The word “Tribulation” means a state of great suffering, misery, or affliction. This word is derived from the word “Tribulum”, which was a threshing instrument utilized by the Romans. The Tribulum was literally a wooden board covered with shards of stone or metal that was used to separate the wheat from their husks.
There is a period of time, at the end of the age of man, that is known as the Tribulation, or “Great Tribulation” because it is going to be the most terrible time that mankind has ever experienced on the earth. It is going to be a time of separation, as the Lord Jesus Christ separates the sheep from the goats.
Matthew 24:21: “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
How long does the Tribulation last? That depends on who you ask. Some people say that the Tribulation is seven years long, others say three and a half years. Some say that the Tribulation, itself, is seven years and the final three and a half years is known as “The Great Tribulation”. What does Scripture say?
A seven year period is only mentioned in a couple of places in the Bible, Daniel 9:27 and Ezekiel 39:9. A seven year period is not mentioned in the book of Revelation.
Daniel 9:27: And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
Ezekiel 39:9 “Then those who inhabit the cities of Israel will go out and make fires with the weapons and burn them, both shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears, and for seven years they will make fires of them.
Daniel 9:27 can be translated something like this….”he (antichrist/man of sin) will confirm or make firm an agreement or a proposal with “the many” (international community) for seven years, but in 3 1/2 years, he (the antichrist/abomination/son of perdition) will stop the sacrifice and grain offering and will make desolate until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on him by GOD ALMIGHTY
This period of seven years is known as Daniel’s 70th week. It’s also called “The seven year Tribulation” by some people. The seven year Tribulation is the final seven years of man’s self-rule on the earth. This period begins with some kind of proposal or “deal” that is made with “the many”, (possibly the international community, or could be another group of “many” (arab league). Our Father writes cryptically so it’s difficult to SEE UNTIL the time is right upon us. God is definitely telling us; however, that the antichrist will be very involved in whatever “deal” is concocted, or at least he will confirm this deal at a later time. Notice that nowhere does it say that the antichrist will SIGN a seven year peace treaty. Because the enemy is very subtle, it’s unlikely that there will be a literal seven year SIGNED treaty. There will be some sort of deal, proposal, agreement that will be confirmed or made firm by the antichrist and probably the international community. It may also later be signed, but again, expect subtlety and the unexpected. This could happen publicly or could also happen “behind closed doors”. Once the antichrist confirms this deal/treaty/proposal/contract with “the many” we officially launch into the final seven years of mankind’s self-rule on earth. This is the “kick-off” event to Daniel’s 70th week, or 7 year Tribulation. Remember, this is “the missing seven”.
What can we expect during these seven years? Well, for the Spirit filled, Bible Believing Christian, our Blessed Hope is to be “Raptured” before the seven year period officially begins. The Rapture follows the same “pattern” as the ancient Jewish Wedding Custom. However, it’s always possible that we could be “off” in these expectations, so it’s important to take a look at what these seven years could look like. Also, our friends and family who are not believers and are not walking with the Lord Jesus Christ will probably still be here for the worst time ever on this earth. Wouldn’t we want them to be prepared or have some idea of what they may face?
We’ll just list off a few of the prophetic events that will probably be fulfilled within or just prior to this seven year time-frame.
- The Dead in Christ rising, the Harvest, the Rapture of the Church
- The COMPLETE and utter OVERNIGHT annihilation of Damascus, Syria in fulfillment of Isaiah 17.
- The destruction of Jerusalem and likely destruction of America as we know it
- The Ezekiel 38 war, possibly also the Psalm 83 war
- Abomination of Desolation (antichrist) “set up” (rising to power)
- The rebuilding or attempted rebuilding of the 3rd Jewish Temple, and potentially at least the attempt to restart the animal sacrificial system.
- The Two witnesses showing up in Jerusalem (we haven’t spoken about these, but they will have Holy Spirit powers similar to Elijah as they witness the TRUTH about Jesus to the Jewish remnant)
- The establishment of the New World Order (a 10 “nation/region” alliance. The antichrist and the false prophet will be the leaders of this alliance (.
- The distribution of the Mark of the Beast
- Christians beheaded for their Faith in Jesus
The details above are a few of the prophecies that will be fulfilled during these final 7 years. As we saw in Daniel 9:27, the Bible actually divides the final 7 years into two “legs” or segments. We know this because Daniel 9:27 says “in the middle of the week” the antichrist will stop the sacrifice and grain offering and on “the wing of abominations” will come one who makes desolate. This happens right in the middle of the 7 year Tribulation, so right before the final 3.5 years. There is much speculation about the abomination of desolation. Here’s what we know….
Abomination of Desolation
The forerunner for the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION (AOD) is found in the book of Maccabees when Antiochus IV set up a statue of Zeus in the Jewish Temple and then sacrificed an unclean animal (pig) on the Jewish alter thus DEFILING the JEWISH TEMPLE. Many expect SOMETHING like this to be the “abomination that makes desolate”. The word Desolate in the Bible is an interesting word and has to do with God’s Glory. Jesus tells Jerusalem this just prior to His Crucifixion. The Jewish people rejected their Messiah, the very GLORY of God, so their house was left DESOLATE…without God’s Glory.
Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
“On the WING of ABOMINATIONS will come one who MAKES DESOLATE. What is an abomination in the Bible? IDOLATRY, worshipping anything other than the ONE TRUE GOD YHWH Elohim is called an ABOMINATION! The antichrist will “take his seat” of authority in the Temple of God PRETENDING to be GOD (2nd Thess 2:4)! This is a LIE, this is IDOLATRY, this is an ABOMINATION!!! He’s going to “make desolate”!! Jesus also speaks about the abomination of desolation, and refers us back to the prophecy in the book of Daniel, where Jesus says let the READER UNDERSTAND.
