Great Tribulation Overview


From the Main Message of

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The Following is what will happen during the Tribulation, presented as a chapter-by-chapter summary, and then as an outline. This view is quite different from most of what has been previously taught, but in the perception of this writer, and other Christians who have examined it, is more in accord with both the Bible and reality.


Note that the Revelation consists of a series of visions. Some happen on earth, and some in Heaven. The ones that happen on earth form a rough sequence of the events of the Tribulation, but there is some overlapping in time. For example, the ministry of the Two Witnesses has to overlap the reign of the Two Beasts, because they both last for 3 1/2 years and they both are in action at the same time, but the Beasts are still in power for some time after the ministry of the Two Witnesses ends. The key to knowing what happens on earth is to understand that the Tribulation consists of three great outpourings of God's wrath that are called "woes" (Rev. 9:12 & 11:14). These "woes" define the sequence of Tribulation events. The visions that take place in Heaven do not necessarily take place at any particular time, except as they relate to specific events on earth. The events on earth reveal the timetable.

The Great Tribulation begins in chapter 6, either with verse 1 or verse 12. The events described in verses 12-16 are part of the effects of the asteroid or comet collision described in Revelation 8:7 - 9:2.

Chapter 7 is about what happens to Christians during the Tribulation. The Seal of the Living God, which protects Christians who are ready from God's wrath during the Tribulation, is given between verses 11 and 12 of chapter 6. What John sees after the Seal is given doesn't have to do with any specific point in time. It is only telling what will happen to the Christians who don't get the Seal.

Chapter 8, from verse 7 to 9:2, is about an asteroid or comet collision. As stated in the "Mountain Burning With Fire" page, each trumpet-heralded event is actually a specific aspect of one great event. The vivid image of "a great mountain burning with fire" in verse 8 tells us exactly what kind of event. In verse 13 we find the first mention of "woes" - the three great outpourings of God's wrath that will happen during the Tribulation.

Chapter 9 consists of two sections. The first, verses 3-11, deals with something that happens as a scientifically unexpected after-effect of the collision: the mysterious "locusts" that sting like scorpions. Verse 12 clearly and specifically shows that the Great Tribulation consists of three "woes".

The second section, verses 13-19, tells about a mysterious "army" that appears in the vicinity of Baghdad and annihilates a third (half the surviving - see Zechariah 13:8) human race. Like the "locusts", this army appears to be demonic.

Chapter 10 is about events in Heaven. It is a vision that was given to John to prepare him for what he was about to see. It tells us, in verse 7, that when the Two Witnesses have finished their ministry, all opportunity for salvation will be gone.

Chapter 11 is about the ministry of the Two Witnesses. This begins after the "army" has finished it's deadly work, but before the Two Beasts arise to power.

Chapter 12 has it's fulfillment in the Church Age, not during the Tribulation. The "flood" mentioned in verse 15 is Islam. The "woman clothed with the sun" is the nation of Israel. Her child is Jesus. But the chapter is mainly about Satan. Note that this vision takes place mainly in Heaven, not on earth.

Chapter 13 is about the reign of the Two Beasts. This begins after the Two Witnesses have already begun their ministry. It continues for at least several months after the ministry of the Two Witnesses ends, and possibly for more than a year afterward. It does not end, in fact, until the Battle of Armageddon.

Chapter 14 is another vision that takes place in Heaven. Except for verses 14-20, which are a preview of Armageddon, it doesn't happen at any particular time. It's primary message is an exhortation to faithfulness addressed to Christians during the Tribulation, especially to martyrs.

Chapter 15, another vision that takes place in Heaven, is a prelude to the third great outpouring of wrath, a "helium flash" in the sun.

Chapter 16 is about a "helium flash", a low-power "nova" (not a supernova!) in the sun, and it's effects on the earth. The key to understanding is verse 8, which, like Rev. 8:8, tells us what the material source of the catastrophe is. The events toward the end of the chapter are secondary geological and meteorological consequences of the nova. This disaster happens shortly after the deaths of the Two Witnesses. It can't last for more than a few months, or the human race would be exterminated.

Chapter 17 introduces us to Mystery Babylon. This chapter applies to the entire period of the reign of the Beasts, up to the destruction of Babylon.

Chapter 18 tells us about the destruction of Mystery Babylon. This takes place after the sun has returned to near-normal. It probably means that Mecca gets nuked.

In chapter 19 we have the actual Second Coming of Christ, and the Marriage Supper (or Wedding Feast) of the Lamb. This happens in Jerusalem right after the Second Coming. While that is going on, we have the preparation for, and the beginning of, the Battle of Armageddon.

In chapter 20, the Battle of Armageddon ends, the Beasts are thrown into the Lake of Fire, Satan is chained in the Bottomless Pit, and the Millenium begins.

Thus we have a general concept of what the Revelation shows. We will now present this in a formal outline:

Great Tribulation Outline:

I. The First Woe:

A. Laodicean overcomers are given the Seal of the Living God.

B. An asteroid or comet collides with the earth, striking in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. It devastates a third of the earth's surface and kills a third of the human raced. It wipes out the United States.

C. Demonic locusts torment the survivors for 5 months. A condition of perpetual darkness, caused by the collision, probably exists during this time.

II. The Second Woe

A. The demonic "army" from the Euphrates region kills another third of the human race.

B. The Two Witnesses appear in Jerusalem and preach for 3 1/2 literal years.

1. They preach a message of repentance. For the unsaved Jews and the lukewarm Christians, this is the last chance for grace.

2. They wield the wrath of God like a sword, showing the world that their message is inspired and supported by God. This may include a 3 1/2 year worldwide drought.

3. Unlike any other saints in history, they have supernatural power to kill anyone who attacks them. They will use it.

C. After the Two Witnesses begin their ministry, the Two Beasts, a king and a false prophet, arise to power. They do this with the support of Mystery Babylon.

1. Note that these are Two Beasts. Not the Antichrist.

2. An image of the king is erected that is brought to life by the false prophet. Note that contrary to popular belief, the Bible does not say that this image will be in the Temple in Jerusalem.

3. The false prophet, not the king, makes everyone take the Mark of the Beast on their foreheads or the palms of their hands.

4. They engage in deadly persecution of Christians.

5. The king kills the Two Witnesses, who arise from the dead and ascend to Heaven 3 1/2 days later.

6. A local earthquake heavily damages Jerusalem.

III. The Third Woe

A. The sun "goes nova" -actually a low-power "helium flash" - increasing its energy output seven times. This causes terrible suffering, but can't last for long, at most a few months. This ends with the greatest thunderstorm in known history.

B. After the nova event ends, a falling out occurs between Mystery Babylon - traditional Islam - and the Beasts.

C. The Beast (the king) destroys Mystery Babylon. This apparently includes Mecca getting nuked. It will also include widespread arrest, imprisonment and execution of tradition Muslim leaders.

D. The Lord Jesus Christ returns in Triumph. The Wedding Feast of the Lamb takes place in Jerusalem.

E. The Beasts attempt to overthrow Christ's Kingdom with military force, culminating in the Battle of Armageddon.

F. The Millennium begins.

It is important for you to know about these things, so that your faith will not be shaken when they begin to happen. For more information on these things, see the "Great Tribulation" section of the Main Message, and the "A Mountain Burning With Fire" page. Or check out the "Great Tribulation" pages at the "End Time Prophetic Vision" site. In the latter case, scroll down until you see the name "William D. Brehm" and click on it.

But remember, the most important thing is,


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