Could the Rapture Happen Today? Is This the End? Study Guide. David Jeremiah. New Testament Words for Today. Fr Francois Xavier Schouppe. What the Bible Says about Worship. Christopher D. Bible Prophecy Handbook. Carol Smith. A New Heaven and a New Earth. Richard Middleton. Shepherd's Notes: Deuteronomy. Paul Wright. Shepherd's Notes: Mark. Edwin Blum. The Hidden Enemy. Michael Youssef. Every Prophecy about Jesus. The Doctrine of Endless Punishment. The Christian's Hope. John W.
Bible Readings. Tompaul Wheeler. New Testament Survey. Robert G. End Times Prophecy. The End of the World. Matthew Needham. Divine Spiritual Laws. Chantal R. Elyse Fitzpatrick. The Truth Concerning the Great Tribulation. Stephen Fraser. Firm Foundations. Stuart Pattico. Kingdom, Come! Philip Graham Ryken. Gospels for the 21st Century. David Hulme. God's Promises for Women. Jack Countryman. End of Days. Robert Rite. Russell Sherrard. The Future of the Word. Tiffany Eberle Kriner.
David Alley. Reading the Bible Through Grace Lenses. Oliver Day. Dana Gould. The timing of this event is made clear when we go to Matthew The day and hour for the coming of the Son of Man, which no one knows but the Father alone, which will be just like the days of Noah and the days of Lot, in which the unrighteous perish and the righteous remain, is here said to happen after the abomination of desolation. The abomination of desolation occurs 3.
Only after a period of great tribulation, that is cut short, will the Son of Man come just as the lightning comes. The clarification of these misunderstandings shook my beliefs a bit. First, it took away some of the Scriptural basis for the rapture I had previously looked to. At this point I still believed a pre-tribulation rapture to be Biblical, I just thought it was for some reason not mentioned in the synoptic Gospels. Second, it also meant that the appearance for the elect was not a mid-tribulation appearance for tribulation martyrs as I had been taught, but rather coincidental in timing with His post-tribulation public advent.
In essence, the entire Olivet Discourse points to this post-tribulation public advent. In the Parable of the Ten Virgins or the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids found in Matthew , I was taught that the Bridegroom coming at midnight refers to His appearance in the middle of the seven years of tribulation. However, with my earlier misunderstandings of the Olivet Discourse clarified, it became clear that verse 13 carries a phrase used for the post-tribulation public advent of Christ.
As defended above, similar verses like Matthew , 42 are talking about the post-tribulation public advent of Christ as an event for which we do not know the day nor the hour. Therefore, I no longer believed the passage to be referring to a mid-tribulation appearance, even though at this point I still believed in a mid-tribulation appearance based on the passages in the Book of Revelation. Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. Since the only two support passages for believing in a mid-tribulation appearance now rested on only two passages in the Book of Revelation, namely Revelation and Revelation , I decided to look into them again. It then became apparent to me that the tribulation martyrs were to be gathered only at the end of the seven years.
In Revelation , it says that the tribulation martyrs came out 'the great tribulation. Therefore, Revelation cannot be referring to a mid-tribulation appearance for tribulation martyrs. Revelation , NASB. For then there will be a great tribulation , such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. The wheat and grape harvests of Revelation are a bit more confusing. Joel says that certain signs will occur before the day of the Lord.
This is clear when comparisons are made with Jeremiah and Matthew The footnotes of the following article expound on this connection Link. Joel , NASB. Jeremiah , NASB. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
The sun darkening and the moon becoming blood are also found in Revelation as part of the sixth seal. However, Matthew says that immediately after the tribulation of those days or the great tribulation the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. Since the next verse even talks about the public advent, it is clear that the sign will not occur until near the end of the seven years. I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; Revelation , NASB '.
That being said, Joel , goes on to talk about the events which will happen when the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sickle, the harvest, and the winepress correspond to Revelation The ending of the passage in Revelation and the mention of the valley of Jehoshaphat in Joel indicate that the harvest could take place at the end of the seven years of tribulation. Ultimately, we have to decide whether the day of the Lord being near refers to the great tribulation as a whole or specifically the Battle of Armageddon. I now believe the latter because Joel specifically says the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
Come, tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sixth seal, therefore, does not actually line up with the middle of the seven years of tribulation. With this in mind, I believe the timeline on the seven seals needs to be examined using the details given in the Olivet Discourse.
The following file simplifies the relationship Link. The fifth seal seems to bring on the great tribulation. I was taught that in Revelation 12, the woman represented the Church whereas the man-child represented the overcoming Bride of Christ that the church was producing. I was taught that the woman and the remnant of her seed were left-behind to suffer persecution. The argument was that that the man-child being 'caught up' corresponded to the being 'caught up' in the rapture of 1 Thessalonians Furthermore, in Revelation 12 it says the child was to rule all nations with a 'rod of iron' and ruling with a 'rod of iron' was a promise given to the Church of Thyatira in Revelation However, Revelation 12 seems to be indicative of Jesus for the following select reasons:.
Nowhere in Scripture is the Bride of Christ considered to be a man-child. Rather, Isaiah talks about a sign given concerning God entering the world as a son. Interestingly, Revelation 12 is also about great signs or wonders in heaven. After Jesus was brought forth as per Matthew , we learn through the Gospels that Satan had plans to destroy Jesus just like how Revelation 12 portrays it. Micah talks about how Israel would be handed over to enemies until the woman in travail gives birth and the remnant is reunited with the people of Israel.
This is within the context of a ruler, Jesus, coming from Bethlehem in verse 2. So Jesus was the result of a woman travailing in birth, just like how Revelation 12 portrays it. In fact, the entire scene with the woman in Revelation 12 parallels Joseph's dream in Genesis 37 of Israel as a woman. Unlike how dispensationalism the basis for a pre-tribulation rapture portrays it, Israel and the Church are one and the same.
To be more specific, the New Testament church formed on the Day of Pentecost is the eschatological fulfillment of Israel. The distinction of Israel and Gentiles in verses like Romans proves that God is not finished with natural Israel, but it does not negate the fact that Gentiles are spiritual Israel Romans , Romans , Galatians , Philippians Through His ascension, Jesus was 'caught up' to heaven.
Our being 'caught up' post-tribulation is supposed to reflect His ascension, we do not have to equate 1 Thessalonians to Revelation Jesus is the primary one who will rule with 'rod of iron' although He has granted us a share in this. Isaiah , Psalm , and Revelation are clearly references to Jesus ruling with a 'rod of iron. There are time-gaps within the wonders in Revelation There is the gap between Jesus' birth and His ascension. And there is the gap between His ascension and the mid-tribulation point where the woman flees into the wilderness.
In Daniel , the Antichrist is the little horn who will reign for the second three and a half years of the seven years of tribulation. The same terminology is also found in Revelation where it talks about the woman being nourished in the wilderness during three and half years of tribulation. I was taught that this referred to the first three and a half years of the seven years which was supposedly to be against 'left behind' Christians who the woman allegedly represented However, that is not the case.
As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. Daniel , NASB.
Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. Revelation is often used to justify the notion that Christian believers will be removed from the earth via a pre-tribulation rapture to be kept from the hour of testing. However, this verse is talking about internal preservation and not external preservation.
There, in Jesus' High Priestly Prayer, Jesus mentions to the Father concerning His disciples not that 'you should take - out of' or 'ares - ek' Strongs: G, G but rather that 'you should keep - from' or 'tereses - ek' Strongs: G, G the evil one. Since he uses a different phrase to communicate the notion of being taken out of the world in contrast to being kept from the evil one in John , it is best to conclude that his usage of the phrase 'tereso - ek' in Revelation is consistent with how it is applied in John Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. John , NASB. However, the coming wrath in the context of these passages is the wrath of eternal separation from God. This is clear from John which continues from the famous verse in John That is why 1 Thessalonians says we are not appointed to suffer wrath but to receive salvation.
One could make the argument that the rapture is when the salvation of our bodies occurs, but that is stretch. Even if we apply the passages in that way, the wrath of man is often equated with the first three and half years of tribulation whereas the wrath of God is often equated with the last three and a half years of tribulation. So that argument at-best aligns with a mid-tribulation rapture or pre-wrath rapture.
Furthermore, in the post-tribulation rapture view, Christians do not suffer the wrath of God and are instead internally preserved just like how the Israelites were preserved in the land of Goshen as many of the plagues affected the Egyptians. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Romans , NASB. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Ephesians , NASB. He who believes in the Son has eternal life ; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life , but the wrath of God abides on him.
