The Great Tribulation - For Whom, & By Whom?

by The Searcher 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • The Searcher
    The Searcher

    There is much speculation about many aspects of the Great Tribulation. Since it is in God's Word the Bible that we are informed of this event, then we should allow Him to give us any relevant information regarding that event, if that is His wish.

    The Scripture tells us, "For the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will not do a thing unless he has revealed his confidential matter to his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)

    Have we been given any Scriptural details regarding this tremendous event? Let's find out.

    Firstly, let's establish a fundamental truth - when the Bible uses the word 'Great', it clearly implies that the event would be unique

    Jesus spoke of it at Matthew 24:21,22 - "for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short."

    Again it is spoken of at Revelation 7:14, where the Apostle John is assured that faithful ones will survive this monumental event. This is the second time that the angel tells John about it.

    To find out who/what causes it, and why, examine the angel's words when he first referred to the Great Tribulation" at Revelation 2:22: "Look! I am about to throw her into a sickbed, and those committing adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds."

    Verse 1 shows that this is Christ talking - issuing a warning to all his Congregations on the earth, prior to his coming to "judge the living and the dead". (Acts 10:42)

    The full import of this can be gained in 12 minutes by reading Revelation chapters 2 & 3. Corroborative evidence for Christ's action can be found at 2 Thessalonians 2:4 & 1st Peter 4:17.

    Jeremiah warned Jehovah's people that He was going to start with them first. (Jeremiah 25:29)

    Therefore, the Great Tribulation is going to be directed by Christ at those who claim to be his followers, but only those "who have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb" will survive.

    Once the "man of lawlessness" is revealed, a decisive choice will have to be made by all concerned.

  • Chariklo

    Searcher, please could you explain just how the passages quoted above fit with the concept of God as a God of Love?

  • Bobcat


    This is not to be argumentative since there are some valid points above, but ...

    "when the Bible uses the word 'Great', it clearly implies that the event would be unique"

    "Great" (megas) implies large, not necessarily "unique." For example, the reference in Rev 2:22 refers to tribulation a particular individual in the late 1st century cong was going to experience as a result of her deeds. This doesn't need to have any connection to "the great tribulation" of 7:14.

    Which brings us to Rev 7:14. It is the article ("the") which could "imply" unique, rather than the word "great."

    Even so, thanks for bring up a subject of great interest to me.

  • Ultimate Reality
    Ultimate Reality

    You're also conflating scriptures. What does Jeremiah 25 have to do with Revelation?

  • Bobcat

    I understand what he is saying by using Jer 25:29. Jer 25:29 stands as a working example of how God has stated his intentions to act. 1Peter 4:17 was mentioned above, where God intends to start His judgement with the "house of God." Romans 2:3 - 11 could also be cited as an example of this principle - "for the Jew first and also for the Greek," giving the idea that diobedient Jews deserve punishment first because of their greater culpability. Luke 12:48 also expresses that principle: "Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him; and the one whom people put in charge of much, they will demand more than usual of him."

    Oops, out of time - gotta go ...

  • WTWizard

    There will be a great tribulation--for those right-hand path religions and those who depend on them for their livelihoods. All three are going to lose membership, and in turn their collection plates are going to start coming back empty. Those in missionary work are going to see their means for getting paid cut off, and will ultimately be thrown out in the streets (the religions are too damn cheap to pay for their return, in so many cases including the Washtowel).

    Those who are too lazy to make their own decisions are going to find their churches pulled out from under them. They too will find tribuation--this is not the time for churchaholics or LIE-baholics. Synagoguaholics and mosquaholics will fare no better. This is no time for such--the Age of Aquarius means their churches are going to eventually implode, leaving Pisces-era-aholics up the creek without a paddle in a barbed wire canoe. The truth is not attractive for anyone on the wrong side--and that there is no rapture, Armageddon, or Final Judgment coming is not attractive to those die-hard Christians who were expecting it or those scammers depending on them to continue leeching off from.

    However, for everyone else, there will be no Great Tribulation. Sure, the churches (synagogues and mosques, too) will fight back. ACTA and CISPA will attempt to hold back the Age of Aquarius, and the "political correctness, offend no one" rubbish will be used to keep the masses from spreading the message of true freedom throughout the world for would-be Christians to find. And they will trash the currency, rendering it worthless. But, no God-inspired Great Tribulation is forthcoming, and that truth will come out, attractive or not.

  • OldGenerationDude

    Only the Jehovah's Witnesses and a few extremist Fundamentalist Christian groups believe in an "event" known as "the Great Tribulation." None of the Catholics, Orthodox, or other mainstream Protestant religions have such a doctrine nor interpret Revelation in any manner allowing for such a theological timeline to be considered dogma. Neither Jews nor Muslims nor any other faith have such an expectation either, since these other religions do not view the book of Revelation as inspired. (So the "much speculation" can only be limited to the few people obsessed with the "power" such "special insight" seems to give them before others who fall for such an uneducated view in the first place.)

    As the Common English Bible (recently released, and translated by 115 leading biblical scholars from 22 denominations--Catholic and Protestant--demonstrates even in the rendering of the oft-cited and "favored" text of JWs, Revelation 7:13, 14:

    One of the elders said to me, "Who are these people wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"

    I said to him, "Sir, you know."

    Then he said to me, "These people have come out of great hardship. They have washed their robes and made them white in the Lamb's blood."

