End Time Biblical Prophecy Revealed
By Thomas Taylor
Part 3 – The Great Tribulation Time Period
Not Seven Years Long
Dan 9:26, 27 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he (*the antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate , even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. *Parenthetical comment added by article author
Almost all end-time scholars agree that this Scripture underlined is talking about the seven year tribulation. On this, I disagree. I do not believe there will be exactly seven years of tribulation; the Bible talks mainly about a 3 1/2 year Great Tribulation. Yes, this verse does talk about the last seven years but notice nowhere does it say there will be seven years of tribulation. It says only that the Antichrist will confirm (or strengthen) the covenant (or pledge) for seven years. Do you see it saying there are seven years of tribulation? No you don’t and you will not find a Scripture in the entire Bible that says that. Go ahead look…I’ll wait.
I believe there will be hard times up until the last 3 1/2 years but the exact time frame of those hard times, called labor pains by Jesus, may or may not fit into the first 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s seventieth week. To say that it does is nothing more than an assumption.
Leading Up To The End
The seven seals of Revelation teach us what is going to happen right up to the end. They are largely talking about what happens in the unseen spirit realm. But Jesus gives us the actual events on earth in the seen realm in Matthew. An interesting comparison that teaches us about the beginning of “the end” is Matthew 24 and Revelation 6. Let’s compare the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 to see what is about to happen. I believe when we do so we will find they are talking about the same events only Matthew’s version shows what is happening in the natural realm and Revelation’s version shows what is happening in the spiritual realm.
|SEAL||MATTHEW’S SCRIPTURES||REVELATION’S SCRIPTURES||MY COMMENTS|
|Seal 1, False Christ/False Christians and the spirit of antichrist over religion||Mat 24:4, 5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.||Rev 6:1, 2 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.||I believe this is the release of the spirit of antichrist ages ago. The mixing of Christianity with paganism started back in the 4th Century called syncretism. Now we see the whole world uniting the religions of the world including false-christianity (syncretism) but excluding real Bible-believing fundamental Christianity. False Christians are on the rise and true Christians are being persecuted. In the end this will result in the release of the Antichrist to start his work. The unseen forces of demons will be working in the churches to sow seeds of deception which will later lead to an apostasy (verse 10; 2 Thess 2:3). The world will easily be deceived by multiple deceptions. The Antichrist himself will step into a place of world power and prominence to slowly start his work. He will not be known to the vast majority of Christianity at this time.|
|Seal 2, War and the spirit of antichrist over government||Mat 24:6, 7 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…||Rev 6:3, 4 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.||We’ve been having wars since the beginning of time. However, in the end there will be wars that affect nearly every nation. We saw the rise of Socialism and Communism in the 19th century and then world wars in the 20th century. More are to follow.|
|Seal 3, Famines and the spirit of antichrist over economics||Matt 24:7 ….and there shall be famines…||Rev 6:5, 6 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.||This speaks of famines and economic meltdowns. We have seen the rise of corrupt economics with monopolies in the 19th century then the Great Depression. Since then many stock market crashes and recessions have occurred causing famine, unemployment, and worldwide financial hardships.|
|Seal 4, Death and Hell and the spirit of antichrist over nature||Matt 24: 7,8 …and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.||Rev 6:7, 8 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.?||This is referring to diseases, plagues, and natural disasters. Natural disasters are increasing in intensity and frequency. The word “earthquakes” there could also be referring to winds like hurricanes, storms, and tornadoes In Revelation it says that up to 1/4 of humanity will be affected.|
|Seal 5, Persecution of Jews and Christians||Mat 24:9 KJV Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.||Rev 6:9 KJV And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:||I believe this is the time the Great Tribulation begins when power is given to the Antichrist to continue 42 months. This seems to coincide with the beginning of the Antichrist’s persecution against the Jews and the Church (in that order). This is at the 3.5 year mark in the middle of the seven years. 30 days prior was when the daily sacrifice ceased; then 1290 days later than the cessation of the daily sacrifice, the Abomination of Desolation takes place just as it says in Daniel 12:11.|
|Seal 6, Astronomical Events||Mat 24:29 KJV 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:||Rev 6:12-14 KJV And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; (13) And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (14) And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.||These are the astronomical events that immediately precede the Day of the Lord. This ends the tribulation for God’s Saints, the Christians, because Jesus returns at this point to rapture His Church.|
The Great Tribulation
Jesus goes on to talk about the time of “great tribulation.”
Mat 24:21 ESV For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.
It is also described the same way in Revelation:
Rev 7:14 ESV I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
These two verses are the only mention of “great tribulation” in the whole Bible. So what is the duration of this Great Tribulation? I believe the Great Tribulation is described in duration as 3 1/2 years or 42 months or 1260 days based on the following Scriptures:
Dan 7:25 KJV And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Dan 12:7 KJV And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sw are by him that live for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
Rev 11:2 ESV but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.
