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The Seven-Year Tribulations

How do we know that the Tribulation is seven years long?  Couldn't it be three and a half years long?  Didn't Jesus die at the halfway mark according to Daniel 9?  Is it even accurate to call the seven-year period the Tribulation?  Isn't the Tribulation only the second half?

I believe Scripture answers these questions with great clarity, but Scripture also gives minute details that cause many to miss the forest for the trees.  In the books of Daniel and Revelation there are references to time, times, and half a time, as well as 42 months and 1,260, 1,290, and 1,335 days.  Each of these time periods equate to approximately three and a half years.

The references to three and a half years are not in contradiction with a full seven-year Tribulation, but are given, rather, to emphasize two key details: first, that the full Tribulation is bisected in the middle by several key events including the Abomination of Desolation (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15–20), the death of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:7–12), the partial destruction of earthly Jerusalem (Rev. 11:13), and the flight of Israel into the wilderness (Rev. 12:6, 14); and second, that the final three and a half years of the Tribulation, called the Great Tribulation, are much worse than the first half.  In fact, the second half is the worst period in history, even worse than the Flood (Mt. 24:21).

If the final three and a half years of the age are called the Great Tribulation, is it accurate to call the full seven years the Tribulation?  I believe so, and we find scriptural warrant for this in several places, including Jeremiah 30 and Revelation 3:

Woe!  For that day [is] great, without any like it, Indeed, it [is] the time of Jacob’s tribulation, Yet he is saved out of it. (Jer. 30:7, LSV)

Note also the Douay-Rheims translation of the verse:

Alas, for that day is great, neither is there the like to it; and it is the time of tribulation to Jacob, but he shall be saved out of it.

Many translations use “trouble” for the Hebrew tsarah, which is not necessarily wrong.  It does have that connotation.  However, the underlying meaning of the word is more along the lines of tightness, constriction, tribulation, and distress.  Other translations use tribulation for this same word in other passages (e.g., 1 Sam. 26:24).

The pre-tribulational promise to the overcoming Church of Philadelphia is:

Because you kept the word of My endurance, I also will keep you from the hour of the trial that is about to come on all the world, to try those dwelling on the earth. (Rev. 3:10, LSV)

The Greek word peirasmos is variously translated trial, trouble, testing, and temptation.  It has that basic semantic range, and here, in the promise of escape to the Church, it is used without an adjective, juxtaposed to the adjectival use of “great” in Revelation 7:14 and Matthew 24:21.  This shows distinction, and perhaps a broader period of time than merely the last half of the terrible time of tribulation and temptation coming on the whole world.

Christians have always faced persecution.  As Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation.”  But what Christians have never faced, nor will ever face, is the specific period of time known as Daniel's 70th Week, The Time of Jacob's Trouble (or Tribulation), The Day of the LORD, etc.  This is key, especially now as the world is racing over the cliff toward a global police state in the midst of the pandemic.  We are witnessing the orchestration of what will come to complete fulfillment after the Church is removed.  The rapture is the trigger.

In short, I do believe the seven-year period soon to come can be fairly called the Tribulation, as long as we are careful to recognize we already suffer general tribulation now, as Christians always have.

But how do we know the final period of judgment at the end of the age is seven years in duration and not merely three and a half years, or perhaps four, five, or six years, or any other length of time for that matter?  In this next section I'll provide the reasons.

The Tribulation Is A Future Seven-Year Period

While there are many schools of thought pertaining to Daniel's 70th Week and the Great Tribulation, a plain reading of Daniel 9:24–27 gives us a clear answer: the seven-year Tribulation is still to come.  And the Tribulation is a period of seven years.  Daniel 9 serves as the foundation for the understanding that the final period at the end of the age will last for seven years.

Seventy periods of seven are determined for your people and for your holy city, to shut up the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to cover iniquity, and to bring in continuous righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies.  And you know, and consider wisely, from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem until Messiah the Leader [is] seven periods of seven, and sixty-two periods of seven: the broad place has been built again, and the rampart, even in the distress of the times.  And after the sixty-two periods of seven, Messiah is cut off, but not for Himself, and the people of the leader who is coming destroy the city and the holy place; and its end [is] with a flood, and until the end [is] war, [and] desolations [are] determined.  And he has strengthened a covenant with many [for] one period of seven, and [in] the midst of the period of seven he causes sacrifice and present to cease, and by the wing of abominations he is making desolate, even until the consummation, and that which is determined is poured on the desolate one.

I'll break this down, unpacking some critical points:

1. Messiah is killed after the 69th Week, but before the 70th Week.  According to Daniel 9:26 the Messiah is cut off after the first 69 periods of seven, not in the middle of the 70th period of seven (v. 27).  A literal reading of Daniel 9:24–27 presents what I would consider to be an insurmountable problem with theories presented by those who see no gap between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel (and also the theory that Jesus is the 'he' of v. 27) if we take these Scriptures at face value.

2. Jesus is not the 'he' in verse 27.  The Messiah who is cut off “but not for Himself” in verse 26 is clearly Jesus (no Christians that I am aware of would argue otherwise).  However, Jesus is mentioned in the first half of verse 26.  It's later in the verse that “the prince” whose people destroy the city and the holy [place] shows up, thus per rules of most recent mention, it is far more likely that the antecedent of 'he' in verse 27 is “the prince” in verse 26.  This, among other contextual reasons, is why there is very little scholarship defending the view that Jesus is the 'he' in verse 27.  Even many preterists and historicists differentiate between the Messiah and prince in verse 26.

Furthermore, whoever this “prince” is, his people destroy Jerusalem and the holy [place].  Whether this refers to the people of the Roman nation in general (classic view of a revived Roman empire) or the more recent views presented by Joel Richardson and Walid Shoebat (Syrian and Turkish conscripts), there is no historical or biblical basis whatsoever to say these people are the Jews.  Thus the prince in verse 27 cannot be Jesus.

