A Future Tribulation?
When I was a boy in Sunday School, I came across an end-times comic that featured believers being executed in something called a great tribulation. It was like a holocaust for Christians and it was coming soon! Probably in 1984. Or maybe 1988. But definitely by 1999.
It was years before I realized that cartoon was actually a form of child abuse, and that the great tribulation Jesus spoke of did not feature in my future.
What Jesus said about the great tribulation
As we have seen, Jesus listed ten signs in connection with a great tribulation and all of them were fulfilled within a five month period in AD70. Embankments, swords, captivity, suffering mothers, captive Jews – everything Jesus predicted came to pass.
So what? Why does this matter?
It matters because those who are worried about a coming tribulation are filling their bunkers with wheat and ammo when they could be telling others the good news of King Jesus.
It matters because our children are being told they’ll get their heads chopped off if they don’t take the mark of the beast, but they’ll burn in hell if they do.
And it matters because young people are holding out for the rapture lifeboat when they could be shining in a sin-darkened world.
If you are concerned about the great tribulation I’ve got good news for you. You will never experience it. Trials and regular tribulations? Sure, these are inevitable. But a great tribulation of unprecedented distress and destruction? It’s not going to happen. Not again.
Jesus doesn’t want you fearful but hopeful. If you are fearful of something that’s not going to happen, you are not walking in the will of God. Renew your mind, put your faith in Jesus, and watch those dark clouds lift.
And the next time something bad happens and the tribulation preachers start with their doom and gloom sermons, don’t listen to them. Peddling fear is an effective way to sell books, but they are bad books. Don’t read them.
If the U.S. dollar tanks or the European Union falls apart or bombs explode in Israel that does not mean the world is about to end. We may live in dark days, but we are children of the light. Get out of your bunker and shine for Jesus.
I have heard people say that more than two-thirds of humanity will be wiped out in a future tribulation and that God will be the one doing it. Nonsense. Don’t listen to such folk; listen to Jesus. See what he says about the great tribulation and decide for yourself who is right.
The Bible records two never-to-be-repeated calamities. The first was the great flood and the second was the great tribulation. You are not worried about another flood because God promised there would never be one (Gen 9:11). Similarly, we ought not to be worried about a great tribulation, because Jesus said there would be only one:
For then there will be great tribulation (affliction, distress, and oppression) such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now – no, and never will be [again]. (Matthew 24:21, AMP)
If I could travel back in time and visit my younger self, here’s what I would say: Don’t buy into any end-times message that fills you with fear. If you are worried about tomorrow, you are not walking in the full revelation of Jesus who is on the throne. Renew your mind and take those fearful thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.
Don’t base your end-time views on teachings that contradict the words of Jesus, but fortify your mind with the promises of God’s word.
That’s a good word. I hope I’m smart enough to listen.
Extracted from chapter 30, “When is the great tribulation?” of Paul Ellis’ book AD70 and the End of the World.
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Amen to that Paul!!!!
What about the anti-Christ spoken about in revelation? Did he come and go? This world continues? Never ends ?
I’ll talk about the antichrist in a coming post.
Excellent exposition of the gracious truth!
I do not agree with your view of The Tribulation. We believers are looking for the “Blessed Hope” , the Rapture, which will remove us from this Earth and the coming Tribulation. Matt 24 was written for the Jews (the church was not yet establised) when God will return and complete His plan for His people. This is the second coming after the Tribulation, which leads into the Millennial Kingdom. Because we know the Rapture is coming is why we should be diligently spreading the Gospel to see souls saved before the Antichrist ushers in the Tribulation.
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
What about they who systematically turn the WORD upside down?
LOVE THIS: “If I could travel back in time and visit my younger self, here’s what I would say: Don’t buy into any end-times message that fills you with fear. If you are worried about tomorrow, you are not walking in the full revelation of Jesus who is on the throne. Renew your mind and take those fearful thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.”
SO… was the rapture when the Christians fled Jerusalem and became the first missionaries?
