Who actually reads the terms and conditions? Click accept if you agree with them. No one will read this because this post isn’t the kind that is supposed to send you away feeling all good inside. This isn’t the kind of post that is supposed to make you feel encouraged by reading it. No, this post contains the terms and conditions. If there is to be any encouragement received from it, it can only be from knowing that you fully understand what you have signed up for. Let’s be honest, whether it is when downloading a new app, signing paperwork or any other case where there is a long page or two of terms and conditions to ascribe to, in very few cases do we ever spend the time to read them. We just click accept and continue. What’s the risk, right? Fortunately, the risk is often very miniscule for most the things we sign. But in some cases, like signing onto a lease, it may be beneficial to know some of the responsibilities or terms required for you to uphold, and the consequences if you happen to fail in holding to those conditions.
There is a book of terms and conditions that applies to all Christians. And you may be thinking, “Oh, this is a simple blog about reading your Bible.” It’s not. I am talking about a book contained within the good Book. I’m talking about a book of terms and conditions within the pages of the Bible often labeled as, “untouchable”, “unable to be understood”, “mysterious” and “too scary for Christians to try to read”. But what I see as far more frightening, is a body of Christians uneducated and uninformed on the matters of end times trying desperately to understand the world around them and blindly referencing end times scripture out of context to every random thing in this world that scares them. It is far more frightening as a Christian to know that there is an end to this world but be left in the dark on how it unfolds. It is absolutely ridiculous that we literally have a book in the Bible called “Revelation” in regard to end times, and also have people saying that it doesn’t really “reveal” anything to us and that it is just a mystery. Even the opening to Revelation hints that the words written in this book are of value to Christians. Verse 3 says, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and blessed are those who obey what it says, for the time is near.”
This is the book of terms and conditions that very few read. This is the fine print that is meant to prepare us for what’s ahead. I have been convicted to write this for a long time. The book of Revelation and other end times pieces of scripture have been a passion of mine for years. I have devoted a lot of my Biblical studies to this specific area. It’s important to note that a lot of the silence within the church regarding end times is due to disagreement in the interpretation of it. I am not ignorant of those other interpretations. In fact, this journal takes great effort in trying to bridge the gaps of understanding regarding other conflicting views. But this journal would be a disservice to Christians if I merely presented another end times position without showing you why there is serious issues with other mainstream positions. There is a need for us to revisit apocalyptic literature in scripture to smooth out clear contradictions and misuse of Biblical terms. Hence the name of this journal, “Terms and Conditions”. As for me, I will preach what is clearly stated in scripture without contradiction or devious twisting of meanings.
Many will read this without having strong convictions based on presupposed ideas because many churches rarely teach about the end. But there are many others who will have preconceived ideas man has planted in their brains that will inherently block their vision or understanding of most I am about to say, (or rather, what the Bible says). To that person, this will be as the analogy given in scripture of the new wine put in old skins. As the wine ferments inside the old skin, it is unable to expand and stretch anymore. Therefore, it eventually bursts. New skins, however, are elastic and are able to contain the new wine as it ferments without bursting. Likewise, are those who allow themselves to remain as students of the Word. Note, that I am only saying that some people with presupposed ideas on the matter of end times may find themselves misunderstanding what I am about to say. Note that because I encourage you to be patient to judge what I am saying until you have fully digested it entirely and have reobserved the scriptures more that I will be shining light on. Furthermore, I am not bringing “new wine” to the table in the sense that this is “new theology” or a “new revelation”. No. This has been around for centuries. It is merely new in the sense that to many, hearing this and coming to understand it fully may be new because it is not mainstream. It is also because of this that you will probably have never heard this being presented as I am today. I seek to bridge the gaps of understanding as best I can. In other words, I am going to use language and themes familiar in three major end times views to work through the false presupposed ideas about the end. I will describe this position as:
- Looking like “Mid-Trib”
- Sounding like “Post-Trib”
- But holding to the same core promises recognized in “Pre-trib”
For those of you who I lost there with that; this “mid, post, pre” trib stuff is just referring to end times interpretations about when the “rapture” of Christians will take place. Some believe it will happen in the middle (mid) of the future tribulation period. Some believe it will happen after (post) the Tribulation period. And some believe it will happen before (pre) the Tribulation period. Now everyone should be on the same page, being utterly confused with what I am proposing now. So, let’s begin breaking it down.
“Looks like mid-trib”
It will look like Mid-trib because most people believe the 4 horsemen in Revelation 6 and following events in chapter 7 are the first 3 ½ years of the Great tribulation. Contrary to this belief, Matthew 24, (which many try to suggest is merely talking about Jews) demonstrates a parallel to Revelation 6 and 7 in this regard. It lines up exactly what the 4 horsemen represent in order.
- Many will come claiming to be messiah (v5)
- Nation wars against nation (v6-7)
- Famine (v7)
- And more to come. (v8)
This is followed by a time that the saints will be persecuted unto death because they are Christ’s followers. (v9-10) Then, Matt 24:29-31, “Immediately after the tribulation/persecution of those days, the sun and moon will be darkened. Stars fall from heaven, powers of heaven shaken. The son of man shall be seen coming in the clouds with the great sound of a trumpet, and he will gather his elect.” Revelation’s account of this is represented by the four horsemen in chapter 6.
- White Horse: Anti-Christ revealed. “Given” power to overcome/conquer (v2)
- Red Horse: Nation rising against nation (v4)
- Black Horse: Famine/food shortage/inflation (v5)
- Pale Green Horse: Death by sword, hunger, beasts of earth (v8)
This is followed by the 5th seal, where we see the souls of persecuted saints appearing in heaven, who were killed because of their testimony of Christ. Then, Rev 6:12-14, the sun and moon are darkened, (as blood), stars fell from heaven. There is a great earthquake. The Heavens roll back as a scroll. For the Great day of the Lord IS come. At chapter 7, a great multitude of many nations, languages, and tribes appears before the throne who have come out of great tribulation. (Described as separate to the 144,000 sealed Jews)
“The great Day of the Lord IS come? Shouldn’t Christian’s already be out of there?” Yes. Take note of how God has removed his people before judgement of the wicked in the past. There is a pattern.
Luke 17:29-30, “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
Matt 24:37, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day.
This goes on the explain how the severity of sin will be as it was in Noah’s day. But let’s look at that day to maybe get a glimpse of more that Jesus could be talking about.
Gen. 7:13 says “on the very same day that the rain began to fall on the earth, Noah and his family entered the ark.”
The SAME DAY Lot left Sodom and Gomorrah, God’s wrath was poured out upon the wicked. The SAME DAY the Lord shut Noah and his family inside the Ark, God’s wrath was poured out on the wicked. So too shall it be during the Great Day of the Lord. The Lord’s Angels will be primed and ready for the pouring out of God’s wrath. But the Lord will preserve his people the SAME DAY. More evidence? Lets continue.
Matthew 24:30 says, “And at last, the sign of the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among the people of the earth.” Why? The parallel passage in Rev 8 will tell us. Revelation chapter 7 just concluded where we left off, with the saints being caught up and seen before the throne; preserved for what’s about to take place. Chapter 6 ended on a cliffhanger, where we see the same picture of the world as we did in Matthew. After seeing the sun and moon darkened, stars falling from heaven, the sky being rolled back, and the mountains being moved, they are seen being terrified. They try to hide from the Lord and his Wrath. Chapter 8 picks up immediately when these things happen, and God’s people are preserved. Verse 1-2 says,
“When the Lamb broke the 7th seal on the scroll, there was silence throughout heaven for half an hour. Then I saw 7 angels who stand before God, and they were given 7 trumpets.”
The stage is set! There is a half an hour of silence after the saints are gathered from the earth into heaven as we wait for judgement to come upon the wicked. It’s the same narrative as in the days of Noah and Lot. The same day God’s people are preserved is the same day that God’s wrath is poured out. THEN the 7 angels pour out God’s wrath. This is the start of the Wrath of God. Not anything prior. That is why this understanding may look like mid- trib. It is being proposed that the Bible more accurately speaks of the rapture of the Church after the four horsemen in Revelation, on the Day of the Lord. Exactly half an hour before His wrath is poured out upon the world. It is in the middle of what is mistakenly understood as the Great tribulation.
