The Tribulation Begins

Going Through The Fire Page 1

Strangers and Pilgrims On The Earth Part III

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"And it shall come to pass in all the land*," says the Lord,
"That two thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
But one third shall be left in it.
I will bring the one third through the fire,
Will refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name and I will answer them.
I will say, 'This is My people';
And each one will say, 'The Lord is my God' ".

Zechariah 13: 8 & 9

*Special Note: The word in the original Hebrew that is translated "land" in the passage above can just as correctly be translated "earth".

 

Review: The Tribulation Begins

After the asteroid or comet collision, the world will be blanketed by a cloud of smoke and dust, and seawater that will block out most of the sunlight for months. The mysterious locusts will come out of the impact site and start stinging people in an extremely painful but nonfatal way. The only people who won't get stung are the relatively few Christians who have the seal of the living God.

Then, when that ends, there may be a brief period of respite. But just when people start to think they have survived, and that life will get back to normal, a new horror breaks forth. A mysterious "army" of 200,000,000 "horsemen" appears near the Euphrates, spreads out and begins randomly killing every other person. There is no historical precedent for the fear and chaos that will reign during this time. The Christians who were not ready will be in as much trouble as, if not more than, the unsaved. But this is the time when they will have to begin to realize that they are in the Tribulation, and that  they were not ready. And they must begin to realize why they weren't ready, and what they have to do about it.

Why Won't They Be Ready?

There are a number of reasons why Christians won't be ready that have been previously identified in this site. We will just present a brief summary of them here:

  • They are proud and deceived, thinking that they have it all together as Christians when they are really not obeying God. If they admit the truth to themselves, they know that they could  live holier lives than they are living.  They just don't want to.

  • They fail to practice the basic disciplines of the Christian life, which are called "The Three Switches" in this site.

  1. They do not diligently practice prayer and fasting.

  2. They do not separate themselves from the world; that is, they indulge in touching "the unclean thing". This is idolatry.

  3. They do not diligently study, obey and really believe the Scriptures.

  1. They are not really expecting the Second Coming, and they are therefore careless about their obedience generally.

  2. They do not stay continually filled with the Holy Spirit.

  3. They do not use their true "Talents" in the Lord's Service.

  4. Above all, they are not being servants to their fellow Christians. They do not "Love One Another". On the contrary, they may actually be abusing their brothers and sisters.

  • They are embracing and fighting for divisive, fault-finding doctrines, which is to say, they are consciously or unconsciously participating in causing needless division in the Body of Christ.

A Great Chastisement

Because of these failures on the part of the majority of Christians living at the time, the Great Tribulation will be as much a great chastisement of the Church as it will be a great judgment of the unsaved world. Christians who are not ready can expect to suffer the worst of anyone, especially during the reign of the Two Beasts. God's purpose for this is to bring the Laodicean Christians who survive the beginning of the Tribulation into the state of obedient faith that they should have been living in before the Tribulation. Unfortunately, many of them will not physically survive the chastisement. See I Corinthians 4:4 & 5. The untimely death of a Christian can be the ultimate chastening.

This writer, with sorrow, doubts that this will apply to most Christians living on the North American continent, or in the northern Pacific Rim areas of the Far East. They are likely to be killed right at the start, by the asteroid or comet collision and its effects. But for Christians living in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, and possibly also Australia and parts of South America, it will then be time to get together with other Christians and start applying what is taught in this section of this Web site.

The good news is that most of the Christians who aren't ready, and who survive the beginning, will realize how badly they have failed and they probably will repent, mainly during the Second Woe. During the Third Woe, those who have repented will probably receive some Divine Protection, but they will still suffer.

Persecution

All Christians living during that time can expect to suffer extreme persecution, including frequent imprisonment and out - and - out martyrdom. They should not fear this. Although it will not be pleasant while it is happening, the Bible indicates that there are rewards that are earned by true martyrdom that cannot be obtained any other way. You may not have heard this before, but there is Biblical reason to believe that the Kingdom of Heaven will not be a classless society (See Matthew 5:19 and 20:25-28.) The "highest class" will be the true martyrs (See Revelation 20:4-6).

"Their Finest Hour"

When thinking of what will happen to Christians during the Tribulation, this writer is always reminded of what the late Sir Winston Churchill said about the British people during the Second World War. He called it "their finest hour", referring to the courageous way in which they worked and fought in the face of merciless bombing and severe shortages of even the most common necessities. For the Christians who go through the Great Tribulation, it will be their finest hour. Especially for, but by no means limited to, those who have the Seal of the Living God. The Book of Revelation speaks to this in chapter 12:11;

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death."

This is talking about real Christian heroism. Again, it won't be pleasant, but it will be a testimony that will outshine even that of the martyrs under Roman Emperors.

