In Search Of The Origins Of The PreWrath Doctrine
Part 8: PreWrath's Sequential Seals, Bowls And Trumpets
Revelation 6:12-17, Isaiah 2:18-21 And Joel 3:11-17
By Ed Tarkowski

Another problem I had in believing the PreWrath doctrine was that the seals, trumpets, and bowls are believed to be sequential, with the 1st trumpet coming out of or following the 7th seal and the 1st bowl coming out of or following the 7th trumpet. This scenario looks like this in chart form:



The problem this creates in PreWrath is that the rapture occurs at the 6th seal or shortly after and is followed by the fifth trumpet, which is five months long, giving us this scenario:



The verses we will consider in association with these charts are:

Rev 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Isa 2:18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
Isa 2:19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
Isa 2:20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
Isa 2:21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

What needs to be considered here is the time element between the 6th seal and the 5th trumpet in relation to these verses. PreWrath believes that Daniel's week runs its full course, but that the Tribulation does not encompass the entire last 3-1/2 years. They believe that because of the shortening of "those days" as stated in Matthew 24:22, the Great Tribulation ends at the sixth seal, at which time the rapture occurs. This shortening moves the rapture of the Church from the end of Daniel's 70th week (as in Posttribulationism) to 5 months to a 1-1/2 years before the end of the week. But do the verses we are considering support such a view? I do not believe they do.

As I state in other documents on this web site, the 5th trumpet must come before the 6th seal in order to have time to play out and most likely introduces the sixth seal rather than coming after it. At the 6th seal, we read,

Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

In comparison, Isaiah 2 states,

Isa 2:19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. . . .
Isa 2:21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

Both sets of verses have things in common:

  1. The wrath of God

  2. Men hiding in caves, mountains and rocks

  3. Isaiah says the Lord "ariseth," and Rev 6:16 says men cry, "hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb."

  4. Isaiah says the Lord will "shake terribly the earth" and Rev 6:14 says, " . . . every mountain and island were moved out of their places."

  5. The glory and majesty of the Lord

  6. Isaiah 2:12 clearly states this is the time of day of the Lord:

    12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.

    Revelation 6:17 states,

    17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

In other words, the 6th seal introduces the Day of the Lord, the day of His wrath AND the day of His glory and majesty. Jesus placed this seal and this day "Immediately after the tribulation of those days" (Matthew 24:29), when he comes "with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30). If the tribulation ends 6 months to a 1-1/2 years before the end of Daniel's 70th week as stated in the PreWrath scenario, then why was Jesus so silent about what happens after the 6th seal in Matthew 24:29? He says nothing about what would happen between it and the end of Daniel's 70th week. He goes right into events that have to do with the time after the end of Daniel's 70th week. PreWrath says the trumpets follow the 6th and 7th seals, but that is impossible because of the time period that this creates between the end of the tribulation and the end of the week, a period that would relegate Jesus to silence because He described nothing about it.

Another problem I have with this scenario is that men are running and hiding in caves because they see "the face of him that sitteth on the throne" and they see "the wrath of the Lamb." Because Rosenthal and Van Kampen say the Lord raptures His Church to heaven and is present with them there, do men then come out of their caves and hope He doesn't come back? And what about the Lord's glory and majesty that they see?:

Isa 2:21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

Do we really understand what they will see and what we will standing in?:

GLORY 1926. hadar, haw-dawr'; from H1921; magnificience, i.e. ornament or splendor:--beauty, comeliness, excellency, glorious, glory, goodly, honour, majesty.

Look what Paul said about anyone standing in the glory of the Lord:

2 Th 2:8 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:

And to believe the PreWrath scenario in light of Zechariah 14 is impossible:

Zec 14:1 A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you.
Zec 14:2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.
Zec 14:3 Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. . .
Zec 14:12 This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.
Zec 14:13 On that day men will be stricken by the LORD with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other.

Is Armageddon 6 months to a 1-1/2 years after men run for the hills because they see the Lord coming in wrath? Joel says no such time element exists. Prewrath believes that between the 6th seal and the 6th bowl when the armies gather at Armageddon comes the 7th seal, the 7 trumpets and the first 5 bowls, yet look at the 6th bowl and compare it with Joel 3:11-17:

Rev 16:12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.
Rev 16:13 Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Rev 16:14 They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
Rev 16:15 "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."

Joel 3:11 Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD!
Joel 3:12 'Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.
Joel 3:13 Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow-- so great is their wickedness!'
Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
Joel 3:15 The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.
Joel 3:16 The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.
Joel 3:17 'Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.

In Revelation 16, the armies are being gathered to Armageddon, which PreWrath says is long after the 6th seal, while in Joel, we see these events all lumped together:

  1. Joel 3:11-12,14 - The armies gather at Armageddon, and they are to do it quickly

  2. Joel 3:15 The 6th seal: sun, moon, stars, etc.

  3. See Zechariah 14:3 - the Lord goes out to fight against those nations.

  4. The Lord ROARS from Zion and the sky trembles; "refuge for his people," most likely the protection of the Jewish remnant, though may also be the rapture

  5. The Lord reigns and dwells in Zion

To fit into this scenario seven trumpets and five bowls covering a period of 6 months to 1-1/2 years is virtually impossible. This all happens suddenly, quickly with terror and trembling and nations being destroyed where:

Zec 14:12 . . . Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.
Zec 14:13 On that day men will be stricken by the LORD with great panic.

I just find the PreWrath scenario a little impossible to believe.