WHAT IS THE GREAT TRIBULATION?
Now to the second point in our discussion, what ought to be considered is the term ‘GREAT TRIBULATION.’ Obviously I know you are not ignorant of what tribulation is, but I still have to touch on that also to make things clearer to you. This is because many people have been confusing SUFFERING with TRIBULATION. Tribulation which also means persecution is a form of suffering in the Lord. There are also other sufferings which differ from persecutions. For instance one can through poverty starve for lack of food for stability; others can go through many difficulties in life and disgraceful things due to one’s faith in the Lord. At times one is hated by family members, colleagues, friends or others (MATT.10:34-39), yet these can be classified as ordinary sufferings that frustrate a lot of Christians for which cause Christ likened such scenario unto the seeds that fell into thorns in the Parable of the sower.
"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” MATT.13:22
According to the text above those who go through such difficulties or suffering later turn to lose their faith and thus become unfruitful in their godly lives. Notwithstanding these facts, there are a few people who also despite such suffering endure to the end successfully. Hence the exhortation in Romans 8:37 saying we are always more than conquerors irrespective of the problems that face us as lovers of God.
In real term Tribulation means being attacked for righteousness for Christ sake. Thus one can be harassed without cause just because of the one’s faith in Christ. At times people are put behind bars, killed, denied food, stripped naked, tortured, molested or meted with all sorts of punishments pleasing unto their accusers. See some biblical examples here:
(35) "Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: (36) And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: (37) They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (38)(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” HEB. 11:35-38
You see all these sufferings outlined above are what are called TRIBULATION or PERSECUTION. It is to this end that Christ assured us that all those who go through such things are blessed.
(10) "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (11) Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (12) Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” MATT. 5:10-12
Apostle Paul also wrote that nothing of these sorts can separate us from the love of God who strengthens us to victory:
(35) "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,(39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ROM. 8:35-39
I hope with those various examples above you now have full glimpse of what Tribulations and sufferings are. So let us now move on to the term ‘GREAT TRIBULATION’ as is found in the text below.
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” MATT. 24:21
Simply the adjective qualifying the word Tribulation makes it look something different from the ordinary ones. But the main reason why it looks different from the ordinary tribulations is simply outlined in that very text we just read. Kindly examine the phrase that follows the words ‘GREAT TRIBULATION’ in that text and notice that it expresses some meaning which is something without precedence in the history of mankind. Thus the phrase "SUCH AS WAS NOT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO THIS TIME, NO, NOR NEVER SHALL BE” gives us the clue that the Tribulation of the end time Jesus spoke of would be Great and Unprecedented.
You see, our Lord Jesus Christ knowing the future predicted how the persecution against His saints in the end of the world would be. So as Master of all things, He said so many things in addition to the topic of our discussion when He was telling His disciples how the world would look like in the end times.
Even in John the Beloved’s report about the tribulations that shall come upon believers before the end time, Jesus said that Christians shall go through martyrdom for His name sake; yet we should not be offended.
(1)"These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. (2) They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (3) And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. (4) But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you……………………….(33) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” JN.16:1-4,33
Honestly speaking, the above quotation shows comfort for all believers that might encounter such calamities or atrocities in their respective godly lives. It could also be deduced that Christ did not specifically mean the dreadful persecution or the great tribulation which believers should expect in the last days just before His return.
So let us now go through the scriptures to find out whether something of that nature has taken place before while we anticipate the serious persecutions of the end times. Kindly read the following texts and see how the early apostles suffered at the hands of their adversaries.
(54) "When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. (55) But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, (56) And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. (57) Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, (58) And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. (59) And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. (60) And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” ACTS 7:54-60
(1)” Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. (2) And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. (3) And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) (4) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (5) Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. (6) And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. (7) And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.” ACTS 12:1-7
You see, had it not been the intervention of the angel of God, Apostle Peter would have been killed earlier than the time he was martyred, which history reports of. Though there are other quotations and historical records to prove many martyrdom cases against believers, I would like to limit you to these two examples for you to know that there is a vast distinction between the GREAT TRIBULATION and other PERSECUTIONS against believers. That is since the real end time is not yet ushered in we shall continue to face persecutions until the appointed time in the divine time table for such atrocities to climax the Great Tribulation.
In my own broader view regarding the Great Tribulation, I must say it will be INTERNATIONAL or WORLDWIDE. That is to say it will be a situation whereby rumours of such persecutions will be heard everywhere in the world and almost the whole world community would cherish in the punishment that will be meted out to strong believers that may stand to challenge any form of wrongs against them. This is because whoever may be found to be on the side of God Almighty will be branded as a heretic and an enemy of progress. It is to this end that Christ revealed to Apostle John at Patmos that such Tribulation will be a form of TEMPTATION that would come upon the whole world.
