This is DAY TWO of the daily devotional.
I am releasing a 50 day daily devotional about the end-times as revealed in Scripture. Along with the text, I will be providing a video where I cover the text of the day, and @verbal-d will be providing an audio version of it. That way, whether you want to read, watch, or listen, you'll be able to enjoy this study as you wish.
The plan is to release this devotional over the next 50 consecutive days, but life may "get in the way." We will do our best, but please be patient with me if I fall behind.
The SoundCloud Audio from @verbal-d
The YouTube Video from @papa-pepper
The Text I Originally Shared on the @narrowminded Account
DAY 2 : "THE TRIBULATION"
There is a common belief within much of Christianity that a “seven year tribulation period” will eventually come upon the entire world. This time period is commonly referred to as “The Tribulation”, and is believed to be a time when God’s wrath is poured out upon the earth.
This is the only occurrence of the phrase “the tribulation” in the entire Bible. If you have an exhaustive concordance, look up “tribulation” and see how many times the word “the” appears immediately prior to it, thus appearing as “the tribulation” within the pages of Scripture. You will quickly see that of all 22 times the word “tribulation” appears, only once is it ever found directly after the word “the”.
Of the 45 times thlipsis is used, 35 times it pertains only to believers (77.77777% of the time).
Of the 10 times that thlibo is used, 7 times it only pertains to believers (70% of the time).
This means that based on the New Testament, tribulation is mostly a Christian experience.
I will soon post an exhaustive listing of every occurrence of these words.
Obviously, Scripture clearly teaches that believers will experience tribulation upon this earth. In regard to “The Tribulation” though, the Bible is silent. Since God never uses that phrase the way that man does, God does not define it or specifically tell us anything about it. This is problematic.
We must be wary when men choose to use unbiblical phrases. Since God neither uses nor defines these phrases, man can then choose to define them as he sees fit, perhaps even to fit his theology or agenda.
Point #1: God never mentions “The Tribulation” in the way that many have grown accustomed to.
Point #2: God therefore does not define this phrase.
Point #3: Since God neither uses nor defines “The Tribulation”, we are unable to gain any insight simply by looking up “The Tribulation” in the Bible.
BONUS- A Biblical, New Testament Understanding of Tribulation
Here is the audio and text for an exhaustive study of New Testament of "thlipsis" and "thlibo," the only words ever translated as "tribulation" in the New Testament.
There are only two Greek words which are translated as “tribulation” in the New Testament, “thlipsis” and “thlibo”. The following is a listing of every occurrence of both of these words in the KJV Bible.
This is an exhaustive listing of the forty five verses that “thlipsis” is used in. Thirty five of the times that it is used it applies only to believers (77.7777777% of the time).
“But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy recieveth it; Yet hath not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” - Matthew 13:20-21
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” - Matthew 24:21
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:” – Matthew 24:29
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,” - Mark 13:24
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” - Acts 14:22
“(God) Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;” - Romans 2:6-9
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;” - Romans 5:3
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” - Romans 8:35
“Rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” - Romans 12:12
“(God) Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” - 2 Corinthians 1:4
“Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.” - 2 Corinthians 7:4
“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;” - 2 Thessalonians 1:6
“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” - Revelation 1:9
“I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” - Revelation 2:9
“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” - Revelation 2:10
“Behold, I will cast her (Jezebel) into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.” - Revelation 2:22
“And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” - Revelation 7:14
“So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:” - 2 Thessalonians 1:4
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;” - Romans 5:3
“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.” - Ephesians 3:13
“And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” - Mark 4:16-17
“For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.” - Mark 13:19
“Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance.” - Acts 7:11
“For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.” - 2 Corinthians 2:4
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” - 2 Corinthians 4:17
“Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” - 2 Corinthians 8:1-2
“Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds.” - Philippians 1:15-16
“Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.” - Philippians 4:14
“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:” - 1 Thessalonians 1:6
“Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:” - 1 Thessalonians 3:7
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” - James 1:27
“And (God) delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.” - Acts 7:10
“Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.” - Acts 20:23
“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,” - 2 Corinthians 6:4
“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:” - Colossians 1:24
“That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.” - 1 Thessalonians 3:3
“But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly whilst ye were made a gazing-stock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.” - Hebrews 10:32-33
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” - Matthew 24:9 (Compare Matthew 10:18-22)
“But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.” - 1 Corinthians 7:28
“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” - 2 Corinthians 1:4
“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:” - 2 Corinthians 1:8
“A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” - John 16:21
“For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality.” – 2 Corinthians 8:13-14
“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.” - Acts 11:19
Below is an exhaustive listing of the ten verses that contain “thlibo”. Seven out of ten times it applies only to believers (70% of the time).
“And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.” - 2 Corinthians 1:6
“Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.” - 1 Timothy 5:9-10
“They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;” - Hebrews 11:37
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;” - 2 Corinthians 4:8
“For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.” - 2 Corinthians 7:5
“And to you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,” - 2 Thessalonians 1:7
“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” - Matthew 7:14 (Interesting Note: What if this was translated as afflicted, troubled, or persecuted instead of “narrow”?)
“For verily, when we were with you, we told you that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.” - 1 Thessalonians 3:4
“And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.” - Mark 3:9
“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation (“thilipsis”) to them that trouble you;” - 2 Thessalonians 1:6
Conclusion on Tribulation
Not only do we never see the term “The Tribulation” used in the way which the pretribulationists use it, we also see that Biblically, tribulation is more often than not a Christian experience.
Since it is never used in the way which the pretribulationists use it, we can gain ZERO understanding on the subject by actually studying the word in context. THEREFORE, all insight gained about “The Tribulation” must come from verses that do not speak of “The Tribulation” or from the “understanding” of the pretribulational theologians. They use a term from the Bible in a way that the Bible never does and craft it to fit their presuppositions, perhaps unintentionally.
Why are so many intimidated by the study of eschatology? I believe that it is mostly because they can make no sense of it by opening the Bible, and feel incapable of grasping these truths, because much of what the learned class of theologians and preachers teach either isn’t in the Bible, or certainly doesn’t line up with it. Yet, most will never consider that such men may be in error, which reminds me, please remember that I may be in error here, but the Bible is certainly not. Does this line up with Scripture?
Please continue to join me on this 50 day exploration, and see what you think.
If anyone is really interested, I did post the entire volume through an alt account over a year ago. I did so as an experiment to see how hard it would be for a new user to get noticed on steemit, so I didn't let anyone now that I was doing it. You can click here to a post that has links to the entire 50 days of this devotional if you really want to read ahead. That information has always been available there since I first posted it. It is not the purpose of this series to just copy all of my previous work, but instead to transform it into some new outlets by releasing it in an audio and video format, to broaden the reach that this work has.
Again, though I will certainly never claim to know it all, I do believe that many are being lead astray by some popular beliefs. I hope that this project will be able to help many others understand the end-times more accurately. Thanks!
Also - A special thanks to @allforthegood for helping design my cover image!
Until next time…
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