In Proposition 162, George Peters states:
“This Kingdom will be preceded by a fearful time of trouble, both in the Church and the World.”
Whenever the reader of Scripture comes across an eschatological (i.e. end times) passage, it is likely they are presented with a description of a time of trouble. Perhaps the student of Scripture overlooks the reality that the people of God will also endure a time of trouble. Debate certainly rages as to how long or even if believers will endure what is known as the Great Tribulation. Space and time do not permit an investigation of the various positions on that issue. What can be said is what Scripture is quite clear upon, and that the end will be a time of great turmoil such as has never before been seen or experienced by humanity. This time of trouble will precede the coming Theocratic Kingdom.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 162 is the following:
“The reader need not be detained for us to prove that this tribulation immediately precedes the re-establishment of the Davidic throne and kingdom. This has been done under various Propositions and in numerous Observations. It is sufficiently clear that immediately after the tyranny and persecution of this last head of the beast, and that after the overthrow of the confederation under this Antichrist, the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus appears with its Millennial blessedness, and extends itself over the nations of the earth. Leaving the abundant Scripture already presented, we confine ourselves to a solitary illustration, which forcibly describes this period of the enemies’ triumph, their overthrow, and the peaceful kingdom that succeeds. Take Ps. 46 and consider how the Spirit describes the confidence of the true believer in a time of unparalleled trouble and commotion, precisely such as attends this period of tribulation. It is a time when “the heathen raged, the kingdoms were move,” and God helps His people amid the waving, troubled and swelling waters “when the morning appeareth”(marg. reading, comp. Prop. 139) and He breaks to pieces the warlike equipments of the nations, exalting Himself among the heathen – that “a river (i.e., a kingdom), the streams whereof shall make glad the City of God,” appears and is firmly established, because, “God is in the midst of her.” (Comp. other versions which, with some change, even make it more expressive as e.g., Luther’s, that the City of God, in which are the holy habitations of the Most High shall be joyful, etc.). The testimony on this point is overwhelming, and to an extent too that leaves every one who rejects it inexcusable. There is no doubt whatever that so much is said respecting it, that when the hour of the sorest trial comes to the Church, she may console and encourage herself by the glorious prospect before her.”
I firmly believe Peters is correct in stating it is inexcusable for the exegete or even the casual reader of Scripture to ignore or debate against the overwhelming evidence found throughout Scripture that the time preceding the coming Theocratic Kingdom will be a time of great distress. As Peters saliently notes, even during a period of great distress, the believer can and should have hope in that no matter what persecution they may endure and regardless of how long, in the end, we are consoled by the promise of the coming Kingdom. The evil kingdoms of this world will come to an end and will one day be no more. We can and must take great joy in that reality.