Have you ever played the game of Twenty-One Questions? If not, you may have said or heard something like, “What is this … twenty-one questions?” Which can be a response to being asked one too many questions, especially those that are personal. Why is twenty-one questions still a catch-phrase, particularly among us Baby Boomers?
Twenty-One was one of the many television game shows which became widely and wildly popular during the 1950s. Two contestants were placed in separate sound-proof booths; the first to get to 21 points by successfully answering the questions was the winner. Hosted by Jack Barry, it aired in 1956; but lasted only three years. Its’ short television shelf-life was not a result of poor ratings; rather, it was the first game show (of a few) discovered to be “rigged” in various ways.
Whether a Baby Boomer or not, many may be familiar with another T.V. game show that aired in 1955. Several years later it, too, was discovered to have been fixed. If you don’t remember that show or are too young to have ever seen it, my guess is that you’ve still said or heard the following phrase: “That’s the $64,000.00 Question!”
The name of the show? What else? The $64,000.00 Question.
Some of the popular television game shows first aired in the 50s that were not tainted: The Price Is Right, This Is Your Life, What’s My Line, and To Tell the Truth.
(The TV Game Show, Twenty-One)
So what is the more modern version of Twenty-One Questions?
From the online source WikiHow, we read (quote in italics):
…The game “21 Questions” is a great game to play if you are trying to get to know someone, have a group of friends who want to know more about each other, or have a romantic partner you want to learn more about…”
In Understanding the Game of today’s Twenty-One Questions, Point 4 subtitled Consider the Setting, the article gives examples of questions to ask:
If meeting with members of a book club or writer’s group, you might want to ask questions like, “What is your favorite book?”… If meeting with a church group, consider questions such as, “What is your favorite Bible verse/story?”
Point #2 (of seven rule points) is subtitled: Identify what you want to know.
Point 5: Show respect.
Point 6: Identify off-limits questions.
Point 7: Set rules for how to pass on a question.
It’s sometimes fun to reminisce, particularly if the nostalgia takes us back to what we think (or maybe really were) the good old days!
For the purpose of this week’s Eye of Prophecy article we need to change a couple of the rules of Twenty-One Questions. For example: there are no-off limits questions when it comes down to our long-term eternal destiny … heaven or hell. There should be no passing on questions that challenge a person’s lack of concern for or interest in the short-term (soon-to-come) consequences of what will be the most terrible time of human history.
Stay tuned and we’ll look at:
Twenty-One Reasons Not To Play Games with the Future
All twenty-one reasons are graphically and powerfully portrayed in the book of Revelation. The apocalyptic last days of the end times including twenty-one colossal catastrophes are summarily lumped together in many Biblical prophecies under the term, Day of the Lord—which entails the Rapture, the Great Tribulation, The Return of Messiah Jesus, and the Millennium. By now you’ve probably realized that the twenty-one events are part and parcel of the Great Tribulation.
“In all history there has never been such a time of terror. It will be a time of trouble for my people Israel. Yet in the end they will be saved!” (Jeremiah 30:7).
From the prophet Daniel: “…Then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence…” (Daniel 12:1).
Some 550 years later, Messiah Jesus, himself, affirmed and expanded on Daniel’s prophecy.
“For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones” (Matthew 24:21-22).
There are twenty-one specific calamities that will take place during the Great Tribulation in which billions will die from more war, disease, famine, murder, natural and supernatural disasters than the human race has experienced in all of its history to date. (Please see, Shocking Statistics of the Tribulation posted 6-6-15 in Eye of Prophecy, which details the terrible death toll of the tribulation).
Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls
The twenty-one judgments listed in Revelation are divided into three sets of seven. Three: the divine number that represents and expresses our majestic Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Seven: the finality of God’s purpose, providence, and justice.
Seven Seals: Broken one at a time by Jesus Christ.
Seven Trumpets: Blown/heralded by seven angels.
Seven Bowls: Poured out on the earth. “…Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues which would bring God’s wrath to completion” (Revelation 15:1).
We want to focus primarily on the when, why, and who of these massive judgments. When will (spacing and timing) the twenty-one catastrophes occur … such as first half or second half of the Great Tribulation? Why (what is the overriding purpose) must they take place? Who will be affected the most?
