Blood Moon, what is this all about?

blood moon b

“The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light…”  Matthew 24:29

The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.” Acts 2:20

The premise is four blood moons will happen in a sequence that will be the trumpet blast that echo in the return of Christ or a rapture or a tribulation, to whomever false teacher you listen to.  It seems plausible, an astronomical event that never has occurred that is foreboding and obvious to point us the Return of the King. Or is it?

The premise is four blood moons will happen in a sequence that will be the trumpet blast that echo in the return of Christ or a rapture or a tribulation, to whomever false teacher you listen to.  It seems plausible, an astronomical event that never has occurred that is foreboding and obvious to point us the Return of the King. Or is it?

There are many problems with this premise. And it will only appeal to a person who gets caught up in meaningless speculations, or a person who does not really read the Word, or a person gets captivated by personalities and not the Person of Christ, or a person who is, well I will say it, just weak in the faith at best, heretical at worst. And who would write such a book, someone who fits the previous qualifications, except they are the captivating personality who read into the Bible their views and do no real research to what the words mean and what these events are and what they really mean. 

What if Jesus will or had returned, April 15, 2014 as many false teachers have presented, or now, September, 23 or 27, 2015? Oh, those first two did not happen by the way. What were you doing? Does your life and attitude show that you were prepared by faith and not by theory?

By the way biblical eschatology is about give us hope and motivation to get our life right with Christ as Lord. It is not about meaningless speculations!

Yet, many Christians today take their word from false teachers who are tantalizing and provocative. They feel they have special knowledge from God and thus do not read or study the Bible. Instead, they listen to fools who point to themselves, pseudo Bible teaching and not to our LORD or the true Truth of His Word. This creates the havoc of emotional driven immature Christians with false knowledge that leads to a weak do nothing faith and division in His Church.

Here is the latest buzz, the Blood Mood!

I am sure you have heard of it, perhaps you got caught up in it, pun intended. What is this all about?

The blood moon is the earth’s moon in the night sky that will turn red, or as an astronomer would say, “in a deep red hue,” resembling the color of blood, hence the name. These events remind us of several Bible passages from Joel, Matthew, Acts and Revelation that Christ is coming back. While, others have stated that it is the significant sign of the apocalypse and or rapture or the end of days.

To make this more foreboding, there will be four of these on or close to the main Jewish feast days of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles in the next 2 years. So, a lot of Christians have been so tied up over this. The first of these blood moons arrived on April 15, 2014 near Passover (the foreboding part is this is tax day for Americans) then there will be three more in the next two years. As, we will have one in October, 8, 2014 and then two more April 4, and Sept. 27, 2015, which is also a super moon. Astronomers say this is not rare, as even though was 4 in the next 18 months, normally they average 3 every 2 years, or the super moon eclipse, 33 years. Yet, all astronomical events are rare, because we have a lot going on in our big universe.

Is Jesus coming back during these blood moons? Probably not. Yes, Jesus can come back during these events, but according to His Word, nothing needs to happen that did not already. Thus, He can come back at any moment, now, or thousands of years from now.

Let’s see what Jesus actually said about it!

Matthew 24:29-31: “The sun will be darkened.” This is a reference to a significant astronomical event, perhaps more than just an eclipse. And this is in the form of O.T. Judgment language (Psalm 18:6-19; Isa. 13:10; 24:23; 34:4; Jer. 4:20-28; Ezek. 32:7-8; Joel 3:14; Zech. 14:6).

The question is not if or when, as many of us obsess over; rather, He will come and we had better be prepared with our attitude and mindsets! 

Darkness” was the most frightening prediction (Ex. 9:21-23)! 

The sign of the Son of man” refers to God bringing about the opportunity for people to repent for having caused Him grief. Then, the Kingdom of Heaven will flourish (Dan. 7:13-14; Zech. 12:10; Rev. 1:7).

Sign” refers to the first real evidence of Christ’s second coming.

Son of man” means He is Lord and King (Matthew 10: 16-26)!

Clouds” mean judgment. This refers to a spectacular event, the numbers of angels testifying to God’s glory. It could also mean an extraordinary storm of clouds. Such as numbers of angels testifying to God’s glory (Ezek. 30:3; Dan. 7:13; Zech. 12:10; Matt. 16:28; 24:30, 34; 26:64). 

