I have a slightly eccentric view on how the end times will unfold and today I want to walk everyone through how I get to my viewpoint. I am prewrath, not pretrib, on rapture timing. Lets take a 30,000 foot view and hit the high level points here. I’m assuming the reader has a background in eschatological terminology, definitions, and Scripture. Here are some high level bullets on what prewrathers believe that differs from the mainsream pretrib view:
- The wrath of God does not coincide with the entire 7 year tribulation. Although exact timing may be difficult to nail down when on the 7 year spectrum the wrath begins, it is most likely right after the mid-point, or ~ 3 1/2 years.
- The mid-point of the Tribulation occurs at the 6th seal. This is a very eccentric view, but it is at the 6th seal where God’s wrath, in Koine Greek we say God’s “ὀργή” or transliterated “orye,” is specifically called out.
- The 7th seal refers to the church in Heaven right after the rapture.
- Jesus warnings and prophecy about the end times in Matthew 24 is actually referring to the first 6 seals leading up to the mid-point. (Read through Matt 24 and Rev 6 and compare and contrast)
I also want to raise a couple other bullets to highlight how I read the antichrist:
- The antichrist will most likely appear to be pro-Jewish. This is difficult to swallow, I myself am Jewish and love my people, but he will come as a wolf in sheep’s clothing (John 5:43, Daniel 9:27, Zechariah 13:7).
- The tribulation is not a 7 year treaty as in Left Behind (which I was actually saved during reading), but as Daniel 9:27 says in the Hebrew, the antichrist will strengthen a covenant (the Hebrew word for strengthen is in the hiphil binyanim which to me says he is not creating a covenant, but strengthening an already existing covenant) with many for 7 years and then put an end to sacrifice midway into the 7 years. The covenant referred to is, in context here, most likely in my opinion the Levitical covenant. The antichrist will work to reestablish the old Levitical code, sacrifices will be re-instituted with his support. As I see this playing out, this will strongly dilute fringe Christians who mix relationship with God too strongly with political stances that are not tamed and centered under Christ. They will be deceived (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12) for the purpose of trimming the branches from the Vine (John 15:2) just before Jesus returns to take his bride and his people home. He is done with lukewarm followers and will spit them out of his mouth (Revelation 3:16). If a person’s heart loves politics and culture to the point that it dilutes their pure worship of Jesus, so be it, but that person cannot follow Christ (Luke 14:26) – just as with any other idol that stands in the way between a person’s heart and God.
- The antichrist will fight a series of wars against most likely Egypt, possibly the Saudis, Turkey, Syria, possibly ISIS if they are still in existence, Hezbollah, possibly Iraq, he will fail to capture Jordan and he will then enter Israel to most likely wipe out the PA (Palestinian Authority). He will go to Jerusalem and declare himself god in the temple 3 1/2 years into the tribulation near or at the 6th seal. He will be rejected by the Jews and murdered with no one to help him. (Daniel 11:40-45)
- The antichrist will most likely be European, probably southern European (Daniel 9:26; eg Italian)
- I reject claims that the antichrist is Assyrian/Islamic. I believed this for some time, but I no longer see the Biblical evidence for this claim as being weighty. I believe the evidence for the antichrist being European to be much stronger.
I was turned to the pre-wrath view after watching my Greek tutor’s colleague Alan Kurschner and his debate wtih Tommy Ice (friends with Tim Lahaye, author of Left Behind). Alan is a PhD candidate in Koine Greek linguistics. Part I of their debate is here (Parts III & IV are the best in my opinion, so make sure to watch all of the parts!). The main focus in Parts III & IV is on the Greek linguistics of 2 Thessalonians 2. Alan makes a very convincing argument that the original Greek is saying the rapture occurs after the antichrist and the deception occur.
So this post was mainly the 30,000′ of my view of the end. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments! Also, the post feature image is a still frame from Captial Kings featuring Reconcile’s new video I Can’t Stop, which is UH-MAY-ZING, so def check that out.