Since we are still here and not Raptured (is that a word?) out of here, the only option we are left with is the road through the end times; that road goes through the Tribulation and comes to an abrupt end with Jesus’ Second Coming. Here’s what seems to happen during the final seven years, the Tribulation, Daniel’s 70th Week.
The Tribulation begins with a deal/treaty made between Israel and “many”. ( Dan 9:27) Among the “many” is a person who later shows himself to be the antichrist. The Bible tells us this deal guarantees safety and security for 7 years. There are probably a number of other things covered in the deal. Maybe lack of objection to rebuilding the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Something will have to happen geopolitically to make such a deal even possible, never mind desirable. Looking out ahead, we do not currently have any reason to think such a treaty, or deal is likely soon. Keep your eye on Israel for signs things are moving in that direction. Sooner or later there will be serious mid-east wars.
But when that event/treaty occurs there are seven years left for man to discover beyond any doubt that his policies for running things without God simply do not work and will not work. Satan keeps luring mankind by dangling something shiny in front of us until he finally gets what he wants, our enslavement. We are told very little specific information about the first 3½ years. We are, however, told every which way that the 7 years is divided into “a time, times and half a time.” (Dan 9:27, 12:7,11)
If you look at Revelation 6:1-8, we see Jesus Christ setting the Tribulation into motion through a series of “Seals” being opened. The teacher of the first class I ever took about the end times believed that the Seals were kind of an overlay on history; that these things (Seals) are always going on but that they get way more intense and focused during the Tribulation period. In may well be that the Seals begin prior to the official start of the Tribulation, but that they are ramped up in those few years leading to the actual Tribulation. We may currently be experiencing them.
The first four Seals are referred to as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Opening the first Seal sends out a person to conquer; the second, rider is given the power to take peace from the earth; the third describes a famine that doesn’t impact the wealthy; the fourth horseman is Death who’s given permission to kill one fourth of the earth’s population through sword, famine, plague and wild beasts; with the opening of the fifth Seal, we’re shown martyrs’ in Heaven; the sixth Seal includes an over-the-top earthquake. When the seventh Seal (Rev 7:1) is opened there is silence in Heaven for half an hour. I find that an eerie, very ominous pause. It’s almost like God is saying, “Do we really have to do this?” Then an angel is given a golden censer full of the prayers of the saints, he fills it with fire and hurls it unto the earth. (Rev 8:3) And now things start to get BAD.
The seven Trumpets (Rev 8, 9, 11:15) are frequently referred to as the judgments of thirds. The first Trumpet burns up 1/3 of all the grasses and grains; the second contaminates 1/3 of the fresh water; the third poisons 1/3 of the salt water; the fourth Trumpet causes 1/3 of the sun, moon, stars’ light to fail; with the sounding of the fifth Trumpet, Satan and his cohorts are thrown out of heaven and down to the earth to cause great destruction; the Sixth Trumpet releases a 200,000,000 man army to kill 1/3 of mankind (Rev 9:13-16) And now things get REALLY BAD. It appears that people’s eternal fate is sealed by this point.
The seven Bowl judgments complete God’s wrath and they are terrible. The Bible tells us that if Jesus hadn’t intervened, NO ONE would survive. (Mark 13:20) The first Bowl caused large, festering sores; the second turns the sea to blood killing every creature, the third poisons all the fresh water; the fourth scorches people with the intensity of the sun; the fifth Bowl causes deep darkness to overcome on the kingdom of the antichrist; the sixth allows “the kings of the east” to march on Jerusalem; the seventh brings Jesus Christ back to earth and puts an end to mankind’s self-worship. (Rev 17:14)
Next time we’ll look at the Tribulation from the perspective of the people and systems and angels, both good and bad. We are especially interested in the antichrist and the false prophet.
Please, neither offhandedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God, you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.