Beginning with a twofold comprehensive premise: (1) God’s wrath poured out on a totally corrupt, evil, and unremorseful world. (2) But for the specific purpose to get the attention of all unbelievers, giving them one final clear-cut (black and white decision … no gray areas) opportunity for salvation by choosing the true Messiah, Jesus. Or, at the peril of eternal death, to follow the false messiah in one last attempt for mankind to (unsuccessfully) prove that the human race can do what only God can do: save us from self-destruction—a direct result of our sinful nature and the consequences thereof. Thereby, establishing a Kingdom of true justice and real peace on the earth.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
It often takes troubled times and extreme events to shake us out of spiritual apathy. To turn us to our Creator, and to remind us that we are desperately in need of Biblical redemption (believing and receiving Messiah Jesus as personal Savior) in order to live forever in heaven and escape eternal separation from God … in hell.
Indeed, it’s not a game. Yet we can draw from the analogy of Twenty-One Questions, especially rules 2 & 5. What is it you want to know? What is it you should know? Because the stakes are so high, wouldn’t it be good to identify the big-picture long-term questions that will determine our eternal destiny. And the short-term (near future) issue of whether we will be taken in the glorious Rapture or left behind to experience the greatest soul-shocking, gut-wrenching, and heart-failing episode of all time—the Great Tribulation. How much respect for Biblical prophecy do you have? Should you have?
Unbelievers often say something to the effect, “Aren’t there enough horrible things happening all over the world. Why bring up predictions of more gloom and doom?” Answer: Because that’s exactly what the Day of the Lord will be to those who have rejected Messiah Jesus, who said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Then he backed up his claim as the Son of God by rising from the dead.
Sadly, the mindset of so many unbelievers is just as it was in Noah’s day … eat, drink, and be merry. Nothing wrong with that, unless it consumes one’s thoughts, actions, and entire purpose in life at the exclusion of what will matter most when God’s Day of Judgment comes.
(Noah & His Family Were In The Ark Seven Day Before The Rain Even Began … Genesis 7:10)
“Come, they say, let’s get some wine and have a party. Let’s all get drunk. Then tomorrow we’ll do it again and have an even bigger party!” (Isaiah 56:12).
Or the persistent pursuit of power, prestige, and pleasure.
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul. Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:26, words of Jesus).
“Sound the alarm in Jerusalem! Raise the battle cry on my holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the Lord is upon us. It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness…” (Joel 2:1-2).
The “everyone” mentioned by the prophet Joel (his prophecy is both near future and distant future—end times) are ultimately unbelievers left behind when believers are taken to heaven by Jesus at the Rapture. Believers need not tremble or be in fear of the Day of the Lord, as we will be spared from the horror of the Great Tribulation. But we are to be alert, ready at all times. We should be keenly interested in what’s happening in the world and see how the ongoing developments of the last seventy years or so fit precisely into the final (Omega) generation spoken of by Jesus.
The Seven Seals
The First Four Seals: Known the world over as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, depicted in Revelation 6:1-8.
First is a white horse whose rider represents the preparation of nations for the “many battles” (Revelation 6:2) that will take place after the chaotic vacuum created by the disappearance of hundreds of millions (believers) from the earth. Several nations and their leaders will seize the opportunity to do battle with enemies they think are ripe for the taking.
The second horse is red. Its rider represents the actual wars that will take place or those already in progress that will intensify exponentially after the Rapture. Such as the battles in the Middle East and conflicts between African nations. Or, an armed confrontation between the United States and Korea. Ethnic and national hostilities will erupt in many regions of the earth.
“…Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere” (Revelation 6:4).
The third horse is black. Its rider depicts global economic collapse and famine.
The fourth horse is pale green. Its rider is death and the grave itself, denoting the composite death and destruction caused by the three horsemen before it. The terrifying result: “…These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease and wild animals” (Revelation 6:8).
When these seals are broken, the Lord will permit the human race to unleash the horror of aggressive war and terrorism—politically, economically, and militarily—like never before. However, the four horses are not direct judgments from God. They are man-made, but this time without any divine intervention or restrictions. Despite the carnage of wars throughout history (none more so than World War I & II), it could have been worse … were it not for the providential limitation God places on such things. That’s why Jesus said no one would survive the Tribulation if he didn’t stop it in time (Matthew 24:22).
Many have asked down through the years: “Why does God allow evil? And, “Why doesn’t God put an end to violence and wickedness?”
Answer: He did at one time … the Great Flood of Noah’s day. Through Noah’s family (just eight people), he replenished the earth and gave mankind a chance to start over. The long and short of it is that we “blew it” again. We proved to God and ourselves just how selfishly wicked we are.
One day soon, God’s patience will run out. Why that has taken thousands of years is for God alone to know. But Scripture gives us general clues. It has to do with (as alluded to earlier) God allowing the human race to choose to do what is right or wrong; thereby, demonstrating whether we’ve succeeded or failed (through various kinds of government) to achieve peace and stability on planet Earth. The outcome has been all too futilely apparent.
All the while, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise (the 2nd coming of Christ), as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (II Peter 3:9, parenthesis mine … based on verse 4).
The absolute horror of one-fourth of the world’s population dying in the early part of the Great Tribulation will be a terrible testament to the evil that men do. Moreover, by the time God’s wrath is poured out (beginning with the 6th Seal), all will see the justified relevance of God’s anger. They will know why God is judging the earth so severely.
Fifth Seal: Describes the tribulation saints pleading with the Lord to avenge their deaths at the hands of “the people who belong to this world” (Revelation 6:10). Throughout Revelation, the term those who belong to the world refers to unbelievers who choose Antichrist over Messiah Jesus and refuse to repent of their sins.
Sixth Seal: This is when God begins to intervene directly in the affairs of mankind on a global scale not seen since the Great Flood. Starting with a massive earthquake and (implied) volcanic eruptions from which: “…The sky was rolled up like a scroll…” (Revelation 6:14).
“Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?’” (Revelation 6:15-17).
At least many people will acknowledge that this sixth seal judgment was directly from God. I believe millions will—up to and including that time—turn to the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, for salvation. But billions more will not. Despite knowing that the Day of the Lord is upon them, they will continue to give allegiance to Antichrist (Nero) as their messiah.
As indicated in a few prior Eye of Prophecy articles, including last week’s, there is a striking similarity between the fifth and sixth seals along with the first trumpet judgment and the specific disasters that the Lord inflicts on the Gog/Magog armies (see Ezekiel 38 & 39). Which is further corroboration that the Gog/Magog invasion will take place within the first 1 ½ years or so of the Tribulation.
Seventh Seal: The last seal also results in a “terrible earthquake” (Revelation 8:5), and is a preparation for the next set of world-wide cataclysmic disasters.
The Seven Trumpets
First Four Trumpets: (1) One-third of the earth on fire burning the trees and green grass. (2) One-third of the oceans turned into blood, with one-third of all sea-life and one-third of the ships destroyed. (3) One-third of the rivers and springs of water polluted, “…and many people died from drinking the bitter water” (Revelation 8:11). (4) One-third of the sun, moon, and stars darkened, with no light at all during one-third of the day and one-third of the night.
Although these four plagues are supernaturally imposed by the Lord, each involves heavenly bodies and earthly elements. It’s divine judgment through enormous natural disasters. What many have labeled for centuries as, “The Wrath of God.”
It’s also apparent that these disasters will include friendly casualties; there’s no indication that tribulation saints will be spared. It’s also deductively evident in Revelation that more saints will be murdered for their faith than those who die in the natural disasters.
Not so, however, when the fifth trumpet is blown; we see an astonishing announcement after the fourth trumpet judgment is finished.
A Spectacular Proclamation Before the Fifth Trumpet
“Then I looked, and I heard a single eagle crying loudly as it flew through the air, ‘Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world because of what will happen when the last three angels blow their trumpets’” (Revelation 8:13, italics for emphasis).
The italicized portion of the above passage is the second time we see the phrase (or paraphrase), “all who belong to the world.” This descriptive term is also found in Revelation 11:10; 13:8; 13:14; and 17:8. Other designations with the same meaning are used in Revelation 9:4 (those who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads), and Revelation 14:9 and 16:2—those who worshipped the beast or his statue, or who took his mark. Each is an unmistakable identification of the unsaved who refused to, “…repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts” (Revelation 9:21). This obstinate defiance of and rebellion against God—despite overwhelming evidence that God, himself, was pouring out his wrath on them—is also mentioned other times in Revelation. Even to the extent that unbelievers begin to curse God.
Thus, there is a demarcation at this juncture of the Tribulation. God’s wrath has now begun specifically against the ungodly, and will continue in the last two trumpets and all seven bowls against Antichrist (Nero), his ten-nation coalition, and all the peoples of the world who have sworn allegiance to Nero by worshipping him, his statue, and/or taking the mark of his name or number.
This leads to the convincing conclusion that the fifth trumpet will be blown at or very shortly after the half-way point of the Tribulation. Which is the point when Antichrist Nero will break his treaty with Israel (see Daniel 9:27). Nero will have captivated the world’s attention by reappearing from the Abyss (Revelation 17:7-8), which the world will see as a return from the dead at the outset of the Tribulation (Revelation 13). However, it’s not until halfway through the Tribulation—to include consolidation of his ten-nation coalition by fully convincing the leaders and governments of those nations that he is, in fact, the Roman Emperor Nero—that God will allow Satan to impart extensive unbridled power to Nero.
“…And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months” (Revelation 13:5).
But beware you principalities and powers of darkness and people of the world who, “…loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil” (John 3:19). When Nero is afforded even more natural and unnatural power and authority—straight from the gates of hell—he and his kingdom will experience exponentially the full fury of God’s wrath. It begins with the:
Fifth Trumpet: This is the first truly supernatural expression of God’s supreme power, in contrast to the natural disasters up to this point of the Tribulation. The Lord permits the embodied demonic angels who have been imprisoned in the Abyss since the Great Flood (alongside of Nero for the last two thousand years) to be released. Listen to what they will do and to whom:
“They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were told not to kill them but to torture them for five months with pain like the pain of a scorpion sting. In those days people will seek death but will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them!” (Revelation 9:4-6, italics to emphasize that those attacked by the demonic angels were one and the same as those “who belong to the world”).
(Artist Rendition of the Locusts from the Abyss)
Then we read, “The first terror is past, but look, two more terrors are coming!” (Verse 12).
Sixth Trumpet: This is another exercise of God’s absolute divine sovereignty by releasing four evil angels who lead a vast army of demonic angels (could be the same angels of the fifth trumpet or other evil angels or a combination of wicked angels and human armies).
“Then the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth. I heard the size of their army, which was 200 million mounted troops” (Revelation 9:15-16).
We know that the incredible death and destruction unleashed by this vast army will also be directed against unbelievers. Why? Because, “…the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of the evil deeds and turn to God…” (Verse 20).
Seventh Trumpet: “…Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and roared, and there was an earthquake and a terrible hailstorm” (Revelation 11:19). This is the third of four earthquakes during the twenty-one judgments.
However, before the actual execution of the 7th Trumpet judgment, there is an another awesome announcement that stunningly signals the beginning of the end of the beginning of the Tribulation. It is now time for the Lord to vent the maximum ferocity of his wrath against the remaining depraved, defiant, ungodly, unjust, and unrepentant inhabitants of the earth. With, however, sufficient restraint so as not to wipe out the human race, as the Lord did with Noah’s flood. And with the express purpose of purifying and preparing the earth for the Kingdom of God.
Read with me:
“The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
“…We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty, the one who is and who always was, for now you have assumed your great power, and have begun to reign. The nations were filled with wrath, but now the time of your wrath has come … It is time to destroy all who have caused destruction on the earth” (Revelation 11:16-18, italics for emphasis).
Earlier in Revelation (before the judgments began), we read these words: “…Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come” (Revelation 4:8, italics for emphasis).
Do you see the difference in the italicized words of the above two passages? When we get to the 7th Trumpet, it is no longer a matter of our great and glorious God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who is “still to come.” His magnificent reign has begun. There’s nothing Satan, Antichrist, or the False Prophet can do about it, although they will still arrogantly and vainly try.
Now it’s time for evil (personified) to drink the full cup of God’s wrath to the last drop.
The Seven Bowls
It’s not quite to the point where the Antichrist and his followers haven’t seen anything yet. But it’s close to that, because the final seven catastrophes are unimaginable, especially the last one.
Notice once again against whom the bullseye target of God’s retribution is drawn.
First Bowl: “So the first angel left the Temple and poured out his bowl on the earth, and horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue” (Revelation 16:2).
By this time, all or nearly all who have chosen Nero as their (false) messiah will have taken the mark of his name or number in their forehead or right hand (see Revelation 13:16).
Second Bowl: “Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. And everything in the sea died” (Revelation 16:3).
Incredible! The remaining two-thirds of the seas not contaminated in the 2nd Trumpet have now been ravaged by death.
*Note: Prior to the bowl judgments we read a second time about the tribulation saints that were first introduced in the fifth seal … those who had been killed earlier in the Tribulation. We now see that more of their brothers and sisters in Christ (Rev. 6:10-11) had also been martyred.
“…And on it stood all the people who had been victorious over the beast and his statue and the number representing his name…” (Revelation 15:2). Though they had been slain, theirs was the ultimate victory—everlasting life instead of eternal death, which would be the fate of those who belong to the world.
Thus, the strong implication is that by now the vast majority of the remaining people on earth are unbelievers—those that follow Antichrist; also those who don’t, but still have not turned to God and Messiah Jesus.
Third Bowl: Just like the 3rd Trumpet blast, this bowl judgment was poured out on the inland bodies of fresh water all over the earth. Likewise, the remaining two-thirds will turn to blood. And the angel who poured out this bowl proclaims:
“…You are just, O Holy One, who is and who always was, because you have sent these judgments. Since they shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, you have given them blood to drink. It is their just reward. And I heard a voice from the altar, saying, ‘Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just’” (Revelation 16:5-7).
Fourth Bowl: Another extraordinary event—a solar flare of epic (Biblical!) proportions. Yet with the same obstinate response of unbelievers:
“Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, causing it to scorch everyone with its fire. Everyone was burned by this blast of heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had control over all these plagues. They did not repent of their sins and turn to God and give him glory” (Revelation 16:8-9).
This is also another indication that the main purpose of these awesome events is to give unbelievers one last chance to acknowledge the Lord. Like the Exodus plagues against Pharaoh and Egypt: after each Tribulation judgment, people will be faced yet again with the decision to turn to God for salvation or harden their heart even more.
Fifth Bowl: “Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. His subjects ground their teeth in anguish, and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But they did not repent of their evil deeds and turn to God” (Revelation 16:10-11).
This is eerily similar to the 9th plague against the Egyptians before the Exodus. “…A deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days. During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived” (Exodus 10:22).
Darkness so thick it could be cut with a knife! But only on, over, and around the Antichrist and his followers. And it will last much longer than three days.
Sixth Bowl: “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance” (Revelation 16:12).
By combining the sixth bowl with Daniel 11:36-45, here we see the definitive Biblical passages on the final battle of the ages … what virtually the entire world knows as Armageddon. Not long after the kings of the east (and the south—Daniel 11) march on Antichrist, all of these armies will join together to take on the rider of the true white horse (contrasted to the first seal horse), who is none other than Messiah Jesus, King of all kings and Lord of all lords (See Revelation 19:11-21).
During that epic battle to end all battles, Antichrist and the False Prophet will be seized and thrown alive into the Lake of Fire. Satan will be bound during the 1000-year reign of Messiah and believers on the earth.
