The first part of the tribulation
The tribulation is the time of suffering for the Church and the world described in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. The tribulation is divided into two parts. The first part is similar to, but less severe than, the second part. Each part is a time of great suffering for the Church and the world. Each part is followed by a time of peace and holiness. The first period of peace and holiness is less intense than the second period of peace and holiness, just as the first part of the tribulation is less intense than the second part of the tribulation. The first part of the tribulation is a reflection of the second part, but the second part of the tribulation is even more severe. The first part of the tribulation is a foreshadowing of the second part of the tribulation, and the first period of peace and holiness is a foreshadowing of the second period of peace and holiness. But the second period of peace and holiness is very much greater. The first part of the tribulation takes place in the 2010’s, 2020’s and 2030’s, and ends with the event called the Three Days of Darkness on holy Thursday, Good Friday, and holy Saturday (March 29, 30, 31) in 2040 A.D. Then on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2040, a brief time of worldwide peace, holiness, and rebuilding will begin.
The inter-tribulation period
The time of peace after the first part of the tribulation (after the Three Days of Darkness) will last about 25 years. The great Catholic monarch will reign during this time, as will a series of very holy Popes. The time of peace, and the reign of the great Catholic monarch, will end about the same time, in the mid-2060s.
As time passes after the reign of the great Catholic monarch, the world will move further and further from holiness. This movement will happen gradually, but unceasingly. Eventually, the world will become as sinful as before the Warning. And next, over time, the world will become much more sinful than before the Warning.
But another Warning will not occur. And so the world will become ever more sinful. When it seems as if the world is as sinful as it could be, then it will become even more sinful. And when again it seems as if the world is as sinful as it could be, then still it will become even more sinful. This process will continue, on and on. Some persons will say, again and again as the inter-tribulation period unfolds, that because of the great sinfulness of the world, the second part of the tribulation and the Return of Christ must be imminent. Yet the world will continue to become more and more sinful, again and again, and the second part of the tribulation does not yet occur.
During the last part of the inter-tribulation period, ten kings only will reign over the whole world. During the reign of the ten kings, it will seem as if truth and justice and reason no longer exist. And though the Church will still offer true spiritual love, faith, hope, truth, justice, reasonableness, and every virtue to the world, the world will thoroughly reject Christianity. Only the kingdom of the South (which includes the Holy Land) will still retain some tolerance for the Christian Faith. Christians will be a small minority in the world, and truly devout and faithful Catholic Christians will be a very small minority. It will seem as if the world has been entirely lost to sin, along with the vast majority of souls. So it will seem.
The Antichrist will be conceived and born during the latter part of the reign of the ten kings, in the late 24th century (2300’s). The Antichrist is merely a human being; he has an ordinary human nature. The Antichrist is not the exact opposite of Christ; he cannot be so. For Jesus Christ is God, and there is only one true God. There is no evil god, who could be incarnated as the Antichrist. Neither is the Antichrist a devil incarnate, nor possessed by the devil. He is merely a man who uses his God-given abilities of intellect and free will to choose to utterly reject all that is good, and to do as much evil as he possibly can. He willingly cooperates with the devil, but generally he is doing his own evil will, more so than the will of the devil. And he is merely a man, an evil human person, not a devil incarnate, not anything more than a man.
The Antichrist will grow up during the time of the ten kings; he will be nurtured, in a sense, by the evil society of that time period. He will rejoice in all the sinfulness of that time; he will utterly despise all that is good, not only the Church and the Christian faith, but the Jewish faith, the Muslim faith, every source of truth, justice, and reasonableness, and all persons of good will (few though they may be at that time).
The Antichrist will rise to power during the latter part of the time of the ten kings, after they will have reigned for many years. Even as he rises to power, the time is not his, but is that of the ten kings. And this time can still be considered to be the inter-tribulation period. For he will at first have little power. Next he will obtain the kingship of one of the ten kingdoms. But even at that point in time, we might perhaps consider that the second part of the tribulation has not yet begun. As long as there are ten separate kingdoms, not one kingdom united under the Antichrist, the time period is still that of the inter-tribulation period.
The second part of the tribulation
The inter-tribulation period ends when the Antichrist, as the king of the North (one of the ten kingdoms) defeats three other kingdoms, so that he now controls the four most powerful out of the ten kingdoms. The other six kingdoms combined do not have the power to defeat these four kingdoms combined, and so they submit to the authority of the Antichrist, giving him power over nearly the whole world. This rise to world power occurs very quickly, from 2430 to 2431 A.D. The second part of the tribulation begins when the Antichrist obtains power over nearly the whole world, sometime during 2431 A.D.
The Antichrist reigns for nearly seven years, then he falls from power in early 2437. Next, ten new wicked kings attempt to rise up to rebuild the kingdom of the ten kings. As this is happening, Jesus Christ returns in glory with the Blessed Virgin Mary. The second part of the tribulation ends with the Return of Jesus Christ in 2437 A.D.
My books on eschatology (available at Amazon.com) —
The Bible and the Future of the World
The Secrets of Medjugorje and Garabandal Revealed
The First Part of the Tribulation
The Second Part of the Tribulation
Notes on the Apocalypse: 2012
Apocalypse Survival Guide for Christians
The Secrets of La Salette and the End Times