Be Saved from the Wrath of Yahuah ("God")!
- Appendix 2 -
Most Bible expositors either teach that Believers in Yahushua will be caught up (“raptured”) to Heaven before the events of the Great Tribulation and the Day and the Wrath of Yahuah commence, or that they will be supernaturally protected from those events. However, both of those views result from a carnal, worldly-minded focus and misunderstandings of Biblical terms and the sequence of End of the Age events.
As has been explained throughout this commentary, the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord and the Wrath of the Lord are not synonymous terms. Many Bible expositors and teachers label the entire Final Seven Years as “the tribulation” and make no distinction between that period of time and its events and the Day (and the Wrath) of the Lord. But an honest examination of the text reveals that The Great Tribulation (cf. Matthew 24:21; Revelation 7:14) is totally different from the Day of the Lord. The Great Tribulation is the wrath of Satan (12:12) being poured out on all who oppose him and begins at the midpoint of the Final Seven Years when his incarnation, Antimessiah declares himself to be “god” (cf. the commentary on 7:13-14c). However, the Day of the Lord begins later, during the last half of the Final Seven Years, when the Wrath of the Lord - the plagues of the trumpet and bowl judgments - begin to be poured out on the followers of the anti-messiah (cf. the commentary on 6:15-17).
Nowhere in Scripture are the Followers of Yahushua (the “Church”) promised exemption from any of the physical suffering, tribulations, persecutions and death that are the lot of all human beings as long as we are in our corrupt, human flesh and subject to sin. Our complete exemption from suffering will occur only when we are in our new, glorified bodies in the presence of our Redeemer in His millennial kingdom. Yahushua Himself told his disciples that they would suffer persecution and tribulation (cf. Matthew 24:21; Mark 10:30). And the apostle Paul frequently spoke of his infirmities, reproaches, needs, persecutions, distresses and so forth (e.g., 2 Corinthians 12:10).
There are two extremes in interpreting what the Bible states about suffering. One is the “word of faith,” “health, wealth and prosperity,” “name it and claim it,” “believe it and receive it” doctrine that no suffering in this life is necessary for the Believer whose faith is intact. The other is that true Believers in the Messiah will escape to Heaven in the Rapture before the real suffering of the Great Tribulation and the Wrath of the Lord begin. Both views are flawed, unscriptural and potentially tragic, resulting in the destruction of the faith of those who cling to either doctrine when they find themselves in the midst of the wrath of either Satan (the Great Tribulation) or the Lord (the Day of the Lord).
So, let us look briefly at what it really means to be saved from the Wrath of Yahuah.
The Day of the Lord and the Wrath of Yahuah
In the Bible, the Day of the Lord and the Wrath of Yahuah are very prominent and important prophetic themes. The explicit term, “Day of the Lord,” occurs over 20 times in Scripture. It is used in both the Tanakh and the B'rit Hadashah. It is described by eight BCE prophets, mentioned by three CE writers, and alluded to many other times as “that day,” “the Day of the Messiah,” and by other terms. Here is the prophet Zephaniah’s description of that Day:
The great Day of [Yahuah] is near, near and coming very quickly. Hear the sound of the Day of the Lord! When it’s here, even a warrior will cry bitterly. That Day is a Day of fury, a Day of trouble and distress, a Day of waste and desolation, a Day of darkness and gloom, a Day of clouds and thick fog, a Day of the trumpet and battle-cry against the fortified cities and against the high towers [on the city walls].
I will bring such distress on people that they will grope their way like the blind, because they have sinned against the Lord. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their bowels like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them. On the Day of the Lord’s fury, the whole land will be destroyed in the fire of His jealously, for He will make an end, a horrible end, of all those living in the land. (Zephaniah 1:14-18)
As prophesied in the Revelation (6:12-14), the Day of Yehovah will be announced by the most awesome catastrophes in world history (except for the Great Flood), including cataclysmic worldwide natural and/or human-caused disasters. Then it will include the period of time of a few years during which the plagues of the judgments of Yahuah announced by the seven trumpets is poured out on those who have rejected and rebelled against Him. Then, at the sounding of the seventh and “last trumpet,” the resurrection of the Righteous will occur and the Messiah Yahushua will return and “catch away” the Redeemed of Yahuah to Heaven (Mark 13:26-27; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). Next, while the marriage and wedding feast of the Lamb and His Bride is being celebrated in Heaven (19:7-9), the “last plagues” of the Wrath of Yahuah will be poured out on Earth (15:1; 16:1). Then, the newly-crowned King of kings and Lord of lords (the Messiah Yahushua) will descend with the armies of Heaven (the glorified Saints and angels) to destroy His enemies at the battle of “Armageddon,” cast Antimessiah and the false prophet into the Lake of Fire, and cleanse the earth of all unregenerate earth dwellers (19:11-21). Then, after binding and imprisoning Satan, the Messiah will bring His People Israel out of the “wilderness” into which they have fled from the persecution of the anti-messiah and establish the glorious millennial Kingdom of Yahuah on Earth (Isaiah 11:12; Zechariah 14:1-11; Revelation 12:6, 14). At this time, the heavens and earth will be renewed and New Jerusalem will descend from Heaven (cf. Isaiah 65:17, 18; Revelation 21:1), the tribes of Israel will occupy the Land (Ezekiel 40-48), and the surrounding nations will be formed by Gentiles on whom Yahuah will have mercy and allow to enter His millennial kingdom (Zechariah 14:16). Finally, the Day of Yahuah will end with the Final Judgment when the Redeemed of the Lord will be ushered into eternity in His glorious presence and the damned (including Satan) will be cast into the Lake of Fire (20:11-15).
