Time in Which We Live…is it the Tribulation?

November 18, 2014 at 1:30 PM

the-great-tribulation-beginsBecause of the times in which we live, it is natural for people to think bad things are coming (besides the bad things that have already happened and remain). I’ve written articles on prophetic discourses from Scripture and I fully believe that the world is headed toward a one-world government, a one-world religion, and a one-world economy. The reasons for believing this are multitude and they all have to do with what the Bible teaches.

I fully believe we are headed toward the final seven years of history that the Bible calls the Tribulation/Great Tribulation (cf. Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21). Jesus made it fairly clear and because of that, we should not wonder IF it will turn out as He said it will, but WHEN.

Even though Jesus was clear on how bad things were going to get, it is also very clear that leading up to the start of this final seven-year period of time, the world itself would be going through tremendous upheaval. Jesus talked about wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, earthquakes, and problems in the world. He also indicated that these things simply mark the beginning of sorrows, the time just prior to the official start of the Tribulation period.

There is so much in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as well as the New Testament related to the last seven years of human history called the Tribulation Period that it is impossible to completely list here. Yet, in spite of all this, I continually run into folks who believe not simply that the Tribulation has begun, but they can pinpoint which particular judgment the world is experiencing. It’s frustrating to say the least because these folks have their own way of interpreting Scripture and they usually do so through the allegorical method.

For instance, just today, I read an article linked at Twitter that stated without equivocation that we are now experiencing the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse. This is how the author opened his article:

The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse as named in Revelation are Conquest, War, Famine, and Death.

It is an apt metaphor for what is occurring in America today. Ebola is now raging in several African nations, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Guinea, and Nigeria.

Notice in the second paragraph, the author states that the names given to the four horsemen make “an apt metaphor for what is occurring in America today.”

My first question is, who says it is a metaphor? Why can’t we understand the passage literally? When I say “literally,” some will immediately expect me to say that one day, we will see four individual horses riding across the horizon. No, if I believed that, I would be taking Scripture literalistically and I discussed that in a previous article already.

Remember, what we are doing is determining to understand the meaning of the Bible literally. In one sense then, yes, we can take the four individual horses with riders as euphemisms that mean something. In effect though, they actually mean what they are named: Conquest, War, Famine, and Death. These are the end results of what those “horsemen” bring into our world.

The author of the article then goes on to discuss the problem of Ebola that has begun in Africa and has also been exported from Africa into America and other portions of the world. The author then ends the article with this statement: “The Fourth Horseman has arrived.” In fact, that’s also the title given to the article.

Has it? Has the number four horse of Revelation arrived on the scene? If it has, then its appearance clearly means we are actually inside the Tribulation period. Are we and is there a way to know for certain?

Let me state clearly – before some Mid-Tribber, Pre-Wrath Tribber, or Post Tribber interrupts me – that if we are in fact inside the Tribulation period, then that’s wonderful. It means we are well on the way to God vanquishing the very last vestiges of sin not only in this world, but throughout the universe itself! I’m all for that! The whole thing cannot happen quick enough as far as I’m concerned.

If we ARE inside the Tribulation, then so far, it appears to me that it’s been pretty mild so far, at least compared to what history has shown us with Nero and others who couldn’t execute Christians fast enough. I’m not afraid to die for my faith.

But there must be a way to know for certain if we are in fact, inside the Tribulation, isn’t there? If not, it’s up to anyone’s guess. I believe that the start of the Tribulation will happen as the result of one specific event. No, it’s not the Rapture. The one event I’m referring to is clearly delineated in Daniel 9. It’s in the twenty-seventh verse.

“And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

lastgen_cover1To me, nothing could be more clear. The one event that kicks the Tribulation off is found in the first part of the above verse. It says, “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week…” I’ve written several books dealing with this part of Daniel, the Tribulation, the Olivet Discourse, and other areas of Scripture that connect to it. If you’re interested, please avail yourself of those books because I can’t take the space to essentially rewrite here in one article what I have written in many chapters. The books are “Between Weeks” and “Living in the Last Generation,”

Essentially, what we have in the first part of this verse is the Antichrist brokering a covenant with Israel’s leaders for a period of seven years. Antichrist is the first horseman/rider, or Seal of Revelation. He comes riding a white horse as if he’s a savior but simply conquers politically. It is this single event that kicks off the Tribulation period. Why is that? It is due to the fact that Israel will basically be signing a deal with the devil. Antichrist will be chosen and empowered by Satan himself. In essence, when Antichrist brokers a deal with Israel and the surrounding Arab nations for peace that is supposed to last seven years, instead of relying on God, Israel will be entering into a deal with the devil.

This agreement/covenant will be the very thing that ends God’s patience with Israel. He will then begin to pour out His wrath on Israel and the world’s unbelievers. The Tribulation (aka “the time of Jacob’s trouble”) is designed to woo Israel back to God. However, only the final remnant will ever see the light. The rest of the Jews who fail to turn to God will die, entering eternity without God in Christ. Their fate will be no different from the fate of Gentile unbelievers.

God has done this numerous times in history with Israel. They would fall away from Him. He would send prophets to warn them. They would inevitably kill those prophets and ignore their message. God would then send a neighboring army to overcome Israel, sack Jerusalem, and take Israelites captive. After years in captivity, their cries would reach God, He would have pity on them and they would eventually be released once again. The cycle would start all over.

There is a day coming when – after pledging their loyalty to Satan via the Antichrist – Israel will once again be the recipient of God’s holy wrath. The Gentile nations will also experience God’s wrath for the way they have treated the apple of God’s eye, Israel. This is the purpose of the coming Tribulation. It has nothing to do with allegedly purifying the Body of Christ that has already been made pure by the all-sufficiency of Christ’s death!

Are we in the Tribulation? Not according to my understanding of the Bible, we’re not. If I understand rightly, things are going to get much worse for Israel and the world! Persecution of Christians will also rise. Count on it! But God, in His grace, mercy, and love for all of those who have faith in Him will not give us more than we can handle. He loves us. He cares deeply for us. He knows our weaknesses and our strengths.

The coming Tribulation will be so bad that men’s hearts will fail them for fear. The start of this seven-year period has not begun yet. It is still in front of us. We look not for it though, but for the time when Jesus will return to this earth physically, destroying sin, Satan, and Death.

Who cares what this life brings? God is in control! He alone is praiseworthy. Lift up your voices to Him. Take your eyes off of the situations that appear dark and glue them to God. There is quite a bit of work yet to be done. God is still in the business of saving souls because it is still day. Make yourself available to Him that He might work mightily in and through you in order that He might glorify Himself.

We’re not in the Tribulation, but it is coming! The more you focus on Him, His Word, and His plans, the less likely you will be overtaken by fear.

Entry filed under: israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming.

What is the Coming Tribulation All About, Part 19 Theological Problems for Those Who Fail to Grasp Scripture

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