PLEASE READ “A MESSAGE OF WARNING TO THE BIBLICAL SCHOLAR” FIRST!
Here is the table of times for the tribulation and keys to understanding the timing in general:
With regards to the millennial reign of Christ:
1 day = 1,000 years
2 Peter 3:8 – But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Here are some interesting equivalents that come into play with this time equation:
1 hour = 83.33 years
½ hour = 41.67 years
¼ hour = 20.83 years
1 minute = 2.77 years
The Day of the Lord is the entire 1,000 years of the millennial reign of Christ. Also, the entire tribulation is a part of the Day of the Lord. We can see from the equivalents above that it is the opening seconds of the day, or the introduction. It would equate to the first three seconds of the Day of the Lord.
Just as Adam sinned in the Garden and died short of 1,000 years of age, it was spoken by God that on the day that they should eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they shalt surely die. True to God’s word, Adam did indeed die the very same day that he ate of the fruit.
There is another interesting equation that is thrown into the mix when determining prophetic timelines:
John 11:9 – Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
This was given by Jesus as a response to the disciples when they questioned him in regards to returning to Judea to tend to Lazarus, who had died by this time. However, the implication has prophetic meaning – in the presence of the Light of the World there is only daytime.
For the world enduring the tribulation there is only night. For those in the presence of Christ there is only day. There is not both during the tribulation, there is one or the other. In this simple statement we have a crucial key to understanding the timeline of the tribulation and the millennial reign:
1 day = 12 hours
In addition to changing the equations listed above for the millennial reign, this statement of Jesus offers us an additional look into the 7 year tribulation. Likewise, there is a third equation that comes into play specifically for the tribulation – it is the “day for a year” law that we see in the Old Testament:
Numbers 14:33-34 – And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
Ezekiel 4:4-6 – Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
Given these equations offered in the Bible we can see several equivalents emerge:
7 days = 7 years
1 day = 1 year
1 day = 12 hours
12 hours = 12 months
1 hour = 30 days
30 days = 1 month
360 days = 12 months
A question arises as to the 360 days per prophetic year. Bear in mind that Israel operates on a lunar calendar that gives a shorter year than a solar calendar. However, in modern times the Jewish year is shorter than even 360 days (354 days), requiring the addition of a 13th month (Adar II) every several years.
When the Lord laid out his prophetic plan, he laid it out on a calendar that was averaged primarily on a 360 day year. Although, there are several considerations that must be understood. More on these in a minute. This becomes evidenced by the listing of days of the tribulation in their various forms:
Daniel 9:27 – One week, with the Abomination in the midst
Daniel 8:14 – 1,150 days or 2,300 evenings and mornings depending on the translation. The interlinear Bible has the original Hebrew as 2,300 evenings mornings. When taken in the full context of the requirements for the 2,300 evenings and mornings we can see it is 2,300 evenings and mornings total, or 1,150 days. More on this in a moment.
Daniel 12:7 – A time, times and dividing of times, or three and one half years
Daniel 12:11 – 1,290 days
Daniel 12:12 – 1,335 days
Revelation 11:2 – 42 months
Revelation 11:3 – 1,260 days
Revelation 12:6 – 1,260 days
Revelation 13:5 – 42 months
There is something that must be addressed in the times listed above. We see several time frames that have garnered many questions over the years. First, in Daniel 8:14 there are two separate schools of thought regarding the meaning. Depending upon the particular interpretation of the Bible, this is either 2,300 days or it is 1,150 days (2,300 evenings and mornings together totaling 1,150 days or 2,300 evenings and 2,300 morning for a total of 2,300 days).
Given the subject matter discussed:
Daniel 8:13-14 – Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; (evenings and mornings in other translations such as the ESV) then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
The interlinear Bible has that the sanctuary will be vindicated and that the vision is a separate question, as are the sacrifice, the desolation, the sanctuary and the host being down trodden. Furthermore, the interlinear Bible reveals something that most seem to have missed. When speaking of the sacrifice – as a separate subject – we learn this:
“And a host was given with the daily sacrifice through trespass, or transgression.” (8:12)
Translated, a mighty army was given to the Antichrist because of the daily sacrifices offered for them through trespasses against God in direct rebellion to heavenly authority.
In other words, shortly after the second 42 months begins, the Antichrist will resume the sacrifices in the Temple. However, they will be vile sacrifices of the most foul beasts in direct violation of the Law of Moses. These sacrifices will be so foul, so contemptible, that hordes and armies of Islam from across the globe will swear undying allegiance to his will for these sacrifices. These great multitudes will join with the armies of Babylon as Islam spans the globe and annihilates its enemies.
There is an even more disturbing aspect to this that we will cover in a moment.
Furthermore, the interlinear Bible defines the time period as 2,300 evenings mornings. What should be noted is that the original Hebrew did not utilize the word for days in this passage. Rather, it utilizes an interesting concept, the evening morning. Even more than evenings and mornings, the evening morning is a descriptive concept that touches on the setting of night, not just as a time of day, rather as the descending of darkness. Furthermore, it reverses the concept with the revealing of the light that breaks upon the day. Evenings mornings is a prophetic reference that Jesus touches on when he declares that “are there not 12 hours in the day?” This passage tells us that in 1,150 days (or nights to be more precise) the Son of man shall break the darkness and there shall be light. This is further evidenced by the events that brought such a revelation – the defiled sacrifices of the Temple to the glory of a false god, Allah.
With the concept of the evening day we see a parallel to the watches of the day – specifically the fourth watch from 3:00am to 6:00am. When the sun sets in the evening at around 8:00pm we are exactly seven hours from the 4th watch.
