Future Prophesies - During the Tribulation & Beyond
SALVATION OF THE REMNANT
REPENTANCE OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
Romans 11:25-27 – Israel’s Rejection Not Final
Ro 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”
Matthew 23:37-39 – Jesus Laments over Jerusalem
Mt 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”
Zechariah 13:7-9 – The Shepherd Savior
Zec 13:7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.
8 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:
9 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 13:1-6 – Idolatry Cut Off
Zec 13:1 “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. 2 “It shall be in that day,” says the Lord of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land. 3 It shall come to pass that if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who begot him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the Lord.’ And his father and mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies. 4 “And it shall be in that day that every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive. 5 But he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a farmer; for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.’ 6 And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’
Isaiah 10:20-23 – The Returning Remnant of Israel
Is 10:20 And it shall come to pass in that day That the remnant of Israel,
And such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, Will never again depend on him who defeated them,
But will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
21 The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, To the Mighty God.
22 For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, A remnant of them will return;
The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
23 For the Lord God of hosts Will make a determined end In the midst of all the land.
Romans 11:3-6, 25-27 – Israel’s Rejection Not Final
Ro 11:3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? 4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
... 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”
Deuteronomy 4:29-31 – Beware of Idolatry
Dt 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice 31 (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.
Hosea 3:4-5 – Israel Will Return to God
Hos 3:4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.
Zechariah 8:7-8 – Jerusalem, Holy City of the Future
Zec 8:7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east And from the land of the west;
8 I will bring them back, And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
They shall be My people And I will be their God, In truth and righteousness.’
Zechariah 12:10-14 – Mourning for the Pierced One
Zec 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.
Romans 10:1-13 – Israel Needs the Gospel
Ro 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Deuteronomy 30:1-6 – The Blessing of Returning to God
Dt 30:1 “Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. 5 Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. 6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
Revelation 7:1-8 – The Sealed of Israel
Rev 7:1 After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.
What are tribulation saints?
The tribulation saints are, quite simply, saints living during the tribulation. We believe that the church will be raptured before the tribulation, but the Bible indicates that a great number of people during the tribulation will place their faith in Jesus Christ. In his vision of heaven, John sees a vast number of these tribulation saints who have been martyred by the Antichrist: “There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9). When John asks who they are, he is told, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (verse 14).
The tribulation will be a time of great trouble for the wicked, because of God’s judgments. It will also be a time of great persecution for the believers—or saints—because of the Antichrist’s persecution (Revelation 13:7). Daniel saw the Antichrist “waging war against the saints and defeating them” (Daniel 7:21). Of course, the saints’ eternal salvation is secure: Daniel also saw that “the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom” (Daniel 7:22; cf. Revelation 14:12–13).
The tribulation saints will hear the gospel from several possible sources. The first is the Bible; there will be many copies of the Bible left in the world, and when God’s judgments begin to fall, many people will likely react by finding a Bible to see if prophecies are being fulfilled. Many of the tribulation saints will also have heard the gospel from the two witnesses (Revelation 11:1–13). The Bible says these two individuals “will prophesy for 1,260 days [three and a half years]” (verse 3) and perform great miracles (verse 6). And then there are the 144,000 Jewish missionaries who are redeemed and sealed by God during the tribulation (Revelation 7:1–8). Immediately following the description of their sealing in Revelation 7, we read of the multitudes of tribulation saints who are saved from every corner of the world (verses 9–17).
The tribulation saints will serve their Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of desperate surroundings. Faithful to the end, many of these believers will die for their faith. But in their death, they overcome; “They overcame [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11). And God will reward them: “He who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:15–17).
We praise the Lord that the great day of trouble will also be a great day of grace. Even as God is meting out His just punishment on an unbelieving world, He will be restoring Israel to faith and extending grace to all who believe, both Jew and Gentile. God has always been in the business of saving people, and that salvation will still be available during the tribulation. Don’t wait until then, however; receive Jesus now (John 1:12).
After all believers in Christ are raptured away to heaven, the people who come to faith in Christ will become what is commonly called tribulation saints. The Bible predicts that a huge number of people will be saved during the tribulation hour. Rev 7:9 describes the number as a “great multitude, which no man could number.”
