In this article again we need to appeal to God’s understanding (His Truths) and not our own. Does that mean that we can’t have proper understanding? — no, but it does mean that the understanding that we rely on must be God’s and not our own. Truth must come to us from the Holy Spirit through the word of God. Today we are being told that there is more than one Gospel, we’ll touch on that in this article. In a future article I will explore that teaching in depth.
So let’s examine believers in the “great tribulation” revealed in Revelation, chapter 7. Where John is beholding “a great multitude” (v. 9) of white robed people praising God around His throne and before the Lamb, and he is told: “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (v. 14). These believers have endured “the great tribulation” and have now come out of it, praising God and the Lamb. Here “great tribulation” refers to what happens upon the whole earth (see the opening words of Rev. 7) and the protection of believers, rather than their escape, during this time. Chapter 7 earlier describes the sealing of 144,000 “servants of our God” (vv. 3-4) before “the great tribulation” begins. These are all believers in Jesus the lamb of God. In chapter 12 of Revelation we see the offspring of the woman these are persecuted by Satan, these are believers who keep the commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. In vs 11 of this same chapter these believers overcame him Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. What did Jesus call for us to do in the message to the 7 churches — to Him who overcomes. Believers are overcomers. Is there persecution and death of believers during Tribulation? — absolutely, but for the believer this is all at the hand of Satan. Being persecuted for Christ is the lot of the believer.
Yet, often we see a statement like this one that follows here associated with the Study of Revelation. Listen:
“The bible study group I am a part of just studied the wrath of God poured out upon the earth in Revelation. It is so sad. No one need experience this wrath for God already poured it out on His Son, Jesus Christ. Yet, so many refuse His love gift and will receive God’s wrath upon themselves.”
Part of this statement is true — no one need experience God’s wrath, but is it as implied the Tribulation that is that wrath? So right away we must ask— is it only possible to escape God’s wrath through Rapture? Must we be alive at this time to escape the wrath depicted during the Tribulation in the Revelation in order to hold to the promise to escape God’s Wrath? Or was God’s wrath misrepresented in this study as being only for the Tribulation recorded in the Revelation?
This statement we viewed can be understood as pre-Tribulational. This is the teaching stating that the Tribulation is the time of God’s wrath that will be poured out on those men and women for whom wrath is intended by God.
Why is wrath intended against man in the first place? — a just God, because He is just, put out his notice to mankind that disobedience would be paid for at a high cost. Adam was told that the day he sinned he would surely die. His death followed his disobedience of God and was immediate spiritual death, and physically he did die within the same one of God’s 1000 year days. This death if not provided for by God meant eternal separation from God. The sin of Adam also introduced the first recorded physical death in creation as God Himself provided an animal skin for Adam and Eve’s covering. Adams only hope was that somehow God would provide for his future reconciliation and resurrection.
Fast forward 4000 years and Jesus paid the price that God required for all sin for every man who ever lived. From the time of Adam forward every man owed his own price to God for his own sins. In Old Testament Times man’s faith was in God to provide this reconciliation for that sin. Abraham by faith knew that: “God will provide the Lamb”. Roughly 2000 years later the Lamb of God came on the scene.
Jesus willingly paid that price, which was required by God from every person. Believers in Jesus accept that payment and therefore will not experience God’s wrath.
This was the promise, and it will always be true. — any man who accepts Jesus sacrifice on his/her behalf will not experience God’s wrath ever; period — it is finished.
On the other hand anyone who refuses this payment will experience this wrath, and thus they will make their own payment for their sins. This involves an eternal separation from God. This wrath is not the Great Tribulation, as pre-Trib scholars teach.
Scripture — God’s understanding tells us that we who are believers will escape this wrath, because Jesus took our place. In fact Scripture tells us that Jesus is the only way of escape from this promised wrath which originates from God not Satan.
So the above teaching which took place there in that bible study on the Revelation was mainly pre-Trib thinking, and it tells us that the Tribulation must be escaped by the church (by believers in Christ Jesus) in order for this promise from God to be kept. Therefore we have the pre-Trib rapture theory. But this teaching is illogical if there is any possibility of salvation occurring for anyone during the Tribulation. Why?
