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Part V, The Lord vs. Satan: SupCtHeaven;

aka, the Trial of Human History.. aka, Did God err?

God's Script: "Later"

What about the Tribulation?
SIDETRIP: Separating the Prophecy 'Sheep', from the Goats...

Folks in the Tribulation will have a very rough time separating prophecy accurately, even as we do now. In large measure, we will be the cause of that problem, for we stupid Christians never do our homework. So there will be a lot of inept 'expert' material in the world, which takes time to cull through. So put yourself in that future, undateable generation's place, as you go through this section, so you can see what a mess they will be getting due to our failure to do our homework!

As we saw in great detail from Part IV, it's critical to understand that Rapture ends Church, and Tribulation is kicked off due to Rapture based on VOTING, which is the reason why the actual Tribulation's beginning cannot be dated. If you're trying to date the Rapture, if you're engrossed by all those prophecy programs which talk about historical events as if to say the Rapture could come now, stop. You are killing your spiritual life. Of course the Rapture can come now. Now means ANYTIME. 1000 years ago, 10000 years from now, same trends, who-knows-when. But it's Christian growth to Pleroma, which causes or delays the Rapture, not -- repeat not -- historical trends.

    Part IV covered this in excruciating detail, explaining that Christians ask the wrong questions, so miss God's right answers. So Use 1Jn1:9, ask Father in Son's name to prove that fact TO you, either via Scripture reading (best idea), or by reading adjunctive stuff like webpages. In case He wants you to use these webpages, well.. that's one collateral reason they are here. I needed them because I learn best by writing out what I learn via my pastor; maybe you learn better if you read something non-authoritative. That's between God and you -- but don't miss out on the opportunity to grow spiritually. You don't know when the Rapture will occur, and if you live your life trying to date it, rather than learning Christ via Scripture.. you will regret it.

Because, in Part IV we saw that "tribulation" actually comes in two flavors: our NOW, and the official Tribulation, which begins at the Rapture. This Sidetrip is dedicated to certain additional specifics, not listed in the other pages, so you can do your own Bible tracing. These specifics were chosen because people talk about them a lot, not because they are the most important specifics. The most important specific, is tachú, suddenly, don't wait, make haste to learn Christ. But, people don't do that. But, they look at historical events and such. Ok, then let's play on that turf, even though it's the wrong turf.

    People roughly divide over the Rapture as follows:
    1. There isn't one, it's a fantasy of titillated believers who want a rapture. There's no real Tribulation, either. Instead, believers are resurrected at the 2nd Advent, and it's not a disappearance. This tends to be a preterist view (although I'm not sure all preterists disbelieve in the Rapture).
    2. Amillenialism. There's no real Millenium, it's an allegory. Hence no Rapture or Trib, either. This tends to be the Catholic view, and (if I remember correctly) the view of related faiths like Lutheranism, Episcopalian, etc.
    3. Church is in Trib, either half-the-time (mid-Tribbers), or the whole time.
    The Amillenial and preterist views didn't get a whole lot of coverage and rebutting in Part IV, which instead focused on why the Rapture can ONLY be pre-Trib, and that there really is a separate Tribulation. So the mid-Trib view, which is largely based on a judgement call about the meaning of the "last trump" in 1Thess4 and the 144,000 evangelists in Rev7, was rebutted -- but not on those two points. So the rest of this Sidetrip will cover these and other related issues not elsewhere discussed.

Frankly, if you believe in Trib but dispute that Rapture is pre-Trib, PartIVa-c and the SideTrips of PartV will be important to you. But a shorter and maybe better proof for you is in SurpConc.htm's "Angelic Trial" link, #1 of the "Re Satan's Plan" section of that page. SurpConc.htm aims to summarize the much longer pages, so you can decide where to spend your reading time (if any). It brings in the TRIAL reasons why the Rapture must be Pre-Trib. Tribbers have no clue about the LEGAL basis for the Trib itself, so can't sort how where the Rapture fits in. Others, of course, react to all the goofiness of Christians who typically believe in the Rapture. Well, the Bible is not goofy. The Legal Reason for the Rapture kicking off the Trib is quite complex. So, the longer pages in Part IV go into much more detail as to why this is true, of course. They address the WHY of Rapture being pre-Trib, compared to the lesser stuff which follows. In accounting anything, in auditing anything, in proofing anything, the WHY is the most important. You can't get a conviction of a criminal without proving INTENT. So, too, you can't prove on 'circumstantial evidence' of scattered verses, their import, until you can prove GOD'S intent.

Frankly, If you don't believe in Trib or Millenium, then you'll also want to look at SurpConc.htm's "Angelic Trial" link, #1 of the "Re Satan's Plan" section of that page. Longer proof for you will be in Mirroring.htm's "David" and "To Be Or Not to Be" links. Thus you see the MATH PROOF that both Trib and Mill are literal periods, for God orchestrated time itself around them, and especially used the same periods to craft when Messiah would be born and die. So the Trib and Mill are "reimbursements" to Christ. It's a Justice Accounting God uses in His Design of Time itself. GeneYrs.xls is a provable-from-Bible companion timeline worksheet from Adam through 2006 so you can see just how literal is God's usage of 490-year and 1000-year time grants from Adam through 2006. It's how He orchestrates time: these grants form deadlines by which certain individuals must be spiritually developed, by which certain rollouts of Bible must be accomplished, etc. Kinda like a calendar. It will surprise you, how accurately the whole of history thus far, has been met; will help you see there is a very literal time plan, so it's not possible that Trib and Millenium are allegorical, etc. Part IVa will be of interest to you also, for that reason. The other SideTrips won't be as profitable, since if you don't believe in the Trib or Millenium, you won't read Revelation as but an allegory, so need other Scripture to alert you differently.

Finally, a personal note: I myself didn't like the doctrine about the Tribulation for a very long time. So I'm not selling it to you, exactly. I got horribly spanked by God for not paying attention in Bible class on the topic, even though I was properly taught and even though I took lots of notes and even though I correctly believed the Doctrine. So how much more spanking, will someone not blessed with all that exposure, get? I wouldn't want any of my brethren in Christ to get that spanking. End commercial message.

Sheep: Literal use of Rev1-4:1, else paradigmal use (esp. Chap6, 12-13, 17).

"Literal" use doesn't mean, for example, that you go looking for a church in Smyrna because that's a church name in Bible. Literal means take the circumstance presented and treat it as real NOW. Paradigmal means take what's depicted metaphorically and find a match in what's now, not expecting that the circumstance displayed, is in the full format depicted. If you were in the Tribulation, for example, you'd have to treat Rev7ff literally: which won't be hard, since there really will BE the kinds of folks described, then. Since we are NOT in the Tribulation, we don't look at the Wailing Wall for the Two Witnesses, since we are not in the Trib so they will not be there.

It's really important to trace Bible in order to distinguish between the PARADIGM of Tribulation which Revelation represents to elaborate on Daniel 9:26c, versus the ACTUAL Tribulation, where you use Revelation to tie to Daniel 9:27. And, of course, to tie all the other OT prophecies about specific events. All misinterpretation is first due to not diagnosing God's PURPOSE (Precedence, Part IVa); secondly, due to not distinguishing prophetical ties based on BIBLE'S OWN TERMS. We imbue Bible with our own meanings, so fail to first trace out what it defines as its OWN meanings. Big mistake.

NOTE: no OT prophecy references Church nor anything happening in Church, so you can know that what Rev ties to the OT, is for the actual Tribulation, NOT Church. For CHURCH was a "mystery", as Part IVa explained in some detail. It was a mystery, Because it might not have ever come to exist. So, then: OT Trib prophecy all lumps together, "the times of the Gentiles" within itself.

Revelation, by contrast, SEPARATES what is Church and what is NOT, by its own structure and language. There are distinct terms used which are NT terms, and others which are strictly OT terms. Just like the Gospels, you have an overlap of covenantal periods. Hence the Lord's use of the term, "times of the Gentiles" (plural, not singular) in Luke 21:24. So use Revelation to fit together the references which belong to their OWN "time", carefully. It's painstaking to do this, but not intellectually difficult.

Sheep: Common vs. specialized use of Bible's terms for "tribulation".

Like so many other keywords in Scripture, "tribulation" (thlipsis, in Greek) has more than one meaning. This is true in any language: to NOT distinguish the layers of meaning means laziness, and misinterpretation will result. Bible has many ways of making distinctions. For example, in Greek, the distinction between a common meaning and a special one is often accomplished by the ABSENCE of the article ("the"), a sort of bold fontface, stressing the word's quality (bad or good). Also, sometimes a monadic use of the article is employed, to stress uniqueness (example in 2Cor13:14). [People go dotty with Scripture; their common sense flees. So whenever they read some word like "salvation" or "tribulation" or "baptism", they assign it an irrationally-narrow meaning. Rightly-dividing the Word of Truth requires a pastor-teacher's gift of true preparedness in the Word, which requires he constantly use the Holy Spirit's Power. No human can rightly-divide the Word of Truth on his own. God is the God of Authority, and it takes a dedicated lifetime to pass on the Word to a congregation. For example, Matt 23:35's "Abel..Zechariah" is a term referencing the whole of the Hebrew Canon. What believer in a million would know that, upon reading it? So, then: we, too, need a good pastor and the Holy Spirit's Power; so, we gotta use 1Jn1:9 and keep plugging!]

Moreover, Scripture also distinguishes the official Tribulation from the generic or Church kind by using other names for the same period. You know that these other names designate only the official Tribulation, because the activities connected with these other names are the ones in official Tribulation passages. Some of these synonyms for the official Tribulation are: "time of Jacob's trouble" (e.g., Jer30:7, ref'd in Rev12); Psalm 2:5's "vex" (KJV; Hebrew root is bahal, piel stem -- English versions use words like "terrify"); "the devil's desperation" (maybe a "bahal" verse -- I'll find it later), "GREAT Tribulation" (e.g., Matt24:21). See? Just like "salvation" is used in the sense of deliverance while still on earth, so also "tribulation" has a common meaning, but also a specialized meaning -- and context plus keywords tell you which is which.

Sheep: Near vs. far fulfillment timings of prophecy, per Bible's divisions
-- and especially, how they FIT together.

