The Tribulation is FOR ISRAEL, not the Church Body of Christ!
Dr. Mike Johnston
Bible students largely understand there’s a difference between Israel and the Body of Christ. However, when considering how God’s Word separates them, most possess no established rules for marking their distinction, and thus they regularly confuse and conflate them using arbitrary, agenda driven methods as need arises.
In all fairness, conventional teaching is at the root of the problem here. It convinced us that the Old Testament is for Israel – which is true, but that it ended with Malachi, which is NOT true.
The New Testament didn’t begin until “the death of [Christ] the Testator” (Hebrews 9:16) which wasn’t revealed until Matthew chapter twenty-seven.  Now some will contend this is inconsequential nonsense – and for them it obviously is. However, for those of us committed to “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), we understand that basing our study on an improper testamental division flouts context, facilitates error, and therefore should be avoided unless the goal is to produce contrived interpretations with intended conclusions.
Here are the Facts
Fact: Since the NT didn’t begin until after the crucifixion, Jesus’ teachings are in truth a furtherance of the Old Covenant narrative extending through the Gospel of John. This includes the Sermon on the Mount, Mysteries of the Kingdom, and the often misrepresented Olivet Discourse  which provides a brief overview of Israel’s tribulation and Christ’s return to establish the Davidic Kingdom immediately following (see Appendix [A]).
Fact: From the first mention in Deuteronomy 4:30-31 (we’ll examine more carefully later) through Revelation 19, the tribulation is pictured as “the time of trouble for Jacob” (Jer. 30:7), and Jacob is Israel (Gen. 32:28; Deut. 31; Jer. 30-31; Dan. 12:1). It is prophesied to Israel (Deut. 4:30); it is primarily punishment of Israel (Zeph. 1:14-18); and it is preparation for Israel’s Kingdom and King (Jer. 30:3-11). Every Bible reference to the tribulation speaks of one of these three things.
Fact: God designed the tribulation to ultimately lead His rebellious, stubborn hearted Jewish people into repentance preparatory to the establishment of the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16; Rev. 20) in Jerusalem. One can be sure, “in that day” (Isa. 2:11, 17, 20; 11:11; Jer. 30:8; etc); “the day of the Lord” (Isa. 2:12; 13:6; 13:9; Jer. 46:10; etc), “a day of darkness and of gloominess” (Joel 2:2), the wayward, blind, and slumbering Israel (Rom. 11:8) will awaken to find herself once again on center stage fulfilling Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:24-27), (study Isaiah 2; 24; Joel; Zephaniah, Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; and Revelation 6-19), currently on hold. The tribulation week will be followed by the Revelation of Jesus Christ predicted for Israel “in time past” (Zech. 14:4; Matt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46; Acts 14:16; Rev. 19:11-21) to occur in the “ages to come”.
Fact: As proven in this treatise, when studied in totality, the tribulation is for Israel, God’s foremost nation on earth (Isa. 2; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zeph; Rev. 3:10; 6-19). By prescription – written from the pen of Providence – the tribulation has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the Body of Christ – provable by Scripture studied in context.
Fact: Israel and the anti-Semitic Gentile nations of the world are mentioned often and thus highly visible during the horrors of this tribulation holocaust (Isa. 2; Dan. 7-12; Joel 2; Zeph. 1-2; Zech. 12-14; Rev. 6-19). However, the Body of Christ (church) is not.
Fact: If the church is present on earth during a single moment of the time of “Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1-2), the Holy Spirit went to great lengths to keep us from knowing it. Consider this example (not necessarily offered as exclusively conclusive): The Holy Spirit lavishly used the word “church” 19 times in Revelation 1-3, and yet He never specifically mentions the church or Body of Christ once during the tribulation which occurs between Revelation six and nineteen. Why is this?
There are only three possible explanations:
First, it was an oversight, which omniscience renders impossible.
Second, it was intentional to keep us from knowing we’re destined for the tribulation horrors of the wrath of God (Rev. 6-19) which is equally absurd.
