Great Tribulation

Event 2: Great Tribulation





-Seven-year period

-Time like no other on earth

-Gods judgment and wrath begins

-Rise of false leader and beast

-Increased hatred towards Israel

-Great revival and turning to God of non-believers




Coming to earth is a period of great wrath.  Jesus referred to it in Matthew 24 as the ‘great tribulation’.  Such a time has not occurred since the beginning of creation, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:21-22).  Old Testament prophets have written about it.  You can always identify it by the references ‘the day’, ‘the day of the Lord’, or ‘in that day’.

Daniel 12:1 <... and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered...>

Zephaniah 1:15  <That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness>

Isaiah 13:9<Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it>

Joel 2:31 <The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.>

Amos 5:18  <Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you?  the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light>



In the New Testament Revelation 6 through 19 describes this period in detail.  Wrath and judgments are poured upon the earth and on remaining inhabitants of it.


Also during this period a great false king and leader arises.  He is called the man of sin and the son of perdition by the apostle Paul.  His coming is from Satan and he will deceive the inhabitants of earth (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).  He will bring about a false peace to the world and exalt himself above God.  The prophet Daniel describes his character in Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 8:23-25.  Daniel 11 is a history of how this man came to power.  Verses 1 to 35 are past fulfillments and verse 36 to 45 have not been fulfilled.  The later verses is were he gathers power and develops hatred towards Israel. As we will see below, this man comes from the beast.


What is the purpose of this period?  It is a purging and cleansing of earth and the unbelievers to prepare way for the kingdom on earth, (Event 4).  The Jewish nation was promised the land as told by Abraham in Genesis.  They were to be a great nation and blessed forever on earth.  However the nation has rejected and turned against God, rejected Jesus Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit.  To make way for the kingdom promised to them they must ‘pass under the rod’ and be refined, as stated in the Old Testament.  Gentiles have also rejected God, even though being saved by his unlimited mercy and grace.  They too will have a chance to turn to God, and many will.  But many will not.

Ezekiel 20: 34-38

Ezekiel 22: 19-22


How long will this period of great trouble and tribulation last?  Daniel 9 explains a time line based on weeks.  You will need to study this chapter, but the days are calculated to be seven years – a short period. 


The church or body of Christ will be spared from this wrath that will cover the earth and its inhabitants.  Paul assures us in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9. John in Revelation 2 and 3 assures those who accept Jesus will be spared from this wrath.

Romans 5:9 <Much more then, being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him>

Jesus in John 5:24 tells us whoever hears his word and believes in him shall not come into condemnation.


Summary of tribulation period :


·          Judgments of Christ to earth begins (Revelation 6, 8, 9); the four riders on the horses, war, famine, pestilence, intense heat, demonic spirits attacking man and great earthquakes


·          Great revival of multitudes of people turning to God (Revelation 7: 9-13)


·          Many still will not repent (Revelation 9: 20-21)


·          During mid-point of tribulation period Satan (the dragon) is cast out of the air and on to earth; a great woe is now on the people of the earth (Revelation 12)


·          He seeks to destroy Israel, because he knows Jesus is coming back to set up the everlasting kingdom on earth: he has three and a half years (Revelation 12)


·          Believing Israelites are saved and escape to the wilderness, where the Archangel Michael protects them from Satan’s attack; Satan is wroth with remnant of her seed (Revelation 12)


·         Johns vision of the beast; Satan (the dragon) gives power to the beast; a mouth was given to the beast to speak great blasphemies against God (this is the man of sin); power was given him to continue 42 months; power was given to him to make war with saints and nations on earth; many worshipped him (Revelation 13: 1-10)


·     John has vision of another beast (false prophet) coming up from the earth that exercises power from first beast; he causes the earth dwellers to worship the man of sin; he deceives those on earth with wonders and miracles; he tells those on earth to make an image of the first beast; he has power to give life to the image and kill men who did not worship the image; he causes all to receive a mark; without the mark – the mark of the beast – no man can buy or sell (Revelation 13: 11-18)


·          Angels in the air preach the word of God (Revelation 14:6-7)


·          More judgments on the earth to people who received the mark: sores, sea and all water turned to blood, great heat from the sun (Revelation 16); many still have not turned to God (v9)


·          Three unclean spirits coming from the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet go forth unto the kings of the earth and the whole world to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty (Revelation 16: 13-16)


And they were gathered together into a place called Armageddon.  The stage is set for the return of Jesus to earth! 


God has set a lot of events in motion during this period and making it exhaustive to precisely document.  A suggestion is to thoroughly read the book of Daniel, followed by Revelation.  Following this the Old Testament passages noted above should be reviewed again.  It is not easy.  And I pray that my notes on this section provided a good structure and overall understanding of this period. 


NOTE & OBSERVATION:  The subjects of the beast and the ‘anti-Christ’ are one that man has taken in many directions.  The term ‘antichrist’ only appears in the New Testament book of 1 John. ( 1Jn 2:22   Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. )  Books and people will give this term to the person described in Revelation 13:1-10, but never is ‘anti-Christ’ found in Revelation or Daniel. Either way both books indicate they are satanic and will be destroyed by Jesus Christ. 



Scripture Reference :

Revelation 6 – 19 – detailed description of judgments

Zephaniah 1 – 3 – note chapter 3 verse 9 shifts to period after tribulation

Jeremiah 30: 4-7 – time of Jacobs’s trouble

Isaiah 2 – judgment on earth and creation also; worthless gold and silver

Isaiah 4 – purging the blood of Jerusalem

Ezekiel 7 - very good summary of life during this period


Matthew 24:21-22 - Jesus tells disciples about great tribulation

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.


Daniel 7:25 - Character of man of sin

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.


Daniel 8:23-25 - Character of man of sin

And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.


Ezekiel 20: 34-38 - Description of great tribulation for nation of Israel

And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.

And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.

Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.

And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:

And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.


Ezekiel 22: 19-22 - The gathering of Israel for judgment

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.

As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.

Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.

As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.


1 Thessalonians 5:1-9 - Believers not appointed to wrath of great tribulation

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,




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