The Hour of Temptation

Posted: 4/2/2023    

The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 were historical churches, but also have advice for all believers and context for us today and the future. Each letter explicitly states, “he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” While written to one church historically, it uses churches plural and most of us have ears to hear or eyes to read the message being spoken so each letter is clearly for everyone. While they also had a fulfillment in their time, the temptations to lead us away from Christ and the labor, trials and pursecutions to remain in Him are not bounded by time in this age and I believe we can see the spiritual struggles in the historical accounts and test ourselves today to ensure we also do not fall into that spirit of error.

Revelation actually begins with an association of these seven churches to seven golden candlesticks, which I believe is the symbolism behind the menorah and the relationship of the oil feeding the lamp to create the light. This is the bride being filled with the Holy Spirit producing the light by which she shines in a dark world, not through herself but through the Spirit of God within producing good fruit evident to the world.

I want to focus on two of those letters to the seven churches in Revelation that I believe speak to a future time of deception, temptation and trying of the world and the warnings they include as well as the promises by faith we should keep our hope in. God has not left us in darkness, we are His friends and He has let us know what to look for and what is coming by His Word. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 | John 15:14-17 Yeshua makes a point when asked about the sign of His coming and the end of the world to not be deceived regarding false Christs. Matthew 24:3-5 | Mark 13:3-6 | Luke 21:7-8 So I believe it is imperative that we approach God’s Word in prayer and relationship with Him and the Holy Spirit as our translator, accepting God’s Word as written and bringing to mind that Word and rightly dividing its Truth. This must be done individually, but I pray what follows spurs your own search of God’s Word and its Truths. Acts 17:11

Revelation 3:7-10
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (G3986 - Trial proving fidelity), which shall come upon all the world, to try (G3985 - make a test of faith) them that dwell upon the earth.

In the past, I glossed over this passage relating it more to the pre-wrath perspective of the catching away of the Bride and escape from God’s wrath. However, temptation is being drawn into doing something wrong, an enticement to sin. This is the case with the Greek G3986 peirasmos translated temptation, or hour of temptation. This passage also uses the Greek G3985 peirazō, To try or to test ones faith. These are related in that going through temptation is a trying of our trust in God ultimately. I wanted to do a word study on these terms to see the context in which they were used in the past to better understand what temptation the church of Philadelphia is told they will be kept from.

Temptations of Christ

Just before His ministry, Yeshua spent 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness fasting. He was hungry and was tempted, or tried, by Satan to turn the rocks into bread, but He responded that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. The temptation was temporary sustenance of the physical body in place of eternal sustenance of the soul. Yeshua called Himself the bread of life. John 6:31-71 It’s interesting that this passage reveals it was hard for many to hear and some stopped following Him at this point. I believe in John 6:63 Yeshua clarifies this physical eating and drinking to be spiritual in nature, accepting the sacrifice and receving eternal life, what believers symbolize in communion to this day.

He was tempted a second time by the devil, quoting Psalm 91:11-12 to use His status as the Son of God to prevent any harm from coming to Him, being saved by the angels when casting Himself from the pinnacle of the temple. He responded not to tempt the Lord your God. Yeshua knew His role as He mentioned in the above passage. He came from heaven to do the will of His Father, who gave His only begotten Son that whoever believed in Him, though they were dead, would live. John 3:16 His whole mission coming to earth was the opposite of what the devil was offering Him. The temptation was the salvation from physical death.

He was shown the kingdoms of the world and offered by the devil to be given them if He bowed down and worshipped him, but He responded that it’s written we shall worship the Lord God and only serve Him. This is of course the goal of the devil to be like the Most High. Isaiah 14:12-15 The temptation was rejection of the eternal God to worship the devil in return for temporary rule of the physical kingdoms.

So the temptations Christ went through prior to His ministry as a trial seemed to have to do with putting off the spiritual for the physical, like Esau giving his birthright to Jacob for a meal (Genesis 25:29-34 | Hebrews 12:14-17), escaping physical harm, or worshipping a false god, thereby rejecting the one True God.

Temptation and Trying in History

Hebrews 11 is a great walk through of the faith fo many from the Old Testament. Ultimately faith is made evident to others when proven in temptations that they remain steadfast throughout. This faith kept strong through trials and tribulations because they believe God and as for all of us it will be counted for us as righteousness. It’s important to recognize even though their stories don’t use these two words, two examples where people were tried and proven faithful.


