The Tribulation lasts 7 years being the 70th Week of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). It brings the Times of the Gentiles to completion. It is a rerun of the 7 years of grace (AD 26-33) that were cancelled because Israel rejected their Messiah. This time by their end, the nation of Israel will welcome Jesus Christ as their King and be saved when He returns the second time. It is divided into two halves of 1260 days (three and a half years or 42 months) with a short Mid-Tribulational Interval of 34 days. The second half of the Tribulation is often called the Great Tribulation.
When the 7th Trumpet sounds (Rev 11:15), a number of Mid-Tribulation events happen quickly together, as the world moves into the Great Tribulation (see also Matthew 24:15-22), setting the stage for the final 1260 days (the time of antichrist's dominion). Daniel 12 is a revelation of the Great Tribulation (see v1) which begins the day the antichrist takes over the Temple (Daniel 11:45) and ends with the resurrection of the just at the Second Coming (v2,3). From the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be 1290 days (v11). Thus he tells us that its length is 1290 days, as measured from the desecration of the Temple. However according to v7, it is only 1260 days as measured from when antichrist becomes world-dictator and systematically persecutes Israel (see also Dan 7:25, Rev 13:5): It shall be for a time, times, and half a time (1260 days); and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. Both these periods end at the same time for Daniel 9:27 makes it clear that the Abomination only lasts as long as the antichrist, and we know that his dominion is cut short by the Return of Christ. Therefore there is an period of 30 days from the Abomination of Desolation before antichrist gains world-domination for 1260 days. We also saw in Revelation 11 that after the first-half of the Tribulation (after the 1260 days) there are another 4 days that must be completed, before the 7th Trumpet sounds (and the Abomination is set up). Thus the total Mid-Tribulational Interval is 34 days long.
It is during this Mid-Tribulational Interval that a number of characters are introduced (in Revelation 12 and 13), because they are the key actors involved in the rapid changes at Mid-Tribulation, as they take centre stage for the Great Tribulation. These main characters in the events of the Second-Half of the Tribulation are: the Woman and the Man-child (12:1-5,13-17), Michael (12:7), the Dragon (12:7-17), the Beast (13:1-18) and the False Prophet (13:11-18). They are introduced quickly one after another at the 7th Trumpet, and then some background information is revealed along with their involvement during the following three and a half years. The fact that all this action, involving these characters, takes place at Mid-Tribulation is confirmed by the fact that we see the same time-period again and again of Three and a half years = A Time, Times and half a Time = 42 months = 1260 days -all referring to the second half of the Tribulation (Daniel 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 12:6,14; 13:5).
(1) In Daniel 7:20,21,25, antichrist conquers Israel and gives them (along with all believers) Great Tribulation at the same time as when he starts speaking great things against God. It states that he is allowed three and a half years in this mode. (In the first-half of the Tribulation the persecution against believers and Israel comes from the false one-world religion rather than the antichrist). It is in the Great Tribulation that he shows his true colours with far greater persecutions.
(2) Daniel 12:7 confirms that antichrists dominion over Israel is for ‘a time, times and half a time' (three and a half times) but it serves the purpose of breaking Israel’s pride and helping them to trust in the true Christ rather than in other powers. Israel will be suffering for their own sin of trusting in and making covenant with the antichrist but when they repent Christ delivers them
(3) In Revelation 11:2 this same period of domination of Israel is given as 42 months.
(4) Revelation 12:6,14 shows how God provides a place of refuge from the antichrist for Jewish believers during this identical time of 1260 days or 'a time and times and half a time.'
(5) Revelation 13:3-8 describes the rise of this final form of the beast, with his resurrection from a deadly wound (the language makes it clear he actually dies) followed by the whole world submitting to him and worshipping him. At this time he is given power to speak great things claiming to be God. At this time he attacks and overcomes Israel. At this time he is given power over the whole world. But he is only given these powers for 42 months.
These time-periods confirm that the 7th Trumpet is at Mid-Tribulation:
(1) The Two Witnesses minister in the Temple in Jerusalem for 1260 days (Rev 11:3). Their resurrection from the dead and ascension to Heaven is followed by the 7th Trumpet and the start of the Great-Tribulation (Rev 11:13,14).
(2) Soon after the 7th Trumpet sounds (11:15) we see the Woman (the remnant of Israel) fleeing into the wilderness to a place where she will be protected for 1260 days (Rev 12:6,14). (The fleeing time confirms there must be a short interval of time from the 7th Trumpet to the start of the final 1260 days). Thus the 7th Trumpet is located Mid-Tribulation.
(3) Moreover, according to Matthew 24:15-21, the signal for all believers in Israel to flee is the Abomination of Desolation, which according to Daniel 9:27 happens at Mid-Tribulation. So this is a further confirmation.
(4) In Daniel 11:45, antichrist takes over the Temple, which is the signal for a great deliverance (escape) of Jewish believers from the persecutions of the Great-Tribulation under antichrist (12:1). The time-period given for this Great-Tribulation is three and a half years (Daniel 12:7,11).
(5) At the same time (soon after the 7th Trumpet sounds) Michael throws the Devil out of the heavens down to the earth (12:7-10), and he immediately tries to destroy the fleeing Woman but fails (Rev 12:13-17). Again this confirms that there is an interval of time during which there is a war in heaven, satan and his angels are cast down, and he attacks the fleeing Woman. After she reaches safety, satan initiates a world-wide persecution of Jews which lasts 1260 days (Rev12:17, Dan7:25, 12:7, Rev 13:5-7).
(6) At this time (after the Woman has reached safety) the antichrist (possessed by satan) becomes world-dictator and tries to annihilate all of God's people (believers and Jews). He rules for 1260 days (Rev 11:2, 13:5, Daniel 7:25, 12:7).
Thus we see a consistent pattern of about 3.5 years until the 7th Trumpet, followed by another 3.5 years until the end.
We reached Mid-Tribulation when the Mighty Angel came from Heaven (Rev10) at the time of the death of the 2 witnesses (11:7). On the 4th day after that their resurrection marked the end of the 6th Trumpet (11:13,14), and the day after the 7th Trumpet was sounded (11:15-19) which marks the start of the Great Tribulation. Now we move into Revelation 12.
