END TIMES CHRONOLOGY #7


by Ron Rhodes




The First Half of the Tribulation: Judgments, Martyrdom, and Apostasy



IN THIS CHAPTER


The Seal Judgments Are Unleashed  

Martyrdom Increases  

The Trumpet Judgments Are Unleashed  

Religious Babylon Dominates the World

  

The Seal Judgments Are Unleashed


The God of heaven—whose glory and majesty we witnessed in Revelation 6—is all-powerful and sovereign over all things in the universe, but He is also a God of judgment. In his modem classic Knowing God, J.I. Packer forcefully reminds us of this sobering, oft-forgotten truth.


The reality of divine judgment, as a fact, is set forth on page after page of Bible history. God judged Adam and Eve, expelling them from the Garden and pronouncing curses on their future earthly life (Gen. 3). God judged the corrupt world of Noahs day, sending a flood to destroy mankind (Gen. 6—8). God judged Sodom and Gomorrah, engulfing them in a volcanic catastrophe (Gen. 18—19). God judged Israels Egyptian taskmasters, just as He foretold He would (see Gen. 15:14), unleashing against them the terrors of the ten plagues (Ex. 7—12). God judged those who worshipped the golden calf, using the Levites as His executioners (Ex. 32:26-35). God judged Nadab and Abihu for offering Him strange fire (Lev. 10:lff.), as later He judged Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who were swallowed up in an earth tremor. God judged Achan for sacrilegious thieving; he and his family were wiped out (Josh. 7). God judged Israel for unfaithfulness to Him after their entry into Canaan, causing them to fall under the dominion of other nations (Judg. 2:llff, 3:5ff, 4:lff.).


Some people have tried to claim that the God of the Old Testament is characterized by judgment, whereas the God of the New Testament is all about love. God is a God of love, but He also continues to be a God of judgment in the New Testament. Judgment falls on the Jews for rejecting Jesus Christ (Matthew 21:43), on Ananias and Sapphira for lying to God (Acts 5), on Herod for his self-exalting pride (Acts 12:21-23), and on Christians in Corinth who were afflicted with serious illness and even death in response to their irreverence in connection with the Lords Supper (1 Corinthians 11:29-32; see also 1 John 5:16). Christians will one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10)......


(MOST  PROTESTANTS  HAVE  THE  SAINTS  STANDING  BEFORE  THE  JUDGMENT  SEAT  OF  CHRIST  ALL  WRONG!  YOU  NEED  TO  STUDY  MY  STUDY  CALLED  "THE  TRUTH  ABOUT  JUDGMENT  DAY"  ON  MY  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt)



The Tribulation Period


It is no surprise to witness various judgments falling upon the world during the future tribulation period. Interestingly, the word tribulation comes to us from a Latin word meaning "to press" (as grapes). It refers to times of oppression, affliction, and distress. The Greek word thlipsis is translated variously as "tribulation," "affliction," "anguish," "persecution," "trouble," and "burden." This word has been used in relation to... those "hard pressed" by the calamities of war (Matthew 24:21)

a woman giving birth to a child (John 16:21)  the afflictions of Christ (Colossians 1:24) those "pressed" by poverty and lack (Philippians 4:14)

great anxiety and burden of heart (2 Corinthians 2:4) a period in the end times that will have unparalleled tribulation (Revelation 7:14)


General tribulation is to be distinguished from the end-times tribulation period. All Christians may expect a certain amount of general tribulation in their lives. Jesus Himself said to the disciples, "In the world you will have tribulation" (John 16:33). Paul and Barnabas also warned that "through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). But the end-times tribulation period is distinct.


1.Scripture refers to a definite period of time of tribulation at the end of the age (Matthew 24:29-35) 

2.It will be of such severity that no period in history past or future will equal it (verse 21).

3.It will be shortened for the sake of the elect (verse 22), as no flesh could survive it.

4.It is called the time of Jacob s trouble, for it is a judgment on Messiah-rejecting Israel (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1-4).


(WRONG....PROTESTANT  PROPHETS  TEACH  ALL  ISTRAELITES  ARE  "JEWS"  -  THEY  ARE  NOT.  THE  PUNISHMENT  ON  ISRAEL  AND  JUDAH  AT  THE  END  TIMES  HAS  NO  DIRECT  BEARING  OF "MESSIAH-REJECTING ISRAEL"  -  IT  HAS  EVERYTHING  TO  DO  WITH  THEIR  SINS  IN  GENERAL  -  Keith Hunt)



5.The nations will also be judged for their sin and rejection of Christ (Isaiah 26:21; Revelation 6:15-17).

