The Rapture and Revelation 13:7
Heavenly Father, I’m asking that Your will be done with this post. My “job” is to encourage and educate; not to condemn, and this should be for Your glory. In this I pray; Amen.
For one thing, the belief of the pre-tribulation Rapture is under attack, from many other groups that never seem to bother much with each other, but I’m digressing already. Henry Kaiser, industrialist and auto magnate, once said that problems are really opportunities in working clothes. In that context, I’ve been getting a few questions on this subject, and this is a good opportunity to answer questions and offer some encouragement. What a deal!
The question I got – and I’m paraphrasing it – goes like this:
In regards to the Rapture, Revelation 13:7 reads that the Antichrist will war against the saints and overcome them. According to this verse we will be here when the Antichrist is here, so isn’t the bride here until Revelation 19?
One thing to remember is that the Bible is a collection of books with chapters first. The numbered verses came later. While the Book of Proverbs and to some extent Psalms’ verses have most if not all of their meaning as a stand-alone verse, this is not necessarily true with the Bible altogether. If you apply the stand-alone verse format to the entire Bible, you will corrupt or misunderstand it entirely. Matthew 7:1 seems to come to mind here.
Revelation 13 KJV
13 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
So even if you read this chapter, you might surmise that the church is going to go through the Tribulation because of the word “saints.”
And the dictionary doesn’t do justice to the word either, but a saint is simply a believer. The church (ekklesia) are the believers, the bride of Christ today. Yes, the church are also saints because you can’t be part of the church and not be a saint.
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
This passage is why the church cannot be the saints in Revelation 13. Belief in Jesus as God the Son is the rock on which the church is built, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. But the Tribulation saints will have a much tougher time because the Antichrist will have authority over them. Right now, if you’re a Christian, you are sealed in the Holy Spirit. It is Jesus who has authority over you.
Because people living in the Tribulation rejected Jesus before the rapture, they are under a different authority and are going to have to endure to the end to be saved. If they take the mark, the only seal they will get is eternal damnation, regardless of what they do. They will be responsible for their own salvation. Again, this is in sharp contrast to the church age today.
Hopefully this answers that question. I know many are getting weary, and I can’t tell you how much longer we’re going to have to wait; but we need to wait regardless and be busy with God’s work. When the rapture happens, it will give Satan the opportunity to wreak havoc on humankind. It will also be for the glory of God as He will bring judgment and offer redemption to the lost at this time, including bringing Israel “under the rod.” It will also give Israel the opportunity to evangelize the world AND accept Jesus as their Messiah.
If I were you, I would accept Jesus while the cost is still low. The Tribulation will be a living, breathing nightmare akin to a slasher movie where nearly EVERYONE will have to look over their shoulder. It will make such movies as Event Horizon and The Purge look like a romantic comedy by comparison. There will be food, water and energy shortages where a good day will be worse than Venezuela’s economic woes. Even the first half will be horrible. I’ve heard some brothers and sisters say they are looking forward to it. I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind, even with a strong masochistic streak, looking forward to any of it.