The heavenly censer with the prayers of allthe saints spoken of in Revelation 8 symbolizes what currently shields the world from divine judgment, so its sudden casting down to the earth filled with fire from the altar must represent the removal of that covering. It is as if this is the final offering up of the prayers of the saints just prior to the Rapture, the censer is no longer needed to hold the prayers of the saints hence the angel filled it with fire from the altar and it is thrown to earth to initiate the wrath of God. Note: the Trumpet and Bowl judgments immediately follow in sequential and escalating order.
“Another angel holding a golden censer came and was stationed at the altar. A large amount of incense was given to him to offer up, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar that is before the throne. The smoke coming from the incense, along with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth, and there were crashes of thunder, roaring, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.” (Revelation 8:3-5)
This interpretation of the censer makes sense of the events that immediately precede the Rapture of the saints and the Wrath of God being poured out simultaneously. This is a perfect fit for the Prewrath position of the rapture of the saints prior to the Trumpet and Bowl judgements. That the heavenly censer is removed at the seventh seal thus provides additional verification that God’s wrath does not begin until the seven trumpets.
THE SCROLL SEALED WITH SEVEN SEALS OF REVELATION 5 & 6
“Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:3-5
Only Jesus had the authority to remove the seals from the Scroll and unleash the wrath of God with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements.
The following end times scholars: Chris White, Charles Cooper, Alan Hultberg, David Rosenthal, Ryan Habbena, and Alan Kurschner unite to produce this excellent video – Seven Pretribulation Problems and the Prewrath Rapture. You can watch this film as a whole or in parts. The individual parts pages below also have written transcripts available on https://7pretribproblems.com/7-problems/
You need to settle this issue so that you are prepared for the coming tribulation which will occur before Jesus returns to rule and reign on this earth with a “rod of iron”. God set up the nation of Israel to be His nation on earth to accomplish His purposes. During the Millennial reign of Jesus from a completely restored/restructured Jerusalem, God’s purposes for Israel will be finally realised. Satan is bound in the Abyss during Jesus 1000 year reign so it is reasonable to assume that there will be a great harvest of souls during this period. Sadly, at the end of the thousand years Satan is released from the Abyss and Scripture reveals that he is still able to get an enormous army to come against Jesus and the resurrected saints who are ruling and reigning with Him. The fact that we are told Jesus needs to rule and reign with a “rod of iron” tells us that people will still rebel against Jesus ruling according God’s commandments.
“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:7-10
An important message for Christians on the words of warning Jesus spoke to the His disciples about how some Christians will be so enamoured with the things of this world that like Lot’s wife, they will not want to leave, look back and miss being taken up to heaven at The Rapture. Two angels lead Lot’s family out of Sodom and likewise God’s angels take the Saints to heaven to protect them from the Wrath of God that is poured out on an unrepentant world at the Trumpet and Bowl judgements.
“But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26
“Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” Luke 17:28-32
Another excellent message from Nelson Walters. One you need to share widely with members of your church group.
The Rapture initiates Jesus second coming, not to earth, but to receive the risen saints in the air and to take them to heaven. The same day that the rapture occurs will be the same day that The Day of the Lord’s Wrath will begin.
The apostle Paul links the return of Christ with The Day of the Lord’s wrath (1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:9). Paul teaches that when Christ returns to pour out His wrath upon the wicked, His return will be like a thief, and it will occur suddenly like a woman in labour pangs:
“For you know quite well that The Day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night. Now when they are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction comes on them, like labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2–3
Before the battle of Armageddon occurs, the world will have been devastatingly pummelled by TheDay of the Lord trumpets and bowls judgements. The wicked will clearly know that the judgements are from God (see Revelation 6:14–17; 9:20–21; 11:3–19; 14:6–11; 16:9–11, 21; 17:14 cf. Luke 21:25–28). By the time the divine trumpets and bowls have been poured out, the battle of Armageddon will not be a surprise! It climaxes the period of God’s wrath, not initiates it. Paul clearly teaches that the wrath of God will not begin until the second coming of Christ at the Rapture, which will catch the wicked off guard as a thief with sudden destruction as a woman in hard labour. Therefore, Armageddon cannot be considered the beginning of the second coming.
Jesus taught the exact same point that sudden destruction will occur when the second coming begins, using five parables/illustrations: 1. Noah and the flood, one taken and one left, 2. the thief in the night, 3. the master of the household, 4. the ten virgins, and 5. the talents (Matthew 24:37–25:30; cf. Luke 17:28–30).
Peter also draws the “thief” motif from Jesus’s Olivet Discourse illustrating the sudden destruction when the parousia begins (2 Peter 3:10–12).
Jesus, Paul, and Peter are consistent in their message that the second coming of Christ at The Rapture will begin like a thief catching the wicked off guard in their oblivious state.
Since the battle of Armageddon occurs at the end of God’s wrath, the second coming does not begin with Armageddon, because that would remove the surprise element—the whole point of invoking the thief metaphor!
The resurrection and rapture, followed by the trumpets and bowls judgements, will occur at a much earlier point than the climax of God’s wrath at the battle of Armageddon and Jesus second coming to earth to rescue Israel.
The following explanation of the parenthetical exhortation that seems arbitrarily placed in Revelation 16:14-16 is extracted and abbreviated from Alan Kurschner’s post “The Day of the Lord’s Wrath Begins before Armageddon” Eschatos Ministries.
