What Saith the Scripture?
Tribulation Timeline: When Shall These Things Be? (Part 2)
"And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately,
saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming,
and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3).
by Tom Stewart
The Seven Seal
1. The 1st Seal has a rider
on a white horse going forth to conquer. He is the Antichrist conquering through political and economic
treaty, while holding the threat of the force of arms. "And I saw when the Lamb
opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the
four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that
sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering,
and to conquer" (Revelation 6:1-2). He will also
"confirm the covenant with many for one week" (Daniel 9:27). The "many"
who have signed the treaty are the world -- including Israel. Probably the momentous
events following the so-called alien abduction of many -- before the Tribulation
Week begins -- prompt the passage of the treaty that establishes Antichrist's New
World Order at the beginning of Daniel's Seventieth Week.
2. The 2nd Seal has a red
horse whose rider has a sword, implying war.
"And when He had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come
and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him
that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another:
and there was given unto him a great sword" (Revelation 6:3-4).
3. The 3rd Seal has a black
horse of famine. The shortage
of food is a result of war, but it is also a tool of Antichrist to conduct war against
what the New World Order calls 'unnecessary eaters'. "And when He had opened
the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a
black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard
a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and
three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine"
4. The 4th Seal has the
pale horse of death. One
out of every four people are killed by this judgment. It is essentially the wrath
of man against man. "And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice
of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and
his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given
unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger,
and with death, and with the beasts of the earth" (Revelation 6:7-8).
5. The 5th Seal is the
martyrdom of the Tribulation Saints. During the preliminary
phase of the mark of the beast, these believers refuse
cooperation in what they understand to be a system of economic conduct that will
result in the inevitable worship of the Antichrist.
They will refuse even before worship has been mandated. Antichrist will kill them
because they are troublesome. "And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw
under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the
testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O
LORD, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell
on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said
unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants
also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled"
- a. This writer believes that the 5th Seal judgment is 83 days prior to the middle of the Tribulation Week. And here's why...
b. The Second Coming of Christ (Yom Kippur on Tishri 10) occurs immediately
after the end of the Tribulation Week (The Seventieth Week
of Daniel). The last day of the Tribulation Week would be Tishri 9.
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened,
and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and
the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the
Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they
shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory"
(Matthew 24:29-30 ).
c. Since the Rapture (the Second "Come Up
Hither") is the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah) on Tishri 1, then it
could be said that the Rapture occurs eight days before the end of the Seventieth
d. Which brings me to the last chapter of the Book of Daniel. "And from the
time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh
desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is
he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days"
(Daniel 12:11 and 12).
The Blessed event described after 1,335 days is the Rapture, ie., the Rapture is
often called the "blessed hope" because it is synonymous with being caught
up face to face with Jesus (Titus 2:13).
e. The middle of the Tribulation Week, which is known
as the "abomination of desolation" (Matthew 24:15), is 1,260 days
before the very end of the Tribulation Week. The math: 360
days [1 prophetic year] times 3 1/2 years [1/2 of the 7 year week] equals 1,260 days.
Therefore, a period extending from eight days prior to the end of the Week proceeding
to eight days prior to the middle of the Week would be 1,260 days.
75 more days would make a total of 1,335 days [1,260 plus 75 equals 1,335]. Since
we were already eight days prior to the middle of the Week, 75 more days would bring
us to 83 days before the middle of the week [8 plus 75 equals 83].
f. Even if you are not totally confused with that explanation-- see the "Tribulation
Chart" found in this "Timeline" section, for some visual help to this
discussion-- the question that I am attempting to answer is: '83 days prior to the
middle of the Tribulation Week-- what does that have to do with the 5th Seal?' Remember, that Daniel 12:11-12 spoke of the abomination of desolation,
which occurs in the middle of the Week, and also referred to the blessedness of the
one who would continue 1,335 days. Also, remember the blessedness of the Rapture.
g. Since the 5th Seal is the martyrdom of the Tribulation saints,
who give up their lives before the mark of the beast requires them to worship Antichrist
as God (seated in the Temple at the middle of the Week),
then it would be truly a blessedness for any saint to be able to continue to the
Rapture exit point 1,335 days later!
h. I hope that you can see why I think that the 5th Seal judgment
occurs 83 days prior to the middle of the Tribulation Week. Even more important...
for any of you who would read these words during the actual Seventieth Week of Daniel...
Daniel 12:12 contains a gold nugget of a promise to get you through to the Rapture.
"Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five
and thirty days" (Daniel 12:12 ). Be patient. Keep waiting. Our LORD Jesus Christ
will come in 1,335 days. Not sure how you can make it to the Rapture? Now would be
a good time to see how far you can go by trusting the promises of the Living God.
Most, but not all, will be martyred. Justify the truth of God's WORD by being the
someone that is "alive" and that does "remain" when Jesus raptures
His Church toward the end of the Week. "For this we say unto you by the WORD
of the LORD, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the LORD shall
not prevent [lit., precede] them which are asleep. For the LORD Himself shall descend
from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of
God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the LORD in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the LORD" (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). May our LORD
Jesus increase your faith!
6. The 6th Seal is the heavenly
turmoil as well as earthquakes when the inhabitants of the
world are reminded by the Living God that He is the One who has a controversy with
them because of their rebellion. "A noise shall come even to the ends of the
earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh;
He will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 25:31).
Antichrist is wrathful, but "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of
the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). "And I beheld when He had opened the sixth
seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth
of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth,
even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
And the Heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain
and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great
men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman,
and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him
that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of
His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:12-17).
- a. The Sixth Seal judgment is 11 1/2 days prior to the
middle of the Tribulation Week. And here's why...
b. The two witnesses, most probably Moses and Elijah--
though some good arguments indicate Enoch and Elijah-- will minister as God's prophets
again on this planet for 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3)
before they are slain by Antichrist. Their dead
bodies shall lie in the streets of Jerusalem for an additional
3 1/2 days before the LORD gives the command to "Come Up Hither" (Revelation 11:12), which is symbolic of the Rapture that happens
approximately an hour later with the blast of the Seventh and Last Trumpet judgment.
[Verse 3:] "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall
prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed
in sackcloth. [Verse 6:] These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the
days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to
smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. [Verse 7:] And when they
shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless
pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. [Verse 11:]
And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and
they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. [Verse12:]
And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they
ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. [Verse13:] And the
same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and
in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted,
and gave glory to the God of Heaven. [Verse15:] And the seventh angel sounded; and
there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become
the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever"
From the beginning of their prophesying to their resurrection is a total of 1,263
c. Remember, wherever you find the Rapture, you find
the Resurrection. This event combines the Rapture (Second
"Come Up Hither"), the Resurrection of all of the righteous dead in the
LORD, and the Last Trumpet. Isn't this what the Apostle Paul described to the Thessalonians
in the passage that most Christians see the Rapture depicted? "For the LORD
Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel,
and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which
are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet
the LORD in the air: and so shall we ever be with the LORD" (1 Thessalonians
d. The termination of Moses and Elijah's Tribulation Week ministry is the Rapture,
which occurs eight days before the end of the Seventieth Week of Daniel. The length
of total time they spend on earth during that Week is 1,263 1/2 days. What
marks the beginning of their ministry that indicates that it should be the 6th Seal
judgment? Let's examine that.
e. The Russian invasion of Israel, in alliance with
the Arab nations that hate the existence of modern Israel,
seems to be the event that is worthy of the beginning of the ministry of God's
two witnesses, Moses and Elijah. This invasion is described
in Ezekiel 38 and 39. Many in evangelical Christian
prophecy view this invasion as occurring at the beginning of the Tribulation Week--
differing with this writer. Instead, it will occur 30 days prior to the middle
of the Week, and it is not to be confused with another confrontation
with the Arab nations prior to the Tribulation, one which leaves Israel in an advantageous
position. This can be determined by a statement in the last chapter of Daniel. "And
from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that
maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days"
(Daniel 12:11). 1,290 days extends from the end of the
Tribulation Week forward to 30 days prior to the middle of the Week. The "daily
sacrifice" in a newly rebuilt Jewish Temple will already be in progress.
f. The LORD told Daniel that "the daily sacrifice", "the transgression
of desolation", and "the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot"
would last 2,300 days (Daniel 8:13-14).
