So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

This is the place to discuss anything to do with scriptural doctrine. It is the primary purpose of this site, and most discussions will be here.
Forum rules
Matt 18:6; Eccl 7:9; 1 Pet 4:8 (If you're not sure what they say then please hover over them with your mouse or look them up in your own Bible before posting)
Post Reply
Message
Author
Daniel12
Posts: 929
Joined: 5 years ago

So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

#1 Post by Daniel12 » 4 years ago

I think my point of view regarding a Great Tribulation is a lot different than most here. It’s not a bad thing but I think we’ve just come from two different upbringings.

Honestly, I had never heard of a great tribulation that was going to affect the whole earth with killings left and right, babies falling into a huge chasm and mothers and fathers being hit by lighting and fire. The first time I heard it described as such was when I started associating with the witnesses and that was only for a couple of years but not really, because I hardly went to the meetings. When I heard some of the public talks being described as above by some elder, I never believed it but I was taught to respect other people’s beliefs and that’s what I did.

Don’t get me wrong, I had read the great tribulation in the gospels and Revelation but I was never taught that it was something that was literally going to happen in the near future, and especially as described above. I had read Luke 21, Mark 13, very carefully and to my understanding, the “End” Talked about in those two books was dealing with the temple, not the end of the world or system of things.

(Luke 21:5-7) . . .Later, when some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with fine stones and dedicated things, 6 he said: “As for these things that you now see, the days will come when not a stone will be left upon a stone and not be thrown down.” 7 Then they questioned him, saying: “Teacher, when will these things actually be, and what will be the sign when these things are to occur?. . .

(Mark 13:1-4) . . .Teacher, see! what wonderful stones and buildings!” 2 However, Jesus said to him: “Do you see these great buildings? By no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down.” 3 As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives with the temple in view, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately: 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are to come to a conclusion?

Matthew 24 is the same thing;

(Matthew 24:1, 2) . . .Now as Jesus was departing from the temple, his disciples approached to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 In response he said to them: “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, by no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down.”

The only difference in Matthew 24 has the usage of the phrase Parousia and conclusion of system of things;
(Matthew 24:3) “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?”

I always considered the book of Revelation as a symbolic book that men had tried to decipher since the time the book was written and the great tribulation has been explain probably hundreds of ways. So I never considered that great tribulation as literal. I know some do.

But as far as a great tribulation where billions of people are killed never made sense to me. It’s not just me but most people recognize that there are over 7 billion people on earth and a great majority of them were born in countries that don’t allow the bible to be distributed. Also there are a great number of people who because of their circumstances will never read a bible. And probably another great number of mentally disable that can’t understand the bible, and others that just can’t read. And yet the idea was that in the Great tribulation God was going to destroy all these people?

But it got worse. I started hearing in talks and at one convention that only Jehovah’s Witnesses would survive, everyone else would be destroyed. Now that was really crazy. Did the public speaker realize that 7 million witnesses was only one thousandth of the human population? In other words, did he realize he was saying that only “One tenth of One percent (0.1%) was going to be spared and 99 and 9 tenths of humans were going to be destroyed? I don’t think they know their math and the implications of what they are saying. It kind of makes sense why they discourage education. If you have some education, you start reasoning on the comments they make.

These days it always strikes me as implausible, and self-centered of people in a secure, wealthy, democracy, jabbering about "the great tribulation" as though nothing bad happens in the world unless something bad happens to them.
In many parts of the world, people's entire lives are "a great tribulation" from their moment of birth to their day of death. Many of the poor and downtrodden in many parts of the world have to endure more than most of us ever will in our entire life simply because they have the misfortune of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It didn’t take long for me to see how ironic it was to see a group of men dressed up in suits, standing up on the platform of an air-conditioned hall to talk about how bad the times were. I thought it was so self-centered and egotistical to think that what happens in the U.S. is relevant to any of the bible prophecies.

Because of my upbringing, I never expected to survive a great tribulation and never grow old and never die. That idea just never crossed my mind when I read the bible. I always expected to grow old and eventually die but at some point in the future I expected a reckoning, a time of judgement and a resurrection.

