I am having trouble rationalizing this specific verse that no one knows when the Second Coming will occur, yet it appears that day can be calculated. From both the prophecies of Daniel and the book of Revelation we know the Tribulation will last exactly 7 prophetic years (7 years of 360 days each). Anyone living at the beginning of the Tribulation (when the Antichrist signs a treaty with Israel) could calculate the exact day of the Lord's return because we are told that the Tribulation will last precisely 2,520 days.
So when Jesus says no one can know the day of His return, how is He speaking of the Second Coming? Any insight you could provide would be very helpful.Will Judas be reincarnated as the Antichrist.
I find no explicit verses to justify the modern Pre-Wrath rapture idea, but there are plenty of implicit ones that seem to say so. However I cannot find anywhere in scripture where the 'just' experience God's wrath. God's wrath is most certainly different from the world's wrath which we experience every day that is a product of Satan. What is your understanding of the pre-tribulation rapture?
I was wondering if you had any information on Preterism. I've come across a ministry called American Vision and they promote the same line of thinking as Hank Hanagraff of the Bible Answerman radio program. Could you give any information on Preterism and it's faults? Thanks.
What verse says that the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation? If a person rejects Christ during the present Church age and they go into the Tribulation, does that mean they cannot be saved in the Tribulation? I heard a preacher use 2 Thessalonians 2:7 to teach this. I overheard an expert on a radio program saying that Iran has already stated it wants to destroy Israel & the U.S. & it's a matter of time until Iran or some other evil nation will use a nuclear weapon against us. He discussed that the electromagnetic wave from a certain size nuclear device detonated 100 miles above the U.S. could completely knock out much or all of our communications capability. Are there any Biblical scriptures supporting America or Israel launching a nuclear first strike against our enemies if we know they're going to attack first in a matter of time? Does the Bible indicate anywhere that we would be going against God's law by killing innocent civilians in such an attack? I would think God would support our first strike option if we go by Old testament law. New Testament law seems a bit different. Christ comes and seems to move us to love our enemies and even "turn the other cheek". What might be your opinion on all of this?
Will all human beings experience death?? What about the generations that are alive at the time of the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Will they first die and then be brought back?? I hope you can help me with this one. I have a friend who is an Amillennialist. He brought up this parable and asked me where do I see the rapture in it. To be honest, I can't. I see this time frame just as it is written, at the end of the age. He says that there is a rapture but it will all be at the end of the millennium. It will be one event not a two stage event like pre-trib believers think. This is a discussion I need all the help I can get. I have been a pre trib and a two event rapture believer but he has some compelling arguments using scripture to back him up. Can you give me anything that will help me to understand Amillennialism and the rapture? In your opinion, does the prase " the day of the Lord" in 2 Peter 3:10 define the return of Jesus? If so, and based on the remainder of the subject passage, doesn't that counter the rapture and the millennium?
My question centers specifically on the verses 1 Thess. 5:3 and 2 Peter 3:10. Is the verse from Thess. referring to the rapture or 2nd coming? Next, why would the inhabitants of earth use the phrase "peace and safety"? Aren't we told that the events preceding both the rapture and 2nd coming are to be negative in nature: war, famine, pestilence, etc. I assume the verse in 2 Peter is speaking of the 2nd coming. Why, then, is Christ's coming depicted as a "thief in the night"? When He comes with His saints to the battlefield of Megiddo, He comes as a conquering king in full view of earth's inhabitants, correct?
The confusion is with those who are misinterpreting what the phrase "day of the Lord" encompasses. Let's back up a little. Does God say there is going to be a Millennial Kingdom that lasts for a thousand years, followed Satan being loosed and deceiving the nations and then a Great White Throne Judgment, and then a new heaven and earth. Well, numerous passages in the Old Testament state that God will restore Israel to the land He gave her and has unconditionally promised her their kingdom. Revelation 19-22 clearly reveals God's plans. We have to accept that this will happen as God stated. So the answer is yes....absolutely God says these events are coming.
But 2 Peter 10f seems to says that the Lord will return and immediately the earth will be destroyed by fire. The Bible tells us that the events of the future, including His Second Coming, Millennial reign, Great White Throne Judgment, and the New Heavens and Earth take place over a long period of time. So how do we understand that passage?
