Tribulation

There is no 7 year tribulation period.

Believers will always face tribulation – then 3 1/2 years of great tribulation

 

1. No 7 year tribulation period

 

2. War of Psalms 83; Destruction of Damascus

 

3. War of Gog; Ezekiel 38-39

 

4. Daniel 9:24-27: Timeline for Jesus to save us

 

5. Revelation chapter 2-3 Jesus warns existing congregations

 

6. Rev 6:1-11: We are in now in serious tribulation

 

7. Wrath of God and the Lamb, in war of Gog (Eze 38)

 

 

1. There is no 7 year tribulation period 

There always will be tribulation – then 3 1/2 years of great tribulation

 

Introduction to Tribulation shows us believers have always faced tribulations, will always face tribulations, and if living will face the great tribulation. There is no place in God’s Word which tells us about any 7 year tribulation period. The confusion about there being a 7 year tribulation period, comes from a 7 year firm covenant found in Daniel 9:27. We believe this is the New Covenant of grace made by Jesus. Yet others think this covenant is made by the antichrist with Israel, and the 7 years this covenant is supposed to be in effect (it will be broken in 3 ½ years), will also be a seven year period of tribulation. In which the last great events and wars prophesied about in Scripture will take place. 

 

Many of those who have supported the 7 year tribulation theory, now realize all the prophetic events which they believe will take place, cannot fit into 7 years. Many believe there are at least 2 different prophetic wars, first the war of Psalms 83, and then the war of Gog in Ezekiel 38-39. Plus the destruction of Damascus in one of these wars or on its own, which must happen before Jesus returns in all of His power, and the battle of Armageddon begins.

*They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”  Ps 83:4 ESV+

*Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.  Eze 38:15-16 NKJV+

*An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. Isa 17:1 ESV+

 

2. War of Psalms 83

 

For the future war of Gog to begin, Israel must first have the security to let down their guard, with unprotected villages, and be a quiet, content people. They must also be a rich prospering nation as they become the economic center of their area. So the Lord can draw Gog and others from the north to invade Israel for their spoils.

*and say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. Eze 38:11-12 ESV+

*You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. Eze 38:16 NIV+

 

It is hard to believe Israel would sign any peace treaty which would make them give up their weapons to the Arabs who hate them. Israel knows their Arab neighbors will not honor any treaty with them, they merely want to annihilate them. It is more conceivable that Israel will fight and win a border war with the nations who hate them, the war of Ps 83. Israel will then be a nation which is restored from war, and will be secure. These nations might include Palestinians, Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon; maybe Egypt and Iraqi

*Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth. Ps 83:17-18 NKJV+

*After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. Eze 38:8 ESV+

 

In the war of Ps 83 Israel will probably take back the land which the Lord originally gave them, expanding their borders. They will soon prosper from not having to fight their neighbors, and become the center for trading in this area.

*On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,  the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.” Gen 15:18-21 ESV+

*If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. Dt 30:4-5 NKJV+

 

The city of Damascus in Syria will be destroyed, and be uninhabited forever. This can happen before, after, or with the war of Ps 83; or maybe with the war of Gog.

*An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. Isa 17:1 ESV+

 

We know the war of Ps 83 will be different than the war of Gog for 2 reasons. There are different countries involved. Who these countries might be now; see War of Ps 83 above; War of Gog below

 

Nations of the War of Ps 83:

*For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the HagritesGebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of TyreAssyria also has joined with them; Ps 83:5-8 NASB+

 

Nations of the War of Gog:

*"Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, Eze 38:2 NKJV+

*Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops--the many nations with you. Eze 38:5-6 NIV+

 

The war of Ps 83 will be fought and won by our God using the Israeli army. As He helped Israel army win the war of Midian, helped them capture their leaders.

*Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon, Ps 83:9 ESV+

*So they made war against Midian, just as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed every male. Nu 31:7 NASB+

*Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb, Yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, Ps 83:11 NKJV+

*They also captured two of the Midianite leaders, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They pursued the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was by the Jordan. Jud 7:25 NIV+

 

After the War of Ps 83, all of the wars which Israel will win; will be fought and won supernaturally by our God. This includes the War of Gog, which will be fought and won by the supernaturally powers of our Heavenly Father. This includes the 2 prophets (witnesses) who will be given supernatural powers by our God to protect Israel during their 3 1/2 years. Jesus will supernaturally win all of the battles when He returns in all of His power, including Armageddon. And finally our Father will supernaturally defeat satan and all who come with him when he is turned loose after the 1,000 years.

*With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. Eze 38:22 ESV+

 

3. War of Gog; Ezekiel 38-39

 

Then our God will vindicate His name on earth, by bringing Gog and many other nations against Israel, for the riches they have. No nation will come to help Israel in this war, and when it seems they will be totally destroyed, our God will recue them. He alone will defeat the armies who come against Israel, so all will know He is the only God, will know how great He is. Those who come against Israel might include: Russia, Turkey, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Ethiopia, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, Tunisia

*With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord. Eze 38:22-23 ESV+

*I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man's sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. Eze 38:21-22 NIV+

 

Yet seven years alone will be needed for Israel to burn up the weapons from this future war with Gog in Eze 38-39. We also know the earth will be changed, be cleansed when Jesus comes in all of His power, so all the weapons must be burned up in 7 years 1 month (30 days wrath of God) before Jesus returns in all of His power. It is obvious that to fight the war of Ps 83, for Israel to prosper after this war, for a peace treaty to be written, be in effect, and then for the war of Gog to happen, the burning of its weapons after it is over which takes 7 years; that all of these events could not be completed within a 7 year tribulation period. Therefore the 7 year covenant of Da 9:27 has nothing to do with the war of Gog, because it cannot be made before the war starts. For it covers only 7 years, and these events will take many more than 7 years to complete. 

*"Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. Eze 39:9 NKJV+

*"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. Isa 65:17 NASB+

 

Very soon after the war of Gog is over, our Father will send His 2 witnesses to Israel, to minister for the first 3 1/2 years, of the last 7 years before His wrath is poured out. They will be given the same amount of time to bring Israel back to our God, as the antichrist will have to pull them away from our God. This will be a relative peaceful time for believers in Israel, as the two prophets (Elijah and probably Enoch) come and restore all things. They will help build and then start worship in the Temple at Jerusalem.  See 5 below   

*Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse." Mal 4:5-6 NKJV+

*And His disciples asked Him, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" And He answered and said, "Elijah is coming and will restore all things; Matt 17:10-11 NASB+

 

These 2 prophets will be given power so they have complete control over Jerusalem, over all of Israel. No one will come against them, against Israel, until their 3 1/2 years have been completed.

*And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. Rev 11:5-6 NASB+

 

4. Daniel 9:24-27: Timeline for Jesus to save us

 

There is confusion about who makes the firm covenant in Da. 9:27. This is caused by two different biblical translations, which give two different meanings to this verse. We believe the correct translation is given in 5 of the 6 translations we use (Disciplines), the ASV, ESV, NASB, NIV footnotes, and NKJV. They clearly tell us Jesus is making a covenant with all believers. That there are two people involved, that He, Jesus, makes a firm covenant with us. And then one, the antichrist, will make everything desolate, until Jesus returns in all power and destroys the antichrist.  

*"And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."  Da 9:27 NASB+

 

The KJV and the NIV (printed) translations do not make this verse as clear. They use only “he” in the verse, which makes it sound like one person is doing everything.

*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. Da 9:27 KJV+

 

We believe the prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 is all about Jesus. It is the spiritual story of our Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation for us, through Jesus, the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ. He alone can finish transgression, make an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquities, bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up vision, prophecy, and lastly be anointed King of His new Kingdom on earth.

*"Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. Da 9:24 NKJV+    

 

See Daniel’s Timeline for specifics on this timeline

 

Daniel’s seventy years of seven, Da 9:24-27 is a timeline on when Jesus, would come to save us, begin His Kingdom on earth. Seventy weeks, refer to a week of years, as in the Jewish Sabbatical year. Seventy weeks or [sevens] are 490 years. 70 x 7 yrs = 490 yrs

*“You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years. Lev 25:8 ESV

 

The Prince, Jesus, would be anointed, 7 [sevens] plus 62 [sevens], or 69 [sevens], 483 years after the word went out to restore and build Jerusalem. This leaves 1 [seven] year period remaining on this timeline. Notice 7x7+7x62, 777 refers to perfection, refers to Jesus, like 666 refers imperfection, refers to man.

