Is There a Seven-Year Tribulation?

October 7, 2013   |   Category: Ask Irvin   |   Tags: , , ,

Is the Great Tribulation three and a half years or seven years?

By Irvin Baxter

QUESTION: Jay from Texas asks Irvin to explain his thoughts on there not being a seven-year tribulation in the Bible.

 

ANSWER: Many people say that there is a seven-year tribulation but there’s not one scripture to prove that. However, there are six specific scriptures that say the great tribulation will last for three and one half years. Let me give those scriptures to you. Daniel 7:25 says that the little horn (the Antichrist) will make war against the saints for time, times, and half a time. This is repeated several times throughout scripture as time being one year, times two years, and half a time being half a year. We know that for sure because the exact same prophecy is in Revelation 13:5, there it says power was given to the beast to continue 42 months. So it says he would continue for three and a half years, a time, times, and half a time. In Revelation 13:5 it says that he will make war against the saints for 42 months. Then in Revelation 12:5-6 it says that the dragon made war against the woman Israel for 1,260 days; that’s also three and a half years. All these passages are describing the length of the time of the great tribulation. Finally, Jesus said in Matthew 24:15 that when you see the Abomination of Desolation, let those which be in Judaea flee because then shall there be great tribulation such as never has been before, nor ever again shall be. So Jesus said the Abomination of Desolation is the event that will trigger the great tribulation. We know from Daniel 9:27 that the Abomination of Desolation will occur halfway through the final seven year period called Daniel’s 70th week. There is a seven-year period called Daniel’s 70th week, described in Daniel 9:27. But the Abomination of Desolation occurs in the middle of that seven-year period, and Jesus said that’s the event that triggers the Great Tribulation. So the first three and a half years of Daniel’s 70th week will not be great tribulation at all, it doesn’t start until the halfway point.

 

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10 Responses to “Is There a Seven-Year Tribulation?”

  1. Tracy Jenson

    On your interview on television you said that the Daniel 70-week prophecy starts at the “going forth of the command to rebuild the temple”. That is not correct, it states, “at the going forth of the command to rebuild JERUSALEM”, NOT the “temple”. The command to rebuild Jerusalem was in 457 B.C. by Antexerxes. It was 483 years from 457 B.C. to the baptism of Jesus in 27 or 28 AD. There is no “gap” in the 483 years, as you stated on TV. The final seven years of the 70-weeks prophecy happened from the time that Jesus was baptized until the stoning of Stephen, which was the Pharisee’s final rejection of Christ, then Paul took the word to the Gentiles, because the Jews refused to. The 490 years was continuous, and was completed at the stoning of Stephen in around 34 AD.

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello Tracy,
      Here is an article by Dave Robbins explaining Daniel’s 70 weeks.
      After an in-depth study of the entire vision found in Daniel 9:24-27, it is clear that this is actually a prophetic time clock given to us straight from God. The prophecy begins with the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and culminates with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth at the time of the Battle of Armageddon.
      It is verse 27 that contains one of the few prophecies in the Bible with a date on it. This is the prophecy most commonly recognized as “Daniel’s Seventieth Week”. It describes in detail the final seven years before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Battle of Armageddon. Because of the Daniel’s Seventieth Week prophecy, it is possible for us to know the event that will trigger the final seven years to Armageddon, and that event lies just ahead of us now! The Daniel’s Seventieth Week prophecy is absolutely one of the greatest prophecies of all time! It’s the prophecy with a date on it!
      The entire Seventy Weeks prophecy…
      • Foretold when the Messiah would come to earth the first time
      • Proved the identity of the Messiah
      • Foretold the crucifixion
      • Foretold the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the temple
      • Prophesied the event that will trigger the final seven years to Armageddon
      • Provided clues to the identity of the Antichrist
      • Established the seven-year timeline for end of the age events
      The world stage is set for the final seven years to Armageddon to begin. The only question left to ask is,
      “Exactly when will it happen?”
      Middle East Peace Treaty Starts the Countdown
      The Bible prophesies that the Palestinians, the world community, and the Antichrist will make a peace agreement with Israel. That agreement will place the Temple Mount under a sharing arrangement between Jews and Muslims and will allow for the building of Israel’s Third Temple.
      There have been two Jewish temples up until now. This peace treaty will allow for the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in the very near future. This treaty will also establish the final borders of Israel, recognizing Israel’s right to exist and to have a homeland in the Middle East. When this agreement is signed, it will mark the beginning of the final seven years to the Battle of Armageddon. If there is a peace agreement signed that doesn’t do the above things, it is not the one that starts the final seven years. Furthermore, the Antichrist will participate in this very important agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, even though we will probably not know who he is at that time.

