Are We Entering the Great Tribulation?

This has been one of the toughest years in living memory.

At the time of writing close to 700,000 people have died from a disease nobody knew about nine months ago. (2022 update: Make that 15 million!) In many cities there have been riots, looting, and other signs of lawlessness. People are suffering. Some fear the imminent emergence of the antichrist.

Not only that, but strange signs have appeared in the sky, such as this rare appearance of Godzilla…

Okay, that last one was a joke.

Seriously though, I am seeing something I have never seen before. In addition to all the usual end times’ hucksters stirring up fear to hawk their products, mainstream news outlets are jumping on the end time’s bandwagon.

Outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times have discovered that stories headlined with “apocalypse,” “end times,” and “end of the world,” are hot, hot, hot. Even Fox News has got in on the game.

Some outlets are even asking if are on the brink of the Great Tribulation.

I hope you realize that newspaper eschatology will leave you cynical or fearful, which is not what Jesus wants.

But what about the Great Tribulation that Jesus spoke of? Is it about to start? Are we close?

Nope. Not by a long shot.

Several years ago I wrote an article entitled “When is the Great Tribulation?” In it I listed the various prophecies Jesus gave in connection with the Great Tribulation, and I explained how all of them were fulfilled by the summer of AD70.

The Great Tribulation is past, not future and it will never happen again. It’s not something you need to fear.

At the time, many people welcomed the article, but some were not convinced. I was wrong, they said. Which is fine. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But what was interesting were the reasons why I was wrong. I’ll list these below along with my responses.

I appreciate that you may have little interest in end time’s debates. Fair enough. I totally understand. Come back next week when I promise normal service will resume.

However, if you would like to learn more about what Jesus had to say on this subject, check out my Patreon study note, “Ten reasons why you will never experience the Great Tribulation.”

Still here?

Okay, let’s set the scene.

Jesus is sitting on top of the Mount of Olives and he’s speaking to four disciples – Peter, James, John, and Andrew – about a coming Great Tribulation (see Matt. 24:21, Mark 13:3). Jesus tells them to watch for several signs. He tells them where (Jerusalem), when (within a generation), and how (swords, embankments, etc.) the Great Tribulation will unfold.

Fast forward to AD70 and everything Jesus said happened exactly as he foretold.

And that ought to be the end of the matter.

But it isn’t because many of us have been fed an alternative narrative, one where the Great Tribulation is in our future, not theirs. This alternative narrative mixes up a bunch of other prophecies about the rapture and the return of the Lord. Since those things have not happened, the argument goes, neither has the Great Tribulation.

My strong view is the Great Tribulation happened in the manner Jesus predicted and in the timeframe he specified. The Great Tribulation is past, not future. But not everyone agrees, and those who don’t say things like this:

The Great Tribulation is a future event that will last seven years

Not according to Jesus. He told the disciples the Great Tribulation would happen within a generation and be a short event (Matt 24:22, 34). He was spot on. Judea fell swiftly and the AD70 siege of Jerusalem lasted only 150 days. It was one of the fastest sieges in history.

The Great Tribulation can’t have happened because the antichrist has not been revealed

Different subject. Jesus is the only person to speak at length about the Great Tribulation, yet he said nothing about the antichrist. Not one word.

The Great Tribulation can’t have happened because the sun and moon have not dimmed and the stars have not fallen from the sky

Actually, they have.

The Great Tribulation can’t have happened because we have not been raptured/the final judgment has not happened/Jesus has not returned

Again, these are unrelated events. The Great Tribulation has happened; the others have not.

You’re crazy if you think the rapture has happened or Jesus has returned

I don’t. I am looking forward to both the rapture (whatever that is) and the physical return of Jesus (whenever that is).

The Great Tribulation can’t have happened because the Son of Man has not come on the clouds

Indeed, he has. Whenever Jesus is described in scripture as “coming on the clouds”, he is coming to heaven. The phrase comes from Daniel’s vision. It’s the Son of Man approaching the Ancient of Days.

When Jesus spoke (in Matt. 24) about the Son of Man coming on the clouds and the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, he was referring to his imminent ascension and glorious return home. Like the Great Tribulation, this prophecy was fulfilled within a generation, just as Jesus said.

Jesus said the Great Tribulation would be unprecedented, yet many cities have fallen to sieges in history

It is true that many cities have fallen, including Jerusalem on more than one occasion. But the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 was unprecedented in terms of the horrors inflicted and the casualty rate.

In a city home to less than 200,000 people, more than a million people died (depending on how much you weight you put on Josephus’s figures). The larger number reflected the Passover pilgrims who had come to Jerusalem from all over the world. All of them died within the city’s walls.

