Almost all who read this post will agree with the sound doctrine, that salvation is by faith alone and not earned by works if you are saved today. If you are a seeker, you are not saved yet, keep seeking and learning. On that premise, I will throw this question out there for your brain food. “What about the Tribulation Saints?”
What about the Tribulation Saints.
You have heard of the hip term “Tribulation Saints”. It is a made up term that people get creative about from reading Revelation 7. It says,
Countless Worshipers Before the Throne
7 9 After these things I (John) looked, and behold, a vast multitude that no one could count—from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues—was standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where have they come from?”
I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
14 Then he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. [e] They have washed their robes and made them white[f] in the blood of the Lamb. 15 For this reason, they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His Temple. The One seated on the throne will shelter them.
Daniel 12:1 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Resurrection and Judgment
12 “At that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise.[a] There will be a time of distress such as has never occurred since the beginning of the nation until then.[b] But at that time your people—everyone who is found written in the book—will be delivered.
Zechariah 3:3-5 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
3 Now Joshua [High Priest of Judah] was wearing filthy garments and standing before the angel 4 who answered and spoke to those standing before him saying, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ Then to Joshua he said, ‘See, I have removed your iniquity from you and will dress you with fine clothing.’[a
One who has had his iniquity removed is given a clean white garment in exchange of his filthy garment, for all our works are as filthy rags in the viewpoint of holiness of a holy God.
Before I launch into a discussion and show you why I do not believe that the window of salvation is open after the Gathering, I will show you my understanding who the door is. That said, I believe no one who needs to be attending the Marriage will be missing. The Gathering will take everyone who is supposed to be with Eashoa. He will not leave one to go through the wrath during the short reign of the antichrist beast. But first, we need to exercise the Scripture Key Hole and take in all the scenery only by looking through the Door, that is Eashoa Himself. Again, this is one of His seven I AM declarations in the Gospel of John. We turn to chapter 10.
9 I AM the gate! If anyone comes in through Me, he will be saved. He will come and go and find pasture.
This postmordern term makes sense by a few supposition articles.
- Some believe that it is possible for a sinner or an ungodly believer to be saved after the Gathering (pop culture choice of word: rapture). This concept was used in the Left Behind fantasy novel. It turned out very popular.
- Some believe that one is saved by the Romans 10|9 formula.
- Some believe that by “accepting Jesus”, the person is thus saved.
- Some hold a notion that just because we find ourselves in the topical generation, what we will face ahead of us is the period of tribulation.
Such a study will help us understand whether it is possible for people in the Post-Gathering era to be “saved”. I will let you come to your own sensible conclusion. I won’t argue with you if you want to reject my position because there are people in your life unfortunately, that you know will not be included in the numbers of the elect at the Appearing of the Blessed Hope. You have time still. Formulate a plan and step up your prayer support by tears and fasting. Maybe you are not done growing in Him yet. You think God will not hear you? He is listening. Exercise the privilege of the accessing of His throne of mercy. He cannot fault you for trying or He can fault you for losing hope in Him when He still has plenty of horsepower to come. Excuse my intended pun.
I will say here what my understanding is of this verse.
“These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. “
Tribulation does not begin in the 20TH or the 21ST century. It began long ago, long ago, as soon as the early believers such as Stephen were killed. All 11 out of the final Twelve were martyred. They friends and families grieved. They also lost their loved ones to the cause of the Gospel, and in the name of the Savior. Peter was crucified as a barbarian upside down as an old man probably in his mid 70’s, Paul was beheaded in the Roman’s honorable killing by beheading. Vatican holds today bits of the skull of Paul as a relic. The brother of John, James, Ya’akov ben Zevdi (Zebedee) was the first that took the brunt of the Gospel opposition. One day it may be my turn. I for one will not say tribulation begins in my lifetime, that to me sounds self-centering, only when it affects me then I call a thing bad, but it certainly will be peaking until the tally of souls under the altar of God in His throne room is met its quota. That total sum is what drives God to pour out His wrath. But He is patient and we can render praise to His holy name now. But think of the devastation once that wrath cannot be held back at its grand opening.
Revelation 6 brings out the Fifth Seal and that seal was long broken off of the Scroll in Revelation 5, most probably soon after the Messiah had completed His mission and was seated at the right hand of the Father. In my paradigm through the Key Hole of The Door, the souls that John saw in the spirit in Revelation 7 are those who are the saints throughout the history of the New Covenant. There have been 20 centuries since the Lord’s ascension. John did not recognize any face among the saints that came out of the tribulation. He could not answer one of the elders when he asks John, Who are these? I believe John was looking into the future. These are the future resurrection bodies of the saints around the throne of their God. That is why John could not recognize them. Much like Mary of Magdala, she thought she saw the gardener when Eashoa was standing 5 inches from her face, right there in front of her. The next three verses shed further light on who John saw.
15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Where else did you read about the tear wiping?
- Isaiah 25|8 He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
- Revelation 21|4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
The Gathering is said to be a very public event. The nations will behold His Appearing and may even shoot a copy digitally to go viral in 5G broadcast all over the world. It looks that way from where we stand now. The more viral it goes the more unreached people will behold Him in the glorified flesh in the air. But is this like the Good News being spread? Or will this be actually bad news. Look, He came and you are still on the earth. Sorry to say, but buddy you missed the boat, mind the pun. There is this eerie verse in Revelation 11, that says the whole world will be “looking at” the execution of the Two Lamp Stands at the hand of the antichrist. Before the 21st century, people in the past could only imagine what kind of technology can deliver such instant live-cast. But mishpocha, now we know. There is enough speed and bandwidth to support worldwide live viewing and no serve will be crashing. Huawei had the infrastructure already set up in Europe.
