It is often taught that during the Great Tribulation, their will be a great end-time revival! This belief originates from the Pre-Tribulation Doctrine, in its effort to explain the great multitude who will be killed during this event.
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. Rev. 7:9
Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
From these passages, we learn that during the Great Tribulation, God’s people will be put to death in numbers so great that they cannot be counted. This runs counter to the Pre-Tribulation Doctrine, which teaches that God’s people will be caught up to heaven (raptured) before the Great Tribulation begins. To account for the martyrs who are described as being killed during this period, the Pre-Tribulation Doctrine teaches that the martyrs of the Great Tribulation will come from those who convert to Christ during the Great Tribulation itself. For this interpretation to be true, it would mean that the greatest “revival” in history would have to occur during the Great Tribulation, in order to account for the uncountable multitude who will be killed. This, in-turn, has led to the belief in a “great end time revival”.
The Great Rebellion
The above theory is opposed by the Book of the Revelation, which, tells us that rather than being a time of great revival, the Great Tribulation will be a time when the whole world will rebel against God and worship the Beast (the antichrist).
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. Rev. 13: 8.
When the Great Tribulation begins, all those who refused to repent at the earlier signs and events, which are described in the Book of the Revelation, will be given over to believe the lies of the Lawless One who will perform signs and wonders to deceive those who are perishing.
The coming of the lawless one (the antichrist) will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 2 Thess. 2:9-12
Many Will Turn Away From the Faith
At the same time that the whole world is worshipping the Beast, many will turn away from the faith and join the world in their rebellion against God.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Matt. 24:9-10
The above passages describe how during the Great Tribulation, those who fall away will hand over their brothers and sisters to be put to death, who, in-turn, will retaliate by accusing their accusers in order to save their own lives. In this way, the Great Tribulation will be a time when many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other.
The above description contradicts the idea that the Great Tribulation will be a time of “great revival” when uncountable multitudes will come to faith in Christ. Instead, the Great Tribulation will be a time when those who refuse to repent will be given over to worship the Beast, and many will turn away from the faith. These same events are detailed in the following passages that describe how all the inhabitants of the earth will worship the Beast, and the faithful from God’s people will be killed by the sword.
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months (3 1/2 years). It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war (the Great Tribulation) against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. Whoever has ears, let them hear. “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. Rev. 13:5-10
In the above verses, the reference to God’s holy people is a description of the Believers who will be on earth when the Great Tribulation begins and who will be martyred for their faith. We know that the phrase, God’s holy people, includes all of His people, and not just those from the house of Israel, based on how, earlier, we read that the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation will come from every tribe, people, language, and nation.
The Scriptures also contradict another popular belief, which teaches that the “great end-time revival” will come as a result of the preaching of the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel. According to this teaching, the Jews who see the dead bodies of the Two Witnesses come to life, following the Attack on Jerusalem, will themselves, convert to Christ and travel the world preaching the gospel. (To read about the Two Witnesses, see Revelation Chapter 11.)
But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them (the Two Witnesses), and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. Rev.11:12-14
From these verses, it is suggested that the survivors, who witness the catching up of the Two Witnesses, will become the 144,000 From all the Tribes of Israel who will evangelize the world and bring about a “great revival”. This is contradicted by the fact that when the Attack on Jerusalem takes place, and the Two Witnesses are killed, only those who flee to the mountains will be kept alive.
“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.” Lk. 21:20-22
When the Remnant of Israel flees from the city during the Attack on Jerusalem, the Lord will provide a way of escape through an earthquake that will split the Mount of Olives in two, forming a great valley for them to flee through.
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. Zech. 14:1-5
The escape of the Remnant is also described in the following verses where we learn that the survivors of the attack will be kept hidden in the wilderness for 3 1/2 years during the period when Satan will wage a war against God’s people (the Great Tribulation).
The woman (Israel) was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time (3 1/2 years), out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river (a Gentile army), to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth (an earthquake) and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war (the Great Tribulation) against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. Rev. 12:14-17
In these passages, we, again, read that when Jerusalem is Attacked, a Remnant will flee from the city by way of an earthquake that will create a great valley for the survivors to escape through. When the armies of Satan attempt to overtake the fleeing Remnant, the earth will split open and devour the chasing army. These events will fill Satan with rage, and he will wage a war (the Great Tribulation) against those who hold to their testimony of Jesus. During this time, rather than traveling the world converting souls, the surviving Remnant will be kept safe out of Satan’s reach in the wilderness for the entire 3 1\2 year period of the Great Tribulation.
The above scenario corresponds with how the Great Tribulation is described as a time when anyone who refuses to worship the Beast will be killed.
The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. Rev. 13:15-17
In these verses, the second beast is a description of the False Prophet, who will accompany the rise of the first beast (the antichrist), and who will cause anyone who doesn’t take the Mark of the Beast to be killed. The ability that the False Prophet will have to prevent anyone from buying or selling is a reflection of how advancing technology will give the False Prophet the ability to monitor the movement and purchases of all those on earth. Accordingly, the belief that the 144,000 will travel throughout the world preaching the gospel runs counter to the reality that will exist during this time. This is also why, we never read in the Scriptures that the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel will act as evangelist during the Great Tribulation, or that a “great revival” will take place during this period.
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