What Will The Tribulation Be Like?
II Thess. 2:7-12 - 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, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
First, understand that Satan doesn’t begin to establish his kingdom on this earth at the rapture. He started that a long time ago. I John 2:18 states, Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. The only thing stopping Satan from completely establishing his kingdom is the influence of the Holy Spirit as He works through Godly people. Verse 7.
At the rapture of the saints, all saved people will be taken out of the world.
Churches will still meet because not every person that is a church member is a saved church member.
Some preachers will still be preaching because not every preacher is a saved preacher.
The influence of Godly people through the working of the Holy Spirit will be gone, because that part of the Holy Spirit will be taken away.
Satan will have full opportunity to finalize the establishment of his kingdom upon this earth.
Verse 9 - Just because the Holy Spirit is taken out of the world doesn’t mean that signs and wonders will cease.
Satan is able to perform miracles, and he will perform miracles during the tribulation period to cause people to believe in him.
The mystery of iniquity (the wicked one) will be revealed shortly after the rapture.
Verse 8 contains the statement that the wicked one shall not continue because he will be destroyed with the brightness of the coming of Christ when He physically returns to the earth to establish His earthly, eternal kingdom.
This statement is made so God’s people won’t be discouraged or disheartened when they read and understand that Satan will be turned loose to rule this entire world.
Verse 9 declares that the Anti-Christ (the wicked one) represents the working of Satan in the deception of mankind. God will give Satan all power so that he will be able to do great miracles and signs and lying wonders.
Verse 10 states that these miracles, signs and lying wonders will be done to finish up the deceiving process that is already begun in the hearts and minds of those that have rejected Christ. These people are lost because they refused to receive the love of the truth that they might be saved.
Verse 11 declares that God will allow Satan to have all this power and signs, and lying wonders because the people had rather believe a lie than believe the truth.
Matt. 24:21-22 - For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
The tribulation will not begin with wars and rumors of wars.
It will begin with the promise of peace and safety.
Daniel 9:27 states that the Anti-Christ will cause a seven year peace treaty between Israel and her enemies to be signed. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week... This passage also states the end result of the Anti-Christ’s treaty: …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.
At the beginning of the tribulation period it seems there will finally be peace in the Middle East, but the Bible states that the Anti-Christ will break this seven year peace treaty after 3 ½ years.
The vast majority of people today believe God is a God of love, hope, health, happiness, joy, prosperity, and all the good things of life.
Few people believe God is a God of judgment, wrath, vengeance, and retaliation.
When Satan promises peace and safety, the people that don’t know God will naturally believe that Satan is God.
They will believe that God is bad because He is pouring our his judgment, and wrath upon the disobedient.
This is why it will be so easy for Satan to sit upon the throne of God, showing himself that he is God. II Thess. 2:4
II Thess 2:4,5 - 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, showing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
This reversal of roles between God and Satan is a literal fulfillment of Daniel 7:25.
Daniel 7:25 - 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.
Even as the tribulation begins with the promise of world peace, it will be a time of the greatest outpouring of the wrath of God the earth has ever seen or ever will see.
The longsuffering of God will come to an end during the tribulation period and God will pour unspeakably horrible judgments upon the earth.
Read the following scriptures:
Isaiah 24:21 - And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
Jeremiah 30:7 - Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
Daniel 12:1 - And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: 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, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Joel 1:15 - Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
Zephaniah 1:14-15, 18 - The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. 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, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. 17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. 18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
Matt. 24:21 - For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Luke 24:25-26 - And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
I Thess 5:3 - 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.
An important question right about here is why must there be a tribulation period? (This outline is also in the file eschatology \ Why Must There Be A Tribulation Period
To prepare Israel for the reception of her Messiah.
Israel rejected Christ as their Messiah (king) when He came to the earth some 2,000 years ago.
They are still looking for their Messiah (king).
God is going to give them the king they were looking for.
They will accept the Anti-Christ, believing that he is their Messiah, but when he breaks the 7 year covenant, they will know they have been fooled and will begin to look for another Messiah.
There will be a time at the end of the tribulation period when every nation will be gathered against Jerusalem for the intend of wiping them completely off the face of the earth.
It is at this point that Israel will be without strength and will cry out to God for His salvation.
Zechariah 14 reveals that Christ will then appear in the clouds, set His feet on Mount of Olives, defeat the vast armies of the world, and establish His everlasting kingdom in Jerusalem.
To judge the world for rejection of Christ and His government.
The nations of the earth that have rejected Christ and His government, substituting their own government (laws, rules and regulations) will be judged.
It is interesting to note that these rebellious people will know they are fighting God, but they fail to turn away from their sinfulness.
Rev. 16:8,9 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
Rev. 16:10,11 - And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
Rev. 16:21 - And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
To judge apostate religion.