Matthew 24: 15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Mark 13:14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Here’s what the prophet Daniel said about the AOD (abomination of desolation)..
Daniel 12:10: Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. 11 From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
Young’s Literal Translation of Daniel 12:11 “from the time of the turning aside of the perpetual [sacrifice], and to the giving out of the desolating abomination, [are] days a thousand, two hundred, and ninety.
See how this is like a puzzle! It takes the Glory of God to conceal a matter, and the honor of kings to search it out! Interesting that Daniel and Jesus both state that “those with insight” (ponder/consider/wisdom (from Holy Spirit)..and “the reader” (of the book of Daniel) will understand WHAT or WHO is the AOD (abomination of desolation). The AOD (Abomination of Desolation) is something that is “set up” (grant/permit/bestow/given). Because the enemy can do nothing without God’s permission, I would think that the SET UP of the AOD would be the permission granted (by ELOHIM) to satan, to indwell a man (antichrist). The Sacrifice and Grain offering will STOP because of the antichrist in the middle of the “week”, or 1260 days AFTER the START of Daniel’s 70th week, which is ALSO 1290 days AFTER the “abomination” that makes desolate is “set up” (granted permission).
God is using the Jewish Calendar in both Daniel and Revelation, so there are 1260 days EXACTLY in 3.5 JEWISH years. A Jewish year is 360 days, NOT 365 days. Why is God using the Jewish Calendar? Because after the Rapture (closing out the “fullness of the Gentiles”), God’s FOCUS is ONCE again on THE JEWISH PEOPLE. Can Gentiles still be saved DURING the TRIBULATION? YES!
Let’s lay this out. (Daniel 12)
- Start of the final 7 year period. Proposal for peace made firm by the antichrist. (Jesus begins to open the seals of Revelation (birth pains) during the first 3.5 years.
- 1260 DAYS: Also known as time, times, half a time, 42 months. Final 3.5 years of Great Tribulation. (Trumpets and bowls of God’s Wrath)
- 1290 Days: Satan/antichrist indwells a man as the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION 1290 days before the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ (AOD IS “SET UP). This occurs 30 days prior to the start of the final 3.5 years and BEGINS the giving out of the AOD (mark of the beast) that will be enforced for 1290 days.
- 1335 Days: This describes a blessing for those who wait for a period of 1335 days. It might be that those who wait upon the Lord (2nd coming of the Lord) will be blessed. Or, it could mean that the Rapture (harpazo/catching away) takes place 1335 days after the start of the final 7 years. Time will tell.
So what is the abomination of desolation? Here are my musings. Hopefully none of us will be here to SEE this unfold, but there will be others who may need this information. The abomination of desolation will stand in the TEMPLE, where it OUGHT NOT TO BE. The abomination IS something that will MAKE DESOLATE. Daniel says “on the wing of abominations will come ONE who will make desolate” so it’s a WHO not a WHAT.! The AOD is a person (sort of). Here’s what I think. We know that the Temple is NO LONGER made with human hands (Acts 7:48). In the New Testament OUR BODIES, our HUMAN BODIES are the Temple of God because they HOUSE HIS HOLY SPIRIT (1st Corinthians 6:19) . God’s Spirit is where HIS GLORY lies…Jesus was FILLED with the Holy Spirit, He was the EXPRESS GLORY of GOD! Each Believer has a “DEPOSIT” of God’s Holy Spirit, Jesus living inside of us! To MAKE DESOLATE would be to REMOVE or make it so that the HUMAN BODY (Temple) could NOT HOUSE God’s HOLY SPIRIT! Yes, there is going to be a rebuilt Jewish Temple, but the Holy Spirit of GOD will NOT dwell there, THAT HOUSE is going to be DESOLATE!
Jesus made it clear that our bodies are the Temple of God, and therefore they are HOLY! But consider this….the antichrist will not be “housed” by the HOLY SPIRIT..but rather, he will be “housed” by the devil (satan). He will demand worship, pretending to be GOD, which is an ABOMINATION (IDOLATRY!)!!! The antichrist is also going to be pushing the mark of the beast to his worshippers. When people take this mark, they will become DESOLATE because once this happens, there is NO WAY that they can be FORGIVEN and no way for them to make it back to their TRUE CREATOR! These poor, deceived folks have no ability to EVER house the HOLY SPIRIT within them, they are DESOLATE! We’ve stated before how FINAL this mark is, how it will bring about PERMANENT DAMNATION (outer darkness/lake of fire/no way to Heaven) (Revelation 14:9-12). There is no forgiveness once a person takes the mark.
It is our BELIEF that the mark of the beast must CHANGE the DNA OF MANKIND to something more like the NEPHILIM (fallen angel/human hybrid), thus making those who take it no longer of “the race of Adam” and therefore no longer eligible for Salvation! Those who takes the mark will be made into the IMAGE of the BEAST, and therefore DESOLATE (Revelation 13:14-18)! Humanity was originally made in the IMAGE of ELOHIM (Triune God), but once they take the mark, they will be remade into the IMAGE of the BEAST (satan)….and therefore DESOLATE! This, I believe, is the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION that is given permission (set up) 30 days before the final 7 years.
Jude 1: 6: And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,
What about the book of Revelation, seals/Trumpets/bowls? Who are the Two witnesses? We’ll discuss this in Part 2 of “The Tribulation”. We’ll also discuss what can a person (family member/friend/loved one) do if they are “LEFT BEHIND” to endure this most horrible time on the earth? Is there ANY HOPE for them? ....YES, with JESUS the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, there is HOPE!