      The 490-Year Prophecy
      The prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 is a 490-year prophecy given to us in three segments. Let’s begin by looking at verse 24.
      “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.”
      What is Meant by “Seventy Sevens”?
      God is telling us that there will be seventy, seven-year periods of time in the prophecy. How do we know that each of the “sevens” is seven years?
      In Daniel 9:27, it states that the event called the Abomination of Desolation will occur in the middle of the last “seven.” So, if we can tell how long the last half of this “seven” is, then all we have to do is multiply by two to know how long the full period of “seven” is. That’s easy enough!
      Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 24:15-21 that the Abomination of Desolation would start the Great Tribulation. There are six different scriptures that say the Great Tribulation will last three and one-half years. (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 13:5, Daniel 12:7, Revelation 11:2, Revelation 11:3 and Revelation 12:14)
      Therefore, if the last half of the last “seven” is three and one half years, then the first half is three and one half years. This means the entire seventieth “seven” is seven years long. Obviously, the other 69 “sevens” are also each seven years long. This lets us know that we are looking at 70 seven-year periods of time, and 7 years times 70 equals 490 years.

      The Beginning of the 490 Years
      Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Daniel 9:1-3 tells us that Daniel was given the 490-year prophecy during the first year of King Darius, around 538 BC, after the Medes and the Persians had replaced Babylon as the leading empire of the world. Daniel 9:25 (NIV) reveals that the 490 years begins with the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem.

      “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.”
      Most likely this decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem refers to the prophesied decree of Cyrus, the King of Persia (Ezra 6:3), which occurred around 538 BC (if our dates are accurate). The history and the calendars that we have for this time period are very unreliable. However, when this 490-year time period begins is not really what’s important. What is important is to understand what happens at the end of 69 sevens (483 years) and what happens during the final seven-year period.

