The Countdown to the "Great Tribulation"
The coming "Great Tribulation" is already in preparation. The tribulation that every Christian must face is totally different from the "Great Tribulation" which the whole world shall soon face. The Son of God was the first person to use the term "Great Tribulation." The language He used was carefully worded that He might identify a specific period completely different than tribulation troubles that Godly saints would always endure. The difference in these two areas of tribulation has been used by confused writers to argue against the coming specific Seven Years. Look at the clear prophetic force of His words. "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." (Matthew 24:21-22)
It’s relatively easy to understand the difference in this future period and the tribulation troubles that are historically part of every believer’s life. "…In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) At the same time, believers are promised to be delivered from the future Great Tribulation while we all share in the tribulation troubles. The word "Great" is a defining term that sets these two ideas apart from each other. Matthew did not draw the difference as clearly as Luke. Luke’s additional description clarified the term "Great Tribulation" by promising a distinct class of people that would escape this time. Carefully look at Luke’s quote that was spoken by the Lord. "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:34-36) These are exact words that came from the lips of the Son of God. No "overcoming saint" that refuses to be encumbered with worldly living is going to suffer with the ensnared world during these Seven Years of the "Great Tribulation". This promise is repeated by the Son of God to the church at Philadelphia. "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Rev. 3:10-11)
Here, He adds a warning that to miss this escape or Rapture is to lose your crown. The crown He speaks about is that crown you see on the head of every elder in Revelation Chapter Four when the saints are raptured to the throne of God in Heavenly Jerusalem. I repeat His words, "…hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Rev. 3:11) The "Great Tribulation" is not the wrath of Satan and the world but the wrath of God the Father and the Lamb.
We see this clear description in Revelation Six as the Son of God opens the seals of the seven-sealed book. "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:12-17)
Tribulation troubles are the works of evil, temptations, and spiritual attacks by evil spirits. The "Great Tribulation" is the Great God of Holiness and the Lamb that provided redemption turning loose their judgment on a Christ-defying world. A purified earth must be judicially cleansed by God’s Holy judgments so righteousness can fill this earth again. Every deed of rebellion, stubbornness, moral impurity and defiance against God must be rectified. This is what the "Great Tribulation" is all about. "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day." (Ps. 7:11) His anger is not human anger that flows from offended emotions but Divine anger that results from the destruction of His creation and His saints. It is perfect Holy anger that is preparing a purified earth for a Golden Kingdom of one thousandyears.
The evidences of this coming seven years of "Great Tribulation" is everywhere. Consider these signs:
- Israel is a cup of trembling to the whole world as God the Father positions the nations in the Middle East for their final acts.
- Finally, after thousands of years, Iraq is back in play and the cradle of civilization can finish her role.
- Sodomy activists are acquiring their political goal of being normalized. Political correctness is an idea coined out of the slime pit to force silence from the multitude on this subject.
- The brutality of the weather; the dangers of suicidal brigades; the menacing infections of mad cow disease, West Nile virus, poison gases; and a list of equal dangers lurk at the door of all of us.
- Terrorists have made this war a worldwide event. Every country on planet earth is either at war against the terrorists or are a part of the terrorists. The term Jesus used was "Rumors of wars." (Matt. 24:6) We now have a perfect fulfillment of that prophecy by the Son of God.
- America is completely divided between those seeking to regain some moral ground and those that hate morality. The battle is not Democrats versus Republicans but a sense where both parties have been highjacked by two opposing worlds.
These Seven Years of "Great Tribulation" cannot be inaugurated until the chosen saints are removed. Once our Father has perfectly finalized the world for His great wrath, He will quickly dispatch His Son and a host of angels and remove those that are His jewels. We do not have a date to share with you but we do have a promise. MacArthur said to the Filipinos after Pearl Harbor, "I will return." Jesus said to His disciples, "I will return;" and He will.
Joseph R. Chambers