I discuss the rapture in this recent post.
Fortify your mind with the promises of God’s word! Amen. Now that I can agree with!
I, too, lived in fear of the tribulation as a young person; but as my faith grew, so did my belief in an escape from the tribulation. The rapture. I did not hunker down and wait, however. I felt more of an urgency to share the gospel.
Now, I know that the only rapture to come is at the end of time when Jesus returns and we meet him in the air to usher in our victorious king of kings.
My point, though, is that no matter what end times view you hold, you need to shine the light of Jesus and bring as much heaven to earth as you can!
Ha ha ha — that Chick tract! Those things were FULL of bad news! Thank you for setting the record straight and giving me a giggle about those silly-ass booklets. I remember one about flashbacks from drug use that seriously terrified 10-year-old me.
FEAR WAS A BIG HAMMER IN THE PAST…I pray that Godly enlightenment would now prevail.
I’m 48 years old and this was me “It matters because our children are being told they’ll get their heads chopped off if they don’t take the mark of the beast, but they’ll burn in hell if they do.”
Nothing quite like fearfully choosing between two horrible things for a kid. My thinking at the time was I’m going to need to prove myself either at the tribulation or in Africa once God sends me there to die for my faith. Glad to have heard the Good NEWS since then!
I dunno, there’s plenty in revelation about terrible times….
I’d like to know who the great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb are as in Revelation 7:9-17. Note verse 14, ““These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb…”.
If it refers to the great tribulation in AD70, them it would say “The Israelites….”, instead of “all nations, tribes, peoples, etc”.
I suppose there are multiple interpretations for every verse in Revelation. But whichever interpretation you choose for this passage, make sure it fits with the Lord’s prophecy. John mentions the great tribulation only twice, while Jesus goes into great detail listing ten specific signs. John’s language is deliberately obscured (he was probably trying to protect his readers), while the Lord speaks plainly. Jesus says what, when, and how. He is our undisputed authority on the great tribulation.
And don’t forget, John first heard about the great tribulation from Jesus while sitting on the Mount of Olives. We must fit John to Jesus, not the other way around.
Also there is the idea that what John the Revelator is describing is a glorious triumph of Christ over Empire — he’s living under Roman domination, so he couldn’t be real specific, but he wanted to show that ultimately Christ wins as a little lamb who was slain, who slays people not with a sword, but with his words of love? It’s an allegory, a pageant, that assures the struggling Christians of the Roman empire that eventually their peaceful way of love wins, even if it looks quite harrowing at the moment. We know that at least some of Revelation is symbolic/allegorical, so why not all of it? I don’t think we need to try to decode it further than this: it’s a picture of the ultimate triumph of love over evil, dressed up to appeal to the readers at the time?
I hope it is not all allegorical! The new Jerusalem and heaven and earth better be real, I’m counting on it!!!😉
So the bowls in revalation have already been poured out, and the trumpets have been sounded?
Hey Paul,I’m not sure what to believe. I’m taking a class in Sunday School about the rapture and the tribulation. But now you say that the tribulation already happened? I am confused.
I understand your confusion. For most of my life I believed the great tribulation was in the future. Why did I believe this? It was what I had been told. I assumed it was true because those who told me seemed smart and sincere. However, when I examined the scriptures, I found a huge disconnect between what I had heard and what Jesus said.
Contrary to popular knowledge, Jesus spoke at length about the great tribulation. He made a number of testable predictions, some of which were highly detailed. All of his predictions came to pass in the summer of AD70, every single one. And some of his predictions would have made no sense until they came to pass, and then they made perfect sense. Jesus predicted what, when, and how, and his words all came true.
Why don’t we know this? Because we are ignorant about Jewish history. When our theology is shaped by bad movies and bad teaching instead of what Jesus actually said, confusion is the result.
In these posts I’m giving a little taste. But for those who want to go deeper, I encourage you to check out my book. With 40 chapters dealing with common questions and 500+ scriptures indexed, it would make a great resource for Sunday School study.
