3. THE TRIBULATION (Watching) – Daniel’s 70th week (9:27) begins as God officially resumes His program for the Jewish nation. The key purpose of the Tribulation period is to reconcile the nation of Israel to the Messiah. After persecution by the Antichrist, and isolation among the Gentile nations pledged to its destruction, the Jewish nation confronts Christ at Armageddon and cries in repentance (Zech. 12:10). Events during the Tribulation include:
Israel exists as a national entity in unbelief (Ezek. 37, 38).
Northern armies invade Israel (Ezek. 38). These forces strike at the regathered remnant of Jews who are in the land, as Satan seeks to destroy the Jewish people before they can be reconciled to the Messiah.
The Antichrist appears, first as a political super-hero of the West (Dan. 9:27). At the midpoint of the Tribulation, he enters the temple in Jerusalem and declares himself to be God (the abomination of Desolation), demands worship, and refuses his “mark” to all who will not bow down to him. (Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:3,4; Rev. 13). This act initiates the Great Tribulation, as God pours out His wrath upon a belligerent Gentile world system in a series of disasters that culminates in Armageddon (Rev. 16:14-16).
Jesus Christ returns with His saints to take His throne and judge the nations (Matt. 24:25; Rev. 19:11-21).
Israel’s national remnant, about one-third of the people, accept their Messiah and experience national reconciliation (Zech. 12:12; 13:8,9; Rom. 11:25-27).