This was very odd. I had never encountered this view before. But as I read the post I started thinking how confusing scripture can be if we do not compare scripture with scripture. The view set forth was that the tribulation period is 21 years long. The person reached this view since they read about a 3 1/2 year period six different times in scripture. So they concluded since there are six different 3 1/2 year periods, that equals 21 years.
I’m not going to post their views, only my response to them. The view that I have, and just about every other PreMillennialist I have read, is that the scripture is speaking of the same 3 1/2 year period every time it mentions that time frame. Once in a great while I will read an author who believes that some portions of Revelation are speaking about the first half of Daniel’s seventieth week, then other portions are speaking of the second half of Daniel’s seventieth week. So this post could apply to them since I believe scripture teaches that in each mention of the 3 1/2 year period, it is speaking of the final 3 1/2 year of this age, just prior to the establishment of the Messianic kingdom, which we know to be the Millennial Kingdom. Each of these passages throughout all of scripture can be independently shown to be this very period in time. They all are concurrent with each other revealing different details for that final 3 1/2 year period. Here are my views:
Daniel 7:25 ~ The saints are given into the hands of the little horn of the ten horned beast after which the saints will inherit the Messianic kingdom. After this 3 1/2 year period, the saints will not longer be given over to persecution, the ten horned beast will be destroyed, and the Messianic kingdom will be here.
Daniel 9:24 ~ This prophecy tells us that following the seventy weeks the an end for sins will have been made, reconciliation for iniquity will have been made, and everlasting righteousness will have been brought in. Different details are revealed as to what exactly takes place during that last "seven" and even more so for the final 3 1/2, but the passage is plain that at the end of that 3 1/2 which is the final segment of the 70 weeks, the entire scope of 9:24 will have been accomplished. In short, the Messianic kingdom will have been ushered in after this 3 1/2 year period.
Revelation 11:2 ~ This time period is the final time for the treading down of Jerusalem. After this 42 month period, the city of Jerusalem will be tread down no longer. Luke 21:24 tells us that this will be the case until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. In short, after this 42 month period, the times of the Gentiles will have been fulfilled and the Messianic kingdom will be here on earth.
Revelation 11:3 ~ This is the only one, in my mind, that is even worth debating, but the evidence still points to the fact that this time period of 1260 days will occur in the final half of Daniel’s seventieth week. The conjunction "and" links 11:2 and 11:3, so to separate them would go against the text. Also, the two witnesses conclude their ministry under the umbrella of the sixth trumpet, which is immediately followed by the seventh trumpet which declares that "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ". Again, at the conclusion of the ministry of the two witnesses, the Messianic kingdom has been brought to earth.
Revelation 12:6, 14 ~ The woman flees into the wilderness for 1260 days, which is described as time, times, and half a time. There is no reason to separate these two. They cannot be back to back, otherwise the testimony of each one individually would be false. The war against the saints runs contemporary to this time as it is the time when the dragon persecutes the woman as well as makes war against the saints. In short, following this 3 1/2 year period, the woman will no longer have to hide herself in the wilderness because the time of persecution will be over. The devil’s war will be over after this 3 1/2 year period.
Revelation 13:5 ~ This is simply a further description of the war of the devil against the saints. Here the text is describing through what agent the war will take place. We see some of the same details revealed in Daniel 7, that the governmental structure will have ten horns. The devil will wage his war through this antichrist government and through the little horn which is among them. At the end of this 42 month period the ten horned beast is thrown into the lake of fire and the saints inherit the kingdom. In short, following this 42 month period, the Messianic kingdom will have been brought in by the defeat of antichist and the binding of Satan for 1000 years.
To sum up, each 3 1/2 year period that you refer to can be conclusively proved to be the final 3 1/2 years of this age just before the Messianic kingdom is ushered in by the coming of the Messiah. The PreWrath position as taught by Rosenthal is correct in that the great tribulation begins at the midpoint of Daniel’s seventieth week, but is cut short sometime before the end of the 3 1/2 year period. The wrath of God is poured out during this time which takes us to the end of that 3 1/2 year period. Tribulation, rapture, then wrath all contained in that final 3 1/2 years: that’s the PreWrath position.
Then after a bit of a rebuttal, I had a bit more:
The issue is the timing of the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. How many times do you believe Messiah will establish His kingdom? Whether the saints are Israelites or Gentiles is irrelevant. At the end of this time, times, and half a time, we have One like the Son of Man who comes with the clouds of heaven and to Him is given a Kingdom, Daniel 7:13-14. The seven headed ten horned beast is given forty two months according to Revelation 13:5.
Messiah is cut off after the 62 "heptads". There were 7 previous to that. This means after the 69 heptads Messiah is cut off with one more heptad (seven) remaining. Certainly the LORD would not bring righteousness without the death of Messiah, but there is still one more seven to be fulfilled with farther reaching consequences. Remember the context here is the holy city, that is, the city of Jerusalem. His death, burial, and resurrection has brought righteousness to all who believe in Him. But, righteousness has not been brought in to Jerusalem. Also, the anointing spoken of here is of a Holy Place. Christ was anointed, but that is not the ultimate act of consummation that Daniel is prophesying about.
So the events of the final 7 have yet to be fulfilled. "He shall confirm the covenant with many for one seven." The covenant spoken of here will be for the duration of one seven year period. This cannot be speaking of Christ’s covenant since it is speaking of a temporary covenant. "In the midst of the seven he will cause the sacrifices to cease." This again cannot be Christ’s covenant since His covenant is eternal. Since the 70th week has yet to be fulfilled, and 70 weeks were decreed in order to fufill Daniel 9:24, Daniel 9:24 was not fulfilled at the conclusion of the 69th week, but will be fulfilled at the conclusion of the 70th. Part of this is the anointing of the Holy Place which will be done at the inauguration of the Messianic Kingdom when Christ is both King and Priest upon His throne, Psalm 110:4.
So you believe that the Gentiles treading down Jerusalem will end, but the Messianic Kingdom will not be ushered in? Israel does not regain sovereignty over Jerusalem until they repent which does not happen until the inauguration of the Messianic Kingdom. Zechariah 12-14, Isaiah 24:21-23, 25:7-9, 51:22-52:1, Joel 3:15-17. The cleansing of Jerusalem from foreigners is inextricably linked with the establishment of Messiah’s reign, or as in the case of some of these references, the estabishment of the theocracy over Israel which is essentially the same thing. When the Gentiles are done treading down Jerusalem in the final 42 months, the Messianic Kingdom will have arrived.
In regards to Revelation 11:3, there was no comment regarding why at the seventh trumpet we have the statement "the kingdom of this world are become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ". If we have more seven year periods after this one whereby ungodly Gentiles are still in power and the Messianic Kingdom has not been ushered in, why is the declaration here so emphatic that the kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of Messiah? The seventh trumpet is quite simply the end of this world as we know it. It is the beginning of the next world, the Messianic age.
In regards to Revelation 12:6, 14, there was no explanation given for how the woman comes out of the wilderness after the first 3 1/2, then flees again for the second 3 1/2. Of course there wasn’t because no explanation is given in the text since they are speaking of the same time period. 12:6 is the declaration, the rest of the passage is the explanation as to how it happens. It is the same woman, not two different women. It is the same time period, not two different time periods. Otherwise the first telling would be false. The first verse (12:6) states that the time that the woman will be in the wilderness will be limited to 1260 days. If you believe the time is really 7 years, you have just contradicted that verse.
Yes there has been a spiritual war going on for some time. This is not the war that is being referred to when speaking of the 42 months that the seven headed ten horned beast will persecute the saints, though. I’m sure you realize that this beast is cast alive into the lake of fire just before the thousand year reign begins, Revelation 19:20-20:6. The beast and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire, Satan is bound, and the dead in Christ are raised, all these occur at the ushering in of the Messianic Kingdom, or at the beginning of the thousand years, not some seven years prior. The 42 months spoken of in Revelation 13:5 is the final 3 1/2 year period just before the Messianic Kingdom just like the other references.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman
P.S. This also goes against those who believe in a "7 year tribulation". I have already posted on it here.