Lessons on the End Times: the Lesser and Greater Tribulations

The End Times or tribulation is divided into two parts:
1. the first part or lesser tribulation
2. the second part or greater tribulation
Between the two parts is an inter-tribulation period of several hundred years, from 2040 A.D. to 2430 A.D., which is ten years short of 400 years.

The first part of the tribulation ends with the Three Days of Darkness: March 29, 30, 31 of 2040. Here is my book on that subject. I will not be covering it in detail in the current series of posts.

This post explains that the End Times is divided into two parts, and provides support for that idea.

Daniel Chapter 11 begins with the four successive kings of Persia and the “strong king” who opposes them. This is a brief mention of what is described in greater length elsewhere in Daniel. But the strong king is the great Catholic monarch. The first king of Persia is the rule of Iran during World War 3, and the fourth king of Persia is the ruler of Iran during World War 4. The great Catholic monarch wins World War 4 and frees the occupied territories. After the first part of the tribulation, he rules over a vast kingdom, the same territory conquered during World War 3 and freed during World War 4. All this is merely alluded to in Dan 11:1-3. Then in 11:4, the end of the rule of the great Catholic monarch is described. His kingdom is divided into four parts, the North (Europe), the South (northern Africa, Israel, the middle East), and then two other smaller regions.

The kingdoms of the North and the South become important during the second part of the tribulation. The South is merely the southernmost part of what was formerly the great Catholic monarch’s kingdom. As chapter 11 continues, these two kingdoms are constantly opposed to one another. They fight war after war. In verse 5, we have the king of the South ruling; by verse 6, his daughter is involved in politics; by verse 7, it is an offspring of hers that is important in politics. So we see that generation after generation passes. And this continues as chapter 11 explains the multi-generational conflict between the kingdom of the North and the kingdom of the South. War after war and generation after generation passes. Then we reach the time of the Antichrist:

{11:21} And there will stand up in his place the despicable one, and he will not be assigned the honor of a king. And he will arrive in secret, and he will obtain the kingdom by deceitfulness.

The Antichrist is “the despicable one”. He is born and raised in the South, but he moves to the North to try to gain power over that kingdom. The South will be the last bastion of Christianity in the world. It will be the only one of the ten kingdoms that has any respect left for religion. And by agreement with the other kingdoms, religion will be protected in those other kingdoms as well. So the Antichrist cannot gain power in the kingdom in which he will be born, the South. He moves to the North, knowing that the two kingdoms will have been at enmity and warfare for generations. He becomes the king of the North. He defeats the king of the South in war. And then he defeats two other kings, in what will be then the kingdom of the ten kings. Then the rest of the world makes a pact with him, so that he becomes the ruler of the whole world.

{11:25} And his strength and his heart will be enraged against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South will be provoked into going to war by having many allies and exceedingly good circumstances, and yet these will not stand, for they will form plans against him.
{11:26} And those who eat bread with him will crush him, and his army will be suppressed, and very many will die, having been executed.
{11:27} And the heart of two kings will be similar, to do harm, and they will speak lies at one table, but they will not succeed, because as yet the end is for another time.
{11:28} And he will return to his land with many resources. And his heart will be against the holy testament, and he will act, and he will return to his own land.

So the Antichrist is the one “enraged against the king of the South”. And he wins that war, by betrayals. Then two more kings attempt to defeat the Antichrist, but they fail, and the Antichrist ends up with control over the world. He then tries to destroy Catholic Christianity: “his heart will be against the holy testament”.

The point I am making here is that the first part of the tribulation includes World War 3 and 4, and the time of the great Catholic monarch as well as the Angelic Shepherd. But there is a break after that first part of the End Times, which lasts for generations. This is easily seen in Daniel chapter 11, as Daniel describes many generations of conflict between the kingdom of the North and of the South. The Antichrist does not rise to power until hundreds of years after the great Catholic monarch’s kingdom is divided into North and South.

Matthew 24

This same break between the first and second parts of the tribulation is seen in the eschatological discourse of Jesus in Matthew 24.