Third, the heavenly Body of Christ, His church – promised deliverance “from the wrath to come” (1 Thess. 1:10), and “the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10; see also 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:5-7; Rev. 4:1) is NOT here! This is the only choice an impartial eye can see through the objective lens. There isn’t a verse anywhere in the King James Bible clearly placing the Body of Christ on earth for a single moment of Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:24-27) without redefining the words “saints” and “elect”, which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse and Revelation specifically refer to Israel in the tribulation (Deut. 4:30).
The tribulation – aka “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) – is a grossly misunderstood, gravely misapplied end-time’s doctrine. From my four decades of experience, I’ve discovered discussions about the purpose, participants, and the timing of the Lord’s return are often as vicious as they are varied. The reason – although the guilty will fall on the sword denying this – is a hermeneutic  gaffe I employed early in my Christian life that patently ignores a right division God’s Word makes between Israel, the Body of Christ, and the two distinct programs separating and governing them.
The first program is for Israel and exists from prophecy “which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21; see Luke 1:70).
The second is for the Body of Christ and exists as a mystery “which was kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25; see Eph. 3:1-9).
This right division between prophecy and mystery becomes an indispensable component for unlocking end time’s Scripture regarding Israel’s future, including the tribulation which originated and exists in the prophecy program – that agenda-driven PreTrib rapture antagonists brazenly misrepresent on several levels.
I’ll discuss three:
First, trivializing the doctrine of Israel’s tribulation by equating it with common trials every Christian faces. In this manner they can include the Body of Christ without citing Scripture to punctuate their preposterous presumptions!
The tribulation that Moses, Jesus, and John warned Israel about (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21, 29; Rev. 7:14) is an epic future event progressively revealed in Scripture as “tribulation” (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21, 29; Rev. 7:14); “the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15); Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:24-27); “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” (Zephaniah 1:15), and “the hour of temptation” to try earth dwellers (Rev. 3:10).
Do you see anything trivial here?
Second, twisting God’s primary purpose for Israel’s tribulation, in order to shoehorn the Body of Christ into the midst of it when there is no Scriptural basis for it. The Old Testament prophets – beginning with a prediction by Moses (Deut. 4:30) revealed the tribulation for Israel. In their words,  – the tribulation is part of God’s final pre-kingdom judgment where He will punish sin and sinners (Deut. 4:30-31; Jer. 30-31; Joel, Zeph; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; Rev. 6-19), while preparing earth and Israel for the Revelation of the Messiah (Matt. 24:29; Rev. 19:11; see Isa. 66:16), and the Jewish Davidic Kingdom immediately following (2 Sam. 7:16; Isa. 11; 65; Matt. 24:29; 25:34; Rev. 20). To teach otherwise is condemnable!
Finally, touting “Houdini hermeneutics” whereby inconvenient facts disappear with the stroke of a pen as rapidly as shamefully indefensible opinions appear to replace them.
One glaring example serves as the inspiration for this book: the slapdash inclusion of the mystery Body of Christ which was completely hidden from the Old Testament prophets (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:26) who never saw us, never mentioned us , and therefore didn’t include us for a single moment on earth during Israel’s coming tribulation (see Deut. 4:30; Dan. 12:1).
The tribulation from the beginning was given in the prophecy program for Israel. While Israel and the anti-Semitic Gentile nations can be clearly identified during “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15) the heavenly Body of Christ – which has incidentally been promised deliverance from it (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:5-7; Rev. 3:10; see also Rev. 4:1) – is conspicuously absent (Rev. 6-19).
Was this an oversight on the part of the Holy Spirit? Do PreTrib rapture antagonists possess information the Holy Spirit didn’t have? Or – even worse – did God purposely hide this from us in order to advance some secret conspiracy to deceive us?
The fact is, we aren’t mentioned because we aren’t here, and that by divine design.
There isn’t a verse or passage of prophecy anywhere in the Bible conclusively consigning or identifying on earth for a single moment of Israel’s tribulation the Body of Christ without pulling from context and redefining the words “saints” and “elect” – which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation specifically refer to Israel.
That being what it is, I will now explain briefly the process that brought me – a man once as anti-PreTrib as anyone on the planet – to this unabashed PreTrib rapture conclusion.