The Roman siege of Jerusalem was the world’s deadliest successful siege. It effectively destroyed the city and the nation. It was so destructive that later visitors to Judea had trouble identifying where Jerusalem once stood.

Yeah, but the Holocaust was worse, so AD70 cannot have been the Great Tribulation

The Holocaust may have been worse in absolute terms, but in relative terms nothing tops the first-century genocide of the Jewish nation. After AD70 Israel essentially ceased to exist. Most of the population had been exterminated or enslaved.

Which is why Jesus wept when he saw it coming.

Okay, the Great Tribulation partly happened in AD70, but it will happen again in our future

Jesus said it would happen once and never again (Matt. 24:21), just like the Great Flood.

Why would John write (in Revelation) about a Great Tribulation that had already happened?

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 in passing (in Rev. 7:14). Unlike Jesus who was looking into the future, John writes about the Great Tribulation in the past tense. This gives the impression that he was writing about something that was in his past. It had already happened.

The letters to the seven churches were written to prepare them for the Great Tribulation

No they weren’t. Even if you believe Revelation was written before AD70, which I don’t, the seven churches of Asia were hundreds of miles away and largely unaffected by the troubles that fell on Judea.

You’re nuts! Jesus said he would be returning soon. His return is imminent.

I’m not sure what the return of Jesus has to do with the Great Tribulation. One thing has happened; the other is yet to happen.

Incidentally, Jesus never said he was returning soon. That’s a common misperception.

You must be one of those loopy preterists.

Labelling people is intellectually lazy. Please, leave off the personal attacks and stick to the prophecies.

For the record, I am not a preterist. My view is that some prophecies have been fulfilled; others are yet to be fulfilled. Jesus told the disciples about a lot of future events, including some they would personally hear about and see. History proves Jesus was right.

I still don’t believe the Great Tribulation happened in AD70

That is a luxury you can afford, but anyone who shared your view in AD70 would have died in AD70. In contrast, those who heeded Jesus fled to the mountains and lived.

If we were better acquainted with scripture and Jewish history, the Great Tribulation would not be a controversial subject. We would not waste time arguing about it and we certainly would not be fretting about it. Instead, we would be marveling at the stunning fulfillment of Christ’s prophecies. Truly they were signs to make us wonder.

His words, which saved the lives of many believers, inspire us to praise him in twenty centuries later.

TLDR: Contrary to what you may have heard, we are not about to enter or experience the Great Tribulation. Since it already happened, we never will.


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61 Comments on Are We Entering the Great Tribulation?

  1. Thanks for this discussion, Paul. It’s difficult to argue with your reasoning.

    However, something that those of us in the US and other affluent countries should remember is that, while the Great Tribulation may not be in our future, we’re not immune to great tribulation. Believers all over the world, in less “civilized” nations, are under severe persecution. If we don’t think that can happen to us, I think we’ll suffer even more for being unprepared.

    Gun purchases have reached record highs due to the social unrest here in the states. People are preparing to protect themselves against physical danger. Yet few churches are helping people prepare for the spiritual battles that lie ahead if we lose our freedoms.

    • True story, Mike. As Jesus said, trials and tribulations are a fact of life.

    • Like all things written about the scriptures, especially now a days, one must pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show the truth when reading and studying. NEVER take man’s opinion and beliefs further than what the Bible says.
      This post is incredibly dangerous. I truly thought any talk and remnants of the preterist mindset was all but gone from bible believing Christians… Guess again right?
      What you must do to believe in what this author has put forward is bend and twist God’s Word. You must take what’s written in one verse tremendously Literal while taking the very next verses symbolically to make this belief stick with any sort of substance.
      This author wants you to buy into having a self-entitlement mentality and fluffy feelings about the future. He wants ABSOLUTELY NO Persecution to fall upon himself and Believers. He just wants to coast through this Western Christianity Culture with no hardships, no convictions and no difficulties.
      This Is the SAME mindset of the Pre Tribulation Rapture… These beliefs spring up from a cowardous section of the Body Of Christ mainly in America. They look at the horrific future being told in the Bible and cannot bring themselves to face these coming truths. Weak mindset, shaky doctrine and ITCHY EAR preaching! It’s a Luke Warm World out there for Christianity…
      That real sad part about this Idiotic teaching is their total ignorance of just how Beautiful and Rewarding the Revelation Of Jesus Christ has on a true believer’s faith. To be reminded that as things get worse and worse until complete chaos the hope and love of Christ will hold strong forever and for whoever holds strong with their faith in Christ. But this author and his fellow cultists cannot stand having to commit absolute faithfulness and complete obedience to God. They refuse to have to suffer one hair on their heads for their Christ. That’s just the honest truth.
      I suggest the folks who want a cushy life as a Christian start bracing for what’s coming very soon.
      May God Have Mercy On Us All!

