Prophecy Message #11

by Gary "Gabe" Hulin

Daniel's 70th Week The Tribulation

four horsemen of the Apocalypse

An Overview

The tribulation is a time of gloominess, it's a time of darkness, it's a time of unprecedented trouble the world over; and, moreover, it is a time of God's judgement on a sin sick world.

The tribulation, also referred to in the scriptures as "the time of Jacob's trouble" is a seven year period which will culminate God's Plan for the church age prior to the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom on earth. In message #7-"Daniel's Vision of the Seventy Weeks" we studied how God's Plan for Israel was outlined by Daniel, the great prophet of God. The tribulation to come upon Israel, and the world, is the seventieth week (of years).

The tribulation will deal in judgement with Israel, as well as the gentile nations of the world, as they relate to the end time scenario. The primary scriptures which we will use are found in Chapters 6-19 of Revelation. From time to time as we have studied God's Word, we have been given glaces at things that are to happen in the tribulation. It is my hope that this message will bring those prophetic vignettes into clear vision as to how they will transpire according to the detail God has given us in His Word.

Daniel's Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks Reviewed

First let us review Chapter 9, verse 24-27 of Daniel briefly:

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people (Daniel's people-Israel) and upon thy holy city, (Jerusalem) to finish the transgression, (end the curse of the original sin) and to make an end of sins, (do away with the sins of man) and to make reconciliation for iniquity, (bring mankind back unto Him) and to bring in everlasting righteousness, (heal a sinful world) and to seal up the vision and prophecy, (fulfill the vision of the 70 weeks) and to anoint the most Holy (establish Jesus Christ as king). Know therefore and understand, (a command for us to know the following) that from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (given to Artaxerxes in Nehemiah) unto Messiah the Prince, (Jesus Christ) there shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: (69 weeks of years or 483 years) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times (as indeed it was). And after (the 483 years) shall Messiah be cut off, (crucified) but not for himself: (for the sins of mankind) and the people of the prince that shall come (the romans- the people out of which the antichrist shall come) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; (as they did in 70 AD) and the end thereof (in the last days) shall be with a flood, (an overwhelming army of saints at the second coming of Christ) and unto the end of the war desolations are determined (many forms of destruction will come upon man until the end of this final conflict). And he shall confirm the covenant (the current middle east peace treaty) with many for one week (a week of years or seven years, the tribulation); and in the midst of the week (after three and one-half years) he (antichrist) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (the reinstituted ancient form of sacrificial worship for the Jews) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, (because of the fullness of sin) even unto the consummation (the end) and that determined (by God) shall be poured upon the desolate." (upon those on earth during the tribulation-all who have not escaped by rapture, or, who have not the seal of God)

The archangel Gabriel delivered this message to Daniel along with a command to know and understand these things. This message will attempt to understand more fully the week of years which is called the Tribulation.

In Matthew 24, verses 21-22, Jesus Himself referred to this period of God's wrath:

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."

This speaks of the incredible extent of the happenings to mankind during this period; and, God's mercy is seen even in His wrath as he will shorten those days to give the few remaining souls that are willing to follow Him, a last chance to do so.

The Fate of Israel

In Jeremiah 30:4-9: "And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the Lord; we have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now and see if a man travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman with travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers will no longer serve themselves of him. But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their King, whom I will raise up unto them."

Some of the significant points brought out in these scriptures by Jeremiah, the weeping prophet: He said there will be trembling and fear, and that it would be a time when their is no peace on the earth, it is a time of anguish on mankind, and even described the pain as like the birth pains of a woman with child. The birth pains then would become more and more intense until the delivery. The parallel is that Jesus Christ is the deliverer who will come at the most intense period in the history of man, at the battle of Armageddon. The reference made to the time of Jacob's trouble refers to Israel. Further, we see that the gentile nations (strangers) will no longer be a burden to the Jewish people, that they will rid of the bondage of millenia of suppression; and, turn their servitude to Christ, their true Messiah, born of the seed of David and Jesse.

