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CHAPTER 4 – THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TRIBULATION

4
THE SUBSTANCE
OF THE TRIBULATION

“When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them” (Deuteronomy 4:30-31)

Tribulation prophecy clearly and consistently fingers Israel. One has to marvel at her corporate stubbornness and blindness, which the Holy Spirit recorded in the Old Testament without apology.

The Book of Judges tells the story of a loving God retrieving a rebellious nation. “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not” (Judges 2:20-22-bold added).

This foreshadows what will happen during “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) the final holocaust. The tribulation is Jewish in focus unfolding God’s plan to bring her back to Himself before the Kingdom can get underway (study Jer 30-31). From the very first mention (Deut. 4:30-31) the tribulation – including the great tribulation – has been a prediction of a future period of punitive and preparatory judgment upon Israel and the world [1] preceding the Revelation of Jesus Christ to set up the Millennial Kingdom in Jerusalem foretold by Daniel the prophet, the Lord Jesus, and the Apostle John in the Revelation.

The tribulation – as we generally refer to it in this treatise – is also called “the time of (Jacob’s) trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1) or Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:24-27). Suffice it to say, the tribulation is a universally recognized end time’s doctrine. Many prophets knew about Israel’s coming woes and warned her it would commence in the latter days commensurate with a seven-year peace covenant (Dan. 9:27).  [2] When the prophet’s warnings are studied collectively, we find their description of this period to be the most terrifying time in the history of the world; a time when God will release His wrath from beginning to end (Revelation 6:16-17; 14:10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1) in unprecedented economic and ecological desolation [3] primarily targeting Israel [4] for repentance and restoration (Jer. 30-31; Zeph. 1:14-18). However, since the Body of Christ is in the “but now” period, it is never mentioned in OT prophecy in “time past” or in the “ages to come.” In fact, while there are many verses in the Bible revealing Israel and the nations on earth during the tribulation, there isn’t a single verse anywhere in Scripture clearly placing us here during a moment of that time. In lieu of that, we must be evacuated from earth prior to that fateful event. This will happen at the Rapture.

Time Triad

Israel’s Tribulation

Let’s be honest. We can easily find Israel and the Gentile nations in the tribulation, but not the Body of Christ. If the Body of Christ is in the tribulation, the Holy Spirit went to great lengths to keep us from knowing it and only adversarial necessity finds any reason to place us there. Consider this. We have several verses clearly telling us we will not be here during this time (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:5-7; Rev. 3:10; see also Rev. 4:1) and yet there isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly placing us here for even one moment of this future Holocaust without pulling from context the words “saints” and “elect”, which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse and Revelation refer to Israel.

The prophets pictured this coming time of trouble – aka tribulation – as a punitive and preparatory last day’s event (Deut. 4:30; Isa. 24; Jer. 30-31) targeting God’s wayward elect in order to bring her to repentance. Although this time of trouble was not a new revelation to Jews (Dan. 12:1; see Isaiah 2; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zeph. 1:14-18, etc) when the Lord alluded to the abomination of desolation in the middle of it (Matt. 24:15) He linked it to Daniel’s Seventieth Week of seven years and referred to it as tribulation and great tribulation (Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24:21;29). This of course hearkened back to the first prophecy of the tribulation given by Moses involving Israel in the “latter days” (Deut. 4:30). My comments in [brackets]:

“When thou [Israel] art in tribulation [Hermeneutics – Law of First Mention [5]], and all these things [tribulation horrors] are come upon thee, even in the latter days [the time before the kingdom], if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant [Abrahamic, and the other four] of thy fathers which he sware unto them” (Deut. 4:30-31).