It is simple to understand if we consider all the Bible says on the subject of the future. The verse says the "Day of the Lord," not the "Second Coming" will come as a thief in the night. We must be careful not to read into the passage something it does not say. We must understand what it literally states. event takes place before Revelation 21-22 and the new heaven and earth. The key to knowing what the verse says is what does the "Day of the Lord" refer to.
************************ Note what Revelation 20:7-10 says:
"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
The events at the end of the Millennium is what 2 Peter 3:10f is referring to....not the Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation. This event, when God destroys the heavens and earth by fire, will take the those in the Millennial who are unsaved by surprise and come for them as a thief in the night. Note verse 13 which further puts the passage in context. 2 Peter 3:13 "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Contextually, the passage states it is referring directly to events that end with the coming new heavens and earth.
I have a article at http://bible-truth.org/Principles.htm titled "Biblical Principles for Interpreting the God's Word." It is so very easy to misinterpret God's word and I can understand that many have not really been taught the biblical method of interpreting God's word. My article is written to help with this. This article teaches us to let God's word interpret itself....
Answer: There is a lot of confusion about the coming rapture, tribulation, second coming, millennium and the new heavens and earth. It is not complicated as people make it and the problem is that many try to interpret these events without understanding the whole picture of what is future to us. The popular Pre-wrath view is an example of a false view that was born out of ignorance and not understanding the whole picture.
1 Thess. 4:13-15 is referring to the rapture which is a part of Jesus' second coming. He comes first before the Tribulation (Daniel's 70th Week) to take believers of this age to heaven, but he does not actually come to earth. "we meet him in the air". The rapture is the resurrection of Christians from this present time called the Church Age, The Church Age began in Acts 2 when God instituted the local church and will continue until the rapture. His return at the end of the Tribulation is His Second Coming when He purges the earth of sinners and then sets up His promise Kingdom to the Jews.
2 Peter 3:10 refers to the final judgment of Rev. 20:11-15 and the events of Rev. 21-22, which follow the end of the Millennium, when God will destroy by fire the present earth and makes a new heaven and earth. (Rev. 20:7-10) At the second coming, at the end of the Seven year Tribulation the heavens and earth are not destroyed, only the unsaved are taken off the earth and placed in Hades to await the final judgment.
1 Thess. 5:3 is referring to the coming Tribulation or Jacob's sorrow. At the beginning of the Tribulation the Antichrist will come to power offering peace and safety to the world. He will make a covenant with Israel to protect her, but in the middle of the Tribulation he will reveal his truth self, be possessed by Satan and being to persecute believers who are saved after the rapture. He will come deceiving most of the world who seek for peace, but reject God's peace.
The rapture will come unexpected. It is like it was in Noah's day. He preached righteousness for 120 years, but the people rejected his message from the Lord. But then the rain began and it was too late for them. Christ is being preached now, but most people still reject the Lord's mercy and grace. People at the time of the rapture will be living their normal lives and suddenly will find themselves in the midst of the judgments of God and "left behind."
The battles (plural) which happen at Megiddo (Jezreel Valley) end with the Second Coming. Armies from the east (China, etc) will cross the Euphrates river and attack Israel and the armies of the Antichrist. It is actually a series of battles....which end with Christ's sudden Second Coming in which he destroys all these armies. As they see the Lord coming in the air the armies turn from fight among themselves, to attack the Lord and He destroys them all and only believers Jews and Gentiles are left on earth.
There are many events involved in the end times. The key to properly understanding them is to understand that the Tribulation is God beginning once again to work with the nation of Israel and also people on the earth. He in this present dispensation (church age)is work with the Gentiles and not with Israel as a nation. The next prophetic event in history will be the rapture. At the end of the seven year Tribulation the Lord will give Israel the land He promised them and He will rule the world for thousand years (millennium) on the throne of David and Israel will be the dominate nation on earth.
Note that verse 24 says "the Kingdom of heaven is liken to a man....." The context is addressing the coming millennial kingdom that God promised to Israel. Christians will be a part of the Kingdom of Heaven, but the term specifically is addressing God's promises to the Nation of Israel that He would fulfill His promises and one day give them a Kingdom on Earth.