"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of TEMPTATION, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” REV. 3:10 (Caps. Mine)
I hope you now understand my point that the great tribulation is not an ordinary persecution that has been happening to believers on daily basis since time immemorial. Rather it has a unique difference in such a way that there is a SET TIME appointed for such calamities of temptation to come upon the whole world community to try our faith in God. Even though many people will be killed at that time, others may also escape death narrowly through God’s own protection for those who He thinks must live to see the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why the statement "I ALSO WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION” is used in REV. 3:10 to assure all true believers of God. Now check this text below also to understand that some of the true believers shall remain alive at Christ’s second coming:
(16) "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: (17) 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. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1THESS.4:16-18
Lest I forget, I want you to know that this great tribulation is the one described in the Bible as ‘THE BEAST’S WAR AGAINST THE SAINTS OF THE MOST HIGH GOD.’
(7) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations…………………………. (15) And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” REV.13:7,15
Also the great Prophet Daniel was shown what must surely come to pass regarding this same issue of the Beast’s war against the saints.
(21) "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;…………………………………. (25) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High,………………………..”DAN.7:21,25
Please don’t be surprised to hear this. Could you believe that at the moment everything leading to how to perpetrate such crimes against the saints of the Most High has been fashioned out? If you don’t know, I am telling you that it was in the year 1985 during the Nairobi conference that the seventh (7th) of the sixteen (16) Articles published, indicated that the enemies to that organization formed shall be punished severely up to death. Just get a copy of my book entitled ‘ONE WORLD KINGDOM OF 666 IS AT HAND’ and read pages 31 and 32 for this information. Or you can also read from Bakajika’s confession about this Nairobi Conference and any other source that would help you get copies of that16 Articles I am referring to for further proofs.
If one considers the prophecies from the Prophet Daniel one may think that his is past and gone, since it is of the Old Testament. Please it is not so. The reason is that some prophecies have dual or even multiple occurrences. So in the case of this dream’s interpretation, it is worthy of note here that whatever happened aforetime during the partial reign of the fourth beast of Daniel chapter seven (7), must repeat itself, especially the killings. For instance the three and an half year reign in DAN.7:25 for the Little Horn expanded to mean one thousand two hundred and sixty (1260) prophetic days of years, must also be repeated but will be just three and an half literal years in this end time.
Remember REV.6:9-11 reports that more saints are about to suffer martyrdom in addition to those already killed some time past: And I am sure this new killings predicted must include that of the great tribulation. Now let’s read the full passage for clarity of facts.
(9) "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: (10) And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (11) And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” REV.6:9-11
Are you frightened about this future killings predicted here? Don’t be frightened, because it must definitely come to pass (ISAI. 34:16) so that we acknowledge the sovereignty of God Almighty. Like one of the greatest Prophets said, all the divine prophecies awaiting fulfillment must follow the precedence of the old prophecies which have already occurred, in their due time to show that God is accurate in all His predictions.
"Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.” ISAI. 42:9
I hope with the little explanation given above concerning the beastly war against the saints, you now understand that it is the beast with number ‘666’ that shall carry out all these wickedness against God’s people. This is why REV 17:8 says the beast that was, and is not, must come from the bottomless pit and go into perdition. Hence this great tribulation associated with Mr. ‘666’.
"The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” REV.17:8
Comparing the two beasts of Revelation 13 and 17, it could be deduced from the quotation just read that, the unfinished work of greater atrocities started by the beast of Daniel 7 is yet to be completed in this end time. Just look at the ending sentence of that text again; it says the ‘beast that WAS, and IS not, and YET IS’: This beast described here best suits the one of Revelation 13, looking at the description given at the very third verse of REV. 17. Look at it here:
"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” REV.17:3
Have you seen? The description here about the beast shows that it is the 17th chapter that throws more light on the one from the 13th chapter of the book of Revelation, giving exactly how its end might be. Just consider the names of blasphemy, the seven heads and the ten horns referred over there and compare them with the text below.
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” REV.13:1
So since it is now clear that the beast of Revelation 13 is the same as that of chapter 17, it means that the King to rule the world with number ‘666’ shall take this world to an end during which time the great tribulation will be manifest: Hence the term ‘666’ Persecution’ against the saints of God Most High.
We need to go through all this persecutions because the cup of iniquity of the Amorites (the Beast and his wicked accomplices) is not yet full (GEN. 15:16). This is why I have already hinted you that more martyrdom against God’s loyal men is on the way coming according to what God revealed to Apostle John at Patmos Island thus:
"And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” REV. 6:11
Remember that before God redeemed the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt, He made sure that what He covenanted with father Abraham came to pass. That is He made sure that the atrocities that should happen to Abraham’s descendants in that foretold strange land according to God’s promise in GEN. 15:7-21 had to fulfill before being redeemed from bondage. So we also ought to suffer afflictions before redemption takes place. Hence, the forthcoming tribulations.CONTINUE HERE