The Tribulation period has many names. Several are found in the disturbing prophecies of Zephaniah:
“The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers” (Zeph. 1:14-16).
The harshness of this coming day is revealed by five descriptive couplets:
1) Trouble and distress, 2) wasteness and desolation, 3) darkness and gloominess, 4) clouds and thick darkness, and 5) trumpet and alarm. All five couplets are important, but for the purpose of this article, notice the words “darkness” and “thick darkness.” The day of wrath will be a day of darkness that will turn into a day of thick or intense darkness.
The prophet Joel saw a plague of locusts in his day that moved his mind forward to this coming day. He said, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations” (Joel 2:1-2).
Joel is not the only one who said there has never been and never will be another day like it. Daniel and Jesus said the same thing (Dan.12:1; Matt. 24:21). But many Muslims do not understand the severity of this. Some actually want to start a war in the Middle East to trigger the day of the LORD (they call it the day of Islam), because they believe it will hasten the return of their Mahdi (their guided one).
They long for his return because they believe he will lead Muslim forces to victory over the West in the Battle of Armageddon (they call it the Mother of all Battles) and speed up the establishment of Islam as the one-world religion and government.
But God said, “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:18-20).
The Tribulation period will be a day of judgment, not joy. People will flee from one danger and encounter a greater danger. The darkness will be very dark and there will be no light or brightness in it.
Some do not believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, but Paul was writing about the day of the Lord when he said, “But of the times and the seasons, bretheren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they [the unbelievers] shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them [the unbelievers], as travail upon a woman with child; and they [the unbelievers] shall not escape.
But ye, brethren [believers], are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye [believers] are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us [believers] to wrath (the Tribulation period is a day of wrath; see Zeph. 1:14 above), but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:2-9).
This day of darkness (the Tribulation period) will begin when the Antichrist confirms a covenant with “many” for seven-years of peace in the Middle East (Dan. 9:27a). Unbelievers will quickly proclaim “peace and safety” and sudden destruction will come upon them (1 Thess. 5:3). The Antichrist will establish an office in Israel for himself and some of his international troops (Dan.11:45). That is where he will be when he meets his end at the Second Coming of Jesus (Rev. 19:19-20; also read Rev. 8:12-13).
Now, recall that Israel and Hamas were at war for seven weeks during July and August 2014. During this time, “many” called for a ceasefire (Egypt, Jordan, England, France, Germany, the U.S., the 16-nation UN Security Council and others) and there were twelve ceasefires with Hamas breaking the first eleven. This “many” used terms such as “sustainable ceasefire,” “lasting ceasefire,” “a long-term ceasefire,” “talks on a final Israeli-PA peace deal,” “a durable peace,” etc.
Some even demanded a ceasefire. It was even reported that the PA plans to ask the UN Security Council to draw up proposal to resolve the conflict (propose a seven-year ceasefire or peace treaty???), set a date for its implementation and enforce it by sending international troops to Israel (see Dan. 11:45 above). U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry even tweeted that Israel needs “peace and security” a phrase that means “peace and safety” (see 1 Thess. 5:3 above).
And it was reported that the UN is ready to force a resolution based on the two-state solution (the division of Israel, Jerusalem, etc.) on the two parties and compel them to abide by it (trouble for Israel; Zeph. 1:15 and Dan. 12:1 above; Jer. 30:7).
In the coming weeks (some say over the next four months), the U.S. is to consolidate all of these ceasefire and peace treaty demands into one document to be discussed, voted on and enforced by the UN. Of course, Pres. Obama claims to have Israel’s back, but, to put it mildly, many people don’t trust him.
I don’t know what will be in the combined document of the “many” that Pres. Obama will come up with (It may have a time factor of seven-years and it may not), but I know that there will be a seven-year ceasefire in the future and things are definitely moving in that direction. But even if Pres. Obama draws up a seven-year ceasefire, the Tribulation period won’t begin until the Antichrist confirms it. And just to be clear, I believe the Rapture and several wars must take place first (Psa. 83; Isa. 17; Ezek. 38-39).
Anyway, the day of darkness won’t overtake believers (1 Thess.5:4). God’s day children (1 Thess.5:5) could soon leave, the sun could set soon and what appears to be the approaching darkness will be thick and very dark.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck