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Revelation Bible Study Notes & Aids

The Great Tribulation – Part 3

Mark 13:14-23 (ESV)

The Abomination of Desolation

14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

The Tribulation is a future time period when the Lord will accomplish at least two aspects of His plan:

  • 1) He will complete His discipline of the nation Israel (Daniel 9:24), and 2) He will judge the unbelieving, godless inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 6 – 18).
  • Within eschatology (the study of future things), the Tribulation refers to the full seven-year period while the “Great Tribulation” refers to the second half of the Tribulation.

A manifestation of God’s wrath using Satan and mankind as the instruments of divine. Rev. 5:6-9; 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12; 8:1); Isaiah 24:1-13; 26:21; Daniel 9:24-27; Joel 1:15; Zeph. 1:18; Revelation 6:1-17; 11:18; 14:7, 10, 19; 15:4, 7; 16:1, 7, 19; 19:1-2.

Names Used of the Tribulation

(1) Jacob’s trouble or distress (Daniel 9:24-27)

(2) Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9:24-27)

(3) A time of trouble or distress (Daniel 12:1)

(4) The great day, the one of their wrath (Rev. 6:17)

(5) Hour of testing which shall try the whole earth (Rev. 3:10)

(6) The indignation (Isaiah 26:26)

(7) Tribulation and the Great Tribulation
(Matthew 24:9, 21, 29; Mark 13:19, 24; Rev. 7:14)

(8) The Day of the Lord (Joel 1:15; 2:1; 1 Thess. 5:2)

Reasons for the Great Tribulation

1.  Harvest – Matt. 13

2.  Satan is false – Isa. 14:12–15

3.  To prepare a great martyred – Rev. 7:9, 14

4.  To prepare a multitude for the Millennium  – Matt. 25:32

5.  To punish the Gentiles – Rom. 1:18; 2 Thess. 2:11–12;
Rev. 19:15

6.  To purge Israel  – Ezek. 20:23, 38; Zech. 13:8–9; Mal. 3:3
Zechariah 13:7–9

Key Players:

Unbelievers: Rev. 3:10; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9).

Jews and Gentiles: 1 Cor. 10:32; Gen. 10; 11; 12; 2 Sam. 7:12-16; Rom. 3:9, 19; 11:1-32; Luke 21:24.

144,000 Bondservants of God: 12,000 Jews from each of the twelve tribes.

The Two Witnesses: maybe Moses and Elijah but the Bible does not say. Revelation 11:1–14 (NKJV) 

Satan and his Demons: Rev 9:1-11; 12:3-17; 16:13-14; 13:2.

  • All the lawlessness, the murders, drugs, wars and blasphemies of this period are a result of satanic activity in conjunction with the degeneracy of man (2 Thess. 2:9-12).

Antichrist—a false prophet and evil being who will set himself up against Christ and the people of God in the last days before the Second Coming. 1 John 2:18

  • Satan’s deception began in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3) “God cannot be trusted”… “You can be like God”
  • The Dragon (or Serpent) of Revelation 12 is Satan
  • That work reaches its climax in the Antichrist – Rev. 13:4
  • The idea of Satan working through the Antichrist is clearly rooted in the prophecies of Daniel. – Dan. 7:7-8; 7:11; 7:13-14.
  • The Antichrist will be the sum total of the beasts referred to in Daniel 7 (Rev. 13:1-17).
  • The Antichrist makes war against Christ and His army, but he is captured and is “cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:20).
  • The devil, the Beast (or Antichrist), and the False Prophet form a kind of unholy trinity, counterfeiting Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • The Antichrist is also called the lawless one (v. 9) who, empowered and inspired by Satan, will lead the final rebellion against God (v. 3) but will be destroyed at the coming of the Lord.

False Prophet: is religious and promotes the ministry and person of the beast (Rev. 13:11-18).

The Fallen Angels and Michael and His Angels: Rev. 12:7.

The Lord Jesus Christ, Rev. 4; 5; and 19.

The Bride of Christ, Rev. 19:7f

The Great Harlot, Religious Babylon: one-world religious system – Rev. 17

The Merchants of the World: Rev. 18

The Ten Nations of Europe: Rev. 17:12.

The Kings of the East: Rev. 16:12f. – an oriental block of nations who will march across the Euphrates River when it is miraculously dried up.

The Time of the Tribulation

The Tribulation occurs after the removal of the church (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 5:l-9) and is followed by the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ (Rev. 20:1-4; Ezek. 20:33-38; Matt 24 and 25).

The Purposes of the Tribulation

  • For Israel: Jer. 30:7 it is a time to discipline Israel, prepare her for restoration and regathering Matt. 23:37-39; Ezek. 20:33-38; Zech. 12:10; Jer. 30:1-17)
  • For the Nations: divine judgment -Zech. 1:15-21; 12:3f; 14:3; Joel 3:2; Jer. 30:8, 11, 16
  • In Relation to Satan: Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12:7-12; 20:1-3; Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:12-19
  • In General: open judgment- Zeph. 1:15- 18; Joel 3:12-14; Rev. 6:16-17).

In Relation to God: demonstrate that God is holy, righteous, just, and still on the throne. That He has not ignored man’s rebellion or sin 2 Pet. 3:4-9


“Where the Bible makes plain sense,
seek no other sense,
lest you turn it into nonsense”.

The ESV® Bible (The Holy BibleEnglish Standard Version®) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Biblecopyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.