But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
~ Revelation 12:14 ~
A calamity of unimaginable proportions is coming. The entire world will be thrust into a colossal upheaval, punctuated by extraordinary violence. Political, economic, and natural disasters will soon mushroom into what the Bible calls the great tribulation. This will be the time Christ described as worse than any in the past, or that ever will be in the future (Mat. 24:21). Mountains will collapse, valleys will rise, and islands will sink into the sea. War, famine, and disease will run rampant. Death will reach enormous proportions while torture becomes commonplace. Millions will suffer inhumanity on a scale that will surpass the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, and even the Holocaust.
In the past, God powerfully and miraculously intervened to alter the course of human history when the world became extremely wicked. Moses recorded such a point in humanity’s early years, writing:
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:11-13).
The Scriptures proclaim that the world will again become filled with unprecedented evil in which the Almighty will forcefully intervene. Christ warned:
As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be (Matthew 24:37-39).
Who Will the Tribulation Affect?
The great tribulation that comes upon the whole world will consist of both Satan’s fury and God’s wrath. The Almighty will allow Satan to unleash his ferocity in a series of seals, while God’s wrath takes place during a year of trumpet and bowl plagues (Rev. 12:12; Isa. 61:2). These events will affect everyone on earth, but the brunt of Satan’s violence will be directed toward specific people. The Jews, the lost tribes of Israel, and members of the Church of God will be targets of the devil’s wrath. As the Prophet Jeremiah quoted God, saying:
Now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah. “For thus says the LORD: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it’” (Jeremiah 30:4-7).
Jacob’s progeny eventually became many of the nations that now make up a significant portion of the world’s population. The modern descendants of Jacob include the Jews, Americans, British, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and many Europeans. All of these nations will be caught in this horrible time of tyranny. For more information on this subject, send for our free booklet—The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
The tribulation will strike many without warning. Hundreds of millions will be drawn into a horrifying holocaust. The loss of human life will escalate to staggering proportions. Included in the vast numbers of people affected by Satan’s wrath will be members of God’s Church. As Christ foretold:
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17).
The passage above refers to the last days. Realizing his time is short, the devil will turn his vicious fury toward the woman which is a symbol of God’s Church (Eph. 5:31-32). Christ foretold that these future events will be so devastating that, if left to continue, no living creature would remain alive:
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:21-22).