It was the 4th watch where Jesus prayed in the garden and accepted the cross. It was the 4th watch where he was arrested and destiny was set upon a course that could not be altered. It was the 4th watch where Satan was set to defeat. It is the 4th watch that follows the darkest three hours of the night. The 3rd watch is the hour where Satan is the most powerful. In the 3rd watch – 12:00am to 3:00am – more people fall to sin, destruction and death. In the 3rd watch comes death. In the 4th watch comes life. At the end of the 4th watch comes the dawn.
At the end of the 4th watch comes the Son of Man in the clouds with great glory and ten thousands of the saints.
In the evening morning we have the picture of the tribulation. The sun begins to set upon the world in the first hour, from 8:00pm to 9:00pm. From 9:00pm to 12:00am – the 2nd watch – we have the darkness descending as the world falls to the darkest hours before the dawn. This is the picture of the first four years of the tribulation. as we transition from the 2nd watch to the 3rd watch we see the picture of the 1,150 days and the darkest three years of the tribulation. Then breaks the 4th watch – the watch that sin and Satan were defeated by a Passover Lamb that did not pass the cup – He drank from it. It is very fitting that after this is when the sunrise came.
That said, there is another piece to the “evening mornings” that most miss. Even more than what we have shared already, the “evening morning” speaks to some thing that absolutely sets the timing of Daniel 8 to 1,150 days.
When you delve into the study of the words for evening and morning in relation to the Temple, you find that evening does not speak to night, nor morning to day. In the context of the Temple, evening and morning are the actual sacrificial services!
There were two services per day at the Holy Temple. One service started with the rising of the sun (the morning service), and the second service began with in the early afternoon (the evening service). These services ran seven days a week, for the entire year.
When the Bible sets the timing of Daniel 8:13-14 to 2,300 evening mornings, it actually sets the timing of the period of abomination to 2,300 sacrificial services. That is two services a day, for 1,150 days total. Given what we now know will occur during those days, we can see why they would begin just a few months after the Abomination of Desolation. It makes chronological sense as well.
You cannot institute a system of regular abomination sacrifices if you do not first have the Temple.
This brings us to one last point about the sacrifices. While there will be abominable sacrifices in the Temple, a careful look at all of the scriptures reveals a terrible aspect to what is coming. One of the things we find from the scriptures is that the Muslim Antichrist seeks to exterminate Israel and the Jews. This is no stretch to say, and most have this very same understanding. However, when we look again at what comes with the abomination sacrifices and what the Antichrist gets in return:
Daniel 8:13-14 – Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; (evenings and mornings in other translations such as the ESV) then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
And specifically this:
“And a host was given with the daily sacrifice through trespass, or transgression.” (8:12)
The question becomes this:
What possible sacrifice could be made on the altar at the Temple that would so capture the hearts and minds of Islam, to the point that every last Muslim on earth flocked to blind allegiance to the Antichrist – worshiping him as god incarnate? What sacrifice could convince radical Muslims to elevate their Mahdi to a station above even Allah?
It will be the Jews themselves that will burn in the fires of the altar!
Satan tried this trick twice before, and failed. He tried once with Nebuchadnezzar, and also with Hitler. Each time he failed, though found greater success the second time around. This time, it will take the intervention of Jesus Christ Himself to save Israel and the Jews.
Matthew 24:22 KJV – And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
We can see that the tribulation does not neatly fit into one consecutive period of 2,520 days, or two periods of 1,260 days. When taken with Daniel 12:11-12, we see that there are multiple periods that overlap or fall short – depending upon the translation.
Many scholars attribute the additional 75 days offered by Daniel 12:11-12 to the end of the tribulation as the time when Christ completes the Judgment of Nations. However, those assumptions never take into account that the rapture, tribulation, Second Coming and the Judgment of Nations must fall on the appointed days as set out by God himself in the Law of Moses. More on this in a moment.
There is another school of thought that attributes the 1,290 days and the 1,335 days to separate periods of 30 days and 45 days with both starting at the commencement of the activities of the abomination. I have seen this discussed from the standpoint of a 30 day interval between the two 1,260 day periods, followed by a 45 day period where the Temple is cleansed and rededicated after the desolation by the Antichrist. The KJV has this:
Daniel 12:11-12 –
And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
The ESV has it this way:
Daniel 12:11-12 – And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.
It really does come down to a comma. In the KJV the comma separates taking the burnt offering away and the abomination as two events from which it appears that the 1,290 and 1,335 days start at their beginning. However, the ESV combines the two events and requires there completion before commencing the 1,290 and 1,335 days.
Here is the interpretation from the interlinear Bible:
Daniel 12:11-12 – And from the time the regular sacrifice shall be taken away, and and the abomination that makes desolate set up, a thousand, two hundred and ninety days shall occur. Blessed is he who waits and comes to the thousand, three hundred and thirty-five days.
It is interesting to note that “he who waits” is translated from “hakka” in the original language which can mean “hope for, long for” as well as the more traditional meanings we would assign to waiting. Try this on for size:
“Blessed is he that hopes for, or longs for the 1,335 days and makes it.”
This tells us that something has already occurred and that people will be looking to a day when it shall be undone. The interlinear translation (as close as you can get to the original language) proves that the events of the abomination are complete and those in the path of the Antichrist know that his days are numbered. It also tells us that they know the Temple will be restored. It is a confirmation of the premise that the 45 days will be the cleansing of the Third Temple.