Seven elements linking the tribulation to Israel

  • The tribulation is for Israel“When thou art in tribulation”
  • It will consist of severe trials “all these things are come upon thee” [6]
  • It will happen in the latter days “even in the latter days”
  • Its purpose is national repentance of Israel“if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice”
  • It will showcase God’s mercy toward Israel“the LORD thy God is a merciful God”
  • It will demonstrate God’s eternal purpose for Israel“He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee”
  • It will result in fulfillment of a Covenant[7] “nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them”

With this maiden message began a Progressive Revelation that subsequently unfolded prophecy about the tribulation for Israel throughout the Old Testament. Then, 1500 years later the Lord Jesus collated the prophecy in His description of the tribulation in the Olivet Discourse. His reference to it as “the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:22) gives credence to every prophet who ever uttered a word of prophecy about it. Result of the tribulation: “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins” (Isa 40:2)

The Tribulation Moses, Jesus and the Prophets Foretold

We established in an earlier chapter that Jesus’ primary ministry was to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6; 15:24). In one of His many teachings, He told His disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation . . .” (John 16:33). Our adversaries use this as a proof text that the church goes through the tribulation of Jacob’s trouble. However, they do so once again by ignoring the all-important contextual setting. While there is certainly an application here to the Body of Christ at large, Jesus was speaking to His disciples. Since the tribulation never started even though He said they would experience it, we know that He wasn’t referring to “the time of Jacob’s trouble”, but rather to the hardships and misfortune, every Christian is subject to experiencing (John 16:33; Rom. 12:12). To draw a contrast, when Jesus used the word tribulation in the Olivet Discourse, context tells us He expanded upon the prophecy [8] first given by Moses (Deut. 4:30[9]) regarding the tribulation horror – aka Daniel’s seventieth week – that would befall Israel in the latter days (“ages to come”). Jesus warned, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21 bold added).

When juxtaposing the tribulation, let’s not forget God’s plan for the earth is the Jewish Kingdom. It is Israel’s by prophecy and Covenant. It will occur in the “ages to come” as spoken “in time past” by the mouth of the prophets – to Israel. However, Israel needs to repent in preparation for the King. A great tribulation in the form of “the time of (Jacob’s) trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1) – perfectly coinciding with Daniel’s seventieth week – will certainly be the change agent (Jer. 30-31; Zeph. 1-2) first presented by Moses to Israel (Deut. 4:30), then by Progressive Revelation through other prophets such as Joel and others – always with Israel, not the Body of Christ – in view. [10]

Varying Opinions

Opponents of the PreTrib rapture often hold an unflattering view of Israel such as replacement theology. Usurping God’s Word to place the Body of Christ in the time of Jacob’s trouble is by all appearance a covert attempt to marginalize Israel without appearing anti-Semitic. Outlandish on its face, this chicanery has actually spawned a creative cabal of deviates suspiciously desperate to involve the Body of Christ in Jacob’s trouble with nothing more than dogged determination to support it. It is my contention that if end time’s students would study the Bible with the same intensity they study the scurrilous schemes of their anti-PreTrib heroes, they’d – in due season – see that God’s purpose for the tribulation clearly defines its participants and by default excludes the Body of Christ.

The tribulation will ultimately lead Israel to repent and return to YHWH God; a pattern repeated many times in the Bible (see the book of Judges especially). From prophetic inception (Deut. 4:30) the tribulation has been an integral part of God’s prophetic program for Israel in the “ages to come”. Is it – as anti-PreTrib advocates want us to believe – a mere coincidence that it spans the exact time of Daniel’s seventieth week; a prophecy given solely to Israel for fulfillment solely by Israel? Christ outlined the entire epoch in the Olivet Discourse as a prelude to His return to set up the Kingdom (Matt. 24-25). Israel was and is the target of Jesus’ discourse and the setting was Jewish focusing especially around Jerusalem. Fast stepping around this reality with slick antisemitic arguments out of context and repackaged under a deviant theology may trick some of the people some of the time, but those of us who study Scripture in its untainted context aren’t fooled and are speaking out against it!

Dr. Gerald Stanton’s insight is helpful, “The Tribulation does not deal with the Church at all, but with the purification of Israel. It is not the “time of the Church’s trouble,” but the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” The emphasis of the Tribulation is primarily Jewish. This fact is borne out by Old Testament Scriptures (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 30:7; Ezek. 20:37; Dan. 12:1; Zech. 13:8-9), by the Olivet Discourse of Christ (Matt. 24:9-26), and by the book of Revelation itself (Rev. 7:4-8; 12:1-2; 17, etc.). It concerns “Daniel’s people,” the coming of “false Messiah,” the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom,” flight on the “sabbath,” the temple and the “holy place,” the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the twelve “tribes of the children of Israel,” “signs” in the heavens, the “covenant” with the Beast, the “sanctuary,” the “sacrifice and the oblation” of the temple ritual.” (Kept from the Hour)

As a matter of record, the prophets never spoke of the Body of Christ (church) because the Lord never revealed it to them. Therefore, since they didn’t know about the church, they didn’t include us in the time of Jacob’s trouble, aka the tribulation. Yet we have today a hubris cadre opining that we have to be here because it isn’t fair that the Body of Christ (church) be allowed to escape Israel’s tribulation holocaust when so many Christians have suffered throughout history. Heavily armed with emotional arguments and an academic army of vastly unknown proponents, these prophecy teachers abrogate the prophetic word by inserting the church into Jacob’s trouble where she can’t be seen and she doesn’t belong.

Hear me friend. It is never wise to insert things into prophecy the Holy Spirit Himself did not.

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18).

Tribulation Overview

The tribulation is for earth and for Israel; the church is linked to neither of these. By means of Progressive Revelation we adduce this tribulation period to consist of seven years coinciding with Daniel’s missing week that will begin with a seven year covenant of peace brokered in some manner by the Antichrist (Dan. 9:24-27; see references to seven years in Rev. 11:2,3; 12:6, 14). Jeremiah – following the lead of Moses – taught that God’s purpose for the tribulation is to restore Israel (Jer. 30:3, 10) and judge the Gentiles (Jer. 30:11). While anti-PreTrib teachers fail to maintain a theology that is systematic, they generally eschew the fact that this seventieth week fits perfectly into ours. As part of “the day of the Lord” (Isa 2:12; 13:9; 34:8; Jer 46:10; etc), the tribulation will culminate with all the nations of the world led by Antichrist joining forces to destroy Israel and divide the Covenant land  coagulating together in a winner-take-all bloodbath at Armageddon (Joel 3:14; Zech. 14:1-3; Rev. 14:20; 16:16; 19:11-21). The Lord Jesus said it all would happen according to prophecy given to Israel: “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:22). [11]

The tribulation begins with Christ the Lamb opening the seven-sealed Book in Revelation 6 releasing the pseudo peacemaker Antichrist. [12] (see Appendix[i]The Antichrist). It then continues with the unbridled wrath of the Lamb and God (Revelation 6:16-17; 14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1) seen in seal, trumpet and vial judgments. These will ultimately lead to the wholesale collapse of ecumenicity and the economic order that’s been intoxicating the world against Christ for centuries (Rev. 17-18). When studying the world condition described in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6-19, one can’t help but notice the exponential nature of wickedness and God’s escalating punishment in the face of it. Earth-dwellers – led by Christ rejecters and anti-Semites – will experience worldwide famines, pestilences, and ecological disasters of inestimable proportions. Draught, scorching sun leading to cancerous sores, unquenchable fires, and the possible widespread use of nuclear weaponry will lead to the contamination of all water supplies; the death of untold numbers of fish, animals and humans (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; Rev. 6-19). The Bible tells us men will be tortured during this time to the point of wishing to die as death flees from them (Rev. 9:5-6). In the end, statistics are as high as 2/3 of mankind is destroyed in this holocaust. As a side note, I find it curious the way anti-PreTrib proponents wanting us to believe how important it is for the church to experience the “cleansing and purifying” of Jacob’s trouble described above will go to great lengths to prove how God protects us from it when confronted with the above statistics. I’m not sure where you stand on this kind of illogical reasoning, but God calls this being double-minded in James 1:8.

