The prophecies of the Bible are certain and are in progress at this very moment. They cannot be changed or stopped. Ultimately events will climax into the second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. The old saying, “Sometimes things must get worse before they get better,” certainly applies today. If you think our world is in chaos right now, just hold on! Just ahead is the “great tribulation.” It is described by Jesus in Matthew 24:15-21:
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
The Bible speaks clearly that this time called the great tribulation is coming. So what really is the great tribulation? It is a 3.5 year period of time, just prior to the battle of Armageddon, during which horrible slaughter will begin in biblical Judea and then extend around the world. Judea is the area in Israel known as the West Bank. At the same time, an influential global leader will arise in Europe and implement a numbering system to control the human race. The Bible says he will ultimately rule over the entire world.
An Old Testament prophet named Daniel foresaw a period of time, which he did not quite comprehend. It was eventually named after him — Daniel’s 70th Week. We find this bit of information in Daniel 9:27: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel did not understand that this week referred to a week of years, or a 7-year period of time. (The Good News Translation renders this passage: “That ruler will have affirm agreement with many people for seven years, and when half this time is past, he will put an end to sacrifices and offerings.”) So what do we know? The confirmation of the covenant begins the final seven years. Three and one-half years after the confirmation, the great tribulation begins. Many prophecy teachers have taught that “The great tribulation” period lasts for the entire 7 years. However, this is not what the Bible says. Only the second half of this 7-year period is actually the great tribulation. Jesus Himself said this in Matthew 24:15-21. He said when we see the abomination of desolation (which will occur halfway through the final 7 years according to Daniel 9:27), then will be great tribulation. Revelation 13:5-7 teaches the same thing. “And there was given unto him (the Antichrist) a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months…And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” This scripture goes right along with what Daniel said because forty-two months equals 3.5 years. So we know from these scriptures and from others that the great tribulation will last for three and one-half years.
Daniel 9:27 gives us a simple mathematical calculation: “…and in the midst (middle) of the week (7 years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,” thus 7 ÷ 2 = 3.5. In other words, the final 7 years will be divided into two equal periods of 3.5 years! From this simple mathematical truth, we are able to understand Daniel’s two equations. The first 3.5-year time period will begin at the confirmation of the covenant. The second 3.5-year time period will mark the beginning of the great tribulation and will be ended by the battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus. So the secrets of Daniel’s 70th week can be summarized in two equations: