I had not read Apocalypse Road, by Bill Salus because I thought it was just the continuation of Revelation Road which I have read (it is). I thought it would just be telling me the traditional view about what happens after the Rapture (it does not) I already knew about that. Apocalyptic Road is really about events in the gap between the Rapture and the start of Daniel’s 70th week.
I recently watched some interviews with Bill Salus on his book Apocalypse Road. What Bill said in those interviews sparked my interest because back in 2003/2004 when I was writing my Revelation commentary, I also came to the conclusion that everything said could not occur in just seven years like so many Bible prophecy teachers were teaching. They were saying that as soon as the Rapture occurred, the last seven years for Israel would begin. I simply could not make everything in Revelation chapters 4 through 19 fit in just a seven-year period. In my Revelation commentary, I wrote it would likely be 10.5 years from the opening of the first seal until the second coming.
Part of my rational for the 10.5 years was that 7 years from the Rapture, many people would be expecting some form of Christ to appear and they would receive the false Christ. I said the first five seals would happen before the last 7 years. I claimed the last seven years started with the 6th seal. Of course, this is nothing to be dogmatic about, I could have this wrong and so can Bill Salus.
Bible prophecy teachers like to point out how the Church is not mentioned after chapter 4 of Revelation, suggesting that the Church was taken up to heaven. However, they do not point out that Israel is not even seen in Revelation until chapter 7 at the sealing of the 144,000 Israelite’s. If God was dealing with Israel for their last seven years before this, one might think they would be mentioned.
Bill Salus in Apocalypse Road also sees a gap that he says could be several years. As I said, I have not read the book yet, but from the interviews that I have heard, Salus gives a creditable thesis about events occurring during that gap. Bill astounds me with his ability to come up with new insights on prophetic scriptures and to parse out the details in his teachings. He came up with the greatly expanded Israel theory that occurs as the result of the Psalm 83 war and the Ezekiel 38 war. He also helped develop the theory that there would be a conflict with Iran before the tribulation where people in the Elam area of Iran would be totally evacuated to other nations because of nuclear radiation there. Now we have his gap thesis. Bible prophecy students need to study what Salus says and determine for themselves if his theories are the most likely explanations.
The traditional Dispensation Theology teaching is that when the Rapture occurs the Church Age will be over and then God will immediately turn to Israel to fulfill the last seven years that remain to be fulfilled for Israel. That seven-year period is known as the seventieth week of Daniel. They claim there is no gap between the two events or if there is a gap it is only a matter of days. They claim that everything said from chapters 4 through 19 in Revelation spans only seven years.
The main scriptural support these use for these claims is Matthew 24 and Luke 17. They will point out that it teaches that as soon as Noah and Lot were removed judgment fell. However, the context in Luke does not support that Jesus was talking about the Rapture. Luke 17:30-31 is the day that the Son of Man is revealed. The context indicates that it occurs at the same time that Israel is told to flee to the mountains for protection. This occurs at the mid-point of Daniel’s 70th week and it also marks the start of the Day of the Lord. According to Revelation Chapter 6 the start of the Day of the Lord is at the 6th seal. It seems to me that Jesus was referring to Jews fleeing Jerusalem for physical protection and not the Rapture in those Matthew and Luke passages.
(Lately some of the top dispensational Bible prophecy teachers like Dr. Thomas Ice and Dr. Andy Woods also claim there is some unknown time gap between the Rapture and the start of Daniel’s 70th week.)
I have a difficult time understanding how the two prophets of Revelation chapter 11 are doing their 1260 day ministry from Jerusalem at the same time the four horsemen of the apocalypse are riding on earth and when people are being martyred at the fifth seal. The first five seal events are not God’s judgments, they are satanically led happenings that lead to that. Revelation suggests that the two prophets have a great deal of control over things on earth during the time of their ministry. The whole world rejoices when they are killed by the Beast/Antichrist suggesting the same thing. Therefore, it seems more likely to me that the first 5 seal events bring about God’s judgment. God always sends His prophets before judgment. He sends His two prophets for 1260 days before the judgment of the great Day of the Lord begins.
Satan does not know when the Rapture will occur. He cannot have everything in place the exact hour the Church is removed. Satan can only implement his plan for conquest after the Church departs. The first four seals describe Satan’s conquest of a quarter of the earth. It is the makings of the Beast kingdom. First he rides to conquer through diplomacy, then through war, then through famine, and then through death and spiritual deception. Shortly after they begin to ride, the Harlot that sits in Rome starts to persecute those on earth that will not go along with her revolutionary religious agenda.
Bill Salus believes as I do that the first five seals start to play out prior to Daniel’s 70th week. He says the gap could be several years. Bill believes the Harlot of Revelation 17 plays a big role during that period. Since I don’t have the book, I can’t give you many of the details (I would not anyway) but from the interviews I know that Bill believes the Harlot is the Roman Catholic Church.
A brief summary of Salus’ gap thesis goes something like this:
The Rapture occurs, Harlot religion and satanic spiritual deception headquartered at the Vatican is the power behind the four horsemen. She also is the one persecuting true believers seen at the fifth seal. Israel does not want to be a victim of this overflowing scourge being carried out on earth by Harlot religion so Israel signs a seven-year covenant with the Harlot for protection. The Harlot is still riding death and Hades of the fourth seal when Israel signs that covenant. Israel signs the covenant of appeasement that also allows the Vatican to administrate the religions sites. Israel signs this believing that her Messiah is coming anyway as soon as their Temple is completed. It does not work out the way that Israel thinks. The false Messiah enters the rebuilt Temple, claims to be God and He wars against the Jews. The main proof text for the thesis comes from Isaiah 28. Salus believes the seven-year covenant with the Antichrist is what is being talked about in this Isaiah passage.
Isa 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Isa 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
Isa 28:18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
Bill also still believes the Psalm 83 war will play out before the seal judgments and he thinks the Ezekiel 38 war “might” also occur before the seal judgments. Bill says Apocalypse Road contains a lot of information about the Harlot and how she will deceive the world. I do not know exactly what Salus wrote, but I would think that Marian signs and wonders and alien disclosures are very likely to be involved.
Enoch is the Rapture type in the Old Testament. There was a long gap between Enoch’s Rapture and the flood judgment. There probably is good reason scripture says that some will stop watching for the second coming. It may not be possible to countdown seven years from the Rapture to the second coming like some have taught. It could be 10.5 years or even more. The Lord just said visible observations pertinent to His coming would all occur within one generation. He did not say it will all be fulfilled in just 7 years.
Keep in mind, that most of the 2.2 billion in Christendom will not be ready and they will not be going in any Rapture. They do not even believe there will be a Rapture. After the Rapture, there will be some that believe that they only have to count down 7 years to the second coming. Some will do that and receive the Antichrist as their Christ. Others will be saved during the trials on earth but it will cost most of them their lives. The Harlot will persecute true believers found within religion. Then the Harlot is destroyed by the ten world leaders that give their allegiance to the Antichrist. The False prophet will then seek to kill all that do not worship the Beast/Antichrist as God.
Anyway, Bill Salus and I believe there is a gap between the Rapture and the start of the 70th week of years that remains to be fulfilled by Israel. You might get Apocalypse Road for more gap details. The 70th week details will be in Bill Salus’ next book called Tribulation Road. You can find more information on ProphecyDepot.