BIBLE DOCTRINE 17: THE GREAT TRIBULATION
God’s Word teaches:
That the Great Tribulation will occur after the Rapture and will be a time of terrible suffering on earth. It is also referred to as the time of “Jacob’s trouble” – Matthew 24:21,22,29; Revelation 9:16; Mark 13:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelation 13. During this time, the Antichrist will take possession of this world for a reign of terror. He will not be a system or organization but a person – a supernatural, diabolical being, in form of a man who will blaspheme and proclaim himself to be God (Daniel 8:23-25; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 13:1-10). The marriage supper of the Lamb will take place above while the tribulation continues on earth (Revelation 19:1-10).
The Great Tribulation is described as the “…time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), “…great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21); “…the day of the Lord” (Joel 1:15); “…a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness” (Joel 2:1,2); “…wasteness and desolation” (Zephaniah 1:14,15); “…a time of trouble” (Daniel 12:1). The purpose of the Great Tribulation is to make Israel suffer so that they can be ready to cry to the messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ whom they at present reject) to come back to them. It is also to judge the unbelieving men and women of all ages (Zechariah 12:10,11; 13:1-9; 14:12,13). The bible shows that the Great Tribulation will take off after the rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; revelation 4:1) and will last seven (7) years. It will end at the second advent of Jesus Christ when He alights on Mount Olives (Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 25:31; Revelation 19:11,12; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Jude 14,15; Acts 1:11); settles on earth (Jerusalem) for a thousand-year reign called the Millennium (Revelation 20:4,5). This means that it is post-rapture and pre-millennium or the 70 of Daniel’s seventy weeks (i.e. after the 69 week, the last week, the 70 – Daniel 9:26,27; Revelation 4:1-19,21; Matthew 24:15-31; 1 Thessalonians 2:3-8). It is post-rapture because God will not like His children to suffer the Great Tribulation, its judgments and destructions. He saved Noah (a preacher of righteousness) and his
family before destroying the world with flood (Genesis 6:8-10; 7:1-13,16-24; 8:15-22). He rescued Lot (who was vexed with the filthy conversation of Sodom) and his family before destroying it with fire (Genesis 19:10-29). So God will take away His children from the earth before the Great Tribulation begins. The great Tribulation reaches its peak of destructions, judgments, terrors, frightening wars and desolations from the middle of the 7-year duration and ends with Christ’s advent. This is when the
antichrist breaks his 7-year peace covenant with Israel and attacks Jerusalem (Revelation 11:15-19:21; Matthew 24:15-22; Daniel 12:1; Jeremiah 30:6-9). The Great Tribulation is described as being full of woes, judgments, famines, bloody wars, explosions, plagues (incurable epidemics which become pandemic), terror, men calling for mountains to fall upon them, anguish, earthquakes, burning rocks falling from heaven upon the earth and scorching it, seas polluted, cattle and vegetation destroyed, millions dying from catastrophes, “as if a man did flee from a lion and a bear met him…leaned his hand on the wall and a serpent bit him.” Beasts and men will be in trouble, even mighty men will weep. “Neither their silver nor their gold (riches) shall be able to deliver them”. Whole cities and nations will be under great distress, perplexities, seas and waves roaring, hypertension and confusion as the powers of heaven are shaken by God (Amos 5:18,19; Isaiah 2:19; 24:1-3,6,19; mark 13:24; Joel 1:15; Luke
21:25,26; Matthew 24:11-26; Revelation 19:1-21). The Great Tribulation opens with the rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 14:1) then the rising of the antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:7,8). He wins nations, some by war while others concede authority to him (Daniel 7:8,24,25; Revelation 17:8-14). The False Prophet popularize him, making men to worship even his image. No one buys or sells without the mark or number (666) of the beast. While these go on, saints receive rewards
in heaven (Revelation 2:17,25-28; 3:12). There will be great apostasy, more of false religions and increase in the power of the devil who will be driven down to the earth (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelation 12:10-12;13:2,12-18). God’s planned judgments will fall on men in a divine sequence producing supernatural phenomena and demonic creatures unknown to man. These will come as Christ opens seven seals of a scroll on which they occur, then the blowing of seven trumpets each harbinger of more woes. 144,000 Jews will be sealed and raptured as well as countless tribulation saints from all over the world (Revelation 7:1-17). Saints in tribulation will be martyred (Revelation 6:9-11; 14:13; 20:4-6). A mighty angel appears with rainbow on his head, a little book opened and swears that “there should be time no longer” (Revelation 10:1-11). After this the high point of catastrophes called “the great tribulation” begins for the remaining 31/2 years (Revelation 11:1-19; Daniel 12:1-7; Jeremiah
30:6,7). Jerusalem falls to the antichrist and Israel is defeated (Matthew 24;15-22; Daniel 11:40-45). Israel runs for refuge in old Edom (Revelation 12:6,13-17; Isaiah 16:1-5). There will be more woes on earth through the pouring out on it of the content 7 vials (Revelation 15:1-6; 16:21; 18:1-24). God’s two witnesses appear, killed and later resurrects (Revelation 11:1,12). The marriage supper of the Lamb takes place (Revelation 19:1-10). And saints prepare to return to earth with Christ (Jude 14,15;
The scope will cover Israel, the Middle East, and the whole earth. The powers at work will be a) the antichrist called the Beast, the King of the north, the Syrian, the Assyrian, the king of Babylon, the Extortioner, the man of sin, the little horn, the Prince that shall come, a king of fierce countenance and understanding dark saying, spoiler, the son of perdition and that wicked one, empowered personally by Satan (2 Thessalonians 2:1-10; Daniel 7:8,24; 8:9,23; 9:26,27,36-45; Revelation 13:1-18; 14:9-11;
Isaiah 10:20-27; 30:18-33; Micah 5:3-15; Isaiah 14:4; 16:4; Daniel 7:11). b) The false prophet (Revelation 13:1-19; 14:9-11; 15:2-4; 16:2-12; 19:20; Daniel 9:27; 11:35,45; 12:7; Matthew 24:15). C) God’s powerful judgments (Joel 1:15; 2:12; Amos 5:18; Revelation 4:1-9; 19:1-21). d) The devil (Revelation 12:7-17; 20:1,2; 2 Thessalonians 2:9). While terrors are unleashed on earth saints will be a) receiving rewards; crowns, mansions, new names, white stones etc. at the judgment (Bema) sit of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Luke 14:14; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10,12; Matthew 16:27; John 14:1,2; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; James 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 2:17,25-28; 3:12,21; 22:12-16). The believers’ time of judgment
and reward only means the evaluation of the believers’ works for which they may receive reward or loss of reward. All raptured believers will be eternally saved. b) Rejoicing and feasting at the marriage supper in heaven (Revelation 19:6-9). C) Worshipping God with the angels (Revelation 7:9-17; 14:1- 5; 4:5,7), and d) preparing for the second advent of Christ upon white horses (Jude 14,15; Revelation 19:11-14; Matthew 25:31).
The Great tribulation ends when Jerusalem is ravished by the antichrist with two thirds of it capture at the end of the 7 year, and the children of Israel repent in great mourning and tears, calling for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to come back to earth and establish the millennial reign over all humanity (Zechariah 14:4-8; Micah 1:3,4; Zechariah 11:25-27; Hebrews 8:8-12; 10:17; Zechariah 12:10-13:1; Isaiah 66:7,8). Jesus then descends, destroys the antichrist, the false prophet and cast them into the Lake of fire and destroys his armies at the battle of Armageddon (valley of Megiddon), then an angel binds the devil and cast him into the bottomless pit for 1000 years (Revelation 19:20; Ezekiel 38 and 39; Revelation 20:1-3; Zechariah 14; Revelation 20:1-10; 19:11-21; Isaiah 34; Jude 14,15). Jesus Christ then builds a millennial temple at Jerusalem from where He rules the whole world.
1. Admit that you are a sinner. "For all [humans] have sinned, and comes short of the glory of God....[and] the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 3:23)
2. Repent now. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out ...[for] if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness " (Acts 3:19, 1 John 1:9)
3. Believe that God loves you and Jesus died for you. "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet Sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)
4. Invite Jesus into your life through prayer of faith. Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20)