“Trumpets” were used to announce the coming of or the succession of a king. They were used to summon people together and for a war cry to motivate troops and scare the enemy (Judg. 7:8-25; Isa. 11:12; 27. 13; Jer. 4:5, 19-21; Zeph. 1:16). Here, it is a popular prayer Jesus uses to refer to a future gathering of believers in Christ (Zech. 9:14-16; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

“Taken” refers to being taken to Judgment (Jer. 6:10-12)! Most people think this is the rapture, but, it is never explicitly taught or illustrated, although this text is popular for, such as view, it really means judgment; and, you do not want that.

Some have thought that this passage can also refer to the coming defeat of Satan and His dominion or an apocalypse, but there is no textual support; rather, it is about His second coming in His timing (Matt. 13:40-43; 16:27; 25:31; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:14-17).

In addition, Revelation 6: 12-17 tells us, “Moon turned blood red,” this may refer to an unusual lunar eclipse or even something more spectacular. These events being described are not necessarily literal, astronomic events as many today think. 

“Stars in the sky fell to earth” means the cosmic scope of God’s judgment, as all will be affected (Isa. 34:4). This was also a sign for the coming of Christ (Mark 13:25-26). It may also refer to angels coming down or some stunning event that all will see in the sky (Isa. 24:21; Dan. 8:10; 10:13; Rev. 12:4).

Here is what we should wrap our brain and faith in, what Jesus was actually saying:

Matthew 24: 36-50: “No one knows…angels, or the Son…” Why did Jesus not know, when He is the Omnipresent God? God keeps most of His plans secret for good reason (Deut. 29:29; Zech. 14:6-9).

We would become preoccupied with them and miss our purpose for being here on earth. Just look at some Catholics and how they are overzealous with artifacts; in fact, there are enough so-called pieces of the cross of Christ in European Cathedrals to build a large church! There is also the obsession for the Holy Grail (the cup of Christ in His last supper). They look to “stuff” and not to substance! Let us not do that with our refusal to look to His Word and instead look to personalities.

Christ will Certainty Return PII

Like a thief in the night

Like a thief in the night, 2 Peter 3:10-13

“Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.” 2 Peter 3: 11

Why do you suppose that Jesus did not give us the details of His second coming? What would have happened if He had?

Like a thief in the night, a quote from Jesus Himself, is a vivid image of anticipated End Times, and literally means to “break in,” as to dig into the clay and brick sides to get inside the home. Here, it is a metaphor, and does not refer to a literal thief who would rob us, but that Christ’s coming will not be predicted or expected. It will be a surprise and a shock. This could only happen if the people were not there, as in not ready (Ex. 22:2-3; Matt. 24:43; Luke 12:39-40).

Do not be ignorant of His promise! 

We talked a bit on this one, “Day of the Lord.” It means the Lord’s final Day of Judgment where He settles all accounts and injustices. It is a synonym for the Second Coming and refers to the anticipated eschatological climax of events. Victory over darkness and sin will be achieved after God intervenes in the world with judgment and destruction of His enemies, and rewards and blessings to those who are in Him. Although this Day started with the resurrection of Christ and His victory over sin and the coming of the Spirit, it comes to its consummation and fullness after Christ’s Second Coming and Judgment (Isa. 2:11-20; 13:9-13; Joel 1:15; 3:14-21; Amos 5:18-20; 1 Thess. 2:1-3; 5:2).

The Heavens…disappear… with a roar…elements, refers to God’s judgment, that He will remove all evil and iniquity, and all of humanity’s works will be held in account.

This is an Old Testament image of purification and renewal. This refers to the building blocks of the universe. It is interesting that the Greeks theorized about molecules centuries before science discovered them. The basic elements in ancient times, usually refer to earth, air, fire, and/or water. This term also refers to all that is in the universe, such as celestial beings, planets, and stars. Here, it is most likely referring to the heavenly bodies. Peter’s point is that everything will be destroyed (some believe transformed or rebooted (Isa. 34:4; 64:1-4; Matt. 24:29-31).

Everything will be…. Laid bare/ burned up/exposed, this means to be found out or found, and points us to the judgment that is coming.

The earth will undergo a climatic destruction or reformation. This could also mean that the earth will be destroyed and made new. Also, it could mean being aware of our own motives, why we do what we do (1 Cor. 3:13-15).

Is it to please our curiosity or manipulate others to see our way of thinking, regardless of revealed biblical truth?

The main point of this passage is to tell us not to be discouraged, but to remain faithful and vigilant. We are to live our lives preparing and planning as if Christ would be coming tomorrow or if He were coming a thousand years from now. We are not to be preoccupied with the details and trivialities. That is why Jesus did not give them to us. Rather, our faith development and steadfastness are far more impacting and more real on others around us (Matt. 24)!

The earth and all we know and see will either be destroyed or re-formed into a new earth and a new life. How does this make you feel? How does this give you hope?

Christ will Certainty Return PI

Christ will ReturnUnexpectedly! 2 Peter 3:10-13 

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3: 10

What preparation and participation do you think we are to do? What happens when people do nothing with their faith and just wait for a future that may not come?

Peter, in graphic imagery and hopefulness, is making a strong argument that Christ will return and when He does, it will be un-expected with un-surpassing wonders the world has never seen.

During this time, these early Christians were being discouraged by the persecutions and seemingly insurmountable sufferings and loss. The comfort of Jesus’ returning was like cool water to a person dying of thirst on a hot day. Consequently, false teachers were taking advantage of them. These so-called pious fraud Christians, who were making their own apocalyptic predictions, with bad motivations. They operated just like Satan, seeking to disrupt, seduce, and carry people away from Christ and to their way. If you are not sure who they are, watch their character and Fruit, which will show their true nature (Jer. 23:13; Micah 3:5; Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:28-30; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Eph. 4:14; Phil. 3:2; 2 Tim. 3:4-6; Titus 1:11, 12; 2 Peter 2:18-19).

What is this all about? This is the climax of the Kingdom of God, the time when it comes into its fulfillment and fruition. The earth and all we know and see will be re-formed as a new earth and a new life. There will be a judgment from which nothing will be exempt.

What does this mean for me? Because all will be judged and “destroyed” (meaning renewed), we must make the most of our lives here and now, not wait for a future that may not come, or bask in the past. We must live for Christ with the hope and purpose He gives us with power, passion, and conviction.

The promise of His Second Coming is to give us hope and confidence. 

We live in a sin-infested world now, but the one to come will be perfect, as all in it will be right with God. We look forward to His Second Coming and the fruition of his Kingdom. But, beware of sitting and doing nothing; we will delay His work and impede the preparation of His Kingdom. Our participation helps His coming, as we help build His Kingdom now.

This passage is also very figurative. The purpose of figurative or apocalyptic language is to describe the indescribable. 

Peter attempts to help us understand these events and the importance of our being ready (Matt. 24: 36 through chapter 25 is also written this way for this reason). This is about being hopeful for the future, but living and being viable in the present.

We can take comfort in the fact that Jesus is coming back. 

This time it will not be a subtle event, as a baby born in a feed trough in a cave. Rather, the entire creation will glow and bend to show the whole world His glory. This passage gives hope to a persecuted church, hope to people in despair, and hope that He is indeed in charge, even when we cannot see it!

What does it mean that we are to live our lives as if Christ would be coming tomorrow and also preparing and planning as if He were coming a thousand years from now? Is this a contradiction, or a plan to do?

How can the Second Coming give you hope and confidence? How does this passage give hope to a persecuted church?

What is the ‘Blood Moon’ all about?

blood moon

 

The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.” Acts 2:20

“The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light…”  Matthew 24:29

 

What if Jesus had returned yesterday night, April 15, 2014 as many false teachers have presented? Oh, that did not happen by the way. What were you doing? Does your life and attitude show that you were prepared by faith and not by theory?

Many Christians today take their word from false teachers who are tantalizing and provocative. They feel they have special knowledge from God and thus do not read or study the Bible. Instead, they listen to fools who point to themselves, pseudo Bible teaching and not to our LORD or the true Truth of His Word. This creates the havoc of emotional driven immature Christians with false knowledge that leads to a weak do nothing faith and division in His Church.

Here comes the latest buzz, the Blood Mood!

