In this passage we see some of the things going on in the great tribulation. A lot more can be learned about the tribulation from other passages in the Bible but we will confine ourselves to what this text says about it. Here’s what’s going to happen:
Saints enduring unto the end to be saved 13
Salvation in the tribulation is not like salvation in the church age. When a person gets saved in the church age he is eternally secure (Jn 5:24; 6:37). Saints in the tribulation are not. They must endure to the end of the tribulation (Matt 10:22), if they are not killed first (Rev 2:10; 6:9-11). The temptation will be to worship the antichrist and take the mark in order to keep from starving to death (Rev 13:16-18). If a saint does, he will be thrown into hell (Rev 14:9-11)
Worldwide preaching of the gospel of the kingdom 14
Today, we are preaching the gospel of the grace of God (1 Cor 15:1-4). When a person gets saved they are born again and baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ. Then at the rapture, all those in Christ are taken up to heaven to be with the Lord. But in the tribulation, when the church has been raptured, the gospel of the grace of God won’t do them any good because they can’t be added to the body of Christ. We’ll be gone. So, the gospel of the kingdom will be preached because the king of the Jews will be coming to set up his kingdom (Rev 11:15). Salvation in the tribulation is found in Rev 14:12.
The abomination of desolation standing in the temple 15
The abomination of desolation is found in Dan 9:27, 11:31 and 12:11. The sacrifices of the Lord are taken away and replaced with sacrifices to an image (Rev 13:14-15) representing the antichrist who sits in the temple of God and professes himself to be God, (2 Thes 2:4). The sacrifices are human (Rev 6:9-11; 17:6).
Jews fleeing from Judea 16-20
Jerusalem is in Judea where the antichrist will set up his kingdom. When he does, the Jews are to flee in haste. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are going to have a rough time of it because they will not be able to flee fast enough (v 19 – like 2 Ki 8:12; Hos 13:16). In v 20, a winter flight would impede them, and a flight on the Sabbath would limit their travel distance. Notice by the mention of the Sabbath that they are back under the law in the tribulation (Col 2:16-17; Rev 12:17).
Shortening of the days for the elect’s sake 21-22
This shortening of the days for the elect’s sake is a reference to the tribulation rapture (Matt 24:31) before the devil can destroy all of the Jews that are still alive at the end of the tribulation (Is 65:8-9). It is the devil’s desire to annihilate them (Ps 83:4).
False Christs and prophets showing signs and wonders 23-27
The devil will give mighty power to false prophets and antichrists in order to deceive the world (2 Thes 2:9; Rev 13:14). Professing that Christ is in the desert and in secret chambers will be an attempt to draw the Jews out of hiding so that the devil can kill them. The Lord warned them that Jesus’ coming would be obvious to everyone on earth.
Eagles eating carcasses 28
Following Armageddon there will be millions of dead bodies on the ground. The Lord will call to the fowls of the air and feed them with the carcasses (Rev 1917-18).