There will be Great Tribulation

Jesus told His disciples about the signs and events that would lead to His return and the end of the age. One of these signs, He called the Great Tribulation.

For then there will be great tribulation [megas thlipsis], unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:21-22).

We get the term great tribulation from the Greek words megas thlipsis. This term is also used in Revelation, when John is told about the great multitude that will come out of the great tribulation.

These are they who have come out of the great tribulation [megas thlipsis] (Revelation 7:14)

Jesus description of the great tribulation was very similar to Daniel’s description below.

At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of tribulation such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered (Daniel 12:1).

We also find the great tribulation identified in the Old Testament.

The days are coming,' declares Yahweh, 'when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess,' says Yahweh." These are the words Yahweh spoke concerning Israel and Judah: "This is what Yahweh says: "'Cries of fear are heard-- terror, not peace. Ask and see: Can a man bear children? Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor, every face turned deathly pale? How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it. "' In that day,' declares Yahweh Almighty, 'I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve Yahweh their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them (Jeremiah 30:3-9).

Jeremiah writes that Israel will first be brought back into their land, there will be a time of great trouble for Jacob, then the Lord will deliver Israel and Israel will serve Him as King.

When Jesus described the Great Tribulation He indicated that it would begin when we see "the abomination that causes desolation" standing in the Holy Place as prophesied by Daniel, see Matthew 24:15.   Daniel indicated that "the abomination that causes desolation"  would take place in the middle of the last seven years. Therefore, from "the abomination that causes desolation" until the end there will be 3 ½ years. Here is what he wrote.

He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end … (Daniel 9:27).

Scripture records the 3 ½ year period of the great tribulation seven more times.

He (Antichrist) will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time (3 ½ years) (Daniel 7:25).

"It will be for a time, times and half a time (3 ½ years). When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed" (Daniel 12:7).

But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months (3 ½ years). And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days (3 ½ years), clothed in sackcloth (Revelation 11:2-3).

The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days (3 ½ years). And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven (Revelation 12:6-8).

When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time (3 ½ years), out of the serpent's reach (Revelation 12:13-14).

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months (3 ½ years). He open his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven (Revelation 13:5-6).

This final 3½ -year period of great tribulation is the most documented period of time in Scripture. When Jesus warned us about it, He said; “See, I have told you ahead of time (Matthew 24:25).

Richard H Perry