In line with Acts , from His resurrection to the Christian's resurrection, it is the case that through tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. In fact, the Greek word in Acts for 'tribulations' Strongs: G is used in 1 Thessalonians as 'afflictions' which interestingly 'we have been destined for. Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Further, the time frame could be calculated as to Second Coming. It is interesting that among those who reject the Pre-Tribulational rapture there is no consensus as to when it will occur.
Their views widely vary from sometime around the Sixth Seal the Second Coming. A false interpretation always produces confusion. In Romans ; Philippians ; 1 Peter ; 2 Timothy ; Revelation , and each uses the word eggizo. Each reference is to the imminent return of the Lord. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. Further, there is never any sign said to precede the rapture. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. See Rom. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
Further, Matthew , specifically states that Jesus is referring to the events of "great tribulation" and leaves no room for doubt as to the period Christ is describing. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord, so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Christians are not told to look for signs. Paul was addressing early believers was prophetically addressing the future. First, Paul continues his explanation of the rapture and explains they have no need that he writes them concerning the times and season.
He emphasizes this point by showing the unsaved that are not looking for the imminent return of Christ will be suddenly faced with destruction and they shall not escape. These are unbelievers who reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The reference to the travail of a woman further illustrates the destruction comes suddenly and more importantly unavoidably. Those who are not ready for the rapture and have rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior will immediately enter the devastating seven-year Tribulation, which is the wrath of God poured out in judgment.
Paul points out to the Christians in the 1 st Century that they were not in darkness, that the day would overtake them as a thief because they are the children of the light and of the day. Do not misunderstand that Paul was teaching believers in the early church. There is no question the discourse stresses the sudden and imminent return of Christ followed by the catastrophic events of the Tribulation. The passage plainly says believers would not be caught unaware and be a part of the destruction that comes to the world.
False doctrine, as perpetrated by the false prophet, will abound in the seven years of desolation. God states He sends these unbelievers in the seven years, the strong delusion to believe the lies of a false and world-wide religion. The question is why He takes this action? Because of taking pleasure in unrighteousness these will not receive the love of the truth and thus damn themselves. Evidently this in time would before the Tribulation and continue into the period.
It seems one can correctly conclude that those who heard the Gospel prior to the Tribulation and did not believe the truth and rejected the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ are the ones who are sent the strong delusion. Because of their unbelief and rejection of truth, they will not be saved and not raptured. Those who receive the strong delusion are probably not those who merely heard about Jesus Christ but never in their hearts made a conscience decision to reject Him. Millions will be saved in the seven years who for the first time hear the truth and accept it. Further, in 1 Thessalonians after warning about the absolute surety of the rapture and the devastation that the unsaved would face being left on earth Paul gave assurance that Christians would not experience the wrath of God.
They teach the wrath of God refers to the judgments beginning around the time of the seventh Seal Judgment. They explain that the Seal Judgments are the wrath of man or the Satan empowered Antichrist and not God. However, that cannot be the case because beginning in Revelation and following, it is Christ who opens each Seal thus initiating these beginning judgments that are the wrath of God. God has throughout history used pagan nations and individuals to bring judgment on His people. In the fourth, Seal Revelation says that God gives the pale horse rider the power to kill a fourth part of the people on earth.
It is God who inaugurates this mass genocide on mankind. This means that 1. Revelation records that as the Fifth Seal is opened John saw the souls of them slain for the word of God. Thus, a part of the 1. These believers were not spared the wrath of God that allowed the Antichrist to persecute and kill them. Clearly, Paul stated that those of the Church Age are not appointed to wrath.
Note what 2 Thessalonians reveal:. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 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: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
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And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. It does not mean the Holy Spirit will not be active in the seven years. He will be bringing conviction to the hearts of men and many will be saved. Further, He will be involved in God judgments on mankind. Even though the events that Jesus describes have been happening throughout history, the magnitude of these happenings cannot be compared with those of the.
The daily news warns of the catastrophic, devastation that volcanos, tsunamis, earthquakes, metros and asteroids, famine, and disease could sudden bring on the world. The magnitude of the past events cannot be compared to what they will do in the Tribulation. God has not been pouring out His wrath in the past two thousand years.
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Daniel said this last week, as verse 27 reveals, will conclude the Old Testament and will end with the Messiah; 1 ending the transgression and sin of Israel, 2 to make the reconciliation for iniquity, 3 to bring in everlasting righteousness, 4 to seal up the vision and prophecy, and 5 to anoint the most Holy Second Coming and establishing His kingdom.
