A Brief Introduction to Tribulation

 

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1. What tribulation is, what wrath is

 

2. The Old Covenant tribulations foreshadowed those which would come

 

3. The New Covenant tribulation period began the last days, the last times

 

 Our Heavenly Father has not revealed through the Spirit what will happen before Jesus returns for us, and then comes in all of His power to rule over Heaven and earth. Different books and movies have made us aware of end time prophecies, about the tribulation we will face. Yet the only place we can get the real truth about these prophecies, about tribulation, is in the Word of God.

End time prophecy should never be about pride, who is right, who is wrong, but about letting the Spirit show us the truth. We believe it is highly probable that Jesus will not gather us up to Him, until after the antichrist’s 3 1/2 years of great wrath is over, and just before the wrath of God begins. Yet no one knows for certain when Jesus is going to return, and it would be wonderful if He comes to take us home before the great tribulation begins. Yet we must be prepared to wait for Jesus, no matter when He comes. For we know for certain that Jesus will return for us, and take us home to Paradise, to live with Him forever. As more end times prophecies are revealed, we will continually change this message when needed, noting our corrections in Additions/Corrections.

 

1. What tribulation is, what wrath is

Generally what wrath and tribulation are, they can overlap each other

 

Tribulations are the many tests and trials we will face while living here on earth, both spiritually and physically. Which force us, pressures us, into making the most important choice we will ever have to make. Whether we love our God above all things, all people as ourselves, and become, remain, children of God. Or whether we love something else more than our God, love ourselves more than we love others, and become, remain, children of satan.

 

Jesus tells us we will have to face tribulation, even be killed for His sake. Yet if we love our God above all else, we will always follow Him. And when we fall short, Jesus will forgive our sins, so we can remain holy children of God, heirs of eternal life in Heaven.

*”Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. Matt 24:9-11 ESV+

*Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Rev 2:10 NKJV+

 

Our tribulations help strengthen our faith, make it strong, as we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us through all adversity.

*And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Ro 5:3-5 NKJV+

*because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Ja 1:3-4 NIV+

 

Wrath refers to the righteous anger carried out in punishment against all the ungodly and unrighteous behavior of mankind. God’s wrath avenges all the ungodly and unrighteous acts done upon His children. Wrath often happens when God cannot get our attention, change us through tribulation.

*For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, Ro 1:18 NKJV+

*Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. Ro 12:19 NIV+

 

God’s wrath can refer to one or all of the following:

 

The physical wrath our God has and will continually pour out us, until Jesus returns in all of His power.  

*For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Ro 1:18 ESV+

*Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. Rev 15:1 NKJV+

 

The spiritual wrath our God has, is, and will pour out on the spiritual beings of those who have physically died on earth without coming to Jesus. They will be punished in Hell until the day of the white throne judgment, the last judgment after Jesus has reigned a thousand years on earth.

*He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."  Jn 3:36 NKJV+

*then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 2Pe 2:9 ESV+

 

The worst wrath our God will ever hand out will be at the white throne judgment. All those who have died, whose spiritual beings are in Hell, will have their souls and spirits reunited with their physical body and mind as it is resurrected from the dead. And together with all those who are still physically living, will be cast into eternal damnation, in the lake of fire. 

*And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. Rev 20:13-14 ESV+

*he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”  Rev 14:10-11 ESV+

 

2. The Old Covenant tribulations foreshadowed those which would come

 

Tribulation, tests and trials have been with us since Adam disobeyed God, bringing sin and death into the world. All people would inherit sin from Adam, and as sinners would face trials and tribulations as they strived to follow our God.

*Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return." Gen 3:17-19 NKJV+

 

The Temple at Jerusalem has always been the central place for the tribulations and then the wrath of God poured out on the Jewish nation.  King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 BC would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple in it. Two thirds of Israel would die, and the rest scattered out as slaves over many different countries. Because of the length and brutality of the siege, Israel would face starvation and revert to cannibalism even among their own families. This foreshadowed the 70AD destruction of the Temple and disbursement of the people once more. 

*He burned the house of the Lord and the king's house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great, he burned with fire. 2Ki 25:8-9 NKJV+

*'And because of all your abominations, I will do among you what I have not done, and the like of which I will never do again. 'Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you and scatter all your remnant to every wind. Eze 5:9-10 NASB+

*One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. Eze 5:12 NKJV+

 

The Temple at Jerusalem was destroyed one more time in the Old Covenant by Antiochus IV, around 168 BC. Antiochus IV made abominations in the temple after he had captured it, claiming to be God, sacrificing an unclean animal, a pig. This foreshadowed the antichrist, who would be the abomination of desolation in a temple yet to be built in Jerusalem. And who would likewise claim to be God in the new temple, as he makes war on believers.  

*He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. Da 8:24-25 NIV+ (Antiochus IV)

 

Tribulations continued throughout the Old Covenant period, as they will until Jesus returns in all of His power.

*They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. Heb 11:37-38 NASB+

 

3. The New Covenant tribulation period began the last days, the last times

 

Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit, and began His ministry, ushering in the New Covenant. This would begin in the last days of tribulation, which have continued  over the last 1,980 plus years.

*God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; Heb 1:1-2 NKJV+

*but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 1Pe 1:19-20 NIV+

 

Jesus would encounter the greatest tribulation of all, as He suffered upon the cross, in Hell, as atonement for our sins. See What Spiritually Happened on the Cross

*He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Heb 9:26 NKJV+

*Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. [He will see the results of the suffering of his soul] and be satisfied; by [knowledge of him] my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Is 53:10-11 NIV+ [NIV footnotes]

 

Jesus told His believers they would be beaten, hated, even put to death for His sake. But through this persecution they would spread the gospel, the Holy Spirit would testify about Jesus through them. This would foreshadow what would happen throughout the tribulation period, to all believers both Jews and Gentiles. This is happening in many countries right now.

*You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. Lk 21:16-17 NKJV+

*But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. Mk 13:9 NKJV+

*"When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. Mk 13:11 NASB+

 

Peter told all listening at the first Pentecost that the last days had begun. Our Heavenly Father had begun to pour out the Spirit on all people as He had promised to do in those days, the last days. The last days would extend until our God would show wonders in the Heaven above and earth below. The sun would be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before Jesus would return in all of His power.  

*But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. Ac 2:16-17 NKJV+

*The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. Ac 2:20 NKJV+

 

Tribulation will continually get worse as the time for Jesus to return gets closer and closer. The worst tribulation coming in the last 3 1/2 years before Jesus returns in all of His power. The time when God gives the antichrist the power to physically rule over all people on the earth, putting all believers under great tribulation.

*"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Matt 24:7-8 NASB+

*And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God; and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them. Rev 7:14-15 ASV

 

There has been, is, and will continue to be many false teachers, many wars and commotions, as we continue on in the year 2013. 

*And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time has drawn near.' Therefore do not go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately." Lk 21:8-9 NKJV+

*And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. Matt 24:6 ESV+

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Copyright 2010, amended 2012 + 2013 by Ron Borkey

+ESV “Scripture quotations marked [ESV] are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version,” copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good New Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

+ NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (1995 Update) Copyright © 1981, 1998 The Lockman Foundation, A Corporation Not for Profit, La Habra, California. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."