The Judgments of the Tribulation :: by Lynette Schaefer

We are now in what is known as the “End Times”. How can we know that for sure and it not just be an opinion or wishful thinking? Well, there are several “markers” that indicate we are indeed living in such times according to the Bible. Also, they are very significant for us to pay attention to as we journey through our Christian lives until such time when the Lord will sound His trumpet to call His people to Him. This is known as the Rapture of the Church, or the Catching Up. (1Thess. 4:13-18; 1Thess. 5:1-10; 1Cor. 15:52). Time and space does not allow me here to discuss at length the timing of the Rapture and the various views, as it is not the central focus of this article to address that topic. This article will be specifically addressing the twenty-one judgments of the seven-year Tribulation under the evil Dictator called the Antichrist. However, for your enlightenment, I’ve listed below some of the “markers” of the end times that we are in now, so you can get a good idea for yourself where we are on the timeline of history as well as how these events that are currently shaping our world will impact not only future events known as the Tribulation, but how they are impacting our lives right now, whether we realize it or not.

  • Israel was prophesized to become a Nation in the End Times (Ezek. 37:1-14; Ezek. 36:24). Also, that Jerusalem would once again be the Capital. (Luke 21:24; Acts. 1:6-8). We see that this happened on May 14, 1948. Officially, this was the start of the End Times age we are living in.
  • False Christs, False Teachers and much deception in the End Times (Matt. 24:4-5; Matt. 24:23-24) Many cults, religions, and false churches have sprung up in which a counterfeit Gospel is preached from the pulpits. As a result, people do not really know the Lord, nor do they have a real relationship with Him.
  • Decline in morality and rampant godlessness (Rom. 1:18-32) We now have all kinds of immoral living arrangements, disrespect for Biblical marriage, unbiblical and immoral lifestyles that at one time were considered taboo and wrong but now are accepted as the norm. We also have a sharp rise in STDs.
  • Lukewarmness in the Church and the world (Rev. 3:16; Matt. 24:12) Many young people of today have been shaped by previous generations to look at church with indifference. Adults look at church like it’s a burden and they’re too busy to be involved. The vast majority of those who are “church goers” or consider themselves “born again” don’t even read the Bible, so the end result is gross ignorance. (Acts. 17:30) Sadly, the Church is also asleep concerning end time prophecy. It is not preached from the pulpits, and generally looked down on as a “fringe” pastime. The result of that is so many very different, heretical and confused opinions or views of prophecy; or a complete indifference to all of it. Naturally, the world does not offer much more than lukewarmness at best, and downright hostility at worst; and the Church has gotten cozy with the world because of the above. Its “salt and light” has almost gone out.
  • The rise of the European Union (Revived Roman Empire) and the Quartet of Nations (EU, UN, Russia, US) and their impact on Israel (Dan. 2:41; Dan. 9:27) The ten-toed kingdom (10 nations or empires) of the EU are already in existence, being 10 core nations that are part of a central European conglomerate. There are “satellite” nations that are part of the EU also, but they are not a part of the main 10 core nation government. The Quartet is possibly the “many” referred to in Dan. 9:27. This Quartet has been pressuring Israel for some time into giving its Covenant lands to the Palestinians piece by piece. We see that going on now.
  • Israel and Palestine and the “Roadmap to Peace” (Joel 3:2; Gen. 12:1-3) The US devised the Roadmap plan (as it is part of the Quartet), and this plan is destined to fail, simply because Israel has always belonged to the Jewish people and it will forever belong to them and no one else. (Gen. 17:7)
  • Rise in Ecumenism, the Liberal Left and the New World Order(Rom. 16:17) Over the last several decades, ecumenism has been on the rise as well as the Liberal Left. They have grown because many prominent men and women have contributed their influence over a lot of people through various mediums of communication. Presidents Bush (Senior and Junior) have both declared that this is the age of the New World Order. This is significant because we know that during the Tribulation to come, there will be a one world false church. Already today, we see a lot of compromise and watering down of the Gospel, as well as people coming together in some sort of doctrineless unity that dilutes the truth of Scripture.
  • Apostasy and falling away (2Thess. 2:3) Churches that were once solid and Bible believing, have become apostate due to compromises of various kinds. This has caused many people to become disillusioned and to fall away. The absolute truth of Scripture is not upheld in many pulpits and is no longer taught in seminaries, so the flock of God is becoming more and more scattered.
  • Diseases (Matt. 24:7; Luke 21:11) Throughout the last century, we have been plagued with outbreaks of many diseases, resulting in a lot of death. The latest one is the global threat of Avian Flu, where a pandemic is feared if the virus mutates and passes from human to human. In light of the ease and accessibility of International travel, it could travel extremely fast and kill multiple millions of people overnight. There is no vaccine that can be developed fast enough to prevent this outbreak. It is said that if the Avian Flu were to reach this level of pandemic, it would be on the same par as the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed millions of people. It is very possible that this could happen, as the disease has already reached Europe and it has killed people.
  • Disasters (Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, etc.) (Luke 21:25) We have also seen recent earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. These weather-related happenings were not ordinary; they were intense and rather extraordinary. Because of their level of devastation and death, much suffering has been the result. The birth pangs that have been prophesized are increasing in intensity and amount. (1Thess. 5:3) In addition, there has been a rise in threats of volcanic eruptions like Mount St. Helens going off again or a good possibility of a “super volcano” eruption blowing, such as the caldera under Yellowstone. Volcanoes that up until recently have been considered dormant are now “waking up” and causing concerns among geologists. Many of these volcano-prone areas are in high population regions, and geologists are saying that we are overdue for eruptions in these vulnerable locations. It’s a disaster waiting to happen, and when it does, many people will die. Places like Mount Rainer have geologists concerned because of what is going on there as well as the highly populated area that’s right in harm’s way. Some volcanoes have already gone off in places like Monserat, Italy and the Philippines, as well as many other places like Mount St. Helen’s in 1980, causing severe damage and death. As you will see below, probably many volcanic eruptions will be happening during the Tribulation, only on a grand scale. So what we see now are only precursors.
  • Hunger (Mark 13:8) America’s founding fathers had a vision of an America with at least a 3-year supply of food grains in perpetual storage. Since the days of JFK, that supply has slowly dwindled down now to non-existence. There is no safety reserve of food left in America. It is gone. Given away as “foreign aid” for good-will diplomatic purposes. To nations that hate the USA. Yet there is still hunger in many parts of the world, and it is only going to get worse as time goes on.
  • Signs in the heavens (cosmos) (2Pet. 3:7) We hear reports of asteroids, comets, solar flares, planets, etc., affecting our planet in one way or another. They say it is not if, but when in the future we can get hit with an asteroid. We see solar flares now. Some of these heavenly activities on the sun have affected our communications here on earth. We’ve witnessed many asteroid/comet hits on the planet Jupiter back in 1993.
  • Increase in Terrorism (Luke 21:26) In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the amount of world-wide terrorism. This includes the events of 9-11, bombings of government buildings, embassies, train stations, etc., across many countries Not to mention the constant threat of terrorism in Israel from the Palestinians. The name “Osama Bin Laden”, as well as his planned activities with his cohorts, has become well-known and feared by a lot of people.
  • Increase in communications and technology. (Dan. 12:4) We’ve seen a tremendous increase in technical knowledge and communications over the last century, resulting in the telephone, electricity, modern transportation, all kinds of modern devices, the Internet, etc. Also, according to Daniel, now we have the ability to know the events of the End Times and Bible prophecy; whereas even fifty years ago, there was so much we were still clueless about. For example, today we have the development of the RFID chip (Radio Frequency ID), which can be implanted into people to know their whereabouts, their ID, and other things about them. This chip is probably the precursor to the Mark of the Beast that will be instituted and controlled by the Antichrist during the Tribulation.

Now, we can soothe ourselves and say that all these things have been happening since the beginning of time, so it’s irrelevant. (2Pet. 3:3) Well, that may be so or not be so, but they are happening with much greater intensity now than ever before. I think if we are wise, we will see everything happens from a spiritual perspective. That is, this whole universe is a spiritual universe that was created by God Himself and He directs and controls everything that goes on. I believe He is using these phenomena as a warning to us, that greater things will be happening in the future and now is the time to wake up and wise up before it’s too late.

