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Ruminations about the Great Tribulation

 (Large edit on 2010-12)

A little known factoid about the Great Tribulation that I have never heard mention of by anyone is this: it is a seasonal tribulation of intense proportions.

Another such detail is the fact that it is indicated that before it happens, the world is in extended severe economic turmoil that is so bad that cities become dysfunctional, fail.  This distress is what finally turns into the Great Tribulation.  How long this initializing economic tribulation is has not been given.

One might of course wonder upon examples of the past.  There Egypt under the supervision of Joseph had gathered 7 years of plenty for the 7 years of tribulation.  One might hope that this could be telling us something; though, this is not indicated at all by the Bible.

Qualities of:

Jesus, Jeremiah, and Daniel spoke about this Great Tribulation; two of these sources set it aside from others by naming it the greatest ever to occur.  Revelation includes it, both in name and detail.  What are the qualities of this Great Tribulation that make it great?  

One of the two most important of its qualities is the mass of people being affected.  Surely, prior to our time, more than six billion people could not at any time be so affected simultaneously.  In this sense it is the greatest ever to have occurred.

Another of these qualities must be its severity and global context since Jesus mentioned that it would be pire for a pregnant woman, indicating that not just the number of people affected would make it great but, rather, that the severity would be intense.

It would have to be an economic problem initially that would then affect all other areas of human society.  This claim is a natural offshoot of how things work.  If the global economy is thriving, then there can be no great tribulation since food, room, and board are easily procured.   Thus it is highly important to recognize this economic main ingredient in the Great Tribulation if we want to understand when it has begun.

Length of:

Though the exact length is unknown; its length is indicated.  Still, we need to realize that Jesus didn't speak of one, but of two tribulations, one which began in 70 CE and the last one which still is to begin in a very short time judging by world conditions.

In Matthew 24, Jesus is giving us a lot of detail.  Let's examine it to find what is said about its length.
15 When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that readeth understand). . . 20 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on a sabbath: 21 for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

We see that Jesus speaks of a seasonal tribulation. Yes, this referred to 70 CE for sure.  But is that its only application?  No, it isn't !  For he says, And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened."

What this tells us is that he isn't talking about 70 CE here !  He is talking about the modern day GT that is to come shortly.  Back in 70 CE the elect were not affected at all since they all had fled to Pella in the Gilead region.  So, restating, Jesus indicates that the GT is of perhaps no more than the length of winter.  We thus have a length perhaps of a maximum 6 months to perhaps a few months for the Great Tribulation.  At least, this is to be hoped for.  This feeling of a brief but super intense GT is even given in the statement that we should go indoors and stay there for the duration of that GT. (Isaiah 26:20)

Gyrations of:

Set up prepared for tackling the GT:

Christians who are awake to world events in the light of Biblical prophecy look intensely at things happening now.  It is clear that we are in an unprecedented time of trouble.  It looks as if the Great Tribulation is being initialized as we speak. 

In the spirit realm, unobservable to us, Daniel and Revelation both in chapter twelve tell us that the dead Saints shall be resurrected around this time.  Revelation tells us that this point is reached just prior to Babylon the Great's destruction.  If then we see organized religion worldwide destroyed we can understand that the infant kingdom, the dead Saints, now are in heaven having received their heavenly resurrection and reward.

Down on earth, the prophecies speak of a gyrating tribulation, thought it isn't the GT yet. 

The economic problems will force the nations to gather and establish a super-political entity, perhaps empowering, super-charging, already existing bodies giving them the power to act on a global scale affecting all nations for the good of the global economy.

What is of intense interest here is that when the Bush administration was elected and served (2001-2009) ,its goals and global viewpoints were shared in regard to Iraq and WMDs by many of its customary allies.  In this way, few opposed its approach to its global goals.   Then it seemed that cooperation was received from Prime Minister Anthony Charles Lynton "Tony" Blair of the UK, Prime Minister Paul Edgar Philippe Martin of Canada, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan, and Prime Minister John Winston Howard of Australia.   That so many of these powerful people shared the same goals and agenda on this one issue - is in my opinion part of God's plan for the times we are in.

Now (around 2009-01-20), the coin has flipped, and we are seeing the time of brute force causing havoc in our world - not only economically but also in ruined lives due to war - coming to an end.  Replacing this 'temps de pouvoir brute'  is the time of the brain-trust.  In Thailand, the new Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is Oxford educated.  In the United States the President elect is a Harvard graduate, etc.  His team all have high credentials with e.g. a Nobel Laureate Steven Chu to the US Energy Department.

