Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Tribulation versus Wrath

By Maria Merola
© Copyright Double Portion Inheritance, August 2009

One of the common mistakes that people make when trying to decipher the timing of the resurrection of the saints is, they confuse what the Bible describes as “The Great Tribulation,” with “The Day of Wrath.” 

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that most people assume the words wrath and tribulation are the same thing. However, we will learn from this study that they are not the same thing, for they each have very different purposes.  

Imagine for a moment, a talented High School Football player that has the potential to become a professional. The coach sees his potential and puts him through rigorous training, more than the other players. To the outsider looking in, it seems like this coach has singled him out for destruction. But in reality, he wants to make him an even better player than he already is. This is why he puts his skills to the test. One might say that this player is going through “great tribulation.” This is what our Messiah will do for the bride. He will put her to the test to see if she will be a faithful bride.

Now, imagine a serial killer that has been given the death penalty, and he is in jail awaiting his day of execution. This mans destiny has been sealed. One could say that this man is destined for “A day of wrath” or “A day of vengeance and punishment.” Those who have taken the “mark of the beast” will be given the same kind of death sentence. The “Great Day of Wrath” awaits these people when our Messiah returns.

Thus, we can see that the event called “The Great Tribulation” is for a specific purpose, which is to purify the bride and to make her “white” (Daniel 12:10). Conversely, the period which is termed as “The Day of Vengeance” is a day of punishment and annihilation for those wicked people who persecuted the bride. 

Immediately following a three and a half year period of testing, is when the bride will be caught up to meet the bridegroom in the air. This event is commonly referred to as “The Rapture.” However, the literal Greek translation is The Harpazo.”  

This phrase caught up,” (from the Greek word harpazo) is seen in several other places in the Briyth Chadashah (New Testament). Matthew 11:2; 13:19; John 6:15; John 10:12; John 10:28-29; Acts 8:39; 23:10; 2nd Corinthians 12:2-4; 1st Thessalonians 4:17; Jude 1:23; Revelation 12:5.

The Day of Wrath has several different descriptions by the prophets, but they are describing the same event. The scriptural references I listed below, speak of a time in the future that will take place on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

The Day of Vengeance: Proverbs 6:34, Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4, Jeremiah 46:10, Luke 21:22; Revelation 19:2.

The Great & Terrible Day of YHWH: Joel 2:11-31.

The Great Day of Wrath: Revelation 6:17.

The Day of YHWH: 2nd Peter 3:10, 1st Thessalonians 5:2, 2nd Corinthians 1:14, 1st Corinthians 5:5, Acts 2:20; Malachi 4:5, Zechariah 14:1, Zephaniah 1:14, Zephaniah 1:7, Obadiah 1:15; Amos 5:18 &20, Joel 1:15, 2:1,2:11, 2:31,3:14; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Jeremiah 46:10; Isaiah 2:12, 13:6 & 9.

The Day of Wrath: Job 21:30, Proverbs 11:4, Zephaniah 1:15, Romans 2:5.

Below, are scripture references describing the period known as the tribulation or time of trouble.

Great Tribulation: Matthew 24:21, Revelation 2:22, Revelation 7:14

Jacob’s Trouble: Jeremiah 30:7

Time of Trouble: Job 38:23, Psalms 27:5, Psalms 37:39, 41:1, Proverbs 25:19, Isaiah 33:2, Jeremiah 14:8, Daniel 12:1.

Where Does the Bible Talk about a Seven-Year Tribulation?

Actually, nowhere! I remember back in 2002 (after the events of September 11th 2001), I had begun to embark on a season of intense study into the end-times. During this season, I had eight prophetic dreams that year, and I began writing down my dreams in a journal. 

As I was typing out a thesis on my computer, I wrote “There will be a seven-year tribulation....” Suddenly, I was stopped in my tracks by the Holy Spirit as he said to me “Where does the Bible say there will be seven years of tribulation?” I stopped typing, and I did a keyword search in the King James Version online for the word “seven years,” and “tribulation.” 

To my bewilderment, there was nothing in the scriptures describing a seven year tribulation!

What I discovered were several scriptural references to a tribulation lasting for only 42 months” (Revelation 11:2; Revelation 13:5); 1,260 days” (Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6), or 1,290 days” (Daniel 12:11). 

In other words, 3.5 years. Scripture also describes the tribulation as lasting for “a time, times, and a half” (Daniel 12:7); “a time, times, and a half time” (Revelation 12:14); or “a time, and times, and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25). 

The Hebrew word for “time,” (mowed) literally means “one year,” as it describes an annual cycle of seven festivals. Hence, the plural word “times,” is interpreted to mean “two years,” and “a half time” or “dividing of time,” is interpreted as “six months.” Thus, the total of a time, times and a half time” equals three and a half years or 42 months.

Where Do Theologians Get the Idea of a Seven-Year Tribulation?

Once I realized that there was nothing in the scriptures describing a seven-year tribulation, I had to ask myself “Where are people getting this idea of a seven-year tribulation?” The answer came as I conducted an internet search, and found that it stems from a misunderstanding of what is called “Daniels Seventieth Week.” 

I highly recommend that you read my two other blogs explaining how to decipher Daniels Seventy-Week prophecy.

Who Confirms the Covenant of Daniel’s 70th Week?

Jacob’s Time of Trouble & Daniel’s 70th Week

A careful study of the scriptures, and the original meaning of the words tribulation and wrath reveal they are different and distinct. Our Messiah, Yahuwshuwa gave us the precise timing of when The great tribulation” will actually begin:

Matthithyahuw (Matthew) 24:15 When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand).

Matthithyahuw (Matthew) 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

*Note: You will notice that the “elect” (the remnant) are the ones who will go through “tribulation.

The Great Tribulation Cannot Begin Until We See the Abomination of Desolation Standing in the Holy Place in the Temple in Jerusalem!

Matthithyahuw (Matthew) 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

What is the purpose of “tribulation?”

Tribulation Means Persecution

Matthithyahuw (Matthew) 13:21 Yet has he no root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Are Satan’s children “persecuted for the word?” No, they are not!

The word tribulation = persecution.

The word for wrath = punishment.


The Hebrew word tribulation literally means “a tight and narrow place.” Where or what is the tightest place on earth? It is a birth canal! This means that the tribulation is a prophetic picture of a baby coming forth out of the womb! 

The woman who is giving birth at the end of this tribulation is described in Revelation 12:1. Who is this woman? In Galatians 4:26, the Apostle Shaul (Paul) tells us that Jerusalem is “The mother of us all,” and she has a crown of twelve stars for the twelve tribes of Yisra’el.

The womb is a “narrow” and a “tight place” where the woman (Jerusalem) gives birth to a man-child, also called the 
“one new man” (Ephesians 2:12-15). Who is this “one new man?” Shaul (Paul) explained that they are “Jews & Gentiles,” who follow the Messiah Yahuwshuwa. To break it down even further, these two groups consist of the following:

1.) Those who are redeemed from the Southern Kingdom of the House of Judah (Jews). The House of Judah include two tribes (Benjamin & Judah). 

2.) Those who are redeemed from the Northern Kingdom of the House of Ephrayim. The House of Ephrayim consists of the other ten tribes that were divorced and scattered to the gentile nations (Jeremiah 3:8). These divorced and exiled tribes are known as “The Lost Sheep of the House of Yisrael.” 

These Two Houses of Yisra’el will become “one stick” in the hand of YaHuWaH in the last days, when our Messiah returns (Ezekiel 37:16-17). These two groups will become a “corporate” body of believers called “The man-child” or “one new man” when they are born of the woman (Jerusalem). 

In the Greek Strong’s Concordance, the word for wrath is as follows:

#3709. orge or-gay’ from 3713; properly, desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), i.e. (by analogy), violent passion (ire, or (justifiable) abhorrence); by implication punishment:--anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.

In the Greek Strong’s Concordance, the word for tribulation is
as follows:

#2347. thlipsis thlip’-sis from 2346; pressure (literally or figuratively):--afflicted(-tion), anguish, burdened, persecutiontribulation, trouble.

