Biblical Audio Commentary – Tribulation Desolation: Good Luck, Post-Tribbers!

Biblical Audio Commentary – Tribulation Desolation: Good Luck, Post-Tribbers!




Before I begin today’s Commentary . . .

A couple weeks ago I mentioned how my brother broke his leg and was in the hospital.  When we visited, he was quite out of it and in a lot of pain.  Since then, he was eventually moved to a rehab center that my sister was appalled with at how horrible it was.  By God’s grace a much better facility was found, and we traveled to Chicago to visit him this week.  The staff indeed seems attentive and pleasant, and my brother appears well cared for there.  He is certainly much more like his old self and that’s a blessing.

A number of you asked how things were going with my brother, so I wanted to give you this follow-up.  For those of you who heard my prior update on his condition and prayed for him, I wanted to thank you for that.  God really heard those prayers and for that I’m grateful.



This is a never-ending source of fascination for me: How is it that those who adhere to a post-Tribulation Rapture perspective can actually look forward to those horrific seven years of God’s wrath and judgment?  And they do.  There is almost a glee about many of them as they consider these coming difficult times.  In their thinking: Oh, they’ll be shielded by God and also be performing astounding miracles.  I think some see themselves symbolically as the Two Witnesses.  They’ll live in protected, sustainable communities apart from all those on the receiving end of God’s punishment.  It’ll be a glorious time, unlike any other ever experienced on the earth for them.

Well, they’ve got that last part right.  If they really want to be left behind to witness how God deals with this unbelieving world, I say, “Go for it.”  They want to be here in the midst of all the plagues, the demonic supernatural manifestations, and the utter destruction going on all around the world, then who am I to dissuade them?  Perhaps, however, they might want to at least reconsider just a teeny, tiny bit given what God has to say about these times to come.  To that end we find lots of evidence that living then won’t be much of a picnic – but, hey! – you go girl!  – you go, guy!  Enjoy.

For those of us with a somewhat less adventurous mindset, let’s look at the description that the prophet gave us in Isaiah 24 as to the conditions on the earth when the Judgments are unleashed.  Here are verses 1-3:

Behold, the Lord will empty the earth and make it desolate,
    and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
    as with the slave, so with his master;
    as with the maid, so with her mistress;
as with the buyer, so with the seller;
    as with the lender, so with the borrower;
    as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered;
    for the Lord has spoken this word.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not a portrayal of a place I’d want to visit, let alone live there and navigate.  It surely seems that God is accounting for pretty much everyone as He lists those affected by this desolation.  The land doesn’t appear very inviting as a place to hang out, either.  When God says that the entire planet will be twisted and utterly plundered, I’m not sure where in that landscape we find those sustainable communities where the post-Tribbers will be kept safe and secure.

Continuing on to Isaiah 24:4-5, we learn:

The earth mourns and withers;
    the world languishes and withers;
    the highest people of the earth languish.
The earth lies defiled
    under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed the laws,
    violated the statutes,
    broken the everlasting covenant.

There is no one who escapes the fate of this blight.  Whether, king, priest, or ordinary individual, all are subject to the plague of desolation upon the earth.  Why?  Because its inhabitants have broken every one of God’s laws.  If you think you have a covenant with the Lord, think again.  You’re guilty and will pay the price for your iniquity.

“But . . . but . . .,” the post-Tribbers say, “we are covered by and protected by the blood of Jesus.  He won’t allow this fate to come upon us.”  Really, where does it say that in the text?

Verse 6 carries on:

Therefore a curse devours the earth,
    and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
    and few men are left.

If you’re left behind, whether as an unbeliever or a post-Trib believer, you are part of those included in the phrase: inhabitants of the earth.  Now, you might say, “I’m in the group of few men who are left.”

Let’s think about that for a moment.  God promises that true believers will receive a glorified body, i.e. we will look like Jesus.  Pre-Trib Rapture believers see this as occurring prior to the Tribulation so that we can spend a glorious seven years in heaven consummating our marriage as the Bride of Christ with Jesus.  We are then numbered among those who follow the Lord back to the earth for His short-lived battle with Antichrist and his hordes on the plains of Armageddon surrounding Jerusalem.  We then accompany Jesus into the Millennial period judging and ruling under Him.