Jesus is anointed by the Holy Spirit to begin His ministry in Tishri (Sept/Oct) 26AD. 7 [sevens] + 62[sevens] = 69 [sevens] x 7 = 483 years, The word went out to rebuild the temple in 458BC + 1 year for crossing 0 timeline. Daniel’s Timeline

* "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. Da 9:25 NIV+

*how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Ac 10:38 NKJV+

 

After Jesus had been anointed, He was cut off, He was crucified. And in 70AD a prince (ruler) came, Titus a Roman general, who would become emperor of Rome, and conquered Israel. This happened after a long protracted war, whose end came quickly when the Romans finally got through the wall at Jerusalem, then the wall at the Temple. Titus wanted to save the temple, gave orders not to burn the temple down. The people of his army, especially those drafted from Egypt and Syria, set the temple on fire. And when they saw gold which was hidden in its walls melting out, they tore down the temple stone by stone, trying to recover all the gold possible. They did not even leave one stone on top of another, as Jesus had prophesied.

*And after the sixty-two weeks [or sevens], an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. Da 9:26 ESV+

*And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another which will not be torn down." And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?"  Mk 13:2-4 NASB+

 

Many of the Jewish people who survived the war, the famine, were slaughtered, and the rest taken, dispersed among all the nations as prisoners, as slaves.

*"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Lk 21:20 NKJV+

*How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Lk 21:23-24 NIV+ We know this is 70AD because this is the last time the Jewish people were dispersed to all nations. When the antichrist comes some will be protected by God; and some will live under the antichrist’s rule in Jerusalem, in Israel, and the rest of the world.

 

There is only one covenant which will satisfy the first 4 requirements of verse 24 above. Jesus brings in, makes a firm covenant, the New Covenant of grace, with all people who will love Him above all things. Only the blood of Jesus can end our transgressions, the power sin has over us, reconcile all of our iniquities, and give us everlasting righteousness. And that is the New Covenant of grace which only Jesus can offer us. No firmer, stronger covenant will ever exist.

The antichrist is a compulsive liar, cannot tell the truth. He cannot make a firm covenant with anyone, for he will never keep them.  

*"And he will make a firm covenant with the many  portion Da 9:27 NASB+

*And He said to them, "This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. Mk 14:24 NKJV+

 

This last 7 year period of the 70 sevens cannot be explained clearly if taken literally. The meaning must either be interpreted in symbolical language, which both the prophecies of Daniel and Jesus in Revelation contain. Or a gap, a stoppage of undetermined time must be used to make the passage have meaning. Perhaps by using different Hebrew texts, both meanings may apply.

We believe that symbolically 7 means the perfect spiritual completion of a work of God. Here Jesus gives us a firm covenant, His New Covenant of grace, to all who will believe in Him. He guarantees He will forgive our sins, He will return to gather us home, He will complete God’s plan of salvation. There are no gaps which must be made, this firm covenant has been given, will last through all eternity.

Symbolically 7 means perfect completion, a 7 year covenant cannot be broken, like many believe the antichrist will do.

*"And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one [period of seven], portion Da 9:27 NASB+

*for one [period of seven], portion Da 9:27 NASB+

 

The last 7 year period also shows the equal time which has already been given to our Savior, and the equal time which will be given to satan through the antichrist. satan probably argued for and received from our Father at His heavenly court (council), the same amount of time for the antichrist to rule over Christians, as was given Jesus to minister to people while He lived here on earth. Time =1, Times = 2, ½ Time = 3 1/2 years

*'He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 'But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. Da 7:25-26 NASB+

*for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. Rev 12:ptn10 KJV

 

Jesus ministered on earth for 3 1/2 years. From the time He was anointed by the Holy Spirit after 69 of the 70 [sevens]. Until the time He was crucified and His death is put on the timeline, in the middle of the last 7 year period, after 3 1/2 years. Jesus stopped the need for any other sacrifice to be needed for the forgiveness of sins, when He gave His life on the cross as atonement for them. Our Savior’s sacrificial death on the cross would finish 4 of the 6 items in verse 24 above. His blood paid for all of our transgressions, ended the power sin had over us, made reconciliation for all of our iniquities, and brought us into everlasting righteousness.   