      • Merry Christmas, Kenneth. I pray that in this season you will know the astounding grace of God and his peace that passes all understanding.

      • Robert Haze // July 3, 2022 at 4:37 am //

        Wow! It is astounding that you have made all these accusations against the author and I’m quite sure you have never met him. I find it heart breaking that those who confess his name know what the Bible says, but have no idea what it means. The very fact that all that is in our past is so clear. From the words of Jesus, to the eminence of the Apostles writings. I wonder how people can take a preacher or authors word over our Lords. I challenge you to search the scriptures to see if these things are true and not to see if your right. There is a difference. I pray the the God of grace will open your eyes to the glorious riches of his wisdom. So that you too can see how great our salvation is.

  2. Yes, I agree, as we all have our opinion’s, and here is, respectfully, mine. First, you do have a lot of great points, but to mix up, “going” with “coming” is a bit confusing. “Immediately after the tribulation… then shall appear the sign of the Son of man (who is already) in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”, Matthew 24:29,30.
    You say this “coming” here means, he is going to heaven, but how does one get “going” to heaven, when it say’s, he is already there “in heaven”, and is rather “coming” (not going) in the clouds. This coming in the clouds is the same thing the angel told the fifty witnesses’ that watched him ‘going’ up in the clouds, saying: “…., You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up (going) from you into heaven, shall so ‘come’ in like manner as you have seen him ‘go’ into heaven.” Acts 1:11. This angel did not get his coming and going mixed up. Thanks

    • There are many comings of Jesus and it’s easy to get them confused. In the Olivet Discourse and before the Sanhedrin Jesus was quoting a well-known prophecy that would have been familiar to Jewish men. Daniel saw (from the perspective of heaven) one like the Son of Man coming to the Ancient of Days. Jesus is saying to the disciples, I am about to fulfull that prophecy. The angel was talking about the return of Jesus.

      • If, (you say), there are many comings of Jesus, be sure of one thing, this is the big one, the one we want/ pray for; Come Lord Jesus, the Titus 2:13 one!. .Right, (you point out), “The angel was talking about the return of Jesus.”, but so was Jesus in Matthew 24:29,30, . “Immediately after the tribulation… then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”,
        After trib (at this time, when ever that time comes) The Tribes of Israel shall both “mourn” (they did not even believe, much less mourn their rejection) and “see”. Neither of these things happened after 70 AD, and forget the perspective of heaven, this is our perspective from here on Earth, the one Jesus is describing, and wants us to know . As for your saying; “Whenever Jesus is described in scripture as ‘coming on the clouds’, he is coming to heaven.”, this can’t be, as Luke, speaking of “a cloud”, “he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight”, Acts 1:9. is exactly what Jesus was speaking of; “coming in the clouds” and what the angel means by , ”Jesus, which is ‘taken up’ from you into heaven, shall so ‘come’ in like manner (on/in a cloud) as you have seen him ‘go’ into heaven”, Acts 1:11.

      • The Bible refers to several comings of Jesus and it’s easy to get them confused. This is why some people say Jesus came in AD70 and why others say the great tribulation has not happened. They’re trying to reconcile two irreconcilable things. I’m not sure which of these you are trying to say, but if it’s the latter, how do you explain away the ten specific signs Jesus gave in connection with the great tribulation?

        Yes, Acts 1:9 mentions a cloud because Jesus was returning to heaven. Put yourself in Daniel’s shoes and see what he saw:

        In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. (Dan 7:13-14)

        Now compare Daniel’s words with Christ’s words in Matt. 24:30 when he speaks of “the Son of Man in heaven… the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”

        Daniel’s prophecy was fulfilled at the ascension. From that time on all people (meaning the Gentiles) began to worship him (as Daniel foretold) while the Jews (or tribes) began to mourn or regret their decision to kill the Messiah (as Christ foretold). Jesus told the Sanhedrin they would be around to see it (or hear about it) and they were. The Jews began to regret their decision almost immediately. On the Day of Pentecost 3000 of them were “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37).

        The fulfilled prophecies of Jesus are truly a marvellous sign to make us wonder.