The Amillennialism makes the mistake of thinking that God has set aside His promises to Israel and has given them to the "church" or to Christians. That is absolutely not true. However, your friend is not really an Amillennialist, because the term describes someone who believers there will be "a" or no millennium.
The error he is making is in mixing God's promises to Israel with those He has made to believers in this the Church Age. They are different, much different. We are not promised a kingdom, but salvation, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and positionally believers are the bride and body of Christ on earth. Christians are not a nation and are not under the law.
The Pre-Tribulation, Pre-Millennial position is what the Bible teaches. Amillennialism is a false interpretation of God's word. One thing that ought to cause them to think is...that God plainly states in Jeremiah 31:35-37 "Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 31:35-37)
Further, a parable is an illustration of a single point that Jesus was making. We do not base doctrine or eschatology (study of end times) on a parable that is an illustration. All true Bible students and scholars know this important rule of interpretation. Only the cults or false teachers use parables as your friend is doing. A parable is simply an illustration of a point.
I have an article at http://bible-truth.org/Principles.htm which teaches the principle of interpreting the Bible. It would be helpful for your friend to apply these principles to his interpretation of God's word.
The problem with all false teaching is that those who do so do not really understand the Bible and often confuse others who also do not fully understand. They mix verse together, take passages out of their context and build a false interpretation. That is why it is so important to study the Bible ourselves and also to attend a church that teaches the whole counsel of God's word.
So the bottom line is the parable of Matthew 13:35f is addressing the work of Satan in planting tares or false teachers and those that falsely claim to believe in God in Israel. He was talking specifically about the Scribes and Pharisees who were zealous and religious, but lost. Read Verse 17 of the passage. These religious false teachers in Israel were sown among the faithful who believed God. Jesus was warning them not to follow them. Jesus was saying that in time the tares would be gathered together and separated from true believers in Israel and judged.
Hope this helps. If you are interested in reading some good material on the subject read the several books that Harold Lindsey, John Walvoord, Dwight Pentecost.
The second is 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
Those believers who died will be first resurrected from their graves and believers who are alive at the time of the Rapture will not die, but will be "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" changed and given their new bodies and then both the resurrected dead and the change believers who will be alive will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air.
The Bible says that Russia will be the first to attack Israel after the seven year Tribulation begins. (Eze. 38:18) This will be followed by other nations from the east and south (Eze. 38:4-5) all coming against Israel. The Antichrist will destroy the Russian invasion and then there will be a threat from the South...(Dan. 11:40) which is Egypt and will move his forces there. Later eastern nations will move across the Euphrates River (Rev. 9:14) and the forces of Israel and the Antichrist will battle then in the Jezreel Valley in the battles which make up Armageddon. Armageddon is not “a” battle, but a series of battles fought between the invading eastern nations and the Antichrist and Israel. The eastern nations are not identified, but will probably include Iraq, Iran, and other Moslem nations. Only China and India can today amass 2 million soldiers(Rev. 9:6). One important thing to understand is that the events of the seven year Tribulation take place after the Rapture or the resurrection of Church Age believers. Christians will never see these event on earth as they will be in heaven with the Lord.
In the Old Testament God told Israel to protect themselves by destroying their enemies who sought to destroy them. God was addressing a nation....the nation of Israel. We today are Christians, individuals and those assembled together in congregations (KJV “churches”). We are not a nation nor are we a governing body. Jesus said we are to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us. God gave us government and only government has the authority to punish and has the public responsibility to protect its citizens. (Rom. 13:1-2,5-7)
God gives us the right and responsibility to protect ourselves, but we are not to be the aggressor. That applies as well to government. Most wars are fought because one nation aggresses against another.
Hope this helps with your understandinbg. There are a lot of folks on radio and TV talking a lot about prophecy. Honestly, most of them are only saying what they read in someone’s book. They are not well versed on prophecy themselves and they make many mistakes. Just a word of caution.
"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. 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. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12)
The context is the seven year Tribulation and the revealing of the Antichrist. Those who do not receive God's truth in that period, will be damned because of their unbelief. Those that reject the witness of the 144,000 and the Bible, which they will have, by their own actions reject the Lord and are damned. These are not just ordinary people who ignore the Lord. These are people who hate God and the truth. Note the passage says they are reject God and that opens then to delusion which is the natural result of rejecting God's truth. By rejecting truth they are opened up to being deceived. The delusion in the Tribulation is the evil message of the Antichrist. People believe him and reject God's truth. God allows the Antichrist to preach his message...thus sending strong delusion. Many will believe the Antichrist and rejected God's truth, so God allows them to be deceived and believe as they want.
