Summary: What is the Great Tribulation (Great Distress) and why and when will it happen?
We continue our study of the “End Times” according to God. So far, we have noted in the last weeks, 4 important truths about the future:
1. A person can die at any moment and face the judgment of God.
2. Jesus Christ can “rapture” all current Believers at any moment!
3. God the Father has the final say for the end of the world, but hints that it will happen soon!
4. The Nation of Israel exists but something will happen there soon which will impact the entire world! Israel is God’s chosen people and what happens to Israel impacts the entire world!
In light of these truths, how are we really living our current lives? God gave us truths in the Bible about the future so that we will be living the right way and not be surprised of what is happening or will happen. We are to be with Jesus Christ now and always!
Today, we will discuss the future event called “The Great Tribulation”. Please open your Bibles to the gospel of Matthew 24… Read along with me v3-22….
And so we note that, Jesus spoke of the time before His return to earth and the end of the age, before the eternal age!
We note from this passage that there will be deceivers, wars, famines, earthquakes, persecutions, turning away from faith, wickedness, and hatred, then the end will come! Are these happening today? Jesus in Matthew 24 is talking about our present day and our future!
In v15, we note, the abomination that causes desolation in the Temple in Jerusalem, which is, at the moment, yet to be rebuilt!
In v21, we note, a great distress unequaled to any other time! Other English Translations of the Bible states this as = the Great Tribulation!
And in v22, we note, the days of great distress (great tribulation) will be cut short by God, otherwise no one would survive!
More description of this time of Great Tribulation can be found in the Book of Revelation, which we will look into more detail next week. But let us turn to the Book of Daniel to learn why this tribulation period has to happen and how long will it be. Open your Bibles to Daniel 9…. Read along with me v15-27….
Israel (God’s Chosen People) have sinned; therefore are under judgment by God!
What can we note from v24?
- Length of judgment is Seventy sevens/weeks (according to Bible Scholars, a seven or week = 7 years)
- finish transgression (i.e. end judgment on Israel)
- end to sin
- atone for wickedness (i.e. wickedness will be “covered”)
- bring in everlasting righteousness
- seal up vision and prophecy (i.e. no more talk of future = in eternity)
- anoint the Most Holy
V25: tells us that there will be 7-7s and 62-7s (= 69-7s) from issuing of decree to rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One. When was the decree to rebuild Jerusalem? Nehemiah 2:1-8 gives us a date of March 5, 444 B.C.
V26: Speaks of the Anointed One being cut off. Who is the Anointed One? – Acts 4:25-27 tells us that Jesus Christ is the Anointed One! And so, before Jesus Christ publicly revealed Himself as the Anointed One, there will be 69-7s (7+62) after March 5, 444 B.C. (the date of issuing the decree to rebuild Jerusalem).
But after that time period, the Anointed One will be cut off!
What do you think it means that the Anointed One (Christ) will be cut off and have nothing?
Jesus died for people’s sins!
When did Jesus die? According to Bible Scholars, Jesus died March 30, 33 A.D.
The time span between March 444 B.C. to March 33 A.D.? = 476 years
But this 476 years is based on the Gregorian Calendar of 365 days per year with leap years!
When this 476 years is translated to the Jewish Calendar of 360 days/year = 483 years!
And what is 483 years divided by 69? = 7 years!
This confirms a “7” or a “week” is 7 years in the Jewish Calendar!
Now, how long was the “judgment” on Israel to last? – Daniel 9:24 = 70-7s = 490 years!
What does this mean?
There are still 7 years of judgment left on Israel after Jesus Christ died!
Now back to Daniel 9 v26b…..
The Roman Empire totally destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D.
Do you think the Romans knew they were fulfilling a prophecy? Obviously God knew!!
v27: tells us that someone (he) will make a promise to many; but in the middle of the 7 years, the Falsechrist will end the sacrifice and offering.
Now, wasn’t the Temple destroyed in 70 A.D.? What does this tell us?
The end of v27 confirms that the Holy Temple will be rebuilt and the Falsechrist will cause an abomination in it! The antichrist will proclaim himself god in the rebuilt Temple!