This tribulation period will last seven years (Daniel 9:24,27).


(NO  IT  WILL  NOT!!  THE  PROTESTANT  PROPHETS  DO  NOT  UNDERSTAND  DANIEL 9:24,27  CORRECTLY!  HENCE  THEY  COME  UP  WITH  7  YEARS  TRIBULATION;  REVELATION  ONLY  SPEAKS  OF  42  MONTHS - 3 AND 1/2  YEARS  -  Keith Hunt)



6.This period will be so bad that people will want to hide and even die (Revelation 6:16).


The Unleashing of Judgments


The book of Revelation indicates that human suffering will steadily escalate during the tribulation period. The first set of judgments to be unleashed on earth are the seal judgments. Consider the horror of these judgments:


First seal judgment. The rider of the white horse—the antichrist— goes out to conquer and make war (Revelation 6:1-2).

Second seal judgment. Peace is taken from the earth, with people slaying each other on a massive level (verses 3-4).

Third seal judgment. Widespread famine emerges, probably as a result of war breaking out on a global scale, causing a disruption in transportation and distribution of food supplies (verses 5-6).

Fourth sealjudgment. Massive casualties result from the widespread famine and pestilence, further aggravated by predatory wild beasts (verses 7-8).

Fifth sealjudgment. Massive numbers of God's people are mercilessly martyred (verses 9-11).



(THE  AUTHOR  DOES  NOT  UNDERSTAND  THE  FIRST  FOUR  SEALS  ARE  NOT  PART  OF  THE  "GREAT  TRIBULATION" -  THEY  COME  BEFORE.  THE  GREAT  TRIBULATION  IS  THE  FIFTH  SEAL......PERSECUTION  OF  TRUE  SAINTS  OF  GOD.  NOTICE  MATTHEW  24.....THE  GREAT  TRIBULATION  DOES  NOT  COME  TILL VERSE  15 TO  28.....THE  OTHER  SEALS  CAME  IN  MATTHEW 24: 5-7.  NOTE  JESUS  THEN  SAYS....VERSES 9-14 ....  PERSECUTION  OF  SAINTS,  AND  GOES  ON  IN  VERSES  15-28  TO  EXPOUND  IT  MORE  -  Keith Hunt)



Sixth seal judgment. A devastating earthquake is accompanied by severe cosmic disturbances. People everywhere try to hide (verses 12-17). Further cosmic disturbances will occur a little later in the tribulation period. A third of the sun, moon, and stars will be darkened at the fourth trumpet (8:12), the sun will be darkened by smoke from the abyss at the fifth trumpet (9:1-2), and the sun will scorch people with fire and fierce heat when the fourth bowl is poured out (16:8-9).



(ACTUALLY  THE  FURTHER  COSMIC  DISTURBANCES  WILL  BE  DURING  THE  "DAY  OF  THE  LORD"  WHICH  STARTS  AFTER  REVELATION 6:17 - "GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH IS COME"  -  Keith Hunt)



Seventh seal judgment. This final seal judgment results in the unleashing of the trumpet judgments, which are even more catastrophic.



(NOTICE ..... JOEL  2:30-31.....HEAVENLY  WONDERS  BEFORE  THE  DAY  OF  THE  LORD!   CORRESPONDING  WITH  REVELATION  6: 12-16  AND  WITH  MATTHEW  24: 29  WHICH  COMES  AFTER  THE  GREAT  TRIBULATION  -   Keith Hunt)




Parallels to Jesus's Olivet Discourse


In Jesus's Olivet discourse, He speaks of things that will occur during the first half of the tribulation period, and more than a few Bible expositors have noticed the parallels that seem to exist between these events and the seal judgments.



(NOPE....NO  SUCH  THING  AS  "FIRST  HALF  OF  THE TRIBULATION"  BUT  WHEN  YOU  GET  DANIEL  9  WRONG,  YOU  GET  ALL  KINDS  OF  OTHER  ERRORS  BUILT  UPON  A  FOUNDATION  OF  ERROR  -  Keith Hunt)



Jesus' Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24)


False christs (verses 4-5)

wars and rumors of wars (verse 6)

Famine (verse 7)

Earthquakes (verse 7)


The Seal Judgments (Revelation 6)


The antichrists (verses 1-2)

Men slay one another (verses 3-4)

Famine (verses 5-6)

A great earthquake (verses 12-14)


A comparison of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 seems to indicate that these horrific events occur during the first half of the tribulation period. Woe to those who live on earth during this time, for things are about to get even worse.


