By Nathan Jones
How will God evangelize during the Tribulation?
On July 30, 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'll survey the events within the Great Tribulation. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.
The 144,000 Jewish Evangelists
Vic: Nathan, thank you for unfolding for us this whole event called the Tribulation. We read in Revelation 6 about some of the horrific events that will start off the Tribulation. For example, there are different Horsemen of the Apocalypse which bring about different judgments. Then we get into Revelation 7 and something amazing happens there. God is going to be using the Jewish people once again to do a great evangelistic work, right?
Nathan: Yes, God will continue His Gospel plan for the Tribulation, though this time without the Church. One of the purposes of the Tribulation is to bring people to their knees to finally accept Jesus as their Savior. There are some people who are so hard headed. Maybe you and I were at one time and it took God to smack us over the head so we'd finally say, "I really need Jesus. I need to get right with Him." And, it takes the world plunging into basically World War III for people to finally say, "I surrender, Lord. I surrender."
We read in Revelation 7 about 144,000 Jews who will get saved at that time period. They'll be specially protected by God and they'll go out and share the Gospel across the planet.
The Two Witnesses
We can also read in Revelation 11 about the Two Witnesses. They are two men who either get saved sometime after the Rapture, or maybe they are Moses and Elijah or Elijah and Enoch who are resurrected. Nobody knows for sure. There's some indication that they'll just be two regular people who aren't from the Old Testament, but there's some debate over that.
These Two Witness live in Jerusalem and are given power to give the Gospel out to the whole world. They also are defended by God. They can call down fire if they want, so they are totally protected.
This is where we get to the Great Tribulation. For 3.5 years, the Two Witnesses according to Revelation 11 share the Gospel with the world. The Antichrist has finally defeated the world by the mid-point of the Tribulation, so the whole world is following him. He then goes to Israel 3.5 years into that peace treaty he made with Israel. The Antichrist hates the Two Witnesses. Finally, the supernatural protection around them God takes away, freeing the Antichrist to kill the Two Witnesses. They actually die and for 3.5 days their bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem. The whole world celebrates over their death. They hate these guys because they are bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they hate Him even more.
The Antichrist will walk into the newly rebuild Third Temple in Jerusalem and he will desecrate it. Satan has always wanted to be worshiped in place of God, and at the midpoint of the Tribulation he will proclaim himself to be God in the Temple. He'll desecrate it by setting up a statue of himself.
As a result, the Jews will flee out of Jerusalem, though there will be some Jews still staying there throughout the Tribulation, but the majority of the Jews living there will flee out of Israel into Southern Jordan. There the Lord will supernaturally protect them. That desecration is the beginning of the Great Tribulation. That's where we get the term Great Tribulation, because it is a great tribulation of the wrath of the Antichrist upon the Jewish people for the next 3.5 years.
Vic: We see the world being prepared today to witness two murders on the other side of the planet with the development of technology. These Two Witnesses are going to be killed, and the Bible says the whole world will be able to see them. With the advent of media technologies, we today are seeing these incredible prophetic events preparing to happen.
Nathan: We live in a time period when the whole world can not only know about the Two Witnesses, but watch live them being killed. The world will then watch live as 3.5 days later God resurrects them and takes them up to Heaven. Wow! The whole world sees that. The fact that the whole world sees their death and resurrection means that they would have to have some way to view it. You couldn't view people on the other side of the world even 100 years ago, but today through satellite television, iPhones, you name it, we now have got the ability to watch something going on right away from anywhere. A one second or so time delay is all the delay people experience as the signal bounces around from satellite to satellite.
The technology we have today makes it possible for this prophecy to finally be able to happen. This helps prove that we are living so near the time period of the Tribulation. We finally have the technology for the whole world to witness the Two Witnesses being killed and resurrected.
Vic: True, this viewing technology wasn't really even around until just not that long ago, right?
Nathan: Not really. You could have like a cameraman over in Jerusalem who could bounce up a television signal to a satellite maybe 20 years, but the fact that we have streaming video and portable devices and other ways to watch video live from anywhere, I really believe that the technology has honed itself to what we have today that makes this prophecy's potential to happen in our generation.
Vic: That's right. So, we can look at these witnesses God has prepared who are going to be doing the evangelizing during the Tribulation. They'll be winning hundreds of thousands of people to the Lord. Nathan, during the Tribulation period, will there be also be some other methods for spreading the Gospel?
The Gospel Angel
Nathan: Yes, Revelation 14:6 reveals that a Gospel Angel will go out and spread the message of Christ's salvation to every single person still alive living in the Tribulation. So, by the end of the Tribulation, there won't be anybody left who has never heard the Gospel. This prophecy will fulfill what Jesus said in Matthew 24 about the Gospel going out into the whole world. The whole world will finally hear the Gospel.
In the fifth part of this discussion with Pastor Vic on the Great Tribulation, we'll survey the Mark of the Beast.