Q. I understand that we should interpret scripture literally whenever the context allows us to do so, but what about being able to understand whether something that was prophesied has already occurred? For example, I understand that books such as Revelation are still future because of the awesome events described in them, but how do we know for sure that the events in Revelation will span 7 years and not longer? Is it because of the parallel in Daniel’s 70th week? If that is so then how do we know the events BEFORE the abomination of desolation take place over a period of 3 1/2 years?
A. From chapter 6 thru 19 the Book of Revelation appears to be a commentary on Daniel’s 70th Week. The first seal of Rev. 6 is thought by many to be the arrival of the anti-Christ on the world scene, although in his role as a peace maker, as described in Daniel 8:25, not as the personification of Satan. In Daniel 9:24-27 the first public act of the anti-Christ is to confirm a 7 year treaty with Israel.
If these two passages are saying the same thing, as seems likely, then from the first seal to the 2nd Coming takes a period of 7 years, Daniel’s 70th Week.
Daniel 12:7, Revelation 12:6 and others state that the Great Tribulation is 3.5 years long. Matt. 24:15-21 says that the Great Tribulation will begin with the Abomination of Desolation. Daniel 9:27 says that the Abomination will happen in the middle of the 70th week. Therefore the events from Rev. 6-12 constitute the first half of Daniel’s 70th week, and events from Rev. 13, when Satan indwells the anti-Christ and receives the worship of the whole world, thru Rev. 19 take up the 2nd half.