The tribulation is the seven year period of judgment on man and the planet that occurs prior to the second advent of Christ, which is depicted in Revelation 4:19. The Second Advent is commonly referred to as the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 10:11-21). The “end of the world” as it is commonly known.
The seven years of tribulation is divided into three periods, one 3 ½ year period, a mid-point, followed by a second 3 ½ year period (Revelation 12:14). This period is also expressed as “a thousand two hundred and three score days “or forty-two months. The expression three score means sixty.
A prophetic month averages thirty days. When reading the reference of 1260 days, it is equal to 42 months or 3 ½ years. So, whenever you see these references, simply think in terms of 3 ½ years.
There is a reference in Daniel 12:11 of 1290 days. There is a calculation of a leap year or leap month adjustment to keep in mind. This is also referred to as an intercalary leapadjustment. This means the adding of a day, week or month to the calendar year allows the calendar to follow the seasons with respect to the moon phases. This matters in the calculation of the date of some prophesies like Daniels 70 weeks.
The end of this 3½ year period is the midpoint marked by the end of the Two Witnesses ministry (Revelation 11:3).
There are five viewpoints on the tribulation:
Meaning all Saints alive at the time the tribulation begins will be taken up bodily to meet Christ in the clouds and subsequently go to Heaven. This is referred to as the Rapture or the First Advent of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-55). Those who become believers after the tribulation begins, do so by refusing the mark of the beast and being killed off (Revelation 13:15-18).
Meaning the Rapture will occur during the Tribulation at the Midpoint but before the Seven Vial Judgments.
Seven Trumpet Tribulation
The Rapture occurs at the sound of the seventh trumpet (Revelation 11:15; 1 Corinthians 15:52)
Rapture occurs at the 3½ year point, before the harsher aspects of the tribulation unfold.
No one is taken to Heaven at all. Everyone is gathered on Earth by Christ into the thousand year reign at the end of the tribulation.
First 3 ½ years
- Rapture (Rev 3:10; 1 The.ss. 4:4, 13-18; 1 Cor. 12:50-55)
- Rise of the Anti-Christ and False Prophet (Rev. 13:3-18)
- Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt
- Rise of Babylon (Rev. 13:14-17)
- Rise of One World Religion and Currency (Rev. 13:14-17)
- Appearance of Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:3-12)
- Rise of the 144K Jews (Rev. 11:3-12)
- Seven Seal Judgments (Rev. 8:1)
- Seven Trumpet Judgments (Rev. 8:6)
- Death and resurrection of the Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:7-12)
- Destruction of the One World Church (Rev. 18)
- Mark of the Beast begins (Rev 13:16)
- Jewish remnant flees to the desert and mountains (Rev 6:15-16)
2nd (3 ½ years)
- Last plagues unleashed (Rev. 15:1-16, 21)
- Martyrdom of Believers (Rev. 7:9-14)
- Babylon destroyed (Rev. 18)
- Christ’s return (Rev. 18)
- Anti-Christ and False Prophet cast into Lake of Fire Alive (Rev. 19:20)
- Satan bound thousand years (Rev. 20:1-2)
End of Tribulation
- thousand year reign begins (Rev. 20:4-6)
- Satan released from prison (Rev. 20:7)
- Final deception of the Saints by Satan (Rev. 20:8)
- Final Battle (Rev. 20:8-9)
- Satan, Death and Hell cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10-14)
- Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-13)
- New Heaven and Earth created, Eternity begins (Rev. 21:1-3)
The judgments during the tribulation represent both the vengeance of God and Christ. There’s Gods vengeance (Deuteronomy 32:35; Hebrews 10:30; Romans 12:19; Revelation 20:9-15), Jesus vengeance (Isaiah 61:2; Jeremiah 46:10; Revelation 19:11-21), Gods and Jesus vengeance (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
Many of the plagues that unfold in the tribulation, God performed in Egypt as a sign of what was to come in the tribulation. God first hardened Pharaoh’s heart so when Moses went to him, he would not let the people go until God had performed all the miracles that would pre-figure the tribulation plagues (Exodus 10:1-2).
A comparison of the plagues reveals the work God:
- Water into blood- Exodus 7:19-21 vs. Rev. 16:3-4
- Locust - Exodus 10:12-15 vs. Rev. 9:3-10
- Boils and grievous sores – Exodus 9:9-11 vs. Rev. 16:2
- Hail – Exodus 9:22-25 vs. Rev. 8:7, 11:19, 16:21
It is important to note, that the plagues are not all inclusive from Egypt to the tribulation or vice versa. There is also a disconnection in the severity of the plagues experienced during the tribulation. Regardless of the written word and vision of John, beyond the knowledge the Angels have of this pending travail. The reality of the experience is beyond the imagination of men and beyond the scope or understanding the Angels have of God’s judgments. Any description of the sun’s light and heat, or solar radiation, pales in comparison to trying to look directly at the light of the sun or feeling the harshness of the sun’s heat. Particularly the closer you get to it; such will be the case with respect to the reality of these plagues during the tribulation, for both man and Angels.