Could the first half of the Tribulation have occurred during Jesus' final 3˝ years on earth, with the second 3˝ years to take place in the future?

Email Received:

I would appreciate it if you could take some time to review a video showing a potential Tribulation timeline: Could the first 3˝ years of the Tribulation have occurred when Jesus walked the earth, with the final 3˝ years taking place in the future?

Ted's Response:

Most people agree that the so-called "Tribulation" period will last 7 years. The debate is about when those 7 years will take place and whether those years will be consecutive or divided into two parts.  Some feel that all 7 years transpired during the 1st century A.D. Others feel that only the first 3˝ years happened back then, with the final 3˝ years left to go in the future.

Still others, including myself, tend to believe that all 7 years will take place at the end of the age, although not necessarily consecutively. There might be a relatively short gap of time between the first and second halves of that 7-year period or 70th Week, similar to how there is a lengthy gap between the 69th week of years and the 70th week of years. Furthermore, I feel that all seven seals in the book of Revelation will be opened during the 70th Week and, possibly, during only the final 3˝ years of that period.

In the video that you recommended, there are things with which I agree and disagree. One thing with which I definitely agree is something he said about 9 minutes into the video, and this is that there will be a Pre-wrath Rapture between the opening of the Sixth Seal and the Seventh Seal.

The guy who made the video appears to be a partial preterist, since he believes that the first 3˝ years of the 70th Week were Jesus' 3˝ years of ministry on the earth and the last 3˝ years have yet to occur in the future. He says that Jesus made a new covenant when He came, and I agree with that. However, Jesus did not confirm the Abrahamic covenant for only a period of 7 years; His new covenant is eternal. I have a short section, new covenant, that talks briefly about that.

Also, Daniel 9:25 indicates that the Messiah or Anointed One would come after 7 weeks (of years) + 62 weeks (of years) = 69 weeks (of years). Daniel 9:26 indicates that this also is when the Messiah would be cut off (killed), at virtually the same time.

The video suggests that Jesus' coming, to fulfill this prophecy, was at the beginning of His ministry, which then lasted 3˝ years. Of course, we know that Jesus wasn't killed as soon as He began His ministry. The problem occurs with the misinterpretation of the time of the Anointed One's arrival in the prophecy, which was not at the beginning of His ministry.

Luke 19:28-44 describes Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, just a few days before He was crucified. In 19:41-44 it describes how He wept over Jerusalem and the devastation that would be coming upon it because the people had failed to understand (from Daniel 9:25) the time of His coming. He was coming as their King on that day, Palm Sunday; but they were too steeped in their sins, transgressions, and traditions to perceive this fact as they should have. So the Messiah's "coming" was years into His ministry, not at the beginning of it.

Also, the video proposes that the anointing of Jesus, according to Daniel 9:25, was at His baptism, which was at the beginning of His ministry. But I do not believe this to be the case. The anointing came at the home of Simon the Leper in Bethany, just a few days after Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when a woman came with a jar of expensive perfume or oil and poured it on His head while He reclined at a table (Matthew 26:6,7). Jesus even indicated that it was a preparation for His burial (26:12), which was an anointing. Probably the very next night was when Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples (26:17-30), and the following day He was crucified or "cut off."

So Jesus the Messiah's prophesied coming, being anointed, and being cut off and buried were only days apart, not years apart. They all occurred after 69 weeks (of years) from the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Then the time count was stopped until the time when there would be a 7-year covenant or agreement involving many, which I believe most likely would be many centuries after that. In fact, it may be that the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument: Israel was a portion of this 7-year covenant or agreement.

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