This passages says nothing about those who rejected the Lord Jesus before the Tribulation. Those who the passage says, do not accept the love of the truth, are in those living in the Tribulation. There is no passage in the Bible that says God will not allow a person to believe and be saved in the Tribulation because they did not believe earlier. Certainly God would not allow a person to be saved because of some prior sin, even the sin of unbelief. He does not say He will do that. People in the Tribulation will be condemned for the same reasons they are condemned today. They refuse to believe and put their trust in Jesus Christ. They reject the truth because their deeds are evil.(John 3:19-20) The Bible says that when death comes does the offer of salvation ceases. (Heb. 9:27) Some may point out that Genesis 6:3 says that the Lord said His Spirit would not always strive with man. The passage is talking about the antediluvians who were living in gross sin. Even in that verse God said he would stay His wrath for 120 years. God was longsuffering and gave them plenty of time to repent. The people to whom God was talking about were blantantly rejecting God in rampant sin. Thus, it was their sin and rejection of God that cause God to say His Spirit would not always strive with man. Noah preached righteousness for the 120 years, but the people perished in the Flood because they rejected God. God did not just arbitrarily reject these people. He had to reject them because they were rejecting Him. The same is true for the present age and those that reject Christ now and then are alive after the Rapture and go into the Tribulation. The strong delusion God sends, are to those, who are at that time, are living in the Tribulation, and who reject God. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 plainly states that God send the strong delusion because they receive not, (present tense) the love of the truth. As stated earlier the verse does not say these people rejected the love of truth before the Tribulation. These people to whom this verse is referring to are living in the Tribulation and are lost, are gross sinners who reject God and the truth. God the sends the God haters who reject truth, a strong delusion in the form of the lies of the Antichrist. God withdrew the restraining work of the Holy Spirit and thus did not interfere in the work of Satan who is the great deceiver. The fault of these men being condemned was they refused the truth and thus they choose to believe the lie and God did not infer but allowed them to. Many others living in the Tribulation will be saved. The number of those saved in the Tribulation are un-numerable. The fact is that everyone going into the Tribulation will have rejected God and His salvation. Romans 1:18 plainly states that God reveals Himself to all men and all men are without excuse. If no one could be saved who had not believed God before the Tribulation, then no one in the Tribulation would be saved. Surely, today the Jews are rejecting Jesus Christ. Yet, God says 144,000 of them will be saved after the Tribulation begins(Rev. 7:4). Further, probably millions more will be saved during the course of the seven years. These are Tribulation saints, Jews and Gentile, who received Christ during the Tribulation and who will go into the Millennium alive in the natural bodies. How can all these people be saved if no one who was not saved in before the Tribulation cannot be saved?
It is incorrect to teach that people who hear the Gospel today in this dispensation of the Church Age cannot be saved in the Tribulation, because God send them strong delusion to believe lies. That is not what the Bible teaches. Sadly, in the past this error was taught by someone who misinterpreted this passage and it has been pasted down to us today.
Verse 7 is often misunderstood and said to teach that the Holy Spirit is not working in the Tribulation. The phrase that is misinterpreted is "he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." That cannot be the proper understanding or interpretation because of the millions who get saved in the Tribulation. No one gets saved apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit today is restraining the work of Satan. This verse is saying that during the Tribulation, the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit is stopped. It does not say that the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit will also be restrained. God will let Satan have his hay-day in the Tribulation, and millions who reject God will follow the devil and be condemned. The passage says the "mystery of iniquity" is the work of Satan, which is already at work. It is the work of the spirit of the Antichrist which John said was already at work in the first Century.(1 John 2:18) This iniquity refers to false doctrine, attacks on God's word, gross sins such as homosexuality, etc. which is growing steadily. Further, I believe it refers to the events that come into place and lead up to the Tribulation and Satan being allowed to do his evil work. However, the passage does not say that the Holy Spirit will not be working in men's heart to drawn them to the Savior. No man can be saved apart of the Holy Spirit's convicting power and many will be saved in the Tribulation which clearly shows the Holy Spirit will also be working in the hearts of men.