      • Responding to; “not sure which of these you are trying to say,?” Respectfully, I said, the” big one”, only one that we need to be “looking for” Titus 2:13., and this same event, John wrote about in Rev. 1:17 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” This is greater than what happened with the “Sanhedrin”, or even the 3,000 who just heard the powerful words of Peter,
        You say, and well; “Put yourself in Daniel’s shoes and see what he saw:”
        The ”glory and sovereign power” Daniel saw by Jesus coming to heaven, is the same “power and great glory”(just reversed) coming in the clouds from heaven to Earth, after the trib. As why would it change, no matter which way he went? It wouldn’t.
        Perspective is everything, basically, our perspective is just opposite of Daniels, and this is what the angel wanted those observing this amazing sight to understand
        True, Daniel’s prophecy was fulfilled at the ascension, but putting Matthew 24: of “coming in the clouds” after the Trib of 70 AD, can not include those in Acts 1:11, which happened forty years earlier, and is only “trying to reconcile two irreconcilable things” and as for those “people who contend “Jesus came in AD70”, brings only the height of confusion.
        All of which say’s, there has to be a future trib for this, coming in clouds, to occur.

      • You seem confused about what I’m trying to say, so maybe I should stop. I never said the ascension happened afted AD70. Let me leave you with this thought: If you were a Judean who did not believe Jesus’ ten GT signs pertained to the events of AD70, you would’ve died in AD70. You have the luxury of disputing his words, but first century folk did not. People either believed him or they didn’t. And those who didn’t, perhaps because they thought Jesus was mistaken when he said again and again “this generation would see it,” would have been killed by the Romans.

        The evidence of history emphatically demonstrates that Jesus was spot on in every detail. Every thing he said – even the strange little details that seemed to make no sense at the time – came to pass. It is folly to argue with facts. It’s a greater folly to argue with Jesus.

  3. No. Just a tribulation. Like many before. We are simply more aware of the evil around the world.

  4. Joe Conaghan // August 6, 2020 at 5:16 am // Reply

    Brother Paul,

    Really love you man. I want to thank you for being the one of the first people in my whole life to ever introduce me to the wonderful Gospel of the Grace of God. I heard it when as a desperate man I read “Out of the Jungle” and I will never forget weeping with joy over the Good News! I have done my own research since then and you and I agree doctrinally on some things (1. The Gospel that saves, 2. Conditional immortality) so I rejoice in that. Where we diverge is something called by some “ultra dispensationalism” which is an unfortunate label. I’m sure you’ve heard of people like Stam (Things that Differ) and. Baker (A dispensational Theology). My opinion on eschatology is currently hard to form. I appreciate your view on AD70 and will keep it in mind as I research this further. I hope one day to meet you here on earth but if not we will surely be meeting in the heavenlies. Grace and peace to you, Paul.

  5. Mongu Aoge // August 6, 2020 at 5:54 am // Reply

    I’m grateful for the News Letters that I receive from you on a daily basis. It is to my pleasure that some topics that you’re sending are one of my teachings in my Ministry and am really learning from you. May God Bless You and continue doing the work of the Lord. Regards!!!!
    Yours Sincerely, Pastor Mulemba. V

  6. Another excellent timely article by Dr. Paul Ellis. Even though I respectfully disagree that the Great Tribulation occurred in 70 A.D., Paul has, as always, made some very good points. However, the Holy Spirit has led me to accept that there will still be a future Great Tribulation. Fortunately, under God’s grace, brothers/sisters in Christ can agree to disagree without being disagreeable, especially in non-essential doctrines! However, I do agree with Paul that this pandemic is certainly not the entrance of the Great Tribulation. End time scenarios make great topics for “in-house” discussions among Christians to provide helpful information, but to me are not meant to create division.
    If this is not an end time judgment, then a good question to consider during this pandemic is what is God trying to teach or warn us? (1) What is my personal relationship/faith/trust in Jesus? (2) How will God use this crisis as a catalyst to draw people to Him? (3)To see how vulnerable man is without God’s grace to sustain us (4) God has not given us a spirit of worry/anxiety. We should have healthy concerns and use common sense, but not be in a state of panic/fear.(5) Always count our blessings and in everything give Him thanks/praise (6) God may be teaching us to look at life from His eternal perspective, and not to place so much emphasis on our earthly, temporary life that will soon fade away.(7) God has always promised to be with us, even in the midst of this pandemic.

  7. Your eschatological view can not be debated via comments. But, a few points.
    You need a ‘lens’ through which to ‘view’ eschatology. And, with respect, yours is wrong. You need a 2nd Temple ‘view’. Prophesy is not prediction, it is pattern. Past, present, and future. That is, it has multiple applications.