Basically, the Day of the Lord will be the biggest showdown in world history - a time during which the Lord Yahuah will take back the wonderful, perfect Creation that Satan usurped from Him 6,000 years ago. The Lord will first set Satan up - giving his incarnation, Antimessiah, a short period of time (42 months) after proclaiming himself to be “God” to (in his deluded mind) establish his dominion on Earth. Then, through a series of ever-intensifying, supernatural disasters, Yahuah will demolish Antimessiah’s global kingdom.
But, the point is, we don’t want to be on Earth during the time when the "last plagues" of Yahuah’s wrath are being poured out here! It is going to be a wonderful, glorious time from the perspective of those who are already in Heaven as we celebrate with all the heavenly hosts the destruction of the Lord Yahuah’s enemies and the redemption of His Creation, but a horrible, horrible time, like the world has never before seen, for those still on Earth. The remnant of Yahuah’s People who are still on the earth, who have not given in to the incredible deception or agonizing oppression of that time, will be supernaturally protected and saved, but all others who have been suckered or pressured into following Antimessiah as their (false) messiah will find themselves in unimaginably horrible, hopeless straits.
For details of the above sequence of events, please read the commentary on Revelation Chapters 6-20.
When will the Day of the Lord and the Wrath of Yahuah occur?
As with other future End-Times events, the timing and sequence of the Day of the Lord is a matter of great debate among Bible scholars and prophecy teachers. A few things are clear in Scripture: (1) there will be a seven-year period of time in the near future - a time called in the Bible the "Birth Pains of the Messiah” or the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble" - when the history of the world, as you and I have known it all our lives, will be brought to a terrifyingly tumultuous close, (2) the last half of that seven years, beginning immediately after the midpoint when Antimessiah declares himself to be "God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4), will be a time of “Great Tribulation” - a time when the wrath of Satan (cf. Revelation 12:12) will be poured out on all who oppose him, especially Believers in Yahushua ("Jesus") as the true Messiah who are on Earth at that time (Yahuah's People the Jews who are looking forward in faith to the coming Messiah but have not yet recognized that He is Yahushua will be hidden and protected in the "wilderness" during the Great Tribulation - 12:14), and (3) the last part of that seven years will be overshadowed by the Day of the Lord, during which the judgments of Yahuah will be progressively poured out on all who oppose Him, including Antimessiah.
Virtually all scholars and teachers who believe in the literal seven-year scenario agree about the Great Tribulation (the wrath of Satan), the Day of the Lord, and the Wrath of Yahuah being part of it. The disagreement is over the timing and sequence of events within the seven years. Joseph Good (www.hatikva.org), for example, believes that the Day of the Lord, the Great Tribulation, and the Wrath of Yahuah all run concurrently throughout the seven years. The prewrath rapture people - Robert Van Kampen [deceased], Marvin Rosenthal, Charles Cooper, et al. (cf. www.prewrathrapture.com) - believe that the Great Tribulation comprises a short period of time immediately following the midpoint of the seven years, after which the Day of the Lord, which includes the Wrath of Yahuah, will occur during the last year or two of the seven. S. R. Shearer (www.antipasministries.com) believes that the Great Tribulation comprises the entire seven years, with the Day of the Lord being a literal 24-hour day that occurs on the last day of the seven years.
This commentator has been studying the Scripture and all these teachings for many years, and tends to go along, to a limited extent, with the prewrath view because it seems to be the most natural, literal, common-sense interpretation which best harmonizes all the prophetic Scripture. However, if one holds to a literal prophetic fulfillment of the Spring and Fall feasts of Yahuah, then, just as the Messiah’s first coming, death and resurrection, and the pouring out of His Spirit were exactly, to the day and hour, foreshadowed by the Spring Feasts, His second coming, the resurrection and rapture of His Bride, the pouring out of the "last plagues" of the judgments of Yahuah (the bowls of wrath), the “sheep and goat” judgment, and the establishment of His millennial kingdom must all occur within the 15-day period of the Fall feasts following the sounding of the seventh and final trumpet blast.