At this time all kinds of key events and changes take place, which happen in quick succession.
A new Character is now introduced: a WOMAN clothed with the sun = The REMNANT of ISRAEL.
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a WOMAN clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labour and in pain to give birth (v1,2).
According to the principles of interpretation, we should read a passage literally if it make sense (thus the 144,000 are literally 144,000 Jewish evangelists), but sometimes clearly symbolic language is used (as with this Woman, the Beast and the Dragon). Then we interpret the symbol according to Biblical symbolism, and usually the meaning is given nearby anyway!
This Woman is associated with the sun, moon and 12 stars, reminding us of Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:6-10: Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf. And his brothers said to him, Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us? So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the 11 stars bowed down to me. So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?
So, Jacob = Israel = the sun; Rachel = the moon; the 12 stars = the 12 patriarchs and their tribes.
Therefore this WOMAN is the nation of ISRAEL as a whole, especially the believing remnant, ‘the Israel of God.’
At this point another character is introduced: the Dragon (the Devil) who we will study shortly.
And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having 7 heads and 10 horns, and 7 diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the Woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His Throne (v3-5). The Woman (Believing Israel) fulfilled her main purpose in bringing forth a MAN-CHILD (the Messiah - JESUS CHRIST) who will rule over all nations with a rod of iron (v5 - Isaiah 9:6, Psalm 2:8-12; 110:1,2). A major reason for devil-inspired anti-semitism in the Old Testament was the destruction of the Messiah, to stop Him coming, because he knew it would mean satan's doom (Gen3:15). Satan tried to kill Jesus at His birth but failed (Matthew 2:16-18). Jesus fulfilled His ministry and ascended to Heaven. Thus 12:1-5 is an Interlude to introduce and give some background information about some new characters: the Woman, the Man-Child and the Dragon.
Then in v6 the chronological account of the Tribulation continues:
Then the Woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God... (Rev12:6a)
Thus, on the day of the 7th Trumpet, the Remnant of Israel flees into the wilderness (where she will be kept by God), in obedience to the command of Jesus in Matthew 24:15-21: Therefore when you see the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains (the Abomination is the signal for all Jewish believers to flee). Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. (This is the Woman fleeing into the wilderness). For then there will be Great Tribulation (especially in Israel), such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. When antichrist desecrates the Temple, the believers in Israel will only have a small window of opportunity to escape, hence the urgency of Jesus. Thus, on the same day that the Abomination is set up, the 7th Trumpet sounds, Israel flees and the Great-Tribulation begins.
Then there is a forward look to the time when she is in this place of safety:
...that they should feed her there 1260 days (Rev 12:6b).
In this place prepared by God, she will be kept and fed by God for the 1260 days of antichrist's dominion. She goes to MOAB, EDOM, AMMON (the mountains of Jordan) where she is kept safe from antichrist who dominates all other regions in the Great Tribulation: He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon (Daniel 11:41). There she will be safe in a prepared place (probably including Petra) despite satan’s attempts to destroy her.
The Man-Child: Revelation 12:5,6 jumps across a prophetic gap: She bore a Man-Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His Throne (AD33) ...(GAP of about 2000 years)... Then the Woman fled into the wilderness (at Mid-Tribulation), where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there 1260 days. Whenever there is a jump like this (over the Church-Age) there is a connecting link. One link is between the the Woman (Israel) who witnessed the time of Christ (from His birth to ascension- v5), and the Woman (Israel) in the Tribulation who has to flee the antichrist. There is also another link involving the Man-Child, for the Rapture of the Man-Child is fulfilled by the ascension of Christ (the Head) and by the Rapture of those in Christ (the Body). Thus the prophecy jumps over the Church-Age from the catching-up of Christ to the catching up of the Church before the Tribulation, so that v6 moves into the events of the Tribulation. However, this is not the full story, for the prophecy jumps to the Middle of the Tribulation. This implies another Rapture of believers at Mid-Tribulation, that fulfils the prophecy of the Man-Child. Now, we have seen that the 2 Witnesses are caught-up to Heaven in a cloud, on the day before the Woman flees. This cloud could be the 144,000 Jewish male evangelists who are raptured at the same time (who being born male and of Israel make a good fit the picture of the Man-Child). We will see that Revelation 14:1-5 clearly shows the 144,000 raptured to Heaven at Mid-Tribulation. (Confusion of these two Raptures is probably what leads some to believe in a Mid-Tribulational Rapture of the Church, but the 144,000 are entirely Jewish - they are a separate body to the Church). Now if these 144,000 (which are all men) are raptured at Mid-Tribulation as part of the Man-Child, then Revelation 12:5,6 would make perfect sense. It would jump from Christ and His Rapture to the 144,000 (in Christ) and their Rapture at Mid-Tribulation. Thus, the connecting link would be the Rapture of the Man-Child, which began with Christ and will be completed with the 144,000. Thus in v5, the prophecy jumps over about 2000 years to Mid-Tribulation (v6) and continues to talk about events then. The next day after the Rapture of the 144,000, the WOMAN (the believing Remnant of Israel) flees to safety. Moreover, the day after the Man-Child is caught-up to the Throne, when the 7th Trumpet sounds, war breaks out in the heavenlies (the atmosphere) resulting in satan being cast down to the earth (v7-11). Perhaps the Man-Child, upon attaining his throne-position exercises the authority over satan, that releases the angels to carry out his eviction from the air. When satan is cast down, that spells trouble for those on the earth, especially Israel (12:12-17), because He possesses and supernaturally empowers the antichrist enabling him to complete his rise to world-dictatorship and to carry out his plans, which include the attempted annihilation of Israel. This is why the Woman must flee quickly to safety, for otherwise she faces destruction at satan's hands (v14 says she goes to a place away 'from the presence of the serpent'). Thus the Woman must flee at the 7th Trumpet when she sees the Abomination (v6), because this is when satan is cast down to the earth, and goes after the Woman to destroy her (by energising and working through the antichrist). Thus v7-13 explain why the Woman must flee in v6.
The Devil. In Revelation 12:3, the Devil was introduced into the story.
