Origin and Scriptural Evaluation of "The Seven-Year Tribulation" Theory

  • Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.

    You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Berean

Active Member
Feb 29, 2024
217
125
43
Midwest
www.food4jws.com
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
Many hold the "seven-year tribulation theory, which briefly states is this: Christ secretly returns to earth to "rapture" the church and takes them to heaven. This will be followed (not necessarily immediately) by seven literal years of tribulation during which the "man of sin" enters upon the world's stage. At the close of the seven years, Christ returns publicly with the church ("every eye shall see him"), destroys antichrist and the false prophet and begins his Millennial Reign. There are variations of the "seven-year tribulation" theory. Some feel Christ gathers the church at the middle of the seven years and call their concept the "mid-tribulation rapture." Others hold that the church is taken after the tribulation and refer to their concept as the "post-tribulation rapture."

The "seven-year tribulation" theory has its roots in dispensationalism which in turn originated, not in historic Protestantism, but in the 1800's with J.N. Darby, the leader of the major segment of Plymouth Brethren, a wonderful group of people, but hardly representative of historic Protestantism.

Even more disconcerting is that Darby revived the counter-reformation views of a Spanish Jesuit named Ribera. A basic concept of the Reformation was that Papacy as a system was the Antichrist and that much of the book of Revelation was having its fulfillment during the history of the church. In 1590 Ribera published a commentary on the Revelation, as a counter-interpretation to Protestantism, in which he applied all but the earliest chapters of Revelation to the end time and that Antichrist would be a single evil person (not a system) who would rule the world for three and a half years during the end time.

Darby claimed that all the events from the sixth to the nineteenth chapters of Revelation occur during a "seven-year tribulation." However, nothing in the book of Revelation say or even hints that the seven seals are loosed, the seven trumpets sounded and the seven plagues poured out during a seven-year period. A seven-year period is not even mentioned in the book Revelation. To be sure, a 3½-year period is mentioned. However, nowhere is it indicated to be half of a seven-year period. It can be easily proven from Scripture that the 3½ years occur before the tribulation. Therefore, the reformers such as Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Wesley believed the 3½ years or 1260 days were symbolic of a 1260-year period which began before their time and extended to the "time of the end."

The "seven-year tribulation" concept rests solely on an inconsistent application of Daniel 9:24-27, which speaks of a seventy-week period determined upon the Jewish people. Seventy weeks equals 490 days. All agree, upon the basis of Ezekiel 4-6—a day for a year—that this seventy weeks equals not 490 literal days, but 490 years. Again, there is unanimity that the 69 weeks of Daniel 9:25 marks a period from a decree issued in Nehemiah's day to the first advent of Christ. Verse 26 states that "after" the 69 weeks "shall Messiah (Christ) be cut off." Verse 27 shows that "in the midst of the [70th] week he [Christ] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Christ's death abolished the necessity of the further offering of typical sacrifices by Israel's priesthood.

Note well that Daniel 9:26 states "after" the 69 weeks "shall Messiah [Christ] be cut off." The Hebrew word achor means after. It does not mean in or during. Yet those who advocate the seven year tribulation say that Messiah was cut off in or during the 69th week. This is a mis-translation of verse 26 which plainly states "after" the 69 weeks Christ would be cut off. The 70th week is after the 69 weeks and verse 27 clearly shows it is in the midst of the 70th week that Christ died. Therefore the seven-year period of the 70th week is not left over until the end of the Christian age. And thus the seven-year tribulation concepts falls.

The historic position of Protestantism for 300 years since the Reformation has been that the 70th week immediately followed the 69 weeks and was fulfilled with the death of Christ "in the midst" (middle) of it. In the 19th century, dispensationalists came along and said, "Not so, there is a parenthesis between the 69 weeks and the 70th week. This gap is the period between the first advent and the rapture. Then, they say, "The 70th week, seven years, begins to count. And the 'he' of Daniel 9:27 is not Christ, but anti-christ, and the seven years of the 70th week is the 'seven-year tribulation' during which Chapters 6-19 of Revelation are fulfilled." The mere fact that this gap is purely an assumption, not founded on Scripture, seem to matter little to the seven-year dispensationalists.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Cassandra

Randy Kluth

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2020
8,167
2,563
113
Pacific NW
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
Many hold the "seven-year tribulation theory, which briefly states is this: Christ secretly returns to earth to "rapture" the church and takes them to heaven. This will be followed (not necessarily immediately) by seven literal years of tribulation during which the "man of sin" enters upon the world's stage. At the close of the seven years, Christ returns publicly with the church ("every eye shall see him"), destroys antichrist and the false prophet and begins his Millennial Reign. There are variations of the "seven-year tribulation" theory. Some feel Christ gathers the church at the middle of the seven years and call their concept the "mid-tribulation rapture." Others hold that the church is taken after the tribulation and refer to their concept as the "post-tribulation rapture."

