What Will the Great Tribulation Look Like?

By: Nelson Walters

Author: Are We Ready For Jesus? How to Prepare for His Return (May 2015) and Revelation Deciphered (2016)

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Although what happens before the Great Tribulation is interesting, Jesus and John in Revelation spend the vast majority of their time looking at the events of the Great Tribulation.  Daniel’s Great Vision Prophecy in chapters 10-12 also spends a great deal of time giving us specific details  on this crucial period.  What will it be like according to Daniel?

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This is the sixth post in this series on Daniel 10-12.  These chapters provide us with the most detailed road-map of what will occur in the end times.  If you haven’t read all previous five posts, read them now.  Your understanding of this post will be so much clearer if you do.






Daniel 11:30-31 are the  verses that usher in the beginning of the last half of the 70th week of Daniel.

 Ships of the western coastlands will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant. His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.  (Dan. 11:30-31 NIV)

We already looked at these events in MIDPOINT OF THE TRIBULATION: EARTH’S PERSPECTIVE.  One factor that is important in what verse 30 adds to our understanding is that the Antichrist is thwarted in his attack on Egypt by western warships.  It is only then that he turns on Israel once again with his full fury.  Notice how the western warships prevent him from conquering Egypt, but freely allow him to attack Israel!!  This clearly demonstrates that the West will have completely turned their backs on Israel by this time.  It is a very sad commentary.

In the last article we noted that the Antichrist’s will lose heart when the western warships oppose him, but then he “turns” and is finally able to defeat Israel.  What changes and what causes him to suddenly be successful?  In MIDPOINT OF THE TRIBULATION: HEAVEN’S PERSPECTIVE we discuss how it is at this very moment Satan is cast out of heaven and the Beast from the Abyss enters and possesses the Antichrist.  It is from this moment on that he is assisted in his evil endeavors by Satan forces.  In just a few more verses we see that he is assisted by a “foreign god” (v. 39).  This Allah (Satan) who assists him, and it explains why in the first half of Daniel’s 70th week he is somewhat unsuccessful and why in the second half he is much more successful.

A common theme on this website is the Islamic nature of the Antichrist and his empire.  Muslims are fully expecting demonic assistance in their assault on the world.  They call these fallen angels jinn.  Adnan Oktar, a Turkish media personality, can be found on this video, talking about the assistance Muslims are expecting from the jinn.

Those who think the USA and western powers will be able to resist the Antichrist with their traditional armies forget this fact: that the Antichrist forces will be demonically assisted.  It will not be a fair fight.  Of course, the Lord Jesus will return at the end of the 70th week and punish all the evil doers, jinn and human. Praise God!


With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered.  When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them.  Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time…  and (the Antichrist) will greatly honor those who acknowledge him (Allah). He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price. (Dan. 11: 32-35, 39 NIV, clarification and emphasis mine)

The Antichrist will continue the policy he started before the Tribulation of rewarding those who follow after him.  We notice he will flatter them, make them rulers and distribute the land he captures.  But notice he sells the land!  We can expect that this is the point when the Antichrist’s military conquests are wildly successful; when the whole world follows after the Beast saying, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?” (Rev. 13:4 NIV)  It is interesting that his empire’s prowess in war will be a major factor in people following the Beast.

Even in the world today, Muslims view their military victories as an affirmation of Allah’s power.  It is very likely that the Antichrist’s empire will attribute their demonically assisted victories to supernatural forces; and they will be correct, even though those forces are forces of evil.  The passage above mentions those who violate the covenant.  These can only be Christians and Jews who turn away from God to worship the Antichrist and Allah.  I wonder how many of these are “prosperity gospel” Christians.  When they see Islam as providing prosperity, will they commit apostasy and turn to Islam?

Daniel 11: 32-35 also says that many who are insincere will join the Jews and Christians.  To me, this means that many will see the evil of the Antichrist, will see YHWH’s Spirit  in the lives of the wise who resist the Antichrist, but when faced with persecution themselves, they will commit apostasy as well.

Falling away from the faith (apostasy) was a major discussion point of Jesus’ sermon on how to prepare for his return (the Olivet Discourse).

 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.  (Matt. 24: 10-12 NIV)

I read with sadness how betrayal of other Christians will figure prominently in the apostasy.


The Passage in Daniel 11:32-35 above also mentions the persecution that will occur.   The “wise” will die by the sword, or will be burned, or captured, or plundered (robbed).  In this same passage, God’s plan for why this persecution happens is mentioned, it is to refine us, make us spotless, and to prepare us for Christ’s return.


Throughout the persecutions, the wise shall shine like stars.  This will be the faithful Church’s finest hour.  Daniel 11: 32-33 says: ” the people who know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are wise will instruct many.” That is our calling, to Resist the Beast and to instruct others.   Later at the end of Daniel’s Great Vision we learn:

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. (Dan. 12: 3 NIV)

This parallels Paul’s instructions in Philippians:

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. (Phil. 2: 14-15 NIV)

To me, this says it all.  The Christians who endure without grumbling or arguing will shine.  We are to endure within the wickedest generation of all time until the end.


Daniel’s passage continues with the spiritual aspects of the Antichrist.

The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.  He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors (YHWH) or for the one desired by women (Jesus), nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.  Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses (Allah); a god unknown to his ancestors he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.  (Dan. 11:36-38 NIV, clarification and emphasis mine)

The Antichrist will exalt himself over everyone except Allah and will blaspheme the one, true God.  He will be allowed to do this until the Wrath of God is complete.   Daniel then clarifies who he will not honor.  The God of his ancestors (Ishmael) was YHWH.  He also will not honor Jesus.  Here the Messiah is pictured as the “one desired of women.”  Every Jewish girl dreamed of giving birth to Messiah.   Some believe this passage says he will be a homosexual.  He may be, but this passage in Daniel is about his spiritual side, not his sexuality.

Rather, the Antichrist will honor a God of “fortresses.”  The Hebrew word translated fortresses means “strength.”  The Antichrist will honor a god who values strength.  Allah (Satan) values warfare and violence so this supports the view that this reference is to Allah.  But unlike other commentators, I can’t say this passage is a 100% match for Allah.  It supports that view, but doesn’t prove it.


We saw  in THE ANTICHRIST BEFORE THE GREAT TRIBULATION that prior to his being possessed and aided by demons, the Antichrist will attempt to attack the strongest nations and Egypt.  He will fail and be disheartened.  Now, after he has demonic assistance, he will be successful.

He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.  At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.  He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moaband the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand.  He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape.  He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt,with the Libyans and Cushites in submission. But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. (Dan. 11: 39- 45 NIV)

If we look at the beginning of the passage, it implies the Antichrist gets assistance from two sources in his attack against the “strongest fortresses.” (probably the western nations)  He is helped by his “foreign god” (Allah/Satan) and he is helped by “those who acknowledge him (Allah) ”  To my reading, the inclusion of this section within the attack on the western nations seems to imply he will get assistance from Muslims within those countries (those who acknowledge Allah.)  He will then place them as rulers over the western nations.

We also see that Egypt attacks the Antichrist, but now he is demonically assisted the Antichrist prevails.  This is in fulfillment of Isaiah 19.

“I will hand the Egyptians over to the power of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty. (Isa. 19:4 NIV)

We also see in this passage that armies from the north (Russia?) and the East (China?) come against him and he strikes out to defend himself.  Is this another view of Rev. 16:12 where the Euphrates River dries up to prepare the way for the Kings of the East?  It’s possible.

After all of this Daniel’s vision tells us the Antichrist pitches his tent in Jerusalem (the Beautiful Mountain) and it’s here that he meets his end.


Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him. At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then.  (Dan. 11:45-12:1)

We see that Michael will stand and this leads to the time of distress that Jesus refers to as the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24.  IMO, Michael is the restrainer of 2 Thess. 2.  He arises and casts Satan out of heaven at the midpoint of the Tribulation.  This is discussed in detail in MIDPOINT OF THE TRIBULATION: HEAVEN’S PERSPECTIVE.


After the passage about the Great Tribulation we see a reference to the resurrection.

But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.  Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. (Dan. 12: 1b-2 NIV)

The order of events is exactly as we see in other scriptures such as Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Revelation 6.  The Bible is consistent.  The Great Tribulation comes first, then the resurrection of the righteous.  Although the rapture is not pictured in Daniel, we know from 1 Thess. 4:16-17 that the rapture occurs after the resurrection.  Daniel’s vision is yet another confirmation that there is no Pre-Tribulation Rapture.

In the next post we will discuss “The Time of the End” and when Daniel tells us it will occur.

11 thoughts on “What Will the Great Tribulation Look Like?”

  1. “Caught up” ISAIAH 26 verse 21- Come my people , ENTER THOU INTO THY CHAMBERS , AND SHUT THE DOORS ABOUT THEE ! HIDE THYSELF AS IT WERE FOR A LITTLE MOMENT, UNTIL THE INDIGNATION BE OVERPAST. Many more verses proved that Caught up Harpazo COMES FIRST! I Thess 5:9 , Romans 5:9 , Rev 3:10 , Luke 21:36 , Thess 2:1, Thes 4: 15-16-17-18 , Thess 1- 10 , Isaiah 26 :19 -20 -21 , Isaiah 66:7 , Rev 12:5

    1. Jacke, the verses you quote all refer to a Pre-Wrath rapture after the Sixth Seal and before the Wrath of God which is the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments. Notice Isa 26:20 mentions hiding during the indignation or wrath. Check out Rev. 6:9-11. At the fifth seal the martyrs ask when God will judge and avenge them (pour out his wrath). So obviously Gods wrath hasn’t begun until after the fifth seal. Then look at Rev 6:17, only after the sixth seal do the inhabitants of the earth say his wrath “has come”. Very simple. No Pre-trib. no Post-trib, the rapture is pre-Wrath

  2. The bible doesn’t mention rapture but the original Greek says harpozo ,Wich means to be snatched out of harms way

    1. Hey Kimo,

      Thanks for your input brother. If you are correct, we all celebrate at the feet of Jesus. The verse you quote however, does not support a pre-trib rapture. I wrote about it on this post a couple weeks ago. Give it a read.

      So if you’re correct we all celebrate. But what if you’re wrong? What are the consequences of no pre-trib rapture? An amazing book is Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord by Alan Kurschner. Give it a read. This summer Alan is debating Dr Tommy Ice (the world’s leading Pre-tribber) should be a debate for the whole church to follow.

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