He is the first of 3 wicked characters - the satanic trinity (the Devil, the Beast or Antichrist, and the False Prophet) who are introduced at Mid-Tribulation because this is when they come into greatest prominence. Their activity during the Great Tribulation is described. They are united in their opposition to God: I saw 3 unclean spirits like frogs coming (1) out of the mouth of the dragon, (2) out of the mouth of the beast, and (3) out of the mouth of the false prophet. (Rev 16:13).
They form blasphemous counterfeit trinity:
1. The devil like the Father, is the originator-planner who desires to be the ruler in Heaven (Isaiah 14). He is anti-God.
2. The antichrist, like the Son, Jesus Christ, fulfils the plan. He tries to usurp the Lord’s position as world-ruler.
He is given 3 and a half years like Jesus’ ministry. The Christ is called the Holy One and antichrist the lawless one.
3. The false prophet is the anti-Spirit glorifying the anointed leader as god, leading people to worship him.
1. THE DRAGON = THE SERPENT = THE DEVIL (Revelation 12:3-17).
Revelation 12:3-5 is an interlude giving background information on the devil before we see him in action in the Tribulation.
Another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having 7 heads and 10 horns, and 7 diadems on his heads (v3). The 7 heads identify him with the 7 Gentile World-Empires, especially the last head with the 10 horns (the antichrist- empire) - Rev13:1. The 7 Diadems on these 7 heads reveals his dominion over Babylon across the centuries, which will come to a climax at Mid-Tribulation with his complete power over antichrist and his kingdom. Satan’s strategy in the Tribulation is the establishment of his world-wide beast-kingdom and the destruction of Israel, but as Daniel 2 and 7 reveal, he will fail. This world empire only lasts three and a half years before God establishes His Kingdom forever.
His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven (stars are symbols of angels, see Job 38:1-7) and threw them to the earth (v4a). He caused the fall of a third of the angels and he now controls them.
And the dragon stood before the Woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child (Christ) as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron (v4,5). He is anti-God. He hates God. He also hates Christ who is destined to defeat him. So he tried to destroy Jesus Christ at His birth through Herod (an antichrist). He also hates the Woman (Israel) who bore Him, and so will try and destroy her through the antichrist (v13-17). And her Child (Christ) was caught up to God and His Throne (v5b). All his plans will fail! Jesus was caught up to Heaven, the Throne of God. (Similarly, he failed to destroy the 144,000 evangelists, when they are raptured at Mid-Tribulation).
The account of the Tribulation continues in v6: Then the Woman fled into the wilderness (to escape from the serpent),
where she has a place prepared by God (out of the serpent's reach), that they should feed her there 1260 days.
As we have seen this happens on the day of the 7th Trumpet when the Abomination is set up in the Temple.
On the very same day, Michael rises up and wages war on him, resulting in him being cast out of the atmosheric heaven to the earth: And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they (believers) overcame him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony (of their salvation through the Blood), and they did not love their lives to the death (v7-11). This rising up of Michael to deal with satan and protect Israel, on the day of the Abomination is also prophesied in Daniel 11:45-12:1.
This casting out of satan is a big part of the WOE of the 7th Trumpet for he knows his time is short:
Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea!
For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time (v12).
It is a WOE because on earth he now will indwell and empower the antichrist, propelling him to world-domination for the Great-Tribulation. Satan, who is anti-God (Isaiah 14) has a plan to establish a unified world-wide kingdom (see the Tower of Babel) under his dictator (the anti-christ) with an apostate religion under the False Prophet (the anti-Holy Spirit). He knows God’s plan to establish His Kingdom on earth under Christ, so satan’s aim is to close out God by doing it first. He works through the Beast and the False-Prophet, through the political-religious-economic power system that he has set up to dominate the world. Using the Mark of the Beast, he aims for complete domination. Anyone who refuses it is killed. To achieve this counterfeit kingdom, satan possesses and empowers the antichrist after tempting him with the offer that in Matthew 4, Jesus refused of possessing all the kingdoms of the world. Thus antichrist rises quickly to world-dictatorship.
Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the Woman (the remnant of Israel) who gave birth to the Male-Child (v13). With the Man-Child, now out of his reach, he attacks the Woman who is associated with him. Thus, as well as promoting antichrist and his kingdom, satan (through antichrist) focuses his attack on believing Israel to destroy her, for he knows Jesus Christ is returning to save Israel and establish His Kingdom through her. By destroying her, satan would nullify God’s promises and undermine the basis of Christ’s Return. Christ would have no Israel to return to earth to save, and He would not be able to establish the promised Kingdom. In this way satan hopes to prevent his own destruction. In fact, in Matthew 24:22, Jesus says that the elect will be on the edge of destruction when He returns to deliver them. Satan, has been behind all anti-semitism, trying to destroy Israel, down the centuries. But God has protected Israel, and will preserve the Remnant from satan’s attack, during the Great Tribulation also. Now we have seen that the Woman obeys the warning of Jesus in Matthew 24:16 to flee, and with God's help is able to quickly escape towards the wilderness of Jordan (v6). On the same day the war in heaven started and satan is cast down (v7-12). We are not told how long this takes, but it must be no longer than 30 days (the remaining time of the Mid-Tribulational Interval). Once cast down, he possesses and energises the antichrist. His first purpose in the Great Tribulation is to persecute and destroy the Woman who is still fleeing to safety: But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle (God helps her to make a speedy escape), that she might fly (quickly) into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time (1260 days, see v6), from the presence of the serpent (out of reach of satan and the antichrist who are trying to destroy her). So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood (a flood is a Biblical symbol for a large army that is sent to overwhelm and destroy) after the Woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood (inspired by satan's directive, antichrist mobilises an army to pursue her). But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood (a great earthquake from God will destroy this army, preventing antichrist from entering or controlling Jordan during the Great-Tribulation) which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth (v14-16). Notice, that in v6, she starts her escape (with the 1260 days of safety ahead of her) and that some time later (in v14, after the war in heaven) she is still on the run (with the 1260 days of safety still ahead of her). This fleeing time confirms there must be an interval of time from the 7th Trumpet (when she starts her flight) to the start of the final 1260 days (when she is safe, and antichrist becomes world-dictator). This is actually 30 days according to Dan 12:11.