The "seven-year tribulation" theory has its roots in dispensationalism which in turn originated, not in historic Protestantism, but in the 1800's with J.N. Darby, the leader of the major segment of Plymouth Brethren, a wonderful group of people, but hardly representative of historic Protestantism.

Even more disconcerting is that Darby revived the counter-reformation views of a Spanish Jesuit named Ribera. A basic concept of the Reformation was that Papacy as a system was the Antichrist and that much of the book of Revelation was having its fulfillment during the history of the church. In 1590 Ribera published a commentary on the Revelation, as a counter-interpretation to Protestantism, in which he applied all but the earliest chapters of Revelation to the end time and that Antichrist would be a single evil person (not a system) who would rule the world for three and a half years during the end time.

Darby claimed that all the events from the sixth to the nineteenth chapters of Revelation occur during a "seven-year tribulation." However, nothing in the book of Revelation say or even hints that the seven seals are loosed, the seven trumpets sounded and the seven plagues poured out during a seven-year period. A seven-year period is not even mentioned in the book Revelation. To be sure, a 3½-year period is mentioned. However, nowhere is it indicated to be half of a seven-year period. It can be easily proven from Scripture that the 3½ years occur before the tribulation. Therefore, the reformers such as Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Wesley believed the 3½ years or 1260 days were symbolic of a 1260-year period which began before their time and extended to the "time of the end."

The "seven-year tribulation" concept rests solely on an inconsistent application of Daniel 9:24-27, which speaks of a seventy-week period determined upon the Jewish people. Seventy weeks equals 490 days. All agree, upon the basis of Ezekiel 4-6—a day for a year—that this seventy weeks equals not 490 literal days, but 490 years. Again, there is unanimity that the 69 weeks of Daniel 9:25 marks a period from a decree issued in Nehemiah's day to the first advent of Christ. Verse 26 states that "after" the 69 weeks "shall Messiah (Christ) be cut off." Verse 27 shows that "in the midst of the [70th] week he [Christ] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Christ's death abolished the necessity of the further offering of typical sacrifices by Israel's priesthood.

Note well that Daniel 9:26 states "after" the 69 weeks "shall Messiah [Christ] be cut off." The Hebrew word achor means after. It does not mean in or during. Yet those who advocate the seven year tribulation say that Messiah was cut off in or during the 69th week. This is a mis-translation of verse 26 which plainly states "after" the 69 weeks Christ would be cut off. The 70th week is after the 69 weeks and verse 27 clearly shows it is in the midst of the 70th week that Christ died. Therefore the seven-year period of the 70th week is not left over until the end of the Christian age. And thus the seven-year tribulation concepts falls.

The historic position of Protestantism for 300 years since the Reformation has been that the 70th week immediately followed the 69 weeks and was fulfilled with the death of Christ "in the midst" (middle) of it. In the 19th century, dispensationalists came along and said, "Not so, there is a parenthesis between the 69 weeks and the 70th week. This gap is the period between the first advent and the rapture. Then, they say, "The 70th week, seven years, begins to count. And the 'he' of Daniel 9:27 is not Christ, but anti-christ, and the seven years of the 70th week is the 'seven-year tribulation' during which Chapters 6-19 of Revelation are fulfilled." The mere fact that this gap is purely an assumption, not founded on Scripture, seem to matter little to the seven-year dispensationalists.
Here is a good source for some of this. I do hold to Futurism, but not of the Dispensationalist kind. It appears from this reference that Irenaeus and Hippolytus, his disciple, held to a future 70th Week of Dan 9. The vast majority of the Church Fathers held to the notion that the 70 Weeks Prophecy was fulfilled at Christ's death and at the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. CLICK
 

ewq1938

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2015
6,160
1,242
113
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mat 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 all know there is a 42 month tribulation in Rev 13. We also know in the gospels Christ spoke of the time of the tribulation being shortened, Matthew 24:22. Since we have a current prophecy of 3.5 years then we know it was originally longer (likely 7 years) and later shortened.


