Prophecy Concerning
The Tribulation

By David J. Stewart

Will the Church Go Through the Tribulation?

NO!  The New Testament Church, the Body of Christ, will NOT go through the Tribulation period.  By "Tribulation" I am referring to the Biblically prophesied 7-year time period (referred to in the Bible as "the time of Jacob's trouble").  This 7-year period precedes the Millennial reign of Christ.  It is during this 7-year period that the Antichrist (the Beast) will rule the world, leading up to the Battle of Armageddon at the end.  The Antichrist will be a 100% Satan possessed individual. 

The Beast system is being formed today, which is often referred to as the "New World Order."  The Church will be removed from the earth BEFORE the appearing of the Antichrist (2nd Thessalonians 2:7,8).  There isn't one verse in the entire Bible which indicates that the Church will go through the Tribulation period.  Rather, the Apostle Paul stated in 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18...

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

Carefully notice that Paul's message was intended to "COMFORT one another."  If the Church was going to go through the horrible atrocities of the Tribulation, then these words certainly wouldn't be very comforting.  Also, it is important to note that God wouldn't destroy the wicked in Noah's day until Noah and his family were all safely aboard the ark.  Not one drop of rain fell until Noah and his family were on the ark, and God had shut the door.  Afterwards, the rains fell and the wicked were utterly destroyed.  The same is true of Lot and his family.  Although Lot was a backslidden believer, he was nevertheless a "just man," a righteous man (2nd Peter 2:7,8). 

Will The Church Go Through The Tribulation? (No, by Pastor Lee Roberson, 1909-2007)

We read in Genesis 19:22, "Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither."  These words were spoken by the angel whom God had sent to reign down fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah.  No judgment could fall upon Sodom, until Lot and his family were removed.  Likewise, the Church will be Translated (Raptured) away from this sin-cursed world before the Tribulation.  The Word of God clearly teaches a Pretribulation Rapture, which means that the Church will be caught away from the earth before the destruction begins. 

Saints Leaving at the Rapture; Coming back at the Second Coming

1st Thessalonians 4:16-18 plainly states that the Church will be LEAVING the earth.  In sharp contrast, the Word of God clearly states in Jude 1:14, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints."  Enoch prophesied about the Second Coming of Christ, way back in Genesis.  So 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18 clearly cannot be referring to the same event as Jude 1:14.  It would be absurd to say that Jesus is going to return FOR His saints, while at the same time COMING to establish His Millennial Kingdom.  Why would Jesus remove us from the earth if he's coming to the earth at the same time?  It's common sense folks. 

Jude said that the Lord Jesus Christ will be COMING to earth with ten thousands of His saints; but Paul said that the Lord will REMOVE us from the earth.  Paul was speaking about the Rapture; but Jude was speaking about the Second Coming of the Lord 7-years later.  Please note that the Lord won't be coming to the earth at the Rapture; but will be catching us away into the clouds to meet with Him (1st Thessalonians 4:17).  An easy way to remember is this ... Jesus came 2,000 years ago TO His own, He will return at the Rapture FOR His own, and He will come again 7-years later at the Second Coming WITH His own.

By the way, for those critics who like to point out that the word "Rapture" isn't found in the Bible, show them Hebrews 11:5 ... "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."  If you prefer to call the Rapture, the "Translation," be my guest.  The teaching is Biblical.  Likewise, the word "Trinity" may not be found in the Scriptures, but the word "Godhead" certainly is (Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, Colossians 2:9).

Jesus Clearly Taught A Pretribulation Rapture

We read in John 14:1-3, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."  This is the first mention of the Rapture (the translation of believers) in the New Testament.  It is clear from this Scripture that Jesus is going to take us somewhere away from the earth at the Rapture, to a place He's personally prepared for us--in Heaven.  As an earthly parent, I enjoy doing things for my children to make them happy. 

How much more shall our Heavenly Father want to make us happy in eternity!  Jesus stated in Matthew 7:11, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"  Jesus has promised to prepare a place for each and every believer.  I believe the Lord will prepare each place differently, according to the desires of our heart.  Thank Jesus for His mercy, forgiveness and abundant love. 