Thus, by Divine Intervention satan's attack fails, and the Woman reaches safety, where she has 1260 days to wait. This is precisely the 1260 days of antichrist's world-rule. Therefore now in the account in Revelation we have reached the close of the Mid-Tribulational Interval and the opening of the final 1260 days: And the dragon was enraged with the Woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (v17). Now that the Woman is safely out of his reach, satan goes off to kill all those of Israel, and all believers world-wide who refuse to take the Mark of the Beast. In particular, many remaining Jews in Israel will reject the Mark and be killed (Zechariah 13:8,9). The Tribulation is seven years of increasing persecution - the last half being by far the worst. This is the time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ (Jeremiah 30:3-7, Isaiah 28:18). Moreover, through the pressure cooker of the Tribulation, Israel as a nation will turn to Jesus Christ. This time will be far worse than the Holocaust which was just a shadow of the Great Tribulation. However, those (believers) who survive to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13).
2. The second member of the satanic trinity is the BEAST = ANTICHRIST and his EMPIRE.
Revelation 13:1-6 is an Interlude where the antichrist is introduced and we are given some background information on him: Then I stood on the sand of the sea (looking from Israel's perspective). I saw a Beast rising up out of the sea (the Gentile nations), having 7 heads and 10 horns (on the 7th head), and on his horns 10 crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name (v1). This describes the Gentile Beast Empire which has taken different forms throughout history (the 7 heads which are all anti-God in nature-see 12:3). The focus is on the 7th head with 10 horns, which will be the main world-power in the Tribulation (and which will dominate Israel then). As in Daniel 7, we see this Beast with 10 hornsarise from the sea (of the Gentile nations).
What is new (and not revealed in Daniel 7) is the 7 heads. Revelation 17:2-14 describes this same beast with 7 heads and 10 horns (Revelation 17 is a parallel passage to Revelation 13 and much insight can be gained by comparing them):
A scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having 7 heads and 10 horns (17:3).
I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the 7 heads and the 10 horns (17:7). These 7 heads are identified as 7 kingdoms (empires):The 7 heads are 7 mountains on which the woman sits and they are also 7 kingdoms. (At the time when Revelation was written) 5 have fallen, one is (Rome), and the other has not yet come (Revived Rome). And when he comes, he must continue a short time (17:9,10). Revived Rome with the 10 kings is the kingdom yet to come (the 7th head): The 10 horns which you saw are 10 kings who have received no kingdom as yet (17:12a). This is the final kingdom from which antichrist comes: but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast (17:12b), and which he ultimately takes over as absolute dictator: These (10 kings) are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast (17:13). However the kings continue to rule under him until the Second Coming (v14).
The 7 heads are 7 Empires that come in sequence, one after the other.
We know five of them already:
1. Babylon - the Lion
2. Persia - the Bear
3. Greece - the Leopard
5. Revived Rome with 10 horns.
History completes the list of seven World-Empires that opposed and dominated Israel:
6. The Rome of John’s day
7. The end-time Revived Roman Empire with 10 horns.
Hence in John’s time, the first five had fallen, one was (Rome) and one had not come (Rev 17:10).
So, while Daniel 7 showed the Gentile Empires as being different beasts, Revelation 13 and 17 shows them as different heads of one beast (similar to Daniel 2 where they are all parts of one image). John sees first one head and then another, rise above the waters and then disappear. Then the 7th and final head appears (Revived Rome). It has 10 horns (as in Daniel 7 and Rev 17:3,7) which are all on the 7th head. The 10 horns are 10 kings that exist together, being on the same head. This is confirmed in Daniel 7:8,20,24 which show the 10 horns all on one head.
Now the Beast which I saw was like a leopard (Greece), his feet were like the feet of a bear (Persia), and his mouth like the mouth of a lion (Babylon). The dragon gave him(the beast) his power, his throne, and great authority (v2).
This Beast symbolises all the previously mentioned Empires and so Babylon, Persia and Greece are all included. Moreover satan was involved in this Beast of Babylon from the beginning (see also 12:3). However, the focus is mostly now on the 7th head, the final manifestation of the Beast, the satanically inspired Revived Roman Empire. It contains elements of Babylon, Persia and Greece which went before. This final form of ‘Babylon’ is the fullness and culmination of everything that has come before. All the heads are anti-God and inspired by satan, but the 7th head even more so. In the antichrist, satan finds a man he can use to gain total world-dominion and worship. Before antichrist actually becomes world-ruler (shortly before Mid-Tribulation), satan will manifest himself to him and offer him the kingdoms of the world, if he would worship and serve satan (as satan did with Jesus in the Temptation). Antichrist accepts the offer and 'the dragon gave him (the antichrist) his power, his throne, and great authority' (v2b). Although these words were partially fulfilled in previous forms of the Beast, they can only find their complete fulfillment in the antichrist and his kingdom (see 13:4,7).
Then the miracle of his death and resurrection helps to propels rise to world power and his being worshipped as god:
And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marvelled and followed the beast (v3). One interpretation of this is that the 6th head (the Roman Empire) seems to have received a death-blow but will be revived, and become the 7th head with 10 horns (Revived Rome), but this would not produce the reaction from the world described in this verse. I think it is better to understand Revelation 13:3-8 as all describing the 7th head, the final form of Rome that will exist in the Tribulation. It will be a federation of 10 kingdoms ruled over by antichrist, whose rise to world-power is aided by antichrist's miraculous recovery from a deadly wound. Thus this wounding and resurrection takes place at about Mid-Tribulation and is so crucial, that antichrist is often identified by it:
In 11:7, he is the beast that: ascends out of the bottomless pit, showing that this happens just before Mid-Tribulation.
In 13:12, he is: the beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
In 13:14. he is the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived (an assassin's knife?).