Advice For Those Who Have The Seal

Just before the asteroid or comet collision that begins the Tribulation, a limited number of Christians will have received the "seal of the living God" (Revelation 7:1-3). This seal will make them immune to God's wrath. They will probably experience literal fulfillment of the promise of Psalm 91:7 & 8 during the Tribulation";

"A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it
(the wrath of God) will not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked."

Christians who have the seal may survive unscathed in areas of otherwise total destruction. The mysterious "locusts" will not sting them. The "army" will not kill any of them (Revelation 9). During the Tribulation, they will probably also experience repeated miracles of divine providence that will enable them to survive. But for all of this, the Tribulation will still be a terrible trial even for them. They should expect this.

Be Careful!

During the Tribulation, those who have the seal must be extremely careful not to compromise their Christian walk in any way. Even in our time, we are warned that "the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). During the Tribulation, his power to destroy the lives of Christians will be at an all time high. If you have the seal, you will have already won the crown. Don't let Satan take it away from you! Jesus suggested that it could still happen. You may be tempted to compromise your faith to meet your own needs, or more likely, the needs of those close to you. Don't do it! In Revelation 16:15, Jesus drops a warning into the context that will apply to all Christians during the Third Woe, (the context) but it will apply to those who have the seal all the way through:

"Behold, I am coming as a thief.
Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments ,
lest he walk naked and they see his shame."

If you have the seal, your spiritual garments are white. Be careful not to get them dirty, and give the devil an opportunity to put you to shame. The devil knows now who the true Christians are, and he will probably know who has the seal. He may single them out for attack during the Tribulation. He may even be able to pass this information to the Beasts. So watch your walk like never before!

Advice For All Christians

Material Preparation?

It is seriously recommended to all Christians that with the exception of what might be done short-term when you know the collision is coming (if you do), that no long-term material preparations be made. There are multiple reasons why not:

First, the Bible makes it very clear that only being prepared spiritually will help in the long run.

Secondly, if you make material preparations and "the Lord tarries", i.e. the collision doesn't happen, which is to say, the Tribulation doesn't soon begin, you will have wasted whatever time and money you invested in preparation, which is poor stewardship. You will have also made a fool of yourself, which is a bad testimony. (This writer knows people who have actually done this, with exactly these results.)

Third, if the collision occurs, and you have the misfortune to be in the 1/3 of the earth's surface that will be totally devastated, your efforts at material preparation will have been futile. Within that area, especially close to the Pacific Ocean, there will be such total destruction that the fatalities are likely to be, or almost be, 100%. Fourth, if you are in the other 2/3 of the earth's surface, and you are not ready, you have a 50/50 chance of being killed by the "army". Nothing but the seal of the living God will protect you from them.

Finally, if you survive all of this, and it becomes known that you have a stockpile of food, drinking water, medicines, etc., you are likely to become the victim of a murder-robbery by a mob of unsaved survivors.

What You Might Be Able To Do

There are just a few things that you might be able to do in preparation. This is a bold thing to say, but if you can help it, you shouldn't live anywhere that is within 2000 miles of the northern Pacific Ocean. Note though, that this is only true if this writer is correct about where he thinks the impact will occur. If it does occur in the Pacific, south of Alaska, east of a line between the Aleutian Islands and Hawaii, and north of a line between Hawaii and the West Coast of North America, anyone within that area is almost certainly doomed. And the closer you are to the coast, the worse are your chances. Within a few score miles of the coast, your chances of survival will be best expressed as zero, unless you can get to very high ground. If you hear the collision is coming, and you can do it, get away from any coastal region. There may be secondary tidal waves in the Atlantic, too, and also the Indian Ocean, but not as bad as in the Pacific. Get away from any mountainous region where you might be the victim of an avalanche. Get away from any place that is considered due for an earthquake.

This, of course, is assuming that you have the time to do it. ( You may not.) You need high but fairly level ground far from the oceans, especially the Pacific. This writer has an area picked for himself. Also, if you have the time and the means, it might help short-term to stockpile drinking water and non-perishable food. This is only about last minute preparation. Even then, don't expect it to help long-term. No matter what else you do, if you aren't ready spiritually when the Tribulation begins, you are in big trouble.

One special note: In Matthew 24:20, Jesus made an odd statement which sounds, both by immediate context and content, much more like a reference to the collision than it would have been to the Jewish War. He said, "And pray that your flight may not be in winter...". (This is one of the references that suggest that there will be a brief warning.) Now consider this: This writer believes that the impact will happen in the Northern Hemisphere. If it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere when it happens, the severity of the conditions for all concerned; the overall casualty rate, and the chances for the survivors of the initial catastrophe, will be much worse than it if happens, for example, in the spring or early summer. So if you take this message seriously;

Do pray that it won't happen in the winter!

Of course, there is much more that all Christians will have to do to make it through the Tribulation. We will discuss the a number of these points in the following page,

What To Do?

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Contact Author, William D. Brehm