TIMES OF TRIBULATION & GOD’S WRATH.
Christians & Jewish People during this Special time.
You can read about the ‘False-Messiah’ with the Scriptural details of
Who he is, and his time of Authority in another article.
These pages are about the effects on the World &
Believers in God & His Son, Yeshua/ Jesus Messiah and Saviour.
Introduction to this topic.
Of all the ‘End Time’ topics, ‘the time of Tribulation’ seems to be the most prominent, and perhaps the most divisive. Here, again, we state that we see the question of beliefs about this subject, quite separate from the most important question of all.
The most important Biblical belief that any human being must face, is whether we
a) Accept that each of us are sinners in God’s sight.
b) But that through the amazing and costly death of His only and unique Son.
Yeshua/ Jesus/ Isa, who was ‘the Face of God’ on Earth, and accepting His sacrifice,
c) We can be sure to be with God forever, if we come in repentance and total trust!
However, as we have said, elsewhere, we believe that God has put a lot of information in the Bible, for us to be informed, guided and comforted by as we search for Truth.
Therefore, we hope as you look at the different articles on this Web-site, you will receive some blessings. We need to ‘watch’ and be prepared for these things!
A. WHAT ‘THE TIME OF TRIBULATION ’ IS. (ALSO CALLED ‘DAYS OF DISTRESS’.)
Jesus spoke clearly about it.
In both Matthew 24, and Mark 13, Yeshua/ Jesus says, “There will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world – until ‘now’ and never to be equaled again.” Then in Revelation there are references to those “who have come out of” [or from], “the great tribulation.”
It is an actual, literal period of time of terrible trouble on this Earth, before the Return of Yeshua/ Jesus the Messiah. [In our articles about ‘Comparing Pre- & Post – Tribulation Beliefs’ and also ‘Second Coming Beliefs’, we have outlined the different points of view about WHO will be on Earth, during this period of time.]
It is a period of time, under the cruel and evil rulership of ‘A TRIAD OF EVIL’
This is described clearly in the article about ‘The False-Messiah’ who is also called ‘the Anti-christ’.
a) Satan, the Dragon, the Accuser, is the main instigator as he seeks to make everyone worship himself as god.
b) The False-messiah is his visible, human agent as a final world Dictator.
c) They are supported and served by the third one, who is called ‘The False Prophet’.
Each of them work closely together, and have one goal, to take the worship and rulership of this world’s people’s from the True God, and His Human but Divine Son, by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, for themselves. But it will only result in the bitter fruit of wickedness, in cruelty, suffering, destruction of the ecology of the Earth and death in horrible ways. Again we emphasise it is based on a form of religious worship. This is largely organised and directed by the ‘False Prophet’.
B. THE FALSE PROPHET IS THE SECOND ‘BEAST’ IN THE ‘TRIAD OF EVIL’.
There is a clear description of this ‘beast coming out of the Earth’ from verse 11 of Revelation chapter 13, and chapter 16 gives a fearfully lurid description of this personality and those who support him.
“Then I saw another Beast coming up out of the Earth. It had two horns like a those of a lamb”, [that is a mature year old ram], “but it spoke like a Dragon. It exercises all the authority of the First Beast”, [the False-messiah], in its presence; and it makes the Earth and its inhabitants worship the first Beast, the one whose fatal wound had been healed.” [Again, useful thoughts can be gained by looking at the notes in the NIV Study Bible, or other commentaries. We offer a summary of concepts here.]
He appears to be a Prophet spokesman, with great delegated power from the Antichrist, the supreme leader who demands to be worshipped.
Exactly what is meant by the phrase, “coming out of the Earth” (or ‘land’) is open to numerous opinions. Yet in today’s world, one unifying theme (even in children’s comic stories) is the great quest to ‘save’ the Earth from pollution and nature from destruction, and woe-betide the political party which disregards the so-called ‘green’ lobby, even when in some cases their interests are greater than human needs. The Great Almighty Creator has been replaced by ‘Mother Earth’ or ‘the gods’, so we see new forms of Humanism emerging constantly.
We know the roots were in the experience in the Garden of Eden when the Serpent asked, “…did God really say, ‘you must not eat from any tree in the Garden?’“
This resulted in God’s condemnation, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals, you will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust [Earth dirt] all the days of your life.” (Genesis 3:14.) This may not be the actual meaning, but it is a fitting analogy. (Certainly, there is no evidence ‘from the land’ means from Israel, as some people suggest.)
His actual description is meaningful.
“He had two horns like a lamb” [actually a mature ram] “but he spoke like a Dragon.” We have commented on the ‘mouth’ of the Antichrist, and in their heinous way, each of the Triad of Evil seek to parallel God the Father, Jesus the Word, and the power of the Holy Spirit who so wonderfully have communicated with mankind, ever since Creation. But this representative of deceit has no words of comfort at all!
The False Prophet sets up a world focus for the worship of the Dragon.
Very cleverly and cruelly, and because these Leaders come into power at a time of economic chaos, they link the worship system to the economic system of rigid control. But first the False Prophet finds ways to win the ‘right’ to control, by a series of seemingly spectacular ‘signs’. “He performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from Heaven to Earth in full view of men. Because of the ‘signs’ he was given power to do on behalf of the first BEAST, he deceived the inhabitants of the Earth. He ordered them to set up an image of the first Beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first Beast so that it could speak…”
There are mysteries here, since we live in a world now, that can create the most amazing light shows, with spectacular ‘fire-works’. So there must be a special dimension to this display of Satanic power.
Also in this day of computerised robots and figures of all kinds, a ‘speaking image, or statue’ would not be so surprising, were it not for the use the false Prophet makes of it. [See our later notes.]
C. THE RELIGIOUS FEDERATION THAT IS RULING, IS LIKE A ‘WOMAN’.
[There are inter-twined ‘videos’ of the Beast and his religious, evil monitory systems.]
A further parody in the whole evil programme is using the false religious system or ‘kingdom’ which is the very opposite of the Kingdom of Heaven which is portrayed as magnificent Woman in chapter 12. All God’s Believing People – “the Godly Line”.
The vivid description is in Revelation 17. “One of the seven angels … said to me, ‘come I will show you the punishment of the great Prostitute, who sits on the many waters. With her the kings of the Earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the Earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.’ Then the angel carried me away into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet Beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. (This is the False-messiah and his ‘kingdom’). “The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead: ‘MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH’. I saw that she was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.” What a sad picture!
Satan knows that the Church is God’s precious, blood bought inheritance, in which He delights. (Not the visible, outward religious ‘churchianity’ we see.) The Ephesians were reminded in 3:25 that, “Messiah loved the Church and gave himself for it” - the real, praying, cross-carrying Followers of Yeshua; His very Body, His Bride. But numbers, power, evidence of demonic authority, are what the Beast from the land, the false Prophet, needs and wants to enhance his position in the world. So he has not so much a church as a world-wide, all-inclusive religious, homogeneous, super-tolerant body, described in Revelation 17:1-7 as “the great Prostitute who sits on many waters”.
Verse 15 explains that, “the waters you saw, where the Prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages”. At this point I differ with many books and commentators who have explained this as one very powerful, religious, extravagantly rich denomination of Christendom. Certainly it will include and probably be greatly influenced by this church and its well-recognised leader. However, it seems it will be far wider and all-inclusive, and is foreshadowed in the modern concept of ‘inter-faith’.
It will include all religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, indigenous ethnic, or tribal religions (such as the Maoritanga and Iwi teaching of Maori in New Zealand, or Native American, Voodoo of the Caribbean, or Africa) and many other cultural forms of Animism. Also a watered down form of Islam, and certainly Communism, will all be gathered up in a blended form of the New Age and Humanism that worships the Antichrist and his representatives. There is a present day world-wide respected guru of these concepts of peace and tolerance. He is even called ‘his holiness’ and has been travelling to every country, and has met with all the great leaders, religious and otherwise.
The way true Christian Followers of Yeshua/ Jesus will be seen.
Already, the attitude of much of the world to real Christians is to portray them as non-conformist troublemakers. So when it seems the world is on the verge of an exciting period of ‘peace and prosperity’ because of the giving of all governmental control into the hand of apparently benign world Rulers, such as the Antichrist and his prophetic spokesman, along with the awe being generated at the miraculous aspects; anyone not agreeing, will be seen as ‘troublesome’.
True Christians will be seen at best as ‘insane’ and at worst as worthy of elimination. However, note; the period being introduced at that time and rightly called the ‘Time of Tribulation’ will quickly degenerate into a terrible time of trouble for almost everyone in the whole world, not just believers in Jesus. [We will explain more, later!] We can add with conviction, that we believe the ‘Time of God’s judgmental anger’ is a separate period of time as indicated by the pouring out of the ‘Bowls of Wrath’ when all true Believers will be sovereignly protected! [We will explain later.]
D. THE COLLECTIVE ACTIONS OF THE TRIAD OF EVIL.
These are well known, and clearly described in Revelation 13, but we summarise them again for you.
Points to note are:
> The whole ‘structure’ will be based on Worship of the Dragon and the Beast (v. 4).
> The authority given them will be world wide, but based on individual responses. (7b).
> It will be totally against God and His People (v. 6-10).