In 17:8 (which is set at the time just before the Harlot-Church is judged at Mid-Tribulation) antichrist is described as:
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Then v11 adds: the beast that was, and is not (the revived antichrist) is himself also the 8th, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. This man 'was and is not', yet he rises again to transform the 7th head (Revived Rome of which he is a part) into a new form of Government centred upon himself as absolute dictator (thus he himself is the 8th head). Thus although there are 7 heads (empires), an 8th head grows out of the 7th head! The One-World Government established during the Great Tribulation by the revived antichrist is an 8th head that arises out of the 7th head. This One-World Government of the antichrist is such a radical development that it can be thought of as a completely new Empire. This agrees with Daniel 7, where antichrist in his rise to power over the 10 kings, is described as a little horn that rises among the 10 horns. But this horn is different because this horn turns into a head with eyes and a mouth. So we have a strange picture of a horn growing on the 7th head and then turning into an 8th head that is part of the 7th! This change happens directly as a result of his death and resurrection (accompanied by satanic supernatural signs), which propels his dramatic rise to power at Mid-Tribulation (v11). It is at this time (see Daniel 7:8) he develops eyes (symbolising his supernatural empowerment - by satan) and he is given a mouth speaking great things (this is when he is inspired by satan to proclaim himself as God to be worshipped by the world, Rev 13:5). He speaks against the Most High (denying His existence) and instead declares himself to be worshipped as the highest form of god. We know this starts to happen at Mid-Tribulation when dedicates the Temple to his own worship.
As a result of this resurrection: all the world marvelled and followed him (v3). He becomes the centre of world-attention and hope. The world begins to look to him for leadership. His resurrection happens just before his capture of Jerusalem when he kills the 2 witnesses at Mid-Tribulation (11:7). His defeat of the 2 witnesses adds further to his triumph, although their public ascension after a few days, no doubt spoils things for him somewhat. This is when he stakes his claim to be God to worshipped by the world, and sets up the Abomination(see 2Thessalonians 2:4). His resurrection causes the world to worship him, which also enables him to form a One-World Government by the end of the month of the Mid-Tribulational Interval (over which he rules for three and a half years), as all the other nations submit their authority to him: So they (the world) worshipped the dragon who gave authority (and power) to the beast; and they (the nations) worshipped (and submitted to) the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? (v4, we see this worship also in v12-14). His death and resusitation is a counterfeit of Christ's death and resurrection, and likewise becomes the basis for his claim to be God. Thus it becomes the basis for the new world-religion he institutes, where the world is required to worship him. Satan also supernaturally empowers and indwells this man like no other, so that the antichrist is just like satan and fully represents him on earth. Those who submit to antichrist and worship him, because of his power, are actually worshipping the power that energises him - the devil. It even seems that he openly honours the devil as his source of power, so that men start worshipping satan as well as the antichrist. Thus these verses are speaking of the transfer of power and worship to the anti-christ that takes place in the Mid-Tribulational Interval.
During this time the 10 kings give their power and worship to him, and continue to rule their regions under him until Christ returns: The 10 horns which you saw are 10 kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb (at His Second-Coming at Armaggedon), and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful....For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled (Rev 17:12-14,17). As a proof of their submission they destroy the Harlot-Church (the One-World Babylonian religion) of the first half of the Tribulation, so that all worship around the world can be centred on the antichrist: And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire (Revelation 17:16).
It is this time that he is given great supernatural powers by satan (2Thess 2:9), especially a satanic power of speech to seduce, inspire and influence people, which is magnified through the power of TV. He speaks great things about himself and against God: And he was given (by satan) a mouth speaking great things (about himself) and blasphemies (against God), and he was to exercise his authority for 42 months (God limits the time of his world-rule to 1260 days) - (v5). Here we see the power and authority he is given, just before heactually achieves world dictatorship.
Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven (especially the Man-Child - Christ and those who had recently been raptured)- (v6).
(This boasting is similar to Daniel's description of him as the little-horn (in 7:8,11,20).
Another event that happens in this Mid-Tribulational Interval that changes the religious landscape and prepares the way for the world-wide worship of antichrist, is the destruction of the one-world apostate religion (Mystery Babylon, the Great-Harlot) that wields great political power during the first half of the Tribulation. This is the subject of Revelation 17 which describes the same political beast as Revelation 13, with the 7 heads and 10 horns. The difference with Revelation 13 is that we see a woman sitting on it: Then one of the 7 angels who had the 7 bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, Come, I will show you the judgement of the Great Harlot who sits on many waters (nations), with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having 7 heads and 10 horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication (v1-4). She represents a false religious system marked by great outward ceremonial show, that is united to the State (supported by the beast) and thereby gains political power and riches, and in return endorses and supports the political powers (v7). Though she has an outward beauty she is thoroughly corrupt. This woman is called ‘Mystery Babylon’: And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (v5). Like the beast (political Babylon), the woman (religious Babylon) has been developing over thousands of years, as a false Babylonian religion in opposition to the revelation of God. With the departure of the Church in the Rapture, she comes to her fullness of power and evil in the first-half of the Tribulation: The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues (v15). The woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kingdoms of the earth (v18). She has been responsible for much of the persecution of true believers all down history, but now in the first-half of the Tribulation, she engages in a massive persecution and killing of believers. She is guilty of the death of the martyrs of the first-half of the Tribulation: I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement (v6). This brings God's judgement down upon her. The political powers destroy her at Mid-Tribulation in order to make way for the new religion of antichrist which suddenly rises at this time (v8), so that he may have absolute power: The 10 horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfil His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled (v16,17). This happens at the time that the ten horns give all their power to antichrist which is Mid-Tribulation (see also v13). The ten kings will continue to rule under antichrist and they lead the fight against the Lord at the Battle of Armageddon (v14).
In Summary: Before Mid-Tribulation ‘the beast’ refers to the revived Roman empire, but after Mid-Tribulation the antichrist is also called ‘the beast’, because his power over it is so total that he and the empire are one, and so they have the same name. The horn becomes a head at Mid-Tribulation because at this time the Roman Empire changes into a completely new form. It is still of the 7th head (Revived Rome) but the nature of its government is so transformed, that it is like a new head (the formation of a new Empire). A horn is a person but a head is a form of government or Empire. But in this case the horn IS the head, the antichrist IS the 8th head (Dan7:8, Rev 17:11). This means that a new form of government is now established where antichrist has absolute power and is even worshipped as God. The 10 kings now give all their authority and power to him (17:12-14,17) so that he is not just the leader of a federation, but absolute dictator. The beast is now totally centred on this man, he is the sole government, he is the beast. So from this point ‘the beast’ is not just the name for the Empire but also for antichrist, because the two are completely identified. At Mid-Tribulation, Revived-Rome does not just experience a radical change in its form of government, but also in its religious nature. For the first-half of the Tribulation it is closely associated with a corrupted one-world religion (the harlot-church) that will try and unify all religions. But at Mid-Tribulation, antichrist destroys this organisation and suppresses all worship except worship of himself. This goes further than previous stages of Babylon, for even when the Caesars were worshipped, they were one of many gods. Now satan is trying to bring his plan to fulfilment, that started at Babel with Nimrod (the first type of antichrist), of unifying the world under one absolute dictator and one religion, centred on that man. In this way satan can bring the human race under his complete control. The other change to this Empire at Mid-Tribulation is that its sphere of control is enlarged from the ten kingdoms to the whole world. It becomes a One-World Government.