The Bible repeatedly states that tribulation saints will face a strong likelihood of being martyred under the Antichrist’s demonic rule. The reason why they are called tribulation saints is because most of them will have to pay the ultimate price for their faith. There are several passages that warn how rough it will be for Christians to endure the tribulation:
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Rev 13:7).
“He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Rev 13:10).
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev 13:15).
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them” (Rev 14:12-13).
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev 20:4).
The tribulation saints will not be silent during these dark years, nor will they roll over and play dead for Antichrist. These Christians will continue serving their Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of their desperate surroundings. Faithful to the end, some of these Christians will die for their beliefs, but God shall reward them in this manner: “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Revelation 7: 15-17 NKJV).” (1)
A realization of how difficult it will be for tribulation saints has motivated many christian to leave helpful advice for those left behind. Here are two examples from RR and another site:
First of all, it is to warn those who receive this manual prior to the rapture of the events that will take place in the last days as foretold in the Bible. Based on what the Bible has to say about future events, nobody in their right mind would want live on earth after the rapture. Hopefully, many will read, believe, seek God, repent and be saved. Salvation is very simple, so simple to attain, in fact, that most people cannot accept its simplicity; thereby reject it completely. However, it is complex because it is life-changing and based on that which we cannot see; it is based on faith. Simple, because Jesus does all the work. If you want to be saved and have eternal life, simply pray in belief and humility to the Lord Jesus:
“Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and ask you to forgive me of my sins and prepare for me a new heart. I surrender my life to you.”
Your predicament is quite serious, so this is very important: Try to find a Holy Bible (containing 66 books), which you must study and know well —although that task will present some very thorny problems— because if you are reading this at the beginning of the tribulation, then all of you “tribulation saints” are brand new “baby” believers in Christ. There are no older believers to help you in person, so, you’ll have to survive on your own, without such a support group …there is no true “Church” on earth… that’s why I’m concerned to write to you. (2)
Tribulation Chronicles Part 6: Tribulation Saints :: By Alice Childs
Eternal Hope in A Temporarily Hopeless Situation
So far in these chronicles, I have given to you, as best as I am able to describe, a realistic picture of the conditions under which you will be living during these final 7 years post-rapture. However, it is simply beyond my ability to convey the depth, breadth, and enormity of the devastation that now faces you, although you are now living through such unprecedented horrors with more to come. We, as mortals, are simply not capable of wrapping our minds around the enormity of the coming destruction as God’s wrath is being outpoured upon a sin-loving, God-rejecting world.
In Revelation chapters 6-18, you can read what God Himself showed to the apostle John in a vision regarding what you are facing.
Remember, I told you that the event that begins the countdown of these final 7 years is not the Rapture of the Church – perhaps known to you as the great vanishing. Rather, the starting point of the final 7-year countdown is the “confirmation or strengthening of a covenant” between a man (who will be the Antichrist), Israel, and others. The Antichrist will use some sort of peace initiative as his platform and appear to be a global savior of sorts.
The long-foretold Antichrist will make this covenant with Israel and “many” other nations for a period of 7 years. You must recognize this man for who and what he really is, not what he appears to be. As I will explain later on in an upcoming letter, he will betray Israel and break this covenant at the very midpoint of these last 7 years. It is the signing or “confirmation” of this covenant (see the Old Testament book of Daniel 9:27) that begins the final 7-year countdown, not the Rapture. I continue to reiterate this because of its significance.
There might be a gap of time (if or how long a gap, I have no way of knowing, but I do not think, given the state of global affairs in play now, that there will be much of a time gap) between the event of the Rapture and before the signing of this covenant. After this covenant is confirmed, this world will be on the very brink of total destruction and a loss of life so vast that if Jesus did not return to put a stop to it, all flesh would die. However, at the penultimate moment, right before total destruction can occur, the Lord Jesus will return bodily to earth, and there on the Plains of Megiddo, He will put an end to all rebellion at the culmination of a battle you’ve always heard of as the Battle of Armageddon.”
