The Prophetic Week

The seventieth week of Daniel unfolded; also known as “the tribulation”.


Two sections of the Prophetic Week.
  1. The Beginning of Sorrows. The first 3 1/2 years of Daniel's seventieth week is called “The Beginning of Sorrows” (Matt. 24:8). During this period the first six seals of Revelation are unfolded. It begins when The Beast makes a covenant with Israel, and ends when "the abomination of desolations" is set up in the holy place. Passages that deal directly with the Beginning of Sorrows are Rev. 6, Matthew 24:4-14, and various places in the first book of the Psalms. Relatively little is written about the first three and a half years of Daniel's seventieth week, compared to the volumes that deal with the events that come later.

  2. The Great Tribulation. The last 3 1/2 years of Daniel's seventieth week is called “the Great Tribulation” (Matt. 24:21, Rev. 7:14). During this period the 7th seal, the Seven Trumpets, and the Seven Vials/Bowl are unfolded. It begins when the "abomination of desolations" is set up, and it ends when Christ appears in glory, and Israel's enemies are destroyed. Technically, the "great tribulation" for Israel will end a little early, at 1260 days when the King of the North sweeps down through Israel and slaughters the apostate Jews. This time period is also called "the time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7).


The Beginning of Sorrows: Seal Judgments

The Book of Revelation fills in the details of Daniel’s seventieth week in a very orderly way. Revelation is a book of judgment outlining the steps God will take to glorify His Son! Revelation is mainly focused on the effects that the coming judgments will have on the Revived Roman Empire (Christianized lands), while Old Testament prophecy focuses more on the effect of the coming judgments on Israel.
The Sealed Scroll. Revelation speaks of a book (or scroll) that is “written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals” (Rev. 5:1). This book contains the counsels of God for the blessing of the earth that will be brought about through judgment.1 One of the themes of Rev. 4-5 is that the Lord alone is able and worthy to open the book and break its seals. Another important thing we see in Rev. 4-5 is a great change of administration when the Lamb takes the book. The saints in association with Christ will replace the angels as administrative executors – a change fully developed in the Millennium.
The seven seals. The first six seals are described in Revelation 6. Each seal unlocks a new portion of the book.
  • 1st Seal: Great political changes occur, alliances are formed. Possibly this is when the 10-nation Western Confederacy is formed. read more...
  • 2nd Seal: Civil war erupts. Massive bloodshed in the West. read more...
  • 3rd Seal: Famine and economic failure strikes the West. The wealthy are still untouched. read more...
  • 4th Seal: A fatal, epidemic disease brakes out. Animals attack citizens in the West. read more...
  • 5th Seal: Many Jewish believers are martyred. They cry to the Lord to avenge their blood. read more...
  • 6th Seal: A tremendous political upheaval occurs in the West, creating terror and building an appetite for the empire to welcome the Beast and Antichrist. read more...
Indirect Judgments. These judgments are "providential" or "indirect". That is, God will be using natural things as instruments of judgment. Jesus described these first 3 1/2 years as follows:
"But ye will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not disturbed; for all these things must take place, but it is not yet the end. For nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. But all these are the beginning of throes." Matt. 24:6-8

Middle of the Week

Events that take place in the Middle of the Week. The middle of Daniel's seventieth week is an important milestone in prophecy. It is referred to as "the midst of the week" in Daniel 9:27. 
  1. War in heaven, and Satan cast down to the earth (Rev. 12:9)
  2. False Church demolished by Roman Empire (Rev. 17:16)
  3. Transfer of Roman government to the Beast (Rev. 13:3)
    • Tremendous upheaval in the West (Rev. 6:12-17)
    • He will subdue three of the horns (Dan. 7:8, 20, 24-25)
    • Then the others will capitulate (Rev. 17:13)
  4. The Antichrist is revealed (Rev. 13:11; 2 Thess. 2:3; Rev. 9:1)
  5. Jewish sacrifices forced to stop (Dan. 9:27)
  6. Abomination of desolation set up (Dan. 12:11; Matt. 24:15)
  7. Part of the faithful remnant flees to the mountains (Matt. 24:16)
  8. Intense persecution begins (Matt. 24:21)
  9. Two witnesses begin to prophesy (Rev. 11:3-6)
  10. Half hour silence, then first trumpet blown (Rev. 8)

