What is the Tribulation- The tribulation is the final week in Daniel's 70 week prophecy (Jacob's Trouble). When the Antichrist confirms a covenant with Israel for one week (7 years) the tribulation will begin. The seven year tribulation is described as the worst time in human history.
7 Year Peace Covenant- Isaiah 28:15: "Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:" Bible scholars believe that Israel will be forced to sign a 7 year peace treaty with the Antichrist and then the tribulation will begin. Isaiah 28:18: "And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it." In the midst of the 7 years peace treaty (42 months), the Antichrist will not acknowledge the peace treaty anymore. Daniel 9:27: "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." In the verses above you can see a covenant being signed for a week and in the midst of the week the Antichrist will break the covenant. The "peace treaty" that Israel signs is not in the name of peace; but, is in the name of destruction by the Antichrist. Jeremiah 6:14: "They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace." A closer look at the times would show that the U.N. is trying to force a peace treaty on Israel that will divide Jerusalem. The bible warns sternly about those who try to divide Israel. Zechariah 14:1-3: "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. (2) For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (3) Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle." God is telling us that in the final days Jerusalem will be divided via a peace covenant and all the nations will come against Israel to wipe them from existence. Then Jesus comes and fights against the nations and saves Israel (the chosen people). Zechariah 10:3,4: "My anger burns against the shepherds [of Israel], and I will punish the leaders; for the LORD Almighty will care for his flock, the house of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. From Judah will come the cornerstone ... from him the battle-bow, from him every ruler."Jesus is never going to turn his back on his people, he is going to punish those who try to make Jerusalem desolate.
1 week equals 7 years- Revelation:13:5: "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." This is a reference to the "midst of the week" of the tribulation. It is important to understand Rev 13:5, because it makes it very clear that in the middle of the tribulation there are still 42 months left. There are 12 months in a year, times 7 years (of the tribulation), equals 84 months (7 year tribulation), divided by 2, Equals 42 months. (12x7=84\2=42)
The Tribulation and the 3rd Temple- During or right before the tribulation begins, the Jewish 3rd temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt. Matthew 24:15: "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" In order for someone to "stand in the holy place" there has to be a 3rd temple. Revelation 11:1-2: "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. (2) But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months." The third temple will be rebuilt according to Gods standards for God, but the Antichrist will stand up in the temple and defile it, claiming to be God. The plans for the rebuilding of the third temple are already finished. The specs for the altar, tabernacle, robes, and everything according to the bible are finishing up as I write. The only thing holding back the rebuilding of the third temple is the Muslims 3rd holy place Dome of the Rock. Most scholars believe that the peace deal will include a plan to give the Jews that piece of land back.
The Two Witnesses of Revelation- The two witnesses in revelations will come during the beginning of the Tribulation. They will preach the Truth and will have supernatural powers to ward off those who come against them. No one knows who these two witnesses will be; however, a lot of people speculate on a few names: Moses, Enoch, Elijah, and John the baptist are the most popular candidates. Instead of listening to these prophets and turning to God, the people will hate them because the people are being tormented by the truth. After the 3.5 years of professing Jesus the Antichrist will be given the power to overcome the witness and kill them. The people will celebrate the deaths of the witnesses only to be shocked when Jesus raises them from the dead and they ascend in to heaven. Revelation 11:7,8: "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them." Revelation 11:11-12: "And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. (12) And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."
The Great Tribulation- The great tribulation is the last 42 months of the 7 year tribulation. This is when the great leader (The Antichrist) that brought peace to the land will stand up in the temple and claim to be God. He will then begin to kill those who do not follow him. The great tribulation will be the worst time in human history, even compared to Hitler's reign. Those who do not take the mark of the beast will be martyred by the one world government in the name of the one world religion. Those people who do not accept the mark of the beast will become tribulation saints and will inherit the kingdom of heaven. Revelation 6:10,11: "And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (11) And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." At the end of the tribulation the devil will be locked into a bottomless pit and the 1000 year millennium will begin. We must realize that the tribulation has a purpose and the purpose is to save as many people as possible.
Why is there a Tribulation- Christians often ask; why would God allow the anti-Christ to put the world through such great suffering (tribulation)? My answer is that God wants everyone to be saved. The tribulation is not a punishment, it is the last effort by God to save his children. Often times it takes something catastrophic in our lives for us to turn to God. 2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."