3. Jesus never made a seven-year covenant.  This has always been the elephant in the room when the suggestion is that the 'he' of verse 27 is Jesus.  Suggesting He is the one who made a seven-year covenant would be pure assumption and potentially worse.  The New Covenant in His blood is everlasting.

4. Jesus didn't put an end to sacrifices at His death.  Another elephant in the room.  The continual sacrifices persisted for roughly 37 years after Jesus' death.  Now someone might respond that He put an end to the need for sacrifices (which is true), but there are two major problems with that view: first, verse 27 plainly says this “prince” interrupts/ceases/ends sacrifices, not that he merely ended the pretext for them.  Second, Hebrews 10 tells us quite plainly that the ancient animal sacrifices could never take away sins, even before Christ's atoning sacrifice (hence Jesus, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world).

5. There is already a biblical basis for prophetic gaps in time, especially when it comes to the period of time before the Day of the LORD.  There is nothing unscriptural about a gap, as if somehow the dispensational pause between the 69th and 70th weeks is false on its face.  It's not.  In fact, there are several examples of prophetic gaps including Isaiah 61:2.  This gap actually occurs mid-verse!  And it's a perfect example, because the gap Jesus alluded to in this verse (see Lk. 4:19) overlaps the 2,000-year gap of Daniel 9:26–27.

Focusing back on Daniel 9: the passage itself distinguishes between a first period of 49 years, a second period of 434, and a final period of 7, so that if there were to be a gap, it would naturally fit between the 49 and 434 or between the 434 and the 7.  Daniel 9:26–27 makes clear where the gap is to be placed: between the 69th and 70th weeks of years.

6. The purpose of the prophecy is explicitly given (v. 24) for Daniel's people (the Jews) and his city (Jerusalem).  At the completion of the 70th Week: 1. the people and city will have finished transgression, 2. ended sin, 3. made reconciliation for iniquity, 4. brought in everlasting/continual righteousness, 5. sealed up vision and prophecy, and 6. anointed the Most Holy.  None of these things have yet occurred for the people or the city, thus the 70th Week has not yet transpired.

Bolstering this point and going back to Isaiah 61:2, based on Luke 4:19 we see Jesus Himself bisecting Isaiah 61:2 by the current 2,000-year period of time we're living in that precedes the Day of the LORD.

Acts 15:14–18 provides the basis for this gap.  God would first take “out of” the Gentiles a people for Himself, and only after that happens would the prophecy be fulfilled of Israel and Jerusalem's complete redemption and restoration.  The entire chapter of Romans 11 says as much: Israel has been temporarily hardened until the full number or fullness of the Gentiles comes in.  After this, all Israel will be saved.

7. Gabriel explicitly declares a future period of seven years (the 70th week; Daniel 9:27).  He also explains that three and a half years in, the Abomination of Desolation will occur.  Jesus references Daniel's prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation as a future event (Mt. 24:15).  Trying to reconcile Jesus' own interpretation of Daniel 9:27 given in Matthew 24:15 with the view some propose (that Daniel 9:27 is actually about Christ's death after three and a half years of ministry) seems to be difficult.

Whenever, therefore, you may see the abomination of the desolation, that was spoken of through Daniel the prophet [in Dan. 9:27], standing in the holy place (whoever is reading let him observe) . . . for there will then be great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor may be. (Mt. 24:15, 21, LSV)

As you can see, Jesus interprets Daniel 9:27 for us.

Finally, there are three additional proofs that the Tribulation is seven years in duration outside of Daniel 9:

8. The plain sense of Revelation 11 seemingly forces there to be a 3.5-year period prior to the Great Tribulation (see here).  In summary, the plain sense interpretation of the chapter requires the entire 1,260-day ministry of the two witnesses to occur prior to the sixth and seventh trumpet judgments, as well as all seven of the bowl judgments (see Rev. 11:7–14).  Their death, resurrection, and ascension is coterminous with the sixth trumpet.

. . . it has been argued that the chronological crux is found in Rev. 11 which indicates the great difficulty of having both the two witnesses and the trumpet judgments in the second half.  Since the second woe [sixth trumpet] ends with the ascension of the two witnesses, and since the two witnesses serve for 1,260 days, it is not possible for this to take place in the second half of the Tribulation. (The Chronological Relationship of the Three Septet Judgments of the Tribulation to Daniel’s Seventy Weeks by Robert Dean)

9. The emphasis of the number seven in Revelation.  In terms of narrative, the majority of the book of Revelation pertains to the Tribulation period (Rev. 6–19).  One of the reasons seven is so prominent in Revelation is because the book is predominantly about the seven-year judgment at the end of the age.  Within this prophetic scroll we see seven lampstands, seven churches, seven stars, seven angels, seven flames, seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls.  God uses the number seven to highlight the Tribulation/the time of the Lamb's wrath/the time of Jacob's trouble.

And the final reason is that history is full of seven-year types and shadows of the coming seven-year wrath of the Lamb...

10. The Seven-Year Tribulations

1. The seven years of famine during the life of Jacob.  Jacob was renamed Israel and thus is an individual representing the whole Israelite nation.  Jeremiah 30's reference to The Time of Jacob's Trouble/Tribulation is a cryptic clue, given Jacob's actual time of trouble was during the seven-year famine of Joseph's day.  Jacob's son Joseph was a type of Christ who even took a Gentile bride pre-famine.  Joseph was a descendant of Jacob; Jesus is a descendant of Jacob.  Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and thrown into a pit; Jesus was betrayed by His brothers and thrown into a tomb.  Joseph was elevated to the second-highest position in Egypt; Jesus was elevated to the right hand of God.