    Example, Jesus using the story of Jonah – relates it to the actual event, and to Lazareth, and to his own death. Midrash, a pescher interpretation.

    Same with the Temple accounts you alluded to in the Gospel accounts. Yes, as in Luke, it related to 70AD, but as well, as in Matthew, it will also happen again in the [future] Tribulation. (I could clearly show this using those passages if I had space).
    This can not be presented via comments, but,if you had time, and wanted a discussion …

  8. Please don’t post your eschatological views. It’s obviously not your niche. SMH

    • Yet ad hominem attacks are clearly yours.

      With respect, your comment proves the point I was making in the article. Instead of engaging with the evidence of fulfilled prophecy, most critics simply fling mud and walk away.

  9. You’ve stirred me up 🙂

    I have one Question for you Paul – what is the Tribulation for? What is it all about?

    • An intriguing question: Those with an old covenant mindset will tell you the purpose of the Great Tribulation is to deal with Israel’s stubbornness, or to punish an unrepentant world. People who say such things rewrite the words of Jesus, get the Jews building another temple, and hijack Revelation imagery to paint grotesque pictures that bear no resemblance to the one Jesus paints in Matthew 24.

      What was the purpose of the Great Tribulation? Well if you were to ask the Romans, they would say it was to crush the rebellion in Judea. They did a very effective job!

      PS: In my experience, those who say they have one question for me are usually not as interested in hearing my answer as they are in telling me their’s. Feel free to prove me wrong.

      • Regarding your “PS:” – perceptive, but not quite. That is, Not so much as to say your wrong, but was ‘probing’ for your foundation. So I was very interested in your answer!
        Nevertheless- here is the follow up you were anticipating …. 🙂

        (For consideration.) – The Tribulation has a specific purpose. It is all about Israel. God, through Jesus, needs to defeat Satan – but he needs to do this ‘righteously’, that is in a ‘right’ way’, that is ‘legally’. He can’t ‘just’ defeat Satan because he’s Almighty God. (which He is.).

        He needs to do this as the ‘rightful king’ of a nation. As such, he can defeat those who come against his nation – righteously, and as well, that way he can ‘win’ the nations back – righteously.

        But Israel rejected him. Rejected him as king. The Tribulation is all about driving Israel to the brink – so they both repent, and cry out to him to accept him as king, so he can then ‘act’, on their behalf, against evil. (Satan).

        Daniel’s 70 weeks, and his ‘visions’, were all about ‘kingdoms’.

      • If this were true, the cross served no purpose and Jesus was a liar.

        The good news declares Jesus has already defeated the enemy – it happened at Calvary. The cross was even labelled “King of the Jews”, fulfilling all sorts of prophecies. The Jews rejected those things that would’ve brought them peace, and they reaped the Roman whirlwind – just as Jesus foretold.

      • HEB 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

        Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God, UNTIL his enemies are his footstool. His enemies are not yet under his feet. All you need to do to see this is read the news. Satan is still causing havoc. But – They, his enemies, will be under his feet after the He defeats them in the Tribulation.

        His death (1) Took the authority of death off Satan, through his death, (2) paid the the price for our ‘sin’ – so our body can’t be judged. (3) Nullified the Law, which is Satan’s primary ‘weapon’.

        P.S. was that the Orakie Basin in that pic?

      • I think you are confusing the great tribulation, with the final judgment. It would help a great deal if we limited our discussion to things Jesus said on the subject rather than things other people said on other subjects. Remember, Jesus is the ONLY person who prophecied a great tribulation. There may be bits of other prophecies that have relevance, but they must be fitted to what Jesus said. His is the first and final word on the subject.

  10. Samia Causley // August 6, 2020 at 12:13 pm // Reply

    Hi Paul, I read what you say , but when I go back to read the word of God, your arguments are dissolved in my mind.
    Jesus talks about ‘the abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel (Matthew 24:15)
    Then Paul talks about the Day of the Lord will not come before it happens (2 Thessalonians 2:3-10)
    So Jesus did mention the antichrist , or men of lawlessness .
    Paul says Jesus will destroy Him with the brightness of His coming 2 Thess 2:8
    So He will be here on the earth when Jesus comes.

    Also Jesus says that “IMMEDIATELY “after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened , and the moon will not give his light ; the stars will fall from heaven. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear from Heaven. Matthew 24;29-30

    • Hi Samia, in the article above I only discuss Christ’s prophecy regarding Great Tribulation, a prophecy for which he gave a set of specific signposts. If we are to take Christ’s words at face value – and I do – there can be no doubt that the prophecy was fulfilled in the manner and timeframe he specified. When Jesus told the disciples they would hear and see and that these things would be fulfilled within a generation, he wasn’t kidding. The proof is in the survival of the early church. Those who believed Jesus lived to tell the tale. Those who thought the Great Tribulation was for another time, died in Judea.