{24:8} But all these things are just the beginning of the sorrows.
{24:9} Then they will hand you over to tribulation, and they will kill you. And you will be hated by all nations for the sake of my name.
{24:10} And then many will be led into sin, and will betray one another, and will have hatred for one another.
{24:11} And many false prophets will arise, and they will lead many astray.
{24:12} And because iniquity has abounded, the charity of many will grow cold.
{24:13} But whoever will have persevered until the end, the same shall be saved.

{24:14} And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached throughout the entire world, as a testimony to all nations. And then the consummation will occur.

{24:15} Therefore, when you will have seen the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place, may he who reads understand,
{24:16} then those who are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains.

Matthew 1-13 is the first part of the tribulation. Verse 13 is called “the end” and those who persevere to this end “shall be saved”. That is the end of the first part of the tribulation. Then there is a time of great success for the Gospel, in verse 14 (but lasting many years). After that, the world gradually becomes more and more sinful, and so sufferings resume and increase. Finally, after much time has passed, the second part of the tribulation begins. The abomination of desolation is the false Eucharist in the false religion of the Antichrist, during the second part of the tribulation.

La Salette

The secrets of La Salette to Melanie are divided into two sets of sufferings. The first set, describing the lesser or first part of the tribulation, ends with paragraph 20

20. ‘At the first stroke of His lightning sword, the mountains and the whole of nature will tremble with terror, because the disorders and the crimes of men pierce the vault of the heavens. Paris will be burned and Marseilles engulfed; several great cities will be shaken and engulfed by earthquakes: it will be believed that all is lost: only homicides will be seen, only the noise of weapons and blasphemies will be heard. The just will suffer much; their prayers, their penances and their tears will climb even up to heaven and all the people of God will ask for forgiveness and mercy, and will ask for my help and my intercession. Then Jesus Christ by an act of His justice and of His great mercy for the just, will command to His angels that all His enemies be put to death. All at once the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all men devoted to sin will perish, and the earth will become like a desert. Then peace, the reconciliation of God with men will be made; Jesus Christ will be served, adored and glorified; charity will flower everywhere. The new kings will be the right arm of the holy Church, which will be strong, humble, pious, poor, zealous and imitator of the virtues of Jesus Christ. The Gospel will be preached everywhere and men will make great progress in the faith, because there will be unity among the workers of Jesus Christ and because men will live in the fear of God.’

Notice that this great suffering at the end of the first part of the tribulation bears resemblance to the Three Days of Darkness, in that so many persons are put to death by God. Then there is a time of peace on earth, but Jesus does not yet return. The time of peace is described in this way:

21. ‘This peace among men will not be long; 25 years of abundant harvests will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of all the pains which come upon the earth.’

Next, the world increases in sinfulness and therefore sufferings also gradually increase. At one point, there is a forerunner of the Antichrist:

22. ‘A forerunner of the antichrist with his troops from several nations will fight against the true Christ, the only Savior of the world; he will spill much blood, and will want to annihilate the worship of God in order to make himself be looked upon as a God.’

But that is not the end. Then suffering continue for a number of generations. Then, in prearation for the Antichrist, the kingdom of the ten kings is formed:

23. ‘The earth will be struck all kinds of plagues [in addition to pestilence and famine which will be general]; there will be wars until the last war, which will then be made by the ten kings of the antichrist, which kings will have all one same design and will be the only ones who will rule the world. Before these arrive, there will be a type of false peace in the world; one will think only about amusing oneself; the wicked will deliver themselves over to all kinds of sin, but the children of the holy Church, the children of the faith, my true imitators, will grow in the love of God and in the virtues which are dear to me. Happy the humble souls guided by the Holy Spirit! I will fight with them until they arrive at the fullness of the age.’

The whole world will then be divided into 10 groups of nations, each with one ruler, the ten kings. Before that happens, there will be a type of false peace in the world. So we see that there are many events after the first part of the tribulation ends with the Three Days of Darkness. And the Antichrist does not occur until the kingdom of the ten kings has persisted for about a century.

