Articles, Prophetic Articles, The Tribulation


Commentary by Jack Kelley
While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape
(1 Thes. 5:3).
Like many works of man its beginning will be filled with hope and promise. Following the chaos that will accompany the rapture of the Church and the Middle East war we call the Battle of Ezekiel 38 a man will emerge, a leader like none the world has ever seen. He’ll claim to have a way to restore peace to a world that will have been shocked by the recent disappearance of millions and by the nuclear exchange that began in the Middle East and quickly spread from Europe in the west to Russia in the east.
People will be desperate for answers and multiple appearances around the world by the beautiful and tender Marian apparition will convince them that this leader has them.  Among other things, she will tell them he’s her son, come to restore peace to the world. Through her supernatural influence Catholics, Muslims, New Agers, the Eastern religions and even non-believers will unite behind him and for a time it will seem like an enduring peace is finally coming to Planet Earth.
Although conditions will grow steadily worse with war, famine, and disease taking an enormous toll in parts of the world (Rev. 6-9), the vast majority will be convinced their man is equal to the task of making things right again. The Marian apparition will have persuaded them that if they all put aside their differences and unite behind him everything will soon be better than it has ever been. Her promises will be accompanied by all sorts of miracles, so convincing that they would deceive even the post-rapture believers in the real Son, if that was possible (Matt. 24:24). Before long it will seem like the whole world is united behind him, to the point where they will have even made him the object of their worship.
“Who is like him?” they’ll say, “Who could ever oppose him?” Thinking he’s the son of God, as the one who calls herself his mother has told them, they’ll also worship his father, not understanding the extent of their deception. The Luciferian doctrine will have taken hold and the post-rapture world will have been persuaded that darkness is light, and evil is good (Rev. 13:4-8). It will be Satan’s finest hour.
The judgments of God, intended as a warning to the people of Earth, will be viewed by them as attacks from a vicious enemy intent on preventing them from achieving the utopian life they’ve longed for and have been told awaits just over the horizon.
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.
“Let us break their chains, ” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” (Psalm 2:1-3)
For a time it will seem as if the whole world is united against God, and that overthrowing Him is actually possible. But they won’t realize Who they’re up against.
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill ” (Psalm 2:4-6)
But the euphoria won’t last long. The promise of joy and peace that brought the world to its knees in worship and adoration will have matured into the worst trouble in its history, putting them on their knees for an entirely different reason. And the unity of the supernatural powers leading them will be exposed as a sham.
Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire” (Rev. 17:15-16).
Regardless of your opinion on where the anti-Christ will come from and what his world religion will be, these verses should be puzzling to you. The woman will have brought the anti-Christ to power by persuading people from every nation to follow him. How could he turn on her and destroy her? Rev. 17:17 has the answer.
For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.
God is long suffering, but there’s an end to His patience. That end will come swiftly when the anti-Christ makes the claim to be God himself (2 Thes. 2:4). Jesus said that claim will trigger the Great Tribulation, a time of distress unequaled from the beginning of the world and never to be equaled again, and told the people living in Judea when it happens to get out of town fast (Matt. 24:15-21).
“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8).
When the anti-Christ makes his claim to be God he’s issuing a direct challenge to the One who is God, and it will not go unanswered. God will cause him and his 10 subordinate kings to turn against the very system that brought them to power, starting with the false religion. He has long employed the forces of His enemies to do His will and it has worked every time.
An early example of this can be seen in Judges 7:22, when God had Gideon reduce the army he had gathered against the Midianites from 32,000 down to just 300. With those 300 He defeated the enemy by making them turn against each other. Another example that’s still in our future but will be fresh in the minds of the post church world appears in Ezekiel 38:21. That’s where Gog’s forces will be made to turn against each other to complete their utter defeat. (We’re never outnumbered when we’re on God’s side.)
God wants that false system destroyed and will use His sworn enemy to accomplish it. The counterfeit religion that began with Nimrod’s wife Semeramis in ancient Babylon and will be represented in the end times by the Marian apparition will be no more.
Where the apparition had sown harmony among the nations of Earth, God will cause the seeds of rebellion to sprout. The Kings of the North and South will rise up against the anti-Christ . With ethnic and religious ties, these are leaders who should have been his allies, but when the opportunity presents itself, they will rebel against him. He will no sooner finish dealing with them when reports from the north and east will alarm him (Daniel 11:40-44). He who came on the scene as a great peace maker will end up immersed in war. Satan, the power behind all these thrones, will be forced to deal with in-house bickering at the highest levels of his kingdom. Who has the ability to cause this kind of mischief? The Almighty God, that’s who, and He’s only just begun.
