I don’t know if we can be exact about when all the judgments will occur; but, according to most bible prophecy scholars, the seal judgments will occur roughly during the first twenty-one months of the Tribulation, the trumpet judgments during the second twenty-one months, and the bowl judgments during the entire second half of the Tribulation, for forty-two months or three and a half years. In the first half of the Tribulation (with the seals and trumpets) the earth will experience the wrath of the Antichrist, along with the harlot (or the false church); and in the second half of the Tribulation, known as the Great Tribulation, the earth and its people will experience the wrath of the Almighty God.
I don’t think it is super important to try to fit everything exactly into its proper place—nor can we; but, I think, to at least guess at it, we may get a better understanding of how things will fit together, especially during the time of the middle of the Tribulation and leading up to the bowl judgments.
The way I see it, there are two categories of time; events at the mid-Trib, and events a little later, leading up to the bowl judgments.
Events at the Middle of the Tribulation
1. The Antichrist is resurrected (Rev. 13:3). After this seemingly miraculous event, the Scripture says, “The whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast.”
2. The Antichrist breaks his peace covenant with Israel and puts a stop to animal sacrifices and grain offerings in the Jewish temple (Dan. 9:27). Notice that he does this in the middle of the week (meaning the seven-year covenant).
3. He exalts himself, and others exalt him, as God (2 Thess. 2:3b-4; Rev. 13:3b-4). In 2 Thessalonians we read, “The man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” Then in Revelation it is written, “And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to war with him?’”
These three points will mark the exact time at the middle of the Tribulation. And this is the time when scholars believe that Satan fills and empowers the Antichrist so that he believes himself to be God and the resurrected Christ. Hence, it is at this time that he begins to speak so arrogantly against God and against believers and makes war with them (Rev. 13:5-7).
A Few Days or Weeks Later
We cannot be sure how long it will take the following events to transpire, but it seems logical that it will take at least a few days to a few weeks—but probably not longer than that.
4. The Antichrist destroys the harlot (Rev. 17:16-17). The harlot (the false church) will reign together with the Antichrist during the first half of the Tribulation (Rev. 17). But when he is fully controlled by Satan and thinks that he alone is God, he no longer will tolerate the harlot; and he, along with his ten kings will hate her and make her “desolate.” Now we don’t know how long it will take to destroy her, but I imagine that with just a strike of the pen, with an executive order, he will do it.
5. He will make war with all true believers (Rev. 13:7). Besides the false believers of the false church, He will also, and more, go against the true believers. In fact, he will hunt them down and kill them—all who are destined to be martyred (read Rev. 13:10).
6. The image of the Antichrist is made and set up (Rev. 13:14-15). We don’t know how long it will take for those “who dwell on the earth” to make this image and to make it speak, but I am guessing that it will take some time. However, the way advanced technology will be, it may not be long.
7. Many Jews flee to safety into the wilderness (Rev. 12:14; Matt. 24:15-21). We know exactly when these Jews—as many as decide to go—will begin fleeing for safety into the wilderness. It will be, as Matthew 24:15 indicates, when they see the Abomination of Desolation standing in the temple. This, I think, is the image of the beast (I won’t go into more details as I have already written on it on pages 155-157).
8. All people are required to take the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16-18). These verses (vs. 16-18) explain it quite well. Everyone, no matter how old, how wealthy, or what status, will be required to take the mark; which is a mark representing the Antichrist. It will be the government’s system to control people. And if you want to buy or sell anything you must have the mark.
But we know that there will be many who refuse to take the mark. All true believers will not take the mark; for it is a sign of the Antichrist and for those who worship Him (Rev. 14:9-10). And since all who take the mark will suffer the wrath of God (hell), we can be certain that believers will not receive it, nor will they be force to get it, or be tricked into getting it. However, we know that God will somehow provide for them; He will provide for any believer that is destined to live during that time.
Now one of the reasons I decided to do this timeline is to give us an idea as to when the bowl judgments will begin; because the first bowl is a judgment on those who received the mark and who worship his image. For that reason, the first bowl will not commence until after the image is set up.
However, in saying that, I think we can be certain that even though there is a gap of time between the mid-Trib and the first bowl, there still will be plenty of Tribulation-suffering going on in that short gap of time.
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