Jacob and his family were rescued in the midst of the famine just as Israel will be rescued in the midst of the coming Tribulation (Rev. 12:6, 14).  This is key: since Israel is fully protected for the last half of the Tribulation (the Great Tribulation) whereas the remnant of her seed are not (Rev. 12:17) how could this period of time be Jacob's trouble?  “Jacob” is fully protected for 1,260 days.  We see that Jacob's trouble is when the dragon is in hot pursuit of Israel pre-Great Tribulation (Rev. 12:13).  In this sense, The Time of Jacob's Trouble is the whole seven-year period from a macro perspective, and the first half of the Tribulation from a micro perspective, but never exclusively the Great Tribulation for it's during the entire Great Tribulation that Israel is protected in the wilderness.

2. Jacob's seven extra years of work for Rachel.  Like the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine, so too much earlier in Jacob's life he labored joyfully seven years for Rachel (Gen. 29:20), but was tricked by Laban and had to work an additional seven years in return for his desired bride (Gen. 29:25–30).  Bear in mind Jacob is Israel.  He's an individual, but also a type of the whole nation.

3. The seven years the Israelites were oppressed by the Midianites.  During the era of the judges, Israel continued to rebel against God.  Judges 6:1 describes how God gave the nation into the hands of the Midianites for seven years because of Israel's sin.  In Judges 6:2 we hear how the Israelites hid themselves in the caves and rocks of the mountains—a very similar account to what will happen yet future in Revelation 6:15, as well as how Israel will escape to the wilderness in the last half of the Tribulation.  Then the Israelites finally cry out to God for deliverance and He raises up Gideon, a judge, deliverer, and type of Christ, to deliver the Israelites out of their seven years of oppression.

4. The first seven years of David's reign.  David and his son Solomon reigned for a combined 80 years—an intriguing hat tip to Psalm 90:10 and the possible 80-year connection to 1948 and 2028.  However, according to 2 Samuel 5:5 and 1 Kings 2:11, the first seven years of David's reign were turmoil and civil war.  He reigned from Hebron rather than Jerusalem because the nation was divided and those loyal to him were at war with the house of Saul (even though Saul was dead).

5. The seven-year famine during the life of Elisha the prophet.  We're all well familiar with the seven years of famine during Joseph's life, but the Bible mentions a second seven-year famine that occurred while Elisha was living (2 Kgs. 8:1).  The famine ravaged the land of Israel, but God showed favor to a certain Israelite woman from Shunem and preserved her and her family.  Elisha told them to flee and they fled to safety during the famine.  This was the same woman that was formerly promised a son by God (2 Kgs. 4:16).  The son subsequently died and came back to life when Elisha breathed into his mouth (2 Kgs. 4:18–37).

We see in this account a representation of Israel (the Shunammite woman), a representation of the seven-year Tribulation (the seven-year famine), a representation of Jesus (the Hebrew son of promise who died and rose again when the Spirit revived him—born to the Israelite woman), and a representation of the Elijah to come (Elisha in this account) who will prophesy to Israel during the Tribulation (one of the two witnesses most likely).  We even see a hint of the pre-tribulation rapture in that Elisha received Elijah's mantle after Elijah was carried up to Heaven.  Elijah was raptured before the seven-year famine just as Enoch was raptured before the seven days Noah and his family were in the Ark.

6. The seven-year Maccabean Revolt.  The war lasted for about seven years, from 167 to 160 BC.  In the middle of that seven-year period (164 BC) were the events that many historicists assume were the basis for Daniel's prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation.  We know that Jesus interpreted the prophecies of Daniel to be yet future (Mt. 24:15–21), but it's clear that 164 BC was a powerful type of what is to come.  Antiochus IV Epiphanes set up an abomination in the Second Temple complex.  The Maccabees subsequently recaptured Jerusalem, cleansed the Temple, and celebrated the feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) several months late, which henceforth became known as Hanukkah.

7. The seven-year First Jewish-Roman War.  Like the Maccabean Revolt, this war lasted for about seven years, from 66 to 73 AD.  In the middle of the seven-year period was another type and shadow of the Abomination of Desolation: in 70 AD the armies of Titus Vespasian sacked Jerusalem, destroyed the Second Temple, and killed upwards of one million Jews.

Preterists believe 70 AD was the fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse, which is not a defensible position using a plain sense, historical-grammatical interpretation (Jesus spoke of His actual return, angels gathering the saints, and worldwide devastation, etc), but Jesus' words ended up being the impetus for Christians in the region to flee for safety (Mt. 24:15–21).  In this way, few if any Christians were killed in the siege.  The events of 66–73 AD even had, then, a type of the rapture of the Church.

8. The Seven Years' War.  It was the first true world war before global wars were called as such.  The war lasted from 1756 to 1763 and pitted Great Britain, Prussia, and Portugal against France, Spain, Russia, and the Mughal Empire.  It even included Native American tribes: the Iroquois Confederacy and Cherokee with the British and the Shawnee, Ottawa, and others with the French.  The bloody war was fought across all inhabited continents except Australia resulting in a British-Prussian victory.

9. The seven years of World War II and the Holocaust.  When counting from the invasion of Austria, Hitler's imperial advance lasted from 1938 to 1945.  Like the coming Antichrist, Hitler was a tyrannical dictator obsessed with the destruction of the Jewish people.  His currency was the Mark and his followers literally marked people as Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, etc.

An alternative interpretation of the timeline would place the seven-year period from 1941, which was the start of the Holocaust, to 1948, which was the rebirth of Israel.  After the death of Hitler and the emancipation of the Jews, the Jews were enabled to return back to their biblical homeland in droves.

These last several examples are not seven-year periods, but are nevertheless periods of seven, or connect “seven” and judgment, foreshadowing the coming seven-year Tribulation.

