What Is The End Times or End of Days or Apocalypse?

These terms and others — End Times, End of Days, Apocalypse, Tribulation — all refer to the same proposed set of future events, a time of great suffering for the whole world and for the Christian Church. This period of time is considered by some to be short and others to be long or very long. The understanding of what will happen during the “tribulation” (a time of troubles) varies greatly from one source to another. But generally there will be many severe sufferings, a persecution of Christians, and in most sources a reign of a figure called the Antichrist, followed by the Return of Jesus Christ and an end to the sufferings.

The rest of this article will present my own understanding of the End Times as a Catholic who has studied and written on the tribulation since the late 1990s. Note that my writings on eschatology (end times theology) is speculative and fallible. These are my opinions, and not required beliefs. All are free to disagree. Just don’t speak to me as if your opinion is fact and my opinion is certainly wrong.


The tribulation is divided into two parts:

* The first part of the tribulation
* An inter-tribulation period
* The second part of the tribulation

And the second part of the tribulation concludes with the Return of Jesus Christ, who defeats evil on earth and brings an end to the End Times.

The inter-tribulation period will last a few hundred years. So the people who suffer through the first part of the tribulation do not also suffer through the second part of the tribulation. The first part of the tribulation is also called the “lesser tribulation”, yet it is very severe. The second part of the tribulation is also called the “greater tribulation”. The second part includes the reign of the Antichrist, and the return of Jesus. So Jesus does not return during the first part of the tribulation, nor soon afterward. He only returns after the end of the Antichrist’s reign, during the second part of the tribulation.

Start of the End Times

My first book of eschatology was published in the late 1990s. Successive editions of that book (The Bible and the Future) and additional books on eschatology contained wrong dates on when the Tribulation would begin, and wrong dates for the first set of events. This occurred repeatedly. So I am not certain as to the dates of these events. I am more certain, as a matter of degrees, about the events themselves and their order. However, all this is still highly speculative. Eschatology as a field of theology is itself highly speculative.

The End Times, in my understanding, begins with three blessed events:
1. The Warning or illumination of conscience
2. The Consolation
2. The Miracle

Here is my book on that topic. I will not be retyping all the content of all my books on the End Times into blog posts, so if you are interested in learning more, buy some of my books. Visit this link for a list of all my books, and then scroll down to the Eschatology section.

The best first books to read on the End Times in my publications are:
* Summary of Future Events
* The Warning, Consolation, and Miracle

If this is the year that the End Time begins, then the Warning will occur this Good Friday, April 15th of 2022. I said “If”. I cannot be certain. If so, then the Consolation occurs on Easter Sunday, two days later. And the Miracle would then occur on Thursday, May 12th.

Do your best to repent and give up your grave sins before the Warning. Great blessings are in store for those who are repentant. Those who are not repentant, or who reject the call to repent at the Warning will be denied those great blessings. The Consolation is the first of those blessings. The Miracle is also a great blessing for those who have repented.

The Miracle is a set of miraculous healings throughout the world. Not everyone will be healed. You must be repentant in order to be healed, though healing is not guaranteed to anyone. The number of persons healed worldwide will be in the millions. If the Miracle is this year, 2022, then I expect the Miracle to heal very many persons affected by Covid-19, ending the pandemic. However, this point is fallible and highly speculative. Other types of illnesses and injuries will also be healed, including those that are very severe as well as emotional or psychological problems.

The Miracle also establishes miraculous permanent signs throughout the world, and accomplishes the conversion of many unbelievers, doubters, and those who are weak in faith. Not everyone receives these blessings. Pray and repent and practice self-denial and works of mercy.

The Pope will see the Miracle wherever he may be in the world. He will see the permanent signs miraculously placed in sites of Marian apparitions. Perhaps he will see the healings and conversions.

War in Ukraine

Is the war in Ukraine related to the End Times? Not directly. There is a prediction, of questionable authenticity, which says that the Pope will go to Moscow at some point in the year when the Warning and Miracle occur. The War in Ukraine may be the event that prompts the Pope to go to Moscow. If so, that would suggest the End Times begins in 2022, but this is not certain.

The First Sufferings

The tribulation or End Times is described in the Book of Revelation by means of certain symbols or figures: the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the Seven Seals, the Seven Trumpets, and the Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath. These are all symbolic. There are no literal horsemen of the apocalypse.

Also, Jesus is not the first horseman of the apocalypse. All four horsemen are symbolic only. And no one thinks that Jesus returns at the start of the End Times, but only at its very end. Then, too, the four horsemen of the apocalypse symbolize events of great suffering, so Jesus does not make even a good figure for the first horseman of the apocalypse.