John 14:1-2 cannot be referring to the Second Coming, because Jesus is going to return with ten thousands of His saints at the time of the Second Coming.  This is in sharp contrast to the Lord taking us to a place He has "prepared" for us.  The Word of God plainly states that we will live upon the earth for all eternity with our Wonderful Lord Jesus Christ, in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2-3).  I believe God is preparing a place for every believer in the New Jerusalem, "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it..."  The New Jerusalem is described in detail in Revelation 21:10-27.  Everyone needs their own space, a place to call their own, a place to hang their hat. 

There will be a "new" Heaven and a "new" earth at the end of the Millennium, "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain" (Isaiah 66:22).  All wickedness will be purged by fire, and former things shall all pass away (Revelation 21:4).  The earth will be renovated with fire at the end of the Millennium Period (2nd Peter 3:7,10).  The earth is not going to be destroyed as some think; but only renovated ... purged.  The New Jerusalem is that city, with streets of gold, and gates of pearl, and the river of life, where the Lord shall reign forever, "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15). 

And again in Revelation 22:5 we read, "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."  The New Jerusalem will come down to earth after the Millennium (Revelation 21:2).

So we see that the ONLY time in which believers will be REMOVED for the earth bodily is at the Rapture.  Of course, the soul of every believer is escorted by angels to Heaven when they die (Luke 16:22).  Their soul enters into Heaven to be with the Lord (2nd Corinthians 5:8); but they won't receive their transfigured body (i.e., their new body) until the Rapture of the saints (1st Corinthians 15:52,53).  This is the FIRST RESURRECTION spoken of in Revelation 20:6, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

All believers will be raised up at the Rapture, and changed in the twinkling of an eye (1st Corinthians 15:52).  Our mortal corrupt bodies will be changed into immortal incorruptible bodies, "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."  We will then be taken by the Lord for the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and then return 7-years later at the Second Coming.  After the Battle of Armageddon, and the judgment of the nations, and the destruction of the wicked, we will enter into the Millennial Period where Christ shall reign from Jerusalem as King over the whole earth.  We will serve our Lord, and we will reign with Him.  What a day that will be!

Humans Will Enter into the 1,000 Year Millennial Reign of Christ

We read in Isaiah 65:20-25 that there will be humans during the Millennium Period.  This clearly PROVES that there is NO such thing as a POST-tribulation Rapture as so many people foolishly teach today.  The Postribulation Rapture is a false teaching that the Rapture will take place AFTER the Tribulation Period.  I have found numerous websites that are teaching the Postribulation heresy, and 95% of them are using the Godless and corrupted NIV bible.  There MUST be a period of time between Christ's coming for His Church and His coming to establish His Kingdom on the earth 7-years later, for lost sinners to be saved, who will populate the Millennial Kingdom.  No unsaved person will enter into the Millennium (Matthew 25:32,41). 

If the saints were to be Raptured and changed into incorruptible beings (non-human) after the Tribulation Period, then where would the humans come from that will live during the Millennial Period?  Obviously the Rapture must come BEFORE the Tribulation Period.  There will be souls saved during the Tribulation Period who will enter into the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.  There will be a rebellion at the end of the 1,000 year period, when Satan is released from the bottomless pit, and all Christ-rejecters will be cast into the Lake of Fire with Satan forever.  It is at this time that the Great White Throne Judgment happens (Revelation 20:11-15).  This will be the final judgment of the damned, where they will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity.  This is the Second Death (Revelation 21:8).

"The Day Of The Lord" Verses "The Day Of Christ"

Although these two terms may sound alike, they are very different in meaning.  "The Day of the Lord" is an Old Testament term referring to the time when God will pour out His judgments upon the earth.  Specifically, this judgment will begin halfway through the Tribulation period, with an event called "the abomination of desolation" (Matthew 25:15). This is when the Antichrist will profess himself to be God, and demand worldwide worship ... "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2nd Thessalonians 2:4). 