(NO  SUCH  THING  AS  FIRST  HALF  -  DANIEL  9  WRONG,  OTHER  THINGS  BECOME  WRONG....WOE  TO  THOSE  TEACHERS  WHO  BUILD  ON  A  SAND  FOUNDATION  OF  NOT  UNDERSTANDING  DANIEL  9  AND  THE  70  WEEKS  PROPHECY.  THE  TRUTH  OF  IT  IS COVERED  IN  DETAIL  ON  MY  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt)



Martyrdom Increases


Scripture reveals that even though the church will be raptured prior to the tribulation period (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-17; 5:9; Revelation 3:10), 



(ABSOLUTELY  NONSENSE  -  THERE  IS  NO  SUCH  THING  TAUGHT  IN  SCRIPTURE  AS  A  "SECRET  RAPTURE"  -  OR  A  TWO-PHASED  SECOND COMING  OF  CHRIST  -  ONE  INVISIBLE  AT  ANY SECOND,  AND  THE  OTHER  VISIBLE  7  YEARS  LATER.  THE  WHOLE  SILLY  DOCTRINE  IS  BLOW  TO  BITS  IN  VARIOUS  STUDIES  ON  MY  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt)



many people will become believers during the tribulation period. (These are the "sheep" of Matthew 25:31-46.) There will be many conversions (Revelation 7:9-10).


(THAT  IS  TRUE  -  THE 144,000  PART  OF  THEM  -  Keith Hunt)



Though many believers in Jesus will still be alive at the time of the second coming, which occurs after the tribulation (see Matthew 25:31-46), many others will be martyred during the tribulation. We have already noted the martyrdom in connection with the fifth seal judgment in Revelation 6:9-11:

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

This passage indicates that not only are many already martyred, but more are yet to come, even in the early days of the tribulation period. Some of these martyred "fellow servants" are the "great multitude" mentioned in Revelation 7:9-17—"the ones coming out of the great tribulation" who "have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (verse 14). Some of this great multitude may die natural deaths, but most will likely die as martyrs, as Bible expositor Thomas Constable explains.

This group appears to be the same as the one referred to earlier in 6:9-11 (cf. v. 14). These believers died either natural or violent deaths during the first half of the Tribulation. They have joined the angels in the heavenly throne-room that John saw previously (chs. 4—5; cf. v. 11). Now they hold palm branches symbolizing their victory and joy (cf. John 12:13). They are worshipping and serving God in heaven... They will no longer experience the privations and discomforts of their earthly existence (cf. Isa. 49:10 [LXX]; John 4:14; 6:35; 7:37). The Lamb, now seen standing before the middle of the throne, will provide for them as a good shepherd takes care of his sheep (cf. Ps. 23:1-4; Isa. 40:11; Ezek. 34:23; John 10:11,14; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 2:25; 5:2-4).2



(THERE  WILL  INDEED  BE  A  GREAT  KILLING  OF  TRUE  SAINTS  OF  GOD,  DURING  THE  GREAT  TRIBULATION  AS  JESUS  SAID  IN  MATTHEW  24.  THEY  DO  NOT  GO  TO  HEAVEN!  SEE  THE  STUDY  ON  MY  WEBSITE  CALLED  "DEATH  -  THEN  WHAT?" AND  THE  OTHER  STUDIES  LIKE  "ENOCH, MOSES, ELIJAH - ARE THEY IN HEAVEN?"  "LAZARUS  AND  THE  RICHMAN"  "WILL  WE  GET  TO  HEAVEN?" FOR  THE  TRUTH  ABOUT  DEATH  AND  THE  RESURRECTION.  THIS  TRIBULATION  AND  DEATH  OF  SAINTS  WILL  BE  MAINLY  IN  THE  FIRST  2  YEARS  OF  THE  LAST  42  MONTHS  OF  THIS  AGE,  IF  WE  GIVE  A  YEAR  AS  A  "DAY"  IN  THE  "DAY  OF  THE  LORD"  -  Keith Hunt)



The book of Revelation indicates that such martyrdom in the tribulation period will be nothing new. In Revelation 2 Christ speaks to the church in Pergamum about one of His faithful martyrs: "I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells" (verse 13).

Christ urges His people to stand strong and not fear martyrdom. When He comforted the church in Smyrna, He included this exhortation: "Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10).

God's people will be persecuted during the tribulation period, and some will be killed. But death will simply be the gateway to eternal life with Jesus Christ, the divine Messiah.


