both the sun and moon are dark. If the sun is dark, there is no light reflected off the moon, and the moon will be invisible.  Now, so you will never struggle with this again, let's look at BOTH of these signs as written in ONE BOOK.

Joel 2

 1Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

What is Joel's theme here? It is the Day of the Lord.  NOT the coming of Our Lord, but the coming of the Day of the Lord. Joel continues speaking of this Day of the Lord, until He gets to this verse:

Joel 2
31The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.

There can be NO DOUBT, this is speaking of the signs of the great Day of the Lord - NOT the coming of Jesus. Now, lets move to Joel 3.

Joel 3

 1For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

 2I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

WHEN will this gathering be? Where would it be in Revelation? This verse is speaking of the gathering of the nations for the battle of Armageddon. We find them gathered ready to fight Jesus, in Rev. 19, AT JESUS SECOND COMING.  Joel goes on:

Joel 3
 11Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.

 12Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.

 13Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

 14Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

 15The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

Now, WHEN is this? This is at the battle of Armegeddon. It is found in Rev. 19, at the coming of Jesus on the white horse. And here we DON'T read of a blood red moon - we read that both the sun and moon are darkened.  NEITHER are seen. Joel continues:

Joel 3
16The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

 17So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain:

Can there be any doubt that this is at the second coming? Jesus is now in Jerusalem!  So Joel has shown us TWICE that these signs are seen: first as a sign for the COMING  or beginning of the day of the Lord, and then again, at the coming of Jesus Christ on the white horse.

Bill goes on to write;

"The timing of the Sixth Seal of Rev 6:12-17 occurs in Matt 24:29-31 at Christ's Second Coming in the sky, and then all the elect are gathered together by the angels. This is the 'great multitude, which no man could number' that is seen in Rev 7:9-17 coming out of the 'great tribulation'. This gathering together is the Pre-Wrath Rapture, which I believe is the 2nd Rapture event, and which I believe occurs about one year prior to the end of the 70th week. The Wrath of God lasts about the remaining one year. The word 'Day' is used in numerous scriptures describing the Wrath of God, i.e. 'Day of the Lord' and 'Day of Vengeance'. A 'Prophetic Week' is seven years, therefore a 'Prophetic Day' is one year."

Sorry Bill, but these are only man's theories that do not agree with what is written in the bible. The events of the sixth seal are CERTAINLY NOT the same events as seen in Matthew 24.  Neither John nor God was that confused as to the chronology of Revelation. Take a few steps back and look at the whole picture of Revelation. The seals start in Chapter 6. The trumpets start in chapter 9. The vials begin in chapter 16. Just from this, one can see that no seal can possibly be broken after any of the trumpets, and no trumpet can possibly be sounded after any of the vials. God is simply not that confused! John wrote these events in the order in which they will happen, with minor exceptions. 
We find the beginning of the 70th week in Chapter 8, the midpoint of the week in chapter 11, and the end of the week in Chapter 16, again very chronological.  Your theory tries to push the END OF THE WEEK (Matthew 24:29-31) BEFORE John starts the week.  Rosenthal and Van Kampen both MISSED the fact that there are two times these signs in the sun and moon are shown, and that fact total blew their entire theory of Revelation's chronology and the timing of the days of great tribulation. If you put the rapture at the 6th seal, where John put it, and the days of GT AFTER the abomination in chapter 11, where John put it, and the signs in the sun and moon from Matthew 24 somewhere in chapter 19 (not seen by John, so not written) then there is no need to rearrange Revelation at all. It is in perfect chronology.


Therefore, trying to make the 6th seal an event AFTER the week is finished, will never work. IT IS REARRANGING THE BOOK. The gathering in Matthew 24 IS NOT THE RAPTURE.  Please notice:

Matthew 24:31     ...they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Bill, WHERE are the dead in Christ? They are UNDER THE EARTH - not in heaven. They WERE in heaven, but Jesus brought them will Him. So there will be NO GATHERING at the rapture, from the heavens. Where are those that are alive and remain? Of course, they are ON THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH.  (Unless there might be some minors in a coal mine, or someone in a submarine.)  Next, when we get our supernatural bodies, we will FLY just as the angels; we will NOT NEED gathering by the angels. Is it any wonder then, that Paul NEVER MENTIONED angels gathering at HIS rapture? Just establish this right now: this gathering in Matthew 24 is NOT THE RAPTURE of the church. It is at the END of the 70th week, while Paul's rapture is BEFORE the week. It is a gathering from the heavens, while the rapture gathers from the earth. And it is a gathering done by angels, while at the rapture NO ANGELS NEEDED.

God's wrath begins  in Rev. 6. Therefore, the rapture MUST come before His wrath - and it does, as the FIRST EVENT of the 6th seal. John has not yet even started the 70th week, nor gotten to the midpoint.  So the great multitude as shown in Rev.  7 were raptured in Rev. 6 - but John did not see it - he only saw the effects of it: the church in the throne room after the rapture.

There is not one scripture that mentions a "second rapture."

Anyone can attempt to make doctrine of Old Testament prophecies, and ignore the much more inclusive New Testament prophecies. But an old Bible College professor once told us, "when forming doctrine, make your main points from the latest revelation on a given subject, and the most complete revelation on a subject; then fill in missing pieces from lessor scripture and older revelations."  His point was, God is a self revealing God, and over time reveals more and more about any given subject. The book of Revelation is the latest revelation, and it is by far the most complete. Therefore, wisdom would dictate that we form our major points of doctrine there, and fill in missing pieces of the puzzle from Old Testament scriptures.   Case in point?

Bill wrote: 

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.