The first horseman is also the First of the Seven Seals: World War 3. This war, in my understanding, is the war of the Arab Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa, led by extremists, against the United States, Europe, and some nations further south in Africa, toward the equator. The extremists will first attack the United States, then they will invade Europe, and finally they will conquer a portion of Africa, north of the equator. The extremists will win World War 3 and rule over a vast territory.

The second horseman and second Seal is severe civil violence and disorder worldwide. This civil violence (i.e. not the violence of war, but of crimes, rioting, etc.) is caused by fear in reaction of sinners to the Warning, Consolation, and Miracle, and by fear in reaction to World War 3, and by grave problems with the economies of every nation.

The third horseman and third Seal is famine. This famine will be greatest in Europe, and then great in developed nations, and least in the developing nations. In the developed wealthy nations, we have long complex supply chains for our food. In developing nations, they often produce their food near to those who are consuming that food. So the former is more easily disrupted by War, Civil Violence, and all the other disruptions of the tribulation.

Store food now. Some of the best foods to store: enriched white pasta, enriched long grain rice, bread flour, yeast, vegetable oil, canned beans, canned fruit, tomato paste, other canned goods, grated cheese (the type that does not need refrigeration), sugar, coffee, tea, and then fill your freezer with cheese, poultry, meat, fish, and butter. Do not waste freezer space on highly processed foods that take up much space, and do not provide much nutrition.

The fourth horseman and fourth Seal is death from a variety of causes and the effect that the fear of death has on society.

These four sets of events occur during the same time period, about the same time, and are interrelated. That is why they are grouped together under the symbol of horsemen, while also being the first four Seals of the Seven Seals. When World War 3 ends with victory for the Muslim extremists, the events of the four horsemen end, and there is a brief respite. Then the Fifth Seal occurs. (But this article is only about the start of the End Times.)

There Is No Rapture

The “rapture” is a claimed future event, mostly prevalent in some Protestant circles, which is contrary to the Catholic understanding of the End Times. There will never be a Rapture. The claim is that, at a certain point in time, usually before the worst sufferings, the “best” Christians are taken up to Heaven so that they don’t have to suffer. Christians…don’t have to suffer? That is contrary to the example of Jesus Christ’s passion and crucifixion. The Catholic view is that the Church will pass through a time of great suffering, which is the Church’s own passion and figurative crucifixion.

The Church Is Indefectible

Another false idea is that the Church, or the Roman Pontiff, or most Bishops with the Roman Pontiff, will become corrupted and begin to lead people astray, leaving the faithful as a scattered remnant. Such a claim is heresy. It is Catholic dogma that the Church is indefectible, She can neither go astray, nor lead astray. And since the Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic by Her very nature, She cannot cease to be any of those things. The Church cannot become a set of scattered groups with few if any Bishops to lead them. The Church cannot be corrupted. The Pope cannot fail in faith or err gravely on doctrine or discipline. For these things all contradict Her very nature, which is guaranteed by Christ and by the Holy Spirit. A scattered group of faithful are not “one”, nor would they be catholic (meaning universal). A corrupted Church is not “holy”. The Church cannot be corrupted in Her Roman Pontiff or body of Bishops, the successor of Peter leading the successors of the other Apostles, for then She would not be holy and apostolic.

If anyone predicts or states that the Church will go astray or has gone astray, they are heretics and schismatics. Reject them. While eschatology is generally speculative and fallible, the dogma that the Church will continue without failing and without corruption, up to the Return of Christ and beyond is absolutely certain and is required belief. Do not listen to any speakers, authors, or claimed visionaries who say that the Church has gone astray or will go astray, who say that the Pope has gone astray or will go astray, who say that the body of Bishops or the body of the faithful have gone astray or will go astray. They are the ones who have gone astray, not the Church.

False Visionaries

See my partial list of true and false visionaries here. There are hundreds of false visionaries, locutionists, and other persons claiming to have received messages from Heaven. Do not trust these claimed private revelations. Many persons are being led astray because they were fooled into thinking that some visionary was reliable or approved or true. The best approach is to ignore them.

When the End Times begin, I expect that many false visionaries will seek out the mass media to spread their false claims about the future and their false interpretation of the present events. Do not trust them. The mass media cannot be trusted to discern which persons are presenting reliable theology about the future, and which persons are either false visionaries or incompetent authors of eschatology.