Finally, the Antichrist and the second part of the tribulation occurs:

26. ‘It will be during this time that the antichrist will be born of a Hebrew religious, of a false Virgin who will have communication with the old serpent, the master of impurity; his father will be Bishop; at birth, he will vomit blasphemies, he will have teeth; in a word, this will be the devil incarnate; he will let out frightening cries, he will perform wonders, he will nourish himself only on impurities. He will have brothers who, although they will not be like him demons incarnate, will be children of evil; at 12 years, they will make themselves noticed by their brilliant victories which they will win; soon, they will each be at the head of armies, assisted by the legions of hell.’

See how many events are described by Mary as occurring during the End Times, before the Antichrist is even born! So there are clearly two parts to the End Times, the first part (called lesser) and the second part of the tribulation (called greater). But the Antichrist is only in the second part of the tribulation, hundreds of years from now.

28. ‘Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist.’

The Church is indefectible, so She never loses the Faith. Neither does the Roman Pontiff or the Apostolic See ever lose the faith, for the Pope is the Rock on which the indefectible Church is founded. But the secular city of Rome loses the faith, and the people kill the Pope, kill many of the faithful and drive the rest out of the city. Then they destroy the churches and holy places in Rome, and the city becomes the seat of the Antichrist and his false religion, while the Holy See is in exile (and without a Pope during the entire time of the Antichrist’s reign).

31. ‘The Church will be eclipsed, the world will be in consternation. But behold Enoch and Elie filled with the Spirit of God; they will preach with the strength of God, and men of good will will believe in God, and many souls will be consoled; they will make great progress by the virtue of the Holy Spirit and will condemn the devilish errors of the antichrist.’

During the latter half of the Antichrist’s reign, Enoch and Elijah will appear on earth, preaching the Gospel and contradicting the lies of the Antichrist and the false prophetess (Jezebel, the harlot, a woman). This clearly has not happened yet, and it will be clear when it does happen.

33. ‘Behold the time; the abyss opens. Behold the king of kings of darkness. Behold the beast with his subjects, calling himself the savior of the world. He will raise himself up with pride into the air in order to go even up to heaven; he will be smothered by the breath of the holy Archangel Michael. He will fall, and the earth which for three days will be in continual evolutions, will open its bosom full of fire; he will be plunged for ever with all his own into the eternal chasms of hell. Then water and fire will purify the earth and will consume all the works of the pride of men, and all will be renewed: God will be served and glorified.’

This last of the secrets of Melanie describes the end of the Antichrist’s reign and his destruction. This happens hundreds of years from now.

The End Times is divided into two parts, with a long inter-tribulation period lasting a few hundred years. So if the End Times does begin for this generation, as I think it will, nevertheless, this is not the time of the Antichrist nor of the Return of Jesus.

Read my book Summary of Future Events for more. Note that my writings on the End Times are fallible and speculative.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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12 Responses to Lessons on the End Times: the Lesser and Greater Tribulations

  1. Barbara says:

    dear Ron ,so the anti Christ is a definite person?So that means those that say taking the Covid vaccine is the mark of the beast or similar can’t be right .?

  2. MichaelT says:

    Hi Ron, very intriguing and thought provoking article.

    “The first part of the tribulation ends with the Three Days of Darkness: March 29, 30, 31 of 2040.”

    That really caught my attention, because it’s 2021 now, so that only leaves 19 years for the first part of the tribulation to begin, progress, and end.

    Continuing, “The great Catholic monarch wins World War 4 and… after the first part of the tribulation, he rules over a vast kingdom”.

    I just want to make sure I’m understanding this correctly. Does that means 2 world wars will happen during the next 2 decades?

    If so, when do you think WW3 will be? And do you have an idea of how long after that WW4 will occur? Thank you.

    • Ron Conte says:

      WW3 is the conquering of Europe by the Arab/Muslim nations of the middle east and northern Africa. The extremists win the war. There is a great massacre of Christians. And then WW4, which is an all-out nuclear war.

  3. Sunimal Fernando says:

    Jesus did not tell 2 parts of tribulations.
    Why God is giving warning(Garbandal warning)? I think, gospel will be proclaimed to whole world during and after the warning. Pope Francis is the last pope according to St. Malachi pope list. His detail included persecution.
    Afghanistan is under Taliban now. Communist China one country one road with Russia be silent in future? Iran, Iraq,Syria? Communist have religion? No security threat to Vatican? Fatima 3rd secret , Ron said in his site. I think, We Christians and Catholics have to face it.