The Purifying of Israel

Please turn to Ezekiel, Chapter 20. God says that He will cause Israel to pass under the rod, a reference to a purging of their national sin.

"As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there and melt you. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof, and ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you." (Ezekiel 22:20-22)

In Malachi 3:2-5: "But who shall abide at His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' sope: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And I will come near to you to judgement; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

This is clearly confirmation of the fact that Israel will be tried, and made pure, in order to be acceptable to a forgiving God. This is reiterated by the Lord in Zechariah: "And it shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third part shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: and I will say it is my people: and they shall say the Lord is my God." (Zechariah 13:8-9)

So even though Israel will be dealt with in the tribulation period because of their rejection of the Messiah when He was with them, God still shows His incredible mercy; and, one third of the Jewish people at that time will accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God and their Messiah.

In Daniel Chapter 12:1-4: "And at that time (the time of the tribulation) shall Michael stand up, the great prince that standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time: and at that time thy people (Israel) shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book (of life). And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: for many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

The conclusion that we can come to here is that Israel will undergo a great time of national trouble; and, that the nation (a remnant) shall be saved by God's grace during this period of tribulation to come on the earth. The wisdom contained in these scriptures would not be made available (they are sealed) until the "time of the End", when knowledge of these things concerning the fulfillment of prophecy, will be made more clear. We are indeed living during the time "when knowledge shall be increased". It is during the tribulation that Israel will be saved, however, those saved prior to the tribulation, both Gentiles and converted Jews, both past and present, will be spared the tribulation in the rapture which occurs at the beginning of the tribulation. Christians will be spared that great and terrible day: Corinthians 15:51-54: "Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed, For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immorality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immorality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."

New Testament References to the Tribulation

In the Olivet discourse, given by Jesus Christ in Matthew, Chapter 24, the tribulation period is described thusly: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated by all nations, for my name's sake, And then shall many be offended and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall arise and deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

The scripture above points out these important facts:

  • Christians at this time (having come to accept Christ during the tribulation) will be persecuted and even killed because of their faith in Jesus Christ
  • People will turn against each other in hate
  • Sin will abound and love will grow dim
  • those who endure the persecutions of the antichrist and his world CAN BE SAVED
  • The "end" will come after the entire world has been exposed to the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ.

This gospel will reach out to the entire world and currently is being enabled for the first time in history on such a mass scale, through computers and satellite linkage. God is not waiting on some "church" to bring about a world suitable to a coming Savior, as some would suggest, although we try, in obedience to his command to go to all parts of the earth with his word. On the contrary, the world is "waxing worse and worse". Look around you.

Other scriptures reveal that during the tribulation, and even before, particularly as we get closer and closer, the forces of darkness will most likely step up their activities as Satan is aware that he has but a short time left to deceive the nations. During the tribulation Israel will have to flee to the "wilderness prepared of God", a place in the rugged seclusion of the area South of the Dead Sea called Petra. This will be in response to the antichrist who turns against the Jews at the middle point of the tribulation.

False signs and miracles will also be a part of the time of the tribulation. Even now we see the obvious precursers. Miracles, for example, should not be the substance upon which to build faith. It is even warned that the false prophet (the second beast) shall be able to do miracles in the presence of the antichrist (the first beast in Rev.) They will deceive many by their deceit, and by the power that lies behind these types of "miracles", the power of Satan.

Vials, Bowls and Trials

Chapter 6 through nineteen of Revelation deals with the specific vials, bowls and trials of the tribulation period. Many terms, both descriptive and symbolic, are used in Revelation to express God's wrath and judgement upon unregenerate man and upon the nation of Israel. The term "that day", for example means the "Day of the Lord" . "Latter days" and "time of the end" are terms used for those days preceding the Coming of Christ, while revealing much about the character and context of the world community.

The prophet Joel speaks about the "day of the Lord", thusly, in Chapter 1:15: "For alas! For the day of destruction is near at hand, from the almighty shall it come."

