Sylvia Colville

Rapture Ready Series – Part 3

The Tribulation – the Hour of Trial and the coming wrath of God

Times of separation at the End of the age - The Reason He is coming for the bride

We have spent much time talking about the restoration of Gen.1:26, the plan of salvation to rescue us from the darkness and death we found ourselves in and the great sacrifice by Jesus who paid the ransom price for our lives to make salvation possible.

We have discussed that whatever God has determined and has spoken will not come back to Him void but will accomplish that which He sent it to do. So if God has declared, “Let Us make man in Our image and in Our likeness,’ then that is what is going to happen. The entire plan of salvation was to restore exactly that.

Will every person ever created be a part of that? No. Many will reject His plan for their lives. They will reject His Presence in their lives and they will refuse Him as their Lord. So be it. They will have what they chose.

Everyone who has believed in what Jesus accomplished on the cross to restore them to a relationship with God the Father and who have surrendered their lives to Him, walked through the Cross and found themselves in the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here in the Kingdom, as heirs of the Lord Jesus Christ, they are on a journey of transformation under the instruction and the guidance of the mighty Holy Spirit. Their quest? To be ready when Jesus comes to catch away the bride of Christ.

The point of it all?

There is a Kingdom coming – the Eternal Kingdom of God and in the Eternal Kingdom of God, only those who represent Gen.1:26 will be there.
You can be sure that there will be NO evil there whatsoever.

As it nears the end of this age, God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit have one goal in mind…to eradicate all evil and usher in the eternal Kingdom of God.

It is God’s intention that the Kingdom of God will consist only of those who represent this truth. He has no intention of allowing any evil into the eternal Kingdom of God.

Eph. 1:10 – That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth: even in Him.

In order to do this, mankind will go through preordained times of heavenly sifting. The book of Revelations deals mainly with the Lord separating the wheat from the tares.

The Rapture or catching away is essentially the first of these separations.

Those who are faithful, ready and waiting (the wise virgins) from those who are not (the foolish virgins). Matt. 25:1-13.

These are the faithful ones that Jesus is coming for so that they will escape the hour of trial or Tribulation that is to come upon the whole earth.

1 Thess. 5:1-11 – But concerning the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you, yourselves, know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’, then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
But you, brethren are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

The Rapture

John 14:1-4 – Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.

If we break down this scripture we see the following:

  1. “I go to prepare a place for you”. Where is this place? In My Father’s house.
  2. “I will come again”. He is coming back to earth. Why?
  3. “And receive you to Myself”. Receive – to come into possession of something. Why?
  4. “That where I am, there you may be also”. So that we can be where He is.

Acts 1:9-11 – Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

What manner was that? In a cloud. How then will He return? In a cloud.

1 Thess. 4:15-17 – For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will be no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Escaping the Hour of Trial

In Revelations, Jesus asks John to write letters to the seven different churches. This is the letter to the Faithful Church. For now, please just take note of two things:

  1. An ‘hour of trial’ will be coming upon the whole earth.
  2. Remember the name of the city that Jesus will write on the Faithful Church.

A letter to the Faithful Church

Rev.3:7-13 – And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie – indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.
I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (plural).”’

What are the names He will write on the Faithful Church, the one that will escape the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world?

The name of God the Father, the new name of Jesus and the New Jerusalem.

Rev. 21:9-11, 22-23 – Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. ‘But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.’ The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

What is the name of the bride, the Lamb’s wife? The holy Jerusalem! The New or holy Jerusalem is the one who is kept from the hour of trial! Clearly, the Lamb is not getting married to a city, a structure. No, He is getting married to those who make up the city, those who have the name of God written on them, who have ‘New Jerusalem’ written on them and those who have the new name of Jesus written on them.

The Bridegroom is coming for the bride to take her to the wedding at the place that He has prepared in His Father’s house. Here in the safety of the Father’s house she will also escape the appointed wrath…the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole earth. Her name is the New Jerusalem or the holy Jerusalem.

Whether we believe it is in 500 years from now or that we are living in the last days before Christ’s return… the only time you and I have is NOW to prepare to be a part of the bride of Christ. If He comes now, I want to be ready. If He comes long after I have died, I want to die…ready.

Secondly, I really want you to be ready. I don’t want you to miss this! All of those who miss the Rapture will go through the Tribulation!

What difference does it make if I believe in the Rapture or not?

Heb.9:28 – So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation (the redemption of the body).

Left behind
The Tribulation - The Hour of Trial and the coming wrath.

Let us just briefly look at what happens if we ignore these warnings and we miss His return and now we are a part of those that are left behind to face the Tribulation that follows. What happens to us? Is it over? For those who weren’t ready…is it over?

No, it is not over…but what follows for all on the earth is the time of testing called by Jesus ‘the hour of trial’ in Rev. 3:10 which is coming to test those who dwell on the earth and is commonly spoken of as the Tribulation.

Why is God wanting to test those who dwell on the earth?

As we have already said…we are coming to the dispensation called the ‘fullness of times’ where God gathers all who are in Christ and these will go forward into the eternal Kingdom of God. The Faithful Church is the first of these who will be gathered by God.

The church will be gone (2 Thess. 2:7-8) and the time that follows has been given to the Anti-Christ, the man of sin, the son of perdition, the lawless one (2 Thess. 2:9-12).