I am sure you have heard of it, perhaps you got caught up in it, pun intended. What is this all about?

The blood moon is the earth’s moon in the night sky that will turn red, or as an astronomer would say, “in a deep red hue,” resembling the color of blood, hence the name. These events remind us of several Bible passages from Joel, Matthew, Acts and Revelation that Christ is coming back. While, others have stated that it is the significant sign of the apocalypse and or rapture or the end of days.

To make this more foreboding, there will be four of these on or close to the main Jewish feast days of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles in the next 2 years. So, a lot of Christians have been so tied up over this. The first of these blood moons arrived on April 15, 2014 near Passover (the foreboding part is this is tax day for Americans) then there will be three more in the next two years. As, we will have one in October, 8, 2014 and then two more April 4, and Sept. 28, 2015. Astronomers say this is not rare, as even though there will be 4 in the next 18 months, normally they average 3 every 2 years. Yet, all astronomical events are rare, because we have a lot going on in our big universe.

Is Jesus coming back during these blood moons? Probably not. Yes, Jesus can come back during these events, but according to His Word, nothing needs to happen that did not already. Thus, He can come back at any moment, now, or thousands of years from now.

Lets see what Jesus said about it!

Matthew 24:29-31: “The sun will be darkened.” This is a reference to a significant astronomical event, perhaps more than just an eclipse. And this is in the form of O.T. Judgment language (Psalm 18:6-19; Isa. 13:10; 24:23; 34:4; Jer. 4:20-28; Ezek. 32:7-8; Joel 3:14; Zech. 14:6).

The question is not if or when, as many of us obsess over; rather, He will come and we had better be prepared with our attitude and mindsets! 

Darkness” was the most frightening prediction (Ex. 9:21-23)! 

The sign of the Son of man” refers to God bringing about the opportunity for people to repent for having caused Him grief. Then, the Kingdom of Heaven will flourish (Dan. 7:13-14; Zech. 12:10; Rev. 1:7).

Sign” refers to the first real evidence of Christ’s second coming.

Son of man” means He is Lord and King (Matthew 10: 16-26)!

Clouds” mean judgment. This refers to a spectacular event, the numbers of angels testifying to God’s glory. It could also mean an extraordinary storm of clouds. Such as numbers of angels testifying to God’s glory (Ezek. 30:3; Dan. 7:13; Zech. 12:10; Matt. 16:28; 24:30, 34; 26:64). 

“Trumpets” were used to announce the coming of or the succession of a king. They were used to summon people together and for a war cry to motivate troops and scare the enemy (Judg. 7:8-25; Isa. 11:12; 27. 13; Jer. 4:5, 19-21; Zeph. 1:16). Here, it is a popular prayer Jesus uses to refer to a future gathering of believers in Christ (Zech. 9:14-16; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

“Taken” refers to being taken to Judgment (Jer. 6:10-12)! Most people think this is the rapture, but, it is never explicitly taught or illustrated, although this text is popular for such as view, it really means judgment and you do not want that.

Some have thought that this passage can also refer to the coming defeat of Satan and His dominion or an apocalypse, but there is no textual support; rather, it is about His second coming in His timing (Matt. 13:40-43; 16:27; 25:31; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:14-17).

In addition, Revelation 6: 12-17 tells us, “Moon turned blood red,” this may refer to an unusual lunar eclipse or even something more spectacular. These events being described are not necessarily literal, astronomic events as many today think. 

“Stars in the sky fell to earth” means the cosmic scope of God’s judgment, as all will be affected (Isa. 34:4). This was also a sign for the coming of Christ (Mark 13:25-26). It may also refer to angels coming down or some stunning event that all will see in the sky (Isa. 24:21; Dan. 8:10; 10:13; Rev. 12:4).

Here is what we should wrap our brain and faith on, what Jesus was actually saying: 

Matthew 24: 36-50: “No one knows…angels, or the Son…” Why did Jesus not know, when He is the Omnipresent God? God keeps most of His plans secret for good reason (Deut. 29:29; Zech. 14:6-9).