The Trumpet Judgments Are Unleashed


(THIS  IS  NOW  DURING  THE  "DAY  OF  THE  LORD"  OR  AS  THE  LAST  VERSE  OF  REV. 6  PUTS  IT  "THE  GREAT  DAY  OF  HIS  WRATH  HAS  COME"  -  Keith Hunt)



Revelation 8 indicates that the seal judgments, as bad as they are, are followed by even worse judgments—the trumpet judgments.


First trumpet judgment. Hail and fire fall upon the earth. We are told that "a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up" (verse 7). Some .............. modern prophecy scholars suggest the possibility of nuclear detonations in this judgment. After all, what else could burn up a third of the earth?


Second trumpet judgment. A fiery mountain plummets into the sea, which turns bloody, resulting in a third of the sea creatures dying (verse 8). This, of course, cuts into the food supply as well as fouling the waters of the sea.


Third trumpet judgment. A star falls from heaven (verses 10-11). As noted previously, many believe this "star" will be a large meteor or an asteroid striking the earth and causing a near-extinction-level "deep impact." It looks like a star because it bursts into names as it plummets through earths atmosphere. It results in turning a third of the waters bitter so that people who drink them die.


(A "STAR" IS  USED  SOMETIMES  FOR  "ANGEL" - REV. 1:20  -  SO  COULD  BE  JUST  A  SUPERNATURAL  ANGEL  POWER  EVENT  -  Keith Hunt)



Fourth trumpet judgment. Severe cosmic disturbances emerge. We are told that "a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night" (verses 12-13). The diminishing of light may be due to the massive dust kicked up into the atmosphere when the large meteor or asteroid associated with the third trumpet judgment strikes the earth. With the diminishing of light, the growth of plant life will be hindered, thereby furthering reducing the food supply.



(COULD  BE  JUST  THE  MIGHTY  POWER  OF  GOD  SPEAKING  AND  IT  IS  DONE  -  Keith Hunt)



Fifth trumpet judgment. Hideous demons are released from the bottomless pit, and they engage in relentless torment of human beings for five months (Revelation 9:1-12). During this time, people will seek death but will not be able to escape their pain. They will long for death rather than repent before a holy God.



(THIS  IS  THE  MIGHTY  BABYLON  BEAST/HOLY  ROMAN  EMPIRE  OF  EUROPE  MAKING  WAR  ON  THE  EAST,  AFTER  IT  HAS  BECOME  RULER  OF  THE  WESTERN  WORLD.  IT  IS  A  REPEAT  OF  WHAT  HITLER AND  THE  NAZIS  DID  IN  THE  SECOND  WORLD  WAR,  AS  THEY  WANTED  TO  RULE  THE  ENTIRE  WORLD  -  Keith Hunt)



Sixth trumpet judgment. Angels that are bound at the Euphrates are released, and they kill a third of humankind by plagues (verses 13-21). Amazingly, "the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders 'or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts" (verses 20-21). The hearts of human beings will be calloused and hardened against God.



(THIS  IS  THE  MIGHTY  POWERS  OF  THE  EAST [RUSSIA,  CHINA,  INDIA,  JAPAN,  KOREA,  PAKISTAN]  HITTING  BACK  AT  THE  RESURRECTED  HOLY  ROMAN  EMPIRE  OF  EUROPE.  THIS  IS  THE  BATTLE  THAT  IF  NOT  STOPPED  BY  THE  COMING  OF  CHRIST,  NO  FLESH  WILL  BE  SAVED  ALIVE  -  Keith Hunt)



Seventh trumpet judgment. This final trumpet judgment results in the unleashing of the bowl judgments, which are even worse than the trumpet judgments (see Revelation 16). How awful it will be for those dwelling on the earth. Those who have experienced the trumpet judgments will think that things are as bad as they can possibly be. But Gods judgments will continue to escalate in the bowl judgments.


(AND  IT  IS  THE  LAST  OF  SEVEN  TRUMPETS......THE  LAST  TRUMP  AS  PAUL  PUT  IT  IN  1  COR. 15.  IT  IS  THE  TIME  FOR  JESUS  TO  RETURN;  THE  ONE  AND  ONLY  RETURN;  TIME  FOR  THE  RESURRECTION  AND  INSTANT  CHANGE  TO  IMMORTALITY  FOR  ALL  SAINTS  OF  GOD,  FROM  ADAM  TO  THIS  VERY  MOMENT.  ALL  IN  DETAIL  EXPLAINED  IN  MANY  STUDIES  ON  MY  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt)



Religious Babylon Dominates the World


In Revelation 17 we find prophecies of religious Babylon. Verses 1-7 describe it, and verses 8-18 interpret Johns vision, which includes much symbolic language.