> It will be introduced and reinforced by apparent miraculous signs (v. 12-15).
Compare with 2 Thessalonians 2:9; “The coming [i.e., Parousia] of the Lawless One will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refuse to love the Truth and so be saved.”
> It will be accepted by all who are not Believers in Jesus.
“For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so they will believe the Lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the Truth, but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12.)
> It will be focused on worship of a great Image or Statue. (Rev 13:14-15.)
The prophet “ordered them to set up an Image in honour of the Beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first Beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the Beast to be killed.” In our modern world of scientific wonders, we do not wonder at the ability of the Prophet to create the speaking image, but at the reaction of people to it! Yet such are the facts. A powerful, blaspheming, controlling, cruel image - yet worshipped! Such is the collective ‘wisdom’ of anti-God people. Sin is stupid, at any time, and always cruel. But fear of death by its decree will be real.
E. MEANING OF THE ‘VIDEO’ WE HAVE JUST SEEN OF ‘BABYLON THE GREAT’.
Reading the chapters of Revelation 13, then 17 and 18 could be described as looking at, on one side, a voluptuous woman in a stained glass window, as a colourful, symbolic portrayal of a great, gaudy, worldwide religious system. However, go ‘round the other side’ as it were, and the grotesque, black portrayal is of a world economic system geared only for selfish luxury at any cost, and especially as described in chapter 18, willing to trade in any commodity, even “bodies and souls of men,” [people], verse 13.
There simply is not room here to print all the Scriptures in these chapters, and you are urged to read and pray over them yourself. Any thinking person in this world, especially a Believer in King Jesus, knows that money, or as Jesus called it, the god of ‘mammon’ is behind every form of evil. Drugs (including the evil of alcohol) are responsible for so much suffering, and linked so often with crime of all kinds. Murder, robbery, adultery and prostitution, abortion, wars, unemployment, instability in every aspect of government, and injustice everywhere can be traced to misuse of wealth which God supplied so generously to the inhabitants of Planet Earth. Even when the cause of sorrow is from famine, plague or disaster, so often the underlying cause is unwillingness to prevent these for ‘lack of money’ - so millions die. Tied in with it all is sexual sin and perversion, homosexuality and pornography, which has infected the whole human race, and is getting worse.
F. SO WE SEE THE EVIL TRIAD’S CONTROL OF THE WORLD ECONOMY.
This is so well known of, that it hardly needs emphasising, but it is such a big part of the prophetic Scriptures this study would not be complete if it did not refer to it. The Scripture is Revelation 13:16. In addition to the prophet – “causing all who refused to worship the image to be killed” he has a marketing control system unrivalled, (though similar to others) since time began, and only possible on this scale, in our lifetime, with the advent of computers and microchips and integrated money systems.
It says, “he also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave to receive a mark [Gk: charagma = imprinted mark] on his right hand or his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the Beast, or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom…”
Usually this last sentence is attached to the following words, regarding insight, calculating his number, and possibly its meaning. We concur that ‘666’ does at least signify the lack of perfection (in man) since seven is seen to be God’s divine number. But for us, the wisdom needs to be more in the area of understanding that there will be no way around the consequences of refusing to accept this mark. Ask anyone who lived under vicious Communist regimes, especially when they were being set up, what the consequences were for non-conformists. So any thought of bartering, or depending on the goodness of non-believers, is totally false. Surely this is partly what Jesus meant when He said, “You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of Me.” (Luke 21:16-17.) The evidence is that Gentile Christians will suffer at this time.
G. CHRISTIANS WILL BE PRESENT IN THE WORLD THROUGH ‘THE TIME OF TRIBULATION’.
Confirmed by careful study of the Word of God & the teaching of the Early Church. We believe there will be no ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ of Christians before the time of Tribulation. There are several reasons, but here are three:
1. We do not believe that there will be two resurrection days for Believers, which a ‘pre-tribulation’ theory promotes. Jesus said in Matthew 24: 29 & 30, “Immediately after the distress of those days… they will see the Son of Man Coming… angels… will gather His Elect.” (‘Elect’ means Believers, or ‘saints’.*)
2. We do not believe that God will have one part of His Body, (the Church) in Heaven, and another part, the Jews who believe in Yeshua, on Earth. The New Testament emphasises, in places like Romans 11, and Ephesians 2: 11 – verse 21, “In [Yeshua} the whole building is joined together… and are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives.”
3. The use of the word *‘saints’ suggests, ‘all Believers’. In Daniel and Revelation when speaking of these times. See Revelation 13:7, 14: 12, 15:2, 16:15, 17:6,18: 24.
However there are several rays of HOPE – so be encouraged!