Rev 12:6 KJV And the woman fled intothe wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
Rev 13:5, 7ESV And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months … Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,
Notice, there is no mention of seven years of tribulation but over and over and over in the Bible a very specific amount of time is mentioned for tribulation. That time is 3 1/2 years.
Mat 24:20 – 22 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day : 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.
The Jewish persecution during the Great Tribulation time period will be the worse of all time since the world began. It cannot be described in words it will be so terrible. The anti-Antisemitism of the world will culminate to this 3 1/2 year period and destroy an enormous amount of Jews worldwide, especially in the land of Israel . The Bible has much to say about the Jews during this time period.
Zech 13:8, 9 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 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: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
That means that two-thirds of the Jews will be massacred!
Zech 14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
So the antichrist will kill most of the Jews but it gets worse. Many Jews will still not believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and upon these will the wrath of God be poured out. Let’s look at what God said about the Jew’s in Deuteronomy chapter 32:
Deu 32:9 For the LORD’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
The above verse proves that this passage of Deuteronomy 32 is talking about the Jewish people; now let’s read other portions of Deuteronomy 32…
Deu 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
Many Jews have and will continue to reject Jesus, the Rock of their salvation.
Deu 32:18 – 20 Of the Rock that begot thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. And when the LORD saw it , he abhorred them , because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be : for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
Deu 32:29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!
Deu 32:35 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
However, some Jews will be saved because they will believe. They will be raptured and will be part of the Church. After the Church is raptured, God’s wrath is poured out on all who remain on the earth. The 144,000 will endure the time of the wrath of God but be protected (sealed) from God’s wrath. They may still face great persecution from the Antichrist and his armies.
Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
These are the actual Jewish people , evident by the description of 12,000 from each tribe (Rev 7:5-8). The Christian church does NOT have 12 tribes. The 144,000 are NOT in any way a representation of the Church.
Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
Rev 14:3 – 5 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
It would seem that most of the unbelieving Jews will be killed and the remaining Jews will turn to the Lord as a nation as prophesied by Paul:
Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
I know the popular eschatology out there says you’re not going to be persecuted. They say we will escape in the rapture before the persecution begins but they are wrong. Sadly they have misinterpreted Scriptures and made assumptions that were just not in the Bible. Then they taught them like they were and built all kinds of theology on top of it but it is a house of cards. They are precious brothers and sisters in the Lord that teach we’ll all be raptured before tribulation but sadly they are propagating a false sense of security. We are headed toward a time of great difficulty but the good news is we will be raptured before the seventh seal and all of its trumpets and plagues which constitute the wrath of God.
The Great Tribulation is naturally divided into two sections: the Antichrist’s wrath and the Lord’s wrath. The Antichrist does not work for God and God does not use the devil as an agent of Heaven. Therefore, the Antichrist’s persecution against the Jews and the Church is NOT the wrath of God. The wrath of God is exactly that – only God is doing the pouring out of wrath and it is only against those that are not Christians or of the 144,000. By the time God’s wrath begins, we will already be taken in the rapture. (See part 5 for further proof of the Pre-Wrath Post-Trib rapture of the Church.)
In every single event in which God poured out His wrath in the Bible, NOT ONE SINGLE BELIEVER DIED OR EVEN GOT HURT. Consider Noah’s flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Egyptian plagues; not once did any of His people die or get harmed. The main thing about God’s wrath is that none of His people are ever hurt. So the persecution of the Antichrist against Christians is NOT the wrath of God. This is important because many believe that the whole tribulation is God’ s wrath through the Antichrist. God will not employ the Antichrist. God’s wrath will only be on the sinners which starts after the sixth seal:
Rev 6:16-17 KJV And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: (17) For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
God’s wrath is NOT being poured out during the first six seals. Those seals are the works of Satan bringing tribulation in the earth. So what does the Bible say about Christian persecution?
Understand that Christians will face the Antichrist’s persecution. It is called “tribulation” not for the devil’s people but for God’s. Christians will be persecuted up until sometime during the sixth seal, then we will be raptured.
Dan 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn (Antichrist) made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Many have quoted Matt 24:14 for the current time period. It says, “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.” But if we read that verse in context, we find it right in the “middle” of the Great Tribulation time period! Sure, we are preaching the Gospel all around the world now but when the Great Tribulation comes, many more will be saved. I say that because in Revelation chapter seven, also describing a period of the Great Tribulation, it says:
Rev 7:9, 10 After this I beheld, and, lo , a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Where are they? In Heaven before the throne of God and the Lamb. Who are they and where did they come from?:
Rev 7:13, 14 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I 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.
So, we have a great multitude being converted during the Great Tribulation from all nations and they will be martyred for their faith throughout the Great Tribulation up until the end. Then the remaining will be raptured which is why they are standing in Heaven. The wrath of God will never touch them but the wrath of the Antichrist will massacre them. They will stand before the throne of the Lamb in Heaven and worship Him.