(John 5:28, 29) . . .Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out. . .


I mean I respect if some of you believe that very soon a great tribulation will strike the earth and rotting people’s eyes while they stand. But when I saw a picture in an Awake magazine of all the human slaughter, it was more like a preview of the movie “The Walking Dead”

http://www.jwfacts.com/images/armageddo ... 1-1997.jpg

http://1u88jj3r4db2x4txp44yqfj1.wpengin ... d_herd.jpg

So my question, do you all believe there is going to be a Great tribulation very soon that will slaughter humans left and right regardless. And only a few will survive?

Phoebe
Posts: 970
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

#2 Post by Phoebe » 4 years ago

Great post and question.
And so 'on the nail' Daniel.

Daniel12
Posts: 929
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

#3 Post by Daniel12 » 4 years ago

Thanks Phoebe, I hope I get a lot of replies. I want to see what we can come up with regarding the Great Tribulation.

EKO410
Posts: 37
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

#4 Post by EKO410 » 4 years ago

Nail on the head... so they say... :D

I'm not sure where I stand regarding the 'Great Tribulation'.. whether it is past or is yet future.. or maybe both.. ?

The scripture that keeps me questioning is this:
Roman 2:9

"There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: FIRST for the Jew, THEN for the Gentile..." (NIV)

It is my thought (and it is simply a thought) that the tribulation (trouble/distress) came on the Jewish nation (first) back in the 1st century... maybe as sort of a 'smaller' or 'initial' fulfilment...? That has continued on since that time period possibly or perhaps there may be a 'bigger' or 'final' fulfilment in the future... for the Gentiles...

Romans 11:25 "...until the fulness of the Gentiles comes in..."

Of course, it is my thought that we are living in Gentile times at the moment.. waiting for the full number to come in..

Just some thoughts I've been working through recently. Nothing I'm fully convinced of.

Great subject! Hope to see more comments.

EKO

MeletiVivlon
Posts: 953
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

#5 Post by MeletiVivlon » 4 years ago

My understanding of this has developed slowly. I no longer see the fulfillment of Revelation 7:14 as a final time of destruction. The word "tribulation" is used about 40 times in the Christian Scriptures. In each instance, it relates to Christians, not the world at large. It means a time of stress, trial, or testing; not specifically, a time of destruction. The children of God come through this testing and are granted a white robe. The children of God have been around for 2,000 years, so it follows that the testing has been going on for 2,000 years. I believe the great tribulation is the great test that refines the children of God, identifying those worthy of getting the white robe.

Daniel12
Posts: 929
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

#6 Post by Daniel12 » 4 years ago

Hi MeletiVivlon

See that makes a lot more sense to me the way you explained it. And you backed it up by showing the way the “word” tribulation is used in most cases in the NT

Of course solving this problem of interpretation regarding “the Great Tribulation” doesn’t clear the other one that depicts some sort of elimination of evil people from the earth. Though not related to the tribulation mentioned in Revelation 7:14, it still depicts a removal of the seed of the devil. Although in these other verses, suffering, torture, and pain is not depicted as an event related to the removal of wicked people. The removal of evil ones is “Quick,” –immediate, no indication of a world-wide turmoil.

(Matthew 13:41, 42) . . .The Son of man will send forth his angels, and they will collect out from his kingdom all things that cause stumbling and persons who are doing lawlessness, and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace.


This could happen very quickly, perhaps a day or two, thereby paving the way for God’s rule under his son as something immediate. There really is no need for any further turmoil on humans.

It's not far-fetch to believe this since all other accounts of God’s direct judgement on his enemies was quick and to the point- Sodom, the 185,000 Assyrians soldiers put to death in one night by an angel, etc.

There was no torturing of evil ones. No mocking words, (I told you so) I doubt the angle of God tortured the 185,000 Assyrians soldiers all night long with some type of spiritual waterboarding before he put them to death.

From what I read, it seems to me that the removal of the wicked will be just like the removal of the 185,000 Assyrians soldiers by one angel. - One night!

