THE DAY OF THE LORD- THE END OF MAN’S RULE ON EARTH
The Bible speaks of the end of man’s rule on earth, and the coming day of the kingdom of God under the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. One can easily see that the world we live in is literally falling apart. An excellent point is the once great America is now under great financial and economic distress, bankrupt ready to collapse. The other economic superpowers China and Japan are also facing similar problems themselves, and the Eurozone countries are not doing much better. For 6000 years since Adam, because of gross corruption and wickedness, man has proven incapable of ruling over himself and his fellowmen! Thus, the end of man’s gov’t will herald in the beginning of the God’s kingdom on earth.
To understand what will happen, we need to know what the Bible says about the coming Day of the Lord! However, whenever the Bible mentions ‘The Day’ or ‘That Day’, it is often describing one of two main events in God’s calendar, so we need to distinguish which one is which. It could be referring to the Day of the Rapture of the Saints– the Secret Coming of Jesus Christ or the Day of God’s Wrath– the Public Coming of Jesus Christ. Proper understanding of ‘What’s In a Day?’ in God’s timetable will guide us on how to live, and how to be prepared for that Day! If not, many will be LEFT BEHIND to face the coming dire Great Tribulation, and even death!
THE DAY OF THE LORD! WHAT’S IN A DAY?
The term ‘Day of the LORD’ is found 29 times in the Bible. It often refers to the Great Tribulation in the Endtimes prior to the return of Jesus Christ. It is described as the Day of God’s Destruction and Wrath Job21:30. It is the Day of the LORD’s Fierce Anger Is13:13, and Vengeance Is34:8. It is a Day of Darkness Am5:20; ‘the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD’ Joe2:31. ‘That Day is a Day of Wrath, a Day of Trouble and Distress, a Day of Wasteness and Desolation, a Day of Darkness and Gloominess, a Day of Clouds and Thick Darkness’ Zeph1:15. However, the Day of the LORD is also used to describe the Day of the Rapture 1Th4:16,17, the Day of Escape and Salvation Heb2:3, the Day of Redemption Ep4:30, the Day of our Reward Lk6:23, Re22:12, and the Day of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1Co1:18, ‘the Perfect Day’ Pr4:18.
THE RAPTURE DESCRIBES A FORTHCOMING BIBLICAL EVENT
The word Rapture is Not Found in the Bible, but is used to describe a forthcoming significant event. Like the Rapture, there are many other terms that are not found in the Bible such as Trinity, Sunday School, spiritual warfare, denominations, seminary, and even the word Bible, but are accepted and understood. The word Rapture is commonly used to describe an ESCAPE from the coming Great Tribulation Lk21:36, Heb2:3, Mt24:21. Rapture comes from the Latin word ‘Rapiemur’, which means ‘to be snatched up’, ‘to be raised up’, ‘to be taken up’, ‘to be seized’, ‘to be CAUGHT UP in the AIR’, ‘to be translated into HEAVEN’ such as Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus were in time past! Paul said ‘By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was NOT FOUND, because God had translated him..’ Heb11:5. God took Enoch Ge5:24, Elijah 2Ki2:1,and Jesus Ac1:10, alive into HEAVEN as examples of the forthcoming Rapture that will happen in the endtimes!
Before Jesus was crucified, He told His disciples ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions.. I go to prepare a place for you.. I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also’ Jn14:1-3. Jesus promised to take us to where He is, to HEAVEN, in the Rapture. Paul said ‘For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then WE which are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the AIR: and so shall WE ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words’ 1Th4:16-18. Sadly, there are many who don’t comfort others with these words, don’t warn of the Lord’s soon coming, and don’t believe in, but speak against the Rapture, and often contradict the Word of God!
Jesus repeatedly warned us to ‘Watch and Pray’ so that we wouldn’t miss out on the day of His coming for us Jn14:3, the Day of Visitation 1Pe2:12. Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36. Watch what? Pray for what? Be worthy to ESCAPE what? What things shall come to pass? Stand before whom? Here Jesus was exhorting us to be ready for His return by being found worthy to ESCAPE the great distress of nations, with perplexity and great fear coming upon the earth Lk21:25-26. We shall then stand before Jesus, ‘which delivered us from the wrath to come’ 1Th1:10.