One of the great stories in the Bible of putting to proof is that of Job. The Greek words used in Revelation 3:10 don’t appear in Job, but it is good context for the idea of being tried. When Satan comes before the Lord, Job is brought up as a perfect and upright man that fears God and hates evil. Satan questions this, pointing to God’s blessing of Job as to why his trust in God is strong, having not been tested. Satan tells the Lord that cursing all that he has will cause him to curse God. So God gives all that Job has over to Satan’s control except Job’s life. Job’s life then begins to fall apart, losing family, wealth, friends and health. Yet through it all Job remained steadfast, although in great grief and tribulation, keeping his trust in God. We too are exhorted to be patient until the coming of the Lord, being happy to endure as with the patience of Job knowing the Lord is merciful. James 5:7-12


God promised Abraham that through his seed Isaac, his people would be called, Genesis 21:12 | Hebrews 11:17-19, a great people numbering like the stars would be born of him. Genesis 22:15-18 God tried Abraham’s faith by asking him to offer his only son as a sacrifice. Genesis 22:1-3 In so doing he also provided a foreshadow for His future offering of His only Son that would willingly die for the sins of the world. Abraham passed this test, having faith that God meant what He said and that God would raise him up again to keep His promise to Abraham. In a show of faith and another foreshadow, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide Himself a lamb. Indeed Abraham was stopped from sacrificing Isaac, who's seed did grow into the nation of Israel. And ultimately God did provide Himself a Lamb both then in place of Isaac and in place of you and I, in the Lamb of God, God’s only Son, who took away the sins of the world.

Exodus and the Wilderness

God had a plan, from before time, to save fallen man from eternal separation from Himself. God doesn't just snap His fingers and make it happen, He brings it about over generations, teaching mankind in the process and incorporating the faithful in it. We all ultimately come from Adam and Israel was a peculiar people chosen from amongst the earth by the faith of Abraham finding favor with God. Through history God strove with this people to mold them and have them follow statutes that would ultimately foreshadow many of the fulfillments in Christ that would bring about our redemption.

A strong use of the idea of putting to proof, or testing hearkens back to Israel in Egypt and the wilderness, how they did not believe God, hardening their hearts. They also tempted God, who responded with signs and wonders and miracles to provide for them, yet they continued to murmur and forget, looking back with longing to the captivity they were saved from. They had lived generations in Egypt, intermingled and then enslaved. Their exodus from that slavery was the time when God was molding them, showing through miracles His power to purge this idolotry they were in to bring them to a close relationship with Him.

There are many references to the temptations, signs and wonders in Egypt God showed. This is used by Moses to refer back to the testing (G3986 peirasmos - temptation) of Pharaoh and the resulting 10 plagues. Deuteronomy 4:34 | Deuteronomy 7:19 | Deuteronomy 29:3 God expected that by all the signs and wonders in Egypt that Israel would trust Him in the wilderness to deliver them, but they showed time and time again that they had no patience for God’s ways and desired the fulfillment of the lusts of their flesh as they had back in Egypt where they had plentiful meat and drink. Psalm 106:14

Israel murmured in the wilderness yet God provided for them, often angered at their lack of faith given all they had seen and experienced. Psalm 78:41 | Psalm 95:8-9 | Hebrews 3:8-9

Three days after crossing the Red Sea without water, the people murmured against Moses at Marah because the water was bitter. Moses cried to the Lord and He showed him a tree whose branch he cast into the water making it sweet. Moses tested the people there, saying if they will harken to the voice of God and do what is right and keep all his statutes he will put none of the diseases on them that were brought on the Egyptians, for He is the Lord that heals them. Exodus 15:22-27

Two and a half months after leaving Egypt, Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron because they were hungry. They recalled the abundance of food they had in captivity, saying it would have been better to have died in Egypt than starve in the wilderness. The Lord tells Moses he will rain bread from heaven to try them, whether they will walk in His law or not. Exodus 16:4 On the 6th day they will gather twice as much as the first 5 days as on the 7th day there would be none and they were to observe the 7th day as a Sabbath day. Exodus 16

Deuteronomy 9:22
And at Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibrothhattaavah, ye provoked the LORD to wrath.

