Summary: The Tribulation will be a time unique in all of human history. It consists of a seven-year reign of terror that will be inflicted upon all of mankind.
The Tribulation will be a time unique in all of human history. It consists of a seven-year reign of terror that will be inflicted upon all of mankind. God’s unmitigated wrath, consisting of twenty-one consecutive judgments, will be unleashed upon the world in ever-increasing intensity. The prophet Daniel describes this coming holocaust as "a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time" (Dan. 12:1). Another well-known seer by the name of Jeremiah presents it thusly: "Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble" (Jer. 30:7).
The reasons for the Tribulation are twofold: first, to bring God’s judgment upon a Christ-rejecting world; and secondly, to prepare a remnant of the Jewish people to meet their long-awaited Messiah. Revelation chapters 6-19, sometimes called Daniel’s "seventieth week," concludes with the Battle of Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ to the earth.
The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (6:1-17)
As Jesus opens the first seal, John hears one of the four living creatures give the order for the rider on the white horse to go forth. This first horseman is not Christ, but one who comes in His name. This evil personage is known by many names, but primarily as the Antichrist or Beast. He has a bow but no arrows, indicating that he shall "come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries" (Dan. 11:21, 24). He will rise to power through the voluntary alliance of ten western European nations uniting under a one-world government.
As the "prince that shall come" (Dan. 9:26), he will lead Israel into signing an international peace pact which Isaiah describes as a "covenant with death, and with hell" (Isa. 28:15, 18). This treaty will guarantee the Jewish nation not only a time of peace and security, but also an occasion to rebuild their temple.
Next John sees the second seal opened and the red horse rider summoned forth. Red is the color of bloodshed and war. Peace will be short-lived, as somewhere near the midst of the Tribulation week Russia and her Muslim allies will sweep down upon the mountains of the small and unsuspecting nation of Israel. Through a series of God’s judgments, the northern army is destroyed leaving only a sixth part. The destruction will be so great that it will take seven years to burn the weapons and seven months to bury the dead. This deadly war begins a series of conflicts that escalate until all the nations of the world are drawn into the blood-soaked Battle of Armageddon.
With the defeat of the Russian armies, the Antichrist uses this opportunity to seize world control. He then breaks his agreement with Israel and establishes himself in the newly rebuilt temple proclaiming himself God.
The third seal beckons the black horse rider. After war comes famine and economic disaster. The majority of the world’s population will face starvation during this period on an unprecedented scale. Gold, silver, and paper currency will become useless as they’re soon replaced by a monetary system controlled by the Beast. Food will be rationed and a person will find himself working all day just to feed himself. Yet the rich will get richer having access to luxuries that are denied to the common man.