Seven Year Tribulation

There will be three sets of seven judgments (21 judgments in all) that will affect the entire population of the planet.  Why will this happen?  The coming judgments of God are a result of mankind’s continued rejection of Him.  God has exhausted all other means of getting our attention. He loves us and wants us to recognize who He is and what He has done for us.  Since mankind stubbornly refuses to acknowledge God, He will bring severe judgments upon the inhabitants of the world in one final attempt to bring our focus back to Him.  The action of rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior brings about the consequence of being left behind at the moment the Rapture takes place.  The continued rejection of Jesus Christ brings about the consequence of eternity in Hell.

2 Pet 3:9  “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” God has been patient for thousands of years, but His anger burns as He begins pouring out His judgments upon the inhabitants of the earth.

T H E   S E V E N   S E A L   J U D G M E N T S

The First Seal - The Rider on the White Horse - One World Government

Rev. 6:1-2  "Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a loud voice of thunder, 'Come.'  2 I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer."

A NEW WORLD LEADER BRINGS A NEW WORLD ORDER
Through all the grief, horror and chaos created by the rapture and war, there comes a charismatic man promising to bring peace and order to the world.  He brokers a peace agreement between Israel and her Middle Eastern enemies.  This peace treaty will finally assure Israel safety and will allow the resumption of sacrifices on the temple mount in Jerusalem. Once the peace treaty is signed, the inhabitants of earth literally have seven years (by the Jewish calendar) until the coming of the Messiah.  As you can see by the scripture above, the rider is on a white horse, which is sometimes how Christ is described, only this rider has a victor’s crown (stephanos) not a royal crown (diadem).  A stephanos or victor’s crown symbolizes someone who has gone out to conquer.  So how does this rider conquer the world?  Well, he also has a bow in his hand, but does not have any arrows, which means that he will conquer through peaceful gestures.

Who is this man who brings Israel and her enemies to the table and secures world peace?  Who calms the minds of those who have lost loved ones in the Rapture?  The one who creates a one world government and monetary system?  The one who conquers through words of peace?  This remarkable, charismatic, dynamic, compelling, nearly irresistible person may be seen as the “savior” of the world, but he is known in biblical prophesy as the “Antichrist,” also known as the “Beast.”

The Second Seal – The Rider on the Red Horse – War

Rev. 6:3-4  "When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, 'Come."  4 and another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him."

The spirit of war will be released, bringing war to the inhabitants of the earth during this seven year period.

The Third Seal – The Rider on the Black Horse – Famine

Rev. 6:5-6  "When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, 'Come."  I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.  6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the living creatures say, 'A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.'"

After war and natural disasters comes famine and economic hardship. The majority of the world’s population will face starvation on an unprecedented scale during this period. Food prices will rise to the point where food will have to be rationed.  One meal will cost a full day’s wages.  Yet the rich will not be affected because their great wealth buys them security.  They continue to have access to the luxuries that they have been accustomed to.

The Fourth Seal – The Rider on the Pale Horse – Death

Rev. 6:7-8  "When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the four living creatures saying, 'Come."  8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him.  Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth."

War also produces death and pestilence.  Failed crops and a disruption in the transportation network will cause people to starve.  Bodies will be left where they fall, eventually rotting and causing pestilence.  As Revelation 6:8 states, twenty-five percent of the world’s population will perish from this alone!  That’s over one billion people!  Wild animals, searching for food, will consume the dead and hunt down those who are weak from hunger.

The Fifth Seal – The Martyrs

Rev. 6:9-11  "When the Lamb broke the sixth seal, I saw underneath the alter the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, will you refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?'  11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also."

Those who have been killed for their faith will cry out for Jesus to avenge their deaths.  Jesus comforts them and tells them that they must wait a little while longer until their fellow brothers and sisters have been martyred as well.  Those who become true born again believers during the Tribulation will be sought out and killed because they will refuse to reject God and fall in line with the new world order. 

The Sixth Seal – Terror Strikes

Rev. 6:12-17  "I looked, when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.  14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.  15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;  16 And they said to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

During this time of great upheaval, everyone left on the planet is terrified!  They acknowledge God’s authority and power.  They run to seek shelter and would rather die than face the wrath of God.

Before The Last Seal Is Broken...
God then sends His angels to mark 144,000 of His servants so that no harm will come to them.  These servants will be descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, 12,000 from each tribe.  To learn more about the 144,000 Messianic Jews and what role they play in God’s plan during the Tribulation, click here.

The Seventh Seal – Silence In Heaven

Rev. 8:1-5 "When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.  2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.  3 Another angel came and stood at the alter, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden alter which was before the throne.  4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand.  5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the alter, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightening and an earthquake."