Israel tempted God many times in the wilderness, often because even though they had been provided for, shown miracles, signs and wonders, they still yearn to go back to captivity in Egypt where they had more to eat than the manna they now lived on. Over 2 years after leaving Egypt, Israel leaves Sinai and at Taberah Israel complained and the Lord’s anger was kindled and the fire of the Lord burnt among them and consumed those in the uttermost parts of the camp. Moses prayed to the Lord and the fire was quenched. Numbers 11:1-6

Deuteronomy 6:13-17
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.

After leaving the wilderness of Sin Israel pitched in Rephidim and the people complained having no water, again looking back to the captivity in Egypt lusting after the water they had there. God tells Moses to strike the rock in Horeb and water is provided. Moses called this place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Exodus 17:1-7 Moses striking the rock which produced water was also a prophetic foreshadow of the rock which is Christ being struck and giving living water through that sacrifice. 1 Corinthians 10:1-6 It may be that Moses later striking the rock to produce water again instead of speaking to the rock, symbolizing the relationship with Christ after the resurrection, and breaking that foreshadow is the reason why he would not enter the Promised Land. Numbers 20:8-13

The people complained having no meat so God says he will provide so much meat they will detest it. While Moses doubts how this could be, God states he will see whether His word will come to pass. The Lord causes a wind from the sea to bring quail a days journey on either side of the camp two cubits high. They gathered and ate, but the wrath of God was kindled against them and a great plague killed many people that lusted [covet, greedy, crave] after the meat and they named that place Kibrothhattaavah where they buried those people. Numbers 11:10-15; 31-35

Israel in the Promised Land

When Israel arrived at the Promised Land, 12 spies were sent out to get the lay of the land for 40 days. They came back with a report of a fruitful land, but also great walled cities and giants. Israel responds by saying it would be better to return to Egypt and looked to appoint a new leader to do just that. Moses, Aaron and only 2 of the 12 spies, Joshua and Caleb, had faith in the promise God gave that they would take the land. As Israel looks to stone them, the glory of the Lord appears in the tabernacle and Moses, knowing the anger the Lord has at this, pleads for his people.

The Lord pardoned Israel, but declared because all those men that saw His glory and miracles in Egypt and the wilderness and tempted the Lord 10 times had not hearkened to his voice and they wouldn’t see the Promised Land. But Caleb will enter the land and his seed inherit it. And so Israel wandered for 40 years in the wilderness for their lack of faith.

After the generation of Joshua had passed, the generation after them living in their inheritance had forgotten the Lord and the things done in Egypt and the wilderness. This generation began serving other gods, forsaking the God that delivered them from Egypt. So God did not drive out all the nations, leaving the Philistines, Canaanites, Sidonians, and the Hivites to test Israel, whether they would obey His commandments. However Israel mingled with them instead, marrying into these nations and worshipping their gods. Judges 3:1-5

If I were to try and sum up these historical occurrences of temptation and trials, it would be that the weakness of the flesh took precedence over faith in the Word of God. Whether food, water, security, or returning back to other false gods; Israel tempted God as He tried and tested their faith in Him and even though God continued to provide for them, it just wasn’t immediate enough or in the right form for them.

Trying And Testing

In Judges 6, Gideon is approached by an angel who says the Lord is with him and will use him to deliver Israel from the Midianites. Gideon has a hard time believing because his family is poor and he is the least in his father’s house. The Lord promises He is with him. Gideon asks for a sign and brings an offering to the Lord, which is consumed. Gideon asks God if, as He had said, God will save Israel by his hand. He first asks that God make a wool fleece on the floor full of dew in the morning and the ground dry. God did this and Gideon humbly asks God to prove this is true by asking for the dew to be on the ground and not the wool fleece the next morning and it was so. Judges 6:39