The character of the tribulation is divided into two specify time identities:

  • the tribulation which includes the seven years from the rapture of the church unto the Second Coming of Jesus Christ
  • "The Great Tribulation" is a more specific period. It is the last 3 years of the tribulation, marked by the antichrist's turning on the Jewish nation and exhalting himself as God (the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel).

Opening the Seals - The Apocalyspe

In chapter 16 of Revelation the 70th Week (tribulation) begins with the opening of the seals. The white horse is seen as the antichrist. He is presented as one of two white horses of Revelation. The revealing of the antichrist to the world will be one of the first events at the beginning of the tribulation. Considering that and the fact that the Mideast peace treaty will signal the revealing of the antichrist to the soon then is the rapture which precedes the tribulation?

The "other" white horse seen in Revelation Chapter 19 is Jesus Christ as we will see. Please note that the first rider will come to gain ten crowns, symbolic of the ten nation confederacy of the last world empire. Christ, as the "Lamb of God" is seen at this time as breaking open the seals. He is described as the only one worthy to do so. This is acceptable considering that only God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, could take on the sins of mankind. (Rev. 6:1-2)

A red horse then appears at the opening of the second seal. War is the theme here as the rider is able to take peace from the earth and destroy many.

The third seal is seen as revealing the black horse. The rider holds a set of balances (scales) in his hand. This horse is symbolic of great famine to be leased upon the earth. Famine is a natural follower upon the heels of war as history has shown. After war follows poverty, after war comes inflation, after war follows famine. The wars of the past, including the so-called war to end all wars, does not compare to the devastation to come upon mankind during the wars of the tribulation. They include and certainly are not limited to the invasion of Russia and her allies into the middle east, the 200,000,000 man army from China, and the nations from all over the world gathered to do battle at Armageddon, a war that destroys Damasus, Syria, and even a war that appears to be a judgement against what many believe is the United States. Wars will break out in various places.

The fourth seal reveals a Pale horse... Death. Hades (hell) is described to be ready to follow up and swallow those who have been slain by the wars.

The fifth seal is opened and we see the martyred saints, those slain during the tribulation period for their testimonies for Christ. (V.9-11) These are those who have rejected the mark of the beast, and, who endure to the end under the tremendous persecution of the antichrist and his associates.

Physical Phenomenon

The sixth seal will release great physical forces in the earth. So great will be these changes that men will hide themselves in the rocks of mountains in a vain attempt at avoiding the wrath of almighty God.

A pause or interval is noted between the sixth and seventh seal. During this time God places HIS seal upon the 144,000 Jewish servants of God. These are 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel who will minister to those who will hear the truth proclaimed once more of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Rev. 7:9-17 John refers to a "blood-washed multitude" which seems to be a reference to a great body of Gentiles who accept Christ during the tribulation. This is not a reference to the church, as the church has been raptured at this time. These again are those who have rejected the mark of the beast.

At the seventh seal there will be "silence in heaven" for a limited time. The trumpets are to follow this period of preparation. Seven angels will come in succession sounding seven trumpets. The first trumpet sounds the mixture of hell and fire mingled with blood to be brought upon the earth. With these one-third of the trees and all green grass will be burned. The intensity of each increases as each new trumpet sounds. Note that there is a similarity in repetition of the judgements with the plaques that God brought upon Egypt as Moses sought to free the Jewish slaves from the bondage imposed by pharoah.

The second trumpet will initiate the "Great mountain of fire" which will fall into the ocean and destroy a third of the living creatures therein as well as a third of the oceans ships. This great meteor precedes the next celestial judge.... Wormwood, which will turn the rivers, streams and waters bitter while killing many.

The forth angel sounds, then, with a darkening of the sun, and the moon, and the stars. One third of the light from each is extinguished while angels cry out "Woe, Woe, Woe" to the inhabitors of the earth because of the trumpets that have yet sounded.

The Woes Unleashed

During the war in Iraq and Kuwait many experienced some of the darkness and gloominess that was the result of the oil fields being set on fire. The thick smoke was a covering veil to the images of the oil rigs in the distance as they viewed hellish flames against the stark silhouette of desert sand.

At this point angels begin to sound the last three trumpets (5-7) which are the same as the three woes just spoken of. The first woe will bring locust and scorpion like creatures that torment the inhabitants of the earth for five months. Men will seek to die but cannot as they endure the stinging pain of their tails. These creatures will be commanded by a high ranking fallen angel, Abaddon, or Appollyon, whose name means "destruction". Note that the locusts are to come out of the bottomless pit, that they are given the power to torment indicates that they may well be demons. They will possess the bodies of men while tormenting them.

The sixth trumpet (the third woe) is sounded and four evil angels who are bounded in the river Euphrates are released. The releasing of these angels will result in the slaying of 1/3 of men as China will come across the dried bed of the Tigris Euphrates river with a 200,000,000 man army. Today, as we speak, China already has in it's military might a standing 200,000,000 man army. In verses 17-18 reference is made to the armor of tanklike weapons: "And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths."

A Mighty Angel with a Little Book

Chapter 10 begins by a mighty angel coming down from heaven. I believe this is Jesus Christ who, like in Chapter 1, is carrying a little book. He is the only One worthy to open the book. His declaration is that in the days of this angel (at the end of his purpose) time shall be no longer. It also appears that this refers to the end of the age, not the end of time as we know it. The end actually consists of the last 3 years of time, often referred to as the Great Tribulation.

The Two Witnesses

Chapter 11:3 reveals the two witnesses that will go forth to witness to tribulation saints. Their power will be from God as they will be able to control the elements and to emit fire from their mouths until their ministry is completed when God will allow them to be killed by the antichrist, but not before their mission on earth is complete, to reach untold millions for Christ. I believe that these two witnesses are Enoch and Elijah, great men of God, who never received a physical death, but were translated into heaven in times past without dying. God has stated that all men will experience death once. If Elijah and Enoch have never experienced the physical death then at some point they must. These two witnesses will die at the hands of the antichrist after their mission is accomplished and their bodies will lay in the streets. They will then be raised from the dead after 3 days as the spirit of life re-enters them, an act that will bring great fear upon those living at that time. Along with this act will be a great earthquake that will devour 7000 inhabitants of Israel (the remnant). This will mark the end of the second woe (sixth trumpet).

The Seventh Trumpet

The seventh angel now sounds the seventh trumpet announcing the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ: "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of the our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever". This event is marked by the 24 elders who, I believe, represent the twelve apostles of the Church and the 12 tribes of Israel joined in their worship of Him who is now become the Head of all nations. Those on earth will be angry at His power and most will remain unconvinced still. A reference is made to the raised saints attaining their reward while those that are still unforgiven of their sins will be destroyed, a clear parallel to 1 Corinthians 15:51-58.

Mystery of "The Woman"

Beginning with Chapter 12, a great wonder appears in heaven: a woman in travail. She is described as being with child and ready to be delivered. This is a reference to Israel, not the church, as the false church will tell you. Beside the woman (Israel) there is a 'great red dragon' ready to devour the man-child (Jesus Christ) to be delivered unto Israel. This dragon is consistent with many scriptures referring to Satan who stands to do away with the Christ child knowing that this child would become the ruler over mankind. Verse 6 then speaks of the woman (Israel) fleeing into the 'Wilderness', or, the area known as Arabia Petra, in the rocky cliff of the rugged area South of the Dead Sea. This area is fortified by natural stone walls at it's entrance that protect this ancient 'city of Solomon'. Grand buildings literally carved out of stone are plentiful along the narrow valleys. During years following the Roman rule the city became a place of commerce for growing trade routes. Today some Christians, believing God's Word to be truth, have actually placed bibles in the rocky cliffs to be there as guides to those who might be willing to see. These things will happen and many will find themselves living out the will of Almighty God. It is here, at Petra, that the "remnant" of Israel, will flee from the antichrist at the midpoint of the tribulation.