Now that the Interlude of Revelation 13:1-6 is concluded, which describes antichrist's rise to world-power, we come back to where Revelation 17 finished - the start of the 1260 days of antichrist's world-empire (the 8th head of Rev 17:8-11):
It was granted to him to make war with the saints (both Jews and believers in Christ) and to overcome them (v7a). This agrees with Rev12:17, where we see satan's main agenda at the start of this time was the destruction of God's people. It also agrees with Daniel 7:21,25 and 12:7 which define these final 1,260 days as the time of antichrist's persecution of the saints, which follows on after a time of great boasting. Therefore the 1260 days start with antichrist going to war against all of God's people. He overcomes Jewish resistance (like Antiochus the Great), but cannot get to those hiding in mountains (like the Maccabees).
At this time he attains world-dictatorship with the help of satan: And authority was given him (by satan) over every tribe, tongue, and nation (v7b). He becomes not only the centre of power but also of worship for the whole world:
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (v8). Although the world as a whole will follow him, those who hear and obey God’s Word will not follow him: If anyone has an ear, let him hear (the Word of God) - (v9). This could well lead to captivity and death but the believers will patiently endure, knowing that those who are inflicting punishment on them will soon be punished by God: He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints (v10). This is comfort for the persecuted - that everyone will reap what they sow. Thus Revelation 13:7-10 describes the conditions in the 1260 days of antichrist's dictatorship.
3. The third member of the satanic trinity is the FALSE-PROPHET (Revelation 13:11-18).
Revelation 13:11-14 is an Interlude introducing this new character. The False-Prophet is the High-Priest of the new antichrist religion. It gives the background to the establishment ofthis new world-wide religious system promoting and enforcing the worship of antichrist during the whole time of his world-dictatorship. It describes the origin and nature and activities of the False-Prophet in starting this religious-system. At Mid-Tribulation the antichrist has the harlot one world-religion destroyed (by the 10 kings under him), in order to establish the worship of himself as the compulsory one-world faith (Revelation 17:1-6,16,17). Religion is popular in the Tribulation. Man has a religious need so satan must provides a religious answer that keeps him in his kingdom. Religion is also a powerful tool to control the people. To worship the dictator is to worship his kingdom and ensure obedience. The False Prophet is the Public Relations man of the first beast and is given full authority to represent him, causing the world to worship antichrist through the miracles he does.
His origins: Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth (v11a). This new religious leader is another (beast) of the same kind (as the antichrist) arising from the earth(this symbolically means he is Jewish because he comes from the earth, rather than the Gentile sea).
His nature: And he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon (v11b). He appears as a religious leader, but speaks with dragon-devil inspired speech - a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Antichrist makes the Temple the centre of his worship and the False-Prophet. He tries to lead the world (and Israel in particular) away from God.
His activities in starting the anti-christ religion at Mid-Tribulation: He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence (in the initial 30 days of the Mid-Tribulational Interval, the Antichrist is present at the Temple with the False-Prophet, and together they do a massive promotion to persuade the whole world to worship the antichrist), and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast (v12,13,14a). We see again that the death and resurrection of antichrist is the main stimulus for this religion. This is helped by the (satanically) persuasive words and miracles of the False-Prophet televised world-wide, calling people to worship antichrist. He also has another special trick up his sleeve. Initially, the Abomination is Antichrist himself (or a idol-statue of him, the word 'abomination' is often used for an idol) standing in the Holy-Place of the Temple (Matthew 24:15) along with some visible sign (or image) of him high up on its pinnacle, overspreading and overshadowing the Temple (Dan 9:27). But now the False-Prophet upgrades the Abomination: telling those who dwell on the earth to make an Image to the Beast who was wounded by the sword and lived (v14b). He has a specially constucted image of antichrist made (perhaps using advanced computer technology) which is installed at the Temple as an idol for worship (for all to see, especially through TV), which at a key moment he will bring to life (or at least appear to do so). No doubt also many smaller replicas are made for everyone to have their own idol of antichrist to use in worship. Perhaps, this living interactive Image-Idol is designed take the place of antichrist's personal presence at the Temple as the Abomination, when he has to leave it to run his new empire.
By the end of the Mid-Tribulational Interval these preparations are now complete, and the antichrist's authority is fully established. Now we come again to the official start of the final 1260 days of antichrist's dictatorship. At this point the worship of antichrist becomes compulsory, being a necessary part of citizenship. It is a required part of submission to the authority of the state (which is antichrist himself), and it is necessary to participate in the economy. Failure to obey this is considered as treason, to be punished by death. The technology is available to enforce this. Therefore for 1260 days antichrist heads up a unified totalitarian world-order, enforcing a political, religious and economic domination over the people. Thus people are required to come under the control of antichrist, not just in the area of politics (with him as their ruler), but also in their religion (with him as their god), and economically (in their finances). He claims control of their whole lives, both body and soul. The Jewish False Prophet is in charge of organising the new world-religion of anti-christ, which is enforced and made compulsory by the power of the State.
Thus, Revelation 13:15-18 describes the official start and operation of this new-religious system during the 1260 days of antichrist's world dictatorship. At this time he will make the Abomination (a large Image of the Antichrist) come to life:
He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could speak (v15a).