The last 3 1/2 years of the 7-year Tribulation Period are known as The Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21).  We read in Zephaniah 1:14-18, "The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.  That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.  And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.  Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

Zephaniah was one of the Old Testament's minor prophets to Judah, but his message was anything but minor.  Zephaniah's prophecy foretells of the coming dreaded Great Day of the Lord, when men shall be devoured in God's fury.  Billions of people will die (Revelation 9:15-18).  Zephaniah 1:3 states ... "I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD."  This speaks of coming world judgment!  In verse 4 God specifically targets Jerusalem as well; but the larger prophetic scope is concerning The Day of the Lord.

In 1st Thessalonians 5:2,3 we read, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."  This Scripture passage does NOT speak of the Rapture; but of the terrible Day of the Lord when the wrath of God will be poured out upon the earth.  It will come upon them without warning, as in the days of Noah.  It is clear from Zechariah 14:1-4 that The Day of the Lord will include the time when Jesus Christ will put down the Antichrist and judge the nations.  It is also clear from 2nd Peter 3:10-12 that The Day of the Lord (the Day of God) will include the renovating of the earth with fire at the end of the Millennial Period.  Thus, The Day of the Lord is literally referring to a span of at least 1,000 years. 

In sharp contrast, The Day of Christ is a New Testament term mentioned in 2nd Thessalonians 2:2, "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand."  "The Day of Christ" begins with the Rapture of the saints to be with Christ.  The Day of Christ will continue throughout the Millennium.  The Day of Christ pertains to the redeemed and their rewards or judgments as BELIEVERS; however, The Day of the Lord has to do with the UNSAVED only, and the miseries which shall come upon them.  "The Day of the Lord" is also found in the New Testament, as we read in 1st Thessalonians 5:2.  "The Day of the Lord" refers to Christ's universal dealings with the ungodly, in judgment, in preparation for His eternal Kingdom on earth. 

As evidenced above, "Day" in both terms does not refer to a 24-hour time period; but rather, to an extended period of time.  The Day of Christ and The Day of the Lord will occur within the same time frame; but are two entirely different programs.  In 1st Corinthians 1:8 the Apostle Paul speaks of "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" which shows that Jesus is related to BOTH events ... "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that  God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). 

Why the Tribulation?

There is a two-fold purpose for the Tribulation Period:

  1. to prepare Israel for the coming of her Messiah.

We read in Jeremiah 30:7-11, "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 shall no more serve themselves of him ... Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.  For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished."  Thus, the time of Jacob's trouble will cause many Israelites to turn back to God.  We read in Matthew 24:14 concerning the Tribulation Period, "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."  We read in Revelation 7:4 who the 144,000 are going to be ... "And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."  The 144,000 will be Jewish soulwinners!  These are the preachers spoken of in Matthew 24:14.  They will win multitudes of lost sinners to the Lord (Revelation 7:9).

Although the Tribulation will affect the entire earth, and everyone in then world--it will center primarily around the nation of Israel.  Let me say here that I do not believe in Zionism (i.e., A policy for establishing and developing a national homeland for Jews in Palestine).  God promised to restore the nation of Israel WHEN HE RETURNS, and not before.  Some churches even take up offerings to help relocate Jews back into the Palestinian area.  Folks, don't make the same mistake as Abraham and Sara did when they took matters into their own hands.  Many believers have become enamored with the heresy that God blesses those who bless a Jew.  Folks, that's NOT true.  Galatians 3:7 states, "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham."  Every non-Jew who is a born again Christian IS A CHILD OF ABRAHAM!  That's exactly what Galatians 3:7 states!  I am a spiritual Jew!  And let me say, I'd 10,000 times rather be a spiritual Jew than a national Jew.  Why?  Because MOST national Jews are going to Hell when they die, because they've rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah.  ANYONE can become a spiritual Jew by faith in Jesus Christ ... "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29).  All of the promises made to Israel apply to every born again Christian in the world.  Amen!