“Sound like “Post-trib”.
While it may “look” like a mid-trib position, why is it not? Why do I say it will “sound like Post-trib”? Because we must pay close attention to terminology. I will be clearer and say that the Bible undeniably presents us with a post-trib, pre-wrath rapture. That might have thrown many of you for a loop there, as many are probably thinking, “How can it be after the Great tribulation but before the wrath of God when they are the same thing?” I too grew up with this uninformed understanding of terms. The Wrath of God and the Great Tribulation are two entirely different events. We must not blindly assume the definitions of Biblical/historical terms that man tells us. We must always let the Bible be its own dictionary. This entails that we must analyze the definition of the English word in its original language. (In this case, historical Greek). That also means that we must look at other passages in scripture where the Greek word is used to see HOW it was used, or in what CONTEXT it was used. Then, and only then can we know with complete certainty that we are understanding words or ideas as the original authors intended, and as the audiences would have understood them.
You will notice in translations that there is often an array of English synonymous meanings used to grasp the meaning of a word written in ancient Greek. Ancient Greek is the original language of the New Testament. Translators are forced to do that because there is often no perfect match between one singular English word with one Ancient Greek word. Instead, what we get is a VERY unmistakably close idea what the Greek text best translates as. The root word for “tribulation” in ancient Greek is θλίψις (thlipsis). This root word’s translation is shared in English as “pressure” and “affliction”, “persecution”, “trouble”, and of course, “tribulation”. The translation of the word, “θλίψις” deems these words as synonymous or at least notably similar. In other words, tribulation is defined more appropriately as affliction, trouble, hardships or persecution. Not wrath.
Furthermore, when someone introduces an unfamiliar term for the first time, they will often tend to tell us what that word means. We see that pattern also in scripture. The Bible is its own dictionary. When we allow any other authority to tell us what words mean in scripture, we risk contradiction and misinterpretation. The first mention of the term, “tribulation” in the New Testament is in Matthew 13:21. Christ mentions the Greek word, “θλίψις” and chooses to elaborate on what it means as we will see here. It says,
“yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.”
Remember that Christ is speaking to a physical audience as well. We are not the only ones trying to figure out what he is saying. The word Christ uses for persecution is a synonymous Greek term: διωγμός (dee-ogue-mos’). Someone could read this passage and say that Christ is describing two separate things; tribulation and persecution distinctly. But because we can recognize from the original language that these terms are synonymous and that this is the first time Christ has mentioned θλίψις, it is better understood that Christ was merely helping his audience not mistake what he was saying. In other words, Christ isn’t talking about two terms that are black and white, differing greatly from one another. Rather, he uses a black term, “διωγμός” – having a definite and distinct meaning, to describe a dark grey term, “θλίψις” – having a less distinguished meaning. It would be similar to the example of describing a cell phone to someone who was only around to experience the early invention of the telephone. I might describe it as a smaller, more compact device that has the similar function of a telephone, being able to call people, but also comes with a few additional functions as well. That’s certainly not a fantastic description, but you get the idea. The words are not perfect reiterations of each other, but they are pretty close. They are virtually the same thing, have the same general purpose, with potential slight variations.
If you are still yet to be convinced that the tribulation means persecution and affliction, I will embrace this idea that tribulation means God’s wrath and examine the passages regarding tribulation found elsewhere in scripture. Let’s first look at John 16:33 –
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
“In this world you will have tribulation”. I can’t lay it out any more plainly than that. Does it say, “In Me you may have peace because you will avoid tribulation?” No. Does it say, “Be of good cheer because you will be raptured up into the sky before tribulation comes?” No. It says, “you WILL have tribulation.” Furthermore, if tribulation means wrath, then this passage alone has caused a huge contradiction to 1 Thessalonians 5:9 that explicitly states that we are not going to endure God’s wrath. That is a huge issue that cannot be accounted for under the impression that tribulation is the pouring out of God’s wrath. Let’s look at the next passage. Acts 14:21-22 –
“And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
We must go through God’s wrath to enter the kingdom of heaven? Well that sure wouldn’t make sense. Once again, if we mislabel terms and don’t define them as the Bible does and as the original language does, the Bible would be a cesspool of contradictions. Through much tribulation… Through much persecution… Through much affliction we enter into the kingdom of God.