This word for tribulation, comes from another root word that means  “narrow:”

# 2346. thlibo thlee’-bo akin to the base of 5147; to crowd (literally or figuratively):--afflictnarrow throng, suffer, tribulationtrouble.

If the way to life is narrow, and the word narrow also means tribulation, then we can say that tribulation is the narrow way which leads to life!

Matthithyahuw (Matthew) 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and NARROW is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.

One could accurately read the above verse as follows:

Matthithyahuw (Matthew)7:14 Because strait is the gate, and TRIBULATION is the way, which leads unto life and few there be that find it.


The Hebrew word for tribulation is seen in the Strong’s Concordance as follows:

#6862 tsar tsar or tsar {tsawr}; from 6887; narrow; (as a noun) a tight place (usually figuratively, i.e. trouble); also a pebble (as in 6864); (transitive) an opponent (as crowding):--adversary, afflicted(-tion), anguish, close, distress, enemy, flint, foe, narrow small, sorrow, strait, tribulation, trouble.

# 6869 tsarah tsaw-raw’ feminine of 6862; tightness (i.e. figuratively, trouble); transitively, a female rival:--adversary, adversity, affliction, anguish, distress, tribulationtrouble.

*Note: The meaning of this word also means “female rivalry,” which is a hint about two sisters, (Leah & Rachel) who competed for the affection of their husband, Jacob. These two sisters were in tribulation with each other. Leah felt slighted because Jacob loved Rachel more than her. Rachel felt slighted because YaHuWaH compensated Leah with more children because she was unloved. 

These two sisters represent The Two Houses of Yisrael (Ephrayim & Judah). For it is during these last 3.5 years of the remaining 490 years of Daniels prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27), that these two houses stop being rivals, and they become one bride, or one new man. Since the days after the death of King Solomon, these two kingdoms have been in rivalry (enmity) with each other, as described in Ephesians 2:15. Our Messiah came to tear down that wall of partition that divides these two people groups. 

However, there will be a climax at the end of the tribulation, when both sisters will be married to the same bridegroom all in the same week. Once we understand the prophetic purpose for this “tight and narrow place,” we can never accept the false notion that the tribulation serves no purpose for the bride of Messiah. 

These two sisters must reach a pinnacle in their rivalry by the time the bridegroom returns. Once they reach this pinnacle, they will be united as one bride, and no longer two. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that the bride must go through tribulation in order to be birthed into her new immortal body.


The Hebrew word for wrath in the Strong’s Concordance is seen below:

# 7107 qatsaph kaw-tsaf' a primitive root; to crack off, i.e. (figuratively) burst out in rage:--(be) anger(-ry), displease, fret self, (provoke to) wrath(come), be wroth.

# 7110 qetseph keh’-tsef from 7107; a splinter (as chipped off); figuratively, rage or strife:--foam, indignation, sore, wrath.

# 2740 charown khaw-rone’ or (shortened) charon {khaw-rone'}; from 2734; a burning of anger:--sore displeasure, fierce(-ness), fury, (fierce),wrath(-ful).



What is the Purpose of Tribulation?

Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Tribulation is the same thing as “persecution,” because the elect must go through the same tribulation as the bridegroom. She will go through the testing fire in order to be made  “white.” The bride must be purified in the fire; She is “tried” (tested) in the fire of affliction to see if her love for Messiah is true. The bride will become “wise” through affliction, persecution, and tribulation. But the wicked will continue to do wickedly during the tribulation, and they will not understand what is going on.

Some have rationalized that the bridegroom is not going to allow the bride to suffer and be killed just before the wedding. I have heard people say “Why would the bridegroom beat up on the bride before he comes to marry her?”

Well, the answer is quite simple. Colossians 2:11 tells us that the bride is  going to have a “full body circumcision at the resurrection, because, she will Put off the body of sins in the flesh.” The entire purpose of the resurrection is to Put on the new man,which means that she becomes one body with her bridegroom---in other words, one flesh! 