We would become preoccupied with them and miss our purpose for being here on earth. Just look at some Catholics and how they are overzealous with artifacts; in fact, there are enough so-called pieces of the cross of Christ in European Cathedrals to build a large church! There is also the obsession for the Holy Grail (the cup of Christ in His last supper). They look to “stuff” and not to substance! Let us not do that with our refusal to look to His Word and instead look to personalities.

 

What does the “Day of Judgment” mean?

Matthew 11: 20-30;  2 Peter 3: 10-13  

Or as 2 Peter puts it, The “Day of the Lord” which means the Lord’s final Day of Judgment where He settles all accounts and injustices. In 2 Peter it is a synonym for the Second Coming and refers to the anticipated eschatological climax of events. Victory over darkness and sin will be achieved after God intervenes in the world with judgment and destruction to His enemies, and rewards and blessings to those who are in Christ.

Although this Day started with the resurrection of Christ and His victory over sin and the coming of the Spirit, it comes to its consummation and fullness after Christ’s Second Coming and Judgment (Isa. 2:11-20; 13:9-13; Joel 1:15; 3:14-21; Amos 5:18-20; 1 Thess. 2:1-3; 5:2).

 Basically, it means, no one has an excuse. Even in the wickedest of cities, the righteous people testified on behalf of God. God showed mercy upon mercy, until there was no hope for their repentance (Book of Jeremiah; Matt. 12:41; 23:13; Luke 12:47-48; Rom. 1:20-2:16).

  • Judgment is when God will overthrow every resistance of evil (1 Cor. 6:2-3; Matt. 25:31-46).
  • This also means a new world administrated by Christ that will replace the present one (2 Peter 3:13; Rev 21:1).
  • The judgment will bring the deeds of darkness to the Light (Isa. 29:15; 45:16-17).
  • Judgment is a part of the liberation of Christians who trust and obey God (Luke 18:1-8; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; Rev. 6:10).
  • Judgments were also against the kings and rulers who were evil and corrupt, especially those who claimed they were god (Isa. 5:14; 14:14-15; Jubilees 24:31, Jewish apocryphal book).

Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel called for judgment numerous times upon evil cities and their people who had fallen away, who refused to acknowledge God and His sovereignty, protection, and plan. The people in those cities would rather have sought false gods, and depending upon themselves, suffered and died, than have acknowledged God as Lord!

Has anything changed since Christ came? Only that we now have our Haven of Rest!

What is the point for us? We all are responsible to God, according to the election and Grace that we receive or reject (Matt 3:11-12; 24:29, 35; Luke 12:17 ff.; John 5:22; Rom. 2:12-16).

God is patient–as in long-suffering–in exercising judgment so that people may have the time and the chance to come to faith and repentance (Luke 13:6-9; Rom. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9).

God is more concerned with our obedience than our knowledge. This is so essential for us to understand and apply!  What we think we know pales in comparison to who Christ is and what He does for us. When we feel we are wise, we are like a four-year-old thinking he knows better than his parents. How far can a four-year-old carry himself in life? How far can we carry ourselves in life without Christ?

We may think we are doing well, but when we look back, with eternity as our guide, our ways are revealed as very pathetic indeed! We need to allow God’s truth to reign in us, and hold on to that reign with trust and obedience. When we do this without worry, and with trust, we grow, and real wisdom will flow into us, and through us to those around us. Just be aware that God will not give you wisdom or gifts until you have mastered what He has already given you (Luke 16:10; 19:17; John 7:17; 14:12; Heb. 12:6)!

The good news and the main meaning for us is to heed Christ’s love, grace, and call, and that any evil power-past, present, or future-is not to be feared by us Christians! He is still in control. Even when the world seems to be in chaos and discord, He is there with us, ever faithful and still in charge. Our duty and call is to fix our eyes on Christ, not on the troubles. This is the key to dealing with suffering and when life does not seem to make sense (2 Cor. 4:18; Heb. 12:1-3).

 

What does Revelation 7: 9-17 mean to us now?

 

This passage covers the period before the second coming of our Lord that Jesus tells us about in Mark 13:6-8. It is about calamities, tumults, and chaos that are expected in suffering because of the impact and veracity of sin in the world. It is a continual experience, as the people in John’s time were going through this and, in varying degrees, we have already or will go through it. But, this is also an apex and a climax coming just before the final judgments, when the world gets a “break” and an opportunity to know Christ before His final pronouncement (Matt. 24:14). This passage’s primary purpose was not to predict the details of final events; rather, it was meant to encourage us to go through them with increased faith and our eyes focused upon our Lord. It is not important to know what takes place when, what our presumptions are, or which “end times” theory is best, as we will all be wrong on that. The important lessons are how Christ will be glorified and how we will learn and grow through it!

