What Tribulation judgments are specifically mentioned in the Bible?
HOW DRASTIC ARE THEY?
The word judgment is a fearsome word. It speaks of finality-such as when the judge of an earthly proceeding delivers the sentence to the defendant in a court of law. A judgment is indicative of a period when time has run out. In a spiritual context, it is when the days and hours are no longer on the side of the person who denies God and refuses to accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior.
Taking a hard look at events occurring on today’s world scene, there is no doubt that we are approaching that time of final judgment. The signs are upon us if we have eyes to see.
JUDGMENT OF THE BELIEVER’S SIN:
Without shedding of blood is no remission” of sin (Hebrews 9:22). More than nineteen hundred years ago, Christ came from heaven’s glory to shed His precious blood for a world of ungodly sinners. He did not die for His own sin, for He knew no sin, but became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Through His substitutionary death, dying for mankind, all who receive this Christ can have the past, present, and future stains of sin forgiven and forgotten (Hebrews 8:12). “The blood of Jesus Christ [God’s] Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7; see Titus 3:5 and Romans 8:1).
JUDGMENT OF THE BELIEVER’S SERVICE:
The believer’s lifetime of works are judged at the bema seat (2 Corinthians 5:10). Some Christians do not take this judgment seriously. However, to do so is to refuse life in accordance with God’s plan. The life of a Christian will be judged, and God’s pronouncement of that verdict must not be taken lightly. If one fails God’s investigative judgment in that day, there will be no crowns to place before Christ on His throne (Revelation 4:10-11).
JUDGMENT OF ISRAEL:
When the armies of the world converge on the Middle East, culminating at Israel (Zechariah 14:2; Ezekiel 38, 39), this period of bloody devastation becomes the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). During this Tribulation period, the whole world will come into judgment. One in three will be consumed by fire, and one-half of all people will die during this time (Revelation 6:8; Revelation 9:18).
Numerous passages describe this time as the earth’s worst event (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1; Joel 2:2). Jesus said, “Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). At this time they will “look on Him whom they have pierced.” Their response will cause them to repent and recognize Christ as Messiah.
JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS:
Matthew 251)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2025&version=KJV pictures the glorious return of Christ to this earth. This correlates with Revelation 19:11-16 when Christ returns as King of kings and Lord of lords. After Armageddon-and before He establishes His millennial kingdom upon earth (Revelation 20:4) – Christ purges the earth of its rebels. The “sheep” nations are invited to enter the kingdom (Millennium) along with the “brethren,” the Jews. The goats-those who mistreated Jews and rejected Christ-are cast into the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41,46).
Twenty-One Special Judgments
There are a total of twenty-one special judgments that fall upon earth during the Tribulation period.
They are in three series of sevens described as seals, trumpets, and vials (or bowls):
THE SEAL JUDGMENTS:
This is the beginning of the program of God to pour out judgments upon the earth. I encourage you to open your Bible and read each judgment carefully to understand the finality of God’s pronouncements.
• Greatest dictator (Revelation 6:1-2)
• Greatest war (Revelation 6:3-4)
• Greatest famine (Revelation 6:5-6)
• Greatest death blow (Revelation 6:7-8)
• Greatest persecution (Revelation 6:9-11)
• Greatest ecological disaster (Revelation 6:12-17)
• Greatest hour of fear … actually the lull before the storm (Revelation 8:1)
THE TRUMPET JUDGMENTS:
The trumpets of heaven sound an alarm throughout the world announcing the public judgments of God. Each blast ushers in an added judgment.
• Greatest fire (Revelation 8:7)
• Greatest oceanic disturbance (Revelation 8:8-9)
• Greatest pollution of water (Revelation 8:10-11)
• Greatest darkness (Revelation 8:12-13)
• Greatest pestilential invasion (Revelation 9:1-6)
• Greatest army (Revelation 9:16)
• Greatest storm (Revelation 11:15-19)
THE VIAL JUDGMENTS:
• Greatest epidemic (Revelation 16:2)
• Greatest contamination by blood (Revelation 16:3-7)
• Greatest contamination by blood, continued (Revelation 16:3-7)
• Greatest scorching (Revelation 16:8-9)
• Greatest plague (Revelation 16:10-11)
• Greatest invasion (Revelation 16:12)
• Greatest earthquake (Revelation 16:18)
These twenty-one judgments unleash unbelievable war, ecological disasters, and atomic catastrophe on our earth. Note this judgment in particular; Revelation 14:20 reads, “And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” According to today’s calculations, that is a river of blood two hundred miles long-the exact length of the nation of Israel.
Think of it!
An entire nation saturated and soaked with blood. As believers, you and I can be grateful that the Rapture is coming, because it means we-the Church of Jesus Christ-will not be present to endure this terrible suffering.
The Bride will be at home, at the marriage ceremony, and afterward return for the supper (Revelation 19:7-16).
In Jeremiah 30:7-8 we read, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him.” Jacob is Israel.
This is reconfirmed in Romans 11:26: “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” This period of time is also referred to as “Daniel’s Seventieth Week” (Daniel 9:24).
In biblical history, the first sixty-nine weeks refer exclusively to Israel and, as we’ve noted earlier, it follows logically that the seventieth or final week must also involve the nation of Israel. A careful survey of chapters 30 and 312)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2030-31&version=KJV of Jeremiah summarizes Israel’s endurance in the hour of Tribulation-a truth affirmed by all the Old Testament prophets.
In Ezekiel 38 and 39,3)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2038-39&version=KJV eighteen different passages mark Israel as the victim of Gog and Magog’s deadliest war. Jacob’s trouble is so named because of Jeremiah’s prophecy; “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble,” and Jacob is Israel (2 Kings 17:34). Here the prophet was speaking of the seven-year period known as the Tribulation when, after the removal of the Church, earth suddenly plunges into its most horrendous hour (Matthew 24:21).
A further word on the seventieth week of Daniel-a chapter on which a full understanding of the end times rests. This significant “week” will be a period of 7 years, 84 months, each having 360 days by the old Jewish calendar, for a total of 2,520 days. In Revelation 11:3 and Revelation 12:6, half of this period is recorded as 1,260 days. When that is doubled, it becomes 2,520 days. It is a time of unprecedented trouble. “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it” (Jeremiah 30:7).
This period is divided into three sections.
ONE: The first division comprised 7 weeks, or a period of 49 years, and had to do with the rebuilding of Jerusalem in troublesome times past (Daniel 9:25).
TWO: The second division of 62 weeks, or 434 years, signaled the time of Christ’s death after the rebuilding of Jerusalem. This prophecy was fulfilled exactly on schedule when Christ came and offered Himself to Israel, but was rejected and cut off (Daniel 9:26). This was the Crucifixion, after the completion of His offer as King. The rebuilding of Jerusalem began on March 14, 445 B.C., and Christ was cut off on schedule. Now Israel must pay the price for rejecting her King.
THREE: So a final week is coming when the Antichrist will confirm his peace covenant with many for one week, or seven years (Daniel 9:27). When the Antichrist usurps the throne that rightfully belongs to Christ, he shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; “and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:26).
This is the time of Jacob’s (or Israel’s) trouble, resulting from the rejection of Christ. God’s chastisement then creates an attitude of acceptance for the true King-the Lord Jesus Christ-at the close of the seventieth week.
Daniel also describes the day of sorrow when a monstrous anti-Semite dictator, satanically energized, “shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:25).
The Lord Jesus Himself stated in Matthew 24:9, 21-22, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake…. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s [Israel’s] sake those days shall be shortened.“
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
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