Daniel 11:45 tells us the anti-Christ will eventually come to his end and no one will help him. When at last the armies of Heaven invade Earth, he’ll be captured and thrown live into the lake of fire. His troops will be killed by nothing more than the words spoken from the mouth of the Lord (Rev. 19:19-21). Satan will be imprisoned in chains (Rev. 20:1-2), and this episode of man’s rebellion against God will end in defeat and judgment, just like all the previous ones.
It will begin as a beautiful dream of the utopian life to be accomplished through the unified efforts of the brotherhood of man and his supernatural benefactors. Seven short years later the world will no longer be a fit place to dwell and will have to undergo a complete spiritual and physical renewal to bring it back to the condition it was in when the first man dwelt here.
Through all this, God will have accomplished several major goals. The Church, who trusted Him to create our utopian life instead of trying to make one without Him, will be in the New Jerusalem enjoying it forever (Rev. 21:9-10,27).  Israel will be back in covenant with God and flourishing in the kingdom He promised them so long ago (Isaiah 65:17-25). The Earth will have been liberated from its bondage to decay and restored it to its original condition (Romans 8:19-21, Acts 3:21). The Lord Jesus will be in His rightful place as head of a kingdom that will never be destroyed or left to another people (Daniel 2:44, Zechariah 14:9). All who dwell therein will have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior (Matt. 25:34). Peace will flow like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream (Isaiah 66:12). You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah (08-25-12).

Commentary by Jack Kelley
The combination of the Rapture and the Battle of Ezekiel 38 will fill the world with anguish and uncertainty as Daniel’s 70th Week begins. Where did all those people go? How did Israel so utterly destroy that massive invasion force all by itself? How did all these things happen so suddenly?  Why didn’t somebody see this coming and do something to prevent it?
In the midst of all the chaos and confusion one leader will stand out (Rev. 6:2). He’ll demonstrate  an incredible ability to restore the world’s hope for the future, and will promise to bring them peace. The frightened populace will easily be persuaded to follow his lead. He’ll agree to Israel’s demand for a Temple in which to resume their long abandoned worship of the One who had secured their recent victory.  He’ll do this, not because He wants to help them honor God, but because he has plans of his own for the Temple (Daniel 9:27, 2 Thes. 2:4).
Using their own Scriptures (Ezekiel 48:1-10) he’ll show Israel why their new Temple shouldn’t be built where the old ones had stood. Instead it should be located a few miles north, in ancient Shiloh, where the Tabernacle had once stood. This will leave the Muslim facilities on the current Temple mount intact, at least for a time. After the disappearance of the Church, Islam will fast become the dominant religion of the world and their third holiest place is on that mount. With this bold stroke he’ll bring a semblance of peace to the region, demonstrating that Jew and Muslim can live in peace as neighbors in his brave new world (Dan 8:25). The people of Earth will breathe a collective sigh of relief.
But all too soon wars will start to break out in various places (Rev. 6:3) because this leader’s ultimate goal is world domination and some nations will resist. He’ll convince people that war is a temporary but necessary inconvenience and assure them that everything will soon be all right again. But the combination of wars, food shortages, and runaway inflation will begin taking their toll (Rev. 6:6). The deadly effects of this combination will be felt across one fourth of the Earth (Rev. 6:8).
Though it’s often called a religion of peace, Islam offers the world only two options, submission or death, as the martyrs among believers of other faiths will soon learn. For the multitude of new Christians who witnessed the disappearance of friends and family in the rapture and know from first hand experience the truth of the gospel, conversion to Islam will be impossible and the number of those who will die for their faith will mount rapidly and steadily. (Rev. 6:9) They’ll cry out to the Lord for vengeance but He’ll caution them to be patient for a little while longer because many more will die just as they have (Rev. 6:10-11).