Revalation’s bowls have not been poured out. Gentiles (Essau’s seed) will continue to occupy Jerusalem until Messiah takes it back, at the day of the Lord. (See Obadiah, it is a parallel of Rev 17,18,19) The day of the Lord is near, but his gathering of the elect is not yet. Preterism is a lack of hebrew mindset. The tribulation has not come.
The great tribulation was partially fulfilled( in 70 AD) and will be fully fulfilled just before the Lord’s return. That’s what John’s writings are all about. There are a lot of things in Revelation that hasn’t been fulfilled yet, that is supposed to come straight after the great tribulation, i.e the 7 trumpets, and bowl judgements, the opening of the 7th seal where the whole earth has an earthquake so bad that every island was moved out of it’s place, obviously that hasn’t happened yet.So I wouldn’t be too quick to say that the great tribulation has already happened. It partially has happened and will be fully fulfilled very soon.
Hi Paul. I always enjoy your radical grace approach. Matthew 24:29 “Immsdiately after the tribulation of those days…”
Adverb from G2117; directly, that is, at once or soon: – anon, as soon as, forthwith, immediately, shortly, straightway.
Whats your take on this?
There is so much amazing stuff in Matthew 24 that I have written a verse by verse commentary on it. This verse gets a whole chapter in my book. The short version: Jesus is using language very familiar to Jewish readers raised on Isaiah and Ezekiel to predict the sudden and immediate fall of the Jewish government and religion that followed the tribulation of those days. More here.
I believe that the great tribulation is yet to come. Many scriptures speak of it. The 10 signs that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24 are still happening today. Yes, there was a partial fulfillment in Jesus day, but as we can see today, wars continue, false christs, disease, etc. Many Christians in the Middle East are being beheaded for their faith. This world is getting worse. Never has there been a time in the history of mankind where a nuclear weapon could destroy so many people. Read Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 and Revelation 6. It says the great tribulation, the heavenly signs and then the coming of the Son of man (Jesus) to gather his elect by the angels. Did Jesus come in 70 AD and rapture the church? I don’t think so. Would God have written so much on this topic if it was all completed in 70AD? Let us read God’s word and seek the Lord for understanding on this topic. This is my personal belief, but I appreciate your perspective.
This is a stretch. One of the ten signs is that the tribulation would be short and it was – a little over 150 days. This is one example of how the signs of Jesus were counter-intuitive when he said them (sieges could last years) but proved his divinity when they came to pass.
Not all came to pass in Matt 24, what about, 29“Immediately after the distress of those days “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ No mention of that happing in AD70.
Please see my response to a similar question below.
Not sure I believe the tribulation has come and gone, but I do agree that too many people live in fear of the end times. I grew up in a church that made everyone fear everything, and played the “mark of the beast” card often. I refuse to believe my time on earth is meant to be lived in fear of evil or the end of the world. Like you said, we should be shining the light of God’s love in everything we do, not judgmentally cowering in fear. We should be looking forward to Jesus’ second coming, not anxiously trying to escape it. Great post, even if I disagree with some of it. It’s awesome to see you exposing lies and inspiring people to think for themselves.
The mark of the beast spoken of in Revelation 13:1518 and 16:2 hasn’t happened yet which is just one of many proofs that the Great Tribulation is yet to come.
It is no proof at all. The mark of the beast has several possible interpretations; whichever you choose make sure it fits with Christ’s detailed and fulfilled prophecies.
HI. I have heard or read that the so-called Mark of the Beast is a spiritual mark, not the barcode or electronic chip and that the “mark” or seal of Jesus Christ (Yeshua Messiah) is also a spiritual mark that we are sealed with.
Matthew 24:21 is actually why I disagree with you on this. 🙂 Not since the beginning of the world, never to be repeated. The fall of Jerusalem, while intense, just does not fit that description for me. Cities fell under great and horrific hardship for the inhabitants all throughout history.