Satan is a liar and the father of it (John 8:44). For every truth in God’s Word, diablo the deceiver has provided a bevy of belligerent prevaricators to attack it. I know this from first hand experience as I’ll relate in the following briefing.
The fact that I didn’t believe in the PreTrib rapture was inevitable. I didn’t understand the right division God placed in Scripture between prophecy for Israel and the mystery Body of Christ and as a result, I wandered around the wilderness of Bible studies gleaning axiomatic conclusions from prophecy teachers who were just as confused as I was.
My Bible journey began in 1975 when Jesus saved me. From the onset, I had a voracious appetite for God’s word and quickly found teachers everywhere. It wasn’t long before the subject of the end times caught my attention. I learned about the Antichrist, mark of the beast, the seven-year tribulation (which originated in the prophecy program for Israel), and the return of the Lord at the conclusion of it.
However, in my naïveté I wasn’t aware there were contrary opinions until about six months into my new life. That’s when the innocence all newborn Christians are born again with – evaporated.
During one of our extended discussions, a pastor friend warned me about an “evil” group of people teaching “a satanic hoax” he claimed didn’t exist until 1830. The inherent wickedness of this teaching – so he said – surrounded the preposterous notion of an imminent return of Jesus in the air to remove the Body of Christ from earth before the tribulation bloodbath begins.
They called it the “PreTrib rapture” and from the way this subject angered my friend – who incidentally was stockpiling guns, ammo, and supplies – I figured this had to be the biggest lie in the two-thousand year history of the church.
In light of that, I dug in my heels and prepared myself for the aggressive assault I was about to encounter.
I listened to sermons condemning it, read books ostensibly disproving it, and fellowshipped with people who hated it; and all progressed virtually unimpeded until the unexpected appearance of contradictory inconsistencies that I couldn’t reconcile in my spirit or cleverly explain away.
That’s when I decided to conduct my own personal Bible study comparing information I’d been given with verses I would find, regulated by two immutable rules:
First, the basis of the study had to be Sola Scripture, and second, I would follow the evidence wherever it led.
Today I present you with my findings.
All in all, they represent thousands of hours of research spanning over 35 years resulting in an excess of 80,000 words incorporating scores of Bible verses filling several chapters – with annotations and appendices – explaining what lies ahead for Israel, the church Body, and the world according to Scripture — rightly divided, studiously catalogued, and concisely represented by a ten word synoptic title that fitly summarizes my entire thesis:
The Body of Christ WILL NOT go through Israel’s Tribulation!
 This means all narrative in Matthew is Old Testament and focused on Israel and the Kingdom which includes Matthew 24, the misapplied primary “gotcha” passage in the anti-PreTrib rapture argument.
 Pause to remember the number of times Matthew 24 is offered in proof of a post trib rapture when the fact is, the passage is Jewish and has no bearing on the Body of Christ whatsoever. We will discuss this much more in depth later in our treatise.
Biblical hermeneutics is the science of studying and interpreting the Bible by employing immutable principles for reaching conclusions based on evidence (exegesis) rather than emotion (eisegesis).
 The prophets represented God to Israel, often warning the nation about the evil in the world, and certain judgment if they didn’t remain separated to Him from it. The ultimate earthly judgment prior to the Kingdom will be the tribulation, which Moses first mentioned (Deut. 4:30) in the progressive revelation series.
 In order for the church Body to be included in Israel’s tribulation, the prophets would have to have included it. They did not! In fact, none of the OT prophets spoke about the Body of Christ anywhere at any time. Moreover, there isn’t a verse anywhere in Scripture CLEARLY placing the Body of Christ on earth during Israel’s tribulation without pulling from context and redefining the words “saints” and “elect” which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation specifically refer to Israel.
Prophecy is for Israel and the Tribulation exists purely as prophecy. Moses was the first to reveal it (Deut. 4:30). Through the years – by means of Progressive Revelation – the prophets unfolded it to Israel. However, in doing so, God never revealed His mystery Body to any of them; reserving it for Paul alone.
We would do well to study carefully the words of Zephaniah as he uses many terms for the tribulation for Israel: “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). (See: Deut. 4:30; Isa. 24; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zephaniah; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19)
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. 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 [A] 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).