Jesus said ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the Day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh’ Mt25:13. The Day Jesus told us to ‘Watch and Pray’ for is the Day of His Appearing 2Ti4:8, 1Pe5:4, the Day of the Rapture of the Saints 1Th4:16,17, the Day of Our Reward Re22:12. It is the approaching Day of His coming for us Heb10:25. Hosea said ‘After two days will he revive us: in the 3rd Day he will raise us up, and WE shall live in his sight’ Hos6:2; the 3rd Day being 2000 years after Christ, when He will Raise us up. Pr4:18 states ‘..the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the Perfect Day’. The Day of the Rapture is the Perfect Day when WE will be glorified in Jesus 2Th1:10. John said ‘..WE know that, when he shall appear, WE shall be like Him; for WE shall see Him as he is’ 1Jn3:2.
JESUS SECRET COMING vs JESUS PUBLIC RETURN- TWO DISTINCT COMINGS
In the New Testament, the Day of the Lord is used 5 times to refer to the return of Jesus Christ to earth. The fact that Jesus will bring either Reward Mt16:27, Re22:12, or Judgment, logically speaks of two different Comings. The Secret Coming of Jesus is when only those looking for Him and are ready, will See Him, and ‘be CAUGHT UP.. to meet the Lord in the AIR’ 1Th4:16,17. Jesus said ‘Blessed are the Pure in Heart, for they shall See God’ Mt5:8. John wrote ‘..when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall See Him as He is.. every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself, even as He is Pure’ 1Jn3:2,3. Only the Pure in heart shall See God. Without Holiness, no man shall See the Lord Heb12:14.
The Day of Jesus Secret Coming will be the Day of ESCAPE from the Great Tribulation Lk21:36, Heb2:3. Jesus said ‘..behold, I come quickly; and my Reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be’ Re22:12. David asked ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a Pure Heart..’ Ps24:3,4.
The Day of Jesus Public Return will be at the end of the Great Tribulation, ‘when Every Eye shall See Him.. and all kindred.. shall wail’ Re1:7. For those not looking or unprepared for Jesus return and missing ‘..the Blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ’ Tit2:13, they will not be taken in the Rapture, but go through the Great Tribulation– the worst period ever in mankind’s history ‘such as never was or ever will be’ Mt24:21. It will be a terrible, horrific, painful, miserable, and most fearful time in history. Jesus said ‘..except the days should before shortened, there should no flesh shall be saved..’ Mt24:22.
THE DAY OF JESUS SECRET COMING– ONLY FOR THOSE LOOKING AND READY
The Day of Jesus Secret Coming will be a surprise to most people for He will come as a thief in the night 1Th5:2, secretly and swiftly. Jesus said two would be in the field and one taken; two women grinding at the mill and one taken Mt24:40,41; two in bed and one taken Lk17:34. Jesus told us ‘But of that Day and hour knoweth no man, not even the angels, but my Father only’ Mt24:36. ‘That Day’ is the Secret Coming of Jesus; it will be a surprise for no man knows when. What is our Hope? It is to be ‘in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His Coming’ 1Th2:19. This is called ‘the Blessed Hope’ Tit2:13.
Paul said ‘For God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Th5:9. But we must be blameless on the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ 1Co1:8. Paul wrote God ‘..which hath begun a good work in you shall perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ’ Php1:6. Jesus promised to raise us up at the Last Day. Jesus said ‘..every one which Seeth the Son, and believeth on him.. I will Raise him up at the Last Day’ Jn6:40. For those ready, the Last Day will be the Day of the Rapture– the Day of Jesus Secret Coming! Ep4:30 states ‘..grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby, we are sealed unto the Day of Redemption’. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of Jesus Secret Coming. It is the Day of Redemption!
THE DAY OF JESUS PUBLIC RETURN– EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM AND WAIL
The Bible tells of the Day of Jesus Public Return ‘when EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM’ Re1:7. Jesus will then return ‘after the tribulation of those days.. with power and great glory’ Mt24:29,30. Jesus shall ‘..gather His Elect together from the four winds, from one end of HEAVEN to the other’ v31. Notice here that His Elect shall be gathered together from HEAVEN. They were already raptured to HEAVEN, and will be returning with Jesus to Earth. Jude 14 states ‘..Behold, the Lord cometh WITH ten thousands of his saints’.
That Day of the Lord will be the Day of the Wrath of the Lamb Re6:16,17; the Day of His Fierce Anger Is13:13. Peter said it is the Day of Judgment 2Pe3:7; the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, when the heavens and the earth will pass away with a great noise and in fervent heat 2Pe3:10. On the Day of Jesus Public Return, no one needs to watch for EVERY EYE shall see Him, and they shall mourn and wail because of Him. Jesus will come to judge all on the earth Jn5:22, Ps96:13. The Day of the Lord will be a Day of Destruction and Desolation, great and terrible; a dreadful Day Mal4:5; the Day of Vengeance of our God Is61:2,63:4. It is the Day of the LORD’s Wrath and Anger Zep1:18, 2:3. Nothing will be secret about this coming Day, for EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM and WAIL Re1:7!
THE DAY OF THE RAPTURE– BREAKING OUR APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH
While the Bible states ‘.. it is appointed unto men once to die..’ Heb9:27, the Day of the Rapture will be a very special day when faithful believers will break their Appointment With Death! Ps79:11 states God has the power to ‘.. preserve thou those that are appointed to die’ and Ps102:20, ‘to loose those that are appointed to death’. Jesus said ‘I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever Liveth and Believeth in Me Shall Never Die. Believest thou this?’ Jn11:25,26. A parallel scripture, 1Th4:16-18 state ‘For the Lord himself shall descend from HEAVEN with a shout.. and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then WE which are ALIVE and REMAIN shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the AIR: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Clearly we see that Jesus will come down from HEAVEN to take those living, along with the dead ‘in Christ’, up to HEAVEN.
In Jn11:26, Jesus asked do we really believe this, and in 1Th4:18, Paul said we need to encourage one another with the words that Jesus is coming for us in the Rapture. Paul said that ‘..God hath not Appointed us to wrath, but to obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Th5:9. Paul states that we have an Appointment with Jesus, not to die, but be taken alive to HEAVEN. The apostle John said if we have this hope in Jesus to be like Him, we must purify ourselves, even as He is pure 1Jn3:3. Thus, we have a Divine Appointment with Jesus on the Day of the Rapture– to meet Him in the AIR; never to die, but to be with Him forever! Faith is all about believing what God said He will do! NO FAITH, NO RAPTURE!
THE DAY OF OUR CHANGE, THE DAY OF REDEMPTION
Both King David and righteous Job referred to a Day of being CHANGED, that is to have a Glorified Body like Jesus. David looked forward to being crowned with glory and honour Ps8:3.He said ‘As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy LIKENESS’ Ps17:15. Likewise, Job also alluded to becoming like Jesus. He said ‘If a man die, shall he live again? all the Days of my Appointed time will I wait, till my CHANGE come’ Job14:14. The apostle Paul said we ‘have the firstfruits of the Spirit.. waiting for the adoption, to wit, the Redemption of Our Body’ Ro8:26. Jesus said ‘And when these things Begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your Redemption draweth nigh’ Lk21:28. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of the Redemption of Our Body!
The Day of Redemption relates to the Day of Our Bodily Change, when our bodies will be redeemed fully from corruption into immortality. Paul wrote ‘Behold, I shew you a Mystery; We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be CHANGED, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.. the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be CHANGED. For this Corruptible must put on Incorruption, and this Mortal must put on Immortality.. then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ 1Co15:51-55. Paul said ‘..by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men..’Ro8:12; but also ‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death’ 1Co15:26. On the Day of the Rapture, we will receive an Incorruptible, Immortal, and Glorified body just like Jesus Christ. We will BE CHANGED ‘to be conformed into His Image’ Ro8:29!