(2 Kings 19:35) . . .And it came about on that night that the angel of Jehovah proceeded to go out and strike down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the As·syrʹi·ans. When people rose up early in the morning, why, there all of them were dead carcasses.

Your thoughts pleases!

Daniel12
Posts: 929
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

#7 Post by Daniel12 » 4 years ago

"There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: FIRST for the Jew, THEN for the Gentile..." (NIV) It is my thought (and it is simply a thought) that the tribulation (trouble/distress) came on the Jewish nation (first) back in the 1st century... maybe as sort of a 'smaller' or 'initial' fulfilment...? That has continued on since that time period possibly or perhaps there may be a 'bigger' or 'final' fulfilment in the future... for the Gentiles...

Romans 11:25 "...until the fulness of the Gentiles comes in...
Hi EKO410

The reason I don’t see further distress for Gentiles until the fullness comes in, is because history teaches us that distress for Gentiles has been an ongoing thing –and so a great tribulation would add nothing more to the mix of suffering and pain. Here is just a small example of what I mean by great tribulation that Gentiles have had to endure.

“The influenza or flu pandemic of 1918 to 1919, the deadliest in modern history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide–about one-third of the planet’s population at the time–and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims.

As far as distress is concerned; it seemed to attack the young and healthy, symptoms would appear without warning and worsen by the hour. The lungs would fill with fluid making breathing difficult; body temperatures would soar so high the hair would begin to fall out; people would turn blue and black; they would eventually die by drowning in the fluid gathered in their lungs. All this might occur within twelve hours. Someone you saw healthy at breakfast could well be dead by dinner. In ten months of the epidemic, the influenza had killed 550,000 Americans and thirty million people (GENTILES) worldwide.

How much more damage could a great tribulation like spoken in Revelation 7 cause on the Gentiles.
There are many more examples written in history of distresses that gentiles have gone through, like the Justinian plague in the sixth century which was WORSE than the influenza outbreak of 1918 and then the famous Black Death in the mid-fourteenth century which killed as much as one-third of the population in Europe. The eye-witness accounts that we still have are mind-boggling that such events actually happened to humans. They seem like nightmarish fairy-tales from the movie - "Nightmare on Elm Street".

There are many more historical accounts and hundreds of millions of more agonizing deaths that gentiles have experienced in humans history.

And that is why I don’t believe that there is going to be a great tribulation that could top the misery and anguish that humans have had to endure and are enduring already. It would only be sadistic to have a WORSE tribulation affect the rest of humanity, and who by the way, a great majority of those who would experience such Great tribulation, would be children under the age of 12 years old.

It sounds more like a sadistic scene from the movie SAW, than a real hope of deliverance from God.

User avatar
candace
Posts: 132
Joined: 4 years ago

Re: So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

#8 Post by candace » 4 years ago

Hi Daniel, what a coincidence to think the prophet Daniel also wrote about the last days! Its exciting to read about the 'time of the end' in chapter 11, things that is going to happen soon but it is described in quite a mysterious way that I don't think even our publications have been able to explain it clearly (at least not to me).

Daniel 11:40: “In the time of the end the king of the south will engage with him in a pushing. Against him the king of the north will storm with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships; and he will certainly enter into the lands and flood over and pass through"
We don't know who the kings are but the other verses in Daniel show they will fight each other until Jehovah steps in and destroys them all (Daniel 2:44), which is what the Daniel books explain. So I wonder if the fighting between the kings is the beginning of the great tribulation? Because Armageddon mentioned in Revelation 16:14, 16 is the battle between God and earthly kings, and the great tribulation has to come before that.

I think that when Jesus talked about a 'great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again' (Matthew 24:21) he was propphesying about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70ad by the Romans. It certainly hasn't happened again just like Jehovah promised that the flood in Noah's day will never happen again.