This is a common response to the claim of an historic great tribulation. It is certainly true that many cities have fallen, including Jerusalem more than once. But the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 was unprecedented in terms of the horrors inflicted and the resulting casualty rate.
In a city normally home to less than 200,000 people, more than a million people died (depending on how much stock you put in Josephus’s figures). The larger number reflected the Passover pilgrims who had come from all over the world only to perish inside the city’s walls. The handful who survived exported their sorrow all around the world.
The Roman siege of Jerusalem was the world’s deadliest successful siege. It effectively destroyed the city – travellers had trouble recognizing the place – and the nation. There was nothing like it before; nothing like it since. After AD70 the nation of Israel essentially ceased to exist. Most of the population had been exterminated or enslaved. Now we know why Jesus wept.
There is a GREAT tribulation coming. Just as it was in the days of Noah. There were Nephilim in the that day. There are hybrids; demons & human inbreeding and we may be seeing soon. The science of eugenics has been around for a long time. Hitler was trying to accomplish a super human race. Each 100 years we see history repeat itself. Now the birth pangs spoken of in scriptures, regarding the end of the age, are getting much closer & more intense. America is being judged & we are likely part of the Mystery Babylon spoken of in Rev. Of course the pre-trib rapture is imminent & that will certainly unleash more evil in the world & put the world into the time of Jacob’s trouble (7 yr. tribulation)
I am not surprised to find people who believe in a future tribulation – it has been the predominant eschatological view for 120 years. However, I am surprised to find people defending this futurist interpretation without any reference to the ten signs Jesus listed. Please understand that Jesus is the final authority on the subject of the great tribulation. He was the one who foretold it. Only Jesus – not some TV evangelist or doom and gloom author – gives us an accurate and plain-language account of what the great tribulation would be like. And he never mentions the Nephilim.
I am reading Matthew 24 right now and in verse 29 onwards we read:29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” THAT HASN’T HAPPENED YET!!!
Actually, it has happened, and precisely in the manner Christ predicted. When he said the sun and moon would be darkened and not give their light, he was adopting an idiom familiar to his Jewish listeners. It should be familiar to us too since it comes straight out of the Old Testament.
When Isaiah and Ezekiel spoke of the downfall of Babylon and Egypt, they spoke of the sun becoming dark and the moon not giving its light (Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7). They did not mean the sun would be literally extinguished; they were referring to the fall of a government. This is exactly what Jesus means and exactly what happened. The government (the sun) and the Jewish religion (the moon) and the stars (the priests) all fell from power, plunging the nation of Israel into chaos and darkness. When did this happen? Precisely when Jesus said it would; within one generation of his prediction. More here.
Verse 30 is not a reference to the Second Coming; it is about the Son of Man coming to the Ancient of Days in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. Christ’s glorious ascension in other words. Since that time Jesus has been gathering his elect from the four corners of the earth, and he continues to gather today.
That’s just your interpretation, I think it’s very warped and not answering a lot of questions about Revelation and his second coming, the things that are still to be fulfilled. The sign of the Son of man in the clouds hasn’t happened yet. In Revelation, the bowl judgements haven’t happened yet, and the great worldwide earthquake hasn’t happened yet, after the opening of the 7 seals, where every island was moved from it’s place. I actually don’t feel like having to prove this but the bible proves it itself by the things that haven’t been fulfilled yet.God bless you and I have bought a second copy of your book” stuff Jesus never said” which I like very much. I misplaced it and now I have an other copy. So that’s a very nice and handy book. But a lot of people including myself do not agree with the preterist view because it just isn’t true.
There is only so much I can cover in a 250 word comment. I appreciate this is a deep and important subject and my short responses here can come across as glib. If you desire longer answers, with supporting scriptures, I encourage you to check out the book. (It covers 500+ scriptures.)
