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Revelation Bible Study Notes & Aids

An Overview of the Tribulation

Overview of the Tribulation

Mark 13:14-23 (ESV) The Abomination of Desolation

14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

The best way to understand the characteristics of this period of time – The Tribulation – is to follow three sequences in the book of Revelation.

  • You have the seven seals and out of the seventh seal come the seven trumpets, out of the seventh trumpet come the seven bowls. The seven seals stretch over the whole period.
  • The seven trumpets cover the middle point and beyond.
  • And the seven bowls are all the rapid fire at the end

Seven-sealed scroll is opened by the Lamb:

  1. Rider on a white horse, he has a bow and a crown and this is the Antichrist.
  2. Red horse and peace is taken from the earth and men begin to slaughter each other
  3. Famine follows.
  4. Death and Hades come forth and a fourth of the earth are killed with the sword and famine and pestilence and the animal kingdom is turned loose on the world.
  5. Martyrs who are beginning to be martyred, slaughtered for the Kingdom.
  6. A great earthquake and the sun becomes as black as sackcloth made of hair.
  7. Silence before impending doom.


  1. Trumpet 1 in brings hail and fire, mixed with blood, thrown to the earth. A third of the earth is burned up. A third of the trees burned up. All the green grass burned up.
  2. Trumpet 2: a great mountain burning with fire, some kind of an asteroid or meteor thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood. A third of the creatures in the sea had life, died. A third of the ships are destroyed.
  3. Trumpet 3: another flaming torch comes out of heaven and falls on the fresh water and the springs of water called wormwood, a third of the waters become bitter.
  4. Trumpet 4: A fourth angel sounds, a third of the sun , a third of the moon changes everything, day, night, tides, seasons. A third of the stars are struck. A third of them darkened and the day wouldn’t shine for a third of it and the night in the same way.
  5. Trumpet 5 hell opens up and belches out demons who have been bound but they’re fully released in the time of the Tribulation. It’s going to be so bad, demon infestation that verse 6 says, men will seek death and not find it, a long to die and death will flee from them.
  6. Trumpet 6: a third of mankind will be killed. And there will be an army coming from the east numbering two hundred million and their path will be made ready.
  7. Trumpet 7:  right at the very end and ushers in the six rapid-fire bowl judgments


  1. Malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image… the Antichrist.
  2. Poured into the sea, every living thing in the sea died.
  3. Pours in all the rivers and springs of water, all the fresh water becomes like blood.
  4. Causes the sun to scorch men with fire and they blaspheme the name of God.
  5. Pours out on the throne of the beast, the king, and becomes dark. They gnaw on their tongues because of pain and they blaspheme the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores and didn’t repent of their deeds
  6. Poured out on the great river Euphrates, water was dried up and the way would be prepared for the kings coming from the east, probably the army of two hundred million to come to Armageddon because Armageddon starts in the next verse.
  7. Flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and a great earthquake such as there hadn’t been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it and so mighty.

That is a glimpse of the time of Tribulation and its escalating terrors and horrors. This is what is coming on the world.

Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi, the Islamic Antichrist, who comes, it says, in their eschatological literature, their authoritative literature, when he comes he will set up his throne and establish world Islamic rule in Jerusalem on the temple mount.

  • He will be aided and abetted by a prophet and the prophet will be Jesus, who will come back and say, “You were all wrong about me all the time, I didn’t die, I didn’t rise, I didn’t pay for sin, I am a radical Muslim.”
  • he will correct all the misunderstandings about him
  • anybody who doesn’t worship the Mahdi will be massacred.
  • The Islamic Messiah is the Bible’s Antichrist.

Daniel  11:31 has a very interesting mention of the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATIONS in reference to what Antiochus Epiphanes

The Antichrist will make war with the saints, according to Revelation 13:7

  • He will also kill the Jews, according to Revelation 12, 13, 17.
  • This is part of the judgment of God on unbelieving Israel.

Mark 13:21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

  • It will be convincing with signs and wonders in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
  • You don’t have to be fearful of false teachers.
  • Luke 21:28, “When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads for your redemption draws near.” For that generation alive in the Tribulation, all we have to do is open the Bible to the Olivet Sermon of Jesus and the book of Revelation, they’ll know exactly where they are.

That’s an overview of the Tribulation… next message we will look at the GREAT TRIBULATION.


“Where the Bible makes plain sense,
seek no other sense,
lest you turn it into nonsense”.

The ESV® Bible (The Holy BibleEnglish Standard Version®) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Biblecopyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.