Only one of these five goals Daniel predicted has been accomplished. When Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah, clearly God interjected this present dispensation in which He would gather to Himself a bride from among the Gentiles. They were only moved to a later time which is yet future to this age. Thus, with the beginning of Revelation 6 the Old Testament dispensation ends. At the end of this last week the Messiah will purge the Earth and be anointed the Righteous King, who sets up His Kingdom and rules in the Millennium.
The Church Age is not in view having ended with the rapture of all the saints of God who have been saved since Pentecost, meaning born again Christians of this current Church Age. These are saved people who will go into the Millennial kingdom in their natural bodies and repopulate the earth. This is not a reference to spiritual salvation. Salvation is not received during any age through the works of man.
This is probably accomplished by the , sealed Jews. Note the Gospel is specifically stated as being the Gospel of the Kingdom. All men are saved by accepting by faith in the Gospel that has been preached since the early churches. However, this statement specifically states it is the Gospel of the Kingdom that is preached. The Gospel of the Kingdom is for Israel and announces their promised Kingdom. This verse is not addressing this Church Age. God is renewing His offer of the Kingdom to Israel. This preaching of the Gospel in all the nations will occur during the Tribulation, not in our present age.
In spite of the great evangelistic work that has and is being done on earth only a fraction of the nations of the earth have a clear Gospel witness. Biblical mission organizations estimate that only about half the country has actually heard a true Gospel witness. Many have heard about Jesus Christ but do not really know who He is or what He did by coming to earth. Many, such as the cults, have been deceived and deny His deity and are worshipping a false Christ.
How can one relate this to the present Church Age? Geographically and specifically Jesus is referring to Jews in Israel who were asking about His setting up the Kingdom. He explains to the Jews in Judea, Israel to flee to the mountains to avoid what is about to happen.
Many believe this is a reference to the bowl or vial judgments of Revelation which occur from the middle to the end of the Seven Year Tribulation. The judgment begins with Christ opening each of the Seal Judgments and will continue into the Trumpet and Vial judgments, thus the devastation will grow progressively worse. Satan directing the Antichrist will be raging completely out of control in these last days. They will be doing great contrived miracles and trickery signs to support their deception.
In desperation, people will be seeking help and will be told of messiahs who are in the desert or who are apparently secluding themselves from the public. God will destroy the nations gathered in the Jezreel Valley who are fighting each other in the Armageddon war. Note this is a Universal event not just a shower of meteors or few asteroids hitting the earth. The whole Universe is shaken. It is not the rapture because in many areas there are few if in believers. What this sign will be, is not revealed, but everyone on earth will see it and know it means Christ is returning.
This is in counter distinction to the teaching of the imminent return of Christ presented in the Epistles to the churches in this present Church Age. Believers in this dispensation are not told to look for signs, but to look for Christ's imminent return. Paul states that signs relate to the Jews, not the Gentiles. Revelation reveals the second reaping or rapture of believers as an angel of the Lord reaps believers from the earth as the Lord Jesus commands and watches.
The believers of this present Church Age being the "bride of Christ" will have been raptured before the seven-year Tribulation began. At the Second Coming they will accompany Christ Jesus, along with the saints throughout the ages past as He returns to earth. On the earth, those who have believed that are still alive and remain until the Second Coming will be gathered to Jerusalem to meet the Savior. This is not the rapture because the details and timing of these two events are different.
Here in Matthew , Christ sends angels to gather the saints to be present at His arrival. In 1 Thessalonians , states that Christ Himself will descend with a shout and the dead in Christ shall rise first and those alive will be changed and "caught up" raptured to meet the Lord in the air. No angels are involved. Jesus uses the process by which a fig tree produces fruit as an illustration of relating the sign He has just mentioned in His Second Coming.
He is saying that as you see these events or signs happening look for the Second Coming and the age to end. As stated, earlier Christians in this age are never told to look for signs, but to be always ready. Up to this point He is telling them what the signs would be. There is no correlation between 1 Thess. In 1 Thess. In Matthew , Christ sends forth, a plurality of angels, meaning more than one. Contextually, the "elect" of Matthew are the same "elect" of Matthew , which are on the earth during the Tribulation. Only God knows the hour of His coming. Noah preached for one hundred and twenty years and worked to complete the ark.