Revelation 16:14–16 begins at the 6th Bowl judgement just before the 7th and last Bowl judgement which precedes the Battle of Armageddon
“For they are the spirits of the demons performing signs who go out to the kings of the earth to bring them together for the battle that will take place on the great day of God, the All-Powerful. (Look ! I will come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays alert and does not lose his clothes so that he will not have to walk around naked and his shameful condition be seen.) Now the spirits gathered the kings and their armies to the place that is called Armageddon in Hebrew.” Revelation 16:14–16
This parenthetical exhortation in Revelation 16:15 is not intended to give a temporal indicator to when the Lord will return, as is often interpreted. It does not mean that his parousia has not occurred up to this point with the church still on earth. Nor does it mean that his parousia will begin at Armageddon. it makes no sense to say that Jesus is coming back as a “thief” after the world just experienced his previous earth-destroying judgements.
So then how should we understand this parenthetical statement that seems to be arbitrarily placed at this point. As it is placed at the culmination of God’s wrath, the likely meaning is that the warning represents the unified complex-whole of the day of the Lord’s wrath. And what are the implications of this statement? There are basically three interpretations but the one I believe it means is; the one who does not stay alert is a false believer (the many nominal Christians in our churches today), who will be left on earth and on the receiving end of God’s wrath.
The Prewrath Rapture positions the rapture at the trumpet blast of the seventh seal . Jesus said believers would not endure the wrath of God that is poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements but He said that we would see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15). It is at the end of the sixth seal that we are told ‘For the great day of His wrath has come.” (Revelation 6:17) At the seventh seal; The Rapture occurs and then the wrath of God begins to be poured out on the unrepentant. Much the same as Noah, his family and the animals enter the ark, God closes the door, and the wrath of God is poured out.
Believers will experience tribulation even great tribulation meted out by the Antichrist but at the same time Christians will shine brightly in the darkness with many turning to Christ despite the persecution it brings.
Dr Alan Kurschner of Eschatos Ministries explains how the greek grammar in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 supports Prewrath.
The Greek grammar in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 clearly supports the prewrath interpretation that those two events: 1. apostasy and 2, the lawless one revealed, will occur first, before the day of the Lord.
“Let no one deceive you in any way; for the day of the Lord will not come unless [ean mē] the apostasy comes first [prōton] and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3
A couple of simple cross-references of the same Greek construction in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to other biblical examples will demonstrate that the pretribulational view skews Paul’s message. The Greek is constructed with the conditional “unless” (ean mē) coupled with the adverb “first” (prōton), which results in placing the conditional events sequentially before the main event.
For example, John 7:51: “Our law doesn’t condemn a man unless[ean mē] it first [prōton] hears from him and learns what he is doing, does it?”
That is to say, before the event of “condemnation,” two events need to happen first: (1) hearing from the accused, and thus (2) learning what he is doing. The two events do not happen “during” the condemnation, as the flawed pretrib Greek analysis would have it. Rather, they occur before the verdict of condemnation.
Next Mark 3:27: “But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless[ean mē] he first [prōton] ties up the strong man; then [tote] indeed the house can be plundered.”
That is to say, the strongman is tied up first, before the house is plundered (the “then” [tote] confirms this).
These two examples that share the same Greek construction with 2 Thessalonians 2:3 suffice to illustrate Paul’ message that before the day of the Lord begins, two events must happen first: the apostasy and the revelation of the man of lawlessness. Only then can the day of the Lord begin.
Another excellent video from Nelson Walters on the timing of The Rapture (Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians4:16-17).
It is important we understand that Christians will experience tribulation and even great tribulation during the last seven years (70th week of Daniel) before Jesus returns to earth to liberate Israel at the Battle of Armageddon.
Before you watch Nelson’s video let me share this revelation: the Holy Spirit revealed to me another gem on the timing of The Rapture just two days ago. I was reading Revelation Chapter 8 on the opening of the seventh seal.
Already, I had accepted from the work Nelson Walters has done, that The Rapture takes place at the trumpet blast at the seventh seal.
SUMMARY: At the fifth seal, Revelation 6:9, John sees the souls of martyrs under the altar. They are crying out, asking when was God going to judge and avenge them. Then, they were asked to rest a little longer until the number of their fellow servants and brethren who would be killed as they were was completed. They were also given white robes, but at this stage the resurrection of the saints has not occurred so are unable to wear them.
At the end of the chapter on the opening of the sixth seal, Revelation 6:17 we read “For the great day of His wrath has come and who is able to stand. God is about to pour out His wrath upon the earth. It is time for the saints to be raptured as both Jesus and Paul said, the saints will not experience God’s wrath.
Next in Revelation 7:9, John sees “behold a great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues standing before the throne and the lamb clothed with white robes and palm trees in their hands.” Note they are no longer souls but have bodies and are wearing the white robes (The Rapture has occurred) and no longer complaining but crying out with a loud voice saying “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the lamb.”
Now what was the gem I observed that confirms The Rapture has occurs at the opening of the seventh seal?
In Revelation 8:at the opening of the seventh seal: “Then another angel having a golden censer (contains the prayers of all the saints) … and he was given much incense that he should offer it with the prayers ofallthe saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” Revelation 8:3. Once the prayers of all the saints ascended before God, what does the angel do with the censer which held the prayers of the saints? “Hefilled it with fire from the altar and threw it to the earth. And there was noises and thunderings, lightnings and an earthquake” Then, the wrath of God began to be poured out on the earth with the trumpet and bowl judgements.
The Holy Spirit revelation for me was that the golden censer was no longer needed for the prayers of the saints as the prayers of all the saints had been offered up. They were now raptured, the censer could be thrown to the earth filled with fire to initiate the wrath of God being poured out.
The following email from Nelson Walters was confirmation and an encouragement.
First, your observation about the censor is brilliant. YES, another proof. Holy Spirit stuff.
Second, glad your considering a voice over on the PPS (sermons for the end times church), which can be muted or played as desired. I use a Blue Yeti plug-in microphone which is easy to use. Cost about $100 or so, but super easy and high quality.