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The Seven Years of the Tribulation

Matthew 24
21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again
.

The End Times - After The Rapture


Where the Rapture has no signs leading to it's occurring, the Second Coming of Christ does. It is known as the Seven Mystery Years or the Tribulation. The Tribulation is a seven year period that begins with the rise to power of the Antichrist. He will broker a seven year peace treaty / agreement /accord (Watch for this in the news - You'll SEE!) between Israel and the world. The signing of this peace treaty is the beginning of the Tribulation. The book of Revelation is dedicated to these years and describes in great detail the signs that will occur that lead up to Christ's return. These signs are in the form of judgments passed by God upon man. You will note that the judgments get progressively worse as time goes on.

In conjunction with the rise of the Antichrist Revelation 13:1 will be the arrival of the False Prophet Revelation 13:11 and of two witnesses Revelation 11.

These two witnesses will become arch-enemies of the Antichrist and will prophesy for 1260 days (the first half of the Tribulation). The two witnesses will be untouchable, no harm will come to them until the end of the given time. These two along with the 144,000 sealed witnesses of God Revelation 7:1-17 will bring countless masses to God during the Tribulation. During the first 1260 days of the witness's ministry they will be able to cause all rain to cease falling and have the power over water enabling them to turn it to blood.

The False Prophet on the other hand will complete the unholy trinity of evil (Satan, the Antichrist, and the Prophet....which to say is the antithesis of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit or Word of God). The False Prophet will be the leader of the Antichrist's one world religion and will have been given the power to perform some signs to win over the people (he will call fire down from the Heavens..

  • The Seal Judgments - The seal judgments represents the judgments put forth by God during the first quarter (or 21 months) of the Tribulation.
    • The First Seal - A White Horse Revelation 6:1-2
       
      The first horseman indicates a man of authority (the horse and the crown) who will conquer the world with diplomacy by offering peace 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 (symbolized by the bow with no arrows). This ruler is the AntiChrist 1 John 4:3 or the "man of sin" 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
       
    • The Second Seal - A Red Horse Revelation 6:3-4
       
      As in all prior periods of peace concocted by man the promised peace of the Antichrist fails and the world erupts into war.
       
    • The Third Seal - A Black Horse Revelation 6:5-6
       
      The black horse symbolizes world famine. A "penny" represents a days wage. The "oil and wine" symbolize the foods of the rich which will be unscathed. This shows that this famine will affect only the poor in the world.
    • The Fourth Seal - A Pale Horse Revelation 6:7-8
       
      When the fourth seal is broken death will come to one fourth of the population of the earth due to the ravages of war, famine and an apparent rampage of wild animals against the people of the earth.
       
    • The Fifth Seal - The Martyrs Revelation 6:9-11
       
      The Souls under the Alter symbolizes those who were martyred and beheaded for their faith at the beginning of the Tribulation. They will not recieve their resurrected bodies until Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation Revelation 20:4-5
       
    • The Sixth Seal - The Great Earthquake Revelation 6:12-17
       
      The sixth seal represents the wrath of God pouring out on the world. It will prove to be the worst earthquake in the history of the Earth. At this point even the lost will now know these judgments are from the Christ they rejected.
       
    • The Seal of Israel Revelation 7:1-17
       
      Between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals we see the divine protection of the earth by God while his angels seal 144,000 witnesses. God will select 12,000 Jews from each of the 12 tribes of Israel to be his special servants thought the remainder of the Tribulation. These witnesses who are spread throughout the world will spread the Gospel and convert more people to Christ than have been saved in the last 2000 years. Their persecution by the Antichrist will be great but they've received the gift of eternal life which can only be given by accepting Jesus as your savior.

      I believe that those Christians living during this time and afterwards who commit to Jesus will also be sealed by God so they may recognize one another. It's a direct counter to the mark of those who receive the Antichrist and reject Jesus.

    • The Seventh Seal - The Trumpet Judgments Revelation 8:1-2
       
      When the seventh seal is broken there will be a silence in heaven for a half and hour. Possibly this is similar to a moment of silence before temple worship. Otherwise the breaking of the seventh seal symbolizes the end of the seal judgments and ushers in the trumpet judgments.
     
  • The Trumpet Judgments - The seal judgments represents the judgments put forth by God during the second quarter (or 21 months) of the Tribulation.
    • The First Trumpet - Hail, Fire and Blood Revelation 8:7
      Whether literal or symbolically speaking for some nuclear devestation, one third of the earth's vegetation will be burnt up by a rain of hail and fire mixed with blood.
       
    • The Second Trumpet - A Mountain of Fire Revelation 8:8-9
       
      Again, whether literal or symbolic, "something" like a great mountain will be thrown into the sea and destroy one third of all sea life. Whether it is a meteor or asteroid or again some nuclear weapon based devastation the outcome is clear.
       
    • The Third Trumpet - A Star called Wormwood Revelation 8:10-11
       
      Wormwood in Greek is apsinthos (a bitter, often poisonous, herb or drug). It may be the result of another meteor or asteroid strike that causes one third of the earth's fresh waters to become bitter (poisonous).
       
