Birth Pains/Seals Parallel ~ NOT!

I can remember reading Marv Rosenthal’s book, The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, for the first time. I was fascinated by this presentation of end time events which I hadn’t read anywhere else. I “devoured” it reading some portions several times. I can remember shortly after thinking, “I believe in a Sixth Seal, Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church.” I had already been studying end times Bible passages searching for answers, but everything I was reading in the scriptures contradicted the Pre-Trib rapture notes I had in all my Bibles.

I also remember reading about Rosenthal’s presentation of the parallel between the birth pains of Matthew 24:4-8 and the first four seals in Revelation 6. I thought it was interesting and compelling, and for quite some time, I believed in that parallel seeing that those two sets of events occurred within the same time frame. Later, on a discussion board, one guy was arguing against that parallel while several others supported the view that Rosenthal presents in his book on page 151. Part way through the discussion, I realized that there was a lot more to this issue than what was presented in Rosenthal’s book.

To be sure, the celestial signs of Matthew 24:29 are the same as those that occur when the sixth seal is opened in Revelation 6:12-14. These celestial signs occur after the great tribulation and function as a harbinger for the coming of the Son of Man and the Day of the LORD. The reaction of the nations in Matthew 24:30 is a direct parallel of the reaction of the men of the earth in Revelation 6:15-17. The Greek word kopto, which in this case means to wail or lament, is used in Matthew 24:30; and in Revelation 1:7 it is also used to describe the reaction of all kindreds of the earth when every eye sees Him coming with the clouds. It only makes sense that Revelation 6:15-17 is describing that lamentation because every eye can see Him coming. This also has a parallel in Matthew 24:30 where it states, “they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven…” In Matthew 24:31 the elect are gathered from one end of heaven to the other. Mark 13:27 also includes the phrase “from the uttermost part of the earth.” The parallel in Revelation is that immediately after this there is a great multitude before the throne of God that has come out from the great tribulation, see Revelation 7:9-17. That would show that in both Matthew 24:29-31 and Revelation 6:12-7:17 we have an account of the celestial signs, then every eye sees Christ, then the nations mourn and wail, then the rapture occurs.

I mention all of this up front to show that I believe there are parallels between the events of the Olivet Discourse and the events described in the book of Revelation. I also show the basic foundation for the Pre-Wrath Rapture in the paragraph above. The great tribulation begins at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week; it is cut short before the end of Daniel’s 70th week by the celestial signs, the coming of Christ, and the rapture of the church; then after this comes the Day of the LORD when the wrath of God is poured out upon the ungodly. I also mention this to show that the birth pains/seals parallel is not a necessary component of the Pre-Wrath Rapture. It is a side issue and can be debated without affecting the integrity of the Pre-Wrath position.

The Theory

Here is Rosenthal’s chart to show how he views the two passages as parallels. He believes that the events of Matthew 24:4-8 and Revelation 6:1-8 both occur during the first half of Daniel’s 70th week.

THE LORD’S DESCRIPTION OF THE 70TH WEEK THE APOSTLE JOHN’S DESCRIPTION OF THE 70TH WEEK
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:5). THE FIRST SEAL is the white horse and rider. He is understood to be false religion personified in the Antichrist who conquers by deception (Rev. 6:1-2).
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 24:6-7a). THE SECOND SEAL is the red horse and rider. He is given a sword and has power to conquer through war (Rev. 6:3-4).
“And there shall be famines” (Matt. 24:7b). THE THIRD SEAL is the black horse and rider. He is given a scale to measure the food supply. He will bring famine (Rev. 6:5-6).
“And pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:7c-8). THE FOURTH SEAL is the pale horse and rider. He represents death and pestilence. He kills with sword, hunger, and beasts of the earth (Rev. 6:7-8).

There is very little explanation in Rosenthal’s presentation. In his article titled Opening the Seals of Revelation, published in Zion’s Fire magazine, Vol. 19, NO. 5 (September-October 2008), he goes into a little more detail, but not much. For the most part, Rosenthal is just assuming this parallel. Now let’s look at the text and see what Matthew 24:4-8 has to say about these birth pains.

The Birth Pains

Matthew 24:4-8 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

The disciples are asking about a sign for (#1) the coming of Jesus Christ and for (#2) the end of the age. People can debate about the destruction of the temple all they want; it is obvious in Christ’s response to the disciples that he is addressing those two issues here in Matthew. I think it is important first of all to examine what Christ is commanding here in this section. #1- Do not be deceived. #2- Be not troubled, or do not raise a false alarm. #3- Because the end is not yet. The disciples have asked for a sign and Christ is giving a list of things not to be alarmed at because they are not signs of the end or of His coming.

In practical terms, Christ is saying, when a false Christ comes, don’t be deceived. When you hear about a war, it’s not a sign of the end. When nations rise up against each other and empires change hands, when famines, pestilences, and earthquakes happen, note that these are the beginning of birth pains. Earthquakes are not a sign of the end, yet I see so many people on alert when an earthquake occurs. I even see people drastically misquoting this passage. They say, “The Bible says that earthquakes are a sign of the end of the world.” That’s simply not true. They are the beginning birth pains and that is all.

