This Week's Sermon: Prophecy continued ( 2-22-15 )
Always remember, the seventh prophetic kingdom consisting of the 10 horns of Daniel – that is, the revised Roman Empire being made up of 10 nations within the boundary of the Old Roman Empire, 4 of them being Syria, Turkey, Greece and Egypt, has to be formed before the rise of the antichrist, who will come out of one of them, that being Syria.
When he rises to power and takes over Turkey, Greece and Egypt, the Bible says the other 6 nations will automatically let the antichrist rule over them and that begins the eighth prophetic kingdom referred to as the Revived Grecian Empire but with the additional 6 nations.
So now at this time the antichrist has control of all ten nations.
However long from the moment this happens until the signing of the 7 year peace treaty between the Jews and the Arabs, the Bible does not say.
If the rapture is delayed during the time of the ten nation revision of the Old Roman Empire and the antichrist's revival of the Grecian Empire, the rapture for sure will happen before the antichrist brings the 7 year peace treaty together.
The signing of the 7 year peace treaty is the start of what the Bible refers to as the day of God's wrath.
Since Paul said God has not appointed believers in Jesus to wrath;
“ For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. “
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
we can be assured the rapture will take place before God starts pouring out His wrath.
Of course, those who come to salvation in Jesus after the rapture and during the 7 year tribulation period God does not pour out His wrath on them because God's wrath is only for those who do not believe in Jesus.
During the first half of the 7 year tribulation period the antichrist will pretend to be a friend to the Jews.
The Jews will actually think he is their Messiah.
However, there will be some Jews who will come to believe in Jesus during this time frame...not just Gentiles.
Also, the first 3 and ½ years of the 7 year tribulation period God will pour out His wrath so great that people will wish to die and cannot die.
But there will also be people who will die because of God's wrath.
The world at that time, according to the Bible will know that the day of God's wrath has arrived;
“ And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? “ Revelation 6:15-17
Church people who believe the rapture does not happen until the middle of the 7 year tribulation period because the last half, in their view, is actually the day of God's wrath and not the first half, as according to them there is no wrath of God during the first half, are obviously mistaken.
The problem with the mid-trib rapture view is that we can know when the rapture will happen – 3 and ½ years after the signing of the 7 year peace treaty.
According to the Bible, we do not know when the rapture will happen.
It could have happened back in Paul's day, it could happen this very day or it could happen sometime during the seventh and eighth prophetic kingdoms.
We do not even know when the antichrist manages to bring the Jews and the Arabs together to sign the 7 year peace treaty.
All we know from the Bible is that the rapture will happen before that takes place, whenever it does.
As Jesus said, we are to be watching for His return and living in expectation of His return because we do not know when He will return.
That's the point.