THE DAY OF THE LORD- THE DAY OF THE RAPTURE vs THE DAY OF GOD’S WRATH
In summary, when speaking of the Day of the Lord, the Bible speaks of two significant, but contrasting events in the Endtimes. The first event is the Day of the Rapture, and the other event is the Day of God’s Wrath. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Day of our Divine Appointment with God- our Escape, our Adoption, our Redemption, our Resurrection, our Reward, our CHANGE, our Immortality, and our Glorification. The Day of Judgment is the Day of God’s Wrath, God’s Vengeance, the Day of His Fierce Anger, the Day of Destruction, the Day of Darkness, the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD.
One can only prepare for the Day of the Rapture, but never for the Day of God’s Wrath and the Great Tribulation! Jesus repeatedly warned us to Watch, Pray, Be Ready, Be Pure, Be Holy, to Look for His return, in order to Escape the things which shall come to past in the Endtimes! If one does not believe in, or is not ready for the Rapture but is LEFT BEHIND, he will never be able to prepare for the atrocity that will occur during the Great Tribulation, a most terrible, horrendous, miserable, hopeless, painful, and grievous 42 months period of hell on earth Re13:5,7! Jesus said ‘..except those days be shortened, there should NO FLESH be saved..’ Mt24:22. This means if it were to continue, literally everyone would either die or be killed! There will be wars throughout the world, thermonuclear explosions, great natural disasters, famine, droughts, pestilence, and disease wiping out millions upon millions of people! Everyone would be helpless while living through it. Also if one does not have the FAITH to believe the words of the Lord, ‘I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that were I am, there you may be also’ Jn14:3, then for sure, there is no other ESCAPE, but to be LEFT BEHIND to suffer in the Great Tribulation!
Finally, on the Day of the Rapture- the Day of Jesus Secret Coming, Jesus is coming FOR HIS SAINTS in the AIR. On the Day of Jesus Public Return- His 2nd Coming, Jesus is coming WITH HIS SAINTS back to earth to rule and reign. Re19:14 states ‘..the armies which were in HEAVEN followed Jesus upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean’. Jude 14 tells ‘Behold, the Lord cometh WITH 10,000 of his Saints’. This is ‘What’s in a Day’. In the Holy Bible, THE DAY OF THE LORD describes Jesus coming back twice- the 1st time FOR HIS SAINTS, and the 2nd time WITH HIS SAINTS! AMEN!
In The Coming Great Worldwide Tribulation Part I, it was discussed ‘What is Tribulation‘, How long is ‘the Tribulation‘, and what is the ‘Great Tribulation‘? It was also mentioned that ‘the Tribulation‘ will be worldwide and is synonymous with the term ‘Great Tribulation‘. It will not be 7 years long as many believe (See Part I), but only 3½ years as revealed in the Holy Bible, particularly in the book of Revelation.
Revelation chapters 6 through 16 reveal that there will be 21 specific judgments to affect the whole world which will be the wrath of God ‘poured’ upon the earth on a sinful and rebellious people. The judgments will include the world’s greatest war, drought, famine, persecution, storm, disaster, pestilence, epidemic, scorching, plague, and earthquake to come; all never ever experienced before in intensity and in magnitude. It will be the most fearful and demoralizing time to be living on the earth. Lk21:26-28 state
Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
The Redemption mentioned here is the Rapture of the Saints, that God has provided as an escape for faithful believers, for all those that are In Christ. This is now discussed here in Part II.
THE COMING RAPTURE of the SAINTS before the GREAT Worldwide TRIBULATION Part II
The concepts of the coming Rapture and Great Tribulation are intimately connected, with the Rapture occurring before the Great Tribulation takes place! The Bible bears this truth out in many places. The word Rapture is a commonly used term to describe an escape from the coming Great Tribulation. It comes from the Latin word ‘rapiemur’, which means to be ‘snatched up’, ‘caught up’, ‘raised up’, ‘to be seized’, or ‘to be translated‘ into heaven such as Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus were in the past! Paul wrote:
‘For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words’ 1Th4:16-18. Also, ‘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’ 1Co15:52.