So, we won't have a 7 year trib but will have a 3.5 year long tribulation. This begins with the first beast, continues with the second beast and ends when Christ arrives at the second coming.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Davidpt

Davidpt

Active Member
Dec 6, 2023
577
233
43
66
East Texas
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
Many hold the "seven-year tribulation theory, which briefly states is this: Christ secretly returns to earth to "rapture" the church and takes them to heaven. This will be followed (not necessarily immediately) by seven literal years of tribulation during which the "man of sin" enters upon the world's stage. At the close of the seven years, Christ returns publicly with the church ("every eye shall see him"), destroys antichrist and the false prophet and begins his Millennial Reign. There are variations of the "seven-year tribulation" theory. Some feel Christ gathers the church at the middle of the seven years and call their concept the "mid-tribulation rapture." Others hold that the church is taken after the tribulation and refer to their concept as the "post-tribulation rapture."

The "seven-year tribulation" theory has its roots in dispensationalism which in turn originated, not in historic Protestantism, but in the 1800's with J.N. Darby, the leader of the major segment of Plymouth Brethren, a wonderful group of people, but hardly representative of historic Protestantism.

Even more disconcerting is that Darby revived the counter-reformation views of a Spanish Jesuit named Ribera. A basic concept of the Reformation was that Papacy as a system was the Antichrist and that much of the book of Revelation was having its fulfillment during the history of the church. In 1590 Ribera published a commentary on the Revelation, as a counter-interpretation to Protestantism, in which he applied all but the earliest chapters of Revelation to the end time and that Antichrist would be a single evil person (not a system) who would rule the world for three and a half years during the end time.

Darby claimed that all the events from the sixth to the nineteenth chapters of Revelation occur during a "seven-year tribulation." However, nothing in the book of Revelation say or even hints that the seven seals are loosed, the seven trumpets sounded and the seven plagues poured out during a seven-year period. A seven-year period is not even mentioned in the book Revelation. To be sure, a 3½-year period is mentioned. However, nowhere is it indicated to be half of a seven-year period. It can be easily proven from Scripture that the 3½ years occur before the tribulation. Therefore, the reformers such as Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Wesley believed the 3½ years or 1260 days were symbolic of a 1260-year period which began before their time and extended to the "time of the end."

The "seven-year tribulation" concept rests solely on an inconsistent application of Daniel 9:24-27, which speaks of a seventy-week period determined upon the Jewish people. Seventy weeks equals 490 days. All agree, upon the basis of Ezekiel 4-6—a day for a year—that this seventy weeks equals not 490 literal days, but 490 years. Again, there is unanimity that the 69 weeks of Daniel 9:25 marks a period from a decree issued in Nehemiah's day to the first advent of Christ. Verse 26 states that "after" the 69 weeks "shall Messiah (Christ) be cut off." Verse 27 shows that "in the midst of the [70th] week he [Christ] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Christ's death abolished the necessity of the further offering of typical sacrifices by Israel's priesthood.

Note well that Daniel 9:26 states "after" the 69 weeks "shall Messiah [Christ] be cut off." The Hebrew word achor means after. It does not mean in or during. Yet those who advocate the seven year tribulation say that Messiah was cut off in or during the 69th week. This is a mis-translation of verse 26 which plainly states "after" the 69 weeks Christ would be cut off. The 70th week is after the 69 weeks and verse 27 clearly shows it is in the midst of the 70th week that Christ died. Therefore the seven-year period of the 70th week is not left over until the end of the Christian age. And thus the seven-year tribulation concepts falls.

The historic position of Protestantism for 300 years since the Reformation has been that the 70th week immediately followed the 69 weeks and was fulfilled with the death of Christ "in the midst" (middle) of it. In the 19th century, dispensationalists came along and said, "Not so, there is a parenthesis between the 69 weeks and the 70th week. This gap is the period between the first advent and the rapture. Then, they say, "The 70th week, seven years, begins to count. And the 'he' of Daniel 9:27 is not Christ, but anti-christ, and the seven years of the 70th week is the 'seven-year tribulation' during which Chapters 6-19 of Revelation are fulfilled." The mere fact that this gap is purely an assumption, not founded on Scripture, seem to matter little to the seven-year dispensationalists.

Technically speaking, you might be better off calling it the '70th week theory" rather than a "seven-year tribulation theory" since the latter is misrepresting this position. IOW, these are not the same thing. There is no such thing as a 7 year tribulation to begin with. The tribulation is 42 months not 84 months. That means this tribulation period is being understood like such.

There is the 70th week and that it involves 7 years. During this 7 years the first half is not involving tribulation. Tribulation, great tribulation in this case, doesn't begin until the middle of the week, thus only involves 3.5 years. Therefore, right or wrong this theory, it doesn't involve a 7 year tribulation period to begin with, but it does pertain to something involving 7 years, that being Daniel's 70th week.
 