I would love to believe in the idea that the Armageddon will be very quick, just like the assyrian camp totally destroyed by one angel in one night. The blowing of the horns in Revelation must be very short then! I hate to think of it as being long, drawn out misery, unless we are supposed to think the 42 months of trampling in Revelation 11:2-3 is a literal time. I am sure you know that all witnesses honestly believe that the great tribulation and armageddon will happen in our lifetime.

Daniel12
Posts: 929
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

#9 Post by Daniel12 » 4 years ago

HI Candace

I am sure you know that all witnesses honestly believe that the great tribulation and Armageddon will happen in our lifetime.
Yes, the friends I did make when I used to go to the Kingdom Hall would try to explain why that was the case. But now all the young kids I use to hang out with are having second thoughts and are starting to do research into the matter. The good thing is that they are starting to read and study the bible which is something they never did before, they basically read just certain verses like Revelation 21:3,4, Psalms 37, the gospels where Jesus is talking about the "SIGNS" before the destruction of the temple.

You mentioned the blowing of the horns in Revelation must be very short. If you get your book “Revelation its Grand Climax at Hand” and turn to page 173, there is an inset on the right that explains that the seven trumpets refer to seven Watch Tower conventions held between 1922 and 1928. So basically the Watchtower has taught for years that those trumpet blast already happened and were fulfilled 94 years ago. The same with the bowels and all the other symbolic stuff.

The thing about the Bible book of Revelation in the NWT, is that at the very beginning it tells us very plainly that it was presented to John in “Signs”

(Revelation 1:1) A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. And he sent forth his angel and presented [it] in signs

So when anyone reads about trumpets, golden bowls, flying horses with heads of humans wearing golden crowns, and a dragon regurgitating frogs, I tend to realize that the possibilities of explanation are “Endless”

And there have been hundreds of explanations throughout history. It seems like every generation believed

“They” were the generation that would see the end of an evil world”

And there has never been a lack of groups of people or preachers that would be in-sink with this idea of the last days and busy themselves in warning people that the “Due Time Was Near”


(Luke 21:8) . . .He said: “Look out that you are not misled, for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The due time is near.’ Do not go after them.

NIV He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.

The world is a morass of conflicting beliefs and ideas that have been a major cause of all the wars, hatred, division, pain and anguish. What is needed is NOT MORE SUFFERING AND TURMOIL-like a Great Tribulation earth wide, but humans need direction, and coercion in doing what is right. It needs to be pointed out what is the real truth so that there aren’t so many conflicting Christian Religions as well as non-Christian religions. Isn’t that what God promises to do, to set things straight.

(Micah 4:3, 4) . . .And he will certainly render judgment among many peoples, and set matters straight respecting mighty nations far away.

And we also need a quick removal of wicked people that just don’t want to learn righteousness. There is no sense to trying to rehabilitate someone who doesn’t want to change.

(Isaiah 26:10) Though the wicked one should be shown favor, he simply will not learn righteousness. In the land of straightforwardness he will act unjustly and will not see the eminence of Jehovah.

So two things that I believe contribute to a more happy outlook for the future

One, we don’t know the day, whether it's close or far, so don’t be obsess with the idea we are living in the last days.

(Matthew 24:36) “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.

and Two; Live a good life, loving God, and as much as possible, love your Neighbor

We’re not being asked much more.

(Luke 10:27, 28) . . .“‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind,’ and, ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 He said to him: “You answered correctly; --------------------------

‘keep on doing this and you will get life.’”

amoreomeara
Posts: 50
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: So is there going to be a great tribulation or is there a misunderstanding on what that actually means?

#10 Post by amoreomeara » 4 years ago

Hi Daniel,

Here is something that I only learnt recently about the origins of the word tribulation, it comes from the Latin words tribulare ‘press, oppress’, and from tribulum ‘threshing board (constructed of sharp points)’.

If you then look at the many bible references relating to the threshing of grain and separating the wheat from the chaff, it gives a whole new perspective to the idea of tribulation and its objective.

This to me totally ties in with what Meleti was saying about tribulation only really applying to Christians. I have also heard this idea of separating the wheat and the chaff being related to false teachings, perhaps where the saying "a grain of truth" comes from? :)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests