Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2011?

“Orthodox” 16th Century Representation of the “Apocalypse”


There are several who claim that the great tribulation will start (and at least one who claims it will end) in 2011.

Is this true?

Can the Great Tribulation begin in 2011?

No, it cannot, despite the emails I get from time to time here in Southern California from various ones who insist that I am wrong on the start of the Great Tribulation.  And while sorrows and tribulation are prophesied to happen prior (Matthew 24:4-12) to the “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21), the Great Tribulation cannot start in 2011.

While there are many reasons why the Great Tribulation cannot start in 2011, today, I will mention just a few of them.

There is No Final King of the North or Final King of the South Yet

A final King of the North and King of the South need to exist before the actual great tribulation starts.

The Bible shows that one is coming called “the King of the North” who will make a deal with one called the King of the South just before the appointed time of the end:

27 Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time (Daniel 11:27).

Daniel chapter 11 tells much about the end times and it involves both a King of the South and a King of the North. And while there is a president of the South and a president of the North in the Union for the Mediterranean (see Deal Leading to Psalm 83?), these individuals are not kings and simply do not at this time hold to the type of power (nor perogatives) of the prophesied King of the North and the King of the South. Nor does the new head of the new European Union, Herman Van Rompuy, likely to be the final King of the North as he does not seem to fit that description as well as he may fulfill the person listed in Daniel 11:20 (Herman Van Rompuy: Might He Fulfill Daniel 11:20?).

Since the Great Tribulation will not start before there is an actual King of the South and an actual final King of the North)–and while the “prince” will apparently help make a peace deal with Israel (probably somewhat including the United States and some Arab lands as part of the “many” in Daniel 9:27), Daniel 11:27 requires two kings, which suggests that the future “prince” will gain more and more importance after the deal in Daniel 9:27 (for more information on the sequence of Daniel 11, please see the article the King of the North).

As far as the King of the South goes, there simply is not a confederation of Islamic nations that work close enough together yet in order to be led by the King of the South.  While it is true that there are two groups that ultimately may ultimately allow this (see Iraq & the King of the South and Mediterranean Union Makes Deal With Israel and Arab States).  The Islamic Mahdi has not yet been recognized, and while that is remotely possible to occur in 2011, the King of the South also will not be ready militarily to fulfill prophecies such as those in Daniel 11:40.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that there is an old 17th century Shiite prophecy that when a black man will lead the government of the “strongest armies” of the West, he will do something that results in the rise of an Islamic Mahdi, who is probably the final King of the South (see Barak Obama in Islamic Prophecy?). So, the end, even according to that “prophecy” seems to be getting close. But the great tribulation will not start in 2011.

A “Prince” Comes First

It needs to be mentioned that prior to being referred to as “the King of the North”, there is an individual who initially appears to be referred to as a “prince” in Daniel 9:26-27 (one is normally a “prince”, or rising leader, before one becomes a “king”).

Since this deal has still not been made, this would suggest that contrary to claims of various false prophets (Ronald Weinland of CGPFK and Harold Camping comes to mind) the great tribulation will not begin prior to 2014.

Notice that in the book of Daniel there is a prophecy related to the end times that states:

26 And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate (Daniel 9:26-27).

There are several reasons that this “prince” is referring to the leader of the developing European empire (see King of the North and Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation). But perhaps the main one is that it was the people of the Roman Empire of the 1st century that fulfilled the portion of Daniel 9:26 as they destroyed the city (Jerusalem) in 70 A.D. And it is the “prince” coming from that people that verse 27 is referring to. Hence, this prophecy tells us that a leader will start to rise up about 3 1/2 years before the great tribulation (and yes, according to Jesus, some “tribulation” does happen prior to the start of the Great Tribulation).

This portion of scripture in Daniel seems to be discussing some type of peace deal that the Europeans will either propose or at least agree to. Such a deal did not exist as of July 3, 2010:

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told the London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat on Saturday that no progress has been made in the proximity talks so far. (Egypt denies progress in peace talks. July 3, 2010. http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=133186&sectionid=351020202)

Since this Middle East peace deal has not been completed (at least not publicly), then if one adds 3 1/2 years to now, the earliest this could be would be the year 2014. We are simply not yet to the part that a “prince of the north” has come on the scene in that major way. Which of course means that there still is no final King of the North–though he is alive now, but not yet in that role.