This could be by supernatural means or by advanced technology or a combination. Either way its effect will be dramatic in convincing many to worship and submit. He also enforcestheir worship and submission to antichrist's rule (the two are now bound up together) by the death penalty: And (he has power to) cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed (v15b). He also enforces worship through the Mark of the Beast -a computer chip implanted on a man’s head or hand that he receives when he declares allegiance to the beast (the Global State personified by its head, the antichrist), without which nothing can be bought or sold (because it will be a cashless society controlled by the One-World Government): He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a Mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the Mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: his number (I.D) is 666 (v16-17). His name has a numerical number value of 666 (probably in Greek or Hebrew) calculated by adding the number value of the digits. 6 is the number of man, who was created on the 6th day. Man, apart from God, falls short of perfection (7). Thus, antichrist marked by the number 666, represents a man who has totally rejected God from his life and so stands in perfected pride and rebellion. In contrast, Jesus in Greek has the number value of 888, 8 being the number above 7, signifying superabundance and resurrection (also many of His titles are multiples of 8). Thus Jesus is the true Christ of abundance and grace, while the antichrist falls short. (It is interesting that all bar-codes have a 666 built into their number. Perhaps this is a preparation for the Mark). The computer technology exists now for the Mark of the Beast, which will be a perfect system of control. No doubt all of a person's records will be on his chip as well as a location device, so that the Government will have total knowledge of him and his activities on a central computer. The need for advanced ID and credit-card systems to combat fraud, abuse and terrorism drives technology forward and erodes people's resistance to it. It is clear that the only way to have a full-proof system is for the chip to be implanted (as the Bible predicts will happen). This has already been done experimentally, and plans are in place to implant chips to track criminals and to contain medical information for those at risk. Thus, through justifiable reasons the stage is being set for the State to use the technology for evil. However, only when an implanted ID system comes in (in the middle of the Tribulation) that requires an oath of allegience and act of worship to the antichirst, will it actually be the Mark of the Beast. Then that Mark will be a sign of belonging to the antichrist, body and soul. This will result in eternal damnation. In worshipping the antichrist, people are really submitting to and worshipping the devil who is the power behind him (13:4). Thus by (1) military and political power (2) economic power and (3) control of religion, antichrist will seem to have fulfilled satan’s plan of world-dominance for a time. There are the saints who do not submit or take the mark, but many are killed (Daniel 7:21,25).
In order to be part of normal society you must have the Mark of the Beast. So by stick and carrot, the world is persuaded and forced into this new religion. But those who trust in the Beast (the Global State under antichrist) for their peace and security are deceived. By choosing this god they forfeit the eternal life, peace and security, that only the true God can provide (14:9-11). The Mark of the Beast will force most people to make their final decision for Christ or for antichrist. Everyone will have heard the Gospel in the first half of the Tribulation, and many will have been saved. Those who have come to faith in Christ (and believe the Bible) will have courage to resist the Mark and not compromise. Millions of these will be martyred in the Great Tribulation (20:4). The rest will be forced to make the decision to take the Mark or not. If they take it, then they lose all hope of salvation forever (14:9-11). Those that don't are excluded from normal society, and if caught will be executed unless they then take the Mark.
2Thessalonians 2:9-12 is talking about what happens at Mid-Tribulation: The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth (the Gospel), that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie (the antichrist religion which comes persuasively, with supernatural signs and demonic deception), that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. This does not say that those who reject the Gospel in the Church-Age will not have another chance in the Tribulation. This is referring to the truth of the Gospel being preached to all nations in the first-half of the Tribulation (Matthew 24:14). Those who had previously rejected the truth of the Gospel for salvation, will be wide open for the deception of antichrist when he shows his wonders at Mid-Tribulation, claiming to be God. Because they had already chosen darkness, God gives them over to the strong delusion of antichrist that comes upon the whole world, and they believe his lie and take his Mark and as a result suffer eternal condemnation. Many God-fearing Jews will also not take the mark and will suffer persecution, and come to faith in Christ by the end of the Great Tribulation.
General Summary of Events.
1. Just before Mid-Tribulation:
Antichrist defeats 3 kings, during the secon world-wide conflict.
Satan offers antichrist the kingdoms of the world.
Antichrist's death and resurrection.
2. During Mid-Tribulation
(*these events require an interval of time to be accomplished. Hence: the Mid-Tribulational Interval).
The Angel of Revelation 10 comes down with a little book.
Antichrist invades Jerusalem and kills the 2 witnesses.
On the 4th day the 2 witnesses are raised along with the 144,000. A great earthquake in Jerusalem ends the 6th Trumpet.
The next day, antichrist completes the breaking of his covenant with Israel. He sets up the Abomination (the image of a false god - himself) which desecrates the Temple. Antichrist declares himself to be God.
The 7th Trumpet sounds (the 3rd Woe).
Persecution of Jews begins but believing Israel flees to a place of safety.*
Michael rises up. There is war in heaven resulting in satan being cast down to earth.*
Satan possesses antichrist enduing him with supernatural powers which he uses to persuade the world to follow him.*
Satan and antichrist send an army to destroy fleeing Israel, but God intervenes to protect her.*
The 10 kings submit their authority to Antichrist. Antichrist makes preparations to establish his one-world-government.*
Mystery-Babylon, the apostate one-world religion is destroyed by the 10 kings.*
The False-Prophet makes preparations to establish the new one-world-antichrist religion with the Mark and Image of the Beast.*
3. At the start of the final 1260 days (after the Mid-Tribulational Interval is over).
Antichrist's world-dictatorship and religious system with the Mark of the Beast officially begins (it last 1260 days)..
God gives a final world-wide warning through 3 angels to those about to take the Mark (Rev 14:6-12).
Believing Israel arrive at their place of safety, and abide there 1260 days.
Other Jews and believers around the world suffer intense persecution from antichrist, who prevails in this for 1260 days.
Detailed Summary of Mid-Tribulation Events in Chronological Order:
1. Just before Mid-Tribulation, antichrist receives a deadly wound, but is resurrected (Rev 11:7) and invades Israel.
2. DAY 1261 (from Israel's covenant with antichrist): At the close of the 1260 days (of the ministry of the 2 Witnesses), the main judgement of Trumpet 6 is completed (Rev 9:20,21). The start of Mid-Tribulation is marked by the coming to earth (in Rev10) of a mighty Angel (Christ) who reveals that the next event is the killing of the two-witnesses by antichrist (4 days from the close of the 6th Trumpet) - Revelation 11:7. The world's great rejoicing over their death confirms that the demonic killing of Trumpet 6 finished at about the time of their death.