The Great Tribulation: Trumpet and Bowl Judgments

"For then shall there be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21, see also Rev. 7:14).
God’s Direct Judgments. The trumpets may be less extensive in their range than the seals (third part vs. fourth part of the earth), but they are more intensely judicial than the seals. Furthermore, they are directly from the hand of God, as we see the "angel", a type of Christ, refill the censer with fire from the brazen altar (the wrath of God against sin) and cast it on the prophetic earth (Rev. 8:5).
The Trumpet Judgments. The trumpet judgments open "under" the seventh seal. Really, the seventh seal is the entire last 3 1/2 years. The Trumpets are distributed throughout those 3 1/2 years. The first four trumpets are primarily to do with the apostatizing of the western nations, preparing them to receive Antichrist. Therefore, it seems the first four will happen in rapid succession at the middle of the week. The fifth trumpet corresponds to Antichrist coming forward, and the delusion of apostate Israel, once again at the middle of the week, but spanning a longer duration (“five months”). The sixth trumpet is at 1260 days, and the seventh trumpet is at the appearing, at the end of the week.
  • 1st Trumpet: Prosperity in the West dries up. read more...
  • 2nd Trumpet: A great political power in the West falls (possibly the USA?). read more...
  • 3rd Trumpet: A person of great moral influence in the West apostatizes… the result is that the entertainment and media becomes poisoned. read more...
  • 4th Trumpet: The whole system of government in the West gives up any profession of godliness that they once had, resulting in moral darkness. read more...
  • 5th Trumpet: Antichrist comes forward, and he begins sending out his “strong delusion", beginning with the apostate Jews. read more...
  • 6th Trumpet: The King of the North and his Arab confederacy advances, causing moral and physical death. The attack causes the Roman empire to collapse. read more...
  • 7th Trumpet: The Lord appears, taking the reigns of government into His own hands, and the nations are furious. read more...
Correlation of trumpets and bowls. There is a high degree of correlation between the trumpets and bowls. The first of each series has to do with the earth, the second with the sea, the third with the rivers and fountains of water, and the fourth with the sun. The fifth trumpet is the delusion of apostate Jews, the fifth bowl is the delusion of the Beast’s empire. The sixth trumpet is a summary of the Assyrian’s influence on the beast’s empire, the sixth bowl gives the precise moment of the attack. The seventh in each series is the appearing of Christ. The seventh trumpet is a summary of the Day of the Lord. The seventh bowl is the specific event that will accompany his appearing, namely the destruction of Political Babylon (the Beast). Some have thought that the bowls are "under" the seventh trumpet just as the trumpets are "under" the seventh seal. However, the correlation between these bowls and trumpets would indicate that the bowls parallel the trumpets.
The Bowl Judgments. The bowl judgments are poured out on the prophetic earth, but the effects go beyond the Christianized part of the world to touch the outlying nations. Note the absence of the expression “the third part”. The bowl series is more universal.
  • 1st Bowl: The followers of the Beast are afflicted with terrible pain. read more...
  • 2nd Bowl: The nations who refuse the Gospel of the Kingdom apostatize, sealing their fate. read more...
  • 3rd Bowl: Natural sources of joy dry up. read more...
  • 4th Bowl: Governmental apostasy causes the oppression of the masses. read more...
  • 5th Bowl: The delusion is spread to the entirety of the Beast’s kingdom. read more...
  • 6th Bowl: The barrier holding back the armies of the Assyrian is removed. read more...
  • 7th Bowl: Political Babylon (the Beast) is destroyed by the Lord at His Appearing. read more...

The Jewish Remnant

"And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus." (Revelation 12:17).
The Jewish remnant is one of the most important people-groups in prophecy. Much of Old Testament prophecy was written for them to understand God's ways in judgment. The Psalms are the prayers and feelings of the remnant, pre-recorded for them to sing as they pass though the experiences of the Prophetic week. Even the teaching of our Lord to His twelve disciples was directed to them as a faithful Jewish remnant, and they have their complete fulfillment in a future day. For example, when the Lord sent out the twelve to the lost sheep of the house of Israel in Matt. 10, He said "Ye shall not have completed the cities of Israel until the Son of man be come" (Matt. 10:23). The coming of the Son of Man (the Appearing) was what this remnant was to labor toward. Clearly this passage cannot be limited to the twelve apostles in the first century! The Church exists in a parenthesis. The twelve apostles are representative of the faithful remnant of Jews, and their mission in this chapter was interrupted at the cross, terminated at the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.) and will be resumed after the Rapture. The whole Church period is passed over in silence. What will happen to the Jewish remnant during the Prophetic Week?
  1. Evangelists to Israel. Some will go out and preach the gospel of the kingdom to the nation of Israel; "Ye shall not have completed the cities of Israel until the Son of man be come" (Matt. 10:23).
  2. Evangelists to the World. Some will take the gospel of the kingdom to the farthest reaches of the world! "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations" (Mat 24:14).
  3. Early Martyrs. Some will be martyred by the False Church in the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. “Killed for the testimony of Jesus.” Rev. 20:4.
  4. Sheltered in the Mountains. The majority will flee to the mountains across the Jordan in the middle of the week –at the Lord’s directions: “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:) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house, etc.” (Matt. 24:15-17). They will be sheltered by faithful ones from the neighboring countries; e.g. Moab (Isa. 16:3-4).
  5. Later Martyrs. Many will be martyred by the Antichrist and the apostate Jews in the last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation, for refusing to take the mark of the Beast. They will be hunted like dogs. Family members will betray one another: “Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoreth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.” (Micah 7:5-6)
  6. Two Witnesses. Some will remain in Jerusalem witnessing against Antichrist (the “two witnesses” of Rev. 11:1-14). "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth" (Rev. 11:3). They will be invincible until their testimony is complete, then they will be killed. Their bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days, then they will be raised in the last installment of the first resurrection! These will be the last believers to die… ever! See Rev. 14:14.
  7. Rescued by the Lord. A final group will remain in the city until the 1290 days. The King of the North will return from Egypt, and the remnant will leave the city going towards the mount of olives. The Lord’s feet will touch down on the mountain. "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west..." (Zech. 14:4). The mountain will split in two… one half moving North, and the other south. They will run into that valley for safety while the Lord consumes their enemies with fire!
Old Testament Types. There are many Old Testament types of the Jewish remnant.
  • Seth
  • Noah
  • Keturah
  • Benjamin
  • Ruth
  • Jotham
  • Jonathan
  • Isaiah
  • Daniel's friends
  • Esther
  • Barruch
  • Jonah
  1. Definition from Bruce Anstey.