  • 1 Samuel 17:39 - Saul arms David with his armor, but David discards it because he had not proved them. David didn’t have faith in the armor because he was unfamiliar with it.
  • 1 Kings 10:1 | 2 Chronicles 9:1 - Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon and came to prove him with hard questions.
  • 2 Chronicles 32:31 - Hezekiah had many riches and honor. When the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon came to enquire about what was done in the land, God left Hezekiah to try him and know what was in his heart.
  • Psalm 26:2 - Judge me Lord for I’ve trusted in you and not backslidden. Examine my heart and prove me, try my reigns and my heart.
  • Daniel 1:12,14 - Context of the Babylonian captivity where Daniel (Belteshazzar), Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abednego) are chosen to stand in the king’s palace. Daniel purposed to not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat or wine. God had endeared Daniel to the Eunuchs caring for them and they were concerned that Daniel would not be healthy and the eunuch would lose his head. Daniel said to test them 10 days, giving them vegetables and water and so he proved them 10 days and they looked healthier and fatter than all the people eating the king’s meat. And God gave them knowledge, skill, wisdom, visions and dreams.
  • Isaiah 7:12 - The Lord spoke to Ahaz saying ask any sign from the Lord, but Ahaz said I will not ask or tempt the Lord. Ahaz says to the house of David, is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary God also? The Lord Himself shall give you a sign, behold a virgin will conceive and bear a son and His name shall be Immanuel.
  • Matthew 16:1 | Mark 8:11 | Luke 11:16 | Matthew 19:3 | Mark 10:2 | Matthew 22:18 | Mark 12:15 | Luke 20:23 | Matthew 22:34 - Yeshua was tried by the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees many times as they tried to trip Him up and find fault in Him. Many of these were after the triumphal entry during the period when the Passover lamb was to be examined to ensure it was without spot or blemish. Yeshua was found without fault and on Passover in 30 AD became the Lamb of God, sacrifice for the sins of the world.
  • Luke 22:40,46 - Garden of Gethsemane: Yeshua told disciples to pray they are not entered into temptation. In context of the previous verses, an appending warning not to fear bodily harm in what would be happening, but to have faith and not deny God when being put to proof in that time.
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:5 - Context of Timothy’s visit: Warned they would suffer tribulation and for this cause he sent to know their faith, concerned that the tempter had tempted them and their labor was in vain. This points to temptation tied to tribulation and concern that temporal fear would lose faith and the loss of ones soul.
  • 1 Timothy 6:9 - We enter into this world with nothing and likewise leave it. The rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. The love of money is the root of all evil, which while some covet after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Man of God, flee from these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

Admonition for Today

We have the benefit of learning from the mistakes of Israel and the examples of those of great faith from the past and Yeshua Himself. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 speaks to this exact thing, admonishing believers to not fall into idolatry and lusting after evil things, tempting Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:11-13
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

The parable of the sower is found in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:4-15. A sower sows his seed and some is eaten by birds, some fell on rock and sprung up but quickly whithered away, some fell in thorns and were choked out while some fell on good ground and bore fruit. After telling this parable to the crowds, Yeshua yells, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” This familiar phrase hearkens back to the seven churches and indeed the interpretation of one of these places the seed is sown seems to be exactly what the faithful church of Philadelphia is promised to be saved from.

Luke 8:13
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

We’re told to rejoice in our temptations.

  • James 1:2 - Count it for joy when you fall into diverse temptations. The trying of your faith works patience. Let patience work that you will be perfect and want nothing. If you lack wisdom ask it of God and He will give it liberally. But ask in unwavering faith because if you waver it’s like being tossed in a windy sea.
  • James 1:12 - Blessed is the man that endures temptation, for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life that the Lord promised them that love Him. When tempted, don’t say you are tempted of God for God cannot be tempted with evil and He does not tempt any man. Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. When the lust is conceived it brings forth sin and sin when finished brings forth death.
  • 1 Peter 1:6 - rejoice in your temptations, the trial of your faith being more precious than gold that perishes that you be found to praise and honor and the glory at the appearing of Yeshua, whom having not seen, still love and believe in, receiving the end of your faith, salvation of your souls.
  • 1 Peter 4:12 - Don’t think the trying (temptations) strange, but rejoice in sharing Christ’s sufferings that when His glory is revealed you will be glad. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you for the spirit of God rests on you.
  • 2 Peter 2:9 - In the context of Lot, who was vexed with the works of Sodom, The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished. They walk after the flesh and despise government, presumptuous they are self-willed and not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries. Even the angels don’t bring railing accusations against them before the Lord. But these speak evil of the things they don’t understand and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.
Deuteronomy 13:1-3
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deception with signs and wonders is not new, where do these point? If it is not Christ then these temptations are to lead you away from the one True God. We will be put to proof both now and in the future.

Hebrews 11:35-40
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Revelation 2:10
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Throughout history and continuing today, Christians around the world are in a time of temptation, tested whether they value their temporal physical life and the things of this world over their eternal inheritance through the promise of God to eternal life through Yeshua. It is often those most persecuted shine the brightest, showing their faith through great tribulation, a testament to their faith.

History and the Future Meet

I believe looking at the historical context of temptations and putting to proof give us stronger understanding of what the temptation the faithful church will be kept from.

Revelation 3:10
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

In context of the church of the day it speaks to the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews but are not. These are the hypocrites Yeshua railed against with the scribes and Pharisees. Matthew 15:1-9 | Mark 7:1-13 | Matthew 16:1-4 | Matthew 22:15-22 | Matthew 23:1-39 | Matthew 24:36-51 | Luke 11:37-54 In the context of the spiritual church, let there be no doubt that the church has its share of hypocrites just as the Jewish synagogues of those days and both Jew and Gentile today, and in the future, will struggle with this hypocrisy. However, to those who keep God’s Word and belief that Yeshua is the only way to the Father and the door for the sheep, that door will not be shut. John 10:1-11 | John 14:6

To get the context of the timing of this temptation, I think it is an important point to recognize that beyond the letters to the seven churches being for everyone, the fact that this is affecting all them that dwell on the earth places it in a larger context than the historical church and this is why I believe this is a future promise to the spiritual church that may not have a lot of strength, but keeps God’s word and never denies Yeshua.

I’m also lead to believe that since this trying time of temptation is global that the thing that is tempting a falling away from God will be global as well. From scripture we know there is a time coming where a man of sin will arise and stand as an idol in a rebuilt temple demanding worship. Furthermore, limitations to buying and selling will be imposed on those who do not worship him, and ultimately death for many. However, we must also remember that our gathering to the Lord will be preceded by the falling away and revealing of this man of sin who will demand worship and murder the faithful. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

So how does all this make sense then? How is the church kept from this global temptation that will try their faith yet aren’t taken before the revealing of the antichrist? I believe the answer brings together a lot of individual studies and highly recommend taking a Biblical topical word study approach as I did when starting my Acts 17:11 journey. It really helps to define the terms by themselves first before bringing them all together.

Time of Jacob’s Trouble

There are a collection of scriptures about the time of the end which give an exact number of days between events, they provide a framework of events that will take place during the 70th week of Daniel. Yeshua, in the Olivet discourse, points to this week of years spoken of by Daniel the prophet. Daniel 9:27 This central event they both speak of is the abomination of desolation. Daniel states that these weeks of years are “determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,” meaning Israel and Jerusalem. Yeshua says when this event is seen that “them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” Please note the people and place this is time is speaking of.

Jeremiah 30:4-7
And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

Daniel 12:1
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Matthew 24:15-22
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

All three of these passages tie the yet future abomination of desolation to an unparalleled time of tribulation in all of history for Israel in Judea specifically that is cut short. This is the start of the time of great tribulation, but specifically this time immediately after the abomination of desolation is the time of Jacob’s trouble in Judea. It is critical to understand that the time of great tribulation is the time of the antichrist’s reign split into two parts, which we will see in a minute.

Daniel 12:1 is just after the wars of the antichrist in chapter 11, Michael stands up and then unparalleled trouble matching the unparalleled time Yeshua spoke of pointing back to Daniel 9:27. I do not think that Michael’s mention is a coincidence as in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-12 we are told that the restrainer is holding back the revealing of the man of sin and that revealing is done at the abomination of desolation. This is where I believe the key to understanding the nuance of this time comes in.

Revelation 12:7-9; 12-13
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. ...Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

Revelation 13:1-4
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

So when Michael stands up in Daniel 12:1, it would seem his restraining of the revealing of the man of sin coincides with the dragon being cast down to give the beast his power, seat and great authority, reavealing him to be the antichrist. This marks the beginning of the time of Jacob’s trouble as Revelation 12:13 shows when he’s cast out he goes after the woman, Israel.

Revelation 12:14-16
And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Recall Jeremiah 30:7, Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:22. This unparalleled time of trouble for Jacob would be cut short for the elect’s sake and everyone found in the book would be delivered from this time. This would appear to be exactly what is happening in the passage above, although the dragon persecutes Israel when cast down at the abomination of desolation, Israel is saved out of this period of time and protected for 3 1/2 years from the serpent.

Zechariah 13:8-9
And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

I believe this can be taken two ways, but both I believe relate to the time of Jacob’s trouble.

One perspective that I held for some time was that some outside force or a sudden revealing of malice toward Israel at the abomination would lead to the death of 2/3 of Israel while 1/3 would be protected during the wrath of God, refined through fire. 2 Peter 3:5-7 This is typically what a Roman or Islamic antichrist perspective might think.

A newer perspective for me takes into account the idea of a Jewish antichrist, as laid out in Chris White’s book False Christ. It could also be that the 2/3 that are cut off and die speaks to the symbolic idea of the natural and wild branches of Romans 11:16-25. If indeed the man of sin comes in his own name, John 5:43, to supplant Christ with God’s people Israel, and 2/3 are deceived and believe, they would effectively be natural branches cut off and the very instrument the dragon uses to attack their own people at the abomination of desolation. If the Jews truly believe the antichrist is the Messiah they’ve waited for, is it difficult to imagine the religious fervor in light of the lying signs and wonders that will be done?

Regardless, I believe a remnant of Israel will be protected in the wilderness for 3 1/2 years from the dragon. This is where I believe the transition from Israel in Judea, the time of Jacob’s trouble ends and the time of great tribulation spreads to the whole earth.

 Revelation 12:17
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

I believe Revelation 12:13-17 is the key to understanding the nuanced nature of the time of great tribulation. We saw when the dragon is cast to the earth starting the unparalleled time of Jacob’s trouble for Israel and Judea at the abomination of desolation. Now the target of that unparalleled time of Jacob’s trouble has been removed to safety and the unparalleled tribulation has been cut short, but the dragon is not giving up and his focus turns outside of Judea to the Jews and Christians throughout the world.

Given that we know the dragon, beast and false prophet are given power over the earth for 3½ years, it’s not that time that could be cut short because we’re given the length of time. Therefore, the time that is cut short would have to be the unparalleled time focused on Israel in Judea, which is only the beginning of the time of great tribulation that Israel is saved out of. Jeremiah 30:4-7

This is also where the framework comes into play, revealing the details of the timing of events and showing the season of our blessed hope.

Matthew 24:29-31
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Since Yeshua was speaking about this unparalleled time of Jacob’s trouble, it follows that when He says “Immediately after the tribulation of those days,” He is referring to some time immediately after the remnant of Israel from Judea is protected in the wilderness. He also ties this time immediately after to the sign of the sixth seal.

Revelation 6:12-17
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Immediately after the time of Jacob’s trouble when the signs of the sixth seal take place and the angels gather His elect, is this same reference is used many places in scripture referring to the wrath of God beginning. There is only the seventh seal, which is 1/2 hour of silence in heaven, before the seven trumpets are blown beginning the wrath of God. In addition, Revelation 7 is nestled in between the sixth seal ending the previous chapter and the seventh seal and trumpets in the next chapter. We know it belongs here sequentially because Revelation 7:1-3 explicitly tells the angels with the trumpets not to blow until the 144,000 are sealed. What chapter 7 describes is the depiction of two groups, one on the earth and one in heaven.

Revelation 7:4-8 depicts 144,000 of the 12 tribes of Israel. Because the wrath of God is put on hold until they are sealed, we know they are on the earth. We see in the 5th trumpet that those sealed are the only ones explicitly protected from that judgement. Revelation 9:1-6 This would be the remnant of Israel that escaped the dragon and is protected for 3 1/2 years from the dragon and refined through the fire of God’s wrath. We get further descriptions of these sealed in Revelation 14:1-5 that makes be believe these are pre/early teenage Jews from the 12 tribes, sealed, protected and a witness to the rest of the people protected in the wilderness.

Revelation 7:9-17 depicts an uncountable number of people from all nations clothed in white robes who have come out of great tribulation. Given my other studies on the pre-wrath catching away of the bride, I believe we are seeing the picture of the aftermath of the harpazo, or rapture, complete before the wrath of God is poured out on the earth starting in Revelation 8:2.

Exact Day Prophecies

So how long is “immediately after the tribulation of those days” exactly? While we can’t know the day or hour, because of the precision of scripture, we will know the season. Many of these exact day prophecies center around the abomination of desolation.

Daniel 12:4-11
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 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

And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Note there are two periods of time listed here, 3 1/2 years (1,260 days) and 1,290 days. The 1,260 days speaks to the scattering the power of the holy people. We know this starts at the abomination of desolation. This is the time of great tribulation, the wrath of the dragon on God’s people, to the Jew first and then all that hold the testimony of Christ. Furthermore, we know that power is given to the antichrist for 42 months or 3 1/2 years.