Is that the real meaning of the "Year of recompences?" Can we find any reference to this in Revelation?  In Revelation we find that the days of Great tribulation will begin shortly after the midpoint of the week (Rev. 11) and go far into Chapter 16, when the vials are being poured out.  This will certainly be longer than a year. Therefore, I will not say that the "year or recompences" is speaking of a litteral year. The CONTEXT, seems to be the battle of Armageddon.

Isaiah 63:4  For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.

I think this verse is speaking, not of a time period of a whole year, but of a time of beginning. Like we would say, "THIS is the year of the rapture," meaning that the rapture will happen sometime during this year - NOT that the rapture would be a year long event.

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, I don't think this was AT ALL the intent of this scripture. The only point Jesus was making with Noah was the SUDDENNESS of the destruction: one day they are living life to the fullest, as humans are want to do - and the next day they are GONE.  Notice, "FOR as in the days that were BEFORE the flood..."  And "until the day.." Jesus then talked about the SUDDENNESS of the destruction of Sodam and Gommorah. Again they were living life to the fullest, right up until the brimstone began to fall. The point Jesus was making in both of these stories is; THERE WILL BE NO TIME TO PREPARE FOR ANYTHING. It will come SUDDENLY.

Once again, if we refer to Daniel and Revelation, the last half of the week will be 1260 days or 3 1/2 years. This is far more than one year. Therefore, I suggest you find another meaning for these old Testament scriptures.

Lyle, you and a couple others have gone back and forth with me, basically over what boils down to the "Moon terminology differences" in the above verses. Your view claims that these differences indicate two different events, while I have maintained that they are all one event. Now you have admitted that your view requires a 'great tribulation' prior to the beginning of the 70th week. I would like to suggest to you that you reexamine your view. The correct explanation for the "Moon terminology differences" is that scripture sees no difference between the moon turning into blood and the moon not causing her normal light to shine. Notice that Joel 2:31 and Isaiah 13:9-13 are both referencing the 'Day of the Lord' which is the Wrath of God, and Joel 2:31 says the Moon will be turned 'into blood' and Isaiah 13:9-13 says 'Moon shall not cause her light to shine'. This proves that scripture sees no difference between these phrases and that all these scriptures are referencing the same event. Therefore, you can't place the Rev 6:12-17 Sixth Seal at the beginning of the 70th week and then place the Matt 24:29-31 Second Coming in the sky at the end of the 70th week, as your view attempts to do. The fact that a 'Prophetic Day' means one year, places this singular event one year before the end of the 70th week. Therefore, the Pre-Wrath Rapture, which scripture calls the 'gathering together of the elect', occurs about one year before the end of the 70th week.

Sorry that we disagree. Yes, we have gone back and forth. But I will maintain that any doctrine or theory that must rearrange the chronology of Revelation is wrong.  If you just stop and think for a moment: in Joel 2 Joel is speaking of the Day of the Lord, aligned with Rev. 6. But in Joel 3 he is speaking of the coming of our Lord, which we find in Rev. 19. Bill,  these two chapters are 7 years apart in timing! Next, if the sun is not shining, for whatever reason, NO LIGHT will be reflected off the moon. I submit that the moon would be invisible. Would that fit the description of "darkened?" I think it would. During a total eclipse of the moon, the sun is NOT SEEN, for it has been darkened by way of the moon blocking the suns rays from the earth. So in that case, the sun is dark and the moon appears blood red. That just does not fit both the sun and moon being dark.  So I find both the description and the timing prove these are two separate events.

If you will read EXACTLY what is written, Joel tells us clearly that the signs of the sun dark and the moon into blood comes BEFORE the day of the Lord.  But in Isaiah 13, we do not find that word. The text  in Isaiah is speaking of the SECOND time these signs are seen, near the END of the week, just before Jesus returns.

Isaiah 13:13Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

Notice that this is DURING the day of the Lord.

This proves that scripture sees no difference between these phrases and that all these scriptures are referencing the same event.

You have made several statements like this one, and all are in error. This certainly does NOT prove only one event. God back and study Joel 2 and 3 again and again. You will see two totally different time frames in the two chapters. In Joel 2, He CLEARLY states that the signs will come BEFORE the day of the Lord. You cannot bypass this or get around it in any way.

Matt 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

NOtice that Jesus is AFTER "the tribulation of those days." But Joel says it will be BEFORE the beginning of the Day of the Lord. Both Van Kampen and Rosenthal wrestled with this, and finally (erroneously) concluded that the days of GT MUST then have been in the first five seals, and by the 6th seal over. This is totally preposterous! John does not even mention the Beast that will cause the GT until chapter 13! There are verses that show conclusively that they days of GT are ongoing in chapters 15 and 16.  So either these signs are shown twice (which is the truth) or the book of Revelation is totally and completely out of order. Well, it is NOT out of order! It is written in perfect chronological order, with minor exceptions.   Next, the ONLY way your theory will work, is if you make the Day of the Lord one 24 hour period in which Jesus returns. That is the only way Joel 2:31 could be true. The day before Jesus returns it is NOT the day of the Lord, but on the day He comes, it IS the day of the LOrd. But does this theory agree with Revelation chapters 4-18? Certainly NOT. John shows us that the DAy of the Lord begins at the 7th seal. (or perhaps at the earthquake at the 6th seal.)  So we have the day of the Lord then, continuing on through chapters 9,10,11,12,13, 14, 15, 16, 17,18,and 19, at least. This is what John wrote.  And John shows us in 12:6 and 13, that the abomination has just happened in chapter 11 - so we KNOW ABSOLUTELY that those days of GT will BEGIN somewhere after chapter 12:6.

This leaves only ONE option: these signs are seen TWICE. That one admittance solves all problems.

I am sure we will continue to disagree: but at least the readers will know why I believe as I do.