Who is this apostate religion?
This religion is every religion upon the face of the earth that isn’t of God.
Rev. 17:5, 6 - And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
This is the religion of Cain who killed his brother Abel, because Abel brought a sacrifice that was acceptable to God and Cain brought a sacrifice that was unacceptable to God, but acceptable to him.
This is the religion of Lamech, who took two wives, and murdered a man, and said, “If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.”
This is the religion in Genesis 6 when God had to destroy the world because of wickedness.
This is the wickedness of the people at the Tower of Babel who decided to build a tower to reach unto heaven, but God put them into confusion and scattered them over the face of the world.
This is the religion of mythology, “Big gods, over lesser gods”, “big churches over lesser churches”, “big preachers over lesser preachers”, and “working your way into heaven”.
It is every religion that doesn’t go by the Bible, the Word of God; and adhere to spiritual worship of God according to His truth. John 4:24 - God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Down through the past 6,000 years of time, false religion has changed every doctrine God established, and established many doctrines of her own.
Many millions of people have been deceived into worshipping false gods (subsidiaries of Satanic worship).
If people don’t follow the truths of God’s Word, they will be a part of this false religious system.
Is this false religious system in the world today?
There are hundreds of thousands of false churches and false doctrines in this world.
All of them have a common beginning and will trace their doctrines, practices, and procedures to something other than the Word of God.
How can I tell if a religion is: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH?
Does the roots (foundations) of the teachings of this religious organization go to anyplace except the Bible?
Matt. 15:9 - This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Does this religious organization teach the commandments (traditions) of men instead of the Bible?
Mystery Babylon the Great, retains the name of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, but they have mingled mythology and false gods with true religion.
Mystery Babylon the Great has substituted the names of mythological characters with the names of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, the worshippers with Mystery Babylon the Great are saying the names of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, but they are actually worshipping mythological characters.
I Tim. 4:1-5 fits the commandments of Mystery Babylon the Great. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer
The New World Order.
Satan will rule and reign over the entire world. Those that don’t worship Satan will be killed.
This point stresses the point that Satan’s rule will extend to the entire world. There will be no escape from his evil hand. There will be no small country, or some small island that will escape his attention. Satan’s dictatorial policies will be 100 times 100 times worse than Hitler’s or Stalin’s ever though about being. His murderous campaigns will fill the earth with death, suffering and grief.
Rev. 13:3, 4 - And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Rev. 13:7 - And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Rev. 13:11-17 - And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Daniel 7:23 - Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
The activities of the saved during the tribulation. While there is much emphasis given to the activities of Satan and his anti-Christ during the tribulation, let us never believe that God is inactive. There are people out of every nation, and every language that will be called to salvation and faithful service.
All the saved of all the world will be taken out of the world at the rapture, prior to the start of the tribulation period.
There will be many people saved during the tribulation period.
Rev. 11:1-6 - During the first ½ of the tribulation (42 months or 3 ½ years) God will send two prophets to prophecy of God’s saving grace and against the evil works of Satan and his anti-Christ.
Millions of people will be saved because of the testimony of the two witnesses.
Rev. 7:4-8 - There will be at least 144,000 Jews saved (12,000 out of each tribe.)
Rev. 7:9 - There will be an uncountable multitude of Gentiles saved. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
Rev. 7:13-14 - And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Who are the two witnesses?
Some believe they are Elijah and Moses, representing the law and the prophets.
The importance of knowing exactly who these two witnesses are seems unimportant to me.
It is more important to realize that God will not leave Himself without a witness to a lost and dying world.
The fate of the two witnesses.
Rev. 11:7-10 - And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
In days before television, it would be hard to understand how the entire world could see the bodies of the two witnesses laying in the streets of Jerusalem.
These bodies would begin to decay and the stench would be terrible.
In the past it could have taken months or weeks for news of the deaths of the two witnesses to reach the rest of the world.
In these days of instant satellite news, it would only take moments for the pictures of their dead bodies to be shown on world wide television.
The world will have a great celebration when the two witnesses are dead.
Rev. 11:9-10 - And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
The great joy will be because the testimony of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come will be ended (they think!).
Rev. 11:11-12 - And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
When all the world sees this happening via satellite news coverage, the world will be filled with fear.
When these lost, rebellious people hear the voice of God and know that by the power of the Spirit of God, these physically dead (for 3 ½ days) witnesses receive life, then ascend up into heaven they will have no excuse for not believing in the saving grace of God.
This is exactly the results of Satanic promises, because he always gives a little joy, then great sorrow.
Rev. 11:13 - The events that follow the resurrection of the two witnesses. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
There was a great earthquake.
1/10 of the city of Jerusalem was destroyed.
7,000 men were slain in the earthquake.
The rest of the people gave glory to God out of fear, not of true worship.