The following info is from the Old Scofield Study Bible.
Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. These are “weeks” or more accurately, sevens of years; seventy weeks of seven years each. Within these “weeks” the national chastisement must be ended and the nation reestablished in everlasting righteousness (Dan–9:24). The seventy weeks are divided into seven = 49 years; sixty-two = 434 years; one = 7 years (Dan – 9:25-27). In the seven weeks = 49 years, Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in “troublous times.” This was fulfilled, as Ezra and Nehemiah record. Sixty-two weeks = 434 years, thereafter Messiah was to come (Dan – 9:25). This was fulfilled in the birth and manifestation of Christ. (Dan_9:26); (Dan–9:26) is obviously an indeterminate period. The date of the crucifixion is not fixed. It is only said to be “after” the threescore and two weeks. It is the first event in (Dan 19:26). The second event is the destruction of the city, fulfilled A.D. 70. Then, “unto the end,” a period not fixed, but which has already lasted nearly 2000 years. To Daniel was revealed only that wars and desolations should continue (Compare (Mat-24:6-14).
The New Testament reveals, that which was hidden from the Old Testament prophets; (Mat – 13:11-17); (Eph–3: I – 10) that during this period should be accomplished the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven (Mat – 13:1-50) and the out-calling of the Church; (Mat – 16:18); (Rom – 11:25). When the Church-age will end, and the seventieth week be- gin, is nowhere revealed. Its duration can be but seven years. To make it more violates the principle of interpretation already confirmed by fulfillment. (Dan–9:27) deals with the last week. The “he” of (Dan – 9:27) is the “prince that shall come” of (Dan_9:26); 9:26); whose people (Rome) destroyed the temple, A.D. 70. He is the same with the “little horn” of chapter 7. He will covenant with the Jews to restore their temple sacrifices for one week (seven years), but in the middle of that time he will break the covenant and fulfill; (Dan – 12:11); (2Th – 2:3); (2Th_2:4). Between the sixty-ninth week, after which Messiah was cut off, and the seventieth week, within which the “little horn” of Daniel 7. will run his awful course, intervenes this entire Church-age. (Dan – 9:27) deals with the last three and a half years of the seven, which are identical with the “great tribulation.” (Mat–24:15-28) “time of trouble” (Dan_12:1) hour of temptation- (Rev_3: 10).
The Time of the End
Daniel 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed Here the prophetic foreview, having traced the history of the two parts of Alexander’s empire which had to do with Palestine and the Jews, namely, Syria and Egypt, to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, and having described his career, overleaps the centuries to “the time of the end,” when he of whom Antiochus Epiphanes was a type, the “little horn” of (Dan – 7:8) the “Beast out of the sea” of (Rev – 13:4- 10) shall appear (cf) (See Scofield) – (Dan–7:8). Prophecy does not concern itself with history as such, but only with history as it affects Israel and the Holy Land. Antiochus Epiphanes was insignificant as compared with historical personages whom the Bible does not mention, but he scourged the covenant people and defiled God’s altar, thus coming into prophetic light. From verse 36 (Dan – 11:36), the “little horn” of (Dan–7:8); (Dan–7:24-26) fills the scene. His prosperity lasts until “the indignation” (the “time of trouble” of, (Dan – 12: 1); (Mat–24:2 1) is accomplished (Dan – 11:36). This is parallel with; (Rev – 17:10-14); (Rev–19:19-21). (Dan_11:37-45) supply details not mentioned in the New Testament The expression “God of his fathers” (Dan –I 1:37) has been held to indicate that the “king” is an apostate Jew, but this does not accord with (Dan_9:26) which was fulfilled by the Gentile armies of Rome. The “little horn” is an apostate, but from Christianity, not Judaism (compare Ho – 2:18); (1Jo_2:19). (Dan–I 1:38-45) describe his career. Substituting “the god of forces” (that is, Forces of nature) for the true God (Dan –I 1:38); (Dan–1 1:39), he soon presents himself as that god (cf) (2Th 2:3); (2Th–2:4). While his career lasts he is an irresistible conqueror (Dan –I 1:40-44). He established his palace in Jerusalem, probably at the time of his supreme act of blasphemous impiety; (Dan T 9:27); (Dan – 12:11); (Mat 24:15); (2Tb–2:4). From this time begins the great tribulation; (Dan_12:1); (Mat–24:21) which runs its course during the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week, namely, three and one half years; (Dan–7:25); (Dan_12:7); (Dan_12:11); (Rev_13:5).
