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Tribulation Light

Regarding the title above, I don’t mean to imply light being shed on the Tribulation–although that is part of what I hope will be done. By using the term “Tribulation light,” I mean we are now seeing issues and events occur in this Age of Grace much like, but not actually those prophetically scheduled for, the seven years of worldwide horror leading up to Christ’s Second Advent–i.e., those issues and events are but similar to those much more horrific, apocalyptic events; foreshadows of things to come.

There are several specific prophecies expounded upon by Jesus while giving His Olivet Discourse that I would like to examine as being “Tribulation light” events in our headlines today. 

The Lord gave these as recorded in the following prophecy:

Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21: 20-21)

I would like to probe a bit into the less-prominent “Tribulation light” prophetic indicators within the above Scripture before getting into that which I view as most pronounced in these days so near the end of the Church Age.

Jesus was foretelling that these troubles will be unprecedented in their ferocity during the Tribulation era when God’s wrath will fall upon incorrigibly wicked mankind. He exhorted that when those with discernment see these things begin to happen, they are to know that His return is drawing near. Note, the Lord said when these things “begin” to come to pass, those with discernment are to “look up…for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).

Jesus said as recorded in other places that these issues and events will be like birth pangs. They will come upon end-time’s mankind like pains a woman experiences during the incrementally increasing contractions of having a baby. That is, these pains will begin in a milder manner than they will become the nearer the moment of birth.

Earthquakes, Jesus said, will mark the beginning of “sorrows” (birth pangs). Again, these, obviously, staying within the birthing analogy, will be lighter in severity than they will become during the full-blown Tribulation when Christ’s return is about to happen. We are told in Revelation that there will occur the ultimate earthquake as Christ is breaking through the black clouds of that terrible time. Every mountain will fall. That describes a mighty earthquake indeed!

Anyone who reads the news as presented in our Rapture Ready News section knows of the reports of tremblers from around the world. There seems no geographical region of the planet that isn’t experiencing seismic activity on an increasing scale. All of these quakes are light in severity when compared to the Revelation description of the final quake that will bring every tall structure on earth crashing down. However, the cumulative effects have prophetic evidentiary significance, it becomes ever more obvious.

Just within the past days, we have the following posts:

Such reports continue in a never-ending cyberspace headlines crawl. The tremors are coming with increasing frequency and intensity.

The second “Tribulation light” indicator I pluck from the Luke 21:20-21 Olivet prophecy Jesus gave is the matter of “pestilence.”

To be brief, I bring to your attention the things we have seen develop most recently in this regard. Remember the Ebola scare of a few months ago. Think of the HIV natter that was on the front pages and growing, seemingly, uncontrollably. And now it is the Zika virus that is apparently spread by mosquitoes and which has no medical defense to combat it.

There is growing concern among the medical research community that many of the pestilences are in the process of mutating–developing resistance to antibiotics and other forms of combating disease.

The Tribulation era will see these diseases become full-blown. The toll in human life will be beyond comprehension.

All of these above-mentioned developments are but sidebars to the real story regarding signals that show how near this generation is to the Tribulation era.    

“Nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom”: This is the real scriptural crux of proof in thinking on where we stand on God’s prophetic timeline.

“Nation” in the Greek language, as used here, is “ethnos” or “ethnic” in English. Jesus was predicting that the very end of the age would produce great ethnic upheaval. People will be raging against each other for reasons of race. Likewise, the Lord said that “kingdom against kingdom” will mark the era leading up to His Second Advent.

Is there any doubt whatsoever that these indicators are in our headlines today? In the very streets of America, there is ethnic rage that sometimes boils to the uncontrollable level. The rioting in places like Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, leap instantly to mind. Such rage is at the heart of problems around the world. Religious fervor, inciting ethnic hatreds, mark this generation as the one Jesus must have had in His omniscient mind when giving this prophecy.

We are experiencing today “Tribulation light” prophetic birth pangs on a moment-by-moment basis. It will be fascinating, as watchers on the wall, to see what 2016 will bring. We, as born-again believers, hope it brings the shout of the Lord Jesus: “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1)


6 Comments

  1. Susan says:

    I agree with everything you wrote. With Antonin Scalia’s unexpected and very unfortunate death, do you think there is a prophetic significance to it? Perhaps it will simply hasten our descent as a country as more and more power is given to the progressive left as they continue to tear our country apart….?

  2. Susan says:

    Hi Terry: I don’t think the comment I just left went through….In case it didn’t, I agree with everything you wrote. Do you think that Antonin Scalia’s untimely and very unfortunate death has any prophetic significance? Or do you think it’s just another mechanism that has occurred to further accelerate the decline of our once great nation? Thank you!

    • Terry James says:

      Your questions about the death of Justice Scalia involve the topic of my next week’s column. I title it “Supreme Decision.”

      I believe we are in a state of severe decline because of rebelliousness against God.

      Also, I’m convinced America’s decline borders on involving the curse described in Genesis 12:3.

      These things will be analyzed to some extent in next Monday’s column.

  3. Susan says:

    I agree and I’m glad that you’re going to address both topics next week. I always look forward to you thoughts and observations. It seems like we keep getting blow after blow. I know that Jesus is going to square everything right in the end so I’m not worried. However, it is disheartening to see the increasingly rapid decline of America because of the rebellion of so many of our leaders and our citizenry in general. I sure hope that this portends the closeness of the Rapture.

  4. Jill says:

    Just a little correction the 5.7 magnitude earthquake in New Zealand was located in Christchurch, not Wellington. I know because I was rocking & rolling on the third floor of our church offices, not fun I can assure you.

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