7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the abyss will make war on them, and overcome them and kill them. [h]8 And their corpses will lie in the open street[i] of the great city that figuratively is called Sodom and Egypt—where also their[j] Lord was crucified. 9 Some from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their corpses for three and a half days, not allowing them to be placed into a grave. [k]10 Those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them. They will celebrate and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
The question is, for all those viewers of His Appearance, does it take away the only grace for salvation that is faith? This was a parable. Look for the clues.
“There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars. And upon the earth nations will be confused by the roaring of the sea and its waves. [d] 26 People will lose heart from fear and anticipation of what is overtaking the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. [e] 27
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. [f]28 Now when these things begin to happen, stand straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation is near!”
Eashoa says they will see the son of man. Who are they? The nations that will be on earth when the powers of the heavens will be shaken. In Ephesians 6, in the famed armor of God passage, the powers of the heavens are the spirits in enmity against God and they are wrestling with the saints of God today. I have met them in combat. They will be shaken. And the Son will be seen in the world. You think people will not take out their Samsung and Apple to record it?
For Salvation Is By Faith Through Grace
By Faith – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Such a discussion will take out once and for all whether there will be such a thing as Tribulation Saints. Maybe such a term is a misnomer, a consolation for unfinished work once the clock strikes midnight. Those that sleep may rise.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
The Lord is not sleeping. Psalm 121 –
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
Eashoa speaks of the unpredictability of that hour. That hour is preordained to happen, not accidentally, even if the death is by “accident”. It is just that the time is up. All the time that is given is regarded sufficient. It goes on the dime of God’s grace. Go for His riches. Note what Eashoa says about the pursuit of man who is really poor, not rich, when they do not seek God while there is the light of day.
Luke 12:19-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
There is another passage.
Luke 16:19-31 Tree of Life Version (TLV)19
“Now there was a rich man dressed in purple and fine linen, living it up in luxury every day. 20 But a poor man named Lazarus had been laid at his gate, covered with sores 21 and longing to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Besides, even the dogs were coming to lick his sores.
22 “It happened that the poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. Then the rich man also died and was buried. 23 And from Sheol, as he was in torment, he raised his eyes. And he sees Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his side. [a] 24 So he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me! And send Lazarus so he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, because I am suffering torment in this flame.’[b]
25 “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your life you received your good things, even as Lazarus received the bad things. But now he is comforted here, and you are tormented. 26 Besides all this, between us and you a great chasm is firmly set, so that those who want to cross over to you cannot, nor can those from there cross over to us.
27 “Then the rich man said, ‘I beg you then, Father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father’s house! 28 For I have five brothers to warn, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “But Abraham says, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them listen to them.’
30 “But he said, ‘No, Father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead!’”
The rich man above met Avraham after he died and then for what he has seen, faith not being required by sight, he begged that someone please tell his brothers what he now saw but did not see before. Many are in slumber. The problem is, his brothers suffer the same disbelief as the rich man while he lived, hearing but not believing. Once you see the object of faith, you no longer take in that matter by faith but by experience.
The Scripture says, in Ephesians 2
2 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
If the people who only “believe” in Eashoa upon seeing Him appear in such an awesome manner, how is it that they meet the “believe by faith” ordinance of God?
For justification is by faith alone.
I will now go back to the Romans 10 mantra that many favor and hide behind today without digging in.
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Does someone “who has seen” the glorious Appearance of the Lord coming in the clouds in the sky settle to “believe” in their hearts that God raised him from the dead? I don’t think believe is the word. He will be right in front of their faces. So maybe Romans 10|9 serves a time and an age, the age of grace.
Therefore, I am inclined to leaning toward this notion. If someone has to see first to believe, is that still salvation? There is an adage that says, seeing is believing. It is often used to describe incredible accounts of things. But if you see it, you are not believing it in the sense of the Scriptures. You already gained that knowledge as an experience. That is not faith.
Can that person still be born anew in the Spirit? I am inclined to seeing more support from Scripture if someone can show me, but I do not rule out the possibility that the grace of God will extend beyond my imagination. But why toy with this? Be wise, not foolish. Eternal salvation is not a two buck scratcher – let’s see what happens. If you can invest in receiving the Savior today, you have today. It is all that is needed. God does not owe anyone anything.
Now the question of Thomas. Obviously you also think about this brilliant man, who went on to become a fearless emissary to India and Russia. He demanded to see and touch Him, by experiential knowledge, that the man standing in front of him a week after he heard that the Lord has risen, is the same man that he called his Lord before He died. He looked different. He demands to see the wounds and Eashoa grabbed his hand to stick into His flank.
John included a unique account of this meeting in his narrative of the Gospel, maybe for a reason.
Then He said to Thomas,
“Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
My offer is, Thomas had had a relationship with Eashoa, and for what it is worth, there may open a loophole for those who once have a relationship with the Lord before he turns wickedly. But for one who has no previous relationship, it is a different matter. “I never knew you!” So what does that say? What reason does anyone have today for not going to Him now? I will also further develop my case. Immediately, Thomas had this to cry to the Lord.
“My Lord and my God!”
If the Bible is a book of Law, then if someone finds himself on the wrong side of the Gathering, and if he will do as Thomas did, so he also cries “My Lord and my God!”, I personally think he will hit the jackpot. But listen to me, those who are hardened at heart today are not disbelieving because they do not see God but because they do not want to do what they know to be right.
Why not today?