Isaiah 10:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. “That day”: often the equivalent of “the day of the Lord” (Isa_2:10-22); (Rev–1 9:11-2 1). The prophecy here passes from the general to the particular, from historic and fulfilled judgments upon Assyria to the final destruction of all Gentile world-power at the return of the Lord in glory. (See “Armageddon,”; (Rev –16:14); (Rev – 19:21) “Times of the Gentiles,”; (Luk–21:24); (Rev–16:19); “The great tribulation,”; (Psa–2:5); (Rev_7:14)
Revelation 7:14 And 1 said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. The great tribulation is the period of unexampled trouble predicted in the passages cited under that head from (Psa_2:5) to (Rev_7:14) and described in Revelation 11-18. Involving in a measure the whole earth (Rev –3: 10) it is yet distinctly “the time of Ja- cob’s trouble” (Jer – 30:7) and its vortex Jerusalem and the Holy Land. It involves the people of God who will have returned to Palestine in unbelief. Its duration is three and a half years, or the last half of the seventieth week of Daniel. (See Scofield) – (Dan – 9:24). (Rev_11:2); (Rev–1 1:3) [Editor’s note: Please never forget that the Lord Jesus promised to keep us from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth Rev. 3:10].
The elements of the tribulation are:
- The cruel reign of the “beast out of the sea” (Rev – 13: 1) who at the beginning of the three and a half years, will break his covenant with the Jews (by virtue of which they will have re-established the temple worship, (Dan –9:27) and show himself in the temple, demanding that he be worshipped as God. (Mat – 24:15); (2Th-2:4).
- The active interposition of Satan “having great wrath” (Rev–12:12) who gives his power to the Beast. (Rev – 13:4); (Rev_13:5).
- The unprecedented activity of demons (Rev – 9:2); (Rev_9:11), and
- the terrible “bowl” judgments of Revelation 16.
The great tribulation will be, however, a period of salvation. An election out of Israel is seen as sealed for God (Rev_7:4-8) and, with an innumerable multitude of Gentiles (Rev–7:9) are said to have come “out of the great tribulation” (Rev_7:14). They are not of the priesthood, the church, to which they seem to stand somewhat in the relation of the Levites to the priests under the Mosaic Covenant. The great tribulation is immediately followed by the return of Christ in glory, and the events associated therewith. (Mat 24:29); (Mat-24:30).
- The time of the end in Danielbegins with the violation by “the prince that shall come” (that is, “little horn,” “man of sin,” “Beast”) of his covenant with the Jews for the restoration of the temple and sacrifice (Dan–9:27) and his presentation of himself as God; (Dan – 9:27); (Dan_11:36-38); (Mat–24:15); (2Tb–2:4); (Rev–13:4-6) and ends with his destruction by the appearing of the Lord in glory. (2Th_2:8); (Rev 19:19); (Rev-19:20).
- The duration of the “time of the end”, is three and one half years, coinciding with the last half of the seventieth week of Daniel. (Dan – 7:25); (Dan_12:7); (Rev_13:5). This “time of the end” is the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” (Jer – 30:7) “a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation” (Dan 2: 1) “great tribulation such as was not from the beginning of the world… nor ever shall be” (Mat–24:2 1). The New Testament, especially the Book of the Revelation, adds many details. [A] The churchis never mentioned- nor can it be clearly identified- in any part of the 7 year tribulation.
AntiPreTrib Problems Associated with the Tribulation
The Tribulation is a ubiquitous term that has become a well-known doctrine. Prophecy is for Israel and the Tribulation exists purely as prophecy. It was well known by the prophets (Deut. 4:30) so it was never a part of the mystery. That being said, there isn’t a prophecy or verse for that matter anywhere in Scripture: (1) clearly consigning the mystery Body of Christ to the time of Jacob’s trouble, or (2) revealing her as being on earth for a single hour during this time [unless two terms used for Israel, “elect” and “saints” are pulled from their context to prove something that simply is not provable in any other fashion].