    • The Fourth Trumpet - Darkness Descends Revelation 8:12
       
      Here we see that the earth will become one third more dark. A literal darkening of the sun, moon and stars. The cause...it may be something in the line of a nuclear winter. Or if the text is taken literally, God dims those sources of light which he put forth in the beginning Genesis 1:1 The effects of this are disastrous as it will affect growth of plants and therefore production of food.
       
    • The Fifth Trumpet - The Locusts of Apollyon Attack Revelation 9:1-11
       
      Out of a pit will arise creatures like a combination of beasts. Their sting will drive those struck mad with pain to the point the person struck will wish to die, but will be unable to. Of note, these creatures are forbidden to strike those with the seal of God on their forehead. Again, this may be a literal event with actual creatures under the leadership of Apollyon (the "destroyer") or a figurative description for the tormenting of human inhabitants of earth by demons.
       
    • The Sixth Trumpet - The Four Angels Released Revelation 9:13-19
       
      This judgment discusses the four angels bound at the Euphrates (most likely fallen angels or demons that God had bound to prevent from harming mankind) and upon releasing them how they unleash a 200 million strong army of demons that kill mankind with their "plagues". The creatures will kill with the power from their heads (fire, brimstone and smoke) or with a bite from their tail (which is of a serpant). Again, it seems that those who have received the seal of God will go unharmed by this judgment as they can only be killed by the Antichrist and his bad guys.
       
    • The Two Witnesses - Their Death and Resurrection Revelation 11:7-14
       
      At the completion of their testimony the beast that ascends out of the pit will make war with them, overcome them and kill them. The beast (Antichrist and the people) will leave their bodies in the street for three and a half days. At the close of those three and a half days God will resurrect them and they will ascend to heaven in a cloud. At the same time a great earthquake will destroy a tenth of Jerusalem and kill 7000
       
    • The Seventh Trumpet - Loud Voices in Heaven Revelation 11:15-19
       
      Upon the sounding of this judgment, the elders in heaven rejoice and worship God for they know the time of God's judgment of all things and His rectifying the world is only three and one half years away.
     
  • The Mid Tribulation Occurances - There are several things that occur during the mid time of the tribulation. After the death of the witnesses the Antichrist will be killed with a wound to the head, 3 days later he will rise again (this time though he will be indwelt by Satan). Another significant event would be the desecration of the Temple (This would imply that the temple first needs to be rebuilt being as much that the Dome of the Rock current stands in it's place). The Antichrist will blaspheme God and defile his Temple. Also the remnant of Israel (those Jewish believers remaining in Israel) will flee to the wilderness for 1260 days and be under the protection of God Revelation 12. The dragon (Satan) will send a flood after the woman, but the earth will swallow up the flood.
  • The Bowl (Vial) Judgments - The bowl judgments represents the pouring out of the wrath of God during the second half (or 42 months) of the Tribulation.
    • The First Bowl - Foul and Loathsome Sores Revelation 16:2
       
      All who worship the image of the beast and took his mark will be infected by sores most likely similar to those received by the Egyptians in Exodus 9:8-12
       
    • The Second Bowl - The Sea turns to Blood Revelation 16:3
       
      When this judgment is complete the seas will be completely polluted and kill all creatures in the sea.
       
    • The Third Bowl - The Rivers and Springs turn to Blood Revelation 16:4-7
       
      Similar to the Second Bowl Judgment, the rivers and springs will turn to blood in response to the bloodlust by the Antichrist and his followers towards Christians.
       
    • The Fourth Bowl - The Sun Scorches Men Revelation 16:8-9
       
      When this judgment is poured forth the heat and power of the sun will increase and cause men to be burned. Instead of repenting as is God's desire, they will curse Him instead.
       
    • The Fifth Bowl - Darkness on the Beast's Kingdom Revelation 16:10-11
       
      When this judgment is poured forth darkness besets the kingdom of the Beast (maybe the capitol only) and much pain will be present.
       
    • The Sixth Bowl - The Euphrates Dries Up Revelation 16:12
       
      When this judgment is executed the Euphrates River will dry up. The Euphrates was the western boundary of the Roman empire. At this point is clears the path for the Kings of the East (China etc) to march on Israel. Also, three demons are sent forth to convince the leaders of the lands to march on Israel. This sets the stage for what is known as the Battle of Armageddon. Ezekiel 39:17-22Revelation 16:13-26
       
    • The Seventh Bowl - The Greatest Earthquake in History Revelation 16:17-21
       
      The final and most severe judgment is the Seventh Bowl Judgment. An earthquake so severe that it literally levels the planet, moving islands and flattening mountains. It is so severe that John describes it in detail in the next two chapters of Revelation. Revelation 17-18

  • The Second Coming
  • The Battle of Armageddon Revelation 19:11-21

 Special Thanks to Tribulation Forces for selected study materials


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