This brings us to the event of the Rapture. I personally believe that there is an abundance of evidence for a Pre-Trib Rapture and a Pre-Millennial Return of Jesus Christ for a thousand years, which is yet in the future. As I mentioned before, I’m not going to explain at length all the views as to the timing of the Rapture. I believe very strongly that this is an imminent event that will suddenly take the world by surprise; however, believers who are watching the day approaching will not be. However, the Lord declares that no one knows the day or the hour of the Catching Up (Mark 13:32); but we do know the Season if we are watching. People will be going about their business like any other day when it happens. The believers who are alive will all suddenly VANISH INTO THIN AIR IN A SPLIT SECOND by this supernatural event (but those who previously died in the Lord will be resurrected and rise to meet the Lord before the rest). (1Thess. 4:16) Then, destruction and chaos will befall the unbelievers, and all hell will break loose, followed by a period of seven years of unprecedented horror and trial for all those left on the earth. In the meantime, the Church (consisting of true, faithful believers who have Jesus as the Lord and master of their life) will be enjoying a blissful time in heaven with their Lord in their new, sinless, glorified bodies. More on this later, at the end of the article.

This country and the world as we know it right now are ripe for judgment, because it has become a sin-laden planet in the eyes of a holy God that is ready to be scoured of its wickedness. Prophecies are being fulfilled on a daily basis relating to the end times. Unbelieving people are becoming more fearful (at least in the back of their minds) about the meaning of all that is happening and what will happen to them in their future. We see on the news that more and more people are falling victim to various disasters, ills, crimes, etc., than ever before. And also, sadly, people are becoming more hard-hearted, rebellious, and immune to sin. This was also prophesized. (Prov. 6:12-19) So the time is very ripe for the Lord’s intervention. This intervention will come on the earth in a series of twenty-one judgments. These judgments will be felt by those on the earth as the Lord’s Wrath. (Matt. 3:7; Luke 21:23; Rom. 1:18; Rom. 2:5) Here is where I would like to spend some time elucidating what these judgments will consist of, so you will have a very clear idea of what will happen to you in the future if you or someone you know are found left on the earth without the Lord. With the rapture of the Church (all God’s saints), the restraint of evil will be totally taken away, allowing wickedness to fully reign and blossom. (2Thess. 2:7) The reason is because the Holy Spirit currently indwells all those who belong to the Lord to enable them to live their Christian lives with the Lord’s help. (John 14:17; Heb. 13:5)

These judgments are broken down into seven judgments each known as Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls in Revelation. They get progressively worse with each set of judgments. They start in chapter 6 of Revelation (after the saints are taken up, as seen in Chapter 4:1-4 they are around the Throne of the Lamb), and are described until Chapter 16. The kick-off of these judgments will start when the evil ruler known as the Antichrist arrives on the scene (he is of Roman descent arising out of the European Union), and makes a seven-year agreement of so-called peace with “many” (Dan. 9:27), potentially the Quartet of Nations we presently hear spoken of so often in the news. According to Bible prophecy, we are ALMOST THERE NOW!! In the first three and a half years, all those left on the earth who accepted the idea of the One World Order of a conglomerate of false religions that merge as one (known as the Whore of Babylon), will be greatly deceived by this Antichrist. He will convince them that he’s the real Christ and is interested in their welfare when in fact, he is only interested in himself and his own power over the world. His character will be immoral, and he will turn out to be more vicious, greedy, and bloodthirsty than anyone else has ever been in history.