As explained in detail in PartIVa, almost every prophecy in the Bible is deliberately dual in nature: it depicts what's called a "near-fulfillment", and a "far-fulfillment". God is always using puns, double-entendres, multilevel meanings, in His Words. (Unfortunately, the English translations never convey this extremely important fact.) So for prophecies to likewise have the multi-story structure, is fitting. Thus it was, for example, in Isaiah 7. The "far fulfillment" was the Virgin Birth, a warning signal to Israel that its time was ending -- but also (see the double-entendre) that its deliverance from sin had come. See Rev 12's double-entendre pregnancy.

    So it is with the official Tribulation. The 70AD destruction of the Temple, for example, was foretold by Christ. He clearly depicted it as a pattern for two realities: the 70AD destruction, and the upcoming Tribulation which His hearers already knew from OT prophecies. It WAS true that with the destruction of the Temple, "tribulation" would come to Israel. However, there are TWO meanings of "tribulation", for Israel had rejected its King, and the Church was "grafted in". All Israel knew of that duality, as covered in Part IVa, and IVc (brown font), was the 40-year warning period it knew as the "times of the Gentiles" (see Luke 21:24 and Rom11:25).

      This is a very big topic in the OT. Easy English passages on this topic: Deut32:21, 32:43; Ps57:9, 72:11, 96:7, 108:3, Isa28:10, Isa52:5, Rom9:25, 10:19, 11:11-17, and esp. Rom11:25; Paul spends most of Chaps11-15 explaining this doctrine; also Gal3, Col1:16-27. 2Sam22:44, Ps18:43, Isa11:10, 12:4, 42:1,4,6, 49:1,6,22, 51:5, 52:10, 54:1, 55:4, 56:3, 60:3-5, 66:19, Eze22:4, Hos8:8, Malachi 1:11, acts 15:14, 26:23, Rom3:29-30 explain WHY this is true (prophecy of Messiah and of Israel's apostacy and eventual regathering), but English isn't so clear.

      What Israel had not known was the "mystery of Christ", the Church. What those who ended up being the first generation of "Church" still did not know was how long the "times of the Gentiles" would last. It could have lasted only as long as the 40-year exit warning to Israel, if a sufficient number of Gentiles believed in Christ. But the 40 years ended up lasting a lot longer, because the numbers-composition needed to complete the Body didn't then complete. Even, until NOW.

That's probably one reason why John, in 96AD, had to write Revelation, to let folks understand why the 70AD destruction of the Temple did NOT result in a Second Advent. There'd have been no need for Revelation, had the 70AD destruction been the real "end", for Christ's 2nd Advent would then have come in 77AD. But not enough Church had reached Pleroma to justify that. So, nearly a generation later, by 96AD, when the written Canon to-date had almost finished circulating, and the last of the surviving apostles was exiled (and quite old), it was important to explain more about how the "end" worked, so to motivate folks.

    Moreover, as mentioned in the brown font of Part III's subsection on heraldry, according to historians, a scant 2 years after Rev was penned (maybe after John died, I don't know) Caesar made a major change in the role, eligibility requirements, and awards for the Equites. So, John wrote using a lot of Equites-style lingo: in advance, so that when Revelation would be distributed, that epistle would be very au courante for the reader.

    So, just as Israel was to suffer "tribulation" beginning NOW, so also the Church is in "tribulation" now. 1Jn references that, as does Paul, and sometimes Hebrews. NT keywords are "tribulation", "end times", "last days", "antichrists..in the world", or "..now", for example. There is no way to mistake that "tribulation" is a characteristic of our "Age of the Ages". That term is a lexeme, used by Paul, so it means our NOW is both Unique, and the greatest period of fallen man's history. So to say it has "tribulation" in it, is likewise fitting. Christ had "tribulation" during His First Advent. Should not the Bride share in the "fellowship of His Sufferings"? Of course we should. "To whom much is given, much is expected." And Satan needs a level playing field. He gets it.

    Certainly what John wrote was unknown, prior, for there are no references to Revelation in any other NT epistles -- but rather, Revelation references the OT prophecies, and elaborates on them. Finally, the only NT "Rapture" keywords John uses are the famous interjections, "I come suddenly! (English tamely uses "quickly", "soon"), and "..like a thief". So John ties NO event in the Revelation narrative to the Rapture. Instead, Chapters 1-3 are current warnings to CHURCHES. Chapter 4 begins, "AFTER THESE THINGS" -- a clear demarcation. Furthermore, "church" is mentioned nowhere after Chapter 3, and "mystery" usages are instead like the OT's: no "mystery of Christ" is mentioned anywhere. Thus folks then getting Revelation could resolve their long-standing confusion over the order of the last things. Thus folks could become alert to their critical role, in "NOW".

That Christ would have TWO Advents is another example of dual prophecy. First, as Isaiah and David predicted, He would come to pay for sins; second, as David, Daniel, Isaiah (etc.) predicted, He'd come as King. Apostate Israel rejected the idea of the first Advent, long before Christ even came the first time. You can see this fact from Pharisees' reactions in the Gospels, for example. So, Israel stopped recognizing its own well-established rule that Bible prophecies are generally dual in nature -- due to their apostacy.