Without warning, a great earthquake that will be felt world wide will trigger volcanic action spewing millions of tons of ash into the air.   The Sun will turn black and the Moon will become blood red (Rev. 6:12-14).  The world’s leaders will run for cover, some intuitively knowing that the Wrath of God they were warned about by the Christians who’ve all disappeared has already begun and they’ll be shown no quarter. (Rev. 6:16-17)
As if to confirm the worst fears of these leaders, a storm of hail, fire, and blood will rain down upon the Earth burning up a third of it. A third of the trees and all the green grass will go up in smoke. (Rev. 8:7) A meteor-like object the size of a huge mountain will crash into the sea. The resulting contamination will turn a third of the world’s oceans to blood killing all the marine life in the affected areas. The tsunami this meteor causes will capsize and destroy a third of the ships in the world. Over 50,000 commercial ships will disappear in a single day. (Rev. 8:8-9)
Then another star will fall to Earth and when it does a third of the fresh water will be contaminated. It will be toxic and foul tasting and many people will die from drinking it. (Rev. 8:10-11)
Both the day and the night will lose a third of their light due to the smoke and ash from the fires and volcanoes. Through the choking haze an angelic messenger will bring a warning from the Lord, “The worst is yet to come.” (Rev. 8:12-13)
A fallen angel will open the shaft of the Abyss and smoke will billow forth, further contaminating the already toxic air. Creatures resembling locusts will fly out from the smoke and for 5 months will inflict scorpion like stings on the people. These stings will be so painful people will wish they could die, but there will be no escape (Rev. 9:1-11). The only people on Earth who will be immune to their venom will be the 144,000 evangelists the Lord will have previously commissioned from among the tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:1-8).
Four angels who’ve been bound at the gateway to the East (the Euphrates River) will be released to kill one third of the Earth’s remaining population with plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur. (Rev. 9:13-19) The East is far different from the West and the animosity between Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and other religions the Far East is well established and deadly.  Since 40% of the world’s population is crowded into the nations east of the Euphrates the number of casualties will be enormous as they fight each other for supremacy.
Between the Rapture, the martyrdom, the wars, and the judgments well over 2 billion people will no longer be found among the living on planet Earth as Daniel’s 70th Week approaches the mid point. And yet the Bible gives no indication that the unbelievers who remain will see the error of their ways and change their minds.
This is the hardest core of the unsaved, the ones who refused to believe the truth of the Lord and accepted the lie of the anti-Christ instead In their deluded state they’ll think they’re on the side of light not darkness, and right not wrong. They’ll see God as the invading enemy and Satan as their leader, working to protect them. Spiritually, everything will be upside down.
But at the blowing of the 7th Trumpet in Heaven, the Lord’s reign will begin (Rev. 11:15). Having used every device at His command in an effort to persuade the people of Earth to change their minds and accept His offer of pardon, He will now take action to unseat the usurper from the throne that’s rightfully His and claim for Himself that which He’s purchased with His own blood, Planet Earth. Those who’ve sided with Satan will now face the worst time of judgment in the history of mankind. Were it not for a remnant of the Lord’s people among them, not a single soul would be left standing when this is over (Matt. 24:21-22).
The Bowl judgments make up the 3 ½ year period of time we know as the Great Tribulation. The Seal and Trumpet cycles of judgments were partly for the purpose of demonstrating evidence of God’s existence to the undecided among the people of Earth. But that will have come to an end with the Bowl judgments.
They’re strictly for the purpose of bringing judgment upon those who’ve rejected Him. In the process the Lord is going to completely destroy all the nations to which His people have been scattered (Jeremiah 30:11). Today there are nearly as many Jews in America as there are in Israel, and more than there are in any other nation, so you know that what’s left of this country after the rapture will not escape.
By now Satan will have been expelled from Heaven (Rev. 12:9) and confined to Earth (Rev. 12:13). He will unleash his full fury upon God’s people.  But those who heed His warning (Matt. 24:15-21) will be escorted to a place of refuge out of Satan’s reach (Rev. 12:13-16). Enraged, he will turn his fury against the Gentiles who’ve come to believe Jesus is their Savior since the rapture (Rev. 12:17).
He will take up residence in the body of the anti-Christ (Rev. 13:4) and with the help of a false prophet he will convince the unbelieving world to follow him and take a mark on their right hand or forehead to prove their loyalty to him (Rev. 13:16-17).
Three angels will deliver God’s final messages to mankind. The first one will offer one last chance to accept the Gospel, the second will announce the coming destruction of Babylon and all the city represents, and the third will warn mankind against taking the mark of the beast. (Rev. 14:6-11)
People who will have disregarded the warning against taking the mark will be treated to a dose of ugly and painful sores (Rev. 16:2).  All the water on Earth will turn to blood, whether in the sea (Rev. 16:3) or in springs and rivers (Rev. 16:4). All sources of water will now be contaminated. The angel in charge of the waters reminds us that God is just in doing this because those He’s judging have shed the blood of God’s saints and prophets. Now He’s giving them blood to drink. (Rev. 16:5-7)
The Sun will go super nova at this point becoming so hot people will be scorched just by going outside. Again they will curse God but refuse to repent. (Rev. 16:8-9)
Then the Sun will go totally dark turning day into night, and still the people of Earth will curse God but refuse to repent (Rev. 16:10-11).