*** It should be noted that there is an additional understanding here that shifts the timing of the end, and leaves only 15 days for the cleansing of the Temple. While the Lord has not yet given it to me to share this at this time, I wanted to include this teaser to encourage your continued study. ***
Also, it should be noted that as the Old Testament is written to the Jewish nation, the blessing of the 1,335 days is given specifically to the Jewish people. It is written to address those Jews that flee to the east to Jordan, taking refugee in the valleys and canyons of Petra. They are blessed as they are in the position of being completely reliant upon God for protection and sustenance.
As it was in the exodus from Egypt so shall it be again. The Jews that flee will have to do so without taking any provisions with them. They literally flee empty handed (the Israelites took provisions from Egypt including the materials to build the Tabernacle, but they had to rely on God for defense and manna for food). Once in Petra they will have only the supernatural provision of God to keep them. Not only will there be no natural foods for them to consume, they shall be caught without any natural ability to defend themselves. They will have no choice but to simply sit back and trust God when every instinct will scream “run”. They will be in the position of trusting God alone for literal supernatural miracles if they are to survive. Those that shall deny their sinful nature and trust in God – understand that putting to a flight that would mean certain death for anybody else – shall be blessed to see the completion of the 1,335 days and the restoration of nation, Temple and covenant.
Blessed are they that “wait” upon the Lord.
Furthermore, the interlinear translation appears to substantiate the understanding that the 30 day period in the 1,290 days is indeed the start of the activities known collectively as the abomination of desolation.
There is premise that we will address in greater detail in a moment, and it is touched on in other sections of this site. From the rapture to the Second Coming there must be a total of eight days, or eight years in order to fulfill the Law of Moses. More specifically, there must be a minimum total of ten days (Ten Days of Awe) from rapture to judgment with the rapture being the first day (Feast of Trumpets) and the judgment being the tenth day (Day of Atonement). That leaves a total of eight days, or eight years that must be fulfilled between the rapture and the Second Coming.
There is another premise that must be addressed here. The Judgment of Nations itself does not requires multiple days upon end to complete. It is the angels of heaven itself that gather the rest of what remains of the living upon earth and those that perished for Christ in the second 42 months. Given the speed with which the rapture takes place there is no reason to assume that the gleaning, or the four corner harvest wills take days to complete.
Likewise, the judgment itself is a simple accounting of one question alone – did you choose Christ? Unlike the believers that were present at the BEMA with books of deeds opened for Christ (deeds performed for Christ in their lives as believers), those living righteous will have no such books as they will have no deeds present to show for their life after they came to Christ.
This is due to the fact that they are not accounted as believers until their lives are actually called for, or they reach the end of the tribulation. You see, as it was in the Old Testament so it is during the second 42 months of the tribulation. Salvation does not bring the Holy Spirit and the renewing as a creature in Christ. Rather, those that should endure to the end must live every day for Christ without fail. This is the price for rejecting the savior before the rapture, after the rapture before the tribulation, and again during the first 42 months. Remember, blessed is he that dies in the name of the Lord in the second 42 months.
Absent the strength of the Holy Spirit each of these that endure to the end lived every day on the cusp of failure. Each and every sunrise saw the risk that they would grow weak and accept the mark. The mark of the beast is automatic condemnation no matter how many times you pray the sinner’s prayer. This is why their accounting at the Judgment of Nation is simple and straightforward.
Those that accept the mark of the beast are separated to the left hand of Christ. Those that endured until the end are separated to the right hand of Christ. Upon the word of the Lord those on the left are instantly destroyed. Those on the right enter the millennial reign of Christ.
Understand that the translation of the interlinear Bible regarding both the 1,290 days and the 1,335 days would confirm the requirement of a one day Judgment of Nations as the cleansing and re-dedication of the Temple does indeed require the full 45 days to complete the massive amount of sacrifices and requirements called for in the Law of Moses (Ezekiel makes clear that animal sacrifices will continue the duration of the millennial reign of Christ as a memorial).
Earlier, we spoke of several considerations when it comes to prophetic timing. There have been many people attempt to calculate the exact start and end dates of the tribulation. For the record – this is not possible. In another section, we spoke of not having all of the pieces of the prophetic equation. This was intentional by the Lord.
First, the Bible never defines the space of a year in the prophecy of the 70 weeks in Daniel. Most assume a Jewish year, which as it was in the days of Daniel, could have been 12 or 13 months. However, when you calculate the time frames given in the prophecy from the standpoint of the Gregorian – or solar calendar – the years add up perfectly to 483. The question is “why”?
When you look at the original Hebrew, you see the a “year” is a general time frame. It gives no cognizance of 12 months, 13 months, 30 day months – or any other variation on a year. It simply allots for a single understanding in the timing of a year – feast day to feast day. That would be Passover to Passover, Trumpets to Trumpets and so on.
The second consideration is the defined time period for a month. In both the original Hebrew and Greek we see the same thing – no definition given to the number of days in a month. There is a natural assumption of the Jewish calendar being a primary dictator of the “month” in the tribulation. However, we do not know this for certain. There are Jewish months, Gregorian months and Islamic months that can all play a part in the schedule of end times events.
Fortunately, the 30 day prophetic month falls right on the average of all of these and gives the proper perspective for determining the general timing of the tribulation and the events therein.
Notice I said “general”. There is a reason for this. There is no definition of a “month” that allows for the exact calculation of the start and end of the tribulation. Here is why – depending on the definition of “month”, you get a variance in the 1,260 days listed in scripture. If you use the Jewish calendar, you find that this 1,260 day period can either fall short of 42 months, or exceed the 42 months.
In the outdated conventional understanding of the tribulation, where it was exactly 2,520 days, this variance in a “month” did not matter. However, as the Lord has revealed the importance in understanding the Feasts, harvest cycles and appointed days to prophecy, we have come to understand that the “Greek” – or western – view of prophetic time was incomplete. When the Days of Awe, the barley and wheat harvests and the counting of the omer – all commanded in the Law of Moses – are accounted for, the straight seven year calculations no longer work.
We will discuss this in more detail in just a bit.
So the question becomes how to get eight plus days from a seven year tribulation (a full eight years is required with the Judgment of Nations occurring not until the tenth day has begun, or the Day of Atonement). We have already touched on the additional 30 days which puts the grand total at a minimum of 2,550 days. However, there is one thing that many simply never consider when studying prophecy:
Unless the rapture and the signing of the seven year accord occur on the exact same day, the tribulation begins sometime after the rapture. Each day that separates the two events puts us one day closer to the eight day requirement. Also, the 30 days of the 1,290 days are for the abomination itself. They do not cover the invasion of Israel, the conquest of Jerusalem and the war against the two witnesses. What this tells us is that the mid-span break in the tribulation is at least 30 days in duration with the likelihood that it will last three to six months – if not longer.
*** Since the original publishing of this graphic, we have added additional information regarding the timing of the tribulation and specifically the start. In “Coming Signs 2″ and “Biblical Proof of a Seven Year Tribulation”, we lay out the actual spacing and timing of the seven seal, trumpet and bowl judgments.
We now know that the mid-trib space runs nearly a year, with there being only 15 days between the rapture and the start of the tribulation at seal 6.
The graphic above speaks only to the general layout of the coming tribulation, and does not delve into the timing of the judgments – which set the length of mid-trib, and the start of the tribulation itself.
Also, it must be remembered that the Book of Revelation deals with more than the seven years of the tribulation. It begins with the rapture and concludes with eternity after the new Jerusalem comes down. Starting with verse 4:1 (the rapture) we see the sequence of events that bring the seven year tribulation – the opening of the seven seals and the four horsemen of the apocalypse. It is not until the sixth seal (6:12) that the seven year treaty is signed and the seven year tribulation actually starts.
If you cross reference the events of the four horsemen with Daniel 11 and Ezekiel 38 and 39 you will see the stunning parallels that most simply read past in their studies.
It should be noted that there are no references to time in the tribulation that specifically require the fulfillment of seven consecutive years. Rather, when examined closely we see that the tribulation is broken into two 42 month periods. The closest we ever come to seven consecutive years is the breaking of the treaty by the Antichrist:
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.
The ESV has it this way – And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
In both instances we see references to the half tribulation perspective. However, elsewhere in the Bible we can see references such as the “middle of the midst” (Exodus 26:28) which give us a timing perspective that midst can be both a center point and a general descriptor for a central location of something. That said, it is worth noting that every other timing reference for end times prophecy deals with three and a half year increments, 42 months or 1,260 days respectively. Even the additional references to 1,290 days and 1,335 days are essentially 42 month periods – with a little extra added on.
Now that we understand that there is effectively a “break” in the middle of the tribulation – of at least 30 days – the question becomes why. Consider this – though the natural inclination is to assign many days to the Judgment of Nations (the image of multiplied millions standing before Christ literally answering one-by-one), it is for all intents and purposes a supernatural event governed by the supernatural laws of God. In reality, the judgment can finish in but a split second if God should so determine. However, we have an opposite tendency when considering the Antichrist.
Stated differently, the armies and action of the Antichrist are not supernatural. While he does exercise supernatural power of his own accord (through Satan), his armies do not. It takes time, schedules, logistics, fuel and food to move an army of men. When you read through Daniel chapter 11 you get a picture of events that require time to unfold. The Antichrist invades Egypt and is turned back. He then makes a retreat. In the midst of that retreat he changes course and advances on Israel. These are actions that take time.
We have a tendency to view the events of mid-trib as a singular day. In one swift stroke the Antichrist appears from nowhere, kills the witnesses, enters the Temple, stops the sacrifice, the false prophet throws up the image, it speaks, the Antichrist declares himself God, the mark of the beast is issued and the Antichrist is home in time for supper. This is a natural thing to do as most of us give this aspect very little thought. This is not wrong per se, as we still understand the greater picture.
It is a more accurate picture that arises when we keep several things in mind. First, the time appointed to the two witnesses is a full 1,260 days before they can be overtaken and killed. Secondly, after the events of mid-trib (called collectively the Abomination of Desolation) there is a full 1,260 days decreed to the Jews to be kept safe after they flee Jerusalem and Israel. The stopping of the sacrifices, the setting up of the image that declares the mark of the beast and the declaration of the Antichrist that he is God occurs between these days, with the full accounting of the days of the keeping of the Jewish remnant (1,260 days) not occurring until these things are complete:
Daniel 12:11-12 – And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. It should be noted that this scripture is given in the perspective of the Jewish remnant that flees Jerusalem. It is not a verse dictating time frame of the reign of the Antichrist. Days are given only for the Jewish people. The Antichrist and the gentile world are only given time frames in the general terms of years, months and “times”.
Revelation 12:6 – And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days (1,260 days).
