7 “But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.
8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles.[a] These are the beginnings of sorrows.
9 “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought[b] before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them.” .. Mark 13:7-9
There has been many prophecy teachers that have tried to explain what the coming Tribulation will be like. Many believe that we are in the tribulation right now. Surely with all the Christian persecution, the Middle East murders of the followers of Jesus Christ, the beheadings, the crucifixions, and the systematic purging of anything that looks like an aberration from what is defined as radical Islam, this must be the start of the tribulation. But they fail to understand what Jesus tried to convey when he spoke with the apostles 2000 years ago what this time period will be like.
I'm going to take a stab at trying to paint a picture for you of what the 7 years known as the Tribulation will be like, from scripture that describes a period so horrible, so demonically inspired that it will be the worst time in all of mankind's history that Jesus said in Matthew 24 in the Olivet Discourse:
21 “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”
Men and women of our world fail to differentiate between tribulation that has always been brought against mankind for the belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ down through the last 2000 years, and the Tribulation that Jesus speaks of. There has always been death and destruction by evil men that Satan has inspired to persecute the church of Jesus Christ. We have read of these crucifixions, beheadings, and people being burned alive at the stake by the “dark age” religious authorities, and pagan nations that condemned Christianity as an affront to their dictatorship.
Much of the confusion about the Rapture of Christ’s Church, His Bride, and when it occurs could easily be solved if we clarify what actually happens during this seven-year period. It is not just tribulation as the church has experienced during the past 2,000 years. Saints have been martyred by the thousands, sawn asunder, fed to the lions, had their own children slaughtered before their eyes, and suffered untold deprivations. But what is coming upon the earth in possibly a few short years, or even sooner, will pale the time past of the evils of men killing other men. In short, it will a thousand times worse. The coming destruction of mankind will be the Middle East we are seeing right now on steroids. To think that the “Tribulation” is just more of the same type of martyrdom we have seen in the past, is to miss the point of what Jesus was talking about and what scripture testifies that this time will be about. I can't fully comprehend or grasp (and I don't want to, because you would have to live it) what will be evident during this terrible time of man's last gasp of trying to rule himself and failing miserably. Let us make a short list of reasons that could possibly be coming soon to a community near you, worldwide. When Satan is allowed to rule over this earth, even for this short period, the dwellers on this earth can expect the following:
12 “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
Satan has hated the Jewish people, as through them came Jesus Christ, and for the last 2000 years, he has raged against the Christian Bride of Christ. He has beaten up and ravaged the people of God, both Jew and Christian with a diabolically hatred that has only grown stronger as the end grows ever closer. But the last 7 years, when Satan is cast down, his rage will be unrestrained and frantic as he knows his time is very short. The Holy Spirit will be drawn back to allow him full sway over rebellious mankind and to attempt to destroy all human beings on earth.
THE WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD
In past messages, I've tried to convey another aspect of this hellish time, when Satan will have unlimited access to destroy the dwellers of the earth, known as the nations. The Tribulation will be bad, so horrible beyond description, but will be even more horrifying to those who are actually alive on earth at this time. Oh, it will be so much more terrifying beyond your wildest nightmare, as a Righteous and Holy God has unleashed all the power of His might upon a rebellious mankind who have rejected Him and His payment for their sins, Jesus Christ and His atonement written in His own blood, that God's fury is unleashed full strength. Revelation chapter 6:
“Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,
16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
This period is the time of God’s wrath. The only precedents in history to this time are the worldwide flood of Noah’s generation and the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Of course, this event of God’s wrath will be the ultimate judgment of wickedness and will certainly surpass those two prior events as named above. The first time, destruction was by water. This time the destructin will be by fire...Jesus made it clear in Matthew 24 that this is the finale of judgment against the vileness of human sin.
OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE
The Old Testament prophets wrote of this time period through Holy Spirit inspiration when Isaiah wrote:
“Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.
And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.”
And again Isaiah prophecied:
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?
I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth” treadeth in the wine fat?
I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with me:”(Isaiah 63:1-6).
This language has no connection with the tribulation that has been present from the beginning of the Church Age, even up until now. God Almighty will tread down evil mankind, as wine is pressed in a wine vat. God will march through His creation and destroy those who have rejected His mercy and His grace. His judgment will be for the rejection of his perfect judicial opportunity for man's redemption and His cup of wrath will be full to the brim of His righteous indignation for their lawlessness. God will purify this earth from either end of the earth and back in man's blood. God will wipe all rebellion and sinful men from this earth leaving no one, but a remnant that He supernaturally protects from the Anti-Christ. Many will be saved during this time, but for their belief they will be killed in many terrible ways. The death and destruction will be world wide and the only ones that will live any length of time, are the ones who take a mark of the Beast, and their life will be short lived and will be doomed for all eternity and separated into a devil's hell.
God will judge the world because they rejected His Son and His ultimate love to man. Jesus describes this judgment Himself,
“And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city” (Matthew 22:1-7).
If you closely read scripture that describes the scene of God's righteous indignation, then you get a glimpse of the carnage that will be on this earth, when by calculation of the billions that live on this earth right now...(estimated at over 7 billion people). 80% will die in 7 short years, with the majority dying in the last 3.5 years, known as the Great Tribulation. Can you even imagine close to 6 billion people dying in that short a time by untold acts of violence and environmental disasters? I can't and I don't want to, as I don't plan to be a witness to it for those years of man's complete hell on earth.
When the picture of this event Jesus called “The Great Tribulation” is understood Biblically, then it bears no resemblance to the present tribulation that all believers endure to some degree. The gas chambers of Hitler were hell on earth and snuffed out millions of lives. At least six million Christians died, along with six million Jews. But this judgment to come is not the death of men to yet be raised in resurrection to face God in judgment. This Tribulation is the wrath of God Himself to which there are no claims of higher appeal.
I can't even imagine what the Jewish people went through as they were systematically slaughtered and I hurt for them. But to have evil rampant in this world that you will live in, and have even God Himself raining judgment down on the top of your head makes your life very short and full of misery and pain. The environment will become completely toxic with rivers and streams of blood, water becoming bitter, people dying by the millions and billions until it finally takes your own life, then I hope your imaginations can grasp the hell on earth I'm describing.
GOD'S WRATH IS AGAINST UNGODLY MEN
“For we are not appointed to wrath, but to receive salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord”. 1st Thessalonians 5:9
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Revelation 3:10.
To those who are Pre-Tribulation rapture deniers, I ask you to show me in your Bible where God's wrath comes against His servants who are living for Him. Save yourself some trouble, as there are none. There is no place in Scriptures that this day can be identified to affect the Godly servant of the Lord. Whenever the First Testament prophets spoke of judgment, they always showed that God provided a haven for the righteous. Isaiah spoke of “a day of indignation.” He clearly revealed the provision of the Lord for the saints,
“Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain” (Isaiah 26:19-21).
Scripture after scripture in your Bible proves that God never, ever subjects His chosen servants to His righteous wrath...and I mean NEVER. Malachi made the same argument when he wrote how God provides for His own:
“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:16-18).
PRE -TRIB DENIERS
I have had individuals email me and chastise me for giving Christian's a false hope, that when the Tribulation comes, they will not be prepared. Let me explain something to those who scoff at the scriptural sound doctrine of God removing His children from this earth before the 1st seal of Revelation is broken and His wrath is unleashed. Let us think logically here for a moment as I gIve you a scenario and tell me what the answer is.
According to our Bibles, Jesus will come and the dead in Christ will rise first, at the last trump, and we who are alive and remain will join those who have been raised to join them in the clouds...right? (1st Thessalonians 4:15-17).
If this happens at the end of the Tribulation, and Jesus returns to do battle with those who are gathered in the valley of Megiddo and destroys all rebellion on this earth, and all who have taken the mark of the Beast, (as there will be no middle ground) will be destroyed, then my question that I have proposed many times is, who will go into the Millennium as mortal beings to repopulate the earth? See the problem? The answer is NO one will be left mortal...the only doctrine that makes sense of the return of Jesus Christ before the Tribulation even starts, as those who survive the Tribulation are saints that escaped the wrath of the Anti-Christ, or those God supernaturally protected in the wilderness according to Revelation chapter 12:14-17 and they may be all Jewish. Those are the ones who go into the Millennium alive and mortal to repopulate the earth. Now back to the subject at hand, the horror of the coming Tribulation.
SEVEN BOWLS OF THE WRATH OF GOD
if the scenario that I have painted for you isn't bad enough, and if you're a fence sitter and have not made a decision for Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior, then read Revelation chapter 16 if you really want to get into a funk which describes:
21, and there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. “
Are you starting to get the picture? This earth will literally be hell on earth, where mortal men will die by the millions daily, every day for 7 years. It will be a most ghastly and horrific time that my words cannot even begin to address in any adjectives that conveys the extreme pain and suffering that men will do to one another in their evil ways, and a Holy God who will purge this earth of every sinful, rebellious man and woman left alive on this earth. It will be near total destruction that Jesus said, if it were allowed to continue to it's climax, “no flesh would be saved, but for the elect (tribulation saints) the days would be shortened”. (Matthew 24:22) God will rescue the last remaining humans alive to prevent man totally destroying the righteous remnant left.
Now some will say, “Hey, Pastor, are you trying to preach hell fire and brimstone?”...my answer is yes, to a point. The intent is to get a sane individual to weigh and think upon what I'm describing. No sane individual that values their own mortal life would want to live through what I'm describing briefly and live out its details in real time. I really do hope I scare the “living daylights out of you” or as some say tongue in cheek, “Scaring hell right out of of you”, as that is what mankind left on this earth is headed for, hell on earth. If I was living this horror that's coming, I would have prayed someone would have scared me enough for me to think on my eternal future. Are you thinking about it? What is the answer to avoid such a horrible end of one's life? It's right in front of you, if you have your bible in your lap..His name is Jesus!!
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should NOT perish, but have everlasting life.
God sent not His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be save.”
Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. (his name is Jesus)
2nd Timothy 1:9, “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,”
Mark 16:16, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Lest any man should boast.”
God our Father is long suffering not willing that any should perish, but also is a Holy and just God that will repay those who have rejected His free gift given in the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. I will close with a scripture that identifies our God who is a God of love, but a God of judgment when His righteous wrath finally is poured out on this earth..and my friend, it is soon. Paul the apostle echoes Isaiah when he spoke of God as a consuming fire:
Hebrews 12: 25“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27:And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28:Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29: For our God is a consuming Fire”
I pray I have shaken you, made you feel uncomfortable, and unsettled your mind and spirit while in your refusal of the free gift of grace given by God, because my friend, the coming Tribulation will be a horror that I pray you miss out finding out about. Repent and turn to Jesus while the time and chance is available this side of the Tribulation. Jesus could come any moment and without warning.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, pleading for your acceptance of the free gift of our Lord Jesus Christ and your salvation. If I can be of any assistance, either in counseling, prayer, or just a friendly, listening ear, drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org, God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET