10.3 The great tribulation

For as long as the Lord's work of salvation is on this earth, the earthly creation remains under the special protection of God (Revelation 7: 3). After the return of Christ, a time will begin in which both mankind and the creation will be exposed to the power of Satan. Everything will suffer under the circumstances associated with this.


This period of time can be associated with the "hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth", as referenced in Revelation 3: 10. Holy Scripture also refers to this event as the "great tribulation" (Revelation 7: 14).


Satan's extensive display of power in the great tribulation far surpasses the trials and the severity of hardships which the church had to endure before the return of the Lord. The bridal congregation will be caught up to God before the start of the great tribulation (Revelation 3: 10; 12: 5, 12).


The image of the woman clothed with the sun–after she has given birth to the male child–represents those who are numbered to the church of Christ, but who were not caught up to God. They will continue to feel God's support and spiritual care in the "wilderness", that is a condition of hardship and deprivation (Revelation 12: 6).


Even during this time, in which Satan and his forces will rule, there will be human beings who firmly profess Christ, who refuse to worship the Antichrist, and who will be killed as a consequence of their profession (Revelation 13: 10, 15; cf. Revelation 14: 12-13). These steadfast witnesses for Christ will become martyrs.