In this letter, though, I want to give a message of hope and encouragement to those of you who are soon to become believers after the Rapture has already taken place. I know the news I’ve imparted so far is bleak and devastating, but there is GREAT HOPE and a bright and glorious eternity beyond your wildest imaginings that awaits all who will come to Christ and who “remain faithful unto death.”
You will not become a part of the Church because the Church is now complete and residing in Heaven, but you will be what the book of Revelation calls “saints” of the Tribulation – those who will become believers post-rapture who live during the seven years of the Tribulation. Sadly, the vast majority of Tribulation believers will be martyred during this time. You will become the Tribulation saints, as I will refer to you from now on.
As I continue to reiterate, if you come to salvation after the Rapture has already occurred, then you must rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit to remain faithful unto death. You must NEVER – UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES OR FOR ANY REASON, never accept within your body (in your right hand or in your forehead) any type of biometric “mark,” be it an injection, a biometric tattoo, or any other such “marking” or tracking biometric identifier associated with the Antichrist, his name, or the numerical value of his name.
This “mark” (whatever form it takes) will be globally mandated by the one who will be the False Prophet. Everyone will be required to receive it. Without this “mark,” NO ONE will be able to buy, sell, conduct business, make any kind of financial transaction, receive medical help of any kind, gain or keep employment, buy or rent a home, or move freely among society – not even to buy groceries or any other necessities.
Nevertheless, whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, never, ever accept this mark. If you do, you will FORFEIT ANY HOPE OF Salvation. To accept this mark will eternally doom your immortal soul to Hell for all eternity. I cannot stress this enough! Taking it is an irrevocable act of ultimate rebellion and rejection of Christ and His salvation that will not be forgiven.
**NOTE** This “mark of the beast,” whatever it is, will NOT be implemented until the midpoint (3 1/2 years into the 7-year Tribulation), 3 ½ years after the Antichrist “confirms a covenant” with Israel – NOT before.
That’s the reality that you now face. Accept Christ and remain faithful to Him, realizing that you will almost certainly die because of your faith, or continue to reject Him. Should you or anyone else reject Christ, you will die eternally – either at some point during these 7 years or at the end of these last 7 years when Christ returns.
However, for those of you who do come to Christ – those of you who are willing to lay down your lives for His namesake, let me give to you the great news – not just the hope, but the CERTAINTY that will be the future that you will share with all who will forever dwell in the presence of the Sovereign Lord of All Creation – after you lose this mortal body in death. This truth is the oasis in the midst of Hell on earth. Here is what awaits you the instant your heart beats its final time, and you are ushered into the presence of your Lord for all eternity.
From the book of Revelation chapter 7:9-17:
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb [Jesus Christ, who is called The Lamb of God], clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
“And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the Elders [representatives of the Church] and the four living creatures, and fell before the throne ON their faces, and worshipped God saying, Amen: Blessing, glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.
“And one of the Elders [one who belongs to the Church] answered, saying unto me, Who are these which are arrayed in white robes, and from where did they come?
“And I [John] said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he [the Elder] said to me, These are they who have come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they [their souls] before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night IN HIS TEMPLE: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
“These shall hunger NO MORE, neither thirst ANYMORE: neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb [Jesus Christ] which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
How blessed, glorious and restful this will be to all of you who will suffer great pain and loss; hunger and starvation, deprivation, paralyzing thirst, sickness and pain, horror, violence and betrayal, war and famine, earthquakes, and global devastation, beheadings and death.
This rest is what you will enjoy the second your soul leaves your mortal body, if you are saved and remain faithful unto death, refusing to take the “mark” of Satan’s Antichrist.
After all, what is eternity compared to a period of time that will literally be Hell on earth and from which you will not escape? For all of eternity, those who accept that mark will be tormented day and night in the Lake that forever burns with fire. This is the only alternative for those who willfully reject Christ’s offer of salvation, just as you did before the Rapture occurred. Please don’t make that same calamitous choice twice!
Oh, let me plead with you; come to Christ now and remain faithful even though in all probability it will cost you your physical life to do so. If you follow Christ through death’s door, this glorious place described above will be where you open your eyes, and once there, you will never suffer again!