So when will these birth pains occur? Rosenthal and others believe that the things in this list start at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. There is no proof for that in this passage. In fact, Christ distances all these things from the end of the age. The beginning of birth pains happen, but don’t raise a false alarm because the end is not yet. Let’s look at another passage which describes birth pains and see a parallel there.

Romans 8:18-23 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

This passage in Romans 8 describes birth pains which were occurring during Paul’s day. Creation is under bondage because of the sinfulness of man. Once the true sons of God step forward to rule over creation, that bondage will be over. But for now, all of creation is groaning in pains of child birth. This is an ongoing condition of creation. This passage in Romans doesn’t say it won’t get worse, but these birth pains were not future according to the Apostle Paul. In like manner, the birth pains in Matthew 24:4-8 have been occurring throughout history. They may get worse, just like birth pains tend to do, the closer we get to the end. This would be the reason for Christ saying that these ongoing birth pains are the beginning birth pains. But there is no beginning point that Christ gives for when they begin.

It is interesting to note the use of the word throeo in Matthew 24:6, translated troubled in KJV, frightened in NASB, and alarmed in ESV. It only occurs three times in the scriptures. Two of them are parallels in the Olivet Discourse, the other appearing in Mark 13:7. It is the third that should make Pre-Wrathers sit up and take notice. In II Thessalonians 2:2, Paul is instructing believers to not be falsely alarmed about the Day of the LORD. The idea is that believers are not to cry aloud, be frightened, or sound an alarm that the Day of the LORD has come because it will not happen until after the apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin, see II Thessalonians 2:1-3. The instruction in Matthew 24:4-8 is the same, and Paul may have been modeling his instruction after Christ’s very words. When earthquakes happen, do not sound an alarm about Christ’s coming. When wars happen, do not be frightened that the coming of Christ is near. Famines, pestilences, false Christs, none of these things are signs of the end.

The question should be asked, are we seeing these things now? Were the disciples seeing these things in their day? Will we continue to see these things in the future? The answer to all these questions is “yes”. When the dearth of Acts 11:27-30 began, they knew it was not to be associated as a sign that Christ would return. Instead, they fed the poor and continued their ministry. When Titus of Rome marched against Jerusalem, they followed Christ’s instructions, left Jerusalem, and continued to preach the gospel. They knew Jesus Christ was not yet returning. We shouldn’t be sensationalizing things that are not signs of the end, like earthquakes, famines, and wars. All these things have been occurring all throughout history and will continue to happen.

The Persecution and the Great Persecution

Let’s start this section where I have some common ground with Rosenthal and other Pre-Wrathers. Beginning with Matthew 24:15 we have a description of the abomination of desolation and the ensuing great tribulation which occurs at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week. Matthew 24:15-28 specifically describes that period of time, note that the church will go through it. Only after the great tribulation will the church be raptured before the wrath of God at the time when the elect are gathered in Matthew 24:31.

What do we make of the persecution and tribulation described in Matthew 24:9-14? There are many who believe that this persecution describes the great tribulation even before Christ mentions the abomination of desolation. I believe that this tribulation mentioned here is ongoing persecution for the church even before the great tribulation. There are three basic reasons why this is the more compelling view. #1- Christ has already warned of persecution for association with the name of Jesus Christ when the 12 were first commissioned in Matthew 10. #2- The use of the word “then” in Matthew 24:9 links it to the same time frame as the ongoing birth pains. #3- The time frame is the entire scope of the preaching of the gospel from that time until the end of the age.

#1- Matthew 10 is one of the most significant passages in the gospels concerning the preaching of the gospel and persecution. Many of the verses in this chapter are paralleled in the Olivet Discourse. In this passage, Jesus promised them that the disciples would be hated of all men for the sake of His name. He also foretold that the one who endures to the end would be saved. Both of these sayings are also in the Olivet Discourse. He also foretold that family members would betray each other and that the preaching of the gospel would actually divide some families rather than unite them. If you really want to do a parallel study, compare Matthew 10:17-22 with Luke 21:12-17 noting that Luke 21 is the precursor to the Olivet Discourse. The fact is that the persecution that Jesus is describing in Matthew 24:9-14 is ongoing persecution (not limited to the great tribulation at the end of the age) which was already promised back in Matthew 10. Other New Testament scriptures which show ongoing persecution for all believers are Acts 14:22, II Timothy 3:12, and I Peter 4:12-14. So rather than separate Matthew 24:9-14 to describe an end time group of people suffering, this is describing persecution for all believers because of the blatant parallel with Matthew 10. Note that because of the continuity between Matthew 24:9-14 and the elect which suffer the great tribulation in Matthew 24:21-24, we can safely say it is the same group of people that are suffering the persecution, namely disciples of Jesus Christ, better known now as the church.

