The book of Revelation, accompanied by other books of the Holy Bible, gives us a focused description of what will happen during the 7-year tribulation period. This is how things will most likely go.
The Holy Bible’s last book, the book of Revelation, can make one’s head spin. There is a lot of split-time, imagery, and many other areas of prophecy that can really confuse the reader. In preparing for my discussion on the 7-year tribulation period, I really asked God for clarity and guidance as well as an ear to listen.
God answered my request for wisdom in understanding how things will go. It is with that, I want to share with you what I learned.
There were many mistakes I was making when first reading this prophetic opus that God straightened me out. While I will admit that this may not be “by-the-book”, exactly how things will go, but when you take into consideration the cause/effect nature of human beings along with cross-referencing scripture, things just seemed to fall into place.
Before We Begin, Let’s Talk About the People
We have to understand that once the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth through the rapture, people will change (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). They will start to behave erratically at the beginning, but through the course of time, will turn towards more depraved acts (Revelation 9:20-21, 18:24. An individual example of this descent into madness can be found in King Saul (1 Samuel 18:1-29, 19:1-16, 20:25-33, 22:6-19, 24:2-21, 28:3-15, 31:1-6). This is the only reason why people would be OK with the wholesale slaughter of the new Christians during the seven-year tribulation. And how the city of Babylon will become great along with the antichrist (Revelation 17:12-13).
A passage of scripture to understand, and applicable to the end times with regard to all unsaved peoples of the earth, as well as the people who do not take up Jesus during this time, is as follows:
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of (money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.”
2 Timothy 3:1-9 NKJV
The Third Temple (Ezekiel’s Temple)
It can also be assumed, but it is just that, an assumption, that the third temple (Ezekiel 40-48) will be built, or at least the construction started before the seven-year tribulation. Sacrifices must be in place for the antichrist in the world to be offended by them. At the midpoint. It doesn’t make sense for the third temple to be started at the beginning of the tribulation, as it will take time, as well as the sacrifices to begin for them to just abruptly stop. The fact that the world has become increasingly hostile towards the Jewish people, the fact that they will be doing animal sacrifices will only heighten their emotional response towards them.
The City of Babylon
Babylon will most likely be a city that already exists but will gain power and have authority over all of the earth. This is where the antichrist will rain during the tribulation period. The martyrs that will be killed during the tribulation time will most likely be taken to the city to be executed (Revelation 17, 18:24).
The Three Angels
The three angels will proclaim these three messages throughout the tribulation. The overall message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will be proclaimed throughout the entire time. The mark of the beast message will occur once the economy is set up under the false prophet, and the final message of Babylon will be set up near the end (Revelation 14:6-13)
The Antichrist at War
Throughout Daniel 11, the vision describes in detail the conflict(s) that the beast of the tribulation will encounter. While the beginning of his war effort might be to conquer his enemies for the sake of conquering them, most likely his motives will change once the judgments take full effect. Food, water, and other resources will be in very short supply and he will need to keep himself, Babylon, and his followers “happy”.
With all this in mind, let’s look at the timeline.
Now, before you roll your eyes, shake your head and go back to doing more interesting things, I’m going to walk you through each one of these “stops” and include larger images for each one and explain how things came about.
Let’s begin with how we might think of the 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls.
Some eschatologists, including myself before I asked for wisdom, often think of these 21 judgments as being sequential events that occur throughout the 7 years. When you examine each one, you begin to notice a very similar type of pattern that happens. What I have read leads me to believe that the judgments fall into these categories:
- The seals – main areas of judgments that will be present throughout the entire 7 years. Think of them as “main categories” (war, scarcity, death, etc).
- The trumpets – these are the main things that will occur during the 3 1/2 years that the 2 witnesses will be on the earth before they are killed, but more on that later.
- The bowls – these work, for most of the bowls (again, this will be discussed) as more detailed descriptors of the trumpet judgments. Some will occur on their own, but many will be in line with the trumpet and even the seal judgments. These will also occur, for the most part, during the time of the witnesses.
Most of the trumpet/bowl judgments will be brought about by the 2 witnesses, as they are given the power to stop rain and to bring about the plagues, the same plagues that were visited upon Egypt during the time of Moses. While many assume that the 2 are Elijah and Moses, this cannot be taken as a fact, but speculation. The two witnesses may wield the same power that Moses and Elijah did, a power given to them by God, this doesn’t mean that they are the same prophets of old.
The Human Condition
All flesh creatures, human included, react to their environment. When tragedy strikes, humans react. Keeping this familiar rule in mind, the population of the world, antichrist included, will attempt to “control” things when the 2 witnesses set things in motion for the 3 and a half years they are on this Earth. When things get really bad, humanity often finds someone or something to blame. In their future-present state, a state that will only get worse, they will find God’s people, the Jews (this includes the Jews that will claim Jesus as their Savior) to blame, hence the slaughter during the 7-year tribulation. We got a preview of this during WWII and we will see it again.
With these things in mind, let’s begin the journey of sorrows.
While it is technically not the first seal, it is referred to the seal that is opened. The antichrist is given a crown of authority for this period of time (Revelation 13:1-10) and is able to do a lot. For 2300 days (Daniel 8:13-14), the beast will be able to tread on the elect during this time. This time period will last up to the end of the 7 years with roughly 8 months and several days before he begins his slaughter. The beast will work in tandem with the false prophet (Revelation 13:11-17), which includes a set-up of a new world religion (Revelation 13:14), economy (Revelation 13:16-17), and government (Daniel 7:23-25).
The antichrist will be on a warpath (Daniel 11) all throughout the tribulation period and it will kick into gear during the times of scarcity (see below).
The two witnesses will arrive on the scene near the beginning of the tribulation period, They will have the power to strike the earth for roughly 3 1/2 years as they give their testimony. They will have control over the rain that falls and the plagues that will occur. They will work together, much like Moses and Aaron during the time of pharao’s rebellion. No one will be able to lay a hand on them as they have been given the power to spew fire from their mouths and destroy their would-be attackers (Revelation 11:5). Most of the trumpet/bowl judgments will occur when these two are around and the fallout will be devastating as you will see below. It is important to note that the 144,000 will have a seal put on them before the witnesses will do anything (Revelation 7:1-8). No harm will come to them during this time, but the rest, well, that’s a different story. Because of this and the great exploits did by them and other martyrs (Daniel 11:32), the beast and the rest of stricken humanity will have more than enough reason to kill the Jews, much like the Germans felt when they were having problems, but their Jewish neighbors were doing better and not suffering through the harsh times.
The second, third and fourth seals will occur at the same time and will last throughout the entirety of the 7-year tribulation period. War, scarcity, and death always seem to go hand in hand with what will happen. These seals will occur simultaneously because of the combined trumpet/bowl judgments that are occurring.
Now, while there is no calendar or timeframe that speaks to the start of each one of these judgments, it is right to assume that they will happen during the time of the witnesses, but not necessarily in the order listed below. the trumpet and bowl judgments will be pair together.
This will be a harsh punishment as the fallout from the locusts (5 months given to them to torment humanity) and the horsemen will have massive effects on humanity. There will be sores from the stings of the locusts, pain, burning and massive death after the 5 months times. Death will be denied humanity that is stung by the locusts (Revelation 9:1-12, 13-21, 16:2, 10-11 ) as well as darkness because of the smoke from the horse’s mouth. The locusts will not torment any vegetation, but only humanity this is not sealed with the mark of God. Their pain and sores will be compounded by the fact that their environment will go from bad to worse.
Most of the trees and all of the grass will be struck when the 1st trumpet blasts (Revelation 8:7). The angel that will be in the sun will scorch humanity (Revelation 16:8-9) and from that, a third of the trees and all of the grass will be burned up. This means that the food and oxygen supply will be drastically reduced. The environment will be kicked hard by this judgment, but not as bad as when the water supply will get hit.