The anti-Christ will gather the armies of the world to Armageddon in a final effort to repel the Earth’s “invaders”. From Heaven a loud voice will shout, “It is done!” and the full fury of God’s wrath will be loosed on Earth. Lightning, thunder, and the worst earthquake man has ever experienced will be followed by a torrent of 100 pound hail stones. (Rev. 16:17-21) The punishment for blasphemy is stoning, and the blaspheming people of Earth will suffer the most extreme form of this punishment for their behaviour.
Then God will turn to Babylon, headquarters of the forces who’ve defied Him since the time after the flood. There are three components to mankind’s  world wide system and they will all be headquartered there.  They are governmental, commercial, and religious, and among them they have enslaved the people of Earth for thousands of years.
First God will use the governmental component to destroy the religious one.
“The beast (anti-Christ) and the ten horns (ten kings who assist him) you saw will hate the prostitute (religious Babylon). They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.” (Rev. 17:16-17)
Then He’ll turn to the commercial component. It will be so totally destroyed that Earth’s leaders will stand aghast, scarcely believing what their own eyes are telling them.
They will weep and mourn and cry out, “Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!” (Rev. 18:16-17)
Finally the governmental component.
The beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (Rev. 19:20-21)
For six thousand years God has worked tirelessly to reconcile man to Himself, even giving His own life in exchange for ours.  But His efforts have all ended in failure due to mankind’s unfaithfulness.  Covenant after covenant was instituted and broken. The only one that has endured is the one the Father made with His Son to save us.
But even then the majority of mankind, given the choice to participate as a beneficiary in this everlasting covenant, refused.  Finally, His patience exhausted, God will remove the remnant that chose the pardon He offers, and judge the rest. Can you blame Him? You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 11-09-13

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
NOTE: This Popular Post From The Past is a response to numerous questions I’ve received lately from people who have become confused about the timing and duration of God’s Wrath.
They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Rev. 6:16-17).
I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed (Rev. 15:1).
For 20 centuries various forms of the phrase “Wrath of God” brought one image to mind and that was the period of end times judgments that immediately precede the 2nd Coming. But lately it has begun to mean different things to different people. At the same time phrases like the Wrath of the Lamb, the Wrath of Man, and the Wrath of Satan have also crept into the discussion. In addition, some have begun speaking of a period of judgment they call the Wrath of God which is not mentioned in the Bible. They say it comes right after the 2nd Coming. Others have even said the Wrath of God refers to the eternal punishment that follows the Millennium.
From the Revelation quotes above we can see that it’s a period of judgment that begins during the seal judgments of Rev. 6 and ends with the bowl judgments of Rev. 16-18. When some form of this phrase appears in the New Testament it’s almost always in reference to the end time judgments.
If that’s the case what are these other so-called periods of wrath we hear about?
The Wrath of the Lamb comes from Rev. 6:16. The very next verse, Rev. 6:17, tells us it’s also God’s Wrath which makes sense because in John 10:30 Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.”
The Wrath of Man is a phrase that doesn’t appear in the Bible, but some commentators have used it to describe what has traditionally been called the first four Seal Judgments of Rev. 6, also known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Again, this is part of God’s wrath. The four horsemen symbolize the initial appearance of the anti-Christ and his efforts to gain control of the world through conquest (Rev. 6:2).
The Wrath of Satan comes from the King James version of Rev. 12:12 where Satan is described as having great wrath because he’s been kicked out of heaven and knows he has only a short period of time to accomplish his goal of conquering Earth. His expulsion from heaven will happen at the beginning of the Great Tribulation, shortly before the Bowl judgments that complete God’s Wrath are unleashed against him and his followers. So you see, Satan is not the author of this final series of judgments but is their target. The Greek word used of Satan’s wrath is “thymos” and while it sometimes refers to God’s wrath as well, “orge” is the word normally used in connection with God’s Wrath. The difference between the two words as they’re used here is that God’s wrath is the origin of judgment while Satan’s wrath is the reaction to judgment.  Simply put, people who use the term “Satan’s wrath” are really talking about the Great Tribulation.
The judgments that immediately follow the 2nd coming are described in Matt. 24:45-25:46. They will determine who among the survivors of the Great Tribulation will be welcomed into the Millennial Kingdom on Earth. All unbelieving survivors will be taken off the planet at that time. The 2nd Coming, the judgments of Matt. 24-25 and preparations for the Kingdom Age will be completed in the first 75 days from the end of the Great Tribulation (Daniel 12:12).  No portion of this time is ever referred to in the Bible as the time of God’s Wrath.  It’s only done by pre-wrath rapture advocates.
