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A SCRIPTURAL OVERVIEW OF END-TIME EVENTS
PART II: THE GREAT TRIBULATION BY ANTICHRIST

Notes by Stephen Xu

 

AN OVERVIEW OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION BY ANTICHRIST

“9Then (that is, after the beginning of the birth pangs depicted from verse 5 to 7 of Matthew 24 has come to pass) they (Antichrist and his people) will deliver you to tribulation (that is, the hard labour, the persecution of God's people), and will kill you (that is, the 4th Seal - Death broken in Revelation 6:7-8. ‘a fourth of the earth’ is the exact population of claimed Christians in today’s world) and you will be hated by all nations because of My name (that is, for the sake of Jesus, His followers, both the Jews and Gentiles, will be persecuted). 10At that time many will fall away (that is, the apostasy spoken by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2: 3. Those look-alike ‘Christians’ will forsake their faith in Christ when facing the great persecution by Antichrist and choose to worship Antichrist and accept his mark, cf. Revelation 13:16-17) and will betray one another and hate one another. 11Many false prophets (which definitely include the ‘another beast’ – the Enforcer of Antichrist that comes up out of the earth in Revelation 13:11) will arise and will mislead many. 12Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved (that is, the promise of physical deliverance, rather than spiritual salvation, of the saints who survive the great tribulation). 14This gospel of the kingdom (that is, the gospel of God’s reign on earth, preached by Christ in the early part of His ministry on earth, cf. Matthew 4:23, Mark 1:14-15, rather than the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, preached by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4) shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations (this will be literally fulfilled by the ‘another angel’ in Revelation 14:6 that flies in midheaven just before the final wrath of God is poured out onto those who dwell on the earth), and then the end will come (that is, the age of man will come to an end in God’s final wrath)”. (Matthew 24:9-14, emphasis and notes added)

THE TIMING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION – THE SECOND HALF OF THE 70TH WEEK OF DANIEL

“15Therefore (notice that after giving a general overview of the end-time events from verse 1 to 14, from this verse on Jesus starts to give detailed instructions and warnings regarding the great tribulation period) when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet (that is, the Antichrist spoken of through Daniel in Daniel 9:27), standing in the holy place (which according to Daniel 9:27 will happen in the midpoint of the 70th Week and trigger the worst persecution of Jews and Christians in the history of mankind, cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4. This verse also suggests that the Temple of God, or at least the Tabernacle, will be rebuilt before the midpoint of the 70th Week of Daniel), 16then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. …21For then there will be a great tribulation (the severity of the tribulation, as stated in this verse, is the worst in the human history and will even make the Holocaust in World War II compare in pale), such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will”. (Matthew 24:15-18, 21, emphasis and notes added)

THE NATURE OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION – WRATH OF SATAN

“7And there was war in heaven (notice that much alike the structure of Matthew 24, Revelation also gives a general overview of the end-time events from chapter 6 to chapter 11, then depicts in details the great tribulation period from chapter 12 to chapter 13. Therefore, this heavenly war is supposed to happen in the midpoint of the 70th Week), Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. … 12For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath (this key verse reveals that the great tribulation or persecution by Antichrist is the wrath of Satan, not the wrath of God, which will not be unleashed until the 144,000 faithful Jews are sealed and the remaining saints that have survived the persecution are rescued or raptured by Christ, cf. Revelation 7. Furthermore, the martyrs’ souls’ beseech in the 5th Seal: ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ also confirms that their death is by the hands of Antichrist’s followers not by the hands of God, cf. Revelation 6:9-11), knowing that he has only a short time (from the time Satan begins the great persecution through Antichrist to the time he is bounded for a thousand years, he has less than 1,335 days, cf. Daniel 12:11-12)." (Revelation 12:7-9, 12, emphasis and notes added)

THE OBJECT OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION – JEWS AND CHRISTIANS

“13And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman (that is, the remnant Jews of Israel, cf. Revelation 12:1-2. They are the first target of Satan’s wrath) who gave birth to the male child (that is, the Christ, who was caught up to God and His throne and is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, cf. Revelation 12:5). 14But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time (that is, they will be protected by God during the second half of the 70th Week, which last 3 and half years, or 1260 days), from the presence of the serpent. 15And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (that is, clearly, the faithful followers of Christ, which according to Romans 4:16 are spiritual descendants of Abraham. They are the second target of Satan’s wrath). ” (Revelation 12:13-17, emphasis and notes added)

THE PURPOSES OF GOD ALLOWING THE CHURCH TO UNDERGO THE GREAT TRIBULATION

1. TO TEST THE FAITH OF THE SAINTS

“12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal (i.e., the fiery ordeal by Antichrist and his people during the great tribulation) among you, which comes upon you for your testing (the testing of the faith as a purpose of persecutions), as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory (at His second coming) you may rejoice with exultation.” (1 Peter 4:12-13, emphasis and notes added)

2. TO REFINE THE FAITH OF THE SAINTS

“6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials (i.e. the various trials during the great tribulation), 7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor (the refinement of faith as another purpose of persecutions) at the revelation of Jesus Christ (at His second advent)”. (1 Peter 1:6-7, emphasis and notes added)

3. TO PURIFY THE CHURCH AS THE WORTHY BRIDE OF CHRIST

“11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (again, at His second coming), 14who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession (the purification of the church, a third purpose as indicated here, so that the church can be presented to Christ ‘holy and blameless’, ‘having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing’ [Ephesians 5:27], at the second coming of the Lord Jesus), zealous for good deeds”. … “And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming”. (Titus 2:11-14, 1 John 2:28, emphasis and notes added)


Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible

Questions and comments of this Bible Study may be sent to Stephen at here.

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A Complete Scriptural Overview of End-Time Events (All 4 Parts, 230KB)


RELATED BIBLE STUDIES:

-> End-Time Events Overview I: The 70th Week of Daniel
-> End-Time Events Overview III: The Return of Christ and Rapture of the Saints
-> End-Time Events Overview IV: The Day of the Lord Judgment


RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

-> "The Sign" by Robert Van Kampen
-> Sola Scriptura Articles, FAQs and Newsletters about End Times
-> A Dynamic Commentary on the Book of Revelation


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