Berean

Active Member
Feb 29, 2024
217
125
43
Midwest
www.food4jws.com
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
So, we won't have a 7 year trib but will have a 3.5 year long tribulation. This begins with the first beast, continues with the second beast and ends when Christ arrives at the second coming.
A thorough search through a Bible concordance, preferably an exhaustive concordance, will reveal not a single verse of Scripture mentioning a 7-year tribulation. Not one! The only other possibility for construing a 7-year tribulation, is piecing two back-to-back 1260-day (or 3 1/2-year) periods which would then equal 7 years. But the only place (Revelation 11:2,3) where 1260 "days" are mentioned in two succeeding verses, does not justify a 2520 day or 7 year tribulation. All exponents of the Pre-tribulationist and/or the Futurist school readily concede that verses 2 and 3 of Revelation 11 are concurrent. They refer to events during the same 1260 "day" period. They cannot be added together to make seven years.

While the Scriptures prophesy a great time of trouble which will conclude the Age, they do not describe a 7-year tribulation. The concept of 7 years' tribulation was a convenient invention of the Catholic Jesuit which Protestants have bought. The 1260 "days" obviously are symbolic of years which occurred during the Christian Age.​
 
  • Love
Reactions: Cassandra

ewq1938

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2015
6,160
1,242
113
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
A thorough search through a Bible concordance, preferably an exhaustive concordance, will reveal not a single verse of Scripture mentioning a 7-year tribulation. Not one!​

Irrelevant. I have proven that the trib was shortened and that it is 42 months in Rev so it had to be longer than that before the time of Christ. Whether it was originally to be 7 years, or 6 years or 5 years doesn't matter. It simply had to be longer than the newly shortened length Christ announced and what Rev shows.
 

ewq1938

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2015
6,160
1,242
113
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
Dan_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.

It is believed by many that this "week" is a 7 year tribulation rather than 7 days.
 

Davy

Well-Known Member
Feb 11, 2018
12,256
2,603
113
Southeastern U.S.
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
The "seven-year tribulation" theory has its roots in dispensationalism which in turn originated, not in historic Protestantism, but in the 1800's with J.N. Darby, the leader of the major segment of Plymouth Brethren, a wonderful group of people, but hardly representative of historic Protestantism.

The Bible as written, is our Measure. First seek what God's Word actually says as written, and then one will know when men's doctrines appear in opposition to God's Word.

What does God's Word shows us about the 'idea' of the 70 WEEKS prophecy given to God's prophet Daniel?

In the Hebrew, the idea is about periods of 'sevens'. In the 70 WEEKS prophecy, the KJV translation, along with many English translations, simply use the idea of a 'week' period to represent one 'seven'. Each week has seven days, right? Yeah, I'm right. So as a symbol, each week stands for a period of SEVEN YEARS.

It's as simple as that.


The whole... 70 WEEKS represents a period of 490 years (7 x 70 = 490 years).

1st Period = seven sevens - 49 years. From the command to rebuild Jerusalem and completion was 454 B.C. to 405 B.C. completed.

2nd Period = sixty two sevens - 434 years. From the completion of the rebuild to the time of Christ having been 'cut off' was 62 sevens, or 7 x 62 = 434 years.

THAT WAS PAST HISTORY = 434 + 49 = 483 years that was completed at Christ's death on the cross.

3rd Period = ?
What is 490 years minus 483 years? A period of SEVEN YEARS or "one week". Thus the FINAL "one week", the 70th week, is what the period in Daniel 9:27 is about. And it represent SEVEN YEARS.
 

Davy

Well-Known Member
Feb 11, 2018
12,256
2,603
113
Southeastern U.S.
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
Now then, why... do those Dispensationalists claim a 7 years period of tribulation?

ANSWER: because they WRONGLY push a FALSE doctrine of men called a Pre-tribulational Rapture theory. And that theory PUSHES the false idea that Jesus raptures the Church PRIOR to the start of the "great tribulation" which they... believe begins when the Antichrist confirms that "covenant" mentioned in Daniel 9:27.

Are they correct about that Antichrist appearing and making that "covenant" at the START of a SEVEN YEAR period? Yes! they are correct about that. HOWEVER...

... they are INCORRECT with thinking that whole 7 years is the "great tribulation" time, because Jesus in Matthew 24 shows us the point WHEN the "great tribulation" will begin...

Matt 24:15-21
15
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand: )
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
KJV


Doesn't the Daniel 9:27 verse ALSO show us what Jesus did with the actual time of "great tribulation" being when that "abomination of desolation" IDOL is placed in the holy place? Yeah, I believe it does...

Dan 9:27
27 The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven,
but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him."
Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.