The seven-year Tribulation Period is covered in chapters 6--19. In chapter 9 several critical events will take place. The army of hell will be released (verses 1-12); the angels at the river will be released (verses 13-21). Once released, these angels bring into battle armies totaling 200 million soldiers. This satanic cavalry is not like any other army either in appearance or in the weapons they use. Fire, brimstone, and smoke are their chief weapons; and they also have serpent-like tails. This is not another description of the army in verses 1-12, since that army is forbidden to kill. This army is commissioned to slay one-third of the people.
One would think that multitudes of people would repent of their sins and turn to Christ. They do not. Those spared continue in their awful sins. The goodness of God in sparing them did not lead them to repentance. Therefore, they will have to endure greater judgments in the days to come and, ultimately, the lake of fire.
Chapter 10 introduces the middle of the Tribulation Period. This is the time the Beast breaks his covenant with Israel and reveals himself in his satanic fury (Daniel 9:27). The Beast has worldwide authority in the last 3 years of the Tribulation. Satan is cast to earth for 3 years of awful persecution against believers (chapter 12:12) and Jerusalem is trodden down of the Gentiles for 3 years (chapter 11:2).
In chapter 11 we see the ministry of the two witnesses (verses 1-14). Within these few verses we see the time span of their ministry; the purpose of their ministry; the persecution in the ministry; and the panic following their ministry.
As we read of the Tribulation, we should be stirred in the very depths of our hearts to renew our covenant with God to live for Him and to bring others to the saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ. Christian people should literally believe that the Tribulation Period is an actual future happening and not just a fantasy. We should fall to our knees, asking God's forgiveness for our lackadaisical attitude toward witnessing and then rise to go forth and spread, to the entire world, the truth of God's forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
The theme of chapter 12 is conflict; the forces of Satan opposing the people of God. Several practical lessons are to be learned from this chapter: (1) Satan is at war with the saints. (2) Satan is the accuser of the brethren. The sins of the saints give Satan all the arguments he needs before God's throne. We have an advocate in Christ Jesus. When we confess our sins, Christ cleanses us, and Satan is silenced. (3) Let us not accuse the saints, for if we do, we are fighting Satan's battle and not the Lord's. (4) We must never be guilty of opposing the Jewish race. They are God's elect people, and were it not for Israel, we would have no Saviour or Bible. We must love Israel, pray for her peace, and seek to win our Jewish friends to Christ.
In chapter 13, the two beasts are introduced. Keep in mind the term "beasts" does not mean that these persons were animals. They are living persons with animal-like appetites and powers. The verses of this chapter present the satanic trinity--Satan, the Beast (Antichrist), and the False Prophet.
In chapter 14 we have a series of visions that look ahead to events that will take place in the last half of the Tribulation and after the Tribulation ends. In verses 1-5 we have presented the establishing of the Kingdom; in verses 6-13 the pouring out of the vials of wrath; and, in verses 14-20, the fighting of the Battle of Armageddon.
Index of Daily Devotions