    • Ron Conte says:

      The two parts to the tribulation is clear from Matthew 24, Revelation, La Salette, and the eschatology of some of the Saints. After the time of the great Catholic monarch and the Angelic Shepherd, there is a long respite, and then the time of the Antichrist.

  4. Alex says:

    Ron thank you! I think more such articles and discussions are needed, including political dimension of prophecy. Who will be right after 400 years is hard to say. It is unfathomable to have 400 year history in advance. What you do is a great gift for the readers, for all Catholics and others, to start thinking of God’s ways that are always far beyond ours.

    Particularly, I don’t see how the Muslim countries will invade Europe in a military conquest, even if they have several nuclear weapons. France is nuclear armed too, NATO still functions with UK and USA being nuclear. Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy have stationed US nuclear weapons. Germany is a paranuclear state that means it possess the technology to develop such weapons. Besides, the EU countries produce their own fighter jets, tanks, submarines, aircraft carriers (France) and other sophisticated electronic war hardware. They are no worse than their US analogues. Less than a century ago the European countries were called “the great powers” and played the crucial role in WW1 and WW2.

    I don’t see the Muslim countries anywhere near, except only Pakistan for its nukes (otherwise one of the poorest states in the world with not so sophisticated army). But that would mean Pakistan to go on a suicide mission and to be struck first by India to the point of disappearance as India warned. USA also warned Pakistan after 9/11.

    Also Russia is unlikely to stay idle. The Russian history had more wars with Muslim peoples than with the other European countries. It is a sad truth that many people today limit their history knowledge to WW2 or WW1 at most. Let remember that Ivan the Terrible defeated the Mongol states and started the enlargement of the Russian empire to reach later N1 territory in the world. More recently Putin warned Erdogan sternly after the downing of the Russian jet over Syria, and that made Turkey rethink and U-turn its policy towards Russia.

    So I’d rather think of a celestial cataclysm warned of in Fatima, Garabandal, Akita, others. If such is to occur, only the prepared countries will survive. Russia is in that number with thousands of shelters, so are countries like Switzerland who have built tunnels for centuries. I suppose USA is prepared, but who will enter into the shelters if something like that happens. That is the concern now when we reach some zero point time of all prophecies as if they have expired or were delayed beyond the foretold time limit. It is the calm before the storm. It will struck us with no or little prewarning. Only whoever survives will be capable of dealing with the future years that you describe. As Our Lady said for those who die before the secrets, the secrets/sign will not matter for them anymore. I see in that category many conservatives.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I know someone in France. He says it is already like an invasion. There are many Muslim extremists who are young adults and violent. They have spread throughout Europe.

      So I think that when the invasion starts, the nations will be attacked from within and from without. They will not stand a chance. And then Europe will be like Afghanistan under the Taliban. The Muslim extremists will conquer Europe in WW3.

  5. King Robert the Bruce says:

    Why not just round up all known violent extremists in Europe and deport them to for example Afghanistan/Pakistan we can save ourselves a lot of pain in the long run I mean I know that’s not going to happen but 15 years from now we may be wishing we had done this I don’t want to sound like a right wing extremist but nobody can reason with muslim extremists you can see that now in Afganistan with the backward Taliban.

    • Ron Conte says:

      The problem is not only certain specific people, but ideas. And certain radical ideas thrive where there is poverty and suffering. So we cannot solve the problem of extremist Islam by targeting individuals. Yes, violent extremists must be directly opposed. But that is never going to be a full solution, because anyone might be radicalized, especially if they lack faith, are afflicted by poverty, live in a war-torn region, etc.

  6. Jeff says:

    If an all out nuclear war is WW4, a nuclear winter after such an attack is imminent and unavoidable, and would render earth uninhabitable to human life. We know that the cold and lack of sun would make plant life impossible and that would be the end of all life here. This is not part of Gods plan; it’s impossible to live through something like that.

    • Ron Conte says:

      After the War, and A series of severe afflictions, as described in Revelation, God heals the whole earth and a time of peace follows lasting about 25 years.

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