The sufferings and trials of life did not derail this crowd from His plan and purpose. Not even their hurt feelings, their being betrayed themselves, or the tribulations of life, whether overt or benign, dejected them. These are the Christians whose faith is real and applied. They have succeeded in their faith and now they take their triumphant entry into His presence and their reward. It is always worth it, because no matter what we face or what we go through, there is an intention from our Lord; His leading is what is best for us, including our growth and rationale. In Christ, we will succeed and prevail! 

Questions to Ponder: 

  1. What would cause a Christian to praise Christ one day, and on another day betray Him? How so?
  2. What does it mean that Christ is also your Shelter and your Hope? How do you feel that He will get you through your life and circumstances, no matter what you see, feel, or face?
  3. Do you have a favorite theory of “The Great Tribulation?” How can our theories get in the way, and cause us to miss the main point? What is the main point of The Great Tribulation?
  4. How have you celebrated victory andor God’s faithfulness in your life? Right now, carefully consider how you can celebrate God’s work in your life. How would it strengthen your faith and demonstrate victory to others? 
  5. How can you better point to Christ, showing others they have the opportunity to get their priorities in line with God’s? Think of it this way, evangelism is basically one homeless person telling another where the shelter is.”  

© 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.org

 

The Four Main Views of Revelation 7: 9-17

 

The Preterist view: They see this passage as referring to the saints who escape (emerge from) the tribulation or are the martyrs from the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. Many see this as Judaism’s end and that the church replaces Israel. (I do not believe this is biblical). See Romans 9:1-13.

The Futurist view: They see this passage as literal, and that a greater number of Gentiles will be saved than the 144,000 Jews who will be saved. There is an in-house debate over whether the Gentiles who are saved are taken before the rapture and tribulation, or new converts after the rapture, or if there is a post-tribulation rapture. Many of this view see these convents as a lesser level of Christians because they did not come to faith through the “proper” channels. Others do not believe this is the heavenly throne as the passage indicates, but rather an “earthly throne” because it contradicts their theory. They see these “Elders” as distinct from the “24 elders” who are representatives of the Church. Some see this as the rejoicing of the Christians who claim victory after the tribulation is over.

The Idealist view: They see the winds in the passage as symbolic for the “church triumphant” being glorified in heaven. The symbols of purity and victory are preeminent as the earthly trials and tribulations are over. The robes being washed in blood (that normally stains) is the ultimate “whitener” that cleans and purifies us so we can stand before God. It is all about Christ and His sacrificial death and atonement for us, His Church. Most see this as Christians overcoming the trials and persecutions of life, and overcoming, by faith in Christ, at any time in church history, not necessarily one, great, final, seven-year tribulation. It would rather include the ordeals and hardships that have besieged the Church ever since her inception. The tabernacle is representative of the shelter and refuge we have in Christ. He is our hope and leads us because He dwells with us; He has a plan and purpose, and will carry us through when we have faith in Him.

The Historicist view: They see this passage as an encourager to the Church when the Church will face (or has faced) extreme hardships and persecutions. The crowd is the sealed, as previous noted; they are the triumphant and victorious conquers who fought the good fight…perhaps a small grouping of the same people who are given special favor.

Tribulation Terms

 

      Tribulation means “The Day of the Lord” which will come about in the “last days.” It also means “sufferings” as the Greek word “thlipsis” means “sufferings” and the Hebrew for “sufferings” means a “time of distress”. This term has been wrought with controversy in the last 100 years. I, for time’s sake, will not explore all the theories in depth (because most of them are just like the nuts left over from a squirrel convention and miss the point); however, we will look further as we progress in the book of Revelation. 