I would also encourage you to test all possible interpretations against scripture and evidence. Jesus made 40 detailed prophecies in connection with the fall of Jerusalem and since there is evidence that all 40 were fulfilled, one conclusion is that his prophecies have come to pass. Putting me in the preterist basket is a convenient way of dismissing what I say, but then a lot of preterists dismiss me as a futurist. A healthier approach might be to engage with the scriptures and evidence directly rather than simply repeating what others have said.
I’m glad you like Stuff Jesus Never Said.
Hi Paul! I actually have a question regarding this. I see that you note that the “sun” and “moon” are both symbolic for something other than the real physical sun and moon. However, I have heard similar arguments made to speak against a physical resurrection and a physical New Earth. Some people believe that the “New Earth” refers to not the real Earth but nations. Since I believe that our resurrection and life into eternity will definitely be physical and tangible, it’s hard to accept the idea that celestial terms were used symbolically because it can easily lead into Gnostic teaching (against a physical resurrection).
Hi Leandra, I appreciate your concerns. We certainly need to take care when interpreting the language and idioms of the Bible. As always, context is critical. For instance, the sun and moon in the Bible can symbolize different things both literal and figurative.
The wonderful thing about Biblical prophecy is it is testable. It’s not vague. In his prophecy against Egypt, Ezekiel said the heavenly lights would go out when Pharaoh fell. “When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light” (Eze 32:7). The two events were connected. When Egypt falls, the sun and moon will be darkened. The sun and moon were metaphors for Pharaoh and his government (just as they were metaphors for Jacob and Rachel in Gen 37:9-10).
It’s a similar story with Isaiah’s prophecy against Babylon. In that prophecy the Lord says the sun and moon will be darkened (Is 13:10), Babylon would fall, and that it would be the Medes who did it (v.17). And that’s what happened.
In Matthew 24, Jesus uses the same idiom in the same manner – to predict the fall of a government. He says what will happen, when it will happen, and who will do it. More here. All told, Jesus gave 40 testable predictions in connection with the fall of Jerusalem – and every one of them came to pass.
I appreciate that you are engaging in shedding light on a topic that has been misunderstood for so long. However, I feel you are removing one straitjacket to put us into another. For me, the main tragedy of putting the great tribulation as a future event is losing sight of the spiritual purpose of tribulation in the saint’s life. God has a spiritual work He desires to do for which tribulation serves as an instrument. The Greek word for ‘tribulation’ is ‘thlisis’ and means: “a pressing, pressing together, pressure”. The tribulation is intended to press us into absolute dependence and union with Christ. The work of God in the tribulation causes the character of Christ to spring up from the depth of our being to swallow up carnality and self until His nature is revealed in our humanity. And thus “we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom. 5:3-4). For “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).That John introduces himself saying: “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9) should tell us something. It is for this reason that Matt. 28 is not the last mention of ‘great tribulation’, we also see the phrase mentioned twice in Revelation, indicating its spiritual significance to saints alive today, in whom God is processing.
So, matters little, from a spiritual perspective, whether we place the tribulation as a future or past event. In both cases, we miss its divine significance in our maturity and progress into the fullness of the kingdom of God.
I’m not sure how setting people free from a fear that isn’t real is putting them in a straitjacket. For sure we all go through trials; but Jesus is talking about a unique event called the great tribulation. The happy news is you will never go through that. Indeed, no one who listened to Jesus ever did.
Whether the Great tribulation is past or future (which I believe it is) God’s children should not be living in fear. If God could protect his people in Goshen whilst pouring out his wrath on Egypt, surely he can protect his children whilst pouring out his judgement on the world who have refused to accept his Son.
Alas…an expedient Christianity. Do you know that both references to “great tribulation” in the book of Revelation is in reference to the saints. Before pointing our fingers at the sinner, what of the carnal mind and the Adamic nature in our midst that continually creeps up in our thinking and conduct? Indeed judgment begins in the house of God. The standard for this judgment is Christ. Have you attained to that stature of life? I’ll be bold and assume no. So why put off, reject, escape the processing by which God desires to bring you to the cross that Christ might be manifested in you?
You seem to be under the misunderstanding that tribulation produces all sorts of cool spiritual attributes and that God cannot manifest them in us without hurting us. Tradition is full of that but that is just another way for the flesh to put itself into prominence. Going through tribulation for perfection please the flesh because then if we succeed then it was our effort that met the mark. We do not attaint the standard of looking like Christ through pain, suffering and torment. We attaint it by standing on the truths that through Christ our Adam died and we were raised up new creations, by standing on the fact that we are righteous, and holy through Christ and not of ourselves it if a gift of God so that no one can boast. This way the flesh cannot hog the stage because you only succeed by standing on and pointing to what Christ did on our behalf. We will be judge by the standard of Jesus whom only Jesus can meet. Put on Christ whom is made justification, righteousness and sanctification for us. Not make your flesh look as much like Christ as you can and maybe then if you can get close enough you might. No the stand is Jesus not trying hard with good intentions. 100% perfection or nothing. The battle is with the flesh to submit it to Christ.
I’m sorry if what I said led you to believe that we bring tribulation on ourselves. This is God’s doing. Has God not said that He chastens those He loves (Heb. 12:6). But this not to “hurt” us. It is to discipline and mature us. And as we go through them, it is God who strengthens and equips us to overcome.
What’s interesting is that you have chosen to ignore the very scriptures you claim to be standing on, including a few that I’ve mentioned, that speak about God’s divine purpose in trials and tribulations.
While Paul says: “we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Rom. 5:3-4).
You say: “we do not attain the standard of looking like Christ through pain, suffering and torment”
Even Jesus learned obedience from what He suffered (Heb. 5:8).
Dear sister, i’m not a tribulation salesman, but what the Word declares is simply what I’m relaying to you. God is not after our comfort but our maturity in Christ. There is a cross to bear for everyone who desires the preeminence of Christ in their life. The cross is for the crucifixion of Adam not for his glory. And the one who will try to avoid it at all cost is that man.
God does not bring tribulation on us any more than you inflict trouble on your own children. Hebrews 12:6 says God disciplines those he lives. To discipline is to disciple or train, not harm. Please note this post is about the great tribulation that Christ spoke of. I generally don’t publish unrelated comments. You may wish to comment on this post about Hebrews 12:6 instead. Thanks.
That’s fine, I was simply replying to clarify. 🙂 I never said to “harm” is the aim of God in tribulation.
On the idea of God not bringing tribulation, I wonder what you make of Isa. 45:7 : “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” Isa. 45:7
Please check out the Archives > Scripture Index to find my article on that passage. Thanks.
Will do. Thanks
Also consider what Jesus said in Rev. 2:22: “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds”
If you are interested, I have written at length on this amazing verse in my book, Letters from Jesus.
Here are some observations about your post. ( Using my abrev. AC After Christ)
1. The ten signs in connection with a great tribulation, still are going today in this world.
2. We the believers are not worry about the Great Tribulation because because what Jesus wrote was specifically to the Jews not the church
3. The book of Mathew was written in AC 37 the words of Jesus Mat 24 were may be year 30 of His life time. if they were fulfilled in AC70 it must be partially.
2,The book of Revelation was written in AC 97 even if John heard Mathew 24, John wrote a new revelation given to him and it was futuristic. in Chapter 7:14 John is talking about a great multitude who are coming out from the Great Tribulation (which one? AC 70 ? if this is future??) if yes then there is another segment of the Great Tribulation to come .
I agree with your post thinking that the Great Tribulation start in AC 70 Jerusalem, but still continues specifically for the Jews people. Thank you Paul I am reading your posts.
Have to agree with you, Juan. The Book of Revelation was written over 20 years after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. It wouldn’t make sense to reveal a prophecy of past events. He would have simply written an historical account.
And don’t forget Dan 9:26. Then after the 62 weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a FLOOD, even to the end there will be war, desolations are determined.
Also, Jews and gentile Christians have been getting slaughtered ever since AD 70.