Zephaniah’s Description

Israel’s prophet Zephaniah used several other terms when describing Israel’s future tribulation:  “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. (Zephaniah 1:14-18).

Coinciding with Zephaniah’s prophecy, the Book of Revelation delineates the tribulation as a time of “wrath” by using the word at least 10 times in Revelation. It is called “the wrath of God five times (Revelation 14:10, 19; 15:1,7; 16:1) and “the wrath of the Lamb” once (Rev. 6:16 see v 17). Opening the first seal unleashes the tribulation [1] which continues 7 years (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14) and concludes with “the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev. 19:15) when Christ returns to fight the armies gathered against Israel at Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-21).

Katrina: Harbinger of things to come

One catastrophe of apocalyptic magnitude serves as a harbinger I believe of what’s to come. Hurricane Katrina officially struck the Gulf Coast of the United States early in the morning on August 29, 2005 with sustained winds of 100–140 miles per hour–stretching 400 miles. The nightly news ran cover stories of homes totally destroyed or flooded hosting terrified victims on rooftops awaiting helicopter evacuation. In the final analysis, this vicious storm pounded huge parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, with the greatest damage centralized in the decadent city of New Orleans.[13] In all, approximately 2,000 people died and 90,000 square miles of the United States exacting some $100 billion in damages. When conjecturing on the coming brutality of storms in the tribulation, bear in mind there are 5 levels of storm severity. Katrina was only a Category 3. (Source: Wikipedia)

I believe the enormity of devastation including extended power outages and communication blackouts, scarceness of food, water, and medicine, immobility, unemployment, and much more will cause many to fall into the inevitable throes of nihilism. If it does, it’s not unreasonable to suspect an escalating rise in illegal drug use, drunkenness and public displays of debauchery making the world look like New Orleans during the Mardi Gras.

One act I believe intensifies the earth’s upheaval is called the “abomination of desolation” (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4); when the ultimate egotistical Jew hating Antichrist goes into the Temple Holy of Holies mandating an identifying mark of worship (Rev. 13:8-18) in their right hands or foreheads in order to buy, sell, and continue to live.

In the end, anti-Semitism will reach its zenith. Israel, refusing to give up any more land, will be driven to the brink of absolute annihilation at Armageddon. Just before total destruction, the Lord Jesus returns to Mount Olivet in the Revelation (Zech. 14; Rev. 19:11-21). He binds the devil (Rev. 20:2), gathers His elect (Matt. 24:31), holds a judgment to separate sheep from goats [14] (Matt. 25:31-46), and inaugurates the Davidic Kingdom – aka the Millennial reign of Christ the Messiah (2 Sam. 7:16; Matt. 24-25; Rev. 19-20) under the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31; Heb. 8:13) for one thousand years (Rev. 20:2-7).

 

Jerusalem Trembling

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zech. 12:2-3). Later in Zechariah 14 we find the Lord’s glorious return where His feet touch down on the Mount of Olives [compare this with Rev. 19:11-21].

Most of the nations of the world are being targeted by IslamoFascism operating under the auspices of the mystery of iniquity cloaked in “religious” terms. One thing most of these heathen agree on is this: the Jews are illegally occupying Jerusalem and they must surrender their interests to the Muslim authorities – or else!

All of this is intensifying as the tribulation moves closer to beginning. All that is necessary is for the Lord Jesus to remove the mystery Body which exists in the “but now” period, and restart the prophecy calendar for the “ages to come”.

