The Components of the Tribulation Period
There remains in future events, a period of time that will be unlike any other ever witnessed on earth. This period of time will usher in the culmination of God’s judgments, promises, and His will that was set in motion in eternity past. This period of time is known as the Tribulation. The book of Revelation records these events that will soon take place. It is of great importance that the Christian read and understand the events to come recorded in this book. The Scripture promises “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (Revelation 1:3, KJV).1
To hear these words is indeed a privilege- to obey them is indeed a duty.
The events of Revelation involve two groups of people- Gentiles and Jews- yet centers on and honor bestowed upon its rightful owner: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ…” (Revelation 1:1, KJV). To correctly interpret the book, one must approach its content through a futuristic approach, which calls for the events after Revelation 4:1 to be viewed as unfulfilled prophecy that will literally take place just as God has recorded. The key character in this passage, as has already been stated, is Jesus Christ Himself. It is through Revelation that God unfolds (1) the Person; (2) the Power; and (3) the Program of Christ. The Person of Christ reveals the God given authority and royalty of Christ as Judge and Lord of all. The Power of Christ is shown through the workings of His will and His victorious triumph over the evil one and sin. The Program of Christ is laid out in explicit detail of: “(1) the things that are seen; (2) the things that are; and (3) the things that shall be hereafter”(Revelation 1:19,KJV). The “things that are seen” and the “things that are” were accomplished in chapters 1 through 3, while the “things that shall be hereafter” remain awaiting fulfillment.
The Tribulation period is set to begin at any moment at the inception of the Rapture, at which time God calls to His people to “come up hither” (Revelation 4:1, KJV). It is at this point in time that the two groups of people remaining on earth, will, in essence, switch focus in the eyes of God. The Gentile population has spent the last several thousand years in control of human history. The focus now shifts to that of the Jewish people. During this period of time, the priorities on God’s table of events will include: (1)Evangelize the Jew; (2)Bring an end to the Gentile world powers- also known as the “times of the Gentiles”; and (3) Bring an end to the Satanic trinity. The Jewish people, as a nation, has until now lived in a state of Holy deception due to their rejection of their Messiah at the first advent. This will no longer be the case during this time, but God, through the work of the 144,000 Jewish male virgin evangelists, will go throughout the world proclaiming the true Gospel and through this time Israel will, finally as a nation, recognize her Messiah. At the same time, Gentile powers will fall and those who rejected Christ and His offer of Salvation prior to the rapture will seal their fate as they are sent a “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thessalonians 2:11-12,KJV). The end of the Satanic trinity will also be brought about during the Tribulation period, with the Antichrist and the False Prophet being cast into the Lake of Fire. Satan will be bound at this time for 1,000 years in the Bottomless Pit awaiting the final culmination of God’s plan, at which future time He, too, will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
God indeed is a righteous judge and a faithful witness. What He says will come to pass will indeed come to pass. The judgments that will come forth out of this period of time will indeed be the most horrific and severe judgments ever known to man. There will be three sets of judgments meted out by God: (1)The Seal Judgments; (2)The Trumpet Judgments; and (3)The Vial Judgments. Through the work of the two witnesses, the holy angels, and even the satanic host themselves, God will bring about a holy and righteous judgment upon lost mankind. Each set of judgments will increase in severity and horror. The purpose of this period, again, is to make Israel see her true Messiah, but also to give men a chance to call upon God for He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).
The seven year period of time known as the Tribulation is but a short summons away. The rapture could occur at any moment and this horrific series of events begin to unfold. Christians should be ever aware of the times in which they live and “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…”(I Peter 3:14). Having done that, all that is left to do is to keep looking up- until.
1All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Bible version, Royal, 1971.