Jesus has provided an escape when He will secretly come only for those ready for Him in the Rapture. Only faithful believers In Christ, who are watching and praying, looking for His return, obeying His Word, and readying themselves by being pure and holy, will escape the coming wrath of God in the Rapture, and not go through the Great Tribulation. Here are some Tribulation and Rapture scriptures that substantiate this point:
Ro1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..
1Th5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Re3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
1Th1:10 ..wait for his Son from heaven.. even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Lk21:28 ..when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Lk21:36 Watch ye.. and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Heb2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation..
1Co10:13 ..God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape..
Ep1:13 ..after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your Salvation.. ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise..
Ep4:30 ..grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Jn14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
2Co6:17 ..come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
1Jn2:28 ..abide in him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
1Jn3:2 ..now are we the sons of God..we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Mt16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
Re22:12 ‘..behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according to his works shall be.
Tit2:13 ‘..Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ..’
(In the King James Version (KJV) Bible, there are key words or phrases that are repetitive, which often help in giving revelation and deeper understanding of the scripture verses. For example the words WRATH, SALVATION, REDEMPTION, ESCAPE, SEALED, RECEIVE, and REWARD are repeated in several of the scriptures above. Likewise there are phrases such as ‘COME TO PASS‘, and ‘WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR‘ that are also repeated. Often times, these repeated words and phrases are related in meaning, and when searching for them, the Bible gives a clearer picture of what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us. Jesus said ‘Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me‘ Jn5:39.)
Here are the explanations of the scriptures above: The Bible states that the WRATH OF GOD is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness Ro1:18. There is a coming WRATH OF GOD upon all mankind (GREAT TRIBULATION), but not upon faithful believers 1Th5:9. The GREAT TRIBULATION is also called the HOUR OF TEMPTATION which will try all that dwell on the earth; but we are to wait patiently for Jesus Re3:10, who shall delivered us from the WRATH to come 1Th1:10. Jesus then said when these things begin to COME TO PASS (before the GREAT TRIBULATION), look up, lift up your heads for your REDEMPTION (the RAPTURE) draws near Lk21:28. Jesus then said to watch and pray that we may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these thing that shall COME TO PASS (the GREAT TRIBULATION), and stand before Him (the RAPTURE) at His coming Lk21:36.
Lk21:36 and Heb2:3 both describe the RAPTURE as our great ESCAPE and great SALVATION. Ep1:13 and Ep4:30 both state that believers are ‘SEALED with the Holy Spirit of Promise (the RAPTURE)’, unto ‘The Day Of REDEMPTION (the RAPTURE)’. The Promise of the RAPTURE was also given by Jesus when He said ‘I go to prepare a place for you.. I will come again, and RECEIVE you unto myself (the RAPTURE); that where I am, there ye may be also’ Jn14:2,3. Paul also wrote that if we separate ourselves and be holy, God will RECEIVE us (the RAPTURE) 2Co6:17. The apostle John said to abide in Jesus; that, WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, we may have Confidence, and not be ASHAMED Before Him At His Coming (the RAPTURE) 1Jn2:28. This verse also suggests that some people will be ASHAMED before Him at His Coming; they were NOT READY! Also WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR (the RAPTURE), we shall be like Jesus for we shall see Him as He is 1Jn3:2!
Finally, Jesus will REWARD us at His coming, according to our works Mt16:27, Re22:12. Thus, the RAPTURE is our ESCAPE and our REWARD– to be saved from the coming GREAT TRIBULATION! The RAPTURE is also our REDEMPTION and SALVATION, and our BLESSED HOPE. Paul told us to look for that BLESSED HOPE (the RAPTURE), and the GLORIOUS APPEARING of our Great God and Saviour, the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ Tit2:13!
In conclusion, there is a GREAT TRIBULATION coming soon upon the earth as prophesied by Jesus in Mt24:21 and in the book of Revelation! Presently, the earth is going through tremendous convulsions with nations rising against nations. There are wars and rumors of war, great earthquakes, droughts, famines, and great natural disasters. Add to this the great economic woes and the slowing down of the world’s economies especially in America and Europe, both in near collapse due to extreme indebtedness. The GREAT TRIBULATION of 3½ years may be sooner than later, and perhaps right around the corner. The recent destabilization of the Middle East and the further isolation of Israel by the United Nations in granting Palestine non-member status by a vote of 138 to 9, are also sure signs of a great war coming in the last days.
But all this is necessary, for all Bible prophecies must be fulfilled before the establishment of the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth. The AntiChrist will arise up during the GREAT TRIBULATION, and ‘destroy wonderfully’ Da8:24. He will put the entire world under his diabolic rule in a NEW WORLD ORDER- a One World Gov’t, One World Economy, and a One World Religion. Then the people of the world must either worship the AntiChrist as their god, or be beheaded. Re20:4 tells ‘..I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands..’ (A word of caution- if anyone worships the Beast or his image, or accepts his mark 666 Re13:16-18, he will be doomed and tormented in fire and brimstone forever Re14:9-11).
Surely you will never read about this in the NEW YORK TIMES, but there is a coming GREAT TRIBULATION to try every living soul on the earth! Thus, we must be watching and praying, be pure and holy, and be ready to escape in the RAPTURE! The RAPTURE is an ELECTIVE EVENT, meaning only you can decide to be TAKEN by making yourself READY. Otherwise, you will be LEFT BEHIND; ‘For many are called, but few are chosen‘ Mt22:14! Paul admonished us ‘..work out your OWN SALVATION with fear and trembling’ Php2:12. Amen!
Jesus said ‘For then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be’ Mt24:21.
What is Tribulation; How Long is ‘the Tribulation’; What is ‘the Great Tribulation’? Tribulation is a general term that describes great difficulties, afflictions, suffering, hardships, and distresses. In this world, tribulations are quite common in many places at any given time, caused by greed, persecutions, war, droughts, famine, pestilence, and natural disasters. There has never been a period in history without tribulation of some kind in the world. During the great World Wars I and II, tribulation was widespread, ubiquitous, consuming, and affected major parts, if not the entire world. Countries in all major continents have experienced great tribulation during times of wars. Thus, even the phrase ‘great tribulation’ is a very relative term often used only by those in the midst of their suffering. While there may be great tribulation in Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Egypt, Greece, or Spain, for the other parts of the world, things may not be so bad, or might even be good. So the use of the word(s) tribulation or great tribulation is a relative word, and should always be viewed in the context of what really happened! Jesus also said ‘..in the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’ Jn16:33. As long as we are in this world, we will suffer some kind of tribulation!
Superstorm Sandy– a ‘Great Tribulation’? The recent Superstorm Sandy that struck the great northeast corridor of America’s population was a great tribulation, but certainly not ‘the Tribulation’, or ‘the Great Tribulation’. How would those whose homes were damaged by waves or washed out to sea, burned down by natural gas fire, or blown apart by strong winds describe what happened to them in terms of the word ‘tribulation’? Many suffered long periods without food and water, in the cold without electricity and heat, were trapped in high-rise buildings without elevator service; unable to leave or get to their homes, work or schools due to high-water, damaged roadways, shut-down public transportation, lack of gasoline, or damaged cars! How long will it take for things to return to normal, if ever? Who will help those with little or no money? How will the individuals, businesses, the counties or states recover their financial losses? The people living there have experienced and suffered tribulation or even great tribulation as never before. This example is given so that we can better understand the term ‘the Tribulation’ or ‘the Great Tribulation’, as Jesus spoke of. In Mt24:21, Jesus foretold that things in the end will get even worse worldwide.