Revelation 12:14 – And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Revelation 13:1-5 – And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
Bear in mind that the events of mid-trib are not accomplished in the space of one day. To accomplish these things the Antichrist must invade Israel and then invade Jerusalem. He will be resisted by the IDF. They will fail, yet they shall offer resistance. Once the invasion of Jerusalem is secured the Antichrist heads to the Temple Mount and wages war against the two witnesses. He will overcome them and kill them. Their bodies lay in the streets for three days and then they are resurrected and raptured. The Antichrist must also stop the sacrifices, enter the Temple and declare himself as God. Furthermore, he must be joined by an apostate Pope which has remained independent until this time. The newly minted False Prophet erects what will most likely be a statue, or a graven image (in direct violation of the Law of Moses) and it will speak. As we stated earlier – all of this takes time. It does not require years to accomplish but it will require more than the space of a day. Until the abomination of desolation is complete, the Antichrist will conduct much of his business in a manner of politics that is recognizable to us today – with all requisite time frames that we would recognize as well.
There are several other considerations required when dealing with prophetic time. We know that the tribulation is two periods of 42 months separated by a short space for a total of seven years. Likewise, we see the principle of “the short space” demonstrated in the giving of the 70 weeks of Daniel. There is an undetermined space between week 69 and 70, or between the covenants (the new covenant of Christ rejected and the false covenant of the Antichrist accepted). Likewise, we know that there must be eight days separating the rapture and the Judgment of Nations.
Furthermore, in looking at the prophecy of the 70 weeks in Daniel, it can be said that it is measured in covenant and decree time. We already discussed this in relationship to the start of the 70th week. However, the mid-span break in the tribulation is also accounted in the prophecy of the 70 weeks from this standpoint – the Antichrist breaks the covenant with Israel. Likewise, he issues a decree after that. What that tells us is this – the 70th week itself stops with the breaking of the accord with Israel and the invasion. From the time of the invasion, through the battle with the two witnesses, and the entering of the Temple, the 70th week is not active. It is not until the global decree – brought about by the image – that all the world shall bear the mark of the name of the Antichrist, that the 70th week resumes.
It is important to note that the decree to stop the sacrifices is not the decree that restarts the 70th week. We know this as the Bible declares this act as part and parcel to the completion of the Abomination of Desolation. In other words, it is the Abomination of Desolation that is the key, or the trigger for the time of Jacobs Trouble as shown in Matthew 24, Luke 13 and Mark 21. The decree to stop the sacrifices is but one singular part that brings the Abomination of Desolation. It is the Abomination that brings the image of the beast. In fact – the image of the Beast and the decree that all should be marked are the combined Desolation as they issue forth from the Temple.
Now, the short space and the overall timing of the end is confirmed when we understand the process of the High Priest during the Ten Days of Awe. After the Feast of Trumpets, the High Priest secludes himself for seven days to remain pure for the upcoming Day of Atonement. On the eighth day he emerges (this would be day nine) and prepares for the following days events. He gathers with the other priests and dines with them and makes preparations and practices. On the following day (day ten) – the Day of Atonement he returns to public and commences the sacrifices. This gives a grand total of ten days.
Although we do not cover it here, the rapture and the tribulation are the fulfillment of the consecration and initiation of the new priests in the Temple. That is a process that requires seven days, with the requisite 8th day as well. In the new priests we have the new name, the white stone, a special meal and other images we see in the Book of Revelation.
We also see this principle demonstrated in the ancient Jewish wedding. When the Bridegroom came for the Bride she would be snatched away (at night) and taken to the Father’s house. Once there the Bridegroom and Bride would enter the bridal chamber for seven days. The first order of business would be the consummation of the wedding. After that the husband and wife would enjoy each other’s company never emerging from the chamber. On the eighth day they would emerge and the wedding supper would commence. On the following day the Bride and Groom would return publicly in the same streets they had left secretly nine days before.
Understand that when the Bride was snatched away it was “secret” and she was veiled that no one should know who she was or that she had gone. The return was quite the opposite. Upon returning everybody would witness the Bride and there would be no doubts as to who she was and what had happened eight days prior. Once they arrived at their new home the Bride and Groom would spend the next year at Sabbath rest with each other before commencing with the rest of their existence together.
There are many that have understood this in the depths of their souls, yet struggled to give words to describe this. Every time I would hear a preacher speak of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb occurring for an entire year or the last year of the tribulation I could see this working in their hearts and minds. For the record both assertions are correct:
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb will last a year and it will be the last year of the tribulation. It will also occur in the 8th year after the rapture. Remember – what is a year on earth is effectively a day in heaven. The rapture starts the seven days of the seclusion of the High Priest and the seclusion of the Bridegroom and Bride. The tribulation (which does not begin officially until the seven year treaty is signed) begins somewhere between the first and second day (or somewhere in the first year – or day – in heaven). Given that the Ezekiel 38-39 war must start, conclude and we see enough time for the determinations of seven years for weapons disposal (not to mention seven months to search for bodies) it is a strong bet that a minimum of six to nine months will pass between the rapture and the treaty signing.
For the sake of simplicity let’s assume a nine month interval between the rapture and the treaty. This gives us another 90 days to complete one year or one day. Remember the additional 30 days in Daniel? Here is where those days come into play. At mid-trib we get the 30 day interval for the collective completion of the Abomination of Desolation (all of the events that go with it). That leaves the space of 60 days for the retreat from Egypt, the invasion of Israel, the conquest of Jerusalem and the overcoming of the two witnesses. Once the 1,260 days officially commences we have closed the gap in time.
Stated differently, we started with nearly a year lag between the rapture and the tribulation. The mid-span break between the two halves of the tribulation now brings us to three and a half years of tribulation, but four and a half years since the rapture. In heaven we are on day five while on earth we are in day four of the tribulation. An additional two years of tribulation brings us to day seven in heaven, but day six on earth. The following day would be the final day or year of the tribulation (day seven) but would be the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (day eight) in heaven. You get the point now.
The next day brings the Day of Atonement – day ten of the Ten Days of Awe. That gives us seven days of tribulation, seven days of the seclusion of the High Priest, seven honeymoon days of the Bride and Groom, the eighth day for the High Priest to dine with the other priests and prepare, the eighth day for the marriage supper and the final day for the High Priest to return to public to exercise the Day of Atonement and Bride and Groom to return publicly.
Also, this commences the Day of Atonement – or judgment – where the nations are judged followed by the 1,000 year reign of Christ – or the one year of the Husband and wife to tend to their new home together and for the order of priests to prepare and bring in the Feast of Sukkot – or Tabernacles – which will be in perpetual fulfillment during the entire millennial reign of Christ. So much so that any nation that does not travel to Jerusalem every year during the 1,000 years will have no rain for the following year as a judgment for failing to celebrate Sukkot.
One final note before we discuss other prophetic times for Israel. We see the fulfilling of the Ten Days of Awe with the tribulation. However, we also see perfection of the Lord in yet another aspect of the timing of the tribulation.
The rapture is the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets, the Great Assembly and the gathering together (ancient Jewish wedding also). The Second Coming of Christ is the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. Again, we see the perfection of God when we stop and consider the equivalents of time offered in the Bible. Consider this – from the rapture to the Second Coming is eight years and nine days. Remember, the rapture is the Feast of trumpets, or day one. days two through nine are the eight years between Trumpets and Atonement. Day ten is the Judgment of nations, or the Day of Atonement.
The equivalents come into play with the nine days after the eighth anniversary of the rapture – occurring on the last Feast of Trumpets before the Second Coming. Considering that the eight years prior are as eight days, the last nine days become the last nine hours before the Second Coming. That puts the actual Second Coming at dawn over the Valley of Megiddo on the Day of Atonement.
Now, we have spoken in great length of the appointed days and their relevance to prophecy. The appointed days are those days given in the Law of Moses both for the celebration of the feasts – the High Holy days – and the days between them. The appointed days must be fulfilled as well as the feasts themselves. Part of this fulfillment is the counting of the omer, or the 49 days that begins of the Feast of First Fruits and ends on Shavuot, or Pentecost.
It must be understood that there are parts of the feasts days that are not fulfilled by Messiah. These are those days and functions that specifically require the congregation to complete. The rapture is one such example. The 7th year Great Assembly of Israel cannot be fulfilled without the congregation, as it is specifically given for them to fulfill. The High Priest and the King are there, but without the congregation there would simply be no assembly! The same principle is found in the counting of the omer.
We discussed the counting in the section on the resurrections and martyrdom’s. Understand that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Feast of First Fruits and the first day of the count when he arose just after the Sabbath had passed and the first day of the week had started. He ascended to the Father in heaven this same day as the High Priest to cleanse the Temple of God from the uncleanness of the sins that occurred with the rebellion of Satan. After presenting Himself as the First of the First Fruits before the Father (the wave offering of the High Priest on the feast day), he then completed the process when he presented the arisen saints before the Father that were seen walking the streets of Jerusalem after his resurrection. Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the first wave offering that occurred at the Temple that day. The resurrected Old Testament saints where the fulfillment of the second offering that would occur that same day.
On the Feast of First Fruits, there was a wave offering that occurred first by the High Priest. After this occurred, then the active shift of Temple priests would commence with the First Fruits offerings for the people. Those closest to the Temple would have their sacrifices and offering at the head of the line. Those that were further from the Temple – and God – would be towards to end of the line. Once the first day’s offerings were complete the process would continue as many days as necessary until all of the first fruits of the people had been offered before the Lord. This is an aspect of the appointed days that must be fulfilled by the church, or the congregation. It – by definition – cannot be fulfilled by Messiah.
This is where the timing issue comes into play. In order to fulfill the counting of the omer, there must be a total of 49 days of barley offerings before the Temple of God in heaven – followed by one day of the presenting of the First Fruits of the wheat harvest. In the outdated understanding of the straight seven years, this was not possible. Either you had 49 actual days of martyrs – which did not agree with scripture – or you had 49 months, which likewise did not agree as it put the rapture of the 144,000 witnesses well past mid-trib and the Judgment Seat of Christ.
However, when we finally began to understand the requirement of eight days from the rapture to the Second Coming, we began to understand how the counting of the omer was to be fulfilled. Understand that the eight years runs from Trumpets to Trumpets. We discussed earlier that the definition of the year given in Daniel gives no regard to how the year is calculated. Furthermore, we can ascribe the overall keeping of the year to current conventions, as even the Jewish calendar allots for the feast days to stay consistent throughout the years. Likewise, we saw that Jesus kept and fulfilled the feast days as they arrived by the chronological conventions of the day in which he lived.
There is something interesting that happens here. Using the current conventions of time (the Gregorian calendar, or solar years) we see that eight years consists of 96 months. Half of 96 is 48. Now, remember that Jesus fulfilled the first day of the count. Likewise, the final day – day 50 is Pentecost, and it will be fulfilled by the rapture of the 144,000 sealed Jews. That leaves us with 48 “days” in which martyrs are “cut down, taken to the Temple, prepared and presented” before the Lord. This understanding of the 48 remaining days of the count lines up perfectly with the scriptures showing the martyrs in heaven in chapters six and seven, the Bema at the 7th trumpet, and the confirmation that the 144,000 have already been redeemed from the earth. We can find additional confirmation in the story of Ruth as well.
