TrueLight Ministries
Tribulation-short word study
A Companion study to The Second Coming, the Rapture and the Day of the Lord

   "Tribulation" in the New Testament comes from the greek word "thlipsis". It primarily means, a "pressing, pressure", Any thing that burdens the spirit. "thlipsis" is also translated as Anquish, Burdened, Distress, Persecution, Tribulation and trouble." This greek word is never translated as 'Wrath".

   Understanding the difference between Tribulation and God`s Wrath is critical in understanding the timing of the rapture within the 70th week. Tribulation is the result of mankinds evil actions, which can result in War, Famine and Disease, and of course, mans vengence against his fellow man results in Persecution. Wrath is the result of God`s vengence against man.

   It can be said that Noah went through tribulations because he was a "....just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." at a time when "....the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Noah "....found grace in the eyes of the Lord", and was spared from the great flood, Gods wrath.

   Another example is the hardships, slavery and persecution that Israel suffered by the hands of the Egyptians; four hundred years of tribulations," Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens....And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage" (Ex. 1;11,14) The plagues upon the Egyptians were the wrath of God, but they did not touch Israel.

   It would certainly be fair to say that Lot and his family, being God fearing people in a city of Sodomites suffered anguish and distress. The Word say`s that God "deliverd just Lot, vexed (opressed) with the filthy conversation of the wicked; (for that righteous man dwelling among them,in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (2 peter 2:7,8) It was God`s wrath that destroyed the city, but the righteous were saved. in each of these cases,God`s elect suffered tribulations but escaped God`s wrath.

   Contrary to what some teach,God has never promised his people that they would not have to endure tribulations. Jesus said " The servant is not greater than his Lord.If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute You...."(John 15;20) And,"In the world Ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world."(John 16:33) The Apostle Paul, in His second letter to the Thessalonians said that they,(Paul,Silvaneus and Timotheus) boasted of the "Persecutions and tribulations that Ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that Ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which Ye also suffer:" ( 2 Thess 1:4,5 )

   The faithful have endured tribulation and persecution for centuries,ever since the Church was born.The Apostles certainly had no shortage of troubles and tribulations.This is evident in the "Acts of the Apostles" and in their letters to the Churches.

   In 70 A.D., Jerusalem, the elect city,went through great tribulation at the hands of the Romans. Read the "Wars of the Jews" by Flavius Josephus. Even today,God`s elect suffer great persecution.Two-thirds of the worlds Christians are persecuted for their faith. In the Sudan, the number of Sudanease who have died from starvation,exploitation,and military attacks since 1983 is estimated to be between 1.5 to 2.5 million. The systematic persecution of the Sudanease people by the Sudanease central goverment has forced 5.5 million people to flee their homes for safety. There are "credible reports of religious persecution,slavery,forced conversions and female mutilation" (from a report by Gare Smith, Deputy Assitant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy,Human rights and Labor, September 25, 1997)

   (Nov.24-03) Slavery Lives On in Sudan - Michael Coren
"Women and children abducted in slave raids are roped by the neck or strapped to animals and then marched north. Children who will not be silent are shot on the spot. In the north, slaves are either kept by individual militia soldiers or sold in markets. Survivors report enduring daily beatings and receiving awful food. Masters also strip slaves of their religious and cultural identities, giving them Arabic names and forcing them to pray as Muslims. This is happening right now in Sudan." (Toronto Sun)

   For more on persecution today visit The Voice of the Martyrs at

   Though a man can have wrath against another man, and the wrath of God can certainly cause tribulations for the unrighteous, God`s elect will be saved from that wrath. There is yet a future day of "Great tribulation " that some must suffer, for the name of Christ, but many of God`s elect will be 'caught up" out of the midst of it.

   " What are these which are arrayed in white robes?....These are they which came out of Great tribulation".(Revelation 7:13,14

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