*but in the middle of the [period of seven] he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; Da 9:ptn27 NASB+

*And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb 10:10 NIV+ 

 

An equal time, 3 1/2 years, the other half of the last 7 years, will be given to the antichrist to physically rule over all people on earth, including those who are believers (saints). This is the greatest tribulation believers will ever have to face, having the antichrist rule over us, with no limits on what he can physically do. Then Jesus will return in all of His power to destroy the antichrist when his time is up.

*and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."  Da 9:27 NASB+

 

Jesus will finish also the last two items of verse 24. He will “seal up visions and prophecy” when the seventh trumpet blows and He returns to gather us home to Heaven. And Jesus will be “anointed as the Most Holy”, the King who now rules over His Kingdom on earth, when He comes in all of His power to destroy the antichrist. Jesus will bind up satan for a thousand years, and will be given the diadems (crowns as ruler over different parts of earth), the authority to rule over all the earth by His Heavenly Father. 

*but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets. Rev 10:7 NKJV+

*His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. Rev 19:12 NASB+

*And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be-- "The Lord is one," And His name one. Zech 14:9 NkJV+

 

Note: The devil once offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world which he was given after Adam sinned. Jesus declined and earned them by His victory on the cross.

*Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."  Matt 4:8-9 NKJV+

 

5. Revelation chapters 2-3 - Jesus warns existing congregations

 

Revelation begins where Daniel 9:26 left off after the destruction of Jerusalem, its Temple in 70 AD. And the Jewish people who did not die from starvation or killed by the Romans, were taken prisoners, dispersed to all nations, with a few escaping. Yet the Lord made Israel a nation forever, would bring them back after a long tribulation period to the land He gave them, which they took legal possession of in 1948.

*"Therefore I poured out My wrath on them for the blood which they had shed on the land, because they had defiled it with their idols. "Also I scattered them among the nations and they were dispersed throughout the lands. According to their ways and their deeds I judged them. Eze 36:18 NASB+

*This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-- the Lord Almighty is his name: "Only if these decrees vanish from my sight," declares the Lord, "will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me."  Jer 31:34-35 NIV+

 

The book of Revelation begins around 95 AD, is the revelation of Jesus, which is given to John, our brother in Christ. John was in the New Covenant tribulation period, and with the help of Jesus endured the trials and troubles which will fall upon believers.

*The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, Rev 1:1 NKJV+

*I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Rev 1:9 NKJV+

 

In the second and third chapters of Revelation, Jesus directly addresses 7 different congregations which were in existence at this time. These congregations were all facing tribulations and trials, depending upon where the congregation was, the people who made up the congregation. Jesus lets these congregations know they will continue to face tribulation, but promises eternal bliss for each believer who remains faithful to Him.  

*'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Rev 2:9 NASB+

*The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’  Rev 3:5-6 ESV+

 

We will not go into all the 7 congregations in Rev. chapters 2-3, and what Jesus prophesied would happen in them. You can read about them, and be uplifted with the promises Jesus offers those who love Him. And become aware of the sins which these congregations were doing, which we are also doing, so we can change, come to Jesus before it is too late. 

 

Yet Rev 3:10 is a verse which many interpret differently. We must understand Jesus was speaking directly to these 7 congregations, the people in them. In this verse He was talking to the congregation of Philadelphia, whose people had little power, and had been beaten down severely by satan, through nonbelieving Jews.

*“ ‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Rev 3:8 ESV+

Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you. Rev 3:9 ESV+

 

Though the believers at Philadelphia had little power, yet they had remained faithful. And for this reason Jesus would protect them, not let them be tempted beyond what they could bear. The “hour of trial”, which we all must face, can be many different things. From persecution, to all the worldly pleasures of the world, any weakness we have, we must overcome with the help of Jesus. Here in Philadelphia at this time, their hour of trial probably referred to satan’s persecution of the believers, through the unbelieving Jews, and the Romans under Domitian.

*Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. Rev 3:10

*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+

 

Jesus tells there were 2 time periods for events to happen in Revelation. The first period would include all the events which would happen, to all those who were living around the year of 95AD, “those that are”. This would include those in the 7 churches Jesus sent letters to, which would include the church at Philadelphia. Jesus kept believers who lived around 95AD from their hour of trial, protected them from satan’s persecution through the Romans under Domitian, and unbelieving Jews.

The second period “would take place after this,” would be the events which take place after Rev 4:1. There Jesus showed us the events which must “take place after these things,” after the events in the first 3 chapters of Revelation had already happened. Jesus clearly addressed Rev 3:10 to the church at Philadelphia, these events were going to happen to them. Since the believers at the Philadelphia church were not gathered (raptured) to Heaven, it is hard to believe this verse has anything to do with the gathering (rapture).  

*Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. Rev 1:19 ESV+

*After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things." Rev 4:1 NASB+

 

Jesus would continue to test the other 6 congregations. He would allow satan to throw some believers from the congregation at Smyrna into prison, where they would have tribulation for 10 days. Those who were would remain faithful unto death would be given the crown of eternal life in Heaven. The crown the believers in Philadelphia had already received and only had to hang on to by following their Savior.

*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+

*I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. Rev 3:11 ESV+

 

Jesus also promised to throw the unrepentant sinners of Thyatira, into great tribulation, to try and bring them back to Him. Not the great tribulation of the antichrist, but great wrath that satan was capable of putting them through, with the help of the Romans. Jesus was giving all the congregations of that time a warning, they must love and follow Jesus, for they would receive what was in their hearts, whether good or bad.

*Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. Rev 2:22-23 NKJV+

 

The 7 congregations are symbolic to all of the believers from the time of the 7 congregations, until Jesus comes in all of His power. We must be faithful, even to death for Jesus, and put behind us the love of self, and all other sins. Look at the underlined words in the previous 3 paragraphs. Notice how Jesus gives the faithful, the crown of life, helps us through our trials. Yet all believers will have to face our hour of trial, and only when we remain faithful will we be given the crown of live. But unrepentant sinners will face a tribulation of great wrath, and if they do not repent, an even greater wrath in the eternal lake of fire.

 

Specifically Rev 3:10 symbolizes those who will have little power when the antichrist takes over, rules over all people. This is probably the elect of Israel, may include the 144,000, who will be protected in the great tribulation by our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus. 

Symbolized by the next 2 verses with the woman, Israel, being saved through the 3 1/2 years of antichrist’s rule

*But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. Rev 12:14 NASB+

"Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. Hos 2:14-15 NIV+

*saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:  Rev 7:3-4 ESV+

 

But rich, powerful nations, congregations, or people, beware, even those who think they are a Christian. God will spit you out those who will not remain faithful to Him.

*So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouthYou say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Rev 3:16-17 NIV+

 

We can’t second guess our God, He is the potter we are the clay. Only our Father knows which trials, which tribulations we should be part of, which we should be kept through. And we must merely trust our great God, surrender our will to Him, and follow Him all the days of our lives.

*What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at allFor he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. Ro 9:14-16 NIV+

*Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Rev 3:19 ESV+

 

6. Rev 6:1-11: We are now in serious tribulation

                                                                                                                       

Tribulation has continued on to the times we are now in. Jesus warned us we will always have tribulation, trials, tests, and hardships, which we must overcome to be children of God. Yet we have nothing to fear, for Jesus has overcome each and every trouble, and will help us through them if we will only trust in our Savior.

*These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  Jn 16:33 NKJV+

*strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God." Ac 14:22 NKJV+

 

Revelation chapter 6 continues with the events which happened after Christ ascended into Heaven and we were given the Holy Spirit to make us children of God. It uses symbolic words and images in the first 5 seals to describe events which are still are happening today. 

 

The first 4 seals brought a spiritual rider upon a horse to do our Father’s work; much the same way angelic beings have always been going out and doing our Father’s work. Dappled horses are pale horses.  

*The first chariot had red horses, the second black horses, the third white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled horses—all of them strong. Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” And the angel answered and said to me, “These are going out to the four winds of heaven, after presenting themselves before the Lord of all the earth. Zech 6:2-5 ESV+

 

The 1st seal begins with a white horse, a majestic steed in battle. And white is symbolized as holiness, purity throughout Revelation.

*I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Rev 6:2 NASB+

*“My anger is hot against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them like his majestic steed in battle. Zech 10:3 ESV+

*The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. Rev 3:5 ESV+

 

Our Heavenly Father will give the battle bow to the rider, who will help make believers mighty in battle, give us the courage to tell all about our great God. And we shall fight satan because the Lord is with us.

*From him shall come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler— all of them together. They shall be like mighty men in battle, trampling the foe in the mud of the streets; they shall fight because the Lord is with them, and they shall put to shame the riders on horses. Zech 10:4-5 ESV+

 

The rider on the white horse came conquering, overcoming, and since he wears the crown of life, his opponent can only be satan and the demon his angels. And the only way we will overcome satan, is through the blood of the Lamb, our testimony about how great our God is, and that we are willing to die for our Savior. The spiritual gifts this rider is bringing into the world are to help save us. 

*And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Rev 12:11 ESV+

*For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Lk 9:24 ESV+

 

Whether this rider is a conquering angel, or the Holy Spirit, is often debated. The rider is probably not Jesus for He is the Lamb who is opening the seals.  Horses and riders often symbolize angels, see Zech 6:2-5 above, lookup Zech 1:8.

 

Some also think it might be the antichrist. Yet there are two different crowns which are given out in Revelation. The diadem crown will be given to earthly rulers. And the victor’s crown (Greek stephanos) will be given to all who have received eternal life in Heaven. The antichrist will be given diadems, crowns which signify he is an earthly ruler. But the antichrist, will never be given, never possess, the crown of life, eternal life in Heaven, which this rider has on. Only Christ is worthy to wear this crown, worthy to give it to all who have been saved, have been given eternal life.

*Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Ja 1:12 ESV+

*And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. Rev 13:1 ESV+

 

The 2nd seal brought out an angelic rider on a red horse will stir up murder and war in the world.

*Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. Rev 6:4 NIV+

 

The 3rd seal brought out a rider on a black horse who would create famines in the world, making food so costly that only the rich could afford to pay for it. The cost of wheat and barley would take all the money a worker would make with nothing left over for other living expenses.

*When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. Rev 6:5 ESV+

*And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." Rev 6:6 NKJV+

 

And the 4th seal brought out a rider who rode a pale horse, his name was death. He would make people die by many other means, including plague, pestilence, and death by the beasts of the earth. Hades followed him, Hades is where all unbelievers spiritual beings go after they physically (body and mind) die on earth. It is a place of torment as unbeliever’s soul and spirit await the White Throne Judgment; where their physical body will be reunited with their physical being, and they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire forever. 

*So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. Rev 6:8 NKJV+

 

The fifth seal showed all the martyred believers who loved Jesus more than their own lives; who would be killed because they would not deny their Savior. When the correct number of believers die for our God, He will cast satan and his demons out of Heaven, down to earth.

*When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. Rev 6:9-11 ESV+

*Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Rev 12:10-11 NKJV+

 

Christians have faced severe trials and temptations for over 1900 years; it has never been limited to any 7 year period. The prophecies in God’s Word were for all the saints who have preceded us to Heaven, not just for us at this later time. The pain and heartache they often had to endure, was as great as any we will ever have to face, though the great tribulation will be larger in the number of people who will be killed, and the devastation done. I do not care to go over all of the tribulation over the last 1900 years, the wars, famine, pestilence, diseases, genocide, which have killed and annihilated so many people. They have all been prophesied about, and we all know they have happened.