Clearly, the setup is being made for the brains of mankind to come up with a solution to this economic 'great'  tribulation.  And they shall succeed to a degree.  What God's will is shall be revealed, but the prophecies reveal that as a solution to their money problem, world religion will be destroyed and their treasures robbed.  This shall give the political system the means they need to solve their short  term problems. 

Such knowledge tells us that the economic problems are going to grow increasingly worse, whether this is all downhill or more like a roller coaster with ups and downs wildly throwing us about - is of course unknown.

Nonetheless, the message is that the business world shall regret this loss seriously since it shows the sailors and business men moaning because their business has ceased.  The global business world is going to be entering its own 'great tribulation' in all these things.

The Great Tribulation - the Biblical message:

It begins according to Jesus after the Abomination of Desolation stands in a Holy Place, i.e. destroys Babylon the Great.  Refer to the scripture quoted previously to verify !

The Bible has two definitions for it.  One such is in Matthew; the other is in Revelation.  Matthew's GT excludes Armageddon from it while Revelation includes Armageddon.  The proof is simple - in Revelation chapter seven the ones that come out of the GT obviously come out into Paradise, a cleansed earth, post Armageddon.   In Matthew the exit point is when the remaining living Saints get raptured. (not all believers are raptured; it is an erroneous teaching !)  These Saints will go forth with Christ in Armageddon; in this way the difference is clear.

What we see now is not really the GT.  It has to be the initialization of it.  The Biblical GT is said to begin (if I understand it correctly) one year after Babylon the Great is destroyed – i.e., organized world religion.  There is some fuzziness in understanding this.  Why?  Because in Revelation, the fall of Babylon the Great is tied in to the simultaneous fall of the cities of the world.

What would that refer to?  It obviously refers more to the cities becoming inoperative economically speaking - bankrupt - rather than the cities being emptied of people or destroyed at this stage.  (Rev 16:19)  The cities probably fall in the sense that total economic collapse occurs.  The police, schools, electricity, city governments and administrations, all these services, possibly become inoperative in many large cities around the globe.

This indicates that a severe economic depression, indeed a Great economic Tribulation is preceding the physical GT that is to come; it is the forerunner to the real GT.
  Surely this is what we see happening now !

(Repeating) The physical GT shall seemingly commence one year after organized religion, Babylon the Great, has been destroyed.  It shall perhaps cause the death of great numbers of people. 

Some of these, Russia or/and China or/and Europe, or perhaps a reborn USSR, shall be instrumental in this. 

The world power/s is/are shown to be involved in a great war and successful conquest that will bring it all the way down to Israel bringing under its control perhaps all the oil and treasures in the nations it conquers.  At the same time, a great calamity is going from nation to nation, again, perhaps globally.  This great calamity is most likely the present economic woes magnified many fold.  The western nations that due to their social makeup and development have weathered well disasters in the past cannot count on remaining unaffected, but will be just as hard hit as the rest of the world (Jeremiah chapter one, four, etc) 

It is clear that this calamity is twofold.  One part refers to God's retribution on his rebellious house of modern spiritual Israel, the other part refers to what the nations experience.

This second part's terror cannot adequately be expressed in words though God's own descriptions give us the best image.  Here in Revelation we get a foretaste of what is to come, making us shake in fear and trembling, and saying as Habakkuk, "Yet, I will rejoice in Jehovah, I will joy in the God of my salvation." (ASV)

2 And I saw: and behold a white horse, and he that sat on him had a bow, and there was a crown given him, and he went forth conquering that he might conquer.

3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature, saying: Come, and see. 4 And there went out another horse that was red: and to him that sat thereon, it was given that he should take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another, and a great sword was given to him.

5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying: Come, and see. And behold a black horse, and he that sat on him had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying: Two pounds of wheat for a penny, and thrice two pounds of barley for a penny, and see thou hurt not the wine and the oil.

7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature, saying: Come, and see. 8 And behold a pale horse, and he that sat upon him, his name was Death, and hell followed him. And power was given to him over the four parts of the earth, to kill with sword, with famine, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (DRC)

As Isaiah says, few will be left in the earth at the end, and the wicked will be stubble for God's fiery anger.

There is a great deal of scriptural information about Armageddon, the fight of Christ against the world's nations.  This topic is excluded here. 

 
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