However, it gets even more interesting when you start to look at how Pentecost lines up with the Feast of Trumpets. Under the Gregorian calendar, 48 months from the Feast of Trumpets when the rapture occurs will put us at the Feast of Trumpets almost exactly four years later (this is true regardless of which feast sees the rapture). However, when you count the 48 “days” on the Jewish calendar, it puts you a little over two months behind the Gregorian calendar – right about at Pentecost! But wait, there’s more.
When you remember that the rapture is a singular event – occurring in the space of a day, that takes the needed time frame down to 47 months on the Jewish calendar. That would be Pentecost exactly. The rapture is the fulfillment of day two of the counting of the omer. After the rapture occurs, the world will find itself in a state where the first fruits of the barley harvest for the people are literally presented on a continuous basis from then on out – as it was in the days of the Jewish Temple. This occurs as newly repentant saints die continuously for Christ, starting a few days after the rapture, and concluding just before Pentecost three and a half years later.
This brings up an obvious question. Does this prove that the Jewish calendar is indeed the calendar for God’s prophetic timing? The answer is no. Here is why. We find scripture that speaks of the Antichrist changing times and laws. No, this is not moving the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. However, it may just be the act of moving the Sabbath to Friday – the Islamic day of worship. Remember, there are three primary calendars in use today – the Gregorian, the Jewish and the Islamic calendars. When the Islamic Antichrist comes to power in the great tribulation, it is a foregone conclusion that the entire world that sits under his domination will likewise sit under the Islamic calender’s – which includes the Islamic holy days.
Here is the interesting part about this. The Islamic calendar is close to the Gregorian calendar in length – just a bit shorter. It is still longer than the 360 day prophetic year – and longer than the Jewish calendar. Under the Islamic calendar, the 1,260 days prophesied to the Jewish remnant to be nourished is less than the given three and a half years. Likewise, the 42 months that Satan already knows he is allotted in scripture comes up short on the Islamic calendar. Stated differently – an Islamic Antichrist which has command of Israel, hates the Jews and has changed the calendar will be expecting the full 42 months prophesied to his rule. He will get it – only, it will most likely be 42 Jewish months or prophetic months- not Islamic months.
Both of which will “shorten the days” of his rule. Both of which do so in perfect harmony with the scriptures. There is a reason why the only definite periods of time are ascribed to the Jewish people alone in prophecy. For the Antichrist and the rest of the world, it’s months, years or a time, times and half a time – which also has no definite period ascribed to it either.
Matthew 24:22 – And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
We see in Daniel that tidings from the east and north trouble the Antichrist as the time of his end approaches. As we said before, Satan expects a full 42 months to rule. Likewise, the Antichrist will expect a full 42 months to rule. However, they are so blinded by their hate of Israel that they cannot even conceive of anything Jewish impacting their actions – let alone the God of Israel setting prophecy to any other schedule than the Islamic calendar. The surprise of the Antichrist stems from the expectation that he has more time than current events are dictating. Stated differently, he is not expecting the armies to gather at Armageddon yet.
Daniel 11:44-45 – But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
As we stated earlier, we cannot calculate the exact days from the start of the tribulation to the end. Likewise, we cannot calculate the exact start of mid-tribulation period either, as the 1,260 days given to the two witnesses fall well inside the four years, or the first four days of the eight days between Trumpets and Atonement. The same thing occurs with the 1,260 days in the great tribulation period. Also, we do not know whether the two witnesses and the 144,000 are raptured at the same time, or whether one precedes the other. This also prevents us from knowing the exact day of the signing of the treaty that starts the tribulation. The only thing we can do is look at the 70th week as a whole, in light of the ten days of awe and the appointed days. We can get a general timeline that fits with the times and seasons – and likewise fits with certain coming signs in the heavens. However, we will simply have to wait until certain things occur to be able to tick off exact days.
We will not know that the 1,260 days of the witnesses have begun until they actually show up and start their work. Likewise, we will not know that the second 1,260 days decreed to the Jewish remnant have begun until they have safely entered their refugee in the east – in Jordan. However, using prophetic months, we can see the general overall timeline once the rapture occurs. Likewise, we can apply this general timeline to various feast days for Trumpets. We can see how these things line up to the signs in the heaven and the other feast days.
On an additional note, the signs in the heavens in Revelation 12 showing the women and the dragon – this does not occur at mid-tribulation. It occurs shortly before. It is the announcement that Satan has been cast to the earth and that he has begun to prepare the Antichrist and the nearly completed Islamic Beast kingdom for its final reign of terror on the earth. When you compare the first part of Revelation 12 with the second half of the chapter, chapter 13 and Daniel chapter 11, you can see the parallels that line up the sign of the women and the dragon.
On a side note, we see the resurrection on the first day of the week as a fulfillment of the 8th day principle. The 8th day principle – which we see demonstrated in the 8th additional day of Sukkot – tells us that there is work for six days, and Sabbath rest on the seventh. However, then comes the 8th day – the day when the new life commences.
We saw this in the Garden of Eden and see it again after the millennial reign of Christ. Simply put, after the rest of the seventh day, we see the 8th day where the work done on the first six days final goes into effect. Adam and Eve did not engage in the fullness of what God gave them until after all things were done. Likewise, it is not until the 7,000 years – or the seven days of all things – are complete that we enter into the first day of eternity.
It should be noted that when sin in the Garden ruined the 8th day for humanity, it was the 8th day of Christ that set all things right once more. It was the 8th day of Christ that restored the final 8th day – the 8th day that comes when the new heavens and new earth become the final home for God the Father and the Saints around him.
