Does the Bible Teach a 7 Year Tribulation Period?

(2nd article in the Deceptive Doctrines Series)

If you talked to a typical evangelical Pre-Tribulation Christian about the end times, they’d tell you the following:

1.  The Antichrist will establish a 7 year peace treaty with Israel after an Ezekiel 38 style war, in which Israel wins.  This also begins 7 years of tribulation, i.e. Daniel’s 70th week.

2.  All Christians are raptured from the earth at the beginning of the 7 years.

3.  A third Jewish Temple is built during the first 3 1/2 years of the treaty.  Jewish animal sacrifices and offerings begin.

4.  Then, at the beginning of the last 3 1/2 years of the treaty, the Antichrist desecrates the temple and causes all Jewish sacrifices and offerings to cease, i.e. The Abomination of Desolation.

In this article I will discuss points 1, 3 and 4, saving the discussion of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture (point 2) for my next article.

So in summary, we have a war that marks:

•  A seven year peace treaty between Israel and the Antichrist.
•  A seven year tribulation period.
•  The rebuilding of a Jewish Temple.
•  A desecration of the new temple by the Antichrist (the Abomination of Desolation).

Where is the Scriptural Evidence?

Where is the scriptural evidence for this?  Surely there must be a scripture somewhere discussing a 7 year tribulation period— right?  Wrong.  

How about the rebuilding of a third Jewish temple?  No.

Surely there is evidence for the Abomination of Desolation?  Nope, at least not in the context of the peace treaty scenario discussed above.

So where do the proponents of a Pre-Trib view get this stuff?

They get it from just ONE VERSE— Daniel 9:27.  It reads:

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.
Daniel 9:27

This is their KEY to interpreting this verse:

HE— means the Antichrist.

CONFIRM COVENANT— refers to a peace treaty.

MANY— Israel.

ONE WEEK— refers to a prophetic 7 year period, i.e. the peace treaty and the tribulation period.

MIDST— in the middle of the 7 years.

SACRIFICE AND THE OBLATION TO CEASE— this is evidence of an end time temple.  “How could the sacrifices and offering cease if there was no temple?” they say.

So putting it all together they read, “The Antichrist makes a peace treaty with Israel for 7 years and in the middle of those 7 years, the Antichrist desecrates the temple and causes the sacrifices and offerings to cease.”

Dear readers, how NUTS is this?

To come to these conclusions you’d have to superimpose a preconceived idea on top of the scripture.  And that’s just what’s happened.

Starting with Jesuit Francisco Ribera’s introduction of it in 1585 A.D., it expanded over time and grew in influence as it passed through the following men: Dr. S.R. Maintland in 1826, John Nelson Darby in 1876, Cyrus Scofield in 1909, Hal Lindsey in 1970 and Tim LaHaye in 1995.

It became known as Futurism because it packs all end time events into a single 7 year period known as Daniel’s 70th week.

What’s the Real Interpretation of Daniel 9:27?

It’s easy.  Just look at the context.  Daniel is writing from Babylonia.  He’s there because he was taken captive when Babylonia invaded Jerusalem in 586 B.C..

Daniel is PRAYING for the restoration of Israel.  Having read the prophecies of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11-12) Daniel understands that God will restore Israel after 70 years of captivity.  That time is quickly approaching and Daniel is asking God to fulfill it.

God Answers Daniel’s Prayer

Daniel 9:24-27 is God’s response to Daniel’s prayer.  Through the angel Gabriel, God tells Daniel that not only will Jerusalem be restored, but that His Kingdom will be consummated within 70 WEEKS of the “commandment” (Daniel 9:25).

What commandment?  It’s the commandment King Artaxerxes of Persia gave Ezra in 457 B.C. to RESTORE JERUSALEM.

Daniel 9:25 further states that the MESSIAH Himself will come within 69 weeks of the commandment.

Most scholars agree that the 70 and 69 weeks are referring to PROPHETIC weeks.  In the Bible a prophetic week equals 7 years.  Therefore, 70 weeks would equal 490 years (70 x 7= 490) and 69 weeks would represent 483 years.

Daniel also breaks the 70 weeks down into 3 segments: 7 weeks, 62 weeks and 1 week.

So if you count 7 weeks (49 years) + 62 weeks (434 years) or 69 weeks for a total of 483 years from the time of the commandment (457 B.C.), taking into account that there isn’t a “0 year”, it will bring you to 27 A.D., the exact year that Jesus was baptized and anointed by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17).

Then shortly after Jesus was baptized and anointed He made the following statement in Mark 1:15:

Jesus states that the TIME IS FULFILLED.  The only “time” that Jesus could be referring to is the “time” of the 69 WEEK prophecy concerning his arrival and anointing (Daniel 9:25).

What about the 70th Week or Last 7 Years?

As we have discussed, Jesus’ baptism and anointing marks the 69th week.  But what happens to complete the 70th week or last 7 years?

Although Jesus Is prepared to walk out the 70th week or next 7 years establishing God’s Kingdom on earth, He knows prophetically that He will be CUT OFF.  He will be crucified mid way through the 7 year period.  

Now we can understand Daniel 9:27:

HE— refers to Christ.  All of Daniel 9 is a MESSIANIC passage.  The Antichrist is never mentioned.