The word, “tribulation” is used 22 times in the New Testament. surprisingly, 90% of the time it is talking about believers directly. The other times it is talking about persecution in general. That’s not even including the other 23 times where we see the root word, “θλίψις” being used in scripture. Tribulation is not associated with God’s judgement. It is not associated with the punishment of the wicked for their sin. It is associated with the children of God who hold fast to their testimony of Christ. It is SATAN’s wrath against God’s people! That is why we cannot mistake the word “tribulation” with “wrath”. In Greek, God’s Wrath is called, “ὀργή”. It is separate entirely from anything considered tribulation. That’s why calling this position mid-trib is false. It is only mid-trib if you incorrectly define words that the Bible has made clear mean something completely different. Christians WILL endure Great Persecution prior to the Great Day of the Lord, where God raptures his people from this earth and immediately follows up with the pouring out of his wrath upon the wicked.
“Holds to the same core promises recognized in “pre-trib”.
The format of this journal is not an attempt to appease many parties of Christians. My only aim is to please the Lord by presenting the Word as accurately and honestly as I can. Unfortunately, there are schools of thought that have been misled by man’s false and unbiblical interpretation of words to fit their own narrative that have muddied the waters. Therefore, I cannot present this without pointing out the errors in other viewpoints. But even in doing that, it is not meant to slander my fellow brothers and sisters who have been misinformed. That is why I must acknowledge the truths behind each and present this through a lens that each differing perspective can understand and relate to or find common ground. I found common ground in mid-trib perspectives by demonstrating that if we maintain the false definition of “Tribulation”, the rapture would appear in the middle. I found common ground in post-trib by demonstrating that if we correctly define tribulation, the rapture is in fact after the tribulation, immediately before the Wrath of God is poured out upon the wicked. I also find common ground now in many of the promises recognized in pre-trib perspectives. Some of those promises are as follows:
- Christ will come and “remove” his people from the world before His wrath is poured out.
- The Rapture will come unexpectedly, as a thief in the night…
- Christ will return with his saints to judge the world after the wrath of God.
- The dead in Christ shall rise first… The wicked shall rise to be judged secondly.
Let’s observe these promises closer.
- Christ will come and “remove” his people from the world before his wrath is poured out.
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thess. 5:9
The argument I hear all the time when I speak is, “You are wrong about all this because I don’t believe God destines his people to endure his wrath with everyone else here on earth!” Then they will quote a bunch of scripture like Romans 5:9, Colossians 3:6-7, or 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9. In general, these passages greatly support the idea that God will deliver His people (aka. Christians) from his wrath. CORRECT! I agree… because I didn’t argue that Christians would endure God’s wrath. I argued that the Bible says Christians will endure the great tribulation. Terms. TERMS ARE IMPORTANT. We have already gone over this thoroughly now, so I won’t backtrack and restate everything. We know that any position that states we will endure the wrath of God creates serious scriptural contradictions and must be deemed as false. And we also know that scripture adamantly warns us that we will endure much tribulation. If we observe these scriptures honestly, we can see that this is unmistakable. “But Brad, the Great tribulation is different than normal tribulation.” Yes, its worse… of the same idea. The word “Great” in front of tribulation does not all of a sudden change what the word “tribulation” means completely. It’s just more of, or a worsening, or a concentrated intensity of what tribulation is. Period.
Hunters can relate to this analogy best, but imagine that there is a season where you are allowed to hunt turkeys. But someone comes along and says that we are going to call that season, “deer season”. “You can hunt turkeys during deer season.” Ummm, that doesn’t make any sense! The season that you are allowed to hunt turkeys is called “turkey season” for a reason… because the word reflects the action. That silliness is virtually what we do when we decide that the “Great Tribulation” means God’s wrath is poured out. That’s not what tribulation means!
I must stay focused. COMMONALITIES. The commonality here is that scripture is not being contradicted when we observe the terminology alongside their Biblical definitions and uses. We are not destined to wrath. Check.
