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The account of the Great Tribulation as described in the book of Revelation is very important to our understanding of what lies ahead in the future of this world. As short as this period will be in history, it accounts for a greater part of prophecies given in the Bible.
Jesus Christ deliberately spent more time talking about this period as the battle between good and evil for the souls of human beings will be fiercest in the history of Mankind. Just as there will be unprecedented attempts and ventures to reach souls for Jesus Christ, so will there be unprecedented attempts to harden the hearts of billions of people to the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ.
While some events are literally described, others are symbolically described in the book of Revelation. For example, while the event of Revelation 8 verse 8 will happen literally, the event of Revelation 8 verse 10 is symbolic. This pattern continues throughout the book of Revelation.
I have written the account of the great tribulation with this understanding. I also believe God lead me to write this way. As you read the account below, may the Lord give you all it takes to prepare for what lies ahead in Jesus name. Amen
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The Great tribulation is going to be a time of suffering unprecedented in human history. Jesus Christ pointed out in Matthew 24 verse 21 that there has never and there will never be a period of time of immense suffering as would be experienced during the tribulation period.
This is a period in human history when mankind’s sin from the time Adam was created to when Jesus Christ snatches His church out from the world will experience God’s judgement. The Bible described this period as a time of Jacob or Israel’s trouble (Jeremiah 30 verse 7). It is a time for Israel to be tried along with the rest of the world, because the Jews not only rejected Jesus at His first advent, but also since backslidden from God. This period is designed to test Israel, open their spiritually blinded eyes and restore them to God in order to accept their messiah Jesus Christ (Romans 11: 25 & 26). The Great tribulation is also described as a period “…when the times of the gentiles would be fulfilled”. In other words, this is the time when the politics and culture predominated by Gentile nations (all non Jewish countries) culminates. This is the time when all kinds of perversions and sinfulness in the world, especially in the last one hundred years comes to maturity and ultimately incur God’s severe judgement.
This period of the tribulation will last for seven years. This period is divided into two parts. Three and half years each. Click here to go to the top bullet point.
The seven years is part of the 70 weeks determined upon Israel in the Old Testament. Daniel 9 verse 24 shows that 70 weeks is required to fulfill Israel’s acceptance of the Messiah. The 70 weeks consists of two stages and the last stage consists of seven years Great tribulation. A week in these 70 weeks stands for 7 years. In total the 70 weeks amounts to 490 years of the Jewish calendar in which 360 days makes a year
The first stage of the 70 weeks consists of 69 weeks equivalent to 483 years of 360 days or 173,880 days. This is the time span between Israel’s return from captivity to rebuild Jerusalem to the time Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross.
This actual prophecy was fulfilled when on March 14th, 445 BC, the command to rebuild and restore Jerusalem was given according to Nehemiah chapter 2 verses 5 - 18. Now Jesus triumphal entry occurred on April 6th, 32 AD. The time difference is exactly 173,880 days as was prophesied. The lesson to learn from this is that just as the 69 weeks were fulfilled, so will the future 1-week of seven years be fulfilled to precision. Click here to go to the top bullet point.
One may wonder, why the long gap between the 69th week and the last 1-week of Daniel’s seventy weeks? While the account given in Daniel 9 verses 24 – 27 indicates a break between the 69th week and 70th week, there is nothing to indicate there will be a long gap between these two periods. The gap was necessitated by the following events.
When Jesus Christ came the first time, he presented the gospel of the kingdom which was rejected by the Jews (Matthew 3 verse 2; 4 verse 17). Christ attempted to teach the Jews about the kingdom of God and went further to specify the criteria for entering into the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 5 verses 3 - 12). His goal was to turn the Jewish nation back to God and use them as a vessel to reach the whole world for God. But the Jews rejected all these and tried to kill Christ because they did not believe in Him (John 7 verse 19; 8 verses 37 & 40).
This Jewish rejection necessitated a change to the program of redemption. Jesus Christ abandoned the Jews temporarily (Matthew 23 verses 38, 39. And the entire verses 1 - 38) and put in place the process of building the Christian church. And this is why He told Peter “… I will build my church” (Matthew 16 verse 18). Instead of having God’s vessel on earth consisting of a singular race of people, Christ formed a church consisting people of all races who puts their trust and faith in Him. It is this church which steps into the gap between the 69th week and 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy. This change in God’s programme was predicted hundreds of years before Jesus Christ’s first appeared on earth. God has now effectively postponed the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth for another 2000 years until Israel repents during the 70th week of suffering and turn back to the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 23 verse 39).
A careful study of the Bible shows that the postponement of the kingdom was prophesied in the Old Testament. Hosea 6 verses 1 & 2 reveals “…After two days, He will revive us; in the third day He will raise us up…”. According to the Bible, a day in this context is a thousand years in God’s sight (II Peter 3 verse 8, Psalm 90 verse 4). Hence the ‘two days’ referred to in Hosea stands for a period of two thousands years when Israel was dispersed all around the world before they came back to their land in May 1948. And “the third day” stands for the 1000 years peaceful reign of Christ on earth. The last one-week of seven years in Daniel’s 70 weeks will commence after the church of Christ is raptured from the earth (Click here to read about the Rapture).
The seven years of the Great Tribulation is in two parts. The first part will span three and half years. The second part is also a period of three and half years . Click here to go to the top bullet point.
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