10. The seven days Noah and his family were in the Ark before the Flood (Gen. 7).  The seven days may be representative of the seven years of Tribulation.  Noah and his family, Gentiles, may be a picture of the Church tucked safely away in the Ark (Christ is also a proverbial Ark of safety).  The Ark is lifted high above the earth.  The Flood's initiation at the end of the seven days is a picture of the total judgment and destruction at the end of the Tribulation.  The 150-day Flood may be a picture of the Millennial Kingdom to come where sin and judgment are still present, and the Ark coming to rest on the newly-cleansed earth with Noah and his family debarking, could be a picture of the new heavens and new earth to come.  Enoch, taken up to Heaven many years before the Flood, might be a picture of Christ who ascended to Heaven many years before the Church's rapture.

Some see Noah and his family as a picture of Israel protected during the Tribulation, with Enoch, instead, a picture of the raptured Church.  He was raptured sometime pre-Flood.  It might be splitting hairs, and rather than this or that it might be both/and.

11. The seven days Jacob waited for Rachel.  I've already touched on how Jacob had to work an extra seven years as the bridal price for his beloved, but he actually took Rachel as his wife only seven days after he married Leah (Gen. 29:27), and then worked an additional seven years as the price.

12. The seven days Jacob fled from Laban.  After Jacob fled Laban's homestead with Leah, Rachel, and their children, he was pursued by Laban for seven days (Gen. 31:23).  Laban, the liar and trickster who was using and abusing Jacob, can be seen as a type of Satan or the Antichrist pursuing after Israel/the descendants of Jacob during the seven-year Tribulation.

13. The seven-times-hotter fire.  According to the book of Daniel, three Hebrew youths Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into a fiery furnace for refusing to bow to the statue image of King Nebuchadnezzar.  The fire was heated seven times hotter than normal.  The youths were protected by the Son of Man (Jesus preincarnate) in the midst of the fire.  This story has it all: a type of the Church (Daniel) who was elevated to a place of safety, escaping the fire; a type of the Antichrist (Nebuchadnezzar); a type of the image of the beast (the statue); a type of the seven-year Tribulation seen in the seven-times-hotter fire; and a type of the Jewish nation protected in the midst of the Tribulation (the three Hebrews preserved in the fire).

14. The seven days of consummation in the Jewish wedding traditions.  Traditions vary, but seven days usually factors in some way.  In the traditional wedding custom there is a period of seven days of celebration following the ceremony.  In the ancient Galilean tradition the bride was snatched away in the dead of night at the sound of a trumpet.  She was lifted up on a litter and carried away to the wedding chamber where she remained in hiding with the groom for seven days.  This is a perfect picture of both the pre-tribulation rapture, as well as the Church and Christ's hiddenness during the seven-year Tribulation.

15. The seven days of post-birth uncleanness prescribed in Leviticus 12.  Given that the prophetic woman of Revelation 12 and the prophets (esp. as found in Isaiah) is a symbol of Israel, and her corporate male child is a symbol of the Church, it is perfectly fitting that according to the law in Leviticus 12:1–2 after the woman gives birth to a male child, she remains unclean for seven days.

16. The seven days of menstrual uncleanness for an Israelite woman (Lev. 15:19).  Just as an Israelite woman is considered unclean and prohibited from sexual relations for a period of seven days during her cycle, so too the nation of Israel will remain unclean and unable to have intimacy with the Messiah for seven years.

17. The seven days of mourning for Jacob (Gen. 50:10).  Again, Jacob is Israel.  The seven days of mourning for Jacob/Israel is akin to the seven years of Israel in mourning yet to come.  In fact, seven days of mourning is now the prescribed rule according to Jewish tradition, the Talmud, and the apocryphal book Ecclesiasticus (v. 22:12).  Unbeknownst to them, Jews have been preparing for the seven years of mourning to come.  They have practiced mourning for a period of seven for eons.

18. The seven-day week itself.  The week is primarily labor and toil.  For six days a man may work, but on the seventh day he must rest.  The last year of the Tribulation will witness Christ's return to bring cleansing and rest to the earth.  Likewise, the seven-thousand-year history of the earth from creation in Genesis 1 to the new creation of Revelation 21, is marked by rebellion and sin, just as its microcosm—the Tribulation.

19. The seven-year Shmita cycle (Ex. 23:10–11).  Jews count years in cycles of seven, where each seventh year is the Shmita.  The seventh year is primarily useful for agricultural purposes, letting the land lie fallow.  This seven-year cycle is still maintained by Jews today and highlights the importance and fundamental nature of seven-year periods of time from a biblical perspective.  It should also be noted that Hebrew slaves are set free in the seventh year (Ex. 21:2; Jer. 34:14).

20. The seven days of Passover/Unleavened Bread and the seven days of Tabernacles.  Unleavened Bread is a period of seven days.  The biblical descriptions connect Passover with Unleavened Bread such that sometimes the first day of Unleavened Bread is considered Passover, and sometimes Passover is considered the day prior to the seven-day festival.  In either case, it is a seven-day period marked by sacrifice, blood, and memories of the Exodus when the Israelites escaped from a type of the Antichrist—Pharaoh—in the midst of judgment and plagues.

Tabernacles (Sukkot) is a seven-day period where Jews make temporary shelters in which they remain for seven days.  This celebration recounts both the temporary shelters in which the Israelites lived after the Exodus, as well as the heavenly shelters the Church will dwell in during the seven-year Tribulation.  We also see in this symbol a picture of the Israelites protected by God on earth during the Tribulation.

The Tribulation Framework of Revelation 12

Rightly dividing and correctly identifying the characters in Revelation 12 is vital to interpreting Bible prophecy.  We know the Tribulation is called The Time of Jacob's Trouble in Jeremiah 30.  Jacob of course had real trouble during the seven-year famine and he was saved in the midst of it.  Likewise, Israel will be saved in the midst of the future Time of Jacob's Trouble.  Revelation 12 makes it clear that Israel will be protected for the full extent of the Great Tribulation, the last three and a half years (Rev. 12:6, 14).  This means, at least effectually, Israel's real trouble is only the first half of the seven-year Tribulation.

While a cursory glance at Revelation 12 leads some to see it as an entirely mid-tribulation passage, the details do not allow for this interpretation.  In fact, the passage is an overview of the entire Tribulation.

Revelation 12:13 effectively rules out the possibility that Satan is cast to the earth at the midpoint.  Satan is positioned to devour the male child (Rev. 12:4), but can't (Rev. 12:5), then he goes after the woman (Israel) in Rev. 12:13, but she escapes to the wilderness for the last half of the Tribulation (Rev. 12:14).

Revelation 12 provides this basic structure and interpretive layer to Daniel (since Daniel also deals with both halves of the Tribulation):

1. Satan is poised to devour the Church (Rev. 12:4)

2. The Church escapes (Rev. 12:5)

3. Satan pursues Israel for the first half of the Tribulation (Rev. 12:13)

4. Israel escapes (Rev. 12:6, 14)

5. Satan pursues the remaining Gentile Tribulation Saints for the last half (Rev. 12:17; Rev. 7:14)

We see those dwelling in Heaven rejoicing (Rev. 12:10–12a; the newly raptured Church) because Satan has been cast out.  But those left on the earth are sternly warned because Satan has come down (Rev. 12:12b).  This is another powerful pre-tribulation proof: the raptured saints have overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:11) and are now dwelling in Heaven (Rev. 12:12), whereas those left behind, including the remnant of the woman's seed, will be overcome by Satan.  Consider what is said about the Church in Scripture:

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Assembly [Church], and [the] gates of Hades will not prevail against it. . . (Mt. 16:18, LSV)

. . .these things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace, in the world you will have tribulation, but take courage—I have overcome the world. (Jn. 16:33, LSV)

I wrote to you, fathers, because you have known Him who [is] from the beginning; I wrote to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God remains in you, and you have overcome the evil [one]. (1 Jn. 2:14, LSV)

Because you kept the word of My endurance, I also will keep you from the hour of the trial that is about to come on all the world, to try those dwelling on the earth. (Rev. 3:10, LSV)

. . .and the dragon stood before the woman who is about to bring forth, that when she may bring forth, he may devour her child; and she brought forth a male son, who is about to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, and her child was snatched up to God and to His throne. . . (Rev. 12:4b–5, LSV)

. . .and they overcame him [the Devil] because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life—to death. . . (Rev. 12:11, LSV)

And now consider what is said about those left behind—the Tribulation Saints:

. . .and it speaks words as an adversary of the Most High, and it wears out the saints of the Most High, and it hopes to change seasons and law; and they are given into its hand, until a time, and times, and a division of a time. (Dan. 7:25, LSV)

And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony that they held, and they were crying with a great voice, saying, “Until when, O Master, the Holy and the True, do You not judge and take vengeance of our blood from those dwelling on the earth?”  And there was given to each one a white robe, and it was said to them that they may rest themselves yet a short time, until may also be fulfilled their fellow-servants and their brothers, who are about to be killed—even as they. (Rev. 6:9–11, LSV)

And I have said to him, “Lord, you have known”; and he said to me, “These are those who are coming out of the Great Tribulation, and they washed their robes, and they made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. . . (Rev. 7:14, LSV)

. . .and the dragon was angry against the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, those keeping the commands of God, and having the testimony of Jesus. (Rev. 12:17, LSV)

. . .and there was given to it to make war with the holy ones, and to overcome them, and there was given to it authority over every tribe, and tongue, and nation. (Rev. 13:7, LSV)

And I saw thrones, and they [that] sat on them [the 24 elders, a picture of the glorified Church, already described in Rev. 4–5], and judgment was given to them, and the souls of those who have been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus, and because of the word of God, and who did not worship the beast, nor his image, and did not receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand, and they lived and reigned with the Christ one thousand years. . . (Rev. 20:4, LSV)

Their identities are not the same, nor are their destinies the same.  The Church is destined to overcome Satan by an escape and glorification prior to the Tribulation, crushing Satan underfoot as the mystical body of Christ (Rom. 16:20).  The Tribulation Saints are destined to be overcome by Satan during the Tribulation, but will be raised to life afterwards.  The destiny of the Church is Heaven—not just figuratively, but literally (Jn. 14:1–3; 1 Cor. 15:47–52; Gal. 4:24–27; Eph. 2:6; Phil. 3:19–21; Col. 3:2–4; 1 Thess. 4:16–17; Heb. 12:22–24; Rev. 3:8, 10, 12, 21; 4:1–4; 5:9–10; Rev. 12:5, 10–12).

P.S. We just launched the official Unsealed Facebook Group a few days ago.  All of our readers are welcome to join in and fellowship with us there or on the Unsealed Discussion Board.

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  1. I posted this in the Shout Box this morning.

    Entire 7-man Olympic team worships Jesus after winning gold Rev 12:11 : www.godreports.com/2021/08/entire-7-man-olympic-team-worships-jesus-after-winning-gold/

    1. Good article Bernie, thanks for sharing that. and the team sang the words from Revelation 12:11 - amazing group of seven to put the icing on Gary's article -

      Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

  2. Wow thanks a lot Gary, need to do more research and prepare for the Rapture!

  3. Thanks! I thought that was excellent.

    I've always loved typology in the Bible and the many varied ways God uses to tell the same essential story. And there were several pictures of the 7 year tribulation period there I hadn't thought of. Appreciate your time and effort in writing this... really interesting food to chew on : )

    1. Thank you Gary!A precious help for everyone who doubts! Maranatha!!!

  4. Hm, I could read the "he" in Daniel 9 meaning whether Jesus nor the Anti-Christ, but simply the week itself. Because week is also masculine. So the week is not establishing a covenant but confirming the covenant God made with Israel. This began, when Jesus was baptized and was interrupted at his crucifixion. Concerning the ending of the sacrifices Hebrews 10, 18 says: "Now where remission of these(our sins) is, there is no more offering for sin."