The 8th day becomes the first day of eternity. it was supposed to be the first day of eternity in the garden. It became the first day of eternity once more when Jesus Christ arose from the grave and redeemed all of creation. This will be manifested in the final 8th day – the new heavens and the new earth when eternity commences once more, never to be corrupted again.
We should take a minute and discuss some other dates and times of prophetic significance to Israel that come into play during the tribulation:
The 9th of Av is the day of the year that both Temples fell. It is considered the worst day of the year. It follows what is known as the three weeks of Sorrow. Jews, especially in Israel refrain from making any important decisions during these days and especially on the 9th of Av. Prophetically, the 9th keeps resurfacing as a terrible day for Israel.
Purim – This is the happiest day in all of Judaism. It was the day that the Jews were delivered from extermination from Haman and his ten sons. Likewise, Purim has held many prophetic occurrences for Israel as well as the 9th of Av.
I expect to see these as the signature dates in the tribulation. Purim will most likely be the date that the seven year treaty is signed with Israel – the day that Israel is “saved”. While I see the 9th of AV as a strong contender for the final desecration of the Temple that starts the second 1,260 day span, the fact that it is never officially destroyed may negate the link to the 9th of Av. However, never one to miss a sense of irony and defiling the holy days of Israel I half expect the see Satan attempt a reversal of these dates.
Imagine the 9th of Av as the day that the “savior of the world” restores peace with the historic signing of the seven year peace accord. Likewise, the Jews putting to flight on Purim.
Did you know that the 1st Gulf war ended on Purim? The second Gulf war started on Purim as well. Did you know that before he fell into the eight year coma that took his life, Arial Sharon pulled the Jewish settlers from Gaza on the 9th of Av? Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world on the 10th of Av – one day after the 9th. He was most likely Jewish (secretly in those days due to persecution) and had several prominent Jews that traveled with him. A specific decision was made not to sail on the 9th of Av for good reason. They arrived at the new world on the final day of Sukkot – the day the Jews sing “he has brought me through the waters”.
There is a special emphasis on the number 21 (goes back to Daniel praying for 21 days and was delivered by Michael the Archangel), 39 as the number of chastisement, 40 as the number of testing and 41 as the number of victory. All of these numbers may bear special significance as the days of the tribulation progress.
Did you know that 21 days after the invasion of Iraq in the second gulf war is when we pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein? It is significant in that only the feet of the statue remained. This is a direct prophetic reference to the statue of Daniel wherein the final world empire – the ten toes of iron and clay – would rise from Islamic Babylon. Indeed, only the ten toes of the statue remained. Remember – it was also Babylon where the Lord revealed this to Daniel as well. Baghdad is the same region where the capital city of Babylon stood as well.
One final note on the times of the tribulation. There are many that do not accept that the tribulation runs an entire seven years. While I think that we have covered this beyond satisfaction, it bears mentioning that it was enough that the Lord declared the tribulation as a week, or seven years:
Daniel 9:24-27 – “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
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.
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.
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.”
However, just in case you are not satisfied with the words of the Lord nor the mountains of evidence presented here I will offer one final proof.
The Book of Revelation tells of three woes in verse 8:13. It then lays out the completion of the three woes as they are finished. In Revelation 9:12 we have the passing of the first woe:
Revelation 9:12 – One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
Watch this carefully – the first woe is completed after the fifth trumpet judgment, or the locust judgment.
After this we see the 6th trumpet judgment, chapter 10, and then we come to chapter 11 and the two witnesses. Remember, only one woe has passed so far. In chapter 11 the calling and exploits of the witnesses are laid out. We are told of the entire breadth of their time on earth and the establishment of 1,260 days for them to complete their assigned tasks.
In Revelation 11:12-13 we see the rapture of the witnesses AFTER their 1,260 days, as well as the great earthquake that falls upon Jerusalem and the 7,000 that die as a result.
This is listed in Revelation 11:14 as the second woe.
Did you catch that? The Bible chronologically dates the time of the two witnesses to 1,260 days – the first 1,260 days of the tribulation. Through the three woes God dates their start to the beginning of the tribulation and their death, resurrection and rapture to mid-trib.
How do we know for certain that this dates the second woe to mid-trib? The next five verses establish the BEMA, or Judgment Seat of Christ and the third woe is delivered in Revelation 12:12 after Satan is cast from the second heaven and makes war on the saints.
Chapter 12 is also a solid evidence for a short space in the midst of the tribulation as well. In chapter 12 we see the signs in the stars which precede the war between Satan and Michael the Archangel. It is followed by Satan being cast to the earth and pursuing the woman as she flees into the wilderness. The rest of chapter 12 and chapter 13 bears out in greater detail that which transpires in the first part of chapter 12, verses 1-6.
It is important to note that when taken with the rest of chapter 12 and all of chapter 13 we see that both the signs in the stars and the war in the heavens occur shortly before mid-trib begins. These two events occur and then Satan is cast to the earth and commences the final rise of the beast. This puts Daniel 11:29-31 as the primary contender for the time when Satan has fallen to earth, prepared the Antichrist and stands ready to pursue the woman and devour the child:
Daniel 11:29-31 – At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
You can read “Addendum 2: Proof of a Seven Year Tribulation” for greater detail on the three woes and other evidence for the seven years.
These are the times and timing of the tribulation.
There is a direct relationship between the signs in the heavens and prophetic fulfillment. While we did not cover this subject here, it merits study given the emphasis on the signs spoken in the Bible.
Here are several links to view charts concerning the signs in the heavens such as the blood moon tetrads and solar eclipses:
In the name of our most blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.