#2- Jesus states as He transitions from talking about birth pains throughout history to persecution for His disciples that they are essentially occurring during the same time frame. He states, “Then,” meaning at that time. So whenever the birth pains are occurring, which is all throughout history, disciples of Christ should expect persecution. Notice there is no mention of any transition to some end times scenario yet in Matthew 24. Christ warns against people saying that false Christs, wars, or earthquakes are signs of the end. Now He tells His followers to expect persecution for believing on His name. It is interesting that some who believe in the birth pains/seals parallel would actually concede this point. The problem is that they use circular reasoning to determine that both the birth pains and the persecution of Matthew 24:9-14 are occurring during Daniel’s 70th week. It goes something like this. “How do you know that the birth pains are occurring during the first half of Daniel’s 70th week?” Answer, “Oh, that’s easy. Because of the word ‘tote’ which means at that time. Since the birth pains are linked to the great tribulation, we know that those birth pains are occurring right before that.” Then the second half goes something like this, “How do you know that the persecution spoken of in Matthew 24:9-14 is the great tribulation and not ongoing persecution throughout the church age?” Answer, “Simple. It states ‘at that time’ so we know that the persecution in Matthew 24:9-14 is the great tribulation because it is happening in conjunction with the birth pains.” There is nothing in either Matthew 24:4-8 or Matthew 24:9-14 to suggest that either occurs within the confines of Daniel’s 70th week. It is only when we arrive at the sign of the abomination of desolation that we know that Christ is describing the second half of Daniel’s 70th week. There is very little in scripture about the first half of Daniel’s 70th week except the confirming of a 7 year covenant. That is conspicuously absent from the context.

#3- Throughout this persecution and tribulation described in Matthew 24:9-14, Christ states that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the entire world. Now maybe some dispensationalists would like to separate this preaching of the gospel from the gospel that the church is preaching right now simply because of the phrase “gospel of the kingdom”. I’m not a dispensationalist so I don’t give two definitions for the gospel within the same book. If you turn to Matthew 28:18-20, it is universally accepted that this gospel here is the gospel that the church is to preach in the here and now. This gospel is to be preached until the end of the age, and so is the gospel mentioned in Matthew 24:14. It states that this gospel must be preached in all the world, and then shall the end come. What end? The end of the age, of course. Remember the question the disciples asked at the beginning? What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? Christ is still talking generally about conditions until the end of the age and not a specific sign until He mentions the abomination of desolation in Matthew 24:15. Here it states that the gospel must be preached throughout the entire world and after that period of time the end of the age will come. So why would we make two different gospels and two different ends of the age? They must be the same. Again, Matthew 24:9-14 is describing persecution for the word of God as the gospel is being preached all throughout history until the end of the age. That’s the plain, common-sense view.

The Seals

Before I examine the first four seals, I want to lay down a handful of principles that most Pre-Wrathers adhere to. #1- The revealing of the man of sin mentioned in II Thessalonians 2:3-4 occurs at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week at the same time as the abomination of desolation. #2- When the man of sin sits in the temple showing the world that he is God as described in II Thessalonians 2:4, this is further insight into the abomination of desolation. #3- The Satanic power, signs, and lying wonders described in II Thessalonians 2:8-10 occur after the man of sin is revealed at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week. #4- The antichrist is Satanically empowered for 42 months beginning at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, see Revelation 13:2, 5-7. I hope you noticed the theme in all of those principles which pinpoint the timing of the antichrist with the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week (which is exactly 3 ½ years after that final 7 year period begins at the end of the age.)

So when we come to the first seal where most Pre-Wrathers are saying that this represents the antichrist, why would we place this at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week? If this is the antichrist going forth to conquer, we should place this at the midpoint. If the first four seals all represent some type of Satanic empowerment for the antichrist, this belongs to the period of time after the antichrist has been revealed. Above in Rosenthal’s chart, he states his belief that at the first seal the antichrist is conquering by deception. I remind readers of one of the commonly accepted principles concerning the antichrist that his ability to supernaturally deceive is limited to the second half of Daniel’s 70th week. Further, it is arbitrary to place the first seal at the beginning of the 7 year period because of association with the antichrist and even runs contrary to the belief that at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week that the antichrist is making a peace treaty. (Not all agree with this but Rosenthal teaches it so I make it a point.) So how can the antichrist be making a peace treaty while he is going forth conquering?

Allow me to present my view on the first four seals. Each of these seals represents a facet of the antichrist’s authority. The living creatures are calling out “Come!” to each rider as they ride forth. This supernatural power is allowed by Christ to arise here on the earth. In short, the actions that are occurring are Conquering, Killing, Food Rationing, and Death. This power is manifested at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week. There is no reason to believe that the antichrist’s authority is revealed before that time. Every other passage links it to the abomination of desolation and the final 42 months. Why would this be any different? Some may say that it is implied that the antichrist is the one making the peace treaty at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week so he must be “on the scene” but that does not in any way address the scriptures or principles above. The antichrist receives his supernatural power at the midpoint for a period of 42 months. There is no way around that.

To say that the antichrist has supernatural power at the first seal should immediately steer us to the idea that the first seal is opened at the midpoint. The second seal represents peace being taken from the earth, and it has been pointed out that in the Greek it states “the peace” is taken from the earth. This may refer to the false peace, or false peace treaty previously established at the onset of Daniel’s 70th week. Again, this would place it at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week. Food rationing is occurring at the third seal. Some would say this is famine. However, looking at the passage it should be clear that the primary focus is the authority over food control signified by the scales and establishing the food prices. Yes, these prices are high. Does the passages state why the prices are high? No, it does not. It could be because of famine. Then again, it could be because some authoritative figure is in charge now and is manipulating the food supply of the world. The voice calls out that the oil and wine are not to be hurt. These luxury items are available, but the average person who wants bread is going to pay more. If we see a parallel with antichrist’s authority here, it should remind us that the false prophet will not allow anyone to buy or sell without the mark of the beast, see Revelation 13:16-17. Again, this would be an event associated with the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week rather than the first half. The fourth seal shows that there is authority over one fourth of the earth to kill with whatever means necessary. Death rides forth and can kill with the sword, starvation, and wild animals. I would again say this coincides with antichrist’s authority, specifically during the great tribulation. He will have supernatural (Satanic) power to put people to death however he chooses. That authority is expanded over one fourth of the earth. Briefly on the fifth seal, this shows the result of all the deaths throughout all history including those during the great tribulation. The first four seals have been broken resulting in great tribulation on the earth. Now the church is crying out for vengeance. “Just a little longer,” they are told.

Let’s look at the parallel again. This time let’s see if the birth pains of Matthew 24:4-8 really match up with the first four seals. The following is not Rosenthal’s chart, but my substitutions of what the passages actually say to contrast my view with his view.

THE LORD’S DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRTH PAINS THE APOSTLE JOHN’S DESCRIPTION OF THE FIRST FOUR SEALS
Many false Christs throughout history. (Matthew 24:5). THE FIRST SEAL is the white horse and rider. This is the one final Antichrist who conquers (Rev. 6:1-2).
Do not raise a false alarm when you see wars and rumors of wars. Nation will rise against nation but the end is not yet. (Matt. 24:6-7a). THE SECOND SEAL is the red horse and rider. He is given a sword, takes the peace from the earth, and has power to conquer through war (Rev. 6:3-4).
“And there shall be famines” (Matt. 24:7b). THE THIRD SEAL is the black horse and rider. He is given a scale to control the food supply. He will exercise authority over food prices (Rev. 6:5-6).
“And pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matt. 24:7c-8). THE FOURTH SEAL is the pale horse and rider. He represents death by sword, hunger, and beasts. Pestilence is not in the text. (Rev. 6:7-8).

You can see how the parallel breaks down once you look at the actual text. Let me say though, that there is nothing preventing us from seeing these first four seals as birth pains. These types of things have existed all throughout history, but are now intensified as we draw closer to the end of the age, being in the last half of Daniel’s 70th week. The conquering, the war, perhaps famine, all these things will get more intense as we draw close to the end. But Christ’s intent in describing the birth pains was not to describe a progression of events during the first half of Daniel’s 70th week. He was describing events that are ongoing not to be confused with signs of the end.

Allow me one more paragraph (those that have made it this far) to show the actual parallels that exist between the Olivet Discourse and the seals of Revelation. The birth pains were occurring in the days of the early church. Many false Christs, wars, famines, earthquakes, and plagues have occurred throughout history. Persecution for the word of God and being associated with the name of Jesus Christ has occurred throughout church history as well. When we see, when the church sees, the abomination of desolation as described by Daniel the prophet, then the great persecution occurs. At the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, which is when the abomination of desolation occurs, the first five seals on the scroll are broken revealing the antichrist in all of his despicable power. The great tribulation will begin at the midpoint in conjunction with the abomination of desolation. The deception that will occur during this time will be so great that if it were possible, the very elect, the disciples of Jesus Christ, would be deceived. Those that are martyred will be crying out to God for vengeance before God. When the sixth seal is broken, that will end the great tribulation and trigger the events surrounding the coming of Jesus Christ. Those events are described in Matthew 24:29-31 and Revelation 6:12-17.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

P.S. More information can be found at this link here.

 

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18 Responses to Birth Pains/Seals Parallel ~ NOT!

  1. Kathy Hall says:

    I think you are correct, Darrin. My understanding has changed on a few things since I first wrote my prewrath testimony seven years ago.

  2. Reblogged this on beliefspeak2 and commented:
    Here is, what I believe, an effective refutation of the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the church. It may be a bit lengthy but the position is fully explained and very clear.

    • Thanks for the reblog, but you will find that this is not a refutation of the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, but rather an affirmation of it without two popular components, namely that the birth pains occur during the first half of Daniel’s 70th week and that the first four seals of Revelation 6 occur during the first half of Daniel’s 70th week. The Pre-Wrath Rapture still stands without these two issues. Perhaps reading through the entire blog post a little more clearly would help to see how it affirms a Pre-Wrath Rapture. Thanks again.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

      • Hi OM,

        Shame on me for missing the boat on the intent of your post. I will allow your comment and this reply but I better revise what I said about your post. For the record I am working through (not a burning issue for me) what exactly the scriptures reveal about the timing of the deliverance (Rapture). Your post was helpful and will cause me to consider the things you pointed out. Also, I will give it a second read.

  3. O.K., sorry about the previous post-I thought it was part of my blog comments. Here is some of my confusion: What is the ‘big deal’ about “Pre-Wrath”? You folks are Post Trib Rapturists which I lean towards. Does anyone (Christian) really believe that the saints will experience (God’s) wrath? I thought the scriptures were quite clear that God never appointed us to wrath-this comes on God’s enemies while the saints are saved (in the eschatological sense). I guess I am not understanding the “Pre-Wrath” distinction.

  4. Hi Alex-

    Thanks for the inquiry. Many post-tribbers believe that the church will be here on earth during the wrath of God but supernaturally protected from it. Pre-Wrath believes that the church will be raptured after the great tribulation but before the wrath of God. The great tribulation does not begin until after the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week after the abomination of desolation. The coming of Christ and rapture of the church happen together before the end of Daniel’s 70th week which is the final seven year period at the end of the age. The remainder of that seven year period will consist of the wrath of God being poured out during the Day of the LORD. I hope that helps.

  5. Steve Smith says:

    I believe Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13 are all part of Daniel’s 70th Week (and perhaps a bit before). There are near and far applications. Much of what happened during the first generation foreshadows the last generation. The preaching of the gospel and then the end, happens during the great tribulation: Christians will stand before judges, kings, and executioners; the Holy Spirit will tell them what to say, and the end will come, i.e. the imminent Sixth Seal. Some will be thrown into prison, others killed or beheaded.

    The antichrist will rise from the dead at the midpoint; the false prophet will force everyone to receive his mark of 18/chai (vav+vav+vav), which means alive/resurrection, from chayah (beast0, and is part of the census/burden (gull water) that leads to eternal damnation, instead of living water from God, eternal life.. Satan wants to number and claim his people from God, and use God’s chai (as the Lord lives) as if he is God. It is interesting that the four living creatures (chayyat) open the first 4 seals, which is the result of the beasts’ wrath (Satan, antichrist, false prophet).

  6. Steve Smith says:

    During the first 3 1/2 years and perhaps a bit before, the antichrist’s warfare is prophesied for us in Daniel 11 especially, when it starts to fade from antiochus to the antichrist. It even shows the antichrist’s death and the subsequent great tribulation in the next Chapter 12. The peace treaty isn’t a peace treaty; it’s the confirmation of the Mosaic covenant—the starting of the temple and sacrifices, that he stops at the midpoint, because he will claim to be God and make people atone by worshiping him. Just like the census in Moses’ time which involved money and numbering (counting) the people of Israel, likewise the false prophet will try to do, and say it’s to atone for their nephesh chayyah, living souls.

    Arabs attack the antichrist because of the messianic fervor going on. The only Arab neighbors to escape for sure is Jordan, which the 144,000 and other remnant will flee to at the midpoint. So I see the first 3 1/2 years as the antichrist’s warfare against Arab nations, and the latter against people who refuse to worship him, i.e. war against the remnant of Israel that will know Jesus and Christians.

  7. istallion says:

    Wow brother…..this article is eye opening and very insightful. Recently, I have drifted away from seeing the four horsemen being released in the first half of the 70th week. I started believing they were released at Christ’s ascension. But this article challenges me to see the four horsemen being released AFTER the abomination in the second half of the week and to NOT associate them with the birth pains in Matthew 24:4-9. Wow……I definitely need more time to ponder and process, but even if it is not right, it still is definitely worth while to consider. THANK YOU FOR THIS. Paul

  8. steve snyder says:

    IMO, not seeing the seals being opened at the very end (starting with the 70th week) is a problem.

    The first thing is the picture of the court being set and the books being opened before the Ancient of Days in Dan 7. Comparing that to Rev 4-6, is warranted because we know at least one “book” or scroll is being opened. The context is the 70th week because we have Daniel 9:27.

    We also have the 10 nation kingdom being formed before the AC rises up. This is very important because he don’t just pop up out of nowhere the last 3.5 years, and is on the scene when the mysterious “covenant” happens- which officially kicks off the 70th week. Daniel 11,

    21 In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue. 22 The overflowing forces will be flooded away before him and shattered, and also the prince of the covenant. 23 After an alliance is made with him he will practice deception, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people. 24 In a time of tranquility he will enter the richest parts of the realm, and he will accomplish what his fathers never did, nor his ancestors; he will distribute plunder, booty and possessions among them, and he will devise his schemes against strongholds, but only for a time.

    That the “little horn” in Daniel 7-8 are the same person and how they gain power should not be missed to understand the first 3.5 weeks, and slightly before. That is at the time of the end is confirmed by what the angel says in Daniel 12, so any prior fulfillment is not the primary fulfillment, this will happen at the end times, and we have the rise of the beast and his campaign being told to us from 11:21 on.

    Putting this together, Jesus must crack the first seal to start the 70th week into motion because it’s at the end times and the court is setup, and we have more info on this in Rev 4-6. Does that not make sense? Revelation is more information on the final “week” in Daniel. This is not rocket science. 🙂

    Mat 24,
    6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

    Nation rising against nation, famines, earth quakes, plagues (Luke 21:10-11). Here is your transition to the end times. Why? Because Jesus just said the end is not yet, then gives us all these things and says only now is “the beginning of birth pains”.

    Now, how long before the start of birth pains until the baby is born? It is only a matter of what, a day or two on average. The hard labor is right before the baby is born. All the people Jesus was talking to had seen babies born. They would of known to listen up, the Kingdom is coming soon. It’s a common thing we all know about and it don’t go on for hundreds of years right? The Jewish disciples would of immediately thought of two places, Isa. 66 and Jer. 30, both speak of the hard labor pains before the nation would be delivered.

    So therefore, if Jesus was saying this is the “beginning” of birth pains- not the hard labor, what shall we conclude? It has to be just before the hard labor period (the last 3.5years), when wars, famines, plagues and earthquakes, would take place. And before this, a “peace” covenant that is really not a peace deal. That is why it won’t be your wars and rumors of wars that have gone on for 2000 years.

    This is just what I see as to why it all must take place starting with the 70th week, because Jesus starts to open the title deed/ judgments of God only then. This in turn, begins all we read from the beginning of birth pains into hard labor (the great trib.) this corresponding to the first 6 seals opened in a span of about 6 years, IMO. And they could be opened at the start or end of each year of the 70th week too. It’s all about the 70th week, with a big focus on the last 3.5 for sure.

    • >>>>>Putting this together, Jesus must crack the first seal to start the 70th week into motion because it’s at the end times and the court is setup, and we have more info on this in Rev 4-6. Does that not make sense?>>>>>

      No, it does not make sense. The court is set up in Daniel 7 in order to pronounce judgment against the fourth beast. This has to do with the judgment pronounced against the fourth beast and its destruction.

      >>>>>It’s a common thing we all know about and it don’t go on for hundreds of years right?>>>>>

      Famines, wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, false messiahs (that’s false messiahs, plural), pestilences. So these things have not been going on for hundreds of years. Sorry, but they have. These birth pains have a parallel in Romans 8:22, which is mentioned in this post.

      >>>>>So therefore, if Jesus was saying this is the “beginning” of birth pains- not the hard labor, what shall we conclude? It has to be just before the hard labor period (the last 3.5years), when wars, famines, plagues and earthquakes, would take place. And before this, a “peace” covenant that is really not a peace deal. That is why it won’t be your wars and rumors of wars that have gone on for 2000 years.>>>>>

      You may be unaware, but this is the response that many prewrathers have given me. They insist upon a distinction between “hard labor” and the beginning of birth pains. In their minds, this must be intertwined with Daniel’s 70th week even though Jesus clearly separates these things from the end. These things happen, but the end is not yet. You can try to make this distinction all you want, but it doesn’t change the clear parallel between the language of Jesus and the language of Paul to not be deceived about the end, and about things that were not to be considered signs of the end. These things have been occurring all during this time and will continue to NOT be signs of the end. Another earthquake happens and a whole bunch of people start talking about how Jesus said that would be a sign of the end, which He did not.

      Now as far as the seals, if the first four seals are all representative of the antichrist’s authority, then they must be opened in conjunction with the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week. The antichrist is revealed at the midpoint and only has 42 months of authority.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  9. steve snyder says:

    I see where you are coming from but like some other Prewrathers, I don’t agree and see the transition to the 70th week across the three books with this section Mat 24:7-8, with Luke adding plagues. 🙂

    I do agree with you and believe there has always been wars and rumors of wars, false Christ’s and such and Jesus was telling us these things must take place but the end is not yet, and think it is a mistake to link the section of Mat 24:4-6, with the seals per say.

    Another point I believe links the first seals with the section in Luke 21-which is a little more info than Mat &Mark:
    10 Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

    Is this could be linked to when and what the two witnesses are described as doing , because I believe they come on the scene during the first half of the 70th week-because they are already there when the beast gets his 42 month power and is revealed and kills them, and their resurrection is most likely tied to the Parousia-unless they are a special case.
    Rev 11:
    6 These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

    So the correlation at least to the third seal seems clear to me.

    I see the seals as cause and effect, just like the trumpets and bowls. The authority is a separate thing granted that comes with the removal of the restrainer that allows the AC to be revealed.

    That he already is in power (but not granted 42 months authority power to overcome the saints), is spoken of in Daniel 11:
    28 Then he will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land.
    29 “At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before. 30 For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.

    That it is at the appointed time of the end is clear as you read through Daniel 12, with the time of great distress (great trib/Jacobs trouble)

    As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?” 9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.

    IMO, the words “sealed up”, speaks of what we just read-things that happen at the appointed end time. So when each seal of the seven sealed scroll is broken, things written in the book of Daniel/Revelation happen-are set into motion.
    That is why I see it as a mistake not to tie everything into this unsealing of the words of the book-which Rev 6 shows us happening- the Lamb is breaking the seals and allowing the words to be fulfilled. And we know the focus of all the end times is the 70th week- the last week before the Kingdom of the Messiah and the saints.

    It is interesting too that the old KJV translates Daniel 8:25 as, “and by peace shall destroy many”. The linkage to Dan 11 is unmistakable, and is before the AD.
    23 After an alliance is made with him he will practice deception, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people.

    This is most likely linked to the “covenant”, or could be that Islam is called a religion of “peace”, but is really a religion of conquest and death for those who do not believe, or a combo of the two.

    I’m sure you have read the “Islamic Antichrist” and “Mideast Beast”, by Joel Richardson- and I know you don’t agree on his conclusions. 🙂 But I believe this will be the make up of the last beast empire. With the rise of ISIS and the cutting off of heads, I think we are seeing a preview of what the beast empire will look like, and it’s happening in the area that all things will take place.

    I enjoy your blog and input into the end times and hope you might write a book and get your viewpoint out there for the masses. The more Pre-wrath the better, IMO. 🙂

    • >>>>I do agree with you and believe there has always been wars and rumors of wars, false Christ’s and such and Jesus was telling us these things must take place but the end is not yet, and think it is a mistake to link the section of Mat 24:4-6, with the seals per say.>>>>

      Then you agree with my main premise, which is that a parallel between the seals and the birth pains is simply not there. That is one of the main tenets presented by most prewrathers and it does not hold up under examination.

      You make some good points about the signs performed by the two witnesses. There are three passages which could be linked. Revelation 11:5-6, which you mentioned. Luke 21:25-28 (I know you mentioned 21:10-11 but I’m making a different point), and Joel 2:30. Wonders in the heavens, blood, fire, and pillars of smoke. Joel 2:31 is foundational for the prewrath view, but here is Joel 2:30 and what do we do with it? When are these wonders occurring? The pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh should be at the repentance of Israel, see Zechariah 12:10, 13:1, Ezekiel 39:29, Isaiah 59:20-21, Psalm 46:4 (for good measure). So that would place this at the coming of Christ since Israel repents, then the LORD sends the Messiah in response to that repentance. The cosmic signs are also at the coming of Christ, acting as portents or harbingers. But Joel 2:30? Maybe with the ministry of the two witnesses.

      The idea of the antichrist having authority before he revealed at the midpoint is certainly open for debate. But it is clear that he only has 42 months of authority from Revelation 13:5. The question is, What kind of authority is that? And does the authority represented in the seals count as being within the 42 months? So what do we see in the seals? Is it peace and covenants of peace and safety? Or is it conquering, taking peace, making war, death, controlling the world’s food supply. BTW, Ron Wallace has done a study on this and points at that the Greek word for “the” is used just before the word “peace” in Revelation 6:4. So he takes “the peace” from the earth. In his mind, that means the covenant of peace and safety which had been established 3.5 years earlier. He believes that the first seal is at the beginning of the week and the second seal is at the midpoint. So he and I are closer than many other prewrathers.

      Anyway, thanks for the feedback.

      Have fun and stay busy Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  10. steve snyder says:

    I do see a correlation with the seals from 24:7 on. It depends on how you read it, IMO.

    You could read (as you do), from 24:4-8 as just general false messiahs, wars, earthquakes and such, that has gone on since the 1st century. Then the transition into the end times starting with 24:9-14 as an overview of the last 3.5 years. Then Jesus going back and giving more detail on the last 3.5 in 24:15-31.

    On the other hand, you could read it (as I do), that from 24:4-6, as just general wars and rumors of wars and false Christ’s that have always happened from the 1st century. Then seeing a transition by the observing a transition phrase “but the end is not yet” (as referring to 4-6). Then starting talking about the end times overview starting with 24:7-14, as an overview of the first 3.5 years of the 70th week, with the phrase “these are the beginning of birth pains”. Then 24:9-14, zeroing in on the final 3.5 (hard labor). Then of course, 24:15-31, Jesus detailing the last 3.5.

    Why I see the “beginning” of birth pains as significant is that there are two main stages of the birth process: Early labor: Is when the cervix starts to dilate and contractions last longer and get stronger. Once this happens, the baby will be born, there is no turning back and it’s short period of time.

    Active labor: Is the hard labor phase and the contractions are closer together, stronger, and more painful. The birth of the baby is imminent.

    I believe Romans 8 was not in view because Romans was not written yet. The disciples would only have the OT Scriptures for a reference and the birth pains and timing would of been known from these Scriptures only. And they would of understood when Jesus used “beginning”, that the hard labor would soon follow, with the kingdom after- because that is what they were asking about, the end of the age and the coming of the kingdom.

    It makes no sense to use the example in Romans that has been going on since Adam sinned and the curse came to describe an event that Jesus was focusing in on just before the end of the age, when the disciples didn’t even have the book of Romans for a Scripture reference.

    Paul was using the example as our struggle in between the flesh and the spirit, and how we patiently await the redemption of our bodies. Jesus was using it to show the time would be short before the “birthing” of the nation of Israel and the kingdom.

    It’s just like trying to use “the last trumpet” in 1st Cor. 15, to prove that Paul was talking about and saying it was about the last trumpet in Rev 11 (that wasn’t written yet) when he was describing the trumpet of God in the Olivet Discourse (Mat 24:31. We know this is true because we have 1st Thes. 4:16. We know also, the trumpet of God (Shofar) is what signals the resurrection and the day of the Lord beginning. This is one of the places where the post-trib crowd goes wrong.

    Here are the verses the disciples would of been thinking of about birth pains right before the kingdom.
    Jer. 30,
    5 “For thus says the LORD,
    ‘I have heard a sound of terror,
    Of dread, and there is no peace.
    6
    ‘Ask now, and see
    If a male can give birth.
    Why do I see every man
    With his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth?
    And why have all faces turned pale?
    7
    ‘Alas! for that day is great,
    There is none like it;
    And it is the time of Jacob’s distress,
    But he will be saved from it.

    Isa. 66,
    7
    “Before she travailed, she brought forth;
    Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.
    8
    “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?
    Can a land be born in one day?
    Can a nation be brought forth all at once?
    As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.
    9
    “Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD.
    “Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.

    Dan. 12,
    12:1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.

    Other than that I agree Mat 24:4-6, cannot be used to tie into the 1st seal. But 24:7, could be seen as a correlation of the 2nd seal. Famines and plagues, the 3rd & 4th. 🙂

    >Yes, I agree it could be things the two witnesses do- in Joel 2:30, but it could be God talking about His judgments first and then describing the threefold signs to signal the day of the Lord is coming. It seems prophecies are given like this sometimes.

    It’s pretty clear that the two witness are part of the Parousia because the “earth dwellers” attribute the plagues to them Rev. 11:10.
    So if they are inside the day of the Lord, God would not get the glory, and only He is exalted in the day of the Lord. Isa. 2

    When the day of the Lord begins, all the earth dwellers know it is God coming on the scene, and it won’t be the two witnesses doing the trumpets or bowls (Rev 6:12-17, Isa. 2), and they are shown as blaspheming God during the bowls. Rev 16:8.

    >Yes it seems Jer. 30:5, seems to allude that there was a breaking of “peace” just before the time of Jacobs trouble.
    There are those like Mark Davidson, in “Danial Revisited” that see the first for seals as being opened before the 70th week. I think he may be on to something on the second signpost being Iran making a run across the Middle East and then Turkey countering. Dan 8 makes it clear that this takes place at the appointed time of the end.

    He then lays out other “signposts” that go along with the rise of the four nations and then the 10 nation with the little horn (the AC). It’s a good book and well worth reading. IMO, keeping your spirit pliable on these things is prudent. (He’s post-trib, but I believe post or pre-wrath are viable options. Pre-trib is directly in opposition to what Jesus taught. So what does that make it?) 🙂

    I mean the angel says this, it is clear. It is not about what happened in history. And Iran is getting ready to strike out and make a run NOW. They are getting desperate. So we must watch the middle east. If this happens like Daniel says, and Turkey counters, we know we are approaching the forming of the last beast empire before the 70th week. It’s all about Muslims and their wars to bring in the Caliphate. So he may be right about the seals opening before? Time will tell.

    19 He said, “Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.

    Thanks for your blog and taking the time to “talk” about these things. No one I know cares anything about the things to come. It’s sad. 😦 But one kid I know at work is hungry for the Scriptures, and I’ve been helping him understand, so I can’t complain I guess. 🙂

    • I don’t agree that the Romans passage does not apply. There is another principle at work in the NT scriptures and the revelation that Jesus brought with Him at His coming. He revealed certain things that were previously unrevealed simply by His appearing. He began to preach saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” What did this mean? The Law and the Prophets were until John, and since the preaching of John the Baptist has been something new, see Matthew 11:11-14, Luke 16:16-17. The last days is really a term that applies to the coming of Christ and all the revelation that occurred with that, see Hebrews 1:1-2. There are things in the law and prophets that are for the end times that apply to the coming of Christ. So when we read Hosea 13:13-14 and the birth pangs of a woman, the redemption from the grave, complete destruction of death, there is no issue with seeing this as applying to the revelation of Christ as a whole. He came, He purchased us with His blood, He achieved victory over death, and yet a portion (a very significant portion) remains in the future. There should be no issue with seeing the words of Jesus Christ along with the revelation that was brought through the apostles. There were things He wanted to say to them but they would not have been able to understand, John 16:12.

  11. rapazoe says:

    the sequence of events in Revelation 6:12 and Olivet discourse are linked by the declaration of the Day of the Lord.
    Rev 6:12 I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood.
    13 The stars of the sky fell to the earth, like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when it is shaken by a great wind.
    16 They told the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,
    17 for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”

    Math 24:29 ‘And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken;

    in this context, I would agree with Marv Rosenthal assessment that the seals and beginning of sorrows are linked.
    what is being birthed ??? … Day 7 … The Day of the Lord.
    the Lords Day … Jesus activated to rule on earth …

    rapazoe … march 2020

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