Keep this vision ever in the forefront of your mind, because now we have reached (in our chronicles) the mid-point of the Tribulation. From here on out until the King returns to earth, Hell itself will be unleashed upon planet Earth.
Preparing The Tribulation Saints :: By Matt Leasher
For those of us that are secure in our hope of the promised redemption of our bodies at the Rapture of the Church (Romans 8:23), we still grieve daily for our friends and loved ones that have not received this promise that comes with being born again in Christ Jesus. We may get weary in repeating this hope and gospel message to them; but we must never get discouraged, knowing that our labor in the Lord is never in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
While we know that the judgment of the Lord is soon coming upon this wicked Godless world, we also know that the Lord is not willing that any should perish and that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). And even though the Lord is long-suffering in His grace, when that long-suffering runs out, He will continue to strive to bring sinners to repentance.
That is the underlying purpose of the Tribulation period. It will be a time of Abba Father’s tough love towards His children who would not come to Him through the atonement provided by His Son during the Age of Grace.
There will be many in the left-behind world that will immediately turn to God when the Rapture occurs. We all know people who say that they won’t believe something unless they see it first, and we’ve heard many people say that about the Rapture.
I believe the martyrs in Revelation 6:9-11 are those people who witnessed the Rapture and immediately remembered the words of their loved ones who tried to warn them that this would happen if they did not receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. They are given white robes and told that they must wait a little while longer until the rest of their brethren, who would be killed as they were, are completed.
I believe the apostle John sees the rest of the Tribulation saints in Revelation 7:9-17, which is a parenthetical chapter.
I also believe that these Tribulation saints are the virgins (or bridesmaids) that join the Groom and Bride (Church) at the wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9). In the ancient Jewish wedding tradition, the bride and groom spend seven days alone to consummate the marriage, and then they have the wedding banquet afterwards.
This is the reverse order of how most weddings are arranged today where the wedding banquet comes before the consummated honeymoon. The bridesmaids are not going to join the Groom and Bride until “after” the seven-year consummation period is completed in heaven, which coincides with the seven-year Tribulation that will be occurring on earth. That is one of the reasons why the marriage supper of the Lamb occurs on earth. That is where the bridesmaids are!
It is interesting to note that there are no groomsmen mentioned for the Groom, but the Bride has “bridesmaids.” This is because it is the Bride (the Church) who planted the seeds of the gospel that will carry into the Tribulation period to help set the course for the bridesmaids. The gospel message is centered on the Groom—the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone.
I’ve heard some theologians say that no one will be saved during the first half of the Tribulation. But the cry of the martyrs in Revelation 6:10 is asking for vengeance upon “those who dwell on the earth,” signifying that it was within the time frame of the early part of the Tribulation (which begins in Revelation 6:1) that their martyrdom occurred.
Once again, I believe these martyrs are those that were left behind because they were lukewarm in their acceptance of Christ as their Lord and Savior, as warned about in Revelation 3:16. I call these people “fence sitters,” as they want to just sit on the fence and not choose a side, whether it be for Christ or against Christ. But Jesus said,
“Those who are not with Me are against Me” (Matthew 12:30).
Since they could not choose a side, the Rapture will have chosen it for them!
Many who come to saving faith in the early part of the Tribulation will likely come to faith out of remembrance of what their Christian loved ones preached to them prior to the Rapture. This could be the reason that we see the martyrs mentioned in Revelation 6 before the 144,000 witnesses from the twelve tribes of Israel are mentioned in Revelation 7.
The 144,000 will be supernaturally protected while evangelizing in a world of strong demonic forces (Revelation 9:4), and yet the seal judgments that occur before the mention of the martyrs in Revelation 6 are all the result of catastrophic occurrences brought about my mankind, clearly demarcating the two groups.
Sadly, among these martyrs will also be those that relied on their own religious works as their security for their salvation. They will quickly realize that all of that was in vain and that it is only through faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross that is acceptable to the Lord for salvation. This is evident in the fact that they are killed for their “testimony.”
“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held” (Revelation 6:9).
These early Tribulation martyrs will have an immediate testimony because we, the Church, ministered to them before the Rapture.
