2 Thessalonians continues on its merry way, describing the Antichrist, and more importantly, those who have been left behind after the rapture. It is in this section where I see the very first place where God begins to pour His wrath out upon the Earth in judgment. The Bible tells us that those left behind that were exposed to the gospel and rejected it would be subject to the wrath of God as His judgement on their refusal to believe and receive the Truth. And here is where the wrath of God in the time of Jacob’s trouble actually begins.
From the perspective of the time of Jacob’s trouble, a.k.a the Great Tribulation, there is only one “wrath” the world needs to be concerned with. The wrath of God.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 (KJV)
When you understand that the Bible was written dispensationally, and that God commands us to search out and find those divisions, as seen in 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV), you naturally come to the conclusion that the Bible holds to and teaches a Pretribulation Rapture of the Church. When you don’t do that you come to a number of other conclusions unsupported by scripture like the post-tribulation rapture, the mid-tribulation rapture. no rapture at all, and the rather silly pre-wrath rapture.
The pre-wrath rapture was conceived in the 1970’s by a man named Robert Van Kampen, who died in 1999. This view was then picked up and endorsed by Marvin Rosenthal who wrote his book ‘The Pre-Wrath Rapture Of The Church‘. The “Pre-Wrath” view of the Rapture argues that the first three-fourths of the Tribulation is the wrath of Man and the wrath of Satan, and not the wrath of God. Therefore, the proponents of this view argue that the Church will suffer through the first three-quarters of the Tribulation since the Church is promised protection only from the wrath of God.
As you can see, the entire premise of this view is built on a very shaky foundation.
From the perspective of the time of Jacob’s trouble, a.k.a the Great Tribulation, there is only one “wrath” the world needs to be concerned with. The wrath of God. The Bible makes no distinction of the wrath of man and the wrath of Satan. James 1:20 (KJV) mentions the “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” but it is only talking about men displaying anger toward their fellow man. As far as the “wrath of Satan” goes, the book of Job shows us that Satan is an instrument of judgement from God, and can only do what God allows him to do. So the “wrath” that Satan yields during the time of Jacob’s trouble is actually God’s wrath, as he is one of God’s instruments of judgement.
THE BIBLE BELIEVERS GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE RAPTURE AND THE SECOND COMING
Surface-skimming students of prophecy will read Revelation and not see God’s judgments until the first of the Trumpet Judgments start firing off. But God’s wrath begins a little bit earlier than that. The wrath of God starts almost immediatly after the rapture of the Church. That happens in Revelation 6 with the opening of the First Seal:
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Revelation 6:1,2 (KJV)
So there very first judgment/wrath sent on the world is the opening of the First Seal, which reveals the Antichrist, two chapters after the Church typified by John in Revelation 4 is safely taken to Heaven. Further light on this event is shed in 2 Thessalonians, the entire chapter, that breaks down the rapture of the Church and what must immediatly follow after our departure.
Paul starts the chapter by comforting the people and telling them that they have not missed the “day of Christ”, the rapture of the Church.
Paul teaches us that the two events that precede the rapture of the Church are 1). the great falling away in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV) which matches with Revelation 3:14-22 (KJV), and 2). the revealing of the Antichrist. The Church does not live under the rule Antichrist, but Paul says he will be revealed to us. (For more on that, please read our article entitled “Does The King James Bible Reveal The Identity Of The Antichrist?“)
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 (KJV)
WHAT IS THE POINT OF PUTTING THE BODY OF CHRIST INTO THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE?
2 Thessalonians continues on its merry way, describing the Antichrist, and more importantly, those who have been left behind after the rapture. It is in this section where I see the very first place where God begins to pour His wrath out upon the Earth in judgment. The Bible tells us that those left behind that were exposed to the gospel and rejected it would be subject to the wrath of God as His judgement on their refusal to believe and receive the Truth. And here is where the wrath of God in the time of Jacob’s trouble actually begins. Please note the following:
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11,12 (KJV)
And there you have it, God’s wrath at the very start of the time of Jacob’s trouble that comes in the form of an irresistible lie spoken by the father of lies, Satan. This lie, that the Antichrist is the Messiah, will believed by all those who rejected the gospel preached during the church age, and will lead to their ultimate damnation in a place called Hell. This will cause the vast majority of the world’s population to worship the Antichrist and take the Mark of the Beast. A sin which the Bible declares their is no forgiveness for.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:9-11 (KJV)
Passages like this are further proof that the Church cannot be in any part of the time of Jacob’s trouble, because in the Age of Grace, we have full and complete pardon for all our sins from the moment of salvation. In the time of Jacob’s trouble, they do not have eternal security as evidenced the verses quoted above and also appearing in Revelation 20:4 (KJV).
Where does the wrath of God begin? Immediately after the Church is removed and the “strong delusion” is cast down in judgment. Long before the first trumpet is blown, or the first bowl is poured out, the wrath of God is dispensed on a Bible-rejecting world in the form of a strong, soul damning delusion that cannot be resisted. And it won’t be until the 144,000 male, virgin Jews are raised up to finally fulfill the Great Commission of Mark 16 with anyone have a chance to get saved.