Basically they say that there are two things that cannot occupy the same space (which is in this case earth) at the same time of this wrath. So, God’s wrath and God’s people (the church) shall never meet because of the promise. This in fact is true, but if either (1.) The Tribulation actually is the time of God’s wrath, and (2.) There is any possibility for salvation to occur during the Tribulation; then their understanding of this is wrong. Why? — because men who are believers in Christ are present for the time of the Tribulation.
So according to God’s promise to us in Scripture, either Jesus will not save anyone during Tribulation if Tribulation is synonymous with God’s wrath — meaning then to the pre-Trib camp that there must be another avenue of salvation during this time — or else Tribulation is not the time of God’s wrath that we are promised to escape. But they state that it is. Thus, this is the dilemma for them. Remember based on God’s word, both cannot occupy the same place in time. That time is the Tribulation according to a pre-Trib Rapture scenario, otherwise there is no need to remove the Church (the believers in Christ) in the first place.
There is a second teaching, which then says that this understanding cannot be God’s meaning, because there are still believers in Jesus on earth during The Tribulation, and they also are partakers of the same Scriptural promise made to those in Jesus if they are saved; therefore the Tribulation cannot be the time of God’s wrath that in Christ we are promised to escape.
You need to be aware that there is a different Greek word which is also interpreted wrath in the English scriptures. This word for wrath is not the original word for the Wrath that we will escape. We will escape Orge Wrath. This Wrath comes with final destruction of evil, but there cannot be final destruction in any way touching believers. Believers are not present in the final destruction. This wrath that believers will escape is hell and the lake of fire itself. No believer will be present in Hell.
One other thing that you should know is that there are some, who believe that the church and God’s wrath can reside side by side with God’s protection of the believer. Moses stood by while God opened up the earth and swallowed his enemies. Obviously this fact must be true no matter when the outpouring of God’s wrath occurs. Jesus alone is our protection from that wrath when it comes. Our names must be in the book of life.
But the pre-Trib believer says: “The church is missing from the Revelation following chapter 3, and there is a different gospel taught during the Tribulation — the Tribulation gospel is the gospel of the kingdom, not the gospel of grace.” This somehow to them seems to alleviate their problem. But there is salvation in none other than Jesus. And Jesus is the only means of escape from God’s wrath which is Hell.
This two gospel message then creates other problems. If there are two gospels then there are somehow two ways to obtain salvation from Hell, but not from God’s wrath. Are these two ways taught in scripture? Some say yes. Israel they say was offered this kingdom gospel by Jesus Himself when He was here on earth. No one apparently accepted it, thus Jesus had to die. Was there this gospel offered that would not require Jesus death? Of course, this means that had this kingdom gospel been accepted then Jesus would not have died, and we must assume that salvation would have taken a different form. But without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. This fact was well known and established already in the Old Testament.
Therefore it appears that the conclusion drawn by this Study Material mentioned above was the popular “left behind” conclusion concerning Great Tribulation because it the Tribulation is associated with the wrath that we have escaped. That teaching makes our blessed hope the escape from the Great Tribulation in the Rapture rather than our resurrection to eternal life and our escape from hell and the lake of fire, which is sure to come for all who’s names are not in the book of life.
So what is Scriptural concerning the above scenario?
—Is the teaching that Jesus is the only way of Salvation true?
—Is the teaching of two ways of salvation through two gospels true?
—is the teaching that Jesus is the only way of salvation except during the Tribulation true?
—is the belief true that the Tribulation is the wrath of God that we are promised to escape instead of hell being that wrath?
—can Israel and others be saved during Tribulation by the gospel of the kingdom somehow without Jesus sacrifice for sin, which contains the promise to escape Orge wrath? What is that kingdom gospel? How does it work?
These are all questions that must be dealt with if your doctrine is to be God’s and not your own. I make every attempt do this in the Book, AND THEN THE END SHALL COME. And on this website thru my posts.
In the future we will explore the teaching on the two gospels.