To clarify, the Tribulation will center around the literal nation of Israel; but all of the promises of blessing made to physical Jews (God's people) also apply to spiritual Jews (God's children) as well.  No unsaved Jew will see the Promised Land; but will be cast into the Lake of Fire, where all Christ-rejecters go (Revelation 20:11-15).  God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11).  Many Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel haven't been fulfilled yet.  Deuteronomy 20:1-6 hasn't been fulfilled yet concerning Israel, "And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers" (Deuteronomy 30:5).  This promise will be fulfilled when the Lord Jesus returns at the Second Coming.  All of the Jews saved during the Tribulation period will inherit the land of promise (i.e., all land between the Nile River in Africa up north to the Euphrates River in Syria--Genesis 15:18, "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates"). 

  1. for God to unleash His anger upon the wickedness of men. 

God is a just God, and He would not be Holy (i.e., moral perfection) if He allowed men to get away with sin.  I know that America is long overdue for judgment!  We are a sinful nation of idolaters, child murderers, boozers, gamblers, pornographers, haters, backstabbers, liars, adulterers, etc (2nd Timothy 3:1-5).  One of these days the wicked will get what they deserve, and the Tribulation Period will be that time.  Men will be so hardhearted and rebellious toward God by the time of the Tribulation that nothing will cause them to repent ... “By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire ... And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:18-21).  Even after billions of people will die, they will still reject God.  Revelation 16:9 states, “And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

Horrors Of The Tribulation Period Were Prophesied in the Old Testament

Prophecy is history written in advance.  I enjoyed listening to Dr. Texe Marrs this week preach a sermon series on the coming World War III. Pastor Marrs believes in a Pretribulation Rapture...

“The important thing I'm convinced is this, that these things (this destruction) is for the world, and is going to come upon the world; and the mass of the horrors will occur, yes, after the Rapture.”

Pastor Texe Marrs (a quote from the MP3 sermon titled, Does The Bible Prophesy WW III, Part 3 of 4)

Texe Marrs continues in his sermon talking about the horrifying conditions which will exist during the Tribulation, which follows the Rapture. The Old Testament prophets were given a glimpse of the future. Amos 8:9, “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.” Revelation 8:12 says the sun shall be smitten and 1/3 cease to shine. Will the earth freeze without a third of the sun's light? Joel 2:1-32 is fascinating, describing the horrors of the Tribulation in detail. Nuclear war will devastate the earth in the end times. Zechariah 14:12, “...Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” The only saints present during the Tribulation will be those who are saved AFTER the Rapture of the Church (Revelation 7:14).

Prophecy is history written from the future backwards. Did you know that the Muslim Koran contains NO prophecy! In sharp contrast the Bible is one-third prophecy. That's amazing! Many of the Messianic prophecies have already been fulfilled at Christ's first coming. God is a reasonable God. He didn't just send Christ into the world and expect us to believe His Words without evidence. Christ performed miracles that NO MAN has ever been able to perform before or since. Only the Lord was able to heal amputees; such as when the Lord restored the servant's ear that Peter cut off with a sword (Luke 22:51). John 15:24-25, “If I had not done among them the works WHICH NONE OTHER MAN DID, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father...” [emphasis added]

God also has given us several hundred prophecies to prove that His Word is accurate and true. No other book can make this claim. The Bible is easily verifiable to anyone with an honest heart and a working brain. Unlike secret societies which hide things from people, God is totally upfront and honest with mankind, thus showing His love, sincerity and fairness toward all humanity. John 18:20, “Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.” I love the Scriptures!

Biblical Evidence for a...

Seven Year Tribulation  |  Daniel's 70th Week  |  Pre-Tribulation Rapture

Beware “After The Tribulation” Film Heresy!
(corrupt film denies Pretribulation Rapture)

(Did you know that the Bible contains one-third prophecy? Yes, it's true!
Also, the Muslim Koran contains NO prophecy! Fulfilled Messianic Bible Prophecies!)

Revelation 5 (Dr. Harold Sightler) | Revelation 12 (Dr. Jack Hyles) | Revelation 19 (Dr. Curtis Hutson)

Let's Study The Revelation (by Dr. Jack Hyles, 1926-2001)

John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Bible Prophecy