There has never been recorded incident in the bible where there was a total lack of sound and activity in heaven until this point. When this time of silence (the calm before the storm) there is thunder, lightening and a great earthquake.  This signals the beginning of the trumpet judgments that are about to be meted out upon the earth and its inhabitants. 

T H E   S E V E N   T R U M P E T   J U D G M E N T S

The First Trumpet Judgment

Rev. 8:7  "The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up." 

Hail and fire mixed with blood will strike the earth and one third of the earth will be burned up.  One third of the trees and all the green grass will be destroyed as well.

The Second Trumpet Judgment

Rev. 8:8-9  "The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed."
  • a third of all living creatures in the sea (or ocean) to perish
  • one third of the ships to be destroyed (Cargo ships, aircraft carriers, submarines, cruise ships, oil tankers) and
  • turns the one third of the sea (or ocean) to blood.

The Third Trumpet Judgment

Rev. 8:10-11  "The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.  11 The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter."

Again, God allows another asteroid or comet to hurl toward earth.  This time it turns a third of fresh water bitter, making it impossible to drink.  Anyone who drinks this water dies.  This object could break apart in the upper atmosphere, causing parts of it to strike several fresh water sources like the great lakes, the Mississippi river, or the Amazon River.  Add this to the fact that the Two Witnesses will prevent it from raining for the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation will make the poisoning of this fresh water even more tragic for the remaining inhabitants of the earth.

The Fourth Trumpet Judgment

Rev. 8:12-13  "The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.  13 Then I looked and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, 'Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!'"

During this time of asteroid or comet strikes, along with the resulting fires, the atmosphere will fill with smoke, dust an ash.  This may be what dims the light from the sun, moon and stars by one third or God may dim them Himself.  Then we receive an ominous warning that the next three trumpet blasts are going to usher in judgments even more severe than the first four!

The Fifth Trumpet Judgment and The First Woe

Rev. 9:1-12  "Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and a key to the bottomless pit was given to him.  2 He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.  3 Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.  4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.  5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man.  6 And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.  7 The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.  8 They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.  9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.  10 They have tails like scorpions and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.  11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.  12 The first wow is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things."

A horrifying event takes place!  With the trumpet blast sounded by the fifth angel, an angel is given a key which he uses to open the bottomless pit. The smoke rising from it will darken the sun and the sky.  Out of it, locusts that have the power to sting like scorpions will come up onto the earth. The Bible says that the locusts will look like horses prepared for battle, that on their heads they will wear something akin to gold crowns, and that they will have faces that look human, with hair like a woman’s and teeth like a lion’s, and breastplates like iron. God has placed limitations on these demonic creatures, though.

First: They will not be allowed to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

Secondly: No one will die from the stings.  The Bible says the locusts will be given power to torture man for five months.

This portion of scripture also tells us that mankind will long for death, but it will elude them.  What does that mean?  It means that they will not be able to kill themselves to escape the excruciating pain they are experiencing as a result of the sing of these demonic creatures.  They won’t be able to poison themselves or shoot themselves or slit their wrists or even overdose to escape the pain.  Death will not come to them.  Verse 11 also shows us that Satan has limited control over these demonic creatures once they are released.

As fearsome and terrible as this first woe is, we are told that there are still two more woes to come!

The Sixth Trumpet Judgment and The Second Woe

Rev. 9:13-21  "Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden alter which is before God, 14 one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, 'Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.'  15 And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.  16 The number of the armies of the horsemen were two hundred million; I heard the number of them.  17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates of the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.  18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceed out of their mouths.  19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm.  20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the work of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts."

Since these angels have been “bound”, it is safe to say that they are fallen angels, also known as demons.  They have been bound by God until this exact moment in time.  When they are released, they will influence an army of 200 million troops!  As you read earlier when the Fourth Seal was open, one-fourth of the earth’s population is killed. Now, as this army launches its attack on the surrounding territories, they begin killing what will eventually total one-third of the remaining population of mankind. This means the earth’s total population is reduced by one-half by these two judgments alone and these judgments do not account for all the deaths that occurred as a result of the Rapture and the war between Israel and the Russian/Middle Eastern coalition.

That was six of the seven trumpets.  At this point we are about to be ushered into a time known as The Great Tribulation.  But before we get to that, I need to let you know what has been going on while the seven seals were being opened and the trumpets were sounding.  Two men appeared on the scene at the beginning of the tribulation.  They’re known as the “Two Witnesses,” and they haven’t been too popular with the unbelievers.  To learn more about the two witnesses, please click here.

The Two Witnesses are eventually killed, but are resurrected 3.5 days later and ascend to heaven on a cloud.  When that happens, the "Second Woe" occurs: Rev. 11:13-14  "And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.  14 The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly."