There are several problems AntiPreTrib advocates have with the Tribulation.
- Their first problem is what to call it.
The term tribulation, which includes the great tribulation (Matt. 24:21, 29), is part of “the day of the Lord” (Isa. 2; 13; 34; Jer. 30-31; 46; etc). It is also called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) [Jacob is Israel], “Daniel’s Seventieth Week” (Dan. 9:24-27), and the “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), and “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10).
- Their second problem is the length of it.
The first mention of seven in the Bible tells us how it stands connected in God’s mind. “. . . on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made” (Gen. 2:2). Seven from that point on signifies something started and finished. Since Daniel’s prophecy of seventy weeks is our Rosetta Stone for interpreting the tribulation trilogy, we have one seven year period still future, dispensational Bible scholars view in connection with the beginning and ending of tribulation and great tribulation period; Scripture bearing witness. In the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:21; 29), and the Book of Revelation, two separate three and one-half year periods form one whole seven year tribulation: 42 months (Rev. 11:3); 1260 days (Rev. 11:3, 12:6); and time, times, and half a time (Rev. 12:14).
However, in a concerted contrarian effort to thwart scholarly teaching, you’ll find antiPreTrib proponents to be of the most creative antagonists on the planet; especially those espousing the most recent – and perhaps most confusing – PreWrath rapture ruse. Their claim to fame is in arbitrarily placing the church into the time of Jacob’s trouble for most of seven year period with nothing more than bizarre calculations and misguided outcomes they arbitrarily apply to the Body of Christ without ever proving she is here during any part of the Tribulation aka Jacob’s trouble.
- Their third problem is not accepting its origin and purpose.
The Tribulation is for Israel through prophecy; Moses being the first prophet to reveal it (Deut. 4:30). The purpose of the tribulation is to punish sin and purify Israel and her supporters for the Millennial Kingdom (Jer. 30-31; Obad. 1:15; Zech. 13:9; Matt. 25:31-46; study the great catastrophes in Rev. 6-19). “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city . . . to seal up the vision and prophecy …” (Dan 9:24). Although Daniel prophesied that the seventy weeks would seal up the vision and prophesy, there appears to be a secondary reference here to a cessation of prophecy which occurred at the 69th week and will last for an unspecified time. 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.
- Their fourth problem is consigning the Body of Christto it.
The tribulation is a watershed for Israel given through prophecy before she ever knew about the coming kingdom (Deut. 4:30). It was later expanded upon by the prophets (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc) through Progressive Revelation. When the Lord summed up Israel’s end time’s scenario in Luke 21:22, He referred to this epoch as “the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” The days of vengeance is the tribulation – aka the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), and the “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), also referred to as Daniel’s Seventieth Week for Israel and Jerusalem. All things fulfilled refers to Israel’s prophets. The notion that the Body of Christ will share in the prescribed horrors of the Jewish tribulation is an invented doctrine without clear Scriptural support.
There are only three ways to place the church in the tribulation:
(1) by wresting Scripture from its context where it clearly can be found implicating Israel and the Gentiles, not the Bride of Christ (Rev. 19:9; 21:2,9; 22:17);
(2) by superimposing the church over the top of Israel, which is Satanic Replacement Theology condemned by the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 2:9; 3:9); or
(3) by a dogged determination to maintain the anti-rapture mantra even when presented with clear evidence refuting it. The tribulation is for Israel (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 30-31; Dan. 12:1, etc) and placing the Body of Christ here during that time is a manmade doctrine devoid of integrity and Biblical authority.
In summary, the tribulation – known by other names – covers Daniel’s Seventieth Week and as such is seven years in length. Its purpose is to punish sin and prepare Israel for the Revelation of the Messiah and the Davidic Kingdom on earth which the prophets applied exclusively to Israel. Any suggestion that the Body of Christ will be here for a moment of the time of Jacob’s trouble is without Scriptural authority and should be rejected out of hand with no more ink devoted to it.