The Great Tribulation
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2Tim 2:15
"Rightly dividing the Word of Truth". That we should study to not be ashamed when confronted with a doctrine or belief that uses Scripture but is not Scriptural by breaking the Divine continuity established by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of inspired men since the beginning of time.
But how to properly study so that we know that what we are building on is solid ground and not some fantasy doctrine? By staying within the parameters established within Scripture and laid out in 1Thes 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” The original word used for "prove" is "bind". Bind all things, but to what? To the universal bureau of standards, Scripture itself. Scripture binds to Scripture in unbroken continuity to determine truth as well as error.
If a belief or doctrine follows this path of unbroken continuity it is then therefore deemed as true, but if a belief or doctrine does not follow the path of continuity but necessitates a break in it for the belief or doctrine to validate, it is therefore a false doctrine.
What Scripture says about the Tribulation:
We will start with the 70th week of Daniel as that seems to be a favorite misrepresented falsehood. What is said in Scripture about the conditions that will exist once the 70th week is accomplished?
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."
Once the 70th week is accomplished we are to have:
1- Finish the transgression
2- an end of sins
3- reconciliation for iniquity
4- everlasting righteousness
5- a seal on the vision and prophecy
6- the Most Holy to be anointed.
Are all of those conditions met ? They must all be met in order for the 70th week to be accomplished and behind us.If we are not living in conditions laid out here then no one can truthfully say that the 70th week of Daniel is accomplished. It would therefore be in the future.
Vs 25-26 give the number of weeks that we CAN say are accomplished as 69,history testifying to it's veracity, leaving the 70th outstanding. And then we have the 70th week in vs 27 - "And 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."
Here also we have a list:
1- a one week (7 year) covenant
2- a break in the middle of the week
3- a period of abominations that last up to the consumation (end)
4- something will be then poured out on the desolate.
All of the coma and crossed "T"s are not covered intentionally so you will be able to do a little research to see what does and does not fit.
Remember, the conditions that must exist AFTER the end of the 70th week are not yet with us so it is yet to be a future event.There is no escaping that fact, and to try to do so is to twist Scripture into adhering to a pet doctrine.
This chapter covers events past and also to come.
Vs 3 lays out the subjects:
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
1- the destruction of the temple (vs2)
2- the sign of Jesus' coming
3- the end of the world
The destruction of the temple was accomplished in 90 AD when the Romans burned it to the ground. The other 2 subjects will now be adressed.
We are warned about there being many false teachers, wars and other sorrows, false prophets deceiving many, and people growing colder due to their lack of love. Some of the key words in Matthew 24 are "when" "then" "after" and "immediately" for they establish the chronology of events.
Vs 15 "WHEN ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" See Daniel 9:27 above. So WHEN this happens in the middle of the 7 year stretch (week - shabua) we are supposed to understand it's significance.
vs 16-20 THEN it is time to move and move quickly (see Revelation chapter 12) why?
vs 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."
The tribulation starts in the middle of the 70th week. Jesus did not quote Daniel 9:27 for fun, He was letting us know some very important information concerning what was yet to come.
vs 22-26 Again a warning about false teachers;we are apparently going to have a bunch of them to be aware of.
vs 27 "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." This will not be done in a corner, and every eye will see Him.
vs 29 "IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:"
AFTER the tribulation,not during or before, there are some major events taking place.
vs 30 "And THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
When? THEN, AFTER the tribulation we have the return of Christ.
vs 31 "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
The elect get gathered AFTER, once all of this is done and accomplished, not before, not during, AFTER.
Two women grinding, one leaves the other stays. We are told to be vigilant until His return.
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, "
Paul seemed to understand the chronology: vs 2 Be not troubled that the day of Christ is at hand, because other things have to happen first. There must the rise of the final antichrist, who will work wonders and great deceptions, but he will be destroyed at the return of Christ. He will be allowed to do his thing for a limited time, part of which is the tribulation. This also is in keeping with Daniel 11:31-45. The tribulation serves a purpose (Da 11:33-35).“For gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity.”- Ecl 2:5 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" -1Pe 1:7
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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."- 1Cor 15:51-52
At the last trump. See above (Mt 24:31) It takes place when? AFTER the tribulation.
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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."-1Thes 4:13-17
Pay close attention to what Paul is saying here. Those who remain are NOT only unbelievers but those believers who have endured up to that point.When the trumpet sounds the dead rise first, starting with the two witnesses who get overcome when the antichrist is fully possessed by the dragon(satan) at the breaking of the covenant, and then we which are alive will be caught up with them. This happens AFTER the tribulation, not before or during.
“But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” - Rev 10:7 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” - Rev 11:15
See Revelation chapters 8-10 all about the seven trumpets.
Rev 11 - the setting up of the two witnesses that prophesy 1260 days (3 1/2 years, or the first half of the last week) These are not allegorical as some have claimed (SDA and others) but literal. Vs 4 "These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth." Now we will let Scripture tell us the interpretation: Zech 4:11-14 "Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."
Remember, we must bind all things to Scripture to determine truth and error.(1Thes 5:21) Scripture has unbroken continuity, but it requires that we study to show ourselves approved. Then and only then can we see clearly into parts of the mystery God has laid out for us.
This has been the foundation for the chronology of events Scripture lays out. There is still quite a bit of material that can be included, like the Scripture on "the beast", "the dragon" ect but now with the right order of things placing the rest of it into context should not be difficult.
Fact is that there WILL be a tribulation, it will last 3 1/2 years after the breaking of the covenant and will culminate with the return of Jesus Christ at the last trump. And we get to go through all of it.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye SHALL have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” - Jn 16:33
The doctrine of pre tribulation "rapture" (a word that doesn't exist in Scripture) is primarily prevaricated upon “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” - 1Thes 5:9 and then it tacks on the vials of wrath period of Revelation into the tribulation which is completely false. The verse is fact which is why the chronology of the vials of wrath of the pre trib believers is all wrong and breaks with continuity. There is a very specific chronology outlined in Scripture and it supports itself throughout. You cannot take a verse here and there and build a doctrine on that when it does not receive support from the rest of Scripture. That is dogma not truth.