By this time you will realise that a pre-tribulation escape from suffering is not part of the teaching we promote. However, “the Lord knows how to rescue godly [people] from trials,” (2 Peter 2:9,) Peter wrote to his friends who were suffering under false teachers, who were introducing ‘destructive heresies’ that caused distress to them. And it will be no different for us. There are several aspects of encouragement we can share. Only the Holy Spirit can make them that to you, depending on your needs and level of commitment to ‘The Slain Lamb’. He longs for our total commitment.
1. God is promoting older Saints to Glory now.
There are many wonderful men and women of God, who have borne the heat and burden of the work, in ministry here and overseas, or in support roles, whom are being ‘taken home’ now. Consider Isaiah 57:1,2: “The righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” As Paul said, “to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.” (Philippians 1:23.)
2. The whole world will suffer during the Time of Tribulation.
During the shorter but even more severe time of Judgement which will follow as described in Revelation 16 with the outpouring of the “bowls of wrath on the Earth”, the Believers, who have not taken the Beast’s mark, nor worshipped him, will not suffer. (Cp., 1 Thes 1:10.) Sadly those who have - will suffer terribly. Revelation 16: 2.
3. God is well able to enable His Own to go through a time of testing!
Christians will experience God’s help through it. This is how I view the stories of Noah and his family in the Ark; of Daniel’s three friends in the fiery furnace; and Elijah and the widow of Zarephath, through the three years of severe drought prayed for by Elijah. (James 5:17.) Another story of this time is in 1 Kings 18: 1 -19, and it certainly tells how the king’s godly employee, Obadiah, even managed to hide and feed 100 of God’s prophets (Bible College students?) And remember this was during 3 years of severe drought! When Elijah complained that he was the only one who had stayed true to God throughout the time of drought, God said, “Oh, but I have 7000 who have stayed true”. (See 1 Kings 19: 18.) But we do not know how the 6900 others “whose knees have not bowed down to Ba’al and all those whose mouths have not kissed him” were preserved. But we can be sure, wherever there are truly godly people willing to die for their faith, in His way and time God CAN deliver them. In this connection, Jesus asked a very poignant, rhetorical question in Luke 18:8 after telling the story of the persistent widow who finally got justice: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the Earth? I pray He will in the readers of this article and many others! Yet to die for Him is an honour and will be rewarded. Revelation 7:14 –17, please read it for your encouragement!
4. There is a set time limit for the time of Tribulation.
This is given in numerous places in Daniel and Revelation. 1260 days, or 42 months, or 3.5 years, can seem a very long time when one is really suffering, yet the assurance is that God has it measured off. We believe that during this time Believers in Israel will be sovereignly protected. If it is true, as we have shared, that following this; the time of Judgement is for unbelievers only, this may be what Daniel was referring to in chapter 12:12 – “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1335 days.” Will the outpouring of the ‘Bowls’ be within 45 days ending with the Coming of Yeshua/ Jesus at the ‘Battle of Ha Megiddo’? It does not say.
This is 45 days more than the 1290 days. We do not feel it is necessary to understand every detail of the references to times, but we do recognise:
> Lunar months differ from Roman Calendar months;
> We can trust God to organise it all justly and mercifully;
> Our part is to trust God tenaciously, without wavering!
GOD’S ANSWER TO THE FALSE-MESSIAH IS VICTORY THROUGH HIS OWN JEWISH PEOPLE! NOT ONLY THE TWO GODLY WITNESSES BUT ALL ISRAEL!
This is an exciting journey of discovery you can take as together we consider some special Scriptures. [See article about ‘Israel’s Glorious Future’.]
The background for this journey of discovery is in finding that Israel will be a special End Time Place of exception and difference from the rest of the world at this Time of ‘Tribulation’. We believe that Israel will be a holy nation and separate from the rest of the world. This seems to come clearly through all the Scriptures, (some of which have been explained in our articles about ‘The Future of the M.E & Israel’) -about a spiritually revived Middle East, especially Israel!
But here is one special Scripture to indicate this from Isaiah 60: 1-3, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the Glory of the LORD rises upon you! See, darkness covers the Earth, and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you, and His glory appears over you!” We do not believe this is after Yeshua/ Jesus returns, because the whole world will be beautiful then. So Zechariah 8: 23 also has a message, as it says, “In those days, 10 men… will take firm hold of one Jew… and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that GOD is WITH YOU.’ “ Jewish people will return to a restored holy Land, as believers in their own Messiah, and some Gentile Christians could go with them.
This has been another long study,
which we trust you will look at slowly and prayerfully.
There is meaning and purpose on every page of God’s Word.
He longs for us to find it and come closer to Him because of it all.