Will ‘the Tribulation’ Prophesied By Jesus Really Be 7 Years Long? Here we will examine a specific period called ‘the Tribulation’ that many Bible students are seeking to understand in order to gauge when the Rapture will take place. While the Bible mentions the word ‘tribulation(s)’ 26 times (4 in the Old Testament, and 22 in the New Testament), the term ‘the Tribulation’ is only mentioned once (Mt24:29), and ‘that Tribulation’, only once also (Mk13:24)- both referring to the same specific period Jesus spoke of, but recorded by two Gospel writers, Matthew and Mark. The term ‘the Tribulation’ is not found anywhere in the book of Daniel, but most Bible scholars have inferred that ‘the Tribulation’ will be 7 years long from reading Da9:27, which states ‘..he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week 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’ (a week being 7 years). But in this verse, the first part of this 7-year covenant appears to be a rather peaceful time than a time of tribulation. Also does this verse really say that there will be a world-wide desolation, or just to the Jews? Da9:24 states ‘Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city..’ clearly referring to the Jews and the city of Jerusalem. The peace accord will be for 7 years, but will ‘the Tribulation’ be during this entire period or just in the latter 3½ years?
In Da9:27, it is commonly accepted that the ‘he’ mentioned 3 times is the AntiChrist who will confirm a ‘peace covenant’ with the Jews for one week, (being interpreted as ‘7 years’), and in the middle of this period 3½ years will break the ‘covenant’ and destroy the Jewish people! But nowhere is the term ‘the Tribulation’ mentioned in the book of Daniel, or that the beginning of the peace treaty will begin ‘the Tribulation’! However to be fair, Da12:7 does mention‘a time, times, and an half’, basically, 3½ years; ‘a time of trouble’ v1 for the Jewish people living in ‘the time of the end’ v9! Ezekiel chapters 38/39 also speak of a great war coming to the Middle East, with armies from the North countries attacking Israel Ez38:15. It states that God will supernaturally intervene on behalf of Israel to defeat the enemy and it would then take 7 years to burn the weapons of war Ez39:9,10. But again, this does not mean that ‘the Tribulation’ would be 7 years long.
The Great Tribulation– the Worst Time Ever to Be Living The term Great Tribulation is mentioned only three times in the Bible, and only in the New Testament. Jesus said ‘For then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be’ Mt24:21. In Re7:14, it states ‘.. These are they which came out of Great Tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’. The 3rd reference, Re2:22 ‘Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds’, appears to refer to something else. In context, both Mt24:21 and Re7:14 refer to the same Great Tribulation that will be absolutely horrible. Here the Tribulation Saints, will be martyred and beheaded for their faith in Jesus Christ Re20:4. In Re7:9, it describes these saints as a great multitude that came out of the Great Tribulation from all ‘.. nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues’ from all over the world, not just the 144,000 Jews earlier mentioned from the 12 tribes of Israel.
The Great Tribulation – When Will It Begin and How Long Will It Last? When will this Great Tribulation begin and how many years will it last? The Bible does not state when it will happen, but it appears that it will be at ‘the end of the world’ Mt24:3. Jesus said ‘And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened’ Mt24:22; the elect, meaning the Jews. But the Bible does make reference to a time period of ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days’ Re11:3,12:6, ‘forty and two months’ Re11:2, 13:5, and ‘a time, times, and an half’ Re12:14, basically 3½ years! The Greek calendar treats a year as 360 days, so 1260 days would equal 3½ years. While the Bible does not specifically state that the Great Tribulation will be 3½ years, the use of the above terms suggests that it will be 3½ years long, concluding with the war of Armageddon Re16:16, the return of Jesus Christ to defeat the Beast and the False Prophet Re19:20, and to establish His kingdom on earth!
In Revelation chapter 6, the Great Tribulation begins with the opening of the 7 seals. In Re6:9-11, they state ‘And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled’. Those slain for the Word of God and given white robes are very similar to those mentioned in Re7:14 ‘these are they which came out of Great Tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’. However before then, faithful believers in Christ will already be ‘taken out’ in a pre-tribulation Rapture. Re4:1 states a voice said ‘Come up hither’, which signifies the Rapture! In Re11:12, the phrase ‘Come up hither’ is also used, when two witnesses of God who had prophesied for 1260 days are killed, but after 3½ days, brought back to life and ‘ascended up to heaven in a cloud’.
End of Part I. To Be Continued Soon….