The Tribulation which follows is a time of great deception by the Anti-Christ. It is going to be an unbelievably fearful and disastrous time.

Understanding the different dispensations

Looking at the diagram we see the following:

There are four dispensations from the time that God rescued, delivered and entered into the Mosaic Covenant with Moses and the Children of Israel – to the end of the Millennium, the 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth.

  1. The dispensation of the Mosaic Law, the Children of Israel and the Covenant people of God. This entire dispensation is about God the Father providing a suitable bloodline that would birth forth the Lord Jesus Christ (our Redeemer) upon this earth. To achieve that God needed ONLY one woman BUT this one woman had to be established in His ways and that could only be a reality if she had been raised by a people whose lifestyle reflected the terms of the holy covenant that they had with Him. He needed a holy people, set apart to Him. (Why?). So that His Son could be raised by a holy, godly people. This dispensation ended with the First Coming of Jesus.
  2. The dispensation of Grace, the Church Age, and the New Covenant people of God. The Good news of the Gospel and the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the earth whose principal ministry is the work of transformation of the people of God (Gen. 1:26). They are the image bearers whose lives will reveal Christ. It ends with the ‘catching away’, the Rapture of the Church.
  3. The Tribulation and the Wrath of God. The 7 year Tribulation is split into 2 periods of 3 1⁄2 years each. The tribulation and the great tribulation. It is the time given to the Anti-Christ BUT ALSO a time dedicated to the salvation of the Jews. The Tribulation is God testing…searching the inner depths of man’s heart to see what really is there. It is all about distinguishing the wheat from the tares. Upon this world so lost in deception, the wrath of God will be unleashed. The opening of the 7 Seals (Rev. 6) is followed by the 7 Trumpet judgments (Rev. 8+9) in the tribulation and finally in the great tribulation, the wrath of God is poured out in the 7 Bowl judgments. It ends with the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Battle of Armageddon. The beast and the false prophet are cast alive into the lake of fire. (Rev. 19:11-21).
  4. The Millennium, the 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth and the destruction of all rebellion. The Devil has been bound for 1000 years and cast into the bottomless pit so that he can’t deceive the nations anymore (Rev. 20:1-10). It is a time of peace under the governance of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is also the final end and the total annihilation of all evil, rebellion and sin. How does that happen? At the end of the Millennium, the Devil, is released from the bottomless pit. He will go out and deceive the nations and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city. Fire comes down from God out of heaven and destroys them.

Thus ends ALL opportunity for man to enter into the Eternal Kingdom of God. It is time for the Great White Throne judgment and the Final End of all rebellion.

After which all things are made new and it is the beginning of the Eternal Kingdom of God.

Preaching of the Gospel during the Tribulation.

In the midst of the great chaos and wrath of the Tribulation, the gospel will still be preached in the first 3 1⁄2 years firstly by a group of believers who are then martyred by Mystery Babylon and the 10 kings (Rev. 6:9 / Rev. 17:6). Secondly, by the two witnesses who stand before the temple in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:3-14). Thirdly, by the 144000 Jewish evangelists (Rev. 7:1-8 / Rev. 14:1-5) and at the very last by the proclamations of the three angels who preach the gospel from the midst of the heavens, proclaim the fall of ‘Babylon’, the most corrupt religious seat of idolatry and the enemy of Christianity, and finally declare a warning of what will happen to those who receive the mark of the beast (Rev. 14:6-16).

  1. This will give those ‘Christians’ who have been left behind one last chance. They understand what has happened and many will repent and go on to serve Him with their whole heart.
  2. To give all unbelievers one last chance to see the truth, repent, and truly follow Him.
  3. To give Israel the chance to recognize their Messiah, to repent, to be restored and to be grafted back into their own olive tree (Rom. 11:17-25). (Dan. 9:24-27).

It must be said though…it will be very difficult for Christians in the Tribulation.
Martyrdom will be common for those who preach the Gospel in the first 3 1⁄2 years of the tribulation. They will be recognized as enemies of the ‘state / coalition / union’, which is run by the 10 kings and Mystery Babylon. Likewise, it will be equally as difficult for those who are still there in the second 3 1⁄2 years, they will have to choose between taking the mark of the beast and denying the Lord Jesus Christ. By refusing to deny Christ, they will reject the mark of the beast and accept being martyred instead.

The reward for those who choose martyrdom can be seen in Rev. 20:4-6. By contrast, to deny the Lord and accept the mark of the beast will lead to spending eternity in the lake of fire. (Rev. 14:9-11).

Both Jews and Gentiles will be saved during these times and by refusing to take the mark of the beast in the great tribulation, will find themselves safe and serving before the throne of God.

Rev.7:9-17 – After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, Peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honour and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen’
V13-14 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’
So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
V15-17 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Therefore, if you find yourself having to go through the tribulation, I say to you,’ Be strong and very courageous. Don’t take the mark. The rewards are out of this world!’

Finally, at the end of this age there will be a final judgment known as the Great White Throne Judgment where the devil, his cohorts and ALL who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation, will be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. (Rev. 20:10-15).

Rev. 21:7-8 – ‘He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.’

Rev.21:27 – But there shall by no means enter it (the New Jerusalem) anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.