    The word "tribulation" as rendered in the New World Translation may have been "modern" and "up-to-date" with American English when it was released in 1950, but it is not a commonly used word anymore in 2012. We don't say things like: "I am in great tribulation" or even use it to describe anything much at all. The word the average person uses instead in the 21st century is "hardship," i.e., "My family has had to endure great hardship due to the recent financial collapse."

    While not dismissing the belief that Revelation does have glimpses of the future in it, the majority of Christians accept the book as "apocalyptic literature," a genre common in and out of Judaism. There are many ancient examples even from heathen sources of this writing technique, and it often used "key phrases" and symbols common in the "lingo" of the group to tell how a current situation would turn out for the better according to the religion's dogma regarding the future.

    In Christianity, the book of Revelation is seen as a series of symbolic visions, each describing the then-current persecution of the Christians by the Jewish and Roman communities (with secular Rome as "Babylon the Great"). The "tribulation" or "hardship" the Christians come through was not seen as a singular event in the future, but the ongoing persecution that usually ended in the martyrdom of the Christian faithful. Both the 144,00 and the "great crowd that no one could number" are seen as two different sides of the same scene, each scene beginning with noting the nationality of groups and counting them, and ending with a heavenly reward before God's throne. It should be of interest that the "numbering" of the 144,00 and the assembling of the great crowd do not occur "before" or "simultaneously" with the end of the world, but their completion are seen as the final event in history itself (at least as far as Christians were then concerned). How so? The symbolic vision ends with the "seventh" or final "seal" on God's revelation being opened and followed by "silence," meaning there is no more of salvation history to convey--no 1,000 year reign, nor Armageddon, nothing like the Witnesses detail. Christians see this as a vision describing how members of the Church would never be without having to face opposition and even death from their foundation to the end of the world, but outside of this general display no particular future event is actually described.

    One final way to show that the doctrine of "the Great Tribulation" is just another one of those doctrines created because religionists are relying on an old, outdated rendering of words into English, you yourself point of that the same Greek word occurs in Revelation 2:22. Here Jesus is "about" or as modern-renderings show, Jesus is in the act of "throwing her [a group or heretics] onto a sickbed. I am casting those who have committed adultery with her into terrible hardship--if they don't change their hearts from following her practices."--Common English Bible.

    Even the Witnesses admit that this was a description of an event occurring in the first century. It could not have reference to a future "Tribulation" event destined to come on the earth, because Jesus said he would keep the "hardship" or "tribulation (NWT)" from happening at all if people repented.

    Did you notice how the old-fashioned, out-of-date, and now archaic rendering of "great tribulation" from the NWT, translated more than half a century ago, just means "great" or "terrible hardship." See? The Watchtower has now become guilty of what it used to claim about other religions, using an out-of-date translation and then coming to incorrect conclusions because of not being able to or wanting to see past a certain type of phraseology.

    If you're going to be religious, at least throw away your old Bible and get one where you know the education of all those involved in the rendition, and that it has been made fairly due to a balance of religious views. At least crack open a reliable Bible commentary from a well-accepted and credited academic body, like the Oxford editions (or other like publishers). At least put some reason and intelligence behind what you believe--even the atheist who will still disagree with your convictions will have better respect for you (and gosh! you'll treat them better yourself)--because it won't hurt anyone to at least see with full eyes open what the past 2000 years of scholarship has come up with regarding religion, Bible translation, and the like. If your brain doesn't have something worthwhile to process, why would you want your heart to get involved as well?

  • The Searcher
    The Searcher

    @ Charikio & Bobcat; thanks for your posts. Firstly Jehovah is a God of love - he gave His son as a ransom or lifeline, for anyone who wished to accept it. For all those who choose to reject this supreme act of love, are rejecting God Almighty's Divine purpose for the universe - to have peace and harmony both in the spiritual realm and on earth. People have a choice.

    Bobcat - I see your reasoning on the word "great"; the point I was making was that when the angel referred to 'the' great tribulation, John would have appreciated that grammatically, it followed on from the angel's initial reference to "great tribulation" earlier in the vision.

    I honestly don't believe that our heavenly Father would confuse our minds and His Word by recording that there would be two great tribulations. Thanks for explaining the reference to Jeremiah 25:29 - the warnings are are very clear that God's own household will be dealt with and cleansed first, (whoever that may be!!)then every facet of Satan's system of things will be given attention by Christ and his angels.

  • wantingtruth

    "Once the "man of lawlessness" is revealed, a decisive choice will have to be made by all concerned."

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  • The Searcher
    The Searcher

    Just a few Scriptures I've found which seem to identify who are really "anointed followers of Christ".

    If my reasoning is misguided, then please provide me with Scriptural evidence to show me. I welcome the truth - not "traditions of men".

    According to Scripture, how many 'flocks of sheep' would Jesus have? - John 10:16. Only one!!!! Not two "classes".

    According to Scripture, how would that one flock be baptised? (Mark 1:8) "I baptized YOU with water, but he will baptize YOU with holy spirit."

    According to Scripture, Who Are Jesus' "Brothers"?

    (Matthew 12:50) whoever

    Likewise , Ezekiel 9:4 says, " And Jehovah went on to say to him: "Pass through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and you must put a mark on the foreheads of the men that are sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done in the midst of it. " That is why 1 Peter 4:17 tells us that "the judgement starts first with the House of God" - it has to be cleansed of the the rotten fruit by Christ.

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