      Tribulations also refer to the hardships we face. The same word in the Greek is found at: (Matt. 13:21; 24:9; 24:21; 24:29; Rom. 2:9; 5:3; 8:35; 12:12; Col. 1:24; Heb. 10:33; Rev. 1:9; 2:10; 2:22, to name a few), meaning afflictions, anguish, distress, persecution, trouble, and of course as tribulation as singular and plural. In Daniel, it is the period of suffering instigated from God because of the world’s wickedness and denial of Him. God does not always cause those hardships to go away; rather, He carries us through and uses them to bring about our maturity and character. Trials build faith and character, allowing us to be better used to glorify Him. Trials are not a personal attack against us; rather, they allow God to work more deeply in us to make us of better use to Him, and for the sake of others.

      The Great Tribulation is the time Jesus warned of (Matt. 24) as the ending of the age (Rev. 6-19), and the week is a day of the Lord found in Daniel (Dan. 12:1; Thess. 5:2). These accounts are described in various ways in Scripture; “the day of the Lord,” “tribulation(s)” and “Jacob‘s trouble” are found throughout Scripture. Besides the examples already referenced above, we also see it in Isa. 2:11, 17, 20; 6:5; Jer. 30:7; Amos 5:18; 8:9; Joel 1:15; 2:2-11; Zeph. 1:14; Dan. 9:27, 12:1; Matt. 24:21; and Rev. 7:14; 16:17-21.

      Many believe this has already taken place, as in the “Preterist” view. Josephus, an early Jewish historian who was there during the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, describes the devastation similarly to how Jesus foretold it. Others (Futurists) believe this only applies to a future period of great distress at the end of the age before Christ’s Second Coming. Still others, such as the Historicists, see it as cycles that keep repeating. A more balanced biblical view would include both; sufferings will keep coming and they will culminate in a final fruition of great turmoil before His return.

      The point of tribulation is not the specifics or when or how; rather, it is our God, who wants us focused upon Him as Lord. What we learn in our preparations is far more valuable than what will come about in our theories. Its principle purpose is to reveal Christ as Lord and the end of the age. It also gives us firm instructions on how to live our lives by being faithful to Christ and receiving His promises as well as His warnings in our life now (Jer. 22.10: 30:7; Amos 5:16-17; Matt. 24:21; Rom. 5:1-11; Rev. 2: 1-7).

      However, neither The Great Tribulation, or tribulations in general are to be feared, as the righteous will receive the comfort of Christ in tribulation, for He is still loving and shepherding us through (Isa 25:8; 66:13-14; Matt. 5:4; John 14:16-18; Rev 21:4). Remember, this is not just about what will or may happen, but how we are through it (Isa. 35:10; 51:11). No matter what is facing us and no matter what we have experienced, what we go through in life is meant to form our character and maturity. What we learn is what we carry into eternity. When we fail and do not overcome, it is disappointing in our Lord’s sight. Being faithful is the key that opens to us the door to living in the New Jerusalem (John 13:34; 16:33; Phil. 1; 1 John 4:20; 5:4-5; Rev. 2:11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:1-22:5).

Here are some more popular terms on this:

  • Preterism means “fulfilled eschatology,” or that the date, 70 A.D. that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24 was all fulfilled. The Tribulation teaching is in reference to the rapture and resurrection of the saints that has already occurred; we are now living in the millennial age.
  • Partial Preterism means some things have been fulfilled, but Christ has not yet come back.
  • Pre-tribulation. This view teaches that the Church will not go through the tribulation but will be “raptured” away to heaven. The Tribulation is specifically to break the will of Israel and save them as a nation, as well as to have the world repent because of the judgments found in the book of Revelation.
  • Mid-tribulation refers to a mid seventieth-week rapture. The church will be taken out before the Great Tribulation which occurs when the Antichrist goes into the Temple and declares himself God approximately 1,260 days before Christ comes back.
  • Post-tribulation believes that Christ will come back at the end of the Tribulation and those who remain alive through it are raptured. There are four views within this position as well: Classic, semi-classic, futurist, and dispensational.
  • Partial-rapture subscribes that only those who are watching, waiting, and are making themselves prepared will go.
  • Pre-rapture-wrath is a three-fourths view that believes the church will go through much of the tribulation to purify and perfect the bride.

 

Exegetical look into Revelation 7: 13-17

 

  • One of the elders asked me. It was common for Jewish teachers to ask rhetorical questions to guide their students, with questions that they knew but the people did not, or questions that the other person did not know (Dan. 7:16; 8:13-16; 12:6-8).
  • Great tribulation refers to the sufferings and trials Christians go through. Great meant a more significant period of it, such as war and pestilence like the Seven Churches were going through. These great trials come about frequently throughout church history, such as the Roman occupation of Israel and the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., as well as our more current civil wars, world wars, or extreme persecutions such as in Sudan. This may also refer to “the great tribulation,” as stated in Daniel, denoting extreme persecution and hostility that comes about at the end of the age, and that may come about before Christ’s return. However, the application is more likely in mind here, and not just the foretelling of events. The point is that when we persevere in our faith, in spite of the obstacles that a sin-infested world provides us, and we prevail as we persevere in our faith, we will come out of the tribulation because neither great or small crises or doubts will have gotten us since we are in Christ (Dan. 12:1; 2 Thess. 1:5-6; 1 Tim. 3:1-12; Rev. 1:9; 2:9-10).
  • Washed their robes… in the blood of the Lamb denotes more of a ritual cleansing than just an image. It is acknowledging what Christ has done on our behalf. It refers to sacrifice and how the blood in ancient Jewish rituals was a cleansing that preceded worship (Heb. 9:21-22).
  • Before the throne of God is the Jewish image of a messianic banquet at the end of the age (Isa. 25:8; John 10:1-18; Rev. 4:6-7).
  • Serve him. This echoes a new “exodus” where the faithful Elect leave their troubled lives on earth and ascend to a new home in eternity. This also denotes that we still will have a plan and a purpose in Heaven; we will not merely sit on a cloud playing a harp! 
  • In his temple means God is our refuge. The word used for “temple” in this book indicates the inner shrine and the tabernacle (used before the temple), where God’s presence dwells, not the campus or main, outer building (Lev 26:11-13; Psalm 121:5-6; Isa. 4:5-6; 49:10; Rev. 4:6-7).
  • Shepherd. He is the One who leads; He is the One we look toward to lead us. Some ancient kings considered themselves to be the shepherds of their kingdom (Gen. 48:15; 49:24; Psalm 23; 80:1; Micah. 7:14; Matt. 2:6; John 10:11-18; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4).

 

Exegetical look into Revelation 7: 9-12

 

  • A great multitude. These people may be a different group of people from those in the previous passage, or perhaps a different depiction of the same grouping, a common Jewish use of expression. Some have suggested these are the martyrs from chapter six (Gen. 41:25-27; Rev. 5:9; 6:11; 7:1-8; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6. 17:15).
  • No one could count/innumerable indicates that this crowd was so big it was impossible to count, but it does not mean infinite.
  • Standing before the throne infers that because of Christ, we now have direct access to Him!
  • White robes indicate coming before the Lord in worship, clothed with the proper attire of attitude and reverence. (See Revelation 3:1-6.)
  • Palm branches pointed to a celebration of victory, such as Israel’s victory over Egypt in the Exodus, as well as God’s faithfulness. They were used for celebrations such as the “Feast of the Tabernacles.” This was also a prediction from Zechariah that all nations will partake in this celebration (Lev. 23:34-43; Num. 29:12-38; Duet. 16:13-15; Zech. 14:16; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-13).
  • Cried out. We come before God’s throne as unworthy guests, clothed in His atonement and reserved by His love. This is a vow to follow Him as Lord!
  • Salvation belongs to our God/Salvation comes from the LORD. He delivers us, as He is the only One who can. This is a prayer seeking His help (Gen. 49:18 John 2:9).
  • Fell down is an aspect of real reverence and worship. In context, this is also how we are totally dependent upon God for every aspect of our lives.
  • Praise acknowledges Christ as Lord over all, including us; it is recognizing His attributes, His sovereignty, and His control, and then seeking His strength. The purpose, for us, is to realize that we must eventually learn to surrender to Him and be trusting and obedient to Him (Gen. 18:18; 22:18; Isa. 60:1-5; Gal. 2:20-21; Phil. 1:6; 3:1-14; Rev. 5:12; 10:11; 12:5; 13:7; 14:6-8; 15:4; 17:15; 18:3; 19:15; 20:3; 21:24-27).