Following the removal of the Body of Christ [15] Satan’s son the Antichrist will be granted power from on high for seven years. This will ultimately lead to the assembly of an army of anti-Semites [16] in the valley of Megiddo [17] which will result in another failed annihilation coup against God’s heritage outside Jerusalem. Although intensifying in these last days, Jerusalem has been a cup of trembling since statehood in May of 1948. Unrevised history is littered with once powerful anti-Semitic nations led by Jew haters like Hitler that attacked the Jews in a concerted effort to thwart God’s resolute plan for Jerusalem. The shrunken shadows of these enemies remind us of God’s Providence and Israel’s preeminence on earth. This tiny nation – about the size of Delaware – has faced eight major wars, two Palestinian intifadas, tens of thousands of rockets, and a host of stealth as well as armed conflicts with throat-slitting Islamists. [see Excursus on Islam in Appendix [ii]]. In what can only be attributed to the Providence of God, these attacks have all been thwarted once again proving Israel is God’s elect nation. Yet these will all be eclipsed by what’s about to befall her.

Make no mistake, “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1) is aptly named because it will mark Israel’s final and most fearful years. Zechariah 13:8 tells us during the tribulation two-thirds of the Jews shall be slaughtered. Today’s population of 12,000,000 means that 8 million will die; two million more than perished under Hitler. Christ’s warning in the Olivet Discourse needs to be juxtaposed with Daniel, Zechariah, Revelation, and others.

The Olivet Discourse outlines the time of (Jacob’s) trouble in more detail than when Daniel first presented it (Dan. 7; 12:1). Jerusalem is the epicenter of universal hostility. She belongs to Israel and is the legitimate capital of the nation. There hasn’t been a temple on the Holy Mount since Titus destroyed it when he leveled the city in 70 AD. Talks are underway and at some point in the future, the third temple will be built in Jerusalem allowing for the abomination that maketh desolate. [18] Jesus told His people the Jews to flee when they see this event take place. He followed with this summation: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). The Lord then foretold His return in the Revelation:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  (30)  And 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” (Matthew 24:29-30; read Rev. 19:11). We know this will occur after the seven year tribulation is complete because Jesus used the cosmic disturbance sign of a darkened sun, and moon, and falling stars – which links them to the Revelation of Jesus Christ to Armageddon with a judgment immediately following. [Study the extensive chart in Appendix [iii]].

In closing, let’s remember the purpose of the tribulation is to punish sin, sinners, and purify Israel and her supporters for the Millennial Kingdom (Jer. 30-31; Obad. 1:15; Matt. 25:31-46). “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Jews] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem] . . . to seal up the vision and prophecy …” (Dan 9:24). Sealing the vision and prophecy seems to hold a veiled reference here to a cessation of Prophecy Program which occurred at the 69th week [19]and will last for an unspecified time known as “the fullness of the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:25).

Evidence vs. Emotion

In a court of law, evidence competes with emotion where the latter often wins. I’ve seen the same thing over the years as students of Bible prophecy have drifted from context to pretext in order to arrive at preconceived conclusions. Nowhere has this problem been more glaring than with those who insist on conflating Israel and the Body of Christ in order to insert the latter into the tribulation where she can’t be seen and doesn’t belong. I will reiterate, “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) (tribulation) is a distinct period in Israel’s future God designed to punish and prepare her for the coming earthly Kingdom (Jer. 30-31; Dan. 7-12; Zeph 1-3). The Body of Christ is never seen and never clearly mentioned because she is not on earth during this time. [20]

[1] Christ took our judgment upon Himself. The church does not need the judgment of the tribulation which is proven from the Pentateuch to the Apocalypse to be for unsaved Israel and the Gentile nations of the world.

[2] According to Daniel’s prophecy, the tribulation will commence with the ratification of a seven year covenant with Israel – not the Body of Christ (aka the church) negotiated in some manner by a sinister leader known as the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27; 1 John 2:18).

[3] While I can’t be dogmatic, I can’t help but think a lot of the destruction of our ecology is a direct hit against the earth and animal worshipers who in their lifetimes continued to blaspheme God through their works.

[4] The Body of Christ is NOT in view here and there isn’t a verse in the Bible clearly placing here for a single moment of the time of (Jacob’s) trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1).

[5] The first time a subject is mentioned in the Bible is how it stands connected in the mind of God throughout Scripture.