Recall that Jesus said, about the End Times, that there will be wars and rumors of wars. How can a war be a rumor? And if the rumors were all true, Jesus would not have divided the expression into wars and rumors of wars. So this is an indication of the severe lack of honesty, reliability, and trustworthiness of the news media. They have no competence in theology, and certainly no competence in eschatology. Yet the news and entertainment media have a vast audience which believes them. This is a danger to souls.

News Media

Do not trust any speaker or author of eschatology merely because they are on a talk show or news interview or commentary show. Do not trust claims in the news or other media as to what I or anyone else who writes on the End Times supposedly said, wrote, or believes. If a news or other media outlet claim that I, Ronald L. Conte Jr., wrote or said something about the End Times, that is not a reliable source for my ideas.

The news media in the present time is filled with sensationalism, lies, severely disordered opinions, malice toward those who have different ideas, and a hatred of true religion. The news media in the present time seeks to be entertaining more than it seeks to report the truth. Opinion and sensationalism have largely prevailed over truth in the secular media. Do not trust their claims about religion or the end times.

More articles in the coming days.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

Notice for my End Times articles:
1. The End Times is divided into two parts: the first part is for this generation, then there is a long respite of a few hundred years, and finally the second part of the End Times occurs with the Return of Christ.
2. This first part of the End Times (or “tribulation”) does not include the Antichrist, nor the Return of Jesus Christ, nor the general Resurrection. Those things occur much later.
3. Do not believe what the news and entertainment industry says about the future, nor about religion. Do not listen to claimed prophets, visionaries, and the like, when they interpret current events or predict the future, especially when they are celebrated by the media. Do not listen to those who accuse any Pope or Ecumenical Council of grave errors or grave failings of faith. The Church will never fail or go astray. Never.
4. I anticipate that I and my writings on the future will be subject to distortions, lies, and false accusations. Do not believe that I wrote, or said, or predicted something unless the claim comes from my websites or my books, and is consistent with the rest of what I am writing and saying.
5. Please note that my predictions are speculative and fallible, and that my writings on the future have erred many times in the past. My eschatology is presented for the readers’ consideration, and should not be treated as certain or absolute.

{24:6} For you will hear of battles and rumors of battles. Take care not to be disturbed. For these things must be, but the end is not so soon.

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3 Responses to What Is The End Times or End of Days or Apocalypse?

  1. MichaelT says:

    This is a very helpful synopsis of what to expect re: future events.
    I have a question: do you have a speculative idea about the length of time that will elapse between the collective occurrences of The Warning / Consolation / Miracle, and the start of the first part of the Tribulation / 4 Horsemen?
    I’m asking because it seems logical that it would take some time for even those who initiate World War 3 to put having experienced The Warning and witnessing The Miracle behind them.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I think the first part of the tribulation begins in the same year as the Warning and Miracle, before the end of summer, perhaps.

  2. James Belcher says:

    I truly pray that I am wrong (many nations at war ) and that your beliefs of the upcoming events are more in tune with the actual events.

    My contemplation of the upcoming events – ILLUMINATION / MIRACLE AND WW3.
    The governments of Russia, China, N.Korea and Iran have no regard for the innocent civilians
    around the globe. Their sole purpose is to maintain and strengthen their stronghold on the world.
    Whether it be for political and/or religious reasons, they are entrenched in their thinking and despise democracy and all of its freedoms. I believe, should the Illumination and Miracle happen this year,
    the governments of Russia, China, N. Korea and Iran will not be deterred in committing evil acts against mankind.

    You need a conscience and a moral compass to be illuminated, unfortunately these 4 countries have proved over and over again they have none. Their own civilians will be too weak to intervene and change the course of devastation.

    The USA and NATO currently reflects an attitude of restraint and are openly trying to de-escalate any further tensions with Russia. In my opinion, the USA and NATO are showing weakness to their aggressor – Russia which only emboldens Russia’s ambitions. Russia will not stop at Ukraine, China invades Taiwan and possible other Asian countries, N. Korea attacks S. Korea and Iran captures Iraq, Afghanistan and possibly Saudi Arabia. This will be a long protracted war where Iran will further its ambitions and commit atrocities via dirty nuclear bombs – possibly against USA, Italy, France and United Kingdom. Iran will occupy as much land as logistically possible and incarcerate and persecute Christians.

    The logistics of this war would be too much for the USA and Allies. Sorry to say but the USA and Allies will lose this war. The USA land mass being far from the battles will not be overthrown. This sets up the reprisal (WW4, USA, Allies, Catholic Monarch and the Angelic Shepherd).

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