      The Prophecy is Given in Three Segments
      Verse 25 above explains that the prophecy is given in three segments: seven “sevens” (49 years), 62 “sevens” (434 years), and Daniel 9:27 states that there will be a final “seven” (7 years). So, the prophecy is given in three segments totaling 490 years. The order is 49 years, 434 years, and 7 years.
      The Revealing of the Messiah
      Daniel 9:26 tells us that the 434-year segment will end with two major events.
      “After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.”
      The passage states that the Anointed One (the Messiah) will be cut off at the end of the 69th seven. Then it says, after the Messiah is cut off, the temple and the city of Jerusalem will be destroyed.
      Wait! We know when Jerusalem was destroyed! It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The prophecy specifically says the Messiah would come and be cut off before Jerusalem was destroyed. So we know that the Messiah had to come before 70 AD!
      Did a messianic figure appear in the world shortly before Jerusalem was destroyed? Yes! Jesus came and fulfilled every single one of the prophecies about the first coming of the Messiah. Was Jesus “cut off” like the prophecy said He would be? Being crucified would certainly qualify for being cut off! This gives us absolute proof that Jesus was the Messiah!
      The Gap
      According to verses 26 and 27, two things were to happen after the 483 years and before the final 7 years. The Messiah was to be cut off and Jerusalem and the temple were to be destroyed. Jesus was crucified sometime between 26 AD and 38 AD. Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in 70 AD. Notice that there were 30 to 40 years between these two events. This indicates that there is a gap between the 69th seven and the 70th seven. That’s obviously the reason the prophecy was given in segments. If there were no gap, then the prophecy could simply have been given as a 490-year prophecy. Instead we are told there would be 49 years, 434 years and 7 years.
      The length of the gap is not disclosed to us in the prophecy. However, we do know today that this gap is about 2,000 years. We still live in the gap period right now, but the final seven years will begin soon.
      Understanding the Final Seven Years
      We have already proven that one “seven” in this prophecy equals seven years. The final seven years of the prophecy is described in Daniel 9:27 (NIV).
      “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
      There is an incredible amount of information in this one small verse. In order to understand verse 27, we need to answer five questions:
      • Who is this “he” that will confirm the covenant?
      • What is the covenant?
      • What is the Confirmation of the Covenant?
      • What is meant by “stopping the sacrifices”?
      • What is this event called, “The Abomination of Desolation”?
      Let’s take the questions one at a time.
      1. Who is this “he” that will confirm the covenant?
      This is an easy question to answer because the “he” does three things: (1) Confirms the covenant. (2) Causes the sacrifice and offering to cease. (3) Sets up the Abomination of Desolation.
      Daniel 11:21-22 states that the Antichrist (the final king of the north) will be the prince of the covenant. So, it’s the Antichrist that will confirm the covenant.
      Daniel 11:31 says that the Antichrist and his partners will take away the daily sacrifice.
      Daniel 11:31 also says that the Antichrist and his partners will place the abomination that maketh desolate.
      So, the Antichrist confirms the covenant, the Antichrist causes the sacrifice and oblation to stop, and the Antichrist places the Abomination of Desolation. It’s easy…the “he” in Daniel 9:27 is the Antichrist.
      2. What is the covenant?
      Genesis 15:18 (KJV) explains, “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” All the way back in the first book of the Bible, God made a covenant with Abraham that the Holy Land would be given to his descendants for a homeland. This is referred to as the Abrahamic Covenant.
      3. What is the Confirmation of the Covenant?
      If the covenant is God’s promise that Abraham’s descendants would live in the Promised Land, then what is the Confirmation of the Covenant? We’ve already proven above that the Antichrist is the “he” of Daniel 9:27. So it follows that he is the one who will confirm the covenant. In other words, the Antichrist will confirm Israel’s right to a homeland in the Promised Land.
      Presently, Israel’s enemies deny that she has a right to a homeland there. Most of the Arab countries have yet to recognize Israel’s right to exist. When the Confirmation of the Covenant takes place, the Antichrist and the World Community will confirm Israel’s right to exist in the Holy Land within agreed upon borders. This agreement will also establish a Palestinian homeland in the area of Judea-Samaria, commonly referred to as the West Bank.
      4. What is meant by “stopping the sacrifices”?
      The Middle East peace agreement will place the Temple Mount under a sharing arrangement between Muslims and Jews according to Revelation 11:1-2. Israel will be allowed to build her Third Temple without disturbing the Muslim holy places. When the Temple is completed, animal sacrifices will be offered just like they were in the Old Testament. These are the sacrifices that the Antichrist will stop, probably at the urging of the animal rights activists.
      5. What is this event called, “The Abomination of Desolation”?
      The Abomination of Desolation appears many times in scripture. In Matthew 24:15, Jesus said that the Abomination of Desolation would stand in the holy place. The holy place is in the Temple, or at least on the Temple Mount.
      The Apostle Paul described this in more detail in II Thessalonians 2:3-4. He said the Second Coming of Jesus would not occur until the man of sin, the son of perdition (the Antichrist) was revealed. He went on to say that the Antichrist would actually sit in the Temple of God claiming to be God. Where does the Abomination of Desolation occur? In the Temple. The Abomination of Desolation is when the Antichrist will stand in the Temple proclaiming himself to be God.
      Now we know how to read and understand Daniel 9:27. When we see a peace treaty signed between Israel and the Palestinians, which confirms Israel’s right to a homeland in the Middle East, places the Temple Mount under a sharing arrangement, and allows the building of Israel’s Third Temple, that is the beginning of the final seven years to Armageddon. In the middle of that final seven years, the Antichrist will stop the sacrifices, stand in the rebuilt Temple and proclaim himself to be God. That event is the Abomination of Desolation, which begins the final three and one half years to Armageddon. This final three and one-half years is what Jesus called the Great Tribulation.
      The Prophecy with a Date on It
      It is very critical that we understand the Confirmation of the Covenant and the events of the final seven years. We are getting ready to watch the events of this final seven-year period come to pass in the very near future!
      A Middle East peace agreement will soon be signed between the Palestinians and the Israelis. When this historic event takes place, we will know that there are seven years remaining until the Second Coming of Jesus. That’s why we call the Confirmation of the Covenant the prophecy with a date on it!