    (The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Hebr 10,18). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)

  5. Thanks Gary. It is nice to have the Seven year Tribulation examples and scripture references all in one place to read and review. Your post read clarifies how consistent the scripture stories are.
    Thanks for your hard work!!

  6. Thanks Gary. It is nice to have the Seven year Tribulation examples and scripture references all in one place to read and review. Your post read clarifies how consistent the scripture stories are.
    Thanks for your hard work!!

  7. Loved it! There are beautiful, repeating themes and patterns in Scripture and it is a delight to see them laid out like this. Thank you for this great study!

  8. #5 is awesome! I've never heard it explained like that before.

    This article is the best summary ever, when it comes to explaining why we have hope.

  9. Thanks Gary, and these two verses in Revelation 12 also bear great witness to the rapture and tribulation....(see the contrast between those in heaven - to rejoice - and those on earth - woe to them ) - that goes along with I Thess 5 - we are not appointed to wrath. God is good!

    Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens
    and you who dwell in them!
    But woe to the earth and the sea,
    because the devil has gone down to you!
    He is filled with fury,
    because he knows that his time is short.”

    youtube: can we get serious now, time is short - https://youtu.be/j0GzZOkFOD8 - 3 minutes

    youtube: another fire with an amazing sign that THE DAY OF THE LORD IS NEAR

    and the new post here by TW TRamm on the timeline convergence is worth reading for sure...


  10. Sometimes I wonder if the child's escape from devouring dragon is related to the massive numbers of deaths that some notable doctors are predicting from this covid jab. Jesus rescues His church before we start seeing millions of deaths from the vaccine. Thoughts anyone?

    1. Damian, Blessings. Your idea comports with unpacks of Psalm 91:3 which we've been bantering about over at REV12. "3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence."

      A Fowlers snare is a trap triggered by the prey alighting on the branch and is nore tightly tied to our moment by being tied, in tis verse, to a 'noisome pestilence'. This unique type of trap, a Fowler's Snare, parallels one's voluntarily sitting for the jab, not being fully 'in the know' of the trap one is entering. Note, also, one cannot be saved 'FROM' such a trap unless it has already sprung, or, been sprung by the victim, themselves, upon themselves. Thus, those who've been jabbed are within the Fowler's Snare. Really fits, doesn't it?

      God's Roadmap to the End YTC did an excellent expose of Satan's effort to 'jump the gun' and 'devour the child as it is born' by adulterating the DNA of the Bride, just as he did in Noah's day, this time with the jab, and how the FEET of Iron mixed with Miry clay in Daniel prophecies this as happening EARLY, as it is only in the TOES where the HARVEST MODEL declares such gleaning of the Master's Property is legal. His video refers to the legal case against Satan in the title if you want to watch it.

      Thus, this "MARK-like" jab is a Fowler's Snare which many brothers and sisters in Christ are now trapped within. Praise Our Lord Jesus Christ that His Word, In Psalms 91:3, Declares Their Freedom FROM That Snare.

      Logically, as your idea suggests, it makes the most sense that this speaks about our Rescue BEFORE that bell rings, wholesale, Maranatha!

    2. Thanks Jimboni for your thought provoking response. When I look at the 4th seal judgment in Rev 6:7-8, one fourth of the world's population dies from 4 different things, one of which is pestilence. The Greek word here is thanatos, which simply means death as the KJV translates it. So in other words, people are killed by death. Sort of weird to say it that way, but makes sense that people are being injected by death today thinking that it's going to save them from death. Your connection Psa 91:3 with the noisome or deadly pestilence is perfect. And He will deliver us from that snare before the Dragon devours us. Come Lord Jesus!

    3. Jimboni--thanks for that God's Roadmap synopsis--I had not heard it!
      Damian--Prophetically, the Lord has been telling His people BEFORE 'THEY' TAKE US; HE WILL TAKE US! For more on this, go to this article:
      The Great Escape from Camp FEMA

    4. Jaco does such a good job explaining in his video - it does seem that this is what is happening. Praying for the Lord to come quickly.

  11. The first week after the Jewish wedding = for seven days the law required them to stay together


    youtube: proof of the rapture in Revelation 12


    and in the description box is a link to Gary's article on "Who is the Male Child"

    1. Thank you for that Chabad article! I had never heard anything about the Jewish wedding other than the Before The Wrath movie, so I wasn't sure where people were getting this information. At least now I see something from a purely Jewish source!

      Does anyone know where people are getting the historical information regarding the Jewish wedding (Before The Wrath info)? I'd be very interested in reading it myself.

  12. The two witnesses die and are raised just before the 7th trumpet, which comes on Rosh Hashanah at the end of the 7 years. The bowls come on the Days of Awe before Yom Kippur.

    1. Hello Unknown.
      No, my friend, but you are mistaken. The 2 witnesses minister for 1260 days, which is 3 1/2 prophetic years. You're also conflating the 7th Trumpet (which is by Angels-not the Trumpet of God,) with The Last Trumpet which is well-documented that it's the 100th blast at Rosh hoshanah. All the readers and listeners in Paul's day instantly recognized that Paul was explicitly saying the resurrection/harpazo happens at the Last Trumpet- which is also known as the wedding of the Messiah. This has nothing at all to do with the 7th Angel Trumpet.

    2. Agree with you. These are two separate trumpet events. The two witnesses are raised at the mid-point, not at the end of the Tribulation.

    3. In Rev. 11:15 just after the witnesses are raised, the seventh angel sounds and the voices in heaven say, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ." That's the end of the seven years, Satan's legal reign is over. He doesn't go quietly, though, hence the bowls, Armageddon, etc.

