Our aim in this chapter is to put together the detailed information given to us in Daniel, Matthew 24 and Revelation concerning the Tribulation to derive an accurate chronology of the Tribulation. Then when we have this blueprint we will be able to apply it to the historical 7 TIMES of 2520 years with amazing results!
1. The final 7-Years of the Tribulation must start with Israel making a covenant with the antichrist for 7 years(Daniel 9:27), for this is what puts her back under Gentile dominion for 7-Times.
“Then he (antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many (the majority of Israel) for one Week (7 Years, the 70th Week), but in the Middle of the Week (at Mid-Tribulation) he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the Temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him (antichrist is destroyed by Christ at His 2nd Coming at the end of the 7 Years)" (Daniel 9:27).
2. This covenant puts Israel under Gentile dominion, but it also allows the Jews to rebuild their Temple and use it for worship. This is where the 2 witnesses (Moses and Elijah) base their ministry to Israel that lasts for 1,260 days (the first-half of the Tribulation).
Revelation 11:1-3: “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood saying: “Rise and measure theTemple of God, the altar and those who worship there (symbolic of the fact that Israel has control of the Temple). But leave out the court which is outside the Temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. (In a compromise deal the Temple-Mount will be divided into 2 halves between Jews and Gentiles in this covenant with antichrist). And they will tread the holy city (Jerusalem) underfoot for 42 MONTHS. And I will give power to My 2 witnesses and they will prophesy 1260 DAYS (3.5 TIMES), clothed in sackcloth.”
So the first-half of the Tribulation is clearly defined as 3.5 TIMES. This corresponds to John the Baptist’s ministry of 3.5 years in the first run of these 7 years. John was sent in Elijah’s place and in the spirit of Elijah, because God knew Israel would reject His offer of the Kingdom, but now Elijah will come in person (along with Moses) to turn the heart of Israel back to God in fulfilment of the last prophecy given in the Old-Testament (Malachi 4:4-6).
3. Halfway through the Tribulation (after these 3.5 TIMES), things will get worse when Antichrist breaks the covenant by invading Israel, killing the 2 witnesses, stopping the Jewish worship of God in the Temple and proclaiming himself as god, desecrating the Temple by placing his Abomination of Desolation there, which results in the 7th Trumpet of judgement being blown and which initiates the Great-Tribulation (see Daniel 9:27, 11:45-12:1, Matthew 24:15,21, 2Thessalonians 2:4, Revelation 11).
At this time, the believing remnant of Israel will make a quick escape from Israel to Jordan where they will be kept safe by God from the Antichrist (Matthew 24:15-21, Revelation 12:6,13-17). All these events take place in a short Mid-tribulation Interval, that takes place after the first-half ends and before the 2nd-half begins. We will deduce the length of this Interval shortly.
4. The 2nd half of the Tribulation, the time given to antichrist to rule as world-dictator, which lasts 3.5 TIMES (42 months or 1260 days) starts immediately after the Mid-tribulation Interval.
Therefore in the Interval, the Antichrist quickly gains world-power, which he then exercises during the final 3.5 TIMES. During the 2nd half of the Tribulation he enforces his rule using the mark of the Beast. He particularly persecutes Israel and all believers in Christ who refuse to take the mark, but the escaped remnant of Israel are kept safe. This is the 2nd half of Daniel’s 70th Week (Daniel 7:25, 9:27, 12:7; Matthew 24:16-20, Revelation 12:6,13-17; 13:5-8). These 3.5 years of judgement under antichrist correspond to Israel’s 3.5 years of grace under Christ’s ministry.
5. When the 7-Times have come to a final end, Jesus Christ
will return in power and glory to save Israel and destroy the antichrist and his kingdom at the Battle of Armageddon(this is the Great and Manifest Day of the Lord)! This is when the Gentile World-Power (Babylon) under antichrist is destroyed by the stone cut without hands which then becomes a mountain that fills the earth (Daniel 2:34,35,44). The Stone is Christ and the Mountain is the Kingdom that He establishes and reigns over for 1000 years.