      A sure path to confusion is to confuse distinct prophecies about the GT, the rapture, and the return of the Lord and so on. Just as we would not confuse the Great Flood with the coming of the Messiah, we ought not to confuse the Great Tribulation with the return of King Jesus. The antichrist and the Abomination of Desolation are not the same thing.

      I have written extensively about the other scriptures you mention. If you are interested you can find them in the Archives > Scripture Index. Blessings.

      • How? How can this be, since Jesus in Matthew 24:29,30, ‘gave a set of specific signposts’ which are;. “Immediately after the tribulation… then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”. This appearing of the sign of the Son of Man in heaven happened “immediately after the tribulation”, so it could not be the tribulation of 70 AD he is speaking of because He was not talking about his imminent ascension and glorious return home, but rather his “coming to Earth”. For Jesus was already in heaven, as witnessed by Stephen, Acts 7:55, 30 years before 70AD. So, all that is left that Christ is speaking of, is his return to Earth, not heaven, which is “immediately after the tribulation” to come.
        In Matthew’s account, Jesus was already in heaven, so how could the “Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven”, mean he was going to heaven when he already was in heaven?

      • Jesus is not just talking about the single and spectacular event of his ascension, which happened long before the tribulation, but the revelation of his glory and the mourning of tribes and the disciples not tasting death and “your redemption drawing near” and a host of other related events. He told the disciples and the chief priests they would see it, and they did, but at different times. The disciples saw the ascension as it happened while the chief priests and “the tribes” heard about it later, sometimes much later.

        Jesus is the Risen King but not everyone sees him as risen. Not all see “the sign” which is the Son of Man in heaven. When people get this revelation, it changes them. It changed people in the first century and continues to change people today.

      • You answered; Jesus is not talking about his ascension? But that is not what you said in the above article (counting down to #6), there you say; “When Jesus spoke (in Matt. 24) about the Son of Man coming on the clouds and the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, he was referring to his imminent ascension and glorious return home….” .
        According to Matthews account, it could not be his ascension “Immediately after the tribulation”, because he was already there, and the only thing left is his coming (returning from heaven
        Then you say, it “happened long before the tribulation”? This is confusing and need not be, if we take what he said literally, the ascension or his return (either one, but it seems its his return) happened immediately after trib.

      • The event that Jesus would follow immediately after the tribulation of those days, is the sun and moon would be darkened, and this did indeed happen immediately after the tribulation.

        Because this prophecy was fulfilled in the manner and timeframe Jesus predicted, and because he also said the signs would be witnessed by the disciples’ generation, we can be sure that he was speaking to events which reached their climax in the AD70 destruction of Judea.

      • From what I have gathered is:
        The Sun and Moon darkened at that third Hour of that day, when Christ yelled it is finished
        First Eclipse, man knows of ever
        That very day he was finishing his Mission of reconciliation for all, not a few, not the first Chosen for all man
        All left is to turn to beleif, he is risen from the dead and Father comes in with him and leads us out of Fear, forever
        John 16:33 tells us of the Troubles we all shall have, yet not to Fear, for he Christ has overcome the world
        So, me you, and all others go through tribulation(S)
        Like me I have my Garden of Gethsemane,
        I do see that, that tribulation Christ spoke of is finished, in the year of AD 70

        And this world is still in troubles, so whether or not, this be over, as I think is also, there is much more to the story,
        Thanks Howard

      • You know that is the Fact” Christ is Risen” I remember for years I held onto the Death, never saw it as finished, we are Forgiven by God Father of the Risen Son to admit it and accept it as is truth. God is not the God of the Dead, God is God of the Living. Thanks I get it, and am learning what walking new is. Who are we worshipping, The Dead Jesus or the risen One?

      • If Matthew 24:29 is speaking of Christ return home to heaven…

      • Probably time to move on Thomas. Peace.

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  12. Roy V. Larson // August 6, 2020 at 5:17 pm // Reply

    Bottom Line: I am in my “last days” for 30 years, hence living and breathing as a loved child of the Father. The details as to what happens and when, and, to whom is beyond my need to know. I have an identity to live out, and a Kingdom job to do, and doing it where He placed me to do it. Paul, greatly appreciate your wit and humor!