The seas and rivers will get hit during this time (Revelation 8:8-11, 16:3-7) as the two witnesses do to the earth what God through Moses and Aaron did to the Egyptians. Not only will the water supply be destroyed but it is possible that the witnesses will withhold rain for however long they want (Revelation 11:6). Now, the inhabitants will not be able to re-plant crops for food, but there will be seeds to do so later on as they have been stored up (see “Svalbard Global Seed Vault“).
Most likely, this will be the point at which the antichrist will start up the new economic plan (Revelation 13:16-17) through the false-prophet, as food, water and supplies will be scarce as well as his war effort (Daniel 11)
It is at this point that the antichrist will have enough. For roughly 3 1/2 years, the 2 witnesses gave testimony and plagued the earth and its inhabitants with righteous judgments from the Lord Almighty. Now, authority will be given to the beast of the earth to kill the witnesses and to do a lot more (Revelation 13:5). This 42-month authority will be given to him at the half-way point during the tribulation, the second half. Remember, during the times of the witnesses, no one could do them harm, but now, God will give the authority for the antichrist to kill them.
After he kills them, their bodies will be left out for individuals to video and live-stream their remains for the world, new outlets, and their friends to share on social media (Revelation 11:8-10). The world will rejoice over them, thinking that their tormentors will be dead, but 3 1/2 days later, they will stand up and a voice will call them up (Revelation 11:11-12). Basically, the people on the earth will witness a mini-rapture, much like what they saw before the tribulation period when millions of Christians left the earth.
At this halfway point, the beast will be sick to death of the Jews and break the peace covenant he confirmed at the beginning of the 7 years (Daniel 9:27) and declare himself to be god (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Daniel 11 makes mention of this in a clear way.
It is interesting to note that all during this time, communication infrastructure is going on. Makes you think that past President Obama might have been “inspired” to set up this area of infrastructure (see “D.A.R.P.A. has already taken the high ground to set the stage of command and control“)
There will not be much light during this judgment (Revelation 8:12-13). It is unclear, at least to me, when this will occur in the 7 year period, but it will be more heartache on the earth.
It is at this point that we are nearing the end, at least for the beast, false prophet and his followers. At this point in time, there are very few people left on the earth. They are depraved, worshiping demons (Revelation 9:20), murderous and basically mirroring King Saul near the end.
The signs will come pretty fast and furious at this point and the cause/effect will seem very clear from here on end.
The great city will fall (Revelation 18, 19:1-10)
The 6th bowl is poured out and the great river Euphrates dries up, setting the stage for Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-16).
The armies arrive to battle the King of King and Lord of Lords, but we know how that will end (Revelation 19:11-21). While there will be many that believe that Jesus with the armies of Heaven will speak a Word and that’ll be it, they would be mistaken as the enemies of God will be slaughtered (Zechariah 14:1-15, Joel 2:1-11, 30-32, Zephaniah 1:2-18). Let’s put it this way, there’s a reason why the birds will have a feast (Revelation 19:17-18, 21)
Jesus arrives with the armies of Heaven and all the saints (Revelation 6:12-17, 7:9-17, 8:1-6, 11:15-19, 14:1-5, 16:17-21, 19:11-21). and the Millenial Kingdom begins it’s 1000 year reign. A more descriptive view as to how the earth will be in the final outcomes can be found in Isaiah 24:1-23.
This may sound strange to say these words together but putting this together has been the most wonderful, horrific, rewarding work I’ve done on this site. Wonderful and rewarding because I was very close to God as he guided me through the richness of his word and wonderful plan for not only the end of sin for a considerable time but the restoring of the earth as we will discuss in a later time/post during the 1000 year rule of Jesus. It was also horrible in the fact that there will be a great many people, individuals that I, and all of us reading this, will know that will have to endure this time.
Jesus will be with His people on the earth during that time and things will be so much better than they are during the posting of this article. This post should serve an incentive to everyone reading it, as well as the one who wrote it, to talk to people about Jesus and tell them the Good News when the Holy Spirit provides an opportunity to do so.
Come blessed Jesus, come!