It has been common among talk of the end times to use the phrase “The Great Tribulation.” And it is assumed that this phrase is referring to only the last half of the final 7 year period before Christ’s return. This is assumed because of the word “The.” But when Jesus used this phrase in Matt. 24:21, He never included the word “The.” Without the word “The,” the phrase “great tribulation” is much less precise, and doesn’t specifically refer to a period named “The Great Tribulation.” This would allow the period to refer to the entire 7 years of the 70th week. I would appreciate your comments on this issue.
I have a little concern here:
“Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barabbas (also known as Justus) and Mathias. (Acts 1:21-23) This means that there were more than 12 disciples that had been with Jesus all the time and were eyewitness since his Baptism and ascend to heaven. But why does the Bible only dwell on twelve?
The 7th chapter of Revelation seems to occur before the last 3 1/2 years. At the beginning of the chapter, the 144,000 are sealed, which happens before the last 3 1/2 years. And in context, the remaining verses speak of those who came out of the great tribulation. If this is referring to the final 3 1/2 years, then this part of the vision will have to happen after the final 3 1/2 years. But it seems more likely to me that this whole chapter takes place before the final 3 1/2 years. Which is correct?
I have a friend who is very knowledgeable in the Word, and we meet for study every week. We have only one main disagreement, and although we have discussed it at length many times, he keeps going back to it. He is not convinced that there is a rapture and believes instead that the Church will be protected somewhere on earth by the Lord during the Tribulation period. He is also convinced that the woman in Revelation 12 is the Church, but this is the only scripture he can really use to support his view. We have pointed out that this woman is Israel, and having given birth to a child, can’t be a virgin bride. Would you agree?