Sometimes little things turn out to be quite powerful. There is intense interest in both the Great Tribulation and the Millennium. However, there is a fascinating passage in Daniel 12:11-12 indicating there will be a 45-day period after the Great Tribulation but before the Millennium. What has God planned for those 45 days?
The prophet Joel indicates part of what will take place during this period. In Joel 2:12-17 God is described as calling the nation of Israel, all 12 tribes, back to Himself. After that happens, God will bless the land that He promised to the nation and restore the people to their land (Joel 2:18-27). Some have stated they believe this will take place at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. But I find that hard to believe, since He also promises three times over, “Then My people will never be put to shame.” During the last 3½ years of the Great Tribulation, Israel will be running and hiding to save their lives.
There is going to be a complete national repentance of the nation of Israel, and God is going to restore them to their land and bless the land. They will never be put to shame again. But that’s not all.
Joel paints a prophetic picture of all the people of the nation of Israel receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and all of them will speak the message of hope through Christ to those of other nations in their own language (Joel 2:28-32). He says even Jewish boys and girls will be doing this. The purpose of this great outpouring of God’s message to the world is to give all those yet living the opportunity to repent and call on the name of Christ, not curse at Him. It will be one of the greatest evangelism periods in human history.
Jesus also gives us a picture of something that will take place during this 45-day period. In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus speaks of coming again, sitting on a throne and bringing judgment to those yet living at the end of the Great Tribulation. This is often referred to as the judgment of the sheep and goats, because the section begins like this:
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and goats on the left. – Matthew 25:31-33
He goes on to say those on His right, the sheep, will enter into the Kingdom, the Millennium Kingdom. But those on the left, the goats, will be cast into the lake of fire, which we often hear labeled as hell.
So during this 45-day gap between the Great Tribulation and the Millennium, three primary things are going to happen: The entire nation of Israel is going to turn to Christ and repent, leading to God’s blessing on them and their land, and they will never again be put to shame. They will be evangelists for Christ to all the nations. And after the entire living world of people have this last chance to respond to Christ, He will come and bring judgment on all the living people in the world. Some will enter into the coming Millennium Kingdom. Others will be cast out, waiting for their final sentencing at The Great White Throne Judgment, after which they will be cast into the eternal lake of fire.
It is going to be one power-packed little 45-day period.