Vials of Wrath

Chapter 16 of Revelation begins the pouring out of the seven vials of the Wrath of God. The first vial addresses those who have received the Mark of The Beast and occurs after or at the beginning of the last half of the tribulation of seven years. Thus, those having accepted the mark of the beast will receive noisome sores. The ssea is then described as becoming like "the blood of a dead man". And all living creatures in the seas will die. Following this will be the rivers and waters turning to blood, the sun becoming increasingly hot from the breakdown of the ozone, as men are scorched from the great heat.

Following the unleashing of the fifth vial will be the wrath of God on the antichrist and his seat of authority. The sixth angel prepares the way of the 200,000,000 man army from the east (China) as they march across the dried up Tigis-Euphrates river valley to Armageddon. This can literally happen now as the valley can be dried now by the turning of a few gates that control the flow of water by the great dam built by Russian engineers years ago. The 200,000,000 man army is now also a reality.

Verse 16 mentions the Satanic trinity as being unclean spirits like frogs that will come out of the satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet. Their purpose will be to go to all corners of the earth to draw together the nations to do battle at Armageddon. At the time of the release of the seventh angel with the seventh vial (seven being the number of completion) there is a great earthquake that is greater any other before in history. At that time the great city of Babylon will fall as well as all the great cities of the world. Islands will disappear and mountains will crumble under this final judgement upon man. The powers of this world are brought into submission as Jesus Christ is given control over the affairs of this world that has spurned the grace of almighty God. Christ's 2nd Coming with His already raptured saints will be to rid of the antichrist and the 2nd beast, the false religious prophet, and, then, to set up His kingdom on this earth for a thousand years.

Mystery Babylon

Chapter 17-18 concerns the vision as it relates to mystical Babylon. These scriptures describe a political Babylon, an economic Babylon and a literal physical Babylon each that will be destroyed for the world will cry out "Fallen, is Fallen, that Great city is fallen". The kings of the earth will lament at it's fall because they have waxed rich with the abundance of her delicacies.

The Word of God

Concluding Chapter 19 is a description of the vision of the Word of God, that is, Jesus Christ upon a white horse. This white horse, unlike the one mentioned before, will carry the true Christ as He appears with ten thousands of His saints to rule with a rod of iron. "(v.16). The gathered nations at Armageddon will focus their attention on Him who sits upon the horse. His purpose is to interfere into the affairs of man and save him from his own destruction. The antichrist and the false prophet will then be cast into the bottomless pit at Christ's Second Coming.

And upon his vesture and upon his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS"

The Binding of Satan and a New Age

Chapter 20 of Revelation reveals that Satan will then be bound for a thousand years (Please refer to the message #13 "The Millenial Reign of Jesus Christ") during which time God will send forth healing waters out of New Jerusalem to the nations of the world. He will institute a government the head of which is Jesus Christ himself. For 1,000 thousand years we who have accepted His provision will be given positions in His kingdom as we expand into the universe. Satan must then be loosed for a short time to consummate God's Plan, then will come the final doom of Satan, a new heaven and earth to be prepared by God Himself, a New Heavenly Jerusalem, and a new Temple wherein God Himself will be the light therein.

Christians Can Escape God's Wrath

The Tribulation is indeed the Wrath of God upon a sin-sick world. It is very near upon us as we hear the not-so-distant rumble of the Nations rushing to Align themselves according to His predetermined will. The time is now to accept Jesus Christ as your savior, to accept the fact that He alone has the answer to the world's problems; and, that He alone is the way by which we can return unto the Godhead and a right relationship with the One who has the plan for all mankind. Whether we enter into His Kingdom requires that we accept that He is. Will you ask for His forgiveness of sin and accept the provision of His Son. To do so will open the way to an eternity of true peace and prosperity and assure you that you will be taken with the other saints to be with Christ while God deals with earth and it's inhabitants during the inevitible conclusion of this age.
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