    We know it's due to their apostacy, because every Jew who is "taught Talmud" understands that every Hebrew word in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) is chock-full of multilevel meanings. That's why, when you ask a schooled Jew about the meaning of a passage, he always replies that the answer is too complex, and can't be simplified. He's right, too. Rabbis discuss every detail, and do so in Hebraic (multi-meaning, poetical) style. So, that's why the Talmud is so hard to read, and takes a lifetime of study to master. So, despite all this training in the fact that the OT is so multilevel, right down to its every holy Word -- they selectively tune out TWO Advents.

    Further, we know it's apostacy, because the positive Jews in the Gospels understood there would be two Advents. Christ takes that knowledge for granted in almost every statement He makes. Moreover, when He talks about coming BACK, no one says, "What do you mean by that?" 'Because, they already knew what He was talking about. Rather, the big conundrum for his hearers, as (later on) with the Thessalonians, was how to tell the signs of WHEN. So, obviously, since people only ask about what they DON'T know, which tells you what they DO know -- they all knew.

    As Part IVa explained in more detail, true Judaism has always been what we could define as "Trinitarian". So, in the Gospels the Lord takes for granted they understood Trinity, for when He uses "Father", or "Spirit" no one misunderstands WHO is meant. Rather, the Pharisees and Saducees wanted to put Him to death for saying such things, because THEY KNEW that the Lord was claiming to BE the Son. So it wasn't a rejection of there BEING a Son, but rather, a rejection of the One Claiming to BE Him.

    After all, "echad" has many meanings: "one", "united", "first", etc. "Echad" is used in Genesis, for example, to depict sexual union, "and the two shall become one flesh" -- union, united, rapport. Even today, Jews use "echad" to say "United" for the "United Nations" organization. So, we know that the touted "echad" meaning we ONLY hear as "one" is likewise an apostate translation. Of course, Satan needs the Jews to be apostate, lest they turn to their Messiah, so Christ can return.

    We Christians should take deep warning from his tactics with Israel, for he uses the same tactics on us. Finally, Judaism is by no means monolithic. The Pharasaical branch is the loudest, that's all. Remember: Satan bangs the drum on what he most wants you to buy, so to drown out truth. God, by contrast, uses the "still, small Voice."

So, maybe the Jewish apostate tradition explains why some Christians don't see that Bible prophecies usually have double-fulfillments; why they thus tend to dismiss the official Tribulation. Or, why they incorrectly date it. Thus you have preterist interpretations; thus you have mid-Trib and post-Trib "Rapture" datings. Secondly, these folks don't understand that in the NT "we" and "mystery" are NT keywords for only the Church; that "mystery of God" (not used in the NT anywhere before Revelation) is an OT fulfillment of an OT promise in Amos: for, the official Tribulation was never a mystery, to Israel.

Sheep: Isagogics of Church monikers and Bible-Defined Roles,
i.e., using Church to RESCUE Israel

Remember how, we saw from Part II and IV that Satan had managed to get Israel to reject their Messiah? How, the Church was not prophesied to Israel since Israel had had the option to accept Him, and they might have done so? Thus, to protect their freedom (they would have been jealous of us, Paul writes in Rom11:11), the Church was a "mystery" to them. The Greek word "musterion" means "secret knowledge", really -- knowledge only known to those in the fraternity, and kept "secret" from those outside it. For example, there were the Elysian "mysteries", doctrines/practices only known to those in that sect. Likewise, today, in the Masonic and like orders, there are "mysteries" known only to those in the group. We, the Church, have our own "mystery" doctrines. (God uses also the word "musterion" to poke fun at gnosticism, but that's another meaning level not here germane to discuss.) So, when a passage like 1Cor15:51 uses the word "mystery", it can't mean anything connected with the official Tribulation, because the Church was unknown to Israel, and the official Tribulation belongs to the covenantal period of Israel.(Remember, the Church was "grafted in", so NOT a part of Israel's "tree".) Hence, only a PRE-Trib Rapture is true.

Secondly, remember the verse about how we are Ambassadors for Christ? That designation is used of no one else, and is never used of Israel. Similarly, no one else is called Bride. Similarly, no one else is called "in Christ". Similarly, no one else is called Church. These and other titles for "us" (another technical term for Church, in the NT) will help you navigate the boundary lines in the prophetical statements.

    The Ambassadorship title is very important. When I was studying to become a diplomat (which I never finished, in favor of going into business), I learned two key things about Ambassadorship which are relevant here. First, if an Ambassador has behaved badly in his host country, his HOME country recalls him -- it's the most shameful way a bad Ambassador can be censured. This was pretty much always true in history.

    The other meaning of diplomatic recall was more ominous: it was a tantamount to a declaration of war against the host country. See, in diplomacy one engages in very soft maneuvers, so to keep communication going. One is always using diplomatic phrases, and seemingly-innocuous statements, so that the masses in the two countries don't get excited; so that if there is a glitch in the two countries' relationship, it can be resolved without drastic rhetoric. 'Just as in a marriage (ideally). So, to recall an Ambassador, on the surface, looks harmless. But to those 'in the know', it means that the home country is on the brink of declaring war. Thus, the host country has a strong warning to repair the relationship's damage -- right away.

    The Rapture signifies BOTH recall-in-shame and recall-warning, to the world. Satan of course is always angling for the first, and is trying to time the second so it occurs at a point when God can't deliver on His promises. So, you thus see another reason why the Church is so very vital to history (made so by the Father, as a gift to commemorate the Son's Victory). So, you thus see another reason why the Church is NOT in the official Tribulation.

The "Age" of the Church is the GREATER tribulation to be in, because all future history hinges on it.

  • Just as the people Israel was justified to continue despite apostacy, SOLELY due to blessing-by-association from Abraham/Isaac/Jacob;
  • just as the nation Israel was justified to continue despite apostacy, SOLELY due to blessing-by-association from Moses/Caleb/Joshua;
  • just as all future history is justified to continue despite apostacy, SOLELY due to blessing-by-association from the Lord's Victory;
  • so also the Tribulation through Millennium is justified, SOLELY due to blessing-by-association from the Church.

That is why Ephesians 1:15-23, Col1:16-18ff., Hebrews 2, 9:16ff, 10:12-14, 11:39-40 (among other cites) all tie "Footstool" (an OT synonym for the "new covenant" period, which we call "the Millennium") to the Body of Christ. We are an extension of Him in the world: that's why we are Indwelt by the Trinity; that's why 1Jn4:17 says what it does. That is why Hebrews 1 stresses how in the latter days, everything comes through the Son. We are "one" with Him, just as He requested in John 17. So, the FUTURE blessing by association with the Son comes THROUGH us. That is how God the Father delivers it.

    As Romans 9-11 explains, all blessing was to come through Israel, but they rejected their Messiah. So, the Church is "grafted in", to be the blessing vehicle. The grafting analogy in horticulture has TWO effects, not just one: a) the grafted in portion, is saved, and b) it's grafted in, to SAVE the tree, improve its health, make it more resistant to disease, etc. Thus Israel has a chance to again accept its Messiah, and regain its promised "Footstool" role as the Millennial vehicle for blessing: but no longer, alone. Still highest, on earth (as was promised), but no longer alone. Not good, that Israel should be alone. It gets a sibling. What a glory, to serve Israel in that way, then, to thank Israel for its suffering due to its blood association with the King of the Jews!

    According to the Ephesians passage above (and others like it), we "complete" Him. If He is not "complete", history is not complete. History could not thus continue. So WE have to become completed. Ergo Satan attacks us the most intensely, in our NOW, as Part IV explained. Ergo our spiritual life NOW is the most difficult, the most intense, the most subtle, the most easily-wrecked, of any spiritual life any time in fallen man's history.

    Remember, the official Tribulation is a time when there are no believers, initially, on the earth. How can God justify the continuance, then, of a saltless earth? Indeed, this question is what makes many well-intentioned Christians conclude the Rapture cannot precede the Tribulation. It's the Blessing By Association Due To The Church Age which justifies the continuance, even absent believers. [See? God uses "us" to help the "poor"..not merely NOW, but forever. Do ya think maybe God has a bigger plan for our lives, than cups of water in the Lord's (really, Satan's) name?]

So, because the blessing-by-association from the Church completes, the "official" Tribulation can occur, and can be a RETURN to the Age of Israel, Daniel's 70th week. The Church is God's answer to Satan; the Tribulation is Satan's answer to God. The Church proves that Christ's spiritual life is even executable by animalistic humans, so God did not create man faulty -- even after man became maximally faulty. So, God didn't even create angels faultily, for these fallen humans better executed a higher spiritual life than even the angels had. That's why the Church -- especially those few who execute 1Jn's Script all the way to Pleroma ("fullness of Christ") and co-rule with Christ -- shall be even higher than the angels.

    The official Tribulation, by contrast, is Satan's attempt to wipe out mankind. Why? He has no answer back to God -- but violence. It's his last trump. As always, God the Son plays into Satan's hands, for He "is not willing any should perish, but that all should have eternal life". All this time, the idea was (I'm guessing) -- would Satan&Co. repent? So, God removes the Church; so, Satan gets a world without God. Of course, by this time, the world doesn't want God, anyway. Satan thinks he's about to win, so he can prevent the 2nd Advent. (For this reason, I'm not sure whether Satan demands the Church's removal -- and God agrees, having finished anyway -- or whether the Rapture is solely on God's initiative.)

    In the Millennium, Israel will "complete" His Davidic bloodline. But the Millennium can't begin until the Tribulation completes. The Tribulation can't begin until the Church completes. BOTH FUTURES DEPEND UPON THE CHURCH AGE. So, Satan still has a level playing field. History is not gerrymandered in God's favor. Satan has the power to undo the future. God doesn't influence Satan, doesn't influence us, knows how it will turn out, and has let us all know -- so we can wake up. Or, still keep fighting Him.

    Satan keeps fighting Him. By the time of the Rapture, so will most of humanity be fighting Him. So the "Ambassador", the Bride, must be recalled. For the official Tribulation is a seven-year grace warning to precede God's war: "Footstool" (Millennium). It's partly designed to defeat all enemies: of Christ, of Israel. Hence its name. When all enemies are defeated (the last being "death", per 1Cor15:24-27,52-57), the unbelievers are judged and given their eternal sentence. Then eternity begins. [Note: The 1Cor passage, above ties in Footstool to the Rapture because our eternity begins AT the Rapture, because we'll be co-rulers during Footstool. Cf 1Cor 3 and 4 in this connection.]

So, since the Bride's Recall cannot be predicted, the official Tribulation cannot be happening NOW.