  2. The key to understand the 70th week of Daniel is understanding determined time and the chronological time. When Israel is in favor with God the determined time ticks off. When Israel falls out of favor with God the determined stops and the chronological time starts. When Israel comes back into favor the determined began’s to tick once again. It’s like a football game for example when the ball is in play the determined time of the one hour game ticks off. Then when an I

    completed pass the clock stops and so on. Maybe this can stir some interest. Gordon Lindsey of Christ for Nations wrote a book on all the 1200 years cycles. I believe the book is still available.

  3. Brother Irvin I am aman of 79 years and have studied intensely this wonderful book of Revelation now for 44 years. I also live in the Red Oak area just south of Dallas. I know you are a busy man in your ministry, but I would like to share with you sir something concerning the 70th week of Daniel that will clear up a lot Questions. We know the consummation will follow the last half of the 70th week. It would be to lengthy to share this with you in this comment. I would love to visit with you brother if that would be possible. I am flexible at most any time. I work with care center ministries and Hill Top Church in Pleasant Grove. We have discipleship program for those we help to bring out of addiction. We started this ministry around 32 years ago. We are now here in Texas, Arkansas and Nicaragua, and Jackson Mississippi. If you can find the time for us to get together I would love to share with you what theLord has shown me. I admit it will be somewhat different for what most teach in the wonderful book. If your interested please contact me, but if you can’t I understand your cup runs over. God bless you brother Baxter. I am in agreement with you about the 3 and 1/2 years. I can answer the Question you desire to know about the first half of the 70th week of Daniel.

  4. John Hohl

    Agree completely BUT there is NO Biblical evidence for the 7 year tribulation. Realizing that the 70th week began with the Baptism of Christ 9 (END OF THE 69TH WEEK), all that remains of the 70th week is 3 -1/2 years – just like the Bible says over and over again. If there is a separation or “delaying” of prophecy completion, why can’t it be in the middle of the 70th week? Abomination of Desolation was the cross – Matt. prophecy actually places it in the 1st century and cannot be found in context of 2nd coming anywhere. Previous verses are directed toward Jews (NOT Christians) Matt 24:23 then describes the Church Age, verse 29 says AFTER the tribulation of those days (Church Age) … and the return of Christ in verse 30. The entire discourse answers 3 questions asked by the apostles: 1)the temple destruction, 2) sign of your coming, and 3) end of the age. Where is the temple destruction if everything refers to the future?

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello John,

      Daniel shows us how the weeks are broken up; Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

      The Beginning of the 490 Years
      Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Daniel 9:1-3 tells us that Daniel was given the 490-year prophecy during the first year of King Darius, around 538 BC, after the Medes and the Persians had replaced Babylon as the leading empire of the world. Daniel 9:25 (NIV) reveals that the 490 years begins with the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem.

      “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.”
      Most likely this decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem refers to the prophesied decree of Cyrus, the King of Persia (Ezra 6:3), which occurred around 538 BC (if our dates are accurate). The history and the calendars that we have for this time period are very unreliable. However, when this 490-year time period begins is not really what’s important. What is important is to understand what happens at the end of 69 sevens (483 years) and what happens during the final seven-year period.

      26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

      Daniel 9:26 tells us that the 434-year segment will end with two major events.
      “After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.”
      The passage states that the Anointed One (the Messiah) will be cut off at the end of the 69th seven. Then it says, after the Messiah is cut off, the temple and the city of Jerusalem will be destroyed.
      Wait! We know when Jerusalem was destroyed! It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The prophecy specifically says the Messiah would come and be cut off before Jerusalem was destroyed. So we know that the Messiah had to come before 70 AD!
      Did a messianic figure appear in the world shortly before Jerusalem was destroyed? Yes! Jesus came and fulfilled every single one of the prophecies about the first coming of the Messiah. Was Jesus “cut off” like the prophecy said He would be? Being crucified would certainly qualify for being cut off! This gives us absolute proof that Jesus was the Messiah!

      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.

      The Gap
      According to verses 26 and 27, two things were to happen after the 483 years and before the final 7 years. The Messiah was to be cut off and Jerusalem and the temple were to be destroyed. Jesus was crucified sometime between 26 AD and 38 AD. Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in 70 AD. Notice that there were 30 to 40 years between these two events. This indicates that there is a gap between the 69th seven and the 70th seven. That’s obviously the reason the prophecy was given in segments. If there were no gap, then the prophecy could simply have been given as a 490-year prophecy. Instead we are told there would be 49 years, 434 years and 7 years.
      The length of the gap is not disclosed to us in the prophecy. However, we do know today that this gap is about 2,000 years. We still live in the gap period right now, but the final seven years will begin soon.
      Understanding the Final Seven Years
      We have already proven that one “seven” in this prophecy equals seven years. The final seven years of the prophecy is described in Daniel 9:27 (NIV).
      “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
      There is an incredible amount of information in this one small verse. In order to understand verse 27, we need to answer five questions:
      • Who is this “he” that will confirm the covenant?
      • What is the covenant?
      • What is the Confirmation of the Covenant?
      • What is meant by “stopping the sacrifices”?
      • What is this event called, “The Abomination of Desolation”?
      Let’s take the questions one at a time.
      1. Who is this “he” that will confirm the covenant?
      This is an easy question to answer because the “he” does three things: (1) Confirms the covenant. (2) Causes the sacrifice and offering to cease. (3) Sets up the Abomination of Desolation.
      Daniel 11:21-22 states that the Antichrist (the final king of the north) will be the prince of the covenant. So, it’s the Antichrist that will confirm the covenant.
      Daniel 11:31 says that the Antichrist and his partners will take away the daily sacrifice.
      Daniel 11:31 also says that the Antichrist and his partners will place the abomination that maketh desolate.
      So, the Antichrist confirms the covenant, the Antichrist causes the sacrifice and oblation to stop, and the Antichrist places the Abomination of Desolation. It’s easy…the “he” in Daniel 9:27 is the Antichrist.
      2. What is the covenant?
      Genesis 15:18 (KJV) explains, “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” All the way back in the first book of the Bible, God made a covenant with Abraham that the Holy Land would be given to his descendants for a homeland. This is referred to as the Abrahamic Covenant.
      3. What is the Confirmation of the Covenant?
      If the covenant is God’s promise that Abraham’s descendants would live in the Promised Land, then what is the Confirmation of the Covenant? We’ve already proven above that the Antichrist is the “he” of Daniel 9:27. So it follows that he is the one who will confirm the covenant. In other words, the Antichrist will confirm Israel’s right to a homeland in the Promised Land.
      Presently, Israel’s enemies deny that she has a right to a homeland there. Most of the Arab countries have yet to recognize Israel’s right to exist. When the Confirmation of the Covenant takes place, the Antichrist and the World Community will confirm Israel’s right to exist in the Holy Land within agreed upon borders. This agreement will also establish a Palestinian homeland in the area of Judea-Samaria, commonly referred to as the West Bank.
      4. What is meant by “stopping the sacrifices”?
      The Middle East peace agreement will place the Temple Mount under a sharing arrangement between Muslims and Jews according to Revelation 11:1-2. Israel will be allowed to build her Third Temple without disturbing the Muslim holy places. When the Temple is completed, animal sacrifices will be offered just like they were in the Old Testament. These are the sacrifices that the Antichrist will stop, probably at the urging of the animal rights activists.
      5. What is this event called, “The Abomination of Desolation”?
      The Abomination of Desolation appears many times in scripture. In Matthew 24:15, Jesus said that the Abomination of Desolation would stand in the holy place. The holy place is in the Temple, or at least on the Temple Mount.
      The Apostle Paul described this in more detail in II Thessalonians 2:3-4. He said the Second Coming of Jesus would not occur until the man of sin, the son of perdition (the Antichrist) was revealed. He went on to say that the Antichrist would actually sit in the Temple of God claiming to be God. Where does the Abomination of Desolation occur? In the Temple. The Abomination of Desolation is when the Antichrist will stand in the Temple proclaiming himself to be God.
      Now we know how to read and understand Daniel 9:27. When we see a peace treaty signed between Israel and the Palestinians, which confirms Israel’s right to a homeland in the Middle East, places the Temple Mount under a sharing arrangement, and allows the building of Israel’s Third Temple, that is the beginning of the final seven years to Armageddon. In the middle of that final seven years, the Antichrist will stop the sacrifices, stand in the rebuilt Temple and proclaim himself to be God. That event is the Abomination of Desolation, which begins the final three and one half years to Armageddon. This final three and one-half years is what Jesus called the Great Tribulation.

  5. First, we now live in the days of many decievers and this deception of a 7 year trib is completely false! Hopefully, if you are reading this, our Father in Heaven will open your eyes to the truth of His Word! Go to the website above for the Truth!

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello Randy,

      Yes, Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.