The Day of Christ’s glorious appearing is the last and climactic day of the rerun of Daniel’s 70th Week and it corresponds to the Day of His glorious resurrection at the close of the original run of the 70th Week. Both of these days of the Lord’s Manifestation that end the 70th Week are heralded just beforehand by two signs in the heavens (the moon turning to blood and the sun to darkness):
“The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the Great and Terrible (Manifest) Day of the Lord”(Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20). That this happened the first time on April 1st/3rd AD 33 is a matter of historical record. That it will also happen again just before Christ’s 2nd Coming is a matter of prophetic record (Joel 2:31, Matthew 24:29, Revelation 6:12).
Thus far we have seen that the Tribulation consists of 7 TIMES divided into two halves, each of 3.5 TIMES. Moreover it has the added feature of having a Mid-Tribulation interval which breaks it into two halves and interrupts the flow of the 7 TIMES.
The Chronology of the Mid-Tribulation Interval.
1. The Mid-Tribulation Interval begins when the antichrist breaks
the covenant and invades Israel (Daniel 9:27). This agrees with Revelation 11:7,8 which describes him attacking Jerusalem and the 2 witnesses in particular, and he is allowed to kill them. This happens as soon as they have completed the 1260 days (3.5 Times) of their ministry: “When they finish their testimony (of 1260 days - v3), the beast (antichrist) that ascends out of the Abyss will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them” (Revelation 12:7).
2. Revelation 11:9 then marks a special time of 3.5 days between the death and resurrection of the 2 witnesses. “Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.” There is a world-wide celebration during these 3.5 days because they had announced the Trumpet judgments from God which had been a torment to those on the earth (v10).
“Now after the 3.5 days the breath of life from God entered them and they stood (resurrected) on their feet” (v11). They then ascended to heaven and there was an earthquake (v12,13).
This brought the time of the 6th Trumpet (the 2nd Woe) to an end (v14). The 3rd Woe (7th Trumpet) will then follow quickly (v14,15). At this time the antichrist desecrates the Temple with the Abomination of Desolation which God immediately responds to by the blowing of the 7th Trumpet and the revealing of the heavenly Temple (v15-19). Jesus said that the Abomination marked the start of the Great Tribulation, when the Remnant have a short window of opportunity to make their escape (Matthew 24:15-21). Thus the 7th Trumpet also marks the start of the Great-Tribulation.
There is then a further short period of time in the Mid-Tribulation Interval during which the antichrist makes the final steps in his rise to world-dictatorship as the kings of the earth give him their power. Also in this time the Remnant make their escape from Israel to a place where God will keep them safe for the last 1260 days or 3.5 Times (Revelation 12:6,14). We will now show that this is 30 days.
It is Daniel 12 that gives us more detail about the timing of the Mid-Tribulation Interval and the 2nd half of the Tribulation. In Daniel 11:45 antichrist invades Israel at the start of Mid-Tribulation. This marks the start of the time-period that Daniel 12 is measuring. Daniel 12:1 describes the coming time as the Great Tribulation, which will be especially severe upon Israel, although God will provide a deliverance at this time for the believing Remnant of Israel with the help of Michael, the Archangel. This is fulfilled in Revelation 12 which describes their flight to safety at this time.
Then he describes the resurrection of the righteous (v2,3) that will happen at the very end of the Tribulation (at the 2nd Coming) as is clarified in v13. v4 explains that this prophecy will only be fully understood at the time of the end, when knowledge (especially prophetic knowledge) will increase as the Body of Christ search the scriptures with the help of the Holy-Spirit. Perhaps the fact we are now understanding it is another sign that we are in the end-time? Then Daniel saw two figures (v5) and one asked the other:
"HOW LONG shall the fulfilment of these wonders be?" (v6).
“Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a TIME, TIMES and HALF A TIME (1260 days); and when the power of the holy people (Israel) has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished(under the attack of antichrist, Israel’s stubbornness is broken and she calls on Christ to save her, which results in the Second Coming)” (v7).
Thus the time of antichrist’s world-power and massive persecution of Israel is 3.5 TIMES or 1260 days, which is the 2nd half of the Tribulation (which agrees with Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:5). During this terrible time the believing Remnant of Israel will be kept safe by God (Revelation 12:6,14).