  • Seal #1 (Rev. 6:1-2) The Antichrist arrives on the scene on a white horse with a crown and a bow as a victor to conquer. He becomes the ruler of the world and given the authority to be the world dictator.
  • Seal #2 (Rev. 6:3-4) The red horse here indicates much bloodshed. There will be wars waged and slaying. The “rider” will take peace from the earth.
  • Seal #3 (Rev. 6:5-6) The black horse. Suddenly, the economy is affected on a global scale as well as crop failure, making the agony of famine and hunger commonplace. It will cost one day’s wages to buy a loaf of bread!
  • Seal #4 (Rev. 6:7-8) The pale horse, representing death. In this seal, many people die of various causes: some are torn by beasts, some by plague, some by hunger. In all, a quarter of the earth’s population dies this way. Right now the global population stands at 6.8 billion people. Pretty terrible!
  • Seal #5 (Rev. 6:9-11) The seal of the Martyrs. After the Tribulation starts, many people who find themselves left behind, who had the Gospel preached to them before the Church was taken but did not respond at that time, realize that they had made a huge mistake. These people ask the Lord into their lives at this time, then subsequently they are killed by one of the Seals. They ask the Lord how long until they be avenged, and the Lord tells them to wait for a season until it is fulfilled. They are symbolically given white robes, but at this stage they are souls without bodies. They are tribulation saints who have not been raptured like the Church. They receive their glorified bodies at another time.
  • Seal #6 (Rev. 6:12-17) There is a lot of symbolic language in these verses, but they describe literal events. In essence, what we see unfolding here are earthquakes, volcanoes and meteorites hitting the earth. It turns everything dark, the world is in complete chaos, and people are very fearful. Needless to say, a lot of people are dying, and there is no place to hide. These impacts on the earth are probably enough to cause a severe shift in the earth’s axis, turning the earth over on its side or displacing it severely enough to wipe out all of civilization’s infrastructures.
  • Seal #7 (Rev. 8:1) Everyone in heaven is seeing what is happening on the earth, and they are so appalled as to be speechless at what they see. There is not one sound in heaven for a half an hour, by multitudes of millions of Saints.
  • Trumpet #1 (Rev. 8:2-7) Severe hail and fire, mingled with blood (more death). A third of the grass and trees are burned up, destroying nature and wildlife.
  • Trumpet #2 (Rev. 8:8-9) A burning mountain falls into the sea (probably a super volcano), destroying the sea creatures, the ships and turning a third of the sea into blood.
  • Trumpet #3 (Rev. 8:10-11) A meteorite or asteroid probably hits the earth, turning the waters bitter. The language for “star” is symbolic for a cosmic rock, and it’s probably large enough to be called a “star” as well as causing severe damage to the water. At this point, there is not only contaminated sea water, but now the fresh water supplies are compromised. How does a human being possibly survive without water?! But it gets, worse, far worse than this!
  • Trumpet #4 (Rev. 8:12-13) The world becomes darkened by more cosmic events. Because of all the cataclysmic physical changes that have occurred on the earth causing the polar shift, everything is cut back by one third: so a day is now 16 hours instead of 24. Eight hours of daylight and eight hours of night. That will be a very tough adjustment to make! So the angels are saying “Woe, woe, woe” to the inhabitants of the earth.
  • Trumpet #5 (Rev. 9:1-12) Another “star” falls from heaven onto the earth, creating a very large hole, like an abyss, causing smoke to rise along with many locusts that are given the edict to hurt nothing except man. Man is tormented for five months by these extremely hurtful beasts, and they long for death but it flees them.
  • Trumpet #6 (Rev. 9:13-21) Another one-third of the world’s population is killed. Four angels are loosed over the River Euphrates. People will be killed by many plagues and will die violent deaths. This portion of Revelation declares that after all this, those who were not killed with the others did not repent of their evil ways. Thus, the hardened, unrepentant heart of man that doesn’t face his true sin-sick condition!
  • Trumpet #7 (Rev. 11:15-19) Great voices declaring the sovereignty of God, saying the Kingdoms of the world are become the Kingdom of God and of His Christ that He rules over them forever. The twenty-four elders who are sitting close to the Throne worship God, giving Him glory. They declare that this is the time of God’s great wrath and to judge those who are wicked, in which an earthquake and great hail come to the earth.
  • Bowl #1 (Rev. 16:1-2) The plague of sores. Everyone up till now who gives their allegiance to the Antichrist by taking the “mark of the beast” is now marked by God with grievous sores. Not only that, but all who choose to take the Mark (and thus are able to buy and sell), and thus give their allegiance to Satan himself, were now lost forever. Their destiny is certain eternal, everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire! Once anyone gives their allegiance to Satan by taking his Mark in their right hand or forehead, their fate is sealed forever and ever. (Rev. 13:17; Rev. 14:9-11) Those who choose not to (who become Christians during the Tribulation), are hunted down and killed by beheading. (Rev. 13:14-15)
  • Bowl #2 (Rev. 16: 3) Plague on the sea. Sea water is poisoned so it becomes like the blood of a dead man. No sea creature lives. Those that had been left after Trumpet #3 are now totally gone.
  • Bowl #3 (Rev. 16:4-7) Also, the springs are turned into blood. So, now instead of water there is blood to drink! How bad can this get?
  • Bowl #4 (Rev. 16:8-9) Another angel was given authority to scorch men with fire, and alter the sunlight so that it would cause tremendous heat. So, up to now, men have been plagued with sores from locusts, all the water is turned into blood so it’s undrinkable, and now they are scorched with unbearable heat. If that doesn’t make a person insane with agony, I don’t know what does!
  • Bowl #5 (Rev. 16:10-11) People are in such agony from all this, they are literally gnawing their tongues for pain! And they are still cursing God and are unrepentant!
  • Bowl #6 (Rev. 16:12) The River Euphrates is dried up, so the way of the Kings of the East are prepared for the great battle of Armageddon. This battle will be so bloody that the blood will rise up to as high as a horse’s saddle and extend for 200 miles! It will take seven months to bury the dead.
  • Bowl #7 (Rev. 16:17-21) This is the climax of all the judgments that came before. In this judgment we see a huge, massive earthquake that was so great it was never before seen in the earth. Here it says that cities are divided, mountains fall, and every island flees away (another super volcanic eruption?). Then hailstones fall down on the earth that are 100 pounds each! Imagine that! And men blaspheme God because of the plague of the hail.

As if the judgments aren’t going to be enough, midway in the Tribulation the Antichrist will go into the Temple of God, declaring himself to be God. It is known as the Abomination of Desolation (2Thess. 2:3-4). Christians who don’t take the Mark of the Beast (the global system of buying and selling instituted by the Antichrist) will be hunted down and killed/beheaded. Antichrist will also turn on the Jews at that point (after he breaks the 7 year agreement made with them at the beginning) and the Jews will have to literally FLEE to an obscure spot where they will be preserved until the end of the Trib. Also, the one world false religion will be destroyed (Rev. 17), as will commercial Babylon (Rev. 18). Not to mention the final Battle of Armageddon.

People, these are extremely serious judgments which are coming, and God means business! The Book of the Revelation was not written as simply a bunch of symbols which have no meaning for us. In fact, these judgments are so severe that the global population will be reduced from almost 7 billion to around a few thousand or maybe a few million. That’s a lot of people who die during the Tribulation!

So you ask, what is my purpose for writing all this? It’s very simple, yet profound. If you are presently an unbeliever or perhaps a backslidden Christian who has lived in your own La La Land for a long time, you need to get a GRIP right now, because these things are not only going to happen, but they are going to happen shortly! All prophecies are pointing to a soon return of Jesus Christ to call His Church; so if you are not prepared, you will be caught unawares and will be left in the hell-hole that is planet earth, to live out a miserable existence for probably a short time. If you are without Christ, it will be either hell on earth, or a fiery hell under the earth! That’s what you have to look forward to. Possibly you might have a different opinion of all this and think none of this will happen, but it doesn’t change the course of events one bit!

Or, you can look forward to something else that’s wonderful where you can avoid all of that horror, and I’ll show you how simple it really is to go to heaven. The first step is to really recognize that you are a sinner, and separated from a holy God. (Rom. 3:23). The second step is to realize that you need to repent from that sin (change over, do an about-face) (Luke 13:3). The third step is to recognize Who Jesus is: (a) He is God in flesh (John 1:14; Luke 2:11), (b) He is Savior of the world (Matt. 1:21), (c) He died as a perfect sacrifice for your sin in your place (John 1:29; Rom. 3:25; 1Pet. 2:22; 2Cor. 5:21), (d) That you need to ask for His forgiveness and that He will pardon you forever (Acts. 26:18; 2Cor. 5:17), (e) Invite Him to come in to you and be the Lord of your life (Rev. 3:20; 1Cor. 6:11), (f) THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO OTHER WAY OTHER THAN JESUS to get to Heaven! (John 14:6), (g) by GRACE are we saved, and not by our own works; it is the Gift of God (Eph. 2:5, 8; Isaiah 64:6). God loves you and desperately wants to forgive you and have a personal relationship with you! But He is also a just God who cannot let sin go unpunished (Prov. 11:21; Jer. 25:29).

If you can get on your knees or just humbly come before Him, He wants to hear from you and would like nothing better than to see you become a new creature that He will make His own, adopting you into His family! (Rom. 11:19; Rom. 8:15)

I want to ask you this one thing: with everything that has been said concerning future events, and how you are literally one heartbeat from hell right now and can so easily have that fixed so you can have a glorious eternity, is it really worth it to continue the same path of sin and rebellion you’re now on? Is anything you may attain in this life, in light of eternity, worth holding on to? Is it better to continue on enjoying whatever pleasures of sin that the world has to offer in light of what the Lord can give you? (Heb. 11:25) If you’re wise, you will want far more than what this life and Satan are offering you, and both of them are passing away. I implore you to reject the world and Satan, and come to the Lord and make Him your new Master.