This was addressed by the Lord Jesus to church at Philadelphia in Asia Minor. This church represents the church that exists before the Tribulation and clearly refers to our present age. God says He will keep us from the hour of temptation that comes on the whole world. This is of course a reference to the Tribulation and the coming Antichrist who deceive most of the world in that seven years.
1 Thessalonians 5 also is addressed to believers in this the Church age and clearly states in verse 9 that "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ," (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
Those who teach falsely about the rapture discount these verses and twist them and deny that they refer to the Tribulation. The Severn year Tribulation is when God will once again begin to work with the nation of Israel. In Revelation 4:1-19.1 which describes the events of the Tribulation you do not find the institution of the church mentioned even once. They are not present on the earth during this time, but Raptured at the beginning of the Tribulation and then return with Christ at the Second coming.
There is a great deal of false teaching and people writing articles who are not will versed in God's word. Many of them are making a great deal of money selling books and making the Rapture a controversy for the sake of money. Some like Marv Rosenthal have become millionaires selling their books. They are unskilled, dishonest and make gross mistakes in interpreting the Bible. I have an article at http://bible-truth.org/mid-trib.html and one at http://bible-truth.org/myst-3.htm which addresses this matter. You should find them helpful.
------------- Follow up-------------
This person says the Rapture will occur at the Second Coming and he once believed in a Pre-Trib Rapture. He said that the Seal Judgments are not part of the wrath of God.
You said your position is that the Seal judgments are not part of God's wrath. I have been working on revising my article for sometime. One problem is about everyone I read or talk to has a different view and it is hard to pin down the matter in order to address it.
However, I find it hard to believe that anyone would not understand the Seal Judgments as not coming from God and being part of the threefold judgments He brings on the earth(Seals, Trumpets, and Vials). My question is simply this.....Who does Revelation 6:1 states opens the Seals?
Sir, who is the LAMB? Does not the LAMB open the first seal? How then can anyone state that the Seal judgments which begin the Seven Year Tribulation are not the work and judgment of God? Sir, I suggest you stop reading these self appointed "Bible Scholars" and READ THE BOOK!"
The bottom line is that the Preterists sees denies God's stated word about future prophetic events and puts them in the past as being fulfilled. It is hard to imagine that someone would deny God literal word as the Preterist must do to justify false ideas.
Hank Hanegraaff makes the mistake of so many false teachers. He assumes and makes statements based on his on faulty logic rather than accepting God's word. For example. He says the Book of Revelation was written before 70 AD. He makes his statement based on his idea that John does not mention the destruction of Jerusalem and the disbursement of the Jews. The fact is the date of the Book of Revelation has been clearly established and attested to since the second Century. The Book was not written to record the past events dealing with the Jews as they had rejected Jesus as the Messiah and in 95 AD when John wrote the Book under the inspiration of God, the early churches was in view (Rev. 2-3) not Israel. The events of the Book of Revelation involve a world wide pouring out of God's wrath on the earth and God beginning once again to purge Israel and fulfilled His promises to them. That has not yet happened, but is a future event seen in the 1000 reign of Christ after the Tribulation.. It deals with the Antichrist who will join and restore the old Roman Empire....nothing in 70 AD compares even remotely to the scope of the predictions of the Book of Revelation.
Thus Hank Hanegraaff is no Bible answer man....his beliefs are clearly stated and shows he is a false teacher. If a teaching is false it is a lie and who is the father of all lies, to deceive gullible and unstudied people. By the way....he and many others make a lot of money selling their books. The controversial nature of his writing appeals to many and they buy his books. He is a rich man selling lies. It is very profitable financially to attack the Bible.
I hope this helps. What a sad thing it is to have God's word and to pervert it as this man and others are doing to make a dollar! Yet, in the end it is the Lord Himself who will straighten out these false teachers and those what follow them.
Man, however, will still have the old or carnal nature during the Millennium. Those who are believers who survive the Antichrist's persecution, during the seven year Tribulation, will enter the Millennium in their natural bodies. These will repopulate the earth. Their children will be born, as we are today, with the old nature and under the curse of sin. They will have to believe and receive Christ as their Savior by faith in order to be saved. However, at the end of the thousand years, God will release Satan from the pit (see Rev. 20:2) and will go out and deceive the unsaved on the earth. He will lead them in a final rebellion against God an then Satan and those who rebelled with him will be judged and cast into the eternal Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15).