The passage indicates that religious Babylon is a great prostitute whose religious unfaithfulness influences the people of many nations. Revelation 17:1 tells us that this prostitute is "seated on many waters," which symbolizes various peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. Scripture reveals that the kings of the earth commit adultery with this harlot and become a part of the religious system she symbolizes (see Revelation 14:8). This false religious system apparently emerges during the first half of the tribulation period.


(REMEMBER  THERE  IS  NO  FIRST  HALF;  SHE  COMES  ON  THE  SCENE  TO  BRING  IN  THE  GREAT  TRIBULATION  AS  GIVEN  IN  DANIEL  11:40-45  AND  ON  INTO  DANIEL  12  -  Keith Hunt)



This great prostitute—a truly blasphemous religion—-sits on (and thus controls) a scarlet beast, who is the antichrist. Prostitution is often a graphic metaphor in Scripture that symbolizes unfaithfulness to God, idolatry, and religious apostasy (see Jeremiah 3:6-9; Ezekiel 20:30; Hosea4:15; 5:3; 6:10; 9:1).



(SHE  IS  THE  WHORE,  THE  WOMAN  BABYLON  MYSTERY  RELIGION,  WITH  ALL  OF  HER  MYSTERIOUS RELIGIOUS  RITES,  TAKEN  FROM  ANCIENT  BABYLON  AND  ROME.  SHE  HAD  MANY  DAUGHTERS  THAT  CAME  OUT  OF  HER ...... IN  PROTEST ...... TWO  GUESSES  AS  TO  WHO  SHE  IS,  AND  THE  FIRST  ONE  DOES  NOT  COUNT.  SEE  THE  OLD  PROTESTANT  BIBLE  COMMENTARIES  LIKE  ALBERT  BARNES,  ADAM  CLARKE,  WHO  PULL  NO  PUNCHES  IN  TELLING  YOU  WHO  SHE  IS  -  Keith Hunt)



We also read of "seven mountains on which the woman is seated" (Revelation 17:9). Apparently, the seven mountains symbolize the seven kingdoms and their kings that are mentioned in verse 10. Mountains often symbolize kingdoms in Scripture (see, for example, Psalm 30:7; Jeremiah 51:25; Daniel 2:44-45).

These seven kingdoms refer to the seven great world empires-Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and that of the antichrist. The biblical text tells us that five of these kingdoms have fallen, one still exists, and one is yet to come (Revelation 17:10). This means that at the time of Johns writing, the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Greek empires had fallen. Rome, however, still existed during Johns day, and the antichrists kingdom was yet to come in the end times. This passage tells us that false paganized religion has affected (or will affect) all these empires.



(NOT  QUITE  CORRECT,  ROME  WAS  TO  HAVE  10  REVIVALS,  7  WOULD  BE  HOLY  ROMAN  EMPIRE  REVIVALS.  6  HAVE  ALREADY  COME,  THERE  IS  ONE  MORE  TO  COME  AT  THE  END  OF  THIS  AGE.....THE  HOLY  ROMAN  EMPIRE  OF  EUROPE  NOW  FORMING  BEFORE  YOUR  VERY  EYES.  SEE  MY  STUDY  ON  MY  WEBSITE  CALLED  "THE  BEASTS  OF  DANIEL  AND  REVELATION"  WHERE  I  PUT  IT  ALL  TOGETHER  FOR  YOU  RIGHT  FROM  HISTORY  -  Keith Hunt)



Revelation 17 indicates that this apostate religious system will...

be worldwide (verse 15)


(WELL  MANY  OF  HER  MYSTERIOUS  RITES  AND  TRADITIONS  HAVE  DECEIVED  THE  WHOLE  WORLD  TO  A  GREATER  OR  LESSER  DEGREE  -  Keith Hunt)



be utterly unfaithful to the truth and therefore a "harlot" (verses 1,5,15-16)

exercise powerful political clout among the nations (verses 12-13) seem outwardly glorious while being inwardly corrupt (implied in verse 4)

persecute believers during the tribulation period (verse 6)

..........



AGAIN  I  SAY,  READ  THE  OLD  PROTESTANT  BIBLE  COMMENTARIES,  LIKE:  ADAM  CLARKE,  MATTHEW  HENRY.  ALBERT  BARNES;  THEY  TELL  YOU  PLAINLY  WHO  THIS  BABYLON  WHORE  IS  -  Keith Hunt



To  be  continued