*"For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Mk 13:8 NASB+

 

Today there are many places where Christians are being persecuted, killed, there is mass starvation and physical calamities happening. We have been blessed here in the United States, because we were a Christian nation, because we have supported Israel. Yet because we are being deceived by satan, the world, and antichristian leaders, we are no longer a Christian nation. We are in very serious tribulation, but most have been so deceived they do not even realize it. The majority now tries to find a god that fits their lifestyle, they do not try to find the true God and adjust their lifestyle to fit Him. They believe:

 

They have made themselves rich, powerful, and they should enjoy the fruits of their labor. Yet Jesus tells us:

*So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Rev 3:16-17 NIV+

 

They are smarter than God, they should make their own moral laws, His are too outdated. Yet Jesus tells us:

*Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. Rev 22:14-15 ESV+

Paul helps clarify immoral

*Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 1Co 6:9 NASB+

 

They are murdering innocent children by aborting them, because they are an inconvenience to the mother, because she has “the rights over her own body.” They are killing around 1.5 million babies a year, the greatest slaughter our country has ever been part of. Yet Jesus tells us:

*But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”  Rev 21:8 ESV+

*Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1Co 6:19-20 ESV+

 

They follow political correctness, not the Word of God. They have neither the faith, nor courage to stand up for our Lord. Yet Jesus tells us:

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. Rev 22:14-15 ESV+

*But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”  Rev 21:8 ESV+

 

We must come back to our Heavenly Father, before it is too late, for He will soon delude those who have heard the good news of Jesus Christ, yet have not accepted Him. Our God will make them follow false lies, the antichrist, without any hope of coming back to Him, receiving eternal life in Heaven.

*Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2Thess 2:11-12 ESV+

 

7. Wrath of God and the Lamb, in war of Gog (Eze 38)

 

The sixth seal will start the war of Eze 38-39, when God will entice Gog and other nations to invade Israel for her wealth. And the wrath of God and the Lamb will be poured out on all those who come against Israel. This war will start with an earthquake. 

*"Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. Eze 39:1-2 NIV+

*"In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.   Eze 38:19 NASB+

*I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. Rev 6:12 NKJV+

 

The mountains will tremble, will be moved.

*"The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground. Eze 38:20 NASB+

*and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Rev 6:13-14 NASB+

 

Whenever God and the Lamb pour out their wrath, the mountains quake, the earth and all of its inhabitants are upheaved.

*Mountains quake because of Him And the hills dissolve; Indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, The world and all the inhabitants in it. Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire And the rocks are broken up by Him. Nah 1:5-6 NASB+

*I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, And all the hills moved to and fro. Jer 4:24 NASB+

 

Our Heavenly Father and Jesus will enter judgment upon Gog, his troops, the troops from all the other nations, and all the other people who will come for the riches of Israel. Rain with hailstones, fire, and brimstone will pour down upon them, and they will hide in the caves and rocks of the mountains. They will call upon the mountains and rocks to fall upon them, for the great day of their wrath has come.

*"With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone. Eze 38:22 NASB+

*Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"  Rev 6:15-17 NIV+

 

We know the battle with Gog must take place at least 7 years (less 30 days of God’s wrath) before Jesus comes in all of His power.

*"Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. Eze 39:9 NKJV+

 

We also know the wrath of God, and the Lamb, in the 6th seal must happen before the wrath of the 7th bowl. Because there will no longer be mountains in Israel after the wrath of the 7th bowl, for “mountains could not be found.” Yet in the sixth seal there must be mountains for the people to call out to, asking them to fall down on top of them (2 paragraphs up Rev 6:15-17). Then after Jesus comes in all of His power, establishes His new earthly Kingdom, Jerusalem will rise where it now is, and the House of the Lord will set on the highest mountain.  

*Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. Rev 16:20-21

*All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin's Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king's wine presses. Zech 14:10 NASB+

*It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, Mic 4:1 ESV+

 

Our God will make His Holy name known to Israel and other nations, that He is the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. In the next chapter of Ezekiel, Eze 40, our Father has already designed His new temple to be built in Jerusalem. He would send 2 prophets to help Israel come back to Him, with Elijah being one of them. 

*So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. Eze 39:7 NKJV+

*Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse." Mal 4:5-6 NKJV+

 

Continued in the The antichrist and then in Where We Are Now in End Times

 

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Copyright 2010, amended 2012, 2013, 2014 by Ron Borkey

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