The bride must remove her filthy garments (the old body of sins), and she must put on her new wedding garments, which is the renewed man, her new resurrected body!

So, forget about this crazy notion that the bridegroom beats up the bride! The tribulation is meant to test the loyalty of the bride to see what she is made of. It is during the tribulation that the bride must go through the fires of affliction so that she can be purified, and tested as gold and silver are tested for authenticity:

Malachi 3:1-3 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and YHWH, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, he shall come, says YHWH of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto YHWH an offering in righteousness.

I find it ironic that many who adhere to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture idea sing the song in church Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire, is to be holy...” 

Yet, when confronted with the reality of the Scriptures, (showing a Post-Tribulation Rapture), they are suddenly thrown into a place of despair and panic. Some even display outrage at the mere suggestion that they may have to suffer at all (before being presented to the bridegroom). Modern Christendom has failed to present the concept of suffering as a means to holiness in the life of the believer. Yet, the Apostle Shaul (Paul) stated that it is through suffering that we are created into the likeness of our Messiah:

Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.

In order to be made into the image and likeness of Yahuwshuwa our Messiah, we must suffer in the same way that he did. The Apostle Shaul (Paul) explained it perfectly:

Romans 6:

3 Know you not, that so many of us as were immersed (baptized) into Yahuwshuwa Mashiyach were immersed (baptized) into his death?

4 Therefore we are buried with him by immersion (baptism) into death: that like as Mashiyach was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Do you see this? If we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. This means that we must go through the same suffering and persecution as our Messiah did, before we can be resurrected. A seed must fall to the ground and die, before it can bear much fruit. If we are going to be fruitful for the Kingdom of Elohiym, we must die to the old body of sins.

Yahuwchanon (John) 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.

Thus, the purpose of the Great Tribulation is to purify us, and to make us like our Messiah.

Now, I don’t means to suggest that every believer in Messiah will have to die during the Great Tribulation. Sha’ul (Paul) prophesied in 1st Thessalonians 4:17, that some believers will be alive when the harpazo takes place: 

1st Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet YHWH in the air: and so shall we ever be with YHWH.

Nevertheless, it is important that we prepare ourselves for the worst case scenario in the event that we should have to die for our faith.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Yahuwshuwa, and for the word of Elohiym, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Messiah a thousand years. 

Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of Elohiym and of Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years

What is the Purpose of Wrath?

It is important to understand that the bride of Messiah will not be the object of his wrath, although she will be here to witness his wrath poured out upon the wicked people of the earth. Not only that, but the bride will be in her new resurrected body, and therefore, she will serve as a great army whose bodies are indestructible! (see Ezekiel 37:10; Revelation 19:14).

Revelation 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.

Revelation 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Revelation 19:15  And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty Elohiym.

The bride will return with Messiah as his army on the The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) also referred to as The Day of Vengeance, or 
The Great & Terrible Day of YaHuWaH, or The Day of Wrath.

Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward unto your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.

The wrath of Elohiym is for PUNISHMENT OF THE WICKED, and to avenge and to vindicate the servants of YaHuWaH.

1st Thessalonians 5:9 For Elohiym has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation by our Master Yahuwshuwa Mashiyach.


The remnant (elect or chosen ones) from “The seed of the woman,” (Genesis 3:15) are no longer going to be two groups after they resurrect, for they shall become “ONE NEW MAN.” In order for these two groups to be changed into immortality, they must first go through the birth canal of tribulation---the tight and narrow place!

Unless the man-child is first purified in the fire (like gold) and made white, he cannot be BIRTHED into his ADOPTION---THE REDEMPTION OF THE BODY! (Romans 8:23).


These are the resurrected sons of Ephrayim & Judah (Jews & Gentiles). These are the ones that “Follow the Lamb wherever he goes (Revelation 14:4).

This will be just like the twins that Tamar bore to Judah in Genesis 38. Tamar had been barren, but when her kinsman redeemer impregnated her with twins, she was redeemed. Our Messiah is the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5), and he is also the kinsman redeemer for mother Jerusalem. The twins that she will bear will be the resurrected two witnesses that become one new man! 

1st Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

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