3. DAY 1264: On the 4th day after that, the two witnesses are resurrected and caught up to Heaven - Rev 11:12.
The 144,000 who are seen in heaven in Revelation 14 are probably raptured at the same time.
God is removing His ambassadors just before the final War breaks out (the Great-Tribulation).
There is a great earthquake in Jerusalem which marks the end of the 6th Trumpet (Rev 11:13,14)
4. DAY 1265: The 7th Trumpet must sound this day (11:14,15) which is the signal from heaven of the start of the Great-Tribulation. This is also the day the Woman (a believing remnant in Israel) flees from the antichrist (Rev 12:6). It is interesting that this flight happens just after the rapture of the manchild (Rev 12:5). This refers first to Christ, but then the prophecy jumps 2000 years to an end-time rapture (of the 144,000 and the 2 witnesses), which is followed by the flight of the Woman. Now Matthew 24:15-21 tells us that this flight begins when Antichrist desecrates the Temple (with the Abomination of Desolation) and that this is the start of the Great-Tribulation. He declares himself to be god and dedicates the Temple to the worship of himself. Thus, the 7th Trumpet sounds on the very same day as antichrist desecrates the Temple. (In Matthew the flight is connected to the Abomination, in Revelation it is connected to the 7th Trumpet). Antichrist, by this act, makes an open declaration of war upon God, blaspheming against God and those who dwell in heaven(especially those who had just been raptured) - see Daniel 7:25, Rev13:6. The 7th Trumpet is God's response, declaring war on the antichrist and announcing the judgements that will destroy him and his kingdom. Thus, this Abomination of making himself god, triggers the Desolation of the Great-Tribulation. This Abomination is the earthly marker of the start of the Great-Tribulation (Matthew 24:15,21). The 7th Trumpet which sounds as God's immediate response to the Abomination is the corresponding heavenly marker. This Abomination in the Temple stands for 1290 days (Dan 12:11). Therefore this is the first day of an interval of 30 days before antichrist becomes world-dictator for 1260 days and persecutes Israel relentlessly for 1260 days (Rev11:2; 13:5; Dan 7:25, 12:7).
On this same day, when Israel are in great danger Michael stands up: At that time (when antichrist takes over the Temple and makes it his throne -Daniel 11:45) Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people (He is Israel's protector); and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time (the start of the Great-Tribulation - Jesus is clearly refering to this verse in Matthew 24:21 when he describes the start of the Great-Tribulation, when believing Israel are to flee upon seeing the Abomination). And at that time your people (Israel) shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book (Daniel 12:1). This verse promises a deliverance for believing Israel through Michael's intervention. On this day, those in Israel who believe will heed Jesus' warning in Matthew 24 and flee quickly to Jordan. Although it may look hopeless to them, they are promised supernatural help to escape. Michael rises up and casts satan out of the heavenlies. The dominion of satan and antichrist is held back until the Woman can make her escape. What action does Michael take on this day? In Rev12, we read that at the same time that the woman flees (v6), there is a war in the atmospheric heaven and Michael casts the devil and his angels to the ground (v7-9). We saw that on this very day, war was declared both by antichrist (under the power of satan) and by God (through the 7th Trumpet). It seems that this Trumpet is God's call to the angels under Michael, to an all out warfare against all the fallen angels under satan in which they take control of the atmosphere, deposing satan from his place as prince of the power of the air (Eph2:2). This helps to create a window of time in which believing Israel can escape unhindered. The result is also a great WOE for the earth (v12). This confirms that this happens at the 7th Trumpet - which is also called the 3rd WOE (11:14).
It is interesting that this victory in the heavens (v7) takes place right after the ascension of the man-child (v5). Perhaps these men taking their position of authority with Christ and the Church on God's throne is linked to the casting down of satan.
5. DAYS 1265-1294: During these 30 days Israel makes her escape aided by God. Once the devil is cast down he tries to destroy her, but is prevented by God (12:12-16). Meanwhile the antichrist is occupied in completing his rise to world-power, in destroying the apostate ‘inter-faith’ church (Rev17:16,17), and in instituting (through the false-prophet) a world-wide religion of worshipping him and his empire, stimulated by the image of the beast, and enforced by the mark of the beast. Initially the Abomination is probably the antichrist himself sitting as god in the Holy-of-Holies, but by the end of the Mid-Tribulational Interval, an idol of antichrist is installed at the Temple (the 'living' Image of the Beast), and this then functions as the Abomination. Thus, by the end of the 30 days everything is in place for antichrist's new world-order (politically, economically, and religiously). DAY 1294 is the final day od the Mid-Tribulational Interval.
6. DAY 1295: The fleeing Woman is now installed in her place of safety in the wilderness, where she remains for the next 1260 days (Rev 12:6,14). On this same day, the antichrist becomes world-dictator and rules for 1260 days (Rev 11:2, 13:5-7). He is inspired by satan to persecute and annihilate God's people world-wide (Rev 12:17, 13:7, Daniel 7:25, 12:7). By this point the world-wide worship of the Antichrist is established and required by the False-Prophet (using the image and the mark of the beast), and those who refuse will be unable to buy or sell and if caught they will be killed (Rev 13:8-18). The institution of the Mark of the Beast begins this day, and thus God sends a final warning through 3 angels who preach the Gospel to all those on the earth, telling them not to take the mark (whereby they accept antichrist as their god) or they will suffer eternal damnation (Rev 14:6-11). DAYS 1295-2554 are the days of antichrist's world-dictatorship.
7. DAY 2554 is the last day of antichrist's dominion and of the Great Tribulation. Babylon the Great is destroyed (Rev18).
8. The next day, DAY 2555, is the day of the Second Coming of Christ, when He destroys the antichrist.
9. DAYS 2556-2595 are a 40 day interval for the judgement of the nations and preparations for the Millennium. Daniel 12:12 speaks of 1335 days that must run from the start of the Mid-Tribulational Interval, before the Millennium can officially open.
10. DAY 2596 is therefore the first day of the Millennium.
Thus, as we consider these Mid-Tribulational events and the interrelated stories of these characters, we see many prophetic jigsaw pieces fitting together perfectly - confirming that we are understanding it about right.