Revelation 21-22 describes the New Jerusalem, the New Heavens and Earth that will follow the Millennium. All there will be saved and there will be no more sin, no curse and remaining effects of sin or the curse.
However, in the Bible, Babylon is symbolically used to represent false religion that is against God. Babylon was the city where false religion began with Nimrod and his decedents rebelling against God and worshiping the stars or astrology which was the first false religion. Throughout the Bible, Babylon is symbolically used to represent the seat of rebellion against God. Many today see the Roman Catholic Church as modern "Babylon" or a least a part of it, because RCC is actually a pagan religion masquerading as a Christian church.
In Revelation 18, the scene is at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ who will destroy the Antichrist, the beast and his false prophet who is the founder of the last false religion, which is worshipping the Antichrist. God destroys all false religion on earth. During the seven year Tribulation will all apostate and false religions join together in and world wide ecumenical movement in which all modern churches and denominations will worship the Antichrist. We see a sample of this today in the World Counsel of Churches. Of course there will be true Christians who believe on Jesus Christ in the Tribulation and who reject the Antichrist and his religion. Note that before the seven year Tribulation all true Christians will be removed from the earth in the Rapture. But, during the Tribulation millions will be saved, beginning with the 144,000, but these believers will refuse to worship the Antichrist and most of them will be martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ. So the false religious system, instituted by the Antichrist in the Tribulation will be the last false religion on earth and will be made up of churches who succumbed to the Antichrist and received the mark of the beast. God will destroy all false religion at this time at the end of the Tribulation. The city of Babylon has been partially rebuilt, but it is unlikely that it will become a religious center.
I have an article at http://bible-truth.org/RussiaProphecy.html which addresses the matter of Russia in the coming seven year Tribulation. Iraq is north of Israel and though not specifically mentioned could be a part of the invasion army that attacks Israel in the beginning of the Tribulation. Iraq is a Muslim nation and as such is the enemy of Israel.
The good news is the true Christians of today will not see or be a part of the events of the Tribulation, because the Lord will come for us in the Rapture before these events happen.
In trying to explain the error of the Pre-Wrath and Mid-Trib views I have written an article that I believe explains why the Pre-Trib position is God's truth. You can read the article at http://bible-truth.org/Pre-Wrath.html Honestly, lot of Pre-wrath people used to really criticize me for holding the Pre-Trib rapture position....however since writing this article not one person has written to refute it.
The truth is that Jesus Christ Himself is the one who opens the Seal Judgments which begin the seven year Tribulation as Revelation 6:1 plainly states. The idea that the Seal Judgments are not the wrath of God has no merit whatever. It is Jesus Himself who initiates each of the Seal Judgments and Jesus' wrath is the wrath of God. Clearly that is the "wrath of God."
Hope you find the article helpful in explaining this greatly misunderstood teaching that a lot of misguided teachers are purporting.
Answer: The context of Mathew 24 is that Jesus speaks of many signs will occur before the Second Coming and the end of the world. Jesus is answering two questions. The disciples in Matthew 24:3 asked two questions...."what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? The world does not end at the Second Coming. He addresses His Second Coming in Verses 28 and 32-51 is uses the parable of the fig tree as an example and continues to Verse 51. He is saying when you see these signs know that the end is near.? He says the generation that sees these signs will not pass away before He returns.
However, Jesus is not referring to the Second Coming in verse 36, but the end of the world as verse 35 states.
Verses 4-35 are about the Second Coming. Jesus then addresses the second part of the disciple's question....the subject of the end of the world. The Lord states in verse 35 that heaven and earth will pass away. Why? Because He is talking about the end of the world.
The biblical rule in interpreting Scripture is that there is no contradiction in God's word. If it seems like there is a conflict, the problem is with our understanding. We must then search further to fully understand what both statements or truths are actually saying. We do that by carefully studying each statement in its context and subject. Furthermore, we must be very careful not to read into the passages what it do not say. We let the words, and their context tell us what is being addressed and revealed.