  13. daren bonne // August 6, 2020 at 6:39 pm // Reply

    I think all you say is way off . just look at the world, see whats happening right in front of us all. the new world order is almost here. the deception, the fear and the divide and rule. the beast system like never before! no the tribulation is coming and coming quick.
    come lord jesus come

  14. As much as I would like to believe the time of Jacob’s troubles are past, Daniel 12 and Zechariah 12-14 makes abundantly clear this is not the case. If two thirds of the Jewish people were struck down and perished in 70AD which I am told they were, the remaining third were not refined and did not call on the name of the Lord as the prophet said they would. This event is clearly yet future.
    The Angel speaking to Daniel in ch12 clearly states Daniel’s people will be delivered after the time of great distress, when did that ever happen in 70AD? The Angel also links that time with the resurrection of the dead. The Angel says several times in this short passage at the the time of the end. If language means anything then surely the time of the end means exactly that, the time of the end.
    I appreciate your writings on grace but you are way off on this.

    • It’s interesting that you put more weight on the words of an angel than the words of Jesus. Jesus gave ten specific signs concerning the great tribulation and all were fulfilled in the exact manner he foretold. What do you do with those? Jesus said the great tribulation would happen within a generation. It did.

      “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2).

      Daniel, Zephaniah, and others spoke of a day of trouble or distress or wrath. These were references to the end of days or judgment day. The dead did not rise in the siege of Jerusalem, but they will awake on that day when the Lord returns to judge the quick and the dead. Don’t confuse the great tribulation of Judea with the final judgment.

  15. Lets be clear hear shall we!
    Satan is busy at work , Jesus is coming very soon, auguring is a waste of time. dont be fooled or decieved the tribulation is just around the corner. fear the lord not the world. god bless all that reads this.

  16. Quite interesting Paul, I see what you have said about what Jesus was referring to, in what he said, was to come! I agree with that view, I also see much other things happening and have happened. To me it goes to the verse John 16:33, where I think he was not only talking to the first Chosen, but to us all;

    We will have troubles, I have, can anyone else say they have not had any troubles? If anyone has not, then more power to those. Regardless, I am now thankful, for my troubles, I have gone through and still. Amen!

    A long time ago, I never thought I would say that. It has all been to save me in beleif to see clearer than yesterday or years ago. Anyway, I see what you are saying about that Ad 70. No matter troubles are real, and they either break us or form us. However it all plays out, “I” beleif God, Christ is risen where new life from Father is given in Spirit and Truth. Therefore stand in belief, and stay freed from the traps of arguments. I respect you and Thank you for your insights you have shared and share.

  17. I have enjoyed reading your perspective on this. Why is it that Christian’s become so defensive because the ‘one way’ they see scripture through their lens is the right way? Often our very Evangelical Way is all we know. I have to admit I was one of those but am enjoying reading Scripture from a different perspective. How the Culture of the day, Why it was written and to whom which appears to be what you are doing brings a much better and wider understanding of scriptures. Not to say there isn’t a place for the Lord to speak to us through a verse. If we feel threatened by what you are saying then maybe we should be looking at where our foundations lie? Is it on scripture written by man or Jesus Himself who is the truth? It’s good to be able to discus the many ideas and respect others views even when we won’t always agree.Thanks for your insights.

  18. Hi Kerry,
    I certainly do not feel threatened or defensive by studying other views as to the end times, and actually like to read differing opinions. However, the whole field of eschatology has differing opinions, and I don’t think anyone, including Paul Ellis, has the final answer. I do enjoy reading his perspectives, but disagreeing with his views is not being defensive, and I doubt that he feels threatened by anyone’s disagreements.

    Best that I could tell from all the comments that have been expressed so far, there was only one that was telling Paul to not post his views on the end times. I actually thought that was funny considering the fact that this is Paul’s own blog, and he can post whatever he desires. The rest of the comments like mine have just been differing opinions on his views. The nice thing about Christian brothers and sisters under God’s amazing grace is that we can all agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

  19. Hi, Paul. I’d given up being able to access Patreon. Like your other reader Susan here, I have had the same problem. “For a very long time whenever I try to access any Patreon offers I get a message to sign up again for Patreon. Any advice?” Would you please send me that same email you mentioned to her? Thanks. With much appreciation for all your inspiring, strengthening & enlightening words on our Father’s riches of Jesus, our Gospel of Grace.
    In His Love and Peace, Lynn