And Rev 2:18-22, the church in Thyatira has a woman named Jezebel, whom Jesus says He is going to throw her and those who commit adultery with her…into great tribulation…unless they repent of her deeds.
Dan 9:26 is about the death of Jesus; “after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off.” The prince who subsequently comes and destroys the city and the sanctuary is Titus, the emperor’s son, who came and destroyed the city and the sanctuary. The great tribulation predicted for Jezebel and her followers bears no resemblance to the Great Tribulation Jesus foretold in the Olivet Discourse. In Matthew 24 (and elsewhere), Jesus provides ten specific signs in connection with the Great Tribulation and all have been fulfilled. Regarding the tribulation coming to Jezebel et al., Jesus is saying, “The consequences of their actions will be terrible.” Sin is destructive. I imagine that prophecy was fulfilled as well.
There are people who believe in the rapture to escape the “Great Tribulation” and others don’t, and there are many perspectives and interpretations here, which makes for a very interesting read. However, we can all agree that Jesus is returning to take up His reign in Jerusalem. Whether the Great Tribulation is past or to come, we will continue living until we see Jesus coming on the clouds with power and glory, right?
Definitely. However, if you are fearful of a future tribulation, you are not walking in freedom. This is why many have latched onto the prospect of a pre- or mid-trib rapture. However, my strong view is that the tribulation is past, since all ten signs were fulfilled to an extraordinary degree, and we need not fear something that is in the past.
I have read many preterist articles on the tribulation and must agree with you, Paul, that the great tribulation referred to by Jesus was spoken to the Jewish “world” at that time and was fulfilled in 70 A.D. The one thing I am not convinced about is the bodily return of Christ. Do you think he will return bodily? Will he govern this world in the future? Christians are looking for God’s will being done on this earth as it is in heaven. Is that something that will happen. Without it we have no hope for this beautiful creation of God.
I am very much looking forward to the future return of Jesus. I know extreme preterism says he has returned already, but you only need to visit a hospital or cemetery to see that isn’t the case. When Jesus returns he’ll put an end to death. That hasn’t happened yet.
So what’s the mark of the beast???
I have been a christian for 47 years. it wasn’t until a friend shared the Grace message several years ago that my eyes have been open to Bible truths not the church had been preaching since I was 25.
Please keep on writing I will keep on reading.
Blessed by your articles!!
Love this Paul. I wish more people understood what Jesus accomplished for us who believe (trust) in Him. We are the body of Christ indeed. Just some reference for others…
For those who are Christ’s we are one with Him never to be judged. What do you think the
Father would judge His son as anyway?… I don’t know… maybe, righteous?…
American Standard Version (2 Cor 5:21)
Him who knew no sin he made to be ‘sin on our behalf; that we would become the righteousness of God in him.
New American Standard Bible (1 Cor 12:27)
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.
Rom 8:1 (Literal Greek)
Therefore no condemnation (judgement) to those who are in Christ Jesus.
*But brother God will judge the whole world….
(Actually everyone judges themselves, Acts 13:46, John 5:22, 12:46-48)
New International Version (JN 15:19)
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (JN 17:14-16)
So yeah, im not afraid of these times, end times, fun times, or movie show times.
Praise Jesus for his grace, and great article Paul.
2 Tim 4:18
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hi Paul, I only recently discovered this site. Reading through when I can!
I understand your way of thinking,have toyed with it before, even as especially Christians are experiencing a form of ‘tribulation ‘ now in the Middle East and Africa.? Christians have under Islam since the seventh century as have Jews.
The holocaust was terrible tribulation in fact both two world wars were. This is not mentioned in Revelation neither Communist tyranny, and much towards Christians.
I am European and Europe experienced a lot of destruction and tribulation even if not THE tribulation, and as bad as what happened in70 AD , it was not worse than the two world wars surely unless …..indeed Jesus was only mentioning Israel of course and this makes your point interesting.