- The Rapture will come unexpectedly, as a thief in the night…
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, peace and safety! Then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” – 1 Thess. 5:1-2
“Well Brad, you are trying to say that we can expect the Day of the Lord because a time of Great Persecution has to come first!” Yes. Yes I am. That and more actually. 1 Thess. 5 is a great passage that speaks on the matter. Yet it seems to be that verses 1 and 2 are often extracted out of context to fit with their unbiblical narrative. I believe that the Day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, as the Bible clearly says. But if we continue reading from verse 3 and on, we can clearly see what its actually talking about.
“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.”
“What?!?! So it doesn’t come as a thief?!” That depends on to whom you are referring to. For those who belong to Christ, this day will not come as a surprise, as scripture states. But to those who do not know the Lord, to those saying, “Peace and security”, disaster will fall on them suddenly and unexpectedly. There shall be no escape. We, as Christians, will not be experiencing peace and safety, and neither will that Day catch us by surprise. Context, context, context! If verses 1 through 2 was talking about Christians who are left in the dark on this matter, then you would also have to attribute the destruction that comes afterward to them as well. It is because the world will not be expecting the Day of the Lord to come that they cannot escape the disaster that day brings. They are asleep, as verse 6 states. But we are not. “So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and clear-headed.”
Great Persecution must come first, among other things. Let’s take a look at those other things mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2.
“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 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 worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
Let’s break this down into pieces.
Q. What day is this referring to?
A. The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Q. Who is the audience?
A. The Jews? No. The Thessalonian Church, aka, gentiles.
Q. When are Christian Gentiles gathered together unto the Lord?
A. When the trumpet sounds, the Lord descends, and he raptures his people. When the Day of the Lord IS come.
This is the day they are talking about. The Thessalonians thought they had missed the rapture. So, Paul, being the generous guy that he is, decided to encourage them with when they could expect the rapture to come. “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that Day WILL NOT COME unless…”
- The falling away comes first,
- And the Man of Sin is Revealed, the son of perdition
Do not be deceived. We. Have. Been. Deceived. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, for that day WILL NOT COME until these things take place. I have seen some really silly arguments that try to suggest that the “falling away” or “ἀποστασία” (apostasy) mentioned here is when the church “falls away” from the world and into Christ’s hands being raptured. First off, that is the day we are clearly talking about here. That’s like saying, “The Rapture won’t come until the Rapture comes.” That’s silly. But looking even further into the (you guessed it) original language, we can see clearly that this is not what is being said. “ἀποστασία” is to fall away, or to forsake. The undisputed term referring to what we call the “rapture” is to be “caught up”. This isn’t a falling away or a forsaking. We are going “up” into the clouds to be gathered together with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Not falling to him.
I won’t neglect to mention what some might say is hard evidence against my entire position just a few verses later in 2 Thess 2:6-7. It says,
“And you know now what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; Only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed…”
“Aha! See! The “he” who now restrains is the Holy Spirit! When the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way, via rapture, then the lawless one will be revealed. See Brad, we are not even going to see the Antichrist or endure the Great period of Persecution the Anti-Christ will commence.” I will sit here and honestly tell you that I do not know for certain who that restraining force is. I’ve heard decent arguments, some that are sticking a lot more than others. But I can tell you a very poor argument when I see one. And a very poor argument is that this is the Holy Spirit being taken out via rapture of the church. Context. What are we talking about again? Oh ya, we are talking about that “Day”. What “Day?” The rapture or gathering together of God’s people. If the Holy Spirit present in the Church is the restrainer to the antichrist being revealed, and we were just told a few verses earlier that the Day of the Lord, aka gathering together unto our Lord, aka the rapture will not come until the antichrist is revealed, then we have a major contradiction in Scripture. There are decent arguments for why that restrainer could simply be God the Father, the only one who actually knows when these things are to take place. And there are decent arguments for why it is the defender of God’s people, the Arch-Angel Michael, who is removed from his place by God so that these things can take place. (Note Dan. 12:1 for more info) But the context of scripture alone disagrees that this restrainer is the Holy Spirit.
These things must take place before the coming of our Lord. But to the world, that Day will be completely unexpected.
- Christ will return with his saints to judge the world after the wrath of God.