The same is true of the Great White Throne judgment of Rev. 20:11-15. At the end of the Millennium the unbelieving dead from all ages will be gathered for their final judgment. Anyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be thrown into the Lake of Fire for eternal punishment. The Great White throne judgment is never referred to as God’s Wrath in the Bible.  Some people who don’t believe in the pre-trib rapture this in an effort to deny Paul’s promises in  Romans 5:9, 1 Thes. 1:10, and 1 Thes. 5:9 that the Church would not be present for the time of God’s wrath.
From these and other passages we can safely conclude that New Testament references to God’s Wrath overwhelmingly describe a specific period of judgment upon the post rapture world, beginning early in Daniel’s 70th Week and ending just before the 2nd Coming. His Wrath consists of three named sets of judgments and and possibly an additional one that God has kept secret.
The first set of named judgments is called the Seal judgments because they occur as Jesus opens seven seals on a scroll the Father will hand Him. They’re described in Rev. 6 as a period of time beginning with the perception that peace has come to Earth and ending with the realization that God’s Wrath has begun. In writing about this time Paul said,
“When people are saying ‘peace and safety’ destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (1 Thes. 5:3).
The first six Seal Judgments will bring war, famine, plague and death to 1/4th of the world along with massive martyring of post rapture believers.
The seventh Seal is not a judgment in and of itself but introduces the second named series, called the Trumpet Judgments (Rev. 8:4-9:21). As seven angels blow their trumpets in turn, the sound of each trumpet will introduce another judgment. This series of judgments will combine natural with supernatural attacks upon humanity and by the time they’re finished a third of the earth’s forests and fields will be ablaze, a third of the sea creatures will have died, a third of Earth’s water supply will have been contaminated, and a third of the people who survived the seal judgments will have died.
After the sixth Trumpet judgment an unnamed event will be visited upon the Earth. At a signal from a mighty angel seven thunders will speak, and although John was forbidden from telling us what they will say, scholars speculate that it might be an unannounced judgment of some kind (Rev. 10:1-4). This is the secret God has kept that I mentioned above.
The blowing of the 7th Trumpet will announce the commencement of the Lord’s reign over Planet Earth (Rev. 11:15-18). War in Heaven will result in the permanent expulsion of Satan and his angels (Rev. 12:7-12). Having been confined to Earth, Satan will indwell his man, the anti-Christ, and will cause him to announce from the Temple in Israel that he is God (2 Thes. 2:4). Jesus said this will kick off the Great Tribulation, the worst disaster the world ever has or ever will suffer. He warned the Jewish people who will be living in Israel at the time to immediately flee for their lives (Matt. 24:15-21).
This will take place in the middle of Daniel’s 70th Week and at this point the full force of God’s wrath will be loosed upon Satan and his followers in the final series of judgments (Rev. 16-18). They’re called the Bowl judgments because they’re symbolized by angels pouring out seven bowls of God’s Wrath upon the Earth. The power of these judgments and the devastation they cause is beyond description. Jesus was correct in saying that if He didn’t stop them at the appointed time, not a single human being would survive (Matt. 24:22).
I believe one effect of these judgments will be to complete the demolition phase of the Earth’s restoration, which Jesus spoke of in Matt. 19:28, Peter confirmed in Acts 3:21 and John described in Rev. 21:1. For example Revelation 16:16-21 speaks of the worst earthquake the world has ever experienced causing every mountain to fall down, islands to disappear, and the cities of the nations to be destroyed, while 100 lb. hailstones bombard the Earth. Believe me when I say you wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy.
Much of the world’s remaining population will die during this time, but because of it the Earth will be ready for restoration to the condition it was in when Adam was created. This will happen at the time of the 2nd Coming (Acts 3:21).
Paul made it clear that the Church will not be present on Earth during any of this time of judgement. In Romans 5:9 Paul said,
“Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s Wrath through it?”
In 1 Thes. 1:10 he wrote that Jesus will rescue us from the coming wrath. (The Greek word translated from in both these verses refers to both the time and place of the coming wrath, so we won’t be present when it happens and we won’t be present where it happens.)  He will do this because God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 5:9).
If you believe you’re a sinner, but that God sent His Son to die for your sins, and if you’ve accepted His death as having paid their full penalty, then you won’t have to face any of these judgements. One day soon, you’ll disappear with the rest of us and will be in Heaven with the Lord while all this is happening on Earth.
You’ll see that your decision to believe in what the Lord did for you was the defining moment of your life and you will understand that it made you into one of the world’s ultimate winners. You’ll realise this is what God always intended for you to do and you’ll know why the Heavenly Host is erupting into joyous celebration as you come into the presence of the Lord. If you listen carefully you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 09-28-13


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