  20. Yes to Christ is risen where new life is given from Father to us to be renewed in his love for us all, whether one believes or not.
    Phil 1:6, this I trust, as I am surely not in the place I was, when I first believed.
    I have not stopped beleif, and I see Father God believes I will not deny him, even as Job would not deny him.
    So go forth and trust=, as a decision, not a must, to take all one hears to God Father to hear truth over error and not argue
    John 8:32-36
    It does take a continuing beleif to see

  21. Neil Campbell // August 25, 2020 at 3:21 pm // Reply

    Hi Paul,
    I agree with most of what you say, but currently in the world many people are experiencing – great tribulation and I am not talking about us in the west with our job keeper payments, but in the developing nations, Covid has been devastating to millions, not just the sick, but economically…..this will play out in the West also with much higher unemployment in the near term. There is talk now of a global reset, green new deals, rights for all the oppressed, basic universal wages, war with China etc. My opinion is that what we are seeing has been and will be again – cycles and in the cycles nations rise & fall and sadly many die. the cycles are now bigger because of our interconnectedness which is globalization.
    All the best.

    • A while back, Queensland experienced a great and catastrophic flood. But it was not the Great Flood that God told Noah to expect. Similarly, the great trials and tribulations many are experiencing today are not the Great Tribulation Jesus told the disciples to expect. As you say, we’ve had pandemics and economic depressions before and we’ll probably have them again.

  22. Hello Paul .. love to read these inspiring messages you prepare for us. I have a question, especially in light of this Pandemic and end times. I have well intentioned Christian friends who insist that the New World Order is upon us and that this Virus is a planned attempt to make us bow to the evil schemes of the devil birthing the arrival of this New World Order. What are your thoughts ..

  23. kevin charis chayyim // January 6, 2021 at 9:45 am // Reply

    the great tribulation has happened,luke 21:20-21 makes it clear that when there are armies surrounding the city,then the laying waste of the temple draws near,which happened in ad70,and since then the nation of isreal has been dispersed and under captivity and poverty. this will keep on happening until the time of the gentiles has been fulfilled,which is when the gospel is preached to all nations as a witness to all gentile nations,then the end will come,and the Son of God will come in glory,while the dead in Christ will be resurrected and reign with Him for 1000 years.

  24. I am not sure what to think really but you make very good points Paul as the beginning of Revelation makes it very clear the events would happen “speedily” Jesus never lies! Also I know many of the Christian people of Russia and Germany, later the Chinese etc,plus many in their occupied countries believed the end was nigh and
    That they were in the great tribulation as it certainly was horrific. Many in the ME, Africa and Asia are going through tribulation and have been for decades. Nobody describes their suffering as “the great trib”! But what then is the beast, 666 and the mark? Has that also been fulfilled? Many thanks for your insights

  25. Hi Paul I hope my question is appropriate for this article.
    I understood very well that the great tribulation is something of the past. But I have a hard time locating the two witnesses of Revelation 11: 3-14. Are the two testomones also something of the past or even of the old testament?

    • Jesus is the only one who spoke of the Great Tribulation and he said nothing about the two witnesses. Force-fitting unrelated prophecies into a hyped-up eschatological narrative that is designed to promote speculation, fear and book sales is not a game I play.

  26. Okay you completely got this wrong. Nice try sugar coating the future. Trust me, we all wish this was true. But please explain the mark of the beast /the microchip era thats still ahead of us. And yes that WILL be a tribulation for christians as it clearly states that without the mark, you wont be able to buy or sell or do anything and how you AREN’T supposed to take on/get the mark if you are a follower of christ! Revelation can not be more clear about this future world system. Maybe some events already happened but the biggest one is still ahead and you can’t deny or ignore it just to make yourself or your readers feel better. It’s a dangerous teaching.

    • I’ve been hearing those microchips since the early 1980s. Still waiting. Show me where Jesus mentions the mark of the beast in his prophecy about the Great Tribulation and I will tell you what it means.

    • Robert Haze // June 2, 2023 at 12:34 am // Reply

      The scriptures are plain and easy to understand once you remove your silly fables and traditions of men. Jesus was clearly talking to a specific people at a specific time. All those apocalyptic scriptures have been fulfilled. I know it’s hard to comprehend however if YOU would search the scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding you would come to the same conclusion. My friends the good news of the gospel is so much better that we’ve been told. The wrath of God has been satisfied and we have a loving Father just waiting for his children to come home. We are the Israel of God. All those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus as Lord have been engrafted in, Jew and gentile. Stop looking around and look up, you will not believe the life that the Father has for you in Christ. However if you choose to allow yourselves to be help captive by the lies and traditions of men then you will never realize how free That freedom in Christ is. Once you see the truth you can’t unsee it and you will never be the same again,


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