Seventh Bowl: Now the end has come with inconceivable devastation that will dwarf all the disasters before it. Here, I would like to defer to an excerpt from the aforementioned Eye of Prophecy article, Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation (in italics):
Although all of the apocalyptic events allowed or caused by God are exceptional, none more so than the final earth-shattering demonstration of God’s power. Every time I read it, I shake my head in disbelief. I repeat the words, but they still do not compute. My imagination lags far behind the stunning reality of it all. A comparative image comes to mind; however, I realize that it is a fully inadequate analogy. I’ll mention it anyway—in order to gain a partial perspective and picture of how the final bowl judgment of God will surpass of all the catastrophes preceding it. The imagery that comes to mind is that of a lengthy fire-works display that culminates in the greatest, most magnificent grand finale ever seen. But the resemblance is similar only in form, certainly not in substance. Here is God’s final Tribulation judgment:
“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne in the Temple saying, ‘It is finished!’ Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And a great earthquake struck—the worst since people were placed on the earth. The great city of Babylon (Rome) split into three sections, and the cities of many nations fell into heaps of rubble … And every island disappeared, and all the mountains were leveled. There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below. They cursed God because of the terrible plague of the hailstorm” (Revelation 16:17-21).
Once again, absolutely incredible! Not just cities all over the earth crumbling into rubble, or every single island—think of the Hawaiian Islands—completely disappearing (giant tsunamis that not only inundate but sink the islands), and all of the earth’s mountains flattened into level plains. No, that isn’t what causes the unrepentant who are left on the earth to curse God once again. It was the giant hailstones that obviously were even more devastating than the other colossal calamities. The disaster depicted in the recently released movie, San Andreas, is nothing more than a tiny dot on a Seismograph compared to this unbelievably powerful world-wide earthquake, its aftermath, and the hailstorm to follow in this final and most fearsome judgment of all.
Things to Ponder
Based on persuasive Biblical documentation and associations, I believe we’ve identified which judgments will take place in the first half and the second half of the Great Tribulation. There are eleven events before the half-way mark and ten afterwards. (Actually, ten and ten, as will shortly be explained!) There’s a lot of symmetry just in that apportionment alone. Now let’s see if we can fine tune the sequential timing/spacing of all twenty-one events. Granted, this will involve some speculation, but supposition that is derived from correlating evidence in Revelation that can logically lead to this premise:
Due to the continuous and consecutive nature of the judgements and God’s sovereign sense of order and distribution of the plagues throughout seven years, there’s every reason to believe that each judgment will take place over a fairly equal span of time, from the end of one to the beginning of the next judgment … with brief short-time overlaps.
There’s a specific example on which to base this premise: the five months duration in which the locusts (symbolical representation of demonic angels from the Abyss) torment unbelievers to the extent that they wished they were dead.
We begin with the 84 months of the tribulation (7 years x 12 months). Then we divide this time span by 21 (judgments) resulting in a period of four months (average between events).
However, in referring to Daniel Chapter 12, there is an additional 75 days (2 ½ months) at the end of the Tribulation (time/space doesn’t permit elaboration; however, I’ve explained this in a couple prior articles). Technically, we also need to reduce the judgments to twenty (20) as the 5th Seal is a depiction of the slain tribulation saints up to that point which takes place mostly during the first four seals. It is not an actual event (judgment) as such.
Thus, to be even more precise we need to use the figure of 86.5 (total) months of the actual tribulation, divided by 20 events with the result of 4.325 months average length of time between plagues. Conclusion: an average time of 4 to 5 months between each judgment. With the understanding that the first four Seal plagues interface and overlap each other; a total of about eighteen months duration for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
One example: The massive solar flare (4th Bowl) will conceivably take place right around the six-year mark of the Tribulation (with another 14 months or so to go).
In God’s mercy and patience even during the Tribulation, it would be just like him to give those who belong to the world a clearer picture of the approximate length of time between judgments, which they will have realized at least by the mid-point of the tribulation.
I do hope one thing makes sense above all. If you’re reading this article and don’t know Messiah Jesus as your personal Savior, it should be so very evident by now that you don’t want to be left behind at the Rapture to experience any part of the Tribulation.
“That terrible day of the Lord is near. Swiftly it comes—a day of bitter tears, a day when even strong men will cry out. It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out—a day of terrible distress and anguish, a day of ruin and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, a day of trumpet calls and battle cries. Down go the walled cities and the strongest battlements!” (Zephaniah 1:14-16).
Do you see the stunning similarity between this passage in Zephaniah and the Great Tribulation passages in the book of Revelation, written some 700 years later?!
Please take stock of eternity … it’s such a very long time!
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).