The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Tribulation Versus the Great Tribulation: The Coming Apocalypse

The Truth Will Set You Free


What exactly is the Tribulation?

On July 23, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program “The Truth Will Set You Free” via TWave Radio. “Pastor Vic” (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

In this “The Truth Will Set You Free” episode, we discuss the differences between the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

The Coming Apocalypse

Vic: Today we’re going to be talking about this incredible topic of the Tribulation versus the Great Tribulation. It’s a topic that many people get confused about.

Nathan, could you read for us Matthew 24:21?

Nathan: I’d be happy too. I’ll be reading out of the New King James. “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Vic: Wow, that’s incredible! And, Nathan, would you explain to us what the Tribulation is exactly? And, in particular, the difference between the first and second time periods of the Tribulation?

Nathan: Matthew 24:21 says that the Tribulation is going to be the worst time in human history. God is going to bring judgment upon this earth, and it will be so bad that it’ll be unlike anything seen before in human history.

The Tribulation rather reminds me of those Terminator movies, with the machines crunching over skulls and the nuked landscape and everything’s dead and humanity’s on the brink of extinction. It’s interesting how our society today is obsessed with movies that talk about the apocalypse, the end times, and the end of humanity. In fact, a lot of that imagery is based on what the Bible teaches concerning the Tribulation. It’s not that there will be terminators running around, but the fact that we’re going to get to that point in human history when humanity will exist in a post-apocalyptic era, that according to the Bible is indeed coming. The Bible calls it the Tribulation, which is a seven-year time period coming upon this earth.

Vic: You’re right, Nathan. It’s almost as if the world is being prepared for such things. We see all these movies coming out about zombies and vampires and stuff which portray humanity at the end of its rope.

Nathan: Another interesting fact about society anticipating the end times is that just recently a survey was made of teenagers today. It asked them, “What is your biggest fear of the future?” You would think they’d have said jobs or uncertainty about college, but no, their number one fear is of a coming apocalypse. So, it makes you wonder, because a lot of these kids aren’t schooled in the Bible. It makes me wonder where they’re getting this idea that the end of the world is coming.

I believe you’re right, Pastor Vic. Even though Hollywood and books and TV are obsessed with the idea of the end of the world, it’s a biblical event long ago foretold. These media reinterpret the Tribulation, of course. Nevertheless, the Bible teaches that there’ll be a great Tribulation coming upon the world, an apocalypse, an end time which will result in the almost total destruction of humanity.

Vic: That’s an excellent point, and that’s why we want to clarify this event called the Tribulation.

In the second part of this discussion with Pastor Vic on the Great Tribulation, we’ll see what the prophet Daniel had to say about his prophetic Seventieth Week.

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ABOUT AUTHOR View all posts Author Website

Dr. Nathan E. Jones

As the Internet Evangelist at Lamb & Lion Ministries, Nathan reaches out to the over 4.5 billion people accessible over the Internet with the Good News of Jesus Christ. He also co-hosts the ministry's television program Christ in Prophecy and podcast The Truth Will Set You Free.

15 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • The Lord is coming to purify all things with His Divine Truth. But before this happens evil and falsities will(and do) infest the world…just as the Ten Plagues came during Moses' time. The Apostasy is here- believe the Holy Word of God. Pray and read the Bible and ask for understanding. Keep your light/lamp lit- which is the Truth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

  • Thank you for this post. Well done. And timely. I have just responded to a commenter on my own blog site who is questioning the pre-Trib Rapture in response to my current post covering two other aspects of the timing: the pattern of deliverance in the Biblical account of the history of mankind and Jesus' teaching on the Church "prevailing" against the "gates of Hell" and when Satan will be able to "prevail" against the Church (during the Tribulation after the "restrainer" is taken out of the way). I look forward to more of your posts on this topic.

  • I do agree that the Trib is yet to arrive. With respect to the 'rapture' concept, is it possible that this event is an event of my/your inner spirit? Rev. 4:1 seems to suggest that this event is of the 'spirit' (not an event where we defy gravity and ascend into the clouds). The writer of Rev. 4:1 (John) did not ascend (bodily) but his 'spirit' ascended. This would be my interpretation of Rev. 4:1. D

  • My personal concern with a 'rapture'of believers is the idea that our Creator will dismiss his own Law of Gravity.Gravity is a Law of our Creator (and a present reality for all on our planet) and I don't think that we should assume that this force will be nullified via a 'rapture' of bodies. Sure, God can do anything…but this is rather presumptious IMO.My sense is that Rev. 4:1 enunciates a realistic situation…where believers (in the spirit) experience a higher dimension. I call it a 'born again' experience!

  • Hello Don, You asked:

    "is it possible that this event is an event of my/your inner spirit?"

    I personally don't think it is anything of the sort. I believe that in Rev.4:1 John was granted the ablitiy to visualize what will happen.

    Read chapter 6,8&9. When those seals are broken and the woes happen those are actual events that will happen, it's nothing in a persons inner spirit that is happening.

