Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Birth Pangs and Great Tribulation

In the books of Daniel and Revelation I see two periods of time that mark the end of the age: the Birth Pangs and the Great Tribulation. Birth Pangs come first and do involve tribulation, including the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but not the worst of it. The Rapture occurs at the end of the Birth Pangs and the beginning of the Great Tribulation, which is the three and a half year period of the beast kingdom (New World Order) and when the wrath of God is poured out on earth. But as 1 Thessalonians says, we are not appointed to wrath.

We are in the Birth Pangs right now, as people in the Middle East already know and America is about to find out.

Here's a little secret the Lord showed me to better understand Revelation: Revelation is not a single account of the end times, but several accounts from different perspectives.

Revelation 6 through 11 is one chronological perspective:

* Chapter 6 is Birth Pangs. I believe the first five seals are already broken, the Four Horsemen are riding, and the Rapture happens after the sixth seal. Notice the signs in the heavens after the sixth seal and the response of those "left behind."
* Chapter 7 is the marking of the 144,000 and the scene in heaven of the multitudes praising God. These are the saints who were raised from the dead and/or raptured.
* Chapter 8 - the Great Tribulation begins after the seventh seal and continues through chapter 11

Revelation 12 and 13 are another perspective:

* Chapter 12 covers a broad swath of history including the Birth Pangs. The Rapture happens after Satan is thrown down from heaven: The woman is given two wings of a great eagle to fly away. 
* Chapter 13 describes the beast kingdom during the Great Tribulation

Revelation 14 through 16 are another perspective:

* Chapter 14:1-5 - The 144,000 standing with the lamb on Mount Zion. This may be a flash forward to the end of the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord.
* Chapter 14:6-20 - The harvest of salvation by Jesus and harvest of wrath by angels.
* Chapter 15 and 16 - Bowls of wrath

Revelation 17 through 20 is yet another chronological perspective:

* Chapter 17 and 18 - Judgment and destruction of Mystery Babylon (ahemm, America). Jonathan Kleck was inspired to name his radio show "This Is It... Before the Fire," because the Rapture will happen before a destruction by fire.
* Chapter 19 - Multitude in heaven and preparation of the Bride, followed by the Day of the Lord with the Bride in the ranks of the heavenly host.
* Chapter 20 - 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth from Jerusalem
* Chapter 21 and 22 - Final judgment. God creates a new heaven and new earth. The Bride, the wife of the Lamb, is the new Jerusalem. The tabernacle of God is among men.

By the way, I think Matthew 24 is also divided between Birth Pangs (verses 1-14) and Great Tribulation (verses 15-28).

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