"The daily sacrifice" refers to the beginning of sacrifice in the
Jewish Temple on Jerusalem's Temple Mount. "The transgression
of desolation" refers to Antichrist's "abomination of desolation"
(Matthew 24:15) which occurs "in the midst [lit., middle] of the week"
(Daniel 9:27). "The sanctuary and the host to be
trodden under foot" refers to the period of time, beginning with the Russian
invasion and continuing to "the consummation" (Daniel 9:27) at the
end of the Week, that even this newly rebuilt Jewish Temple
will be out of business while the Gentile nations trod under foot Jerusalem and the
Temple. "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain
saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and
the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden
under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall
the sanctuary be cleansed" (Daniel 8:13-14).
g. Temple sacrifice will be in progress 220 days after
the beginning of the Tribulation Week. How so? 2,520 days [the length of the Tribulation
Week] minus 2,300 days [the number of days mentioned to Daniel that extends from
the cleansing of the sanctuary at the end of the Week, forward] equals 220 days [the
time after the beginning of the Tribulation Week that the Temple sacrifices will
have had to begun].
h. To conclude this discussion of the timing of the 6th Seal judgment... The Russian-Arab
invasion of Israel will take place 30 days before the middle of the Tribulation Week.
At this time the daily sacrifice will cease. Israel
will be subjugated. "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall
be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem
to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished;
and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people
shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against
those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle" (Zechariah 14:1-3). 18
1/2 days later (which is 11 1/2 days before the middle of the Tribulation Week),
God's prophets, Moses and Elijah, appear, and call down a supernatural judgment
of fire from the LORD out of Heaven. "And I will send
a fire on Magog [Russia], and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and
they shall know that I am the LORD" (Ezekiel 39:6). "And I beheld when
he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun
became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of
heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she
is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled
together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places And the kings
of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the
mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and
in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and
hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the
Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
(Revelation 6:12-17). Though the Russian-Arab alliance is defeated supernaturally
by the LORD God Almighty through Moses and Elijah, the stage is set for the Antichrist's
"abomination of desolation" at the middle of the Tribulation Week. At this
time all will be required to worship this deceiver as God. He will declare himself
to be more than just an exalted messiah, but actually the one and only true God.
A blasphemous lie! This then opens to the 7th Seal judgment
and the abomination of desolation.
7. The 7th Seal is an ominous silence in Heaven for
the space of 1/2 hour while the angels prepare to sound the
following Trumpet judgments. The 7th Seal contains the remaining Trumpet and Vial
judgments, and the 7th Trumpet judgment contains the remaining Vial judgments. "And
when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven about the space
of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were
given seven trumpets" (Revelation 8:1-2).
- a. Probably the judgment of God with the best name recognition
is the 7th Seal judgment. The seven Seal judgments, the seven Trumpet judgments,
and the seven Vial judgments occur consecutively and not concurrently; however, the
7th Seal judgment opens up to all the remaining judgments. Likewise, the 7th Trumpet
judgment opens into the remaining Vial judgments. The first half of the Tribulation
Week is devoted to the seven Seal judgments. The seven Trumpet judgments extend from
the middle of the Week to 8 days before the end of the Week. The seven Vial judgments
are the "vials of the wrath of God" (Revelation 16:1), which occur during
the last 8 days of the Week.
b. The 1st Trumpet judgment begins on the heels of the opening of the 7th Seal judgment.
The 7th Seal's silence in Heaven is for a space of 1/2 hour (Revelation 8:1), and
is not a reaction to Antichrist's declaration of himself to be the only true God
in the Jewish Temple. It is the pregnant pause before that declaration where the
inhabitants of Heaven watch as THE Living God, "The High and Lofty One that
Inhabiteth Eternity" (Isaiah 57:15), prepares to unleash His judgments upon
the wicked of planet earth.
c. Israel has not only been reeling due to the Russian-Arab invasion, but the Antichrist-- who was supposed to be a friend as confirmed
by his "covenant with many for one week" (Daniel
9:27)-- is now exploiting the opportunity of Russia's destruction upon "the
mountains of Israel" (Ezekiel 39:2) to seize control of the Temple.
d. Of this time, the LORD Jesus said: "Then let them which be in Judaea flee
into the mountains" (Matthew 24:16). This is the time of "Jacob's trouble"
(Jeremiah 30:7). "Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any
thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take
his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in
those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath
day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of
the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened,
there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened"
e. This is the time in which those whom the LORD Jesus told to flee will be hidden
by the LORD in the wilderness. These are the elect, but at this time they are not
saved. Most probably they are the nucleus of the nation born in a day (Isaiah 66:8).
God will providentially care for them, according to His purpose, in the meantime.
"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where
she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two
hundred and threescore days... And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle,
that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for
a time, and times, and half a time [1 + 2 + 1/2 = 3 1/2 years, or 3 1/2 x 360 = 1,260
days], from the face of the serpent" (Revelation 12:6,14).