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            The spiritual condition of the world worsens all the time and the troubles of humanity are multiplying every day.  The Bible clearly reveals how it will all end Daniel 12:1 ”There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.”  Jesus repeats the warning Matthew 24:21 ”For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

            Many other passages describe the terrors of this Great Tribulation.  Many wonder why such terrible things are permitted by God.  The main cause is the great sin Adam committed—rebelling against God, shutting Him completely out of his life, and starting on his own to obtain what he desired in life.  Adam wanted a Garden of Eden by his own plans and efforts; but God had already given this to him at no cost.

            When Adam rejected God’s plan, he had to accept Satan’s plan—as there is only two plans.  At the moment of rejecting God, the devil took possession of Adam’s life, and he became obsessed with doing things his own way, and obtaining what he thought he needed to be happy.  He wanted to be his own god.  Satan had already deceived them both by saying Genesis 3:5 "you will be like God;” when really they would be like the world.

            Everyone who has come into the world from that time, has been born with that attitude of Adam, and under the same control of Satan—whose object is to have people try to make their own Eden, by their own plans and power, in order to rob them of God’s blessings—and then take them to the lake of fire forever.

            All the sorrow, sickness, trouble and distress that has ever cursed individual lives, or the world as a whole, is the result of turning from God, and allowing Satan to control them.  Things will continue to get worse and worse, until the end of this world as we know it.  It is a time of trouble, Jesus said, ”such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time” Matthew 24:21.

            Not only do individuals have to be shown the spiritual cause of all these problems, but the world also has to realize that it cannot make the world what everyone would like it to be.  The Great Tribulation will clearly show everyone, that humans simply cannot make the world what it should be.

            Jesus Christ came to open the way for every person in the world to get back to God, trust Him in faith, and to enjoy the benefit of His love, mercy, and power.  This includes a deliverance from the devil’s power, and to instead be under the Spirit’s power.  This results in being delivered out of the troubles of this life; enjoying peace; and being prepared for eternal life—under the personal tutelage of God Himself—the most important result.

            The Great Tribulation will end Satan’s control over the world for a span of one thousand years.  Then begins the time when God is in control and showing the world how willing He is to make the world like it was in Eden.  The details of the Great Tribulation; the Second Coming of Christ, and His Millennial kingdom on earth, are all explained in the Book of Revelation.  Many events described in Revelation are still to be fulfilled.

            Numerous prophecies of the Old Testament give details of the Tribulation and Millennial reign of Christ.  Being able to separate these prophecies makes the overall theme easier to understand.  None of the Old Testament prophecies speak about the Gospel Age.  They speak of the first and second coming of Christ as if they were one event.  The key to understanding Old Testament prophecy is to separate what happened at the first coming of Christ, from the all the prophecy yet to be fulfilled.

            Jesus separated the prophecies when He read from the Old Testament Isaiah 61:1-2. He mentions the main object of His first advent.  Luke 4:18-19 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel [good tidings Isaiah 61] to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives; And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." 

            Jesus does not read the rest of the sentence Isaiah 61:2 because it would not be fulfilled until the end of the world; Isaiah 61:2 “And the day of vengeance of our God.”  This part refers specifically to the Great Tribulation which does not begin until the end—thus the Gospel Age is not mentioned in the Old Testament Scriptures.  It is a parenthesis placed between the first and second advents of Christ.

            Revelation describes the preparation in Heaven for the Great Tribulation.  Revelation 6:4 ”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.”  This corresponds to the prophecy Matthew 24:7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”

            There have been numerous military conflicts all over the globe, and two world wars since Jesus said that—but He also said Matthew 24:6 "See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”  Then He added Matthew 24:8 ”All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

            We are told Revelation 7:4 that “there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel;” so that they are protected during the horrible troubles and devastating plagues that follow—and which corresponds to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ”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.”

            Jesus said Revelation 3:10 "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”  This refers to Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

            The supernatural judgments will be horrible beyond description; hail mixed with fire and blood; a third of the ocean turned into blood; a third of all fresh water is made bitter; a third of the sun, moon, and stars darkened; a plague of locusts; and a massive earthquake.

            The Antichrist is the opposite to the true Christ, the begotten Son of God.  Jesus is the exact image of our loving Heavenly Father’s person—revealing His character and nature exactly as God is.  Jesus was God on earth, who loves us as much as the Father loves Him.  He even died for us, when we were enemies and sinners—which is proof of His pure and perfect love for us.

            The Antichrist is directly under the control of Satan, who hates us with a malicious hatred, and only wants to destroy us.  His only desire is for us to be unhappy and be sent to the flames with him.  This Antichrist will be the ultimate dictator who will pass a universal law that no one can buy or sell unless they accept the mark of the beast—666.

            An angel says with a loud voice Revelation 14:9-11, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

            Revelation portrays a wild beast rising out of the sea with seven heads and ten horns, on which a woman is sitting.  She is called the mother of harlots, or false religions, and of all the abominations of the earth.  The seven heads are seven hills, which possibly refers to the seven-hilled city of Rome.  

            The Roman Catholic Church is the mother of all false religions.  The ten horns represent ten kings who rule with the Antichrist.  These kings hate the harlot—or Roman Catholic Church—and destroy her with fire; fulfilling God’s judgment of that false religious system.

            The seven heads also represent seven kings, or seven Roman emperors.  Five had already reigned and died when John received this revelation; one was still in power, which probably was Domitian who reigned in 96 AD—about the time span Revelation is believed to have been written.

            Another Roman king was to succeed him.  Then the beast, who was once living, but not now living and yet will live again, is the eighth king, which has not happened yet.  He is of the seven, so the conclusion is that he was one of the five Roman kings who had died, and who will come back from the dead, and enter a human body—doing the evil things that the Antichrist is inspired by Satan to do.  Many speculate on who it is, but the Bible does not say.

            There is no specific time mentioned for the Great Tribulation to begin, or when Jesus returns to take possession of the earth.  Many try to compute this from different figures in the Old Testament, but there is no reference to the actual time of the Tribulation and return of Jesus.  We are just told Luke 12:40 ”Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”  Everything outside of this is mere guesswork.

            Knowing that the Great Tribulation could begin at any time; 2 Peter 3:14 ”Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”  We are blameless only by trusting in faith, on the shed Blood of Christ.

            Thus he goes on to write 2 Peter 3:17-18 “Seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”  Anyone can be deceived and unprepared for Christ’s return—we must watch and pray always Luke 21:36.


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