From the many passages of Scripture that deal with the Tribulation, we can deduct
that God has three reasons or three purposes why He brings about the Tribulation.
The first reason applies to both the Jews and Gentiles equally.
TO MAKE AN END OF WICKEDNESS AND WICKED ONES
The first of these purposes is to make an end of wickedness and wicked ones. There are two key passages which express this purpose. The first is found in Isaiah
Behold, the day
of Jehovah cometli, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger; to make the land
a desolation, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
This passage uses the term the
"Day of Jehovah" as a reference to the Great Tribulation and gives its
goal in the phrase to destroy the sinners thereof out of it. The
purpose, then, is to destroy wicked ones out of the land. This is
further described in Isaiah 24:19-20:
The earth is
utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is shaken violently.
The earth shall stagger like a drunken mat4 and shall sway to and fro
like a hammock; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, and
it sliallfall, and not rise again.
The closing words of this verse
state that the basic reason for the judgments of the tribulation is that
the transgression worldwide shall fall and not rise-again. Its purpose
if to make an end of wickedness.
TO CAUSE A GREAT WORLDWIDE REVIVAL
The second purpose is to
bring about a worldwide revival, to bring about a worldwide preaching of
the gospel of the Messiahship of Jesus. In Matthew 24:14 Jesus said
that the gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed to all nations before
the end comes. Sometime before the Tribulation can end, sometime
before the second coming can occur, there must be a worldwide preaching
of the gospel to one generation and the gospel must go out to all nations
of that generation. That is all Jesus said, that sometime during
the Tribulation there will be a worldwide preaching of the gospel to all
nations, and that will occur before the second coming
Revelation 7 is an exposition
of Matthew 24:14. Revelation 7:1-8 tells us the means of this revival
whereas Revelation 7:9-17 gives us the results of this revival. Revelation
After this I
saw four angels standing at the four comers of the earth, holding the four
winds of the earth, that no wind should blow on the earth, or on the sea,
or upon any tree. And I saw another angel ascend from the sunrising,
having the seal of the living God.- and he cited with a great voice to
the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea saying,
Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, not the trees, till we shall have
sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. And I heard the
number of them that were sealed, a hundred and fony and four thousand,
sealed out of every tube of the children of Israel
Verses 5-8 go on to list twelve
tribes and 12,000 are selected from each of these twelve tribes, giving
a total of 144,000 Jews. By means of these 144,000 Jews there will
be the worldwide preaching of the gospel.
Looking at all this from
a purely human perspective, if I wished to conduct a worldwide revival
in a very short period of time (for this revival will occur during the
first 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation) I could not think of a better group
of people to use than the Jewish people. Coming from a Jewish believer
in Jesus, that may not sound very objective, but let me give you some other
reasons this would certainly be true. If you look at the world missionary
situation today, one of the things you will discover is that the vast majority
of missionaries are Americans. The United States has given to the
world its greatest number of missionaries in our modern missionary history.
If you begin interviewing these missionaries to find qut how much time
was spent in training before they were comfortably proclaiming the Word
of God in a land which is not their own, you would discover that after
they became believers' they had to train for three or four years at a Bible
institute or Bible college. If they became believers sometime after
college, they had to study three or four years at a seminary. While
the Bible institute, college, or seminary graduate is trained to proclaim
the Word in this nation or some other English-spealdng nation, he is not
prepared to do so in a foreign field. The next two, three, maybe
four years must be spent in language study because he needs to learn the
language in which he will be communicating the gospel. The average
American missionary in the foreign field has spent a minimum of six, seven,
or more years in training before he is proclaiming the Word in a language
not his own. This revival and the preaching of the gospel will occur
in only 3-1/2 years so there is just not that much time to play with.
That is where there is a distinct advantage of using Jewish people.
First of all, the Jews are dispersed all over the world. Every one
of the world's major languages and a great number of the world's minor
languages are spoken by some Jews somewhere. Second, many Jews around
the world speak at least two or more languages. I am fluent in two
languages, but both my parents are fluent in five languages. Should
my parents ever become believers, they can begin proclaiming the Word in
five different languages without first having to undergo any kind of language
study. Furthermore, most Jews around the world do receive some basic
understanding of the Old Testament. Sometime after God raptures the
Church off of this earth, He will then save 144,000 Jews. These Jews
will already be speaking the languages which are necessary and they will
already have a knowledge of the Old Testament. They will need only
a short period of time to gain some New Testament knowledge, then they
can begin proclaiming the gospel to all nations around the world.