CONFIRM COVENANT— Romans 15:8 tells us that Jesus came to CONFIRM PROMISES (or a covenant).  This is what He was doing as He walked out His ministry during the final 70th week.

MANY—  Matthew 26:28 says that Jesus shed His blood for MANY for the remission of sins.

ONE WEEK— Daniel’s 70 week timeline is consecutive.  Nowhere in the Bible is a timeline broken up.  In Noah’s day, the rain came down 40 consecutive days and 40 consecutive nights.  Israel was in Egypt 400 consecutive years.  Jesus was tempted for 40 consecutive days.  It is logical that the 70th week of Daniel’s timeline is consecutive as well.  Rather than a 7 year period, separated from the other 69 and thrust into a future generation as the Futurist’s teach, the 70th week is actually the next consecutive 7 years after the 483 that brought us from the “commandment” of 457 B.C. to Jesus’ baptism in 27 A.D..  Jesus was in the process of walking out this last 7 years when he was crucified.

MIDST—  half way through the 7 years, or at 3 1/2 years, Jesus is crucified and cut off.

SACRIFICE AND THE OBLATION TO CEASE—  When Jesus was crucified He put an end to the sacrifices and offerings under the Jewish animal sacrificial system.  Jesus was the LAMB of God.  He was the final sacrifice acceptable to God.  That is why this verse is saying that through His death HE/CHRIST, will bring an end to sacrifice and oblation.

Scriptures to back this up:

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
Matthew 27:51

This tearing of the veil, ended in God’s eyes the need for a sacrificial system!

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments..
1 John 2:1-3

The Completion of the 70th week or last 3 1/2 years

Once Jesus was crucified, the restoration of Israel was in ruin.  The Jews of the day had rejected their Messiah.  3 1/2 years later that rejection had run it’s full course.  In 34 A.D. the persecution of the church began in ernest.  Stephen was stoned and the church in Jerusalem was scattered.  The 70 weeks prophecy was completed.

Scholars see this as the moment in time when the gospel shifted from the Jews to the Gentiles.  Just 36 years later Jerusalem was besieged by Rome and the Jews were scattered throughout the world.

Even Jesus said, during the Passion Week when the Pharisees rejected Him,

"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."
Matthew 23:38

How Are We to View the Futurist’s View of Daniel 9:27?

In the Parable of the Weeds, Jesus said, “AN ENEMY DID THIS!”

The parable reads:

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.  When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.  “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’  “‘AN ENEMY DID THIS,’ he replied.
Matthew 13:27-28

That dear reader is what God’s enemies are doing to His people today.  They are planting weeds among the good seed of the word of God.

These weeds take the form of “Balaams” who speak nicely towards God’s people, even blessing them, but then teach them doctrines of devils that lead them into spiritual idolatry (see my article, Introduction:  The Great Deception).

You might ask, what harm is done through the Futuristic doctrine inspired by the Roman Catholic Church and the coadjutors that preach it?

1.  It takes people away from Christ and has them focus on the Antichrist.

When understood for what it is, Daniel 9:27 affirms our faith in:

•  The Bible.
•  Fulfilled prophecy.
•  Jesus Christ as our Messiah.
•  The covenant relationship we have with Christ.
•  The forgiveness of our sin.

When not understood, all of this is lost.  We don’t see the amazing fulfillment of prophecy in this passage.  All we see is a distorted view of scripture.  The Antichrist takes the place of Christ in an otherwise powerful Messianic passage.

2.  It perverts who the real Antichrist is.

Instead of seeing Antichrist as someone in history, we see him as someone who will come in the future.  It hides the real Antichrist because “he isn’t here yet”.  It teaches that the church will be “raptured” before Antichrist comes onto the scene.

3.  It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  It’s intentionally deceptive.

It’s purpose is to hide the fact that the seat of the Pope is where Antichrist will come.  That’s why this view was created in 1585 A.D. by Francisco Ribera, a Jesuit priest.  The Reformers of that day never believed in a Futurist’s view of scripture.  They were being burned at the stake and tortured for speaking out against the seat of antichrist in Rome (see my article, Where the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory Came From and Why You Should’t Believe It).

What’s even more disingenuous is that the Roman Catholic Church itself doesn’t even believe in this end time view— they are Amillennialists.

Instead, while they speak nicely to us through the Ecumenical Movement, they send their coadjutors to teach us idolatrous doctrine.  It’s purpose is to enslave and keep us unprepared for the New World Order and the NEW INQUISITION soon to come.


The 7 year tribulation is not in the Bible.  The verse used to create this myth is the 70th week in Daniel 9:27.  When we understand the true meaning of this verse, our faith in Christ as our Savior is strengthened.

In my next article, I will discuss the purpose of the church in the end time.  What is God's VISION for her?  Of course the church has to be on earth for God to use her during the Great Tribulation (3 1/2 years).  Futurists teach that church will be raptured BEFORE the tribulation.  I will show you in scripture why this is not true.

To view this information in video form, watch the video below by Steve Wohlberg of White Horse Media Productions.

Steve is a Seventh Day Adventist.  I am not a Seventh Day Adventist.  I do not hold to some of the doctrinal viewpoints of this church.  However, on this subject they have it right.  I think Steve explains this doctrine well, so I include it here for your review.

7 Year Tribulation Controversy