#13 – The Great Tribulation


Revelation chapters 6:1 to 19:21

The tribulation known by a few different terms:

  • The tribulation
  • The Great Tribulation
  • Daniel’s 70th week
  • Jacobs trouble

This period on our timeline is perhaps, next to the rapture, the most incorrectly placed event that we will review. This will not, for matter of purpose, be a deep study of the tribulation except, as before to relate it to the fundamentals of the timeline.

Note: knowledge of the events of the tribulation are for your spiritual admonishment, as doctrinally the events do not effect us (the church)

It is also important to remember that arguing the scripture is a futile task… there is NEVER a winner.

1 Corinthians 14:38  But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

The length of the tribulation

The tribulation is approximately 7 years. Divided into 2 main parts with the midway point being 3 ½ years.

Who will be in the tribulation

Everyone who is alive after the rapture of the Church and had not accepted Jesus Christ according to the singular path that Jesus identifies:

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

As a reminder of the purpose of the tribulation:

The purpose of the tribulation is twofold

  1. To bring Israel, which is scattered throughout the world, back to one central point as God intended all the way back in Deuteronomy.
  2. These verses clearly teach

Neither of these have anything to do with the church which is why the rapture takes place prior to the tribulation to remove the church from God’s wrath.

Note these verses that the apostle Paul wrote about the New Testament church:

1 Thessalonians 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

1 Thessalonians 1:10  And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Romans 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

These verses clearly teach that those that are saved (the church) cannot go through the tribulation because God will be pouring out his wrath throughout the entire course of the tribulation.

The Tribulation is by definition “Jewish”

Matthew 24:21   For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

As an important reminder here: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John commonly referred to as the Gospels are written during, and with the anticipation that, Israel will accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah. It is not until acts chapter 8 that the narrative changes because of the final rejection that the Jewish hierarchy was against the message of Jesus Christ. Many of the things that Jesus said were specifically meant for the Jewish people and the Jewish events that were predestined such as the tribulation, second coming of Christ, millennial kingdom and the battle of Gog and Magog.

As always we can gain spiritual information and knowledge from passages written for the Jewish people but we are not to gain our doctrine from passages clearly meant for a different group of people.

Who is The elect:

Isaiah 45:4  For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

Jeremiah 30:7  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.

8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

10 Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

Note also these verses:

Ezekiel 20:37  And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:

38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

Daniels prophecy and the 70th week

Daniels prophesied much about the times of the tribulation. His information included parts but no pattern. In the end while there was much information, there was no context. Daniel did not understand. God commanded Daniel to seal up the book… a Revelation was needed to reveal the context.

Daniel 12:4  But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

The Revelation

Revelation 5:1  And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

The prophecy of the Seventy weeks and the breakdown

Daniel 9:24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks (7 x 7=49), and threescore and two weeks (62 x 7= 434): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, (tribulation) but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: (the 70th week = 7 years) and in the midst of the week (3 ½ years into it) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Important to note that again we see God’s plan clearly laid out to and through Israel. The Mystery of the Church was not revealed to Daniel because it was not, at that point, a primary plan to take the Gospel through the Gentiles.

NOTE: This timeline is known.

Matthew 8:29  And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

144,000 Sealed Jews

Much has been said about the 144,000 sealed Jews seen in Revelation Chapter 7 and 14. However when you remove the hype and speculation here is what we find:

  • The 144,000 are Jews.
  • They are from the 12 tribes of Israel each tribe having 12,000
  • They are all virgins and pure in their ways
  • They will evangelize the world
  • As a result a multitude accept Christ
  • These that accept Christ are given a special reward.

Note this reward does not fit that of the Jew or the Church

Revelation 7:14  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Chapter 6-11 First Half

  • Seven Seals are opened and revealed. These judgements are released on the earth as judgment and direction. The direction is for Israel as a way to motivate them to come home.

The six seals are completed in the first half of the tribulation while the seventh starts off the second half

  • Seven trumpets are sounded as to bring in different levels of wrath and torment. Including to famous 5th trumpet where locusts are released (9:3-9); they will be a combination of horse, man, woman, lion and scorpion and will not kill people, but torment them.

Between the sixth and seven trumpets – The Two Witnesses.

In chapter 11:1-3 we are given a description of “Two Witnesses” who are to prophesy during the greater part of the last half of the Week. Who they will be is very clear.

Revelation 11:1  And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. (1260 divided by 360 days on the Jewish calendar = 3 ½ years)

One has “power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy.” This can be no other than Elijah who was translated that he might come again before the “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”

Malachi 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (2nd coming)

6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

The other Witness will “have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as he will.”

Revelation 11:6  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

This identifies him as Moses, for he is the only person mentioned in the Scriptures who had such power… Just As Moses and Elijah appeared together on the Mount of Transfiguration with Christ. Matthew 17:3

Chapter 12 Mid Week – satan is cast out

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Chapter 13-19 Second half aka “the great tribulation”

This is the time where the dragon gives to the antichrist power to reign supreme in the world. In this time additional misery and destruction is poured out on the earth.  

Chapter 13 – The beast and the mark vs 15

Chapter 14 – A more detailed description of the 144,000

Introduction of the 3 Angels that will bring God’s message to the earth of judgement

Beginning in Chapter 14 is a singular account. It is important to note this. But there is so much happening at once that it is not laid out chronologically.  So as John describes what he sees as he sees it he writes it down. Kinda like panning across the football game and trying to describe the events of all the players in one play.

Key elements is the gathering (mid trib rapture) then the angel with the sickle striking down with the wrath of God

Chapter 15 – Announcement of the vials

Chapter 16 – Vials are poured out and the 7th vial is released; at this time the beast gathers an army to battle at the second coming of Christ.  

Chapter 17 – 18 –  God reserves a special place for the Great Whore.

Chapter 19 the Marriage, feast and second coming.