Many “religious” people will not listen to the message of being saved by grace or that the Rapture of the Church is at hand. Their self-righteous rituals are their stumbling blocks to hearing the truth, and those stumbling blocks will cause them to stumble themselves right into the worst seven years in human history. It may be hard to get through to them now, but we are planting seeds regardless of their current response.
However, the Tribulation saints are going to have it much harder than just being saved by faith. They are going to have to keep their faith and their works for salvation!
“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).
The Lord always honors our choices; and since many people have chosen to be justified by their own merits, the Lord will allow these Tribulation saints to practice what caused them to be here in the first place. They will have to keep both the Law and faith in the finished work of Christ. But I want to point out that no one will be justified before God in just keeping the Law in any dispensation (Romans 3:20). In fact, if you try to just keep the Law in this current dispensation, it will only bring God’s wrath upon you (see Romans 4:15)!
Currently we are saved by grace through faith no matter how well we keep the Law or not, (Ephesians 2:8). That is the absolute beauty and mercy of God that He has chosen us to be born in this dispensation of grace, where we have the opportunity to be sealed with the Holy Spirit when we receive Christ.
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
After the Rapture there will be many that will be wallowing in regret at the missed opportunity that they had let slip by their whole lives. They will quickly remember every single time the gospel was preached to them. Some will still reject it but many will quickly repent and call out to their Savior.
This may result in the biggest revival there ever was; however, it won’t last long as the Antichrist will prevail over them (Daniel 7:21 & Revelation 13:7). This is what differentiates the identity of the saints of the Church Age from the saints of the Tribulation period. Jesus said of the Church that the gates of hell shall not prevail over it (Matthew 16:18); and when Satan is cast out of heaven to run rampant on the earth, the Holy Spirit empowered Church will have been caught up to heaven prior to that.
Knowing what lies ahead for the Tribulation saints, we the Church can prepare them in several ways. The first and most important thing is to never pass up every opportunity we get to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them in love and grace. We don’t want to brow-beat them with doom and gloom, but we do want to inform them of what it is they are being saved from when they receive the Savior.
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).
Even if we don’t win souls for Christ in the here and now, we can have peace of mind knowing that we did our part in the Great Commission and leave the rest to the Lord in prayer.
The chaotic left-behind world is going to be searching for answers as to what is going on; and there is a good chance that the internet will be down for an extended period of time and then likely controlled by the Antichrist system when it comes back up. So it would be helpful for us to leave physical Bibles around in our homes, cars, sheds, etc., anywhere that a left-behind person may happen upon it. The Bible is going to be their life source!
If the decor in your house consists of Bible verses and Scripture references, then you are already one step ahead of the game. A person may enter your house after the Rapture, see those references on your wall, and then be inspired to look them up in the Bible that you left on your coffee table. In my house there isn’t a single room that doesn’t have at least one Bible verse openly displayed.
We can also leave gospel tracts in various places. Perhaps keep the pockets of all of your coats in your closet loaded with gospel tracts so that they will be found and read when someone uses your coat for warmth. You can also keep them in various places in your car such as the sun-visor, glove box, center console, etc. Gospel tracts are at a size that allows you to be creative in their placement.
Another thing we can do to prepare the left-behind is to leave some survival kits of different sorts in our homes, knowing that we won’t need them. It is always good to have a good stock of bottled water and large water containers at hand as well as dried food and first-aid kits. The supply house that we leave behind for the apocalyptic world after the Rapture may be limited, but it will provide a good start as they seek salvation; and it will also display the hearts that we had for them when they come across these thoughtful food staples and provisions.
There are some Christians that feel we are so close to the Rapture that they have notes prepared describing what happened and what to do, which they leave on their kitchen tables every day. There is certainly nothing wrong with doing that and it could even be a way of opening up a discussion about the Rapture for anyone that sees it now! The Rapture is often laughed at by the unbelieving world; but if they see just how serious we Christians are about it, then perhaps it would trigger them into looking into it more seriously themselves.
The New Testament gives no instructions to the Church as to what to do or how to survive the Tribulation period; instead the Lord told us to store up our treasures in heaven, and we do that with charity both now and in what we provide for the left-behind.