Revelation 13:4-8
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Daniel 7:25-27
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

And we know that reign of the antichrist ends when Christ returns in glory. Revelation 19:20 Likewise we are told the 1,290 days starts at the same time. Since both start at the abomination of desolation and Christ returns in glory 1,260 days after the abomination of desolation, what is the end event for the 1,290 days?

Daniel 9:24
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

This is the same end-point in Daniel 9:24, which gives the scope of the whole 70 weeks of Daniel period. It ends with the sealing of the vision and the prophecy. This will be accomplished after Christ returns in glory and takes the kingdoms. After Lucifer is bound in the bottomless pit, then those who died during the last 3½ years under Lucifer’s rule will be resurrected as part of the first resurrection. Revelation 20:4-5 (more on the Scope of Daniel 12:11)

So from my perspective, the scope of these 1290 days begins at the abomination of desolation and ends wtih the end of the 70th week of Daniel, when the fulfillment of the wrath of God and Yeshua assuming His reign at His return.

So if we put all these together, we have a framework below where

  •  The beast gets his power at the abomination of desolation. Revelation 12:13-17 | Revelation 13:2-4
  • The beast has this power for 42 months (1260 days). Revelation 13:4-5
  • The beast’s power is taken away upon Christ’s return in glory when he and the false prophet are thrown in the lake of fire. Therefore, Christ returns in glory 1260 days after the abomination of desolation. Revelation 19:20
  • Daniel 12:1 starts the chapter at the abomination of desolation and marks the beginning of the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” Matthew 24:15-22 | Jeremiah 30:4-7
  • Israel is protected from the dragon for 1260 days. Revelation 12:14

Therefore since Israel is protected in the wilderness for the same time that the antichrist is reigning and the 70th week is dealing with Israel and the land, the end of the 1,290 days must be the end of the 70th week at which time Israel will emerge from the wilderness into the millennial kingdom, 30 days after the antichrist and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire and after the dragon is bound for 1,000 years. This means the abomination of desolation would be about 30 days before the exact middle of the 70th week and the protection of Israel, sealing of the 144,000, catching away of the bride, sixth seal and the beginning of the wrath of God would be at some unknown day and hour in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel.

Daniel's 70th Week Framework

Revelation 11:1-2
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

There is currently no rebuilt temple, but from scripture it’s clear that one will be built in some form since the daily sacrifice will be stopped and this passage seems to imply a temple without an outer court, perhaps a deal to be struck that would place a smaller Jewish temple on the Temple Mount where the outer court that is left out would be where the Dome of the Rock is and therefore left out? As far as something to be watching for, this is definitely on the list.

Hour of Temptation

Bringing everything full circle, what is the hour of temptation that the faithful church is promised to be kept from? They have kept the word of His patience, they have run the race and kept the faith through trials and tribulations in the past. But there is going to be a time where the ability to buy or sell will be taken away from anyone who will not bow down and worship the antichrist. Revelation 13:13-17 Life will become significantly harder at this time and the world will be a dystopian nightmare for anyone who refuses to get the mark. Refusal to do so is a death sentance for the physical body, but capitulation and worship is a death sentance for the eternal soul. Revelation 14:9-13 | Revelation 16:2 | Revelation 19:20 Those going through this time will be tried severely and many will fail, having little faith and wanting rather to preserve their temporary physical life, wealth, etc. These are the seeds that were sown in the rocks.

As laid out above, the exact day prophecies lay out the nuance of the time of Jacob’s trouble and the rest of the time of great tribulation and how the events Yeshua described linking the abomination of desolation, unparalleled tribulation, sixth seal and the coming of the Son of Man with other passages and the Revelation event sequence. All together we can see that the hour of temptation the faithful church will be kept from is the wrath of the dragon, from which we will be removed prior to that spreading globally and with the intensity of the mark of the beast and other events depicted later in his 3 1/2 year reign.

Does this mean we won’t face tribulation and a putting to proof of our faith? Of course not, but rather we can see the promises of God clearly laid out in His Word, revealed by His Holy Spirit to those that love Him. A comfort to the faithful in the knowledge that we are His friends and He has revealed by His Word that we will not be in darkness regarding what is coming. May this build your faith as you continue to walk in fellowship with Yeshua by His Spirit in Truth.

2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
Revelation 3:3
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Mark 13:32-37
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.