And this they will do. So by means of 144,000 Jews there will be
a worldwide preaching of the gospel; and by means of these 144,000 Jews
the first purpose of the Tribulation will be accomplished
The preaching of the gospel
is one thing, but the acceptance of it is another. Revelation 7:9-17
gives the results of the preaching of the gospel by 144,000 Jews.
Verse 9 begins with, "After these things," meaning after the 144,000 in
verses 1-8. Verse 9 reads:
After these things
I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of
every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before
the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their
The next thing John sees is
myriads and myriads of Gentiles standing before the throne of God.
Who are these particular Gentiles who now stand before the throne of God?
In verses 13-14 we read:
And one of the
elders answered, saying unto me, These that are arrayed in the white robes,
who are they, and whence came they? And I say unto him, My lort4
thou knowest. And he said to me, These.are they that come out of
the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white
in the blood of the Lamb
The question is raised as to
the identity of these myriads upon myriads of Gentiles standing before
the throne of God. The answer is that these are the myriads of Gentiles
who came out as believers from the Great Tribulation. As a result of the
preaching of 144,000 Jews, myriads and myriads of Gentiles will come to
a saving knowledge of Jesus the Messiah. By means of 144,000 Jews,
the second purpose of the Tribulation will be accomplished which is the
bringing about of a great worldwide revival.
TO BREAK IN PIECES THE WILL OF THE HOLY PEOPLE
The third purpose for the
Tribulation is found in Daniel 12. The third purpose is to break
in pieces the will of the holy people. Beginning in chapter 11, Daniel
has been given a vision of what conditions are going to be like for his
people (the Jewish people) during the Great Tribulation. The vision
of the Jews in the Tribulation that Daniel is given in chapter 11 continues
into chapter 12 and terminates at verse 4. In Daniel 12:5-7 a question
is raised as to exactly how long these terrible conditions win be allowed
to last. When the answer is given, it contains the third purpose
of the Tribulation:
Then I, Daniel,
looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on the bank of the
river on this side, and the other on the bank of the fiver on that side.
And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the
river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard
the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river, when he
held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven,, and sware by him
that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and
when they have made an end of breaking in pieces tile power of the holy
people, all these things shall be finished.
The terrible judgments of the
Great Tribulation must,continue, Daniel is told, until the power of the
will of the holy people is shattered into pieces; until they turn away
from trying to establish their own righteousness and seek the righteousness
of God through Jesus the Messiah. Basically then, the third purpose
can be restated as to bring about Israel's national regeneration
While Daniel 12 states what
the third purpose is, Ezekiel 20:34-38 states exactly how this third purpose
is going to be accomplished:
And I will being
you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries wherein
ye are scattered with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, and with
wrath poured out; and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples,
and there will I enter into judgment with you face to face. Like
as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land
of Egypt, so will I enter into judgment with you saith the Lord Jehovah.
And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bing you into the
bond of the covenant; and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and
them that transgress against me;.I will being them forth out of the land
where they sojoum, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel.- and
ye shall know that I am Jehovah.
In these verses God draws a
simile with the Exodus. At the Exodus, under Moses, God brought the
entire nation of Israel out of the land of Egypt and into the wilderness
of the Sinai peninsula. God's plan and program for Israel in the
Sinai was to accomplish two things: first, to receive the Law of Moses;
and, secondly, to build the tabernacle through which much of the Law could
then be maintained. With these two things accomplished, they were
to press on and enter into the Promised Land itsell However, because of
a long series of murmurings against God's revealed will, finally, in a
place called Kadesh Bamea, right at the border of the Promised Land itself,
God entered into judgment with His people. The judgment was that
the entire nation that had come out of the land of Egypt would now have
to continue wandering in the wilderness until a forty-year period was up.
During that forty-year period everyone who came out of Egypt, except for
two men (Joshua and Caleb) and those under the age of twenty, would die
in the wilderness. Forty years later it would be a new nation, a
nation that was bom as free men in the wilderness and not as slaves in
Egypt who would enter the Promised Land under Joshua.
Ezekiel says that a similar
thing was to occur in the future; God will begin to regather his people
from all parts of the world, a regathering we have been observing with
the present and modem Jewish State of Israel. However, at some point
God will enter into judgment with His people. By means of the Tribulation
judgments, the rebels will be purged out, the unbelievers will be purged
and regenerated. They will turn away from seeking to establish their
own righteousness and will seek the righteousness of God through Jesus
the Messiah and that will bring about their national regeneration.
It is going to be a new nation, a regenerate nation that will enter the
Millennial Israel under King Messiah.