Daniel next asks for a more detailed understanding and timing (v8):
“Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said,
"My lord, what shall be the end of these things?"
In response, some new information was given in v11:
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the Abomination of Desolation is set up (by antichrist atMid-Tribulation), there shall be 1290 days (to the end).” This tells us that the Great Tribulation lasts 1290 days (Matthew 24:15,21).
*Here we see an additional 30 days to the 1260 days, which measures the time that the Temple is desecrated by antichrist. Some people think that this is speaking of a further 30 days after the 2nd Coming of Christ during which the Temple is desecrated. This is not only absurd, but it also contradicts Daniel 9:27 which says that the Abomination will stand until the end of the 70th Week when Christ will return to destroy the antichrist. Actually it is clear that both the 1260 days (of Antichrist’s world-dominion) and the 1290 days (of Temple Desecration) must end at the same time (the Second Coming of Christ at the close of the Great-Tribulation). Therefore they must signify two different starting points at Mid-tribulation which are separated by 30 days. In other words, the Antichrist desecrates the Temple 30 days before he assumes world-power. Thus there is an Interval of 30 days at Mid-Tribulation from the Abomination to when antichrist gains world-power.
Thus we have seen that there are 3.5 days from the end of the first half of the Tribulation (the first 1260 days) to when the Antichrist sets up the Abomination (the Image of the Beast) in the Temple. Then there is a further 30 days from the Abomination to the start of the second half of the Tribulation (the final 1260 days), when the antichrist assumes his position as world-dictator. Thus the total length of the Mid-Tribulation interval is 30+3.5 = 33.5 days!
Let’s now put it all together:
After 1260 days (the ministry of the 2 witnesses) antichrist invades Jerusalem and kills them. They lie dead for 3.5 daysbefore being raised and caught up to heaven. This ends the time of the 6th Trumpet (Revelation 11:11-14). The next day antichrist desecrates the Temple which initiates the 7th Trumpet and the judgements of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 11:14,15). This day is the start of the Great-Tribulation (Matthew 24:15,21) and the start of the 1290-day countdown to the end and the sign for the Jewish believers to flee to Jordan (Matthew 24:15-21, Revelation 11:6). God holds back antichrist’s world-dominion for 30 days (see Revelation 10), so they can escape. Then antichrist has his 1260 days of world-power before Christ cuts that time short by His Second Coming.
Daniel 12:12 gives us one more piece of information:
"Blessed is he who comes to the (end of the) 1335 days.”
This measurement is presumably the longest possible measurement.
Therefore it starts at the close of the first-half of the Tribulation when the antichrist invades Israel, which is the starting point for Daniel 12. From this point we have the 33.5 days of the Mid-Tribulation Interval, followed by the 1260 days of antichrist’s world-rule, followed by the unique Day of the Lord’s 2nd Coming, when He alone will be the light (Zechariah 14:7) which lasts 1 day. Thus so far we have accounted for 33.5 + 1260 + 1 = 1294.5 days.
“Immediately after the Tribulation” (after antichrist’s 1260 days are completed) but “before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord” there will be a total Blackout (Matthew 24:29, Joel 2:31). This probably accounts for a half-day, leading up to the start of the final day of the 70th Week (the Day of the Lord’s Return, which will be a long day of 36 hours like Joshua’s long day (which is a type of the 2nd Coming), for according to Habbakuk 3:11, He will again stop the sun and moon when He appears in glory).
Thus we can now account for 1295 days.
But Daniel 12:12 speaks of 1335 days. This leaves 1335 - 1290 = 40 days unaccounted for. The only place we can put these 40 days is after the 2nd Coming. So this would mean that after the Great and Terrible (Manifest) Day of the Lord, we have there will be a 40 day Interlude
before the Kingdom (Millennium) officially starts. These 40 days are for the judgement of the nations, so those who inherit the Kingdom are blessed (Matthew 25:31-34). They are also preparation days to set up the government of the Kingdom. They correspond to the 40 days of the resurrected Christ’s time with His disciples, starting from 6pm on the day of His resurrection until His ascension to the Father’s Throne of glory (Acts 1:3). Let the reader understand: 1260+ (4+30) +1260+ 1+40 = 1335.