Sheep: Historical Events which are Tribulation-specific, Millenium-specific.

Nor is it happening now. Let's briefly review some historical conditions which must be met at the same time, to constitute the official Tribulation:

  1. The Jews must ALREADY be in dispersion, from which they are substantially "gathered". (Versus 70AD, which was a going-into dispersion.) The gathering begins BEFORE the 2nd Advent -- Satan wants this, so he can concentrate his efforts on killing all of the Jews. (One of the 9 cardinal principles of warfare is "concentration of force", and that principle in part depends on the enemy being concentrated in a "salient", another military term.) That's why, frankly, the push to gather Jews in Israel has been so marked since the Balfour Declaration: using us Church! during our invisible tribulation period. Satan loves to deride God, and loves using the Church to persecute God's Chosen People. See, since Satan doesn't know when the Body will be completed either, he's always rushing to gather the Jews so he can be in the best position to destroy them when the Church 'goes up', so to speak.

  2. The Tribulation is marked by WORLD-WIDE war, not merely in the Middle East -- because the Jews are still IN Dispersion. In other words, Satan never reaches his 'regathering' goal. See, the prophecy is that Christ will regather Israel, but AT the 2nd Advent. Satan thus 'fakes' that promise -- so he can get Israel in one easy-to-destroy location, again. (You can see his efforts historically, from the rise of Islam to promoting "Zionism" in the 20th century.) Satan's uses the official Tribulation to wipe out all Jews, so the 2nd Advent cannot occur. So, the regional 'war' preterists like to make out of the 70AD destruction of the Temple is totally misplaced.

      Hence what's happening here in 2005, is but a continuation of his attempt to concentrate on and hence wipe out, the Jews. But he also wants to wipe out the Arabs he's using to wipe out the Jews, and the 'Christian' US -- if he can manage it -- would be a nice tool to hurt both. Israel misinterpreted Daniel 9 (actually, doesn't even read it, however much each year it mouths it in Sabbath services); didn't listen to Matt24, so of course doesn't hear Rev11:1's measuring-line sarcasm. But that doesn't mean we the US shouldn't support Israel as she is. However, the difficulty of the conflict, the problem with the Arabs, our insane energy policy (why don't we go nuclear?) -- will all eventually contribute to a rise of anti-semitism in the US. It's already alarmingly higher than before 9/11. We die as a nation as soon as we go anti-semitic. The biggest reason to support Iraq is to protect Israel. Frankly, we shoulda gone into Iraq back during the 90's, when Saddam invaded Kuwait (that's also the position of the Wall Street Journal, as told by Paul Gigot to Charlie Rose, in a program just before the election ended). But, at least we got there now.

  3. The specific strategic circumstances of the official Tribulation are thus always attempted, but haven't yet occurred. Here are but two of many examples.

    The religious and political alliance between the King of the West and the Jewish king -- who will be a guy from the tribe of Dan -- has never occurred. The Jewish king is anti-semitic: why, is not revealed. [Daniel says this guy has no interest in women. This metaphor means he's not like 'normal' men, so the maybe the metaphor depicts extreme self-control and/or power lust -- I've got to do more homework on it. Warning: don't get involved into all the anti-Dan junk. That junk is an attempt to trick you into helping Satan wipe out Jews. God severely disciplines anti-semitism of any kind. I've seen Him punish such folks in my own families.] Israel, even when satanically 'regathered', even when reinstating the Temple, even when (at that time) very pro-Messiah, is very apostate. Satan has deflected whatever positive volition they have to Christ. How do we know? Look: Messiah is supposed to be from the tribe of Judah, David's line, not the tribe of Dan. Furthermore, it's the tribe of Dan which is omitted from the roster of the 144,000 (and maybe that's the only reason why Dan is missing, so this mistaken Messiah can be spotted). But they don't notice that, I guess.

    So I don't know if this Danite will pass himself off as being also from Judah. Maybe his bloodlines are mixed, and some of his ancestors were siblings of Christ's. Alternatively, since the Danite sets up an image of the Gentile King of the West in the Temple, maybe the Danite passes off the Gentile KOW as being from Judah. As you read the Holy Blood, Holy Grail books, you'll see a real-life scenario of how easily Satan can feign either type of obviously-false Messiah to a facile, credulous world. Even more likely, Satan will use, in the Trib, a claim akin to today's House-of-Stuart pretender, who claims that he is a progeny of Christ (look up "Sir James Gardiner" in dogpile: or, "Lawrence", if "James" doesn't work).

    See, the bloodline claim is a claim that supernatural powers accompany the 'sacred' blood of Christ. So, it's very easy to fool us who already reject Scripture in favor of ooooh-ahhh supernaturality, because we humans want God's goodies (faked or real), but not the Real God. 'Just as Romans 1-2 tearfully record: what should have been a search to know God was replaced by a prolonged lust to know, and even promote, an old and patently silly lie. (Come on, now: would Christ subject His Own Family to endless strife by having kids, especially since, as He told Pilate, "My Kingdom is not of this world"? What, did the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail SIT on their brains during the decades they spent researching and writing their books, continually straining at gnats but swallowing camels? Think, for crying out loud!)

