The Purpose of the Tribulation

Some Stuff They May Not Have Covered in Christianity 101, Part VI

The Purpose of the Tribulation

The Tribulation is referred to as “The Day of the Lord”.  The exact phrase “The Day of the Lord” occurs exactly 24 times in the King James Bible.  That’s interesting in and of itself, considering that the number 24 relates to spiritual authority in the Bible.  24 elders around the throne in Revelation represent God’s authority over the church, 24 courses of priests (seen in 1 Chronicles, the 24th chapter!) represent God’s authority over the Jews. Psalm 72 lists 24 things that Jesus Christ, as our High Priest (After the Heavenly Order of Melchizedek), will do during the Millennium when He sits on the Throne of David as our High Priest and King.

Alternate phrases that are used in the Bible to refer to the same period are: “That day”, “The day”, and “the great day”, and this period includes but is not limited to the  “Time of Jacob’s Trouble”,  The Tribulation, The Great Tribulation, Daniel’s seventieth week.

So that may be a clue as to what the Tribulation is about, God’s authority over His creation.

The events of The Day of the Lord

  • A ten-member federation of nations will rule the world in the same way the old Roman empire once did.
  • The rise of a single ruler over this entire empire
  • The confirming of a “Covenant with Many” between Israel, in her own land, and this world-ruler
  • The rise of a universal false-religious system, over which The Beast will preside
  • The execution of the seal judgments found in Revelation 6
  • The sealing of the 144,000 Jewish men who will preach the gospel in all the Earth
  • The trumpet judgments
  • The Two Witnesses will testify
  • Israel will be persecuted
  • The vial judgments
  • The overthrow of the false, “professing” Harlot Church
  • Armageddon
  • The Gospel proclaimed to every tribe, nation, and kindred
  • The second advent, or physical return of Christ, his feet touching down on the Mt. of Olives in like manner to when he ascended
  • The resurrection of the Tribulation Saints
  • The destruction of the Beast, his armies, and the False Prophet
  • The judgment of the nations
  • The re-gathering of the Nation of Israel in their own God-given land (all of it)
  • The judgment of living Israel
  • The restoration of Israel
  • The binding of Satan
  • The events of the Millennium
  • The Great White Throne judgment
  • The renovation of the Earth by fire


Do not confuse the Day of the Lord with the Day of Christ

Compare Isaiah 2:12, Revelation 19:11-21, and II Thessalonians 2:2

Isaiah 2:12  For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:

Revelation 19:11-21

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

II Thessalonians 2:2

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

The Day of Christ refers to the blessing and reward to the Children of God at the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation.

The Day of the Lord refers to judgment poured out on the unrighteous.

The Day of the Lord is an Old Testament term having to do with Christ’s universal dealings with the unrighteous in preparation for His eternal kingdom.

The Day of Christ is a New Testament term having to do with the blessed hope of the Return of Christ for the catching away of the Church, His Bride!  The Marriage Supper will be celebrated in heaven, (while the Day of the Lord-judgment/wrath is going on down on Earth), and in the Day of Christ, God will reward His faithful children in Heaven, and prepare them to return and reign with Christ in the Millennium.

The word “day” in these phrases, denotes events, as opposed to time periods.  The Day of Christ, and the Day of the Lord don’t represent two different time periods, but two different events.  While the Lord is administering His “Program as it relates to the Nation of Israel” the Day of the Lord is in view.

While the Lord is administering His “Program as it relates to the Bride” the Day of Christ is in view.

(Recall the previous article on dispensations.  This has as much to do with “programs” as with periods in history”.  One program for Earth’s earliest inhabitants, according to the degree of Revelation they received of God.  A different program for the post-flood inhabitants.  etc).

The Day of Christ and the Day of the Lord may fall within the same “time period” (As from an Earthy perspective) but two different programs are in view.

I Corinthians 1:8 uses the phrase “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ”, to establish the fact that Christ is related to both of these days, since He is both.  (Lord and Christ).

The fact that Tribulation is coming, is referred to all throughout the Bible, starting in Deuteronomy.  Isaiah, in several passages, refers to a coming time of terrible tribulation when the Lord will shake the whole Earth.  (See 2:19, 24:1-6, 26:20-21 for a few).  Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Daniel, likewise, using imagery such as melting pots, refiners fires, Earth Reeling to and fro like a drunkard, travail of childbirth. They also make clear the source of this wrath is God, Himself.  Though Satan will declare war against the saints, and will be allowed to do so, but Satan’s wrath will be limited by Almighty God, and there can be no doubt that God’s wrath will be poured out.

  • Isaiah 24:1 “…the Lord maketh the Earth empty..”
  • Zephaniah 1:18 “Neither their silver, nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath.”
  • Revelation 14:7 “…for the hour of His judgment is come…”

God is a consuming fire!

He will not acquit the wicked.  (Nahum 1:3) He is angry with the wicked every day. (Psalm 7:11) The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God. (Psalm 9:17)  But He is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish.  From the perspective down here, we often think God “allows” bad stuff to go unaddressed, and bad people to “get by” with things.  But in reality, He withholds “what the evil man has coming to him” to give the maximum opportunity for repentance.

The main purpose of the Great Tribulation is to prepare Israel for receiving her Messiah.

The secondary purpose is for God to pour out His wrath upon unbelieving men and nations.

The Tribulation has absolutely nothing to do with blood-bought born-again believers, the spotless Bride, made spotless not by her own efforts, not by earning it, but simply by the application of the Atoning blood of Christ to her sins.  The Rapture will remove her, not as a reward to the church, but as Christ comes to claim His betrothed, in order that He may consummate the wedding, and that she may be clothed-upon with immortality.  When we see Him, we shall be like Him!  Hallelujah!