[6] One of the reasons God sent nations against Israel is to prove her through conflict (Josh. 2:22; 3:1,4).

[7] Bear in mind Antichrist in some way will broker a covenant of peace between Israel and her barbarous neighbors that he will break mid-way (Dan. 9:27).

[8] This is how The Law of Progressive Mention or Revelation works.

[9] “When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice” (Deuteronomy 4:30)

[10] The Body of Christ was never revealed to any of the prophets. It was totally hidden (Rom. 16:25).

[11] Bear in mind again that neither Moses, Jeremiah – nor any of the major or minor prophets – knew anything about the mystery Body of Christ and thus NEVER wrote a word about her.

[12] The rider on the white horse with a bow and no arrows (Rev. 6:2) represents the Antichrist – pseudo peace maker (Dan. 8:25) who will broker a Covenant between Israel and a grouping of her Islamic neighbors that will start Daniel’s seventieth week that is yet to be fulfilled on Israel’s prophecy calendar (Dan. 9:24-27).

[13] New Orleans is arguably one of the most concentrated centers of evil in America. “Just days before ‘Southern Decadence’ an annual homosexual celebration attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarter section of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina destroys the city”. ‘Southern Decadence’ has a history of filling the French Quarter section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars. Last year, a local pastor sent video footage of sex acts being performed in front of police to the mayor and city council and the media. City officials simply ignored the footage and continued to welcome and praise the weeklong celebration as being an ‘exciting event.’ However, Hurricane Katrina has put an end to the annual celebration of sin.” (Source: The Bible Watchman)

[14] This sheep and goat judgment is for Israel, her supporters, and her enemies. It has no bearing on the church and no Scripture exists clearly placing us in it.

[15] At the mystery rapture (1 Cor. 15:51) when “the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25).

[16] As it stands today, even America – once seen as a great supporter of Zionism – seems headed in that direction under the antagonistic leadership of Barack Hussein Obama – who in many people’s opinions is a cleverly clandestine muslim. To be sure, the antichrist attitude most prevalent in Obama will not improve during the tribulation (Zech. 12-14); in fact, it will intensify as the word of the prophets plays out before the world.

[17] Armageddon is also known as the valley of Jehoshaphat or decision where the final battle between Antichrist and Jesus Christ occurs. It is reported that Napoleon called it the cockpit of the world, that is, the ideal battlefield. “And (Antichrist) gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” (Revelation 16:16)

[18] Daniel speaks of the re-institution of the sacrificial worship system and the abomination of desolation (Dan. 9:24). The Lord Jesus speaks of this as well (Matt. 24:15). This is certainly what Paul referenced when he said Antichrist will exalt himself in the temple (2 Thess. 2:4).

[19] Knowing what we now know, that happened when God moved from prophecy to mystery at the rejection of Jesus’ Kingdom offer. Interestingly, the corollary to this rejection brought about a dual blindness each leading in separate  directions for distinct purposes – but leading back to Israel in the end (Luke 19:42; Acts 28:26-28; Rom. 9-11; 2 Tim. 1:11).

[20]It’s easy to find Israel and the Gentile nations in the tribulation, but not the Body of Christ. If the Body of Christ is in the tribulation, the Holy Spirit went to great lengths to keep us from knowing it and only adversarial necessity finds any reason to place us there. Consider this. We have several verses clearly telling us we will not be here during this time (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:5-7; Rev. 3:10; see also Rev. 4:1) and yet there isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly placing us here for even one moment of this future Holocaust without pulling from context the words “elect” and “saints”, which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse and Revelation refer to Israel.

Appendix [i]

The Islamic Antichrist?

Some Christians and ex-Muslims see a direct correlation between Islam and the Book of Revelation about the “end times”.  It is interesting to note that Revelation 20:4 tells that the faithful Believers in Jesus will be beheaded.  One only has to look at militant Islam today to make this correlation. Islam is the only religion that commands this barbaric custom of beheading.  They do this everywhere today to those they call “infidels”.  The Qur’an commands in Surah 47:4 – “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads…”  To fundamental Muslims, the entire world including your own home is their “battlefield”.