Christ’s Olivet Discourse on the End of the Age
He too did not know when the Flood would come, but he continued faithful preparing the ark. Jesus is predicting a long interval between His leaving and His promised return. Using Noah as an example of perseverance and faith He is telling them not to give up hope during the long interval. This is not, the Rapture of the Christians in this the Church Age.
The context places this event at the Second Coming which ends the Tribulation. The ones that are taken are taken in judgment and parallel those taken in judgment in the Flood. In the Flood those that were taken were lost and those left were saved. At the Second Coming Christ will remove the unsaved from the earth in judgment. See Ezek. The saints alive at the Second Coming will remain and enter the Kingdom in their natural bodies Isa. Those alive on the earth at the Second Coming will include the Jews who believed during the seven years and are the remnant God promised would remain alive and be saved.
See Isa. This cannot be the Rapture, because you would have all the saints removed from the earth, thus no one to populate the Millennial Kingdom in their natural unglorified bodies. Further, at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom there would only be the lost left on earth. This clearly cannot be referring to the rapture of believers of this present Church Age, as the whole of the Olivet Discourse is dealing with the 70th Week of Daniel and relates to Israel.
Note that in each parable there is a warning to watch for the signs and get ready. Jesus said in to watch for the signs and used the illustration of the changing of the seasons. Again, it needs to be stated that believers in the church age, who are the Bride and Body of Christ, are told to look for His imminent return.
We today are not told to look for signs, but to be ready to be caught up at any second to meet the Lord. Again, Jesus is using a parable to warn the nation of Israel, and those living in the Tribulation, to be ready for His coming as their Messiah and the subsequent promised Kingdom. This verse specifically states that the coming Kingdom is "likened" to ten virgins. These are Jewish virgins as only the Jews will be looking for the bridegroom.
The virgins of this parable are invited guests to the wedding of the Bride Groom. Only those saved in this dispensation, the Church Age, are called the bride of Christ. The guests, who are living in the Tribulation, are who are told to be ready for the Bridegrooms arrival. Yet, only those who have believed in this age will be saved and attend the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
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Clearly, it is a serious mistake to conclude that those who are looking for the coming of the Bride Groom are Church Age believers. They are the bride and they are already prepared. They have been resurrected at the rapture before the seven years begin and judged at the BEMA judgment of Christians. They in their new bodies and pure prepared for the wedding day. The bride is waiting for her bridegroom the Lamb, and the marriage supper. The point is this: Jesus is challenging all the Jews and those alive during the Tribulation to look for the signs He mentioned earlier.
They will see the signs of the times, and realized the Messiah will soon come and make themselves ready for Him. Both the wise and the foolish virgins were aware that the Bridegroom would soon arrive. They will miss the Bridegroom and His wedding. In other words, the wise virgins were ready and entered into the Millennial Kingdom, and the foolish virgins not being prepared and were rejected.
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God is longsuffering and desires all to be saved. Revelation is the first reference to believers of the Church Age since Revelation This is describing the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Verse 19, specifically distinguishes between the bride and the invited guests to the wedding. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. Jesus in this parable presents a contrast between those who looked for the Master's return and wisely used their talents and those who did not.
They all knew the Master would return and require an accounting of them. Two servants faithfully used what they were given, but the third was slothful and indifferent and he was condemned. The unprofitable servant was cast into outer darkness which is a reference to hell. In the context of the parable, Jesus is saying to Israel that they should be looking for the Master's return and use the talents they have been given.
Verse 29 makes the point that Israel had the knowledge of the Messiah and the coming Kingdom. They had been given much and therefore they would be judged accordingly. They had the privilege of the Old Testament scriptures, the prophecies of the coming Messiah, seeing Him, hearing his preaching, and seeing His miracles. For the most part, the majority of Israel rejected all this truth they had been given. Those on earth, whom God purges at His coming, will be cast into Gehenna, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew reveals many Jews will not be among those who enter the Kingdom, but many Gentiles will.
But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. This is a judgment of the individual Gentiles nations who are alive at the Second Coming having survived the seven-year Tribulation.
This is referred to the "Judgment of Nations" as verse 32 states all nations will be gathered before Him. No nation is made up of all saved or all unsaved people, thus the judgment is of individuals of the nations of earth. This judgment is referred to in Joel And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.
It will occur after the Second Coming and before the Lord sets up the Millennial kingdom. Some have mistakenly taught this is a final judgment of mankind with the sheep being saved and the goats being lost.