The Great Tribulation, which Christ tells in Matthew 24th, precedes his second coming. World Wars, Natural Disasters, and False Prophets are all Satan’s accomplishments. The punishment for mankind, to which all this culminates, is God’s punishment for the sins of mankind.
Mat 24:3: As he [Jesus] was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying: Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.
6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
9 Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.
11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.
13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
15 Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
27 For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
It is described, for example, by Daniel, who connects it to the last week in the 70 weeks. A “week” in the prophetic time count means seven years, i.e. each day of the week corresponds to one year. The last i.e seventieth week in Daniel’s terminology begins when The Antichrist makes an alliance with Israel for 7 years. The time of the tribulation is divided into two periods of three and a half years. These calculations use a so-called prophetic year, which has 360 days a year. This is well demonstrated, for example in Rev 11:2 But don’t measure the courtyard outside the temple. Leave that out, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the Holy City [Jerusalem] for forty-two months. 3 I will give my two witnesses who wear sackcloth the authority to prophesy for 1,260 days. – 1260 days = 3 ½ years.
The first part is the tribulation period and is affected by Satan and his deputies; power is in the world with the beasts described in the Revelation: the Dragon [Satan] and the people who serve him the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
Eph 6:12 tells us clearly against whom Christians must fight: For our struggle is not against a human opponent, [Lit. flesh and blood] but against rulers, against authorities, against cosmic powers in the darkness around us, against evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm.
During tribulation time, the world is influenced by the dragon (the devil) who gives power to the beast. Who is this beast? There are a lot of opinions and guesswork about this. The beast, probably a governmental organization (confederation of ten), is the biggest policymaker in the near future for all the worst. The Bible describes the beast with symbolic words: Rev 13:1 And I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten diadems, and on its heads names of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and its feet as of a bear, and its mouth as a lion’s mouth. And the dragon gave its power to it, and its throne, and great authority.
Daniel explains what the beast really is: Dan 7:23 And He said: The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour all the earth, and shall trample it down and crush it.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings; they shall rise, and another shall rise after them. And he shall be different from the first, and he shall humble three kings.
25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and he shall wear out the saints of the Most High. And he intends to change times and law. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and one half time [42 months].
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his rulership, to cut off and to destroy until the end.
27 And the kingdom and rulership, and the greatness of the kingdom under all the heavens shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. And all kingdoms shall serve and obey Him.
Dan 12:1: Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
In verse 7:25, he states that he (the Antichrist) wears down the Saints of the Most High; Antichrist has 3½ years for this work. After this time given to him, the heavenly court will take away his power and all power will be given to the people of the Most High. The saints have to suffer the Antichrist’s persecution on earth half of the whole tribulation time. They are therefore not raptured away, at least not before the start of the tribulation.
Rev 13: And they worshiped the dragon [Satan] who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast; who is able to make war with it?
5 The beast was allowed to speak arrogant and blasphemous things, and it was given authority for forty-two months.
6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God and to blaspheme his name and his residence, [Lit. tent] that is, those who are living in heaven.
7 It was allowed to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. It was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.
God’s chosen ones will be from all nations around the world. In verse 13:7, it is told how the beast will conquer the chosen ones and the saints of God. The beast will have under his authority, all the tribes, peoples, all tongues, i.e. the entire world. This is a remarkable announcement that should be kept in mind when examining the extent of the kingdom of the beast and the grip of the beast on people’s lives. A similar expression is used in Rev. 5:9 They sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered. With your blood you purchased people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation. – We also know that Christ really bought all people with his own blood. All people means all people around the world who just ask to be part of Christ’s redemption work. Does the kingdom of Beast, in the same way, force the subjects to take the mark of a beast in their hands or foreheads and do all people have to make homage in front of the image of the beast? An interpretation is expressed that the realm of the beast, although broad in scope and large in population, is confined to the Middle East. I’ll revert to this a bit later.
Dan 7:25 states the same as Revelation: And he shall speak words against the Most High, and he shall wear out the saints of the Most High. And he intends to change times and law. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and one half time [42 months]. – The beast has the power to dispose of Christ’s own during the three and a half years. Believers will suffer the persecution of the beast during the end before being raptured. This would suggest that, at least not before the tribulation period, no rapture occurs.
It is, in my view, the first period of three and a half years of anxiety. After that, the time of God’s wrath begins; the Antichrist has made an agreement which he then eats his word after 3½ years and then he in the reconstructed Temple of Jerusalem proclaims that he is God. 2 The 2:4 the one opposing and exalting himself over everything being called God, or object of worship, so as for him “to sit in the temple of God” as God, proclaiming that he himself is God.
The breach of the contract will take place three and a half years after its commencement, and as a result, “the Gentiles will tread the sacred city for forty-two months” (Rev 11:2).
The time of God’s wrath begins and the coming of Jesus is approaching. Once again, the Bible resembles the timetable; Satan has only 42 months left.