It is all a war of spiritual forces.  The god Allah is opposing the God of Israel everywhere in the world today.  Allah will be defeated in the end.  And so will his millions of mindless followers he controls.

Muslim Prophecy speaks of the coming time of the Great Caliphate, Third Jihad, and return of the Twelfth Imam (Mahdi), who is supposed to emerge from a well (yes a hole in the ground).  According to Shiites – of which Obama was reared – the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year 941 A.D.  This Imam is supposed to subjugate the world for Islam.   The Iranian President Ahmadinejad is on record as stating he believes he is to have a personal role in ushering in the age of the Mahdi.  In a Nov. 16, 2005, speech in Tehran, he said he sees his main mission in life as to “pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance.”   After Ahmadinejad spoke to the United Nations, in September 2005, he told Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli in Tehran, in a videotaped discussion, about a strange, paranormal experience he had while speaking.

“Be not fond of the dull smoke-colored light from hell.” – the Tibetan Book of the Dead

Ahmadinejad recounted how he found himself bathed in light throughout the speech. But this wasn’t the light directed at the podium by the U.N. and television cameras. It was, he said, a light from heaven.

This 12th Imam, named Muhammed al-Mahdi, is supposed to return to earth, presumably reuniting the Sunni and Shi’a factions of Islam by his presence.  The prophesied destruction of Israel in the end times is supposed to originate in modern Khorasan, located in northeast Iran.  To a Christian, a world dominated by fanatical Muslims with a charismatic leader who attempts the destruction of Israel, and causes all to bow down to this cruel, intolerant, demanding and mean Allah, sounds very much like the predicted anti-Christ who will behead those who do not bow down to his worldwide religion.

It is finally donning on most educated Christians that the coming Antichrist will not be the Catholic pope who many have falsely maligned for years.  All signs point to a charismatic Muslim.  Many Christians are on the lookout for a charismatic Muslim leader like al-Mahdi, who together with a fake Jesus (who denies the Christian truths just as Islam does) will begin to subjugate the world to Islam by great miracles, uniting Muslim  fanatics, and blackmailing countries with mideast oil and nuclear weapons.  These two will confuse and mislead many of even the Christian “very elect”.  The key to this identity of Antichrist in Christian Scripture lies in 1 John 2:22.  More about him is spoken of in both Daniel and in Revelation.  It is no coincidence that of all the religions in the world, only Islam has a “holy” book that attacks the deity of Jesus, lies that God has no Son, and lies about the Trinity (falsely saying Christians believe it as: Father, Son and Mary).  According to Daniel 11:37, this Antichrist will also have no “desire of women”, just as Islam does today.  Women in Islam are second-rate.  Most are living a life of misery and restrictions that western women would be unable to fathom.  A woman’s testimony is only as good as one half of a man’s in Islamic courts, women must pray behind man in a mosque, and their divorce rights are nearly non-existing.  A Muslim woman can be divorced and left out on the street just by a husband saying; “I divorce you” three times.  The Muslim propensity to behead infidels is also another indicator from Scripture (Revelation 20:4) that the coming Antichrist will be a Muslim.

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. Daniel 11:37

In 2008, Ali Larijani, the chairman and speaker of the Iranian Parliament quoted Imam Muhammad Baqir, a famous Muslim scholar, as saying, “there must be bloodshed and jihad to establish Imam Mahdi’s rule.” Ayatollah Ibrahim al Amini, professor at the Religious Learning Center at Qom affirms Larijani when he states, “The Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and Christians; if they accept it they will be spared, otherwise they will be killed.”

