The “little apocalypse” found in the chapter 24 of Isaiah gives the description of the great tribulation in a nut shell. It also shows it to be for the nation of Israel. It has similarities to the book of Revelation:
Behold, the Lord lays the earth waste devastates it, distorts its surface, and Scatters its inhabitants. And the people will be like the priest the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the seller the lender like the borrower, the creditor like the debtor. The earth will be completely laid waste and completely despoiled, for the Lord has spoken this word. The earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away. The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left…Desolation is left in the city, and the gate is battered to ruins, for thus it will be in the midst of the earth among the peoples, as the shaking of an olive tree, as the gleanings when the grape harvest is over Isaiah 24;1-6,12).
The great tribulation will be the result of the Jewish nation signing a contract with the antichrist. We read this in Isaiah 28:14-15,18-19,21-22: Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death and with Sheol we have an agreement – when the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge and in falsehood we have taken shelter… and your covenant with death shall be annulled and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, then you will be trodden down by it. As often as it passes through, it will take you; for morning by morning will it pass through, by day and by night. And it will be utter terror merely to hear and comprehend the report and the message of it. For the Lord will rise up as on the Mount Perazim, He will be wrathful as in the Valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work (tribulation) and bring to pass His act, His strange act. Now therefore do not be scoffers, lest the bands which bind you be made strong; for a decree of destruction have I heard from the Lord God of hosts upon the whole land (Jerusalem) and the whole earth.
The purpose for the great tribulation is directed to the Jewish nation as we have seen above. There is no connection between the tribulation and the church in these passages. The church was established after the death and resurrection of our Lord YAHSHUA. His death and resurrection not only constituted the end of the sixty-ninth week of years destined to the Jewish nation, but they also constituted the new chapter of God’s plan for the rest of the world – the Gentiles, who are called the bride of His Son, YAHSHUA according to the revelation of the mystery of the plan of redemption which was kept in silence and secret for long ages, but now is disclosed and through the prophetic scriptures is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to obedience to the faith…(Rom. 16: 25b-26). This mystery was never disclosed to human beings in past generations as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Holy spirit: that the Gentiles are now to be fellow heirs [with the Jews], members of the same body and joint partakers in the same divine promise in Christ through the glad tidings (the Gospel) (Ephesians 3:5-6).
The church, which is also called the bride of Christ has been sanctified and cleansed by the washing of water with the Word. YAHSHUA will present His church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things (Ephesians 5:26-27). The tribulation YAHSHUA warned His church was not the wrath or judgment of God, but one that He Himself went through; one that the world will bring to her. He said, In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer! For I have overcome the world (John 16: 33b). And again, he said, If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you; remember that I told you, A servant is not greater that his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they will also keep and obey yours. But they will do all this to you [inflict all this suffering on you] because of [your bearing] My name and on My account, for they do not know or understand the One Who sent Me (John 15: 18-21). Paul assured us that we are not going to suffer under the wrath of God, but we will be taken out of this world before then: And [how you] look forward to and await the coming of His Son from heave, Whom He raised from the dead –YAHSHUA, Who personally rescues and delivers us out of and from the wrath which is coming and draws us to Himself (I Thess. 1:10); and again, For God has not appointed us to wrath, but [that we might] obtain [His] salvation through our Lord YAHSHUA the Messiah, Who died for us so that whether we are still alive or are dead [at Christ’s appearing], we might live together with Him and share His life, therefore encourage one another and edify one another just as you are doing (I Thess. 5:9-10).
My friend, I encourage you to focus on this blessed hope; wait not for the tribulation and the antichrist, wait for YAHSHUA. Watch therefore, He warned, for you do not know in what kind of a day your Lord is coming. At that time two men will be in the field one will be taken and one will be left (Matt. 24:42,40). You will get what you are looking for. Don’t be among those left behind! We were not warned to be tribulation ready, but rapture ready!