Basically the best way we can currently prepare the Tribulation saints is to let our light shine and display our faith and trust in our Savior openly. Many Christian homes are already set up in the way that I’ve just described, and our lives are to glorify the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ both now and in the ages to come!
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7).
Will all Israel be saved in the end times?
Romans 11:26 plainly says, “All Israel will be saved.” The question that arises is: “What is meant by Israel?” Is the future “Israel” literal or figurative (i.e., referring to the ethnic Jews or referring to the Church)? Those who take a literal approach to the promises of the Old Testament believe that the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be restored to a right relationship with God and receive the fulfillment of the covenants. Those who advocate replacement theology basically affirm that the Church has completely replaced Israel and will inherit God’s promises to Israel; the covenants, then, will be fulfilled only in a spiritual sense. In other words, replacement theology teaches that Israel will not inherit the actual land of Israel; the Church is the “new Israel,” and ethnic Israel is forever excluded from the promises—the Jews will not inherit the Promised Land as Jews per se.
We take the literal approach. The passages that speak of future Israel are difficult to view as figurative for the Church. The classic text (Romans 11:16–24) depicts Israel as distinct from the Church: the “natural branches” are the Jews, and the “wild branches” are the Gentiles. The “olive tree” is the collective people of God. The “natural branches” (Jews) are “cut off” the tree for unbelief, and the “wild branches” (believing Gentiles) are grafted in. This has the effect of making the Jews “jealous” and then drawing them to faith in Christ, so they might be “grafted in” again and receive their promised inheritance. The “natural branches” are still distinct from the “wild branches,” so that God’s covenant with His people is literally fulfilled. Romans 11:26–29, citing Isaiah 59:20–21; 27:9; Jeremiah 31:33–34, says:
“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’ As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”
Here, Paul emphasizes the “irrevocable” nature of Israel’s calling as a nation (see also Romans 11:12). Isaiah predicted that a “remnant” of Israel would one day “be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD” (Isaiah 62:12). Regardless of Israel’s current state of unbelief, a future remnant will in fact repent and fulfill their calling to establish righteousness by faith (Romans 10:1–8; 11:5). This conversion will coincide with the fulfillment of Moses’ prediction of Israel’s permanent restoration to the land (Deuteronomy 30:1–10).
When Paul says Israel will be “saved” in Romans 11:26, he refers to their deliverance from sin (verse 27) as they accept the Savior, their Messiah, in the end times. Moses said, “The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live” (Deuteronomy 30:6). Israel’s physical inheritance of the land promised to Abraham will be an integral part of God’s ultimate plan (Deuteronomy 30:3–5).
So how will “all Israel be saved”? The details of this deliverance are filled out in passages such as Zechariah 8-14 and Revelation 7-19, which speak of end-times Israel at Christ’s return. The key verse describing the coming to faith of the future remnant of Israel is Zechariah 12:10, “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” This occurs at the end of the tribulation prophesied in Daniel 9:24–27. The apostle John references this event in Revelation 1:7. The faithful remnant of Israel is epitomized in Revelation 7:1–8. These faithful ones the Lord will save and bring back to Jerusalem “in truth and righteousness” (Zechariah 8:7–8, NASB).
After Israel is spiritually restored, Christ will establish His millennial kingdom on earth. Israel will be regathered from the ends of the earth (Isaiah 11:12; 62:10). The symbolic “dry bones” of Ezekiel’s vision will be brought together, covered with flesh, and miraculously resuscitated (Ezekiel 37:1–14). As God promised, the salvation of Israel will involve both a spiritual awakening and a geographical home: “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land” (Ezekiel 37:14).
In the Day of the Lord, God will “reclaim the surviving remnant of his people” (Isaiah 11:11). Jesus Christ will return and destroy the armies gathered against Him in rebellion (Revelation 19). Sinners will be judged, and the faithful remnant of Israel will be set apart forever as God’s holy people (Zechariah 13:8—14:21). Isaiah 12 is their song of deliverance; Zion will rule over all the nations under the banner of Messiah the King.