The Great Tribulation
- It is future
- It relates to Israel – the church has no part in it.
Plenty has been written, and there have been best seller works dramatising these happenings (e.g Hal Lindsey – this Late Great Planet Earth (Zondervan, 1970) – Amazon. Here are just a few notes.
Thank God you and I will not be there!
Here are a few scriptures:
|King James Version||Darby Version|
|And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book||And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of distress, such as never was since there was a nation until that time. And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that is found written in the book.
|Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.||Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.|
|For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.||For then shall there be great tribulation, such as has not been from [the] beginning of [the] world until now, nor ever shall be;|
Some argue that the tribulation is past. It occurred when the temple and Jerusalem were destroyed by the Romans in AD70. Others would say that the Old Testament references were fulfilled in BC175 when Artitarchus Epiphanes set up an altar to Jupiter in the temple. These were serious happenings, and many Jews were slain at those time.
There have been arguments that Daniel’s prophecy referred to 70 weeks (of years) i.e.490 years which would point to the crucifixion of Jesus, and He saying that this generation would not pass till these things had been accomplished.
This overlooks two things though:
- There is a lot more detail of the time in scripture (see later), and Satan is involved directly. Moreover in Revelation it is included in ‘the things which shall be hereafter’.
- The time we are in – the church period – forms no part of biblical prophecy. As I have said below, a brother in our meeting used to say often, ‘The prophetic clock has stopped’. The church will have been raptured (see 1 Thess 4:16), and we will be in heaven – NOT on the earth where these things take place.
Some features of the Tribulation
- Its duration is defined – 3½ years (or 42 months or 1260 days) – normally thought of as the last half-week of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy (Dan 9:27).
- The Roman Empire will have been re-established. True, the EU could well be a vehicle, but a true political unity will be established. Brexit will have to be undone!
- The ‘lot 10 tribes’ of Israel will have to have been recovered for there to be a remnant of Israel – the 144,000.
- There will be political groupings:
- King of North (Iran, Russia (Rosh), Togarmah (Armenia), Tubal (Tbilisi), Gomer (W Europe)
- King of South (Egypt, Arabia)
- The East (200,000,000 strong army – India, Pakistan, China etc)
- All restraint will have gone – ‘He who restrains – i.e. the Holy Spirit – see 2 Thess 2:7
- Satan, and in particular the false prophet will delude, even if it were possible, the elect (Mark 13:12)
Signs of the Times
Many things which happen now might be regarded as signs that the tribulation is imminent. Examples:
- Israel established but insecure
- Religious systems supporting Palestine rather than Israel
- Establishment of a world religion
- Decline of Christianity in the West, but its increase in Africa and Asia.
- ‘Wars and rumours of wars’
However, we should not rely too much on these. The future is in God’s hands and what is to come will not happen until the church has been raptured
Three personages will dominate the world – the trinity of evil, forcing obedience. Their subjects will have the mark of the beast.
- Satan – ‘the great red dragon’ – the first beast
- The Antichrist – the second beast
- The false prophet
Happenings on Earth
- Great wars Rev 6:1-4
- Economic instability favouring the rich and harming the poor Rev 6:5-6
- Persecution of the Jewish faithful – more martyrs Rev 6:9-11
- Natural disasters Rev 6:12-17
- Tyranny – the beasts and kings, and the mark of the beast Rev 13
- Satan cast out into the earth Rev 12:9
- The Romish church in control over the secular power (the woman riding the beast Rev 17:3) – then this is reversed (the woman hated and the kingdom given to the beast Rev 17:16)
- The army from the East released Rev 9:14-16 – Armageddon
- The King of the North will attack Jerusalem and then proceed through to defeat the King of the South – Dan 11
God’s Testimony on Earth
In spite of everything going on, God will have His testimony on earth
- The 144,000 faithful Rev 7:4
- The martyrs Rev 6:11
- The two witnesses Rev 11:3
- The ‘man Child’ (Christ formed in the saints on the earth) Rev 12:5
- The everlasting gospel Rev 14:6
There is no evidence, rather the contrary, that any hearts are turned to God by this testimony
At the point when all forces will be united against God and the holy city, God will send His angel, and Satan will be bound for 1000 years. (Rev 20:2)
We have the millennium. Contrary to popular belief, we shall not be with Christ on the earth. We are a heavenly family – we reign OVER the earth – Rev 5:10
This is our prospect – and our hope. Is it yours?
Yours in Christ