There are a lot of arguments about what order things will happen during the Tribulation period just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the Earth. The biggest question usually is related to the timing of the Rapture of the Church.
Isaiah 26:19-21, 27:1 give us the timeline for the Tribulation events. It is a general overview, but potent in its Biblical evidence. The Rapture will happen, the Tribulation will commence, and then the Second Coming occurs. See below.
Isaiah 26:19 But your dead will live, Lord;
their bodies will rise—
let those who dwell in the dust
wake up and shout for joy—
your dew is like the dew of the morning;
the earth will give birth to her dead.
20 Go, my people, enter your rooms
and shut the doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until his wrath has passed by.
As you read through this text, you see that the resurrection of the people of God occurs prior to God’s wrath being poured out. Those who are dead rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16), then those who are alive are changed and are caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17, John 11:25-26).
Notice what the Lord tells them in v20. He tells them to enter their rooms and shut the doors behind them for there are many rooms in the Lord’s house, and the the Lord comes to take them to be where He resides (John 14:2-3, Matthew 25:10). Hide yourselves for a little while. For the people of God are not appointed to suffer His wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9). He keeps them from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world (Revelation 3:10). And that is the point that is made here in Isaiah. God hides His people until His wrath has passed by.
I believe the door is important because John sees a door open in Heaven in Revelation 4:1 as well as being a key image in Matthew 25:1-13. The door is opened and then it is closed until the Second Coming of Christ to the Earth. The closed chamber of the groom and bride is key in the Jewish wedding tradition, and Jesus fulfills the role of the groom perfectly. The groom and bride are shut away and hidden for seven days. Then the wedding feast is celebrated, which occurs just before Christ’s Second Coming in Revelation 19.
Isaiah 26:21 See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling
to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
The earth will disclose the blood shed on it;
the earth will conceal its slain no longer.
There are 3 tribulation periods. You have the tribulation and destruction of the nation of Israel for their rejection of God (Jeremiah 30:7). The Church has gone through the great tribulation of being in this world and persecuted by the enemies of Christ for the last 2000 years (Revelation 7:9-17). Finally, you have the tribulation of the wicked which comes to fruition when God punishes the inhabitants of the entire Earth for their sins and rejection of Christ. Isaiah clearly shows this will occur after the hiding of God’s people.
This punishment is demonstrated in Revelation 6-19 with the seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls, and the Second Coming of Jesus, who comes as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). God’s wrath is poured out on the nations of the world, and then they are judged by God at the end of their earthly tribulation for they have refused to repent (Revelation 9:20-21, 16:9,11)
The Second Coming
Isaiah 27:1 In that day,
the Lord will punish with his sword—
his fierce, great and powerful sword—
Leviathan the gliding serpent,
Leviathan the coiling serpent;
he will slay the monster of the sea.
At the end of the punishment of the wicked people on the Earth, the Lord punishes the Devil as well. His sword is His Word (Revelation 19:15a), and the serpent is the Beast that rises up out of the sea (Revelation 13:1). The serpent is defeated and his armies decimated (Revelation 19:19-21).
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