The earthquake and the seven thousand people who are killed is the completion of the second woe.  There is one more remaining.

The Seventh Trumpet Judgment and The Third Woe

Rev. 11:15-19  "Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.'  16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God 17 saying, 'We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.  18 And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.'  19 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightening and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm."

The earth again experiences thunder and lightening along with hail as an earthquake shakes the earth.

T H E   S E V E N   B O W L   J U D G M E N T S

The First Bowl Judgment

Rev 16:1-2  "Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, 'Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.'  2 So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.

An important thing to remember is that Christians will become even more identifiable because they will not be experiencing the same pain and suffering as unbelievers.  As this first bowl judgment shows, those who received the mark of the beast and those who have worshiped his image are stuck with “loathsome and malignant sores.”  The pain of these sores will be unbearable!

The Second Bowl Judgment

Rev. 16:3  "The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died."

Unlike the plague in Egypt so long ago, this will become a global catastrophe.  Every drop of water in the sea (ocean) will be turned to blood and every living creature in the sea (ocean) will die.  An interesting thing is that this verse states, “it became blood like that of a dead man.”  When a human body dies, the blood begins to thicken and clot.  If such a thing happens to our oceans and seas, it will no wonder that everything in the ocean dies and that it brings the shipping industry to a virtual standstill.

The Third Bowl Judgment

Rev 16:4-6  "Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood.  5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying, 'Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; 6 for they poured out the blood of the saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink.  They deserve it.'"

As bad as it was that one third of the drinking water was poisoned during the third trumpet judgment, now every remaining drop of fresh water is turned to blood!  This makes the next judgment even worse.

The Fourth Bowl Judgment

Rev. 16:7-9  "And I heard the alter saying, 'Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.'  8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire.  9 Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory."

Increased solar flares and the disruption of earth’s magnetic field could allow more of the sun’s rays and radiation to hit the earth.  With all the fresh water turned to blood, thirst would be practically unbearable.  All the while, those who are suffering from this judgment will curse the name of God instead of glorifying Him and repenting.  Christians?  They don’t seem to be affected, just like God protected Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (a.k.a Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego) when King Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown into the fiery furnace.  If you don’t know who these men are, read the third chapter of the book of Daniel in the Old Testament.

The Fifth Bowl Judgment

Rev. 16:10-11  "Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, 11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds."

Still suffering from the previous bowl judgments, now suddenly there is another judgment poured out.  This time it’s against the one that the world looks to as their “god”.  A judgment of darkness is poured out on the beast’s throne, Babylon, the very place of his rule, and neither Satan nor the Antichrist can alleviate this judgment. This will clearly illustrate that there is only one hope, the Eternal God and Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ whom the world has by-in-large rejected; the One who alone is the Light of the world.  Although they have become conscious of the living God, they continue to curse Him and remain unrepentant.

The Sixth Bowl Judgment

Rev. 16:12-16  "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.  13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.  15 (Behold, I am coming like a thief.  Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.')  16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon."

The Euphrates River is 1,800 miles long and has always stood as a natural barrier separating the east from the west.  The Lord will dry up this natural barrier, allowing “the kings of the east” free access to march on toward Israel. By this time, all military forces have assembled (remember the sixth trumpet?)

Three unclean spirits influence the rulers of the world by performing signs.  What these signs are we don’t know, but whatever they are, they cause the rulers of this world to gather together with the sole purpose of destroying Israel.  Perhaps they think that if they can destroy Israel and God’s people, then they can defeat God and put an end to their suffering.

Verse 15 is an encouragement to those Christians still living at this time.  God is letting them know that the end is at hand and that they need to remain strong and continue in the faith until the end.

The Seventh Bowl Judgment

Rev. 16:17-21  "Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, 'It is done.'  18 And there were flashes of lightening and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.  19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell.  Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of wine of His fierce wrath.  20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.  21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe."

This bowl is poured out “upon the air.”  Again, there is thunder and lightening and an earthquake.  Only this earthquake is worse than any ever experienced in the history of the world.  It is so severe that whole cities are destroyed, islands sink and the mountains are leveled.   Huge 100 pound hailstones fall from the sky, crushing people.  Even knowing that God is real, those who have hardened their heart against God will continue to curse Him.

YESHUA RETURNS AS KING!

As the whole world is gathered together for WWIII, the battle of Har-Magedon, Christ returns along with the army and saints of heaven.  He throws the Antichrist and the False Prophet into the lake of fire and imprisons Satan.  He also defeats and destroys the remaining armies at Har-Magedon.

Rev. 19:11-21  "And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.  13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the The Word of God.  14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothes in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.  15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with an iron rod; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.  16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, 'KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.'  17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun and he cried out in a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in mid-heaven, 'Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.'  19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.  20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.  21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh."

Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!
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