      Preterists, please note: In 70 AD, Titus did not invade Jerusalem at the behest of a King of the Jews -- there was no such king then. The only one eligible, Christ, was executed, remember? Herod Agrippa II's Jewish blood was from the Hasmonean (priestly caste, not truly royal) side (aka Maccabees). So he wasn't of Judah (the Maccabees were usurpers and then the Herods usurped them via intermarriage). So the 70 AD destruction cannot be justifiably used to buttress a preterist interpretation.

    Moreover, the King of the West is both a political and a religious ruler of a European 10-nation confederacy headed by Rome. So it doesn't necessarily mean the Roman Catholic Church, but could be a brand-new religion in a brand-new political entity. It's the political entity which is stressed. Religion is but an adjunct, to drug the masses (Lenin's/Satan's "religion is the opiate of the people"). Granted, we see Satan attempting this goal via his development of the Holy Roman Empires, during the first 1500 years of post-Cross history, during which he attempted to make Roman Catholicism the 'world religion', but even it didn't fulfill the enumerated conditions here. Granted, the rise of ecumenism is indeed what Rev13&17 depict, as a trend of history -- but the "b)" side, the far fulfillment side of the prophecy as an actual event during the 7 years -- its characteristics have not yet been fulfilled.

      Satan's Geographical Strategy Key→ Satan doesn't need the entire world under his control. He instead needs to get nations near Israel under his control. Witness, historically, how Anti-Semitism has radiated outward, geographically, from the time Israel was founded, even through today. So, nations which are pro-Israel, contiguous or not, are among Satan's biggest targets. Given Israel's strategic position geographically, and the Diaspora, Satan's got a big job to do. He's been amazingly successful at it, as any study of world history proves. [Why doesn't he give up? Because his thirst for revenge against the Son is boundless.]

  4. Certain supernatural beings who publically communicate to mankind must have their own 'second advents' during the Trib. Here are two quick examples:

    As noted in Part IVc and elsewhere, I don't buy the argument that the Two Witnesses are sent down from heaven, resuscitated -- God is silent, and the last 'Elijah' was John. But many do think Moses and Elijah, or some other past pair of Biblical heroes, are referenced in Rev11. Ok, then: No Witnesses are broadcasting from a rebuilt Temple, spewing fire from their mouths or stopping the rain (1st half of Trib, Rev11, Dan9:27's SACRIFICES STOPPED); nor are there any angels flying in the sky each noon hour, warning us of God's Judgement "woes" (2nd half, Rev14). In fact, at present there's no Temple at all. The Islamic "Dome of the Rock" stands where the Temple should be (the "Rock" being the rock on which Isaac was sacrificed, which became the place where the ark had rested in the Holy of Holies).

    Do you see gorgeous 'aliens' in the millions swarming the earth, looking somewhat like the later Merovingians, and just as horny? Just as bloodthirsty? No? Well, then, I guess you're not in the official Tribulation, because that's when the Abyss demons and their cohorts are finally released from millenia of incarceration. And they are hungry.

  5. Tribulational tactical troop movements have not yet occurred. [You find these in Revelation, Daniel 7-11, Zech12,14, etc. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah also describe some aspects of these events. Someday I'll list the verses here, when I've had time to review my notes (thousands of pages). There are many very precise verses on these things, not just a few. My pastor did his doctorate on this topic, so I have full exegesis on tape. Sadly, English translators often fuzzily render military terms, (e.g., "hosts" instead of "armies", "sash" instead of "baldric"), so English versions mask the military idiom. NIV does try at times to bring out military idioms, but it's very uneven in its scholarship. So, I can empathize with those who find it hard to learn about the Trib military movements from English Bibles!]

    For example, the King of the North makes a pre-emptive attack to separate the King of the West from the Jewish antichrist (there are two antichrist rulers, Gentile -- KOW -- and Jewish). In this pre-emptive attack, the KON swoops down through the 'bridge' of Israel, possibly at the invitation of the Kings of the South (Arabs) -- but also to forestall a two-front war, by containing the KOS (Arabs are notorious for suddenly switching alliances). KON, en route, takes over the northern portion of Africa, as well as occupying Palestine.

    As a result, the Jewish leader calls on his ally, the King of the West, to intervene. A Mediterranean sea battle takes place. KON defeats the KOW's fleet; but the KON can't follow up his victory and chase KOW, due to bad news KON gets from his home. His supply lines are so strung out he must backtrack, rather than using the sea to go home. So, he ends up in Israel, which is a base of operations for him. By that time, KOW and KOE and KOS have assembled their land forces, and they meet in the valley of Esdraelon, for the biggest land battle in the history of the world. That battle includes the "siege of Jerusalem", due to its strategic location (which is why it's then a base of KON operations). So Satan causes the armies to 'need' that strategic base -- but really, to destroy the Jews. (The Emperor Napoleon remarked once, when he saw the Valley of Esdraelon, "all the armies of the world could fight here." See? 70 AD was not like this scenario, at all).

  6. Tribulation-predicted disasters have not yet happened. Granted, the historical trends always move toward or away from these events. The trumpet and goblet/vial judgments which wipe out at once so much land, water, people -- 1/3rd here, another 1/3rd there -- have not occurred.