But, guess what? - when it comes down to where “the rubber meets the road” - to how I need to be living my life in the present moment - I do not know and I do not care about the exact timing and sequence of these events. All that I really know and care about is that they will occur, and I need to be doing my best to be warning everyone I can to be prepared, regardless of when, in the sequence of events, they occur. There also will be other specific events during the seven years that people need to be warned about or prepared for, whether they occur at the beginning, middle, or end of the seven years. The timing of some events (e.g., Antimessiah standing in the Temple declaring himself to be "god" at the midpoint of the seven years) are clearly specified. So, I believe that Yahuah has made clear, at least to those who study the Scripture diligently and sincerely want to know the Truth, the sequence and timing of certain events. The sequence and timing of other events - the annihilation of Babylon the Great, the beginning point of the Day of the Lord, and so forth - are not so clear. And all that the endless debates over controversial times and sequences accomplish is to distract us from living each day in total self-denial for the good of others and the glory of Yahuah, and so, I believe, are nothing more than devices of Satan to distract us from the work of Yahuah on Earth at the present time. I doubt that the untold millions around the world who are in agonizing suffering, starving to death, freezing to death, being oppressed or persecuted, or being killed every day are very concerned about when the rapture will occur or when their oppressors (and Yahuah’s enemies) will be destroyed, do you? They just need to know that it will happen, and that it will happen soon, and what they need to do about it. They need salvation and hope, not details about controversial events not clearly spelled out in Scripture.
And there are several indications that the implications of the events of the Final Seven Years pertain just as much to the Jews as to the Community of Believers in Yahushua. For example, the seven years are called “the Time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). And this will be especially true during the Days of Awe, after the Body of Believers in Yahushua has been taken to Heaven. Because Revelation gives the details of how the BCE Scripture (the Tanakh) prophecies will be fulfilled, when these things do begin to occur just as was prophesied by Israel's prophets and by Yahushua to His Disciples and in the Revelation, their eyes will be opened to see that He is the Messiah for whom they have been looking. And that is why it is just as important to preach the Gospel according to the Revelation to the Jews as to the Gentiles: They may not immediately accept it, but when these events begin to unfold, their eyes will be opened to the Truth, and they will be saved (Romans 11:26)!
But meanwhile, are you ready for all these wonderful or terrifying (depending on your point of view) “. . . things which must shortly come to pass” (Revelation 1:1)?
Where will you be on the Day of the Lord?
The Bible indicates that the Believers in Yahushua, whether or not they enter the seven years, will not have to endure at least the “last plagues” of the Wrath of Yahuah. Also, there are some indications that only the unsaved earth dwellers who have taken the mark of the beast will be affected by the trumpet and bowl plagues (cf. 9:4, 20). It tells us that the Redeemed will be “caught up” (from the Latin, rapio) in our newly-acquired, glorified bodies, to meet the Messiah in the sky, then taken to a place he has prepared for us (in Heaven) (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; John 14:2-3) before Yahuah’s Wrath is poured out (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Nevertheless, it is difficult to see, if Believers are present on Earth at all during the last half of the Final Seven Years, how they can avoid being affected by the plagues of the Lord that affect virtually the whole earth. One possible solution is that the Rapture will occur during the Great Tribulation but just before the plagues of the Day and the Wrath of the Lord begin to be poured out. So this commentator will not be dogmatic about when, in the sequence of events, the Rapture will occur. For more on the timing of the Rapture, read Appendix 6 - When is the Rapture?
But, regardless of whether or not the Saints are present during the Day of the Lord, they will have to patiently endure the Great Tribulation (cf. the commentary on 12:7-17g; 13:6-10b; 14:6-13d; and 16:15). And if they endure whatever trials and tribulations come their way (cf. 2 Timothy 2:12), overcome whatever obstacles Satan places in their path, and keep doing what Yahuah has given them to do until The End, they will be saved (cf. Revelation 2:26).
Of course, I am not teaching a work-your-way-to-Heaven salvation here. I acknowledge that it is only by Yahuah’s grace and Spirit that we can do anything right. But I just wanted to point out that endurance and good works (by Yahuah’s enabling Spirit) are necessary confirmations of a saving faith (cf. James 2:17). In other words, if the Holy Spirit does not dwell in us, enabling us to live a good life and do good works out of the Spirit of Yahuah's love, then our “faith” is phony and will not get us to Heaven. Just because we believe in our heads that Yahushua is the Lord does not make us eligible for citizenship in the Commonwealth of Israel and the Kingdom of Heaven. Only if Yahuah the Holy Spirit dwells in us, enabling us to “. . . deny [ourselves], take up [our] cross[es] daily, and follow [Him]” with our whole heart, soul, strength, time, and all of our possessions, can we be sure of escaping the Great Tribulation, the Wrath of Yahuah, and ultimately eternity in Hell.
As is mentioned on other pages of this website, most American "Christians" are deceived. We have a strong tendency to think that we are okay with the Lord when we are not. How about you? Have you really surrendered your life - “lock, stock, and barrel” - to the Lord Yahuah, in the name of Yahushua the Messiah, and do you know that the Holy Spirit is in you, enabling you to do everything that you do? If you are not sure, you’d better make sure, before you find yourself right in the midst of the worst nightmare (but real) that you have ever conceived - the awesome, terrible Wrath of Yahuah.
If you have any doubt about where you stand with the Lord, please let me encourage you to read: Appendix 4 - The Subtle Demise of True Christianity.
Continue to Appendix 3 -
Who are the People of Yahuah?
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