Appendix [ii]

Excursus on Islamic Nations

The nations involved in this grisly uprising against Israel will become God’s chastising mechanism – just as was Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 27:6) – for punishing and preparing His elect (study carefully Isa. 2; 24 and Jer. 30-31); this time to receive Christ at His second Kingdom offer. Surpassing the horrors of Pharaoh’s Egypt or Hitler’s Germany, the tribulation portends the most savage historical period the earth has ever hosted. More and more scholars are seeing a connection between the uprising of savage Islam and the rabidly anti-Semitic end times Beast eating its way around the globe in the last days (Dan. 7; Rev. 12-13). Interestingly, Psalm 83 (see Appendix [ii]) lists the very nations threatening Israel today. Time will tell when this will explode. As for now, I urge you to get your heart right with Jesus and in that frame of mind make a thorough study of Daniel 7 and 9, the Book of Zechariah 12-14; Matthew 24-25, and Revelation 6-19 because it will help link together in perfect harmony a frightening description of an unparalleled time of universal hatred toward the most important nation on earth to God.

Last Days Signs in the Sun and the Moon and the Stars[iii]

Reference Stars/Heaven Sun Moon Day of the Lord 2nd Coming

to

Jerusalem

Armageddon/Valley of Jehoshaphat/Judgment
Isaiah
13:9-11
The stars and the constellations shall not

give their light

The sun shall be darkened in his going forth The moon shall not cause her light to shine Day of the Lord cometh,

cruel both with wrath and fierce anger

Not

mentioned

He shall destroy sinners; I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity
Isaiah

24:21-23

Not mentioned The sun ashamed The moon shall be confounded And it shall come to pass

in that day;

after many days

Lord of hosts shall reign in

Mount Zion and in

Jerusalem

The Lord shall punish the host of the high ones and the kings of the earth, and they shall be gathered together in the pit
Joel
2:10,30-3:2
(see Acts2:19below)
I will show wonders in the

heavens

The sun shall be turned into darkness [iii] …and the moon into blood before the great and the terrible Day of

the Lord come; in those days, and in that time

Not

mentioned

I will also gather all nations, and bring them down into the valley of

Jehoshaphat. In mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance

Joel

3:12-16

The stars shall withdraw their shining The sun shall be darkened The moon shall be

darkened

The Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, the children

of Israel

Let the heathen be wakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.
Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-34 The stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken The sun shall be darkened The moon shall not give her light Not mentioned Lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; immediately after the tribulation of those days. The sign of the son of man in heaven; coming in the clouds with power and great glory Eagles are gathered at Armageddon/sign of the Son of man coming with power and great glory, tribes mourn, sends his angels w/great sound of trumpet, elect gathered . . . then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory and separate the sheep from the goats in his kingdom.
Acts 2:19-21

(see Joel 2:30 above)

I will show wonders in heaven above The sun shall be turned into darkness …and the moon into blood Before that great and notable Day of the Lord Implied in the context

(20-21)

Implied in the Day of the Lord
Rev. 6:12-13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth The sun became black as sackcloth of hair And the moon

became as blood

The great day (of his wrath) Implied since Judgment occurs

in Jerusalem

The throne and the wrath of the Lamb follows

(Rev. 6:16-17)

Summary: When studied in context, these passages collectively tell us that the sun moon and star activity accompanies the Lord’s return to Jerusalem to conduct His wrathful judgment prior to the Millennium.

Contents for the Tribulation Trilogy

Dr. Mike Johnston

1 THE PREMISE OF  THE TRIBULATION TRILOGY. 6

2 THE SETTING FOR THE TRIBULATION.. 10

3 THE SUBJECT IN THE TRIBULATION.. 30

4 THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TRIBULATION.. 44

5 DANIEL CODIFIED THE TRIBULATION.. 54

6 THE OLIVET DISCOURSE CLARIFIED THE TRIBULATION.. 70

7 REVELATION CONCLUDES THE TRIBULATION.. 87

BIBLIOGRAPHY. 119

INDEX.. 120

APPENDICES. 121

For those who would like to obtain a hard copy of THE TRIBULATION TRILOGY: http://pmiministries.com/Tribulation_Trilogy_excerpts.htm

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