  • Hi Bonnie: Rev. 4:1-2 is definitely of the 'spririt' (a spiritual experience) as John did not leave his position on Patmos. He was caught up in his 'spirit' to the throne of the Almighty. The idea of a bodily 'rapture' can not be assumed when reading this scripture (in my opinion). Please re-read again to see if you discern what I discern. Read verse 2 also. God Bless, Don

  • Don, The point is your using a passage as proof text for your thought that doesn't even deal with what your talking about.

    It doesn't deal with the Rapture, but, rather a change in scene for John. The first verse clearly shows what is being spoken of is the wrath of God:

    "Come hither, and I will show thee things which must be herafter."

    Almost immediately the seals and the woes are described. The "hereafter probably means beyond the church age.

  • Bonnie, The concept of being caught up (in the spirit) is a type of rapture. My spirit is not affected by the force of gravity.Your belief in a bodily ascendance into the clouds does not seem scriptural to me. I certainly don't view this as realistic or likely. God will protect me while I'm on his planet.I am a child of God. D

  • Jesus will come immediately after the tribulation in Matthew 24, the wrath of God and the great tribulation are two different things Yes you will have to go through the tribulation because Christ does not return until after the tribulation.

  • I see many comments that people don't really think thru, but I assume that is why you are this site for.

    For example, Don made the statement about God not breaking the law of gravity?? Well, seems God
    didn't care when He allowed Jesus to walk thru walls several times and the doors were locked, seems that breaks the laws of science, nature, whatever. Healing also goes against laws of nature.

    This author seems to indicate that Christians will not go thru the tribulation and seems to be part of the
    brainwashing that most people believe. We were promised, God has not destined us for the Wrath of God,
    well the wrath of God is the last 7 bowl judgements which is the last half of the tribulation. The time of the Gentiles last until the middle of the tribulation, Jerusalem will be trampled under foot until the time of the Gentiles is complete, measure the temple and leave out the outer court, because it is left for the gentiles for 3 and 1/2 years.

    Jesus spoke in parables, did they have secret meanings? Of course, only the enlightened understood the true meaning. "no one knows the day or the hour" could it be like a parable?? Is there a feast that no one knows the day or the hours of when it starts?? Might should do a little research if you don't know this.

    Sue, the wrath of God and the great tribulation are the same thing.

    As far as Bonnie, Revelation 4:1 is the taking up. However, most people don't get it, Revelation 4 is at the 5th trumpet, which is also the "shout" in 1Thess. 4, which is also the shout at the rapture of the two great witnesses. Most people say revelation 4 is at the beginning of the tribulation? Put all the "come up here" terms together, you will see the rapture has several parts that happen at the 5th, 6th, and 7th trumpets.
    The shout, the dead in Christ rise, the voice of the archangel is the angel proclaiming "don't take the mark of the beast, and at the last trumpet, those alive and remain will be taken up to meet with Jesus in the air. This is the harvest of the believer of the Church, "Come out of her my people"
    If you have questions, email me,

  • Who opens the seven seals from the very first Seal Judgment? Jesus, right. Where do the angels receive the seven Trumpet Judgments? Before the throne of God. Where do the seven Bowl Judgments come forth from? The heavenly Temple where God dwells. In each case, every one of the 21 Tribulation judgements come from God Himself, and therefore all of the Tribulation is God's wrath, not just the last Bowl Judgments.

  • Jer. 30:3-7 does not say that the time of Jacob's trouble is 7 years.

    The first 3.5 years was already fulfilled by Jesus Christ as described in Daniel 9:27. Through the death of Jesus, the sacrifice and offering was abolished. On the east wing of the temple, the abomination and desolation referred to here is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Daniel 11:31,32 is where the Antichrist will appear at the Temple to desecrate it by his armies, and to set up the abomination and desolation, and this is the one that Jesus warned us of on Matthew 24:15. Jesus confirms His Holy Covenant for 1 seven, the remaining half will be in the future. In the case of the Antichrist, he will forsake and vent his fury on the Holy Covenant for 3.5 years, Daniel 11:30, his version of Daniel 9:27. Remember that Satan will counterfeit all that is prophesied in the end times to make the antichrist appear as the messiah. The 7 years of tribulation view is being promoted by Satan maybe because there will be a 3.5 years fake tribulation and a dummy antichrist.


  • Continuation…

    It could be the King of the North versus the King of the South of Daniel 11. The King of the South could be the Islamic Antichrist, the Mahdi. The King of the North could be the King from the Revived Roman Empire, claiming his lineage from the blood line of King David, from the land of the famous legend of King Arthur and Merlin the Magician.



    Revelation 21:1-2
    A New Heaven and a New Earth
    21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a BRIDE beautifully dressed for her husband.

    Revelation 21:9-10
    The New Jerusalem, the BRIDE of the Lamb
    9 ONE OF THE SEVEN ANGELS WHO HAD THE SEVEN BOWLS full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I WILL SHOW YOU THE BRIDE, the WIFE (already married) of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.

    Revelation 16:12-16
    12 THE SIXTH ANGEL POURED OUT HIS BOWL on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 13 Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

    15 “LOOK, I COME LIKE A THIEF! Blessed is the ONE (Bride/Virgins) who stays awake and remains clothed (OIL/HOLY SPIRIT), so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

    16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.



    All the elements are there. It's that simple and clear, No need to allegorically interpret it.



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