      People mix up the Leviticus 26 and Deut 28 punishments with these judgments. True, they are of the same meaning: judgment for apostacy. For example, the sudden coupling of 9/11/01, PLUS the many fires and other disasters in the US, PLUS insanities like the closing whole airports because one man is running, plus Enron/ArthurAnderson/ Worldcom/pederast vulturic blamesmanship: all these act out, as if on cue, Lev26 and Deut28. We Americans are 'suddenly' soooo eager to blame just about anyone who comes along! Truly frightening, how our souls have shrunk. Read those OT chapters, and see for yourself how they are playing out, right NOW.

      But that is where the resemblance stops. John's Apocalypse is way too specific. The writing is Greek-drama style. In essence, the Son puts on a play for John, and asks him to write it all out. So, John describes things that will actually happen, using well-known metaphors. (Greek drama rules eschewed hypothetical plots. Like art, Drama was a deliberate propaganda tool, designed to teach Honor; so REAL events were always used in the depictions. Even Augustus caused the Aeneid to be written, for that purpose.) One mustn't brush away John's writing as merely paradigmal. Both patterns and specifics are intended. This, the writers understood. Do we?

  7. God's script for official Tribulation folks, as we saw in Part IV, is a reversion to a mini-Mosaic Law, patterned after Daniel's exilic life. Because, there IS no client nation Israel (whether or not a secular polity exists), because NO AUTHORIZED TEMPLE will be rebuilt until the 2nd Advent (Eze Chaps 39-end of book). The one in the Tribulation, is a FAKE! Trick for the Trib believers, is to know their Bible well enough, to recognize that and not fall for Satan's siren song to gather them with his Fake Temple (Rev11, Dan9:27's "offerings stopped" or however your Bible translates it); know their Bible well enough, to recognize that and not fall for Satan's Fake Church, either (Rev17). We've failed the latter every generation, so they will, too; especially, since there will be this very nice papertrail of bad 'experts' all saying Church will be in Trib. [Catholicism did that very thing by allegorizing away Revelation. Then became the harlot. Independent Christian churches are today banding together and doing the same thing. We learn from prophecy that we learn nothing from prophecy...]

    So the "Law" is lived as one does IN EXILE: no sacrifices, because NO TEMPLE; all they'll have is Bible and The Promises; plus, maybe what little ceremonies or laws they can observe. This, because Israel is 'owed' 7 more years. This, because the OT visibility is briefly revived -- As A Judgment Everyone Can See Because The Time Is So Short. Those who see the Jewish leader put up a statue of the Gentile one in the (then-rebuilt) Temple, are supposed to flee to Petra (and like caves: Petra is Bible, but also a real labyrinthine place to hide). Those in Israel after the Two Witnesses are resurrected on the third day (after killed by the demon Abaddon), who don't heed that warning, are supposed to stay and fight in Jerusalem. It's all visible, it's all paint-by-numbers, it all is a final 'shot'. And it's all not happening nor true today. NOW, the antichrists are hidden; the spiritual life is hidden. Theirs is a visible Tribulation. Ours is an invisible tribulation: grace before Judgment.

Even from the above 7 categories, you can see that the Tribulation is a distinct and real period, which has not yet happened.

  • Note to amillennialists: on the first day of the 2nd Advent ("Footstool", God's war), Christ causes an earthquake when He "touches down" at the Mount of Olives. Note how He does this. He deliberately takes a long time to touch down, for He's accompanied by armies of angels, then the Church, then the OT people, then the Tribulational Saints. So the world, enmeshed in darkness, has this "Coming" as its only light -- which will be visible from millions of light years away in space, and takes time to reach the earth. [I just learned (01/12/01) that according to the laws of optics, if the angle of His approach is from far enough away, and conditions in the atmosphere around earth are reflective (e.g., like when one sees a rainbow), everyone anywhere on the earth AT THE SAME TIME would see Him coming. So the Earth's rotation need not be stopped. I don't know how to paste the diagram sent me to prove how this works, into this webpage.]

    This 'quake causes an east-west split in Jerusalem, such that it becomes a seaport. ('Reminiscent of the Red/Reed Sea inundation, and the earthquake which swallowed Korah et. al.) The 'quake is used to enable those faithful few who are fighting in the siege of Jerusalem at that time, to escape from the four armies. (Recently, UC Berkeley seismologists have discovered the fault line, so even science can see that this earthquake could occur.) So Scripture, even in this one point alone, contradicts the amillennial interpretation.

    Moreover, once He touches down, and the fighting "remnant" is safe, the Lord kills millions in (at least) the Valley of Esdraelon. He apparently does this in a gruesome way. Those being killed WATCH their own bodies rot, and then burst. As a result, miles and miles of blood flow (about 5 feet high for 180 miles, which is the length of Israel from Dan to Beersheba). He kills them in this way to "cleanse" the Land. (Note how tender is His Mercy, for it takes time to die that way -- so folks have their 'last call' to believe in a Christ they can SEE.) Again, amillennialism doesn't hold water, given even these two prophesied events.

In sum, both tribulations must happen Because Christ Is Seated, And Satan Has Little Time Left. Our NOW is one, and the future official Tribulation is the other. These occur, not because titillated believers want to escape this life or feel important battling visible demons. 'Nor because intellectual religious folks are embarrassed by such manifestations, so need to explain them away as already fulfilled. But, as always, because of Christ.