I have never believed in a rapture for only ‘ true Christians’ as not enough proof we would go up into the air suddenly, but most Christians wait for this. We have never been taken from any tribulation so far, neither are the ME and African Christians,
We in the West are certainly not doing much either, just a fact and intercession need I feel.
Who is warned about the falling away , deception and mark of the beast? When was this fulfilled and what about the warnings not to take it? What was it ?was there no buying and selling without it . I would love it explained!
Hi Paul I really enjoyed this and when I get the cash I’m gonna get your book. Is there any posts coming up about the NWO and the book Revelation and the Vatican and the one world religion which the pope is pushing for?
You are a deceiving liar Paul and you will live to see the tribulation you say will not happen! I promise you before Almighty God you will see it
Hey paul. You are wrong on this. Look at this verse. 1 Peter 3, 6-7. “6 and that by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with water. 7 But by the same word the heavens and the earth that now exist are reserved for fire and are being kept until the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly people. ” so the final destruction is ahead.
Indeed it is, but that is something different from the Great Tribulation. Jesus listed ten specific signs in connection with the GT and all were fulfilled in the summer of AD70.
Dr. Paul, I appreciate your work of lightening my spiritual understanding. I love your insights. You actually bring out the simplicity in the word of God, and since Jesus led me to this blog, I’ve been reading your articles radically. But what has always raised my eye brow and kept me wondering is to notice that there are some folks who have chosen not to understand anything no matter how simple and clear you present the articles.
More grace, Papa.
– From your understanding do you agree that the Book of Revelation was written after 70AD?
– If that is the case, why would John have been inspired to write about a Tribulation that had already occurred?
1. Yes (for more, see my Study Note, “When did John write his Revelation?” or read the Appendix to AD70 and the End of the World)
2. To encourage the church. In contrast with Jesus who gives us a play-by-play account of what will happen, John mentions the great tribulation only in passing and just once, in Rev 7:14. From whatever perspective he is writing, the great tribulation has occurred. It’s in the past.
I agree that the tribulation that Jesus was referring to was a past thing. However, since you stated that Revelation was written after 70 AD, what’s up with trumpets, dragons, mark of beast, Earth harvests, plagues, bowls of wrath, and Babylon? That sounds similar to what many think of when they hear “tribulation”.
I know that some preterists consider John to be written before 70 AD, but I want to see an article regarding the crazy stuff in Revelation.
Paul what it your interpretation on the bowls being poured out and the beast with two horns like a lamb?
so why is there confusion? it is due to a misunderstanding of the word ‘tribulation’ in Matthew 24:29. There we read that the elect (saved) are gathered ‘after the tribulation’ (vrs 31 refers). but what tribulation is this? vrs 12 tells you that it will follow the fall of Jerusalem which happened in AD70 This becomes clear if you put Luke’s report alongside Mark 13:24 and Matthew’s Luke 21:25
makes it clear it will be tribulations for Jews. During the last 2,000 years, Jews have been hounded from country to country for Gentiles, too, many Bible-beliving Christians have been slaughtered ‘for the Word of God and their testimony. (Rev 20:4). i believe with all my heart that those who received Jesus will not go through the Tribulation why would Jesus put us through it when He’s paid the price of suffering for us at the cross. Don’t look around in fear. Look up stead for our saviourr is coming from above luke 21:22-24 is the filling to Matthew 24:20
Love your work Pstr Paul
Matt 24:31 refers to Jesus sending his angels (not coming with them) to gather his elect. The word for angel means messenger and it’s the same word used elsewhere to describe his disciples (Luke 9:52). So Jesus could be talking about sending out apostles, prophets, preachers with the message of the gospel. But however we interpret it, we must fit it in with his this-will-be-fulfilled-in-a-generation promise (Matt 24:34). There is a very simple reason why some are confused about the tribulation and that is they do not believe Jesus when he told the apostles “you will see it” and “this will happen within a generation.” Dismissing this prediction causes them to dismiss the other very detailed signs about the great tribulation. It leads them to fear something that will never happen to them.