I wrote an article, Does “coming like a thief” in Revelation 16:15, support a secret rapture? In response, Yves Peloquin posted a comment to explain Pre-Wrath Dispensationalism. I converted that comment into this post. Yves wrote:
Some (maybe most) Dispensationalists believe that the church will be removed before the last 7 years. However, this view contradicts many Bible passages and it should be rejected.
But there is a group among the dispensationalists who believe in a more attractive interpretation: The Pre-Wrath view. To the benefit of your readers, here is a brief summary of what Pre-wrath means:
The last 7 years are divided into two parts.
FIRST 3.5 YEARS
In the first part (3.5 years) a ‘beast’ will become prominent in the middle east. In that time, he will sign a 7 years covenant with Israel, allowing them to build the Temple and to sacrifice.
MIDDLE OF THAT SEVEN
But in the middle point of those 7 years, he will commit an abomination:
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of that ‘seven’, he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation.” (Dan 9:27)
The abomination referred to here could be that the beast will pretend to be God himself (thus eliminating the need to sacrifice in the Temple). By doing that, the beast will seduce millions of people:
“He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” (Rev 13:7-8)
SECOND 3.5 YEARS
In the second half of the last seven years, the beast will put a mark on the people to separate those who believe in him from those who perceive that he is false. This will be the beginning of a period of wrath against true Christian (the great tribulation). I.e. a persecution (against those who don’t have the mark of the beast) that will be so intense that many ‘true’ Christians will die.
“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” (Matt 24:22 – NIV)
DAY OF THE LORD
Toward the end of that period of tribulation (near the end of the last seven years of Daniel), God will intervene (day of the Lord). The Day of the Lord is the wrath against those who have the mark of the Beast.
DIFFERENCE WITH THE TRADITIONAL DISPENSATIONAL VIEW
Note the difference:
The tribulation is against those who don’t have the mark of the beast, these are the true Christians.
The Day of the Lord is against those who have the mark of the beast).
SIGNS IN THE SKY
The Day of the Lord will start with signs in the sky
“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (Joel 2:31).
“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord” (Acts 2:20).
“Immediately after the distress [i.e. tribulation] of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky.” (Matt 24:29-30)
“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red” (Rev 6:12).
Then God will gather his elects (the pre-wrath rapture: just before the end of the last 7 years of Daniel. It won’t be a secret event. The pre-wrath view stands on the position that the rapture will happen just before God starts pouring out the bowls of his wrath.
“But at that time your people … will be delivered” (Dan 12:1).
“And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matt 24:31).
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess 4:16).
“Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe” (Rev 14:15). [I.E. brings the dead in Yeshua & those alive who don’t wear the mark of the beast.]
Then God will pour his wrath on the inhabitant of the earth (i.e. all those left on earth because they wear the mark of the beast):
“Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.'” (Rev 16:1)
COMMENT BY ANDRIES
This Pre-wrath Dispensationalism seems like a fairly accurate interpretation of the events described in Revelation, by why do you try to force it to fit into Daniel 9’s last week? I still believe your interpretation of Daniel 9 is fundamentally flawed. See Evaluation of the Four Major Interpretations of the 490 years of Daniel 9.
Articles in this series
(1) Introduction to the Dispensational interpretation
(2) When did the 490 years begin?
(3) Is God’s or Satan’s covenant confirmed (9:27)?
(4) Who confirms the covenant; the Messiah or the prince?
(5) When are the last seven years?
(6) Other flaws in the Dispensational Interpretation
(7) When will Christ fulfill the goals in Daniel 9:24?
(8) Pre-wrath Dispensationalism