The Bible in Daniel and Revelation mention a period of 3 1/2 years several times each. The Society generally interprets this time period as already having been fulfilled in the early part of the 20th century. As all or most of us have learned this timetable just does not match up with the facts. So when does this 3 1/2 yr. interval happen?

First let us turn to Daniel chap. 7 verses 21 and 22 – “As I was watching, this horn waged war against the holy ones and was prevailing over them until the Ancient of Days arrived and a judgement was given in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, for the time had come, and the holy ones took possession of the kingdom.”

From this text we learn that a “little horn” wages war against “holy ones” (christians) but God comes and rescues them and they begin to reign. We can deduce that this war against the “holy ones” must come right before they begin to rule. Now lets read verse 25 of the same chapter – “He (the little horn) will speak words against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High. He will intend to change religious festivals and laws, and the holy ones will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time.

This “little horn” will oppress the “holy ones” for 3 1/2 times, or in other words 3 1/2 years, right before these “holy ones” begin to rule. Also lets read Dan. 12:7 – “…it would be for a time, times, and half a time. When the power of the holy people is shattered, all these things will be completed.”

So from reading these verses we see that right before the “holy ones” rule, there will be a great oppression of them. This oppression will last 3 1/2 years. Then God will come to rescue them. Now let us turn to Revelation 11 verse 2 and 3 – “But exclude the courtyard outside the sanctuary . Don’t measure it, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for 42 months. I will empower my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days, dressed in sackcloth”

The holy city here mentioned would be New Jerusalem. Those who rule with Christ make up the New Jerusalem. However for 42 mos. this city or those christians will be trampled. This is the same period of time mentioned in Daniel. Now lets read vs. 7 – “When they finish their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, conquer them, and kill them.”

This time period of oppression will be extremely difficult for true christians, many will be killed. By comparing Revelation 11:7 and Daniel 7:21,22 we are helped to deduce what Satan’s primary tool is in this oppression.

As mentioned many christians will die. Notice how Jesus supports this thought in Matthew 24:21,22 – “For at that time there will be great tribulation, the kind that hasn’t taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again! Unless those days were limited, no one would survive. But those days will be limited because of the elect.”

The days of oppression for christians will be limited to 3 1/2 years. This oppression or tribulation will be so severe that if that time period weren’t limited no true christian would survive. Who would be the elect? Who would prove to be the ones who survive the great oppression? Revelation 7:14 says – ” These are the ones (the great crowd) coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Now let’s read Revelation 13:5 and 7 – A mouth was given to him to speak boasts and blasphemies. He was also given authority to act for 42 months… And he was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them…”

The first few verses of chap. 13 of Rev. help us to further identify Satan’s principal tool in this oppression or tribulation. In this same chapter of Revelation verse 10, referring to the great tribulation, says – “If anyone is destined for captivity into captivity he goes. If anyone is to be killed with a sword, with a sword he will be killed. This demands the perseverance and faith of the saints.”

The great tribulation will not be a time of difficulties for the world in general. It will be a period of great suffering for true christians. This period will last 3 1/2 years. The true christians left will compose a great crowd of people and will be rescued by God. How? That will be the subject of another post.

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18 Comments on 3 1/2 Years of Tribulation

  1. Greybeard says:

    Thank you Andrew or your article. Honestly this is something I have not given a lot of thought to. I believe most so called “Christians” today believe they will be raptured before the great tribulation. As a struggling X-JW I no longer really know if I qualify to be called a true Christian. For a long time I thought was, now I am lost. A lost “sheep” I hope.

    I really enjoy this web site. Most all the articles here are really good. I wish JJ could add a page for asking questions. I have a question about false prophets. I myself have concluded that the GB falls into that category. The false prophets that Jesus waned us about. I am not sure about all the JW followers of witch many of my family are (wife/kids/father/brother). Are the followers of the GB/JW-org false prophets as well or are they missguided lost sheep. I would like to think they are lost sheep. Can you or JJ or any other respond to this question?