This is an easy point of common ground here. After the Great tribulation, prior to the wrath poured out upon the earth, we, Christians will be preserved and caught up to forever be with Christ. In Rev 19, we see that it’s not all about playing harps in the clouds. We go to war alongside Christ. At the battle of Armageddon, we follow behind Christ dressed in our white robes, upon white horses. This image was first created back in Rev 7:9-10 where we see the vast crowd of many nations appearing in heaven following the great tribulation given white robes. This is that same group now. We are all now together following Christ into battle to defeat Satan and his servants. Simply put, there is nothing but agreement. This is unmistakable Biblical truth.
- The dead in Christ shall rise first… The wicked shall rise to be judged secondly.
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with the voice of an Archangel, and the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thess. 4:16-17
Finally, the classic, undisputed featherweight champion of the rapture passage! Here we go…
I’m going to be as brief as I can here and let you figure it out for yourself. “The dead in Christ shall rise first.”
Let me ask you this: What is a resurrection?
Answer: “A daily double”. Just kidding. It’s not a trick question. It’s when someone is dead… and comes to life.
As we established, many people will try to say that the rapture is before the Great Tribulation, and that there is a “tier” of Christians that will emerge during the tribulation (incorrectly deemed as God’s wrath), known as “tribulation saints”. It’s a very interesting thought, seeings there is supposed to be one bride of Christ, not two. But that’s just a side point to the real point I’m building up to. At this point there is very little room to navigate around the proper definitions of terms and conditions I have presented regarding the order of end times events. But I’d like to hammer the nails into the coffin here and really show you what the Bible truly has to say on the matter. Revelation 20 picks up after the finality of God’s wrath poured out and is about to commence the millennial reign of Christ here on earth. Chapter 20 sets the stage, and I’d like to show you how it is set up, and the language that is being used.
“Then I saw Thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for 1000 years. This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the 1000 years had ended.) blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him 1000 years.” Rev 20:4-6
Did you catch it? I made it easy by bolding it. Remember the question I asked before reading this passage. “What is a resurrection?” That’s right. We all know based on the passage in 1 Thess. 4, the undisputed passage regarding the rapture, that the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we shall be caught up with them. But wait, if the rapture happens before the Great tribulation, then these tribulation saints being resurrected would actually be the second resurrection.
We, as in, ALL Christians, are part of the first resurrection because we all will endure the Great Tribulation or be resurrected in Christ after it, being either dead before it or during it. The first resurrection is those who are in Christ, who gave us his life. We take part in Christ’s resurrection as the first resurrection of the dead. Once again, I’ll bring you back to the turkey season analogy. Why would this resurrection of those who were around during the Great Tribulation be called the first resurrection if there was a resurrection/rapture of the church prior to this? That makes no sense. THIS is the first resurrection. It is called the first because IT IS THE FIRST. The title reflects the meaning. Period. Blessed are those who take part in the first resurrection.
Another Question: Do you think we are less blessed, having been raptured prior to all this, being redeemed by Christ? NO! We are blessed if we know Christ because we will not be part of the second resurrection unto judgement mentioned in Rev. 20:11-15. THAT is why we are blessed. We will take no part in the second death and reign with Christ for 1000 years. Praise God for that!
What I have done here is merely give you a taste of what scripture has said regarding all these things. I have shown you where contradictions blossom if we try to twist scripture another way. I have shown you how this understanding of end times prophesy alone juggles all the various themes and promises of God while maintaining the proper, Biblical definitions of terms. If you allowed your heart to soften enough and be teachable, continue now in that state of mind and be a student of the Word. Read it. Read Revelation from start to finish. Read the supporting parallel passages found in other books of the Bible. Line up the passages. Ask questions. Do it for yourself. Let it be YOUR faith, YOUR confidence in Christ’s promises, YOUR walk with the Lord. Not someone else’s. This journal is not the end. It’s a means to begin study. For some, it may mean begin study again, if in the past you were guided by someone wishing only to share what some other man wanted the Bible to say. I pray that this was beneficial to those who came eager to learn, not eager to criticize. Read the Terms and Conditions of our faith, and what we can expect to come. Blessed are those who do.