  13. Oh Nice Gary! :)

    🚫 🍇

    ··╱É· É·╲··

    Foxman on the Wall

  14. Very encouraging words- I really appreciate all the detailed study.
    I think it's worth pointing out a few key things.
    1. Jews everywhere understand that Rosh Hoshanah ( aka Feast of Trumpets) is the wedding of the Messiah and coronation of the King. Its a celebration, not a beating.
    In very stark contrast- Day of Atonement /Yom Kippur is a very solemn day and on this day- the door of Heaven is closed, and the judgment is sentenced.
    2. It's no coincidence that Christ began his ministry at the First Advent with a wedding, and begins his reign as the conquering King at a wedding/ Harpazo at the Secoond Advent, and provokes the Jews to jealousy when he comes on the Wedding of the Messiah, and takes a Gentile Bride.
    3. Lastly, one of the biggest things that confirms the 7 year tribulation is when we understand what the purpose of the 7 year is for. The Tribulation is for the Salvation of the Jewish Nation.
    Just as the bride is hidden away in the bridal chamber for 7 days in a Hebrew wedding, so his Bride is lifted up and hidden away for 7 years in heaven. He comes back down, with his bride, and touches his feet on the Mt of Olives, and pours out Judgment on Yom Kippur.


  15. Note: "Jacob's Trouble"

    Please do not misake "Jacob" in Jeremiah 30 as just being "Jewish" when the House of Jacob is clearly made up of all nations (i.e., people groups).

    The House of Jacob is made up of the 12 sons of Jacob which led the 12 Tribes (and today includes BOTH Jew and Gentile peoples).

    It will be an utter wilderness (wasteland) here on Earth (not just in the modern state of Israel)..as we now see much happening now.....and more coming ofc.

    Bible Study ---> Who is "Jacob" in Jacob's Trouble?

    1. Charlie, dear Brother--Jeremiah 30 is DIRECTED TOWARDS natural born ISRAEL and foretells of their eventual belief in Jesus as Messiah AS A NATION:

      And these [are] the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
      For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
      Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
      Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. - Jeremiah 30:4-7 KJV

      To clarify, those who believe on Yahshua, Jesus Christ as the Messiah, are grafted into spiritual Israel (see Romans 11:11 and 17) so that Jew and Gentile become one new man (Ephesians 2:12-16). Those who are natural born of the tribes of Israel who do not accept Jesus as Messiah are not of spiritual Israel.

      ...For they [are] not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they] all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. - Romans 9:6-8 KJV

      So the tribulation will be experienced by the natural born Israelites who have not yet accepted Yahshua as their Messiah (AND unsaved Gentiles, of course):

      "This period of time will be Israel's most trying time ever... There shall be great tribulation in Israel such as never was since there was a nation (Daniel 12:1). It will also be a time when G-d will ultimately judge sin and all the nations on the earth. Through it, the nation of Israel will be physically saved from total destruction by G-d, and will, as a nation, accept Yeshua as the Messiah. "...But he shall be saved out of it" (Jeremiah 30:7)..."[excerpt from page 113 of The Seven Festivals of the Messiah by Edward Chumney]

  16. Dear Gary,
    Just want to share that your understanding (and subsequent layout here in this article) is exactly my own after my own years of study. I am not "anybody" among the saints, but how grateful I am to see this awesome confirmation from you brother! God bless you dearest brother!

  17. Good stuff, Gary.

    I do love how there are so many references to "seven" in Revelations. I thought I heard Chuck Missler say we might not be able to find all the "seven" references there are so many, or something to that effect.

    I liked your 19th point about the Shemita cycle - I've often wondered if the 7 year tribulation will be contained within a 7 year shemitah time period. It seems like an interesting (coincidence?) that the "70 years in captivity" prophecy (which appeared to have a lot to do with the Israelites violation of the command to let the land rest every seventh (shemitah) year, AND the "seventy-sevens" prophecy which discusses the Tribulation, are back-to-back in Daniel 9. Seven year Tribulation, Seven year Shemitah cycle? Seems like a perfect fit.

    God Bless for taking time to write this!

  18. Outstanding, Gary. What an encouragement to read. God bless you, faithful brother!

    1. Hey Hillary! Got your email. How's the young'n doing today? ;) <3

    2. Growing faster than I can keep up! :)

  19. Now as I blog I will have the perfect hyperlink to use for Jacob's Trouble/The Tribulation: The Seven-Year Tribulations

  20. https://www.israel365news.com/195859/bennetts-rosh-hashanah-threat-if-people-dont-get-vaccinated-they-wont-hear-the-shofar/

  21. https://www.israel365news.com/195859/bennetts-rosh-hashanah-threat-if-people-dont-get-vaccinated-they-wont-hear-the-shofar/

  22. Just suppose that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ comes back in September 2028, the year when Israel will celebrate her 80th birthday. At this moment (Sunday 15th of August 2021) there is very little time left for the Rapture, formation of the Revived Roman Empire, emergence of the antichrist and the start of the 7 year long Tribulation period to let it begin in September of this year.

    7 years * 365 days = 2555 days. 7 years * 360 prophetic days = 2520 days. Difference between is 35 days. According to the Bible, the first half of these last 7 years will last 1260 days and the last half will last 1290 days, making a total of 2550 days.

  23. Randy Nettles at Rapture Ready recently posted an article on The Perfect Numbers in the Day of the Lord that goes well with Gary's:
    Both GOOD reads!
    Thanks, guys!

  24. Gary, sometime if you or one of your colleagues get time id like to know your thoughts on the mysterious 144,000 jewish ministers mentioned in Rev.7 and 14. In chap. 14 it seems to indicate that this group is in heaven which is confusing to me.