A Peace Deal is Expected

The idea of this being a seven-year end-time deal was also understood by the Catholic theologian Hippolytus (died 235) in the third century:

…the iron and the clay shall be mingled together. Now Daniel will set forth this subject to us. For he says, “And one week will make a covenant with many, and it shall be that in the midst (half) of the week my sacrifice and oblation shall cease.” By one week, therefore, he meant the last week which is to be at the end of the whole world of which week the two prophets… will take up the half. For they will preach 1,260 days clothed in sackcloth, proclaiming repentance to the people and to all the nations…(Hippolytus. On Christ and Antichrist, Chapter 43. Online edition Copyright © 2008 by Kevin Knight).

While the leader in Daniel 9:27 is only referred to as a prince when he confirms the one week covenant, he probably will not be known as the “King” until shortly before he breaks the covenant at the mid-week point (most likely he will be considered simply one of several leaders negotiating a treaty when this deal in Daniel 9:27 is initially made). The two witnesses (who are prophets) rise up around the mid-point of the week. The iron and clay mingled together refers to a power (like Europe) that is not totally cohesive.

(It may be of interest to note that within Islam, there does exist the idea that an Islamic leader, Imam Mahdi, will be part of a seven-year golden age and will make a peace deal with the Europeans, that the Europeans will break–for details, please see The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy).

Although he has several events out of sequence, even the famed late-Protestant theologian John Walvoord understood the importance of the deal in Daniel 9:27:

The seven-year peace treaty with Israel; consumated seven years before the second coming of Christ (Dan. 9:27; Revelation 19:11-16). (Walvoord J. The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook. Victor Books, 1990, p. 551)

Why is this believed to be a peace deal? There are several reasons, but notice another scripture that discusses this leader:

25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:25, KJV).

So this leader gives people the impression that there will be “peace”. Term is translated as “peace” is from the Hebrew term shalvah and essentially means security. In other words, this leader will destroy “many” who are under the impression that they are secure because of some type of security arrangement. Such arrangements are now commonly referred to as peace deals.

Europe is Not Quite Ready to Support the King of the North Yet

Another reason that now is not quite the time for the start of the Great Tribulation (though the peace deal could happen very soon), is that I have traveled to Europe many times in the past few years, and can state that the Europeans are simply not unified enough to be ready to fulfill their role as the supporters of the King of the North – the Final Beast military power, yet. But they are looking at proposing peace deals in the Middle East (http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-11-13-voa26.cfm). It is likely that Europe will need to see “signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9) to get fully ready–but that is expected.

Now, in order to be able to destroy the United States and its Anglo-allies (which will start the Great Tribulation), the Europeans would also benefit from having their own military satellite tracking system–and while that may not be an absolute requirement, they will not have their own ready until around 2013 or so. And oddly, the USA has decided to let the European Galileo system link to GPS (see US Cites China as Reason to Link to Galileo!), this will give the Europeans a unique military capability in a few years.

Additionally, Europe still has not benefited enough militarily from its Large Hadron Collider project–which may be where it will develop a major military advantage (September 10th is Not the End of the World), which it would seem to need to fulfill biblical prophecy (cf. Revelation 13:4) (for more details, also see Large Hadron Collider may result in military applications).  And as mentioned before, since the deal in Daniel 9:27 has not been made, it will be at least 3 1/2 years before the King of the North can stop the sacrifices.

Of course, the sacrifices must start before they stop.  And while it is remotely possible that regular sacrifices will start in 2011, that is remote.  But even if they do, they will not be stopped by the King of the North in 2011 in a way to fulfill the prophecies in Daniel.

Jesus was clear about several of the events that immediately preceded (Matthew 24:14-20) the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), and they simply have not completely happened yet.

Some articles of related interest may include:

Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011 or 2012? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2018 or 2019?
Harold Camping’s Teachings About the End of the World Do Not Agree with the Bible Harold Camping teaches that the rapture will be on May 21, 2011 and the world will end on October 21, 2011. What does the Bible show?
End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something? Are there Mayan calendar predictions for change in 2012? Changes were centuries ago predicted by the Hopi Native Americans. Do Mayan/Hindu/Hopi/Buddhist/New Age/Nostradamus prophecies have any value here? Why might Satan have inspired this date? Does the Dresden codex show destruction of the earth by flood? Can the great tribulation start before 2012? How might Barack Obama be involved in 2012?

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