    Thanks again,
    Greybeard

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  2. rus virgil says:

    Hello Andrew,
    the idea (thought) that the GT will last for 3,1/2 years is not new , it is held by many people
    if you will search this (prophetic) subject trying to understand “with spirit” , and in the “Biblical context” paying attention to the “teaching of Christ” , your search will have other result .
    What I can do now , is -only- to invite everybody to search one of my threads here
    http://reslight.net/forum/inde.....207.0.html
    the series of posts at my link is not a “throughout” study but only an “intro” in this subject , as (according to the measure)I was able to put it in english
    keeping at high esteem the “teaching of Christ”,
    rus virgil

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    • andrew says:

      HI Rus
      We disagree and that’s okay. Understanding prophecy is challenging and not a salvation issue.

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      • rus virgil says:

        What you say is right
        we, humans take “our right” to disagree …
        but fortunately Jesus did not took “his right” to disagree with His Father , and SO , all what he taught us is TRUTH … for ever …
        and still remains truth even we “agree” or “disagree” with it (His teaching) !

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  3. Greybeard says:

    Thank you Andrew for your article.

    Honestly this is something I have not given a lot of thought to. I believe most so called “Christians” today believe they will be raptured before the great tribulation. As a struggling X-JW I no longer really know if I qualify to be called a true Christian. For a long time I thought I was, now I am lost. A lost “sheep” I hope.

    I really enjoy this web site. Most all the articles here are really good. I wish JJ could add a page for asking questions. I have a question about false prophets. I myself have concluded that the GB falls into that category. The false prophets that Jesus warned us about. I am not sure about all the JW followers of witch many of my family are (wife/kids/father/brother). Are the followers of the GB/JW-org false prophets as well or are they missguided lost sheep. I would like to think they are lost sheep. Can you or JJ or any other respond to this question?
    Thanks again,
    Greybeard

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    • andrew says:

      We as humans cannot read hearts. Therefore we cannot say whether a certain person is a true christian or not. It is unfortunate that the Society’s teaching of salvation for JWs only can tend to create feelings of superiority or self-righteousness among the JWs. However I believe there are many JWs that despite that teaching have managed to avoid a self-righteous Pharasaical attitude.

      Everyone who has faith in Christ and imitates him are true christians.

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  4. Greybeard says:

    Dear Rus Virgil,

    Someone correct me if i’m wrong but doesn’t Rus Virgil seam to have a arrogant and condescending attitude? Like this comment he made to Andrew, “if you will search this (prophetic) subject trying to understand “with spirit” , and in the “Biblical context” paying attention to the “teaching of Christ” , your search will have other result .” As if Andrew is not trying to “understand with spirit” or that he doesn’t pay “attention to the teaching of Christ.” Then he tries to redirect everyone to one of his posts on another site by rudely saying this, “What I can do now , is -only- to invite everybody to search one of my threads here.”

    i got to tell you Rus, I wouldn’t take one second to review a web site written from a person who talks like you. You method of teaching is not Christ like at all. If I was the moderator of this web site I would not let a person like you ever post again. You need to go back to the basics of Christ’s teachings and learn what love means.

    Like I said, correct me if I’m wrong someone, that is, someone besides Rus Virgil,
    maybe i’m out in left field but I don’t think so.

    Greybeard

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    • andrew says:

      Thanks for defending me Greybeard, but I don’t think Rus is as “arrogant” as sometimes he may appear. As he has said english isn’t his first language. Sometimes when you don’t speak the language real fluently you can come off as being very direct and abrasive. I went through that in learning a second language. When I was first learning the language, one brother mentioned to me that I was very direct when I spoke in that language, and I’m not that type of person at all but the difficulty with the language forced me to talk that way.

      Also, most everyone has an opinion and few think their opinion is wrong. We can get so caught up in how we think that we can’t even consider the possibility of being wrong. For example I for many years didn’t think it possible that the Society was wrong on anything major. Therefore in talking with people in the field ministry I think I was dogmatic and unreasoning. I really wanted to help the householder and therefore I was so adamant. I believe Rus wants to help us and is convinced of the rightness of his opinion.

      I probably don’t agree 100% about everything with anybody here, and probably nobody agrees 100% with me. But I feel united with the bros. including rus, jollyroger and others here because we are all striving to serve the master.

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  5. Greybeard says:

    Thank Andrew,

    Like I said, “correct me if I’m wrong.” I can see how the language issue could be a problem. I just don’t see how telling someone to try to use holy spirit is a language problem. I still think he has a little edge to his posts. I can only work on myself, I will try to have a christian attitude about it. I’ve spoken my peace and now it is over.

    I to was a little dogmatic in field service. I wanted to save people with our “truth”. I am glad all that is over. Thanks for your christian example Andrew.

    Your brother,
    Greybeard

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    • Amos says:

      Greybeard,

      I agree with you….the very thing that Rus accused me of a few weeks ago, he is now guilty of himself.

      This is why we all need to accept that we have differing views at times, & should all accept this fact instead of being as dogmatic about our own views, as Rus has been.

      We could all put forward our views & try to enforce them as THE ONLY CORRECT VIEW… problem with this is that there has only been ONE person who has walked the earth who was right with everything that He said.

      For what it’s worth.

      Amos

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  6. Amos says:

    Concerning this topic, I have had many mixed thoughts about this for quite some time now, like…is it symbolic or literal period….is it on the church or Israel….???

    Any comments on this?

    Andrew, I’d like to see your views concerning the Great Crowd, as my own views about them are in the process of a revision now.

    Amos

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    • andrew says:

      My opinion is that this 3 1/2 yr. period is literal. This would perhaps correspond to 66 AD – 70 AD during the first Great Trib. against Jerusalem.

      This latter Great Tribulation would be against the church. I know a lot of brothers believe the state of Israel is still God’s chosen people, and I certainly wouldn’t say it is impossible. However I believe the true Jew is the one who has faith like Abraham. Perhaps I’ll write an article in the future about my views on this subject.

      I’ll write one on the Great Crowd as well.

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      • Amos says:

        Thank’s Andrew, I do agree with you on this, it’s the way I see it also, wasn’t sure of your views from the original post.

        Regarding the Israelites….I cannot see the present “state of Israel” as such, featuring in the plan of God. What I do see however is the Jewish people as still being the special possession of Yahweh, not being totally rejected or caste off completely. I firmly believe they will be an integral part of the restoration of planet earth, & mankind, during the millennium.

        As it has been promised that there will be a king to sit on the throne of David, & it has been said that this will be the returned Messiah, to sit on the throne of David His father, will this be literal or should it be “spiritualized”?

        Amos

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  7. Reader says:

    Dear All;
    The three and a half is a real tease.
    At times I’ve just stared at these numbers and also tried many diagrams. I think I’ve got somewhere but not all the way.

    The three and a half I suspect is a broader period embracing many time scales, why did I come up with this?

    The Two Witnesses, could cover from any timne after setting up a representative Nation; literal Israel or the Christian period.
    When we see days we go for day for a year, OK but.
    The day for year was Jehovah judging human things which is not nessesarily the case in all the given three and half formats.

    So try this:
    – the idea is right but use the correct multiplier;
    Prophets/ witnessing/ miracles need Holy Spirit, God’s day is a thousand years, so three and half days times 1000 years is 3500years,

    About the time from setting up the Israelite theocractic state to the present.

    A period of time under Jehovah’s supervision which encompasses;
    Revelation 11 v 5………….1Kings 1
    Revelation 11 v 6a…………1Kings 17
    Revelation 11 v 6b instrumental in bringing out Israel; pre-state.
    Revelation 11 v 12…………Acts 1 v 11

    As of yet not deffinatively proved but seems a qualative fix?
    B

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  8. Reader says:

    Correction…3+half
    Revelation 11 v 5..1Kings 1
    should be
    Revelation 11 v 5..2Kings 1

    The correction was “saved” but seems lost.

    B

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  9. reader says:

    Any Biologists or Medicals help?

    I’ve come to a conclusion that the shortening of the lives of Adam’s sons is a neoteny.

    My skill base is more Botany, so not quite in my field [natural pun]. Am I barking up the wrong tree? If not anybody to take it further? Is there previous work or links?

    Has implications to the ape men skeletons, esp neanderthal, H sapiens and H sapiens sapiens,

    Thanks
    B

    Link; http://www.yahweh-immanuel.inf.....ml#Neoteny

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