Many people are concerned about what is described in chapter 16 of the biblical Book of Revelation, which discusses what will happen when God brings His wrath in the form of plagues against the earth during the second half of the seven-year period of the  Tribulation, which is the period immediately preceding Jesus Christ’s return to the earth to begin His millennial reign as the Sovereign Ruler of the entire world.  [Note: To read about the final plagues that God will bring upon the earth, click on the title of our article entitledWhat Does the Bible Say about End Times Plagues?”]

However, disasters that are mentioned in chapters 8, 9, and 11 of Revelation should also be considered.  Since these disasters are mentioned in chapters before the plagues are mentioned in chapter 16 and assuming that the events in the Book of Revelation are in chronological order, these disasters will occur before the plagues.  Furthermore, because the appearance of the so-called “beast” (aka “the antichrist”) is not mentioned until Chapter 13, the disasters mentioned in chapters 8, 9, and 11 will almost certainly occur during the first half of the Tribulation.

The following scriptures focus on each of the disasters that will precede the final plagues.  Each of these disasters follows the blowing of a trumpet by a different angel.

[Note:  When we quote Scripture in this article, we use the wording in the New King James Version of the Bible.]

Chapter 8, verse 7: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

Chapter 8, verses 8-9: Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.  And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Chapter 8, verse 10-11: Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.  The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.

Chapter 8, verse 12: Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.  [Note: In Matthew 24:29, the prophetic comments made by Jesus Christ are somewhat similar.]

Chapter 9, verses 1-6: Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.

Chapter 9, verses 13-16: Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar, which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.

Chapter 11, verses 15, 19: Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.


The descriptions of the disasters during the Tribulation that will precede the final plagues indicate that several of these disasters will be more catastrophic than any of the final plagues that will be manifestations of God’s wrath.  Furthermore, a couple of the other disasters during this period will evidently be at least somewhat similar to final plagues.

In any case, the disasters that will precede the final plagues will make it extremely difficult to live on the earth even during the first half of the Tribulation (i.e., before God brings His wrath upon the earth.)  However, if the Rapture of Christians to heaven occurs before the Tribulation begins, those who have genuinely trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior will not need to suffer from any of the disasters during the Tribulation.

On the other hand, if Christians will not be raptured until just before God begins to inflict His wrath on the earth, which is generally expected to occur approximately midway through the Tribulation, the Christians living on the earth at that time will need to be prepared to deal with the disasters that every living person will face during the first half of the Tribulation.  Such preparation will necessitate having a close relationship with God, including a strong trust in Him.  People who are not adequately prepared during that time are not likely to persevere in their faith during the Tribulation, as indicated in 1 Timothy 4:1.

[Note: For information regarding how to have a close relationship with God, read several of our relevant articles under the category of Uncertainties Regarding Righteousness.]