I will be writing up three “Why I am not a…” articles on posttribulationism, midtribulationism, pretribulationism. This will be the first one. I am not going to give my argumentation in these articles since that would requires scores of pages, so I refer the reader to my forthcoming book, Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord where I engage substantively with these points. What I will provide in these articles are summary statements. They are not exhaustive points of difference, for many more could be addressed, but I want to highlight the definitional differences with prewrath.
Prewrath has some affinity with posttribulationism since both views believe that the church will encounter the Antichrist’s persecution. Nevertheless, there are a handful of significant differences that distinguish these two positions.
1. Posttribulationists mistakenly interpret that the second coming begins with the battle of Armageddon. This is a deep-seated assumption without biblical support. Prewrath rightly affirms that the second coming will begin—not at the end of the day of the Lord’s wrath at Armageddon—but just before the day of the Lord’s wrath with Christ coming in the clouds to resurrect the dead in Christ and rapture God’s people, followed then by the trumpets, bowls, and Armageddon.
2. Posttribulationists mistakenly interpret that the three septets of seals, trumpets, and bowls concurrently unfold; i.e, the sixth seal, sixth trumpet, and sixth bowl are the same event. This results in a strained reading and even many absurd readings among the judgment elements. Prewrath affirms the consecutive nature of their unfolding; i.e, the first trumpet cannot begin to occur until the seventh seal is broken. (I have an entire appendix in my book devoted to defending the consecutive interpretation.)
3. Posttribulationists mistakenly interpret Paul’s “last trump” with the seventh trumpet in the book of Revelation having the church on earth during the day of the Lord’s wrath followed by the rapture. In contrast, prewrath does not identify Paul’s “last trump” with the seventh trumpet; and prewrath correctly has the rapture occurring before the day of the Lord’s wrath, not after it.
4. Posttribulationists mistakenly interpret the resurrection of the two witnesses as representing the rapture of the church. Prewrath rightly sees that interpretation as groundless and a form of allegorizing.
5. Posttribulationists mistakenly have the great tribulation occurring 3 1/2 years in duration because the Antichrist will have authority to persecute the saints for 3 1/2 years. Prewrath affirms that the great tribulation against the church is cut short, but this cutting short of the great tribulation against the church does not require that the Antichrist’s authority is cut short. The church is not the only object of Antichrist’s persecution, for there is Israel and Gentiles who come to Christ after the church is raptured. In short, it is fallacious to identify Jesus’ prediction of the persecution of the church being cut short with the authority of Antichrist. The church’s persecution is a subset of Antichrist’s delimited 3 1/2 years of authority.
6. Posttribulationists mistakenly either have the day of the Lord’s wrath unfolding in a 24-hour period, or the great tribulation and the day of the Lord’s wrath occur at the same time, or the great tribulation is the day of the Lord’s wrath. Prewrath resolves this posttrib conundrum of where to fit God’s wrath by recognizing that the great tribulation is cut short, thereby having the day of the Lord’s wrath naturally unfolding for a sufficient amount of time to be fulfilled.
As for the first posttrib view, it is an unnatural reading since the day of the Lord’s wrath is not a simple event, it is a complex event; the fifth trumpet judgment alone is said to last five months in duration, and the seventh trumpet says, “in the days of the seventh trumpet.”
As for the second posttrib view, there is no biblical support for having the great tribulation and the day of the Lord’s wrath occur concurrently. The consistent pattern in the Bible, especially in Jesus and Paul’s teaching and the book of Revelation is that Christ’s coming will terminate the great tribulation followed immediately before the day of the Lord’s wrath. There is no overlap.
As for the third posttrib view, the same reasoning is used against it for the second reason. And the object of the Antichrist’s great tribulation is against believers, and the object of the day of the Lord’s wrath is the wicked.