  25. Hi Gary

    I heard this sort of teaching on am radio in the Bay area a couple of weeks ago.
    So I emailed them a question about the "He" in there Daniel 9 teaching and this is the response I got.
    Not that I agree with it but it is interesting how people believe in what they believe.
    The site reference is at the end of it.

    You will find that the book of Hebrews is key to unlocking the meaning of this passage in Daniel 9.

    Hebrews 9:26 speaks of Jesus as having to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
    So this corresponds to the passage "finish the transgression, to put an end to sin and to atone for iniquity."

    Hebrews 5:9 also reminds us to look to Jesus Christ as the "source of eternal salvation," counsel that corresponds to God's promise in Daniel 9:24 that the Messiah would "bring in everlasting righteousness."

    When Jesus ascended to the right hand of His Father He commenced His work as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary so this corresponds to "anoint the Most Holy," just as Moses had a special ceremony to anoint or activate the earthly sanctuary (Exodus 40, Leviticus 8:10,11).

    "That shall come" indicates that there is a future event inserted in the passage that is related and a consequence of the 70 week-prophecy but not necessarily confined to it.

    In other words, it predicts that Jerusalem would be rebuilt providing a place for Messiah to appear, but then would later be destroyed. It is sort of a parenthetical statement to make it clear where and in what context all this would take place.

    Matthew 26:28 explains how Jesus as the Messiah confirmed the covenant with His people. It was a covenant that was ratified by His blood.

    It not only occurred during the middle of the 70th week when Jesus was crucified, but His promises to His people continued to be extended throughout that final week of the prophecy.

    A few hours before His death an unruly mob shouted angrily, "His blood be on us and on our children" Matthew 27:25. Six weeks after the cross, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter, citing the promise of God, offered forgiveness to these same people and their same children! Peter called them to repentance and concluded "For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him" Acts 2:38, 39. Thousands of Jews accepted the benefits of the new covenant!

    In the midst of the 70th week would be the time of Jesus' crucifixion. You'll remember at His death that the curtain in the temple was ripped from top to bottom, indicating that the old covenant system of sacrifices had come to an end.

    Hebrews 10:9 says that "He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second." The temple was made desolate because Jesus had been "rejected by the elders and chiefs and scribes" Luke 9:22.


  26. All seven years are wrath and a fulfillment of the prophetic program of "time past" exclusively to and through the Nation Israel vs. the mystery revelation provided exclusively to and through the apostle of this present "but now" dispensation by the resurrected Lord Jesup Christ- Paul (i.e. the Body of Christ) which is not appointed to wrath! MARANATHA!

  27. May I ask a question?
    The Lord moved us out of CA to the middle-of-nowhere WY and we have built our own self-sufficient home. Our conviction is this happened not for our benefit - because we believe we will be raptured pre-tribulation – so could it be that we are building it as a temporary sanctuary for tribulation saints?

  28. Please, please, please help me to understand your interpretation of Revelation 12:13...1st, you wrote that the devil goes after the church, then after Israel (the woman) who escapes into the wilderness for 3 1/2 years.
    Then, you refer to Daniel and say, Satan goes after the church, (at beginning of 7 years) and then goes after Israel who escapes for 3 1/2 years. If that is true, then where is Israel the last 3 1/2 years. I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just can't figure out how Rev says explicitly that satan goes after Israel after he tries to get child, and then, Israel is carried away and protected for 3 1/2 years. This definitely makes it sound like church goes up at mid 7 years, dragon pursues Israel for 3 1/2 years and end comes. Please, I just can not figure this out and it has stayed with me for over a year....Thanks for all your hard work! God bless!

    1. Hey Susan,

      I hope this helps:

      Revelation 12 tells us several things about the dragon's behavior:

      1. He is awaiting the birth of the child so he can devour the child (Rev. 12:4)

      2. He can't get the child, so he goes after the woman who gave birth (Rev. 12:13)

      3. He can't get the woman, so he goes after the remnant of her seed, her other children (Rev. 12:17)

      It happens in the order above. The story helps us unlock the timing because it plainly says the woman escapes for the last half, the Great Tribulation (Rev. 12:6, 14). Rather than suggest all of Revelation 12 is mid-trib, the timing indicators above actually show #1 and #2 are sometime *before* mid-trib, because #3 is mid-trib and all of the Great Tribulation.

      Since we know #1 and #2 are NOT mid-trib, the question arises: when does #1 occur and when does #2 occur. The woman cannot be pursued by the dragon once she is protected mid-trib and on, so the dragon's pursuit of the woman takes place sometime during, or during the entirety of the first half of the Tribulation.

      The dragon's preparation to devour the child is even earlier. Based on many passages (Gal. 3:29; Isa. 66:7-9; etc) we can recognize the manchild as the Church - the corporate body of Christ. The woman is Israel.

      Rev. 12:3-4 and 12:7-9 are similar, but not identical. In vv. 3-4 the dragon casts a third of the stars down with his tail. This is the dragon's action and, according to the text, is an ASTRONOMICAL SIGN.

      Vv. 7-9 is the dragon and his angels being cast down by Michael, not the dragon. So it is my understanding that the dragon is preparing to devour the child BEFORE he is cast down. Then the Church is raptured (Rev. 12:5) and escapes. THEN the dragon is cast down because he loses his place in Heaven (Rev. 12:8). THEN, after being cast down, he pursues Israel (Rev. 12:13).

  29. Thank you so much, Gary, for taking the time to seriously answer, in detail, the information I needed to understand the timing connected to the sequence re Revelation 12. Your reply and explanation does help tremendously. I was confused as it seemed that Israel wasn't pursued until the last 3 1/2 years, but your explanation makes sense that Israel is pursued for entire 7 years, but God makes an escape for her in the last 3 1/2 years. Now, that makes sense. Again, thank you for all that you guys do here on this wonderful site.
    God bless you all!



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