Who is Jesus reigning over?  There will be those who believe in Him – both Jew and Gentile – who will make it through the Tribulation intact and enter the Millennium in their mortal bodies.  They won’t receive glorified bodies.  It is these over whom Jesus rules from His throne in Jerusalem.  Since we’re working under, and in conjunction with Jesus, we who were pre-Trib Raptured and glorified will be helping Him with the human population.  Thus, if you are a post-Tribber and are among the few Isaiah describes who are left, you will be mortal in the Millennium.

I’ll just speak for myself, but I’d much rather be done with the flesh and be transformed with a glorified body.

Onward we go with Isaiah 24:7-13:

The wine mourns,
    the vine languishes,
    all the merry-hearted sigh.
The mirth of the tambourines is stilled,
    the noise of the jubilant has ceased,
    the mirth of the lyre is stilled.
No more do they drink wine with singing;
    strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
10 The wasted city is broken down;
    every house is shut up so that none can enter.
11 There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
    all joy has grown dark;
    the gladness of the earth is banished.
12 Desolation is left in the city;
    the gates are battered into ruins.
13 For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth
    among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
    as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done.

Here we see the state of the soul of those experiencing these terrible trials and tribulations as God rains done His wrath upon the unbelieving world.  It certainly doesn’t sound like a very fun place to hang out, does it?  Maybe post-Tribbers like to be depressed?  They’ll have more than their share of depression during these years; no doubt about it.

As we come to verses 14-17, the post-Tribbers are exclaiming with glee: “See, this is where we shine!”

From the first two and a half verses, they might think so, but there’s a little more to it:

14 They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
    over the majesty of the Lord they shout from the west.
15 Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;
    in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
    of glory to the Righteous One.
But I say, “I waste away,
    I waste away. Woe is me!
For the traitors have betrayed,
    with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.”

17 Terror and the pit and the snare
    are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!

The way I read this is that during this time a false song is raised to God.  It seems to be one of truth and righteousness, but the prophet appears to quash that by calling those people traitors who sing with glee.  Notice the terror, the pit, and the snare.  Looks like these people have the same destiny as everyone else on the earth.

In fact, we see in Isaiah 24:18-20 what happens to them all:

18 He who flees at the sound of the terror
    shall fall into the pit,
and he who climbs out of the pit
    shall be caught in the snare.
For the windows of heaven are opened,
    and the foundations of the earth tremble.
19 The earth is utterly broken,
    the earth is split apart,
    the earth is violently shaken.
20 The earth staggers like a drunken man;
    it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
    and it falls, and will not rise again.

The Tribulation is the most awful time ever to come upon this planet.  I’ve been exposed to a fair amount of post-Trib thinking.  As such, I’ve seen that for the most part, folks who adhere to this ideology don’t seem to appreciate the severity of these seven years.  I don’t know what it is, but they simply don’t see these kinds of descriptions as pertaining to them and their surroundings as they fantasize going through this time period.  Post-Tribbers just can’t appreciate how bad it’ll really be.  Why?  I can think of no other explanation than that they’ve been deceived with a lie.

The final verses 21-23 provide the end of the story:

21 On that day the Lord will punish
    the host of heaven, in heaven,
    and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
22 They will be gathered together
    as prisoners in a pit;
they will be shut up in a prison,
    and after many days they will be punished.
23 Then the moon will be confounded
    and the sun ashamed,
for the Lord of hosts reigns
    on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and his glory will be before his elders.

Not only will the inhabitants of the earth be judged for their unbelief and receive great punishment in the flesh before their eternal judgment, but the rebellious spiritual realm – the fallen heavenly host – which initiated this insurrection of humanity – will also receive their just retribution.

It is verse 24 that tells us what happens with all the demons and fallen angels.  Just like Satan, they will be cast into the abyss and be imprisoned for 1000 years.  This is the reason that sin, and sin alone, will be the major issue that mortal humans will face during the Millennium.  Only when Satan is released for his final attempt to thwart God are all his minions likewise released.  Then, at the Word of Christ, all are defeated and sent to the Lake of Fire for eternity.

Just think of the poor post-Tribbers who remain mortal in this glorious time when Jesus reigns on earth.  Remember, they wanted to stay, so they’ll remain human in the Millennium.  You have to be Raptured beforehand or be martyred to gain your glorified body.  Since they haven’t become glorified like we pre-Tribbers, this group will have to fight the fight against sin for another 1000 years.  Ugh.

Now, I know that post-Tribbers think that they’ll be Raptured at the very end of the Tribulation, get their gloried bodies, and return with Jesus and the host of heaven back to earth.  However, as has been pointed out many times, this quick round-trip journey simply doesn’t make sense.  For one thing, they miss the entire Bema Seat Judgment with crowns given out.  For another, they also miss the wedding with Jesus as the Bride of Christ.  Either that or they think it’s a shotgun wedding as they fly to heaven and back in this rapid turnaround.  That really works from God’s perspective, doesn’t it?

If you think I’m making fun of this belief system, you’re right.  There’s so much about it that doesn’t line up with Scripture.  That’s a problem.  If you’re going to believe something and call it Biblical, you better make sure it’s well-rooted in God’s Word.  Because of all this that I’ve noted today, it should be obvious that it doesn’t comport with the Biblical text.

That’s okay.  God seems to allow different interpretations of His Word.  As long as our believing loyalty is for Jesus and Him alone and it’s based solely on grace through faith, the Lord gives us the latitude to be only partially right or even wrong.  Go figure.

In the end, if we give all glory to God and exalt Him above all things, trusting Him and obeying His commands, His grace is sufficient.

8 Responses to “Biblical Audio Commentary – Tribulation Desolation: Good Luck, Post-Tribbers!”

  1. Reply RobinL

    A dear sister in Christ of mine and I went and saw Sound of Freedom yesterday, and then had dinner together. She is scripturally sound and knows it’s a pre-trib Rapture so I especially enjoy spending time with her. As we watched the movie, a very strong sense of “God is extremly close to putting all of this wickedness to an end” rose up in me; His patience is beyond imagining. But it is almost “go time”.

    Keeping His nature, not ours, in mind, He is graciously going to set aside a lot of misunderstandings of His teachings. Not the core ones mind you, like the means of salvation, repentance from sin, His grace, profession that Christ is our Lord and Savior, that there is one way to Heaven, that God is Triune and so forth. But thankfully, correct eschatology isn’t a condition of salvation…if so, VERY few people would be raptured. Certainly not even 10% of true Believers. No, most of the today’s Believers have their understanding of Bible Prophecy pretty messed up. But that won’t matter as long as they have been born again.

    Anyone who thinks they want to be here for the Tribulation, and that God will preserve them, have extremely bad theology. Period. They are maddening when they’re spouting off complete nonsense, but luckily for them, it doesn’t mean they are damned or that they will be left behind.

    There is a reason the Bible tells us that those of us who are eagerly watching, anticipating, and preparing for Jesus’ return will win crowns of righteousness. You’d think everyone would get one, but that is obviously not the case. Most Christians don’t even know what will happen, and of those who do, few truly understand.

    BTW, that’s very good news about your brother Gary, God hears the prayers of His children.

    • Reply Gary Ritter

      That’s exactly what I mean when I say that God apparently tolerates a lot of error in our thinking as long as we’re truly believing in Him for our salvation and have no other gods before us. To that end, I’ll confess to being somewhat(?) snarky when I talk about some of these errors.

      • Reply RobinL

        Well, Gary, in your defences, you get your fair share of private advice from people who have no idea what they are talking about. 😉

        I’m amazed and grateful that God promises to forgive my sins no matter how many times I repeat them, or try out new variations of them.

        • Reply Gary Ritter

          Wait till you hear next week’s Prophecy Update in this regard! I’ll admit, it is a source of never-ending material.

  2. Reply Layne Dewlen

    Gary, may I make a request now before the Rapture, before we are overcome with the joy of seeing our Saviour, and all the festivities of Heaven? I want very much to meet you. Could we agree to getting together and having a long talk? Of course we will have to wait until later to decide on when. Love you, Bro.

  3. Reply Robin McCann

    To all the mid and post tribbers who have given their lives over to the Lord and Saviour, I simply tell them that they will just have to be surprised. It’s gonna be fun seeing their faces on the way up.

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